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Comment Re: Whats wrong with US society (Score 1) 609 609

Your individual right to weapons may not be limited in any way.

So if I were an American (I'm not, I'm Canadian), I should be able to own an RPG, or an Abrams tank or F22 Raptor, or even perhaps a tactical nuclear weapon? And for the record, I am not anti-gun, even though I have never held or fired one. I am a grown up and understand that there are scenarios where owning a firearm is reasonable and perhaps even necessary. But really, "...may not be limited in any way"? Doesn't it just become one giant arms race at that point?

Comment Re:Insurance companies suffer? (Score 1) 389 389

But, it just means that they need to change their business model.

Or they will lobby to change the ratio. No executive of an insurance company who has a pulse will roll over that easily. The industry will fight tooth and nail anything that threatens their revenue stream.

Comment Re: Already been burnt by the price (Score 1) 104 104

I have an acoustic neuroma (benign tumour on the auditory nerve), which combines high frequency hearing loss with tinnitus. I use Sennheiser buds (can't remember the model). They're decent. No amount of equalisation will give me back my hearing above 2kHz, but the Sennheisers are pretty good and were under 100 bucks.

Comment Re:Should be 9 (Score 1) 374 374

Agreed. I was the lucky recipient of three Windows disasters when I bought new PC's: Windows ME, Vista and 8. With ME and Vista I would eventually update to their successors, but after watching many people struggle with 8 (and helping them put in the Classic hack to get rid of the tiles nonsense), I am done with Microsoft. All new hardware purchases in this household will run either OSX/iOS or Linux/Android. I know there are issues with those OSes, but I refuse to give Microsoft one more penny of my hard earned money.

Comment Re: Human fallback (Score 1) 477 477

Yup, I screwed up - see my reply to the above post. I have cruise control on my Fusion. I was thinking about a system that did both speed and steering. On your second point, I see more of a decline than a collapse of civilization, unless something totally unpredictable happens like an asteroid strike. I think we'll gradually return to the previous social structure, prior to the post-Depression emergence of the middle class, where very few people are rich and privileged and the rest are poor and can only afford the most basic things in life.

Comment Re:Human fallback (Score 1) 477 477

Should have had that second coffee this morning. What I meant by "super-cruise control" would be that it would handle acceleration AND steering, as long as the car was travelling at a fairly consistent speed with little traffic around it. The minute things got congested or the road conditions changed it would revert control to the driver, like when today's cruise control disengages on braking. "Super-cruise control" would allow you to drop your hands to your side where they could rest on long stretches of highway driving, reducing fatigue in your shoulders and neck, but still require you to be in the driver's seat and alert/sober. Then from that starting point, the automakers would add the increments: increase the speed range that the car would be able to deal with (+/- 30mph); increasing the number of cars within "x" feet in either direction that it could track and adjust to, etc. Eventually, the system would become 100% self-driving. Bottom line, autonomous cars will remain in beta for quite a while before the average citizen will ever own one, and only after auto makers and insurance companies can come to an agreement on funding liability claims. The insurance companies are not going to walk away from that revenue source, no matter how safe cars become.

Comment Re:Human fallback (Score 3, Interesting) 477 477

Given it took about two decades for anti-lock braking systems to become widely available on cars (and that is a relatively simple technology compared to autonomous driving systems), most of us will be dead and buried before there is a significant percentage of self-driving cars on the road. First, we'll see "super-cruise control", where the driver can engage a partial system on a highway but the system will revert back to the driver if certain tolerances can't be met (e.g., weather, traffic levels). You'll still need a licensed driver behind the wheel. This will be an expense option on high-end cars for 5-10 years, then will trickle down to more mid-priced vehicles. In the meantime, the auto makers, in an attempt to cope with the shift in liability from driver to manufacturer, will introduce incremental changes to the system to increase those tolerances, but will still insist that the driver take over "just in case" a deer suddenly jumps out on to the highway. All the while the manufacturers will be collecting data on how the system copes with real-world driving to try to determine at what point a truly autonomous car is possible, and their risk in getting sued for a faulty system is acceptable. Given how risk-adverse most corporations are, especially auto makers, I don't see an autonomous car in my future (and I'm 52). Personally, I think you'll get more insight on the future of autonomous cars from the insurance companies than the auto makers.

Comment Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 447 447

Agreed. So the solution appears to be to screen pilots for current or past occurrences of mental illness that could lead to incidents like this. Which will then lead to a percentage of pilots being removed from duty. Which will lead to fewer flights (unless you have a hidden pool of available pilots despite their being an ongoing shortage of qualified pilots). Which will lead to reduced revenue for airlines and diminished enrollment in pilot unions/associations. Yup, I can see the airlines and unions fighting that tooth and nail.

Comment Re:Boston, in the winter? (Score 2) 112 112

How about Sudbury, Ontario, Canada? This past winter a "pothole" (more like a sinkhole) ate a resident's Ford F150. We set a record here in Ontario for coldest February in recorded history. Roads are buckling everywhere here in Toronto, and there have been so many watermain breaks some people have been without running water since January.

Comment Re:Jerri (Score 1) 533 533

You want to stop ISIS? Fix the Middle-East's economy. Give people stable, productive jobs.

Good plan. Any suggestions on how to navigate around the massive corruption in most of these countries that funnels money to the elite and powerful? Or how to enforce rule of law that would convince new business investment in the region, without having to pay bribes so that your company isn't suddenly put out of business when it starts to compete against the "wrong" people? There are too many kings, sheiks and dictators (and their supporters and sycophants - that includes the West, by the way) in that part of the world for meaningful change to happen. Egypt had as close to a real election as they've ever had, putting the Muslim Brotherhood in power, and the military decided that little experiment was a failure and arrested the elected president. A job is not on the top of your priority list when the police can make you disappear into a prison where you are denied justice and tortured.

"There is such a fine line between genius and stupidity." - David St. Hubbins, "Spinal Tap"