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Comment Re:Liability (Score 1) 140

Good point. I think the state will have to take on the liability.

The future is not only self-driving cars, but roads composed of only light-weight self-driving cars. In such a system, where, in order to maximize efficiency, the safety offered by heavier vehicles has been compromised, it may make sense for a centralized agency to ultimately vouch for and maintain the vehicles on the road.

Furthermore, I see no reason why these vehicles can't be shared, like taxis. That eliminates the need to park, which eliminates parking lots. It eliminates public fueling stations, it eliminates the complexities of home charging (especially for urbanites). The vehicles are simply rented for a time, and returned to the herd. In dense urban areas, they can be sitting outside, waiting a hail. In suburban areas, maybe a text from your cell phone will bring one to your location in minutes. In very rural areas, perhaps people will be licensed to buy and keep their own vehicles.

Make no mistake, once the public is more aware of this technology people will demand it. Like cell phones and the Internet, I (and many automotive insiders) expect it to take over in a relatively short amount of time. Liability is perhaps the last major hurdle, and I see no other solution than this sort of transportation being taken over by the state, as has been other shared, ground transit.

Comment Re:Missing the point (possibly willingly) (Score 1) 651

The incentives are obvious--provide them more entry-level engineers. Did you miss that?

And what's manufacturing competitiveness got to do with it? The US is the world's largest manufacturer, and what we don't make here we can design and make overseas. The two have nothing to do with one another. The economy is global, as you well know.

Comment It's libertarianism (Score 1) 949

Libertarianism seems to be married to a distrust of authority, including academic or otherwise intellectual authority whose power isn't based on some sort of commercially-viable aesthetic appeal (for example, libertarians will acknowledge the authority of bestsellers widely read in their circles, or directors, video game designers, programmers, or musicians).

Comment Re:Who Gives A Flying Fuck (Score 2) 145

You have no right to tell them what is right or wrong to delete.

I'm never good at this--is it irony when someone thinks they have a right to tell people they don't have a right to tell other people to do or not do stuff, or when someone makes it their business to tell someone else, whom presumably they don't know, that something else is none of their business?

Comment Re:Phasers: How about longbows? (Score 1) 158

That's a good point.

I'll add that muskets were also very expensive, but that might not be a downside. Given many British soldiers didn't actually own their weapons, by training on guns they had to return and couldn't afford to buy for themselves they became incapable of rebellion. At the same time, training on longbows, which had been required previously of many men in England, was outlawed.

Presumably this is specifically what the Second Amendment is about--militiamen must be able to own their weapon, and militias are the more democratic form of army. Of course, the point became moot once Federal armies were drawn up and we routinely had soldiers practice with weapons they couldn't afford and, nowadays, can't legally own. What good do your tank, fighter jet, mortar, grenade skills do you when you're not in uniform? You'll never have access to those weapons to use against the government. Therefore, the government doesn't have to worry about you using those skills against it.

That might be the point of the phaser. In the "peaceful" world of Star Trek, phasers have replaced guns specifically because they're more technologically advanced, expensive, and less lethal.

Comment Re:Yeah, so? (Score 1) 520

Then the problem isn't Facebook; it's the FBI, it's your employers, it's your neighbors.

I'm not going to hide my associations with people because I'm terrified the FBI will use them against me, or because my employer might fire me if the FBI calls them, or because my neighbors will hassle me if the Feds deign to visit them.

Why are you prepared to do that?

Comment Amazing (Score 2) 80

Previously, I had to buy two sodas, and then hand one of the sodas to friend.

With the magic of social networking and Pepsi, now I only have two buy two sodas, enter a phone number, enter a greeting, record a video, and send a free soda code to a friend's mobile device, which they can use to access the same machine and retrieve a free soda.

Comment Re:Great points (Score 1) 414

I'm not arguing this gives Apple any legal ground at all (it's not a case I'd like them to win), but I think their role in changing our use of the word "app" to mean "smartphone program," and increasingly only "smartphone program," shouldn't be ignored.

The case is a bit different than your example, because they branded a subset of the application market (perhaps the original "app") as "app," a subset that previously hadn't been very profitable or popular. For example, if I decided to sell an emerging, but not original coffee product as "java," (bad example, I know) and called my marketplace "The Java Store," if another company, seeing my success, decided to create its own "Java Store" that sold the special kind of coffee product I had been selling, it would be painfully obvious they were trying to ride my coattails because I, through painstakingly precious and irritating marketing, built the associations between "Java" and some silly little coffee product, instead of coffee at large. The fact that some competitors may have tried to use "Java" to describe their somewhat different coffee products (i.e., Google and "Google Apps") but failed to brand that connection in our collective lexicons, to some extent demonstrates that my marketing was special (because it turns out Apple is "cooler" than Google) and I deserve credit for that.

But again, I don't think that should have a legal basis, but I think we all do know that Apple has changed how we can use the word "app," at least for the time being. If you tell your boss "I'm thinking of developing an app for brewing coffee" s/he is going to think "new $0.99 (I have no idea how much they cost) smart phone program," not "big Windows application." At least that's my hunch. Especially for the kind of people who will make most use of this new "app store."

The clothes have no emperor. -- C.A.R. Hoare, commenting on ADA.