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Comment Re:Well there's your problem (Score 1) 106

I have a car with an electronic parking brake. (Audi S4) I thought the same as you at first, why fix what is not broken... But it is friggin great. From the manufacturer's point of view, they get rid of the expense and weight of 2 long mechanical cables, the subassembly consisting of the lever and ratchet mechanism, all the cosmetic trim associated with it, and all the labor to install that crap. From the driver's point of view, it is FAR more effective than a traditional parking/emergency brake. When you yank a traditional e-brake at highway speed, you get crappy braking action from the rear wheels only. The car will gradually slow down, and eventually start to smell really bad, before coming to an eventual stop. When you hold the electronic e-brake lever at highway speed, it applies full threshold braking to all four wheels and it stops on a dime. It is also has some really nice features in day-to-day use. It automatically releases itself as you let the clutch pedal up, which is especially nice on steep hills (Kind of like the hill-holder clutch that Subaru's used to have) It can auto-detect if it is slipping while left unattended, an will try to re-apply the parking brake, and if that fails it will use the ABS pump to hold the car from rolling. Only downside is it make it hard to do a bootlegger turn. :)

Comment Re:The crucial prompt: term? (Score 1) 615

Similar system in my undergrad days. (Georgia Tech, early '90s) The whole system was run off a CDC Cyber, don't recall the model. Class seats were first come, first serve, and there were always lines to use the public terminals. There were a few dial-ins to the Cyber, so those of us who had our own computers could use those, but they quickly saturated as well. Those of us who were clever enough to write a wardialer got the classes we wanted.

Comment Re:Threshold (Score 2) 409

When the dust settles 50 years from now we all will be rich. Africa will be the last challenge. Everyone will be better off

When it gets down to it — talking trade balances here — once we’ve brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they’re making cars in Bolivia and microwave ovens in Tadzhikistan and selling them here — once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel — once the Invisible Hand has taken away all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would consider to be prosperity — y’know what? There’s only four things we do better than anyone else:

Music
Movies
Microcode
High-Speed Pizza Delivery

Plagarized from Neal Stephenson.

Comment Re:Opportunists, not Cultists (Score 1) 239

Nothing wrong with being an opportunist. All successful corporations are, and in the economic system we live in, it is in our personal interest to do the same. Don't try to pretend that acting as an agent of an opportunistic cororporation is in any way morally superior to acting in your own best opportunistic interests. Also, my company provides BOTH a guaranteed both a guaranteed benefit pension plan, AND a 401K plan with matching up to the first 8%, AND heath care with no employee contibutions, so "life is good," and you might understand why my cow-orkers are reluctant to leave a pretty secure position to take a risk on greater potential reward outside the company (all hail the company).

Comment Opportunists, not Cultists (Score 5, Interesting) 239

They did not quit because they had some sort of cultlike devotion. They quit because they recognized a business opportunity to "get in on the ground floor" and form a startup. "Instead, they founded a startup called SnapRoute, led by Jason Forrester, the former team leader. While Forrester declined to talk to us for this article, SnapRoute's website hints at the story. " Lord knows I've been tempted to leave my big ol' company to pursue similar ventures... Can never convince enough principles to join me. The lure of that pension plan (yes, still have one...) is too strong.

Comment Re:kids are like pets (Score 1) 215

So, purely to play Devil's advocate ... if you have a car loan, is your bank entitled to monitor you?

There are already numerous banks which require you to install a tracking device as a condition of making the loan. Many of them also require the borrower to install an ignition interrupt device, so they can brick your car if you do not pay the loan. Typically these are institutions which specialize in lending to borrowers with poor credit.

Comment Re:All airspace users are held to these standards. (Score 0) 131

Well, then use the available technology to keep your quadcopter unable to cllimb higher than 500 feet, unable to be operated within the lateral boundaries of a surface area dedicated to an airport (i.e. Class B, C, D, or E airspace where it extends to the ground) and unable to be operated out of the line of sight of the operator, and light enough (say, for example, a half pound) that it is not likely to cause damage to a manned aircraft in the event of a collision. If you meet those criteria, we can consider your quadcopter a toy, and you don't have to licence it. However if you are flying it in the same airspace I am, I expect you to operate you equipment in a way that is compatible with and safe for the other users of the system. Go look on YouTube, it is chock full of videos of people operating their "toys" at many thousands of feet, in instrument meteorological conditions, and dangerously close to manned aircraft. This is why they must, and will, be regulated.

Comment All airspace users are held to these standards. (Score 4, Insightful) 131

I am a certificated pilot, and I am an aircraft owner. My name, address, certificate status, medical status, aircraft registration, and aircraft registration status are all available in a publically searchable FAA database. I this is requried of me to be a user of the national airspace system, why should drone operators be exempt?

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