Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:The losing side must automatically pay (Score 1) 227

But if it loses, which is an unfortunately likely event in such David v Goliath cases, it'll be in far less trouble than if it also got saddled with the other side's A* legal team's fees.
With loser pays, the little guy would only take on the risk if they were absolutely certain they'd win. Few cases have such certainty.

Comment Re:The losing side must automatically pay (Score 1) 227

And then you're back to the problem of wealthy companies/individuals who can afford expensive legal teams, intimidating poorer, lesser funded individuals who can't afford good legal support, with the threat of being financially destroyed & saddled with millions in debt.
This is the system we've got in the UK, & it's also notorious for being abused.

I don't know how to fix the problem, but it's not as easily solved as you suggest.

Comment Re:Driving yes, but charging? (Score 1) 990

Good luck using your "spacious" car anywhere reasonably populated. Yukon XL is an $80K truck...

So the price of a new EV comes between $20k for a Leaf (after incentives, etc) to $35k for the Model 3. Your truck is between 2 & 4(!!!) times the price of these vehicles - $45k to $65k more!

According to this site, your truck ranges between 12 & 16 miles to the gallon, so lets take the middle range & say you pay ($2.13/14) $0.15/mile. Engine maintenance seems to hover around $0.10/mile & depreciation reportedly averages 20% per year, or 60% of its total value after 5 years.

EV's maintenance costs are so low that manufacturers are basically giving them guarantees that are so long term I'm not going to even bother trying to calculate their per mile maintenance costs.
An EV typically consumes 20kWh per 100 miles, which with an average US price of $0.12/kWh, runs at $0.02/mile - if you even pay!

You sound like a big driver, so you probably do more, however let's use's annual average of 11,244miles/car.

Your Yukon XL costs (11,244*0.25)+(80k*.2) = $18,811 per year, or $62,055 over 5 years - plus the additional $45k-$65k you paid up front. I'll let you do the sums for your real mileage.
The EVs cost $4k-$7k/year in depreciation, plus $225 if you recharge at home.

At 56k miles over 5 years, you're totalling...
Yukon: $107,055-$127,055
EVs: $12,000-$21,000 + up to $1,125 'leccy

And that's the point. You might be prepared to pay half the price of the median US home to finance your car, but I highly doubt you align with that quoted 90% of your fellow Americans.

£90/day is not "cheap", rent that for a week vacation and you've made a monthly car payment...


Comment Re:Driving yes, but charging? (Score 1) 990

Okay, let's break this down...

£60/year membership, with a good selection of vehicles available starting at £3/hour or £33/day.
Following your requirements, you can get a nice spacious Ford C-Max Grand for £90/day.
I can locate & reserve a car for pickup with 30 mins from my phone - immediate availability of your chosen vehicle isn't 100% guaranteed, but I've never had a problem yet.
Given how the model works I'd be surprised if the cars are vetted after every use, however I'm pleased to say, and even a bit surprised, that in over 10 years I've not once had a complaint about the condition of the vehicle. Booking is all completely automated, so mistakes with double bookings & such aren't a problem.
If I'm in town, I also don't have to worry about parking fees for most areas - it's all included.

So back to price, that's £450 for 5 days holidaying in a large, comfortable vehicle.
Sure, that's a lot dough if you do this regularly (in which case you're not their market anyway), however if you only do this once or twice a year, it's a big overall saving.

A quick Google shows that you have a good choice of similar services in the States. You might not have as great a selection of pick-up & drop-off areas if you happen to live deep in some rural area, but then you'll most likely frequently travel large distances & already have your own suitably equipped vehicle for doing so.

The idea of renting cars from time to time sounds easy to someone who already drives an average basic car and doesn't take much with them... is easy!
It might have been a different story if you used some shitty rentals company in the 90s, but I'm afraid I've never shared your experience.

Comment Re:Did it occur to them that no one wants them? (Score 2, Interesting) 86

Have you even seen the HoloLens? It's not for fully immersive Virtual Reality, it's for Augmented Reality - overlaying HUDs & such over your normal vision. And not in the shitty not-actually-AR/VR way that the Google Glass was.
And as it's not full VR, it can forgo all of the physical bulk & high-end GPU requirements, and isn't nearly as susceptible to the "uncanny valley" problem.

For real day-to-day use, I dare say that the HoloLens is the most interesting thing I've seen yet.

Comment Re:Driving yes, but charging? (Score 1) 990

Fringe cases are a consideration, but they're most certainly not most people's main consideration. Going by your logic, we'd all be driving around in tanks because, "what if I wanted to venture into the back-country?".

It'd be cool if my phone had a mini solar panel, satellite transceiver, a TV, an 8" screen, a projector & a massive battery...but then it'd super bulky & annoying for day-to-day use, & probably cost a fortune at that.

I can count the number of times I've driven more than 200km in the past 5 years on one hand. For distances further than that, I generally opt to travel by air or train because they're faster & more convenient. If I found myself in the situation where I had to drive, then I could just rent (be it just grabbing something from the Street Car bay 10 mins down the road, or getting myself a toy for the weekend "because road-trip"!)

If you regularly have to drive in excess of these vehicle's range, then congratulations! You're one of the 10% for which this type of car would not be suitable. Go and choose one of the countless other cars on the market that is suitable.

So no, you are not right. You are just too narrow minded to think about the non-aspergers point of view when you think of all the little numbers in your head.

At no point did I suggest this car was suitable for everyone. In fact, rebutting the GP's complaint that the car didn't fit their fringe case was the entire point of my post!
And yes, according to the data from millions of journeys, the need to drive 100s of kilometres is apparently a fringe case.

Comment Re:Driving yes, but charging? (Score 1, Insightful) 990

good deflection.

No, you're just trying to use a fringe case to favour your bias. Fine, well then how often in your day-to-day use do you have to spend time going to the gas station for a refill? How much do you spend per kilometre in fuel? When was the last time you broke down? How much do you spend per year in maintenance? How much is your road-tax?

Perhaps you're one of those 10% where that fringe case is routine? Well good for you. Now let the other 90% get on with their economical, convenient, low tax, low maintenance & low running cost vehicles.

BTW, IIRC, there are now places where "super-charges" can be done in 20-30 minutes.

Comment Re:Stop calling it "Autopilot" (Score 1) 297

WTF, those all confirm exactly what I said! I didn't say it was standard procedure to use autopilot on all take-offs & landings, however it's still a regular procedure.

Let's take a look at the top replies for each of your links...

Why don't pilots always use autoland?

To name the two most important [reasons pilots don't always rely on computer landings]:
* Pilots need to practise their flying technique.
* Auto land requires very accurate ILS guidance [which is negatively impacted by the interference from other nearby planes flying in close formation, but easily resolved by adding a bit more spacing between aircraft]

Why do we still use pilots to fly airplanes?

Technology has improved to the point where airplanes can pretty much fly and even land themselves. They are even getting pretty good at handling "normal" emergencies like engine failures and depressurizations. ...
Where pilots really shine though are the type of abnormal and emergency situations that aren't "in the book". ...
However, the biggest reason that we don't have fully automated passenger airplanes is because the general public feels comforted by a person being up front who can take over and carry them to safety if needed.

On modern commercial airliners, how much of the flight could be fully taken care of by the auto pilot?

In the lowest visibility conditions, the plane is capable of the approach and touchdown on the runway all by itself. The pilot will then apply reverse thrust and brakes as needed to slow down.

Now that the plane is back on the ground, it is once again the pilot's job to exit the runway and taxi to the gate. Shutting down the engines and then the electronics will also be up to the pilot.

This guy contradicts himself a couple of times, but his conclusion for not classifying it as fully automated landing is because the computer doesn't taxi itself to its terminal...?!
Given that it's technically driving at that point, and it's possibly the most minor part of the entire journey, I'll forgive them for not focusing on what would probably be an even more complicated task, that'd require a whole new logic and bank of sensors.

Which commercial aircraft are capable of computer-only landings, without human assistance? ...doesn't go into any details, refer to above comment.

If these systems were so incapable of landings, we wouldn't be relying on them to save us in poor vision, Cat I. conditions.
US military policy in the Middle-East is based around the whole concept of automated take-offs and landings. Or did you think all those drones were piloted by lots of tiny patriotic elves?

Now let's be clear, nowhere did I suggest that all flights are fully automatic, I was simply rebutting the patently bullshit claim from the parent post:

I don't think anybody sane today thinks planes can (or would be allowed to) land themselves with an autopilot. A plane that could do such would not have an autopilot, but rather a self-flying feature and be a self-flying plane.

Comment Re:Stop calling it "Autopilot" (Score 1) 297

Um, modern plane auto pilots can, and regularly do, take-off and land without assistance. And they've been able to do so for a long time. In fact, the first fully automatic flight was performed in the 50s!
Today, pilots are mostly there for emergency backup. The manual take-offs and landings they do are a condition of their licence, to keep them in practice.

Comment Re:PARENTING ISSUE, not Government control issue. (Score 0) 167

I'm not sure what this new filter might cover, but the UK Government (under the Conservatives) has mandated an opt-out adult content filter as default on all connections provided by the "Big 6" (of which Sky is one). There's a longer standing law which also mandates this on mobile connections, too. For both of these, the account holder has to call the company to request an opt-out.

I remember responding to a call from the IWF when I was working for an indy ISP there. They were trying to persuade us to implement their blacklists for all outgoing connections on our network, because children! This was during the period when they infamously blocked the whole of Wikipedia on the basis of an article about some obscure album from the 70s, which happened to feature the picture of a young teen on its cover.
I just laughed down the phone & hung-up.

Comment Re:Are you being sarcastic? (Score 1) 485

Autopilot on a plane & (true) autopilot on a car are a whole different ballpark. Planes aren't constantly surrounded by unpredictable obstacles mere metres away. In fact, plane autopilots don't even have any environmental awareness at all. For the most part, they're just programmed to keep a predefined speed & altitude. For take-offs & landings, they're given a massive entry space, guaranteed to be free of obstacles.

The first fully automatic flight was made in 1950. If it's so much harder, then don't you think we'd all be driving around with AI chauffeurs by now?

Slashdot Top Deals

% "Every morning, I get up and look through the 'Forbes' list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work" -- Robert Orben