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Comment: Re:it's a great idea with one major flaw (Score 2) 171

by Tom (#47804309) Attached to: Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'

It fails not for technical reasons. It fails because of widespread tech illiteracy in the general population.

We've largely solved the issue with things like magnet links and decentralized databases.

The issue we still haven't solved is in our mind: We believe everyone needs to have "tech literacy", completely forgetting that every invention in history became successful only after someone made it easy to use for people without learning all the mechanical details about it. When only car mechanics could drive a car, the total number of cars in the world was less than that in your local shopping malls parking lot today. Is that change because cars became more easy to use, or because more people became car mechanics? Take a guess.

Comment: Re:just too many issues (Score 1) 207

by Tom (#47804221) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

or with too many overhanging trees, [...] people (including me) will order $5 packages, wait for them to arrive, then steal the 'copter for parts. no real way to prove it didn't just crash, right?

Which is why Googles system (lowering the parcel on a rope, the drone never comes even near ground) is superior to Amazons (land-and-release) system.

In general, though, I do agree with you.

Comment: Re:Property rights (Score 1) 207

by Tom (#47804171) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

You never bought the airspace above your house.

You are wrong about that. I cannot legally build my house right over your house, even if it never touches the ground that you bought.

Clearly, airlines are flying above without considering property rights below, so somewhere "your" airspace ends, but just because it's in the air doesn't mean it doesn't touch property rights.

Comment: Re:Provisionally, I'm OK with this: (Score 1) 261

by Tom (#47804153) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

The number of autonomous vehicles on the road is so absurdly low that the stats are irrelevant.

Sorry, that makes no sense whatsoever. Statistics take the number of vehicles and driven kilometers, etc. into account and they are still clear as day. If anything with more autonomous vehicles, the existing ones will become more safe, because there is less unpredictability.

Recall that Airbus' fly-by-wire didn't have the greatest introduction to the world, considering they crashed a jumbo at the airshow meant to introduce the world to it.

A spectacular failure, for sure, but still FBW has become the standard today. Yes overrides exist in most airplanes, just like autonomous cars have steering wheels and pedals. I fail to see your point, especially considering that AF 269 was not the "introduction to the world" of FBW, there had been numerous other aircraft with it before. It was just the first time it was used in a series civilian jet.

At least in the near-term.

I don't expect them to become the majority of cars within five years or anything. But continued development work is exactly how all the problems will be solved. Driving, on the other hand, is not really all that difficult when you recall how many idiots manage to do it. It's just that our roads right now are designed for human drivers, from signals to line markings to unwritten rules.

Comment: Re:Provisionally, I'm OK with this: (Score 2) 261

by Tom (#47772679) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

I don't trust software to take control away from the driver.

While I completely agree, subjectively, I also understand enough psychology and statistics to know that a) the feeling of control is mostly emotional, not rational. It's why your mother in the passenger seat is scared in situations where you as the driver are completely cool - you are in control, she is not. That she's more easily agitated only makes it more visible. It's a well-documented fact that experiencing the same situation once in control, or even just seemingly in control, and once not in control is experienced very differently.

Statistics, on the other hand, show that even at this early stage, autonomous vehicles have a better-than-average track record. So while you may feel less safe, the numbers say that you are actually more safe.

etc that won't be participating in this V2V conversation.

Which is why autonomous or semi-autonomous (assisted driving) vehicles do not rely on one input source alone. V2V is not intended to replace all the sensors and stuff, it's one more input source.

Great, but that doesn't mean you're now free to be inattentive! If anything, cars should be less safe and speed limits higher to force people to pay attention, or else.

Humans are really, really bad at paying attention to monotonous tasks for extended periods of time. The sooner our cars drive themselves completely, the better.

Comment: Re:Official Vehicles (Score 1) 261

by Tom (#47772649) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

If the speed at which most drivers are comfortable on a road is too high for safety could be that drivers systematically overestimate their abilities and underestimate the dangers. Given that we've evolved to live at walking and running speed, moving only our own bodies, it's not a big surprise that our brains don't give us the correct clues at 180 km/h or even 50 km/h when driving a one ton metal thing.

Subjective driver comfort is not something I would use as a measurement for safety.

Comment: privacy (Score 1) 261

by Tom (#47772639) Attached to: DoT Proposes Mandating Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communications

The submitter notes that this V2V communication would include transmission of a vehicle's location, which comes with privacy concerns.

Yeah, because V2V has about 300 m range. Posting my location to people within view range is really a massive "privacy concern".

We complain about patent trolls getting trivial patents for non-inventions by taking something totally normal and adding "with a computer" to it, but sometimes we do the same. Licence-plate reading cameras are a privacy concern because they can enter your location into a global database in near real-time. Telling people electronically what they could see with their own eyes? Hardly a privacy problem. If we were talking about a system to intercept these signals and update some global database, yes - but that is just the license-plate-reading-camera problem with a different technology. The problem in either case is not having a license plate or having V2V, but the people turning local information into global information.

And other than license plates, it's easy to solve it. Your car could automatically generate a new random ID for itself every time it stops for more than a minute, for example. Pseudonymity is quite cute when you understand it.

Comment: question? (Score 2) 182

by Tom (#47763593) Attached to: Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

Uber reps ordering and canceling Lyft rides by the thousands, [...] Is this an example of legal-but-hard-hitting business tactics, or is Uber overstepping its bounds?

Are you fucking kidding me? This is so plainly in the "if it's not illegal, it ought to be" category that it's really difficult to think of a more clear example.

It's a direct attack on a competitors system, intended to deprive them of their ability to deliver their service. In IT security terms we'd call it a DOS.

If this rumoured playbook exists, someone ought to go to jail for it. To me it's bright as daylight and even asking the question seems stupid.

Comment: Re:The world we live in. (Score 1) 586

by Lord Kano (#47753323) Attached to: New Nail Polish Alerts Wearers To Date Rape Drugs

The victim is never at fault.
That being said, there's an important question to ask.

Why is is that the other women present that night were not attacked?

Is it because they traveled in pairs? Is it because they never left their drinks unattended?

It's often something like the person or one of their friends realizes that the world crashing down on them, so they get the fuck out of there ASAP and wake up the next morning having no idea how they got home.

Yeah, about that. That's a symptom of acute alcohol intoxication too. As far as I know, I have never been date raped but in my younger days, there were many nights that I don't remember how I got home.


Comment: Re:Good answer! Fraud is their main source of prof (Score 2) 210

by Tom (#47740841) Attached to: Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

Because instead of holding corporations to their promises and showing them who owns the tanks, governments in the west have spent the past 10 years selling themselves to the cheapest bidder, with treaties allowing corporations to sue governments if they dare pass laws that impact profits.

Sometimes I wish we had a king with a big ego, who'd on as much as the proposal of such a treaty arrest all those corporate bigshots and hang them publicly.

We are Microsoft. Unix is irrelevant. Openness is futile. Prepare to be assimilated.