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Power

Traffic-Flow Algorithm Can Reduce Fuel Consumption 328

thecarchik writes "New projects from German automakers Audi and BMW promise to ease congestion simply by looking at traffic signals and driving style, in an effort to smooth the flow of traffic. Through a test course in Munich, vehicles were able to post phenomenal fuel efficiency gains simply by adjusting the timing of traffic lights depending on traffic volume — to whatever speed provides a so-called 'green wave' of four or more synchronized signals."

Comment Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (Score 0) 714

Unfortunately, high school is the highest education the majority receive.

Sorry, but that doesn't mean that high school is the appropriate venue for that sort of discussion. In a high school science course, the aim of the curriculum is to provide a foundational education. Unfortunately, this does not include advanced evolutionary theory.

Right, but I don't hear anyone complaining when teachers say that we don't have a complete understanding of it either. Unfortunately, if a teacher were to say that there are things we don't understand about evolution, everyone gets in a tizzy and accuses the teacher of proselytizing impressionable young minds.

If this was all that teachers were required to say, then I'm perfectly comfortable with this. I am not comfortable, however, with the undue focus on evolution theory as flawed. It inaccurately characterizes evolution as a theory that is fundamentally contested, when in reality it is supported by a wealth of evidence from a variety of fields.

Comment Re:"Faith Science Basis?" (Score 1) 714

Ideas should NEVER be off the discussion table when it comes to science. Nor should any theory or even law be above challenge.

No one is say that evolution shouldn't be held up to the full rigor of scientific scrutiny. But there's a huge difference between criticizing hypothesized evolutionary mechanisms and criticizing the underlying theory.

In the scientific community, the fundamental principles of evolution have held up for a LONG time. This is what should be taught to school children. The extreme emphasis by certain groups on the "weaknesses" of evolutionary theory are meant to sow doubt in an otherwise uneducated audience (which kids are).

Should kids know that the specific details of evolution haven't been 100% sorted out yet? Yes. Should we go out of our way to spend time discussing these open questions? Sure. In an advanced setting. Not grade school. Not high school.

Frankly, we don't have a perfect understanding of how gravity works either. Yet somehow, I can't hear anyone screaming that our children must be educated on the "weaknesses" of that particular subject. I wonder why?

Comment Business as usual (Score 5, Interesting) 427

Cue the unending stream of lobbyists, please. They're on next.

Seriously, how many people ACTUALLY think that this was anything more than Congress muscling the FCC aside to better suckle at the corporate teat?

Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I don't see Congress getting territorial over any issue that isn't backed by multi-billion dollar industries.
Earth

New Estimates Say Earth's Oceans Smaller Than Once Believed 263

Velcroman1 writes with this snippet from Fox News: "Using lead weights and depth sounders, scientists have made surprisingly accurate estimates of the ocean's depths in the past. Now, with satellites and radar, researchers have pinned down a more accurate answer to that age-old query: How deep is the ocean? And how big? As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean's volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it's 320 million cubic miles. And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean's mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor."

Comment Tried it... (Score 1) 234

And like many of the comments in TFA, it didn't work for me (using 4.1.249.1064) once I completely closed out chrome.

It seems that the issue only affects certain versions of Chrome... I'm guessing this is an honest bug, but since it's google, everyone freaks the hell out.

Comment Re:It's like dejavu all over again! (Score 2, Insightful) 114

Here is the first distinction that we have to make:

a) Services that publish private information
b) Services that do not publish private information

The problem is that there is little to stop companies from transitioning from group b) to group a).

I'm reasonably confident that Google won't actively screw me over right now. But ten years down the road? Who knows?

Frankly, the only reason I trust Google NOW is that they have an incentive to keep me happy. If at any point I get pissed off, I can pack up and move to Bing or some other competitor with a minimum of fuss.

However with Facebook, they have a locked-in market. Sure, you can quit and move to a new site. But Facebook's value is in its membership, which no other company is offering at the moment.

As it stands now, the relationship between the user and Google is much more balanced, which makes Google at least marginally interested in their customers. Facebook, barring a massive decline in membership, simply doesn't care.

So long as Google is being kept honest by the legitimate possibility of losing revenue, they'll stay in group b).

Comment Re:Apple gives you dev tools. Does Windows? (Score 2, Informative) 965

...To a large degree Apple has turned a blind eye to the jailbreak community. I hardly think Apple is trying to keep people from learning programming or doing cool new things.

Really?
You must be referring to an Apple I'm not familiar with.

Nearly every OS release for the iPhone has gone out of its way to un-jailbreak (re-jail?) its phones. Didn't look too hard, but wikipedia sums it up best with its "cat and mouse" description.

And then of course there's the legal case where Apple argues that jailbreaking phones should be flat-out illegal under the DMCA.

Seems to me that Apple has both eyes open on this one.

Submission + - Gun with Wireless Arming Signal Goes on Sale Soon (wired.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Armatix has built a pistol that will disarm itself when it is taken away from a watch that sends it a wireless arming signal. The 22 caliber guns will go on sale in the US within months, and the initial price is 7,000 euro. Higher caliber models will follow. To activate the gun, users must enter a pin code on the wristwatch, and then keep it within roughly 20cm of the gun. If the person is disarmed, the gun can't be used against them. Also coming soon this year, civilians will also be able to buy three-shot Tasers, rubber bullets, as well as Heckler and Koch black rifles.

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