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Comment: Re:"Edge" (Score 1) 129 129

Then that is a fail right there. They wanted to change the name from IE because of its bad reputation but if they still want people to relate back to the icon it's not going to get them very far.

They only want people who are at least slightly tech-savvy to think it's a totally new browser. They want stupid people who don't know anything to think it's the same old browser they're already familiar with. Changing the name while keeping the icon seems like a good way to accomplish these goals.

Comment: Re: Not to say it's unnecessary (Score 1) 820 820

I don't have statistics on hand, but since WWII, I am aware of dog fights have played into air battles of the following wars with us pilots involved:

Korean War
Vietnam War (quite famously as we thought the days of day fighting were over.)
Kosivo et al.
First Gulf War.

Guam, Afghanistan, and Gulf War II did not , too my knowledge and I and not sure if there are others I've forgotten.

Comment: Re:Price is a second order function (Score 1) 288 288

I think the best solution has been around for a hundred years, albeit in a children's toy, how about we drive around in life sized slot cars? Remove the need for batteries - or at least have a very small one to allow entry into private property etc. It would also allow power to be supplied directly from the grid, and remove the need for toxic batteries. It would probably work considering very few people drive off road, and will autonomous cars would make a lot of sense, would also enable better navigation.

Study Suggests That HUD Tech May Actually Reduce Driving Safety 195 195

Zothecula writes: Having a heads-up display constantly feed you information while cruising down the road may make you feel like a jet pilot ready to avoid any potential danger but recent findings suggest otherwise. Studies done at the University of Toronto show that the HUD multi-tasking method of driving a vehicle is dangerous. "Drivers need to divide their attention to deal with this added visual information," said Department of Psychology professor Ian Spence, who led the research. "Not only will drivers have to concentrate on what’s happening on the road around them as they’ve always done, they’ll also have to attend to whatever warning pops up on the windshield in front of them."

(Your Job) Is a Video Game 36 36

arctother writes: UberDRIVE—Uber's simulation/video game/recruiting tool—is, at best, just a poor copy of a much more interesting video game – driving for Uber. The main innovation of Uber, and other smartphone-enabled "e-hailing" car services, is the insertion of a new interface into the human-to-human, on-the-street interactions between drivers and passengers. Uber attempts to transform the cab-driving and -riding experience through the deployment of an allegorithm: the productive joining of a framing narrative (or "allegory") and software-mediated control (or "algorithm"). Understanding how allegorithms shape experience will become more and more important as they are increasingly deployed with mobile interfaces to reshape and "augment" social interactions. "Ingress," you are already thinking; but you should really think of "Uber."

Near Misses Lead To More Consumer Drone Legislation 164 164

stowie writes: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has introduced the Consumer Drone Safety Act that looks to shore up safety features on consumer drones and the federal laws that govern them. This bill has nothing to do with the FAA's proposed rules on small commercial drones, this is all about hobbyist drones. It's looking to regulate the maximum height for flight, the weather and time-of-day conditions for flight, and any areas where flights may be prohibited. If passed, the act would require manufacturers to update existing consumer drones to meet these requirements, potentially through an automatic software update. The bill would require safety features for new consumer drones such as Geo-fencing to govern the altitude and location of flights, collision-avoidance software, and more.

Uber Drivers Are Employees, Not Contractors, Says California Labor Commission 346 346

siddesu writes: The California Labor Commission has ruled Uber drivers are employees and not independent contractors. The ruling has serious implications for Uber's business model, since it will now be required to offer its drivers benefits that meet the requirements of the Californian labor laws. "Uber had argued that its drivers are independent contractors, not employees, and that it is "nothing more than a neutral technology platform." But the commission said Uber controls the tools driver use, monitors their approval ratings and terminates their access to the system if their ratings fall below 4.6 stars." Uber has previously suspended drivers for registering their cars as commercial vehicles.

Comment: Re:Reasons why I don't like Musk's hyper loop (Score 1) 124 124

1. All the diagrams give the impression that it will be like people flying through tubes as in Futurama. Instead you will be sealed inside a metallic "bullet", that runs in a metallic tube - no windows for you (sort of like James Bond in The Living Daylights). It's a pity if you have any sort of claustrophobia.

So you'd need some kind of fancy window like display that could update with local scenery or anything else.

2. While the device doesn't run in a complete vacuum, it runs in an atmosphere that is low to the point of being unbreathable. But the device doesn't contain any onboard air supply - instead it relies on the driving compressor/fan assembly to compress the air to a human sustainable amount. So if the device loses power for any reason (electrical, mechanical, computational) then you better be able to hold your breath for a long long time.

So it operates just like a modern airliner

3. There was no indication that the loop itself was anything more than a single tube. Thus there is no capability to bypass any section. So if a device fails, all devices that are already in transit and behind it are screwed (see 2 above).

It's a test environment. These things can be developed.


Soft Robot Tentacle Can Lasso an Ant Without Harming It 49 49

jan_jes writes: A soft robot tentacle, developed by a team from Iowa State University, can curl itself into a circle with a radius of just 200 micrometers. It was capable of capturing an ant without harming it, and the tentacle was also able to grasp the egg of a fish. Such miniature soft robots could be useful for microsurgery. The lassoing motion and low force exerted by the tentacle could be an advantage in endovascular operations, for example, where the target for surgery is reached through blood vessels. They describe their findings in Scientific Reports.

Comment: Re:Licensing should be mandatory (Score 1) 35 35

I can see it now, licensing test:

1.) Hack the computer containing this test to give yourself a passing score.

If you can do this, you are qualified to find security bugs in computer systems. If you cannot, you are not qualified.

But seriously, what is it that you would be testing for exactly? Proficiency? Morals (people can lie, you know)? Responsibility (ditto)?


Microsoft Will Help Iowa Caucuses Go High-Tech 71 71

jfruh writes: Poltical party caucuses are one of the quirkier aspects of American political life: local party members gather in small rooms across the state, discuss their preferences, and send a report of how many delegates for each candidate will attend later county and statewide caucuses to ultimately choose delegates to the national convention. It's also a system with a lot of room for error in reporting, as local precinct leaders have traditionally sent in reports of votes via telephone touch-tone menus and paper mail. In 2016, Microsoft will help both Democrats and Republicans streamline the process in a fashion that will hopefully avoid the embarrassing result from 2012, when Mitt Romney was declared the winner on caucus night only for Rick Santorum to emerge as the true victor when all votes were counted weeks later.

Self-Driving Cars To Transform Insurance and Other Industries 389 389

MarkWhittington writes: The advent of commercially available self-driving cars is about five years away, but already some are thinking about how they will disrupt the economy and how society operates in general. One industry likely to suffer is that of auto insurance. Since the vast majority of auto accidents are caused by human error, having more autonomous vehicles on the road will almost assuredly result in fewer overall accidents. Further, once we've transitioned to a society that mostly gets around using self-driving vehicles, most accidents will be the result of hardware and software malfunctions. Insurance for self-driving cars would more resemble product liability coverage than the sort of auto insurance we have today. Indeed, the technology will also likely impact diverse industries such as auto mechanics, taxi services, and health care, as well as policing.

Comment: Re:Walls (Score 1) 557 557

Apparently you have never been to Kansas the eastern quarter of the state has the flint hills, Kansas City, the state capitol, state colleges, and the majority of the population, the other 3 quarters is flat, sparsely populated, and the most boring drive you will ever take just like in the movies.

Try west Texas... Just sayin'

(And yes, I've driven both, but you said "most boring" so there you go.)

Comment: Re:bye (Score 1) 531 531

I agree wholeheartedly. Sadly, the handwriting for this has been on the wall for some time. I can only hope Debian's Iceweasel port of Firefox does not adopt this "feature".

This makes me start to wonder if there is a reduced capability browser -- something leaner and meaner, focused militantly on privacy and even going so far as to deliberately not support portions of HTML5 (e.g. DRM).

Coders of the world, here's a niche you could fill...

Ironically, that is exactly how Firefox started in the first place. As a smaller, faster, reduced capability version of Mozilla. And the cycle begins again...

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." -- John Wooden