It's Easy To Hack Traffic Lights
I once knew a traffic-light engineer who was an EE with a BS. I mentioned that I thought it was
annoying not to have sensors on lights in rarely-used cross streets,
since it wastes a lot of gas to have the main throughway traffic
constantly stopping for no reason, not to mention wasting people's time.
He said that if you put in a sensor, people will get used to the light
always being green, and in the rare case it turns red they will tend not
to stop and will cause more accidents. He was very strongly opposed to
such sensors - arguing supposedly from experience as a professional and
an expert - and our argument started to become, well, heated, so I just
let it go. I really doubt what he said is supported by statistics,
but his attitude was an example of the thinking of the people designing the lights.
(This was a couple of decades ago. Maybe the thinking has changed since
I do see more sensors these days, but still not nearly enough. Often they seem
poorly designed, such as unnecessarily waiting a full cycle before changing even
if there is no cross traffic.)
Old School Sci-fi Short Starring Keir Dullea Utilizes Classic Effects
I am in the USA and tried to watch it. The commercial played beautifully. Then after the commercial, just a black screen. I waited 5 minutes and gave up. Anyone else have this experience?
Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"
Spectrum is something you only have a license to a small amount of. As such, the total bandwidth you can put out has a hard limit on it. Everyone on a tower shares that bandwidth and there's just nothing you can do to increase it. You can't "lay more fiber" or "use another laser" or anything like that which you can do on wired connections. On a given segment, there is just only so much bandwidth nature and regulations will let you have.
The solution is to add more cells (towers). That's the whole idea behind cell phones. How do you think the humongous bandwidth used by say downtown Manhattan cell phones is achieved?
Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code
While I agree the extra precision is misleading, the real problem is that they don't provide confidence intervals. Even a rounded 80% could be misleading if it could fall between 60% and 90% due to sparse data.
On the other hand, if in their report details they said "84.38% with a 99% confidence interval of 72.27% to 94.49%", then the extra precision is no longer necessarily misleading (it is just the calculational result of the model used) and, although it is a little pedantic and redundant, I would have no fundamental problem with it. It might even be argued that it is infinitesimally more precise, allowing the calculations to be confirmed by an independent researcher. However, for presentation in summary form, it would be much better to say "between 72% and 94% with 99% confidence".
A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System
Why the hell are you still living there?
It's my home.
People are constantly losing their "home" for as minor a reason as losing their job and having to
transfer to another city. Call me a coward, but I'd move if my city was under long-term, constant attack.
But regardless of your personal motivation,
why would you want to traumatize your children by having them grow up in the midst of such
fear and violence?
A Peek Inside D-Wave's Quantum Computing Hardware
Um, last time I looked, most microcontroller chips could make calculations in "mere millionths of a second".
Yes, but they can't do 2^512 (2 to the 512th power) calculations simultaneously in
mere millionths of a second.
Of course, this would be for an ideal quantum computer with 512 qubits. There's still some
confusion about what the D-Wave "is".
Unicode 7.0 Released, Supporting 23 New Scripts
Over the years, I've tried to use Unicode for math symbols on various web pages and
tend to revert back to GIFs or LaTeX-generating tools due to problems
with symbols missing from the font used by this or that browser/OS
combination, or even incorrect symbols
in some cases.
the biggest problem with Unicode is the lack of a public domain
reference font. Instead, it is a mishmash of proprietary fonts each of
which only partly implements the spec. Even the Unicode spec itself
uses proprietary fonts from various sources and thus cannot be freely
reproduced (it says so right in the spec), a terrible idea for a supposed "standard".
I'd love to see a plain, unadorned public-domain reference font that
incorporates all defined characters - indeed, it would seem to me to be the
responsibility of the Unicode Standard committee to provide such a font.
Then others can use it as a basis for their own fancy proprietary font
variations, and I would have a reliable font I could revert to when necessary.
Scientists Find Method To Reliably Teleport Data
What you can do is use quantum teleportation to "transmit" (in a manner of speaking)
a real (or complex) number, i.e. a quantum superposition,
which in theory could contain infinite information, by using only
a couple of classical bits. This real number can't be observed directly - you can only
tell whether it's less than or greater than a specified number by appropriately designing
your observation - but until you observe it, it can be further processed in its
full precision as a superposition at the receiver end using quantum operations.
What you can do with this internal (uncollapsed) infinite information is up to you, e.g. as part of
a quantum factoring or search algorithm, until you finally collapse it and read out some yes/no answer.
All in theory of course; in practice you have noise and other sources of error.
Ask Slashdot: Professional Journaling/Notes Software?
I do this. Also, once every year or two, I scan all the pages and make a nice pdf file of each volume. I put bookmarks on pages that I think I may want to look up quickly (often these correspond to physical bookmarks such as little sticky notes) and also bookmark start of month or start of new project. My bookshelf, with 5 linear feet of notes over the years, fits on a thumb drive. In practice, I typically look up things in the pdfs rather than the physical notes. I intend to dispose of the physical notes someday, at least the very old ones (ego has prevented me from doing so thus far), but even if my house burns down my
notes are safely stored away on a remote backup.
Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?
Corned beef AND cabbage?...
Beano works for me. However, for it to really work well, I've found you need 2-3 pills per serving of food, typically 6-9 pills per meal, which (even for the generic version) can cost more than the meal itself!
Plant Breeders Release 'Open Source Seeds'
You are confusing copyright with patents. TFA is about "patent-free" seeds, not GPL copyrighted seeds (if there even is such a thing).
New 360-Degree Video Capture Method Unveiled
So how come I have no problem with streaming video, youtube, etc. which typically use about 20% of the CPU? What makes this so special?
New 360-Degree Video Capture Method Unveiled
On my 2GHz laptop, the CPU is pinned to 100%, and all I see are frozen frames that skip through the video every few seconds. The dragging response is so sluggish as to be meaningless since any visual feedback is delayed many seconds. I guess this technology isn't ready for prime time unless you have a bleeding edge gamer GPU or something.
Would Linus Torvalds Please Collect His Bitcoin Tips?
I don't see what this has to do with "copyright infringement". Anyway, from what I could tell, Tip4Commit takes a 5% cut.
An OS You'll Love? AI Experts Weigh In On Her
Yes, but for those of us who know how to root it, your old one will keep up the house and intelligently manage half of your assets.
Ask Slashdot: How Can I Improve My Memory For Study?
Be careful with priracetam. There is
evidence that although it may make people with low IQ/memory problems smarter, it might
also make people with high IQ dumber. Personally, I tried it for a while and it seemed to make no
difference. (Does that mean I have an unremarkable IQ? :-) )
Intel Challenges Manufacturers To Avoid "Conflict Metals"
Tantalum is rare, and it is a conflict metal, but it is not a
rare earth metal. Nor does TFA claim that.
Smart Cars: Too Distracting?
Buttons vs Touch screens? I must be really ancient, because I still hate the replacement of
Knobs with Buttons. There is nothing more user-friendly than a rotating volume control
knob you can reach for in the dark without taking your eyes off the road,
vs. finding a little button and hoping it's not set to the wrong mode.
Oh and while I'm at it, what's the deal with the "fade-in" response volume control knobs where
when you turn up the volume, it only increases a half-second later? Give me the old-fashioned
potentiometers that respond instantly.
And get off my lawn.
Have 100GB Free? Host Your Own Copy of Wikipedia, With Images
I agree that ISO 8601 is much better,
but people will still put the year last
in informal usage no matter how much you try to convince them otherwise.
Among the countries that I've visited (not an exhaustive list
obviously), only the US (usually) uses "/" as the separator. The others
usually use "." or "-". And only the
US has the month first. So an informal convention that usually works for me when there is
ambiguity is to
as meaning month first, anything else day first.
Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened
A pet peeve with cars is the stupid engine light that gives no clue what
the problem is. I have no idea if it's some lower-priority thing like a
polution sensor slightly out of spec or something where I need to stop
immediately to avoid engine damage. (I know you can buy the code readers,
but I don't carry one around in my car typically.)
So the Tesla, with all its sophistication, says 'Car needs service. Car
may not restart.' WTF? They might as well replace it with an
engine light to save money.
I do agree that 'Please pull over safely. Car is shutting down.'
is a little better, but not much.
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