Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Volvo != Safety (Score 1) 389

If you've got a safety feature you can include at trivial incremental cost, ethically, you have to include it.

If, on the other hand, you have a safety feature that costs the manufacturer 10% of the cost of building the car and is far from standard in the marketplace, you are under no such obligation.

Comment: Re:So basically (Score 1) 827

by rjstanford (#49738355) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

Oh, please. Compared to even a moderately laden truck, a reasonable increase in fuel tax has almost no affect. Running a semi from coast to coast will burn 400-500 gallons of diesel while moving a whole lot of merchandise (and tearing up the roads in the process - a train would be far more efficient in both cases but that's not up for discussion at this point).

Comment: Re:compromise (Score 1) 827

by rjstanford (#49736189) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

That thinking is why the Escalade exists - it basically counts as a commercial vehicle at the Federal level based on GVWR, and indeed can easily be registered as one locally if there's a good tax reason for doing so. Or go back further - the fact that trucks were exempt from CAFE is why the station wagon died and the SUV became a big deal. Well intentioned exemptions often do more harm than good. Whereas an extra cent per mile passed through to the person buying the service wouldn't even really show up on most transactions.

Comment: Re:So basically (Score 4, Insightful) 827

by rjstanford (#49736095) Attached to: Oregon Testing Pay-Per-Mile Driving Fee To Replace Gas Tax

No, the tax burden shifts from low MPG vehicles to vehicles in general. Big difference.

A better approach would be to have the fee slide based on the weight of the vehicle, since damage to roadways occurs by the square of the vehicle's weight, which would actually continue to reward more frugal drivers and shift the burden to those who actually incur the most cost.

Comment: Re:There I fixed it for you... (Score 1) 152

Because that paralleled the concepts in the article, as a way of pointing out that the UI decisions people make do in fact have a tendency to influence the behavior of the users of the products (physical or digital) that they create. People build things to suggest that a certain behavior or set of decisions is "normal", "obvious", "easy", and "correct" all the time, and some times doing that sloppily or incorrectly has serious consequences.

Comment: Re:Money or Art? (Score 1) 175

by rjstanford (#49682633) Attached to: The Decline of Pixel Art

It's so realistic you could almost swear it was motion captured. In a way it was. Some animator spent hundreds of hours watching film of how people's hair and clothes move while they danced that scene in real life, then used that knowledge to draw the cels in that movie in what your brain interprets as realistic motion. Nowadays, you just motion capture it and transfer it straight onto a 3D model via computer, without ever having to learn why it looks realistic.

Sorry, but that's not quite correct. Disney was famous for their use of rotoscoping, which basically involves filming live actors and then tracing their movements to create animations. Basically it was motion captured, just in 2D with far more primitive technology. etc.

Comment: Re:There I fixed it for you... (Score 1) 152

by rjstanford (#49682539) Attached to: How Responsible Are App Developers For Decisions Their Users Make?

A company designs and builds a car to safely drive at 70 mph.

You drive at 140mph in the rain, hydroplane and lose control hitting a bridge column, and die. I'd say the fault lies with the driver. What about you?

Said company puts in an ignition switch that's faulty and disconnects the entire control system while driving at 70mph and ignores reports of this problem for a decade. That would not only be the fault of said company, but adds layers of premeditation still to be decided.


A company designs and builds a car to safely drive at 70mph.

They spend lots of time and money showing pictures of the car on a race track and design the interior to make it feel like a race car.

The default position of the gearshift when pulled down disables all of the speed limiters and briefly flashes a "Race mode" light that, if you read your owners' manual, indicates that you agree to not hold them responsible for anything.

A complex procedure drops you into "street mode" which baffles the exhaust to legal levels and enables traction control.

When someone drives at 80mph and wrecks, the car developers act surprised and alarmed that anyone would be so irresponsible.

Comment: Re:skating on the edge of legal? (Score 1) 302

by rjstanford (#49672791) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

Many of them do provide their own apps. What they're not allowed to do is to use those apps to measure the fare - this because, historically, companies that bill on their own have been known to do what's known as "cheating," by ever-so-slightly increasing the fares charged as compared to the posted fares. Its easy enough for Uber to do as well, even with a map. Want to hail a cab though? Check the app store - there's tons of options already.

Comment: The two flavors of Uber (Score 2) 132

The "traditional" Uber - Uber Black - is almost certainly what's being used by politicians. It provides a nice black car (complete with a registered driver who already holds all of the necessary permits, etc) for slightly more than the cost of a Taxi and in my experience has always been great. UberX is the "new" Uber, where random people are driving. Don't confuse the two.

Personally, for the money I'll take "Uber Black" any day. It doesn't command a very significant premium and gives a generally nicer and more professional experience all around.

Comment: Re:skating on the edge of legal? (Score 4, Interesting) 302

by rjstanford (#49629341) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

Its also worth remembering that we tried unregulated taxis - in fact, that model has been tried many times all over the world, and every time its tried it doesn't work very well and we end up approximately where we are today. Tossing those gains away after so many failed attempts should require a fairly substantial set of claims that those problems won't just pop up again (especially when early feedback on things like surge pricing and destination-based fair refusal shows that they're far from gone).

Comment: Re:Über was not forced (Score 1) 302

by rjstanford (#49629309) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

When Google pulled out of China, was it that Google was forced out? Of course not. They just didn't want to comply with Chinese law.

When somebody puts a gun to your head and demands money, is it that you are forced to hand over your wallet? By your logic, you just don't want to die.

Except that, in this case, they also gave you the option of leaving their private property with your wallet intact, which is in fact what Google chose to do. That's a bit different than a random mugging on a public street - much closer to choosing not to pay a cover charge.

You have junk mail.