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Comment Re:Not one of the better DIY jobs (Score 2) 128

That's what I was thinking too. It looked like the guy was the single source of information. He probably tells everyone the same things..

Boeing would be the only aircraft manufacturer interested in using a Boeing simulator. They can make better ones themselves, since they have the engineers, the parts supply, and the budget, to do it right. Theirs also wouldn't include a bunk bed jammed in the corner, nor the trivialized child.

Comment Re:Know what I want? (Score 1) 38

You're thinking of http://photosynth.net/. I put up a few sets back in 2008 and 2009.

It looks like they tuned it up a bit. The SR-71 at Smithsonian Dulles" set didn't work very well when I first put it up.

The "Downtown Los Angeles 11.20.2008" set is interesting. The hotel room kind of fades in and out because I moved around while I was shooting it.

They must have been very selective, or they did some extra processing, to make theirs look really good.

Comment Re:High risk (Score 1) 390

That depends on the car. I know my car can overpower the parking/emergency brake. But yes, it's worth trying. If it's a brake failure, sure, it'll stop the car. I don't think any of the parking/emergency brakes are computer controlled. Every one I've seen is attached by cable.

Comment Re:High risk (Score 1) 390

Does nothing on an automatic until your speed drops below an appropriate threshold.

In every automatic transmission car I've driven, you can pull it down a gear. I hated racing in stock automatics, but I could bleed speed off fast by pulling down a gear.

But hey, lets say you have a transmission that you can't shift between gears.. You can shift to neutral. Your car has neutral, doesn't it?

Turn off the key
Many new cars (Priuses, for example) don't have mechanical keys, ...

Luckily, the car in question was a Mercedes, not a Prius.

Spin the car.
At 80MPH, "spinning" the car means flipping the car, and will likely get you just as killed as the "brick wall" method of decelerating.

Depends on the car and conditions. I wouldn't recommend attempting it in a jacked up 4wd truck. Unfortunately, I've seen plenty of cars do it. Sometimes on the track. Sometimes on the street. I've never witnessed one flip without some assistance. That's usually sliding into something that will upset the driving a bit more, like a curb, going off road into sand, etc. The whole thing with cars flipping as soon as they start spinning is Hollywood. Spinning cars don't make the news, unless they *do* flip. They rarely even result in a traffic ticket.

Even hard maneuvering will bleed speed off.
This one really will always work, but as with spinning, careful just how hard you maneuver at high speeds.

Really, everyone should learn how to drive. Like, performance driving on closed tracks. You'll find out that both you and your vehicle are capable of far more than you think. A 80mph slalom is perfectly possible in most vehicles. Heck, I ran a tight slalom course in a minivan without hitting any cones. It bled off a lot of speed, since it didn't have the power to hold its speed.

Oddly enough, I did have a possibly catastrophic incident in that same minivan. The air cleaner lid came loose, and fell under the accelerator linkage at full throttle (coming off a light). I popped the shifter to neutral, turned the key off, let the engine stop, then unlocked the steering wheel so I could coast to the side of the road.

I'm a serious believer that everyone should receive good training in how to operate the tons of death that they sling around daily. It would probably save an awful lot of lives, including the subject of the link. It's unfortunate that most states only require a cursory knowledge of what the controls in the vehicle do, and what traffic control devices mean. Knowing how to parallel park is nice. I'd rather that people were taught how to recover from potentially fatal situations. Most people don't know what their brakes can do until the first time they have an emergency. That is, if they aren't distracted talking on the phone and eating a big mac while driving.

Comment Re:High risk (Score 2) 390

The most popular local real-time traffic data comes over FM radio. Well, a sideband. RDS-TMC. There are other more difficult. The most destructive thing you could do with it is to try to overpower the legitimate signal, and broadcast that all major intersections are closed. Area wide gridlock is much different than taking remote control over a vehicle.

Comment Re:High risk (Score 4, Insightful) 390

    Apply Occam's Razor. User or mechanical failure are much more likely than his car being hacked.

    The story talks about a *wired* port by the parking brake. That would mean the attacker was in the car, or a remote device was attached, which investigators would (or at least could) find. It also only addresses a specific Ford vehicle, which has no relationship to a Mercedes.

    Significant user failure would seem to be present. Options are available when the brakes don't work. Downshift. Turn off the key, let the engine stop, turn the key on to unlock the steering wheel. Spin the car. Even hard maneuvering will bleed speed off. Ask any racer. Turn the key off, let the steering wheel lock, and have a slower speed impact into a fixed object.

    The option of driving as fast as possible, and dying in a fireball is the poorest choice. A conspiracy is one the must unlikely scenarios, only slightly better than alien abduction/intervention, and poltergeists taking over the car.

    I'm kind of fond of the alien theories.

    If it were the feds, wouldn't it be easier to pay a thug to do a random carjacking? A home invasion gone wrong? Shot by SWAT in a drug raid at the wrong address? There are a million other ways to remove someone without needing a high tech solution that doesn't exist yet.

Comment Re:Alert (Score 1) 382

At least the ones we get down here are more useful.
Amber alerts come in as texts. This one was the first I ever heard. It was a loud screeching, and this message popped up on the screen:

"Tornado Warning in this area til 7:15PM EDT"

I was driving home, and had the radio on. I could see a nasty storm a few miles away. The warning beat the broadcast radio EAS message by about 5 minutes. The radio broadcast said where the tornado was spotted. It was only about 5 miles away.

The next day, I asked coworkers who were in the area. No one else got the alert. I guess the system still has some serious bugs.

Comment Re:I'm amazed... (Score 1) 1737

In Florida, as I recall the questionnaire, it asks if you're a convicted felon, and/or if you are currently currently charged for any felony. There are also questions about misdemeanor charges involving violent crimes, such as domestic battery. There are also questions on mental health history, and drug use/abuse history.

As of the moment that was acquitted, he can legally buy a new firearm. He is not current charged with, no convicted of, any crimes which would disqualify him.

Regardless to what the court outcome was this time, he was the person who used the firearm that killed Martin. His name and face are well known. There are still people who are and will continue to be upset with the event. If he's smart, he's already arranging to move far away.

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