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Comment Re:GPS? (Score 1) 218

When that happens, auto insurance rates will be adjusted accordingly for autonomous vehicles, and soon you'll find that manual driving is not only expensive, but even illegal in many areas.

This is absurd. Do you realize how many people drive for recreation/sport? Most residential areas are not conveniently located near a closed race circuit, and where such facilities do exist, it's typically quite expensive to use them. The point of the sports car is to add enjoyment to an otherwise mundane driving experience, and to do so by using the car on public roads. This will not change. People will continue to drive human-controlled cars through 2020 and beyond.

Comment Re:I DONT WANT FSCKING DRM ON MY CAR!!!! (Score 1) 360

Sure, I wouldn't do without the ABS either but if it stops working, I can still bring the car safely to a halt.

Except for the failure mode where bad data from the wheel sensors (or a software/firmware problem) causes the system to think that the wheels are locked, and thus opens a valve in the valve block, removing your braking ability. This happened to a guy I know, and he drove off an embankment because he was dumb enough to have trusted a vehicle with ABS.

ABS is a terrible, terrible idea.


Routine DNA Tests For Newborns Mean Looming Privacy Problems 268

pogopop77 writes "CNN has an interesting story about how newborn babies in the United States are routinely screened for a panel of genetic diseases. Since the testing is mandated by the government, it's often done without the parents' consent. However, many states store that DNA information indefinitely, and even make it available to researchers with little or no privacy safeguards. Sometimes even the names are attached! Here is information on state-by-state policies (PDF) of the handling of the DNA information."

Hotmailers Hawking Hoax Hunan Half-Offs 135

Frequent Slashdot contributor Bennett Haselton writes "An estimated 200,000 Hotmail users currently have their auto-reply set to a message spamming an advertisement for Chinese scam websites, which sell "discounted" electronics. Presumably the spammers compromised a large number of Hotmail accounts to pull this off, but wouldn't it be pretty easy for Hotmail to query for which users have that set as their auto-reply, and turn the auto-reply off for them?" Read below for Bennett's thoughts.

Comment Re:Innovation! (Score 1) 525

Whoa there. Parent post is loaded with incorrect information:

I have never heard of a 90-degree V12. Most are at 60 degrees, with the notable exception of Ferrari's V12s (which have historically been at 65, or 180 in the case of the 365/512 engine series.)

A flat-plane crank V8 is essentially two inline-four engines. A cross-plane crank V8 uses an uneven firing order and is not the same.

With their crankshaft counterweights, cross-plane V8s have better dynamic balance than flat-crank V8s. There's a very good reason why flat-crank V8s aren't commonly used in road cars: unless you're able to make the engine internals very light, the noise/vibration/harshness (NVH) will be awful, and most consumers won't be interested in buying your car. The cross-crank V8 is not a "dirty kludge", and most people prefer the exhaust burble to the sharp bark of the flat-crank design.

Almost every major V8-making manufacturer produces exclusively cross-plane crank V8s. Ferrari, Lotus, and TVR are the only major exceptions. Saying that the only "real" V8 is a flat-crank is silly.

Comment Re:Innovation! (Score 1) 525

Yes they sound interesting but the only flat plane crank V8 I ever heard of is the old Nova made from two Offy's.

You've never heard of the Ferrari 308? (or 328, 348, 355, 360, or 430?) Or the Lotus Esprit V8? Or the TVR Cerbera?

Ok, I wouldn't be too surprised if you'd never heard of the Cerbera, but Ferrari has been using flat-crank V8s for a long time.

Comment Re:Good Riddance (Score 2, Insightful) 525

leaf springs work very well on trucks

like Corvette

Do you understand that the Hotchkiss rear suspension (which is what you're thinking of) involves a solid rear axle and is completely different from the transverse single composite monospring used by the Corvette (which uses IRS)? The Corvette has had fully independent suspension since 1963.

I'm a fan of Jeremy Clarkson and his wacky antics too, but when he talks about American cars he's often quite wrong.


UK Tax Breaks For "Culturally British" Games 267

An anonymous reader writes with news of a proposal in the recent Digital Britain report to set up tax breaks for developing video games that are "culturally British." Quoting the report (PDF): "In film a system of cultural tax credits has long helped to sustain a wide range of films that speak to a British narrative, rather than the cultural perspectives of Hollywood or multinational collaborations. Other countries such as Canada, for similar reasons, extend the model of cultural tax relief beyond the film industry to the interactive and online worlds. CGI, electronic games and simulation also have a significant role in Britain's digital content ecology and in our international competitiveness. Each of these has the same capability as the more traditional sectors, such as film, to engage us and reflect our cultural particularism. They may in future have a cultural relevance to rival that of film." Conservative Shadow Arts and Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said the government has ignored the games industry, and he seeks to set up a government council to promote it. The report also outlined a number of changes to how games are rated.

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