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Comment Re:Since when is viewing a video 'unsafe'? (Score 2) 114

Watching a violent video online can lead to PTSD, inducing nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks. One study study found that people who watched traumatic events on video were more traumatized than those who watched it in real life.

So, yes, watching a traumatic video is definitely unsafe. And I sincerely help that Facebook provides psychological help to their workers who will be screening for these disturbing videos.

Comment Apples to Oranges (Score 5, Informative) 150

Eleven years later, Bing is a small minority player in search, with less than 10 percent market share on the desktop and less than 1 percent in mobile.

The summary appears to imply that Bing went from being a major player to a small player in the search engine market. Bing has always been a minority player. The reality is that the 10 percent market share represents growth, considering that Bing was a non-existent presence in the market 11 years ago, so the analogy is fatally flawed.

Comment Re:That's it? (Score 1) 168

One of the simplest forms of automation in a car, the automatic transmission, has been around for over 80 years. Despite this, only 20% of cars in Europe and Japan are sold with automatic transmissions. Given that the most often cited reasons are cost and a desire for control, and that a self driving cars will necessarily be more expensive, with less driver control, I find it doubtful that a self driving car will even approach 20% of the market.

Comment Re:Only viable if all planes land themselves (Score 2) 340

A computer doesn't give a shit if the runway is straight or curved, because it can handle a little more left (or whatever) while it's managing dozens of other things.

An autoland system in aircraft depends on the local airport navigation system - either Instrument Landing System (ILS) cat III or Microwave Landing System (MLS).. An ILS or MLS installation cannot be easily moved, and is usually tuned and adjusted for a specific runway.

For this to be viable, it would have to be implemented in conjunction with a Ground Based Augmentation System (GBAS), an augmentation to GPS navigation which could provide guidance from any runway direction. However, GBAS does not currently provided the required accuracy for autoland systems. I think if they want this concept to work, they need to focus on the navigation system challenges first, including air traffic management.

Comment Will increase risks of cargo hold fires (Score 4, Insightful) 286

If this ban had been in place in place when a Samsung Note 7 caught fire in an airplane cabin the result would have been more serious. Instead of being quickly caught and dealt with as the phone battery overheated in his hand while still on ground, it is possible that it would have smoldered undetected in the middle of the cargo hold until turning into a serious conflagration in-flight. A ban like this will increase the risk of in-flight battery fires and make flying less safe.

Comment Re: Pricing... (Score 1) 150

But how much time do you save nowadays though. 20 years ago when the Concord ran, you got to the airport 45 min ahead of time with plenty of time to spare.

Today, international travel takes about 3 hours at the airport alone. Let alone the flight. So if we're taking 9 vs 6 hours spent, is it really that big of a difference?

The Boom jet is a business jet, not a commercial aircraft. Passengers in a business jet typically drive directly to the tarmac and board the plane, bypassing the usual delays. I've had the opportunity to fly business jet once for work, and it only required me to arrive 15min ahead of takeoff, with the additional benefit of not having to do any layovers.

Comment Will increase risks of theft and cargo hold fire (Score 5, Insightful) 249

And as TFA says, the UK tried a similar ban in 2006, and the result was that theft of electronic devices skyrocketed. The risk of in-flight fire also increases, as it is easier to detect a battery fire in the passenger compartment while the fire is restricted to the device and easy to contain , than in the cargo hold. If anything, this ban will make flying less safe.

Comment Premature given their disengagement rates (Score 2) 202

It seems premature. According to Google's last disengagement report, humans had to take control of the wheel at a rate of 0.2 per 1,000 miles, or 1 per 5,000 miles. While this is significant improvement from their previous report, which showed human intervention once every 1,000 miles, it would not give me confidence that the cars are ready to be in public streets without a driver present. They should be aiming for a rate of human intervention of no more than once per the lifetime of the vehicle (1 per 200,000 miles) before allowing the cars without a human driver.

Comment Re:propaganda headline (Score 1) 243

The linked report provides their criteria for classifying bridges as structurally deficient, based on FHWA guidelines:

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), a bridge is classified as structurally deficient if the condition rating for the deck, superstructure, substructure or culvert and retaining walls is rated 4 or below or if the bridge receives an appraisal rating of 2 or less for structural condition or waterway adequacy.

They're rating the bridge based on whether one or more of the bridge key structural elements are in poor condition or not. The need to widen the bridge is secondary to their assessment.

Comment Re:The question is this (Score 1) 637

I have a few issues with this argument:

- The current states with their boundaries are artificial man-made creations. California could've entered the union as 2 states or the Dakotas as one. Given the political compromises made for many states to enter the union, I'd say allocating votes by state is allocating votes according to 19th century political compromises made with slave states.

- While the electoral college is said to give smaller states a voice, presidential candidates completely ignored smaller states. Wyoming may have the biggest electoral college weight, but it received zero ad spending from either candidate. Even a battleground state like NH was mostly ignored after the primaries. Attention is solely focused on the large battleground states.

- Even if votes are allocated by state according to the electoral college formula, there is no need to have the electoral college as an intermediary. Even today, the presidential election results are not final, and it is possible, even if unlikely, that electors could change their vote. In the 2000 election, it would have taken only 2 electors to change the results. That this is both legal and possible should worry voters.

Comment Re:Computer scientists don't understand sociology (Score 4, Insightful) 1321

While true that the differences may be demographic in nature, these claims point to a bigger problem with e-voting machines: there is no paper trail to allow the results to be audited and scrutinized. The integrity of the results cannot be verified. With a paper ballot, a careful manual recount would've been possible, with multiple observers to confirm the count. This is simply not possible with electronic ballots

Having a cloud of suspicion over the results benefits no one, most of all Trump himself. Any election system that does not have an auditable paper trail will become a breeding ground for conspiracy theories and a focus for electoral challenges. This is bad not just for the losing candidate, but for democracy in general, as it risks deligitimizing the results.

Comment Re:Total Trip Time (Score 1) 202

For an airliner, what matters is the flight time+aircraft turnaround time. Currently a trip from New York to London takes 6h30, and London to New York averages around 8hrs, due to prevailing winds. When aircraft turnaround time is included, usually around 1hr in average, this means an aircraft can be used to fly one round-trip fly a day.

With a flight time of 3-4hrs, this new supersonic aircraft will be able to fly 2 round trip flights a day, and possibly 3 if turnaround is quick. For an airliner, this means they need half the number of aircraft to maintain the same flight frequency, which reduces costs. This is where airliners can see substantial savings.

Comment Running on autopilot (Score 1) 168

When people use the expression "he's on autopilot" they tend to mean someone who's just going through the motions without being mentally engaged. In a popular sense, autopilot is used for any task that is running without active engagement. E.g. a business running on autopilot, to mean a business functioning without active engagement. What matters is how the term is popularly used, not how it is used in a particular technical context.

I suspect the real reason Tesla wants to hang on to "Autopilot" term, is that it allows them to subtly market this function as a self-driving vehicle without explicitly saying so by playing on the misunderstanding of the term by laypeople. This allows them to have it regulated as a cruise control device, instead of the more stringent safety and reliability standards that a self-driving car would have to meet.

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