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Comment Re:Go for it (Score 1) 1065

Here's the (draft) - final report - which explains the rationale behind the conversation test they used.

They echo your point - "There may be some concern that the phone conversations in this study were harder than typical in-car conversations. The material was difficult and the conversations, although not continuous, lasted for the duration of the test drive."

Read the report for the follow-up 'however...'.

Regardless of whether you consider this a valid test, they fairly convincingly show that for certain mobile phone tasks, a test subject's driving performance - albeit in a simulator - is worse that when the same driver is over the legal alcohol limit (0.08% in the UK).

Comment Re:Go for it (Score 1) 1065

In real life, the majority of people WILL stop talking if they need to concentrate for a busy intersection / dangerous road and if there's an "OH SHIT!" situation, they won't keep holding the phone, they'll drop the phone and grab the wheel (or wheel and shifter for those of us who drive real cars) with both hands to take whatever measures are necessary.

Citation needed.

And even if what you state were true, there would still be a minority of people who simply wouldn't see the intersection because they were using their phone.

See this UK car insurance company's take on the problem:

"driving behaviour is impaired more by using a mobile phone than by being over the legal alcohol limit"

The referenced footnote describes how the research was performed. The drivers were in a real car in a simulated environment so presumably they too had an opportunity to drop the phone.

Comment seems straightforward to me... (Score 1) 393

Suppose the wind blows relative to the ground at ten m/s. That remains true regardless of how fast the model's moving. By careful gearing, arrange that the wheels of the model turn the propeller so it generates a wind of exactly the same backward velocity as the forward velocity of the model, regardless of its ground speed. Thus the propeller has subtracted out the ground speed. But the wind is still blowing relative to the ground (and thus our propeller) at 10m/s, and that difference between wind speed and ground speed can be used to turn the propeller faster and accelerate the model further.

Eventually the wind-relative-to-ground power into the propeller will balance the friction and air resistance losses and the model will accelerate no further.

Incidentally a test on a treadmill is not equivalent, because there's no air resistance losses.

Comment Re:It's the database, silly (Score 1) 334

The whole question is how it is USED, and who gets access to the database behind it
It's not just access to the database, but whether they make that access public. The Danish Railways ticket payment page allows you to 'post tickets to a phone number' - but they show the corresponding full name and address on screen. So you can use their page to look up the address and name associated with any phone number, including contract mobiles.

Comment Wikipedia proposes deletion of Go! page (Score 3, Interesting) 512

It is proposed that this article be deleted because of the following concern: Non notable language. All the sources seem to be papers and a book by the author of the language. Per WP:N, sources should be secondary sources independent of the subject.

This template was added 2009-11-12 14:22

Comment Re:Mu. (Score 1) 284

Cory Doctorow's point is that nobody needs to accuse Mr ComaGuy of anything. If somebody else in his family, or a neighbour sharing his link, is accused, without proof, of violating copyright, coma guy would be cut off. As Doctorow writes, "collective punishment.. is outlawed in the Geneva Convention."

Comment Re:Phone Subsidy (Score 1) 827

The UK deal also includes free wi-fi access at 9,500 sites across the UK, so I think they're broadly comparable. But the thing is, this deal is perceived to be very expensive in the UK in comparison to most mobile phone contracts, and the 24-month tie-in is too long. We'll have to wait and see what Orange and T-Mobile offer when they start supplying the iphone.

FWIW, I use an (unlocked) iphone and pay $8/mo for 300 mins, plus $8/mo for 1gb data (3G), which suits me fine. That's less than $900 for 24 months, including the phone. Plus when I signed up for the $8/month plan I was given a Sony Ericsson C510, which I can sell, unused, when the contract expires in a year's time. (Actually I guess I could sell it now...)

Comment Re:Phone Subsidy (Score 1) 827

It's even possible to get smartphones in the US for $99 or so (iPhone comes to mind).

In the UK you can currently get an iphone for free on 24-month contract, with unlimited data, ten hours calls (to landlines or uk mobiles), 500 texts, no charge to receive calls within the UK, for US$60 / month. And it's (very likely) about to get cheaper, since two other phone companies will soon also be distributing them.

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