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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.

Comment Re:removing dupes is easy... (Score 1) 488

That she's being held to a different standard is established. Anyone else applying for a high-level, sensitive job in the government with her track record would never, ever be hired (presuming they were out of jail and able to apply in the first place).

There should be a different standard. In most european countries, elected officials are given broad immunity from crimes commited while in office. This avoids politically based prosecutions, while still leaving the option of the ballot box to remove politicans accused of serious mismanagement. While broad parliamentary immunity can allow some corrupt elected officials to go unpunished, most europeans recognize the benefits to democracy of avoiding political show trials far outweigh any risk of a few bad apples going unpunished.

Clinton isn't just anyone else applying for a goverment job. She is the front running candidate for the top political office in the country. Having even an administrative sanction against her would be a damaging and corrosive interference in the political process. She can and will still be judged by a jury of her peers - the american electorate.

Comment Re:Sorry - whose car is this? (Score 1) 305

If it's good enough to drive at all, it's good enough to be put to use for the purpose I bought it.

The problem is there's likely regulatory issues involved. In states where legislation to regulate self-driving cars has been introduced, they've largely been treated as experimental vehicles where their usage is restricted. Using it for commercial purposes would likely violate the limited scope under which these vehicles have been allowed in the road.

Businesses

Interviews: Ask Martin Shkreli a Question 410

Martin Shkreli has agreed to answer your questions. Shkreli is the co-founder of the hedge fund MSMB Capital Management, the co-founder and former chief executive officer (CEO) of the biotechnology firm Retrophin, and the founder and former CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. Shkreli has been active on Twitter about a wide range of topics, including the 2016 presidential election. Most recently, he expressed interest in buying 4chan.

Ask him your questions here, and we'll post the full interview with Shkreli's answers in the near future.

Comment Re:It's not rocket science.. (Score 4, Informative) 314

Oh for God's sake. You're citing Philippe Rushton, a textbook definition of a racist, past president of the Pioneer Fund and frequent contributor to American Renaissance, both organizations classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups, and you want us to give equal weight to his arguments that blacks have smaller brains and unrestrained libido? He's been thoroughly debunked by many, but Joseph Grave's debunking of Rushton is one of the most thorough.

It's a sad day for slashdot when works by a noted racist thinker gets modded +5 and conspiracy theories on a presidential candidate's health make the front page.

Comment Re:Enforce current regulations (Score 1) 239

There is no ambiguity in law. Air rights are well established enough by law that the airspace above a property can be sold for millions of dollars in dense urban areas like New York, and the FAA is required to provide compensation for property owners near airports to provide navigation easement for low flying aircraft. While the exact height limit may vary depending on the jurisdiction, the notion that one owns the air above your property is very clear in law.

Comment Enforce current regulations (Score 5, Interesting) 239

There are already existing regulations covering drones, and I see no need to add additional rules:
  • If you're flying above 500ft, you're flying in FAA regulated airspace, and air traffic control becomes an issue. Heavy regulation is a necessity.
  • If you're flying below 500ft and over private land without permission, you're potentially trespassing, and should be pursued as such. Landowners own air rights over their land up to the FAA-regulated height (500ft but as low as 83ft near airports).
  • If you're below 500ft, over public land or over private land with permission, there is no real issue in my opinion, and no need for additional regulations.

Really, the existing regulations work fine if they were enforced properly.

Comment Re:Insufficiently Realistic (Score 1) 323

If you can't actually fill them with a truly realistic substitute for unwanted infant fluids, they're worthless.

They're worse than worthless, they're giving a false idea that having a baby is easier than it seems.

By not fully simulating all the aspects of having a baby - from cleaning dirty diapers, to the financial aspects of dealing with the baby, to the changes in your social life - they're giving a false impression of what having a baby is really like. Instead, they made it seem like a game that only required them to press a button every few hours when the "baby" wails. They made having a baby similar to performing a series of in-game quests for the Pokemon generation, so it's no surprise those with the baby dolls had a much higher rate of pregnancy.

Submission + - Uber Loses at Least $1.2 Billion in First Half of 2016 (bloomberg.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. is not a public company, but every three months, dozens of shareholders get on a conference call to hear the latest details on its business performance from its head of finance, Gautam Gupta.

On Friday, Gupta told investors that Uber's losses mounted in the second quarter. Even in the U.S., where Uber had turned a profit during its first quarter, the company was once again losing money.

"It's hardly rare for companies to lose large sums of money as they try to build significant markets and battle for market share," said Joe Grundfest, professor of law and business at Stanford. "The interesting challenge is for them to turn the corner to become profitable, cash-flow-positive entities."

Comment Re:Does anybody really doubt it (Score 1) 706

Well, it wasn't a robbery since nothing was taken...

In most cases that robberies go wrong and a shot is fired (typically because the victim resists) nothing is taken. This is because the sound of gunshot will attract attention very quickly. And for a robber, lingering around a homicide is far more dangerous than lingering around the scene of a robbery.

Comment Re:Of course not. (Score 1) 1010

I would point out that the director of the FBI, James Comey, who recommended not pursuing charges, is a Republican who's donated to Republican candidates in the past, and who served under George W. Bush. And Lynch had already vowed to follow his recommendations. So while I see a lot of grumbling here about political bias in Hillary's favour, just as strong of a case could be made of a Republican bias against her in the investigation.

Comment Re:Bloody F!@#ing Idiots. (Score 2) 202

Most of the cost of paving a road is not the surface material, it's the labour and the equipment.

Agreed, which is why I think solar roadways are doomed to failure. Patching a crack in a traditional roadway involves throwing a patch of asphalt in the pothole by a couple of unskilled construction workers. Patching a damaged solar roadway would necessitate replacing an entire segment of roadway.

In engineering, when combining two functions in one item you're usually looking for complimentary requirements that can be used to provide synergy between the two. The requirements of roadways and solar panels are fundamentally different with little to no overlap. It would be far simpler to construct a roadway and solar panel network, with the solar panels installed in the median of the road, than trying to combine the two into a product that will likely be more expensive and more inefficient than building a separate road and solar panel network.

Comment Re:Nonsense editorializing (Score 2) 117

There are LEED rated buildings designed to maximize air circulation in a building and minimize the use of air conditioning, but still allowing for air conditioning when the need demands it. One can have a building with good air circulation and also have air conditioning - the two are not mutually exclusively. His point perhaps is that some of the buildings built around air conditioning can only exist with active cooling - many of the modern glass buildings constructed would become uninhabitable greenhouses without air conditioning.

This seems similar to the debate centering the role of artificial lighting in buildings. During the heyday of Brutalism in architecture in the 60s, many large public buildings were built without windows in the belief that windows were no longer needed when artificial lighting was ubiquitous. Fortunately architects now realize that maximizing natural light is more desirable, and having a building depend on artificial lighting makes for a poor building design.

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