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Comment Re:China has only itself to blame (Score 1) 267

While I largely agree with your sentiment, let's not bring bad translation into play. Zhong1guo2 does by all accounts mean "middle nation" or the like and not the center of the world, and it is generally improper to read excessive meaning into place names, especially in Chinese. Otherwise you're going to be left trying to explain a strong cultural disposition towards admiring the bravery of the British (UK = "brave nation" (ying1guo2)) and the beauty of the US (USA = "beautiful nation" (mei3guo2)). Or more relevant to this context, why one would ever consider violence against the origin of the sun/day (Japan = "sun/day origin" (ri4ben3)).

I wrote this properly first only to find that Slashdot of course mangled the Unicode, so characters have been omitted.

Comment Re:Don't complain about crime then (Score 1) 254

Honestly, I think we need fleets of undercover cops, so that maybe we could curb some of the worst of the "road belongs to me" behavior. Ive even seen metro busses blocking intersections, I dont think youre aware of how bad it can be.

This all just goes back to the fact that if you wanted to curb that behavior, a fleet of very visible cop cars would be far more effective. Cops can only pull over 1 (ish) car at a time. The number of cars will always outnumber the number of cops, so if the behavior is really as rampant as you say, you will quickly saturate your number of undercover cop cars. If the unmarked cop car has pulled over one car, the other 99 cars that go by can do whatever they want. On the other hand, one marked cop car can force good behavior on all 100 of those cars. It's analogous to the case of a gunman and a crowd. If you have one guy with a gun and a 100 bystanders, no one will do anything, because even if the guy can only shoot one person (or 6 or whatever), no one wants to be that one person. Once the guy fires the shot (or 6 or whatever) though, one person's day is ruined but the other 99 can rush him without fear.

Comment Re:Don't complain about crime then (Score 1) 254

What, is your reaction time like 10 seconds? You cant see the hills coming? Your car does not just abruptly jump up 5 mph on a downhill unless it is a very severe grade, and even then if youre engine braking / riding the brake you should be able to hold one or two under the limit very easily. I do it all the time with and without cruise control, claiming its impossible is absurd.

The 5 mph window is allowing for reaction times, paying attention, and speedometer inaccuracies. If each can account for 1-2 mph, then to guarantee that you don't cross 60, you need to be at 53-55, which was what my point is. I'm not saying that it's not possible to drive 60 +/- 1; sure it is. I was saying that in order to guarantee that you were not "breaking the law" by "speeding" (i.e. going 1 mile over the limit), you'd have to drive impractically slow. And if it's a law that is going to be strictly enforced and that should be strictly enforced, it should not be difficult or impractical to abide by. I have no problem not stabbing someone with a knife while walking down the street; it's not exactly hard to avoid doing that. If you force people into a situation where they can't drive less than 60 ('cause it's dangerous) and they can't drive even a bit more than 60 ('cause it's illegal), it's very hard to not commit a crime.

Some states have laws allowing that. Some do not. Ultimately, being part of society means you agree that society makes the rules, rather than you deciding which rules feel right for you.

As per my other comment to you, the fact that something is the rule doesn't mean that it's right, nor does it means that it's moral. If no one ever spoke up and said "I don't agree with this rule," we'd still be living in some sort of feudal monarchy with no rights whatsoever. (Note: what sort of society it would be is irrelevant; please do not respond to this saying that you disagree that it would be feudal/a monarchy/etc.)

Comment Re:Don't complain about crime then (Score 1) 254

Bull. People regularly slow down at the sight of cop cars or traffic cameras, but speed right back up again once they know theyre past them. It doesnt deter anything, it just postpones it.

Yes, that's my point. People don't commit crimes in front of cops. And frankly, in my experience, if people are speeding and have a narrow run in with a cop, they tend to drive much more carefully for a significant time after the encounter, but that's anecdotal; not sure if anyone's done a study on it. Now you can claim that we should have all cops be undercover, wiretap everyone in the country, and put hidden video cameras everywhere, let every crime happen that's going to happen, and then throw all the criminals in jail. Or, you can have very visible cops, etc. and try to keep most of the crimes from happening in the first place. I'm merely saying that it's not immediately clear that one approach is superior. I personally would rather have less crime and more criminals in the wild then more crime and fewer criminals, but that's my personal preference. I believe that prevention is more important than punishment, though of course the threat of punishment is necessary for prevention.

Oh the horror, cops going after folks for violating the law.

Just because something is illegal doesn't mean it should be. I apologize in advance for the following Godwin, but were we supposed to applaud when the SS arrested people for being Jewish? When people with different skin colors got arrested for sitting in the wrong place? By no means am I trying to equate traffic violations with such heinous civil rights violations, but the examples serve to demonstrate that making cops more effective at "going after folks violating the law" can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what the law in question is.

...Im pretty sure there is a phone number you can dial to have a cop on the scene in around 5-10 minutes. Im pretty sure the chances of just "happening" to see a cop in that time are pretty low, at least based on my experience in and around DC (where one MIGHT see a cop in 10-20 minutes of driving around the capital and RFK stadium).

5-10 minutes does me little good if I'm getting attacked now, and not everyone in the world has a phone on them 100% of the time. It doesn't matter whether the odds of happening to see a cop if you need them are low. The fact is that they are a lot lower if the cops are unmarked. And frankly a 5% chance of having a cop around to help is better than nothing at all.

Regardless, I am done with this discussion, since I have nothing more of value to add. There will always be differences of opinion, and that's fine, but this has all been irrelevant to my initial point that these are unmarked cars, not undercover cops, and I never intended to debate the merits of speed limits or unmarked cars.

Comment Re:Don't complain about crime then (Score 1) 254

Nowhere in what I wrote did I claim that was all cops do (or if I did, I misspoke). I certainly don't think that lowly of the police and respect them for the valuable service they provide. I just claimed that the "stealth" cars serve little purpose other than writing traffic tickets, and so outing them isn't going to somehow result in a rash of major crime.

Yes, the "stealth" is often not particularly stealthy though. :-)

Comment Re:Don't complain about crime then (Score 4, Insightful) 254

It wasn't a matter of whether or not he was breaking the law. Parent claimed you don't get pulled over for 5 over, but in fact you certainly can where I live.

Additionally, due to inaccuracies in speedometers and poor reaction times (e.g. to changing slopes of hills), it's impossible to drive at or under 60 without having your speedo sitting more like 53-55, in which case you will in fact be driving dangerously by going significantly slower than the flow of traffic. The problem with speed limits/speeding is that speeding is not inherently dangerous (at reasonable speeds; certainly driving 150 is). Rather, moving at a significantly different speed than the flow of traffic is dangerous. I am in fact putting myself and those around me in more danger by driving at 60 if everyone around me is going 75 than by driving 75 with them. The answer certainly isn't to abolish speed limits, but the point is that strict enforcement of speed limits increases revenue, not safety.

Comment Re:Don't complain about crime then (Score 5, Informative) 254

Perhaps that is your experience with the police in the UK (or wherever you happen to reside; making the assumption given what you said), but where I live, it is very different. A friend of mine was ticketed for going 63 in a 60 MPH zone (no erratic driving, no alcohol, no anything). I saw the ticket with my own eyes. While that is exceptional, you can regularly get pulled over for 5 over on the freeway here (Oregon/Washington). And the vast majority of unmarked police cars I've seen around have been pulling over people for driving 5-10 over, not tailing suspect cars or some more justified purpose, as you've said. This is of course anecdotal and YMMV with where you live; just saying what is true for where I am. Don't get me wrong; I am all for police officers doing their job and keeping people safe and certainly people who are clearly driving unsafely, driving while intoxicated, etc. should be caught.

But the fact of the matter is that the focus of the police should be on preventing crime, not on increasing revenue. A clearly marked police car is the most effective thing there is for ensuring that everyone around is driving safely. You stick a cop car in the road and people will drive quite carefully. Unmarked cars are specifically meant to not be observed by people so that they will commit crimes in front of them and thus get ticketed, crimes that potentially would not have been committed if the car had been clearly visible. To me, this is like making the argument that police officers shouldn't wear uniforms so that muggers will beat up people in front of them and get caught, rather than the beatings never happening in the first place. I understand and respect that you can make an argument both ways here, that there is the potential for the mugger to commit crimes later, etc. but in my personal opinion, it is of dubious morality to allow people to be injured today in hopes of avoiding injuring people tomorrow. When I'm being assaulted, I want to be able to look around and run to the nearest cop car, not to miss it 'cause it's unmarked.

Ultimately, my complaint is that the motorists who get "caught" by unmarked cars who wouldn't by marked cars are the 5-10 over motorists. If someone is truly driving dangerously, they're not going to stop because of a marked car. If you're driving 100 on the freeway, you can't slow down fast enough upon seeing a cop car to not get caught. If you're driving drunk, you can't magically sober up because you saw a cop. The people get caught by unmarked cars rather than marked ones are the 5 over motorists, so I fail to see how they provide sufficiently valuable service to outweigh the crimes they fail to prevent.

Anyways, it's all anecdotal, and there are arguments for both sides. YMMV.

Comment Re:Don't complain about crime then (Score 5, Insightful) 254

Everyone is neglecting the fact that this isn't about outing police officers who are undercover. It's about outing unmarked police cars, which serve no purpose other than to try to catch people for traffic violations and in fact are going to be worse at deterring crime than a marked police vehicle, since the sight of a cop car is a powerful deterrent. It's not like undercover cops drive unmarked cop cars with light bars and antennas; that would be a dead giveaway. Frankly, I like police vehicles to be visible so that I can find them in the event of an emergency if I need help. I care far less about fining the people who are driving 5 miles per hour over the speed limit.

Comment Re:Gnome 3 Distro? (Score 1) 230

Bleeding edge with respect to nightly releases of packages, no. However, Fedora has been at the forefront of distros as far as adopting major changes with its 6 month release cycle. Fedora was one of the first distros to adopt systemd (default in 15), the major Gnome 3 releases (17 has 3.4 and 18 will have 3.6), ext4 (available in 9-10, default in 11), btrfs (available in 13, probably default in 19), etc. I do agree that they could keep some packages more up to date, but I personally haven't come across many distros that are more current in this respect.

You can always find a more up to date Linux by manually updating software, but considering releases as a whole, Fedora is amongst the "newest" distros.

As always, YMMV, and there are packages that are good examples and packages that are bad examples.

Comment Re:Gnome 3 Distro? (Score 1) 230

I highly recommend you read the cheat sheet available here; it provides a good overview of the interface and all of the keyboard shortcuts. Once you get used to them, launching/switching applications, etc. is ridiculously quick.

There are also a ton of extensions available that will let you tweak the shell; they're installed/managed by pointing your web browser here (kinda non-intuitive, they need to work on that).

Finally, you can configure a bunch of the typical things you'd like to be able to tweak by installing gnome-tweak-tool. Just run

yum install gnome-tweak-tool

as root.

Comment Re:Gnome 3 Distro? (Score 2) 230

Fedora (my distro of choice) is about as bleeding edge as you'll get (and still be relatively stable). It is of course based around YUM/RPM, though. I honestly love Gnome 3 on it; it needs polishing, but I find it much more efficient for my workflow than Gnome 2/XFCE/whatever. YMMV

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