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Comment: Re:Soda can... (Score 1) 97

by lgw (#47585969) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

Ah, you don't get it - I'm guessing you drive someplace more sane. You cannot leave a safe following distance ahead under some traffic conditions. You could try, but there will be a continuous stream of cars pulling into the space you're trying to leave in front of you, and if you slow by too much to try to maintain that space, now you've become a hazard to navigation, endangering everyone else.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 97

by lgw (#47585949) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

. Lane following is simple in that it uses two painted lines to figure out where the lane is and steers to stay between the lines.

My car does much better than that. I've been surprised at how little visual information it needs to determine where the lane is. I does sometimes get confused by zebra crossings, however. It doesn't brake for curves, but it does look ahead and understand curves - if the car "ahead" of me is actually in a different lane, for example, it figures that out and doesn't panic (the first gen system from 10 years ago had problems with that).

Say you approaching a narrow bridge. The bridge has to be identified. How can you identify a bridge if all the information you have is the position of the left side of the lane, the position of the right side of the lane and the distance to the vehicle in front of you?

My car has a variety of sensors, including a camera built into the rearview mirror assembly (so, better visibility than my eyes). It lacks the software to deal with e.g. sharp curves ahead, but the raw data is already available.

Comment: Re:Bottom line (Score 1) 7

by smitty_one_each (#47585657) Attached to: When it doubt, try for the Jedi Mind-Trick, right?

You try so desperately to connect those two unrelated concepts; apparently under the belief that you can force them into association by repetition alone. I would point out to you that there were actually people from the original occupy (wall st.) movement who actually wanted to run against President Lawnchair but I don't expect that would slow you down any.

No no, the desperation is 100% on your end, I assure you.

I would be genuinely interested in knowing why you are so sure of this.

Strong correlation with consciousness during the previous 6 years, I suppose.

So, then, ~35% of the public - or 80%+ of your own party - supporting impeachment are sufficient in your mind to venture down this road? Not many people would ordinarily consider such a group to be an accurate assessment of "the public".

Your continued desperation to attach ownership of the GOP to me is. . .quaint. The only numbers that are going to matter are the results of the November elections.

If the GOP are invertebrates, then the democrats are - at most structurally - pond scum. They haven't stood for much of anything as a party in over a decade.

Aw, c'mon, boss: both stand for the increase of Federal power.

What I did was still more than you have done to attempt to fill in your cavernous gaps of knowledge.

Oh, OW! Oh, that hurts! Oh, the suffering! Imma go cry now.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 97

by lgw (#47585431) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

These systems are actually quite good at some of your list - you might surprised. What they can't do at all is predict the insanity of other drivers. Like the guy waiting to turn left who will just sit there until you get dangerously close, and then cross in front of you (why do so many people do that?). It's early days yet, but I fully expect software to pass average human driving skill in my lifetime.

Comment: Re:Soda can... (Score 4, Insightful) 97

by lgw (#47585383) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

Where I drive, you simply can't leave any more distance when traffic is heavy: if you leave reasonable space between you and the car in front of you, someone will pull in. It's a bit nuts.

But the great thing about this tech is that, unlike me, it has the reflexes to always react safely and the ability to maintain that focus indefinitely. I rely on "looking upstream" to predict changes in traffic flow, and that works well enough, but it doesn't help with drivers who are just crazy, lose a tire, or other such unpredictable events. Now, I'm not sure what scope of events the car can react to, as it's early days yet for self-driving, but in principle it's great.

How close you drive to the car in front of you is a matter of reaction time. I expect we'll no longer be bound by the limits of the human nervous system, soon enough.

Comment: Re:How about wheels that work? (Score 1) 67

by khallow (#47584953) Attached to: NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload
As an experiment, it is close to pointless. As a technology demonstration it has somewhat more value, though perhaps not enough to justify its inclusion. You could do this a hundred times in those basements and it would still not be done on Mars. For a technology to be demonstrated in a particular unusual situation or environment, then it sooner or later has to be deployed in that situation or environment.

Comment: Re:Why do we do these things? (Score 1) 67

by khallow (#47584883) Attached to: NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload

You know, when I was a young tech who was just bumbling his way around a corporate cube farm I had to deal with someone who thought like this.

I'm not saying I'll do this personally, but rather the whole of human endeavor would. Given that they actually did do it (just with NASA's signature on a few of the funding checks), then that's vastly different from your coworkers point of view. NASA didn't actually do the vast majority of that work, it was done by contractors. And I believe that those contractors or their competitors would have done the work anyway.

Comment: Re:It's almost sane(really) (Score 1) 410

by roman_mir (#47584627) Attached to: Judge: US Search Warrants Apply To Overseas Computers

I see a lot of negativity in your post directed at Microsoft and I wonder what kind of confusion of ideas turns a person into what you are, you are absolutely on the side of governments and against the individual freedoms and liberties. What happened, did you get beat up a lot as a child or something?

Comment: Maybe (Score 2) 151

by Anonymous Brave Guy (#47584603) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

It seems really, really tough to get anyone finance-minded in the *business* of making software to understand that it's worthwhile to do exploratory development of tools and techniques to be much more productive later on.

Perhaps, but any such exploration and the resulting tools have to beat the baseline of a decent text editor, a decent version control system, a decent scripting language, and starting to write code within a minute of deciding the project is ready to begin.

For a long-running project with many developers and other contributors performing repetitive or error-prone tasks, maybe it will be worth investigating, selecting and adopting some external tools to automate some of that work, at some stage in the project when you know where the pain points are. But if your development team aren't newbies, they will be perfectly capable of building their code manually at first, they will surely already know their universal Big Three tools very well, and importantly, they will just code up any basic automation on the fly as the project grows and the needs become apparent.

IME, that turns out to be a surprisingly tough standard to beat. I've seen many, many projects get bogged down in their own infrastructure because they felt they should use some type of tool and forced themselves to do it, not because they necessarily needed that tool or found it useful in practice. Of course good tools can be useful, and of course sometimes it is better to bring in help from outside the project rather than being too NIH about everything, but it's important to stay focussed on the goal and not to forget that tools are only means to an end.

Comment: Re:Yeah, and ....? (Score 1) 151

by lgw (#47584569) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

There hasn't been anything new in CS since the 80s.

No really.


AJAX was new. Used to be the terminal and back-end would only exchange data when you hit the xmit key, and of course the web re-invented this pattern adding nothing new, but then it actually went a step beyond. Of course, it's mostly abused in horrible ways to punish the user for the crime of being a customer, but then, what tool isn't?

Other than that, yup, mostly re-inventing of the wheel by people young enough not to be there for the last trip round.

Comment: Re:The problem mirrors that of big word processors (Score 1) 151

by lgw (#47584501) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

But to say "you should not code features that are not immediately needed in the current sprint" will lead, in most cases, to significant rework in the future. Rework is money and time.

When at last you grok the Tao of Programming in fullness, you will no longer have this problem. Seriously, one good reason to have a senior engineer on the team is to help guide you in doing just what you need immediately without significant throw-away work, or not-used-today cruft.

A key part of the work of a smart project lead, whether that lead is an active developer or not, is to anticipate the product direction. The lead has to be able to say, "Sure, we're only going to write this subset of functionality *now*, but it is a near certainty that users will want this expansion of it in just a couple of years. We might as well have the basic framework for that in place, even it's only stubs."

A couple of years? Writing dead code and cruft on purpose? No, that's nuts in this day and age. Write code properly such that it's easily refactored, and don't do anything to block anticipated features, but if you can't see ways to do just the immediate work and still keep it cheap to add someday-maybe features later, what have you been doing these 30 years?

Comment: Re:Tool complexity leads to learning the tool (Score 2) 151

by lgw (#47584429) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

And there are many people like you who have difficulty reading text that's not annotated, explained or highlighted by something else.

I used to program using butterflies, but of late that doesn't seem manly enough. Now I'm programming by arranging cocoons such that weeks hence when the butterflies fly away, the desired atmospheric disturbance will result in the code on my HDD. Took years to get to where I could intuit the changing weather well enough, but now I feel like a real programmer again - let's see em make an Emacs macro for that.

Overload -- core meltdown sequence initiated.