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Submission + - 'Hoverboards' are illegal on both pavements and roads, CPS confirms (

An anonymous reader writes: Bad news if you like gliding down the street like a low-rent Marty McFly: “hoverboards” (also known as self-balancing scooters) are illegal to ride in public in Britain, according to guidance released by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The wheeled vehicles, which are an evolution of the infamous Segway “personal transportation device”, are too unsafe to ride on the road, but too dangerous to ride on the pavement, according to legislation. As a result, they are only legal to use on land that is private property, and only with the landowner’s permission, the CPS says.


Video Not A Hoverboard, but Close (Video) 66

It's a one-wheeled, self-balancing electric skateboard called (appropriately) the Onewheel. You can't buy one right now. They've already shipped all of their first production runs and still have Kickstarter backers' orders to fulfill. After that, though, they might make one for you -- if you come up with a deposit of $500 against a total price of $1499. Plus shipping. This may seem like a lot of money to some people, but enough folks have found it reasonable that Onewheel has sold out not just its first production run but also the second one. Their Kickstarter success was nothing short of amazing, with $630,862 raised although their goal was only $100,000. Inventor Kyle Doerksen is the man behind Onewheel, but he's also one of the people behind Faraday Bicycles, whose flagship model costs $3500 -- and whose initial production run is also sold out -- which means there are people around who are willing to pay $3500 for an electric bicycle instead of putting a motor kit on a used Schwinn for a total cost of less than $500 (with a little careful shopping). Alternate video link.

Comment Human Software - Upgrade Needed (Score 2) 510

For any invasive surgery, especially when messing around with nerves that are so close to brain on young children, involves risk. There are existing risks in the procedure, enough to cause disastrous results for the rest of the child's life. There is no undo or redo. When the implant fails, all of the child's residue hearing is lost forever. The child is even more deaf than ever. So, now what? I work at an environment with many teenagers that has failed implants. They became erratic, lonely, and depressed. They couldn't speak or sign well. It is sad to witness their psychological struggles because they are travelling toward a place that are not accepted by many - deaf and hearing. The saddest part is, they are not usually accepted by their immediate family members. They continuously wonder, do deaf people have right to exist? The implant technology is amazing. The processing power and channels has improved tremendously. The size of the device has became smaller and durable. These hardware advances are wonderful, however, the "human software" part hasn't advanced much to "try and catch errors and exceptions." There are ways to better handle "bugs." Instead of panic-and-fix-by-brute-force-patch. Learning a new language, celebrating diversity, developing tolerance, studying cultures, and respecting differences are critical soft skills in many situations, especially interacting with people who are drastically different.

Comment Re:Building code is not the same as building a wal (Score 2) 716

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wall-building happens pretty much the same way every time. There are building codes and whatnot. The builder has built the exact same wall many times before.

Sort of. If the wall is built in a cold weather climate, the mortar mix is different than that of a warmer climate. Some walls are built to hold a load from the top, others may be built to hold back a load from the side. In the latter case, you'd probably want to use rebar and concrete to fill the voids (assuming it's block and not bricks). The differences may be more subtle than code, but my point is not every wall is built the same way.

Comment Re:Freedom? (Score 1) 156

They already took billions to get internet to rural areas and then didn't do it anyway.

That's not entirely true, I live in a state that is mostly rural, w/ a very unforgiving topography. There is at least one local telco that is working on providing wireless access in as many places as they can erect towers through grant money they received. They are offering better bandwidth for less than DSL which is what I currently have. There's no cable where I live; it's too cost prohibitive to string the poles.

Comment Misleading headline - it's just clever marketing (Score 1) 513

I read about this yesterday on zdnet and Win7 has always been available from the major OEMs:

Under Microsoft's sales lifecycle, big OEMs like HP can continue to sell Windows 7 PCs until at least October 2014. Every major PC maker takes advantage of that opportunity, continuing to offer a selection of Windows 7 PCs today. In addition, business buyers can purchase a PC with a Windows 8 Pro license and exercise downgrade rights to run Windows 7 instead. That's a longstanding policy that Microsoft has allowed for more than a decade.

Nothing but marketing tactics from HP, move along, nothing to see here...

Comment Re:A 1911 for how much ??? (Score 3, Informative) 182

I mean, who the hell would want a normal $30 one

I own both a Springfield Arms 1911 and a Romanian AK (it's a 74, not a 47, meaning it takes 5.45x39 ammo instead of 7.62x39 like the 47 does). I paid $900 for my 1911 (brand new in the box) and I saw them at the last gun show I attended for up to $1500. I paid $1000 for the AK, 5 magazines and 1000 rounds of ammo. It is set up just like it would be in theater, and has hardly been used (muzzle wear and throat erosion are very low). The AK's I saw at the last gun show ranged from $650 up to $2000. Where are you getting them for $30?

Comment Re:Duh (Score 3, Insightful) 165

Taxes should be fair. If I buy something, the tax on it shouldn't depend on who I bought it from, or where they are located.

How do you define "fair?" Is it fair, for example, that I can drive across my state line and buy groceries and clothes and pay no sales tax? Shouldn't my state be allowed to compete by lowering or eliminating their own sales taxes?

Gasoline tax is also lower in my neighboring state, and I buy gas there whenever I can. Most of my driving is in my own state, causing wear-and-tear on the roads that's not being paid for by my gas tax. Is that unfair?

Avoiding taxes is one factor companies consider when deciding to locate somewhere. It's also a tool states can use when competing with each other to lure businesses to locate there. That seems pretty fair to me.

Comment Re:They dumped the waste water yet no misconduct (Score 4, Interesting) 246

Explain that one to me again?

Because shit happens. I've worked at several big chemical plants and all of them have had spills. (To me, this sounds like a "spill" and not "dumping waste.") It's just the nature of the beast, nothing works perfectly all the time. At one plant in particular, vandals/kids/idiots with too much time on their hands got onto the property (not hard to do when the facility covers thousands of acres) and removed a cover off a pipe, causing thousands of gallons of water with a ph of about 1 to flow into a nearby stream, which eventually made its way into the bay and caused a large fish kill. Yes, the company was fined. Yes, corrective action was taken to avoid it from happening again.

From what I read, Exxon cleaned up the contaminated area as best they could. I seriously doubt the spill was done on purpose. I live in the middle of frack-land and these oil companies are spending millions buying/leasing mineral rights, hauling equipment in and out, drilling, fracking, trucking out wastewater and hauling equipment away. Millions of dollars are spent at each drill site. They're not going to risk "dumping" wastewater to save a few bucks on having it hauled away.

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