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Comment Re:That's stupid. (Score 1) 23

It depends on how you arrange the lights. In the UK, there's a delay in between one set of lights going red and the next going green. In a number of US cities that I've visited, one set turns green at precisely the same instant that the other turns red. This means that going through the lights as they turn red is potentially very dangerous, because you will still be crossing the intersection while cars from other directions go. Adding a small delay, larger than the grace period, would likely improve safety considerably.

The USA has 7.1 fatalities per billion km driven, whereas the UK has only 3.6. It's tempting to blame the drivers (and the difference in driving tests in the two countries lends some support to this), but the road designers have a lot to blame. The US statistics are likely even worse for in-city driving, because the totals are skewed by the fact that you can drive far further in the US without encountering another vehicle than in the UK.

Comment Re:I'm all over this (Score 1) 119

So you're saying you don't even want to watch the film, you just want to be able to talk about it later (but only in the next few days)? The problem with that idea is that it only works if you surround yourself with other keep-up-with-the-Joneses types who insist on watching the latest blockbuster as soon as it comes out and have limited other conversational topics.

Comment he is looking at it wrong (Score 1) 100

While the GOP continue to waste money on the SLS/Orion debacle, they are also continuing funding for new space, though it was left open.
If money is spent on multiple private space stations, along with sending us to the moon VIA NEW SPACE, then it will allow for the infrastructure to be put in place and the price for launches, space operations, etc to drop. And a once a month launch of the BFR to the moon/space would help him far more than direct cash will.

Comment Re:I'm all over this (Score 1) 119

I don't get it. Given the choice between paying $30 now, or $1-3 in a few months once it's out on rental / streaming services, you'd pick the former? I can't think of a single film in the last decade that I've wanted to see so much that I'd pay an order of magnitude more to see it now. Plus there's a reasonable sized backlog of things that I want to watch, so even if I watch them in release order they're all available to rent cheaply by the time I get around to them.

Comment Re:Open Source is Evil (Score 1) 119

We are trying to do to movies what we did to software with open source. Reduce its value so much that the people working in the industry struggle to survive

Huh? That's not what open source did at all. It shifted the value from copying software to creating software. People are still paid to write open source software, it's just that now most of them are paid by companies who want the features added (or the bugs fixed) directly, rather than by some middlemen that want to charge per copy.

Comment Re: Why Not On Release Day And For A Regular Price (Score 1) 119

Eventually the movie industry will learn that the damage that it's doing to itself trying to prevent piracy is significantly greater than the damage that piracy is doing to it. It took Apple taking control over a very lucrative slice of the distribution market before the music industry learned that DRM does little to prevent piracy, but does a lot to create distribution monopolies outside of their control. I wonder how long it will be for someone like Amazon or Netflix to grab a sufficiently large slice of the distribution market that they realise that allowing DRM-free downloads from multiple other sources is the only way to regain their bargaining power.

Comment Re:sell movie theatre stock now (Score 1) 119

Except it's not competing with going to the cinema, it's competing with watching the same film a couple of months at home later for a tenth of that price. The problem for the movie industry is that they're entirely focussed around first-week profits (to the extent that they set up contracts with cinemas such that they get almost all of the takings from the first week and close to none after a couple of weeks). This means that they have to spend a huge amount of money on advertising to try to get everyone to watch the film at the same time and don't get to take advantage of slower word-of-mouth (or online) recommendations. The advent of decent-quality home cinema systems means that a lot more people are watching films a few months after they came out in the cinemas, which causes problems for the studios' business model.

Comment Re:Misleading and false (Score 1) 119

Exactly. It's interesting research, but it hits diminishing returns very quickly. Cheap solar panels have gone from 8% to 16% efficiency in a few years. That's a huge win, because you get double the power output for the same investment. Getting up to 32% for the same cost will be a similar win, but that's a long way away.

Comment Re: please use a password manager.... (Score 1) 123

Doesn't even require Safari - there's a password assistant built into the OS, even though it's not exposed as an application.

For those wanting more than a vague hint: it's in the Keychain Access app. The New Password Item menu item brings up a dialog box that lets you generate a password matching various criteria.

Comment Re:I've noticed that, but something else interesti (Score 1) 156

I found GPS directions were a good way of getting to know my way around when I moved here, but I looked at the planned route before I set off (walking or cycling) and was then able to look more at my surroundings. The phone in my pocket would tell me which turning to take, and so I'd get to know the routes very quickly and not need to look at the map. After a week, I wasn't bothering to set the directions. Having the GPS also gave me more confidence to explore - I could wander around in a random direction and know that I'd never actually get lost. Just like any other tool, the benefits of a satnav depend entirely on how you use it.

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