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Comment burning cars (Score 1) 419

For the 20 years of my life in the US, I have never seen a car burning on the side of the road.

I've seen a car catch fire after an accident. I also knew someone who burned to death after the car she was in caught on fire, she was wearing her seat belt which became jambed. For this very reason I hate mandatory seatbelt laws, if there's the possibility someone will burn to death they should have the choice as to whether or not they will wear a seatbelt. The only thing worse than burning to death is surviving having your body burned.


Comment Re:CARB, necessary evil (Score 1) 762

The greenhouse effect as it applies to cars is that light (mainly visible but also IR as the sun has a lot of this as well and some of it gets through the glass) is transmitted into the car, absorbed by the seats etc, and then re-emitted as infrared, which is then internally reflected by the glass causing rapid thermal gain.

The energy transfer of an optical filter is completely characterized by its transmission, reflection and absorption. So there are three possible approaches to mitigating the problem: reflect the incoming energy you don't want (hard to do without compromising visibility also, and, evidently, radio signals etc), transmit the stuff you don't want better so that internal IR passes more readily *out* of the system (possible but hideously expensive, you need extended bandwidth anti-reflective coatings), and finally: absorb the frequencies you don't want and then take away the heat with another method, typically air convection. This last approach is readily available, its called heat absorbing glass.

Comment Re:All mine were cheap! (Score 1) 1259

I agree completely. I know many countries do exactly as you're saying -- testing early and trying to get people into the track most appropriate for them. Done properly, it's certainly a great idea.

At my high school, we had a very tight relationship with an area "Vo-Tech" (Vocational Technical) school. I'd estimate that about a quarter of the high school would go there during afternoons to take courses in refrigeration, mechanics, electronics repair, data entry, whatever. I have thought for a long time that this is the correct path for a certain type of person who just wants to get out of school and start making cash.

In fact, I think there are probably a lot of trades which are currently learned in universities that could be moved to schools like this instead. Basic programming would be one. All you really need is an apprenticeship and practice to do basic programming. Leave the hardcore R&D and experimental stuff to universities, and teach the basic stuff at vo-tech schools.

Speaking generally to the snobs among us who protest this type of programmer education, consider that many programmers are self-taught, and consider that this would at least formalize the process a bit for them without the expense and tedium of a full-blown university education. They could hire into companies as junior programmers and fight up the ladder like anyone else. If they wanted more than basic programming, they could get into and pay for university. (If you fix refrigerators, you go to Vo-Tech, if you design them, you go to University. Same idea.)

The Internet

Researchers Warn of Possible BitTorrent Meltdown 294

secmartin writes "Researchers at Delft University warn that large parts of the BitTorrent network might collapse if The Pirate Bay is forced to shut down. A large part of the available torrents use The Pirate Bay as tracker, and other available trackers will probably be overloaded if all traffic is shifted there. TPB is currently using eight servers for their trackers. According to the researchers, even trackerless torrents using the DHT protocol will face problems: 'One bug in a DHT sorting routine ensures that it can only "stumble upon success", meaning torrent downloads will not start in seconds or minutes if Pirate Bay goes down in flames.'"

Submission + - Mixing Music (and selling it) is Racketeering?

yfarren writes: "DJ Drama and DJ Don Cannon were arrested (and have now been released on $100,000 bail) on racketeering charges. For what? Apparently, mixing other musicians music.

I thought that you could make derivative works. That part of the rights of the public was to make derivative, aka, new, creative works. Apparently, that will get you slammed, for racketeering.

Of specific concern is a quote in the article (I couldn't verify it) that the RIAA plans to "step up law enforcement training and commit additional investigative resources in all of the cities." Wow. since when does a private organization get to step up law enforcement?"
The Courts

Submission + - Spammer Convicted of Phishing Scam

eldavojohn writes: "Jeffrey Brett Goodin has been convicted under the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act. He is facing a sentence of up to 101 years in a federal prison after being found guilty. From the article, "The law forbids e-mail marketers from sending false or misleading messages and requires them to provide recipients with a way to opt out of receiving future mailings." And somehow he's the first person to violate this law since 2003? I'd gladly turn over my inbox to the DoJ if it results in even one of the people responsible spending 101 years in federal-pound-me-in-the-ass prison!"

Submission + - The Surprising Security Threat: Your Printers

jcatcw writes: Networked printers are more vulnerable to attack than many organizations realize. Symantec has logged vulnerabilities in five brands of network printers. Printers outside firewalls, for ease of remote printing, may also be open to easy remote code execution. They can be possible launching pads for attacks on the rest of the network. Disabling services that aren't needed and keeping up with patches are first steps to securing them.

Submission + - Corporate Networks at Risk from Employee Behaviour

An anonymous reader writes: From EWeek: Research by FaceTime Communications has found risky Internet activity by employees poses an increasing threat to network security for corporate enterprises. While the number of unique malware instances was down last year when compared with the 2000 identified in 2005, FaceTime researchers warn today's malware is stealthier, more complex and harder to identify and defend against. According to an analysis of threats tracked or identified by FaceTime Security Labs, 1,224 unique threats on "greynet" applications — programs that network users download and install on their computers, usually without the knowledge of their IT department — were reported in the past year, with attacks over peer-to-peer networks increasing by 140 percent over 2005 levels and multichannel attacks jumping to 29 percent of all attacks in 2006 from 18 percent the prior year.

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