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Comment Re:Inappropriate Title (Score 1) 200

It's better than that. If x is the increase in the of pedestrians that are being killed because they are inattentive during the smartphone boom, and y is the likelihood of a smartphone-using pedestrian being so consumed that they don't notice a car coming at them, then x(1-y) pedestrians are using smartphones and would have been killed if they hadn't noticed the car. Also, x(1-y)/z, where z is the proportion of walkers staring at their phone at any given time, is the total number of all walkers that are in harm's way. Assuming one-tenth of pedestrians are using smartphones, and one-tenth of the smartphone users bite it (the rest notice the car and move)... then the number of people that successfully run for their life from an inattentive driver that would have killed them is 100 times greater than the increase in fatalities.

Substitute whatever y and z you want and it's obvious the drivers are a much bigger problem than the pedestrians.

Comment Re:Use the Crosswalk! (Score 2) 200

I have an opposing viewpoint... I walk for exercise most days on my lunch hour. I work in an ostensibly "walk friendly" community with a ton of antique shops on main street. I plan my route so I only cross one street that's bigger than a residential side street.

I get nearly killed at least once a month. It's almost always by someone turning left into a parking lot, so they're coming from my rear. The problem here isn't that people are on their phones. The problem is that drivers would mow down pedestrians at an alarming rate if we weren't constantly dodging cars. I once had a lady nearly kill me, then pull into the lot, get out of her car, and berate me for walking on the sidewalk that she needed to drive over.

Another one that bothers me: Car is first at a red light and is turning left. There is no possibility that this car will go anywhere until the light turns green. However, the car slowly creeps forward until they are entirely blocking the crosswalk and ten feet in front of it (on the intersection side). I now have two choices - walk in front of the car, which is nearly in the other road, or walk behind the car. I used to walk behind the car, until one day, a car turned left and almost hit me. I realized that the left turning car couldn't see me because I was completely shielded by the SUV I walked behind. Now I always walk in front of them - or stop and stare at them until they back up.

Comment Re:Complain daily (Score 1) 258

Nope, I'm moving. Seriously. Driving on this road didn't make me decide to sell my house, but it played a role in where the next one will be. They don't need me to tell them it's a bad intersection - the memorial flowers left for the people who died there say more than I ever could.

Besides, I'm too old to fight authoritarian bureaucrats that think tickets are the solution to traffic safety, jail is the solution to drugs, and kicking the troublemakers out of school is the way to fix education.

Another thing... are you suggesting that my lack of reporting this makes my analysis of the issue less valid? Or are you simply trying to gently redirect the conversation from pointing out that your counterpoint isn't very good to a conversation about my poor citizenship?

Comment Re:40.000 deaths (Score 1) 258

If you're referring to intersections that show the left* lane a green disc instead of a green arrow, the proper maneuver is a "LEFT TURN YIELD ON GREEN" as described in the driver's manual. First enter the intersection while the signal is green. Then by the time it turns red, you're already legally in the intersection and have the right and duty to clear it once oncoming traffic to your left ceases.

I am referring to this type of intersection. The maneuver doesn't entirely fix the problem. On my way home from work, I have to turn left off a major street at such an intersection. During the evening rush hour, there is zero chance that there will be a break in the oncoming traffic during the green. The light cycle is about three minutes. So the total volume of traffic that can make this left turn legally is 20 cars per hour. That's not nearly enough.

Comment Re:40.000 deaths (Score 4, Insightful) 258

Nobody died because someone crossed the intersection 0.3 seconds after it turned red. The other light isn't even green yet. Your statement implies a correlation between traffic enforcement and road safety, but this correlation is frighteningly weak. Unfortunately, enforcement is concentrated on things that are easy to measure instead of things that are most dangerous.

Red light cameras are a great example of ineffective enforcement. Red light running generally falls into two categories: people that push the boundary and people that make mistakes (not paying attention, drunk, didn't clean windshield, etc.). Cameras can make people choose not to push the boundary, but they are very bad at correcting the latter behavior. So, they shift a lot of money to the government and the camera operating company, without having much of an effect on safety.

You can tell a government is serious about safety when they start redesigning bad intersections instead of wagging their fingers at people driving 36 in a 35 or going through intersections one second after the light turns red. Research has shown time and time again that if there is a trend of people running the beginning of a particular red light, the best solution is to make the yellow longer. Often blatant red light violations come from intersections with no left turn arrow. Frustrated drivers wait an entire light cycle (or four), and then finally just go when the opposite lane clears as the light turns red. Once again, the correct solution is to change the intersection. Yelling at (or fining) the drivers does nobody any good.

Comment Re:Obviously this requires new legislation (Score 5, Informative) 102

It goes both ways. We are currently using the principle behind this law to shield drone pilots from repercussions. There's also this case where the US says a border guard was within his rights to shoot a man in Mexico.

Given what we have to lose, it's unlikely that the US government will change its position on this issue.

Comment Re:Maybe you should own your hardware (Score 1) 113

At my last job, our AS/400 had to have all of the applications shut down to do a nightly backup. The backup took nearly every second that the business was closed. Scheduled maintenance had to be done on holidays.

One time we had to move its network connection to another switch port. The thing didn't work again until we hard rebooted it.

The software on it could only be accessed from the network by running CL scripts - so there was no such thing as transactional integrity. The programmers used a five digit batch number on the main thing we used the AS/400 for, which recycled every month. As a result, if we had a few production glitches in a 31 day month, everything went to shit. The idiots also used a six digit invoice number and we rolled off old invoices after two years (which had regulatory implications). As we grew and processed more than 42000 invoices per month, hundreds of hours had to be put in to expand the system capabilities.

It's not all roses in the AS/400 world.

Comment Re:Maybe you should own your hardware (Score 1) 113

At my previous job at a Fortune 100 company...

Me: Hey boss, we spend half our time cleaning up the mess that is caused by this one bug. I suggest we put a little time into fixing the bug. Boss: Fixing the bug is build work and that requires a business unit to provide a request and the capital to do the work. Cleaning up the mess is maintenance work and the whole company pays for that. So, until some other department pays us to fix this problem, we must continue to put our time into maintenance work. Me: But, the only people that are inconvenienced by it is us - no one else cares. Oh well, I'll just go home and kick my dog.

success will prove very elusive indeed

That company makes $3 billion a year in profit.

Comment Re:Is that all (Score 2) 49

Due to the cost of security breaches being borne primarily by victims, investing in security has never been a good financial decision. That's the primary reason that security sucks in the IT industry. If it weren't for public shaming and the associated damage to a company's image, it would be even worse.

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