Author Topic: "F**k my Hat, I didn't know that!" Amazing things you've only just found out  (Read 266735 times)

touchingcloth

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Time to mine my 'Greatest Hits' for a

The buzbyclopædia, if you will. So in the UK, are emergency vehicles able to change lights as they approach them? It sounds like not in the case of temporary lights, but permanent?

Endicott

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Pretty sure that is a no. That's the reason your driving instructor will tell you to slow down a bit and look left and right before going over traffic lights.

buzby

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The buzbyclopædia, if you will. So in the UK, are emergency vehicles able to change lights as they approach them? It sounds like not in the case of temporary lights, but permanent?
It is very rare on fixed installations, and usually only used in specific circumstances, such as when an ambulance or fire station is near a traffic controlled junction - a switch is installed in the station so when an alert arrives the junction can be set to give priority to the blue light vehicle (this is known un the UK as a 'Hurry Call' system). There are also some RFID-based systems that are mainly used to give priority to buses or trams at intersections. There are trials involving software-based dispatch solutions that can plot a route for the vehicle's crew, and which interacts with the traffic control system to 'clear' the junctions ahead of them. That obviously can only work when all the junctions are networked.

JesusAndYourBush

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Near where I live they once had to install new traffic lights (or repair them or something) and when you pressed the button to cross the road the light changed within a few seconds instead of making you wait longer like they're supposed to.  Crossing the road was a much pleasanter experience without the longer wait, but after a few weeks they must've sent someone to fix it because it went back to how they're supposed to behave.

buzby

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Near where I live they once had to install new traffic lights (or repair them or something) and when you pressed the button to cross the road the light changed within a few seconds instead of making you wait longer like they're supposed to.  Crossing the road was a much pleasanter experience without the longer wait, but after a few weeks they must've sent someone to fix it because it went back to how they're supposed to behave.
There can sometimes be a delay between a set of lights or controller being installed or upgraded, and the engineer being sent out to commission them and configure them for the particular site. If they aren't supplied already preconfigured for the job by the factory  they are supplied with a default configuration which is enough for the installers to do their basic operation tests.

pigamus

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Mentioned this before but the thing that really does my head in is when the green man is next to you on the post not opposite you like it's supposed to be. Fucking stupid and dangerous - what's the thought behind it supposed to be?

If you put you hand under the unit with buttons at traffic lights, you'll feel little prong rotating when it's time to cross the road. This is for the sight and hearing impaired, so they know when it's safe to go, even if they can't see or hear the alerts.

Mentioned this before but the thing that really does my head in is when the green man is next to you on the post not opposite you like it's supposed to be. Fucking stupid and dangerous - what's the thought behind it supposed to be?

Possibly for people with reduced eyesight?

touchingcloth

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Mentioned this before but the thing that really does my head in is when the green man is next to you on the post not opposite you like it's supposed to be. Fucking stupid and dangerous - what's the thought behind it supposed to be?

The near side lights are puffin crossings, the far side ones are pelican. As well as helping visually impaired people, apparently part of the idea behind the design is that the indicators are set diagonally so that while looking at them you’re able to see approaching traffic as well.

Is the danger you’re thinking of that you can’t see when the lights go red for pedestrians and back to green for traffic? Because another part of the design is that they stay red for motorists until the crossing has been detected as clear. Apparently they don’t have flashing amber for motorists either, they just switch straight to green.

MojoJojo

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Mentioned this before but the thing that really does my head in is when the green man is next to you on the post not opposite you like it's supposed to be. Fucking stupid and dangerous - what's the thought behind it supposed to be?

Buzby's answered this one before too. It means you'r actually looking in the direction cars are coming from and can see if they're not actually stopping, instead of just blindly stepping out because you trust the green man.

Buzby do you reckon it's true that many close/open door buttons in lifts are placebos?

I could google this but I want buzby take.

buzby

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Buzby do you reckon it's true that many close/open door buttons in lifts are placebos?

I could google this but I want buzby take.
It varies from country to country. In the US most of the 'Close Doors' buttons were disabled when the Disability Access rules were brought in in 1990 that mandated a fixed door open period for elevators. However, in New York the local laws say they still have to be operational, though if it's pressed before the mandated 'doors open' period it will still wait for that to expire before closing the doors. The New York model is similar to how the 'Close Doors' button works in most UK lifts too.  Here's a quote from a Department of Health specification document for hospital lifts:
Quote from: Health Technical Memorandum 08-02
5.32 Door dwell times (that is, the time the lift doors remain open at a landing if no further push-buttons are pressed) should be set to five seconds (5 s) for general passenger lifts and seven seconds (7 s) for all other lifts or where general passenger lifts are used for other traffic types. The dwell time should shorten to 0.5 s whenever the door-close or a push-button is operated.
The 'Doors Open' button also works in UK lifts (you hold it down to keep the doors from closing) and is also an important control when the lift is operated in 'Fire' mode (which is enabled by the key switch on the button panel, or by a master switch in the building's lobby). In 'Fire' mode control of the doors becomes fully manual via the buttons, as you don't want the doors to open automatically onto a floor that's full of smoke and flames.

Uncle TechTip

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Not even Buzby can answer - why people don't read posts any more?

If you'd like to learn more about lifts, this 2hr talk from 2 security professionals is pretty interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUvGfuLlZus

The near side lights are puffin crossings, the far side ones are pelican. As well as helping visually impaired people, apparently part of the idea behind the design is that the indicators are set diagonally so that while looking at them you’re able to see approaching traffic as well.

Is the danger you’re thinking of that you can’t see when the lights go red for pedestrians and back to green for traffic? Because another part of the design is that they stay red for motorists until the crossing has been detected as clear. Apparently they don’t have flashing amber for motorists either, they just switch straight to green.
The real problem isn't so much that, it's that you have to be standing in a particular place to see them, and they're easily blocked by people standing in front, or if approaching from the other side. So they're fine in situations where you're alone and walk up to the panel, press the button, and wait for a green man, but useless in busy city streets where there are crowds around the crossing and people far from the box have no idea if people are crossing because the green man is lit or they're chancing it. Similarly if you walk up and see traffic has stopped there's no clue if it's safe to cross or not. I guess it's part of the design that everyone is supposed to walk past the box, look at the green man, and cross at the exact same place, but that feels ridiculously restrictive and is only possible if there's a small number of people crossing. Putting two green men, one on the box and the other up high across the road, would be the obvious solution.

With the mayoral elections and all that coming up, I've literally only just realised that the mayor is NOT the same as the town crier.

icehaven

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The real problem isn't so much that, it's that you have to be standing in a particular place to see them, and they're easily blocked by people standing in front, or if approaching from the other side. So they're fine in situations where you're alone and walk up to the panel, press the button, and wait for a green man, but useless in busy city streets where there are crowds around the crossing and people far from the box have no idea if people are crossing because the green man is lit or they're chancing it. Similarly if you walk up and see traffic has stopped there's no clue if it's safe to cross or not. I guess it's part of the design that everyone is supposed to walk past the box, look at the green man, and cross at the exact same place, but that feels ridiculously restrictive and is only possible if there's a small number of people crossing. Putting two green men, one on the box and the other up high across the road, would be the obvious solution.

Yes I've always thought it was a bad design for the same reasons, even if there's only two people at the crossing if one has used the button under the display chances are they'll stay standing right next to it so block it for the other person. If the point is to make people look in the direction the traffic is coming from then it'd make more sense to put it (or an additional one) higher up, as then not only would it increase it's visibility for everyone crossing but it'd also make them look further down the road so they'd see if there's some prick hurtling towards the crossing with no intention of stopping.

JesusAndYourBush

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With the mayoral elections and all that coming up, I've literally only just realised that the mayor is NOT the same as the town crier.

Wait until you discover that the Mayor of London and the Lord Mayor of London are two different people!

Fr.Bigley

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Wait until you discover that the Mayor of London and the Lord Mayor of London are two different people!


Artie Fufkin

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This maybe should go under 'Peter's Mad Thoughts', however, there's a crossing in the town where I live, that when you press the button it changes to RED instantly.
I've often thought of waiting for a double decker to approach, press the button and walk out in front of it.
Would I survive? Could I sue?

touchingcloth

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The dead can’t sue.

kalowski

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If you'd like to learn more about lifts, this 2hr talk from 2 security professionals is pretty interesting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUvGfuLlZus

Sebastian Cobb

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Listening to the WTYPPOD about armoured trains:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_U2p-Ix2EU

The thing that I found interesting is both Russia and the US dabbled with having covert nuclear launch abilities rolling around on trains.



Russia had these 'refrigeration trucks' rolling about from the late 80's until 2005, and they want to bring them back with a similar idea.

The nuke also had an inflatable nose cone.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm2050270/?ref_=rvi_nm   https://deadline.com/2018/10/nbc-unveils-its-writers-on-the-verge-diversity-program-class-of-2018-19-1202476580/ Bernard Badion made his own film Leave it to Chance  age 20 but still years later is put on an apprenticeship for NBC.
Shows that diversity apprenticeships are a waste of  proven accomplished talent.


Also, http://wearemoviegeeks.com/2009/01/review-around/ t my astonishmnt, was researching "star of the future" Robert .w Evans  and reminded that Anthony Mackie starred in a film that went straight to Daily Mail free DVD  https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0425094/mediaviewer/rm4173698560/

evans was also in Default, a DTV thriller starring David Oyelowo - https://letterboxd.com/film/default/
I can't believe Oyelowo has this shite in his CV for "cj entertainment".

Yeah, quantum cryptography will render binary cryptography instantly obsolete. Possibly already has - we can't know at the moment.

This isn't really right, as I understand it. Not all algorithms are necessarily susceptible to being sneakily hijcked by quantum computers, even when we can build them at a decent size. By the time quantum computers are practical for this kind of attack, we're likely to have replacement algorithms which won't be vulnerable.

Sebastian Cobb

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This isn't really right, as I understand it. Not all algorithms are necessarily susceptible to being sneakily hijcked by quantum computers, even when we can build them at a decent size. By the time quantum computers are practical for this kind of attack, we're likely to have replacement algorithms which won't be vulnerable.

New algorithms will keep new secrets secret. I find it possible that there are nation states out there hoarding secrets in the hope they can break into them. I think even breaking open historical state secrets across the board could lead to some wild geopolitical instability.

A log flume isn't just a fairground ride; the ride is named after proper log flumes, which were artificial rivers built for transporting newly-felled logs, relying on water running downhill (as opposed to a canal, which is level and needs something to pull the cargo). The longest was much longer than anything in an amusement park: there was one over 60 miles long near Fresno, California.

Paul Calf

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This isn't really right, as I understand it. Not all algorithms are necessarily susceptible to being sneakily hijcked by quantum computers, even when we can build them at a decent size. By the time quantum computers are practical for this kind of attack, we're likely to have replacement algorithms which won't be vulnerable.

It's not a sneaky attack. Quantum supercomputers would make brute-forcing current and future cryptography standards much easier:

Quote
One study suggests that encryption using a 2048-bit key could be cracked in 8 hours using a quantum computer.

https://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/how-quantum-computing-will-affect-computer-security-and-passwords/
 
Possibly they already do.

It's not a sneaky attack. Quantum supercomputers would make brute-forcing current and future cryptography standards much easier:

Current, yes, not necessarily future.

Quote
One study suggests that encryption using a 2048-bit key could be cracked in 8 hours using a quantum computer.

https://www.intego.com/mac-security-blog/how-quantum-computing-will-affect-computer-security-and-passwords/

Yes but that's for existing encryption mechanisms, lots of which are vulnerable to quantum computers (if we can ever build them big enough).

Quantum computers aren't just magic boxes which crack any problem, you need to have specific algorithms tailored to them to get results out. So future encryption mechanisms can be designed to be not vulnerable to quantum computers.

Paul Calf

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But all data currently encrypted is encrypted with those standards. Unless all legacy data  - including the data sucked into secret service datacentres under projects revealed by Snowden - and all backups are re-enxcrypted to the new standards, it will remain vulnerable.

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