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Comment Re:Scientists and media both happy (Score 1) 197

We now know that we really do need church. Not necessarily Christ, though they're probably the ones with the best set of morals

Citation please. On BOTH of these points. IMHO, I now know that church (note that you didn't say religion) willfully blinds one to evidence based decision making. And the Magdeline Asylums in Ireland sure put a lie to your second point...

Comment Re:Data gathering (Score 1) 85

It's undoubtedly political, and yes, it is in fact election time in Canada (October 19th, in fact). The Conservative Party of Canada has had a history of muzzling scientists and government departments whenever reality conflicts with their ultra-right wing neo-con agenda. Here's to hoping their damaging governance is at it's end... ABC, anyone but conservatives.

Submission + - The Language of the Future is French,say the French (vice.com) 1

Painted writes: By carefully cherry picking their data, the Observatory of the French Language is convinced that eventually, somehow, French is going to become the world's dominant language. Because of Africa, of all things.

This will certainly put a damper on my bugging the francophones I know by asking them what the Lingua Franca is...

Comment Re:Great (Score 2) 222

After Chernobyl, there was a ton of concern as to where the fuel had ended up, raising concerns that the deterioration of the structure could result in further "events". After much heroic and life threatening investigation, it was discovered that the core in melting through the base of the containment vessel had breached a thick layer of sand placed there as shielding. The sand melted into a glass, completely entombing the fuel and then solidifying into various flow patterns in the basement. This was completely unexpected, and was a huge relief to those involved.

If they had had proper modeling and testing of the containment vessel, they would have been much more sure that the fuel was unlikely to further react, and would not have had to risk the team's lives entering hard radiation areas.

There was an excellent Nova episode on this in the early 90's, but unfortunately due to some licencing issue it is unavailable from PBS. Snagged a ratty VHS copy of it a few years ago though- do wish there were some HQ versions of it kicking around.

Comment Re:What it will be used for... (Score 1) 178

ANPR has several problems - you need cameras on every street corner, it lets the government know everywhere you go, people can put false plates on their cars, etc.

(No, the government probably won't see any of those as a problem, but their opposition will...)

A GPS system could just measure distance traveled, not locations or any other data. The car could refuse to work if it doesn't receive a GPS signal that makes sense. If it's in a tamper-proof box then hacking it could be difficult enough that most people wouldn't bother.

So you don't trust plate readers, as the government can track you, but you believe that a GPS system will be used to ONLY measure "distance traveled, not locations or other data."

Do you have any basic understanding on how GPS type systems work?

Comment Re:Red light / green light (Score 1) 1440

They invented a wonderful device for people like you, it's called a HORN. You wait 1-2 seconds for them to move, then you utilize your HORN ACTIVATION circuit in your automobile, and it emits a "tootling" noise to alert the person in front of you to direct their attention to the petroleum distillate input foot lever, which in turn will allow their automobile to resume it's joyful progress.

A whole light cycle, really? >.>

Comment Re:Which is why I always put my car in [P]ark (Score 1) 1440

Where I live (Alberta) you are considered "operating" your vehicle if you are in it and you have your keys on your person.

That's right, you can be in the back seat, asleep, and you can be ticketed for DUI or whatever else they decide to stick you with. When our distracted driving law came in about 18 months ago, they specifically highlighted that pulling over to the side of the road and parking was NOT sufficient.

The funny part was when someone mentioned that the cops had put up, not 6 months before, signs saying that if you see a drunk driver, you should call them and trail them while the 911 operator coordinates a cop to nab the drunk. So they specifically made an exception for calling to report a drunk driver on a non-handsfree phone.... So I guess being distracted while following a drunk is for the greater good, or something....

Comment Re:Amazon's own fault (Score 1) 207

"And now Kobo is HUGE in Canada."

You sound like my boss. Full disclosure, I work at the largest independent publisher in Canada (if you cook in Canada, you probably have one of our titles)- and we went with Kobo exclusively for our ePubs. As a six million dollar paper publisher we sold... ... $15k in ePubs last year via Kobo, "the #2 ebookstore in the world, with 48% of the market!!"

I've also noticed that when I travel, or talk to people about ePubs, eBooks, etc, I see iPhones/iPads (quite possibly running iBooks, Kindle App, or Kobo apps), Kindles, Nooks, etc.... I have seen exactly ONE Kobo actually owned by an end-user. I know that anecdotes are not data, but....

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