Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Your situation isn't everybody's. (Score 1) 66

by Firethorn (#48909649) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Research done has shown that for real mpg improvements you need to be closer than even a computer controlled car can compensate for, and you pay for it by needing to brake so often that you burn off any potential savings.

Computer controlled cars might be able to do it better, but do you trust the signals from the lead car?

Comment: The early 70's are calling. (Score 1) 178

One of the largest internal migrations in US history was in the early 70's when 20 something hippies started leaving cities in droves and building mud brick utopias. Only a handful of the communes survived more then 2ys. The common cause of downfall was human nature - a bully would arise in the commune and take ownership of the land by pushing people out one by one.

Comment: Re:Urban legend? (Score 1) 178

I grew up during the cold war, the term "plan C" sound vaguely familiar. The military is expected to "plan for every scenario", it's unsurprising they came up with silly plans for a nuclear - most primary school kids knew that fallout made "duck and cover" a sick joke. It's an attempt to make people feel like they can "do something" other than dying.

Comment: Martial law (Score 1) 178

I think this is why it managed to say 'secret' for so long. When you were briefed into the program you realized that:
1. The plan was incredibly unlikely to ever go 'live'
2. If the plan DID have to go 'live' things were so FUBAR that it was the best remaining option.

We need continuity in government. So long as the military command(majority of surviving government due to being designed to survive attack) gives command back over to civilians in a reasonable timeframe*, we're good.

*2-4 years? Enough for a new election cycle, at least.

Comment: Re:Still sounds like early flight... (Score 1) 66

by Firethorn (#48909203) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

I don't know, the world's 2 most ancient professions are still around... ;)

Actually, I'd imagine that truck drivers, especially long haul, would suffer before taxi drivers.

The taxi 'industry' would be fine, perhaps even invigorated by this. Fire all the nasty taxi drivers, have a computer do dispatch, etc...

Reduce costs enough and people will be less likely to buy a car rather than just renting one when they need it.

As you say - need a heavier vehicle, rent one, even over the phone. Heck, buy something and arrange for delivery. It'll drop the package wherever. Though delivery services at that short range are often cheap enough to be worth the human labor placing it in it's final location and hauling the old one away.

Comment: Re:No fuck off (Score 2) 137

by Firethorn (#48909075) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

Sometimes they're sitting there between calls doing paperwork.

The problem with cutting their budget is that traffic enforcement(writing tickets) generates revenue, solving crimes doesn't. So you'd be forcing them to write even more tickets.

Even in areas where the police department doesn't get a cut of ticket revenues, generally the legislatures will alter funding - IE give the cops money to be able to afford to write tickets where the money from the tickets goes to the schools. If they don't write enough tickets, they'll be questioned by the budget committees.

Comment: Re:Still sounds like early flight... (Score 1) 66

by Firethorn (#48908489) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

You obviously spout misinformed nonsense - the only opponent with some national support was Langley.

You spout things you do not know. I never stated that they all had national support. I don't remember who, but Langley wasn't the only one with government support. Which is why I said 'some'.

Comment: Time value of money (Score 1) 66

by Firethorn (#48908449) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

Do you own a car? If so, do you change it's oil or take it to a place? Why?

Most people don't do it as explicitly as I did, but people still do it. It's one of the major reasons people drive rather than taking the bus. Sure, it's more expensive to drive, but they value their time highly enough that they'd rather spend $5 to get there in 1/3rd the time that the bus would take.

People especially do it when they hire a contractor to fix something in their home, mow their lawn, etc...

Comment: Re:Depends on use (Score 1) 66

by Firethorn (#48908403) Attached to: Modular Smartphones Could Be Reused As Computer Clusters

At how much cost compared to salvaged cell phone CPUs? Secondly, the 'needs' you list rather depends on the task they're being asked to do. There are still lots of tasks out there that aren't particularly CPU dependent.

Oh, now that's an idea: Said CPUs tend to be fairly ruggedized. What if we're talking about micro-servers intended for use in neighborhood locations for whatever function?

As Kenh says, "maybe not your cellphone".

My cell phone is more powerful than the old domain controller at one of my previous jobs...

Comment: Re:what about liability? and maybe even criminal l (Score 1) 66

by Firethorn (#48908207) Attached to: Germany Plans Highway Test Track For Self-Driving Cars

You are very far off from reality.

Since so much of what you said is the same thing as I said, doesn't that make you far from reality as well?

For example, you said: "If a pedestrian runs into your lane and the car does an automatic emergency break AND the car following you crashes into you because of that, the liability issues are clear."

Which is simply an expansion/different case on my "pedestrian considered at fault for darting into traffic."

You don't address my pointing out that the system maker could be held at fault, but I specified 'possibly' for a reason - that's reaching into politics. We all should know that what is 'right' is not always what happens.

Fact is, I figure auto-drive accidents that are the fault of the car will be extremely rare, but still happen. That's where the limited liability becomes important.

Comment: Re:"A hangar in Mojave" (Score 3, Informative) 30

by Bruce Perens (#48908157) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

That's actually what it's like at "Mojave Spaceport". Hangers of small aviation practicioners and their junk. Gary Hudson, Burt Rutan, etc. Old aircraft and parts strewn about. Left-over facilities from Rotary Rocket used by flight schools. A medium-sized facility for Orbital. Some big facilities for BAE, etc. An aircraft graveyard next door.

CChheecckk yyoouurr dduupplleexx sswwiittcchh..