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Comment Re:First... define worse... (Score 1) 449

mm... I would point out that most Euro race tracks have other hazards to worry about, though. Hills, sharp turns, left/right turns in a mix, and longer tracks than you find in NASCAR.

I'm not saying that NASCAR drivers aren't good drivers. They are. But I am saying that European Touring Car racing tends to be a better test of an individual driver's skill than a trip around most NASCAR tracks.

Comment Re:pakkoputki (Score 1) 449

It's a good explanation of why Finns are disproportionally represented in motorsport. Certainly better than assuming that having k as a third of the letters in your name makes you good at driving.

I think it has more to do with the 3-year process that the Finns go through to get their license, which includes manditory skid school, snow driving school, and training on loose surfaces.

Comment Re:New Jersey Drivers (Score 1) 449

Not really that crazy, when you think about it.... If you're driving down the middle of a windy unpaved country road, then you have more space to react if you hit a pothole and veer off to the side. You've also got space to react on both sides in case some wayward wildlife steps out in front of you. In my driving experience, I've had to avoid small animals like cats/dogs/racoons, medium-sized animals like deer, and large animals like moose and one bear. (the joys of living in Ontario....)

Now, I'm not saying that the tristate area is exactly Moose Country, but there are certainly deer in KY, and there could be some logic to driving down the middle of the road. People do it up here, too.

Comment Re:My daughter is a lousy driver (Score 1) 449

Do what my parents did, then... the first time I had an accident, even though the cause was attributed to the weather, I was judged at fault and charged with careless driving (the cop said he had no choice, as I had admitted to hitting the other driver, but strongly recommended I fight it in court... I did and plea bargained to Pass On Right, Not In Safety). My parents told me that I'd have to get my own car insurance from then on. I paid $3000/year until I was 22, and haven't had a single accident or ticket since that one, when I was 17.

It's not a female thing. Some of us are bad drivers. Some are good drivers. The same could be said for people of the XY variant... There's a few guys whose driving terrified me so much I'll *never* get in a car with them again. It's an individual thing, and IMO, it has more to do with the amount of responsibility you accept when you get behind the wheel of the car. Teach your daughter the consequences for her actions, and she'll not grow up to be one of those idiots who puts on makeup while driving on the freeway.

(when I think about it, I did get away with murder... my parents didn't make me pay for the repairs on the car, so their insurance took a hit... when my older brother got a speeding ticket --admittedly, it was for going 160km/h in a 60 zone--, they cut him off their insurance and made him pay the fine)

Comment Re:Lenovo (Score 1) 583

Why are you suggesting a Firefox addon for a complaint about MSIE 6.0 in an environment where you can be fired for using anything other than MSIE?

If I could use Firefox, I'd be using AdBlock Plus, which blocks flash ads, but doesn't block things like YT.

Comment Re:Lenovo (Score 1) 583

The free version advertises at you (but it's non-intrusive, just a small box on the far end of the toolbar, no popups, no annoying sound, no shaking the screen).

The trial version of the pay-for version may have bundled stuff, but I've never bothered to install it. :)

Comment Re:Reinstalling the OS? (Score 1) 583

They assume that you want them by default, but will charge you for the privilege if you lose them and need to reorder them at a later date. (unless you talk nicely to tech. support, who usually forget to check that box in their call tracking software to bill the end user for the OS discs, but will hit it every time if they hate you)

Comment Re:no wonder people are switching to Mac (Score 1) 583

The outlet sells open box and returned systems, too. The way their system works, if a system is undeliverable or refused, and the client can't be contacted to arrange delivery, it also gets returned to the outlet for sale. Even though it's never been in the hands of an actual consumer, and you and I would both consider such a system "new", Dell can't actually sell it as a new built-to-order system legally.

Obligatory disclaimer: I used to work for Dell Canada, and it was my job to manage those distressed shipments, ideally getting them to the customer, but if not, getting them to the DFS Direct folks for resale.

Comment Re:no wonder people are switching to Mac (Score 1) 583

Dell's business computers can be ordered plain vanilla or without the OS loaded, if you wish. I always recommend their business line, whether the person asking is a business or home user.

Dell's consumer offerings also come with 3 discs for reinstall... Operating System (which is a clean, unbranded Windows disc), Drivers, and Applications and Utilities. If you want a clean system, stop after disc 2.

Comment Re:Lenovo (Score 4, Interesting) 583

Compare the performance of something like FoxIt PDF Reader ( ) against Adobe Reader, and then tell me with a straight face that Adobe's version is better. And if you leave Windows-land and get to Linux, then there's options like evince which are also significantly better than Adobe's offering.

And honestly, the only reason that Flash is installed on my computer at all is for YouTube. If I had a choice in the matter, I wouldn't have that load of crap at all... more often than not, it's used for intrusive ads on websites, not anything of actual value. (gawd, I hate surfing at work, where I am in serious hock if I'm caught using anything other than MSIE 6.0... *shudder*)

Comment Re:plan to (Score 1) 102

In the USA, an election is actually about 50 simultaneous voting opportunities. You may be voting for your congressman, your senator, the President, your town mayor, several state-level positions, the county sheriff, a few propositions, your local school board... the list seems endless. The ballot is so long and so complicated that they have to mail out booklets to voters ahead of time just to explain all of the choices.

That over-complication is what I was getting at. If there's multiple elections going on at the same time, great. Have a plebicite on every bill that passes before congress for all I care. But Don't put 50 different questions on the single ballot. The reason the Canadian system works is that it's so simple, and there's never more than one question on a ballot. If there's more than one question that needs to be asked, do it at multiple polling stations within the same building, with multiple different ballots. Or do a combined ballot, but stick with the large print, idiot-proof way of marking a ballot like we use. Crap like the whole dangling chads fiasco would never happen in the Canadian election system.

And as to your point about there being a lot more voters in the US... it's a fair point. But did you miss my point about each polling station being divided to have between 200-500 voters? 500 as the upper limit to keep it manageable for 2 people to count in a matter of hours, and 200 as a lower limit to preserve the anonymity of the vote... if a polling station only had 3 voters, it'd be too easy to tell who voted for what. There's no reason the same system couldn't be expanded to handle the size of the US electorate... our own election system was initially designed when the population of the country was significantly less than 1/10th what it is now.

Comment Re:Smart Machines (Score 1) 125

It needs a firmware because the technology that controls read/write on the physical medium is not open source, and is probably not common across all drives. For SSD's, you have several different kinds of Flash that are in use, along with several different read/write controllers. The firmware is simply a low-level driver that translates between these read/write machine code and the standardised SATA interface. Some of the more intelligent firmware will also do some kinds of optimisation and load balancing on the flash chips.

You do realize that physical spinny platter-type drives also have firmware? As do optical devices? As does everything else you've got connected to your computer, even the keyboard/mouse and monitor? While some of those firmwares will probably never need to be updated (when was the list time performance on a keyboard was a major factor on a benchmark? The only time I've *ever* seen a problem with one of those, it was on an old iMac running System 9, and the issue was actually the os's input buffer which couldn't keep up with my typing rate that's in excess of 110wpm.), those devices still need and have a firmware.

But enthusiasts have had the ability to update the firmware on their CDROM drives and hard drives for a long time, as a code optimisation there can make a big difference to a benchmark that involves the device... on optical drives, it has even been done to upgrade a 32x drive to 40x or 48x with a firmware update, and there's also pirate firmwares available for DVD drives that reset the region change counter every time you power cycle the device.

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