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Comment: Re:Simulations are limited by imagination (Score 1) 173

by hot soldering iron (#47741511) Attached to: Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation

"simulation" is also a technical description of "driving game". Let them also put the simulator on-line, to provide environment and background as hundreds of thousands of crazed and insane real humans try to crash into the auto-piloted cars. Each time someone succeeds, buff up their capabilities and give them credit and recognition, and develop response scenarios. That's how you "sim" car combat with real humans - you use real humans. It would be just like the dogfighting flight sims they use to train pilots. AI drivers will probably seldom, if ever, exceed the creativity of their programmer, while real humans can be fscking insane and unpredictable. If an auto-pilot car can avoid getting nailed by a coordinated assault team of five people actively trying to ram it, then I would rate it much better than all of the drivers on the road, save some of the elite counter-ambush drivers.

User Journal

Journal: These are the things in my head at night 7

Journal by Daniel Dvorkin

Then-PFC, now-SGT Bergdahl may in fact have deserted his post. There are certainly credible accusations to that effect, and if so, then he should be tried and convicted for the crime. But it's a whole lot easier to investigate those charges with him here, and we don't let the Taliban mete out justice for us.

Comment: Re:This is so 1990s (Score 1) 132

by hot soldering iron (#47167847) Attached to: Linux Mint 17 'Qiana' Released

"normal people don't care about the OS". So? Why are you even bringing up "norms"? They don't come here, they don't know how to spell "OS", and don't know that a good OS can keep everything working like a fine watch ... or keep crashing your all-important app. You sound like a "norm" that's stumbled in here, and trying to sound "technical".

+ - DARPA Develops Stealth Motorcycle for US Special Forces

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Allen McDuffee reports that DARPA is developing a hybrid-powered motorcycle to soundlessly penetrate remote areas and execute complex, lightning-fast raids. The idea is to develop a hybrid power system that relies on both electric and gas power, allowing special ops to go off-road and zip past enemy forces with the silence of an electric engine, while also being able to handle extended missions and higher speeds with a supplemental gas tank. "Quieted, all-wheel-drive capability at extended range in a lightweight, rugged, single-track vehicle could support the successful operations of U.S. expeditionary and special forces in extreme terrain conditions and contested environments,” says Wade Pulliam of Logos Technologies which was awarded a contract for a preliminary design to see just how viable the project is. “With a growing need to operate small units far from logistical support, the military may increasingly rely on adaptable, efficient technologies like this hybrid-electric motorcycle.” Logos plans to fit its quieted, multifuel hybrid-electric power system with an all-electric bike from San Francisco-based manufacturer BRD Motorcycles that uses an existing (and what BRD calls “barely legal”) racing bike, the RedShift MX, a 250-pound all-electric moto that retails for $15,000. The RedShift MX has a two hour range, but will be extended with a gas tank the size of which will be determined by the military in the research period. The focus on the electric element suggests that DARPA is more concerned with the stealthiness of the motorcycle than it is efficiency. “The team is excited to have such a mature, capable system from which to build, allowing an accelerated development cycle that could not be achieved otherwise,” says Pulliam."

Comment: Re:Random thoughts... (Score 2) 193

by hot soldering iron (#46801401) Attached to: Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

30 minutes? After driving for a couple of hours, I'm ready to take a 30 minute break and stretch my legs...

Hydrogen? Seriously? 45 years ago, when I was little, they were saying Hydrogen was only 30 years away, and would roll out demo cars to prove it. I think they just said the same thing last week.

I used to think the same thing, until I actually looked at the engineering realities regarding hydrogen. It's the lightest and smallest element on the Periodic Table, so it will migrate through steel, making it brittle as it goes. The only way to make hydrogen in the industrial quantities needed is with steam reforming of petroleum based hydrocarbons (check Wikipedia if you don't believe me). Then there is the energy density and storage nightmare of hydrogen which isn't even nearly as good as current gen car batteries.

And that is just to replace the current fuel in an internal combustion engine (not so efficient) with a lower density fuel (even worse efficiency). Now a fuel cell, where the fuel is converted directly into electricity is promising, except that to produce the amount of power needed to drive a vehicle would require an oxidation rate right up there with a controlled explosion trying to go uncontrolled.

And you still haven't gotten away from using petroleum, or the wars,corruption and crime involved in dealing with it. So, hydrogen isn't really looking too good now, is it?

I would think that just changing the power generation method for a hybrid from an IC engine to a micro-turbine generator, with it's higher efficiency, flex fuel capability, fewer and more reliable parts, would provide the fast recharge capability that you say you want. In fact, some companies are starting to do this already. Neil Young's LincVolt was such a conversion, by H Line Conversions in Wichita, KS.

But I think that, except for niche applications, the end of life for the internal combustion engine is in sight. It has to be over-sized and over-built for performance use, and can't compare (favorably) to microturbines for power generation. They are expensive, complicated, dirty, and require an expensive and violently fought over fuel.

Comment: Re:Isn't this a lot like programming? (Score 1) 107

No, biological processes are inherently non-deterministic, and this becomes more apparent the smaller the scale. At the genetic level, it's all about probabilities. I suppose you could argue the same about computation since circuits are now getting small enough for quantum effects to show up, but I don't think most programmers are explicitly modeling random bit flips! On large scales, when you're talking about big programs with lots of different possible inputs, it's often more effective to model them statistically, I agree, but the underlying processes are still quite different.

Comment: Re:Next goals: (Score 3, Insightful) 107

Co-evolution only looks "co" on very large timescales; every new trick our immune systems have come up with has been in response to something a pathogen already came up with. Sure, there always can (and will) be new plagues, whether the victims are trees or people. I just think they're a whole lot more likely to come from the nigh-uncountable number of random "experiments" taking place in the wild than they are from anything done in a lab.

Comment: Re:In other words... (Score 1) 284

Corporations don't go to prison for violating censorship laws. The members of the group, employees, owners, and members go to jail. They are the ones who have their assets taken.

That last bit would be a lot more persuasive if it weren't for the concept of limited liability. The whole idea of corporations owning assets, signing contracts, etc. is that the owners of the corporation are to some degree insulated if the corporation "does" something such as breaking a contract that could lead to the loss of those assets--but it really ought to work both ways. As things stand right now, the privilege pretty much only seems to go one way.

16.5 feet in the Twilight Zone = 1 Rod Serling