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Comment: Re:ya no (Score 1) 464

by ianbnet (#47706965) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

In a separate development on Monday, the White House said it wanted all cars and light trucks to be equipped with technology that could prevent collisions.

And finally law enforcements wet dream of being able to remotely disable your car becomes a reality. If you think this is anything but that, you're very naive.

I think this is anything but that, and I think spouting conspiracy theories doesn't really help anyone understand the pros/cons of such a statement.

I'm not naive. I'm also not delusional or paranoid. "Technology that could prevent collisions" doesn't in any way imply remote access or coordination. Today's examples include ABS brakes, collision radar, backup cameras, and yes, side view mirrors. All of those are collision-avoidance technologies. None of those can be easily used to subvert operation of the vehicle.

Yes, of course it's possible that, say, a system to allow a central "Traffic Control" authority to externally intervene to prevent collisions is someday built. And yes, presumably law enforcement could use that system to remotely disable a car. But that's a stretch. Especially when you already have remote-disable solutions built into all kinds of modern cars. Not for traffic safety - but for convenience and theft deterrence. Millions of cars have this built in today, and although I'm not familiar with the laws or case history, I don't see any reason why law enforcement with a warrant or probable cause couldn't use what's there today in Teslas, any car with OnStar, etc etc... and as usual, those capabilities were introduced for convenience (either owner or insurer :)).

All technologies can be misused and abused. Don't see a need to conflate that reality with an effort for additional vehicle safety.

Comment: Re:Rolling roadblocks (Score 1) 464

by ianbnet (#47706879) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

There are similar laws in almost all (but not all - Oregon is a notable exception) US states - on a multi-lane, limited-access highway, it's technically illegal to be in the left lane unless you are actively passing. It's just rarely, rarely enforced the way it is in Europe, which is too bad. Nothing incites road rage more than someone tooling along a few MPH under the speed limit in the left lane. I've seen that enforced just a few times on rural stretches of I-5 in Washington, and once somewhere in the midwest (MN?).

The other variant of that law, also common in US states, is that it's illegal to hold up more than a certain number of cars. Its the "campers have to turn off and let people pass" law. This one, luckily, I see enforced a lot more often on popular tourist roads.

The interesting thing is that in a world without human drivers, both of these laws become redundant, IMO. The vehicles should efficiently get everyone everywhere, and where you have forced bottlenecks -- such as an automated semi truck that can't go as fast on a winding road as a sports car -- presumably the AIs would be written in such a way that the vehicles could coordinate safe passing.

I envision much more efficient, much more boring drives ;)

Comment: Lenovo T or Thinkpad Yoga (Score 1) 477

by ianbnet (#45533263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Laptops For Fans Of Pre-Retina MacBook Pro?

There are a bunch of great options out there, but nothing has ever replaced the Thinkpad line for me. I have spent time with the new Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga, and if you're in the market for a 12.5" device, it's awesome. First thing I did was replace its built in SSD and wifi chip -- took less than 5 minutes -- and it has all the functionality of an amazing Win8.1 convertible as well.

Then as others have said, there's the tried-and-true T series. The T440s is beautiful in its own way, rugged, and super serviceable.

Comment: Re:Wow... (Score 1) 491

by ianbnet (#43727327) Attached to: Windows Blue Is Officially Windows 8.1, Free For Existing Users

That's one way to look at it. The other way to look at it is: if your UI is so discoverable that all you have to do is hit one key and then type whatever you're looking for and *boom* there it is, you know you have a great UI.

This is the first thing I tell anyone about Windows (7 or 8). So simple...

Comment: Build or buy a cheapo desktop (Score 1) 503

by ianbnet (#41716247) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Securing a Windows Laptop, For the Windows Newbie?

This reiterates a few previous posts, but here are some comments in a nutshell:

- The T400 won't come close to running WoW, even if it has the premium discrete graphics that were offered at the time it came out. Integrated graphics? WoW won't even load. Build or buy a cheap desktop from a couple of years ago with a decent $50 graphics card and you'll be much better off.
- Windows 7 + microsoft security essentials will keep you secure. Then you need to teach your son the same basic internet security you need on any net-connected device -- don't fall for phishing or fake download schemes. There's no reason to buy third party AV.
- If you're buying a new OS license, you probably should just get Windows 8. It's less resource intensive than Windows 7 in every way, so if your son is trying to game on legacy hardware, that will help. Additionally it has full antimalware built in, along with a raft of improved security features. And finally, with the special offers these days, it's probably cheaper (if it's not, you're probably not getting a legal Win7 license).
- I'm of the opinion you give your son full admin to the computer, and if he breaks it, well, he learns how to fix it. Restricting him to a limited user account just means it's harder for him to learn. You should take other steps to protect your network in case he busts his PC, but that's awfully hard to do with Win7/8 and basic AV software.

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.