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


Forgot your password?

Comment The side effect will hit regular drivers (Score 1) 180

As more companies adopt this "we cover it" guarantee, they're going to start having more "costs" dealing with human drivers. Accidents, time/speed inefficiencies (vs. following the letter of the law), etc.

As a result, they'll start pushing the driverless cars harder. For those they can't convince with the carrot of incentives to make the switch, they'll eventually pull out the stick of passing the costs to those human drivers through various lobbying channels - forcing them to deal with higher insurance premiums, more tracking technology, tiered registration costs for cars, etc.

Corporations with any clout always try to cut their costs - one way or another.

Comment Re:It's not what Google wants.... (Score 1) 414

I don't know what consumers you're talking about, but the average "consumer" of a car - the middle class Joe - could care less about the info described. Most of the diagnostic data (temps, etc.) is already available via ODBII or the current dash display. The driving data itself sounds like everything you do to control your car - pedal positions, speed, etc. Why does Google need all that to provide a better experience? Do they want to stream "I Can't Drive 55" or radar detector ads to accurately targeted customers? Google doesn't want to provide the data to the end user. They want to collect the data and monetize it, whether it's via their own research or selling the data to 3rd parties.

Comment Well.. that's a little over the top (Score 1) 140

Does this remind anyone else of the Wall-E chairs? Maybe this is BnL's first prototype?

What happened to down time, to just relax and ponder things quietly? I miss down time, like the quiet before movies with boring classical music and still ads on the the screen. I miss the timeouts at sporting events that didn't have every second filled with shiny screen and blaring music. I miss conversations in rooms where over half of the occupants in a room are not holding a screen in front of them. The simple things in life are apparently too simple, I guess.

Comment End of all anonymity and privacy (Score 2) 79

How could this be done - some form of meta-tagging EVERYTHING in the digital realm with some kind of signature - without having some master database to reference it by? What could possibly go wrong with a universal, non-anonymous Big Brother - I mean, Big Data - system like that?

The only positive to come out of a system like this would be for making it more valuable for the data owners as a resellable commodity.

Comment That's easy (Score 2) 181

If you think you're attractive, create an image-reading algorithm that picks girls that looks like yourself (facial features, shape, etc.)


Look at successful, power couples in the entertainment business sometime (especially athletes) and see if you can spot the narcissistic pattern...

If you don't think you're attractive, I guess you can put a NOT in front of the algorithm...

Comment Re:The hybrid solution is the best... (Score 1) 213

All of the responses to this are reasonable, but they rely upon one huge premise: "As long as you don't ever need to drive more than X miles without stopping for Y hours to recharge..."

That's a pretty big hangup for someone who wants an "all-purpose" vehicle, which is what gas-powered cars are. They're an increasingly unappreciated modern wonder - moving people around at an unlimited range at a high rate of speed without any time restriction for resting the power plant (horses, batteries, etc.) - that we've taken for granted for over a century now.

As flawed as it is, hybrid tech has that ability. All-electric (as of 2015) does not.

Maybe as people have become increasingly hooked into urban society and become less geographically mobile in everyday life, they've forgotten how important it is to have an unlimited range sometimes? I mean, which is easier to haul when stuck outside of civilization and out of "fuel" - hauling a gas can, or a two ton dead battery with four wheels? Are we all counting on our cellphones and some stranger with a tow truck to bail us all out in a pinch (or worse)?

Comment The hybrid solution is the best... (Score 0) 213

Why does everyone have wood for all-electric cars now? The Chevy Volt model, if refined to a Porsche/Tesla level of quality and not wrapped in a nerdmobile shell is the best of both worlds. At least as a bridge to some future model (all hydrogen?)

Until then, gas's "recharge" time (less than 5 minutes) + 10,000s of locations to fill up trumps all-electric every day of the week as of today.

Comment Re:Slower, Same range, within 5 years?!? (Score 1) 213

This comparison, interesting as it is, is exactly why myself and about 99% of other drivers out there would never willingly choose to rely solely upon all-electric for long trips, given the choice between gas and electric. A couple of DAYS between SF and the Oregon border? No, thank you... I'll take option C (gas-powered).

Somehow get 1) battery charge completion (95-100%) down to 10 minutes or less and 2) a national network of chargers at least half as populous as the current number of gas stations and we'll talk again.

Comment Re:The Chronicles Trilogy (Score 1) 167

There actually was an adaption of Dragons of Autumn Twilight done in 2008, and when I discovered it was really excited - right up until I'd watched about 5 minutes of it. It was so bad - a cross of underbaked CGI, 1980s "G.I. Joe" like animation, and bad voice acting (even Kiefer Sutherland couldn't save it) - that I almost regret mentioning it here. It doesn't even deserve to be in a Wal-Mart bin full of "Please Buy Me for $0.99!" movies (which is probably why hardly anyone knows about it).

I hope they do the six book series (Chronicles + Legends) someday, however - the right way.

Comment Re:Here's the problem (Score 1) 149

That didn't take a little longer because the spill itself disappeared so much more quickly from the Gulf than people expected (or that's the story the media told us?) And since I never visit the gulf or visibly rely on what it produces, it faded quickly.

The disaster I describe has to be more permanent and affect the everyday life of all humans. Like an entire species of dogs or cats dying off due to some mystery "colony collapse disorder" later revealed to be man-made (see the 3rd original Planet Of The Apes movie), the honeybees die off completely and all food becomes much more limited and scarce, the ozone layer really does disappear and this time over populated areas of the Earth, etc.

Comment Here's the problem (Score 1) 149

You need an environmental 9/11, "Sandy Hook", Gulf of Tonkin, Pearl Harbor, "Remember the Maine", "Remember the Alamo", etc. moment to move people's cheese. Until then, we have too many other crises to think about. I mean, didn't you hear about Miley Cyrus accidentally showing a nipple during the VMAs? Think of the children!...

Heck - If some educated official in a position of power tried to actually do something about it (good or bad), they'd be shot to pieces by lobbyists and special interests that would outright lie to keep the money flowing. (See the tobacco and leaded gasoline industries - and who's to say who's next? Cellphone companies and cancer?)

Comment Re:ummmm (Score 1) 389

This is a reasonable response to my first gut instinct of, "WTF?", and it sounds like something that in a year this mountain of a "controversy" will be a mole hill. And it doesn't sound anything like the "liberal bias" behind then Arizona governor Janel Napalitano's push to rename "Squaw Peak" (the name every local knew it as) in the Phoenix metro area to "Piestewa Peak" (which few people were happy with).

I have to say, though, that it would've been a little easier to deal with if "Mt. McKinley" was the answer to a fairly common trivia question. And it seems like there are more important things for the federal government to be dealing with than fixing mountain names.

If in any problem you find yourself doing an immense amount of work, the answer can be obtained by simple inspection.