Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Why would premiums drop? (Score 3, Insightful) 191 191

There is plenty of evidence to contradict TFA's claim, but like you point out I see no evidence premiums will or would drop. Insurance companies are about making money. If they can charge the rate, they will charge the rate. If you want to fix insurance, go back to Insurance companies being Non-Profit organizations.

You make it sound like insurance companies operate in a vacuum. If an autonomous car is safer and rates don't go down then someone new will come along and undercut the existing players. More importantly, if liability gets shifted to the car manufacturers then if rates are not what they consider reasonable then it's very possible for them to just self-insure their entire fleet and cut out the insurance companies completely.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 861 861

One flaw - in modern society we look at efficiency in $ terms.

Cost of purchase and storage vs cost of logistics and transport. Most things will be cheaper to purchase and store.

Self driving cars could change this equation. A $20k toilet cleaning robot isn't cost effective today but if it could arrive on schedule, do it's job, and move on to the next house, it might be. Even something like a shopvac or ladder, if you could call it, and it could arrive via a self-driving pod or drone 15 minutes later and it was all automated, the logistics and transportation costs would be negligible. Most of the logistics and transport costs are because it's currently done by humans.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 1) 861 861

Yes, there are things that people use daily (like their phones) or
a lot of people use at the same time (like the lawnmower or even turkey roasters)
but there is a ton of stuff in a typical house that is not used regularly. I have a ladder
that I use once a year. I would gladly give it to an organization to store for me if I could
borrow it when I needed it. Kindof like fractional reserve banking, if 40 people all gave an
organization their ladders, they could sell off half of them and there would still always be
plenty to go around.

Comment Re:quickly to be followed by self-driving cars (Score 4, Insightful) 861 861

But you're also making the case for how absurd it is that people use additional energy (compounded over several million vehicles I bet it ads up) in the form of gasoline to always carry around stuff they only sometimes need.

The whole system is designed for people having stuff "they only sometimes need". Most commuters only need a single seat and a 20 mile range but they keep the 4 seat SUV with a gasoline engine so they can take the family to the lake once a month. It's not just cars. Most people have a "guest bedroom" and additional extra rooms in their house that are only used occasionally. It gets even worse than that, how often does someone actually use the ladder, extension cord, etc... that's hanging in their garage. I doubt that in an average city that more than 1% of ladders are being actively used at any one time.
The "parent with extra crap" stuff is actually easy to solve. Just get a large duffle bag with all the stuff and throw it in the trunk when the car shows up but there is a ton of "extra capacity" everywhere in modern life. I would venture to guess that if we could efficiently distribute items only when needed that we could reduce our consumption of things like shopvacs, ladders, ext cords, by 90+% because a vast majority of the stuff in the average house is not used on a daily basis and some of it sits and rots for months between uses.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 351 351

The pundits have been predicting such a scenario since sometime in the early 1980s. To date, it hasn't come to pass, and I'm pretty confident in saying that your vision is right up there with flying cars.

Sure, it has come to pass. Everybody has a web presence without the need to personally hire a programmer. Everyone can compile graphs and charts of their data and advanced analytics
reporting without the need of a programmer. No, programmers haven't gone away and someone
still needs to write the programs but many of the tasks that once required a programmer now can
be done via a service without a programmer.

Comment He's trying to argue a specific side and failing (Score 1) 76 76

He posts a point like "intended target must stay the same" or and then gives more support for the opposing side.
I could easy take every one of his points and argue the exact opposite probably more effectively than him.
Most of the cyber attacks today seem to be undirected from rogue disconnected parties with undefined or
constantly changing goals and no way to achieve any sort of victory unless victory is defined as "causing chaos".

Comment Re:Too many shortcuts (Score 1) 683 683

That's quite a long list and I have NO interest in memorizing all that.

Shortcut keys are for power users and aren't really meant to be memorized directly. I prefer nice menus but I tend to go look up the shortcut keys or try to create a macro when I notice that I keep doing the same thing over and over again. If you want to know how useful shortcut keys can be, try playing StarCraft 1 with someone who uses shortcut keys. They will beat you every time if you're just using the mouse.

Comment Re:Hey Lisa - You need to rethink your statement. (Score 1) 591 591

Right now, it makes little sense to talk about the most likely candidates. Nobody has won a primary or a caucus. A lot of things can change between now and then.

I agree "past performance doesn't mean future results" but I guess I'm a little cynical as it seems like the dominate candidates always seem to be just more of the same. Candidates with fresh ideas are always labelled as too extreme and pushed to the fringe while the "more of the same" candidates sometime pay lip service to a few of the fresh ideas of the other candidates just so they can still win while changing nothing.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 351 351

BZZZT! No.

Web pages (the kind you're talking about, anyway) do not employ logic. They do not employ any kind of procedural operations. They do not employ the concept of several / many / hundreds of moving parts.

That was kindof my point.
When the first cars came out, you had to be a mechanic and be able to troubleshoot car problems to drive one because they would break down every few miles.
When the first home computers came out you needed to know how to troubleshoot circuits to be able to use them.

The general population does seem to have problems with complex logic problems. There are some intermediate programs like ifttt.com that seem to work ok for the general population but I consider ifttt still for power users and basic useful stuff will continue to be simplified until many of the things done by programmers today can be done by someone who doesn't understand complex logic.

Comment Re:Swift (Score 1) 351 351

Swift isn't going to make it so "anybody can write apps." That is something that's been tried for decades, with things like drag-and-drop programming. SQL was originally intended for non-programmers. It doesn't work, because the difficulty of programming isn't the syntax. The difficulty of programming is logic.

These attempts seem to all lead down a common path. Take webpages:
1) only hard core programmers can do it.
2) It gets a little easier with geocities and wysiwyg editors.
3) It gets a little easier with myspace and then even easier with facebook.
Now everyone has some sort of webpage which requires no programming at all.

This same progression happened with the first cars, the first computers, the first cameras, etc...
So, no I don't think everyone is going to become a programmer but everyone will soon be doing
stuff with their devices that previously required a programmer to do.

Comment Re:Or not (Score 1) 109 109

The real smoking gun is "how will we ever know that they are correct?" Assuming they are turned onto the problems they excel at (NP problems), it may be impossible to verify their answers are correct without a true breakthrough in mathematics.

To use the example you were replying to, if it can get a better answer to the "travelling salesman" problem faster than a conventional computer
then it would still be very useful even if we can't prove that it's the optimal solution. Neural nets are in a similar state today and are quite useful
even if we don't know exactly how the individual weights get the correct solution and even if the answers aren't perfect.

The problem I see with quantum computers is that it seems to be all smoke and mirrors. I don't understand what they are even trying to
accomplish. Even theoretically, how is a quantum computer suppose to be better at solving problems than a conventional computer?
Is it because it's in parallel? Well, we have GPUs which are pretty good at that already. Is it just because it is smaller? What exactly
does quantum computing bring to the table that we don't already have?

Comment Re:Hey Lisa - You need to rethink your statement. (Score 1) 591 591

Once people with an actual clue get into power, there's going to be several high level trials, which will include ex-presidents, NSA personnel, CIA personnel, FBI Personnel, let's face it, if it's a government alphabet agency, they're probably in on it. So you'll have plenty of company standing up against that wall.

Enjoy your reprieve while it lasts. The soon to be reorganized Government of the people, by the people and for the people (and no, corporations aren't people) will set things to right, and will welcome Snowden back to U.S. as the hero he is.

What fantasy world are you living in? The two most likely candidates for the next president are Bush or Clinton, neither of which are going
to change anything. Of the 3, Obama is probably the most likely to do something and he has opted not to. Pretty much no-one
"with an actual clue" has any chance of getting close to the white house. It would take citizens who care and aren't being pacified with
bread and circus (reality tv, talking heads, etc) to do any type of reorganization. Even an armed rebellion would get nowhere as anyone
with any resources is comfortable enough to not want to risk their lives. The revolutionary war happened because both the poor and the
well off were hurting. George Washington was one of the richest men in the USA. Even then, only about 20% of the population participated
on either side and they literally couldn't buy themselves shoes. It would take a major drop in standard of living in the USA before anything
like that would ever happen here. People are a lot more risk averse and much less likely to want to leave their comfort zone today.

Comment Re:Offline pass managers don't have this problem.. (Score 1) 365 365

I use the rings sold here to generate my passwords, there are cards and keychains too. Simple system and no need to rely on cloud storage or worry about having a wallet hacked.

https://www.tindie.com/search/#q=password generator recall

How do you deal with site's arbitrary unstated rules? I've ran into many sites that enforce mutually exclusive rules (must contain a symbol, can't contain a symbol, etc..) which they only tell you when you create the password not when you later try to log in so you're left to try to guess which arbitrary rule the site you're currently trying to log in had.

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

Working...