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Comment Re:Doh (Score 1) 408

You can always write or call the company and tell them why you intend to not give them your business, but friends I have in the marketing and advertising industries think that this might have the exact opposite effect. The attitude at many companies is "any publicity is good publicity." Even if you're pissed off at the company, they got your attention, and got their name and logo in your head. And that's what they wanted.

Comment Re:Open Notes & Well-Designed Exams (Score 1) 870

Not so much. I certainly remember more than one of my doctors pulling his copy of the Physician's Desk Reference off the shelf more than one when writing a prescription for me. As a poster upstream pointed out, in the real world it's much better to check your reference material and know you're right than to make your best guess.

Comment Re:I am not surprised.... (Score 1) 930

The lack of a clutch pedal probably has something to do with it, but not exactly in the way you're proposing. In the Audi case, investigators concluded that pedal placement had something to do with the incidents. Here were the relevant facts back then:
1) For virtually every incident, the Audi was the driver's first non-American car.
2) Distance between the brake and accelerator pedals in Audi 5000's was less than in most American cars (probably because they used the same pedal cluster as manual-transmission models)
3) Pedal height was different from what drivers of American cars would expect. Audi placed the brake and accelerator pedals at roughly the same height to facilitate heel-and-toe downshifting. Most American cars at the time had the brake pedal substantially higher than the accelerator.

All these factors taken together meant that some drivers would get confused about which pedal they were depressing. The greater prevalence of manual transmissions in the rest of the world would help to explain the lack of such incidents outside of the United States.

Comment Re:To that I'll add (Score 1) 441

Excellent points. Nowadays, I run a development team in a consulting organization (and still code a fair amount myself), but a number of years ago, I was a career-changer seeing an entry-level programming position. In college, I'd majored in psychology and taken a few programming classes. When I wanted to get into IT as a profession, I enrolled in a one-year certificate program that taught me to be a COBOL (yes, it was THAT long ago) programmer. I learned 370 Assembler, COBOL, MVS JCL and other skills that were designed to get me a job. In the recession of 1992, I had an entry-level job within two months of finishing the program. This isn't to say that a BS in CS wouldn't have gotten me a comparable job, but the HR person that gave me that initial interview said that she specifically looks for people with some employment experience (I had about four years of real-world experience before deciding to make the change) and high grades from a program such as the one I attended.

Sony Joins the Offensive Against Pre-Owned Games 461

BanjoTed writes "In a move to counter sales of pre-owned games, EA recently revealed DLC perks for those who buy new copies of Mass Effect 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Now, PlayStation platform holder Sony has jumped on the bandwagon with similar plans for the PSP's SOCOM: Fireteam Bravo 3. '[Players] will need to register their game online before they are able to access the multiplayer component of the title. UMD copies will use a redeemable code while the digital version will authenticate automatically in the background. Furthermore ... anyone buying a pre-owned copy of the game will be forced to cough up $20 to obtain a code to play online."

Comment Re:Telemarketer solution (Score 1) 454

Bear in mind also, that a car with a manual transmission must be tuned to provide power over a (relatively) broad band of rpm's. When you have a CVT, you can run the engine at or very near its torque peak pretty much all the time. This allows you to tune for a very narrow power band, and would (I think; I Am Not An Automotive Engineer) make the engine more efficient when run within that narrow band.

Comment Re:Telemarketer solution (Score 1) 454

"Note that all race cars use manual transmissions, as does any decent sports car, for just these reasons. " (My emphasis)

Not true. Many drag racers are equipped with automatic transmissions. The slip inherent in having a torque converter allows the driver to keep the engine at a higher speed prior to launch, resulting in better quarter-mile times.
The Almighty Buck

America's Army Games Cost $33 Million Over 10 Years 192

Responding to a Freedom Of Information Act request, the US government has revealed the operating costs of the America's Army game series over the past decade. The total bill comes to $32.8 million, with yearly costs varying from $1.3 million to $5.6 million. "While operating America's Army 3 does involve ongoing expenses, paying the game's original development team isn't one of them. Days after the game launched in June, representatives with the Army confirmed that ties were severed with the Emeryville, California-based team behind the project, and future development efforts were being consolidated at the America's Army program office at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. A decade after its initial foray into the world of gaming, the Army doesn't appear to be withdrawing from the industry anytime soon. In denying other aspects of the FOIA request, the Army stated 'disclosure of this information is likely to cause substantial harm to the Department of the Army's competitive position in the gaming industry.'"

Scientists Say a Dirty Child Is a Healthy Child 331

Researchers from the School of Medicine at the University of California have shown that the more germs a child is exposed to, the better their immune system in later life. Their study found that keeping a child's skin too clean impaired the skin's ability to heal itself. From the article: "'These germs are actually good for us,' said Professor Richard Gallo, who led the research. Common bacterial species, known as staphylococci, which can cause inflammation when under the skin, are 'good bacteria' when on the surface, where they can reduce inflammation."

Comment Re:cops (Score 3, Insightful) 251

You said: Statistically, a majority of Americans have tried pot. Also, a majority of Americans are opposed to legalization. Which means there are a significant number of assholes in this country who think it's perfectly fine if they use pot and get away with it, but YOU should go to jail if you get caught doing the same thing.

Have you considered the possibility the majority of Americans who've tried pot and are now opposed to legalization are opposed because they've come to the conclusion that it should be illegal as a result of their experiences with it and not because they're assholes?

Just a thought.

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