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Comment Re:Smaller engines would be a good start. (Score 1) 555

My 2000 Volvo S40 weighs in at 1250kg (~2750 lbs) - it's running on a 1.8 litre petrol engine, with a manual 5-speed gearbox. The car is jokingly called 'tank' by my friends, as Volvos are known here for their nigh-excessive safety measures (both in terms of steel and airbags).

I'm averaging a petrol use of 29,4 mpg for regular everyday use (city-some highways-some Autobahn), which is about the rated use as well. Mind you, that's in a rather heavy, loaded-with-safety-features car that is about to see its 10th birthday. The only way I get crappier mileage is if I push hard on the Autobahn: If I'm doing 160kph (~100mph), my petrol consumption jumps to about 19.6 mpg. It's an awful lot of fun though :)

The current model (10 years down the road) weighs in a 1261kg (~2780 lbs) - a tiny 11kg/30lbs increase. (rated) Fuel consumption has actually become lower: 33.6mpg, for the same (somewhat more powerful) 1.8L engine.

I'd say that, at least for European my make/model, your arguments of ballooning and 'bullshit' safety measures don't fly. Based on absolutely nothing more than my gut feeling, I'm inclined to say that that is because of stricter regulations within the EU on fuel consumption.

If you go diesel, the current-day offerings are even more impressive:

  • The Volvo in a 1.6 Start/Stop Diesel version is now available: rated mileage - 58.8 mpg.
  • Without the Start/Stop technology (which I don't think anybody really uses), the 1.6 Diesel is still offering a whopping 52.9 mpg.

These both come with an automatic - which is undoubtedly optimised for fuel economy.

Submission + - How to deal with a know-all jerk programmer? 5

boxlight writes: I am working with a know all jerk programmer who can't keep his nose out of everyone's business. For example, he's responsible for the object-persistence layer only, but he's always mouthing off to everyone about how they are "supposed" to be doing their work (UI programmers, application server guys, DBAs, and so on) when he's not in charge of anything. Basically he's micro-managing everyone when he's not even the manager!

At one time or another everyone on the team has complained about him, and because I work very closely with him people often come to me to ask me what his problem is.

Whenever anyone confronts the guy he flies completely off the handle. It's like he has a screw loose and is unable to accept other people's ways of doing things; it's always an all-or-nothing approach with him; he either gets his way, or he gives a reluctant eye-roll and a "whatever", only to bring up the issue again in a week or so until, ultimately, the other person give in just to shut him up.

The other unfortunate piece of this is he's always in the boss's office doing a song and dance about how hard he's working and how wonderful he is at solving so many complex problems. So he appears to have the boss's ear. Like, when the boss wants to take the temperature of the project, he goes to this guy.

So far I've managed to keep my cool and keep the peace by pretty much giving in on things he wants; . But I feel like there's an anger in me that's simmering under the surface and I'm afraid one of these days I'm going to freak out on him and them *I'm* going to look like the source of the problem to the boss. I don't want to get into daily shouting matches, and I really don't want to lower myself to his level and start sucking up to the boss for perceived credibility either.

Also, I don't want to quit because everyone else at the company are great to work with and the project is fun and the money is good.

So my question for Slashdot is, how do I deal with this??? Please help!

Comment Other studies tell the same story (Score 5, Informative) 326

A similar study has been conducted before in the Netherlands: Downloading benefits the Dutch economy (in Dutch, Google Translation). This study had been ordered by the department of Education, Culture and Science, the department of Economic Affairs and the Justice department.

A downloaded movie, CD or game is not equal to a product not sold, say the researchers. Also, "Amongst downloaders of music and film, the percentage of buyers is as high as with non-downloaders, in games, the percentage of buyers even higher. Music downloaders are also more likely to concerts and buy more merchandise. Downloaders buy more games than gamers who never downloaded and movies downloaders buy more DVDs than non-downloaders."
The Courts

Submission + - RIAA's Bid to Stop Jammie From Objecting Fails (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The RIAA's motion to prevent Jammie Thomas-Rasset from objecting to evidentiary problems with the RIAA's copyright registrations has been denied. The decision by Judge Michael J. Davis (PDF) held that 'The Court's Order granting a new trial in this matter granted an entirely new trial on all issues. The fact that Defendant did not object to Plaintiffs' evidence of registration in the First Trial does not preclude Defendant from putting Plaintiffs to their burden of proof on this issue in the retrial.' Judge Davis rejected the RIAA's contention that he could take 'judicial notice' of the validity of the registrations, since 'judicial notice' doctrine is only applicable to matters which are 'not subject to reasonable dispute'."

Comment Re:Check out FogBugz! (Score 1) 168

We are using FogBugz, and quite merrily. I feel it's a bit light on the project management side of things, but apparently there's a host of improvements coming up in the upcoming version. The book that goes with version 6.x even states explicitly that you'll probably need some additional tooling for project management, such as a tool to create GANTT-charts and other planning stuff.

EU Data-Retention Laws Stricter Than Many People Realized 263

An anonymous reader writes with a snippet from the Telegraph: "A European Union directive, which Britain was instrumental in devising, comes into force which will require all internet service providers to retain information on email traffic, visits to web sites and telephone calls made over the internet, for 12 months."

Spam Back Up To 94% of All Email 330

Thelasko writes "A NYTimes blog reports that the volume of spam has returned to its previous levels, as seen before the McColo was shut down. Here is the report on Google's enterprise blog. Adam Swidler, of Postini Services, says: 'It's unlikely we are going to see another event like McColo where taking out an ISP has that kind of dramatic impact on global spam volumes,' because the spammers' control systems are evolving. This is sad news for us all."

Is Your IM Buddy Really a Computer? 288

audiovideodisco writes "Every year the Loebner Prize goes to the chatbot (and the corresponding human companion) that fares best on a Turing test administered by a panel of judges. Discover talked to Kevin Warwick, the professor who runs the competition, to get pointers on how one would go about detecting a bot. While there are some general approaches you can use, nothing is foolproof — and asking about Sarah Palin can be downright deceptive. One judge concluded an interlocutor was a bot because it didn't recognize Palin's name ... but it turned out the chatter was a French librarian who'd simply never heard of her." The chat transcripts show how difficult picking bot from non-bot is getting.

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"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759