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Comment: Re:Insurance and registration (Score 1) 211

by Jeremi (#49186605) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Driving on the road isn't the problem, it's driving on the road and not hitting the deer that just ran into it, or avoiding the knucklehead who just swerved into your lane because he's drunk.

Actually I think that avoiding unexpected road hazards will be the self-driving car's strong point. A car can be watching in all directions, all the time, and can react within a few milliseconds to avoid a collision. Computing the best way to react is not a terribly difficult problem either, since all you need is a reasonable physics model in which the car can play out the likely results of each of its various options, and then choose the option that looks like it will yield the best result. (if you want to imagine what driving is like for a computer, imagine that time was slowed down by a factor of 1,000. You'd find that driving was more like chess and less like an arcade game)

I think the difficult parts for a self-driving car will be the parts involving communication with other human beings -- e.g. noticing that the traffic cop in the intersection is signaling that the car should stop (or go) now, or that the road cones placed between two lanes are meant to indicate that the right lane is currently closed to traffic. Compared to that, getting collision-avoidance-physics right will be fairly straightforward.

Comment: Re:Why do I need a license for ANY car? (Score 1) 211

by Jeremi (#49186561) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

I do not â" nor do I need it. Unless you are going to claim, walking or riding a bicycle may also â" some day â" become a privilege... Because there is no "clear bright line" between driving, which is a privilege already, and those other activities, which are still rights...

Actually, there is a clear bright line, and that line is the "public" in "public roads".

If you are on your own private property, you are free to drive/ride/bike however you want to. You can race non-street-legal cars at 300 miles per hour while drunk, blindfolded, nude, and not wearing a seat belt, if that's what you feel like doing.

The public road system, on the other hand, is not your personal plaything. You share it with everyone else, and as such your rights to the use of the public roads stop where other peoples' rights to that same road system start. In particular, you do not have the right to endanger other peoples' lives or property. The various rules and restrictions on how/where/who can drive all follow logically from that.

Comment: Re:Why do I need a license for ANY car? (Score 1) 211

by Jeremi (#49186545) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Why does a free citizen of a free country need government's permission to drive on public roads to begin with?

The pragmatic answer is that some regulation of the roads is necessary in order to avoid bloodshed and chaos.

Originally there were no laws restricting how people could use their automobiles on the public roads.

Then certain people started causing problems by driving recklessly, not maintaining their vehicles, driving drunk, etc, and they were causing unacceptable levels of damage to other people and property.

To address the problem, people came up with laws to regulate driving in order to make the streets tolerably safe for everyone.

As you've probably noticed, the real world is driven more by necessity, than by abstract ideological principles. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

Comment: Re:Really? Come on now, you should know better. (Score 3, Insightful) 211

by Jeremi (#49186471) Attached to: Would You Need a License To Drive a Self-Driving Car?

Nothing, and that is an absolutely nothing, has ever been made by man which has been perfect.

A self-driving car does not have to be perfect. It just has to be better than the alternative.

With motor vehicles already being the number one killer in the US annually, we want human intervention early and often.

Isn't the fact that motor vehicles are already the number one killer in the US annually actually an argument for automated cars?

As stated above, a half a century has not perfected "self driving" anything else.

Five centuries of work before that never perfected heavier-than-air flying machines either, until one year, presto, all the necessary preconditions were finally met and airplanes became a reality. There's nothing linear about progress.

Comment: Re:Not so wonderful. (Score 1) 187

by sethstorm (#49183727) Attached to: Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

You want quality? Pay for it, but don't pretend that it comes from old gurus hands instead of robotic assisted manufacture.

I do and still end up seeing the same things. Once something gets hit by the ugly stick of globalization, it doesn't matter what you pay - the result is a lesser product.

Comment: What its like..... (Score 5, Funny) 117

by Lumpy (#49181009) Attached to: The Mexican Drug Cartels' Involuntary IT Guy

Cartel leader: "My phone is broken, fix it!"
IT Guy: "Ok what is wrong with it?"
IT Guy: " I cant, they removed it from the App market"
Cartel Leader, pulls gun and points it at the IT guy..

Comment: Re:So basically we're finally catching up to Novel (Score 1) 119

by Lumpy (#49180773) Attached to: Linux 4.0 Getting No-Reboot Patching

One place I worked at we had a horribly out of date NW server on the network that nobody knew where it was... I searched for weeks and could not find it. Finally years later it was found inside a wall because of previous construction it was placed out of the way and covered with a plastic tarp.

So it was running all those years WITH NO AIRFLOW and no reboots. A testament to old SCSI hard drives.

Comment: The sound sucks because your gear sucks. (Score 1) 93

by Lumpy (#49176955) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Wireless Microphone For Stand-up Meetings?

Get management to pony up for real AV gear. The problem is your gear is garbage and not designed for the use. There is no magical CHEAP thing you can buy.

Now get a biamp or BSS DSP and 4 boundary mics hanging from the ceiling on some 18" diameter glass plates... I can make a meeting room cover all voices in there perfectly for video and teleconference.

There are three kinds of people: men, women, and unix.