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Comment More things to carry and get lost (Score 1) 56

I own the first generation and second generation FLIR IR camera for the iphone. They are pop on modules that give extra functionality to the phone (in FLIR's case an IR camera).
The first gen units were a pain to have around if they weren't mounted to the unit. And when they were mounted to the unit they doubled its thickness and added 3/4" in length so if was a pain to keep in a pocket. I would use the camera and then throw it back in my bag because it made the phone to big.

The second gen units are the size of a box of matches. They snap in quick, get the job done and store well. To repeat: it is very small and not bulky when being stored.

The modules in the article remind me of the first generation units. Imagine carrying around a piece of equipment 3"x5"x1/2" which you have to be relatively gentle with it. Your bag will be full of accessories that you *might* need.

I went to a smart phone because it consolidated the function of several pieces of equipment (phone, ipod, camera, GPS, gameboy, note taking, web browsing, etc). This company wants to physically bulk up the phone and the accessories I have to carry. Nice idea, to much clutter to carry around.

Comment Re:That takes care of the simple problems (Score 1) 451

Driving involves making life an death decisions every day. People don't like to think about it.

I'm glad I don't drive where you live, it sounds extremely dangerous.

Just downtown Boston. People are in denial about making life and death decisions everyday. If a driver screws up people are injured or killed. If pedestrians screw up while crossing the street they will die. It is good that people don't screw up most of the time. But people die everyday due to traffic collisions. Trying to ignore the fact that driving carries inherent risk of death doesn't help anyone.

The next option could be "Swerve around impediment/obstacle" so the car drives around objects that you can't stop for (moving debris, running people, swerving cars/bikes/motorcycles). The swerve option may be safer for the traffic pattern than a crash stop. You need to prevent being rear ended as well.

Two issues here.

When a driver is forced to swerve the liability is usually with the person or thing that caused them to. For example, if you pull out from a blind spot and another driver has to swerve and hits a parked car, you will be liable baring other factors (like they were going over the speed limit or drunk). That is, unless the driver swerves into pedestrians, in which case it could be argued that they didn't consider the pedestrian's safety vs their own in a car with airbags and other safety features. So in your hypothetical example, it would be best for the robot car to just stop because swerving might avoid an accident, but it might also create liability if it didn't happen to notice a cyclist or something.

Which brings us to the other issue. It's desirable to avoid being rear-ended, but only in so far as it doesn't create other dangers. Modern cars are very safe and robust, so it would have to be a really extreme event to justify doing something that might make the situation worse. I'm not sure you could program behaviour for such an extreme corner case safely.

I don't care about the liability in the short term (the lawyers will sort that out). I care about who is going to be injured when one of these "edge cases" presents itself.

Comment That takes care of the simple problems (Score 3, Informative) 451

Driving involves making life an death decisions every day. People don't like to think about it.
The emergency instruction you have provided "Stop as quickly as possible to avoid hitting thing" will work in 70%-80% of all emergencies. In many cases "Stop as quickly as possible" will not solve the problem.
The next option could be "Swerve around impediment/obstacle" so the car drives around objects that you can't stop for (moving debris, running people, swerving cars/bikes/motorcycles). The swerve option may be safer for the traffic pattern than a crash stop. You need to prevent being rear ended as well.

These two directives alone can probably take care of 95% of the issues out there. Stop or go around the problem. The issues arise in the last 5% where the two directives conflict with each other. Easy scenario: There is oncoming traffic in the oncoming lane, a person/child steps out from behind a visual obstruction (signage, truck, etc). The person has stepped into your path of travel and is inside your braking distance. If you continue straight you will hit the person, If you swerve left you will hit an oncoming car, If you swerve right you will swerve into an obstruction (car, lamp post, etc).

I don't expect you have an answer for this no-win-scenario. People have to recognize that 5% where something bad is going to happen; and there is some choice/action that can be taken that will affect the outcome (number of people injured, types of injuries, etc). This is the problem that people are trying to wrestle with. You are presented with an ugly-no-win-scenario. Make the best of it and decide who gets killed, injured, maimed or saved - Yourself, the pedestrian, another driver?

Comment The elephant in the room - insurance (Score 2) 216

Let's discuss the Elephant in the room no one has mentioned: insurance.

While uber and lyft and that ilk have managed to retrofit and cobb in insurance to cover people driving without commercial plates, I don't see the flight insurance industry being as lenient. Flying for pay, on a pre-arranged-contract-basis is a commercial venture (even if the passenger is taking advantage of an existing flight that was alaready going there). The insurance company will require the pilot to be properly licensed, insured, the plane the be properly rated, inspected and insured.

The FAA has probably looked at the lawsuit potential: Plane crashes with "uberplane" passenger- the pilot's estate is sued, the plane manufacturer is sued, the mechanic is sued, the airport is sued and the FAA is sued. The lawsuit would say: Improperly credentialed pilot was taking money to ferry people. It would be a mess, it would be in the papers, anyone who could would settle and the FAA would be caught holding the bag. The FAA would be hauled in front of Congressional hearings asking ugly questions about how the FAA allowed unqualified pilots to fly passengers in unqualified planes, the threat of additional over site and regulation, firings of FAA personnel.

Comment The Rolex crowd (Score 4, Interesting) 104

It means you aren't in the crowd that would appreciate a Rolex. Its like showing up for a fast food job in a 3-piece suit- so out of place as to not be recognized for what it is.
On the flip side wearing an apple watch to the Rolex set is like wearing a cheap poleyester suit when every one else is wearing $5,000 suits that are hand tailored for that social event.
Exception and Corollary: The high money tech crowd *might* eat up your smart watch. The big money lawyer and finance guys will look at you like you are wearing a polyester suit.


An aside:
In business: Suits are a form of war paint. Expensive suits, matching belts and shoes, tie tacks, cuff links, watches, impeccable grooming and cologne are all part of the war paint. If you don't show up looking like you are on your A-game: People won't take you seriously and you have to work that much harder to be treated seriously. The best analogy is your suit gets combo bonus when everything is at the same tier and matches. Apple watches do not get combo bonuses with the clothing set the Rolexes get combo bonuses with. If you show up without all your combo-bonuses in place you will be treated like you deserve to be at the kiddie table.

Comment Think a step further (Score 4, Interesting) 267

Let's take this law to its logical conclusion. No one in power cares about individuals download pgp and encrypting their email. Everyone cares when money gets involved.

All "trusted" internet commerce where you plug in your credit card number is dependent upon encryption strong enough to prevent credit card and identity theft. If this law were to pass no internet commerce company would be able to use encryption strong enough to prevent people from stealing credit card numbers by skimming traffic. It may take a little bit (hours or days) but someone skimming Amazon or bank traffic will start being to pull out credit card and account numbers and the trust of internet banking will be destroyed for years.

This is what will prevent strong encryption from going away- the encryption has to be available to all users for it to be useful. People, credit card companies and insurance companies will not tolerate money being stolen whole sale that we have not seen yet. Yes I am aware that people get their card numbers stolen everyday. Removing encryption would guarantee that your card is stolen the first time you use your card on the internet.

Comment Inheritence (Score 1) 388

Just because I have inherited a vault, does not mean I also get the combination and keys to it. If I want to take the risk of drilling into the vault (and potentially destroying its contents) then that risk is on me.

Secured facilities that self destruct have been around for a long time, it is only now that they have become available to everyone.

Comment It would be the inmates running the asylum. (Score 1) 663

You are implying that someone is showing up with the intention of getting into a fight. The secret service is well aware that there will be 20-30 of themselves and 30,000 screaming people in the convention center, all wound up and ready to go; Some itching for a fight.

Do you think it may be prudent to disarm people who may be going into the convention center with the intention of stirring up trouble? Can you tell the difference between a (an armed) peaceful person and a (an armed) person who is preparing to stir up a riot, take a couple shots and precipitate a blood bath? Once the first shots are fired, everyone armed will draw, no one will know where to shoot and people will randomly start cutting loose at any perceived threat. It won't be the everyone vs. the secret service. It will be you versus everyone else you can see with a gun who is pointing it vaguely in your direction.

At the first sign of trouble the secret service will evacuate the scene with the VIP, leaving the clean up for the fracas to SWAT and local police. SWAT will move in with area affect weapons (tear gas and pepper spray) to incapacitate the rioting crowd.

Comment Secret Service Says No (Score 3, Informative) 663

The Secret Service is not going to allow guns that close to the Republican nominee for president. All of the major front runners have some level of secret service protection at this time. The Secret Service is not going to take the risk that one of the "peaceful gun carriers" lied and is going to take shots at the nominee. Anything beyond that is hand waving.

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