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Comment: Re:Liability? (Score 1) 90

by fractoid (#48659331) Attached to: Google Unveils New Self-Driving Car Prototype
That's a good way to look at it. You might even achieve these goals by having all autonomous vehicles be part of a 'union'. You pay fees to the union to own an autonomous vehicle, the union provides insurance in case of accidents where the vehicle is at-fault, and provides software updates for the vehicle.

Comment: Re:Butt Ugly (Score 1) 90

by fractoid (#48659303) Attached to: Google Unveils New Self-Driving Car Prototype
But they don't! Look at pretty much every electric vehicle not made by Tesla. They're all fugly car-cancers that nobody in their right mind would be seen dead in. It's like they're trying so hard to differentiate themselves from conventional cars that they've jumped off a cosmetic cliff. And no-one buys them. Not, primarily, for any reason involving performance or range, but because owning one immediately disqualifies you from ever having sex again.

Comment: Re:Innovative sheepdips (Score 2) 90

The Australian radio-astronomer John O'Sullivan developed a key patent used in Wi-Fi as a by-product in a CSIRO research project, "a failed experiment to detect exploding mini black holes the size of an atomic particle".

So a researcher at CSIRO developed some patentable technology during a research project, patented it, and then enforced their own patent?

That's how patents are meant to work.

Comment: Re:Maybe.....but maybe not (Score 1) 293

It's not inconceivable that fuel cell cars will be a success, but fundamental physics dictates that if this happens it will be due to human stupidity rather than technical superiority.

Hydrogen is a terrible energy storage medium compared to modern battery technology. The only possible advantages it has are (a) you can generate it from fossil fuels, and (b) it lends itself far more in today's rooftop-solar-filled world to central control and taxation.

Comment: Re:It's not your phone (Score 3, Insightful) 610

Seems to me that the problem is people wanting to complain over nothing. So what if an album (and it's not like it's something offensive) gets added to your iTunes account as a 'purchased' product?

Maybe Apple could have added a new category with a separate list of "Free Media" or something, but seriously? I'm no fan of Apple but this is a storm in a molehill.

Comment: Re:HAL 9000 (Score 1) 120

by fractoid (#47906107) Attached to: The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading
In addition to the other suggestions made here, one use case for machine lip reading is tracking multiple simultaneous conversations in a crowd. You could theoretically have searchable index of anything anyone said in view of a particular camera (whereas once more than 2-3 people are talking at once, it becomes almost impossible to separate out their individual speech.)

Trying to be happy is like trying to build a machine for which the only specification is that it should run noiselessly.