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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:Licensing, mostly (Score 2) 246

by swillden (#49632957) Attached to: Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded?

Other than Xenix what do you mean by Microsoft

Er, nothing actually. TFA mentioned "Microsoft's take on Unix", which I took to mean NT's stab at POSIX support, or maybe something else equally ridiculous. Looking at the article again, it actually says "Xenix, Microsoft's take on Unix". Not being more than vaguely aware of Xenix, I didn't realize it was bought by Microsoft and I took that text as two separate items in the list (should have paid closer attention to commas vs semi-colons).

Also you forgot SCO if you are including commercial Unixes for 386

Indeed. There I claim selective memory, driven by the massive stain on the Unix world left by SCO's successor-in-ownership, The SCO Group.

Also one that gets forgotten about but was quite good in those early days was: Coherent

I heard good things about Coherent back in the day, but never touched it.

Comment: Licensing, mostly (Score 5, Interesting) 246

by swillden (#49632065) Attached to: Why Was Linux the Kernel That Succeeded?

It was because Linux more or less worked, and people could use it and add to it because of the GPL. The competitors all had problems:

* Minix was cheap but not free, and couldn't be redistributed with modifications. People worked around that by maintaining patch sets, but that was even more painful then than it is now (we have better tools now).
* The BSDs were in a quagmire of legal uncertainty and competing claims. Nobody knew for sure if BSD was free or not, so everyone assumed it wasn't.
* Xenix: Not free.
* Microsoft: Are you kidding me?
* SYSV: Not free
* HURD: Didn't work, and had such an elegant architecture that it wasn't clear if it could ever work.

That was the space when Linus Torvalds started hacking around (except HURD didn't even exist yet). If he'd been able to hack on Minix, he would have. But the license prevented it, so he took the opportunity to start his own. Lots of other people saw exactly the same situation and joined him in hacking on something that (a) worked, more or less and (b) they could hack on.

It's not that Linux lucked out and the rest of the competition failed. There was no other competition that satisfied the requirements of being free and hackable. It was also important that Linus was an excellent Benevolent Dictator that gave people few reasons to fork. Actually, on that last point it's rather impressive that Linus is still in charge, even after it's become an incredibly valuable property, used and contributed to by lots of megacorps.

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.)

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 201

by drinkypoo (#49629515) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I am well aware of the concept of irony, but that was not the subject of my rebuttal.

It doesn't seem like you are particularly aware.

As it seems that you are more interested in playing word games rather than discussing the subject at hand

Hypocrite. I am discussing the subject at hand, with people who are doing better than playing clever word games. The "or not" in my comment addressed the point before you raised it: namely, that drivers might not in fact observe the information provided by local signage. So if you have anything to add, rather than ignoring what I wrote, that will elevate you above "clever word games".

Comment: Re:nice edit (Score 1) 201

by drinkypoo (#49629375) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Unless they can navigate ever present, always changing construction zones, those things will be useless in my state.

For now, a human driver will be on board to handle those occurrences. Later on, when regulatory acceptance is captured, they will be handled by a remote driver who operates the vehicle by telepresence. They will probably be located in regional service centers, organized into networks, and contracted by shipping lines which will be reduced primarily to corporations which own trucks and hire a manager, an accountant, and a receptionist who is occasionally replaced by a temp.

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 201

by drinkypoo (#49629343) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Absolutely. But constructing an argument that is predicated on negating a sentence through the use of an easily overlooked two word suffix, does not enhance comprehension.

Tacking "...or not" onto the end of a sentence is an extremely common construct in American English, which denotes acceptance of irony.

Comment: Re:Subject's are dead. (Score 1) 201

by drinkypoo (#49629323) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I would think that with increased stopping distances would mean farther forward camera's?

The long stopping distances should also mean lower speeds. some states limit speeds while towing, for example in California it is always illegal to exceed 55 mph while towing anything with any kind of vehicle. Of course, it's rare to see a big rig going less than 65 or 70 on any highway in California, so make of that what you will. Perhaps the self-driving trucks will obey the law in that regard, and as such do much better at holding their lane than human drivers — who I regularly see fail at this because they're driving faster than they ought to be. Regardless, the vehicles are much taller than others, so they clearly have a lot more sight range available...

Comment: Re:Idiots in passenger vehicles (Score 1) 201

by drinkypoo (#49629291) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Having driven a large rig before I can assure you that usually the problem is NOT the big rig driver. It is the idiots in passenger vehicles who cut them off

I do see idiots in passenger vehicles cut big rigs off, but I have just as frequently seen assholes in big rigs cut me off. They pull over to pass as I am rapidly advancing which is already illegal, then they take a literally illegal period of time to execute the passing manouver (in California, if you're not actively overtaking, you must stay out of the passing lane, thankyouverymuchassholes) and then they often lag long after the truck they've passed has flashed their lights to denote permission to merge, just because they're assholes and they can. I also see big rig drivers with a dozen or more drivers behind them fail to use a turnout even on flat ground, which is also illegal in the state of California — when there are a mere five drivers back there, you are required to pull over and let them by, at the first safe opportunity, and not just the first marked turnout. And if I see a big rig hold its lane these days, it's the exception and not the rule. If you can't hold your lane at that speed then slow down, asshole. And if you then hold people up, pull over, asshole.

We all already know that the average truck driver is untrained and unskilled, so there's no need for you to bullshit us. Driver training was already an issue a decade ago because of a lack of experienced drivers willing to sell their life for shit pay, and it's only worse now.

When even half of the truck drivers out there start obeying laws intended to preserve public safety and to make the road usable for everyone, not just freight, then I'll believe your claims that the problems are mostly caused by other drivers. But frankly, you're completely full of shit.

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