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Comment Re:No shit (Score 3, Insightful) 248

I'd argue that it would be binary, but not digital. It's not communicating a signal represented as a number - it's transmitting some level of power, which is available in two amplitudes (none and some). So it's analogue, binary (as opposed to continuous), but not digital.

A dimmer makes it continuous, so it would no longer be binary.

PWM, BPSK, etc. are similarly binary, but not necessarily digital. Few people consider a switch-mode power supply to be digitally controlled - it has continuous input, continuous output, and continuously-variable pulse width, yet the output pass device is only in one of two states - switched or unswitched.

Discrete != digital.

Comment Re:Stronger headlights (Score 2, Insightful) 295

Perhaps actually try it? All car mirrors have a second mirror behind the first, at precisely the angle that the switch adjusts by. When being followed by a car with bright headlights, flick the switch and you'll observe that you get a much-dimmed version of the same image. At night, you'll perfectly well be able to make out the car behind you.

Also, widen the angle of your side mirrors. You don't need to see your own doorhandles as reference - send the mirrors wider and you'll very soon become accustomed to the particular field of view that they now present. Your brain isn't nearly as dependent on seeing your own car as you think it is. If you have concerns you'll introduce a blinkspot at the cars rear flanks then relax - the slightest bobble of your head will cover that, if the main rear-view mirror doesn't already. Stop being a door-handler! With wider side mirrors and the rear-view mirror switch, you'll at worst have just one mirror shining headlights at you face, and not three.

Comment Re:People are bad (Score 3, Informative) 487

1 in 8142 insured passenger cars, SUVS and pickups for model years 2010-12 were involved in a noncrash fire claim.

93 Fusions over MY2010 to MY2012 (800000 insured vehicles) caught fire without even being involved in a crash. Extrapolate that to ~62 Fusions for MY12 -MY13, and that's not even counting the ones involved in accidents.


Comment Re:People are bad (Score 1) 487

2010-2012: 93 insured Ford Fusions caught fire (3-yr period, so 31 per year) without even being involved in crashes or vandalism. (That's 2010-2012 model year, not claim year, i.e. we aren't talking about 8-year-old Ford Fusions here.)

That's out of 800000 insured-years of vehicles, or ~267000 vehicles insured for 3 years each. At 31 per year, that's roughly 1 in 8000 insured Ford Fusions catch fire every year, without even being involved in accidents. In two years, that would be 2 in 8000 (i.e. 1 in 4000).

Sure it's not 2013 stats, but over two years, 1 in 4000 insured Ford Fusions caught fire just standing still.

Coincidentally, the Ford Fusion stats happen to be almost right at the average - according to the source below, 1 in 8142 insured passenger cars, SUVs and pickups has a noncrash fire claim made against it.


Comment Re:2020 (Score 2) 164

A sinusoidal vibration is not linear.

It can be. Linear means the acceleration is in the direction of travel, i.e. the acceleration occurs in one dimension. In a straight-line "back-and-forth" system, acceleration and speed can both be considered as dimensionless (beyond having a sign, which admittedly could be considered as bending the rules of "dimensionless" slightly). Certainly they act in a single dimension.

(This is in contrast to angular acceleration, where the acceleration is perpendicular to the direction of travel.)

Since linear doesn't imply constant, this applies to sinusoidal motion to, if it were constrained along a single axis. I'm not suggesting earthquakes are constrained to a single axis; merely that strong accelerations can exist in an earthquake, yet net displacement remains near-zero.

Comment Re:2020 (Score 1) 164

I only ever felt one quake but I was standing on the same spot the whole time. I was not accelerated anyplace, not in the usual sense of the term. I know on Slashdot when you show someone that they are ignorant about something, they'd rather assume you're stupid, but I think that's pretty shitty. Instead I will assume I am ignorant and have no idea what you mean and will ask, what does "acceleration" mean in the context of an earthquake?

Back-and-forth. In any oscillation, the thing being oscillated is accelerated in one direction, and then acceleration is reversed and the subject is accelerated back in the other direction. It is a linear acceleration, but it is brief and changes direction often. The acceleration in any given direction for a simple oscillation lasts for half as long as the oscillation period (and naturally the acceleration in the opposite direction also lasts half as long).

Comment Re:2020 (Score 3, Informative) 164

The pools didn't break during a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. The fifth most fierce ever on earth. Why should they break during a lesser earthquake?

Because magnitude doesn't correspond all that well to forces felt at the surface.

The Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake of September 2010 was a 7.1, and the peak acceleration was 1.26g. The Feb 2011 at the same location much less energetic at "just" a 6.3, yet its peak acceleration was 2.2g (among the highest recorded in an urban area) due to most of that energy being released over just 12 seconds.

The 9.0 Fukushima earthquake OTOH was spread out over 6 minutes, so its peak acceleration was 2.99g despite it being thousands of times more energetic than Christchurch's Feb quake.

Comment Re:You have production numbers backwards (Score 1) 466

Car production

Year Germany USA
2003 5,145,403 4,510,469
2004 5,192,101 4,229,625
2005 5,350,187 4,321,272
2006 5,398,508 4,366,220
2007 5,709,139 3,924,268
2008 5,532,030 3,776,641
2009 4,964,523 2,195,588
2010 5,552,409 2,731,105
2011 5,871,918 2,976,991
2012 5,388,456 4,105,853
2013 2,738,155 2,270,985

(2013 is first 6mo)

So there have been recent years where Germany's car production has indeed been double what the USA was making. Over the last decade, Germany's production of cars has been roughly 50% higher than the USA. In the few years prior to 2003, they were roughly equal at ~5 million each.

Comment Re:Eighty Nine Percent.... (Score 2) 138

But wait, that also means that at least 51% of the population actually voted for those who put these laws and legislation into effect.

No it doesn't. The current NZ government is a minority government, and the 3x parties that make up government were voted for by 48.98% of the voters. So almost precisely 51% in fact voted for someone else (and voting isn't compulsory, either, and roughly 1/4 of eligible voters didn't bother).

Several minor parties ultimately polled too low to get any seats in parliament, so the proportion of seats doesn't always reflect how the votes were proportioned.

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