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McLaren Believes It Has the “Only Authentic Sports Car Setup in the Market”

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On the one hand, you have Horacio Pagani, founder of Pagani Automobili, who builds some of the world’s most exotic supercars but says of the Porsche 918, “Porsche is the greatest — beyond a doubt. I own a 918.” Speaking of his own Ferrari F12 tdf’s arrival, Pagani says, “When I uncovered the car and […]

The post McLaren Believes It Has the “Only Authentic Sports Car Setup in the Market” appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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LeMadChef
1 day ago
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I love McLaren cars and hope to drive one IRL someday, but this is insane.
Denver, CO
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The States Trying to Pass Laws Protecting Drivers Who Hit Protesters

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Florida State Senator George Gainer wants to make one thing clear: His bill was never a license to assault demonstrators. While the bill he sponsored in February, S.B. 1096, would have granted civil immunity to drivers who strike protesters with their vehicles, the fatal assault in Charlottesville on Saturday is not what he had in mind.

“It had nothing to do with what was going on in Virginia,” Gainer says. “Our bill would not have prevented that, and it certainly would not have condoned it.”

That bill died in May. But similar bills in four other states (North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and Texas) are still on the table, and the bill in North Carolina even passed the House. While their Republican sponsors are walking back some of these proposals in light of the attack in Charlottesville, others are still insisting that they serve drivers and protesters alike.

All of these bills would accomplish roughly the same thing: If a driver strikes a demonstrator on a road or freeway, and the demonstrator doesn’t have a permit to be there, the driver cannot be held liable for any injuries—even death. That’s immunity to civil liability only. Criminal liability would still apply in an intentional vehicular assault or terror attack like the one in Charlottesville.

These bills largely sprung from Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year, several of which featured scenes of protesters occupying highways around the country. The same tactic has been employed in demonstrations to oppose the election and inauguration of President Donald Trump.

That context may have changed after Charlottesville. In North Carolina, The News & Observer reports that the Senate will not take up H.B. 330 after all, and that even if it did, Governor Roy Cooper, a Democrat, would veto it. Still, that didn’t stop North Carolina State House Rep. Justin Burr from issuing a blistering defense of his bill.

"It is intellectually dishonest and a gross mischaracterization to portray North Carolina House Bill 330 as a protection measure for the act of violence that occurred in Charlottesville this past weekend,” Burr said in a statement on Monday. “Any individual who committed a deliberate or willful act, such as what happened this weekend in Charlottesville, would face appropriately severe criminal and civil liabilities.”

But the bills all raise similar questions: In the absence of compelling video evidence, how would law enforcement determine whether a driver who struck a protester did so accidentally or intentionally? For example, the Tennessee bill says that civil immunity will be applied to any driver “who is exercising due care.” (Tennessee lawmakers did not return a request for comment.) The failed Florida bill went further, putting the burden of proof on pedestrians to show that injury or death was intentional.

In that sense, these driver-immunity laws resemble the so-called “stand your ground” laws that many of these same states all share. For both kinds of laws, the burden of proof falls on the person who has suffered the casualty. And race, inevitably, is a determinative factor in establishing whose truth holds up in court.

“We realized we were going into an area that was too complicated,” Gainer says. “We didn’t pursue the bill any further until we could come back and come up with something more specific.”

Texas State Rep. Pat Fallon, the Republican author of Texas’s version of this law, H.B. 3432, says that the legislative process will ultimately clarify several important details. His draft is only a placeholder; the final committee substitute would apply civil immunity for drivers only on roadways with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour or greater, Fallon says, and just in circumstances in which a protester lacks a permit. Other details will follow.

The point is to keep protesters off high-speed highways, not empower drivers on blocked streets to take matters into their own hands. Fallon says that the high speeds of Texas highways, many of which boast posted limits of 80 m.p.h., make them incredibly unsafe for people on the roadway, even if they are in highly visible, large-scale protests. “That’s why we don’t allow hitchhiking,” he says. “We don’t want people on foot deliberately on a roadway like this.”

Fallon says that his goal is to protect protesters. He calls protest crucial to the well-being of a Jeffersonian democracy. But he says that demonstrations on highways are unsafe, both for protesters and for impartial drivers caught up in a tense or confusing situation. Charlottesville doesn’t change that, Fallon says: If anything, it makes the legislation more urgent. “It’s the same kind of thing where we have a tragedy with a gun,” Fallon says. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to outlaw all guns.”

Whether any of these bills will see the light of day is unclear. But they prove one thing: Those highway demonstrations really are effective, in a sense. Lawmakers from all over took notice, even if they did not respond in the ways that activists might have hoped.

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LeMadChef
1 day ago
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Of course, no one could have predicted someone would ACTUALLY INTENTIONALLY HIT PROTESTERS.

No one. /sarcasm
Denver, CO
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Indiana Jones and the Nazi dilemma

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This comic by Cameron Davis made me chuckle:

Click the comic to see it at full size.

While I’m on the topic of Indiana Jones and Nazis, it’s time to bring up one of my all-time favorite movie lines:

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LeMadChef
1 day ago
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Denver, CO
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The Moral Shambles That is Our President

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Denouncing Nazis and the KKK and violent white supremacists by those names should not be a difficult thing for a president to do, particularly when those groups are the instigators and proximate cause of violence in an American city, and one of their number has rammed his car through a group of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring dozens more. This is a moral gimme — something so obvious and clear and easy that a president should almost not get credit for it, any more than he should get credit for putting on pants before he goes to have a press conference.

And yet this president — our president, the current President of the United States — couldn’t manage it. The best he could manage was to fumble through a condemnation of “many sides,” as if those protesting the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists had equal culpability for the events of the day. He couldn’t manage this moral gimme, and when his apparatchiks were given an opportunity to take a mulligan on it, they doubled down instead.

This was a spectacular failure of leadership, the moral equivalent not only of missing a putt with the ball on the lip of the cup, but of taking out your favorite driver and whacking that ball far into the woods. Our president literally could not bring himself to say that Nazis and the KKK and violent white supremacists are bad. He sorely wants you to believe he implied it. But he couldn’t say it.

To be clear, when it was announced the president would address the press about Charlottesville, I wasn’t expecting much from him. He’s not a man to expect much from, in terms of presidential gravitas. But the moral bar here was so low it was on the ground, and he tripped over it anyway.

And because he did, no one — and certainly not the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists, who were hoping for the wink and nod that they got here — believes the president actually thinks there’s a problem with the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists. If he finally does get around to admitting that they are bad, he’ll do it in the same truculent, forced way that he used when he was forced to admit that yeah, sure, maybe Obama was born in the United States after all. An admission that makes it clear it’s being compelled rather than volunteered. The Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists will understand what that means, too.

Our president, simply put, is a profound moral shambles. He’s a racist and sexist himself, he’s populated his administration with Nazi sympathizers and white supremacists, and is pursuing policies, from immigration to voting rights, that make white nationalists really very happy. We shouldn’t be surprised someone like him can’t pass from his lips the names of the hate groups that visited Charlottesville, but we can still be disappointed, and very very angry about it. I hate that my baseline expectation for the moral behavior of the President of the United States is “failure,” but here we are, and yesterday, as with previous 200-some days of this administration, gives no indication that this baseline expectation is unfounded.

And more than that. White supremacy is evil. Nazism is evil. The racism and hate we saw in Charlottesville yesterday is evil. The domestic terrorism that happened there yesterday — a man, motivated by racial hate, mowing down innocents — is evil. And none of what happened yesterday just happened. It happened because the Nazis and the KKK and the violent white supremacists felt emboldened. They felt emboldened because they believe that one of their own is in the White House, or at least, feel like he’s surrounded himself with enough of their own (or enough fellow travelers) that it’s all the same from a practical point of view. They believe their time has come round at last, and they believe no one is going to stop them, because one of their own has his hand on the levers of power.

When evil believes you are one of their own, and you have the opportunity to denounce it, and call it out by name, what should you do? And what should we believe of you, if you do not? What should we believe of you, if you do not, and you are President of the United States?

My president won’t call out evil by its given name. He can. But he won’t. I know what I think that means for him. I also know what I think it means for the United States. And I know what it means for me. My president won’t call out evil for what it is, but I can do better. And so can you. And so can everybody else. Our country can be better than it is now, and better than the president it has.


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LeMadChef
4 days ago
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The golf analogy was icing on the cake.
Denver, CO
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2 public comments
jerkso
4 days ago
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You are making hoops for the president to jump through, he denounced all side for the violence. He has denounced the violence you know it, you're response is weak and without substance. Why don't you talk about the cause of this and their numbers growing? Hint it is not Trump.
Bangkok, Thailand
katster
4 days ago
“Trump comments were good. He didn’t attack us. He just said the nation should come together. Nothing specific against us….. There was virtually no counter-signaling of us at all. He said he loves us all…. No condemnation at all. When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.” ~The Daily Stormer
boredomfestival
4 days ago
There are not multiple sides to this.
jerkso
3 days ago
There aren't multiple sides, care to explain, that seems a refutation of reality as much a commonsense. Seems both of you perhaps are living in a bubble, Quit it with the might is right reasoning in such attitudes and ignorance. Recognize the poison there on both sides.Ignoring this collectivism of any sort is going to end poorly for everyone.
skorgu
4 days ago
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GOP. Delenda. Est.

Bark’s Bites: Turn, Turn, Turn

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 “The internet has ruined the car business.” “I’m not interested in a race to the bottom.” “There’s an ass for every seat.” Yes, my friends, in the year 2017, dealership general managers still say these sentences. What’s worse is that they’re not even being ironic. And in this era of record-setting car sales (yes, despite […]

The post Bark’s Bites: Turn, Turn, Turn appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

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LeMadChef
4 days ago
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Denver, CO
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Figuring out how to contribute to open source

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Lately at work I’ve been working more with large open source projects (like Kubernetes and Terraform!)

Sometimes there are bugs in those projects, or features I want to add! I haven’t contributed to open source projects much in the past (beyond like “here’s a 2-line README fix”. (which is useful but is a lot easier than fixing a bug)

Historically my approach to bugs / missing features in open source projects has been to shrug, say “oh well”, and find a workaround or wait for a fix. But these days I am trying to be more like I AM A PROGRAMMER I CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN. Which is true! I can!!

This post isn’t about “how to find small issues in open source projects to get started with open source” – instead it’s about “I have a specific change I want to make to a specific project, what will help me get that done”.

skills I already have

I sometimes feel kind of intimidated by open source. When I feel intimidated I find it helpful to remind myself that I’m a professional software developer and most of the things you need to do to contribute to open source projects are already things I do every day at work.

For example!

  • make a clear/well-organized pull request
  • write tests
  • run tests and use a CI system
  • navigate a codebase that is tens of thousands of lines of code
  • figure out whether something is a bug or expected behavior
  • read the code to figure out how the code is supposed to work even if there isn’t a project maintainer I can ask questions
  • use git rebase & resolve merge conflicts
  • other regular software stuff

things that are still hard about open source

Okay, so we have basic software engineering skills covered. What makes open source contributions harder than my regular job, then?

Here are some things that are harder!

  • In open source, I need to send code reviews to total strangers. At work, I generally send code reviews to the same 10 people or so, most of whom I’ve worked with for a year or more, and who often already know exactly what I’m working on.
  • At work, people mostly share the same goals as me. But if I have a change to an open source project that’s useful to my company, the open source maintainers might not agree that that change is broadly useful enough to include.
  • In open source, if I’m contributing to a new repository I need to learn the standards and conventions from scratch. At work I basically always contribute to the same 3-4 repositories which I already know inside and out.
  • In open source, the code I’m modifying is probably used in ways I don’t know about. At work I usually already know (or can look up) every way the code I’m changing is used.
  • In open source, I can’t just DM the project maintainers with questions (or bug them about how they haven’t reviewed my PR) any time I want.

This list is super useful to me! It takes us from “open source is hard and scary, how do I do it” from “there are a bunch of specific challenges when contributing to open source projects that I don’t usually have to deal with, but that’s fine, I just need to deal with them!”

Here are a few tactics that have helped me when working with open source projects.

remember that maintaining an open source project is super hard

One thing I always try to remember is – while contributing to an OSS project is definitely work, maintaining a project is often pretty thankless and is way more work. So through all of this I think it’s important to be really respectful of open source maintainers’ time!

They spend a ton of time doing code reviews and making sure the project continues to work for a huge variety of people and thinking about weird edge cases and a lot of stuff that any individual person contributing to the project probably doesn’t have to think about anywhere near as much. And often maintainers are volunteers – I think it’s useful to be aware of whether a project’s maintainers are paid to maintain the project, or whether they’re doing it for free on the side.

start by making a tiny pull request

I read this great short post Easy Pull Requests recently that recommends making a tiny pull request (like fixing a typo or something) first when getting started with a new open source project to get a sense for

  1. how quickly people respond to pull requests
  2. how friendly the maintainers are
  3. what the process for getting something merged is like

I haven’t really done this but I think it makes a lot of sense.

read way more code than usual

Recently I fixed a bug in the Kubernetes scheduler. I did not know how the Kubernetes scheduler worked and did not have anyone to ask about how it worked.

So instead I just spent a bunch of hours scrolling through the scheduler code until I understood how it worked. This is maybe sort of obvious (“if you don’t have anybody to ask questions, just read the code until you figure it out”) but code-reading is a muscle that maybe I don’t always exercise as much as I could and so this was a good reminder of how far I can get without asking any questions at all.

don’t be scared to share a work in progress

If I’m making a PR I’m not sure of the details of how it should work, I’ll often start a [WIP] PR like “here’s a sketch, here are the details of what I’m trying to accomplish, what do you think?“.

I think this is actually a super good idea in open source too (especially if I’m new to the project) – I’ve found that as long as I explain the idea clearly maintainers are happy to give early feedback and help me figure out what the right direction might be.

write really detailed PR descriptions

At work I often write pretty short PR descriptions because the people reviewing my code usually already know more or less what I’m working on.

I’ve been spending way more time on writing clear open source PR descriptions (like.. 5 minutes instead of 10 seconds?). So far it has gone really well! I will write several paragraphs about what the PR is trying to accomplish, and so far everyone seems to totally understand and then give me great code reviews.

smaller pull requests are better

When trying to fix this scheduler bug I started out by writing a PR (+79 lines, -25) which made a few different improvements related to the bug. It got a lot of helpful code reviews but after a couple of days was clearly stuck.

I decided “well, this PR is a little complicated and it’s editing a pretty sensitive piece of code, I will close it and break it up into 2 smaller PRs!“. This turned out to be a GREAT IDEA – the new smaller PR got a lot more reviews a lot more quickly and then got merged. Turns out making your code simpler gets you more reviewers! :)

Also I’ve been really impressed with the Kubernetes project overall, it seems well organized so far!

close the PR if nobody replies

A while back I had a PR where originally I got a lot of super helpful reviews, but after some back and forth eventually I said “ok, I fixed all the issues you brought up, what do you think about merging this?” and they just didn’t really reply.

I eventually said “ok, I’m going to close this in a week if nobody replies”. They didn’t reply and I decided I didn’t want to spend any more time on it so I just closed it. I think this was an okay outcome! It was helpful to decide “ok, this one isn’t working out right now for whatever reason, I’ll close this and maybe revisit it one day later”. No big deal.

use Slack / mailing lists?

Throughout all of this so far my approach has been “I won’t ask anyone questions if I’m confused, I’ll just think really hard and eventually figure out the answer”. So far this has been pretty effective. But a lot of open source projects have a mailing list / Slack / gitter / IRC channel for discussion. I haven’t really figured this out yet because the social norms are kind of unclear to me (there are often hundreds or thousands of people in the Kubernetes Slack channels and I don’t know almost any of them), but it seems like something I should figure out.

“open source” is a really big world

There are a lot of open source projects with very very different degrees of

  • whether they’re actively maintained at all (one person in their free time? 50 people who work on it full time?)
  • how big the codebase is (100 lines? 1000 lines? 100,000 lines?)
  • how many people use the project (how many people will be affected if something breaks?)
  • how good is the automated testing?
  • basically every axis a software project could exist on

So I think it’s hard to give general guidelines – most of what I’m trying to do really just boils down to

  1. be respectful of maintainers’ time and contribute helpful patches
  2. communicate clearly what my goals are

that’s all for now

I used to want to / think I should contribute to open source in my spare time. I have mostly decided/realized that this is not going to happen. I spent many hours working on these two PRs to kubernetes and while I think this was a good use of work time, I probably would not do that strictly for fun. (I write blog posts in my spare time, I don’t really code)

But I do think “being able to make improvements to open source projects” is a super good work skill and it’s something I’m excited about getting better at. And I think it’s important for companies to contribute back to open source projects they use, and I’m excited to be a very small part of that.

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LeMadChef
4 days ago
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Denver, CO
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