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Comment: Re:Does it work in reverse? (Score 1) 294

I'm not so sure about that... I opted out of the millimeter scan once, only to have the agent performing the pat-down tell me "next time you should ask for a female agent to pat you down"... I replied that I wanted him to be as uncomfortable as I was... reflecting on that moment, I'm no longer sure that was a witty thing to say.

Comment: Re:Are you sure? (Score 1) 341

Fast means different things to different people though... I'm all for fast self driving cars that get me to remote places while I nap... but white-nuckle driving fast is only enjoyable to the person who's hands are on the wheel. When that goes away, many enthusiasts will go away also. A 100hp car is as fast as a 1000hp car when you're talking about getting between cities in the western US. The 0-60 numbers are part of why I love Tesla (I'll never afford one BTW). But without that... I'm way more likely to buy a self-driving leaf than a self-driving tesla. Once love of form and function is gone, it becomes utility, and once we're talking utility... I'll buy cheap. As for good looking... I'll restate: if nobody is looking, nobody will pay a premium to look good. If I'm sitting in a self-driving car going cross town or cross country, I'll likely be looking at my laptop or phone, not out the window. I won't even notice other drivers. Self Driving cars, they'll look nice, but not sexy. Form will give way to function, and you'll see a resurgence of Ford Taurus (tapered on both ends like a turd) designs that won't really inspire love.

Comment: Are you sure? (Score 2) 341

That's dangerous talk from someone who has built his car business on a reputation for performance and quality... when cars drive themselves, they won't need to be fast, or good looking, because nobody will be looking. They could look like the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile and nobody would notice.

Oh well. Fun is always short lived.

Comment: Re:No more OJ car chases (Score 1) 274

by Lab Rat Jason (#49200075) Attached to: Laser Takes Out Truck Engine From a Mile Away

Tanks don't need 2 inch accuracy over multiple seconds.

Do understand that the reason a tank is less accurate while under motion, it isn't because the computer can't keep up? It takes time between when the computer commands a fire, and the projectile exiting the barrel, and during that time, external conditions or the attitude of the vehicle might change, and nothing can be done to compensate since the projectile is in motion. Tanks also deal with wind, air density, and other factors that are difficult to measure accurately on the move. All non-issues to a laser system. You can poll the target sensors thousands of times a second and change and update your firing solution WHILE STILL FIRING. This all happens orders of magnitude faster than the time it takes a bullet to leave the barrel.

It reminds me of an argument I had with my brother about electric cars and traction control. The ability to change the torque of an electric motor is near-instantaneous compared to the throttle-body actuated traction control of the 90's and 00's. Comparing the two isn't even a fair fight. No gas powered car will ever have a traction control superior to a well designed electric car simply because of the physics behind it. Same with a laser weapons system. It will always be no contest.

Of course. Just like the Joint Strike Fighter.

You think the technology of the JSF is the reason it costs so much? The reason it costs 10 times what it should is because each service in the armed forces wanted something different and nobody wanted to tell them no... so instead we got "the Homer" aircraft with a bubble in the back to keep the kids in. That's a straw man argument. If they ever add missiles and torpedoes to this laser weapons system, then you can compare it to the JSF.

Comment: Re:No more OJ car chases (Score 1) 274

by Lab Rat Jason (#49199549) Attached to: Laser Takes Out Truck Engine From a Mile Away

The concerns you are citing are equally vexing to traditional ordinance, so not much of a change here.

Point #2 is a trivial concern, considering the fact that current targeting systems can solve parabolic firing solutions thousands of times a second and update the firing solution based on the pitching of a ship. Modern tanks can fire while on the move and their firing solutions have little difficulty tracking that motion too. So how much easier will it be to calculate linear firing solutions? Multi-target tracking also makes point 1 moot, and it could be argued that there is way more collateral damage from traditional methods of disabling a vehicle. This method allows you to capture and interrogate the driver of said vehicle rather than turning him into fertilizer.

For those who are arguing the cost of conventional weapons systems vs the cost of this system, don't forget that this is a prototype! Deployed version will of course be cheaper.

Comment: Re:Is that really a lot? (Score 2) 280

by Lab Rat Jason (#49137323) Attached to: Drones Cost $28,000 Per Arrest, On Average

Yeah, hiring troves of border protection agents is hard when Americans don't want to do that job for the rate I'm willing to pay, but that gives me an idea... does anybody know where I can find people who are willing to work for low pay, in horrible conditions, and if I don't like how hard they work, I can just send them back to their own country? Anyone? Anyone?

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.