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Comment Re:Hmmm... another 'Gaming' concept Gartner liked. (Score 1) 290

On the one hand virtual shopfronts always felt like a novelty that would play itself out really quickly. On the other hand, smartphones and tablets have kind of made the concept of a virtual world we all travel to in order to interact/transact obsolete. In a way, people still browse virtual shopfronts and do business there, but they don't need to log onto a central server and instead of "virtual shopfronts" we call them "apps".

Comment Re:Gamification is very important (Score 1) 290

Exactly. There has been plenty of study to suggest that when you introduce a metric and measure it, the metric will grow (as people identify what you're measuring and become good at finding clever ways to maximise the scores). The huge problem is that the overall goals of a company can't be summed up with a handful of simple metrics. If you focus on price, quality goes down, focus on quality and price goes up, or employees have to work more hours to deliver low price and high quality so morale goes down, turnover increases and your other costs of business (recruitment, training) go up. The answer is good management who understand the problems of the employees and are good at delivering solutions - "gamification" (ugh) is basically just a band aid on the problem of bad management.

Comment Re:Best Motivator (Score 1) 290

A handful of people would actually choose to be at work if they never had to be, therefore to me the answer to how to motivate is to either give people the opportunity to not be at work (flexi-time works great if people have to do killer overtime but they know they get friday off, or as someone else suggested, earn X reward badges, get a day off, etc) or to make being at work more fun (free drinks/snacks, a break out area with some comfy seats and a few games, all incredibly cheap stuff that makes people feel less trapped at work - again if you want to tie it into a reward system let people earn more breakout time).

Comment Re:like palm (Score 1) 440

Hindsight is not required to realise that if you stagnate at the top, someone will eventually leapfrog your position. The problem is the business model that says, as a director, avoid risk and costs for research and development, increase short term profit churn, sell out the company's future and guarantee a golden parachute for yourself (ideally landing in one of the competitors who are about to take your former company down).

Comment Re:like palm (Score 1) 440

Yep, the first wave of mass consumer smartphones came along and RIM basically laughed them off because they didn't offer all the functionality business users want. What they didn't see coming was how quickly those phones would incorporate that functionality. They should have used their advantage in the market place to develop more innovative features but, like so many companies who find themselves at the top of their sector, they sat back and became complacent.

Comment Re:In other news... (Score 1) 273

Generally if the sensor on the car fails it will flag up an issue - you drive it to the garage, they check and find the engine is not the issue and replace the sensor. In other words you have the right amount of failover to ensure that you get your sensors checked but don't end up wrecking your engine without significantly increasing the cost with redundancy systems. If those sensors were handling pedestrian detection you can bet on having a lot more in the way of failover, additional sensors, tests running specifically to determine if the sensors are working, etc. There are also lots of situations where self driving cars would be capable of taking over from humans sooner rather than later - motorway driving for instance, is reasonably predictable, it's also boring and liable to cause drivers to stop paying attention, I'd be happy to see computers driving us on motorways in the near future even if we're decades away from them handling the school run.

Comment Re:In other news... (Score 1) 273

Most likely an autonomous car can react quicker to an obstacle running in front of it faster than a human can.

With the added bonus that if the computer doesn't react fast enough, it won't drive off and leave the pedestrian bleeding in the road to protect its insurance premiums or hide the fact that it's had a few drinks before setting off.

Comment Re:In other news... (Score 1) 273

Tens of thousands of people die from utterly avoidable road accidents every year, but you'd throw out the technology to prevent that just because it can't anticipate an event that might happen once in a lifetime? You'd happily let tens of thousands die because of the minute risk of one person dying in a scenario the car hadn't been configured to deal with (even if it was then trivial to make that configuration for future uses)? That seems a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Comment Re:In other news... (Score 1) 273

Compare that to a pair of forward facing eyes, with an elaborate system of mirrors to try and allow them to see behind the car as well as in front. Lots more blind spots, and they can only look in one direction at a time.

And there are lots of drivers incapable (at least for periods) of even managing that. The one huge benefit of this system is that it never gets distracted by something on the radio, or the phone ringing, or wondering what to pick up for dinner, or by the idiot who just cut it up. I wouldn't be surprised if the vast majority of accidents are caused by momentary lapses in judgement (there will be a lot that are caused by plain old bad driving, but over time experience, the legal system, and ultimately crashes, should weed those out).

Comment Re:In other news... (Score 2) 273

Additionally, once all cars have this system, it won't even need to allow for lag for the driver behind to react, it can broadcast a signal to brake and a whole row of cars can instantly come to a halt, so an end to one car braking and causing a massive pile up. I suppose the car doesn't care what the obstacle is that's suddenly appeared, an obstacle is an obstacle, but watching some of the videos, the system paints various obstacles in either yellow or red, pedestrians red. I assume this is some kind of risk assessment or prioritisation - i.e. if a child runs out in front of the car the system will prefer to scrape the parked car next to it than hit the person. To make this kind of judgement in sub second time in a 360 degree arc is exactly the reason why computers will make better drivers than humans in the future.

Comment Re:Don't feed them! (Score 1) 592

What is this mental disease that makes people think we should fight to have billions and billions of people live forever?

I think it's called "humanity". You are right that it's cold logic, the head and not the heart, that will solve these issues, but for most people it's not so easy to divorce the two concepts; to know you have enough to live comfortably and to watch children starve.

Comment Re:Why farm at all? (Score 1) 592

So you trade other goods and use some of the profits to buy in food and some to improve your own land for growing in the future. Independence doesn't have to come all at once but you have to start somewhere. Besides, lots of richer countries don't produce nearly enough food to feed themselves without relying on some imports.

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