Pedestrian Safety

Larry Felton Johnson has accepted the responsibility for pedestrian safety in East Atlanta.

But I finally acknowledged what I’ve known for a long time, that the most efficient means for the citizen of a neighborhood to have a positive impact is to help out in the local community group…

While I have no real objections to attempts to engineer pedestrian safety into the built environment via traffic calming schemes as long as noxious unintended consequences are avoided, I don’t believe for a second that engineered solutions are the overall answer to the problem.

The solution as I see it is broad education of drivers concerning the law combined with strict enforcement.

That sounds like a good idea. As far as engineered solutions go, the mid-block crosswalks in New York City seem to work well, from a traffic perspective. Walking in the City is mainly a matter of exercising prudent care: if your path will not intersect that of a car, cross; or, in crossing, alter your path or velocity. Move it, buster.

Somehow I don’t think permitting pedestrians to fire at oncoming traffic would be acceptable, but it might cause drivers to be more cautious.

Homographs

You mean that there are other languages with other alphabets? And some of those look like ours? The horror!

Homographs, or letters which look alike but aren’t, are the current fascination of phishing exploits. This is a relatively old problem, documented in 2002, of which the IETF was aware.

So, should UNICODE be squeezed into ASCII so that it can be used in hostnames? Which UNICODE? My position on internationalized domain names may be unwelcome: You don’t use an ASCII subset? Tough shit.

I can no more type Hyundai in hangul, than Kim Jong-Il can type Hyundai in Latin. The keyboards don’t permit it.

One of the reasons for the ASCII subset was to be able to transfer the object identifier from the computer to paper and back via my fingers and a pen, or from this computer to that computer without having recourse to copy and paste. It’s certainly much easier to do that with DNS names than, say, X.208’s Object Identifiers. I will admit that the non-Latin world has had to adjust to our alphabet, much as I have had to adjust to Arabic numerals. That’s what happens when you trade: you pick a common language and use it.

Though, now that they’ve stopped teaching writing in the schools, we’ll soon be illiterate, so it won’t much matter.

(On the other hand, I think it’s funny how all these problems come from trying to approximate analog forms within the digital namespace.)

Ouchlook Idiocy

Here’s one. I’m certain you, Gentle Reader, can identify many another.

Microsoft Outlook permits the recipient to edit mails received. This is easily done by accident with RTF messages, but merely needs a menu command for text/html and text/plain messages.

I am certain that Microsoft hires sophomores.