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Comment Re:Passed data with a ton of noise? (Score 3, Informative) 312 312

Except that the $300 cable isn't grounded on either end, and shows a high level of crosstalk. So the arrows on this cable are just to make people think it's worth the $300.

This cable is better than a $2 cable: It's well built, and meets the specs - barely. But you can get $10-$20 cables that are as well built, and meet the specs with less margin for error (these literally tested as 'within the specs' by less than the margin of error on the testing device) easily.

Comment Re:It's coming. Watch for it.. (Score 2) 120 120

The motorist in the video committed a crime -- several actually. But the cyclist committed an indiscretion by chasing down the motorist to give him a piece of his mind. That's not illegal, it's just a very bad idea.

Many years ago I heard an interviewer ask the great race driver Jackie Stewart what it takes to be a great driver. He said that a driver ought to be emotionless. I think this is very true for any kind of driving -- or cycling. Never prolong your reaction to anything that anyone does on the road beyond the split second it takes to deal with it. Let your attention move on to the next thing. Never direct it to a driver because of something he *did*. Keep focused on what's happening now.

Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 199 199

When the signs and lane markers are covered by snow and ice it will just default to using the same markers everyone else is using; the crashed cars driven by idiot humans who thought they could see the lane markers.

Seriously though, no autonomous vehicle would be dependent on lane markers as the sole feature for positioning, you need to use a multitude of inputs ranging from using markers to using LIDAR to map geometry of the area, through projection of probable trajectories and even to using prior knowledge or map data of the road. You have to have a multitude of independent systems cooperating, validating and agreeing on the most likely model for the current reality. Any autonomous vehicle deemed safe enough to actually operate autonomously should be significantly more capable of reliably assessing the situation than the average human. If any climate presents a difficulty for the detection and navigation part (as opposed to purely physical performance limitations) for an autonomous car it should not be allowed into traffic as it's obviously nowhere near capable enough to trust with human lives.

Comment Because someone will do it (Score 1) 199 199

Either states will decide you don't need insurance if you have a self driving car, or a company will spring up that will insure self driving cars for a lot less money.

It is one area where capitalism can work. Lets say all the existing insurance underwriters charge $100/month for normal insurance based on human drivers. At that rate they can cover the rate of claims and make a nice profit. Say $20/month ends up being net profit after their operations costs and payout are factored in, and operations are another $20/month.

Well lets say that self driving cars then have a 0.01% accident rate compared to human drivers (it may end up being lower than that). That will drop their payouts by a similar amount, so from $60/person/month to $0.60/person/month. Ok but they decide to keep the price the same, just make more money.

Thing is, they'd still be really profitable at $41/month, instead of $100. Someone else will realize that, and work to steal their business. They might not go that low, maybe $80/month, but it'll happen. Then they'll try to get it back and so on and so forth.

Remember that your costs aren't just based on your specifically, they are based on actuary data of accident likeness. Sure you've had no accidents, but there is a statistical probability that you will. You are in the lowest risk group likely, but it is there. If self driving cars are much lower, rates can again be much lower.

Also, have you checked around? My rates haven't gone up in a long time. Maybe your company is just screwing you because they can, and you'd save if you took your business elsewhere.

For comparison purposes I pay about $350/6 months for $200k/$500k liability insurance on an old, cheap, car.

Comment Re:Passed data with a ton of noise? (Score 4, Interesting) 312 312

They did it because that's how the company that makes the cables describes their test environment. They claim "clear unmistakeable" improvements in the audio quality in the setup Ars used, but only if you plug the cable in in the correct direction (denoted by an arrow on the connectors).

In fact the company claims that they determine which way to face the arrow by plugging the cable in and listening in both directions and choosing the best.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 864 864

Do you want the seats front facing or rear facing? 10-30lb or 20-50lb? Even then you're going to have to adjust it for your kid, and figure out what sort of bizarre adjustment scheme this particular seat uses. On some seats you have to take them apart to adjust past certain points. Uh oh, the kid always wants to sit behind the driver and the seat is installed on the passenger side.

Who is going to install and remove the seats every time someone calls for one? Are they going to have liability insurance in case they accidentally install a seat improperly and a kid is injured or dies?

And then the parents have to go back and make sure the seat is clean once they're done with the car. Kids are amazing at finding ways of making messes when you least expect it.

I think "have young kids" is one of the ares where the "car as a service" concept does not work. Not unless you drive only very rarely with the kids.

Comment Re:Sudden outbreak of common sense. (Score 0) 168 168

If I see a coin come up heads nine out of ten times, I'm expecting it to come up heads on the eleventh toss.

You exactly demonstrated the problem with common sense reasoning. People assume that because they have what feels like to them (and may actually be) extensive experience with something they automatically understand it. But most people who haven't been trained in mathematics have plenty of misconceptions about what mathematicians call the "Bernoulli Process" (coin flipping).

Comment Re:Please (Score 1) 334 334

Its like saying "Hey, Chevrolet, you know your customers like the radio station set to 101.9, why cant you engineer your cars to respect their choice instead of forcing your nefarious 101.5 agenda."

Yeah, but this is a Mozilla car analogy we're talking about here.

In the current 2015.7 model, release, the UX team has decided that a 5-button hamburger menu on an AM dial (and only from 1100Khz to 1150KHz in 10KHz increments) is all that's needed. Users who want to access a wider range of frequencies in the AM band are free to write an extension or purchase a third-party radio head unit.

To further improve the user experience, we remind prospective extension developers that in the Aurora channel for the 2016.1 model year, the about:config setting for frequency.megavskilohertz has been removed, along with the FM antenna. The UX team has made this recommendation based on telemetry that suggests that few drivers actually listen to FM radio, especially since the 2013.6 model, in which the AM/FM toggle switch was removed because the UX team for 2012.1 felt it was cluttering the dashboard.

Comment Re:"We have a profound opportunity to distort." (Score 1) 60 60

It will also vary depending on the performance of the vehicles immediately ahead of, oncoming-and-passing, or crossing ahead of the street view vehicle. Especially the first: The sensor will be running in the exhaust plumes of the vehicles ahead of the street view car, so the map will be a very non-random sampling.

On the other hand, the partculate and "volatile organic compounds" sensors will produce some very interesting data. The latter is what the federal standards call "unburned hydrocarbons" when emitted from an engine, and the output of modern engines is vanishingly small. But many species of evergreen trees emit them in enormous quantity, as part of their ongoing chemical warfare against insects that eat trees. That's what the blue haze around pine-forested mountains (such as "the Smoky Mountains") is about. You can literally destroy (by extreme and long-term contamination) an automotive conformance test cell (the room where they test the car's emissions), requiring it to be torn out and rebuilt, by placing a Christmas tree in it overnight.

I expect some towns in remote, forested, mountain areas, where people move "for their health" and "for the clean, fresh, air", to get a rude awakening. B-)

But I doubt it will affect the extremely tight standards for automobile engines - except maybe to cause a flap that tightens them further. These days many engines are so clean that running then can IMPROVE the air quality in some places (such as portions of Los Angeles, with topography that created such a thermal inversion that a single settler's campfire could leave the whole valley filled with smoke for a day or more) by inhaling and burning far more hydrocarbon and particulate pollutants than they create.

Comment Re:How? (Score 1) 358 358

I'm not gonna remember a number like that!

If I need to bypass a child filter for a porn site in some hellish future UK dystopia, I'll just go ask a kid.

Heh, anyone remember the great age verification questions on the beginning of the first Leisure Suit Larry?
"Which of the following people was the drummer for Queen?" and shit like that.

With all the fancy scientists in the world, why can't they just once build a nuclear balm?

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