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Comment: It's pretty much all due to stupid risk taking (Score 1) 353

by zenyu (#47411967) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

s/many more/infinitesimally less/

The number of crashes that happen with both parties following the law is practically none. Pretty much every crash is due to multiple factors, but a healthy majority of fatal crashes are caused by the big three: speeding, failing to yield and running red lights. The rest are caused by a variety of causes. Starting with what you might suspect, cell phone usage and drunk driving, and ending with random low probability stuff like heart attacks and vehicle defects.

If we just tamed the big three the US would save 15,000+ lives each year and prevent another 1,000,000 casualties.

Comment: Funny Hat (Score 1) 301

by zenyu (#47054983) Attached to: What qualifications should the 'driver' of a fully autonomous car need?

Right now there should be strict limits on the number of autonomous vehicles per state, say 50 per state. Enough to do R&D, but not enough to be a serious nuisance. But when they are ready to drive down a Manhattan street then there should be no driver's license required and no insurance required of the vehicle owner. The company writing the software should be required to have a policy that pays a significant amount per injured party, say $10 million. So if a car plows into a large gathering of people the $250,000,000 payout will be covered.

The crash rate should be significantly smaller with autonomous cars, but it is important that we don't allow the self-driving car companies to shift responsibility onto the passengers in the vehicle. If you aren't actively driving the car you won't be ready to take the wheel when the software loses control and we want the incentive for making the software ever safer to remain with the writers of the software.

Comment: 4 ton 30 mph on a jogging trail, really? (Score 1) 204

by zenyu (#46813755) Attached to: NYC's 19th-Century Horse Carriages Spawn Weird, Truck-Size Electric Car

The carriages drive along a crowded jogging paths where motorized vehicles are banned for safety reasons. Allowing this monstrosity where you can't ride a Vespa makes no sense. A reconstruction of a light early electric like a 1902 Wood's Phaeton would have some charm and would be much safer to everyone it encounters in the park.

Comment: Re:Conspiracy to speed (Score 1) 457

by zenyu (#46169573) Attached to: Judge Says You Can Warn Others About Speed Traps

Highway speed limits are significantly less than conditions allow but speeding is a huge problem on residential streets. Over the last 40's the highways have as a matter of policy been engineered to be pretty safe for people going a bit over the speed limit. This conditions drivers to speed and then they carry over this behavior to streets where is generally not even safe to go near the speed limit most times of day.

Really we need to revisit the whole approach to speed limits. We can make them electronic on all highways and adjust them to conditions. Then we can set them at 90 mph when conditions warrant, but in exchange we should enforce these speed limits with an iron fist. If you go 1% over you get a $50 ticket, 5% $500 ticket, 10% over $5000, 15% $50,000, etc. with various Jail times for greater speeding. And forget having cops for this, just cameras that take a picture of the perp. We can have cameras every 1000ft and we can forget about conspiracies to signal the presence of speed traps.

Comment: Maintenance (Score 1) 237

by zenyu (#45194623) Attached to: New York City Considers Articulated Subway Cars

This is exactly why NYC ordered individual cars last time around. They wanted to be able to scavange good cars into a train if maintenance fell behind. They had been forced to do so in the 1970's and 1980's. In practice they have married sets of cars together and maintain them as a set.

Articulated cars were run on the NYC subway from 1925 to 1965, google D-type Triplex, but each car needs to be shorter. I don't think anyone knows what the impact of running articulated cars again would be. It is worth an engineering study.

Comment: Does it really matter? (Score 1) 668

by zenyu (#45174005) Attached to: A Ray of Hope For Americans and Scientific Literacy?

The Koch brothers, aka Tea Party, don't really care about science as such. All they want is to not pay taxes or get EPA fines for pouring toxins into the environment. If you tell them that their actions kill people why should they care if science or the tooth fairy tells you so? They just don't care. They simply want more money for themselves and they believe selfishness is the only ideal. Caring about the suffering they inflict on the world would be a sign of human frailty.

Comment: Finance? (Score 2) 105

by zenyu (#45173729) Attached to: Tech's Highest-Paid Engineers Are At Juniper

I don't work in finance, but I'm surprized not a single hedge fund made the list. A big part of their compensation is in the bonus, but still you can't live on a base of $130k in Manhattan, kindergarten costs $38k per year per kid, not to mention a place to live, etc.

Is it just that you need to have 10,000+ employees before 50 of them post their salary on glassdoor?

Do hedge funds actively discourage their employees from posting?

Comment: Re:India's developers are largely of poor quality (Score 2) 157

by zenyu (#44245807) Attached to: India To Overtake US On Number of Developers By 2017

India today is more akin to Japan in 1945 than Japan in 1975. I've worked with a dozens of Indian developers when some shops in India reported to me. Only a few were worth their salt. With few exceptions those were western trained developers that were forced to go back to India by family obligations. Of the good ones, one was a woman who I think was later fired for being a woman (after I left) and the other never got the training he needed but was boosted to Sr. Dev prematurely. On the other hand, great developers in the US of Indian extraction are very common and a fair percentage of the sysadmins I met in India were pretty good. I don't think it is fair for me to speculate as to the why's; I'm sure there are plenty of people from India that can speculate.

Comment: Tackling patent fraud is a problem now? (Score 1) 134

by zenyu (#42930725) Attached to: Hardware Hacker Proposes Patent and Education Reform To Obama

Take, for example, another (short-lived) attempt to exploit the law for unjustified gain: the (now amended) statute on false marking of patents.

I think most Americans think we should have more enforcement against criminals fraudulently claiming an item is patented when it is not. Civil enforcement of the law was starting to work, but the patent bar complained and congress acted within months to protect patent fraud perps.

Patent trolls aren't the main problem. A Sony, Microsoft or IBM at the door of an innovator is a much larger problem than a patent troll. Trolls mostly attack companies already profitable enough to put up a fight. The main problems are 1/ that the patent office hands out too many patents by an order of at east 10,000x, and 2/ there is not compulsory licensing at a reasonable rate. Both problems could easily be addressed, but we have serious regulatory capture going on in the patent industry. The USPTO today exists to benefit patent lawyers at the expense of all other industry. Since the greater economy is the last thing on most politicians' to do list I don't have much hope that the problem will be addressed anytime soon.

Comment: Unusably slow, UI provides no feedback (Score 4, Informative) 384

by zenyu (#42809759) Attached to: Experience the New Slashdot Mobile Site

When I click on something it takes forever for the UI to respond. There is no visual feedback so until I realized that the new UI was just 200x slower than the old one I clicked on the things 5-10 times thinking the clicks just didn't take the first n-1 times.

I've obviously switched back to using the desktop site on my mobiles, but there is a popup on every page load asking me to try the mobile site! Sheesh!

You need to fire the contractors involved and hire some people who know what they are doing.

If a listener nods his head when you're explaining your program, wake him up.