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Comment Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (Score 1) 136

I don't suppose that my car's computer could have a little chat with your car's computer, maybe they could coordinate?
Seems like one of the very first things that smart-ish cars should get right is not running into stuff that is right in front of them.

And we have that problem now, with ABS. A couple of years ago, renting a car, junk flew off a truck in front of us and everyone stopped fast. The guy behind me did not have ABS. Oops. Royal pain with all the paperwork, but in the end, yes, it was their problem.

Comment Re:Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (Score 1) 136

I don't think the pedestrian does know that you will stop in time, but a certain number of pedestrians aren't paying attention and this could help them. Defense in depth, after all. The few crashes that I've watched happen (and one I heard recounted in which a cousin was killed) all involved multiple coincident screwups. Not one was caused by a single point of failure. Cars currently kill thousands of pedestrians each year; there's plenty of room for improvement.

And we do manage to (eventually) design safety devices that result in a solid net reduction in harm, so I imagine we could get this one working pretty well, too. Airbags we (finally) got right. Seatbelts are low-tech and effective. ABS braking is pretty startling compared to old-style (I've never owned a car that had it, but I always check out the new features in rental cars).

Comment Protecting pedestrians from bad drivers (Score 3, Insightful) 136

You don't "protect" the pedestrian by telling the bad driver to activate his brakes. Instead, automatically activate the brakes, take the bad driver out of the loop.

This is similar to my gripe about people who think that a horn is a useful safety device -- as if the guy who you are beeping at is going to listen the horn, figure out that it applies to him, and figure out what he is doing wrong, fast enough to make a difference. Better to simply assume that he's an idiot, and work around him.

Comment Re:Ignoring your users is the new mantra (Score 5, Insightful) 331

They are definitely NOT ignoring their users.

They are pandering to the emergence of the Idiot Elite.

Think of it, all those features could be argued as "power" features, which have been stripped out or dumbed down to pander to a growing populace of people too lazy or otherwise unable to figure out how to learn something a little more advanced than point and click.

I mean Microsoft pulled the start menu because ALL iOS and Android users are used to accessing apps by slapping a hairy knuckle against a grid these days, no fancy "tree" lists, categorizations or having to type to find something. Microsoft might have pissed off their power users, but guaranteed there are more people that actually like the Metro interface then the vocal minority that hate it. People are NOT complaining about the dumbed down simplicity of other Tablet OS'es these days.

So nerds, geeks, and dweebs do not rule the tech universe anymore, we are just along for the ride. We used to drive the market by wanting faster and better and more powerful in every generation, but eventually companies could not keep up and realized taking a large regressive step backwards made these products more accessible and desirable by the non-tech elite. Instead of upgrading to a new more powerful 16 core desktop, the idiot elite were dazzled by the simplicity of a tablet or phone with only a small fraction of the processing power and abandoned traditional computers, as they are with other services and games. People would rather fling a bird at pigs or harvest Smurfberries for 6 hours a day rather than exploring a world in an RPG or even getting out their aggressions in a state of the art FPS.

Every company today is crafting their services and products to pander to the Idiot Elite because they know they can profit more from them rather than trying to appease the power user. Consider the idea if an FPS like Crysis came out where you would have to buy your ammo with real world money. The GEEKS and NERDS would have revolted and the game would never be successful. However today the Idiot Elite are throwing millions of real world money at companies buying their fucking Smurfberries.

Companies are not ignoring their demographic, they are just beginning to realize how naive they are.

We lost, even Slashdot is slowly slipping into a social site where people would rather debate the qualities of cat breeds rather than ripping into the merits of a new CPU architecture.

No company makes a change to their service or product just to piss of customers, they do so because they are realizing there is a growing market of users that simply do not give a fuck!

Comment Yahoo? (Score 0) 331

yes, all 4 users revolt.

Seeing this I had to laugh remembering an episode of Parks and Recreation where the town keeps promoting the use of Altavista when the rest of the world has moved on.

By the way, its ridiculous to complain about the use of a free service. If they were paying money for it then they have a right to complain, but using a free service leaves you prone to the whims of the company. If you don't like their policies then by all means please fire up your own Linux server and serve your own GD blog.

Comment Humans are bad at small numbers (Score 4, Insightful) 478

The fact is, for the western world, risk is largely eliminated. Plague, famine, pestilence, and war - all are pretty nonexistent in the civilized world.

We evolved to deal with immediate, natural risk.

I'd suspect that the human brain is rather good at this in the aggregate - witness, for example, the breadth of 'home remedies' or natural herbs etc that have been determined to actually have some sort of core chemical that (surprising to scientists) actually DOES have a beneficial effect.

So now we're reduced to worry, more than risk-management.
Rather than facing starvation, we worry that we're eating too much.
Rather than facing working day and night to barely survive, we worry that we're too sedentary.
Rather than face the constant risk of agonizing death from the billions of germs trying to kill us like Typhus and Diptheria, we worry that there *might* be a vanishingly small cumulative risk of cancer from the additives that make our food safe from spoilage, mold, etc.
Rather than facing the imminent pillage, rape, or murder by a neighbor village that's decided we have something they want, we worry that there might be some crazy zealot somewhere who might harbor some resentment vaguely against our society.

Seriously, I suspect that worry is endemic to the human creature. If we don't have actual things to be concerned about, we invent / inflate them to fill that psychological space.

Oh, and Cracked has a wonderful article on this:

Comment Re:Women must accept their place (Score 1) 478

I couldn't have said it better, except to say that Womens' Suffrage is a complete and abject failure and the 19th should be repealed as soon as possible.

I've long maintained that voting should be a privilege reserved for those learned in how a functional society works, because anything else is just mob rule, and we all know what happens when things are controlled by an unruly mob.

Comment Re:Wow (Score 3, Insightful) 190

America's cup is watched by millions....barely.

The semifinals are averaging 50-80,000 viewers.
The races just off San Francisco with the most effete/trendy/hipster crowd imaginable, averaged 800-900,000.

This is somewhere around the ratings received by NBC's "Last Call" at midnight.

This is a marginal sport irrelevant to 99.9999% of the population, and in which the only participants are giant conglomerates or kajillionaires. Granted, formula one racing, etc are likewise only for the big-money teams, but pretty much everyone drives. Sailing as a regular activity is already a marginal sport performed only by the tiniest rind of enthusiasts, that 'pro sailing' is like the margin of the margin of the margin. I don't doubt that it takes tremendous ability, intelligence, and teamwork. It's just that the bulk of us can neither see it nor appreciate it if we could.

Comment I guess they don't take any history classes (Score -1) 183

Apparently, their education sucks. If they think that wireless technology came after wired technology, they are very much mistaken. Perhaps they should focus on actually learning first.

Personally, I could care less just how ignorant they are. After all the help that we give to them, and the no help that they give to themselves, I'm really not surprised. Tell me again how much money it costs to send a child to school. Go ahead. Tell me how much it costs to have parents teach their children. Oh right, they don't teach their own children. They also live far away from school, and food, and water -- that's why we supply bicycles too. You'd think that after 50 years of the same commercials (oozing sores, flies, injuries, all during food-network shows) perhaps they'd have learned to live closer to water.

For those as stupid as they are: over-the-air television came before cable. radio came before itunes. But infrastructure is far more reliable than air, precisely because it's grounded -- literally. The dream is to have space elevators and tethers, again because rockets, cool as they are, aren't stable.

Maybe, just maybe, they've got many problems to solve on their own, long before they get "connected". Others have suggested quite a few.

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