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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

discord5 Bullshit (2219 comments)

But we really do take to heart the comments you've made about the look and functionality of the beta site that houses Slashdot's future look.

No you don't. You get plenty of feedback on the beta site in the initial announcement of it coming online, and for the most part the comments were ignored. Ever since the beta came online, there's been people mocking it.

Most importantly, we want you to know that Classic Slashdot isn't going away until we're confident that the new site is ready. And — okay, we've got it — it's not ready.

Saying it's not ready is the understatement of the year so far. The comment section is on fire so far, and this is actually the first time that I've seen people spend their modpoints to promote offtopic discussion of this nature on this scale.

We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience.

What? Is this the website equivalent of "We want the Call of Duty audience" ? This statement right here, goes to show how much you're out of touch with your core audience: News for NERDS... Slashdot will never be reddit, or some fancy ITBiz magazine. Reddit already exists and won't be going anywhere, and the ITBiz audience doesn't give a shit about this place since it's just another site that scrapes headlines from other places.

The writing has been on the wall for a while now, ever since the advent of SlashBIcurious and the other nonsense you've been trying to push. Your "core audience" has been telling you this for quite a while now, but you've adamantly refused to listen, stuck your fingers in your ears and gone ahead as if nothing was wrong. And now you're surprised the comments section is ablaze?

We want to give our current audience the space where they are comfortable. And we want a platform where we can experiment with different views of both comments and stories.

Experimenting with an established platform can come at a high cost. I don't mind the changes to the layout, and I don't give a damn that you want to polish the look, but in all fairness you broke the damn commenting system. It's the only thing that keeps this place worth visiting. Beta just makes we want to look for another home.

If we haven't communicated that well enough, consider this post a first step to fixing that.

Oh fuck off... You know when people start talking about communication? It's the excuse the network engineer makes to the IT Coordinator/Manager when his network melted while users have been making tickets about problems for weeks. It's the pseudo-managers way of saying "I'm not aware of any issues" despite his mailbox being a festering pit of complaints and misery.

You communicated well enough. You communicated when the beta came online, and you get plenty of feedback which you chose to ignore. Now you've got 25% of users getting an iteration of your shitty beta, and boy oh boy is your comment section a cesspool of complaints right now. And the message you send now is obvious: "It's coming, wether you like it or not. Suck it.". Yeah, the art of communicating is not lost on you guys at all.

And in the meantime, we're not sorry to have received a flood of feedback, most of it specific, constructive and substantive.

That's like the time I heard someone from management say "In hindsight, I feel that despite the negative outcome I've made the correct choice. We'll just have to adapt and move on".

Well, guess what... We'll adapt, and move on. Enjoy turning slashdot into ITBizz2.0 or whatever pipe dream you guys at Dice have.

about 2 months ago
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New Supernova Seen In Nearby Galaxy M82

discord5 Re:it's not "new" (125 comments)

We're observing it some 12 million years after the fact. That hardly qualifies as "new".

Slashdot always lags behind the facts a few days, or more...

about 3 months ago
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EU Committee Issues Report On NSA Surveillance; Snowden To Testify

discord5 Re:Where? (177 comments)

I also know, despite being a dumb amerikkkan, that none of those places are in Russia. Snowden will absolutely be captured if he appears in any of these places and would be a great fool to testify there.

I dunno, he might just use the phone, or a videoconference tool over the internet (not like he's discussing state secrets (well, not anymore really)). You might not be that dumb of an "amerikkkan", but you're not the most practical person in the US of A either. I'd urge you to become more practical before turning into an enemy of the state, should the thought ever cross your (or your governments) mind.

The former US National Security Agency worker would testify by interactive video link from Russia, where he has been granted temporary asylum.

Right there in the article even.

Anyway, we'll see what happens. The article mentions that people are divided about having him talk, keeping US-EU relations in mind, which by itself in my opinion speaks tales about "how concerned" these people really are by the whole ordeal. In the end it remains politics, and even if most people were terribly upset they'll still shake hands and sign agreements as if there isn't a care in the world. I can see the merit of asking Snowden a few questions or clarifications, but if I understand it correctly he's already released his documents he had to share. I also vaguely remember his terms for his asylum being "not to further embarrass our American partners", and I would be extremely cautious if I were him about what those terms exactly mean. Putin may enjoy his little prank on the US, but he doesn't like it when people don't dance to his tune.

I think that if you read between the lines of all of this, the EU isn't even all that concerned about its citizens, but rather about its political and economical agenda. I wouldn't be surprised at all if many countries in the EU currently have their intelligence services cooperatively lobbying their politicians to do the very same. Hell, I would be surprised if they already haven't done such a thing on a smaller scale in the first place, considering how much some of the EU nations are investing in their own "anti-terror" efforts, although much more low profile and with considerably less impact. In reality, all nations across the globe are engaged in political and economical espionage, but it's their efficiency that you should be concerned about.

I would say this is nothing but a lot of grandstanding for political reasons, but I am a cynic when it comes to politics. Many European politicians although they emit an air of indifference when it comes to the US, are very big fans of the US as has been made obvious by the cable leaks released by wikileaks in the past. There's decades of treaties and agreements between most EU nations and the US, and few are willing to risk the long-term benefits of those.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft's New Smart Bra Could Stop You From Over Eating

discord5 Re:The blue tits of death. (299 comments)

What's surprising is that nobody here thinks this is an inherently sexist device.

In before the great bra-burning of 2014.

about 4 months ago
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The Status of the Fukushima Clean-Up

discord5 Re:TL;DR version (136 comments)

What color do you want your sushi to glow tonight?

There, fixed that for you.

At least fix the damn typo while you're improving the content.

about 4 months ago
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In an arcade with only the following games ...

discord5 Re:Arcade games? Sorry, I'm going home. (283 comments)

So not interested in playing arcade games. Haven't been interested in wasting my time in the arcade since I was very young and got over the fascination with blinking lights.

I'm sorry for your loss.

about 5 months ago
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TSA Screening Barely Working Better Than Chance

discord5 Re:But what about the arts? (337 comments)

Please become a stand-up comedian... No, even better, run for president. The world needs more fine comedy like this.

about 5 months ago
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China's State Press Calls For 'Building a De-Americanized World'

discord5 Re:Western democracy is at an end (634 comments)

The Belgians recently spend a year without a government because the sub-frenchies and the sub-dutchies hated each others guts.

No we don't... We have several movements which at best are able to fool the general populace that one side is getting benefits the other side isn't, together with some very "charismatic" people who use simplified logic to explain it all, including the example of a Flemish person bringing a case of beer to a Walloon person every week.

The problem that happened in Belgium was that we had a prime minister from a party stupid enough to play with Mr Populars party, and played right into their hand. The height of comedy was reached that during one of the impasses the (then future) prime minister sang the wrong national anthem (the marseillaise) on purpose (although he claims it was an honest mistake) to both provoke the flemish nationalist sentiment and the walloon nationalist sentiment.

The impasse has a lot to do with infighting on both sides of the linguistic border. To give a few such examples: the liberal democrats on the french side of the country no longer agreeing with the socialist party (the traditional winner of the elections on that side), the liberal party on the dutch side removing its support for the plans of reformation for the Brussels electorate... Then there was the complicated affair of the sale of the Fortis bank (now BNP Parisbax), which was commonly believed to be the most stable bank in Belgium, where the seperation of powers was violated which caused the government to fall. On top of it all, many of the parties have fragmented into smaller parties which see the impasse as a way to boost their own Mr Populars (and fail miserably at that).

The story is terribly complicated because of how our government works, and I doubt over half of the population even knows how our government works, let alone a casual outside observer. It's all too easy to assume that Belgian politics reached the impasse because of the further federalization and the Flemish nationalists. In truth the political climate here at the moment leans so far to the nationalist parties because the traditional parties fail to make good compromises, which is reinforcing the idea that we need to federalize even further up to the point of cessation.

Think of it like this: the french side is scared that the dutch side will try to become independent (like the flemish nationalists want), so they play hardball. The flemish nationalists use this as evidence to show "Look, they want to play rough. They're taking all the money we're earning.", which makes them more popular to the general public on the dutch side. The french side is typically socialist, and the flemish nationalists are pretty much anything but socialist. So when the two parties with the most votes meet to make a government, it's bound to fail because of the completely opposite ideals. This leads to reinfornce the idea that the french are playing hardball, and the flemish nationalists aren't playing hard enough. That cycle continued until the flemish nationalists withdrew when the public opinion was about to sway on them, and gets to sit in the opposition pointing out just how terrible the federal government is now that the traditional parties are in the majority. The next elections will determine if that strategy worked, but polls indicated it didn't.

When the two most popular parties don't have any common ground, and are unwilling to meet eachother halfway you end up in a situation where it's impossible form a government. During that impasse, our prime minister who sang the wrong national anthem, failed miserably at keeping two governments in place for a term and is in part responsible for the popularization of the flemish nationalists had the most uneventful reign as prime minister during his entire career. After all, the government wasn't allowed to undertake new things, just maintaining the running stuff and signing a running budget.

tl;dr version: Belgium is more complicated than the linguistic border, it's just the most obvious and easily explainable issue in this country.

about 6 months ago
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Guardian Ignores MI5 Warnings, Vows To 'Publish More Snowden Leaks'

discord5 Re:Having followed all the leaks (301 comments)

All these leaks have shown is the general public is the real enemy of the state.

Only terrorists use the bold tag twice! GET HIM!

about 6 months ago
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You're Invited: Take a Look At Slashdot's New Beta

discord5 How to kill a website in a single bad design (69 comments)

Guys, as much as I'd like to be constructive, I find it hard to be. Seriously... WHAT THE FUCK?

Please have a look at this story and then look at this one.

The difference between the two is that one has a commenting system that's moderately useful, and the other one makes reading comments a terrible experience. Why did you pick that narrow section for the sites only redeeming value? Nobody comes here for the content, it's rehashed shit from other websites we've already read (probably twice given the fact that stuff gets reposted at least twice). We come here for discussing that stuff, not for the vapid slashvertisements and terrible stories.

You've lost your way, slashdot. You're slashdot, an elaborate forum disguised as a news site with terrible rehashed content given a spin. Kill the forum aspect, kill the site. Enjoy your asset, I hope you didn't pay too much for it if your only intent was to sink it.

about 6 months ago
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Valve Announces Linux-Based SteamOS

discord5 Re:And the huddled masses sayeth to Lord Gaben... (510 comments)

You guys *really* need something with with a "3" in it for a launch.

Holy shit! Left3Dead! Hat Fortress 3! DOTA3! Portal 3! CounterStr... Nevermind, nobody wants yet another counterstrike.

about 7 months ago
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Gabe Newell Talks Linux As the Future of Games at LinuxCon NA

discord5 Re:Steam is reducing gaming options (369 comments)

Steam has made the concept of a perpetual, one-time rental service palatable.

It's convenient... REALLY convenient, and it was the first in the market. That should explain the success. Nobody really cares about the whole "you don't own your games" thing, since they haven't been screwed over yet. Valve already won the battle with steam, especially if you consider the other forms of DRM out there. Valve's DRM is least intrusive, up to the point where Steams users are for the most part blissfully unaware that it is there. Origin is a bad joke where the audience refuses to laugh and owned by a company which has a terrible reputation, and the others are so insignificant that it's hardly worth mentioning them (Stardocks Impulse, if that still exists, springs to mind).

I cannot get Dishonored DRM-free - it's Steam or bust

That is in the end the choice of the developer/publisher to pick what platform they want to use. Don't get me wrong, if you're taking the stance where you won't install games with DRM, I tip my hat to you for sticking to your principles. Don't blame Valve for building a successful platform, but blame the publisher/developers for not picking multiple options. In the end, nobody is forcing the developers to use Steam. There are plenty of games that have both a Steam and a non-steam release. Go look on gog.com for the more recent releases and lookup the games there on Steam. Plenty of indie publishers choose both options as well.

So if I have a problem with Steam's EULA or ToS, I'm basically unable to play the extreme majority of top-tier titles, and only some of the indie titles out there.

Well, yes, that is how you should stick to your principles. You get over that fairly quickly though. I for one refuse to buy consoles, and I miss out on a lot of very nice console exclusives that I'd like to give a spin. But hey, look here, other games I can play,... There are more interesting games out there than I can play in my lifetime, especially if I take my other hobbies into consideration.

However, this in turn might reduce the motivation to make a DRM-free Linux (or Windows) games if Steam is there and us minority fellows aren't worth the trouble.

Publishers/developers are rarely going to release games without copy protection. The first few weeks after release are far too critical for their sales to go without trivial copy protection, and with the ease they can implement one of the DRM schemes these days they'd be foolish not to implement one, no matter which platform you're talking about. It's just the way it is, and even if Steam were to stop existing tomorrow there'll be another platform to fill that void before you can say "Oh wow, who'd've thought". DRM has become so much part of that industry that you'll either have to accept it or learn to do without those who implement it. The rare few cases where a publisher changes their mind are because they're getting terrible PR and fear they'll lose their sales, but with DRM being so widely present in games today you have to implement something nasty or be dealing with the wrong audience to even get that reaction.

it means DRM will never leave us because too many gamers cannot stand on principle, or simply don't care

You can raise awareness, but there are always going to be people who don't care. And to be honest, out of all the forms of DRM, Steam is the most widely accepted one, which in my opinion is because Valve all in all has a pretty decent reputation as a company and it's very convenient.

As for the whole gaming on linux thing, I would really like to see it happen, even if it comes with the DRM from Steam and what not. It would certainly be interesting, and more attention to Linux as an OS is in my opinion a good thing. In the best case it could make developers consider Linux as a viable platform for release, in the worst case you'd at least get the Valve catalog on Linux. No matter what Steam does, there's always room for developers and publishers to release their games on the platforms they choose without DRM. But that in the end depends on the demand for it, which all things considering isn't all that large.

about 7 months ago
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Notch Shelves Space Game 0x10c, Cites Pressure, Desire To Work On Small Projects

discord5 Re:Market research (178 comments)

Except that when your own company develops video games, gaming is more like researching a competitor's product or service.

Nah, in Notches case it's just a lack of attention span. Don't get me wrong, he's an okay guy, but just follow his twitter account for a month or two. He hops from idea to idea, would rather be working on something else once he starts, drops everything for a 7-day FPS competition, etc. The old joke used to be that notch codes a few lines in between his vacations.

I think his attention span problem comes from a lack of incentive to work on something from start to finish. With minecraft his incentive was that it was making him a millionaire, but then at some point (when it went from "ludicrously popular" to "proposterously popular") he delegated that to someone else.

Having said that, he got lucky and he seems a guy with a right mindset at times. So he failed this time, as do many. They just don't have a billion followers wolfing down every word they utter.

about 8 months ago
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"Piracy Filter" Blocks TorrentFreak for 4 Million Sky Customers

discord5 Re:This makes me think of Wrath of Khan (122 comments)

Kahn was quoting Melville; Kirk was his whale. And Star Trek is more known to most slashdotters than Melville.

If anything, I'm surprised that a person who watched Wrath of Khan or First Contact wouldn't recognize the quotes and parallels immediately. Even if your native language is not English and you weren't forced to read these classics, this is classic literature that's pretty hard to ignore. If anything I'd say that next to Shakespeare's work, Melville's right up there as "most quoted classical author in sci-fi".

about 8 months ago
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British Porn-Censoring MP Has Website Defaced With Porn

discord5 Re:What problem is this solving? (266 comments)

And, just to play devil's advocate, at what age did you start using the internet? Were you already old enough to have some context, or still quite young?

I'm old enough to remember what it was like before the Internet. We had access to magazines, videocasettes, and hell every now and then some kid at school would hand you a floppy with some erotic game on it. Now, you're going to argue "But that's pretty tame, compared to the stuff on the Internet", but really... Some of the things in those magazines is not the usual way people enjoy themselves, nor were those games, nor what was on the videocasettes. It went far above and beyond what was necessary for reproduction.

It's not sent me on some downward spiral in search of evermore degrading fornication, nor do I feel the need to objectify the other sex or to start namecalling those of a different sexual orientation. The ever-degrading moral standard of our kids is the illusion we like to believe when we are at the age that we have our own kids, and it's a trap you can easily fall for. All you need is one anecdote (true or not) and you immediately forget 6 years of high school rumours ("who's doing who?") not to mention the amount of hormones coursing through your veins at the time. The only effect it's really had on me in the long term is that I've become more understanding of other people having different preferences than me.

But if 11 year olds are growing up thinking bukkake, gang bangs and fisting are just part of 'normal'(*) sexuality and what's expected from them, they might be somewhat at risk for risky behavior or never learning how to date and hang out.

And that's the part where as a parent you're supposed to fulfill your part. I mean, of course you're not going to be 100% aware of what your kids are up to. Hell, if my parents knew at the time... But in the end I feel my parents gave me enough guidance in the field to determine what I was to expect and what not... And we had our fair share of urban legends rivaling your "Rainbow Parties", some of which would put Roman orgies to shame, and as it turned out like everyone expected : none of it was true. Everyone who talked about those always "knew a guy who knows this guy" etc...

I don't agree that the censorship is a good idea, but I can see how people growing up on the weird stuff you see on the internet can lead to a very messed up outlook and set of expectations about later in life.

At the age of 9 I watched horror flicks, gruesome horror flicks that scared the bejeebus out of me. My parents didn't know (oh, who am I kidding, I never rewound that tape...). These days I have to restrain myself from grabbing a chainsaw in the middle of the night and heading out into town to go on rampage. I suggest we ban those too. Obviously my expectations of what is acceptable in life have been completely warped by chainsaw wielding antagonists.

Oh, if this Internet thing only was a physical object, we could've long burned it... Like we used to do with books. Man... Those were the days

about 9 months ago
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Angela Merkel Tells US Firms To Meet German Privacy Rules

discord5 Re:You have it backwards, IMO.... (153 comments)

First of all, don't feed the trolls. Second, since the discussion is basically an ad hominem or a personal attack on the guy:

His name has been put up for the Nobel Peace Prize as of today

Which puts him in the same category as Adolf Hitler. Man, did he bring some peace, or what? (Sorry for Godwin'ing the conversation, but you have to admit that it's funny to point that out)

Nobel peace price (nomination) means nothing. Barack Obama has one, which was to be called premature at best, but undeserved would be more appropriate. Then again, at the time people were still expecting him to start walking on water in the coming weeks.

I personally don't care about Snowden and his Russian airport antics or "criminal status". I'm far more interested in the message and the consequences of the lid being blown off that whole thing. Hell, everyone seems more interested in his IRC logs, forum comments and pictures of his girlfriend. Bread and circuses, I guess...

about 9 months ago
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TV Programmers Seek the Elusive Dog Market

discord5 Slashdot Seek the Elusive Geek Market (199 comments)

discord5 reports that slashdot is attempting to provide articles specifically designed for geek and while many people report that their geeks completely ignore what is visible on slashdot, with modern HTML5 and AJAX, more geeks have become potential slashdot readers.

The increase in geek readership is primarily attributed to the way the geek's eye works. The buildup of a standard webpage is updated once per click and since a human's maximum clicking frequency is only 55 Hz, the webpage appears continuous and the gradually changing webpages give us the illusion of content. However geeks can discern content at up to 80 Hz so with the increased availability of highly dynamic AJAX webpages that are refreshed at a much higher rate, the content is less likely to appear to be interesting to the geeks eye.

Presentation factors are also an issue. Geeks are most likely to respond to images that have been captured at the eye level of a geek with a low camera angle from the basement where there are moving things like das Blinkenlichte. But even if that requirement is fulfilled, most geeks do not read slashdot because the website has become devoid of actual content despite it's high rate AJAX updates and rounded corners.

And now, an article about the Dog Network, as irrelevant to geeks as sharks are to the Fonz... Eyyyyyy.

Now if you'll excuse me, my compiling is done, and I'm not even going to bother reading the article which at best can only be described as interesting... no wait, the other one... TEDIOUS

about 9 months ago
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Why Are Japanese Men Refusing To Leave Their Rooms?

discord5 Re:Mammonis all over again. (770 comments)

Student show an iota of initiative and wants to program computers? Father lectures the child that is a way to be a failure.

Anything that deviates from the norm as it is, is considered to be bad. There is a saying there: "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down.". I think the expression speaks for itself to be honest.

about 9 months ago
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Beware the Internet

discord5 Beware the roads! (314 comments)

If I could, I would try to convince the Romans of the past to stop building roads. The reason for this is that I've discovered that since the advent of roads, there has been such a phenomenon as road-side bandits, highway robberies, and even standing armies using this newly found infrastructure to lay siege to our vast empire.

Ever since the Romans came along and deprecated our glorious and superior dirt infrastructure, we've been carelessly hooking up critical systems to this "road"-system: tax-collection, food transportation, even up to the point where we are now moving cattle over these infernal cobblestones instead of using the much safer glorious dirt infrastructure. We've hooked up entire towns, cities, even castles and palaces to this infrastructure we can barely contain and are surprised when those of malicious intent use it to our disadvantage.

Back in the good old days of our vastly superiour dirt infrastructure we had no such troubles with malcontents, criminals and foreign armies. It was a pleasant land of peasants toiling about in our magnificent dirt.

In conclusion, the Roman empire was a detriment to all of society. While seemingly introducing a convenient mode of transportation, and making all of our society dependant on our infrastucture, they clearly have introduced this concept with the intent of ending civilization as we know it. I therefor call out to you, citizens, fellow countrymen: Tear down these "roads" that threaten us all! Go back to rolling around in our glorious dirt, and burn down anything even remotely Roman (even if it contains water, such as aquaducts, don't even get me started on those).

about 9 months ago
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NHTSA and DOT Want Your Car To Be Able To Disable Your Cellphone Functions

discord5 Re:Cut off our nose to spite our face ... (405 comments)

Unfortunately, I have to side with NHTSA since I'd rather have my personal space invaded by a law than I would have it invaded by someone's ton and a half SUV because they were texting some cat picture instead of driving.

I don't have much faith in solutions like this because it's one of those problems which are social problems, not technological ones. If we disregard the technological feasibility of this, for the sake of argument, we're going to have people who are going to look for ways to circumvent this measure (and they will find it, have no worries about that). On top of that, any car and phone which isn't equipped with such a system still allows for people to call/text while driving.

A much better solution to this type of problem in my opinion is to raise awareness, make the whole thing punishable with a fine and for repeat offenders include a revocation of the drivers license, and actively enforce it. In the beginning you'll have people who will blatantly ignore these measures, but once they start getting hit with fines most of them will stop. And just like with parking fines, you'll have people who blatantly ignore the law, as with any other kind of restriction they feel that doesn't apply to them, which is where the revocation of the license comes into place.

On my morning commute which often involves 20km/h freeway "happiness", I've seen plenty of people use non-technological means to distract them from the task at hand. People reading the newspaper while driving, doing crossword puzzles, having breakfast, doing their make-up, etc etc etc. Hell, I've even seen someone miss a green light because they were too busy playing with their kids (an admirable feat, just not in traffic). You don't solve those kinds of things with a bit of electronics in the dashboard.

It's not the calling and texting that is the problem, that's just a symptom of the underlying problem. The problem is that people aren't paying attention as they're hurtling down the road at breakneck speeds. There's no chip you can place in the dashboard that makes people pay attention to what they're doing.

about 10 months ago

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