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Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 53

by gstoddart (#49355569) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Know many pilots?

The difference between "depressed narcissistic arsehole" and "perfectly normal narcissistic arsehole" isn't as far as you'd think.

Airline pilots are largely convinced of their own superiority to begin with.

Hell, I suspect the C-level of executives in most large corporations gets you your "narcissistic areshole" out of the gate. All the ones I've ever met certainly are.

Comment: Re:Don't make it impossible, just make it hard (Score 1) 53

by gstoddart (#49355497) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

OK, smart guy. Let's take it to the absurd.

The bad guys have depressurized the plane, and they're slowly cutting parts from cabin crew to get the code.

The pilot and co-pilot are doing their best to keep from crashing, and can't spend time mucking about with the locking mechanism.

There simply isn't a way you can 100% guarantee this is 100% safe, and you can pretty much always come up with a scenario in which it works against you.

Between bad movies and spy novels, there's just so damned many improbable corner cases that it's just not something you can get right all of the time.

Hell, break the locking mechanism for one of them so that it can't be triggered and the door can't be kept locked.

By the time you covered every corner case, the system becomes unusable.

Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 4, Insightful) 53

by gstoddart (#49355411) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

And, of course, we can construct the scenario in which the co-pilot and one of the cabin crew conspires so that when the pilot has to take a leak it's the two of them in the cockpit, and then they can do the same damned thing.

There's really no way you can 100% prevent this kind of thing.

Comment: Ummmm ... duh? (Score 2, Interesting) 53

by gstoddart (#49355343) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

So, after 9/11 they rushed to put door locks on the damned things.

And, now, to the utter shock and amazement of everybody ... someone in the cockpit can lock people out of it. Exactly as they designed it.

I'm stunned, I tell 'ya.

Of course, now when the pilot has to take a leak there is one less cabin crew, which I'm sure you can construct a scenario in which that's not a good idea.

Comment: Re:Biggest issue is still liability (Score 1) 163

by gstoddart (#49348507) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

I fully expect that insurance for completely autonomous cars will be less expensive, once self-driving cars are proven.

Again, why would I pay liability insurance to cover the actions taken by a computer?

The only viable business model for fully autonomous cars I can see is essentially as taxis.

The notion that we're all going to trade in our cars and let the computer do all the driving is laughable -- too many people like driving, and there's decades worth of cars out there. The notion that we'd buy a self driving car and then pay to insure it is silly.

As with most things said by futurists, I find myself wondering if this "inevitable future" is anywhere near as inevitable as the people selling it to us want us to believe, or if it's just more marketing of stuff someone wants to sell us.

My take on this is the people making these things claim how awesome and revolutionary they'll be. But I bet the vast majority of people simply don't care.

Comment: Re:Biggest issue is still liability (Score 1) 163

by gstoddart (#49348355) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

Except they're not the same.

If you have a human driving, you usually know who to blame.

If you have a computer driving, the people who made the computer sure as hell aren't going to take liability.

But you can bet your ass some sleazy lawyer will put it into the EULA that by driving in a Google car you assume all liability.

If they're going to make autonomous cars, they pretty much need to be 100% autonomous, with the humans effectively in the back seat with no controls.

At present, there simply ARE no liability rulings about self-driving cars.

Comment: Biggest issue is still liability (Score 3, Insightful) 163

by gstoddart (#49348161) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

So, disregarding how the self-driving car decided who it is best to kill in any given situation, for me the biggest problem with self-driving cars is legal liability.

If Google wants to sell autonomous cars, Google should be liable for anything the damned thing does.

And none of this cop out where if the computer doesn't know what to do it just hands back to the human -- because that's pretty much guaranteed to fail since the human won't be able to make the context switch in time (if at all).

As far as I'm concerned, the autonomous car has to be 100% hands off by the user at all times, and the company who makes the damned thing is 100% responsible for what it does.

Why the hell would someone have to pay for insurance for something they don't have control of what it does?

Comment: Re:Boorish (Score 1) 594

by gstoddart (#49346043) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Objective in as much as I and many people I know have had bad experiences with American made cars and don't like them.

To get a truly objective position, you find someone who has never seen a car and ask them what they think of both. But they they won't know what the hell they're talking about.

I'm not un-objective because I dislike American cars. I dislike American cars because, objectively, I don't find them to be as well made or designed as their Japanese and Korean competition. Not by a long shot.

Maybe you choose to like American cars out of a sense of patriotism. That makes you even less objective than me.

Comment: Re:Boorish (Score 2) 594

by gstoddart (#49345585) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

He is Boorish and bigoted against American vehicles.

Well, to be objective here (though you might disagree) ... every time I get an American car as a rental I'm forced to conclude the people who design American cars are idiots.

From the ergonomics of the seating position, to the layout of the controls, to the steering and suspension I find myself thinking "why can't these people buy a Toyota or a Honda and find out how to do this properly".

I had a Dodge Avenger as a rental a few years back, and it was a terrible car; I hated everything about it. It kept finding ways to annoy me. I recently had a Camry as a rental, and it was exactly what I'd expected it to be.

I grew up in and live in North America. My father owned nothing but Chevys until he died.

But I sure as hell wouldn't own one. Because they often seem like they've been designed by a committee of chimps coming off a bender.

Maybe he's biased against American vehicles because many of them are rubbish.

I know many many North Americans who won't buy American cars.

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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