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Comment Re:Tipped over does not imply speed (Score 1) 173

Aren't SUVs with their high centre of mass a known rollover hazard? I very much remember the "reindeer test" videos of about a decade ago: basically making a very sudden, sharp turn at fairly high speeds to avoid a reindeer, causing most SUVs to roll over.

Yes, the high risk of rollovers in SUV's have been known for years. However because the *NCAP programs dont bother with rollover tests (or rear end tests, it's not like nose-tail collisions are the most common type or anything) this risk is ignored by manufacturers who are making a lot of money by selling jacked up hatchbacks.

Comment Re:Not all wrecks can be avoided (Score 1) 173

The only question that matters is if a human would have avoided the accident. If they could have easily, then this accident was caused by self-driving. It doesn't matter what side of the law Uber was on.

A good driver absolutely would have avoided that collision.

The problem with computers is that they don't take into account that people will break the rules and do stupid things, a defensive driver assumes someone will do the dumbest thing possible. Drivers who are about to pull out in front of you give a lot of cues to their behaviour, everything from the way they're looking at you to rocking back and forth to revving and creeping. A good driver learns to pick up on these cues.

The thing is, AI isn't strong enough yet to be able to pick up on these cues yet. One day it might be, but that day is still years away.

Comment Re:Uhm... (Score 1) 358

He couldn't pour piss out of a boot with the instructions written on the heel.

THIS is the exact reason Trump is sitting in the White house. It will of the reasons he will be sworn in, in 2020 for a second term. You constantly underestimated Trump

Wrong again,

What we underestimated was your stupidity. We honestly thought you wouldn't be dumb enough to vote trump.

You see, now it's out of your hands. The republicans are trying to control Trump and failing. I doubt he'll last half a term, let alone a full one before he becomes so unruly that half the republicans will be forced to dump him just to have a chance of saving their seats. Thats if he doesn't do anything so unconstitutional, the court will have no choice but to impeach him.

Comment Re:What is the Purpose of Prison? (Score 2) 118

[1] Is it to punish Bad Guys, said punishment being a deterrent to keep all those not-quite Bad Guys from taking the plunge?

[2] Is it to protect the populace, keeping Bad Guys off the streets?

[3] Or is it to rehabilitate Bad Guys, transform them into Good Guys?

[4] All of the above.

If it's [1] or [2], ditch the iPads and stack 'em up like cordwood. If it's [3], give 'em all iPads and teach 'em web design (the modern equivalent of making license plates), but don't call it 'prison,' because words mean something. It seems to me the justice system blurs all these distinctions into a muddy and costly mess.

Prisons actually serve all three purposes, they serve as deterrents against crime, isolation of criminals and for rehabilitation of criminals. Most western countries tend to emphasise the latter but we still call them prisons.

By and large I agree with rehabilitating criminals as much as possible, however there are cases where all we can do is keep them locked up. This does not mean we should stack them in like cordwood. Even if they're animals, we're not, so we maintain a minimal level of human rights if for no other reason than not to reduce ourselves to their level. However that's for rare cases. The majority of criminals are not in their for such heinous crimes so yes, we should do something to reduce recidivism rates. Giving them tablets is pretty much the same as any other kind of reward, just a more modern form of mail, library and phone privileges. It helps to prepare convicts for a life outside so they don't end up back inside.

It costs the UK tax payer GBP 65,000 per prisoner, even if they didn't work and lived off benefits we'd save 75% or more of what we pay to keep them locked up. So reducing recidivism has a compelling economic argument at the very least. Hell, if they held down a job paying the National Living Wage of GBP 7.50 an hour (14,625 per year on a 37.5 week), they'd actually contribute a little tax money.

Comment Re:Why not? (Score 1) 118

I know the get tough on crime crowd will be throwing a massive shit-fit, but if you can give them something to occupy their time, it might be less shit going down in there.

Because we don't want criminals rehabilitating and reintegrating into normal society. How can we continue to run a prison-industrial complex if we reduce recidivism rates.

And rewards for good behaviour, pshaw, we should be training guards to beat prisoners senseless whilst ignoring sodomy in the wash room, nor should we pay prison guards enough that they wouldn't dare think about taking some bribes from inmates to smuggle in drugs. No, we should be outsourcing prison staff to the lowest possible bidder.

I mean look at Norway, they treat their prisoners like human beings and look at the horrible society they have to live in.

Comment Re:So now Trump controls where we vacation (Score 1) 191

You need a visa to return to the US after vacation? Or did you miss that part of the full title.

Non-citizens who want to take a vacation with our enemies have volunteered for a little extra scrutiny when they then want to visit us.

I think you've missed the bit where they don't need an additional law to check a citizens social media... They've been doing that for years now.

Due to the fact that visas are an intricate system of international agreements, they have to follow procedures to do this kind of thing to non-citizens.

Also, how dumb are the people who come up with this kind of security theatre. So a terrorist goes through years of training and indoctrination just to blab about bombing the US on Facebook. Its dumber than the laptop ban. So Achmed the tablet bomber cant fly direct from Ankara to London with his rigged Ipad... I'm sure he's said, "OK fellas, they've stopped us. We cant bomb the great Satan any more so lets just give up" instead of flying from Ankara to Sofia where he can bring is tablet, then from Sofia to London, again, with said tablet. I mean it's not like Bulgaria is right above Turkey or anything.

If this was a credible threat, why is it not being applied to everyone... from everywhere.

Besides, I'm certain they'd never think of creating a clean social networking profile to fool customs and immigration.

Comment Re:Uh.... what? (Score 1) 191

I was once asked to list every address I had ever lived at. That's just about impossible unless you stayed in the house into which you were born for your whole life.

I can list every single one of my permanent residences. I've had 12 thus far in my life.

However the only time I've been asked to list all of them was to attain Top Secret clearance whilst working at the Australian Tax Office (and that was a requirement because I might accidentally see something classified Top Secret, not that I handled classified info.. the joys of tech support).

Comment Re:still bullshit (Score 1) 253

Everywhere else on the planet, the car already in the intersection when the light turns red is not only legal but also has the right of way.

And what is the weather like on the planet where you live?

Its illegal to enter an intersection you are not able to clear. It's also illegal to block them. This has been the case in almost every country I've driven in (California is special). Yes you still have to give way to people blocking an intersection because they've done wrong does not give you the right to plough right into them.

Here in the UK, you can be charged with blocking an intersection, its a different charge to running a red, but it's still illegal.

Comment Re:A way better solution (Score 1) 253

The maybe best solution ever I've seen in Austria. Here is a quick comparison between US vs. Austrian traffic lights.

It should be noted that Austrian drivers are far better trained and disciplined than their American counterparts.

The problem isn't the light sequences, the problem is the mentality that thinks "yellow light means gun it" and "fuck anyone else as long as I get through".

Basically, their lights flash green 5 times before they go to yellow, giving you ample time to know that the green period ends. Also, before switching to green, it shows red and yellow for about a second or two to give you an idea that you should put your car into gear and prepare to accelerate, thus improving the reaction time of people and improving the usage of the green phase.

All in all, a WAY better solution. Of course their law also says that there is ZERO grace period for entering with a red light. You have ample time to know it's going red. Actually, I don't even know whether there isn't already some kind of provision that you're supposed to not enter when it goes yellow.

The thing is, whether this works depends entirely on the attitude of the driver.

In Thailand traffic lights often have counters that indicate the time to the next change (no amber lights on these intersections). However the local mentality is that you can go for the first 3-5 seconds of Red and you can start to proceed on the last 3-5 seconds on red. This kind of attitude means that 24,000 people die on Thai roads a year or 36.2 per 100,000 pop, almost 3.5 times the United states with 10.6 per 100,000 pop and over 12 times the UK numbers at 2.9 per 100,000 pop (Austria is 5.4).

The lights here in the UK flash amber before green, this is a sign to most motorists to put the vehicle in gear and prepare to move off and by and large works quite well. However I'm originally from Australia and with the attitude of Australian drivers the UK system would only increase traffic accidents as you get two types of drivers at a traffic light, the one that misses it because they're on their phone and the one that's on their horn exactly 0.00001 second after it turns green.

Point in short, to make the Austrian or UK system work, you need disciplined and responsible drivers like you get in Austria or the UK.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 1) 253

No, the first thing you do is look where the money is going and see if any of it is being wasted on unnecessary things.

That is pretty much what he said. However there is a major issue with that.

Why is it that there seems to be a large number of people who don't seem to care about waste?

That is where you are wrong. The majority care about waste, the problem is one mans waste is another mans perk and when it comes to government perks no-one is willing to let you get your hands on theirs.

Its political suicide for any politician to cut middle-class or corporate welfare because the middle class and corporations will protect their benefits through any means necessary.

Your major issue is, how do you identify "waste"? Because I can guarantee that whatever waste you can identify will be important to someone with different priorities to you. Unemployment benefits, a scourge according to the rich right-wing nut job however essential to those who don't want their houses robbed by the unemployed or businesses that don't want bums asking for change all the time, conversely the military is a wasteful, violent and corrupt complex to Lefty mcFlowerpower, however many see the military as essential and beneficial. So who gets to determine what is and isn't waste (and are they willing to put their head under what could quite literally become a sword of Damocles).

Comment Re:Stupid (Score 1) 253

No, he's actually right.

Red means "do not enter intesection. If you are in the intersection, exit as quickly and safely as possible".

Yellow means don't enter the intersection if you can at all avoid it. If it goes red and you're in an intersection, you've fucked up.

Yes, by law you are not supposed to enter an intersection you cannot clear. That's the meaning of the "yellow boxes" here in England. All intersections need to be treated as a clearway/keep clear zone. However that wont happen until we get better driver training and start punishing selfish drivers.

Comment Re:Conflict of interest (Score 1) 253

I've maintained that fines, tickets, and penalties (for traffic citations, violations of regulations, punitive damages from court cases, etc) should go into an escrow fund.

The problem is your income taxes are collected on a federal level, traffic fines are collected on a state and local level.

Traffic penalties should be deterrents, not revenue generators. Here in the UK, if you get caught DUI, it doesn't matter if it's by a sip of beer or a bottle of whiskey, nicked is nicked and you're off the road for at least 3 months. Every speeding fine comes with 3 demerit points/endorsements.

This is offset by the fact that speeding laws tend to be enforced rather loosely. Cameras are gazetted and clearly marked, they're also quite rare. If you were to pass the rozzers doing 10 over on the motorway, they wont care unless you were doing something else stupid like tailgating or driving dangerously. If you did it through the centre of town then you'll likely be picked up.

I think the whole idea of traffic enforcement needs to change in order to reflect the goal of making safer roads. Ultimately, we need to start making better drivers, sadly this will never happen as it means admitting that middle class, middle aged people are terrible drivers.

Comment Re:The Lemming Society is pathetic. (Score 1) 384

I find humans being utterly reliant upon reviews for every fucking thing in their life completely pathetic. Can't even drink a cup of coffee or eat a pizza without asking a panel of five-star rated liars. Ever heard of product satisfaction being subjective?

Use your own brain for once and make your own judgements. Live a little. Good or bad, it is satisfying knowing at the end of the day the decisions you made were yours, and not made based on sponsored bullshit.

Or, you have limited time and resources, try to spend it wisely. I see about 6 films a year, and I would prefer them not to be terrible if possible. Why would you *not* use the resources available to you to pick well?

They only have themselves to blame. When I was growing up in the 90's the tag line "If you only see one movie this year" was so overused most of my generation think that it's far to ostentatious to see 2 films in any 12 month period.

Comment Re:High Speed Rail (Score 1) 199

Suburbanization isn't a problem. If we planned cities properly we could serve city centers with high speed rail to secondary cities (suburbs, exurbs) and ease the urban housing crunch. Of course this would require taxation, debt, eminent domain, and operating at a loss for decades, which is not popular with short term thinkers, despite the fact that rail infrastructure has a lifespan measured in centuries.

What you're describing is England... In fact most of Europe.

From where I live in Hampshire, I could take a job in central London (preferably on the South Bank) and have a commute time of under an hour thanks to living on a main line. The yearly train ticket is along the lines of 3,000 quid but jobs in London tend to pay well enough that I'd be making money over working outside of London. That being said, it would still be 10 hours a week and there are some pretty good jobs along the M4 corridor, but it's good to have options.

Comment Re:Exactly (Score 1) 199

Did you know that your children are more likely to die violently in a rural area than in the city? And people in rural areas are also more likely to die from heart disease and cancer, among other diseases and injuries.

A suburb is a cross between an urban and a rural area, so it isn't clear at all that a suburb is a "much healthier environment" than a city.

What people mean by a "healthier environment" is the fact they can have a large house, big car, pet and other things that are difficult to own in high density areas. Basically they want some idealised 1950's white picket fence fantasy whilst forgetting that they're working 80 hours a week and commuting for another 20 to have enough money just to make the payments on their fantasy whilst trying to avoid the inevitable divorce of their loveless marriage which would make their already unbalanced crotchspawns even more fucked up.

Middle aged men like fancy cars because it's much easier to realise the rest of your life has gone to shit when you're doing 0 to 60 in 5 seconds.

Could also have something to do with real estate getting more expensive in high density urban environments.

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