top Google Fighting Distracted Driver Laws
Do you need to know how fast you're going? Yes.
Do you need to know how your car is performing? Yes.
Do you need to know where you are and where you're going? Yes.
We already have head-up displays that show car parameters, as well as navigation systems
that help you get where you're going. This could be incorporated in to an HUD ("turn here ->").
Anything more would be information overload. I do
not need ads to tell me how cool the
store I'm driving by is (i.e. how much they paid for the ad), nor do I need neat pictures other people have taken in the vicinity.
Look at how they do it in airplanes: the pilots have
the essential information in front of them, but can access other information as needed.
top The Ever So Unlikely Tale of How ARM Came To Rule the World
I've always thought ARM was a cool design. Simple, minimalist, sort of a latter-day PDP-11,
one of those canonical architectures that just works. Simple chip, not many transistors, low power, good chip
for mobile devices. It seems so
obvious in retrospect. Especially since that's not what the designers had in mind. They were designing a simple
chip because they only had a couple of people and that was all they could afford.
In one of the later scenes in
Micro Men there is a whiteboard in the background with the original ARM
requirements, right down to the barrel shifter.
top Google Tells Glass Users Not To Be 'Creepy Or Rude'
I sometimes wonder if Google Glass is going to be another
thought it was a really neat idea and pushed it hard, but nobody else thought it was a neat idea
and it died.
People view Google Glass as creepy and weird. That's hard sell, even for Google.
top Ugly Trends Threaten Aviation Industry
Is current GA activity intrinsically low, or is it low compared to the Good Old Days of the 1950s and 1960s
general aviation boom?
Our GA airports are somewhat less than inviting to visitors. There was an editorial/blog in
Flying magazine on this
Airplanes really are expensive to buy and to operate.
Does anybody learn to fly for fun or for private transportation anymore? Everybody nowadays gets their PPL because it's the prerequisite for everything else.
After the novelty wore off I too came to the realization that a PPL was sterile, a dead end, and am now working on my commercial license.
top An OS You'll Love? AI Experts Weigh In On
Right, and this is why the viewer was supposed to make the assumption that the AI had emotions programmed in. No stupidity here.
Remember the discussion in
2001. HAL was programmed to sound emotional, since it made it
easier to talk to him. Whether he actually felt emotions was much harder to say.
top Nissan Unveils 88 Pound 400-HP Race Car Engine
the horsepower per hour of engine life? That thing looks like it'll last 20 hours before it needs rebuilding.
A point the story ignores. Any idiot can get buttloads of power
out of an engine if it doesn't have to do so for very long. Two-stroke engines are particularly good for
this if fuel consumption and exhaust emissions are minor considerations.
about a month and a half ago
top Best skywatching equipment at my disposal:
My biggest scope is an 18" dob, made by the now-defunct Starsplitter. It looks a lot
Obsession 18", and uses Obsession
While large, with the wheelbarrow handles it's easy to move around and set up. When I bought it
I refurbished it, including redoing the teflon bearings in the mount. A local industrial plastics shop
sold me an offcut of real virgin GE sheet teflon. The result is pure dobsonian:
rock steady, stays where it's pointed. And perfectly balanced:
it moves with one finger.
Jupiter's moons are different colours and are non-stellar. Titan is an interesting colour. M13 has
a friend, NGC 6207.
about a month and a half ago
top U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why
As a city dweller public transport and the occasional rental car were all I needed for a long time.
A few years ago I got a nice bonus from my employers and bought a little car to see what I might do with it.
I can't say it's changed my driving habits all
that much: I still take the bus to work, but drive on weekends. The
price of gasoline is certainly a factor, but will have to be quite a bit more before I cut back further on driving.
I'd love to drive an electric car, but the infrastructure isn't there. I live in an apartment and have nowhere to plug one in,
despite numerous discussions with the building management.
There are a few destinations around here (like downtown Vancouver) where I still prefer to take the bus, because the traffic
and parking are impossible.
about a month and a half ago
top Previously-Unseen Photos of Challenger Disaster Appear Online
I remember that morning. I was watching the launch on TV as I was getting ready to go to work, and had to
during a launch hold. Later that morning one of our part-time folks came in and asked if
we had heard about Challenger? I felt myself go grey and took the rest of the
Every generation has events where everybody remembers exactly
where they were. I wasn't born when Sputnik 1 was launched,
and I was a bit young to remember Kennedy. But I do remember Apollo 8, Apollo 11, Apollo 13, Challenger, Lady Di and 9/11.
Funny that four of those events are related to space...
Side note: a shame the pictures only show the left SRB, not the right one that caused all the trouble.
top Programmer Debunks Source Code Shown In Movies and TV Shows
A few years ago I was doing some development that involved AES encryption, and needed
to create some test tools.
One evening I was watching some program about the misdeeds of some computer hacker,
and the screen background was perl. It mentioned Crypt::Rijndael.
I had my test tool the next morning...
top No. of vehicle license types I hold:
None of the above, in other words...
I have a license for driving cars (British Columbia class 5) and a license for flying airplanes (PPL). I'm working on my commercial license.
In Canada a pilots license is a little booklet that looks like a passport. Your license, ratings and medical, all in one
top I'd rather pay for my space latte with ...
If you exchange your Foundation credits for kalganids you get a
of kalganids. Sounds like a good deal to me!
What good are quatloos? All you can do is place bets with them. I'm confused.
...laura, probably showing her age
top What computing device do you use most while on vacation?
I make sure that my vacations are out of cell coverage, so my cellphone is irrelevant. I turn it off for the duration.
All the better to hear the wind rustling through the leaves, the birds calling, and so on. One favourite getaway includes howler
monkeys whooping it up at dawn. So be it.
I take my iPad with me. I can read stuff on it if I want to. At the airport yesterday I checked the weather via the airport's
WiFi, did my own forecast
of the flight conditions and compared that with the airline's briefing on turbulence and stuff. Nailed it.
My employers have emergency contact information, but they understand that if they call me it had
an emergency. The one time they called me (in 14 years) it really was. My boss is of the same mindset on this stuff, so it's cool.
top First Hard Evidence for the Process of Cat Domestication
A few years ago I moved to a new place and needed to line up a new home for a very sweet
stray cat who had turned up on my doorstep. So he went to live with my Mom in the country.
At first he was puzzled by his new surroundings, but eventually he figured things out. It took him
about six weeks to go from playing with mice the other cat brought in, to catching his own and playing
with them, to discovering they were edible. And much tastier than cat food. Crunch crunch crunch.
top How long do your computer mice last?
I bought a trackpad for my Mac earlier this year on a whim, and I love it. I know, drinking the kool-aid and all that. So sue me...
top YouTube Expands Live Streaming To All Channels
Indeed. That will, eventually, kill YouTube far more effectively than intrusive ads or changes in terms of service.
I first noticed playback issues earlier this year. Everybody is complaining about it. The support forums are full
of platitudes about updating plugins and flushing one's cache. None of which makes any difference: YouTube is broken.
And if it doesn't actually work,
i.e. deliver content, the advertising is going to be irrelevant.
My preferred browser is Chrome, BTW. If YouTube doesn't work properly with Google's own browser,
we're in big trouble.
top Desktop Browser of Choice in 2013?
I use Chrome as the lesser of two evils. Face it:
everybody who is in the
browser business has an agenda.
Almost makes me fond of the AOL days, it's so frustrating.
I remember a flight (circa 1995) when I got an AOL trial floppy disk with my complimentary
bag of peanuts and lousy coffee.
top Nelson Mandela Dead At 95
When Nelson Mandela turned 70 there was quite a bit of coverage in the news here. He was
still in jail, so I called Cape Town information, got the number, phoned the jail and left a
message ("Happy Birthday!") for him.
The man who answered the phone sounded like he'd been on the phone a lot that day.
He was also very careful to take down my name and where I was calling from. I suspect
that until the government changed there would have been little point in trying to get a visa
to visit South Africa...
top Should companies start using drones for common tasks, like package delivery?
The technology to autonomously deliver payloads with high accuracy has been around
for a long time.
I remember years ago people staring wide-eyed when I pointed out that the same technology that
delivers bombs could be adapted to deliver more useful things like food and medical supplies.
And now goodies from Amazon & Co.
As a pilot I wonder about the aeronautical issues. The authorities are clearly up in the air
on the subject (pun intended...
:-) as well. I hope they can find some good answers.
top Tesla Faces Off Against Car Dealers In Another State: Ohio
A question that comes up a lot is if Delicas do so well in Canada, why didn't Mitsubishi sell them here at the time?
My answer: all Mitsubishi products in Canada at the time were captive imports, sold as Dodge products (e.g. Dodge Colt). Would you still
want one if it said "Dodge" on it?
Mitsubishi sold a 2 wheel drive gas-engine L300 in the U.S.A. as the Mitsubishi Vanwagon. They were largely ignored
at the time, and are pretty well extinct now.
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