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Comment This all happened to Audi in the 1980s! (Score 1) 1146

At least some of these cases happen when the driver doesn't realize his/her foot is on the accelerator not the brake. This is known as 'pedal misapplication.'

In 1986, CBS TV show 60 Minutes aired a program about unintended acceleration ini the Audi 500S. As far as I can tell, the '5000 (AKA the Audi 100/200) is not drive by wire. Wikipedia has an article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/60_Minutes#Unintended_acceleration that claims NHTSA and Transport Canada both found the problem was operator error and that CBS partially retracted their claim. Didn't help Audi's sales though.

Here's a guy claiming it can't be double pedal actuation because brakes are stronger than V8 engines: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/in-defense-of-the-audi-5000/.

Comment Re:How many years have they been working on this? (Score 3, Interesting) 247

What they don't bother to mention in TFA is that

* Moon-Mars is basically unfunded. NASA has to steal from other missions just to study Moon-Mars
* The moon is a lousy steppingstone to Mars. Think about it: to land on a planet with an atmosphere, you can slow down with a parachute. To overcome your delta-V for a moon landing, you need to carry enough fuel to decelerate and to re-launch! If you just skip the moon entirely, you don't have that horribly expensive deceleration phase followed by that expensive acceleration phase.

Face it, most of the actual science done in space has been done by robots and will continue to be for the forseeable future. Humans in space is not a bad idea, but Bush didn't fund Moon-Mars and it's unlikely to get funded any time in the forseeable future. Personally, I've always thought Moon-Mars was a cynical political ploy to win a slice of the nerd vote. But that's just me.

Comment Re:Why - It's a near copy of Umberto Eco's joke (Score 2, Interesting) 844

This somewhat strained joke is based on a much better piece by Umberto Eco. Years ago (1994) Eco wrote a piece comparing the MS world and the Mac world to major religions. His comparison fits much better. Read it all here.

. . . I am firmly of the opinion that the Macintosh is Catholic and that DOS is Protestant. Indeed, the Macintosh is counter-reformist and has been influenced by the ratio studiorum of the Jesuits. It is cheerful, friendly, conciliatory; it tells the faithful how they must proceed step by step to reach -- if not the kingdom of Heaven -- the moment in which their document is printed. It is catechistic: The essence of revelation is dealt with via simple formulae and sumptuous icons. Everyone has a right to salvation.

. . . You may object that, with the passage to Windows, the DOS universe has come to resemble more closely the counter-reformist tolerance of the Macintosh. It's true: Windows represents an Anglican-style schism, big ceremonies in the cathedral, but there is always the possibility of a return to DOS to change things in accordance with bizarre decisions: When it comes down to it, you can decide to ordain women and gays if you want to.

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