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Comment: Re:Old news. (Score 1) 250

by vux984 (#48654311) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

If the light turns red and you go through the intersection 0.1 seconds later, you're not going to cause an accident


If you go through at the halfway point of the red cycle, you've got an excellent chance of causing an accident

Also agreed.

I'd think that, if the cameras were a little forgiving, people wouldn't slam on their brakes at the last minute.

No. I think there needs to be an easy line in the sand. If you enter the intersection on red you should get a fine.

If you are going to allow a half second or one second leeway on entering the red -- then it makes more sense to me to leave the hard line on the red, and just make the yellow 0.5 or 1 second longer.

I've given it a fair bit of thought actually, and I think the following is the best way to run the system:

100% of the revenue generated from any criminal penalty or fine should also be redistributed back to the residents in the form of a direct payment.

This ensures the city doesn't view the cameras (and any other crime) as revenue; and no part of the government becomes dependent on that revenue.

Then the city will make rational (and correct) decisions where and how to install and configure cameras, and when to decommission or rotate them elsewhere, based purely on safety objectives.

It does mean taxes have to go up a bit to cover the overall revenue loss; since enforcement is purely a cost centre now. But it balance out with the rebate. And having it go through the rebate and tax cycle means the costs/benefit of running the program is exposed directly to voters; and the city has no incentive or benefit from running a program unless it's actually working to improve safety, etc.

Comment: Re: Why wouldn't it be? (Score 1) 198

by vux984 (#48650535) Attached to: Judge: It's OK For Cops To Create Fake Instagram Accounts

They can probably get around the criminal part by just creating a fictional person. It's only criminal if they steal a real persons identity. I doubt the cops care anything about civil law.

Maybe. But the computer misuse laws are so broadly written right now, that violating the "terms of service" is tantamount to "unauthorized use of a computer"...

For example...

Comment: Re:Old news. (Score 1) 250

by vux984 (#48644037) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

All you've done is argue that its not the presence of red light cameras causing accidents; its the screwing around with the yellow timing that is.

Screwing around with the yellow durations -- that leads to an unsafe intersection.

Nobody has to drive poorly if red light cameras are installed and the intersection is setup properly.

Comment: Re:Old news. (Score 3, Insightful) 250

by vux984 (#48644003) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

They could just get tickets I guess.

While I don't care for the cameras I do live in a city with red light cameras. I've NEVER had any difficulty stopping safely; and I've never gotten a red light ticket.

As long as the city isn't screwing with the yellow light duration, if you were driving safely then red light cameras really don't affect you.

just to drive the way they were driving before that was safer.

Running red lights is not safe.

What the cameras force are sudden stops and accelerations. You can't avoid it.

Again, around here, that's just not the case. When the light turns yellow, people prepare to stop for the red. Unless they are moving at sufficient speed to enter the intersection while its still yellow. Its basic driving 101.

If red light cameras make you are slam on the brakes then you are driving poorly.

Comment: Re:Old news. (Score 3, Insightful) 250

by vux984 (#48643955) Attached to: Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

due to the extra threat of photos people are more likely to slam on the brakes at the last second when it would be safer to continue through the intersection.

If you are choosing between "slamming your brakes at the last second" or "running a red light" then you were driving unsafely.***

Further if you are "slamming your brakes at the last second" to avoid a ticket, AND you get rear ended as a result -- what was the guy behind you thinking? Sounds like he was driving even poorer than you were... because if you couldn't get through the intersection legally; then he certainly couldn't either, so he should have been slowing down to stop even if you hadn't fucked up and waited to the last second to slam on your brakes.

I'm not disputing that the rear-end accident rate went up. But only because the red light camera exacerbated already shitty driving habits. Nobody was driving safely and now HAD to drive unsafely. They were driving unsafely all along.

Further T-bone accidents were reduced. The severity of T-bone accidents tends to be a lot higher than rear-ends. Especially as the "slammed on the brakes at the last second scenarios" typically involve pretty small differences in relative vehicle speeds... e.g you slowing from 35mph to 20mhp and get rear ended by a vehicle that also slammed on its brakes from 35mph and hits you still moving 30mph... a difference of only 10mph.

T-bones tend to involve vehicles both hitting eachother at 30mph at orthoganal angles which is both a larger impact and harder for the vehicles accident systems to absorb.

(***Yes, we can argue that IF the yellow light timers were adjusted downward below what they should be for the speed limit to further increase revenues then yes. But that is a completely separate issue from merely installing properly configured red light cameras.)

Comment: Re:Life form? (Score 1) 384

by vux984 (#48638801) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Rocks are expected (from operation of simple physics laws), so are not life-y self-causal by particular information.

And what happens when we discover a means to create what we would categorize as life from non-life by way of the operation of simple physics laws?

I mean, we do largely assert that this is what happened. And although we don't know how to "make" it happen today, it may be that its not altogether that exotic.

If something was inevitably going to happen anyway to some matter and energy, due to its statistical distribution and the surrounding thermodynamic regime and fundamental forces, do we say that that future state (or equivalence class of states) required a particular cause (beyond the operation of the simple physical laws on the situation?) No.

That's the rub. Are the sub-cellular molecular interactions of my body not individually quite predictable by the simple physical laws on the situation. Protein folding might be quite complicated, but its guided by simple rules.

Are you categorizing life then as nothing more than emergent deviations from expected outcomes due to the cumultative effects of complex interactions that don't lend themselves well to simpler modelling?

Is then a galaxy alive, if it does something we don't "expect" simply as the cumulative addition of all the sub-processes that we didn't individually model?

Or conversely, if we successfully modeled a life form such that we could predict from simple laws of physics the sorts of things that it will do does that strip from it the label of "life"?

Because that definition of life sounds much like the definition of magic. The more we understand physics the the less will qualify. First we'll reduce simple organisms to predictable machines, then ever more increasingly complicated ones will fall until the robots we build and count as non-life and the insects and bacteria we count as alive intersect...

Comment: Re:Life form? (Score 1) 384

by vux984 (#48637917) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

Rabbits have internal information which under the right conditions can be used to form a new rabbit.

Male rabbits can't form a new rabbit without female rabbits. Does a male rabbit still count as having all the "information" necessary to form a new rabbit if it can't do it itself? It also lacks key physiology required to transform the information into a new rabbit.

Rabbits have internal information which under the right conditions can be used to form a new rabbit.

What are the right conditions for a population of male rabbits to form a new rabbit?

The rock is just as self-describing; scan the rock see what its made of and that is the information required by a suitable 3rd party contraption to create a new rock.

What makes some sort of scanner + nano-assembler + raw materials capable of reproducing rocks different from a female rabbit and some food capable of processing the informational element handed to it by a male rabbit?

Comment: Re:Sure... (Score 1) 332

Why not? You could batch program it for delivery twice a day.

All inter-company email slowed to twice a day batches. Every exchange with an external consultant or contractor; every conference call meeting confirmation, everything... goes out at noon and 5 pm?

What issue exactly would twice a day batches even solve?

In a company where you were in charge upper management would literally crucify you, and the regular employees would cheer them on.

Comment: Re:Life form? (Score 1) 384

by vux984 (#48636441) Attached to: The Dominant Life Form In the Cosmos Is Probably Superintelligent Robots

So you take a population of rabbits, kill all all the females, and remaining males no longer qualify as life because nothing they can do is going to sustain the information patterns they embody for more than a few more years.

And I guess a Dr. who performs vasectomies is not merely dead, but anti-life. ;)

Comment: Re:Why Apple? (Score 4, Insightful) 194

by vux984 (#48631577) Attached to: Investigation: Apple Failing To Protect Chinese Factory Workers

Why is it Apple's fault or Apple's problem? First of all these are Foxconn workers. Secondly Foxconn manufactures hardware for a lot of companies, not just Apple.

Apple is profitable. Not merely "regular" corporation profitable. But the sort of profitable Fortune 500 corporations look at in awe of.

Further, it's profitable per unit made. Its not making a few cents and selling billions of units. Its making serious cash off every single solitary unit.

Unlike a lot of other businesses at the top of this exploitation food-chain, Apple can well afford to pay these guys a lot better, not change their prices, and STILL be quite profitable.

That arguably makes their situation both a lot less defensible and a lot more newsworthy.

Just as Nike in the 90s when they took major heat over thier sweatshop labor producing insanely profitable $120 runners. They too were a globally recognized brand selling a premium "lifestyle" product ... and its image conscious consumers didn't want to wear that guilt. And at the prices / profit margins involved they were paying for runners there was no reason Nike couldn't afford to treat its workers betters.

Fast forward 15 years. And its Apple. Same situation.

Comment: Re:Sounds like my Sony Blu-Ray player (Score 2) 82

by vux984 (#48621441) Attached to: Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

Sony CS has no solution.

Whereas I have 3:

1) Return it and replace it with something better
2) Firewall it so it can't access the internet over your router. When you actually need/want to update it, its trivial to disable the rule for a few minutes.

3) disconnect it from the network. if its wired this couldn't be simpler. If its wireless its may be a little more tedius to forget and resetup the wifi each time -- in which case maybe #2 above is the better solution.

But really -- #1 is the correct solution.

Never tell people how to do things. Tell them WHAT to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. -- Gen. George S. Patton, Jr.