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Comment Re:Opt-In (Score 2) 232

There is no way our security forces will let this be anything but mandatory. Manual-control vehicles will be phased out, and eventually will be criminal to drive without some sort of cop-controlled shutoff, at least. Hell, the financing companies alone love external control. They use it to disable cars which have buyers late on their car payments. They can get rid of repo men if the cars drive themselves back to the dealer.

Comment Re:A compromise (Score 1) 232

It would have to be a mechanical kill switch for the power bus that services all the automated systems, including the robot on your brakes, accelerator, and steering, or it is just a cute story you tell yourself so you feel better. And no cute integrated batteries that can wake up if a cop wants to override. A computerized switch is a joke.

Comment Re:passenger safety (Score 2) 232

Any code and procedure can and will be dumped when convenient. Rules can't fix this. Don't accept controlled cars. Don't accept self-driving cars. Don't accept cars controlled by Turing machines which by definition are reprogrammable. Accept only rack-and-pinion steering, hydraulically controlled brakes modulated by your foot, and an accelerator that doesn't ignore your commands when it feels like it. Like e-voting: there is NO correct solution. Any effort is useless to control a computer when hostile outside forces have access. A computer is hackable, and you don't let it control a two-ton tank with you inside.

Comment Re:Only when a warrant is issued, or with permissi (Score 1) 232

"I don't think there will be much argument about this, particularly in Amercia, where the deaths per capita inlicted by 'law enforcement', are similar to the murder rates in more civilised countries."

Well said. And rightwingers only have so many mod points, so let me give ya a hand here.

Comment Re:Brave new "future" (Score 1) 232

Never saw the movie. That writer was a clear thinker, wasn't he?

I'm not worried about car jackers, who are about as frequent as lighting strikes. Worried about our invisible political lords and masters. Imagine a Dick Cheney with this power. Oh god. Assange's car would have driven into a, let us say, a concrete wall at high speed. Snowden's taxi would roll over a railing and down into a gorge. Hell, why be obvious: just drive a random passing car on the street into a political opponent as they cross at a red light. Ooopsie! What a shame, must have been programmer error.

Comment Re:Answer: Never (Score 1) 232

Yup. Since the drug war and 9/11, the young have been raised in a police state. They know nothing else. And don't get me started on the technoeutopians... rich white kids who will never have their cars driven to a lonely spot by a cop for a little impromptu electrocution and tooth extraction. It's the troublemakers and the poor who will see the interior of a Vehicle Sequester concrete box when they annoy some Homeland Security hawk or local cop or even one of our lovely CIA bastards assigned to remove Snowdens from the world.

We're living in a giant, open air prison. I hate being right.

Comment Rolling arrest pod (Score 2) 232

I've been pointing out the obvious ever since they had the brilliant idea of controlling a car by Turing machines on an internal network, hooked up to a external cell phone network. It will follow inevitably that: bad guys will take control, at the worst possible time, or police will exercise their immediately taken prerogative to stop, control, or block vehicles, or a combination of the two, as police aren't always nice, and sometimes the term "police" means "shadowy people who have lots of power and don't like you - at all."

It will be used immediately to monitor and control cars run by poor people in rich neighborhoods or towns, because of the Children, of course. And the Wikileaks supporters, and people like Assange or Snowden, or women rights supporters in Saudi Arabia wouldn't dare step into a swell new car without taking a chance that the car doors lock, the windows freeze, and their cars drive to a lovely lonely place with a waiting squad of armored men with machine guns await them for a final escort to a place where people never leave, alive or dead. Not only do your phones and TVs listen in and track you, but you can't trust your car not to take you away while you try desperately to break the windows. They'll probably just provide a escort car behind to make sure you can't jump to freedom.

Picture this, if the above scenario makes you giggle: you're driving to work, and suddenly your steering wheel stops working. The car exists the freeway, and drives to a police station, where a squad of SWAT-armored (they wear it to bust massage parlors, for satan's sake) point guns at you and tell you to exit the vehicle. Why? Who the fuck cares? You could have too many parking tickets (and they will KNOW when you park illegally). Hell, they'll just build a concrete box to slot cars into, to make it dead easy to get you out without risk to themselves. Mass removal of troublemakers made automated. Hell, just drive the cars into a jail receiving garage and starve the passengers out if they don't want to get out, why risk a cop?

I wonder how they'll support local law enforcement when cars *can't* speed? I digress. They'll invent new crimes, of course.

It will be damned impossible to annoy or challenge people with power to control your car. It'll be a rolling arrest cage. God, what good little boys and girls we shall be.

A fun note, to the person who called me out as insane when I predicted a terrorist would just nuke the car controls en masse with an EMP bomb/gun, when I used the term "carnage": when they killed the WIRED journalist's car dead on the expressway, he had a truck barreling up behind the car. If the truck had hit him, "carnage" would have been the term to describe his death. And that was a FRIENDLY demonstration of what happens when you let a computer control your brakes, controls, and accelerator.

What am I saying? Don't. Let. Computers. Control. Your. Car. EVER. Don't buy them, demand mechanical controls. Buy an Elio, when and if they come out, and make sure the Elioites don't "improve" the autocar by adding self-driving computer systems. Not that they'll have a choice, if we don't start fighting this off now.

I have no hope this stops. A generation of people who went to school with their faces on their floor while dogs sniff their crotches, and were arrested if they drew someone punching someone, aren't exactly trained to fight for their freedom. They never had freedom; how would they care?

Comment Re:I don't see the problem (Score 2) 98

Apparently one of the justifications for spending space on such a ridiculously specialized task, is that in the rare event that it's being used, some of the other stuff (e.g. the general-purpose parts) might have a brief opportunity to cool off a bit. Your bigger cache wouldn't have that advantage, because you'd be using it so often.

Some say often-dark silicon will be a growing trend.

Comment But what IS the liability? (Score 1) 705

Let's say your law is enacted.

Your wife sees your email address in the dump, and throws a glass of wine at you. $40 shirt: totally ruined. Oh, and she won't have sex with you anymore, ever. And Johnson in Accounting (who keeps his johnson in his pants, whereas you're obviously a total poon-hound) got that $10k/yr promotion instead of you (and the boss admits that you-being-in-the-dump was a factor in his decision). How much does the CEO of AM owe you?

I basically agree with your idea of holding them responsible, but if I'm on the jury, my damages award (so far; feel free to continue the story) is $0.

Comment Re:"Investigation" doesn't mean "harrassment" (Score 1) 282

That's an excellent and relevant question.

There is a balance that needs to happen here - on one hand, an understanding that law enforcement will need to legitimately poke their noses into people's business from time to time. It is certainly to society's benefit that law enforcement be allowed to act with a degree of preemption rather than purely reactionary.

But at the same time, there must also be an understanding that law enforcement is composed of *people*, who are every bit as fallible and subject to moments of weakness, temptation, and corruption as any other people - and so accordingly must be required to act out in the open, subject to inspection. And when law enforcement *does* overstep their bounds, they must be held accountable.

We, as a society, have been lax on the latter. We've allowed some elements of law enforcement to run amok (motivated by mostly good intentions to be sure). Those transgressions are slowly being corrected, and constant vigilance is good practice.

By the same token though, assuming that *all* law enforcement activity is unjustified and harmful is throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The pendulum cannot swing too far over in the other direction.

And most of the top comments in this thread are just mindless shoves at the pendulum. More balance and moderation is required.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec

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