## Monday, March 22, 2010

### Stoc Travel Support/WELCOME BACK LANCE!

(REMINDER AND UPDATE: If you are a a grad student you can apply for travel support for STOC 2010. See here for details. One update on that: since registration and hotel information for STOC 2010 is not posted yet, you can estimate it on your application, or say + registration, + Hotel. NOTE- deadline is Friday March 26. If you are a professor I ask you to email the theory grad students at your school, who don't read this blog (if there are any), about the travel support available.)

To welcome Lance back from his Blog Sabbatical here is a post that will inspire comments like When is Lance coming back? I even tossed in a few mistakes to feed the grammar-trolls. (Is grammar trolls'' hyphenated?)

Some states are banning cell phones while driving or texting while driving. Not sure what I think of that. Should they ban putting on makeup while driving? How about arguing with your spouse while driving? Maybe they should have a general rule about driving under the influence of distraction. But that is probably too vague. On the other hand, I think we can all agree that they should outlaw tweeting while piloting:

1. New Hampshire has a nice general law that won't need to be expanded when new technologies arrive. See, e.g., this 2005 story on Stateline.org.

2. Grammar trolls is not hyphenated.

3. France bans (almost) all these actions while driving. The general law is that you should have your both hands free when driving. Hence you cannot text, phone without hand-free system, eat a sandwich, etc... I think it can decrease the number of accident.

4. IIRC talking using a hands-free cell phone while driving is substantially more dangerous than talking to a passenger while driving. One possible explanation for this is that a passenger will automatically stop talking when road conditions demand more attention from the driver (e.g. approaching a construction zone), whereas a caller has no way of knowing when they should be quiet.

5. Apparently studies differ on whether or not conversation with a passenger is safer than using a cellphone:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phones_and_driving_safety#As_compared_to_conversation_with_a_passenger

6. that isn't an iPhone

how lazy of them

7. I imagine you'd support this no excuses campaign?

8. How's about solving TCS problems while driving?

I have to admit, driving, among other routine activities such as showering, is when my brain is the most active.

9. I'm surprised to learn that phone usage while driving is not yet forbidden in the US. I thought this was the case everywhere.