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Comment Green? (Score 5, Insightful) 400

So to be green they're removing the most environmentally friendly part of the product?

It'd be a much more green initiative to replace the plastic case with a paper and card case that could include basic controls printed on it's various surfaces. They could even go all out and switch to all digital distribution.

Comment Re:Yup (Score 1) 384

It mentions the Conservatives because they could have blocked it. With an election coming up any bill that does not pass before today would have to be re-introduced from scratch in the next parliament.

There's a phase called the 'wash-up' where bills are rushed through with little debate to beat the deadline before an election. If the Conservatives had wanted to they could have kicked up a stink and sunk this bill and campaigned for a better replacement but instead they decided to support it and so it was rushed through at the last minute.

Comment Re:Misleading story... (Score 2, Insightful) 913

The issue isn't the sticky pedal it's what you can do about stopping a car once it sticks. In a traditional mechanical car you can simply put the car in neutral, pull over and stop. If for some reason you can't get it into neutral then you could still turn off the car by turning the ignition key to off. With a keyless ignition and all electronic gearbox you rely the designers of your drive-by-wire system to have foreseen this type of situation and have included an appropriate failsafe in their system.

In the case of the runaway Toyota pressing the ignition to turn the car off does nothing (to stop you accidentally turning the car off) and the gear selector wouldn't select neutral (presumably because the accelerator was on full) the correct thing to do is hold down the start button for 3 seconds and that shuts down the engine.

With mechanical systems you can simply disconnect them and they stop working, with electronic systems you need to know a shutdown procedure and these procedurers are currently specific to each model of car.

Comment Re:It's because meters and feet are the same (Score 2, Insightful) 429

So how much does a gallon of water weigh? How about that 2 gallon/10l gas can, how much will that weigh when it's full? In metric it's easy since 1l of water = 1 kg Gasoline has a relative density of 0.71-0.77 (lets call it 0.75) so in metric 10l of gasoline is 7.5kg All without a calculator or writing anything down, lets see if you can do that in pounds and inches. Yes you might have to deal with learning to use 1.25 1.6 and 2.5 more often but it's no less work then learning how many feet are in a mile or fluid oz in a pint etc. Not to mention that the UK and US numbers are often different.

Comment Re:I'm sure it didn't help. (Score 5, Informative) 1040

US immigration and security go beyond being serious to the point that they come across as rude and unhelpful. UK airport security have pulled me aside for a random search whilst joking that it was due to the sports team jersey I was wearing. On a quiet day arriving in amsterdam I've had a guy call over his supervisor just so they could make make stern faces make me worry and then crack a joke about my passport photo. I've chatted with Polish boarder guards about their visits to my home country and had a French immigration officer laugh at my appalling French. Entering the US I've see people infuriated by officers who will tell them only that they have filled in the wrong green form, or filled the right one incorrectly but will offer no more help to non-english speaking visitors then to send them back to the back of the line. I've waited hours whilst people attempt to have their fingerprints scanned whilst having orders barked at them because they misunderstood the instructions. Most immigration officers I've encountered try to ask questions in a friendly conversational style but in the US it's a cross between an interrogation and a telemarketing script. After a few visits you learn the keywords for your answers and they let you through no problem!

Comment Windows Mobile and Voice Commander (Score 4, Informative) 141

Hands down the best voice commands I've ever used in a phone is Voice Commander for Windows Mobile 5. (I believe it's now included with WM6 as standard.) Not only does it do voice dialling of your contacts and numbers by simply saying "Dial 555 1234" but it also gives you control over the launching apps, mp3 playback, reading SMS messages, signal status and time and appointments.
For a full list take a look at the Microsoft website.
It also doesn't need any training or any setup you just press and speak and it works surprisingly well.

As for hardware that'll depend on your budget and availability but there are lots of options for Windows Mobile powered phones including candy bars and and flip phones.


Use of Asphalt Paved Surfaces For Solar Heat 110

vg30e writes "It seems that a company in the Netherlands has found a way to use asphalt paved surfaces as solar heat collectors. Flexible tubes under the surface of the road collect heat from asphalt pavement using water as the working liquid. The heated water is stored underground for later use in defrosting the road, or heating buildings. With all the miles of highway in the continental US, this might be a viable way of collecting massive amounts of thermal energy."

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