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Comment Re:In Germany, lights work that way (Score 1) 203

There is a fundamental difference between intersections with traffic lights in Europe vs North-America, which I think is leading to confusion in this conversation. In North-America traffic lights are positioned on the far-side of intersections and point into the intersection. In America all traffic light activity is typically visible to all traffic participants (including pedestrians) at an intersection at all times, so "don't block the box" laws make sense.

In Europe traffic lights are typically** positioned on the near side of intersections and point away from the intersection in their respective directions.

This is an important difference.

If a driver in Europe (right hand drive such as here in Germany) is waiting to turn left at a red light s/he will wait until the light turns green then (slowly) pull into the intersection and wait until oncoming traffic has cleared (or until it is safe) before turning left. It is important to understand that at the point a driver *enters* an intersection that *no* traffic light activity any longer visible to the driver, so s/he WILL eventually have the opportunity (and obligation so as not to block cross-traffic) to turn left, at the latest once the oncoming traffic is presented with a red light. Cars behind that driver are already presented with a red light and may not pass through it in order to enter the intersection.

This differences can be quite interesting, as well as dangerous to the uninformed. For example European tourists visiting the United States are highly likely to make the dangerous mistake of driving right up to a traffic light only to then realize that they are sitting in the middle the intersection. Another mistake that Europeans might make when first driving in America is to come to a screeching halt in the middle an intersection while turning left because they are not used being "presented" with a red light without having to stop.

Americans drivers first visiting Europe may have a tenancy to stop much further back from an intersection at a red light than is necessary, and American pedestrians are sometimes confused at first by the lack of visible traffic lights for cars, which I think might be one reason why Europeans (a least here in Germany) pay such close attention to crosswalk signals. As a pedestrian in Europe only crosswalk signal activity is visible whereas in America pedestrians have a tendency to pay more attention to what the car traffic lights are doing so as to know when it is safe to cross.

**Americans driving in right-handed Europe (not Ireland/UK) should also take care when turning right (This happened to me, but I was lucky enough to get out of a ticket.) that they are not turning into a cross-walk where a red light may be positioned pointing to the left *into* the the intersection. Yep, turning to the right into a traffic light clearly intended for the cross-traffic is considered driving through a red light!

To put it simply, in Europe knowledge of traffic light activity at an intersection is on a need-to-know basis only, whereas in America it's public knowledge.

Comment Wow ... (Score 1) 209

What could possibly go wrong? Nothing. it's for our own health and safety. Don't you want to stay healthy?
Are these agencies going to be covered under HIPAA?

Nice one, since when does any law apply when national security is at stake?
I predict this will more or less put the private information of pretty much everyone into pretty much every government agency, and that this will be hacked and leaked 10 ways from Sunday.
It already is, so what's the big deal?

Comment Re:Fucking Government doesn't care about US (Score 1) 73

..the 4th amendment has never been extended. Advances in technology were finally found to be covered by it

I always cringe whenever I hear the word "to find" used like this as if they actually uncovered some previously unknown truth hidden within the Constitution. These actions were never "found" to be in compliance with the Constitution. Instead they were just declared to be after limited tenuous debate. Even a 9th grader can recognise this as a blatant violation of our basic rights, but hey, the Supreme Court "found" that it's ok, so there nothing left for us to do than just suck it up.

Comment Re: this would expose an enormous state secret. (Score 1) 248

TSA employees and similar government workers might as well all be on welfare for all the good they are doing. Why not just give them the same money that they are being paid to carry out their jobs at the TSA but let them stay home. What's the difference between a dollar handed out as welfare for doing nothing or that same dollar being handed out to a TSA employee? The money ultimately comes from the same tax source.

Comment The Internet Changes Everything (Score 1) 260

It wasn't all that long ago when the only way people were able to "come together" was to actually meet face to face. Before the likes to Facebook and Myspace... the only way to have any contact with lost former acquaintances was to do a lot or research or travel "back home" to find them. With services such as Facebook what would have been long lost acquaintances now bombard our news feeds with useless information 24-7. Fragmentation may have been the norm in the past, and Facebook may be a fad today, but social networking is here to stay. And I am over 45 years old. Now get off my lawn.

Comment Re:If they don't like it... (Score 1) 286

I sense derision in your comment. If you are so fond of the BBC then YOU can give them money, but as for the rest of us we shouldn't be FORCED to pay for a license for the simple act of owning a television set. We no longer live in the 1950s. If the BBC is so worried that people will receive their signal without paying then they should encrypt the bloody thing and make it only available to subscribers.

Comment Don't Comply (Score 2) 506

Too many people equate "The Law" with morality and consider it a forgone conclusion that whatever "The Law" states must be adhered to, and if violated must be enforced at all costs. Unfortunately there exist just too many unjust, absurd, horrific, ridiculous, and outdated laws such as, Jim Crow, Apartheid, FATCA, the Patriot Act, FATCA, the Nuremberg Laws, .....compulsory TV licensing *even if you don't have a TV*.... Most people who are negatively affected by such laws are usually met with derision and marginalized and told to suck it up by the majority of society simply because "It's the law!". It's a shame that we all live in societies that have placed "the Law" above justice and common decency.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.