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Comment Re:Judgement before facts (Score 1) 49

I don't think these were security guards - I think the "safety managers" may have been just that: construction personnel who oversee safety on the construction site. If you enter any modern construction site without proper safety equipment, someone on staff will certainly confront you, probably in a way that seems aggressive, as shouting is the norm on a site.

If they "breaking the window and cutting the safety belt" happened before the vehicular assault, that's clearly them in the wrong, but if they just were recording license plate then that's fine.

Comment Re:Things will sort themselves out (Score 1) 294

In 2-3 decades, hardly anyone will travel on Earth.

I've heard claims that no one needs to travel today, that sound and video today provide all the experience you need. I suspect that your claim, like theirs, will fall on its face and people will be traveling just as much.

Why waste time transporting your body hundreds of miles when you can just rent a drone body at your destination?

Because the real world is very, very different from a pair of screens right up in your eyes and speakers on your ears. Assuming you can hear anything, with the buzzing. And you're even allowed to go somewhere, given how many places outright ban drones.

This is why the whole 'self-driving car' thing is attacking the wrong problem. It's like someone in 1900 trying to figure out how to clean up all the horse crap that will be clogging up our cities by the year 2000, when everyone will be able to afford a horse.

Transportation will change, but I don't foresee it going away in favor of sealing ourselves in our homes and plugging ourselves into VR headsets and acting as if we're "there" via noisy, buzzing drones.

Comment Cameras aren't magic (Score 1) 49

Even with HD cameras, making out a license plate at any distance can be difficult. Try it sometime. Put your phone up at an angle a security camera might be, and see how readable things are at a distance. To do a good job of reading license plates you either need something mounted specifically for that (at a gate or something) or you need really high rez cameras, like the still cameras used at red light cameras.

General security cameras aren't much use for license plates.

Comment Re:Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump? (Score 1) 217

Jeb vs Biden would be just as bad. I suspect Rubio will replace Bush as the Donor Party candidate from the right, however - while just as bad politically, at least it's not a dynasty. I fear we'll get yet another Donor Party vs Donor Party general, sadly enough, whether Clinton v Bush or Biden v Rubio, it will barely matter who wins.

Comment Re:What if I don't want to own a car? (Score 1) 294

Data, please? People make this claim all the time, but given that there are over a billion trips a day in the US and only around 120 fatalities, I'd say humans drivers pretty much have this thing down. The fact that people can make it around in their cars in myriad weather conditions, successfully navigate unfamiliar terrain, and quickly respond to sudden changes in circumstances (kid darting out in front of them) speaks volumes to how good human drivers are.

So I'm going to try. Putting aside fatalities, as the Google cars have not been involved in any, there were approx 5.5m traffic accidents in the US in 2010. Taking your number of 1b trips per day, we get a figure of ~66k miles per accident. According to Google they have been involved in 11 accidents over 1.7 million miles which is ~154k miles/accident. Now this is a combination of fully automatic and driver assisted miles, so the comparison isn't exact, but it's pretty safe to assume the computer is at least as good as your average driver. And maybe twice as good.

I watched a Google self-driving car cross an intersection this weekend (in Austin). It was moving very cautiously and then slowed down to a walking pace on the other side of the intersection, leaving a trail of human-driven cars stuck in the intersection while it decided to turn down a side street.

That may be evidence of it driving badly. Or it may be evidence of it driving well, because it was responding to a potential danger that the human drivers didn't see or didn't care about. Remember - if we're saying we want the computers to drive better than humans we have to accept that they will at times drive differently.

Comment Re:Author is not impressive. (Score 1) 294

You actually think that will help? There's gonna be like 1 second at maximum when you realize something bad is about to happen. That's going to be long enough for a driver who hasn't been paying attention to react, grab whatever emergency only steering wheel replacement is hidden in the glove box and execute some perfect maneuver?

Right now if you're in a cab do you insist there's a second set of controls in case the driver fucks up? No - you trust in statistics. With the automated drivers it's the same, you either trust them or you don't. There's no "emergency backup".

Comment Re:Why should? (Score 1) 294

oftware can make judgement calls. In the case of weapons, we just don't feel comfortable allowing that. For self-driving-cars, there is no moral issue.

That's not the way most people use the phrase "judgement call" - if there's a rule you can write down, it's not a judgment call. We do have weapons that will kill anything that looks hostile with millisecond response time, but only where there's no judgement call required in identifying targets.

You might want to read up on what autonomous vehicles can do. They have already driven millions of miles on public roads, and have a safety record better than average human drivers.

Most of the time. That's at least a decade from reliable. It's a world of difference. Nothing today is anywhere near safe if a human isn't ready to take over the controls. Sure, there are routes that are safe, in most weather, if there's no detour or policeman waving traffic down. Sure the cars are safe in normal conditions. That's the first half of the problem solved.

Comment Re:Why should? (Score 1) 294

Do you envision the entire vehicle to be unusable if it's not connected or if the on-board AI breaks down?

There's definitely a place for cars that can't be driven manually - no controls, the car is like the back of a limo, or an old-school train car where the seats faced each other, with perhaps a table in-between. No different from "can't be driven if the engine brakes down", and moving parts fail with age in a way software doesn't.

How does the occupant get out in a power failure?

Through the ... doors?

Comment Re:Meaningless Bullshit (Score 1) 50

Devops isn't "ops people who code", it's "fire all the ops people, and make your software devs do that ops stuff too". It works about as well as you'd imagine - lots of automation, but the lack of real ops experience (and desire to do that for a living) really shows. And yes, you'd be on call - it's not devops if someone else has to wake up if you break it. That's the whole point, really - one team that has to live with the results of their choices. It's less than ideal, but better than any approach that lets dev blow off the concerns of ops.

Comment Re:Bullspit (Score 1) 50

DevOps is a specialization which used to be part of standard system administration. Developing custom tools to do custom tasks, in this case related to "Ops" (another specialty that used to be standard sysadmin territory). The term is a great dummy term, but really does not distinguish someone's ability to manage servers and infrastructure.

Not in my job it's not. We're all full-time software engineers, and none of us have any sort of ops, sys-admin, or any other sort of "IT" background. Just as we don't have any QA people, and none of us has a QA background. We write, test, operate, and maintain the product the company sells.

It doesn't work as well as dispensing with QA did. If you're writing good tests, the only value QA adds is early customer feedback, but if you're running a web service that you can change when you want to, you can respond quickly to actual customer feedback, and that's better. However, even with lots of automation, ops is still a specialty. It just takes more of our time to do it than it would to have a specialist do it full-time. It's also no fun - ops isn't our chosen career, and it's not what we like doing.

Devops tries to fix the usual distance and disconnect between dev and ops, and that's a great goal. But devops is a poor, suboptimal, and un-fun way of achieving that goal. Having a distinct ops staff integrated with the dev team (same first-level mangers, sitting next to one another, attending the same stand-ups, etc, no distinct ops and dev structure), would be a lot better. But then, horrors, engineers wouldn't be fully interchangeable cogs!

Comment Possible interest... (Score 1) 80

Our company provides networking services and we generally use Cisco gear, but we've been dipping our toes into some lower-end markets that can't afford $1,500 Internet routers. In order to consider something likes this, the main thing we would be interested in is build quality. It seems that most SOHO routers are designed right at the edge of their thermal safety envelopes, which leads to crashes and failures. Even if we don't want to spend $1,500 on a router we would still want something that is robust enough to be shoved into a poorly-ventilated cabinet and run happily on its own for five years, except for the occasional software upgrade. I'd happily pay $100 or even $200 for that level of stability.

Comment Re:Why should? (Score 1) 294

For the same reason the military does use (at at least doesn't admit to using) fully autonomous armed drones: software can't make judgement calls. Sure, eventually, one day, the software may get there. I think it will be less than 20 years, within well-mapped cities. In the mean time, we can keep making computer-assisted driving better, which is what most car companies are actually doing. The few who aren't will still require you to pay enough attention to take over when things go wrong, which sounds dubious to me.

And for rural driving? That's a whole different world. We won't have fully autonomous cars on dirt roads, or heavy snow, or similar conditions that most humans find challenging, any time soon.

Comment Re: Gift Horse (Score 1) 304

That is only related to the war against the international terrorist jihadist group al Qaida being waged by the US.

Are you suggesting that Assange is affiliated with al Qaeda? Do you have any proof of that? Or do you have proof that it is being used for handling ordinary criminal justice matters, which is what Assange would fall into ... if the US even had a warrant out for him (which it doesn't).

Comment Re:Autonomy fails when the unexpected happens (Score 1) 294

How do autonomous vehicles fare when an oncoming drunk driver zones in on their headlights, veers into the lane and tracks the autonomous vehicle as it tries to avoid the collision?

With much faster reflexes and understanding of suspension dynamics that the average driver.

How will the autonomous vehicle avoid the T-bone collision from the driver that fails to stop at the red light on the cross street? Does the autonomous vehicle have peripheral scanning that will detect a cross-traffic vehicle that doesn't appear to be stopping?

Puny human without 360 degree night vision, LIDAR, and RADAR, calibrated for distance and speed says what?

How about four fully autonomous vehicles that approach a 4-way stop from four directions at the same time? Who gets to go first? Will they communicate somehow?

You do realize you used an autonomous collision avoidance protocol with random exponential backoff to make your post, right?

"Consider a spherical bear, in simple harmonic motion..." -- Professor in the UCB physics department