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Comment: Re:Government control of our lives... (Score 1) 142

by RobinH (#47432823) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones

That, right there, is the key to our disagreement. You want everybody, who wish to fly a drone, to prove, they've "taken precautions".

I don't think this is as black and white as you seem to indicate. Nobody's stopping me from building a drone in my garage and even flying it out in a field, as long as I follow some reasonable restrictions that were setup based on experience with model airplanes. The restrictions are on commercial use, and the FAA is basically saying: these things are dangerous when you fly them over a population, and we need rules in place with proper safety procedures before it's allowed. That seems pretty reasonable to me. Yes, I wish they would hurry up. However, what are the chances that these drones are designed such that in the event of a failure, the likelihood of hurting someone on the ground is mitigated? Does every system have 1 or 2 backup systems? Doubtful. Has anyone done an analysis of how dangerous the impact will be? What's the likelihood of surviving a direct hit? What's the likelihood of it happening? Is there a safe reference design? Are there regulated auditors who can certify these designs against a published specification to certify them for flying over a population? Certainly when I build an industrial machine there are published standards regarding machine safety that I have to adhere to, and I must have the design stamped by a P.Eng. before the machine can be used in a production environment.

I'm all for this technology, but I know human nature when it comes to people willing to put other people in harm's way to make money. The FAA is right to ban these, for the moment. Amazon should be working with the FAA and other stakeholders to draft a proper set of rules to allow flying these things over a residential neighborhood. This is hardly unreasonable. The "anything goes" mentality is just BS.

Comment: Re:Government control of our lives... (Score 5, Insightful) 142

by RobinH (#47431845) Attached to: Amazon Seeks US Exemption To Test Delivery Drones
I thought the idea was that you had that right, but only up to the point where it infringes on someone else's right to the same. So, for instance, you being an idiot and driving your car over a pedestrian infringes on their right to the pursuit of happiness. You see, when it comes to behaviors that put others at significant risk, why only punish the ones who were unlucky enough to have the negative outcome actually happen, when the act of performing the risky behavior was what you had control over, and what you should be prevented from doing in the first place? Similarly, Amazon flying drones over residential neighborhoods sounds pretty risky to me, even though I do appreciate the coolness of being able to have something delivered in 30 minutes. Therefore I'm not sure this ban is such a bad thing until we can prove suitable precautions are being taken.

Comment: Re:How fitting (Score 1) 333

I'm not really sure about that. It could be that men and women felt a different amount of dislike for the shock. It was my understanding that men and women have different pain thresholds (men's is higher, even though women like to use the whole childbirth thing against us, which... is fine by me).

Comment: Re:Sad, sad times... (Score 1) 333

I think it would be interesting to see what % of people actually didn't mind it at all, and did it correlate with any other personality traits or, um, professions...

I also don't think it would bother me at all, but I know it would really bother my wife. I know she can't be "alone with her thoughts" or they quickly turn negative. I've never really understood that. I'm constantly wanting to turn off the radio if we're in the car together so I can think, and she insists that we keep it on. The thing is, she's not depressed or anything. It's some kind of normal response that I completely don't understand.

The other thing that comes to mind is that in prison the really bad punishment is solitary confinement. It always seemed to me that if I had to go to prison and be stuck in a building with hundreds of possibly violent convicts, then please sign me up for solitary! I think they do have writing instruments and books, etc. too. Weird.

Comment: Re:Expect the Republicans... (Score 1) 105

by dave420 (#47382765) Attached to: London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally

"Republic" doesn't mean what you think it does. It has nothing to do with democracy. It simply means a country that is not ruled by a dynastic leader. That's it.

So both parties have an official policy of republicanism if they are not actively seeking to replace the president with a leader chosen by dynasty.

Comment: Re:Expect the Republicans... (Score 1) 105

by dave420 (#47382753) Attached to: London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally
Your claims are not mutually exclusive. Labour have had some shady dealings in the past, as have the LibDems (but less so). Both Labour and the LibDems have not engaged in the anti-poor-people tactics of the Conservatives in levels anywhere near as great. This is evident in the cuts to public spending by the Conservatives (which hurts poor people most), the attacks on unions, and the spates of privatisation.

Comment: Re:That's not going to make (Score 1) 105

by dave420 (#47382729) Attached to: London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally
Cabbies talk, you know. They hang out frequently and discuss the state of the traffic and the roads. They do this because they know it helps them to all be aware of such things. Google also doesn't have good historical data, whereas cabbies can tap into the knowledge of Londoners (themselves & their colleagues) who have lived there their entire lives. Google's data on utilisation is nowhere near as accurate as cabbies' as Google isn't driving these streets every single day - their data is simply not as granular as cabbies'. The way you spell "utilization" hints you might not know precisely of which you speak...

Comment: Re:Backfire (Score 1) 105

by dave420 (#47382721) Attached to: London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally

Google doesn't know that stuff, though. Google's map data is great - don't get me wrong - but it doesn't know about the fluctuations in traffic that the cabbies do. It doesn't know about that accident that happened 30 minutes ago, that the cabby saw earlier, or that small street which is marked incorrectly on Google Maps which is navigable. It also doesn't know what "That road of Essex Road where there used to be that pub called the Red Lion or Red Dragon or something" refers to, which is something plenty of cabbies would know, as their knowledge extends far beyond The Knowledge, and includes plenty of historical data for well-travelled routes.

So yeah - Google is great, but it's not up to the standard of even an average black cab driver.

Comment: Re:Cabs (Score 2) 105

by dave420 (#47382391) Attached to: London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally
Well, to counter your story I've used black cabs on numerous occasions, and had great experiences. They were courteous, fast, knew the routes like they were channelling the gods of the A-Z, and were reasonably priced. So I guess we cancel each other out. Not to forget their cars are specifically designed for London's streets, and can fit 5 people in the back with ease.

Comment: Re:Backfire (Score 4, Informative) 105

by dave420 (#47382371) Attached to: London Regulator Says Uber Is Operating Legally
London cab drivers can't exactly step up their game without insane amounts of investment - they're the best of the best. They already spend years studying to become a taxi driver, and they already know central London and most of the rest by heart. They already know where the traffic jams are at any given time of the day, and the current best route from where they are to where they need to be. I think they're scared this Uber nonsense will take their fares away, which they have worked insanely hard to even be in a position to serve, and bring the reputation of their profession down. There's no way Uber can compete with the quality of the black cab, or even probably price (if you factor in the length of route selected by an utter professional), but until people realise that, there could very well be a horrible time for the black cab drivers.

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