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Comment Re:I guess what is comes down to ... (Score 1) 567

The most important part of being a good driver is paying attention

This.

Actively looking out of the window, reacting to what's there, planning ahead. That's all there is too it.

Look as far ahead down the road as you can see, not just at the rear end of the car you have in front of you.

Comment Re:If you can defend it .. it's yours (Score 1) 248

And good luck as a squatter if you aren't living in a VERY liberal community. Most of the time it will get you tossed out on your ass if you are lucky or in jail if you resist.

Good luck with that if they ever get into your house. They often have all sorts of legal protection: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squatting

Comment Re:I guess what is comes down to ... (Score 1) 567

Of the few times I've driven in the USA I noticed that people merge onto the freeways from ramps without eve looking.

If you're driving along in the right hand lane when they want to merge they'll just shove you out of the way. It happened several times and I had to get out of their way or crash.

Maybe I was doing it wrong and I was supposed to know they all do that or something. I dunno.

Maybe it's like crossing the street in Rome. You can stand there all day at a pedestrian crossing and nobody will stop to let you cross. The trick is just to walk out into the street in the middle of traffic. The drivers are expecting it so they stop and let you cross. It's scary the first few times you do it but you soon get the hang of it.

Comment Re:I guess what is comes down to ... (Score 1) 567

i.e. is safe driving, ponderously slow driving that may indeed reduce ones own collisions but enrages everyone else around, causing their accident rate to increase. Hopefully not.

Nope.

It should be "drivers who actively look out of the window, regularly check their mirrors, etc. and respond to things like bends in the road at a prudent distance (not half way around them)."

This thing needs an eye tracker as much as it needs an accelerometer.

Comment Re:We don't (Score 1) 295

They still are, for the most part, either pointer typedefs or wrappers around pointers.

Nope.

In VC++ they're objects which are range-checked, become invalid if the container changes in a way that invalidates them, etc. There's no way to set them to 'null'. You can't assign an iterator for one container the value of an iterator from a different container. Operator[] also behaves like at() (will throw an exception if the index is out of range).

In short: Anything that can be checked, is (and has been by default since VC++2008), even in 'release' compiles.

You can have 'raw pointers' if you want them (extra speed!) but you have to ask for them with a special #define.

See: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa985896(v=vs.90).aspx

Comment Re:Might actually be the case (Score 1) 372

Very much agree with this. The compilers, for the most part, are smarter than people at optimizing code.

I wouldn't say they were smarter than good assembly programmers but they do a good enough job and they allow you to refactor your code much more easily than when you use assembly language.

Tweaking your code and data structures can give more of a speed boost than having tight inner loops but assembly language makes it very difficult to fiddle with code in this way. The equivalent of changing a couple of lines in a C++ header file on a large program might create a week's work in assembler.

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