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Comment: Re:What's that ahead? (Score 2) 207

by drinkypoo (#49633113) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I was driving in Nevada one dark, moonless night, when out of nowhere came a cow in the middle of the road... I'd like to see how an autonomous vehicle would deal with that.

That's out of nowhere to you, but the computer is going to be able to see in the dark far outside the range of your headlights. Its headlights are going to be a convenience to other drivers, and an IR source for its night vision — which will have automatic gain control far outside the range of your pupils. It'll also likely have radar and lidar so even if it can't see the cow, it'll know it's there.

Comment: Re:15 co-authors (Score 1) 189

by pla (#49632443) Attached to: 17-Year-Old Radio Astronomy Mystery Traced Back To Kitchen Microwave
"So, Dr. Flyskippy1, how many papers did you get published this year? Oh, only eight? Yeah, we need you to move out of the corner office next week to make room for a star postdoc who helped solve a radio astronomy mystery that stumped you tenured geniuses for the past 17 years. No hard feelings, right?"

Comment: Re:What about the law (Score 1) 99

by pla (#49631793) Attached to: Europe Vows To Get Rid of Geo-Blocking
if they know that they'll refuse to pay the 10 euro, that's how free markets are supposed to work,

No they won't - What you describe exists now, and we all merrily put up with it.

Hell, package forwarding from the US to Australia counts as its own niche industry designed exclusively to circumvent such BS. But while that may work for physical goods, it doesn't get around the same problem for virtual goods.

Comment: Re:Trains (Score 1) 207

by drinkypoo (#49630779) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Right, you can't use rail unless you have high utilization, and you can't have high utilization if the rail doesn't do the job you need to do, or if the public transportation systems along the rail line don't work. That's why PRT makes more sense than rail for most trips, and why we should use classic rail only for long hauls and PRT for short trips.

Comment: Re:Trains (Score 1) 207

by drinkypoo (#49630523) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Freight Trains, you know, the topic of this entire article?

Yeah, you can't build rail just for freight, because it won't see enough utilization. It has to carry passengers, too. You can't take the efficiency of the freight-carrying system alone because it doesn't operate alone, it's dependent on being part of the passenger-carrying system (and vice versa.)

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 207

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) 207

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.

A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems. -- P. Erdos