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Comment Re:They will be great on icy roads (Score 1) 60

Doesn't Autopilot need to see lane markings?

No. Tesla collects location information from its cars. It then takes that information, throws out any outliers, and averages it to get the center point for the lane. With that information, it can navigate using GPS only, with no lane markings.

Comment Re:They will be great on icy roads (Score 1) 60

Does your crystal ball mention if anyone will be able to afford one of these vehicles in their driveway?

Tesla cars already come with all the hardware needed for full self-driving. They just need a software upgrade. Some people can afford them.

The cameras are very cheap, as are the ultra-sound sensors. Automative radar is affordable and dropping in price. LIDAR is more expensive, but many cars, including Tesla, don't use LIDAR. The full package of sensors and computer should only add a few hundred to the cost of a car, and you are likely to quickly recoupe that with lower insurance premiums.

Comment Re:Imagine the stupidity of the average person (Score 1) 77

And some are even too dumb to know that in a normal distribution, they are.

IQ is normalized (by definition), but we are talking about stupidity, with is the reciprocal of intelligence. The inverse of a normalized function is not another normalized function. You can see this in practice: There are a lot more really stupid people than really intelligent people. The distribution is skewed.

 

Comment Re:They will be great on icy roads (Score 1) 60

Can't wait to see these things navigate black ice.

During snowstorms last winter, Tesla recommended that drivers engage Autopilot because it could handle the icy roads more safely than most humans.

It is amusing that when people want to point out a limitation of SDCs, they often pick something that SDCs do particularly well. SDCs handle low traction situations better than humans do.

Comment Re:This is a first (Score 2) 60

The laws governing something are completed before we've even managed to invent it.

Except that self-driving cars have been around for several years. They certainly aren't perfect, but they already have a track record better than human drivers (which is not a difficult criteria). They are ready to replace human drivers on public roads for many tasks, including routine driving on known routes.

Will SDCs be in accidents and even kill some people? Very likely. Would even more people die if the same cars had human drivers? Even more likely.

Comment Re:No thank you! (Score 1) 61

what is this obsession with making things thin, the space it saves is almost irrelevant and tactile feed back is a wonderful thing.

There are plenty of thicker laptops available, and at lower prices to boot. So if you don't care about thinness, then don't pay a premium to buy it. Problem solved.

Comment Solution: build some buildings (Score 3, Insightful) 223

In the past, many cities dealt with excessive demand for existing space by creating more space. The most obvious way to do this is to build taller buildings. We need to find a way to sideline the NIMBYs and BANANAs so that core cities can grow again, instead of sprawling into the suburbs.

Comment Re:They are talking about new laws. (Score 1) 345

Follow the money. This will fail for the same reason the Clipper Chip failed. It was/will be bad for American business and destroy American jobs. NOBODY outside America is going to buy tech with FBI backdoors. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and nearly every other tech company, representing trillions in market cap, and billions in campaign contributions, are lined up against it. They can not only buy as many politicians as they need, but they can also use ad dollars to go direct to the people. Apple and Facebook are way better at manipulating public opinion than the FBI, and they have far greater resources.

Comment Re:They are talking about new laws. (Score 3, Interesting) 345

The "adult conversation" the FBI says it's planning is a call for criminalization of any encryption that the FBI can't break. They want a back door and if you won't give it to them, they will put you in jail.

They already tried that 20 years ago, and failed. People today are way more aware of the issue, and more willing to push back. Secure encryption is already widespread and will soon be ubiquitous. The FBI is just throwing a temper tantrum because they didn't get what they wanted.

Comment Re:How to make it cheaper? (Score 1) 64

Being that Uber is already a minimum wage job outside of the weekend bar hours

My sister drives for Uber and averages about $18/hr. That is way more than minimum wage, and is pretty good for a no skill job with flexible hours. Like most Uber drivers, she does it part time, and it is not her main source of income.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 1) 224

With assertions enabled, my most speed-critical code runs 2x or 3x slower.

That is odd. An assertion should just be the evaluation of a boolean expression. You should use a profiler to identify your hotspots and then figure out a way to move the assertion out of the loop. If you have 1000 assertions in your code, it is silly to disable 998 of them because the other 2 are causing performance issues. I have rarely seen assertions cause more than a 10% performance penalty, and typically even less than that.

I'll stick to proper error handling.

Assertions and exception handling are two completely different things. Exceptions are to identify and handle things like read errors that are expected to happen occasionally, and should be handled gracefully. Assertions are to detect things that should never happen, such as flaws in your program's logic.

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