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Comment Re:Good ... (Score 1) 220

All that does is change the physics calculations which the computer would need to use. Which a computer is far better suited to do on the fly than a person. The car could also easily be equipped to identify dangerous road conditions before the car is actually in the midst of them. And once the car is on ice it would be able to react to changing conditions on a scale of milliseconds while a person at best deals in tenths of seconds.

Comment Re:And So It Begins... (Score 1) 220

I can see this being an issue a bit at first. But as SDC's hit a critical mass it'll stop being an issue because SDC's and their correct driving behavior will be the standard. Hell, I can easily foresee a day when human drivers will only be allowed on closed tracks. Auto accidents like the one you mention will likely become a thing of the past and be a real rarity. Rush hours will likely be much less of a hassle because the SDC's will be able to handle the congestion much more efficiently and intelligently.

Comment Re:Hal 9000 (Score 1) 185

DFAS and MHS are both excellent and highly visible examples to cite here. That said there are hundreds if not thousands of smaller applications that are just as problematic because they were never designed and built with security in mind. When dealing with these entrenched programs security usually boils down to everyone filing mountains of CYA paperwork rather than actually securing anything.

Comment Re:The endless contractor cycle has to stop (Score 1) 185

I recently witnessed a branch of a government agency completely dismantle it's technical security group. All the employees who specialized in technical security were moved into their corresponding technical groups. The theory that was bandied about was that those people would train everyone on security and it'd just become a part of everyone's job. This largely falls apart though when the person conducting a security audit is also the person responsible for fixing the holes and appeasing the customers by not causing downtime or telling them their application needs a redesign to be more secure. The people in charge are most concerned with keeping customers happy and so security only becomes a critical issue when it has already failed. In the end nothing is actually done to improve security and instead monumental paper work processes are implemented for CYA purposes, which certainly doesn't speed up or improve the way anything gets done. Something that makes it even sadder is that this feeds back in on its self with much of the security checks becoming verification that the proper CYA bullshit is properly filed.

Comment Re:Please Explain (Score 1) 127

What I take issue with is that the arbitrary size measures they used didn't have any expectation of improving the quality of the candidate. I agree that the college degree is also arbitrary but it does set a baseline for some desirable skills/traits, even if that baseline is much lower than some would like to think.

Comment Re:Please Explain (Score 1) 127

While limiting the number of applicants is useful, doing so based on arbitrary size requirements is a very silly way of doing it. If you want to limit your candidate pool you should at least use a measure that increase the odds of getting someone with some desirable trait. Which is probably why one of the first requirements to be an officer in all branches is a college degree.

Comment Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 131

When I looked awhile back one of the best years on record for the FBI was merely identifying 50% of the suspects in bank robberies. Despite the hype it would seem the chances of getting caught aren't all that high if one is semi competent. The big downside though is that it really doesn't pay all that well. It is far and away safer to just get a normal job.

Comment Re:Steady Losses (Score 1) 141

I remember a few years back it was noticed that the Air Force crashed a higher percentage of its drones than the Army. One of the big operational differences that caused this was that the Army let to drones handle take off and landings automatically, while the Air Force insisted on a human pilot doing it remotely. If that is still an issue then it could be contributing to the numbers in this report, especially as the Air Force has trouble finding and retaining drone pilots.

Comment Re:It's not just about IQ (Score 1) 307

I consider myself smarter than the average bear, although I've no idea how much smarter. Motivation has always been a problem for me, even though I've never used any illegal drugs. In grade school I realized pretty early on that I could manage a passing grade without studying and usually without doing homework. From there on out I did the minimum necessary to get by and my grade cards showed it. If there had been some kind of carrot that interested me I might have been motivated to do better, but honor/merit rolls and college never really appealed to me. Meanwhile I know someone who is dyslexic but got straight A's because she wanted to go to college, and knew that an academic scholarship would be her only hope. She studied her ass off all the time and today has a Masters Degree and professional license to her name.

Comment Re:How about a $4 billion investment in mass trans (Score 1) 276

I'm for investment in mass transit, although I'd be really ecstatic if my community would at least invest in sidewalks and pedestrian crossings.

The problem that I see with denser housing in the USA is it would face huge social hurdles. There is a whole movement of people wanting to live in tiny houses. But the catch is that they don't want that tiny house stacked on top of another and surrounded on every side by similar units. They are going with a tiny living space so that they have more of their outside space usable. Most Americans still dream of owning a single family home with separate bedrooms for each child and plenty of living space to sprawl. Changing that mindset is certainly possible, but it'd require concerted effort shaping peoples hopes and dreams on a massive scale

Comment Re:WTF??? (Score 5, Insightful) 276

It could amount to a very shrewd investment. We have about 30K traffic fatalities a year, which over the span of this proposal would amount to 300k deaths. If autonomous cars cut that number in half it'd cost us about $27k per life, again over the course of the ten years. The extra taxes you get to collect from those people over the course of the rest of their lives could quite possibly pay back that investment. And it's not like once the decade of funding is over autonomous cars would stop saving lives.

I'm curious what other areas you feel we as a society would be better served by investing $4 Billion in? Personally I'd suspect some medical research avenues might have better potential, but are likely already well funded. Even if there are better ways to spend the money, it isn't like we can only fund one such area at a time.

Comment Re:So...this kid hacked Yahoo? (Score 1) 132

The danger isn't that some hacker would/could find some kind of nuclear launch codes or some equivalent. The danger is that if some basement dwelling teenage hacker can accomplish this, what does it say about our high level leaders vulnerability to more nefarious people and states. And you don't have to find the keys to the kingdom, or even anything that would ordinarily be classified. In Vietnam VC spies would simply observe when large formations of air craft took off, and what direction they where heading, that was enough to compromise operational security largely reducing the effectiveness of such missions.

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