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Comment Re:Since they determined autopilot wasn't to blame (Score 1) 172

The smart ones already had great driving records. It is the stupid ones you are protecting with this technology.

Being smart doesn't protect you from stupid people's actions -- you can be a perfect driver and still get rear-ended by someone who never saw you slow down because they were texting.

This technology protects stupid people and the smart people who have to share the roads with them.

Comment Re:Since they determined autopilot wasn't to blame (Score 1) 172

For a small fraction of what is spent on personal vehicle ownership, we could have pretty amazing public transportation that would satisfy the needs of nearly every city & suburb dweller. And that would naturally lead to fewer serious accidents.

Also for a small fraction of what is spent on fast food, people could buy and cook healthy vegetarian meals for themselves, that would satisfy the nutritional needs of nearly every citizen. And that would naturally lead to fewer cases of heart disease and obesity.

Unfortunately, what people want is not always the same as what would theoretically work the best. In this case, most people want private cars, and they have made that preference clear through both their spending and their voting patterns. Barring the advent of some kind of benign dictatorship, a transition to all-public-transit won't happen anytime soon.

Comment Re:Intelligent design (Score 0) 154

These researchers may be trying to apply the wrong methods to a device that is almost certainly the product of a higher power.

That may well be the case, but if so, it's also quite clear that the higher power used evolution and natural selection as his development tool.

If human brains had just been magic'd into existence by divine fiat, there would be no reason for them to look like a specialized version of the brains of earlier hominids (which in turn look like specialized versions of the brains of earlier mammals, and so on for as far back as you care to look).

Comment Re:... move to a shared, distributed database ... (Score 2) 109

unless, of course, you manage to get a majority of the people to record it incorrectly... but gee, that's impossible, right?

Nothing's impossible. However, the relevant question would be, is it harder to subvert a blockchain-based system (where you need subvert "a majority of the people") than the current system (where you need to subvert only one person, as long as it is the right person)?

Comment A future countermeasure for "active shooters"? (Score 2) 113

It seems like a co-ordinated swarm of drones would be a good way to neutralize someone who has decided to go on a shooting spree. They could either attack the shooter or simply swarm around him so that he can't see where he is going, and shooting at them wouldn't be particularly effective since they are small, fast, and there are so many of them.

Well, someday, maybe.

Comment Re:What do you want to be ? (Score 1) 104

One use case, imagine I'm a US company and I ship worldwide. A customer wants to buy $5000 of product. I ship the product. They contact their credit card company and say it was a fraudulent charge and they issue a chargeback. My company is out of $5000 and there is not much recourse

If I'm not mistaken, the flip side of this is if you take the customer's Bitcoins and decide not to ship their product. What recourse would your customer have then?

Comment Re:Not sure what they're talking about (Score 3, Funny) 190

I was at Best Buy last week; all of the TVs there looked awesome. I'm sure some of them looked slightly better than others, but really, who cares? At this point the quality of your viewing experience will be determined almost exclusively by the creative content of the programming you chose to watch, not by any limitations of the display technology. Adam Sandler movies will continue to suck no matter how large the contrast ratio gets.

Comment Re: Guess I just never paid attention (Score 3, Insightful) 201

For products where your relationship with the producer ends at the point of purchase (and you don't much care whether or not you will continue to be able to buy that product in the future), that makes sense.

For a lot of the more complex products (in particular cars, software, computers), however, the value of your purchase will depend strongly on its manufacturer's continued ability to exist and support that product.

i.e. if you bought a Pebble watch last month, you're probably not too happy that Pebble called it quits this month, since that means you won't be getting much in the way of support or updates in the future, and your watch might stop working entirely.

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