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Study: Red Light Cameras Don't Improve Safety

John.Banister Re:San Diego (238 comments)

I was thinking about a product for that. With front and rear facing cameras accompanied by IR laser rangefinders, GPS and a data connection, one could have a button that causes this system to automatically send evidence of annoying violations from fellow motorists to the relevant police department. When I'm driving on the freeway, following at a safe distance and some (the stereotype that has developed in my mind is an SUV driving parent) other motorist decides to shoehorn their vehicle into that gap, I sometimes feel motivated to drive aggressively in response. I think a "don't get mad, get even" device that sends video of the preceding 40 seconds accompanied by location, speed, and rangefinder information to the appropriate police department might be a much better response. A similar setup in the rear could handle tailgaters. Additionally, the equipment could show me my own following distance in terms of both distance and time at my current speed, which information would be a useful reminder for me to keep my own driving correct.

yesterday
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Boeing and BlackBerry Making a Self-Destructing Phone

John.Banister Maybe a dye pack, too (70 comments)

As long as they're giving extra oomph to the CA compliant remote kill switch, perhaps an exploding dye pack, too.

yesterday
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Small Bank In Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future

John.Banister Could be nice (156 comments)

If a bank in USA provides instant international transfers without $20 per transaction wire transfer fees or 3% per transaction Paypal fees, that could be very nice.

about a week ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

John.Banister Re:One good turn... (235 comments)

Reading a source link "He plans to donate some of the proceeds to Cold Spring, where he still draws a $375,000 base salary as chancellor emeritus"

He certainly didn't run out of money.

about two weeks ago
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The Driverless Future: Buses, Not Taxis

John.Banister Trains (257 comments)

Driverless electric cars that don't go faster than 20 mph don't need to be very aerodynamic. Parts of people's routes are often shared, or park-n-rides wouldn't work. Driverless cars could slowly go to assembly spots where they link up into trains, and then the trains go fast on predetermined routes to other spots where they disassemble back into cars that slowly travel the last 1/8 mile to individual destinations. It'll enact the functionality of public transport for people wealthy enough to own personal pods. The big problem is the space consumed protecting against impact from human driven vehicles.

about three weeks ago
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The Driverless Future: Buses, Not Taxis

John.Banister Re:Uber, uber, uber, uber (257 comments)

Sure, buses without bus stops. There will be a phone app instead.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Drone For $100-$150?

John.Banister Rather than suicide (116 comments)

What if your drone just sprayed silly string onto the other drone's propellers from above?

about three weeks ago
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Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

John.Banister Re:"Should we go back to paper ballots?" (127 comments)

The notion I had with the ballot reader was to make it with no moving parts. Even the button could be a spot with a capacitive sensor.

The thing I like about live-print, is that the person can verify with confidence their choice, as the names of persons for whom no vote was cast need not be printed. Also, with live print there's no question about how close a person's mark is to a check box. The reading machine always gets to read the predictably formatted print of the other machine. Any person at any polling place ought to work fine, and so could voting and printing at home and bringing in the printed ballot to be scanned and dropped off, almost as if vote-by-mail was used.

However, I don't expect this to be used. As you said, getting things right and extending the franchise isn't of interest. The voting fraud laws in WV are especially delightful, as they provide a penalty to the person who commits voting fraud, but require the fraudulent votes be kept and counted, so long as they are accompanied by even one properly recorded vote. This way, the "suicide bomber" approach to voting fraud is almost guaranteed to be successful.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?

John.Banister Re:RFID/card scanner (127 comments)

If there was concern about people using someone else's card, a hybrid system could be used. On coming in to work, a person could pick up a random RFID bracelet, put it on, and "clock in" at a station that does a biometric check and assigns that bracelet to that identity for the day. Design the bracelets so that removing one causes it to signify that it has "clocked out," and needs a visit to a clock-in station to become valid again.

about three weeks ago
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Voting Machines Malfunction: 5,000 Votes Not Counted In Kansas County

John.Banister Re:"Should we go back to paper ballots?" (127 comments)

Hoppers shouldn't be necessary for optically acquired data these days. There's plenty of digital camera sensors that can image a ballot at good resolution. Just place the camera above a platform and have the voter put the ballot on the platform, hit a button and watch for the green light. Then, the voter can personally put the paper ballot in the ballot box.

Another thing I think would be a good idea is to use two machines, one for printing the piece of paper and another for scanning. It should be easy for the first machine to print a piece of paper that is readable both by the person and the second machine.

about three weeks ago
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Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine

John.Banister Re:The saddest part for Yahoo! (400 comments)

The $37 billion from Yahoo's investment in AliBaba is more significant. It's what's funding this, after all.

about a month ago
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Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

John.Banister Re:Window Dressing. (258 comments)

This is an olive branch he's extending to the Republicans. Think how much more money they'll get from the cable lobby because he said that.

about a month ago
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Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

John.Banister Re:Window Dressing. (258 comments)

Are you sure that's "they were weak and allowed the minority republicans to bully them" and not "they were politicians in DC and took money from the insurance lobby?" I feel pretty confident that "their own principles" are about equally for sale.

about a month ago
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How To End Online Harassment

John.Banister Just filter it. (834 comments)

Harassing speech looks all the same, so it should be easy to model fairly accurately. Just automatically filter it and have a switch that turns the filter off so that people can check the filter and see if anything they like has been filtered out.

Once people are happy with the filter, they'll want to filter out more stuff, and instead of just having a switch, comment systems all over might get some sort of sliding scale where one doesn't have to look at comments below a certain level of quality.

about a month ago
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Amazon's Echo Chamber

John.Banister Re:Right (112 comments)

I could write words on this topic, but these words are better than mine would be:

http://www.eugenewei.com/blog/2012/11/28/amazon-and-margins

http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2014/9/4/why-amazon-has-no-profits-and-why-it-works

For investors, understand that not getting dividends from profits is not the same thing as not getting ROI. When you own stock in Amazon, and Amazon builds more of itself, then you own stock in more Amazon, and so your stock becomes more valuable. Also, that increase in value of the stock is considered to be capital gains, whereas money that would come from dividends is considered to be income, which is taxed at a higher rate than capital gains. These words may serve to illustrate this better than mine:

http://www.stocksplithistory.com/amazon-com/

about a month and a half ago
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Amazon's Echo Chamber

John.Banister Re:Right (112 comments)

I wouldn't feel scared now of stock sales that were commented on in December 2013. If they were indicative of a problem, that problem would have already happened. That graph shows a trend of steady improvement over 10 years with a nice steep slope for the last four. It makes a stronger impression on me.

about a month and a half ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

John.Banister Re:FTFY (271 comments)

I typed this long argument against that, but I'll spare you. Take care.

about a month and a half ago
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Amazon's Echo Chamber

John.Banister Re:Right (112 comments)

I visited that second link. When I look at the slope of the graph showing revenue growth, I can see why investors don't care.

about a month and a half ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

John.Banister Re:FTFY (271 comments)

There is to another way to distinguish "shitty driver guy" from non-shitty driver guy. Shitty driver guy gets traffic citations and has accidents. Privacy guy might well get shitty driver prices if he's 19 and has no driving record to speak of, but if he's got 10 or more years without citations or accidents, insurance companies tend to respect that.

about a month and a half ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

John.Banister Re:FTFY (271 comments)

Often, new cars are a luxury purchase under any circumstances. They lose too much value being driven off the lot. If in some future you're poor and you want privacy, the solution might well be a used car.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Goldelico refunds Neo900 money - 86.8%

John.Banister John.Banister writes  |  about 7 months ago

John.Banister (1291556) writes "I received the following email from service@goldelico.com

Dear Neo900 customer,

You may have read on the forums and mailing lists that we need to reorganize the financial side of how the project is managed:

<http://neo900.org/news-0011-progress-update-may>
<http://talk.maemo.org/showthread.php?t=93197>

The orders Golden Delicious Computers (GDC) has received have to be "rolled back". Since the "roll back" voids your agreement with GDC, all those who sent 100 EUR or more get a refund. The amount refunded will be your original payment minus about 13% for work done in the project so far (see below for details). If your transfer was in a foreign currency, there can be additional differences due to exchange rate variations.

The refund goes either directly back to your credit card (if you used one to pay) or if you have used SEPA/IBAN bank transfer, please provide your account data where we should send the money to. Please note that we do the refund in EUR, so the resulting amount depends on the exchange rate of your local currency.

Here are the details how we have calculated the refund amount. GDC has spent (incl. VAT) so far for this project:

* 2983.66 EUR — material (e.g. PCBs, components, 1000 display connectors)
* 6924.31 EUR — engineering (R&D)
* 990.80 EUR — other expenses (e.g. shipment, credit card fees, server operation, shop, tax advisor, etc.)

Payments below 100 EUR are not refundable. They make a total of exactly 1000 EUR from 50 persons. This means that the remaining expenses of 9898.77 EUR are to be equitably shared by the customers with payments of 100 EUR or more, who donated 75 045 EUR in total. Therefore, 13.2% of the total amount has been already spent.

This amount (13.2%) will be subtracted from what you have originally paid and is equivalent to your contribution to bring the project to the status it currently has (thanks!). This includes that we make the EAGLE design files open source (under CC BY-SA) so that anyone can continue.

To view the current and complete status of your order, please open your personal order link:
[...]
We recommend to bookmark this link.

With kind regards,
Your team from Golden Delicious Computers.

Sad that they've had this problem."

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