Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Whats this guys definiton of real world? (Score 1) 258

A university study was just published last week that self-driving cars crash about 4-8 times more often than humans, and the crashes cause more serious injuries.
The publishers were at pains to point out that only a few million miles were on record, so they hedged the obvious conclusion that humans drive better. Utter nonsense. People REALLY want to believe that robots drive better. A million miles or hundred million, the numbers are in. Self-driving cars aren't working. A million miles are more than enough data.

The real thrust of getting this onto the road is to fire truck drivers. End of story - they want to keep all da money. Uber outright admits it wants to fire the Uber "contractors" and replace them with robots. This is about money, bub. Hundreds of billions of fat, juicy dollars for businesses, and armies of newly unemployed. They hate paying people money to do jobs when they can keep it all.

Comment Re: That's nothing (Score 1) 258

That happens because we drive cars. Cars are very stupid, expensive and dangerous solutions to the simple problem of moving people around. They've killed and crippled more people than wars. That's because moving tanks at high speeds on flat open strips results in accidents. That will not change. Want safety? Build trains. Get rid of the cars.

Comment Re:Are you trolling or just boring? (Score 1) 258

Planes have slammed people into the ceilings. Planes have crashed themselves. Self-driving cars, v .1, crash more often and cause more injuries per crash. Computers are toasters. They are not intelligent. Computers can't deal with chaotic situations. "Life finds a way" is another way of stating it; it is impossible to build an AI that does what humans can do. Driving isn't a video game. You can't program for chaotic systems. If you can, go get your Nobel.

Comment Re:Are you trolling or just boring? (Score 1) 258

Well done.
I think Ian Malcolm, the chaos theoretician in Jurassic Park gave the best (in the novel) explanation as to why we can't outsmart the universe. Mathematically, chaos wins. Life/Chaos beats the best-laid plans of mice and men. Humans are best at all-purpose threat response in unusual situations. The sheer audacity of the belief that we can build a billion two-ton computers and let them loose is staggering.

I stand watching a computer-dispatched elevator sit on a floor, opening and closing its doors, and no one can make it stop. They have to call Otis every time. And it happens a lot. That's a damned simple sensor and interface, and it fails. No one pays much attention because there are five other elevators. If the elevators were doing seventy among hundreds of other elevators, it would be more tragic.

A car would consist of two or more networks, dozens of sensors, hundreds of millions of lines of code that absolutely must work, and would work best if all the other cars were running the same code and are integrated into a worldwide network. This assumes the sensors don't fail eventually, or that the owner doesn't, and this might shock some Americans, trade in their car every two years, but instead keep their cars for a decade or more. They do that because new cars last that long, easily. A robot car would fail in hundreds of ways in that ten years, because of normal failure of all that incredibly delicate self-driving equipment. I guess everyone HAS to buy new every few years, as the manufacturers really, really would like it if they do, so I assume code updates won't be all that forthcoming on older models. Bricked or new, your choice. Cha-ching. No wonder they're so very, very happy to build robot cars. It's a license to drain all the damned wallets.

And of course, we can't ignore that car AIs with outside network connectivity are, by definition, remote-control ready. If anyone thinks this isn't a power dream, really? Recall also that America isn't the only country in the world. Remote monitoring and override of cars will be used by secret police and evil bastards in nearly every nation on the planet to nail journalists and malcontents. Damn, this is gonna be a well-behaved world when they are done.


The European Commission Is Preparing a Frontal Attack On the Hyperlink ( 220

An anonymous reader writes: Julia Reda, a member of the European parliament, is sounding the alarm on new copyright legislation under development. She says the European Commission is considering copyright protection for hyperlinking. Reda says, "This idea flies in the face of both existing interpretation and spirit of the law as well as common sense. Each weblink would become a legal landmine and would allow press publishers to hold every single actor on the Internet liable." Under this scheme, simply linking to copyrighted material would be legally considered "providing access," and thus require explicit permission of the rightsholder. Reda warns that it could lead to legal expenses for anyone who shares links (read: everybody), and ultimately the fragmentation of the internet.

Comment Re: illogical summary (Score 2) 360

A corporation, being a government-granted license to avoid personal responsibility for one's actions, is not free to do whatever it wants for some self-defined goal of endless profit. That notion started around 1970. A corp is not a castle, and its true purpose is determined by the society that granted it its privileges. That has been understood for centuries, until, as I said, around 1970.


Functioning Hoverboard Unveiled ( 55

An anonymous reader writes: Last year, a company called Arx Pax set up a Kickstarter campaign to develop a functioning hoverboard. Now, the company has demonstrated an updated version of the device, which is fully capable of hovering over a surface made out of conductive metal (video on YouTube). CEO Greg Henderson said, "The hover engine creates a primary magnetic field which is then put over a candidate surface like aluminum or copper. The hover engine then creates swirls of electricity and those create a secondary magnetic field, which propels the firsts." The device is expensive; Arx Pax is delivering a handful of units to Kickstarter backers who contributed $10,000. It's out of the reach of typical consumers, but it does seem to work. Plus, the company is sharing their magnetic field technology with teams taking part in the competition to build pods for a prototype of Elon Musk's Hyperloop vacuum tube transportation system.

Comment Re:How will it work? Seriously (Score 1) 301

Surveillance, that thing I've been screaming about for years - it's gonna become impossible to communicate about such things undetected. And believe me, it will be criminal and they will start using the new super-police surveillance sphere to track down people who do. Tomorrow won't be like today. They will keep growing in malice and capabilities. And they buy any law they want.

Comment Re:DRM Does Work (Score 1) 301

And the encrypted BIOS on PC and Mac motherboards - has that been cracked? Not really. Linux distro makers have to beg for a license to use mobos, IIANM. Encryption does work, at a certain level. And Google has been good at blocking or demoting crack pages for so many things. Try to find a bleeping free (current!) DVD ripper sometime using a search engine. Point is, they can be successful enough to keep anyone from bothering. And there are more than a few writers and activists in prison for fighting such things. Or at least sued into oblivion, Scientology-style.

Put not your trust in money, but put your money in trust.