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Comment Re:Are these the best solutions? (Score 1) 99

Strictly speaking, a lot of boats have been hybrid for quite some time now (diesel-electric propulsion, for example). This allows motors to always operate at their maximum efficiency, and to get rid of gearboxes. It also simplifies power transmission, and allows deported motors to be put more easily, as far as I know.

I don't know how this compares to the "hybrids" of this article, but it doesn't seem to be that different, maybe except for the batteries, thus the opportunity for fully-electric operation?

Comment Re:Does it account for greedy homeowners? (Score 1) 130

I can't tell if you are being sarcastic or not, but I hope you are.
The only argument for having less accidents at high speed that is even remotely receivable is that you spend less time overall on the road (assuming you drive the same).
And that's if you assume that every accident is related to external factors, independent of your speed. In practice, you will have more accidents at higher speed, because:
* You have more kinetic energy (it is very, very rarely useful), thus turns, braking, etc are more
dangerous/difficult, and accidents are more dangerous * You have less time to react.

Let's take your argument to the extreme: 10 kids cross the road you are on at the same time, at different points. If you're going slow enough, you brake in time. If not, you are probably looking at five dead bodies, because you didn't have time to react, not the room to brake.

It is a bit extreme, but those random events happen all over the place, it is not only time-dependant (if you go slower, you might see more people crossing the road at the same spot), but space-dependant (If you go faster, you might see more people crossing the road at different spots).
Of course, this probabilistic analysis is incomplete, but I will let you consider the cost/reward function associated to a higher probability of (a more dangerous) accident vs arriving late for dinner. And if you are really curious, run some simulations, and you will see that you don't lose that much time by going slower, vs the one you lose by not moving at all (red light, for example). Speeding (in most cases) only leads to marginal gains.

Comment Re:Traffic Normalization (Score 1) 130

It sounds like header overhead. The obvious solution here is to increase packet size, to boost throughput.
Or yeah, in other words... car sharing or public transportation.
I am not even kidding, look at the techniques to avoid packet collision in network protocols. Especially wireless ones.

To answer the parent's parent: That's also why it's bad practice to always closely follow the next car, even in a traffic jam. Leaving a bit of space in between cars allows to smooth the effect of someone breaking.

Comment Security checks (Score 1) 286

Don't they already require that any electronic device have enough battery to be powered on and therefore prove that its insides were not replaced?

I could imagine some cases in which you replace the second HDD with explosives in a laptop, but X-rays would detect that, hopefully.
But that gives a bit more insight on their choice to ban this class of electronics altogether, and I think it makes sense; or is understandable, at the very least.

Comment Re:Bus downtime; housing cost gradient (Score 1) 469

it's selfish people who don't use mass transit

If you live in a city that doesn't run its buses from 8:45 PM to 5:45 AM (source), and you're given hours at night, you need a car in order not to have to spend the majority of your paycheck on a taxi or lose your job. If you live in a city that doesn't run its buses on Sundays, and you're given hours on Sunday, you need a car in order not to have to spend the majority of your paycheck on a taxi or lose your job.

On the other hand, there traffic is usually less problematic during these hours, as there are often less commuters (maybe except for holidays on Saturdays, those can be quite crowded).

So, that use case is hardly a problem, in my opinion (unless I missed something).

Comment Re:GLWT (Score 1) 262

As far as I know, Microsoft/Sony do not earn money from the sales of these adapters. It's more asking to prohibit them altogether or allow to plug in any mouse/keyboard.

Which would of course drive down the sales of the profitable controllers.

Steam boxes, where are you? (And I am surprised by the lack of mention of the steam controller in this thread, which is, IMO, quite a good compromise).

Comment Re:There is no debate (Score 1) 262

Just be aware that the keyword here is

I find it

Experience and what you are used to are very important. But, as someone who started on consoles, only to switch to PC years later, I find M+K a lot, lot more precise (even though I sometimes miss the analog stick for moving around in FPSes, which is a good use of an analog stick). And coming back to consoles, I find my accuracy considerably decreased (also due to the lack of practice, nowadays). Aim assist is also blatantly obvious. It jumps in my face every time I play halo/borderlands/left for dead/whatever FPS on a console.

Now, a mouse is *objectively* better for aiming. There are many different ways to approach the problem, but I just thought about this one: imagine an aimbot. What kind of interface would you want to plug it in, for it to be effective? The quantization (~10 bits) of an analog stick makes it hard to be both fast and precise. Increase sensitivity, and you will have a hard time aiming precisely. Decrease it, and you now have to wait for aiming.
Of course, this is somewhat mitigated with non-linear scales, but it makes it very hard to input the exact movement in less than one frame. And this is for an aimbot. Humans are notoriously bad with precise timings. And I didn't even start on the ergonomy side of the argument.

Comment Nothing personal, but (Score 2) 77

If that could bring down the company into flames, that would be a small relief for the consumer.

That said, DRM is like an Hydra, when you think you won the battle against one, a handful more appear to take its place. I sincerely hope it will be outlawed at some point.
I had a look at these slides, and they're very obviously marketing material. Anyone who has written a handful of those knows how full of exaggerated claims they can be. For example, assuming the 40% piracy figure holds true (for which I couldn't find trustworthy references), would that automatically translate to a 40% in sales? A 40% increase in profit for the company? I don't think so, to put it mildly.

OK, I will stop my rant for now; but I've been burned too many times by DRM as a legit consumer to keep thinking that for media companies (not every one, but as a general trend, esp. from sales departments), "consumer is king" instead of a milk cow that you desperately need to milk until blood comes (and keep doing it, for good measure). [/rant]

Comment Re:Umm... just WMVs? (Score 1) 150

And of course, to do that, you would have to trust the windows firewall, which doesn't show everything.
Maybe an esoteric proxy configuration that only works with a manually configured browser could do?

But the easiest option is just to ditch windows if you're serious about security. And maybe also modern x86-based CPUs, since they usually contain ring -2 to -5 coprocessors with DMA, network access, and other niceties.

Comment Re:It's about landmass (Score 1) 468

That might be true, but it's still a very, very tiny amount of radiation exposure. I think that this claim came from a paper comparing nuclear and coal power plants under normal operation, and finding that the coal plant emitted 1000 times more.

I looked up some references quickly, and I found this XKCD; but admittedly, I did not try to find arguments in favor of the opposite view.

Comment Re:Such a windbag (Score 1) 127

On the other hand, I think that his interpretation of company culture is quite right.

Now, on doing something to increase employment numbers, how about making employees work less? I know this is controversial, might conflict with the "American Dream", and require further thinking; but it would be an interesting idea to consider. Quite feasible, in my opinion, and much less radical than universal basic income (which might or might not come in a more distant future).

Comment Haha (Score 1) 173


If I ever develop an "electronic person"; it will have no kill switch. Would you do that to a human, or any intelligent "person" for that matter? I would prefer to see some humans and politicians equipped with kill switches before my robots, thank you.
Actually, the "human kill switch" reminds me of the movie Dune.

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