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Comment Re:As a C programmer (Score 1) 107

If you stick to a C-only subset of C++ you can write your library in C++, but at that point why bother with C++ anyway?

Or you could write your library in C++ but put it behind a C interface. Then you can use all of the expressive power of C++ internally, and provide an API that can be called from any language. And it will still be very close to as portable as if it were written in plain C, because we now have decent C++ compilers on very nearly every platform.

Comment Re: This is an Android Problem (Score 1) 150

I wish that there were more phones running plain Android with fast updates.

This article is exactly what we need to make that happen, though ideally we need it to be on CNN, not just Ars. But Ars is a good step. When consumers demand good update policies, manufacturers will provide them. It's a competitive market.

Actually, I think we're further down that road than it may appear. Stagefright was a big kick in the butt for the Android ecosystem. Not because it actually affected any real users, but because it got a *lot* of press. I think many OEMs have realized they need to fix their update problems, because consumers are beginning to care. The problem is that the OEMs product plans for the last few years have not included plans for monthly updates. Planning for that sort of update cycle requires them to change a lot of things in the way they do business. One is closely related to what you mentioned about carrier-specific builds: The OEMs just have too danged many products. It's not uncommon that what appears to the end user as a single model (e.g. Samsung Note 4) is actually one or two *dozen* different devices... each with its own software build. Not because they actually need that many SKUs and not because all of them actually need different software, it's just been easier to do it that way. Now that the pressure to provide updates is being turned up, I think they're looking at how to streamline their product lines and processes to make it more feasible to deliver them. Oh, and they also have to build the cost of the update-related work into their business plans.

However, building phones is a complex process, and device design and planning cycles often run more than two years, so it takes time for changes in approach to reach the market. I think it'll start getting a lot better in the next 1-2 years.

That's why I'm just sticking with Nexus phones.

Me too. Of course, in my case it helps that I get them for free :-)

Comment Re:Missing a big point (Score 1) 558

Of course you didn't talk at all about "handling the current situation" you talked about "self driving" which isn't actually related at all.

I actually don't agree with that, though that's Tesla's position. I don't think semi-autonomous driving is realistic. Once the car can drive itself sufficiently well that people feel safe looking away to text or whatever, they will. Any system that expects that a human will continue paying attention and be ready to take over at a moment's notice is asking for trouble.

Comment Re:anti-science environmentalists (Score 1) 166

Actually, it's thoroughly impossible to tell how the new standards work based upon by the linked articles, but it sounds like in plain language that Florida is using a computer model that could allow more flexibility in discharge permitting. This can lead to better results, whether your definition of better is "more rationally defensible" or "more in line with what my donors want." Determining which way it is better requires review by a competent expert. It might be both.

The real issue here is this phrase from TFA: "one of a kind." That's not so good.

It's important in managing environmental data to do things in the usual way. This is contrary to the way public thinks about new technologies. If there's a new iPhone, you expect it to be better in every way or at least as good. It's not like that with scientific methods; new techniques are proposed because they have certain advantages, obviously. But they always have one big disadvantage: their results are hard to compare with what you already know. You need to do a lot of work to justify doing things a new way, otherwise you can find yourself unable to compare what is happening now to what was happening before.

Fortunately Florida can't do this on its own; it has to get EPA approval. Since this is an administration that is generally favorable to environmental regulation, if they can get this past Obama's EPA that will help give these new methods more credibility.

Comment Re:An important thing to note (Score 1) 611

I can't find one either - I moved out of the states ~20 years ago, and I have NEVER paid that much taxes since then, and much nicer (larger) houses.

NJ property taxes are insane, definitely. They've been insane for a long time, though, so I don't think they're evidence of federal taxes being shifted to the state level.

Comment Re:Missing a big point (Score 1) 558

Nice job of focusing on word choice and ignoring the point. The GP claimed that this would be studied and a fix for the current system would be pushed out, making it safer. My point is that I don't think the car has the sensors needed to handle this scenario, so it's not possible to push a fix to the current system.

Comment Re:Location from Wifi? (Score 1) 101

GPS does not work better with WiFi enabled

Actually, your GPS receiver can pinpoint your location more rapidly if it has a good approximate location to start with, which it can get from Wifi location. If your GPS receiver had to start from scratch (no assumption about initial location), it could take multiple minutes to locate you because it has to find and identify multiple satellites, and listen for a full 30-second cycle from each. With a good location estimate plus an already-synchronized clock, the GPS receiver can refine your location in a few seconds.

So GPS does work better with Wifi enabled. And, as you said, location services can use Wifi even when GPS isn't available. In cities Wifi can be much better than GPS because unobstructed views of the sky are hard to come by, and the Wifi AP density is high.

Comment Re:74 at time of crash (Score 2) 558

Agreed!

I always hate that every time there is an accident involving a truck and "regular" vehicle there's always some cop on the news talking about how the truck driver is a professional to it was likely the car driver's fault. I drive about 5MPH over the limit (if the flow of traffic will allow) and often have large trucks tailgate me (pulling up behind me, not me cutting in front of them). I also see them abruptly change lanes in heavy traffic, and exhibit all sorts of the same terrible behaviors I see the regular commuters doing. It's bull$%!t.

Comment Re:74 at time of crash (Score 3, Insightful) 558

I love this topic because I always get to mention the Autobahn. No speed limit and half the traffic fatalities per mile as US interstates, all because the slower people keep right, and allow the faster people to just pass.

I freely admit I generally exceed the speed limit (although usually by more like 5MPH), and I get annoyed when we have five or more lanes through our city and people are driving below the limit in the center and left of center lanes. Someone is in the "proper" lane if they are generally passing people to their right and being passed on the left. At the same time, I don't feel like I should have to get over and go slower so that the person behind me can exceed the limit even more than I am. If it's not going to slow me down, I have no issue moving over to allow a faster driver to pass. I promise you - if you want to go faster than I'm going, I really don't want to be in your way, but you have to give me reasonable time to pass the people I'm passing.

The problem is most people hate being passed, and think the people passing are jerks (instead of simply not caring, which we should all do more of - worry about yourself). I think it has to do with transactional analysis. I often drive in off-peak hours, and use cruise control (not autopilot!) because it actually helps me pay more attention to the road without worrying about driving a consistent speed.

It's true that it seems like people will speed up when passing.... and often slow down after they pass you. What I've observed is that it's almost always the person being passed speeding up. They may not even realize they're doing it - it's probably only millimeters of difference on the accelerator, and then they complain the person passing them slowed down. The vast majority of the time I'm passing people - using cruise control - they speed up to match. Maybe they feel like if they are being passed then they are going too slow. I think more often people just don't like "losing" the social interaction with others on the roadway. All I know is that it ends up causing a lot more traffic problems because you then create rolling roadblocks, causing people to have to change more lanes to go around. For me, I'll often speed up some more - and if they speed up to match, I'll drop back to my original speed and get behind them... at which point they generally slow down. Quite frustrating, but I don't want to be the person blocking traffic.

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