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Comment: Re:Old technology (Score 1) 179

by nukenerd (#47960077) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

I suspect what Jmstuckman meant was that the controls were not intuitive to humans, or have a range of control that is awkward. In other words, imagine that the gas pedal on your car had 1 mm of travel

I have driven trains. They have massive momentum, but feeble acceleration and braking. Make a normal brake application at full speed and nothing seems to happen for a while. Driving them is quite a knack, nothing like driving a car, and you need to be familiar with what is still out of sight ahead. I think that a human taking over from auto will do poorly because, as the train is in usually auto, they are simply out of practice.

Incidentally, the train (electric ones at least that I have driven) might as well have only 1mm of control handle travel. You drive them full on or off. For a lower speed you tend to nudge it along.

Comment: Re:"forced labor" (Score 1) 183

by nukenerd (#47935769) Attached to: Use of Forced Labor "Systemic" In Malaysian IT Manufacturing

The South started the war

As an outsider, but a slightly knowledgable one, I though the North started it. Yes, the South declared secession, but the North started the war by marching into Virginia with the intent of occupying Richmond, although they only got as far as Bull Run. It would be like England invading Scotland tomorrow if the Scotish Nationalists win. Or like Germany and France invading the UK if the UK declared it had left the EU.

Pity this discussion has gone off-topic (was about Malasian workers).

Comment: Re:why? (Score 1) 182

by nukenerd (#47907897) Attached to: Oculus Rift CEO Says Classrooms of the Future Will Be In VR Goggles

I can totally see that 'inner city' schools will be forced to spend billions on this technology, and it will be sold to the public as 'giving the poorest children the biggest hand up".

They said the same thing about computers (ie we would not need teachers) and then the same about the Internet. Hasn't happened. I believe a similar thing was said about tape recorders when they first came out too.

Anyway, why does some CEO get so much news coverage? As CEO of a VR company, he would say that wouldn't he?

Comment: Re:it's means it is (Score 1) 132

by nukenerd (#47907671) Attached to: 3D-Printed Car Takes Its First Test Drive

Fail. Nowhere does the author state the ''entire car'' was printed,

In fact TFA says "Over the six day span of the IMTS, the company managed to 3D print, and assemble an entire automobile"

... so in the context of this news item it states exactly that. If it were meant to be read as not the entire automobile then it doesn't come over as a news story - the 3D printed part could just be the badge on the front. So the reader is being urged to believe it is the entire car. That is being dishonest.

I don't know why they needed to be. If it had been told correctly it would have been an interesting story anyway. Instead they have created a flamefest.

Comment: @Solandri - Re:Baby steps (Score 1) 289

by nukenerd (#47793033) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Put another way, if autonomous cars started off working on 0% of roads and you want them to eventually work on 100% of roads, well somewhere in between you have to pass through 1%, 5%, 10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 90%. It's rather disingenuous to criticize them for not getting all the way to 100% in one fell swoop.

So who decides which 50% (or whatever) of the road is suitable for auto control? My daily drive takes me through easy bits and much trickier bits, sometimes changing within 100 yards and back again, and how tricky depends on what other drivers are doing. What will the "50% competent" car do? Will it be saying :-

"Quick Dave, it's tricky, take over ! - It's Ok now Dave, let go the steering wheel - Oh hang on it's tricky again! - Now it's OK again - Oh jeez, some idiot's just pulled out in front I can't cope, LOOK OUT !! where the fuck are you Dave? TAKE THE FUCKING STEERING WHEEL DAVE !!! Aaarrrgghh !!! "

Sure you might get the stray deer hopping through traffic that requires a human to take control and improvise.

So the human must sit there with just as much attention, and with just as much skill as if he were driving anyway. So much for those hopes of drunks/non-drivers/blind people etc.

Comment: Re:can it get me home from the bar? (Score 1) 289

by nukenerd (#47792965) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Perhaps some people prefer to be killed by other people rather than by a mega corporation like Google. Seems not unreasonable to me. Who wants his widow to have to fight Google lawyers after his violent death?

People do prefer to be killed by other people, but not for the reason you give. It is because they somehow think that being killed by another person is more "democratic". That is why most road deaths (about 10/day in the UK) get only a few inches in a local paper while train crash deaths (about three orders of magnitude fewer) get massive coverage for up to two weeks after the event. Despite the fact that you will be sure to get compensation from a railway company, but a high proportion of car drivers and motorbike riders causing deaths are uninsured.

Comment: Re:can it get me home from the bar? (Score 3, Informative) 289

by nukenerd (#47792927) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

Says the asshole [cyclist] who pays nothing for the road he drives on

In the UK, the car licence (which was once and largely still is called the "road tax") has ceased to have anything to do with road usage. It is now entirely about carbon emissions, under Byzantine rules by which many cars, some even high performance ones, pay no "road tax" at all. Even before that the road tax had long ceased to have a direct connection with road financing. Most road milage is actually paid for by local authorities who are mostly financed by a tax on houses, including those of non-drivers.

In any case, most cyclists have cars too, so are paying the "road tax" anyway. Having said that, I would be quite happy to pay road tax on my bike - it might shut up people like you.

Comment: Re:can it get me home from the bar? (Score 0) 289

by nukenerd (#47792889) Attached to: Hidden Obstacles For Google's Self-Driving Cars

I do think a lot of the excitement for google cars comes from the "privileged white driver" mindset in which there are no pedestrians, no bikes, no transit. Nothing but people like them in their single occupancy vehicles.

Bullshit. "Priveleged white drivers" are not at all excited by them, not in the UK anyway where such drivers want to stay in full control (thing Jeremy Clarkson), especially ignoring road laws when it suits them. But the worst is the "Indian Driver" mindset, especially if driving a taxi, in which there are no other things on the road whatsoever.

Comment: Re:And we should care? (Score 1) 54

by nukenerd (#47791539) Attached to: Watch UK Inventor Colin Furze Survive a Fireworks Blast In a Metal Suit

metal suits for protective purposes have been around for hundreds of years ........ would I also get on Slashdot as an "inventor?"

I must admit that it did not even occur to me that this is supposed to be an invention until you mentioned it. I thought it was just for a laugh. Yes, the guy may be an inventor, but that does not mean that everything he does is an "invention" - otherwise he would be inventing dinner every time he cooks one.

Hundreds of years you say? And a order of magnitude. If you are looking for the inventors of body-sculptured metal armour you could make a start among the Ancient Greeks.

The only difference between a car salesman and a computer salesman is that the car salesman knows he's lying.

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