While I agree that taxis do feel a lot like a cartel in many ways, I can think of at least two legitimate reasons to treat them differently:
- in places with a mandatory public insurance regime built into license and plate fees, the higher taxi fees are there to cover the higher risk exposure associated with those drivers and vehicles
- a licensed taxi is (hopefully) more trust-worthy and reliable than random people - at the very least, you can file complaints against them and if those get taken seriously by the-powers-that-be, too many/severe complaints will get the bad taxi's license reviewed and possibly revoked
While I agree that taxis do feel a lot like a cartel in many ways, I can think of at least two legitimate reasons to treat them differently:
Which is more efficient?
1- a GPU architecture that can accept API calls almost straight-through
2- a GPU that requires middleware to re-arrange code and data going through the API
Can you honestly tell me AMD did not coordinate Mantle and GCN design efforts to provide close to the thinnest middleware layer possible between the API and GCN? Can you honestly tell me the middleware for other architectures won't be thicker to match API features GCN handles natively but other GPUs have no native direct equivalent for? Can you honestly tell me a thicker middleware is going to perform equally well?
I'm not saying there won't be any performance benefits for other vendors. Just that the decks are almost certainly stacked in AMD's favor to some potentially non-negligible extent. Unless Nvidia decides to adopt Mantle, we will never find out exactly how much that is.
That article merely says that GCN is not mandatory.
Just because you can beat the API into "working" on something else does not mean it will be as efficient. Mantle was designed around GCN so the API likely has tons of things that map almost exactly 1:1 with GCN hardware but not necessarily quite that neatly on anything else. That's where the extra middleware comes in.
If you read the conclusion of your cited article, they say exactly what I said, albeit in different words: Mantle's roots are likely too close to GCN to be truly portable between vendors (or AMD's own previous and possibly future post-GCN architectures) unless other vendors change their architectures to something more GCN-like.
AFAIK, AMD never answered when asked what will happen to Mantle beyond GCN - apart from saying GCN would be around for the foreseeable future.
Since AMD was very clear that Mantle only works with their GPUs based on GCN architecture, it seems to imply that although the API might be portable to other GPUs, the amount of middleware necessary to bridge the gap between the API and other architectures may not be worth the trouble - at least too much trouble to bother porting it to their own older GPUs. It certainly won't be if DX12 delivers on most of those closer-to-the-metal promises.
Trying to set maximum speeds based on 85th sounds like a futile thing to do: if that causes the speeds to rise, the 85th will likely rise when it gets re-evaluated at some future point until speeds are high enough that people do not dare go any faster and no matter what the maximum speed is, people still need to have the common sense to adjust speed based on driving conditions - people who fail to slow down when driving into fog, wet/snowy/icy roads, etc. is where/when monster pileups tend to start.
There is a road where I used to drive on a regular basis where the speed limit is 70km/h but people often drive through there at over 120km/h. With the number of blind corners and hills on that road, I would be nervous driving at over 90km/h there - I totaled a car on that road once due to a traffic jam backing up all the way to one of those blind hills and I was only going at the 70k limit. I would not want to find out at what speed people would drive through there if the speed limit was raised to 100km/h and prefer not thinking about how much nastier that crash would have been with twice the kinetic energy involved.
That would not necessarily work: it would definitely fry the IO front-end but most of the NVRAM matrix would likely remain intact and recoverable by stripping the top encapsulation and top metal layers then scanning the NVRAM cells with a magnetic force microscope.
Also, if the devices self-destructs through high voltage, someone who has already dissected one of these phones before would know where the high-voltage components are, how they operate, how they are triggered and would likely be able to come up with a way to prevent the high voltage pulse from reaching the NVRAM chips such as using a pneumatic framing nailer to destroy/short the high voltage circuitry faster than it can be triggered by tamper sensors.
So, even with physical destruction built-in, you would still need strong device-level encryption as a fail-safe.
The most beautiful thing about having a decryption key embedded in a secure microcontroller managing tamper-proofing sensors (which is itself embedded in the SoC running the rest of the device's functions) is that disabling tamper-proofing is impossible to do without disabling the secure micro-controller and disabling it either physically or by cutting power kills the decryption key just like tripping tamper-proofing sensors would.
You might want to re-check your definition of reckless driving.
By most states' definition, a reckless driver must display *wanton* (violent, intentional and unprovoked) disregard for the public's safety and traffic rules. As long as your electronic-device-using driver sticks to his lane in traffic, maintains safe speed and distances, follows signs, etc. reasonably well, there is no reckless there. Distracted and potentially dangerous, sure. But not reckless.
Weaving through traffic, ignoring speed limits, road signs, tailgating, street racing, etc. are reckless driving - deliberately ignoring safety and putting others at significant risk.
BTW, which one do you think is the most dangerous driver on the road:
1- a lost driver getting flustered from having no clue where he is
2- a lost driver using a GPS to pull a map and directions
From my experiences getting lost both with and without GPS as a backup, I would say having the GPS is safer: yes, the initial setup has potentially higher risk but once that is done, it immediately removes the stress from having no clue where I am and allows me to get off the road much quicker than driving around in a flustered state until I reach a road or highway I'm familiar with, continue on my way from there and hopefully not get lost on my next attempt.
Except many studies have shown that hands-free phone operation is about just as bad as hands-on.
Most of the distraction-based accidents are caused by people picking the wrong time to do something, even simple things like changing radio station, heating/AC settings or checking their speedometer.
Hands-free does not prevent people from letting themselves get distracted by or otherwise focusing their attention on the wrong things at the wrong time. Some people have suggested locking out non-essential controls while vehicles are in movement so drivers have no choice but to focus on the road but going to such an extreme would likely become a grievance for many people and cause its own lot of problems such as passengers being unable to access those controls either.
Ideally, people should be able to gauge circumstances and their own abilities to decide the most appropriate moments to do something safely but most people grossly over-estimate their abilities and the safety margins around them so we end up with stiff restrictions to eliminate most variables.
The simplest way to self-destruct data on the device is to simply encrypt it using a large key stored in CMOS embedded in the SoC's hardware crypto-engine and clear it (either with an actual reset signal or simply killing power) if tampering is detected to instantaneously render all stored data useless. The next time the boot-loader runs if the device is ever powered up again before being restored to factory specs, it can generate a new encryption key and start erasing storage to make the data completely unrecoverable.
I would not be too surprised if they only implemented the device encryption part of this with managed encryption keys so devices can be decrypted if ever recovered.
What about driving at night, or in poor weather, where visibility is significantly reduced and many drivers already travel too fast for the distance ahead they can see clearly? While the speeds and distances involved are obviously much lower, your reasoning about the fighter pilot applies almost verbatim.
While it does apply, the problem is economic feasibility: a typical passenger car does not have the budget for million-dollar sensor and camera arrays with the computational power to put everything together correlated to driver head and eye position to make overlays line up correctly with whatever is outside. You may be able to display some driving assistance data but the HUD won't replace direct sight any time soon. Also keep in mind that the first reason many of those sensors are in airplanes in the first place is to enhance the autopilot's accuracy and reliability. Cars do not have auto-pilot yet.
Also, when driving a car, you sometimes have only centimeters of clearance so the importance of perfect HUD and real-world alignment is much more critical than planes where clearances usually are in thousands of meters through the bulk of the flight apart from take-off and landing. Planes may typically fly 3-4X as fast as cars drive on highways but most clearances are well over 100X larger, more if you clear things with air traffic controllers along your path. There would be far fewer car accidents if moving cars rarely came within 500m of each other the same way planes usually are 5+km apart unless taxiing, taking off or preparing to land.
Additionally, when a plane's autopilot or other system failure causes the plane to misbehave, pilots usually have several seconds if not minutes to figure it out after they notice something has gone wrong. If a car driver blindly follows the HUD's erroneous instructions (brain off, follow HUD - manual auto-pilot), he might crash into something before realizing something went wrong... exactly like people do today by blindly following their GPS.
By the time car navigation systems become sophisticated enough to correctly model and represent the space around the driver and vehicle to provide genuinely enhanced security through situation awareness, it will likely be cheaper, simpler and safer to simply give cars auto-pilot.
And when you pilot a jet, you are flying practically blind anyway: you can see only a small fraction of the airspace in front of you and need to rely on radar and other instruments for pretty much everything else. At 300+km/h, by the time you see something, it is often too late to do anything about it unless you used your instruments to plan your path accordingly and be near the sweet spot by the time you do get line-of-sight.
Flying with a HUD when direct sight is nearly useless in the first place is intrinsically safer than flying practically blind.
How much piloting do aircraft pilots do? Modern planes can take off, make the trip and land on auto-pilot. The pilots are there mostly for the paperwork, take-off and landing routines and backup for all the fancy automation in case something goes wrong.
For fighter plane pilots, these guys are flying practically blind most of the time and need the HUD overlays to keep tabs on whatever is happening around them since the cockpit window only allows them to see 10-15% of the space around them and they cannot keep track of targets that are 10km away (that's only 30 seconds ahead at Mach 1) by direct sight or things coming in at high speeds: by the time they enter line-of-sight, it is often too late to correct course, aim or evade. So if you are going to do 90+% of your critical flying entirely by instruments because direct sight is nearly useless, the HUD naturally becomes essential.
For everyday driving though, HUDs are not going to provide anywhere near as valuable navigation instruction as direct sight will any time soon under most driving conditions. That said, it can have its uses for reducing the amount of eye travel necessary to keep tabs on simple things that could otherwise become significant distractions such as next turn(s) from the GPS.
Personally, an always-on HUD that displays rarely needed data within my field of view would annoy the heck out of me when my primary driving information source is direct sight. I would much prefer an unobtrusive display near my peripheral vision. IMO, GPS running on Google Glass would be a much smaller distraction than GPS displayed on the middle console where most car manufacturers put it, forcing you not only to take your eyes off the road to look at it but also turn your head and possibly mess around with angles to find one where you can read the screen well enough.
What makes HUDs essential for fighter planes is that most of the information the pilot needs is all over the place and the pilot is flying nearly blind a lot of the time so he needs to rely almost entirely on instrumentation and the HUD allows overlaying maps, IR and radar imagery on top of often nearly useless direct sight to give him the best situation awareness possible.
For HUDs to make everyday driving significantly safer, they would need to be able to do things like highlight road signs, street names, keep track of speed zones, highlight potholes and other road hazards, etc. - all those little things that usually distract drivers while driving in unfamiliar territory or might easily get missed.
Microwaves can be used to heat up almost any material. The specific frequency household microwave ovens operate at is tuned to the resonant frequency of water molecules for maximum efficiency at heating the most common molecule found in food and other molecules that may get excited near that frequency band but other frequencies can be used to heat other stuff.
At 1TW though, things are going to seriously heat up seriously fast regardless of what they are made up and whatever the frequency might be tuned at. Once some of the material gets vaporized into plasma, the plasma will absorb tons of energy and vaporize whatever lies under it - that's the fundamental principle of how laser cutting works: apply enough heat to instantaneously ionize the surface of whatever you point it at and Bob's your uncle..
Imagine how much fun a hacker could have with a couple of 1TW microwave beams!