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529 comments

fp (-1, Offtopic)

alexburke (119254) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413026)

fp BIZATCHEZ!

Re:fp (-1)

Pr0n K1ng (160688) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413259)

Congrats My Canadian brother! We must never again let the fp slide into the hands of those filthy Americans!

slashdot (-1, Troll)

anonymouZ coward (572542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413028)

is fucked today where's the pist?

Yeah but.... (5, Insightful)

kwishot (453761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413029)

Those of us in the northern portion of the country are still screwed. Here in Wisconsin, these things would never work on an icy sidewalk.
Anyone try riding a bicycle on ice?

Re:Yeah but.... (1)

seann (307009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413041)

Yes, it's one of the most funnest things in the world to do. Along with riding your bike in 6 inch snow.

I was so tempted to put a ski on the front tire.

Re:Yeah but.... (3, Informative)

kwishot (453761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413064)

Actually some people are crazy and put studs on their motorcycle tires (mx style motorcycles, mind you) so that they can ride in the snow. Heh..thats what snowmobiles are fow =)

Re:Yeah but.... (1)

seann (307009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413181)

Chains on tires.. a classic

Wonder if they sell them [google.com] anywhere..

Re:Yeah but.... (2, Funny)

kwishot (453761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413222)

I remember a time when I went "up north" during the first weekend in May. I live in the Milwaukee area and was wearing shorts when we left. By the time we got to our property, near Minocqua, there was over 2 ft of snow on the ground and our truck got stuck on a back road. That was one of the funniest things ever, putting chains on tires in shorts and a t-shirt =)
We ended up walking 1/2 mile or so to the cabin at 3 in the morning (in 2+ ft of snow!!) because the truck was bottoming out on the snow and we couldn't go anywhere, even with chains. Lots of "shoveling the truck out" the next day and we finally made it. That weekend ended with snow, hail, rain, and flooding -- we almost had to dig the truck out of *mud* on the way out.
Wisconsin...gotta love it =)

-kwishot

segway seems too big (4, Interesting)

iocat (572367) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413032)

The Segway seems cool, but it doesn't seem like sidewalks are big enough for it. Imagine 200 college kids with jogging strollers (to give an idea of the size) all trying to go somewhere after class.

An amazing technological achievment no doubt, but I'm worried about the practicality.

Re:segway seems too big (2)

Ghoser777 (113623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413088)

Your college needs bigger sidewalks. Ours are huge (not to mention 6 feet deep so you can drive cars on them). But I definetly see how this could become a problem - it's bad enough for walkers, bikers, and cars to get along; now we're going to have conflicts between four main types of transportation.

I personally wish it could enclose your whole body. Then I'd feel like a tank, although I'd be missing the live ammunitions.

F-bacher

Re:segway seems too big (2, Informative)

Aldurn (187315) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413312)

Actually, the Segway was designed to address this very problem. It is 18 inches (about 46 centimeters, for you rest-of-the-world folk) wide, which is about the same size as the length of your collar from shoulder-to-shoulder.

So in reality, even while riding the Segway, you're still as wide as you would be walking.

Re:segway seems too big (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413314)

fucking college students fucking up the world for everybody

More info on Segway available by phone (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413037)

at toll free 800-544-3746 or local 818-882-2878. Call them and find out the details. :-)

It even has a feature where you can key in your ZIP code and it will give you the nearest dealer, and ETA for shipment (avg. 6 months or so). You can also call to be put on their mailing list.

Broken article link (3, Informative)

alexburke (119254) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413040)

This one [washingtonpost.com] should work better.

still... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413042)

...looks utterly useless.

eighth post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413043)

ep!

Re:eighth post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413089)

I wonder how he pulled this one off!

Re:eighth post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413096)

Adds a WHOLE NEW DIMENSION to the game, doesn't it? MWAHAHAHAHAAAA (evil laughter)

Cheesecake Truck (-1, Offtopic)

SweetAndSourJesus (555410) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413044)



So then I got this idea about driving a cheesecake truck,
Because I figured at the end of the day I could take some of the leftover cheesecakes home,
And I love cheesecake.
So I went to the cheesecake company,
And they asked me if I could drive a truck,
And I said yes and they said you're hired.
So the next day I got in the truck with all the cheesecakes,
And I drove about a block and I just had to have a cheesecake.
So I pulled over and I opened the trunk and I got a cheesecake,
And I also took one for later,
And I took one for my friend Farmboy,
And I took one to bring home,
And by that time I had eaten one of the cheesecakes.
So I took another one.
Then I figured I might as well stop at my house to drop off all the cheesecakes.
So I take five cakes to eat on the way,
And I drive another block and a half to my house.
Now it's lunchtime so I eat ten cheesecakes and a cheesecake for desert.
I should point out by the way that all of these cheesecakes were very delicious.
Anyway, I decided that the only thing to do would be to eat all the
rest of the cheesecakes and hide the truck somewhere and leave town.
And I miss everybody a lot,
But I'm not really sorry,
Because they were very delicious cheesecakes.

Safety & crowding (3, Insightful)

The Rolling Blackout (556170) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413045)

Well, the article mentions this a bit, but I was thinking:

Aren't some sidewalks (NYC, SF) crowded and dangerous enough as it is, as far as bumping into people and such?
Imagine making those everyday collisions with fellow 'pedestrians' when one of you is moving at twelve and a half miles an hour. I foresee dislocations, damaged merchandise, and god forbid one of these cops happens to do one of those fruit stand smash-ups so popular in the film industry.
I'm all for a new, efficient means of transport, but these things need their own lanes of travel, like some cities have provided for bicyclists.

Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413047)

The bottom of this /. page says
"Congratulations! You are the one-millionth user to log into our system. If there's anything special we can do for you, anything at all, don't hesitate to ask! "

Ummm... how about a dollar for each user before me

Segways are too dangerous to be on the sidewalk (2, Informative)

geoffsmith (161376) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413048)

In my hometown, and older woman was killed when hit by a mountain bike. In fact, this has happened multiple times. And mountain bikes are not allowed on the sidewalk. Segways are heavier and faster than mountain bikes, this just seems really dangerous to me.

Websurfing: The Next Generation - StumbleUpon [stumbleupon.com]

Re:Segways are too dangerous to be on the sidewalk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413077)

woman was killed when hit by a mountain bike. In fact, this has happened multiple times.
The bitch don't take a hint, does she?

--Tony Soprano.

Re:Segways are too dangerous to be on the sidewalk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413173)

The bitch don't take a hint, does she?

Fucking hilarious:)

Re:Segways are too dangerous to be on the sidewalk (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413090)

i agree with the title of your post, but the actual post itself is ludicrous. on flat ground i can get to 30mph on a mountain bike, nearly 40mph on a road bike.

Re:Segways are too dangerous to be on the sidewalk (1)

geoffsmith (161376) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413283)

I think average speed is more relevant. The woman who was hit was not hit at top speed. Remember that for many senior citizens even slipping on some ice can be life-threatening. And while you may be able to get 30mph on your mountain bike, most people average around 10mph. From what i understand, on a Segway everyone will be cruising around at 12mph. Even at the same speed, the segway packs more momentum.

Websurfing: The Next Generation - StumbleUpon [stumbleupon.com]

Re:Segways are too dangerous to be on the sidewalk (5, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413094)

They seem dangerous to me too, but not as dangerous as moutain bikes. For one thing, this seems more like a 'stop and go' vehicle as opposed to a 'go and prepare to slow down' vehicle like a mountain bike. Slowing down for a turn, for example, is no big deal. The Segway can just pivot, unlike a bike.

Being electrical vs. pedaled means that somebody piloting one of these machines is less likely to value their constant speed. A bicyclist has to start pedalling again after slowing down to make up for lost momentum. I think this is the cause of some unnecessarily risks/maneuvers.

Again, I'm not saying that it's totally safe, I'm just saying it's different enough that it's possible that it'd be allowed. Personally, though, I think sidewalk travel with these devices should be capped to roughly the speed of soembody walking past. If they were to implant the proper indicator on the housing, one could be fined for going too fast on a sidewalk. (i.e. put a light that turns on when the device goes faster than x mph.)

Re:Segways are too dangerous to be on the sidewalk (2, Interesting)

EricBoyd (532608) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413101)

All modes of transportation have dangers. I mean, how many people are killed by automobiles every day? The real question for society is: are we better off with or without fast and convenient transportation? So far we have already answered with, and I expect that to continue.

Re:Segways are too dangerous to be on the sidewalk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413246)

Well, seeing as I can push 35mph on my bike (Gary Fisher, 21-speed) and have clocked at over 70mph going down a really steep hill, I must say that you are sorely mistaken about the Segway's speed VS a mountain bike.

How far can you lean forward? (5, Interesting)

naoursla (99850) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413050)

As I understand it, you move forward by leaning foward. The segway moves forward to stay underneath you which keeps you from falling over. Like walking, it is a controlled fall. But there is also a built in speed limit, so if you lean forward too far (trying to go faster) the Segway would not be able to keep up and you would keep leaning farther until your face meets the sidewalk (presumably while going around 12 mph). Does anyone know what keeps it from doing this?

Re:How far can you lean forward? (2, Insightful)

foobar104 (206452) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413132)

As I understand it, gyroscopes. As you push forward on the handle-thingy, the Segway pushes back, powered by the internal gyroscopes. I don't have any info on the amount of force involved; presumably, if your objective is to knock the thing over, you'll find a way to do it.

Re:How far can you lean forward? (5, Funny)

emmons (94632) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413142)

It senses you trying to do it the first time and lets you fall flat on your face. After you do it once the problem mysteriously goes away. (for some people it takes more than once though- these special cases are called "morons")

Re:How far can you lean forward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413203)

(for some people it takes more than once though- these special cases are called "morons")

These morons are the same type of people that labeled your post a troll.

Re:How far can you lean forward? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413163)

They've tried the segway on very fat people (sorry - I can't think of a better term that won't get this post moded flamebait) and they can lean into it quite far without it tipping (assuming that it has enough battery power. This situation however is very rare when you take out...

When you're riding along and you lean forward more to go faster and you start approaching the maximum speed the Segway makes certain tones at you to give feedback that you're nearing the limit. Apparently it also gives more resistance at this point (for deaf people).

Rather than fat or light people though it's better to look at it as a centre of gravity thing. The Segway doesn't know or care if you're a fat naked guy or a skinny clothed guy with a heavy backpack - you're the same weirdo to the Segway. It tries to maintain the balance upon that as much as it can. I forget the exact limit off the top of my head - sorry. It's on the Segway HT site.

Generic segway link 1 [weblogs.com] , kickass segway link 2 [bricklin.com] (that's the one you want to read)

Re:How far can you lean forward? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413182)

I rode a speed-limited version, and it will not let you lean too far forward. The gyros respond, and it automatically leans you back. There is really no danger of falling forward. It truly is amazing to try. I think there is also some safeguard against collisions, but I did not get that oppurtunity riding it :-) and I can not think of how they could manage that.

...sidewalks (3, Interesting)

magicslax (532351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413052)

In states that haven't explicitly allowed these bugges on the sidewalks, can you use them in bikelanes? What conditions does your vehicle need to meet to be a bike? How about a moped or something of that nature- open, wheeled, anything else?

Re:...sidewalks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413227)

Well, in SF, a bicycle is something with one, two, or up to 18 wheels, powered by human effort, chemical, or electrical energy.

They also seem to be quite useful for people double parking, or just an extra "safety zone" for people that like to open their doors all the way without warning. Garbage trucks also use them quite effectively on busy streets where it is almost suicide to pass.

I'll admit it... I want my bike lane for bikes only. It is dangerous to share them with rollerbladers, and stupid for people on gas-powered scooters to be using them. All these things move in different ways, and a cramped bike lane with heavy traffic inches away is no place for the additional risks.

I'll also admit that I like to go faster than traffic in a bike lane... 20 or 30MPH isn't that hard. I don't want some clunky vehicle taking up 2/3 of a lane, going considerably slower...

...ok, that's off my chest now.

Some good technical points (5, Funny)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413053)

But I like this one the best:
"...even traveling at 12.5 miles an hour, the virtual laws of physics say they won't be able to stop on a dime."
Could someone who knows virtual physics tell me which law relates mass, velocity, and dimes?

Re:Some good technical points (4, Funny)

magicslax (532351) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413135)

I think the actual law (Newton's 4th) went something along the lines of "A body on segway stays on segway unless presented with sufficient coinage."

Re:Some good technical points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413183)

Pepsi?

Re:Some good technical points (2, Funny)

Permission Denied (551645) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413239)

Pepsi?

Partial Credit!

I assume you're talking about this: Math in the Future according to the Simpsons [smc.edu] . (I apologize for linking directly to a large file, the guy didn't have <a name> tags on his page.)

In this context, your AC post is actually quite amusing.

Re:Some good technical points (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413263)

Aw shucks, weren't nothing

Re:Some good technical points (2)

PD (9577) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413216)

I never liked the encumberance rules anyway.

Slow on the uptake... (1)

Party Remover (131980) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413054)

Submitted this on Tuesday night. *yawn*
2002-04-24 02:12:10 Segways on Patrol in Atlanta (articles,tech) (rejected)

Anyhow, this will either make the Segway a legitimate mainstream technology or be flagged as a $90K boondoggle during the next local election in Atlanta.

Actually, I suppose it could do both.

Re:Slow on the uptake... (1)

ShadowDrgn (114114) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413109)

Story about that for anyone interested: http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/metro/0402/23segw ay.html

I assume it refers to Wednesday 4/24, but I haven't seen any cops on them yet.

Popular Science article (5, Informative)

jimmcq (88033) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413056)

Popular Science also has an article [popsci.com] that has a mini-interview with one of the mail carriers who put Segway through a real-life test for 30 days.

bike lanes, not sidwalks (4, Insightful)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413057)

Here we have a machine that goes 12MPH, about the speed of a bike. Perhaps we should be riding these in the bike lane, not on the sidewalk.


(and before anyone whines about their city not having enough bike lanes... here is yet another incentive to add some)

Re:bike lanes, not sidwalks (1)

seann (307009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413078)

I'm one of those jerks
who if I saw some guy riding one of these, and hit me in any way, he'd have a shiner.

Just like if somebody riding a bike, hit me, he'd be blue.

Re:bike lanes, not sidwalks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413272)

If I were to hit you with my bike, you'd be unconscious or possibly dead. Do you know what it would feel like to get run over by a heavy mountain bike @ 40mph? I didn't think so.

Re:bike lanes, not sidwalks (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413234)

Just because you can go 12 MPH, doesn't mean you have to go 12 MPH. Since people are capable of running 12 MPH, does that mean that people should be limited to the bike lanes as well?

The difference between these things and a bike is that these are controlled very similarly to walking. You lean to go forward and to stop. That means that there is a natural tendency to go with the flow of walking traffic.

yup (0)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413060)

The only people you are going to see using Segways any time soon are government employees. Why?? No one in their right mind would pay $9000 for what is really just a slow bicycle. I mean if you could buy 90 bikes or one Segway which would you choose??

Of course this doesn't apply to government spending since people in charge of purchasing are spending taxpayer dollars, not their own. Yeah, put that order of Segways right next to the box of five thousand dollar toilet seats please.

Re:yup (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413215)

No one can pay $9000 for a Segway. They're not selling to the public until late 2002.

Political/Marketing clout? (5, Interesting)

alouts (446764) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413062)

After all the "No Skateboarding/Bicycling/Rollerskating" signs I have seen around various towns, why would so many cities specifically allow these things on sidewalks by passing laws saying so?

Is it all just a load of local lobbyists pressing the city councils? It seems to me like there's enough hype/marketing here to choke a whole herd of horses.

Re:Political/Marketing clout? (1)

Anonnymous Coward (557983) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413129)

Because only kids with no money to spend skateboard. People with Segways are people with lots of disposable income that they might spend.

Re:Political/Marketing clout? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413131)

If skateboards cost $5000 and were designed for people who are to lazy to walk, the average city council member would be more open minded about them.

Segway Jousting... (3, Funny)

Mad Bad Rabbit (539142) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413066)

Anyone else suspect this'll become a new Xtr3me Sp0rt,
as soon as Segway prices drop to the $300 range ?

Re:Segway Jousting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413219)

Extreme Space Moose [spacemoose.com]

# This strip was mainly a spoof of those insipid Mountain Dew ads featuring the ultracool extreme guys. "Extreme" has become a badge of pride worn by so-called dare devils who partake in dangerous activities for the sake of one-upmanship. "My sport is more extreme than yours, therefore I am cooler." In the Do the Dew ads we see the extreme dudes snowboarding, rollerblading and mountain biking. Come on. I can think of a million things more extreme than that. What ever happened to cliff diving which killed and paralyzed more Americans in the 1970s than any other sport? Or sword swallowing which the Guinness book of records will not cover because of its high death toll? I would like to see the Mountain Dew guys try to break Jon Brower Minnoch's record of gaining 91 kg (200 lbs) in 7 days. Now that's extreme.

Overzealous? (1)

base2op (226729) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413074)

Originally known by the code names "It" and "Ginger," the Segway was touted by supporters as a more important development than the personal computer, the Internet, or even the car.

Is it just me or does the above seem a tad extreme?

Re:Overzealous? (1)

simetra (155655) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413091)

Yes. I believe they said the same thing about the "New Coke"

Call them what you will (2, Funny)

nukey56 (455639) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413079)

"These weigh 69 to 95 pounds, depending on the model, can carry a person up to 250 pounds plus cargo up to 75 pounds. With that much mass, even traveling at 12.5 miles an hour, the virtual laws of physics say they won't be able to stop on a dime."

Apparantly, we've been scammed by educators everywhere.

actually (1, Informative)

Dr Kool, PhD (173800) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413111)

If you apply enough braking force then you can stop anything on a dime.

This might cause people to fly off their Segways though. As an experiment, drive your car 12 MPH and then slam on the brakes. Now imagine you are standing up rather than sitting down with your seatbelt on.

Re:Call them what you will (1)

harks (534599) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413238)

Well, think about a 350 pound person running. They would be able to stop reasonably fast, so why not a segway?

Re:Call them what you will (0, Flamebait)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413296)

No 350 pound person can run run at 17mph you stupid fucktard. Most people that size can't run at all.

BSD Users' Experience With Linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413081)

We put Tux on the table, belly down. That probably wasn't so smart, but we figured if he tried to slide, we could just beat him over the head with the dildo. He was already beaten up pretty badly, but my buddy and I enjoyed the fight he put up. We weren't quite sure where to begin at first; it'd be a shame if the party was over too quick. We figured a bit of fondling was in order, you know, to get us worked up and get Tux's juices flowing. As I "grepped" his buttocks and groin, my friend caressed his face with the long, pink dildo. The penguin let out a few cries of discomfort, wanting obvioulsy to be set free. He knew what was in store for him. But at the moment of one of his bellows, my friend was able to stick the dildo in his beak! Tux was enraged and he began to twist and spasm, trying to get out of our grip. "Seems the little fucker's got his strength back!" To solve the problem, I hit him over the head a few times. Not too hard, of course. We wanted him to be conscious so he could enjoy the eXPerience to the max. Not wanting to risk the same thing with his own cock, my friend thrust and withdrew the dildo from Tux's mouth slowly. "If only we could get rid of that beak," he says. I thought it was an interesting idea, something to consider later.

I however, was about to start my own fun. Working up my penis to a nice, firm erection with some AstroGlide [astroglide.com] (which I had first learned about on that Linux/cyberterrorism web site "slashdot"), I slowly guided into the penguin's tight ass. Tux, still slightly conscious, let out a few half-hearted screams of pain, and twitched slightly. Once my penis was all the way inserted, I got up on Tux's back and grabbed his chest firmly. Without much ceremony, I began to bang the creature hard, like he was a Salvation Army drum. He appearantly loved it... or hated it. I couldn't tell. All I know is that the more he screamed, the harder I fucked. It didn't take me long to reach climax! I exploded deep in his ass with a gigantic load. The pressure was too much at this point and all around my penis, there was a gushing of cum, blood, and feces that flowed like a waterfall onto the floor. Tux was unconscious by this time, so were free to do whatever we wanted.

And that's when it really got crazy!

I am broke, because I am an open source haxor, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413184)

but it doesn't matter: penguin ass wants to be free.

It's actually pretty safe (5, Informative)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413085)

I'm a Mech-E student at the University of New Hampshire, just 40 minutes from Segway's and DEKA's headquarters, and we just had a demo here the other day by some of the engineers who work on it.

I must say, I was impressed.

First, if you're riding a segway at it's top speed of about 14 MPH, you can stop in about 15 feet- a runner going that fast takes about 20 feet to stop.

Second, the junior engineer there, a year out of UNH, made a point of running over the senior engineers toes many times. No injury, he was walking around fine.

Third, he also made a point of running into the senior engineer a number of times. Getting hit by one of those things is no worse then getting hit by someone who weighs 75 pounds more then you do.

It turns on a dime, stops and starts quick, is highly manuevarable, and very easy to use- they let a couple of my proffessors check it out. I wouldn't have any problem sharing a sidewalk with it. It has a number of stopping, size, and manuvering advantages over roller skates and bicycles, wich aren't allowed on most sidewalks.

That being said, it looks like an amusing toy with some very good aplications, but I don't think it's going to revolutionize transportation outside of a few circles.

I've heard of virtual reality... (0, Redundant)

NETHED (258016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413086)

"the virtual laws of physics say they won't be able to stop on a dime."
But virtual physics???

</funny>

:)

A question for you lawyers (1)

Crusty Oldman (249835) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413097)

A question for you lawyers out there. If the owner of the Segway claims no privileged status, i.e "pedestrian" or "vehicle" status, and claims to be traveling along the public sidewalks and roads by right rather than by license, can the states arrest/fine/regulate him?

Have they crash tested Segways yet? (2, Interesting)

Da Masta (238687) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413105)

I don't want to come off as a morbid bastard, but how well protected is a rider during a crash? I mean, if the Segway is controlled with gyros that sense little weight shifts of the rider, in a crash, wouldn't the rider toppling off cause a shift in balance and accidentally cause the thing to tip over the wrong way? And how well do the pieces of the machine attach together -- in a head-on collision, are we supposed to expect the riders to kiss in mid-air, fall flat on their asses with the scooter toppling on them afterwards, or do they just get mercifully impaled by the handle bars? Why are we, as the public, and potentially stupid customers, not informed of matters of such importance, and more specifically, why are there no tutorials on doing donuts with Segways?

wait (0)

anonymouZ coward (572542) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413114)

theres no way you're going to pick up sluts in this thing. King of Beers!

Re:wait (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413196)

The laws of natural selection will take care of the Segway problem.

Nerds, dorks, and other self-described "geeks" will have their genetic material eliminated from the gene pool by the refusal of any sane female to mate with someone lame enough to ride a Segway.

Done and done.

rawr. (1)

seann (307009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413117)

"In the four months since the heavily touted invention was unveiled to the public, 20 states, including Virginia, have passed laws to allow the Human Transporter, as the scooter is sometimes called, to be used on sidewalks."


"I'm not against Segway devices -- they're phenomenally innovative and exciting -- but I'm concerned that if we allow [them] onto sidewalks, this will be a major injury waiting to happen," said Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Columbus Children's Hospital in Ohio.

"These weigh 69 to 95 pounds, depending on the model, can carry a person up to 250 pounds plus cargo up to 75 pounds. With that much mass, even traveling at 12.5 miles an hour, the virtual laws of physics say they won't be able to stop on a dime."
This guy has a great view and I hope they don't pass any kind of law in Canada to allow useage of these on sidewalks. Tourists would be all over the place with these, using them up clifton hill, forcing walkers all over the streets. Imagine a person weighting over 200 pounds, driving one of these going downhill, and runing over a stick? he'd be thrown into the air! Killing millions!!

Virtual this... virtual that... (0, Redundant)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413122)

... but the "virtual laws of physics?"

sidewalks? BIKELANES! (2)

MavEtJu (241979) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413127)

"Why are Segways different from bikes, Rollerblades and scooters, which are not permitted on sidewalks in many cities?"

And that's why they belong on the bicycle-lane!!!

What do you mean, your cities don't have bicycle-lanes? Maybe the problem isn't "Get laws passed for segfaults on sidewalks", but it should be "how to get more bicycle lanes!"?

Edwin

Vaporware (2, Interesting)

phreak404 (241139) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413137)

Doesn't seem to be a little soon to be approving laws and such for a device that hasn't even really taken off? Its got great hype, yes, but consumers aren't about to buy one, not at its current price. It seems to me this is jumping the gun.

Computers, computers and more computers... (0)

ilyag (572316) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413140)

[Segway] is powered by a battery, stabilized by gyroscopes and has 10 computers that keep it balanced.

That's 5 computers/wheel! What are they doing with them? Distributed code-breaking -- Segway is spyware? Or does it use one computer/bolt to find out the optimal tightness of each bolt dynamically during a ride?

Some good questions... (2)

km790816 (78280) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413152)

"Why are Segways different from bikes, Rollerblades and scooters, which are not permitted on sidewalks in many cities?"
Good point. This thing is pretty cool, but "cool" and $1.25 will buy you a cup of coffee. The Segway would work amazingly well where I'm from (Iowa). Because often things are not packed as densely in smaller cities and there are fewer people on the sidewalks. It's tough to just walk in a big city during the busy times of the day. I can't help be see Segways as nothing but the source of frustration for both the rider and the people around. Still, I agree it's a good step forward. I hope they make moves so that they can be used on the many bike trails that exist in major metropolitan areas.

I'm glad Slashdot is talking about these topics lately. (Vegas: Monorails v. Gridlock [slashdot.org] ) Transportation is amazingly important and will become much more so. (How many people spend more than an hour a day just going to and from work?!)

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413156)

You can drive a segway on a sidewalk but not a bicycle. What the fuck is that? I know towns where you can't skateboard on sidewalks either. Is it that Segways get better PR or just that people don't realize the segway will occupy *more* sidewalk space than a bicycle and will be going similar speeds. People are such morons.

I'm sorry.. (1)

seann (307009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413157)

You really have to read the article [washingtonpost.com] , it's halarious
"Originally known by the code names "It" and "Ginger," the Segway was touted by supporters as a more important development than the personal computer, the Internet, or even the car."
The personal computer [linux.com] revolutionized the world, the internet [slashdot.org] revelotionized the media, and the car [ford.com] made it all happen.

Re:I'm sorry.. (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413269)

hell, without a pc the segway wouldn't even work, after all, it has 10 COMPUTERS IN IT

I crashed a Segway HT... (5, Funny)

Argyle (25623) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413169)

My company had a demo of the Segway HT and I got to ride one. Quite fun and easy.

I did however, crash the Segway [pusateri.org] and almost break it.

The link leads to a page with a 3MB Quicktime movie of the incident.

Re:I crashed a Segway HT... (1)

MrP- (45616) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413217)

how come it looks like you had a hard time getting back on after the crash? Did something break, or were you just unsure of your safety after falling off already?

When this was first revealed to the public (2)

aztektum (170569) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413177)

My mom, not being an engineer or anything said something I thought was funny, "If it basically goes whichever way you think it to, what if you think 'I'm gonna fall down!'"

oh my god! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413200)

that was so gay. oh my god i am going to have to castrate myself now. i hope to god your mom isnt a professional comedian.. that was awful

You new this was going to happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413186)

Any kind of vehicle has a certain degree of danger.

These do-gooders that have too much time on their hands are the same people that would ban cars if they could.

slashdot spins like a stuck toilet (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413192)

- interesting read
- must read
- fast read
- worth a read
- good read
- fun read

The pure lack of imagination involved in suggesting material on this so called site indicates motive directed at pumping up click-thru's. Money is driving the blurbs...we all know it, so why talk down to us in the process.

*singing* (-1)

Angela Lansbury (568190) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413195)

If she would only touch me where the sun doesn't shine rub my prostate and tickle my testes I would be in heaven *end singing*

Okay... Why hasn't anyone pointed this out yet? (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413221)

I've seen elderly people riding around in scooters or motorized wheelchairs because they _had_ to... If they try to ban segways things from sidewalks, they'd also have to ban legitimate sidewalk vehicles such as these. And I've seen some of those motorized wheelchairs really bootin' it too... definitely faster than 12MPH.

Interesting. (1)

X-os (470015) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413223)

While I haven't yet seen one of these Segways in person yet (I'm dying to) I have in fact seen Dean's wheelchair, which is mentioned in the article above, and is based on similar concepts, granted it doesn't move without you pushing on the joystick, it wont tip over. I have seen people push Dean while up on two wheels, and was fairly impressed by the way the chair never tipped. It's actually quite amusing to see the chair sway back and forth keeping him balanced like one of the little punching bags I had when I was 5.
I do have a few friends who have seen this in person (at a regional FIRST Robotics competition) and they all said they were thoroughly amazed with it. If you'd like to get a glimpse of it, I'd be willing to bet Dean will be riding it around Epcot this weekend, at the FIRST Nationals. Which is generally broadcast live over the internet through the NASA website. If you're in the area I highly recomend you going to check out the competition (for the Seqway, and for the amazing robots These Highschool teams design and build) I know if I didn't have Finals next week.

Change the way cities are planned (1)

div_2n (525075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413228)

The thing to remember about these are that Kamen envisions them as a device to help usher in a new age in city planning and such.

I can't read his mind, but if these things are to ever make an impact, I imagine he sees something where covered travelways are built so that you can use these in any weather, rain or shine.

It isn't entirely impossible for this to happen. The size of these things could dictate the size of sidewalks in the future. The size of wagons did it long ago for roads today. The size of a road is exactly the width of two horses pulling a buggy. Which in turn dictated the size of a car -- two people seated side by side (room for two horses).

And my prediction is.... (2)

plopez (54068) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413252)

Americans will become even more obese as they excercise even less. People will soon be saying, "Let's ginger on down to McD's and get a Mac".

And yes, we need more bike lanes.

BUT SERIOUSLY!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3413253)

I think that the more it becomes popular, the more you can you imagine the lawsuit factory which will be built up around this.

It's an amazing idea , and it truely could cut down on auto-traffic if it ever become socially acceptable to use these to get to work.

The one thing that people have never considered about these devices is that the patent will run out in 20 years. Let's say it takes 15 years for these things to become popular, that means they've got a 5 year window to "be number one", and make their money. After that , the "experts" will take over. GMC will be free to introduce their trinitron version on the scooter.

However, I predict the biggest income /profit from these devices shall be the lawsuit factory workers. Lawyers.

BUT SERIUOSLY!! I think most of the women posting here must have labia like, some ball-less scrotum.

Fatness. (1)

Davace (250100) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413267)

Don't people have enough problems burning their 2000 calories a day WITH walking around? If this ever takes off, I hope the segway is built to handle obese people.

Is it me or...? (1)

NickRob (575331) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413280)

Is it me or is the most surprising thing about the article is that 20 states were so quick to bring legislation regarding the segway. That's about the quickest I've seen the legal system incorporate technology.

I'll wait until the technology improves (2)

MtViewGuy (197597) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413297)

As it currently stands (no pun intended, the Segway's weight of 65 pounds is just a bit too much for what it does. Also, the Segway can't be collapsed so it fits in smaller spaces.

I think a company like Dahon (who specializes in collapsible bicycles) should work with Dean Kamen to design a scooter with Segway technology that can be easily collapsed into a small carrying package and also weigh at most 28-30 pounds. Something like that would sell like ice cream in summer, in my opinion.

call me when they invent the hoverboard (1)

praktike (543776) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413310)

how has the media been so snookered by this guy? i mean, let's stop for a second and think about what this actually device does.

  • It has two wheels (compare to scooter, moped, motorcycle, bike).
  • It allows you to go faster than walking (see above devides, plus rollerblades, skateboard, and running)

that's basically it, plus some fancy gyroscopes that make it easy to balance. i think most of us would agree that with a little practice, the gyroscopes in our inner ear function just fine, thanks.

that said, let's just accept for a second that this device *will* transform our cities, as its inventor/hypemonger claims. anyone eve been to taipei? it's just as annoying to get around in tapei as it is in new york, but everyone's zipping around in mopeds instead of cars. i'm not sure that's so desirable.

furthermore, if people are riding these segways around instead of walking, our poor benighted country is going to get even fatter and lazier.

finally, it just looks so 80s. very ugly and dorky design.

Segway - Hands-On Observations (2, Interesting)

wildsurf (535389) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413318)

I had the opportunity to ride the Segway at the TED conference in Monterey a few months ago, and was quite impressed. It feels a bit like water skiing; takes a minute to get your "sea legs," then it's completely intuitive. Right now, there are no "gears"; you just lean forward or backward and it goes. This seemed to be a bit of a problem getting on and off the thing; I'd like to see a "Neutral" gear, where it tries to stay as motionless as possible, balancing upright. In fact, in this mode, a person could probably do a handstand on the handlebars and it would continue to balance itself!! (Cirque du Soleil, anyone?)

Also, perhaps separate "Drive" and "Reverse" modes might be called for, where it goes only forwards or only backwards (unless needed for balancing). And currently, a hard rotational twist at high speed will flip the thing. There must be some way to detect radial acceleration and ease up when it gets to a dangerous point... I understand the need for linear response, like a car steering wheel has, but note that a car is more likely to skid (not flip) if you turn the wheel a little too hard. (I don't think the Segway has enough juice to skid, anyway... and its center of gravity is way too high.) Some sort of governor that kicks in at high radial acceleration and avoids flipping would be a welcome improvement.

Just my two cents... I still want one! (well, perhaps when it comes down to $1000... ;-)

A pointless invention to make people fatter (1)

Wonderkid (541329) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413324)

You know, I am amazed that this Segway has received ANY attention at all. The only redeaming qualities are it's outstanding engineering and industrial design. But that is all. Here are the flaws:

1) Has no benefits at all over walking. Something the Popular Science review by a postman hints at.
2) Walking is far better for your health. And in a country that is rampant with overweight people this is only going to make things worse.
3) One can walk as far as Segway after being fueled a well filled roll or sandwich and a litre of water.
4) It will be a difficult to recycle due to use of plastics and batteries. Bad for the environment.
5) A push scooter is far more economical and more compact.
6) A bicycle is far faster, with the only disadvantage it is slower and more complex to mount and dismount than a Segway.

All in all this is yet another example of unjustified hype being used to market something that when you stand back and think about it is pointless, except to the gullible. The inventor's other creations are far more important and justify the hype they received.

I'll end on a positive note: If it went about twice as fast and had a range of 30-40 miles or so it would make sense as an alternative to the car for trips where walking or biking may not be practical.

I've seen these on the streets and they scare me. (2)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 12 years ago | (#3413325)

What do you want to know? They're bulky, they move quickly (10+ MPH) and they weigh 80 pounds. You do the math.
There's a good reason that bicycles and skateboards aren't allowed on a goodly portion of sidewalks: they move at a different rate than your average walker.
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