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Comment: Re:Provisionally, I'm OK with this: (Score 1) 212

by Tom (#47772679) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

I don't trust software to take control away from the driver.

While I completely agree, subjectively, I also understand enough psychology and statistics to know that a) the feeling of control is mostly emotional, not rational. It's why your mother in the passenger seat is scared in situations where you as the driver are completely cool - you are in control, she is not. That she's more easily agitated only makes it more visible. It's a well-documented fact that experiencing the same situation once in control, or even just seemingly in control, and once not in control is experienced very differently.

Statistics, on the other hand, show that even at this early stage, autonomous vehicles have a better-than-average track record. So while you may feel less safe, the numbers say that you are actually more safe.

etc that won't be participating in this V2V conversation.

Which is why autonomous or semi-autonomous (assisted driving) vehicles do not rely on one input source alone. V2V is not intended to replace all the sensors and stuff, it's one more input source.

Great, but that doesn't mean you're now free to be inattentive! If anything, cars should be less safe and speed limits higher to force people to pay attention, or else.

Humans are really, really bad at paying attention to monotonous tasks for extended periods of time. The sooner our cars drive themselves completely, the better.

Comment: Re:Official Vehicles (Score 1) 212

by Tom (#47772649) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

If the speed at which most drivers are comfortable on a road is too high for safety could be that drivers systematically overestimate their abilities and underestimate the dangers. Given that we've evolved to live at walking and running speed, moving only our own bodies, it's not a big surprise that our brains don't give us the correct clues at 180 km/h or even 50 km/h when driving a one ton metal thing.

Subjective driver comfort is not something I would use as a measurement for safety.

Comment: privacy (Score 1) 212

by Tom (#47772639) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns.

Yeah, because V2V has about 300 m range. Posting my location to people within view range is really a massive "privacy concern".

We complain about patent trolls getting trivial patents for non-inventions by taking something totally normal and adding "with a computer" to it, but sometimes we do the same. Licence-plate reading cameras are a privacy concern because they can enter your location into a global database in near real-time. Telling people electronically what they could see with their own eyes? Hardly a privacy problem. If we were talking about a system to intercept these signals and update some global database, yes - but that is just the license-plate-reading-camera problem with a different technology. The problem in either case is not having a license plate or having V2V, but the people turning local information into global information.

And other than license plates, it's easy to solve it. Your car could automatically generate a new random ID for itself every time it stops for more than a minute, for example. Pseudonymity is quite cute when you understand it.

Comment: Re:what's wrong with cherry picking? (Score 1) 87

Given that heart disease is one of the biggest causers of natural death, I'd think there would be plenty of pressure to research that.

Ebola, for all the scaryness, doesn't actually kill many people. That's why there's no drug for it: Not enough dead to be worth the research investment. It's generally too lethal to spread, baring the occasional outbreak.

Comment: Re:That's not how science works (Score 2) 95

by radtea (#47770111) Attached to: Underground Experiment Confirms Fusion Powers the Sun

Nothing has been proven.


Science is the discipline of publicly testing ideas by systematic observation, controlled experiment and Bayesian inference. As such, proof is simply not relevant to what it does, which is produce knowledge. Knowledge--unlike faith--is inherently uncertain.

It'll take a few hundred years for the popular science press to catch up to this. What is being presented here is evidence that the idea p-p fusion powers the sun is correct, so the posterior pluasibility of that idea goes up, although not to 1 (which would be a certainty, and therefore an error: an idea that was immune to additional evidence.)

If neutrinos had not been detected, the plausibility would have gone down, although not to 0 because that would be the same error. Science never disproves anything any more than it proves anything. Proof and certainty are like the philosopher's stone sought by alchemists: a fundamentally mistaken goal.

Philosophers are the alchemists of epistemology, discovering all kinds of cool things while on a hiding to no-where.

Comment: Re:And this is how we get to the more concrete har (Score 1) 455

by radtea (#47770041) Attached to: Limiting the Teaching of the Scientific Process In Ohio

I think you'll find that the utility of falsification is established philosophically, not by observational fiat.

But falsification is at best marginally relevant to science, which is the discipline (not method) of publicly testing ideas by systematic observation, controlled experiment and Bayesian inference.

Falsification simply never comes into it, outside of outlandishly models of science promoted by ignorant philosophers. Promoters of "scientific method" and falsification are almost never scientists, and most scientists will quietly ridicule the ideas if you give them a couple of beer.

Bayesian logic is established by mathematical deduction using an argument from invariance of a kind that originated within mathematical physics (Einstein's arguments for relatively are the most famous of the kind).

Philosophers don't even have the right goal--they are always running after "certainty", which we now know to be a epistemic error. Knowledge is not certain and cannot be certain, because only Bayesian reasoning can produce knowledge, and Bayesian reasoning is not capable of producing a posterior plausibility of 1 or 0 (ie certainty).

Comment: Re:Statistics as standalone field (Score 1) 105

by radtea (#47769923) Attached to: Statistics Losing Ground To CS, Losing Image Among Students

If your view that "everyone is complete shit at statistics", that should include statisticians.

This has been my experience as well. I would go so far as to say that statisticians understand probability less well than most working experimental scientists. They are overly-enamoured of abstract models and rarely dig down to the raw probability distributions underneath, which is what working scientists actually care about.

Comment: Re:Moons? (Score 3, Informative) 81

Indeed it does. I haven't published yet, but I detected one a few days ago (I work out of a valley in Iceland). I observed the brown dwarf in question (right ascension 08h 55m 10.83s, declination -07 14 42.5") and detected a large, earth-sized body occluding the star during my brief observations.

Comment: Re:multi-drive RV tolerance?? (Score 2) 291

by SuricouRaven (#47763817) Attached to: Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

There's an old story posted in a comment on The Register once - someone posted about having an old storage rack with so many hard drives in it that when the power was applied and all spun up together, conservation of angular momentum would make the whole rack rotate slightly in the opposite direction. Solved by configuring them for a staggered spin-up.

Comment: question? (Score 2) 180

by Tom (#47763593) Attached to: Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, [...] Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds?

Are you fucking kidding me? This is so plainly in the "if it's not illegal, it ought to be" category that it's really difficult to think of a more clear example.

It's a direct attack on a competitors system, intended to deprive them of their ability to deliver their service. In IT security terms we'd call it a DOS.

If this rumoured playbook exists, someone ought to go to jail for it. To me it's bright as daylight and even asking the question seems stupid.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson