Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Back for a limited time - Get 15% off sitewide on Slashdot Deals with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment I'd rather have OnStar for planes than cameras (Score 1) 447

OnStar: "Hello Captain Rittamer, this is OnStar, how may I help you?"
Captain: "I seemed to have been locked out of the cockpit by my suicidal/homicidal copilot, could you open the door for me please?"
OnStar: "I see that your copilot has directed the plane to crash in the Alps. I'll open the door for you right away so you can correct that."
Captain: "Thank you very much!"
OnStar: "Is there anything else I can do for you today?"

Comment Re:"Civil Forfeitures" are even worse (Score 2) 424

Police stop you, and take all of your money, because they think you were going to use the money for drugs.

IMO in many cases they probably don't think the money is going to be used for drugs, but they want the money for a new margarita machine and so they have to claim that they believe the money is drug money to create the legal basis to take the money from you. That is, the cops will say it's drug money even when they don't really think that, but they just really, really want the money.

Comment Re:Not a Fifth AMendment issue (Score 1) 424

"Due process of law" sounds pretty vague. Can the government pass a "civil forfeiture" law that allows them to seize your property because they claim the property may have been involved in a crime, then require you to prove that your property did not commit a crime in order to have it returned to you?

If they can pass such a law, then they can claim they are following the process of the law when they accuse your property of criminal activity and seize it.

Comment Re:Time for a revolution (Score 5, Interesting) 424

Let me guess, in 1970 when they passed this law they did not index the amount to inflation?

Inflation since 1970 means that in 2014 the amount triggering the law is about 84% lower than it was in 1970, and that in another 100 years your kids' weekly allowance will trigger the law. Given the inability of Congress to pass anything, I do assume that the law will be unchanged for the next 100 years.

If the $10,000 dollar amount were indexed to inflation then it would be about $61,000 in 2014 dollars.

Comment Re:A limit is a limit (Score 1) 475

Well, if we apply Asimov's rules

Then we start with rule #1:
1.A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

So, the car is not allowed to drive into the pedestrian. Nor is the car not allowed to drive into the pedestrian (as that would be inaction that would get the occupant of the car killed by the semi.)

Therefore, based upon a classic Star Trek episode "Nomad! Execute your prime directive!" (or perphaps the M5 episode is a closer match?) I believe that the car when faced with this dilemma would self-destruct or shutdown.

Comment Re:A limit is a limit (Score 1) 475

If the choice is to run over a pedestrian or be run over by a semi, I wonder what the car driving software chooses to do... Would the user manual clearly spell out the answer? Is there a configuration menu somewhere where I can tell the car whether I would prefer to have the car take another life if it would save my life?

Comment Re:Why the Australians? (Score 1) 92

The right hand seated pilot kept his stick hard back, which is against all of his training - he shouldn't have been trying to raise the nose that much at all, and yet he kept the stick hard back for minutes at a time. It wasn't until the senior pilot, being summoned from the cabin where he was resting, queried the action being taken that the pilot flying stopped his action, but by then they were seconds away from hitting the water.

There is no issue with the Airbus flight controls

The issue is that neither of the other 2 pilots in the cockpit visually observed what the junior pilot was doing with his stick. If it had been visually obvious to the other pilots that the junior pilot was pulling his stick hard back then they would have corrected his mistake and the plane would not have crashed.. They couldn't see what the junior pilot was doing with the stick. Lack of control input visibility would seem to be an issue.

That's what I read on the internet, anyway.

Comment Re:USB 4.x to offer signed USB device signatures?? (Score 1) 205

Well perhaps the OS should ask the user "I see you've just plugged in a USB device that claims to be both a keyboard and a network adapter. Do you want to give this device both keyboard I/O and network access to your PC?"...

Basically, the same way that when you install an app on a mobile phone, the system prompts you for what capabilities you want to grant the app, your PC OS could do something similar for USB devices.

Comment Re:Communism (Score 1) 404

The free market would charge market rates for the parking spot. The only way this App can make money is if a person has a financial incentive to hold onto a spot longer than they need it.

Put another way: If the city charged the market rate for every minute that someone was using a parking spot, then that user would have the proper incentive to vacate the spot as soon as they were done using it.

Are you having fun yet?