2008 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 16:31 GMT
Why is it dangerous?
"It has been suggested, here and elsewhere, that handsfree kit does not lessen the danger. Could someone please explain to me why a conversation held over handsfree is any more dangerous than one held with a passenger? In both cases, the driver is (or certainly should be) processing auditory cues only, so what gives?"
Some would say chatting with a passenger IS as dangerous as talking on a cell phone: handsfree or not. Others point to imagination or priority: imagination because we may need to focus on a point at which to aim our words (unlike a live passenger) or because we want to make the conversation necessarily brief, we focus on succintness and distract ourselves from the road. A live passenger conversation can be spaced out, limiting the distraction factor.
As for the radio, many people use radios and in-car music as backdrop to relieve monotony and thus reduce the chance of highway hypnosis.
Check some of these studies out. Most of my reasons come from them.
http://bicycleuniverse.info/cars/cellphones.html (collection of links; the bottom group contains the pertinent ones)
But when the word used is "median"...
...it DOES become impossible. By definition, the median has exactly half of the members higher than it and exactly half the numbers lower than it (BTW, to get the median for an even head count, you mean the two in the middle, so the definition is universally valid).
Not so fast.
1. The GPS must be switched ON first. Since GPS on a phone is a battery hog, this is normally a user decision (make it forced and the user will probably see it in shorter battery life--ergo, he gets a different phone).
2. To anyone thinking handsfree kits are the answer, has anyone given thought to the studies that point out that it's not just the HANDLING but the TALKING also that distracts you? Handsfree kits would only encourage talking, thus potentially making you more dangerous (not to mention less discernible by cops looking to see if you're driving distracted).
Not just ISPs.
ALL forms of advertising should be subject to this limitation on claims. TYPICAL results only, and ALL facts verifiable on penalty of perjury (that's right; I want ads--essentially cases presented before the public--subject to the same scrutiny as a court witness).
#3 and #4 I wouldn't mind. Save the ads for foot traffic and the bling for your person.
#6 might not be a bad idea, either. Could help deal with submarining instances (crash and you end up escaping the belt by sliding UNDER it).
"Driving is far far far safer than it has ever been and technology is playing a key role in making that even safe" Then how come driving is still a whole lot more dangerous than, say, flying in an airplane?
Already tried that.
Thing is, distracted-driving accidents have a higher chance of being non-surviveable...even with seatbelts on (think rollovers, off-center impacts, and broadsides--especially at speed).
Tell that to all the people...
...with no mass transit access to their job. For many people, their car (and THEIR car alone) is the only means to reach their livelihood (because no buses/trains run near either their home or their work, no coworkers live or drive anywhere near you, and a taxi would sap most of your daily take). Worse yet, if the car IS their livelihood (because they're an on-call or other roving worker), then you're essentially denying them the ability to contribute as a hard-working American should. I think there have been lawsuits over this, which is why there are restricted licenses.
The big distraction of the cell phone...
...as noted by multiple studies, is the talking, not the handling. Engaging in a phone conversation, or even sometimes in an in-car conversation, tends to zone you out, and you tend to lose touch with the outside. Hands-free kits in this case would provide no benefit and could in fact make things worse by encouraging the one thing that's truly dangerous about talking-and-driving. On top of that, how's a cop who happens to see you tell you're holding a distracting conversation when you're hands-free (I think that's one of the big problem of using "driving while distracted" laws--telling that the driver is indeed distracted before it's too late; the other is that it's probably not a "primary" offense worthy of a traffic stop in and of itself)?
But they said "median"
I you used the median, practically no human would possess more than the average (median) number of limbs (because they'd possess exactly the median). It is, indeed, statistically impossible for 2/3r of drivers to actually be safer than the median number (which comes from the member in the middle of the statistic set--half the number are above it and half below); at least 1/6 of them would of necessity be below that median.
Flipping will simply be replaced with sliding. Start with the top right corner for page one and the bottom right for the last page and you can use your finger to slide along the book pretty quickly. With multitouch and rapid-refresh tech (both on the horizon), it's a gesture that isn't too far off of page flipping. And with bookmark support already existing, going back and forth between pages shouldn't be too difficult, either.
E-ink is usually subtractive.
Since they're trying to block rather than emit colors, you need a subtractive system to properly handle the colors, just as you would with real ink. So the proper matrix would be CMYK: Cyan (-Red), Magenta (-Green), Yellow (-Blue), Black (-All).
PS. Why can lights get a good enough white by blending the RGB lights together but we have a harder time making a black from a combination of CMY?
No and Yes.
No, you normally can't buy most of the computers on the list, especially when you get near the top. Nearly all of them are at least partially the result of government funding.
Which answers your second question. Many of the supercomputers are purpose-built to handle computationally-intensive tasks like accurate climate modeling (to better predict the weather), nuclear simulations (cuts down on the need for real-world testing), and so on.
Perhaps, but not yet.
The big thing is all the metal in a PCB. 3D printing technology is mostly limited to plastics at the moment and will need a few technological jumps to work their way up to metals (and metalloids like silicon).
That's essentially trademarking.
Thus we have the term "REGISTERED Trademark" (or its shorthand, the encircled "R"—®). Registerd trademarks have the full legal backing of whatever the Patent and Trademark Office is in your home country (standard trademarks have some legal protection in the way copyright has some automatic protections, but the full legality comes from registering it with the PTO).
What about the other color e-ink techs?
The Reg has mentioned a few other alternative color e-ink techs in development, such as electrowetting and electrofluidic displays. If they're at the prototype stage at least, perhaps they're worth at least a mention.
PS. It also may not be a bad idea to refer to the technical name for the Mirasol technology: interferometric modulator displays
But what if "terrorist" is a misnomer?
We may only call them "terrorists" because they employ terrorist tactics.
But what if the fact is that they're really anarchists? Or worse, true belligerents who seek nothing less than the destruction of western civilization (and failing that, all civilization that exists)? They simply employ terrorist tactics as the cheapest solution in an asymmetric war, just as IEDs and EFPs are common weapons abroad because of the bang-for-the-buck factor. I posit that if they knew a means to cripple America and the West in a non-terrorist fashion, they'd do it.
One way to end security theater?
What if one can prove there is a means to slip effective plane-killing devices past any viable security measure known to man? That to detect the device would involve techniques KNOWN to be medically unsafe and impossible to render any safer. Then you can tell the government, "Now, there's nothing you can do. Can we dispense with the unpleasantries now?"
Think of online poker as kind of a Turing test for these poker bots. If they can blend in with the human competitors, not be detected, and perform comparably, then perhaps the techniques used to pull it off can provide data for further AI research.
Tells aren't just facial expressions.
They can also appear in the table action: not just in how much you put on the table but also in the time you take to do it. THOSE still appear in online tables. Controlling both the pace and strength of your actions is part of developing a "poker face".
I strongly suspect that's why they peg their poker AI as only being at the "amateur" level. Amateurs may possess the basic know-how to play the game and maybe a few of the basic tactics needed to try to control the table flow, but there is still a lot of human factor in poker: especially multiplayer poker. There is the reading of tells, the concealment of your own tells, the idea of the occasional "stunt" play to affect psyches, and so on.
Not when you step on another's toes.
The right of free speech isn't absolute. Indeed, no rights are absolute because people's rights can intersect and clash. The general litmus test for limiting rights is this: one's rights end where another's begin. That's why "Fire in a crowded theater" is prohibited: deliberate inciting of mayhem that denies others the ability to live their own lives peacefully. Now, spouting hateful speech and such is protected since it doesn't in and of itself induce mayhem (people can be disgusted, but they generally turn away of their own accord, not out of panic). But restricting sales of games by law can restrict a young but mature person's ability to play their favorite game. It's also why pornography (as strict as we have it) still has its allowances (keep it clean and keep it away form the kids is generally all they ask).
They'd just as quickly be sent home.
"Honestly I'd phone up the Israelis and have them take over security in western airports. There is a damn good reason why they have never had problems like this - they actually went to the trouble of investing in effective security."
Problem is, most of their practices (such as extensive profiling) would run afoul of protections enshrined in the US Constitution. And our population is so diverse that some of their techniques would fall flat (for example, though not airplane-related, would racial profiling have picked up someone like Timothy McVeigh, a natural-born American who still wanted to commit mass murder)?
What about measurement from the base?
That would put this lunar mountain up against Mauna Kea in Hawaii (which has a lot of its bulk underwater: its base being at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. For comparison, Everest can't compete because it sits upon an already-high plateau).
Google may turn that around and say the supposedly-open-sourced Java SDKs are in fact derived from closed, proprietary, and trade-secret Oracle code. Anyone ready to prove the clean-room status of their FOSS SDK? I smell a few more fronts opening in this war before long.
Perhaps this can explain.
This URL explains the supposed systems, which I'll summarize. It involves 3 systems that could be used. The idea is to make the votes public, publicly verifiable, AND secret all at the same time. The published votes have no names attached to them but the public gets copies of either incomplete ballots (with two systems) or someone else's (in the third) and so can verify against ballot tempering (supposedly; I smell a few gaps, though). Since the voter does not hold their entire ballot/their own ballot as receipt, they cannot be coerced/bought outside the voting booth--no way to verify. But with those receipts, the public can get in on the paper trail.
Rivest also happens to be against using programmable computers to count votes for already-noted reasons: preferring votes be counted by dumb machines whose mechanisms are well-understood.
I use OO.o myself...on Windows 7 (sorry, but I'm a gamer). There's simply too great a software selection to ignore Windows for the time being. But that being said, Win7 is the last thing I've bought from Microsoft. I don't need anything else from them, as I have my personal software needs taken care of elsewhere (and some are even FOSS). I avoid the Microsoft monoculture and simply let Microsoft take its small but significant place in the microcosm otherwise known as my PC.
The article I replied was referring to "Open Source" (including the caps): implying "Free" (also in caps) software and open to the world. I pointed out that custom apps, by definition, are proprietary and considered Trade Secrets and therefore would probably not completely employ FOSS.
I agree that companies with custom applications should also own the means to rebuild the code themselves, and Code Escrow achieves at least part of that goal in situations where the developer contracted for the job may not be willing to let the company gain ownership of the source (I understand these Custom App contracts can have lots of terms and conditions, so this is simply accounting for various possibilities).
I'm rather uncomfortable with that...
...especially since (1) I'm in one of those districts, and (2) I may be inclined to perform write-in votes this election: seeing as how I've seen enough mudslinging from ALL sides to make me fed up with the whole bureaucracy.
Thought about it.
Thus the need for the ballots to be human-readable, too. Thus you end up with a situation like the article states, where electronic counting can be compromised but the ballots are still highly usable for recounts: especially by humans.
I'm talking about those applications built under the direction and specifically for that company.
No way these would be Open Source since they're automatically considered Trade Secrets.
Perhaps not all-electronic...
...but you could still use computer-assisted voting to perhaps help speed up initial counts and to help produce the actual ballots. The last time there was an election hack article here, I thought of an idea that a voting machine could print a ballot in human- and machine-readable text (using an OCR typeface or the like). The legible ballot can be easily read and verified before submitting and should ease concerns in the event of a recount (and in addition, being legible text rather than marks of holes, wouldn't be subject to misreads and the infamous "hanging chad" problems). Meanwhile, the OCR typeface, as well as having the votes themselves showing multiple characters, should still make the votes readable by machine quickly and with a high potential for accuracy.
It's a case of...
..."Well we've got the bloody thing. Might as well use it 'til it breaks." A rather practical mentality, that. It's obvious going to be of little practical use in real life (AFAIK any craft that could get in range of the upward missile would probably also be in SAM range, too). And anyway, what if the much-feared nuclear attack comes from a guerilla angle, such as concealed in a container full of lead or the like (just hypothesis)? So what we're seeing is less of, "Can the ABL knock out an ICBM at 300km on a moment's notice?" and more of, "How long can the ABTL hold the beam on a SRBM during its ascent?" and other technical questions where the results are useful either way (IOW, early-stage weapons testing).
Same problem, oppposite direction.
Just as we cannot create the perfectly REFLECTIVE surface, so neither can we create the perfectly ABSORPTIVE surface. Thus the toy laser bounces off the matte black paintjob. To compund that, absorptive coats mean exactly what they say on the tin, meaning any directed energy weapon that happens to land on it is going to bake the coat faster than a convenience store microwave.
No OS is safe.
"That being said, so long as we allow critical systems to rely on Windows, Stuxnet 2 will still be able to use zero-day (unpublicised, unpatched, unchecked-for) vulnerabilities to bypass malware scanners. Whether it uses LANs or USB sticks to propagate is irrelevant."
Forgoing Windows in a situation such as this may only provide an ILLUSION of increased security. This Stuxnet is clearly the work of intense research into novel vulnerabilities. It even had SIGNED code (so private keys were retrieved--there goes the signature defense). This same degree of research can likely be applied to any mass-released operating system in existence to find the proper privilege escalations, faults, etc. to achieve the desired ends (there was a Linux privilege escalation reported just this week; shock, not even Linux is immune, and forget patching in an embedded or industrial setting with lots of red tape).
Any computer system (or any SYSTEM, for that matter) is kinda like a castle. If someone REALLY determined wanted to have at it, they could, because they have the advantage of a stationary target. And trying to move the target has the potential to cause undetected faults similar to what the adversaries are trying to achieve; talk about an "own goal".
Britain has no choice. They're getting two carriers whether they like them or not. It would cost them more to scrap them than to finish them because of contractual obligations. So it's not a case of whether or not they need two carriers; it's a case of they're getting them regardless.
A thought or two.
I've has a thought or two about more-electronic voting systems, particularly the thought of "Voter-verified Paper Trails", and I think I know a way to both clarify their output AND alleviate the problems of the old paper ballot (misreads and the infamous "hanging chads").
Simply make the final ballot that comes out of the voting machine Universally Readable. Instead of using barcodes or other mumbo jumbo, produce a ballot showing the votes cast in clear legible text readable BOTH to the voter AND to a machine. This is best accomplished by having the text printed in a typeface specially designed for OCR (the kind used on checks and the like). When the ballot prints the voter can see for him/herself what's to be voted (allowing quick verification), and when put into an OCR ballot machine, the votes can be tallied quickly and likely accurately (since OCR fonts are tried and tested tech). Plus, in the event of manual recounting, it's much more difficult to misread a vote since the ballots actually contain legible text instead of holes, marks, and so on.
There can be a lot in five miles.
Including rugged, uneven, hostile, or otherwise hard- or impossible-to-traverse terrain. Meaning closing the distance may not be an option. And don't forget that a .50 sniper round is actually considered anti-materiel. That means people aren't the only possible targets for this thing. A round or two into a vehicle, tent, or other Big But Important Thing could give anyone inside a serious problem.
That was taken into consideration.
The round's exact target is a laser spotter, and the round is supposed to be capable of tracking the spot even if the spot moves. So if the spot moves to stay on the desired thing to hit, the bullet will supposedly see it's now off course and correct.
So be careful about that other leg. I hear someone's been replacing the bells with bombs.
...every other member of the squad carries the tried-and-true M16. It's not like the X25 is going it alone; it's going to be a complementary tool to fill roles ordinary guns can't fill. The best thing to do now is let the boys give it a try and see what they have to say.
You just blew the argument.
The exact spelling of the knife is X-ACTO. Little things like this are important in trademark arguments. Now, there IS a company known as EXACTO, but they produce agrochemical products. And I think there is precedent for sharing a name between two dissimilar industries (the name "Cracker Barrel" springs to mind).
Have you tried the latest versions?
OO2 and especially OO3 certainly seem to move at a nice clip. If you think your 5yo iBook is pokey, try the 9-year-old 1.1Ghz AMD Duron on one of my machines. It doesn't do too shabby with Ubuntu 10.04 and OO3.2.
...didn't even allow for Full Justification (a nice thing to have when you're actually writing a letter--particularly a business letter) or center- or right-aligned tabbing. At least Write (the Win3 predecessor) allowed full justification even if its WYSIWYG wasn't really up to par.
When it comes to the basics...
...I think they're pretty much equal. Indeed, OOo may take the KISS prize over Office07. I found a lot of what most users will need can be contextually located with a highlight and/or a right-click. It makes for a rather simple mechanism for making those little changes. Now, I will admit that Your Mileage May Vary, but unless they have intricate setups, script a lot, or use obscure tools like Equation Editors, most user tweaks can probably be duplicated in OOo without much trouble. I know that toolbars and hotkeys can be customized and template files can still be used. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to do a little asking to see just how much users use Office beyond the basics.
It depends on the level of business.
Basic business types who just need to be able to type up letters and so on will probably have no trouble with OO since all they want are the basics. Once your template files are converted over and they understand where the Print and Save icons are located, you can probably just let them have at it.
Where the trouble arises are with the power users. THEY are the ones who actually get into the nitty gritty and script like mad and use those complex spreadsheet formulae. For people like them, OK, they're probably set in their ways; leave them with Office. But what percentage of the average workforce actually comprises that level of sophistication?
...I actually use Calc on a regular basis. I've actually been MSOffice-free for well over a year. Sure, there were teething issues, but I got over them, and I've been able to do everything I could do before in MS Office on OO--including spreadsheets. Sure, I've seen it go slow at times...but then again a 1.1GHz Duron is considered a Slow CPU by today's standards. It's also nice that it's really cross-platform, since I regularly use both Windows and Ubuntu boxes, and being able to open them up on either and be able to work pretty much from GO is a Good Thing.
What Microsoft is most afraid of isn't defections but newcomers choosing The Other Side. Newcomers won't have the transition issues since there's no transition to begin with. And once they're settled in The Other Side, the institutional inertia that favors Microsoft now will start working against them.
I don't know.
But it may be that Microsoft actually licked a problem most in the GPGPU world thought not worth the effort. The article mentions "motion estimation", which happens to be probably the most complex aspect of modern video encoding (be it MPEG-4, AVC, VC-1, or probably even WebM). There was a time when the open-source x264 project thought about it, but they mostly decided not to deal with it: thinking motion estimation is a computationally-divergent task that could run away and stall against the architectural limitations of the GPU. This was borne out when one parituclar effort of the past got panned as it was revealed that it didn't allow for the full gamut of AVC encoding.
And isn't it interesting that the patent was applied for all the way back in 2004? Talk about foresight. I mean, Folding@home didn't even start using ATI GPUs until 2006.