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Comment Re:Quantity vs Quality (Score 1) 119

Humans can be alert and productive for only so many hours a day, differs by person but it is definitely even less then 8 for most everyone. After that something that would take 1 hours in the morning will instead take 4 hours of overtime.

The question is what people could do and people would do. I've had six hour exams and they were killers, same if you watch top chess players after a typical match of ~5 hours so if you're giving it your everything then clearly you don't last eight hours. Do you think people would become super effective if they only worked six hours a day though? Do you think they'll just zone out and mentally recover for the rest of the day? Not just like one day, but every working day? I can't speak for everyone else but I get more done in eight hours than in six or ten hours than in eight. Maybe not quite as much per hour, but it's not like I'm drop dead exhausted when I come home from work. But that's only if I cut down on my leisure time accordingly, if I go from eight hours to six hours to four hours of sleep then yeah productivity goes down the toilet. But that's because I "force" the company to bear that cost, not because I couldn't do twelve hours a day of good work. I just wouldn't have any other life to speak of.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 1) 58

Not to mention that Valve knows well enough that Microsoft is working hard to throw as many obstacles between their feet to make Steam as unusable as possible in Windows to promote their own game store. Valve, of all companies on the planet, has a VERY good reason to push for full blown Linux support in gaming. And that's basically what Linux needs if it wants to take off.

Well Microsoft doesn't want to lose the Windows users to Linux and Valve doesn't want to lose the Windows gamers to the Microsoft store, so I'd say their Linux support is mixed. They want to keep Linux as a credible threat so Microsoft doesn't play dirty and that whole SteamOS and Steam Machines play was part of that, but they don't really want an all out war and neither would Microsoft. Because many gamers would stay on Windows and Valve would lose, but also many Windows users would migrate to Linux and Microsoft would lose. Okay so Microsoft might not be happy about Steam, glass half empty. But they're also 95% Windows users, glass half full.

Comment Re:Inadvertently attached to an unintended recieve (Score 1) 62

Well there are two quite different scenarios here, unnamed and named defendant. If it's an unnamed defendant like they're trying to subpoena the subscription information of the IP that uploaded this movie to P2P it's up to how much the third party wants to fight. If it's a named defendant like against Uber then Uber will have their own lawyers to fight that subpoena themselves, they're a party to the case and it's their data. The third party will usually get an order to preserve data and if that is the outcome to hand over the data, but they won't really get involved. Unless they explicitly want to bend over, like if your room mate invites the police in to look around with no warrant.

Comment Re:The owner should be liable (Score 1) 231

(There will be lots of competition, there will be a lot of incentive to undercut competitors for market share, so the price should be about the same as owning my own vehicle.)

Actually, this is an interesting question. What will the price be like? I would imagine that it would actually be a lot cheaper, because of the competition. It's going to be a lot cheaper to provide you a share of a car than your own car, especially because presumably the owner is going to be an automaker or dealer for the foreseeable future. That means they'll have the opportunity to really service these vehicles in a way that doesn't normally happen with privately owned ones; even owners of expensive brands get driven away from dealer service by exorbitant fees. I have a fully documented 1997 Audi A8. It got some dealer service under warranty and extended warranty early on, and then the owner started taking it to third party shops which didn't do a very good job on a lot of things. As a result, some of the parts deteriorated. Now I'm just nabbing its transmission, which was replaced under warranty, for another car.

In addition, cars designed for this purpose are going to have a lot of interior improvements. It's going to be cheaper to swap the interior, and the interior is going to be designed for more longevity and for easier cleaning. And a user who really destroys some interior pieces is going to have to pay for them, so that's just gravy to the automaker.

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 2) 231

I may be missing something here, but why do manufacturers have to take on the liability?

Because the automobile insurers are unlikely to assume the full risk before they know what the risk is, unless they are forced. And as we know, nobody is forcing the insurance companies to do anything. The automakers are very much going to be putting their own pocketbooks on the line when they release self-driving cars, which is why you aren't seeing half-assed attempts at level 4 or 5 hit the streets now. If you were willing to accept human-like levels of collisions, fatalities etc., you could probably get that with current technology, but that's not a level we're willing to let the automakers be responsible for. Instead, we have to do it to ourselves. Rightly so, of course; they do have to do better if they want to be in charge. And as it turns out, they have to do much better. As a result, the automakers are not in a hurry to get fully self-driving vehicles on the road before they get ubiquitous V2V.

To really get the accident rates down, you not only need V2V on almost all of the vehicles which aren't self-driving, but you need for there to have been some time for the technology to shake itself out. You want V2V to get hacked and exploited before the self-driving car phase, when it will only confuse people and you can blame at least some of the resulting collisions on the drivers. I presume that we will actually get legislation demanding V2V retrofit into all roadgoing vehicles, and maybe trailers as well so that a lost trailer reports the fact, and where it is located, and what its wheels are doing. It will almost certainly include GPS and transmit the location at all times, and it will have to be connected into at minimum the speed sensor, throttle position, and brake switch. This is a relatively easy thing to do (owners of particularly vintage vehicles will have to install a throttle position sensor on the side of their carburetor, or the equivalent on their mechanically regulated diesel) but of course is a political minefield that nobody wants to step into before they have to. However, every automaker considers it a fact already, so you'd better get used to the idea. This may well have to happen before Level 5, no steering wheel and take a nap autonomous vehicles are allowed to travel at freeway speeds.

The guy's not an oracle, but I was recently watching an interview with Bob Lutz, and he was talking about the future of vehicle automation. He presumes that once we actually get up to level 5 vehicles, they'll actually mandate basically all the style out of them for aerodynamics reasons. There will be minor styling cues, and automakers will be free to play around with textures and minor shapes to accomplish different aerodynamics goals, but in order to make "road trains" efficient, the vehicles are all going to be shaped like minivans with flat faces. The lead driver takes a penalty from having to push through the atmosphere, but they get some of it back from the reduction of turbulence behind the vehicle when the following vehicle creeps up close behind them. He allowed that this might not happen right away or all at once, and that perhaps for the foreseeable future you'd be allowed to have a stylized vehicle as the social tradeoff for taking away your steering wheel.

Of course, this is all stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. We have the technology to make self-driving arrays of closely coupled cars right now. It's called rail. Something in between light rail and a roller coaster is what's called for. Ideally you'd implement it as a monorail (monorail? monorail!) which could run right up the middle of almost ordinary-looking cars using two or four electric motors for propulsion, split to the sides of the vehicles. Then you'd build vehicles which could drive on ordinary roadways at ordinary freeway speeds (they only need a top speed of 100 or so, forget all this ridiculous performance jazz) for a little while on a relatively small battery, but then get on a rail which would not only handle steering the vehicle, but which would also charge the battery. There could be stretches without charging, but ideally the whole of the rail would be electrified. You'd elevate the rail, so the footprint would be minimal. You'd use the network for long hauls, and then eventually you'd cut all the roadways back to just one lane in each direction and carry the majority of traffic on the rail, with the roadways being driven by enthusiasts, service vehicles, cyclists, etc.

To me, this is not actually the idea transportation network, which would involve less car-like vehicles. However, this is probably the only place we can realistically go from here which would actually be different. It preserves the car, and automobile ownership. A lot of people are very invested in those things, so a plan that does away with them is probably not realistic.

Comment Re:the laws may take 3-5 years to get rid of drive (Score 1) 120

In Australia for example they have not paid tax since setting up and a raid by the tax office resulted in no employee information since that is apparently all in Holland.

Sounds like they really think they're clever. Like I said, scumbuckets. However, they are fighting to change laws I want changed, and I like that about them. I also think they're going to be made irrelevant by competition and/or driven out of business for their illegal actions.

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 231

Yes, of course, everyone will have to pay for it. But it won't be via a high cost of purchase, it will rapidly be turned from auto-sales into auto-rentals or leases, where you won't be able to buy a car anymore, just hire it to go from a to b, or lease it for a period of time. As a bonus, the company will get to record and sell everything you "do" in the car, in order to optimize the ads being displayed to you.

Does anybody genuinely think that autonomous cars will come without a huge feedback loop back to the mothership? Reporting any situation the AI had a low confidence solution for, not just accidents but incidents that caused agitation like honking and near-accidents for review and all sorts of statistics on what it's been doing. And the other way will be full of driving AI updates, sensor processing updates, recalls, map updates, traffic alerts, weather warnings and so on. Actually regarding traffic I expect it'll be a two way system, the cars will report in on accident, road work, lane blockages, slow traffic and traffic jams. Maybe part of it will be opt-out but I imagine they'll bundle it such that for 99% of the population it's just their cell phone #2, they own it but the system knows where you are...

Submission + - SPAM: SNES Game Preservation Project Revived After Package Located

Xenographic writes: Byuu's SNES Game preservation project has been revived after social media attention led to the discovery of the $10,000 package of SNES games at an Atlanta, GA mail recovery center. As you may remember from Slashdot's previous coverage, byuu was working to preserve PAL format SNES games when 100 titles that were lent to him vanished in the mail. It turns out that the shipping label became separated from the package, causing it to fail to be delivered and only through special effort on the part of USPS were they able to locate the package and return it.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - AZ Bill Would Make Students in Grades 4-12 Participate Once In An Hour of Code

theodp writes: Christopher Silavong of Cronkite News reports: "A bill, introduced by [Arizona State] Sen. John Kavanagh, R-Fountain Hills, would mandate that public and charter schools provide one hour of coding instruction once between grades 4 to 12. Kavanagh said it’s critical for students to learn the language – even if it’s only one session – so they can better compete for jobs in today’s world. However, some legislators don’t believe a state mandate is the right approach. Senate Bill 1136 has passed the Senate, and it’s headed to the House of Representatives. Kavanagh said he was skeptical about coding and its role in the future. But he changed his mind after learning that major technology companies were having trouble finding domestic coders and talking with his son, who works at a tech company." According to the Bill, the instruction can "be offered by either a nationally recognized nonprofit organization [an accompanying Fact Sheet mentions tech-backed Code.org] that is devoted to expanding access to computer science or by an entity with expertise in providing instruction to pupils on interactive computer instruction that is aligned to the academic standards."

Comment Re:Thanks. Mr. Obvious (Score 1) 231

What do you mean "initially".

What I mean is that eventually, when the bugs have been worked out and only automated cars are allowed to use most of the lanes on the interstate and the accident rate stabilizes (hopefully near zero) then the burden will be shifted from the automakers to the customers, who will pay for it along with the rest of their mandatory liability insurance. The insurers aren't going to deal with insuring vehicles individually until the risk is reasonably estimable.

Comment Re:Left and right (Score 1) 153

Which definition?

I am opposed to government meddling in what I do in my house, but I am in favor of government meddling in everything that business does. You know, the definition. Conservative, of course, is the opposite. Populists want to control both. Anarchists want to control neither. According to the libertarians I am an upper-left centrist (hey, they have a snazzy test) but I personally think I'm more left than they think I am, and less upwards.

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