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Comment Re:See the end of her blog post.... (Score 1) 530

Posting to undo accidental down-moderation. You have a great point, which I was trying to reward with an "insightful" mod. As a litigation attorney, I deal with nothing but high-stakes contentious situations. Most often, the people (both lawyers and litigants) who complain the most about their adversaries are actually the most unnecessarily aggressive and unpleasant participants. It seems to be a form of psychological projection. "You're totally unreasonable! You're acting in bad faith and obstructing the case! No we won't give you any documents, and we won't settle! We want sanctions, and we won't participate in mediation!"

Comment Re:Guaranteed to put stress on any car? As if. (Score 1) 114

No, it's perfectly legal to use the left lane, as long as you occasionally pass people on the middle lane.

Now, as for people doing 280+, I have yet to see one.

You're looking at one. Not very often, but an M3 will get you to 290. There's the occasional supercar as well that I've seen pass me when I was doing 220 or 240.

It's not very often that you have to make way when you're doing over 200, but it happens.

In reality, on sections restricted to 120, you'll have trucks going 90 on the right lane, most people averaging 120-130 on the middle lane, and some doing 150 on the left lane.

True, it's not quite as simple as I made it, but in general, people drive speed limit +10.

Comment Re:Just wait (Score 1) 114

Firstly, in Germany the driver will not pull a gun on you anyway, because we're not maniacs armed to the teeth, we have strict gun laws, and very few shooting sprees.

Secondly, what makes you think the truck won't call the cops (or at least a control center) when you smash the cab window and hit some kind of emergency stop? Or when the freight doors are opened at an unauthorized location?
What makes you think there won't be a camera or three, streaming pictures of your face to the control center?

Your scenario is not very specific to automated trucks. It's a standard robbery with some details adapted. I don't see this as a major point. Especially not in Germany which is a very safe and very densely populated country. These trucks are not likely to be on many completely empty roads.

Comment Re:Laurels (Score 1) 33

The Nobel prize is 8.000.000 SEK this year or ~960.000 USD. Divided by three that's $320k each. That you are very likely to only get once for a career in research stretching over decades. I suppose you could say it's a whole lot more than nothing, but if you wanted to make money you should have become a NFL quarterback or something.

Comment depends (Score 1) 109

Which country has the best on-line personal privacy laws that would made it patently illegal for any actor, state, or otherwise, to access my information?

Depends which country you want to protect yourself from.

If you are mostly afraid of US companies and the US government, put your server into Russia. They laugh in the face of US companies that make any demands.

For strong privacy laws, many european countries have laws in place much stronger than the US, but beware that they usually have a "if you agree to it, anything goes" clause (which is why these small "I agree to ..." checkboxes are so important there.

Comment Re:Guaranteed to put stress on any car? As if. (Score 1) 114

Yes, it's pretty much a national custom. Also, Germany has extensive driving school with compulsory minimum hours, and driving instructors teach you strongly to signal. You can actually fail the driving test if you don't signal.

However, I disagree on the velocity differences. That depends very much on where you are driving. Some parts of the Autobahn have a 120 km/h speed limit and there you basically have two speeds: 80 km/h for the right lane, mostly filled with trucks, and 120 km/h on the 2nd and 3rd lanes.
On other parts, however, you have no speed limit. Which means you are driving 180 on the middle lane, passing a truck doing 80 on the right lane, and someone going 280 passes you on the left lane. That's two 100 km/h speed differences right there.

Comment clueless author (Score 3, Informative) 114

one environment guaranteed to put stress on any car: the German Autobahn

Uh, no?

Have you ever actually driven on the German Autobahn? It is probably the most simple environment for an autonomous car, because absolutely everything is very clearly defined and built to standards. You have very reliable road quality, width, signaling. No traffic lights, roundabouts or intersections. Very few traffic rules (basically speed limit and whether or not trucks are allowed to overtake on this stretch). Construction sites are about the only tricky spots you will ever encounter. Even incoming and exiting traffic is very simple to handle, because there is one and only one way in which it will ever happen.

If I were to write autonomous driving software, I would start with the Autobahn, and then go to more complicated road systems later.

For trucks, even speed is trivial. The general high speed of trucks is 80 km/h, so if you are a truck you stay on the right lane and stick to that speed and that's it.

Left-lane driving on the Autobahn is more interesting, especially for foreigners (you think you're going crazy fast in your rental car at 190 km/h (about 120 mph), and there's this BMW behind you signaling to get your slow ass out of the way). But we're talking about trucks here.

Comment Re:Guaranteed to put stress on any car? As if. (Score 1) 114

Yeah, I have to agree. Autobahn has very strict rules about not passing someone to their right, and people actually follow them.

Because it's the slower car's job to get out of the left lane so if there's space and they're impatient they'll be sure to blink or honk to get you out of their way. I guess it's a cultural thing, if it's the faster car's job has to find a free lane to pass that system works too. Mixing the systems don't though, if both switch lanes at the same time the result could easily be a crash. And then there's the systems where lanes are fluid or non-existing including but not limited to opposing lanes, if it fits do it and if it doesn't then honk and do it anyway. There are countries the Google car won't touch with a ten foot pole.

Comment Re:So what, nothing new. (Score 1) 114

Highways are very simple, continuous lanes, very little complication, city roads are a whole different story. Non-story.

On the other hand... if you have a bunch of depots in conjunction with the Autobahn, you just pick up/drop off goods at the one closest to you and automated trucks bring it to the depot closest to the destination that could be a much quicker road to implementation than dealing with inner city traffic. Also much easier to map out, assuming you need that. The point is to start somewhere.

Comment Re:Not wasted (Score 2) 173

Back in the real world, The Martian was mastered in 2K and hardly anybody noticed. I have a UHD monitor and using RAW still photos I can tell the difference between a photo natively cropped to 3840x2160 and one that's between downscaled to 1920x1080 and back at my typically sitting distance but you need to watch some fine detail. There's no way I'd see anything past 4K. In theory a person with 20/10 vision (yes, they do exist) sitting in the middle of a large screen cinema should be able to see 7K, but that's only when trying to read one of those eye charts at maximum contrast.

Most of the comparisons you see are not apples-to-apples comparison, they show you one 4K screen and one not-4K screen and surprise surprise the one they want to sell looks much better. I look forward to 4K BluRay though, in addition to resolution with HDR, Rec. 2020 and 10 bit color it will improve contrast, colors and banding All three of those are probably just as noticeable as the change in resolution, though I suspect it'll take a while before we have TVs that can take full advantage of it.

Comment Re:Symbiotic parasite (Score 5, Interesting) 327

The answer you end up with depends on who you think started it, yes some websites took advertising too far and users hated it. But instead of using the sites that had "acceptable" ads and stop using the sites that had "annoying" ads, the solution was to start blocking ads. Now I don't subscribe to the whole "blocking ads is stealing" tripe but obviously the whole point of ads is that people see them. If everybody blocks them, there no point in paying for them and so the sites don't get any funding and the model breaks down. And it was the low-hanging fruit that mostly got hurt, the scummy sites with annoying ads were also the ones who'd most quickly resort to circumvention techniques to shove the ads in your face anyway.

The assumption here is that at least some users will be nice and accept to see som ads, if you're going to do that why not go for a real opt-in system? Tag all the advertising elements on your page with an <div class="ad">(ad goes here)</div>. Publish an advertising policy, like robots.txt Kindly ask ad blockers to replace ads tagged as such with "This website relies on advertising revenue to operate. You are currently blocking ads. Please click here to unblock and support our site."

If you click it, you get a dialog saying:
"This site has requested you to unblock ads. Their advertising policy is as follows:

Banner ads: Yes
Animated ads: No
Ads with sound: No
Interstitial ads: No
Pop-ups: No
Pop-unders: No

[Unblock ads] [Cancel]

You may at any time block ads again by.... (explanation)"

Of course you could have dick ad blockers that just remove the ads, but I think the popular ones could be convinced to play nice. Sites wouldn't have to get on any approval list tied to any particular blocker and everyone would decide for themselves what sites they want to support. No money for just being click bait, users have to actually like you enough to unblock. Not sure it'd work, but if that won't work then "acceptable ads" won't either.

We can found no scientific discipline, nor a healthy profession on the technical mistakes of the Department of Defense and IBM. -- Edsger Dijkstra