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Comment: Liability insurance for self-drivers (Score 1) 614

by tresho (#49713533) Attached to: The Economic Consequences of Self-Driving Trucks
No one has mentioned this. Surely a hefty amount of insurance will be mandatory for all such vehicles, under existing rules that apply to existing freight trucks. I suspect the risk premium ( being unknown at the start of this innovation) will prove to be extremely expensive, maybe as high was $40,000 per year per 125,000 miles of truck travel. Of course the corporations owning the trucks can probably pressure / bribe our esteemed legislators to exempt them from all liability, similar to what the ownership of for-profit nuclear reactors did many years ago. The first mass casualty incident in which a robotic semitruck kills a few dozen people will upset everyone.

Comment: Re:my solution (Score 1) 79

by tresho (#49205693) Attached to: FTC Announces $50k In Prizes For Robocaller Trap Software

My solution is also me. I answer all robocalls (even the pre-recorded ones) with "Hello. This call is being recorded". I've quickly gone from around 3 or 4 a day to almost zero. Guess they're scared of the fines, and it looks like they share information on who's after them.

I wonder how this works when robo fax calls ring you up.

Comment: Re:No time zones, no DST, centons (Score 1) 277

by tresho (#49205621) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time Change On Sunday For N. America

Clock times are not merely a social convention, they are a societal requirement. I don't think my boss would accept my excuse of "I changed all my clocks" when I roll into work 4 hours late.

Societal requirements are another type of social conventions, utterly arbitrary. Showing up on time to please your boss is another convention, although probably necessary if you wish to stay employed.

Comment: Re:No time zones, no DST, centons (Score 2) 277

by tresho (#49205285) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time Change On Sunday For N. America

Does that really make it easier? Seems like it just exchanges one problem for another. You might know what "time" it is everywhere, but you don't know when they're working, sleeping, etc."

You don't know that now.

You just assume that everyone is on your schedule.

People I have known, who worked the night shift, would sometimes be tormented by acquaintances who habitually called them (and woke them up from a sound sleep) at 1100, and who would then make the feeble excuse "I forgot you were a day sleeper." One ingenious 3rd shift worker I knew dealt with the worst offenders by calling their house at 0300 and then saying "Oh, I forgot you were a night sleeper." When I worked the 3rd shift I shut off the ringer on my phone, let my answering machine handle calls, and did not answer knocks on the door.

Comment: Re:No time zones, no DST, centons (Score 1) 277

by tresho (#49205247) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time Change On Sunday For N. America
"Without DST where I live, it would get light at like 3:30 or 4 AM. I have no desire to have sunlight streaming into my bedroom at that hour." Clock times are only a social convention. If you don't want sunlight streaming into your bedroom at 0400, simply adjust all your clocks so that it streams in 0800, or you can become a very late riser and make the adjustment so that your room lights up at 1030.

Comment: Re:However... (Score 2) 83

by tresho (#48652075) Attached to: How a Massachusetts Man Invented the Global Ice Market

Combustion engine driven compressors are similar to electric motor driven ones, but are more complicated and certainly have plenty of moving parts. Adsorption/absorption refrigeration systems have fewer moving parts, as they use heat as the main driving force and so don't have compressors. But they still have moving parts like pumps and fans, and they are completely dissimilar in design to mechanical compressor driven refrigeration.

My old 1975-era RV fridge had no moving parts at all, no pump, no fan. Just a propane driven pilot light which switched off & on as it heated the ammonia in a sealed system. The ammonia circulated passively. The fridge had to be kept in a more or less vertical orientation for the circulation to work properly. Too much off level, it wouldn't work. When the RV was rolling down the road, the orientation of the fridge was less important, the constant shifting back & forth of the fridge would allow the refrigerant to circulate quite well. Its main point of breakdown was the pilot light / thermocouple mechanism, kept either getting dirty or corroded, otherwise it was extremely reliable. The propane supply could be switched off and the fridge could run on "shore power" - 110VAC when the RV was plugged in. The 110VAC was simply used as a heat source, again, no pumps, no fan, electricity was solely used as a heat source.

Comment: Choosing languages to study (Score 1) 150

by tresho (#48621825) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak
I took 2 semesters of 1st year college Mandarin last year. Got a virtual B+, but I was just auditing the course. Putting the same effort I expended on learning Mandarin into learning Spanish, I would have been much further along as a Spanish speaker. However, I really enjoy what little I know about Mandarin & that will continue the rest of my life. I now have a window into the cultures of the Middle Kingdom I could have not otherwise gotten.

Comment: Re:I have webcast several funerals (Score 1) 70

by tresho (#48621361) Attached to: Webcast Funerals Growing More Popular

The first one was for my brother-in-law, who died of ALS. He was very close to one of his nieces, but she was in the Army in Germany, and they didn't consider the relationship close enough for leave. So she watched my webcast via Ustream. The interesting thing is that Ustream stores the webcast, and it has been watched more than 200 times. I suspect most of those views were my sister - and why not? Here is a recording of their family and friends talking about how much they loved the man she lost. In another case, a friend's husband died of a massive stroke. His wife and kids were in the Midwest, but his mom and the rest of his family was back east, and his mother was too old and ill to travel, so she watched the webcast.

What would keep friends & family of the deceased from doing the same, using their own skills & equipment? A broadband internet connection at the site of the funeral, decent lighting. decent miking, & a few 110VAC outlets would be enough, IIRC.

Comment: Re:Not surprising really (Score 1) 70

by tresho (#48621297) Attached to: Webcast Funerals Growing More Popular

Funerals aren't for the dead - they're for the living. Try giving the eulogy at your parents' funeral, with your sisters and your uncles and aunts there. You'll "get it.".

I agree about the purpose of funerals. I wrote my mother's obituary, stored her ashes at my home for a couple of days, transported them 500 miles to her town of origin, gave her eulogy at her funeral and actually buried her ashes in the same plot with 2 of her sisters, with my own two hands. A great many people reading this thread will just not "get it", and will never "get it" even after they die. Denial is not only a river in Egypt.

Comment: Re:What a surprise... (Score 1) 70

by tresho (#48621225) Attached to: Webcast Funerals Growing More Popular

you can dispense with the funeral services almost entirely. There might still be a gathering, but it could be anywhere. There might still be a religious service, but it might not include tens of thousands of dollars worth of embalming and equipment.

Cremation already gives families that option. Crematoriums often have options for viewing the body prior to cremation, probably for an extra charge. The cremated remains can be transported without special permits & methods of storage are up to the custodian of the ashes.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson