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Dead Reckoning For Your Car Eliminates GPS Dead Zones

ericcc65 Re:GPS + WiFi (151 comments)

Okay, dumb question, but why does this work? I understand geolocation fine, but it seems this would only work if there is information in the wifi router as to where it's located. I know I never put in a lat/lon when I set up my wifi, how would it work without a knowledge of the wifi router location? Is it somehow auto-populated from transit times to various other routers or switches that DO have lat/lon info?

about 6 months ago
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Kansas Delays Municipal Broadband Ban

ericcc65 More time... (156 comments)

"I visited with industry representatives and they have agreed to spend some time gathering input before we move forward with a public hearing"

I read this is, "I need more time to let Comcast and Time Warner buy off a few more politicians on the board. Then we'll ram it through regardless of what people think."

about 6 months ago
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Government To Require Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication

ericcc65 Re:V2V Developer (390 comments)

They are open standards being worked on by the IEEE. 802.11p, IEEE 1609, etc.

about 6 months ago
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Government To Require Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication

ericcc65 Re:V2V Developer (390 comments)

You have to have a certificate that is digitally signed by a trusted authority in order to send messages considered valid. There is no identifying information sent out from your vehicle. Even your certificate is changed out every few minutes from a set of certificates (and that set is rotated every week or so). Really the whole security model is made to make it so incredibly easier to do things like track your cell phone, use cameras, or just old fashioned following to get any information than to get it from the V2V protocol. I encourage you to read about it, the IEEE and standards bodies have really thought about security from the very start. They knew nothing would derail it faster than people's fears about misuse.

about 6 months ago
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Smart Cars: Too Distracting?

ericcc65 Re:Better you look the road (180 comments)

Check out the DSRC (Dedicated Short Range Communications) standard. Also labeled WAVE (Wireless Access in Vehicular Environments) and 802.11p with IEEE 1609. Basically a vehicle status message is transmitted multiple times a second and vehicles within a few hundred meters can receive these transmissions and act on that info. So when someone tries to turn left in front of a motorcycle that is transmitting it's vehicle status (location, velocity, size) the corresponding receiver on the vehicle will compute the collision course and put out a big warning to the vehicle. Once the system gets reliable and secure enough perhaps the vehicle will even do things like put on the brakes or prevent someone from running a deep red light.

The National Highway Transportation Administration is expected to decide any day now if it will be required in vehicles starting in a few years. Also systems are starting to crop up that are small, perhaps even integrated directly into smartphones someday.

http://www.safercar.gov/ConnectedVehicles/index.html

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?

ericcc65 Re:Matlab will fall, SciPy will rise (465 comments)

Speaking as someone who used to use Matlab exclusively and almost got a job with the Mathworks let me say that I hope you're right. I love that scipy gives me a general programming language, and I love that it's free.

But there is one major obstacle before that happens...toolboxes. I'm in the DSP realm too and the signal processing package of scipy just doesn't hold a candle to all the numerous toolboxes that you can get with Matlab. There are some BASIC functions that are missing from scipy and there are a TON of extra functions in the Matlab toolboxes that aren't anywhere close to being implemented in scipy. The communications toolbox alone has so much that scipy doesn't offer it's not even funny.

I guess I should stop complaining and start contributing. But I honestly don't know that I'm good enough of a programmer to feel like I could contribute something. I guess I'm pretty sure I could implement a few algorithms without major bugs, so maybe I should pitch in. I don't know that it would be the prettiest or most optimal, but you've got to start somewhere.

about 9 months ago
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Scientists Induce New Hair Growth In Balding Men

ericcc65 Re:Scalp? (232 comments)

Eat your vegetables...it'll put hair on your chest.

about 9 months ago
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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

ericcc65 Re:Bullshit we won't notice (466 comments)

Agreed. I'm 6'5" and sometimes I have to travel for work. I would have to pay for the difference for first class, which is obscenely more money than I can spend on flying. I usually can barely get by in seats, most of my height is in my torso and neck. When the person in front of me reclines their seats I go from having an inch of legroom to a searing pain in my kneecaps from the collision. After that I can't have my knees bent, I have to stick my legs in the aisle or try to straighten them below the seat in front of me.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?

ericcc65 Re:C/C++ (465 comments)

Edit: GPU in the first paragraph should be GPP, general purpose processor.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best Language To Learn For Scientific Computing?

ericcc65 C/C++ (465 comments)

I'm a MSEE and I've been working in the digital signal processing realm for the last 10 years since graduating. I should mention that I haven't done a lot of low level hardware work, I haven't programmed actual DSP cards or played with CUDA. I have written software that did real-time signal processing just on a GPU. Everyone in my industry at this point uses C or C++. There is some legacy FORTRAN, and I shudder when I have to read it. Some old types swear by it, but it's fallen out of favor mostly just because it's antiquated and most people know C/C++ and libraries are available for it.

For non-real-time prototypes I'd recommend learning python (scipy, numpy, matplotlib). Perhaps octave and/or Matlab would be useful as well.

At some point you have to decide what your strength will be. I love learning about CS and try to improve my coding skills, but it's just not my strength. I'm hired because of my DSP knowledge, and I need to be able to program well enough to translate algorithms to programs. If you really want to squeeze out performance then you'll probably want to learn CUDA, assembly, AVX/SSE, and DSP specific C programming. But I haven't delved to that level because, honestly, we have a somewhat different set of people at the company that are really good in those realms.

Of course, it would be great if I could know everything. But at the moment it's been good enough to know C/C++ for most of our real time signal processing. If something is taking a really long time, we might look at implementing a vectorized version. I would like to learn CUDA for when I get a platform that has GPUs but part of me wonders if it's worth it. The reason C/C++ has been enough so far is that compilers are getting so good that you really have to know what you're doing in assembly to beat them. Casual assembly knowledge probably won't help. I might be wrong, but I envision that being the case in the not too distant future with GPUs and parallel programming.

about 9 months ago
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Team of Dentists Create "The Six-Second Toothbrush"

ericcc65 TMJ Disorder (98 comments)

As someone who suffers from TMJ disorder the thought of deliberately grinding my teeth every day makes this idea a non-starter.

about 10 months ago
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Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

ericcc65 Picture ads in the middle of the stories? (1191 comments)

I've been using adblock with great success for years. But when I first brought this new site up I noticed what I think was an ad in the middle of the page that was a few product pictures. How annoying is that?

about 10 months ago
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Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights

ericcc65 Texting while not at red light (1440 comments)

I wonder what the correlation is between the following activities:

texting while at a red light texting while driving a moving vehicle
not texting while at a red light texting while driving a moving vehicle

I'd bet it's higher in the previous case. If someone starts a text at a red light, and they just have a few more words when the light turns green, how many people are disciplined enough to put the phone down? As a cyclist texting while driving is a very important issue to me.

Of course, correlation isn't guilt. But careful, that's a slippery slope. Next thing you know that argument can be applied to drunk driving, financial regulation, and hate crimes, and your on your way to libertarianism, which seems to be a very bad thing at this website.

about 10 months ago
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Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights

ericcc65 Re:jerk (1440 comments)

Traffic related fatalities are on par with the amount of gun deaths in the U.S. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/09/guns-traffic-deaths-rates/1784595/. Plus traffic related fatalities is the leading cause of death among children 2 to 14 years old http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810803.PDF.

One can make the argument that it's not clear the current method of enforcing traffic laws is actually helping those statistics, but that's another point (although the following article says speeding is the leading cause of traffic deaths in NYC: http://www.streetsblog.org/2013/03/18/dot-speeding-the-leading-cause-of-nyc-traffic-deaths-in-2012/). I personally think it's barbaric how many of our deaths and injuries come from vehicles. If you ask me more autonomous ways of driving couldn't come soon enough, in whatever form that takes.

about 10 months ago
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Interviews: Guido van Rossum Answers Your Questions

ericcc65 Smileys and parenthesis (169 comments)

Interesting interview. Surely there were more important topics but if nothing else this interview was useful in that it taught me it's okay to use the parenthesis at the end of a smiley to serve double duty as the end of a parenthetical statement (kind of like this one :-). At least when your smiley is left in plain text, that is.

about a year ago
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Encrypted Email Provider Lavabit Shuts Down, Blames US Gov't

ericcc65 Re:Freedom (771 comments)

It's $1.05 plus shipping from Amazon.

Actually it's an add-on item. You have to buy 23 times as much security before you can add on a little bit of freedom as an afterthought.

about a year ago
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The Free State Project, One Decade Later

ericcc65 Re:Wrong place for this sort of thing (701 comments)

Genuinely curious, what are the ways you mention to "game" the libertarian system? Or the communist one for that matter?

about a year ago
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Ubuntu Developers Revisit Replacing Firefox With Chromium

ericcc65 Re:Well... this is going to be awkward... (153 comments)

I think that was another reason, although I think I finally tracked down an extension on chrome that did it properly.

about a year ago
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Ubuntu Developers Revisit Replacing Firefox With Chromium

ericcc65 Re:Well... this is going to be awkward... (153 comments)

It runs reasonably fast. Sometimes I notice a lag or some problems, I think the Chrome one is better. But it's good enough that it's not an issue for me. I don't know why but I just hate opening a separate pdf or having another program embedded. Bookmarks and typical search keys not really working is one reason.

about a year ago
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Ubuntu Developers Revisit Replacing Firefox With Chromium

ericcc65 Re:Well... this is going to be awkward... (153 comments)

I switched back to firefox for a few reasons. Can't remember them all at the moment but here's a few:

* Sound on chrome was turning to crap after having it open a while on linux.
* I can install firefox in user space without root.
* Firefox actually seemed more stable and user friendly on my tablet than Chrome.
* Mouse gestures exist on linux unlike on Chrome
* Better access to create/use bookmarks through the sidebar than Chromes ugly approach
* Native PDF viewer now exists

about a year ago

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