After deep-pockets law suits nearly killed US general aviation manufacturing some sensible limited-liability laws revived it. So, IMHO this troublesome aspect of autonomous driving will get sorted quickly. Insurers will love insuring people when the accident rate goes down as a result of automation. (Believe me. Their premiums will not drop proportionately.) Autonomous driving has to be very appealing to anyone who cares about human life. And certainly to anyone who trades on its fragility. Thirty thousand people die a year on our US roads . Robots are already acquitting themselves very well on everyday roads. Even today's robots would do much better than people under highway driving conditions and in light traffic. And I do not think it long before all but the most challenging driving tasks will be managed routinely. Frankly, the 'bots could hardly do worse than people. It is a bloodbath out there.
This pop sci article has what appears to be a very factual update on the Google autonomous car project. (500,000 miles without a crash.) But most closed beta test drivers still take over during tricky maneuvers and on side streets. I answered the Slashdot poll and thought about twenty years before we were all automated (I should live so long). But I expect to see a lot of automated cars in ten years. Maybe even Google's automated taxi service in some locales... Maybe.
These self driving vehicles are doing extremely well so far. Hundreds of thousands of miles with no at-fault accidents. And they could hardly do worse than people. Chimps could hardly do worse than people. Really. We suck at driving. Thirty thousand dead last year in the US. That is 10 times the number of people killed on 9/11 every year. And it is 75% (roughly) of the number we lost in the Vietnam war. When I see what other people do behind the wheel these days I really start to want this tech in place. Texters, talkers, make-up artists, wankers, DJs, nursemaids, tipplers and tokers... anything but driving. Time for the bots. "Home, Hal."
I was not in the least confused by this article. I guess I read the dateline. Let's see. If it really takes another ten years then we'll lose another 300,000 lives.
I am, as I said, no great fan of Abstract Expressionism. A 'high brow con game' is what I said it had become. What I wanted to make clear was that Pollock was honest in his work. And that, without knowing he was doing so as such, he was channeling a mathematical reality that he saw or felt in nature. Nobody else has the high fractal index that his work has. It is diagnostic. And viewers sense it rather than see it. Our brains are wired to do so. That said, I agree with you that AE proved to be a dead end of sorts since it is so easy to phony up. Also the artist's expression of feelings is not communicated intact to the viewer with these paintings -- even Pollock's. They are emotionally quite neutral IMHO. Which is why interior designers love them for bank lobbies and such.
I am glad you did not dismiss him out of hand, but after due consideration. Ha ha. I think it took guts to stand up as you did to the tyranny of consensus. And to your small-minded art prof. You deserved an A for critical thinking. And for knowing what you like. And don't. And saying why.
For expressionism I prefer Edvard Munch. There is an awesome show in Oslo Norwayfor the next month or so for his 150th anniversary. He is a lot more than The Scream.
Often imitated never equaled. Abstract expressionism was, and often remains, a high-brow art con game. That much is obvious. But many critics who were otherwise unimpressed by the 'abstract movement' felt that its founder, Pollock himself, was on to something different. They could see that he was seeing.... something. Pollock himself always maintained that he was painting "The rhythms of nature". Recently a discovery was made about his work that lends a lot of credence to his vision. I saw the documentary elsewhere, but this quote from the Wikipedia article on Pollock. tells the story better than I can.
In the 21st century, the physicists Richard Taylor, Micolich and Jonas studied Pollock's works and technique. They determined that some works display the properties of mathematical fractals. They assert that the works expressed more fractal qualities as Pollock progressed in his career. The authors speculate that Pollock may have had an intuition of the nature of chaotic motion, and tried to express mathematical chaos, more than ten years before "Chaos Theory" was proposed. Their work was used in trying to evaluate the authenticity of some works that were represented as Pollock's.
As for this article... I bought a painting at IKEA for an apartment we were renting out . It was an abstract print on canvas, but it had real paint on it with lots of texture. I wondered if it was painted by a robot or some kind of 3-D process since it was one of several. Interior designers like abstracts because they are non-entities. They fill space but disappear. Since they have no narrative they can't offend. That is, unless you are offended by the very idea of them.
Here's the thing. SSDs are now more reliable than when this guy logged this report.
But are still maybe not as steady Eddie as a good-quality HDD. But we still want them because having an SSD boot drive changes the whole computing experience due to their awesome speed. And since we are good about backups (Are we not?) we can be relaxed as we ride the SSD smokin' fast Roller Coaster. SSD or HDD then what's the problem if we have data security. Both are gonna FAIL. So what if Miss SSD stabs me for no good reason? It was a helluva ride, Bro. And well worth the stitches. I do wish SLC NAND was not priced out of reach, but, hey, when it comes to hottness we take what we can get. Right?
Okay. This is Slashdot we get no hottiness...no hottiness at all.. No no no hottiness. It's pathetic really.
The online sales the states must tax are intrastate. Interstate is still the problem for states and vendors alike (The new law requiring collection notwithstanding.), But the federal government clearly can tax such commerce -- electronic or otherwise. It is established law.
A Value Added Tax is a very fair kind of tax that only taxes the end consumer. (Fair being a relative term here.) It is an account-book pass through so it does not hurt sales up and down a supply chain. That is, VAT does not get written into the price and so with a VAT you do not wind up taxing tax in subsequent sales (with old fashioned sales tax you do). Some things (typically educational materials) are VAT exempt. And different classes of goods are taxed at different rates. The federal government could easily get vendors to collect such a tax universally online and then the USG could redistribute it to the states using a formula based on population. Or on internet sales dollars per capita. Or something.Or, as a nation, we could use the money and earmark it for improvements to our network. Or both. A VAT is a much different tax than a simple regressive sales tax which actually constipates the supply conduit.
Europe uses VATs to collect national taxes on consumption, which captures revenues from people who otherwise do not pay income taxes (in paces like Italy this is just about everyone -- or was.). A big gripe by the US rich is that such a large percentage of people pay no federal taxes when really they earn enough to do so, but off the books. Did you fix cars on the side for undeclared cash and use the money to buy a big-screen TV? With VAT Uncle Sam will at least get a little bite. And fair enough at that. IMHO A VAT in internet sales makes sense now that online retail has matured. And rather than a primitive sales tax a VAT is just a more nuanced solution. I imagine Mr Bezos will think otherwise and he has just bought Washington DC's hometown newspaper to allow him to subtly press his points home. Of course if you are a no-new-taxes-ever kind of person then such an idea is poison. It would go nowhere in the current House of Reps. But things will change at some point.
I think about the amount of energy accumulated when I am driving. Even at moderate urban speeds it is an awesome amount of destructive force when dissipated rapidly. To minimize the chance that such an energy release will destroy yours truly I minimize distractions. I view it is a long statistical game played over decades. Even small degradations of capability will tell in the long run. I am not a complete Pearson's Puppeteer about this (otherwise I would probably avoid cars altogether), but I try to channel the attitude a bit. I have always done my best to fully concentrate on the road. The fact that I have driven in many places where driving culture is quite crude and rude -- Eastern Europe, Asia -- has, I will confess, helped to concentrate my mind. As I see the crap that other people do in their cars, especially lately with all the cool new tech, I really am starting to get impatient for the robots to take over. With roughly 30,000 dead on our highways every year they can hardly do worse. In fact chimps could hardly do worse.
Mr Brin, Mr Page I know you are both quite busy. But, um, can you get on with it? Please?
But... reading the paper I smelled a preconceived agenda. The paper was sponsored by Americans for Generational Equity an ostensibly bipartisan group concerned with the fact that the "Pig in the Python" is getting closer to the snake's cloaca. And the group worries that said meal is (or soon will) be providing less nourishment than it takes to digest it. Read: The Boomers are greying and will suck the life out of the country before they become python excrement. Think of the children.
A look at the group's composition reveals a majority of Republican notables with a sprinkle of moderate Democrats. The FCC is a bipartisan body and fairly judicious by nature IMHO. I have to wonder what is really going on here. There are hundreds of more fruitful places to look fo WF&A. As for real waste? Check out the US military.
It is a secular document that embodies principles of government conceived by men of sublime genius on the heels of five hundred years of medieval religious terror. It embodies advanced philosophical principles of governance drawn carefully and thoughtfully from the ancients, the 'noble savages' as well as from new philosophies from the age of enlightenment itself (Rousseau). (We are still far from realizing its potential, but it DOES protect us. Mostly.)
The Ottoman Empire never experienced this critical cultural shift. Egypt was a part of it and locked in the middle age darkness until the 20th century. Secular Ba'athism was a half step forward, but it went out with Mubarak. The Army, ever the guardians of Ba'athist ideals, thought the time might be right for pluralism as a way to enter fully into the family of nations... and they hated Mubarak. They let the popular kettle boil, rolled the dice and came up with... Morsi. Feh! The "constitution" that Morsi rammed down the country's throat was an atavistic abomination that drew upon medieval juridical traditions that were outmoded by the 13th century. And which the Ba'athists hate with a passion. (Almost as much as the Jihadis hate the Ba'athists.) Witness that at long last, a hundred years after the last Sultan fell off the Sunni throne, that the former nations of the Ottomans are waking up. Morsi took a democratic ladder to the heights of power then clumsily pulled it up behind him and spat on those below. He now pays the price for his perfidy. The Army, essentially Ba'athist secularists and anathema to the jihadists, want a modern country. Had Morsi been as capable and cautious as Erdogan in Turkey it would have been a different story. But now he is toast. He was always there at their sufferance. They will hold new elections in a year or two and settle back to their barracks. But just as the Turkish army has been staunching the tide of medievalism for almost the last hundred years, so will the Egyptian Army continue to watch.