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Comment Re:Bandaid (Score 1) 469

Along with some of the other deeper problems listed in other replies, here are some others:

Poor driving skills and habits. California drivers are specifically taught not to zipper merge and will get angry if you do. Plus, they weave looking for the fastest lane. This weaving means others don't leave following distance (else some ****** will take it), so there is no cushion and everyone stop/starts.

Poor interchange spacing, requiring excessive merging. This is especially true in California, where there are no standards for interchange spacing. Poor merging skill makes this worse.

No functional hierarchy of roads. California has 26 lane freeways or 2 lane city streets, but few arterial and collector roads. This goes hand in hand with poor interchange spacing, because you need lots of interchanges to the city streets, rather than a few interchanges to arterials.

Poor interchange and intersection design. California loves four leaf clover interchanges because they reduce left turn conflicts on city streets, but they often back up the freeway instead. Also, cramped interchanges result in creative interchange designs, which often have capacity problems, backing up onto freeways.

Poor traffic light timing. Often lights rely on triggers, and very few lights are synchronized. Even if they were synced, poor driving habits mean that people speed between the lights and are forced to stop.

HOV lanes often make these problems worse because people merge quickly to get into the HOV lane and then to get out. Theoretically they increase capacity, but only under a very simplistic model, and not when you reward electric vehicle owners...

Hopefully self driving cars will help with some of these, if they can be taught to drive properly, and co-ordinate merging, but then mostly their owner will get frustrated because they will always feel they could drive better.

The root cause of these problems is that a fundamental theorem in traffic basic shows that at optimal traffic flow at any point is defined by the condition that every individual driver can improve their own solution by acting selfishly. With selfishness on the rise, it is no wonder that traffic problems are getting worse.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 100

The problem here is actually with the design patents and with how they are being used in this case. For things to work this way the product should only be allowed to be covered by one design patent, that details the design of the actual product. Then you can go after true knock-offs. But over those 140 years design patents have been allowed to cover minute details of the design (like the rounded corners), so that an entire family of products is covered by some "design aesthetic". Here Samsung is accused/guilty of copying only parts of the aesthetic, so that if you squint a little and tilt the product at just the right angle you might get confused that this was actually an iPhone. In reality no one who bought a Samsung phone was confused and thought they were buying an iPhone. Maybe a few people bought one because it was cheap but if their friends looked at it quickly then maybe they would think they had sprung for an expensive iPhone... Should Samsung be forced to pay all their profits? Maybe. But it is not an easy decision.

Unfortunately the real problems with this trial, that the jury foreman used outside evidence (his own experience with patents) to convince the jury that their role was not to determine the validity of the patents, when it explicitly was, has been ignored by the courts. In addition, the jury was clearly fairly confused, awarding damages for the wrong things...

Comment Re:A world where we will never be forgiven. (Score 1) 340

Watch the three videos from jhweather (part 2:, and the other videos linked in the report ( Note, those videos have less than 10,000 views. The footage from the police camera man and the student TV camera have not been released AFAIK.

The students had surrounded the police, and when the pepper spray threat was issued, the students sitting in the line got up and were replaced by students that wanted to be sprayed...

That is not to say that the actions of the UC Davis police were justified, right or just plain stupid. They were not under threat (in fact in one of the videos a cop answers his phone, steps over the line of students - while on the phone - and walks off into the crowd seconds before the incident).


Submission + - SpaceX sticks the landing! (

bryanandaimee writes: SpaceX has successfully landed their first stage on an autonomous platform in the ocean for the first time. Congratulations to the team over at SpaceX!

Comment Re:proprietary vs postgres (Score 1) 104

I tried Oracle many years ago... Nothing seemed to work right. I had all kinds of funky failures, things that would not connect, etc. I assumed it was because I was just skim reading the documentation. So I read everything carefully, reinstalled from scratch, checked every last setting, etc. Some problems resolved themselves because the defaults were all wrong, but still nothing really worked. Eventually I resorted to asking for help, and after some time, discovered that the problem was that my server name started with a "U" and there was a bug for servers starting with letters "T-Z" or something like that! Anyone that can code a bug like that should not be allowed near a computer. I uninstalled and installed postgres - never looked back. I just wish I could get the MS folk to give up in SQL Server now...


Comment We need software engineers (Score 5, Insightful) 126

Professional engineers, not self proclaimed ones. Ones that sign on the dotted line taking personal responsibility for the code they write. With self driving cars, robots, drones, etc. we need to be able to hold coders responsible, the same way we hold held civil and mechanical engineers responsible.

Comment Still the jury foreman's fault (Score 1) 69

The real problem in this case, evidenced from post case interviews with the jury foreman, is that despite the majority of the trial being about prior art to invalidate Apple's patents, the jury was so confused that the jury foreman (the only member of the jury with any experience with patents) persuaded the jury that it was not their job to judge the validity of the patents. His reasoning was that since the patent office had granted them they must be valid. This was based on his experience of having a very hard time getting the patent office to accept his patent, because they kept raising prior art.

This was in direct contradiction to the written instructions to the jury, and should have resulted in a mistrial, since the jury foreman brought outside evidence into the discussions. The other important feature is that there is a difference in how patent claims are evaluated by the USPTO and by the courts.


Comment Re:When one fails to learn from history ... (Score 1) 183

Your friend is full of it. Most rubberized asphalt concrete in the western US uses 20% rubber, and that is mostly in the form of rubber granules mixed in. These come directly from recycled tires. So: 1) they are tire rubber - if they were melting then so would the car/truck ties. 2) they are not continuous on the surface, so there would be no continuous layer to slide on. 3) It is impossible for most people to tell if the surface has rubber or not - generally you need a core sample and a microscope. For terminal blends and plastic modifiers, you have to do a chemical analysis of the recovered binder.

Also, rubberized AC has mostly the same noise characteristics as conventional AC. You might be thinking about open-graded asphalt concrete, which is significantly quieter...


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