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Comment: Re:Not concerned (Score 2) 171

by gmhowell (#49353367) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

I should actually correct myself slightly: Wal-Mart (and others) have some in house drivers and some outsourced.

BTW, in discussions of the transport industry, don't get distracted/lied to by the companies. Some drivers think they are owner operators, when in practice, they aren't. They will lease/buy a truck from (as an example, all of the bigs do this) Schneider. As part of the lease terms, they can only accept loads from Schneider. It should be obvious that the 'owner' is an employee who has assumed much of the risk that the company would usually take on.

ShanghaiBill has a decent reply, but he misses a point: if the automated truck is cheaper, the big companies will drive that change in a heartbeat. The trick is that someone has to be convinced that they will be cheaper. They are unlikely to automatically accept that an automated truck is safer, faster, etc. One area where they are likely to be impressed is the possibility of 24 hour operations, rather than the 10 hour per day (rough) limits of human operated trucks. In addition to (possibly) being cheaper, this will allow faster shipments for more mundane goods (there are already plenty of ways to have fast shipping, but it is cost prohibitive to do for everything) which would offer them a competitive advantage. I suspect this last point will be the thin edge of the wedge.

Comment: Sloppy's One Rule of Robotics (Score 1) 129

by Sloppy (#49338263) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?

My one rule of robotics (and pointed sticks, cars, crackpipes and umbrellas) is this: my stuff ought to perform in accordance with my wishes.

There might be additional laws ("weld here and here, but nowhere else," or "use the rules in /etc/iptables/rules.v4" or "don't shoot at anyone whose IFF transponder returns the correct response") which vary by whatever the specific application is, but these rules aren't as important as The One above.

There are various corollaries that you can infer from the main law, but since they can be derived, they don't need to be laws themselves. (e.g. if my interests conflict with someone else's, then my robot and my umbrella ought to serve my interests at the expense of the other person's interests.)

With regard to harming other robots, that also can be derived. If I desire to kill a knight on a robot horse, then my robot ought to turn them into a pile of bloody gore and shredded circuitboards immediately. OTOH, if I don't desire to kill a robot, then my robot should not do things that incur unnecessary liabilities.

Comment: Re:This is a silly article (Score 1) 228

by HBI (#49338001) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

There are nuclear equivalents to most conventional weapons - Tomahawk missiles had a nuclear payload designed for them, for instance. Bolting on a nuclear warhead onto most weapons isn't impossible. Of course, the issue is - who is going to use them and risk escalation?

The answer, in general, is no one. There is a line there, and once crossed, it opens up the use of even half megaton strategic assets. Or a FOBS.

Comment: This is a silly article (Score 4, Insightful) 228

by HBI (#49337083) Attached to: How Nuclear Weapon Modernization Undercuts Disarmament

Only in the eyes of an ivory tower theoretical type could the tripwire of nuclear weapons first use be "eased" by "low yield". No matter how low the yield, the secondary effects of the nuclear weapon remain the same. It remains a WMD. If someone lobs a "low yield" nuke at you, do you think you're going to blink an eye before using your own arsenal? The whole premise is silly.

Nuclear disarmament is a fool's errand. The deterrent effect of a nuclear arsenal cannot easily be understated. All nations would aspire to it, if it were possible. They aren't going away, and reducing the arsenal below a certain point may actually be more destabilizing than maintaining more warheads. (see below)

The construction of newer weapons has no impact on the equation, except on the counterforce mission. It might make it easier to destroy your opponent's arsenal, but you still retain the SSBN problem, meaning that in practical terms there is no difference. But newer anti-missile technologies have a similar but greater destabilizing effect on deterrence, as they CAN shoot down the SSBN-based missiles.

tl;dr - article is a bunch of pointless hot air

Comment: Re:May you choke on your own words (Score 1) 311

by HBI (#49329689) Attached to: First Lawsuits Challenging FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Arrive

What is money except a measure of economic value? What is capital except a measure of society's perceived value in making a task possible? If you have to force people to do something via the application of the government's power of life and death, it probably isn't worth doing. Moonshots don't escape this logic.

I happen to think that space exploration is cool, but wtf, I don't want the letdown of going to the moon and then never going back. And I can't come up with a economically defensible reason to go back, despite the pleasure I take in the actual act of doing so.

You can wave around your Ayn Rand bullshit all you want, but you can't come up with one, either.

Comment: Re:May you choke on your own words (Score 1) 311

by HBI (#49328767) Attached to: First Lawsuits Challenging FCC's New Net Neutrality Rules Arrive

If it wasn't worth going back in all this time, it wasn't worth going in the first place. In the end, it was just propaganda in the race to destabilize the Soviet Union.

If private industry had done it, they would have waited until there was some economic reason to go there, like 3He. Sure, it would have happened later, but at least we'd get some kind of direct benefit from it, instead of a bunch of museum pieces that no one remembers how to reconstruct, and Tang.

I'm sure prison inmates appreciate their Tang, of course.

Comment: It's not ignorance. It's stupidity. (Score 4, Interesting) 224

by HBI (#49328459) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

Let's just call it like it is. People are dumb. The monumental stupid that is around me just boggles the mind. I'll relate an example. My local HOA over the last two weeks had a Facebook board post frenzy about a guy who is wandering through the neighborhood rifling through people's unlocked cars. He (or they) leave the unlocked cars alone. Yet the people refuse to lock their car doors. Last Friday, one person's car was stolen, a BMW SUV with the keys in the car, doors open, left unattended and started to warm up on a 45 degree F day. (no warming required, really, for those who can't picture this) There's even a state law against doing just that. There's someone wandering around pillaging unlocked cars, and you leave your car started in front of your house? These people are allowed to vote and participate in society.

Anyway, this level of stupid is one thing. The levels of stupid I see a couple towns over where people get their drugs are...stunning. Imagine CL ads where they list their phone numbers and "420 friendly" or "I'm holding" in the ad?

Politicians know this is their constituency and they play to it. How do you think that dumb hopey changey shit worked? Very stupid people voting.

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. -- Jeremy S. Anderson