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Comment: Re:No self driving trains? (Score 2) 393

Oversee operations != Drive the train.

There's a lot to be said for automating trains.

Almost all crashes are caused by driver error and most of the rest are down to substandard maintenance with a vanishingly small number caused by odd things like signal failure due to lightning strikes.

A train which can keep an eye on where it's going AND record/report track conditions in realtime would significantly improve the current setup where inspection trains only run over a track at weekly/monthly intervals.

On the UK's Docklands light railway, there is no driver, merely a supervisor - whose job is to open/close the doors and tell the train it can start. They often sit up the front even though there's no need to, as passengers reportedly feel uncomfortable when they realise there's no human in charge. (Although having observed them I suspect it's more about self-justification than anything else)

Comment: Re:No self driving trains? (Score 1) 393

"Weekend drives through the mountains, coastal roads and countryside? I'll take the wheel, thanks."

You might like to let the car drive. That way you can pay attention to all the scenery the passengers are cooing over instead of concentrating on not driving off the next hairpin bend.

Comment: Re:No self driving trains? (Score 1) 393

Self driving trains exist and have done for a long time, but they don't cope well with unexpected obstructions on the line (like, for example people jumping in front of them or trees being down). That's to be expected when they're powered by tech as ancient as a PDP11 (Seriously, every train on the UK Dockland light rail system has one on board)

Quite a bit of automotive automation might end up being fed back into rail automation.

Comment: Re:As long as you don't count CO2... (Score 1) 395

by stoatwblr (#49727547) Attached to: 25 Percent of Cars Cause 90 Percent of Air Pollution

Even a H2 engine emits carbon - almost all the H2 fuel currently produced comes from stripping methane.

Clean burning it is, clean to make it isn't.

There are only a few real ways of reducing net carbon emissions without killing off 90% of the global population and reverting to a sackcloth+ashes existence. Just about everything that's been done so far has been greenwash to try and put off making significant changes.

Comment: Re:not far enough. (Score 1) 201

by stoatwblr (#49727465) Attached to: Baton Bob Receives $20,000 Settlement For Coerced Facebook Post

Civil transport is extremely safe.

Air cargo flying less so.

General aviation has a safety record on par with motorcycle riding.

Helicoptors, cropdusting, bush flying and others tend to be below that, with military flying coming dead last - which is one reason why military pilots are no longer the go-to guys for airlines - they tend to take risks and press on where a civilly trained pilot will call it quits and divert.

Comment: Re:not far enough. (Score 1) 201

by stoatwblr (#49727299) Attached to: Baton Bob Receives $20,000 Settlement For Coerced Facebook Post

Allowing them to resign means they can keep their pensions.

The same thing happens in the United Kingdom and people are getting pretty sick of it. There may be legal reforms on the horizon though.

As for all the "there are plenty of good cops out there" - the answer is "not nearly enough of them. 'Good cops' who cover for bad cops are bad cops too"

Comment: Re:not far enough. (Score 1) 201

by stoatwblr (#49727285) Attached to: Baton Bob Receives $20,000 Settlement For Coerced Facebook Post

"If you think the people who hire cops don't bother to check with previous employers and do Google searches on new applicants, you need your head examined."

It's quite clear that in a large number of cases this is exactly what doesn't happen.

The issue of forged or "duress" glowing references is pandemic, but compounded by privacy breach litigation against former employers who've warned someone off hiring someone when references are followed up.

This is why many former employers simply say "XYZ was employed from date A to date B", no matter what the actual employment history is and refuse to divulge anything more.

Comment: Re:The song remains the same (Score 1) 201

by stoatwblr (#49727237) Attached to: Baton Bob Receives $20,000 Settlement For Coerced Facebook Post

Police cameras only work well when there are _severe_ disciplinary penalties for failing to activate one, or selectively deactivating it.

I've lost track of the number of reports I've seen where cruiser dashcams failed to operate at inconvenient moments. This is why modern systems are tamper-resistant and that in turn is helping expose more bent cops.

Comment: Re:$30 (Score 1) 515

"99% of Brits do not have that kind of convenient access to a HSR station,"

Nor do they have that kind of convenient access to an airport.


In the time it takes me to leave my London doorstep, drive to the airport, check in, wait, fly to Paris, jump on a metro and get to my hotel, I could have been in the hotel for at least an hour had I taken the train - and it's a 100 minute commuter journey to the Eurostar station from my doorstep.

Even getting to Amsterdam by train takes the same time as flying and the train trip is significantly longer as it has to route around the north sea.

Comment: Re:Indian Point == Ticking Timb Bomb (Score 1) 213

by stoatwblr (#49674413) Attached to: Transformer Explosion Closes Nuclear Plant Unit North of NYC

"Of course this did not include cover night and low-light times like cloudy days or when the sun is not 90 degrees to the panel"

Or take into account the 50% loss in capacity as the panels age - with newer generation low cost panels apparently having as low as a 6 year lifespan vs the 15-20 of older ones.

As for "ecosystems which would benefit from some shade" - they've been doing without it for thousands of years thankyouverymuch. Just because you think they might benefit doesn't mean that the organisms there will see it that way.

The other line moves faster.