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Comment: Re:Bad Math (Score 1) 68

by lgw (#47586509) Attached to: Elon Musk Promises 100,000 Electric Cars Per Year

That's pretty much it. I don't have much faith in the future of chemical-battery-powered cars, but regardless it will eventually be something that starts with electricity. Meanwhile, gradually moving off of coal power seems a no-brainer. Rushing to do so would be foolish, causing needless economic disruption, but over decades as existing power stations hit normal replacement cycles? Coal needs to go.

Comment: Re:We losing money on every sale (Score 1) 68

by lgw (#47586339) Attached to: Elon Musk Promises 100,000 Electric Cars Per Year

Wow, way to go Slashcode! OK, here's the same post hopefully without the mangling:

And the "dirty coal" argument is a load of horseshit. Come out from behind your cloak of cowardly anonymity & we'll debate.

Not the AC, but here's an argument for you. If you care whether a car is green* in the first place, you're probably a hipster, and thus should die in a fire. Despite sensational news stories, you're probably less likely to die in a fire in a Tesla than a gas powered car. Therefore, the Tesla is not really a green car.

*I miss cars that are the actual color green. It's really hard to find luxury cars these days in anything but neutral colors (when times are tough, people choose attention-diverting instead of attention-getting colors for expensive stuff). That's a shame, I love colorful cars. The Model S has a great red available though - good for Tesla!

Comment: Re:We losing money on every sale (Score 1) 68

by lgw (#47586325) Attached to: Elon Musk Promises 100,000 Electric Cars Per Year

And the "dirty coal" argument is a load of horseshit. Come out from behind your cloak of cowardly anonymity & we'll debate.

Not the ACless likely to die in a fire in a Tesla than a gas powered car. Therefore, the Tesla is not really a green car.

*I miss cars that are the actual color green. It's really hard to find luxury cars these days in anything but neutral colors (when times are tough, people choose attention-diverting instead of attention-getting colors for expensive stuff). That's a shame, I love colorful cars. The Model S has a great red available though - good for Tesla!

Comment: Re:Invisible Hand of the Market (Score 1) 68

by lgw (#47586283) Attached to: Elon Musk Promises 100,000 Electric Cars Per Year

If the commodities exchanges aren't "free markets", the term is meaningless. "Free market" does not mean unregulated - never has except in strawmen - it means the government isn't mucking with pricing, nor giving preference to some buyers or sellers.

"Capitalism" only means that you can aquire the means of production by spending money, instead of by political influence, military adventure, or the like.

Comment: Re:Formal specifications are pretty useless for th (Score 2) 153

by lgw (#47586197) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

Understanding implies the ability to explain ones position, not merely assert it. You come off like those clowns who go on about proofs of program correctness, but perhaps that's a mistaken impression

Can you give an example of a formal language spec? Are you talking about an actual set of formal transforms to object code or somesuch?

BTW, set-ups like a C compiler written in C are very much in line with Godel statements. There certainly exists source code for which the question "does this compiler compile this source code correctly" cannot have a useful answer as a formal proof (and the examples easiest to contrive would include the compiler itself in said source code).

Comment: Re:Soda can... (Score 1) 114

by lgw (#47586127) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

Try keeping that distance without driving significantly slower than the flow of traffic - unless people pulling in front of you is rare, you can't. Driving at the wrong speed, especially in "bumper to bumper at 70 MPH" traffic creates a significant traffic hazard.

People are a horrendous judge of risk vs reward, especially on the road.

No joke. The primary reason for traffic slowdowns on these highways was rear-end collisions blocking traffic. I'm quite sure that net average travel time was longer because of traffic moving too fast, when you average in the accident delays.

Pave enough lanes and all these problems go away, but people have even worse judgment when it comes to building infrastructure for some reason.

Comment: Re:Soda can... (Score 4, Informative) 114

by lgw (#47585969) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

Ah, you don't get it - I'm guessing you drive someplace more sane. You cannot leave a safe following distance ahead under some traffic conditions. You could try, but there will be a continuous stream of cars pulling into the space you're trying to leave in front of you, and if you slow by too much to try to maintain that space, now you've become a hazard to navigation, endangering everyone else.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 114

by lgw (#47585949) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

. Lane following is simple in that it uses two painted lines to figure out where the lane is and steers to stay between the lines.

My car does much better than that. I've been surprised at how little visual information it needs to determine where the lane is. I does sometimes get confused by zebra crossings, however. It doesn't brake for curves, but it does look ahead and understand curves - if the car "ahead" of me is actually in a different lane, for example, it figures that out and doesn't panic (the first gen system from 10 years ago had problems with that).

Say you approaching a narrow bridge. The bridge has to be identified. How can you identify a bridge if all the information you have is the position of the left side of the lane, the position of the right side of the lane and the distance to the vehicle in front of you?

My car has a variety of sensors, including a camera built into the rearview mirror assembly (so, better visibility than my eyes). It lacks the software to deal with e.g. sharp curves ahead, but the raw data is already available.

Comment: Re:Obvious (Score 1) 114

by lgw (#47585431) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

These systems are actually quite good at some of your list - you might surprised. What they can't do at all is predict the insanity of other drivers. Like the guy waiting to turn left who will just sit there until you get dangerously close, and then cross in front of you (why do so many people do that?). It's early days yet, but I fully expect software to pass average human driving skill in my lifetime.

Comment: Re:Soda can... (Score 4, Insightful) 114

by lgw (#47585383) Attached to: Fooling a Mercedes Into Autonomous Driving With a Soda Can

Where I drive, you simply can't leave any more distance when traffic is heavy: if you leave reasonable space between you and the car in front of you, someone will pull in. It's a bit nuts.

But the great thing about this tech is that, unlike me, it has the reflexes to always react safely and the ability to maintain that focus indefinitely. I rely on "looking upstream" to predict changes in traffic flow, and that works well enough, but it doesn't help with drivers who are just crazy, lose a tire, or other such unpredictable events. Now, I'm not sure what scope of events the car can react to, as it's early days yet for self-driving, but in principle it's great.

How close you drive to the car in front of you is a matter of reaction time. I expect we'll no longer be bound by the limits of the human nervous system, soon enough.

Comment: Re:Yeah, and ....? (Score 1) 162

by lgw (#47584569) Attached to: Getting Back To Coding

There hasn't been anything new in CS since the 80s.

No really.

Nothiing.

AJAX was new. Used to be the terminal and back-end would only exchange data when you hit the xmit key, and of course the web re-invented this pattern adding nothing new, but then it actually went a step beyond. Of course, it's mostly abused in horrible ways to punish the user for the crime of being a customer, but then, what tool isn't?

Other than that, yup, mostly re-inventing of the wheel by people young enough not to be there for the last trip round.

Life is difficult because it is non-linear.

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