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Comment Re:So it appears . . . (Score 4, Funny) 168

Not only that, but this specific probe's landing was an experiment in preparation for a future mission in 2020. The main thrust (no pun intended) of the mission was to position the mothership which will be gathering most of the data.

It's disappointing the probe failed, but the information gathered and the root cause analysis of the experiment should provide good data for the next mission.

That's what she said.

Comment Re:self-driving or assisted driving ? (Score 1) 178

That's exactly what they are doing. They call it "Fleet Learning". Even when driving manually, the system is constantly monitoring and learning from the experience. All this data is transmitted to Tesla and incorporated into future software updates.

I don't know how this learning process works technically, but with the old sensor package lots of Tesla drivers have confirmed that they have seen the system get better and better over time.

The new sensor package will initially lack a lot of features (even some features that were already working with the old sensors, like automatic braking). Those will already be working in test mode in the background just like you described, and be activated some time around the end of the year after gaining enough data to validate them. Full automomy would come around 2017, which is Tesla-speak for 2020.

The processor may not be exactly "neuromorphic" but it's certainly running a neural net using a massively parallel NVIDIA processor.

Comment Re:Curses! (Score 3, Interesting) 405

I wonder how this is going to stop him, though. Do they really think he doesn't have a backup plan? Do they think he has all the wikileaks information on his personal laptop in the embassy without anyone else outside able to access it?

I bet he has plenty of friends with access to the Wikileaks servers who can bring out the information on a prearranged schedule even if they made him disappear from the planet entirely. I can't possibly imagine him being that stupid.

Comment Re:Earth (Score 5, Funny) 123

No, Venus was first, and had a thriving civilisation. At first, they never bothered to explore the rest of the solar system because it didn't make economic sense. When it became clear that their planet was rapidly warming up and would soon become uninhabitable, they made a last ditch effort to migrate to earth. The colony did not survive, but their bacteria and some other simple life forms did. The rest is history.

Comment Re:Change the name! (Score 1) 106

I don't know why I'm even bothering anymore, but here I go again:

1. As an airline pilot, I can confirm that Tesla's autopilot is way more advanced than airplane autopilots. Of course, when the airplane is sufficiently high, we can let go of the controls and have a chat with the cabin attendants because there's really nothing we can fly into. However, when doing an automatic approach and landing on autopilot, our hands are on the controls and we're watching the instruments like a hawk, ready to take over at any time because the system does occasionally malfunction. And then I'm not even talking about early autopilots that could just maintain an altitude and a heading. So the Tesla autopilot's function fits very comfortably within generally accepted boundaries of what constitutes an autopilot.

2. Yes, I know people are morons and don't know what an airplane autopilot actually does or how limited it really is. But do you really think they would behave differently if it was called "advanced driving assistance" or something like that? People don't buy a car, discover a button labeled "autopilot", and go "o, nobody told me what that does but since it's called autopilot I'll just go ahead and trust it with my life". No, they try it out, see how well it drives, and then gradually start to trust it more and more until they start watching movies while driving. THAT is what's causing the accidents. Hell, there are even youtube videos of Mercedes cars with nobody in the driver's seat with cans strapped to the steering wheel to fool the sensors. How is that possible if their system is not called "autopilot"? And the Mercedes system works nowhere nearly as well. The only reason Mercedes doesn't have hundreds of automated crashes is because they are not good enough for people to trust them. People try it out as a gimmick and then stop using it because it's too scary. Maybe in slow stop and go traffic, but that's it. Tesla is the only car right now that drives well enough for people to trust it, and that's what is causing them not to pay attention anymore until the system eventually messes up and crashes the car. The name has nothing to do with it, they could call it anything they wanted and people would still behave the same way.

"Autopilot" is a concise and perfectly applicable term for what the system does. If Tesla did anything wrong, it's the many demonstrations with their hands in the air showing off the system and exaggerating its capabilities. Leave the name alone, that's not where the problem is.

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