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Comment: Re:autopilot software / hardware has lot's testing (Score 1) 191

by Ogi_UnixNut (#47162985) Attached to: Intel Wants To Computerize Your Car

Yes, but airplanes cost in excess of 30 million USD. For that amount you can justify the high costs in testing, triplicate redundancy, and hiring code auditors, security auditors, every cable accounted for EM interference, etc.., etc...

You really think that your average car will have that level of redundancy and checks? Hell, the only reason airplanes have it is because it is mandated by the flight authorities. An Airbus or Boeing would not get type approval if they didn't produce certificates, and signed documents from all involved, that all the unit tests/audits were done, and passed successfully.

You really think automakers will do the same? It would drive the cost up immensly, and unless forced to, I suspect you will find most of the code will be a lousy hack-job done by the lowest bidder somewhere on the Indian subcontinent, a bit like most built-in car tech.

The only place this hasn't been the case is the ECU/EMU's. This is:

a) The only people who can do the job are competent already (very rarely can you find cheap, good, embedded programmers.)
b) the ECU/EMU controls fuel efficiency, and emissions, which the car has to pass to be allowed to be sold. Incentive to get it right
c) It is a very simple problem, relatively. Control of fuel/ignition timing, and power output/throttle control.
d) the project isn't very big (a few K of data/code).
e) It doesn't change much. It only gets refined with time (like the IC engine, which, as a concept is about 100 years old).

Also, the whole point of a driverless car is that you would be able to ignore the driving, and just go do what you want. However that level of sophistication has not even been reached in airplanes. Airplane autopilots, despite being around for decades, and generally dealing with a 3D space , in which 99% of it is air, still have software glitches/unexpected situations. That is why airlines still have highly trained people sitting at the controls at all times, paying attention and ready to make corrections if necessary.

I don't think a normal "driver" in a self driving car, will want to sit there and stare at everything around them, making sure the computer is doing the right thing. If you can't disconnect, and be a passenger, then you might as well be driving. Just as much effort, slightly higher risk of error, and you don't end up bored to death.

On the flip side, I don't think they can make a pure driverless car, just because driving is really complicated, and requires the ability to think ahead, and not just react to immediete events. Something AI is not yet able to do. You could make self-driving only roads, which area designed to not confuse the AI, and make everything work reliably. However then you've just really reinvented trains, with roads instead of rail.

The only place where I could see a self driving car working at all is on Motorways, due to their predictable, linear nature, no pedestrians and other obstacles, and clearly defined rules.

Comment: Re:Wow! (Score 1) 140

by Ogi_UnixNut (#47138423) Attached to: SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

They have clearly shown they have no problem breaking agreements when it suits them.

Well, based on what I've seen in my time on this plant, The Russian Government, The EU, and the US governments break agreements, violate sovereignty and meddle in the affairs of other smaller nations as much as they want. It is one of the perks of being a top-dog in the world.

However those are governments, you will generally find that people on all sides are more the less the same. They have fun, get laid, party, and have dreams and goals of their own.

As such, just because the governments do nasty shit, doesn't mean that you should not co-operate where there are mutually aligning goals. That is one of the fundamental tenants of diplomacy.

If the human race as a whole does not co-operate in space, the alternative is to compete, which could well cause more problems in future.

Besides, as long as the US pays for the engines, they will get them. Communism is gone, currency is the new ideology. Likewise for trips to the ISS, as long as the US is willing to pay, they will get a seat there. What may be influenced by the geopolitical situation is the price for future seats though.

Not to say that having two suppliers for a job is a bad idea, that is just good business. Otherwise your only supplier can lock you in :o)

Comment: It has the most awful captcha I've ever seen... (Score 2) 80

by Ogi_UnixNut (#47136265) Attached to: Popular Shuttered Torrent Site Demonoid Returns

Since the US shut down Lavabit I don't have my old email for Demonoid, so I'm trying to create a new account.

I've spent 40 mins trying the damn captcha, and I just can't read any of them. I so far got it only once, and then the site came back saying my username was invalid.

They have successfully thwarted any bots from registering, by successfully preventing humans from registering as well :-/

And their audio option doesn't even work, most annoyingly. Am I the only one having trouble with it?

Comment: Re:Why would they do anything else? (Score 2) 673

by Ogi_UnixNut (#46713083) Attached to: Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Or... you know... hire the best person for the job, not set a goal of having a 50/50 distribution?

Humans are not marbles, we are all unique, all have our strengths and weaknesses, and different ways of thinking.

Hire the right person for the job in hand, don't hire people based on some magical need to have a particular distribution. I really don't get this desire...

Comment: Re:Yes...but no (Score 1) 291

by Ogi_UnixNut (#46647669) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

Lasting peace in Europe? You must have been asleep for the last 25 years.

Bombing, invasion, annexation, partition, suffering, in Europe and abroad, by the hand of NATO.
Your "peace" and general prosperity is built on the blood, death and suffering of others, and don't you forget it.

Personally, I'm happy Russia finally slapped NATO in the face. I was wondering if anyone on this planet had the balls to finally stand up to the bully (Disclaimer, I'm not Russian). Now just to see how this develops, geopolitically.

Comment: Re:Yes (Score 2) 496

by Ogi_UnixNut (#46647591) Attached to: Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

But why is parallax relevant?

It allows us to judge distances using depth perception, partly because we have two eyes at offsets, and as mentioned earlier, because we can bob our head about to help us get depth cueing.

The only way cameras will come close to being as good as a mirror is if they are 3D cameras and displays, to allow us to judge distances like a mirror, at which point I suspect they will be a lot more expensive than just having a mirror.

(Talk about using a jackhammer to crack a nut. It is always easy to make things complicated. Making something elegantly simple, now that requires serious brain power).

Comment: Re:Remote control? (Score 4, Interesting) 439

by Ogi_UnixNut (#45736017) Attached to: US Spying Costs Boeing Military Jet Deal With Brazil

If that is their worry, then buying any NATO countries produce would not help them. AFAIK The SAAB Gripens use American engines, avionics and components. Apart from the airframe and the final country of assembly (and some local parts), they are not really making much a difference as far trust of the hardware goes.

If that was the real worry, then you'd have to buy someone elses (probably Russian), but they went out of the race a while ago.

Comment: Re:DRM not possible in my ride (Score 1) 231

by Ogi_UnixNut (#45431361) Attached to: DRM To Be Used In Renault Electric Cars

Funny you mention that, here in the UK, like in most of Europe, cars have DRM already. As such you have to go to "authorized" garages, where they have to reprogram the car computers every time they replace the part. The result being that they can charge you £300 to replace a headlamp.

Classic cars (80's mostly), anyone can do it, and it is cheap (I had my alternator replaced for £35, including parts cost). When I tell people that their jaws drop, as their yearly checkup alone costs a few hundred. That is why I never owned a new car.

The thing is, so many people have realised the same as me now, and have started buying classic cars, that classic car insurance premiums have been increasing rapidly. Car insurance companies have taken to refusing to insure classic cars because of demand, unless you can provide you will not use it as a daily driver (i.e. you can only have a classic if you own a modern, and the classic is only for meets, shows and the occasional drive).

It is becoming harder for me to keep mine to be honest because of the switch, and I wonder if in future there will be a bigger push to restrict people from the classics.

It is interesting to note that the largest rise in classics I've seen corresponds to the years when European new car sales have been flat or shrinking. I suspect causation.

Comment: Re:Well crap... (Score 1) 106

by Ogi_UnixNut (#45431117) Attached to: EU To Allow 3G and 4G Connections On Planes

Yes, I've heard great things about the trains in Europe, however they don't go where I want to, and quite frankly I like driving.

What I would not mind is an extension of what Germany does. There you can drive your car onto a train, and it will do the long boring slog for you (which currently I have to do on highways), and you can drive off at your destination.

However the above is only in Germany (And in Italy, but apparently it doesn't work that well there, and is horrendously expensive), and the high speed rail doesn't go to south/southeast Europe at the moment.

We will see what the future holds, but I am grateful that we actually have alternatives to flying, at least in the core EU.

Comment: Re:Well crap... (Score 1) 106

by Ogi_UnixNut (#45423996) Attached to: EU To Allow 3G and 4G Connections On Planes

No no no... this is the EU doing this, not the US. This means that, after twelve long years, we FINALLY have something about which WE can feel a smug sense of superiority over someone else's airline travel.

Actually, my description of the above is from the EU ;-)

What, you thought we were better? Pretty much everyone here mimicked the US when they introduced their procedure, primarily because they insisted that anyone flying to the USA had to go through this, and it was cheaper to just subject everyone to it then make a whole separate line (and hire separate people) for those traveling to the US.

I pretty much avoid flying in Europe whenever I can. Driving is so much nicer (even if more expensive), plus I can take as much luggage and liquids as I want, without being fondled at the border!

At least we have the option of high speed trains, which I've heard work really well.

Comment: Well crap... (Score 1) 106

by Ogi_UnixNut (#45423824) Attached to: EU To Allow 3G and 4G Connections On Planes

Between the long lines at security, stress, and being fondled and stripped before entry, the only nice thing that was left about flying was the lack of self-important people yakking on their phones throughout the flight... until now.

(hopefully the roaming charges will make absolutely sure nobody does voice calling, but that will depend on how much they charge).

Make sure your code does nothing gracefully.