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Comment Re:Why would it matter? (Score 1) 604

Very valid point, but if you spend time on it I'm sure it's possible to think of exceptions for everything. If driverless cars are ubiquitous enough as to be made mandatory like the summary suggests, I would assume roads would have to be changed too. Every sidewalk would have to have a barrier or something to obstruct people from getting in to the street. People's behavior would have to change too, to match their environment. By "knowledge a driver could not have", I meant that a computer could draw data from sensors, beacons, and many sources and process all of that data in milliseconds to know what is surrounding it. My car that I drive now has no such sensors, so I rely on my own senses and skills. I would not know if there's a rock in the road around a turn, but if I'm in a driverless car, I would imagine the sensors for that stretch of road would report to my car that there was a non-mobile obstruction in the road and comply accordingly. But this is all speculation.

Comment Why would it matter? (Score 1) 604

In the example given, a dilemma between veering off a bridge and hitting a bus, if the vehicles were automatically driven they would both have sensors and software that would be able to prevent this decision from needing to be made in the first place. In every instance I can think of, accidents happen due to driver carelessness, inability, or simply due to knowledge a driver could not have.

Take this scenario. In the world of driverless vehicles, the bus would either send a signal to notify other vehicles it was there, giving the other vehicles ample time to slow down safely or reroute. If it was incapacitated with no power to send a signal, the vehicle should still be equipped to know what obstacles are in the path (since the bus in that case would not be a moving target, the computer in the approaching vehicle should have no problem identifying it even without a beacon). This entire situation would simply not happen. I would imagine if we had the technology for an all driverless highway system, they would be sending and receiving tons of data... enough to know the status of every vehicle in the vicinity and the computing power to calculate how to respond to any changes.

Comment This is not a new phenomenon (Score 1) 156

For years the closed cell network and intranet have been available in NK, long before Kim Jong Un was even known. They've slowly been adapting things from outside of the country for over a decade now, and even have their own versions of "burger joints". Youtube is blocked where I am, otherwise I'd post links to some videos on there showing them off. This is the same way North Korea has dealt with all technology. When radios were still the main source of media, they were given radios they could not turn off, that played propoganda and "party approved" music. When TV became inevitable they started giving televisions to upstanding members of the party, but they were limited to one channel only and it was illegal to tamper with it. I'm still interested to find out if anything will change in regards to available technology... Kim Jong Un spent lots of time outside the country and grew up with video games, dvds, and most likely, the internet.

The main difference is that it has become widespread to smuggle _real_ phones in to the country from China. They are also getting DVD's from South Korea via China. Many of them are now aware that the rest of the world is not the desolate backwater their government asserted it was.

Comment Re:Fascist bloodlust (Score 1) 380

I did read the chat logs between Manning and Lamo. I don't believe Manning should have done what he did. At the same time, it looked very much to me like Lamo egged him on. Manning clearly had anger, identity and emotional problems. From what I saw in the logs, Lamo played on those, even flirting with him. He spent quite a bit of time trying to get things out of Manning for his own personal gain, like getting a .mil e-mail address. It appears to me that he grabbed what he could from Manning, then used him to get attention.

Comment Re:How big is a Hobbit, really? (Score 1) 130

Not sure if your question is really how tall are they, but in the lore of Lord of the Rings, they were called halflings because they were exactly half the size of the men who named them. If my memory is correct, it was the Numenor, who were tall (about 6' 5" to 7" average). That puts Hobbits at about 3' 2.5" to 3.5'.

Comment Re:Dilapidated infrastructure? (Score 1) 813

I think you hit on it already. WW2 is a big factor as to why Europe has a different infrastructure. In the US it was never destroyed so completely like much of Europe's. They had a chance to rebuild with more modern techniques (the cities were never originally laid out with power in mind, or roads as large as are common).

More modern areas in the US do get to benefit, like my neighborhood. Everything is buried for me. In the hurricane last year, every other neighborhood nearby that had overhead lines, was without power.

Comment There goes the last shred of readability in IE7 (Score 1) 203

I'm forced to use IE7 at work. Yes, it's old and it would be nice if I could upgrade but I can't. This is a news blog with some forum functionality though. I expected it to at least let me read without a crazy layout. The change from last summer meant I was no longer able to moderate with that machine, and now with this TV icon, it's entirely unusable. Can someone enlighten me as to what all these changes improved? Visually the site isn't much different, green with white and black text. Links on the left, info on the right, posts in the middle. I never thought I'd be posting one of these "but... slashdot sucks now..." posts, but here I am. Please change it back.

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