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Comment Re:Really bad idea. (Score 5, Insightful) 1173

Like any tool, roundabouts have to be used in appropriate situations. I used to work in traffic engineering, and adding roundabouts (or signals and stop sings, for that matter) requires careful study and the meeting of certain criteria (called warrants). Warrants include such things as daily vehicle volume, peak hourly volumes, pedistrian volumes, and delay times. In the right place, roundabouts allow traffic to flow better than a signal and with greater safety. Head-on and t-bone collisions (the two most dangerous types of traffic accidents) are virtually eliminated. The accidents that do happen will be at a lower speed and a gentler angle.

All of that said, there is always the problem of the unwritten "political" warrant. The mayor wants a stop sign (or signal or roundabout) here, so one is going in even if it is worse for the traffic. Of course, there are also fads to put in roundabouts (or what have you). Some of the roundabouts are going to be unwarranted or conditions will change. Roundabouts work best when applied correctly.

Comment Re:Pedestrian problems? (Score 1) 1173

That's actually been a bit of a problem with roundabouts in the US. I used to work in traffic engineering and we got a presentation on some proposed ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) rules to make roundabout intersections navigable by pedestrians. They wanted each approach of the roundabout to have a crosswalk and a signal--which completely negates the purpose of the roundabout. I've been out of the field for a few years, so I don't know what things look like now, but it is a problem and people are thinking about it.

Comment Re:The problem isn't that people are idiots? (Score 1) 639

I mean you don't know how many computers you can log on to simply by walking up to the desk and opening the drawer which has a sticky note with the password on it..

My wife works as a doctor at 3 hospitals. Between the three, she has something like 17 passwords to access various computer systems. She also has to change them every 30 to 90 days and she may not even work at two of the hospitals for some months at a time. How is anyone without a photographic memory supposed to keep track of all of those logins? That's not to say my wife writes passwords on a post-it (she'd need her own desk for that), but it explains such behavior. Password policies that require frequent changes result in weak passwords (password1 this month, then password2, etc.)


Submission + - eVoting Election Error Manually Corrected (chron.com)

SvetBeard writes: During the recent elections, Harris County, Texas officials failed to include a minor election on some ballots. The error was caught before election day, but it was too late to add the referendum to the eSlate voting system tally for some precincts. The mistake required election officials to access the "Adjustment" function of the system in order to manually enter the untabulated votes. Though the correction was made under careful supervision and manufacturer Hart InterCivic insists their product is secure, the ability to make such changes raises fundamental questions about the security of electronic voting particularly given the fact that researcher Dan Wallch has discovered flaws in the eSlate software.

Submission + - Microsoft To Charge PC Gaming

News for nerds writes: "During a press event prior to the Game Developers Conference Microsoft revealed to Game Informer Online the exact pricing structure for the Live For Windows online PC gaming service. Just like with the Xbox 360 there will be a free Silver package as well as a Gold package which retails for $49.99 for a year subscription, $7.99 for one month, and $19.99 for three months."

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