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Comment Driverless technology will be stopped by lawyers (Score 1) 748

For some time now I have watches as driverless cars have been developed. And I believe that while the technology can be made to work, it will end up having a very hard time getting wide spread acceptance.

The primary problem is going to come the first time a driverless car is involved in a serious accident.

Since there is no driver, just passengers, how can they be liable for damages or deaths that are caused when the driverless car is involved in or causes an accident?
Does the liability fall back to the manufacturer of the car? Or the programmer that wrote the code for the car?
What company could accept the liability for all those cars they sold to the public?
Or would that be the issue, they can make the cars for $35,000 but the added liability coverage would be to expensive for most to afford.
Of course the real problem being discussed here is driverless cars sharing the road with idiot drivers doing stupid things everyday. They will be involved in accidents and they will cause major damage at somepoint.

The only way to solve that is to switch entirely to driverless fleets of cars instantly, and that is not something that can be done. Costs would be to much.

This can also be a very disruptive technology. I expect the first real commercial use for this would be long haul trucking. Setup a fleet of these driverless trucks and run them from depots on or near the interstates. They can run as long as they have fuel which should improve the transportation costs since the trucks don't have to stand down every 8 or 10 hours to allow the drivers to sleep. And being on limited access highways the chances of them being involved in situations that are unforeseen are minimized. Once at a depot loads can be shifted to normal trucks for delivery in towns.

Comment Re:I wonder... (Score 1) 106

... if there are computers trying to understand what makes them work... Is there some computer out there that is pondering the question are humans capable of intelligent thought...

Actually that is a great question for all of us: Are humans capable of intelligent thought?

Based on data collected so far the odds of that are slim to none.

Intelligence in the universe is a constant. The population is growing....

Comment How to fix climate change? (Score 1) 127

Climate change is happening and has happened as long at the planet has been in existence.
I read how everyone wants something done to "fix" climate change. What is it they propose? I have not heard of any real solutions.
They talk about reducing carbon emissions. But how to achieve that?
Assuming we are only talking about human based carbon emissions, how do you significantly reduce the production of carbon?
Only one comes to mind. Eliminate a significant portion of the human population. This allows us to shutdown all those pesky power plants and cars.
Obviously there would the the elite that would be allowed to keep electricity, cars, A/C, etc. The rest of the population would be left without and the the numbers would decrease over time. Possibly a very short time as aggressive use of force would be needed to protect the elite from the rest of us.
Anything else would not accomplish what they suggest.
Why not embrace climate change? We can adapt. It is not happening that fast. As the sea levels rise we can build flood walls and move cities. We have done it in the past we can do it again.
Even better, let's expend the abundance of resources we have currently to get off the planet while there is still time and colonize space. We can use the resources available in the rest of the solar system to sustain a large population for many many generations.
But we are to short sighted.

Comment Re:Examples??? (Score 1) 255

When I was in college it was vi or emacs (or microemacs). Was about the only tool set that was available at that time. Of course that was toward the end of college. Early on it was great to find a punch card machine that had ink on the ribbon that would print what you typed at the top of the punch card.

Learned in early jobs that while I like emacs better than vi, I found vi was on more systems by default. So I learned both since it took a few extra steps to compile emacs for every system I was working on.

We were building our own tool sets and libraries back then. Lots of stuff pulled from USENET back in the day.

Comment Critical thinking is like common sense (Score 1) 255

Critical thinking is like common sense, not so common anymore.
Kids coming out of college now have huge student debts which means they fail the first big test of life.
Most can't get jobs that pay enough to cover their student debts let alone proceed to raising a family and doing better than their parents did.
The next generation will end up renting their entire lives and retire on whatever is left of social security and still be paying on those student loans when they die.
Not smart to major in english or art.

"Tube Map" Created For the Milky Way 142

astroengine writes "Assuming you had an interstellar spaceship, how would you navigate around the galaxy? For starters, you'd probably need a map. But there's billions of stars out there — how complex would that map need to be? Actually, Samuel Arbesman, a research fellow from Harvard, has come up with a fun solution. He created the 'Milky Way Transit Authority (MWTA),' a simple transit system in the style of the iconic London Underground 'Tube Map.' (Travel Tip: Don't spend too much time loitering around the station at Carina, there's some demolition work underway.)"

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Is it possible that software is not like anything else, that it is meant to be discarded: that the whole point is to always see it as a soap bubble?