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Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 1) 88

by anagama (#49629915) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

The final laws aren't secret, but during some parts of the lawmaking process, their details may be kept secret, for exactly the reason in TFS.

Actually, and incredibly, the final law will be secret for a while:

The chapter in the draft of the trade deal, dated Jan. 20, 2015, and obtained by The New York Times in collaboration with the group WikiLeaks, is certain to kindle opposition from both the political left and the right. The sensitivity of the issue is reflected in the fact that the cover mandates that the chapter not be declassified until four years after the Trans-Pacific Partnership comes into force or trade negotiations end, should the agreement fail.

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49629515) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I am well aware of the concept of irony, but that was not the subject of my rebuttal.

It doesn't seem like you are particularly aware.

As it seems that you are more interested in playing word games rather than discussing the subject at hand

Hypocrite. I am discussing the subject at hand, with people who are doing better than playing clever word games. The "or not" in my comment addressed the point before you raised it: namely, that drivers might not in fact observe the information provided by local signage. So if you have anything to add, rather than ignoring what I wrote, that will elevate you above "clever word games".

Comment: Re:nice edit (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49629375) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Unless they can navigate ever present, always changing construction zones, those things will be useless in my state.

For now, a human driver will be on board to handle those occurrences. Later on, when regulatory acceptance is captured, they will be handled by a remote driver who operates the vehicle by telepresence. They will probably be located in regional service centers, organized into networks, and contracted by shipping lines which will be reduced primarily to corporations which own trucks and hire a manager, an accountant, and a receptionist who is occasionally replaced by a temp.

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49629343) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Absolutely. But constructing an argument that is predicated on negating a sentence through the use of an easily overlooked two word suffix, does not enhance comprehension.

Tacking "...or not" onto the end of a sentence is an extremely common construct in American English, which denotes acceptance of irony.

Comment: Re:Subject's are dead. (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49629323) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I would think that with increased stopping distances would mean farther forward camera's?

The long stopping distances should also mean lower speeds. some states limit speeds while towing, for example in California it is always illegal to exceed 55 mph while towing anything with any kind of vehicle. Of course, it's rare to see a big rig going less than 65 or 70 on any highway in California, so make of that what you will. Perhaps the self-driving trucks will obey the law in that regard, and as such do much better at holding their lane than human drivers — who I regularly see fail at this because they're driving faster than they ought to be. Regardless, the vehicles are much taller than others, so they clearly have a lot more sight range available...

Comment: Re:Idiots in passenger vehicles (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49629291) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Having driven a large rig before I can assure you that usually the problem is NOT the big rig driver. It is the idiots in passenger vehicles who cut them off

I do see idiots in passenger vehicles cut big rigs off, but I have just as frequently seen assholes in big rigs cut me off. They pull over to pass as I am rapidly advancing which is already illegal, then they take a literally illegal period of time to execute the passing manouver (in California, if you're not actively overtaking, you must stay out of the passing lane, thankyouverymuchassholes) and then they often lag long after the truck they've passed has flashed their lights to denote permission to merge, just because they're assholes and they can. I also see big rig drivers with a dozen or more drivers behind them fail to use a turnout even on flat ground, which is also illegal in the state of California — when there are a mere five drivers back there, you are required to pull over and let them by, at the first safe opportunity, and not just the first marked turnout. And if I see a big rig hold its lane these days, it's the exception and not the rule. If you can't hold your lane at that speed then slow down, asshole. And if you then hold people up, pull over, asshole.

We all already know that the average truck driver is untrained and unskilled, so there's no need for you to bullshit us. Driver training was already an issue a decade ago because of a lack of experienced drivers willing to sell their life for shit pay, and it's only worse now.

When even half of the truck drivers out there start obeying laws intended to preserve public safety and to make the road usable for everyone, not just freight, then I'll believe your claims that the problems are mostly caused by other drivers. But frankly, you're completely full of shit.

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49629121) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Currently, the trucks will be operated the old-fashioned way in towns, so there will still be a human behind the wheel reading the signs and responding to them, or not.

If that was the case then trucks wouldn't go down the wrong road ever.

You should really read text before quoting it. It would help with the quality of your replies.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 162

by drinkypoo (#49629097) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

I think you might have missed a few.

Again, we're now talking about your personal kitchen, not a commercial one. Commercial kitchens are regulated because anyone might just come in off the street and eat there. Your personal kitchen is not regulated (aside from electrical and gas connections, lighting, etc — all the stuff that applies within your house in general) because that's not the case. If you want to sell food to people outside your house, then sometimes your home kitchen will have to be regulated. Some states now allow you to sell baked goods and some other stuff which was prepared in your uncertified home kitchen, but dairy and meat products still require certification.

However, when you operate your automobile on public roads, you affect everyone, so it's reasonable that you should have to have safety inspections performed whether you're engaging in commercial behavior or not. It doesn't become more reasonable because your activity is commercial; it becomes more reasonable when your vehicle reaches a certain age or mileage. Each has its own effects, both of which need to be accounted for. Vehicles should have inspections at certain ages, probably about 6, 12, and 24 months, as well as probably 5 and 10 years, and then also at certain mileage intervals. Obviously, if a mileage interval event occurs in the same year (or perhaps less in the early life of the vehicle) as a timed event, you would skip one. You wouldn't skip two, however. This would naturally result in most taxicabs receiving more inspections than other vehicles, without a law specifically targeting taxicabs.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49628953) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

1. Drive your car in front of a self-driving rig

1. assortment of HD cameras record your every move.

2. Bring your car to a stop, thus forcing the rig to stop

2. An operator at a centralized dispatch/monitoring center is notified, as the truck's video feed pops up on their console.

3. Help yourself to whatever goodies the truck is hauling

3. As you step out of the vehicle, the operator presses the button that will connect them with law enforcement in the region in which you are located. They coordinate with local law enforcement to give them a detailed description of your person and vehicle. The video can be passed off to authorities who can process it for biometrics, and based on gait analysis and other data identify the perpetrator, who likely already has a record — and substantial data on file. High-resolution imagery of the vehicle will also assist in positive identification.

4. Profit!

4. Could be, but likely, you're going to get boned.

5. You can already do this with a truck with a human driver. They're not just going to run you off the road. If you've got two or three other people who can all get out of the vehicle with shotguns at the same time, the driver is extremely unlikely to resist, or even to call the police. These vehicles will actually be more secure than manned trucks, not less.

6. ...and actually, these trucks will be manned; self-driving trucks without drivers are still well into the future. Likely, those won't even have cabs, and perhaps the trailers will also be redesigned to be harder to get into.

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49628863) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

On the other hand I also see on local roads, signs that say things like "Truckers - the GPS information for this road is wrong - you cannot get through this way". So I am interested in knowing in general how route planning will be made for all driverless vehicles, as it would seem that local knowledge and common sense will (currently) always trump a computer selected route.

Currently, the trucks will be operated the old-fashioned way in towns, so there will still be a human behind the wheel reading the signs and responding to them, or not.

Worst case scenario was that tech journalist who took the wrong road in northern CA (?) in winter and got stuck in snow and died.

You know there's a bit more to that story, right? Got stuck in snow, wandered off alone and died. Wife and kid survived him by staying with the car like sensible people. Carry water and blankets in your car.

Comment: Re:Trains (Score 2) 117

by drinkypoo (#49628833) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Of course trans are more economical and I expect more "environmentally friendly".

It depends on the job you're trying to do, and what your trains look like. A monorail (monorail? monorail!) PRT system has very little footprint and takes relatively little material to build, that's quite environmentally friendly even for relatively low occupancy. Traditional rail has more potential throughput per "lane" (rail line, in this case) than freeway — but for traditional rail with traditional trains, you have to reach fairly high utilization numbers before it becomes cheaper than the highway. That's difficult to do while having to compete with car culture.

Comment: Re:An ever bigger torpedo (Score 1) 117

by drinkypoo (#49628789) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Each one is a learn as you go, something humans excel at even if it's a 16 year old kid who just got their license. This is the Achilles heel of automated driving and we're quite a number of years away from sorting it all out.

You could reasonably address this to some degree by marking the temporary lanes with colored paints. Presumably, these problems will mostly be solved by automatic routing. Your car will just go around, whenever possible. It will know there will be a delay there. Obviously, sometimes that's not possible, which is why the human is going to have to intervene in some situations for quite a long while. Since most of those situations are going to be at quite low speeds, though, the driving controls can recede in importance. Perhaps a force-feedback joystick really will become a viable car controller, at least for vehicles which are expected to drive themselves almost all of the time.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 162

by drinkypoo (#49628747) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

There's a public health concern for food fixed in private residences too. Hear about the incident a few weeks ago where people got botulism at a church potluck?

Yeah, again, you have to choose to participate in that. Still not the same thing.

And the idea is a commercial vehicle (especially one operating as a taxi) is going to spend more time on the road, meaning it is going to need more maintenance sooner than a private vehicle driving possibly well over 100 miles a day compared to 40-50 for a private vehicle. As such regular vehicle inspections are a very good idea.

But regular vehicle inspections are already a very good idea, that's my point. In most places in the USA the only vehicles which are getting them are commercial vehicles. In California they want to be real sure that your emissions are within a compliant range, and if a cop notices your headlights are misaimed they can write you a ticket and send you to a headlight alignment station, but there are no mandatory inspections which ensure that your suspension won't fly apart while you go down the road, let alone that you aren't dripping oil everywhere and causing hazards for everyone, if not on the day of then eventually when the rain comes.

Either vehicle inspections are a good idea for everyone, or they aren't. Further, I continue to object to the notion of a "commercial vehicle". There should be only one standard of behavior for drivers no matter whether they are a joyrider, a commuter, a delivery driver, or even a cop or ambulance driver — with the caveat that the latter sometimes will be putting on the siren and lights, and the rest of us should be getting out of the way. However, in all other ways, everyone should be following the same rules for a variety of reasons, only one of which is "fairness".

Primarily, "the system" only works when we can form expectations. A good example here is that you have to be able to expect people not to come across the double yellow line and drive right up in your face. Part of that is their behavior, and part of that is having their vehicle in proper working condition with good tires, suspension, steering linkages... some of which is typically not inspected well anywhere in the US, again, not on a mandatory basis. You usually only find out that something is wrong when you spend money to have it addressed. Because I don't wait for the vehicle to fail when I feel something getting sloppy, I know that the idler arms in the Astro are loose but still within spec, and that I don't have a bad ball joint in the suspension linkages. I also knew that I had a bad wheel bearing, and had it replaced. (I did the other one, but I hurt my back doing some other stuff and wasn't up to this one.) But you can look around and see cars which obviously aren't receiving the attention they need, because nobody is making the owners do it.

So yeah, regular vehicle inspections are a very good idea, but they're also a good idea for absolutely everyone. If you want to base the schedule on mileage and not on time, I can completely agree with that idea. It shouldn't matter if I drive 100,000 miles a year for fun or for work, either way that's putting more wear on the vehicle. That ignores the additional duty that the start-stop cycle of typical taxi use puts on a vehicle, but the proliferation of hybrids as taxis is reducing that problem anyhow, by taking much of the load off the typical wear components.

Eventually we'll probably get GPS monitoring whether we like it or not, and then they can build really-fine grained fee structures and inspection regimens. Whoopee.

1 Mole = 007 Secret Agents