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Comment: Re:30 years ago.... (Score 1) 221

by Jeremi (#49778387) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

So yeah, it's not as easy as just throwing a GPS on your locomotive and calling it good.

Still, even a partial solution (e.g. one that matches the train's GPS location, if known, against a table of specified maximum-safe-under-any-circumstances speed limits for that location) would prevent a train wreck in certain cases (such as the recent one that prompted this article). I'm all for full PTC, but I don't think the perfect needs to be made the enemy of the good here.

Comment: Re:Time to find better engineers (Score 2) 221

by Jeremi (#49778353) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

If the engineers' concentration is so fragile that they are going to be distracted by a camera, they are obviously not the right people to be operating complex machinery.

They suffer from a condition called "being human". It causes occasional failures in an otherwise operational controller-human, some very small percentage of the time. Even the highest-quality controller-humans have a non-zero failure rate.

Maybe we should just replace them with automation and run the trains remotely. They could keep one engineer per train to engage the manual override in the event that someone hacks the control infrastructure and tries to do Bad Things(tm) to the trains.

That is actually a pretty good idea, and it's more or less what PTC is intended to do, at least as far as the "avoid accidents" part of the job is concerned. Automating things further than that is also possible, although probably not really necessary.

Comment: Re:Two quick fixes to mass replicate (Score 1) 215

by American AC in Paris (#49777397) Attached to: Elon Musk Establishes a Grade School

Sure, plenty of kids and teens would not get educated, but they're probably not get anything now either. You can't make a student that won't learn educated anymore than you can make a morbidly obese person who refuses to eat right healthy. Sometimes society is better off with such people being allowed to make themselves into warnings for others.

Setting aside the sheer depravity of this argument, we have ample historical context for what happens when society cuts off the neediest. France, Haiti, Cuba, China, Russia, Algeria, Egypt, India, Scotland, The Phillipines, Mexico--just to name a few places where social and political inequality have driven massive, bloody revolts.

Wealth and political power calcify with the already wealthy and powerful. The middle and working classes slowly lose what wealth they have through attrition. Poverty becomes a virtually inescapable sink of destitution. Eventually, enough people end up having quite literally nothing to lose that you get vicious, deadly, destructive revolutions that take generations to recover from.

If you insist on taking a "pragmatic" view of not even bothering to -try- to improve the lives of the impoverished, try to at least understand the historical ramifications of what you're arguing for.

Comment: Re:Blocking access (Score 1) 235

by Malc (#49773261) Attached to: Leaked Document Shows Europe Would Fight UK Plans To Block Porn

I'm still waiting for the definition of pornography. Does William Adolphe Bouguereau's A Young Girl Defending Herself Against Eros qualify? How about the work of Spencer Tunick? How about Tennis Girl by Martin Elliott?

Instead of speculating, why don't you look at the British statute books? Wouldn't you expect the same law(s) for print, film and television for instance to apply or at least be a starting point?

Comment: Re: Funny, that spin... (Score 1) 403

by Dread_ed (#49772423) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

Makes me suspicious. "AI is bad! Keep away!!!" Meanwhile in his super secret underground lair he's got a few slaving away creating his next idea.

Joking aside, I would not be surprised if large companies with money to be made and vast processing power on tap decide that a propaganda campaign against AI is just what they need to incite regulatory bodies into restricting research. And when the government's new AI regulatory body needs staffing with "experts" they will need look no further than the companies whose clarion call started the firestorm. Thusly have all the major sector leaders in the U.S. achieved ascendency, by controlling the regulatory bodies and thereby gaining access to the umbilicus of newly formed companies. Just a little squeeze, here and there, on that regulatory lifeline and all of your future competitors are stillborn.

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor