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Comment Re:...not more than colorably different... (Score 3, Informative) 235

If the current patent mess had been in place when cars were first industrialized

It was. George B. Selden is credited as being an early patent troll. He patented a version of the internal combustion engine, then went around demanding licensing fees from automobile manufacturers. It was eventually overturned, but was a early indicator of the problems in the patent system. Read more here:

Comment Re:Nuclear energy reduces greenhouse emissions (Score 1) 274

Everything that follows is personal opinion, so I can't provide an citations. Sorry.

Are they expecting us to all go back and live in caves?

Only a distinct minority. As with any movement, there is an extreme that recommends an extreme action. These people understand the physics and know there is no replacement for these power sources, but they don't care. Any cost is acceptable.

There is another group in the movement that I describe as the "corporate conspiracy" crowd. In my experience this group tends to blame corporate greed for the bad outcomes with regards to the environment. The topic of nuclear shutdown in Japan came up over a year ago, and I recall responding to someone that blamed greed for the location chosen for Fukushima. I pointed out that they needed a massive body of water to assist in cooling the plant and Japan isn't known for its huge rivers or lakes. They placed it somewhere with enough water to keep it functional, not because they were being overly greedy. I think the "corporate conspiracy" crowd only partially understands the physics behind power generation, and always assume corporate greed is preventing the better solutions from being available. To the extent that old reactors are still active, they may be right, but there really is no magical solution that will make everything better.

That leads me to the final group, the ones I feel have no real understanding of the physics behind power generation. My perspective on this group is that they become the proof of Arthur C. Clarke's Third Law. The technology is so hard for them to understand, that they treat it as magic. And of course, being magic, anything is magically possible. So obviously, solar and wind will work perfectly and everything will be great (magically).

Unfortunately, on the topic of nuclear power, those three environmentally focused groups are assisted by the NIMBYs and people with poor risk understanding. This group has no real interest in the environmental movement, but radiation is scary so we better not. It is like the risk problem we see with terrorism. Every once in a while something goes horribly wrong, and a small group of people is affected. Meanwhile, our usual day-to-day activities will cause more deaths every year than that occasional horrible event, but we will concentrate all our efforts in preventing that horrible event from ever happening again.

It really is a much larger problem than just the "environmentalists" described in the quote from your post. I don't know that I even have a solution.

Comment Re:Lies (Score 1) 144

As a "Generation Y" person (according to their stats) who lives in the UK , I can tell you that most people of my generation (that I've known/met across Europe), and the one below it (born mid-late 90's), would love to own a car. However many just can't afford it, the costs, the fuel, the taxes, the insurance (espcially this) are just too high.

As someone who has been working with 20-somethings from the UK for the past 5 years, I have to say overall they have been quite surprised as just how cheap many of the things are here when compared to the UK. Gas is cheaper by a significant amount sure, but even the base price of the car and the insurance tend to be significantly cheaper, and that is not even factoring in the dollar being worth less than the pound. A few of them have been sent to the US to receive training from the senior engineers over here, and the last few times I've been amused as they somehow swing getting muscle cars (Ford Mustangs or Chevy Camaros) from the rental companies, just because its unheard of for someone that young to have something that powerful in the UK. Seems like they go for bragging rights back home, so it does sound familiar that they would love to have the performance cars if they could afford them back home.

Coolness has nothing to do with it. We are being forced away from them. Those old guys are telling us what kids think because it is those old guys who have made owning a car (or a home for that matter) impossible for us.

Next thing I'll hear is how "Generation Y" thinks its uncool to own a home, and we'd rather spend our lives renting due to the "flexibility" it offers us.

(Yes, I know this is somewhat UK/Europe centric, but I'm sure there are similar concerns across the pond as well).

I'd say this is more of a mixed bag. My sister, who qualifies as the last of Generation X almost first of Generation Y, didn't get her drivers license and car until she pretty much was required to as there was no one able to drive her and no other way to hang our with friends. I was at college at the time, and I knew someone who still didn't have a drivers license. The thing they had in common was they both did see having a car as an annoying necessity and not something cool or something to be excited about. On the flip side, I work with a number of people from the same generation who are very big into cars and have gone out of the way to get nicer or higher performance models. Having a good car is very important to them, to the point where one guy placed a factory order to get exactly what he wanted.

I think the article may be more correct in the US, where outside of major metro areas, driving is just something you are expected to do, as opposed to something more exclusive and expensive like it is in the UK and Europe.

Submission + - HTC Joins Samsung in releasing Nexus Experience phone through Google Play

FlatEric521 writes: After Google announced a "Nexus Experience" Galaxy S4 and HTC started to sell their own unlocked HTC One, an announcement came out over the weekend that HTC would be joining Samsung in releasing a Nexus Experience phone. The HTC One Nexus Experience will be released on the same day as the S4 (June 26, 2013) for $599. As with the other Nexus phones, it is being shipped with a vanilla version of Android 4.2.2 with a promise of updates provided by Google. Is this a new trend we see starting, or an experiment that is doomed to failure?

Comment Re:Drive conservatively! (Score 1) 374

That's true. I've also checked the odometer and speedometer against the the highway mileposts and at low speeds against the automatic radar stations that say "Your speed is: X". For the mileposts, I time how long it takes me to drive ten miles according the milepost signs on a flat stretch of road in very light traffic so I don't have to change lanes. On the Honda Civic Hybrid, the speedometer is accurate to within a mile per hour at 70 mph as well as 25 mph. Pretty good. As far as I can tell, the odometer is accurate to within a tenth of a mile or so as well, but I haven't checked with the new set of tires I got, which might have changed things. From all of this, it seems like Honda is doing a better job of accuracy than some of the other car makers. Perhaps that suit against Hyundai about falsely reporting the fuel economy was warranted. I felt the one against Honda probably wasn't, i.e., Honda was sued because many people didn't get the advertised fuel economy, but I've not had a problem. I have heard rumors that BMW sets their speedometers about 5 mph faster than the real world as a marketing thing to fool their drivers into thinking the cars are faster than they are, but never saw any proof. Apparently this kind of thing really does happen.

I also agree that the odometer accuracy is important, but as far as I can tell from my tests, it is. I think the fault lies with whatever my car is using to determine how quickly it is using the fuel.

As for the Hyundai problem, it was that independent testing of their MPG claims didn't meet the manufacturer's claims. Remember, the EPA doesn't actually test all new vehicles. It defined a test that manufacturers are supposed to follow and then self-report. The EPA then sometimes double checks the numbers with independent testing. For Hyundai and Kia, they got busted for their numbers not matching the defined tests, not over how well the defined tests compared to the real world.

That being said, my car was not one of the ones that Hyundai had to revise. For city driving, I do generally make the city number, but just barely. For highway, I have only been on one long trip, and it didn't quite make the highway MPG, but got very close. However, both of those measurements were from my manual calculations. The trip computer indicated I exceeded the car's rated highway mileage by more than 3 MPG, but my calculation says it didn't. I really feel my manual calculations are more accurate.

Comment Re:Drive conservatively! (Score 1) 374

I have made that calculation, and many others besides. My trip MPG is consistently ~1 mpg off the one I calculate from the gas pumps at fill-up and from the odometer. While not perfect, you couldn't realistically ask for a better estimate than that.

And if my car were that accurate, I'd probably be happier. Mine is overly optimistic by pretty much a minimum of 10% over, sometimes worse. Is it also never incorrect in the other direction. The trip computer has never reported lower than the calculated number. I suspect it may go hand in hand with Hyundai's and Kia's problem that required them to revise their stated EPA estimates downwards a number of months ago.

The main point I was trying to make was mostly just to confirm the numbers with a second source if possible. If I wasn't, I would be telling people my car is about 2-3 MPG more efficient than it really seems to be.

Comment Re:Drive conservatively! (Score 3, Insightful) 374

I agree. On my car with a built-in MPG screen, if I drive well, I get about 26.5 to 27 MPG on a car that's rated 23/31. Driving through town poorly, my wife gets about 23. Driving straight through to Vegas (from SoCal), I've gotten 32. And this was on the old "inaccurate" EPA scale. Seems pretty accurate to me.

I would recommend you consider double checking your car's trip computer calculation against the tripometer and gas pump readout method of manually calculating miles per gallon. I bought a Hyundai with a trip computer that includes Avg. MPG as one of its readouts. Prior to owning that car I had gotten into the habit of resetting the tripometer on my car at every fuel up after writing down the miles from the tripometer and gallons from the pump readout (then just divide the miles travelled vs gallons to refuel the tank). I kept up that habit after getting the Hyundai and found that the manual calculation method consistently reports 2-4 MPG lower than the trip computer. If your trip computer is anything as optimistic as mine, then you may actually be getting less than you think.

Comment T-Mobile Frequency support incomplete (Score 3, Interesting) 290

Even though they mention T-Mobile support for LTE, if you look closer at the frequency support on the phone's specs at HTC's site, there is something important to note.

HSPA/WCDMA: 850/1900/2100 MHz

This will not support T-Mobile 3G in a number of areas where they haven't converted AWS from HSPA+ use to LTE use. For people considering this phone for T-Mobile, you may get stuck on 2G depending on where you live.

Submission + - Method found to unlock Qualcomm based Motorla Phones

FlatEric521 writes: In a blog post over at Azimuth Security, Dan Rosenberg explains how certain models of Motorola Android phones based on the Qualcomm MSM8960 chipset (including the Atrix HD, Razr HD, and Razr M) can be permanently unlocked. He writes, "I will present my findings, which include details of how to exploit a vulnerability in the Motorola TrustZone kernel to permanently unlock the bootloaders on these phones."

Comment Re:"Senior Software Engineer"? (Score 1) 433

You got a "Senior Software Engineer" title at age of 26? O.o

Sorry, pal, but I think your company had spoiled you badly.

I disagree. The original post mentions 5 years of service with the company. I've found a number of companies that put their engineers to level 3 positions around the 5 year mark (usually between 4-6 years in my experiences). By level 3 I mean:
1. Junior Software Engineer
2. Software Engineer
3. Senior Software Engineer

I don't find the possibility of him receiving a senior title after five years all that shocking. I think most competent people should be able to manage that. I received my level 3 promotion within that same range. Keep in mind titles may vary from company to company, but that is how it works for my present job and my previous job.

Comment Re:Trams (Score 1) 342

I'd imagine that not all work places have a shower either.


I've scanned the other comments, and not seen much discussion on showering or other hygiene issues when you arrive at work. I have a number of friends that work in offices within a few miles of mine, and one of the common complaints I heard from them was that the people who biked to their workplace didn't clean up, leaving them trapped in a cubicle with a smelly co-worker all day.

I typically bike for exercise outside of work hours, so I know that I'm healthy enough to bike to work (its a shorter distance than my usual rides) and I know it would allow me to eliminate other exercise by combining my commute with exercise. However, I still don't like the option as I don't want to become the offensive smelly co-worker that everyone hates. (I do find the increased commute time and weather concerns put me off biking to work as well, but I think the need for a shower at work is the biggest problem I have at the moment.)

Comment Re:no posting, no observed sex, and no closet (Score 1) 683

I had read the New Yorker article previously, and while it is clear to me that Ravi was not a good or innocent person, there is something that I see common in other posts that bothers me.

There was no stored video of any sexual encounter.

Ravi used iChat to activate a webcam on his computer remotely. He viewed the video stream with a female friend in a nearby dorm. He did not have any setup to capture the video for future use. This means there was no blackmail attempts (also mentioned in other posts). As mentioned in the New Yorker article, there was an attempt to organize a viewing party of some sort, but it was canceled. The images didn't make youtube or any other public venue at any point in time.

You want to condemn Ravi for spying or wiretapping violations, that makes sense. But the sheer misinformation I keep seeing posted here about videos and blackmail disturbs me.

Comment Re:Got bit yesterday (Score 1) 205

I had the same thing happen to me on Sunday. I swear the only sites I had open were my college's e-courses page and Slashdot.

However, per the other reply, performing a system restore from safe mode was really fast as clearing out the problem. From there, found out the A/V software was no longer updating (fixed that), found my JRE was not updating (fixed that), and found Flash was out of date (probably not the cause, but also fixed that).

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Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky