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Comment Re:Manual Override (Score 1) 360

It's a security feature which has been around for many years called deadlocking - essentially disconnecting the door handles and sometimes locks, inside and out. The idea is that a thief who cannot work the central locking will have to climb in through a smashed window - they can't merely reach in and unlock the door from the inside

Comment Re:Did you type this on a manual typewriter? (Score 1) 776

You're the one arguing automatics can't be controlled properly. I want to know in what ways.
Not necessarily "properly", but there's things you just can't do with autos:

Changing from barely tickover to peak power output without changing speed. Especially useful on turbo cars when you want to be able to overtake without the burden of turbo lag

Being in the right gear to accelerate away from a corner

Being able to manage your speed at very low speeds or while going downhill (ok auto boxes have overrides to allow engine breaking, but who uses them?)

Long drives are boring, regardless. Having to regularly row through the gearbox just makes the whole experience more fatiguing - and the last thing you want on a long trip is more fatigue.
All the long (500+ miles in a day) trips I've been on have all been on motorways where you stick it in top gear and leave it there. For the last (urban) section of the drive I've never felt changing gear (something as thoughtless as breathing most of the time) to be particularly fatiguing

Cruise control is liked by people who are experienced at driving distances and realise that it makes monitoring your speed one less thing you have to worry about, again reducing fatigue.
Agreed on this one. Since getting my first car with cruise, I'm never driving long trips without it again.

It also helps massively on UK motorways where we've got roadworks all over the place and SPECS cameras (distance-time numberplate recognition cameras to enforce average speed limits). Putting cruise on once and not having to glance at the speedo again is a joy

Comment Re:All cars already have this system (Score 1) 690

> What planet are you living on where brake lights blind people?

The planet where brake lights now use clusters of LEDs designed to be as bright as possible. I have a tiny LED torch on my keychain, which although only a single LED is perfectly capable of filling your vision with purple spots if you look at it from a similar sort of distance as you'd be behind a car at lights or a roundabout. At night those purple spots are sufficient to severely impact your ability to see the road.

> The car was already in neutral. Why bother shutting the engine off, a risky thing to do in traffic, before getting off the road?

Because it was a cold night, I'd only just started the car and didn't fancy blowing up either the engine or the turbo due to the oil being too thick to cool and lubricate properly. I couldn't get the car off the road immediately due to barriers and I know how my car behaves with no engine power so was fully aware that I'd be able to steer it off the road and increase braking effort to wheel lock-up pressure as there's sufficient vacuum in the system to have servo-assisted braking for at least 2 heavy applications in that car

Comment Re:All cars already have this system (Score 1) 690

I have nearly been in your situation myself, but I was moving at the time. It could never happen to me while waiting at lights because I use these things called neutral gear and a handbrake, so I don't warp my brake discs or blind the driver behind with my lights.

My accelerator got stuck under the mat, which in 2nd gear would have accelerated me from 15mph to 70mph in just a few seconds. I dipped the clutch after I realised it was still accelerating after I'd moved my foot off, put it in neutral, and turned the key to 'aux' position to kill the engine without engaging the steering lock, then I steered it off the road. Easy.

No power steering? Not a problem when you're moving, even in a large front-heavy FWD car.
No brakes? Wrong, no assisted increase in braking effort when the vacuum to the servo runs out. Even then it's not excessively difficult to stop a 2+ tonne vehicle without servo assistance. I've even seen a tiny 5 foot tall stick figure woman manage it in an SUV when its engine quite literally blew up in front of me on the third lane of a motorway.

Comment Re:Given the sample set, is it a surprise? (Score 1) 499

Indeed. Facebook, or anything that has either personal information on you, or where you've established relationships with others are valuable sites. Having your login to such a site compromised can cost you dearly - what would your friends think if "you" posted pictures of kiddie pr0n on your Facebook page? Have you 'friended' your boss?

Even somewhere like a gaming forum, you may build up a friendship with people over the time you may have invested there - that's worth something too.

Some random site you spent 30 seconds checking out once and didn't feed with personal information on the other hand... Who cares... unless you've used the same login credentials as a site you DO care about...

Comment Intentionally weak passwords? (Score 1) 499

I don't know about anyone else, but I have accounts on so many sites it would be impossible to use strong passwords without reuse. I really don't see the harm in using the same weak passwords if I don't care if my account on the site's compromised.

I have a number of site-specific strong passwords I use on sites I care about, and a further handful of very strong passwords I use for accounts that have the ability to charge my credit cards. My unix passwords are completely different too, and I run sshd needing key auth. If I have anything worth protecting (personal information more than an email address, an identity within a community, etc) on a website, I'll use a better password, but if I just want to comment on someone's blog or see what a site's about, I don't care - I certainly wouldn't shed a tear if one of my weak passwords were compromised! Boo hoo, someone's pretending to be Asdf Asdf from Qwer (postcode AA1 1AA) over at and and sending me spam on email addresses I'll just blacklist...

I would bet money that if you look at the password complexity of users of a busy registration-required forum both before and after you discount people with less than 5 posts, there'd be a substantial difference. Likewise, it'd be interesting to see the strength distribution of the subset of these "32 million" accounts on that belonged to people that actually used them or had valid personal information attached. Otherwise I think it's a pretty worthless study

Comment Re:ïI might vote for them, but it is futile (Score 1) 363

The Swedish Pirate Party managed to get a staggering 7% of the votes in their recent elections... Do you not think with a bit of PR you've got a serious chance of actually winning elections here given how most people would rather laugh at Gordon Brown than do anything to help if he were about to be hit by a truck? Just look at how many people have been voting for the BNP recently... Have you got a contingency plan in case you end up in No.10, or is that a subject for a future Ask Slashdot? ;)

Comment Re:I'm sick of everyone saying this (Score 1) 225

It achieves the same end as say, trying to move each finger individually, in pairs, in threes, without letting the other fingers bend (particularly tricky with middle/ring fingers) which as it turns out is an incredibly useful exercise for a guitar player and is made a lot more fun with GH.

I too have been playing real guitars for some time (20 years) and have found that my skill level has sharply increased over the last year or so as I find I'm gaining strength, speed and coordination in my left little finger, which I simply couldn't be bothered to exercise enough before picking up GH/RB

Comment Re:MPC Home Cinema VLC (Score 1) 464

It's not supported very well in that nobody's bothered to make a build for my Debian Etch workstation. Etch is only 2 years old for christ's sake! Why isn't there even just a statically compiled version?

I also note the typical unqualified "all open source software is bulletproof" response. The version in Debian will neither play DVDs at all (WTF?) nor seek through many types of videos on my workstation without crashing (libmatroska::KaxCluster::GlobalTimecodeScale() const: Assertion `bTimecodeScaleIsSet' failed). You should see the problems I had with it recently under _clean_ installs of XP (refusing to play anything) and OSX (locking up the machine) too... Even when it does work (which admittedly is most of the time), it's still prone to the occasional lock-up.

Comment Re:Switching kernels for one install or? (Score 2, Informative) 425

> Does this actually work 100%? How?
No. The only reason I run Debian on my desktop instead of FreeBSD is because I need to use VMWare, which hasn't run under the Linux compat stuff since VMWare Workstation 3, but given that it *did* work once is a bit of a tribute to its completeness.

I spent several years running an extremely busy yet stable Counter-Strike server under Linux compat, which performed significantly better (lower latency, less CPU load) than when running Linux natively on the same hardware. Good times...

> what does FBSD do when I open("/proc/*") and start parsing stuff?
If you've got linprocfs in your kernel and mounted, it should work in most cases.

In general, linux compat stuff works surprisingly well unless you need a high level of kernel interaction such as modern VMWare releases. In 99% of cases It Just Works.

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