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Comment: Maglev... (Score 1) 186

by galgon (#47211699) Attached to: Toyota Investigating Hovercars
I think you are taking the hovercraft name too literally. All they have said is that the car will hover a few inches above the road. There a few ways to accomplish this none of which are easy which is why we have not seen one in real life yet. One option would be to use a maglev type system. Although that would likely require expensive changes to the roads. Other options are using an air cushion in some way but again that is not an easy solution. All we can really gain from this artificial is that Toyota is attempting to think outside the box when developing cars. But we can say that the vast majority of these ideas will never make it into the hands of the consumer (or at least not anytime soon).

Comment: Supply Chain (Score 2) 158

Supply Chain Management is a field that tends to be on the tech heavy side but unfortunately most people working in it do not have an CS/Programming background. Having that background would give you a leg up if you can get hired. There are some interesting problems in this field like linear optimization and forecasting to keep you busy.

Comment: Re:Not Yet (Score 1) 437

Google has overcome a lot of that already. Their car can recognize road construction, cones, and even bicycle hand signals. For accidents police only have to put out a few cones or flares and the car will route around. The more interesting scenarios are things like fallen tree blocking the roadway or someone stopping the car at gunpoint to rob you. These cars will quickly handle every situation possible except for the extremely unlikely events.

Comment: Re:great (Score 1) 367

by galgon (#46601767) Attached to: More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use
I am sure in a race simulator alcohol will have a marked negative impact on driving. However the objective here is safety not speed. So imagine your normal aggressive driver who is constantly speeding and tailgating. Give them a few beers and they will either stupidly drive the same way being even more of a hazard on the road. Or they will realize they are either near or over the legal alcohol limit and therefore not want to give the police a reason to pull them over. So they drive at the speed limit, hands at 10&2, leaving plenty of space. I wager it is probably safer to drive with the legally drunk guy being cautious than the sober aggressive guy. There is a point in alcohol consumption where this is no longer the case but I do not think it is at .08.

Comment: Re:When the control code is 100% bug free (Score 1) 472

by galgon (#45065989) Attached to: How long before most automobile driving is done by computers?
Americans travel something like 3 Trillion miles a year. If just 1% of cars are self driving thats 30 billion miles of testing a year. Far more driving than anyone could ever comprehend doing in a lifetime or 1000 lifetimes. Of course there will be some accidents during this time but the automation will quickly pass the abilities of 95-99% of the drivers out there fairly quickly. As soon as this technology becomes available and is proven (100 million miles or so of driving) people will be running to get self driving cars. 1 hour commute becomes 1 hour of internet surfing or even sleep. At a certain point that 1 hour commute might become 30 minutes as the percentage of self driving cars goes up due to less accidents, less congestion, no rubbernecking, no sun glare issues, etc. I only have a 25 minute commute and would love a self driving car. You have a son or daughter turn 16 (15,17,18) are you going to let them drive themselves or use a proven self driving car. Would you prefer they go out with friends who just got their license or a program that has trillions of miles under its belt. Self driving cars are a no brainer once the technology is in place. Of course there will be holdouts, there are people who still dont have cell phones, but the advantages far far far outweigh the risks.

Comment: Re:So long truckers (Score 5, Interesting) 369

by galgon (#44042727) Attached to: How Ubiquitous Autonomous Cars Could Affect Society (Video)
You need to re-think the distribution model once humans are removed from the equation. One potential, UPS opens a large number of very small completely automated warehouses across the country. Deliveries from the main distribution centers which currently can serve 100s of towns are broken out to the smaller ones that might only server a few square miles. From there small autonomous electric vehicles deliver to your house. Automated system gives you a call/text/email to confirm you are home for delivery and the truck is sent. You walk out and grab your stuff. No more deliveries when you are not home. Want it delivered at 2AM, no problem. Removing people from package distribution opens up a vast array of options and the company(s) that gets it right will make a ton of money.

Comment: Re:So long truckers (Score 1) 369

by galgon (#44042035) Attached to: How Ubiquitous Autonomous Cars Could Affect Society (Video)
Not sure truckers are the first to go but they are certainly on the list. I bet cabbies are the first to be chopped. Also on the list: UPS/Fedex, Postal Service, Delivery Services (Pizza for example). The 2nd order changes are also interesting - Parking Garage Attendants, Parking Meter enforcement, Traffic cops, and many more. None of these examples will completely go away but will be greatly reduced. We will still need truck drivers (which will become just passengers) that are trained in delivering hazmat materials to customers. Although these jobs will be lower paid than they currently are.

Comment: Why is Global Warming So Bad? (Score 2) 497

by galgon (#43691463) Attached to: CO2 Levels Reach 400ppm at Mauna Loa For First Time On Record
So I don't want to add to the debate around whether or not global warming is actually occurring or not but just assume that it is. How exactly is global warming bad?

So glaciers melt - they have melted before and came back in a few million years there is no reason to believe that this will not occur again. So we lose access to them now but this would happen eventually anyway. Sure not in our lifetimes but across the millions or billions of years before the sun kills the planet completely ice will come and go unless we find a way to control the natural process that regulates.

Glaciers melting lead to rising sea levels - well this means a few options accept the loss of land or put up barriers to protect it. You always hear that NYC will be underwater in X number of years. Of course it wont. Humans will find ways to solve that problem. Build dams, raise the island by bringing in extra soil, etc. Now a place like Florida does not have those type of options so likely it will slowly be sunk by hurricanes that destroy the sand barriers that we put up. Yes, entire towns will be destroyed in a storm but this happens today. It will likely be more frequent thus making it more difficult to make the decision to rebuild. Eventually people will move somewhere else. And during this process jobs will be created to rebuild homes, reinforce older homes, build dams, better water management process etc. It is said that global warming will cost X billion or trillion dollars. Well a lot of that will go into job creation oddly enough. "You see, father, by causing a little destruction, I am in fact encouraging life."

We are killing the planet! - Ahh this old argument. There is nothing we can do currently to kill the planet. Nothing. Sure global warming might kill off a chunk of species that cannot adapt. Hell all out nuclear war might kill off 90% of the worlds species but life will survive and adapt. Over a million years or so the radiation will decay and the adaption process will continue. It would be a blip on the radar for the earth, kind of like the meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs.

So as I see it global warming is just accelerating a natural process that would happen anyway some time in the future (hundreds, thousands or millions of years). Lots of money will be spent trying to fight or clean up the damage but that just means job creation. Species will adapt or die but over a long enough time period we will die off anyway (baring interstellar travel).

Comment: Shazam (Score 1) 180

by galgon (#43139881) Attached to: Mobile Sharing: "Bezos Beep" Vs. Smartphone Bump
For a moment I thought it was novel too, then I thought about Shazam links in commercials. Those commercials on TV that have a popup that says use Shazam on this commercial to be taken to our website, a coupon, free samples, etc. This is almost exactly the same as what the patent is claiming however Shazam links are on a bit broader scale.

+ - Secret Software on Millions of Phones Logging Ever->

Submitted by Token_Internet_Girl
Token_Internet_Girl (1131287) writes "Last week, Wired featured this story mentioning Carrier IQ, a software program present on millions of Android, Nokia and Blackberry phones logging their user's activities. Now it seems Android Developed Trevor Eckhart has released a video confirming what was suspect about the software in the first place: That a complete record of all activities on the phone are being monitored and sent to Carrier IQ servers, without user consent."
Link to Original Source

+ - Sony Releases Statement Regarding PSN Hack->

Submitted by laxguy
laxguy (1179231) writes "Sony has released a statement regarding the compromise of their PlayStation Network.
"Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state, zip), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID. " No word yet on the number of compromised accounts or the security of credit card numbers."

Link to Original Source

+ - Dislike a Relative? Turn Them in as a Terrorist! 9

Submitted by Stanislav_J
Stanislav_J (947290) writes "A Swedish man who had less than fond feelings for his daughter's hubby, took advantage of the son-in-law's trip to America by reporting him to the FBI as a terrorist. The e-mail, which the father-in-law admits to sending, earned him a libel charge after his poor son-in-law was arrested on his arrival in Florida, handcuffed, interrogated, and placed in a cell for 11 hours before being released.

It's a brief article, but dovetails nicely with the recent Slashdot story about "The War on the Unexpected." That article touched on many examples of well-meaning, but misguided and paranoid citizens reporting innocent activities to the authorities. In the current climate, the potential also exists for maliciously false and far from well-meaning reports made to the Feds about people one simply doesn't care for, or those made merely as a sick prank.

While the man admitted to sending the e-mail to the FBI, he claims he thought no harm would come from it because "he did not think the US authorities would be stupid enough to believe him." To quote the great philosopher Bugs Bunny, 'Nyahh....he don't know us very well, do he?'"

+ - NBC Chief, "Apple 'destroyed' music pricing-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With the most colorful description yet, NBC Universal chief executive Jeff Zucker on Sunday urged colleagues to take a stand against Apple's iTunes, charging that the digital download service was undermining the ability of traditional media companies to set profitable rates for their content online.

"We know that Apple has destroyed the music business — in terms of pricing — and if we don't take control, they'll do the same thing on the video side,""

Link to Original Source

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