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Comment Re:autopilot for cars so like all the cost of the (Score 1) 287

Like something falling off the truck in front of you?

It is funny that people bring up examples where split second response, and accurate steering control are crucial. These are exactly the situations where autonomous systems are the strongest, and will do better than a human 99% of the time.

Comment Re:Infrastructure (Score 3, Insightful) 287

white wash, frost on camera lens, ambiguous terrain because of massive snow on the road

None of these are particularly difficult for current autonomous cars. They have multiple sensors, including GPS, radar, camera, inertial sensors, and rotation sensors. Snow may interfere with cameras, but have no effect on the others. An autonomous car also has access to far more information than you do, such as exactly where the road is, the location of other cars, and the exact location of signs and mileage markers (this data is collected and saved as the cars drive).

Comment Re:Not really... (Score 1) 287

How so? Do you honestly believe that these cars are, or ever will be, auto driver only?

Yes. Once autonomous cars are on the road, the advantages will be obvious, and the objections will fade away.

Mountains of lawyers won't allow that, and they'll all have a little * on the advertisement saying how an adult capable of driving a car must be paying attention at all times.

More likely the exact opposite: As preventable deaths are reported, that were caused by humans interfering, there will be a demand to get people out of the loop. Soon insurance companies will void your policy if you drive your own car.

Comment Re:autopilot for cars so like all the cost of the (Score 1) 287

unlike a plane you need to ready to to take over on the fly all the time with little thinking time to work out why the system kicked out of auto drive mode.

Only a complete retard would think that it works this way. It doesn't just "kick out" of auto drive. It will always make a best effort to drive safely. There are, however, certain situations, such as dirt roads and construction areas, where it will recommend the human take over. If the human fails to do so, the car will continue to drive safely, or pull over and stop.

Comment Re:Infrastructure (Score 5, Insightful) 287

I think there will be lots of infrastructure required before we'll see autonomous cars.

Autonomous cars have driven hundreds of thousands of miles on existing roads. So why do you think additional infrastructure is needed? It seems to me that the opposite is true: less infrastructure will be needed. Parking spaces can be narrower (passengers will exit before the car is parked), parking lots/garages can be smaller and remotely located, lanes can be narrower, road construction can be reduced as road capacity increases, traffic lights can be phased out, etc. Public transportation will become more more popular as it shifts from big, infrequent, inconvenient buses to small, on-demand, direct-to-your-door vans. The result will be fewer cars on the road.

Comment Re:Oh wow Forbes defends trolls what a surprise (Score 5, Insightful) 191

they just license the patents.

You make it sound like they hire a salesperson to go around and market their patent to potential customers. Or maybe you think the customers search for useful patents to license and then contact the inventor. Neither of these scenarios is common. What is common, is for the NPE to just sit on the patent, wait for someone to independently come up with the same innovation, and then demand payment. This is not contributing anything positive to the process.

Comment Re:Thomas Edison (Score 4, Insightful) 191

Yeah, Edison profited off the research of his students, and everyone around him......a bad example to be used if they want to prove patents are useful.

And an even worse example if you want to show that NPEs are useful today. That fact that independent inventors were useful a century ago is irrelevant. They play very little role in modern innovation. Many companies refuse to even talk to independent inventors, because knowledge of their patents can expose the company to liability. What most NPEs do is sit on the patent and wait for someone to independently come up with the same innovation, and then demand payment. They are just parasites.

Comment Re:"Dayum!" (Score 5, Insightful) 220

I cannot fathom any software system costing that much.

It is easy to fathom if you look at how the program was structured. All the incentives were inverted: nearly everyone involved actually benefited from cost overruns (the contractors got more money, the bureaucrats had the prestige of managing more resources, and the politicians had more patronage to dispense). There was no accountability (no one is being disciplined or fined). There is not even any political fallout because the blame is smeared out over multiple administrations (Conservatives can blame Labour for starting the project, while Labour can blame the Tories for mismanaging the implementation). It is like it was designed to fail. A decade from now you will be reading about some other project that failed in the exact same way, for the exact same reasons.

Comment Re:Coming Soon (Score 1) 223

super wealthy robot owners

Decades ago many people predicted that only the "super wealthy" would be able to own computers, and decades before that the same thing was said about cars.

“Automobiles are a picture of the arrogance of wealth ... nothing spreads socialistic feeling in this country more than the use of the automobile.” -- Woodrow Wilson

So far, there is no reason to believe that future robots are going to be particularly expensive. I already have a Roomba and a 3D-printer, both easily affordable by any middle class family. Prices for manufacturing robots are high, but falling quickly.

Comment Re:Just in time... (Score 2) 112

capitalism doesn't work. its a failed concept.

The market adjustment described in TFA, seems like an example of capitalism working quite well. What alternative mechanism do you propose to allocate limited supplies? A central planning politburo? War?

we are seeing it really fail in our lifetimes.

American per capita GDP, adjusted for inflation, has more than quadrupled in my lifetime. That is not a failure.

nice experiment but can't we declare it a failure and move on to something new?

What do you propose to replace it with? Kim Jong Un? Raul Castro?

Comment Re: How oddly reminiscent (Score 2) 112

The answer: To make up for lost profits during downtime production.

You have no idea how markets work. Producers can't just dictate prices based on desired profit levels. If they could, why would they set prices to maximize profit only after a disaster, rather than all the time?

That's why too you'll see gas prices go up when a significant tropical system is to hit the U.S.: the anticipation of lost profits.

Prices go up because demand goes up. Drivers top off in anticipation of future shortages. People often misunderstand these price rises because they think a 10% supply shortage should result in a 10% price change. That is wrong. A 10% supply shortage means prices need to increase enough to cause a 10% drop in demand. For gasoline, short term demand will fall less than 10% even if prices double.

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