Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Broken on first day (Score 3, Insightful) 148

How long does it take to etch a PCB (mould) and how long does it take for gelatine to cool down (finger cast)? (The method that Mythbusters used)

The Mythbusters episode was from 2006, and was done on a sensor that was even older. Technology improves. In a decade, it can improve a lot. Their technique would almost certainly not work today. Apple's sensor requires a pulse, and detects deep skin layers that do not show up on a lifted fingerprint.

Comment Re:Googlers? Really? (Score 2) 53

Solar powered aircraft will never be a viable means of transportation

Transportation is not the only use for aircraft. Solar powered planes would be ideal for surveillance, and as communications relays. For these applications speed is not important, but long loiter time and low maintenance are big benefits.

Comment Re:Why are nuclear fission systems too heavy? (Score 4, Informative) 268

But I should think the minimum safe distance from an unshielded reactor would preclude anybody actually getting near enough the spacecraft to prep it for launch.

A fission reactor that has been assembled, but never operated, does not produce much radiation. Enriched uranium and/or pure plutonium are not particularly dangerous (unless inhaled or ingested). It is the fission byproducts from actually operating the reactor that are dangerous. Even this minimal radiation could be avoided by using temporary shielding that is removed (possibly by a robot) immediately before the launch.

Comment Re:Why are nuclear fission systems too heavy? (Score 1) 268

And as far as I recall, you essentially need lead to block the radiation.

Not necessarily. Instead of shielding, you can use distance. Fission reactors produce little radiation until they start operating. So you launch into space, then separate your main payload from the reactor using a long conductive tether. Then fire up the reactor.

Comment Re:Enough is Never Enough (Score 1) 112

Enough is never enough with these kind of people.

Several tools are being developed that can look inside your brain while you are being interrogated. These include EEG to measure your brains electrical activity, and fMRI to measure metabolism. So far these are too bulky to be used surreptitiously, but "they" are working on that. Invest in tinfoil.

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.

Slashdot Top Deals

Real Users never use the Help key.