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Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 215 215

It's also quite likely that if the autonomous cars didn't handle it well, people might just end up not caring and not drive/ride around during those times.

If people didn't care about getting somewhere during a snowstorm, they already wouldn't be driving around in snowstorms. Today, it's either people who don't care that it's snowing or think they can handle it, and who want to go somewhere. (A small minority go out just to do donuts in the parking lots.) Take away the concern about being able to handle it themselves and you'll wind up with MORE people trying to get somewhere during snowstorms and thus more cars on the road when they shouldn't be.

I.e., if I don't have to worry about my ability to navigate through the snow, I have less reason not to go out to get some beers for the next few days of being snow-bound.

Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 215 215

Maybe self driving cars will be a warmer climate thing long before it's common in the north.

Relax. The climate in the north will be "a warmer climate thing" by the time self-driving cars are perfected enough to sell them to the public. Thank God for climate change, huh? Snow and ice will be a problem only the geezers will remember.

I used to live on the side of a hill. When it snowed, to get into my apartment's parking lot you could NOT use brakes in any way. If you did, you broke traction and slid to the bottom of the hill and across a four lane divided highway. If you didn't try to brake, you either made the turn and were successful, or you retained control and could navigate around the block for another try. What you could never do is go uphill -- you'd slide across that divided highway going backwards.

Comment Re:Not sure it will happen, so why worry (Score 1) 215 215

My premise is that everything is hackable.

That's probably true. I'm sure that people will come up with all kinds of "hacks" for their AVs. But the problem will mostly come from REMOTE hackability, which not everything is subject to. You first have to have a remote access capability of some sort.

Of course, "convenience" is more important than "security", which is why we get cable boxes that can be controlled from outside your house and cars that can be controlled by hackers that aren't anywhere close to them.

As all autonomous cars are going to be on the interwebs if for nothing else maps, they will be vulnerable.

Yep, the convenience factor rules. And you can't firewall the maps function from the control functions as you suggest because the maps are too integral to the control systems. Map data has to be used by the control systems to know when what they think they see with their cameras as a road actually isn't, or to update construction zone info. If a hacker can send map data that says that three of the four lanes of Interstate 5 you are currently on are closed and the construction speed limit is 5 MPH, is that any different than a direct command to pull over and slow down? And imagine when 50% of the traffic on that section of I5 pulls over into the left hand lane and slows down to 5MPH. THAT'S the new "motor sport" we'll get to see.

Comment Re:Not insurance, but lawyers (Score 1) 215 215

In fact, all traffic based lawsuits may vanish as people find it makes more sense to move to a no-fault insurance system when most cars are driven by computer.

But large-dollar liability lawsuits will replace the low-value DUI customers. There will never be "no-fault" for liability of autonomous vehicle manufacturers or anyone involved in making or selling or repairing them.

When in the last thousand years has any change to anything resulted in a reduced demand for lawyers?

Comment Re:Insurance is but one upended industry (Score 1) 215 215

Auto repair shops

These guys are probably the ones likely to be hurt the most. A handful will survive, since tires, brakes, and oil still need fixing; general wear will always be a thing. However, the numbers will certainly diminish, as accident-based work becomes less common.

Less common? No, someone will have to repair all the autonomous vehicles that get rear-ended after they have a sensor failure and they stop unexpectedly as a precautionary measure.

Gas stations

...these cars run on wishing dust now? Unless you've got a self-driving Tesla, you'll still need gas.

More people going more places because it is no longer a tedious thing to drive to Gramma's house or the country or beach. And more autonomous cars put into "drive around until I call you back" mode because it costs too much to find parking, if you can find it at all. More gas will be needed.

Motor sports

Dear Lord. it's entirely possible to load precise cannons with basketballs that will land perfectly from half court, every time...but that's not why people watch basketball.

The only "motor sport" I can think of that will be affected by autonomous vehicles is the sport of standing by the side of the road trying to fool the car's sensors into thinking there's a baby in the middle of the road so you can watch the chain reaction/collisions. (And this is truly one of the times where "affected" and "effected" are both correct!)

No other motor sport would include autonomous vehicles. That's why it is a "sport".

Motor vehicle related advertising

You're right - that will become "in-car advertising", but now we're just changing location.

No, advertising about cars will not stop or become less common. In fact, more advertising will be used to hype the miraculous safety record of these new-fangled autonomous vehicules and to try to convince people to abandon a perfectly functional manual car in favor of them.

Here's another: highway maintenance crews - the ones who pick the trash up off the highway. I anticipate less litter if "immediately ridding your hand of a wrapper without also needing to look for a place to put it" becomes commonplace.

That's not why people throw trash out the window. It's more a case of "if I don't throw it out the window, I'll have to clean out the car later...", and that won't change.

I wonder about sign manufacturers - who's going to pay for a whizbang storefront sign instead of just paying Aunt Google more to come up in search results,

Whizbang storefront signs aren't there to tell you where the store is, it's there to attract casual passersby. Either to get them to say "hey, that store looks interesting", or "hey, I need to stop there". Otherwise all they'd need is a simple sign saying "Joe's Eats" so you know which door to walk in after your car dumps you on the sidewalk.

Comment Re:I agree with the shooter (Score 1) 1170 1170

Well, go ahead and fly your Chessna at head-level over somebodies backyard while they stand there and see if you violate any laws...

What an idiotic nonsequitor. I didn't claim it wasn't against the law to fly a manned aircraft at head level near people, I responded to your incorrect statement:

According to TFA it was flying well below any level ever though of as "airspace"

You made a patently absurd claim about what is considered "airspace", and I corrected you on it. The fact that some "airspace" extends to the surface (below "head level") doesn't make it legal for everyone to fly anything they want there. IN FACT, the fact that airspace extends to the surface is what gives the FAA the authority to regulate it, and to make flight within certain distances of people or structures illegal.

I'm sorry, but your claim that toy drones fly below any level that anyone ever thought of as airspace is just absurd.

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 66 66

I bet you didn't know that the GMO industry sued to prevent people from labeling their food "GMO free".

And they apparently lost since I see such labels on products currently for sale.

When I walk into the grocery, why doesn't the sign above the corn say, "Roundup Corn 3 for $1"?

Ask the grocery. It's their sign. Maybe they don't want to needlessly scare ignorant people?

I want to know if the basic foodstuffs I buy are patented.

Because, of course, it makes one single bit of difference in the safety or taste of the product if it is covered by a patent or not. Sure.

Or is that also information I should not be allowed to have?

What other useless information should be mandated for food labels just because you want to know it? Isn't it good enough that any company that wants to create a market advantage for itself can do so by displaying the patent information? Maybe that's a clue that it isn't really that important to anyone else.

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 66 66

The argument is likely if everyone is eating non-gmo food then as a whole society would be healthier,

I'm so glad you can tell me what the real argument they were making is, because they said nothing like that at any time. They bandied about phrases like "food justice" and other fictional rights. They said nothing about what people could EAT, only what they could grow or use in their work.

Half of those ingredients are preservatives that I really do not need to be eating anyway.

Hmmm. Let's see. Here's a solution to your problem: pass a law that says that nobody can grow or use any GMO product, and that every farmer who is doing so will have 90 days to rip his GMO crops out of the ground without any compensation from anyone for the loss. Who cares if your law forces diabetics to drive to the next county over to get the insulin they need to survive, more people driving more cars on the road is a good thing, right? Who cares if such a law would have nothing to do with how many ingredients your spaghetti sauce has?

Or you could just buy the food you want to eat and let others do the same. Hmmm. Which is a better, more rational way to proceed?

Comment Re:Biohacking? (Score 1) 66 66

Basically. The food religion says GMO is bad until one of them happens to need insulin and also happens to be allergic to "natural" cow insulin, then GMO produced humulin (secreted by a genetically modified e. coli bacterium to be chemically similar to human insulin) is a miracle.

We recently locally went through a very acrimonious ballot measure campaign where the food police wanted a complete ban on GMO production or products in our county. They couldn't understand that this would impact diabetics in a serious way, or that it would stop the local university from doing ANY research on GMO foods, or research using GMO products (like lab mice with special genes, etc.) As a major employer, the loss of grant money being spent for this research wouldn't cost any jobs, the people would just do something else. At least that was what the proponents claimed.

Fortunately it failed by a very large margin, but the nuts are still roasting and have promised we'll see it again. After all, the farms that are growing GMO crops are "our farms" and it is "our food", even though they don't own the farms and won't buy the food they produce because it is GMO. And there is no other impact to the local economy or lives that a complete ban would create, no sir.

Comment Re:not there yet (Score 1) 66 66

I'd guess it because of patents and greedy pharmaceutical companies. Plus, manufacturing your own drugs and giving them to other people probably runs afoul of a few laws.

I'm going to guess that it has a lot to do with liability. If some hacker makes a bad batch of insulin and the people he sells it to die or go into comas, there's going to be a lot of lawsuits. What hacker is going to have the money to pay off, or the money to buy malpractice-style insurance to cover the awards? This is where the costs of the pharma companies come in, besides recouping development and research. Every time someone sues a pharma company for something like Celebrex side-effects, someone has to pay the award.

It's a fucking crime that pharmaceuticals have jacked up the price of the only types of insulin that can be bought over-the-counter.

You're kidding, right? You can buy and give yourself insulin without a prescription or any doctor's supervision? Wow. I need to find a supplier! I can keep my A1C down below 6% and not be on record as taking any meds that can cause hypoglycemic reactions and the FAA will never know. Cool.

But that explains the price increase. DIY medication that can kill you if you take too much is a prime candidate for a lawsuit when someone does that. You're paying for all the other people who screwed up their dosages and sued the pharma company.

Comment Re:Airspace rights (Score 1) 1170 1170

The FAA already defines this: 500 feet in a rural area and 1000 feet in an urban area. He was well within his rights.

Citation required. The rules for minimum altitudes (which do not mention "urban" or "rural", btw) are not rules that define the upper extent of "private property", they define the lower extent of flight operations. And the rules for helicopters are much different.

Even so, please also cite a reference that says you have the right to shoot an aircraft out of the sky just because you believe it is flying too low.

Comment Re:I agree with the shooter (Score 1) 1170 1170

Since FAR 1.1 has no definition of "surface", then "surface" has its standard English meaning. Therefore, yes indeedy, "hovering around your head" is a level that has been considered to be in controlled airspace. If you doubt this then you might wonder why airplanes that aren't even flying yet are under ATC control in some places. They're on the surface, not even hovering.

Comment Re:the drone was a gift (Score 1) 1170 1170

If someone puts stuff in your yard, it is yours to dispose of as you see fit. This covers trash like drink cups and what not. Anything mailed to you becomes yours, even if it was mailed by accident. I think this pattern implies that owner of the drone flew it to the shooters yard, and then the drone becomes the property of the shooter.

Unfortunately, your pattern doesn't exist. Inconsequential things like drink cups may perhaps become yours to do with as you please (because there is a valid assumption that it is abandoned property), but if someone drops a bag of money while walking past your house and it falls on your lawn, it doesn't suddenly become your money. I came home one night to find a box of stuff next to my garage. It was a UPS delivery that was stolen from a neighbor's front step, left behind by the thief when he found out it was cheap Specialty Merchandise Corporation gimcracks. That box didn't become mine.

Nor does anything mailed to you become yours even if it was sent by accident. There is a requirement (at least in all the laws I know) that you make a good-faith attempt at returning the object. That good-faith attempt requires you to notify the sender and make the thing available for return (at their expense), and only if they fail to take advantage of that does it become yours.

And your pattern falls completely apart when you talk about things flying through what you think is your personal airspace. Try arguing that the police helicopter that was assisting in an arrest in your neighborhood becomes your property if it hovers over your house and see how far you get.

I'm not sure about firing a weapon in city limits, but shooting your own stuff seems legal.

The laws against discharge of projectile weapons in city limits do not differentiate based on ownership of target. You can't "shoot your own stuff" legally if you can't "shoot" legally.

Comment Re:Faa rules for RC planes (Score 1) 1170 1170

The only reason manned flight works is air traffic lanes, it's a real highway system up there for the manned guys.

That is simply untrue. The reason manned flight works, and the basis for the system, is the concept of "see and avoid". The only time that "see and avoid" is not rule number 1 is if you are flying in the clouds. If you are doing that, then it has become ATC responsibility for "separation" -- i.e. keeping other people flying in the clouds from running into you and vice versa. If you aren't operating on an IFR clearance, then there are rules about how close to the clouds you can go which are based on giving you and the guy who pops out of a cloud time to see and avoid each other.

Otherwise, "see and avoid", wherever you happen to be.

Now, there are "airways" that are defined routes, but there is no requirement to actually fly on them (unless you've received an ATC instruction to do so), and even large airliners don't need to fly on them. They'll often get instructions like "direct XYZ direct ABC" which bypass those airways. And the FAA Next-Gen concept is to do away with such airways and operate mostly direct. That's because there will be better tracking of aircraft enroute.

And the guys that fly "off-road" (some manned Cessna and tv copter pilots fly over my house! And I found is a big no-no & should be fined) are penalized if caught and yes do create potential dangers.

It is not a danger nor is it illegal to fly "off-road". You are quite incorrect in your belief that it is a "big no-no". It IS a no-no to fly closer than a certain distance from people or structures, or below certain altitudes (1000' over a populated area, unless in the process of landing or taking off), but "off-road" is quite common and quite safe. And that 1000' restriction doesn't apply to helicopters. Their rule says they have to fly at or above a level from which a safe landing can be made in an emergency.

5miles of an airport? I live 3.5 miles from one & can't fly in my own back yard?

Life sucks, but yes. Many airports have controlled airspace from ground to 3000' AGL in a 5 mile radius, specifically to protect aircraft operations into, out of, and in the vicinity of the airport. That's the general boundary of control of ATC at a towered airport, and it is mirrored in uncontrolled fields.

manned operations? really no one (even the ATC in some ways) has good ADB-S yet.

ADS-B has nothing to do with a prohibition on interfering with manned flights. If you can see your toy, then you really ought to be able to see that much larger manned aircraft that is passing by. You don't need radar or transponders.

Radioactive cats have 18 half-lives.