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Transportation

Kids With Wheels: Should the Unlicensed Be Allowed To 'Drive' Autonomous Cars? 437

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ever-heard-of-a-bicycle? dept.
Hallie Siegel (2973169) writes "From the Open Roboethics Research Initiative: Earlier this month, when we asked people about your general thoughts on autonomous cars, we found that one of the main advantages of autonomous cars is that those who are not licensed to drive will be able to get to places more conveniently. Some results from our reader poll: About half of the participants (52%) said that children under the legal driving age should not be able to ride driverless cars, 38% of the participants believe that children should be able to ride driverless cars alone and the other 10% also think that children should be able to drive autonomous cars with proven technology and specific training."

Comment: Re:FINALLY! (Score 1) 94

Yes, cloying sounds like a word I might use, too. But remember that Anglo-Saxon/Old English poetry was meant to be recited, not read, and alliteration was both a memory aid as well as part of the skill required. The poems do much better in dramatic reading.

I haven't read the story of Arhur past the Kindle preview, but it was compelling. The Lancelot/Valinor connection would have been amusing indeed!

I hear a lot of crticism about Samus Heaney's translation (although I liked what I read). I suspect that Tolkien will be able to strike a very interesting balance the original and a modern form (which was a huge strength of his, as I mentioned). And he did seem to consider the poem in a greater sense rather than as only a linguistical curiosity, so I agree that it's going to be fascinating to see what he makes of it.

Comment: Re:FINALLY! (Score 1) 94

Retaining the old poetic forms was kinda Tolkien's thing. Have you ever seen the Lay of Leithian from The History of Middle Earth? It's thousands and thousands of lines of rhyming alliterative verse.

Tolkien's mastery of the English language stretched to Middle English and Old English as well. Not that other translations of Beowulf aren't good, and not that we don't have a far greater understanding of Old English now than Tolkien did, but Tolkien is guaranteed to have rendered the poem into Modern English which is both powerful, flowing, and evocative while retaining the original poetic form and meaning without being stilting.

I can't wait!

Comment: Re:bork bork bork (Score 0) 156

by isaac (#45965903) Attached to: Phil Zimmerman Launching Secure "Blackphone"

This is going to end up a complete mess. Either no one will use them in which case they won't make much difference, only evil people will use them, in which case the US government will shut them down, or a lot of people will use them, in which case the US government will subvert them.

Governments (plural) will subvert them, that's what they do. No legal restriction will prevent them back from doing so. Forget about hiding from governments, that game was lost the minute you picked up a mobile phone.

The only real potential privacy benefit here is in limiting the opportunities for commercial (Google, Apple) or malicious (malware authors) entities to track and/or exploit mobile users. The problem is, of course, that all private commercial entities are inherently untrustworthy when it comes to privacy protection - companies change management or change hands (Nest anyone?) or are careless.

Really, who's the target market for this? Because it just sounds like a honeypot (like Tor) to me.

Comment: Re:Here's the real problem he has (Score 4, Insightful) 479

by isaac (#45110851) Attached to: Charlie Stross: Why Microsoft Word Must Die

I have no idea what lawyer work demands from a word processor, though.

Once upon a time, it demanded WordPerfect because docs had to be just that. Aggro clerks of court would shitcan anything that deviated from the expected (monospace) fonts, spacings, margins. I'm sure that's still true, though I know standards have slipped a bit - proportionally-spaced fonts are allowed now (Times New Roman seems to have become the standard.)

I took a summer job helping a white-shoe law firm convert from WP51 to Word over one summer almost 20 years ago. It *was* madness back then but their IT department was all over that windows 95 shiny shit.

Word sucks, but like Excel, it's a highly-evolved (or at least accreted) multi-tool. There's no single replacement for it.

-Isaac

Comment: Re:There's not much worth porting yet (Score 2) 48

by nhaines (#42989265) Attached to: Ubuntu Touch Port-a-Thon

Why would you expect that? It's a developer preview with the API and SDK frameworks so that developers can start testing their applications on the actual devices instead of an interface simulator on the computer. They've been nothing but clear about this since they announced it in January.

The "proper" Linux port will be finished in time for Ubuntu 13.10.

Comment: Collard Greens and Hoppin' John (Score 1) 256

by isaac (#42439673) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Is Your New Years Eve Tradition?

I take new year's eve easy. What I'm doing for new year's day:

1 large onion
1 bell pepper
6 cloves of garlic
3 stalks celery
(a good-sized smoked ham hock) and/or (4 strips of bacon and a fist-sized chunk of tasso ham)
4 bunches of collard greens, torn off the stems between the veins
1 lb of dried black-eyed peas
quart of chicken stock or broth - homemade is best, low-sodium if you're buying the canned stuff.
a couple stems of thyme and a bay leaf
salt and pepper
tabasco sauce
rice
green onions

Soak the black-eyed peas overnight (12 hours, preferably) then rinse and drain when you're ready to cook

Dice the onion, pepper, and celery, split between 2 bowls

If you've got a ham hock, heat a little oil in a dutch oven and sear it in a dutch oven for the peas. If you have bacon or tasso, cube it and render out some fat in the dutch oven or stock pot. You want 2 pots going with a little rendered pork fat, preferably with some meat (either hock or bacon.)

Pour a bowl of trinity (the onion/celery/pepper mixture) into each pot and sweat for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring every so often. Press 3 cloves of garlic into each pot and give a quick stir after 30 seconds.

Add beans, thyme, bay, and stock to one pot and give a stir; wait for it to come to a boil then lower heat and cover. While waiting for first pot to boil, gradually add torn-up collards to the other pot, stirring often to let the greens wilt. When all greens are in the pot, cover it and lower the heat to a simmer. Season before serving.

While peas and greans are cooking (cook beans for about 45 minutes, greens for a little less), make a cup or 2 of long-grain white rice (basmati is great.)

Put peas and greans over rice with some chopped scallions and a good dash of tabasco.

Comment: Re:Imagine that... (Score 5, Informative) 79

by isaac (#42114061) Attached to: Amazon and Google Barred From UK Government Cloud

And um, regarding comments on off-shoring data/services, Amazon certainly does have cloud services that run on hosts in the UK... Dublin mostly. (There may be open questions about the parent company being US-based, but those wouldn't have to do with the geographic location of the services and data, which surely would be hosted from the Dublin data centers.)

I feel compelled to point out that Dublin, Republic of Ireland (where Amazon does indeed have datacenters) is most definitely not in the UK.

Comment: Re:Where are the S3 tools now? (Score 1) 187

More curious is the fact that Dropbox, SugarSync, the MS solution, Google's new solution etc seem to be thriving and providing exactly the kind of services that you'd expect third party S3 clients to provide.

Dropbix IS a consumer interface to S3.

https://www.dropbox.com/help/7/en

"Once a file is added to your Dropbox, the file is then synced to Dropbox's secure online servers. All files stored online by Dropbox are encrypted and kept securely on Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) in multiple data centers located across the United States."

-Isaac

Comment: I don't want thrills... (Score 4, Insightful) 382

by isaac (#41052231) Attached to: When Flying Was a Thrill

I want safe, quick transportation from point A to point B at a reasonable price. Modern air travel mostly delivers this. It didn't use to.

Air travel was of dubious safety and blinding expense in the '30s, '40s, '50s - and wasn't particularly comfortable either. I don't wish to return to that era, one bit.

-Isaac

+ - Community of Hacker Dojo raises a Kickstarter!->

Submitted by c0sine
c0sine (959434) writes "For those who do not know. Hacker Dojo is one of the premier hacker / co-working / community spaces in the San Francisco Bay area. It is a member run and operated; and open to general public — center full of technologists, entrepreneurs and gurus. On top of contributing to the local community HackerDojo.com also provides information, software and other resources for anyone interested in starting or running a (non affiliated) hackerspace.
Recently the City of Mountain View, concerned that the space is not zoned for teaching classes, has shut down more than half the space, stopped all large classes and conferences, and has given Hacker Dojo 6 months to do a quarter million dollars of improvements or face being shut down.
Their fundraising total is now ~$170K out of $250K. The kickstarter goes for 10 more days. Here is a recent article about them in Venture Beat (http://venturebeat.com/2012/08/10/hacker-dojo-interview/)"

Link to Original Source
The Almighty Buck

+ - A hackerspace's options: raise a quarter million dollars or die.-> 3

Submitted by
katicli
katicli writes "What would you do if your city threatened to close your local hackerspace unless you did a quarter million dollars in upgrades? Hacker Dojo is facing just such a question. The City of Mountain View, concerned that the space is not zoned for teaching classes, has shut down more than half the space, stopped all large classes and conferences, and has given the hackerspace 6 months to do a quarter million dollars of improvements or face being shut down.

This shows a troubling trend for next-generation educational and maker spaces, as spaces such as old schools and churches, which are zoned for "Assembly" are not easy to rent.

Hacker Dojo has raised $130,000 from corporate sponsors and charity events so far and is doing a Kickstarter to hold them over for another $30,000 while the rest is raised."

Link to Original Source
Mars

+ - Mars Rover Curiosity Makes it to Times Square->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "NASA is following up its popular "Seven Minutes of Terror" movie trailer, which previews Monday's landing (hopefully) of its new Mars rover, with a live broadcast on one of the most famous screens in the world — Times Square. The duel, LED Toshiba Vision screens will pick up NASATV coverage of Mars Science Lab events beginning at 11:30 p.m. EDT Sunday and continuing through 4 a.m. Monday. The broadcast will emanate from mission control at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif."
Link to Original Source
Apple

+ - Samsung's legal fillings show pre-IPhone designs

Submitted by parallel_prankster
parallel_prankster (1455313) writes "In it's legal fillings for the case against Apple Corp. Samsung has shown that it was considering putting to market in the summer of 2006, six months before the unveiling of the iPhone, a number of phone designs that have been claimed by Apple as stolen from the Iphone. It extends to more than just the hardware — Samsung was also working on interfaces that looks remarkably like iOS (actually, that look remarkably like PalmOS) — in the summer and fall of 2006. Again, before the iPhone was released. Samsung is being accused of stealing, even thought the company was clearly working on what it supposedly stole before the iPhone was even released. Samsung's phones bear more resemblance to its own pre-iPhone designs than to the iPhone, yet Apple and its supporters still insist Samsung is a thief. Another article on this is available here ."

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