Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Unneeded worry in submitter's summary... (Score 1) 469

The submitter injected unneeded worry. According to Ford via USAToday: "The driver can overcome assistance and vibration at any time by turning the steering wheel, accelerating or braking" The article also uses the word "nudge" in reference to the control input, so I read all this to mean the system won't be fighting drivers. See:

Comment Re:Never used in combat? Good. (Score 1) 379

BS. There were two major conflicts during the Cold War that involved major air to air combat on a daily basis, Korea and Vietnam, and neither went nuclear. Your assumption is that no conflict with China or Russia could remain non-nuclear, but in both cases American air power was forced to fight Chinese and Russian planes and pilots in a proxy context. Further, your assumption is also that major powers have a death wish and couldn't carry out a conflict that was limited to a specific theater. Spurious assumptions.

Comment Never used in combat? Good. (Score 3) 379

Opponents of the F-22 keep screaming about how it has never been used in combat, despite three conflicts having occurred since they entered active service. Problem is, neither Iraq nor Libya had a functional air force that actually tried to fight AND posed a serious threat to our aircraft. The Taliban doesn't have an air force, and at the start of the war in Afganistan (prior to the F-22 achieving active status) Afganistan's air force was basically rusting hulks. This is an air superiority fighter. It isn't meant to bomb things. It is a predator, built to hunt and kill fighter aircraft, nothing more. That role justifies a lower overall number of aircraft, but the aircraft still needs to exist. In a conflict with a country with a formidable air force, such as China or Russia, or at least a functional one like North Korea or Iran, this aircraft would be invaluable. It could mean the difference between victory and defeat. I for one am glad it hasn't seen combat yet. That said, it looks like they need to fix the emergency O2 system. Might not be a bad idea to find a way to provide a graceful failure of the primary system, too, or automatically activate the backup. Either way...fix the damned thing.

Comment Glad to hear it! (Score 1) 165

Nothing against Indian call center workers, but I'm glad for this shift. My experiences with call centers in the Philippines have been dramatically better than my call centers in India. The accent, if present, is easier for an American to understand. I suspect that has to be with respective colonial relationships. The call center employees don't bullshit me by claiming to be Todd in Texas, they give me their real name and don't try to tell me they're local. They also don't get defensive when I'm pissed off. I suspect the companies there must be training their employees differently. Indian call centers seem far more aggressive...clearly run by MBAs. Plus, it is an economic break for a country that needs one.

Comment Re:Crappy Redesign (Score 1) 325

Excellent point. The instant video site redesign was the first element of the customer service fail trifecta at Netflix. First, they pissed off their instant customers with a redesign that, at best made it hard to use their site, and at best appeared to be a veiled attempt at controlling what we watch by hiding a considerable portion of the content. Next, they pissed off their entire customer base, especially DVD users, by raising prices suddenly, excessively, and with a snide explanation that further inflamed emotions. Finally, they pissed off the joint DVD instant customers with the incontinence of Quickster. Then they made everyone think they were idiots by backpedalling. None of these factors individually led me to cancel my account, but taken together I felt alienated enough to pull the plug and try out Amazon Prime* for a while instead. If Netflix cleans up their act I might come back after six months, but somehow I don't expect they to clean up their act. *Not that I don't have beef with Amazon, I do over their Kindle update policies, they just piss me off a lot less right now. Here's hoping for an Apple streaming monthly plan. I never thought I'd say it but they piss me off the least lately.

Comment Fast at home, mind numbingly slow at work. (Score 1) 557

My home PC boots Windows 7 faster than the POST/SATA boot sequence, with an SSD and ample memory. My work computer takes about two minutes to get from login to Vista desktop, another two to five minutes to clear scripts, security logins, A/V start, two different alert systems (one phased ut but active) and about a half dozen utility loads to the task bar. Plus, all our storage and apps are on the network, and we used a jury-rigged Word template system, so loading Word takes another minutes or two. Generally speaking, the first 10 minutes of my day are wasted waiting for my computer to login, and another two to three at the end of the day to verify it restarted, otherwise I'll get a nastygram from IT.

Comment Re:this is a hack? (Score 1) 260

Meh. I ran Windows 95 on a i386sx notebook for several years, with 10 megs of ram and a compressed hard disk, so I'm not really impressed. The floppy install took most of the day, and the boot time was almost a full battery charge towards the end of my run with the computer, but once it was running it was surprisingly functional, despite the 5/10/20mhz variable frequency processor setting.

Comment Re:Higher taxes? (Score 1) 1173

I can see two scenarios where they might increase taxes. First, many communities are suggesting that roundabouts *replace* existing intersections. In other words, they want to take a serviceable, but perhaps somewhat more dangerous, intersection and replace it, which obviously entails spending money you otherwise might not have spent. Second, I strongly suspect the initial installation costs on a roundabout are higher than just a standard four-way stop. There is more pavement, more complicated grading (you don't see many slanted roundabouts), and a slightly larger footprint (meaning more land to acquire, especially relevant in populated areas) compared to a four-way stop. I'm generally opposed to replacing busy lighted intersections with roundabouts, especially ones with multiple lanes of traffic on each road, as has occurred in some populated areas, like in Towson, Maryland. However, a simple intersection of two two-lane roads in a quiet area is an excellent spot for a roundabout, particular near highway off-ramps. I've seen these well-executed in many areas, including in Maryland. I'd argue that replacing a serviceable interchange for no reason other than to add a roundabout would be a waste of money, with the offset of improvements in car safety technology we've had over the last few decades, but that it might make good financial and safety sense if the road already requires work.

Comment Cell phones? (Score 1) 413

I doubt I'll ever be able to forgive them for over a decade of "You've got questions? We've got cellphones!" treatment, and I'm not sure I need to, since all of the major mail order component companies sell online and are probably faster than finding the time to drag my butt to RadioShack. I suppose the only reason I've EVER needed them is when I was short something simple in a project and needed it yesterday, and most of the time when that has happened they didn't have it anyway. What really killed it for me wasn't that they stopped adequately stocking DIY parts, most at least carry some, but was instead the awful customer service. They never knew where anything was, and even checking out something simple meant waiting for the completion of the cell phone contract in front of you, so buying a pack of resisters for a few bucks took a half hour.

Slashdot Top Deals

Murphy's Law, that brash proletarian restatement of Godel's Theorem. -- Thomas Pynchon, "Gravity's Rainbow"