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UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

SuperBanana offtopic? Seriously? (386 comments)

Who moderated my comment as "offtopic"? The story is about the odds of being murdered!

about a week ago

UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

SuperBanana rape is *the* lowest category of violent crime (386 comments)

A women may be less likely to be murdered but more likely to be raped.

That's mostly because the FBI doesn't consider prison rape to be a crime; I think the estimates I hear are typically around 200,000-300,000 male prison rape victims a year, which comes close to making the rape stats 50/50. There's also very little interest in figuring out the underreporting rate for male rape victims in open society; hell, in many places it isn't even a crime for a woman to rape a man because of the way rape was defined.

But even if you ignore all that: I'll take those odds. Rape has the lowest occurrence rate in the US of any violent crime, and not only that, it's declined the most over the last decade or two as well. Men are several times more likely to be KILLED. Last time I checked, that was worse.

By the way: case clearance rates for female homicide victims are higher than for male homicide victims.

You can either listen to the gender issues folks, who make it sound like violence against women is a HUGE CRISIS, or you can read the BJS statistics. Women have been, and continue to be, a protected class in the US.

about a week ago

UN Report Reveals Odds of Being Murdered Country By Country

SuperBanana a fact not mentioned: women kill more men, too (386 comments)

At least in the US, women kill more men than women.

Also, while gender issues folks are more than happy to do all sorts of mental gymnastics for other things: nobody is willing to touch "why do men commit robbery more?" with a ten foot pole because then they'd have to admit that traditional gender roles for men are still very much in place, men are judged heavily by their economic status, and men are committing crime by and large to house, feed, and clothe their families.

Lots of assistance for single mothers out there, like WIC. Single dads? Shit outta luck.

Guess what percentage of the US homeless population is male? Depending on the area, anywhere from 67% to 80% (NYC, for example, is 82%.) Oh, and the percentage of women in homeless shelters is higher than the percentage of homeless women total, showing women are better served.

Male privilege, my ass.

about a week ago

60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

SuperBanana priuses do make noise (544 comments)

You know that noise you hear from Priuses that sounds like an electrical buzzing/whirring?

The car's drivetrain doesn't make that noise. That's artificial noise, designed specifically to warn pedestrians when the engine is inactive. I was surprised the first time I drove a Prius, because you can't hear that noise from inside the car. I'd assumed it would be louder.

The person text-walking is completely at fault. How stupid can you be to text-walk in a parking lot?

about two weeks ago

3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

SuperBanana No. No. (251 comments)

Betteridge's Law of Headlines still holds true.

Too finicky, too expensive, most people myself included don't have the need for one in their home, so on etc.

None of the "consumer" level units have come close to approaching the ease of use of a circa-1995 inkjet printer.

about three weeks ago

Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

SuperBanana Left foot braking, not heel and toe (394 comments)

Heel and toe is a technique for blipping the gas pedal with the RIGHT foot while using the left foot to actuate the clutch, in order to have a smoother downshift by raising engine revs for the new lower gear.

Left foot braking was pioneered by Walter Rohl driving the turbocharged Audi rally cars. It's pointless in non-turbocharged cars, and completely pointless in an electric car.

This guy? It's a combination of elderly driver (notice most causes of "unintended" acceleration involve elderly drivers) and inappropriate footwear. Living in a northeast state, I can tell you that I learned my first winter as a driver (when I was 16-17) that boots were different from shoes when driving. This idiot is 65 and apparently just figured it out after almost 50 years of driving? Bullshit. This was just a bunch of sensationalist muckraking, complete with the scary stock photos of an "automobile crash."

Should the pedal spacing match other cars? Yes. Should the Tesla lock out acceleration when the brake pedal is pushed? Yes - most throttle-by-wire cars do this (and you can probably expect a software update soon, I'm guessing, though such a sensitive bit of code needs to be fully validated.) Was it the car's fault that he supposedly almost crashed? Nope.

about three weeks ago

How Satellite Company Inmarsat Tracked Down MH370

SuperBanana chances of controlled water landing are slim (491 comments)

It's virtually impossible to land a large plane in the water "safely"; if either wing or engine touches the water before the other, that side digs in and the plane cartwheels, ripping itself to shreds.

The hudson plane landing wasn't a miracle because of skill on the part of the pilot - it was a miracle because it was astronomically slim odds that the plane would continue in a straight line and remain intact.

about three weeks ago

Fly an Aerobatic Quadcopter with Curtis Youngblood (Video)

SuperBanana Flitetest show about quadcopter is far better (33 comments)

Try this youtube video of Curtis visting the guys at Flitetest for a really great look at how it works, flying it, etc. from some guys who really know their RC stuff:


Flitetest is pretty awesome, by the way; I stumbled across their channel a couple of months ago and have been quite entertained. They're the closest thing I can think of to "Top Gear, only with remote control things that fly."

And I do mean "things" that fly; they routinely have a "can we make ___ fly?" episodes. I think I recall one challenge involved getting a cinderblock into the air.

about a month ago

Paris Bans Half of All Cars On the Road

SuperBanana environmental standards of 50 years ago (405 comments)

Smog and levels of particulate matter in large cities are generally a lot lower compared to before the 60s, when a lot of people still heated their houses with coal fires.

Surprisingly, standards for environmental conditions have improved in the last 50 years, particularly given the voluminous amount of evidence on how pollution negatively impacts public health, infrastructure, and nature.

about 1 month ago

EU Votes For Universal Phone Charger

SuperBanana So it seemed simple at first... (358 comments)

Seemed simple at first. Everyone can just go with micro USB, right?

Then I realized that batteries are getting bigger (and able to handle faster charge rates), and it's way, way past due for cell phones to start supporting USB3.

So can they make two standards, USB2 micro and USB3 micro?

Also, here's the original EU press release: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/...

I don't see any mention of a specific standard...?

about a month ago

What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla?

SuperBanana combustion engines: demonstrated unreliability (330 comments)

Tesla can certainly bring it, but the internal combustion engine has over a century of demonstrated reliability.

Keeping in mind that electric cars have been around longer than gasoline cars, and than electric motors are used in the powertrain of every modern locomotive in the united states (and are the prime movers for almost any industrial plant)...not really, actually.

Car engines need a lot of maintenance due to all their sensors, electromechanical and mechanical valves, mazes of hoses and wiring (all of which has to deal with high temperatures), dependence on multiple fluid types (the fuel, the coolant, the lubricant) and need for so much cooling (gasoline engines waste 3/4 of their fuel on heat.) One of the reasons Tesla is getting away with not having dealers is that the cars are so much simpler drivetrain-wise. I imagine the only fluids that need changing are the brake fluid and probably the gearbox oil.

An electric car for the presidential limo would be brilliant, particularly since it typically doesn't need to travel very far most of the time, and an electric vehicle provides massive torque for handling the heft of all that chassis and armor. Adapting an electric drivetrain, in part because of how simple it is and how flexible one can be with component locations, would actually make it far easier on the coach builder. Tesla already has a dual-motor AWD drivetrain, so they've definitely got the oomph (although I suspect the dual-motor drivetrain motors are individually smaller.)

about a month ago

Is One Laptop Per Child Winding Down?

SuperBanana Negroponte moved on? Shocking. (111 comments)

The founder of the MIT Media Lab, which churns out nothing but useless ivory-tower crap, moved on to something more shiny?


OLPC was nothing more than a way to pay for travel to academic conferences and get his name into stuff.

about a month ago

Silicon Valley's Youth Problem

SuperBanana research pay sucks (225 comments)

" who could help cure cancer " BWHAAHAAHHA. I work in academia/research. The pay, compared to industry, is garbage. Pretty decent educational benefits, great paid time off...but the money coming in the door is, as I said, garbage.

about a month ago

70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

SuperBanana not nearly as problematic as our defense spending (676 comments)


In 2009, we were responsible for 40% of worldwide arms sales.

In 2012, we spend 18% of our budget on "defense", 7 times more than China.

Now consider that our "defense" department has been repeatedly found by the GAO to be unauditable because their accounting is so incompetent.

Also, I find it laughable that so many republicans are concerned about 'welfare' and 'entitlement' yet happily sign on for farm subsidy bills that cost trillions, to keep the votes from fat-ass, lazy, uneducated, corn-fed, bigoted midwesterners rollin' right in.

about a month ago

Major Wikipedia Donors Caught Editing Their Own Articles

SuperBanana Not being confronted about NPOV is the problem (125 comments)

Did you read the summary past the first sentence or so?

"In short, they wrote articles about themselves or their companies, then gave the WMF big donations and were not confronted about violating the NPOV policy."

That said, I've routinely come across articles on Wikipedia that were not tagged NPOV yet were clearly cut+pasted from marketing material or written in that unmistakable tone. It's especially common on articles that aren't very popular.

Example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y...

about a month ago

University of Cambridge Develops Potentially More Secure Password Storage System

SuperBanana why a RasPi? (70 comments)

Can someone please explain why this is attached to a RasPi?

Among other things, the poor architecture and inability to run a standard distribution makes it a remarkably bad choice when you can get low-power x86 boards that will wipe the floor with it.

about a month ago

Pinterest Reveals Its First Transparency Report

SuperBanana where are the details? (23 comments)

Why can't we see a copy of any of the actual requests?

It's not much "transparency" if you're not showing us anything except high level statistics. We have no way of telling if these requests were abusive or not.

Obviously there are subpoenas and warrants that are sealed, but it's rare that they're sealed indefinitely.

about a month ago

Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

SuperBanana Yes, we do actually believe in the rule of law (519 comments)

A Massachusetts court applying laws as written, rather than making up some bogus progressive interpretation to satisfy their liberal bias? That IS news!

Examples of this?

We don't "make up bogus progressive interpretations." We take great pride in the commonwealth's constitution, which aside from being the first in the nation, predating the federal constitution, and in fact serving at its model, is also one of the most protective of individual rights.

Remember the whole gay-marriage thing, and how MA was one of the first? There's a reason. Our own constitution said we had to treat everybody equally. The courts said "yup, since the state holds the keys to marriage, we gotta treat everybody equally." Case closed. Done.

Also: stop abusing the term "liberal" in this context. Liberal, in a constitutional and individual freedom/liberty sense, usually more accurately describes the "conservative" side of the political spectrum. It's "conservatives" who keep trying to strip people of their voting rights, for example. It's "conservatives" who most often try to impose religion on others, violating separation of church and state (indeed, "god" was inserted into the pledge of allegiance by a republican, for example, in the mid-1900's.) It is "conservatives" who keep trying to advocate for an unequal tax base that vastly favors the rich. It's "conservatives" who keep trying to violate women's basic human rights (ie control of their bodies.) It's "conservatives" who keep trying to censor. It's "conservatives" who have presented the notion that some people are not deserving of the right of marriage. It's also usually "conservatives" who do most of the warmongering and have pushed a very aggressive foreign policy, especially around preemption.

All that is, constitutionally, quite "liberal"/radical.

about a month and a half ago



student arrested wearing hoax device at airport

SuperBanana SuperBanana writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SuperBanana (662181) writes "According to a report by the Boston Globe, Star Simpson was nearly shot by Logan Airport police who thought she was armed with a bomb. She approached an airline employee wearing a prototyping board with electronic components, crudely attached to the front of her sweatshirt and holding "putty" in her hand. She asked about an incoming flight, and did not respond when asked about the device. Armed police responded. Her actions seem purposefully designed to elicit a reaction from airport security- or this is further proof of the poor judgment of Boston area college students."

SuperBanana SuperBanana writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SuperBanana (662181) writes "Steve Jobs is part of a small group of California residents who can go without license plates. Instead, they have a small barcode located in the plate area. Not only does this make one invulnerable to tollbooth ticketing systems, but it makes them harder to target with a LIDAR speed gun (police use the highly reflective front plate as a target for the infrared beam.) Not to mention, if they commit any vehicular crimes or traffic infractions, witnesses have no plates to look for. States and the Federal government have numerous safety reasons why we are compelled to have two license plates, but if you've got enough commas in your bank account, you get to drive with no plates at all..."

SuperBanana SuperBanana writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SuperBanana (662181) writes "Today the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (aka "The T" in Boston, a network of several subway, Light Rail Vehicle, bus, commuter rail, and ferry lines) announced a $466,000 "revamp" to its website by RDVO, allowing features like bus and subway route maps for iPod users (video iPods only), better ordering of regular passes, email alerts, and (at some point) real-time positioning of busses. RDVO's company press release mentions "The new website for the MBTA went 'live' this morning. Initial reviews have been postive, and we're working through some performance problems." That is a bit of an understatement, as the site has been inaccessible since at least lunchtime. Boston.com readers who were able to view the site have not been especially kind towards either the site or the MBTA itself. This is not surprising given the major fare hike coming in January, mandatory bag searches, the T's crumbling infrastructure, poor reliability, and issues with the new RFID-based Charliecard. Apparently, you can't load existing CharlieCards (handed out en-mass recently) with a monthly pass; you need a second pass. I've personally found the system flaky as well: I loaded $2.50 onto a Charlie Card, went through a Green line gate ($1.25), and hopped on a bus at Copley (transfer of 35 cents), where the machine flashed "insufficient fare." Even if it was a full fare (90 cents), I should have had enough money in the card and the card should have had the $2.50 stored in its chip. Amusingly, during my green line trip, the driver had to "reboot" the train twice to get the doors to close. Also: the new fareboxes on busses don't give change; if you put in $1 for a 90 cent bus fare, you don't get 10 cents back. You only get the ability to store the change on a Charliecard or the Charlieticket, a "reloadable" mag-stripe paper ticket soon to be phased out."


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