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Comment: Re:Yes, that is still my point (Score 1) 525

by whathappenedtomonday (#48511265) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

The simple fact is MOST people will ignore limits that re too low

I'm not sure if this is true or if it applies to MOST. I don't know where you live, but I am quite certain that where I live it doesn't work that way (fines ... few, not most can ignore those). Nonetheless, by raising the upper limit of speed, you'd further spread the difference of speeds of individual cars, i.e. those who go beyond limits and those who adhere, so I doubt you have a point here. Never mind, though, limits are and will remain arbitrary, and people will drive as fast as they see fit. People will die in traffic, no matter what we do. IMHO, raising speed limits will kill more people, but I might be wrong. Physics -- along with common sense -- saved my life quite a few times so far, so that might be something we both can agree to.

Comment: Re:Physics make my case, not yours. (Score 1) 525

by whathappenedtomonday (#48501237) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

Avoiding accidents involves way more than simply braking.

Sure, but that wasn't my point. It is actually all about the time it takes the human body to react to stimuli. The average best case response time seems to vary from 215 milliseconds (humanbenchmark.com) to 166 ms (sprinters at the Beijing Olympics as of Wikipedias Mental chronometry entry). My point was: the faster you go, the more can happen within those ~180ms that you cannot respond to. We're not even talking about the forces involved at the respective velocities, or worst case response times of distracted drivers etc.

Comment: Re:Accident rates by speed limit different (Score 1) 525

by whathappenedtomonday (#48500639) Attached to: Montana Lawmakers Propose 85 Mph Speed Limit On Interstates

Comparing German accident rates to U.S. rates with very different driving situations makes no sense

In that case, physics might make sense. Just compare how many yards you make in a second at 55 mph vs. 85 mph. Also, compare stopping distances. Driving faster is more dangerous unless you bend the laws of physics.

Comment: Re:How about we beta test on Venus? (Score 1) 367

+1

Also, there's nothing controversial about geo and climate engineering, it's just a dumb idea, since we don't actually understand climate yet, or even just the weather. Let 'em write papers, but make sure they keep their hands off of actual "engineering" for a few more decades. We'll be busy coping with our most recent climate engineering attempt and its results, the release of several hundred million years' worth of carbon.

Comment: Re:Surely there's more to come :( (Score 1) 324

by whathappenedtomonday (#48206315) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic
Um, no: Orban publicly announced that he plans to eliminate liberal democracy in his country and turn Hungary into an 'illiberal state,' modeled after China or Russia. Pretty much no other country does that, which shows that Orban's Fidesz is not like any other authoritarian regime IMO.

Comment: Re:Do some research first please? (Score 1) 258

Valid points within the science we know, but it is probably wise to consider aspects outside of settled scientific knowledge:

  • So far, Ebola outbreaks were confined primarily to tropical regions of Sub-Saharan Africa; we will only just now be able to study how "well" the virus spreads "airborne", i.e. by commercial airlines, and we do not yet know what happens when the virus encounters a completely different set of hosts/environments/influences it wasn't exposed to so far.
  • While Gorillas are often associated with Ebola outbreaks, bats are considered the most likely natural reservoir of the EBOV. You'll probably have a hard time finding gorillas in your neighborhood, but bats ... . I'm not sure how relevant this might be, but once you have a rising number of infected people on a global scale, the buildup of new reservoirs is not unlikely.

In the 100 or so years we have been really studying viruses, we have seen a virus mutate and change its infection vector exactly ZERO times.

While this is probably true, the science we acquired during these 100 or so years is often based on epidemiological conditions and assumptions that no longer apply, or have changed dramatically, or which have been made considerably more complicated because of the way the world changed since the Spanish Flu -- not talking about those things we just kinda missed. Point being: aside from hemorrhagic fever making clickbait headlines right now, it's the same with influenza: we'd better not underestimate it, be it airborne, avian or whatnot.

Comment: Re:What's actually going on (Score 1) 579

by whathappenedtomonday (#47706117) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

And in other, completely unrelated news, MS has announced that it's moving it's German HQ to.... yes, you guessed it.... Munich!

While you are correct, it's rather old news: the lease agreement was signed back in 2013, and the building will be finished 2016. Still, interesting fact to keep in mind.

Comment: Re:It's tinfoil time! (Score 1) 232

Also, remember that this is an arms race. A few more similar cases and press coverage, and those people you target will know that a false identity only works if it comes with plastic surgery. And: whatever benefits they say face recognition has, they are dwarfed by the potential abuses. But we don't talk about those, we're busy thinking of the children, while trying not to think too hard of the children, because that would put us in a different camp.

Comment: Russia sponsoring environmental groups? (Score 1) 461

by whathappenedtomonday (#47327821) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

They might be, but the "sophisticated information and disinformation" game works both ways, you know.

Russia in secret plot against fracking Nato chief says. "I have met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and disinformation operations, engaged actively with so-called non-governmental organisations - environmental organisations working against shale gas - to maintain European dependence on imported Russian gas. That is my interpretation.

I have met neighbors who said they know someone who is sure that Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen is full of shit, but I prefer to rely on facts instead of hearsay.

Anti fracking groups have AFAIK demanded that Rasmussen provide evidence for his "interpretation" or else apologize. Ah, here's the open letter.

It is interesting, though, Nato doing some product placement for the fracking industry, lashing out at Putin and saying: the devil hates fracking, so it must be a good thing. If you oppose it, you're obviously bought by the Kremlin, because everybody in the EU but Gazprom just loves fracking.

Next thing you know, we'll see some sort of a global Foreign Agent Law ... no, treaty, I mean treaty! Not a law, a treaty. My bad. Let's call it an agreement. And always remember: you can't trust the ... Russians.

Comment: Re:U.S. Marshals Seize Cops’ Spying Records. (Score 1) 269

I find this case particularly amazing - in just three paragraphs you'll find a dozen reasons to be outraged -- or to dispair. After the first sentence you wonder if it is a parody, but it gets even better:

Recently, the Tallahassee police department revealed it had used stingrays at least 200 times since 2010 without telling any judge because the device's manufacturer made the police department sign a non-disclosure agreement that police claim prevented them from disclosing use of the device to the courts.

The ACLU has filed numerous records requests with police departments around the country in an effort to uncover how often the devices are used and how often courts are told about them.

In the Sarasota case, the U.S. Marshals Service claimed it owned the records Sarasota police offered to the ACLU because it had deputized the detective in the case, making all documentation in the case federal property. Before the ACLU could view the documents Sarasota had put aside for them, the agency dispatched a marshal from its office in Tampa to seize the records and move them to an undisclosed location.

Comment: Re:purchase time (Score 1) 405

by whathappenedtomonday (#46527303) Attached to: Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

I might with the next one, but this one is still running fine after > 22.000 km, consumes around 2 l/100 km of gas (7 l tank, excellent cruising radius) and ~ 300 ml/1000 km of 2-stroke oil. Plus, I don't have to worry about the rather huge distance between my electrical outlets and the scooter's parking space. Also, I'd have to spend ~ 4.000 EUR for a decent electric model, which I don't currently have to spare.

Additionally, the direct injection engines are quite powerful. I have yet to test an electric scooter (other than a Segway, which is fun to drive, but no alternative), but I guess that an equally powerful electrical engine would have a considerably lower mileage. Things might look different at the time when I have to consider a new purchase.

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