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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: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: Re:Unity wins (Score 1) 535

by nhaines (#40825361) Attached to: GNOME: Staring Into the Abyss

On the other hand, I have a fully updated Ubuntu 12.04 and I can Alt-Tab between Firefox and LibreOffice just fine (I just checked).

Sounds like a very annoying bug, but not a design decision. I wish I had a solution but because I can't reproduce it I don't have anything to offer. You may want to report the bug in the Unity bugtracker on Launchpad.

Comment: Re:Unity wins (Score 2) 535

by nhaines (#40799895) Attached to: GNOME: Staring Into the Abyss

Except that Unity is absolutely the worst kind of horror: unrepentant horror. They refuse to acknowledge that they've done wrong.

They haven't. The Unity desktop manager works just as it is designed to do, with a simple elegance that maxmizes screen space for your applications and a very useful Alt-` and Alt-Tab switcher. In addition, new users understand and can use the system quickly. When giving presentations to college students and other non-Linux users, the reaction has been "Oh wow, that looks great" every single time. Even my dad said "wow, they've really been polishing Ubuntu, haven't they?" the first time he saw Unity.

I work in a company with a strong Linux element, and while ubuntu is the preferred distro, nobody runs unity.

This is a feature, not a bug.

Comment: Re:Why is the Nexus 7 so... crippled? (Score 2) 261

by nhaines (#40474545) Attached to: Google Unveils Nexus 7 Tablet, Nexus Q 'Social Streaming Device'

Good news! There's no way an astronomy app would ever use the camera to identify what you're seeing.

They use GPS to determine your location and then the on-board accelerometers to determine device orientation, and then they show you what's on the other side of the phone based on that.

Comment: Re:Just leave LibreOffice off (Score 1) 488

by nhaines (#37961430) Attached to: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Won't Fit On a CD

You boot into a Live CD first and install from there for two reasons:

1. This is a computer that has never has Linux installed on it and you can find out really quickly if it's likely to have its hardware supported.
2. You can use the computer while installing. Especially when older machines can take 45-60 minutes, it can be really nice to have a Web browser or music player available.

I remember my old Slackware CD from 1995 having ctetris on VT2 and how fascinating that was since Windows had no similar concept and how convenient it was for a 15yo, considering installs took a good 90 minutes. Having the Ubuntu Desktop CD be a live CD also makes it a very powerful system recovery tool, and that's worth it too.

I don't agree with the complaints that the alternate install CD is "too hard", although I definitely appreciate the considerably higher user experience provided by the current graphical installer. This is especially important now that Windows Vista and 7 do the same.

Comment: Re:Active Direcotry Support (Score 1) 165

by nhaines (#37820350) Attached to: Linux 3.1 Released With Support for the OpenRISC CPU

Okay, those are all important things but nothing you described has to do with the kernel.

plus I want me Email client to have full Exchange 2010 support.

And did you not want to download your email client as a third-party application along with that? But the graphical framework, the desktop manager, and the widgets framework will all be third-party apps as well.

The kernel takes care of hardware support and basic I/O such as file systems and things. Everything else is a "third-party" app.


Electric Tron Lightcycle Hits the Streets 113 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the master-control's-new-wheels dept.
cylonlover writes "Practicality tends to take a back seat when you combine sci-fi cult status with custom chopper building — and there's no room for a pillion passenger on the Lightcycle. We first spied Parker Brothers Choppers Lightcycle project last year when it surfaced in gas-powered form, now the company has released video of a fully-electric version of the neon-packing two-wheeler in action. The electric motor may be quieter, but this one's still guaranteed to turn heads."

Comment: Re:Yay! (Score 1) 283

by nhaines (#36830320) Attached to: I get most of my books...

My favorite thing about buying a Kindle book, for example, is that I can then read it on any of my computers, either of my Android phones, or my Kindle e-reader. That convenience has been very enjoyable--especially since I don't bring my Kindle to a lot of places but I always have my phone.

Comment: Re:First Download? (Score 1) 453

by nhaines (#36825142) Attached to: Apple Releases Mac OS X Lion, Updates Air

Not everything you wrote makes sense, but I'd like to address some of your concerns. :)

They make a USB version for purchase in the store.

Having used Ubuntu for awhile now I really appreciate the Apple way of doing things. A few complaints about ubuntu:

  • when the version of my four day old local copy of the repository was not correct, the GUI offered no help, it just wouldn't work;
  • the GUI for apt-get doesn't let me refresh the local copy of the repository, forcing me to us the CLI, sigh;

I'm not sure what you mean by the GUI for apt-get. Ubuntu doesn't strictly have one of these although it has a few programs which fill the role: Ubuntu Software Center, Update Manager, and Synaptic. Ubuntu Software Center doesn't have a way to update the repository listings but Ubuntu will check for updates once a day if you're on the Internet so this should be automatic. That's not to say the feature wouldn't be useful. The other two programs have fairly clear methods for updates. I'd argue that Synaptic is the true front end for apt-get, and it's very comprehensive.

  • the Ubuntu package manager is crustier than the Mac package manager, i.e. the apt-get for unison is way out of date, the Mac Ports version is newer;

This has nothing to do with the package manager but with the Ubuntu repositories. This is probably something that can be fixed in in Debian and Ubuntu. It is annoying how some software lags behind. Sometimes PPAs (personal package archives) that individuals add can help with this but these can be risky as they aren't vetted like the rest of the OS.

As for sshd, it doesn't enable remote root access by password as Ubuntu ships with no root password.

GUIs for server daemons aren't unified because you can pick your favorite software package and use it. This gives you more power and choice with the drawback of needing to know how each package works. I disagree with your premise that a [system services configuration] GUI that doesn't support every possible package just shouldn't be shipped. I think it makes more sense to start with core functionality that's stable, ship what you have, and improve it rather than not ship or work on something at all. If the GUI tool proves unsuitable for your purposes, then it's easily ignored until such time as it is.

The "Ubuntu GUI" is more of a way to use the standard desktop stuff, not to administer a server. So unless you're referring to server administration tools specifically, I'm not sure I agree with your opinion that Ubuntu would be better off as a CLI-only OS.

All the simple programs have been written.