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Comment Re:Wish in one hand, crap in the other... (Score 1) 1186

Smaller, lighter cars are fine in a crash with other smaller, lighter cars. But in the US the average vehicle is so heavy that the minority of people in the small cars would get squished like a pancake.

That is just nonsense. A small car can be much safer than a larger car, depending on the construction. Modern small cars use all kinds of smart tricks like:
- Putting a bar in front of the engine so a non-100% frontal crash (like most are) will still use the entire front crumple zone.
- Transferring the energy around the cabin, so the parts of the car that are behind you will crumple, while you are safe.
- Moving the engine out of the way. The engine is a very heavy and inflexible part of the car that will get pushed into your lap during a crash. By leading it downward, it will go under you, and can move farther (and can thus be used more effectively for slow/survivable braking).

This is an example of a 'duel' between an big old car and a modern small car which shows the difference in practice:

Of course, a modern SUV or truck might be better designed than that old Volvo, although many SUVs and trucks seem to be fairly poorly designed for safety. For example, the most common cause of death when driving a SUV is rollovers (where your head is squished into the pavement), which is much less common in small cars. On the whole, big cars do tend to be a bit safer than small cars, but I doubt that you are much safer in a modern sedan or station wagon when compared to a SUV (when looking at death statistics that encompass all accident types). I wouldn't drive a Smart Fortwo in the US though (but I'm not comfortable driving that car in Europe either).

Plus US drivers seem to spend proportionately more time going at higher (highway) speeds (commutes in most other countries generally involve less highway). Particularly when they are generally used for city driving at speeds = 60 km/h anyway, you simply aren't likely to have any massively high energy impacts.

Europe isn't one big city, you know. There is plenty of highway with mostly 80-120 km/h speed limits and a lot of people use these for their commute. In my country, the roads are very heavily used and it is very hard to expand them because there is little room around them. As a result, the number of lanes available often changes for even the largest highways. So you get a lot of bottlenecks where speeds suddenly drop from 120 km/h to 0 km/h. It's no surprise that a lot of accidents happen at the end of the congestion.

Those roads always have central dividers, so head on collisions are not possible (unless someone goes against the traffic). However, plenty of 80 km/h roads do not have them. These roads usually have a lot of corners, so a badly timed overtake can cause a 160 km/h combined collision (although it probably doesn't matter what car you drive then). A lot of these roads are lined with trees and it's really no fun to drive 80 km/h into a tree.

Because of the heavy traffic and fairly dangerous road situation, there is a fairly big focus on safety. However, most Europeans understand that a small car can be quite safe. They also have to consider parking space, which is more limited in Europe; and fuel costs, which are much higher.

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Journal Journal: Achievement

Did you know that some people write entries in their journal just to get an achievement?

Comment Re:Read the column here (Score 3, Informative) 466

Wow, I am surprised they fired him for it. Contrary to all the flak the movie has been getting by many who have seen it, he was all gung ho about the movie.

I think that the problem was that the review said that you didn't miss anything by downloading the workprint. He probably would have been ok if he kept the gushing comments about the movie, but had said that you miss a lot by seeing the pirated movie.

Comment Re:Good reason to get shut (Score 1) 922

That is the exact reasoning that has resulted in genocide in so many countries. Killing 'them' before they can kill you. Regardless of the fact that while you like to pretend that 'them' is some clearly defined and identifiable group of pure evil bastards, in reality there is a huge gray area of people who simply try to survive or have legitimate grievances that are ignored (for example, because their innocent family was murdered). This reasoning at best results in impossible objectives for the troups, part of whom start to simplify the mission: murder as many of 'the others' as possible. The result is that the opposition sees you as pure evil bastards and peace becomes impossible.

The alternative is to just go after the people who wronged you. Just like with domestic law enforcement, that means that some crimes cannot be solved and the criminals will go free. That is the price we pay for being relatively safe from being prosecuted for crimes we didn't commit. In war the same principle applies, when we act moderately, we can make peace with the large majority of 'them', which is the best way to safeguard ourselves and our families.

Comment Re:Situation more complicated that it seems (Score 1) 794

I still think that is wrong. There is very little influence most workers have on the minimum time between stepping on the company grounds and actually starting to work. The distance to the workplace, the security systems and the time it takes to boot the computer are all determined by the employer. Why should a worker be responsible when the important decisions are all made by the employer? If you cannot start at an arbitrary time, IMO you should be paid from the latest moment where you can still make the shift. So if it takes at least 10 minutes from arriving at the company gate to being ready for work, you should also be paid for those 10 minutes before the shift starts (and the same at the end of the day).

The daily commute is different, because companies generally cannot reasonably alter their employees travel times in most cases, while employees can. So it is reasonable that employees are responsible for the time traveling to the company gate/door.


HD-DVD and Blu-Ray Protections Fully Broken 682

gEvil (beta) writes "According to an article at BoingBoing, the processing keys for the AACS encryption scheme used by both HD-DVD and Blu-Ray video discs have been extracted, and a crack has been released. What this means is that there is now a method to extract the copy-protected content of any HD-DVD or Blu-Ray disc out there. This is different from Muslix64's previous crack, which only extracted the volume key for each disc. This new method bypasses this step and allows anyone to extract the data without first requiring the volume key."

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