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Comment Re:Yes? (Score 1) 674 674

From the article:

On a forum dedicated to the London Underground, members have pointed out that plug sockets on the trains are for cleaning equipment deployed when trains are in depots. They recommend not charging electronic equipment as there is a risk of power surge: “If something was directly plugged into it (for example a standard computer, or a laptop without a battery in) the equipment would probably be damaged at any section gaps where the power supply changes from one substation to another!”

This isn't necessarily a standard plug socket, it's intended to be safe for cleaners to use in stations (likely where the at-seat passenger outlets aren't working due to the train's main electrics being switched off) but there's no such guarantee whilst in motion. Many phone chargers won't handle the erratic power supply well. That is a fire risk.

Comment Re:Typo: Digital Rights Management (Score 1) 371 371

Here's at least one example of a piece of software which can be purchased, installed, and launched via Steam which then doesn't have the Steam DRM applied Art Rage.

Now that's just one example, and one where they do apply non-Steam CD Key checks, but there are a decent number of games which just work without the Steam client service running and so can't be using the Steam DRM.

Comment Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451 451

Fit the car with forward-facing LIDAR to scan the road and it can fully gauge potholes a lot better than any driver, give it a twin LIDAR system to compare the reflections from two heights above the road and it can detect water and differing surfaces and suddenly has an amazing amount of information to plan from.

I do think computer controlled cars are going to happen but there are a lot of obstacles to overcome first such as handling non-automated vehicles, the legal framework, and developing 'sufficiently cheap' sensor arrays. I don't expect that difficult road surfaces or conditions to be one of the more difficult ones to solve, though.

Comment Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451 451

The AI doesn't have to be on par with humans in general, just in the specific case of driving- which from what we've seen is a lot simpler for them than software development.

It would have been a lot more profitable to develop a computer which can develop software better than an average developer than one which could beat a grandmaster at chess, and yet what do we have?

Comment Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451 451

RIGHT

The computer will be tracking the motions of pedestrians in case they step into the road, and will likely have noted that many are below statistical average. It will also have access to full demographic information so it'll know exactly what type of neighborhood it's driving through to adopt a driving strategy.

Most importantly the delay between a computer sensing something and reacting makes even the fastest reacting human look ridiculously slow.

Comment Why either/or? (Score 1) 257 257

Why does the answer have to be either 'taxi' or 'bus' when it's possible to combine the two and have a sensible multi-drop scheme? This would need a decent number of users (Higher than that needed to sustain a local bus company, I'd guess), but would manage to combine the two nicely, and with computerised routing of vehicles should be practical.

Like a taxi you book from where you are, and it'll come to collect you there and drop you off at your requested destination. Unlike a taxi though there could be others riding already, and the vehicle may divert to make pick ups/drop offs on the way within reason.

The result is something which is similar to a less direct taxi, but will be a a lot cheaper as it's multi-occupant and will have passengers almost continually, similar to a bus. It also means that there are less vehicles on the road as each one is carrying more people, and this reduction would actually improve as the service became more popular- it's easier to have efficient routes when there are more options available. Vehicles would likely range from large cars to small buses, things small enough to get through residential areas (I'm in the UK where getting something the size of a full bus down a side street would be impressive) but large enough to carry a few small groups of people.

If you want to keep the 'bus' mentality too then have scheduled pick-ups over the most-used routes, so 'There will be a vehicle arriving at Easterly School every ten minutes traveling to the city center, and arriving forty minutes later'. This may also do other pickups and drop-offs on the way but will arrive more or less when it says unless there are problems.

Comment Re:Mods anyone? (Score 2) 227 227

Some are a pain, most aren't.

A lot of titles have nice (often 3rd party) mod managers now which'll download mods, keep them updated, and allow you to selectively disable them- all from a simple GUI. When I recently replayed Skyrim I spent about an hour or so browsing through all of the mods on Nexus, and installing those that look interesting, and in my mind it made the game a lot more fun.

I admit there were a couple that were slightly broken in odds ways, such as a custom weapon which was heavily overpowered, but it didn't take much effort to just turn them off again.

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