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Comment: Re:What's that ahead? (Score 2) 201

by drinkypoo (#49633113) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I was driving in Nevada one dark, moonless night, when out of nowhere came a cow in the middle of the road... I'd like to see how an autonomous vehicle would deal with that.

That's out of nowhere to you, but the computer is going to be able to see in the dark far outside the range of your headlights. Its headlights are going to be a convenience to other drivers, and an IR source for its night vision — which will have automatic gain control far outside the range of your pupils. It'll also likely have radar and lidar so even if it can't see the cow, it'll know it's there.

Comment: Re:15 co-authors (Score 1) 156

by pla (#49632443) Attached to: 17-Year-Old Radio Astronomy Mystery Traced Back To Kitchen Microwave
"So, Dr. Flyskippy1, how many papers did you get published this year? Oh, only eight? Yeah, we need you to move out of the corner office next week to make room for a star postdoc who helped solve a radio astronomy mystery that stumped you tenured geniuses for the past 17 years. No hard feelings, right?"

Comment: Re:What about the law (Score 1) 91

by pla (#49631793) Attached to: Europe Vows To Get Rid of Geo-Blocking
if they know that they'll refuse to pay the 10 euro, that's how free markets are supposed to work,

No they won't - What you describe exists now, and we all merrily put up with it.

Hell, package forwarding from the US to Australia counts as its own niche industry designed exclusively to circumvent such BS. But while that may work for physical goods, it doesn't get around the same problem for virtual goods.

Comment: It's not taking a DNA sample on the iPhone (Score 1) 87

by SuperKendall (#49631097) Attached to: Apple's Plans For Your DNA

You can't actually take the sample on the phone - the idea is that you can get your DNA sampled, then the results get stored on your phone - which you can if you wish share that anyone who would like to have it after that, if you choose.

So it's pretty close in terms of value (because if a lot of people do this a lot of researchers could get quick access to DNA data instead of having to do it once per test). But it's not as widespread as direct collection would be.

I don't think I'd want my phone actually being the DNA collection point anyway as it would think I was some kind of human/cat hybrid.

Comment: Re:Trains (Score 1) 201

by drinkypoo (#49630779) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Right, you can't use rail unless you have high utilization, and you can't have high utilization if the rail doesn't do the job you need to do, or if the public transportation systems along the rail line don't work. That's why PRT makes more sense than rail for most trips, and why we should use classic rail only for long hauls and PRT for short trips.

Comment: Re:Trains (Score 1) 201

by drinkypoo (#49630523) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Freight Trains, you know, the topic of this entire article?

Yeah, you can't build rail just for freight, because it won't see enough utilization. It has to carry passengers, too. You can't take the efficiency of the freight-carrying system alone because it doesn't operate alone, it's dependent on being part of the passenger-carrying system (and vice versa.)

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James