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Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 183

Sidebar: Any chance that was an actual experiment to document what would happen? I'm not saying it would be right to jeopardize people like that, but you have to know how the system will react.

Nope, the professional driver was just being a moron. The cars have extensive logging though, so they knew precisely what happened.

Comment Re:So what should we do? (Score 1) 493

I don't find three pedals confusing either, and if I had a lift or even a slab I would probably drop the money to put a six speed into my Audi in lieu of the five speed slushbox when I liquidate my 300SD. I'm not doing that job in the dirt. The point remains, though; there was no good reason for them not to use pushbuttons.

Also, I'd still rather have a DCT than any of this stuff, and they don't work without computer control either

Comment Re: Ok. (Score 1) 613

The reason most people use ad blockers is to keep their browsers actually running in a good manner. With HTML5/Javascript framework advertising clients, the issue of the browser eating more and more clock cycles until the operating sytem locks up has just gotten worse. It's more noticeable on lower powered machines like cell phones and tablets, but I even see it on Core I5 machines, especially if there isn't enough memory.

This idea that you can push all the processing to the client and not pre-render anything for your advert is rediculous.

Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 183

So far your "simple" scenario has yet to be validate by anybody, and so far all these tests require a driver in the seat ready to take controls.

From all the documentation about google cars I've seen, while a professional driver ready to take control is required, the self-driving car will continue to drive until the driver takes positive action to over-ride it.

That's actually how one of the accidents happened - the google car was braking to a stop, the pro disabled it and hit the gas into the back end of the car ahead of him. The car attempts to keep itself safe. Getting 'stuck' is a bigger problem than getting into an accident.

Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 183

This bizarre model in which the car drives, except when it doesn't, and with no clear demarcation between is damned near impossible to make sense of.

If the car decides it's got no idea what to do, and it just says "you're in charge", and before you even know what's happening you're in an accident .. and the logs say "human was driving, his fault", you're screwed. Or, worse, someone builds in code which lies and just says "human was driving" 5 minute before any crash is triggered (so they can avoid liability).

Hell, they're already doing just the opposite. Remember the Hyundai superbowl commercial? Within a certain speed range the car will emergency brake itself to prevent a collision - and that's with a human driver at the wheel.

Given the VW scandal, I think that car companies are going to be under more intense scrutiny for a while. The only time I've heard about self-driving cars that will toss control to a driver were extreme-alpha builds, manned by professional drivers. Modern self-driving cars have the opposite problem - they're designed to stop safely if there's a problem, and not proceed if they don't understand what's going on.

Tossing control to a driver while traveling at 50+ mph moments before an accident isn't something any professional is going to allow. "Cattle car" is a good analogy. Worst case, it stops safely on the side of the road and buzzes for assistance. That's an acceptable failure mode.

Comment Re:green? (Score 1) 193

But things like coal, oil, natural gas come from underground.

Most mining is now strip mining, so anything that has to be mined automatically loses. All three of these are also sequestered carbon; when we produce them, and then burn them, we cause ourselves problems related to CO2 release. Natural Gas production is now predicated upon fracking (we otherwise have already hit peak natgas, in terms of just getting it out of the ground as opposed to making it) which has its own severe problems, not least being based on injecting refinery wastes into the ground instead of disposing of them properly. Oil spills are an ongoing rather than regular occurrence; there is basically no time that there is not a serious oil spill going on somewhere in the world. Burning coal puts nuclear material into the atmosphere, including tons of fissile uranium per year.

The environmental cost of solar, especially non-PV systems or modern PV systems which use ever-vanishing quantities of rare earths or even organic materials, is minuscule compared to any fossil fuel.

Comment Re:6178 acres? (Score 1) 193

Wow, you need to disturb a lot of habitat to make that happen. Even in the desert.

The sand fleas will be crushed. No, literally, they will be crushed. Seriously, desert is notable for hosting minimal quantities of biomass. Sure, we could wipe out some inconsequential species. That would even be sad. But I think most of us would trade some obscure lizards and bugs for clean power... which has serious positive ramifications for protecting habitat for many more species.

Ideally we'd mandate if not PV installs then at least proper solar siting for all new construction worldwide, which would lend itself to more distributed solar projects. It's only maybe 15% of the roofs even in California for example which are suitable sites for solar panels because of all the various factors involved. Then there would be less demand for centralized solar. We need more distributed generation anyway.

Comment Re:a way to do this "safely" (Score 1) 183

Phase 1: limit AI driven cars to say 35mph or under "network" control (in either case Hazard Lights GO ON)

No. You are going to need a new signal. Hazard lights already have a meaning, and that meaning is "I am stopped or otherwise below the minimum speed for this roadway which I am in, and thus obstructing it — go around me when/if it is safe".

Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 183

Self-driving-ish cars? Autonom-ish cars? It just seems like everybody is pretending this is a solved issue, and I don't believe it is.

It isn't, but the cars aren't ready to drive themselves 100% of the time anyway. They need a lot more data. So they're going to put the cars with the technology out there, and start collecting it. Then they'll determine how it's going to work as they go along... and by "they" I mean automakers and regulators alike.

Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 183

I'm suggesting if Google is driving, and the passengers are passengers, then why the hell would anybody pay for things like liability insurance for an AI?

You are going to need basic liability insurance no matter what, but it should be a lot cheaper in a car that you're not allowed to drive, because you won't be able to cause an accident.

Could it be because it's still going to have a "fuck it, you drive" mode which passes responsibility to the human so Google can claim they're not responsible?

For the foreseeable future, cars are going to have a human-driven mode, so you're going to need liability insurance for that. If you're willing to let your insurer into your car's data, perhaps they will give you a discount if you don't actually use it.

A self driving car becomes useful when I can have no controls, and be asleep in the back. I don't pay liability insurance on a bus, train or taxi ... why the hell would I pay it when something created by Google is in charge of driving it?

Mechanical failure. Again, your rates should go down if you're not driving, but there will still be opportunities for failure.

Comment Re:As long as you keep population constant? (Score 2) 193

Obviously if 1.7 million people all try to get electricity from this solar plant, all the light will be sucked out of the sun and the sun will become a black hole killing all life on earth.

Orrrrrrrrr! The other .6 million people will get power from gas or coal or nuclear or whatever, Instead of using coal to produce 700MW of power and 1064000 tons of carbon, the end result will be using coal to produce 200MW of power and 304000 tons of carbon, a reduction of 760000.

Comment Re:As long as you keep population constant? (Score 3, Insightful) 193

What does it matter if population changes?

The only things that would invalidate the numbers are if the same number of people started using more or less electricity, or competing electricity production methods started producing less carbon.

If these things did not change and Morocco's population doubled this year, the plant would still provide 1.1 million people power and cut carbon emissions by 760,000 tons/yr compared to whatever production method was being compared here.

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