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Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 1) 525

by bigpat (#47767233) Attached to: Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

While this is a legitimate concern it's not a problem with Net neutrality, but with advertising standards and defective performance.

I disagree. If we don't have Net Neutrality, then the current advertising is deceptive and fraudulent. If we do have Net Neutrality and a real best effort to address network congestion rather than use network congestion as a payola scheme then there would be no need for the Federal Trade Commission to step in and put a stop to fraudulent advertising.

Comment: Re:No Steering Wheel In Time (Score 1) 505

by bigpat (#47759773) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Not a false dilemma, a false assumption. How do you demonstrate the proposition that a car without manual override controls (beyond just a big red stop button) is both individually and systemically safer than one without?

And what driver is going to wait and see if the car is capable of avoiding an accident if they are going to be the ones liable for that accident and told they must take control of the vehicle if they think the car is about to collide with something? Basically you are talking about taking a sophisticated collision avoidance system and short circuiting that by telling the driver they must take control of the vehicle if they think there is a problem. That could demonstrate that autonomous cars are less safe because people will be turning off the collision avoidance system at exactly the wrong times, but yet they will be reacting more slowly than people without autonomous cars because manual drivers are already actively driving.

What California is doing is starting from the assumption that not having a manual override is less safe, which I believe is a false assumption and actually undermines safety efforts. And it could also undermine efforts to roll out these cars.

I am all for the option of manual controls and would probably choose to have manual controls for a car that I owned, but I think that the more compelling case and safer option will be to remove the manual controls and I think the only way you prove that is by allowing the cars to demonstrate the capability.

Many of the most potentially beneficial things that could happen as a result of autonomous cars are those use cases where a driver isn't always at the wheel ready to take immediate control of the vehicle. Car sharing, taxi services, elimination of drunk driving, transportation for the disabled, highway driving at closer spacing which might make a human operator uncomfortable and prone to take control, congested city driving where vehicles could be routed and dispatched more efficiently or just told to "go park and come pick me up in twenty minutes" are all use cases where you don't want to require that someone is 'at the wheel' at all times.

With the real potential for saving lives and helping improve quality of life robot cars should be allowed to prove themselves with and without old school manual controls and all the legal requirements, increased costs and liability that retaining those controls imply.

Comment: Re:No Steering Wheel In Time (Score 1) 505

by bigpat (#47759135) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

No one gets away without it. You prove, by extended experience over a long period of time, that the new technology is superior to the old.

First you have to allow the new technology. Requiring a licensed driver be at the wheel ready to take control of the vehicle at all times is not allowing the new technology it is hobbling it and potentially undermining the most compelling use cases that will save and improve lives. Simply require that the manufacturer demonstrate the ability of the car to drive like any taxi driver would be required to demonstrate an ability to drive to receive a license.

Comment: Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 505

by bigpat (#47758503) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels
I think California is playing it wrong and unsafe. I agree there needs to be a big red button on cars which brings the vehicle to a safe stop much like there is on passenger trains, but this move by California seems more like something pushed for by entrenched vested interests and not driven by safety considerations. Lives will be saved when we allow cars to go pick up people that can't drive, don't have licenses or don't want to drive themselves. The implication of this move is that a human driver is going to be responsible for the operation of the vehicle at all times. Rather it should be the manufacturer of the vehicle which is liable for any defects of the autonomous system when it is driving autonomously. And it should be an option moving forward, even a safety feature, to allow cars without manual driving options except for the big red button.

Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 1) 525

by bigpat (#47756681) Attached to: Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

Fight the local monopolies. That is the only truly important thing right now.

Too late. Net Neutrality is a response to the reality of local monopolies. It is a direct result of the fact that many places have local monopolies or non-competitive (probably colluding) duopolies. If we had healthy competitive markets with five or six providers available to each household, then it would not be necessary to have net neutrality because who would buy service from a provider which had poor connections to the people and services you wanted to communicate with? All we would need would be transparency and truth in advertising... which we don't have either since companies are secretive about the business decisions they are making in order to throttle some communications.

Comment: Re:What's so American (Score 1) 525

by bigpat (#47756627) Attached to: Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

Net neutrality isn't about preventing different tiers of service either. It's about preventing businesses from colluding to distort the market with bribes and kickbacks by slowing and blocking competing business.

To me the bare minimum short of Net Neutrality would be requirements, like those imposed on Tobacco advertising, that Verizon FiOS and Comcast really suck for sites they choose to black ball. Something like making them display their connection speeds to other networks and which content is on those other networks on every single advertisement. Then people could really know what they were getting. Because right now I pay for something like 25M/25M and sometimes I get that and sometimes I don't. It depends on the site. So what I really want to know as a customer is what are the differences between Verizon FiOS and Comcast in their actual delivery times, not just what they say they are selling me.

If I can't rely on these companies to do their best not to screw me over depending on with whom I want to communicate, then I want to know exactly how they are screwing me over and not delivering on their promised speeds.

Comment: Re:Properganda Warfare (Score 1) 300

by bigpat (#47748759) Attached to: Put A Red Cross PSA In Front Of the ISIS Beheading Video

On the Western Values issue. I don't think the problem is that we are imposing our values on others. I think the problem is that we aren't even adequately promoting those values here at home. We end up calling for Democracy and Freedom in the rest of the world and then sending arms to whichever dictator and despot is the most willing to brutally suppress any groups that might threaten our foreign policy. Even when those groups are moderate groups simply looking for a more equitable system of government in their own country. And our foreign policy is based not on the spread of freedom and democracy around the world, but based on securing foreign trade and foreign resources for very short term and short sighted economic purposes. If we truly believe that more representative systems of government and more freedom and liberty should be the goal for a more prosperous, equitable and free world, then we should act accordingly. I believe the ideas of liberty and democracy are ideas worth spreading and supporting.

Comment: Re:Chrome OS or Android (Score 0) 727

by bigpat (#47715527) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'
Exactly, "Linux on the Desktop" is called Chrome or Android and the "desktop" is wherever we are instead of a jumble of wires connected to a monitor. Desktops are a shrinking niche market. Otherwise Ubuntu or the like are great for desktops and laptops. Better than Windows in many respects. I haven't had problems like in the past for half a decade or more.

Comment: Re:Big Data (Score 4, Informative) 181

by bigpat (#47712517) Attached to: Netflix CEO On Net Neutrality: Large ISPs Are the Problem
You forgot the most important reason. They are trying to degrade a competitor's service in order to promote their own. Both Comcast and Verizon compete directly with Netflix. Last night I was able to watch Verizon channels on my tablet just fine, but Netflix wasn't working at all.

Comment: Re: Autonomous cars can't use V2V (Score 1) 475

by bigpat (#47708697) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit
The "Here I am" message is insufficient for coordinating between vehicles. And as I mentioned localization using GPS, even differential GPS, is not reliable enough or fail safe enough for collision avoidance. ... Because some percentage of the time cars will be giving you bogus location messages. At some point message protocols for coordinating actions between vehicles does make sense. In addition to highway drafting, vehicles could use some protocol to more efficiently merge or change lanes. I just don't see transmitting absolute position and velocity being something good to base a system around. Autonomous vehicles need to be allowed to get established without V2V. As they are doing now. Don't hobble them by making them rely on a poorly conceived notion. Getting to a fail safe V2V for Here I Am messages is a very steep and expensive curve compared to a camera and proximity sensor based system which would be more closely following Moore's law.

Comment: Autonomous cars can't use V2V (Score 2) 475

by bigpat (#47705695) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

I think the V2V proposal should be scrapped altogether. It would take decades to implement, be very expensive (at hundreds of dollars per car) and it won't actually make cars safer compared with relatively simpler collision avoidance using cameras and other relatively cheap proximity sensors that don't rely on everyone else having functioning V2V systems in their car.

Autonomous cars have cameras and other fail safe sensors they can rely on. GPS is for navigational way points and route planning. Just getting a signal from another car that it is at a certain position is not a sufficient replacement for actually seeing that car with a camera. In all cases I would program that car to trust the camera and distrust the V2V and if it didn't have a camera then the car should stop as safely as it can and not continue to try and drive automatically. GPS is better for navigational way points where precision on the scale of feet and inches is not as important. For collision avoidance in close proximity you want to rely on sensors.

Comment: Re:Glad to see you use the term 'assemble' (Score 1) 391

by bigpat (#47593709) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

Because I BUILT my first personal computer in 1976. This involved individual IC's, a wire wrap board, making my own PC boards for power and display, lots of soldering, switches to load and store programs, and LED's. 6502 processor and 1,000 bits of RAM, baby ! I mock anyone who thinks that plugging in a few parts is 'building a computer'.

Dell seems to think so.

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA