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Comment Re:Driverless (Score 1) 271

...so why would trucks be any different?

The trailer makes quite a difference when backing up. Hang out at your local boat-launch to see examples of amateurs giving it a shot.

The big problem is that the world we live in isn't designed for big trucks. Large vehicles have to break all sorts of traffic rules just to navigate most cities. Accommodating for a trailer often requires making turns from one lane over, or even driving into oncoming traffic first. There are docks that can only be backed into by pulling across two or four or even six lanes of traffic to get lined up. There are stops where trucks have to back up blind, sometimes even into oncoming traffic (and unless the Tesla truck also comes with a Tesla trailer, blind reversals aren't something it will be able to do). Sure, a self driving truck might be good for getting from warehouse A in city X to warehouse B in city Y (a "pin to pin" run) but there's still a huge range of unique traffic challenges these vehicles face every day. Not to mention the art of driving a truck in a fuel and maintenance efficient manner (it involves a lot of prediction). Most people just don't know these issues exist, because they've never driven (or even ridden in) a semi.

I honestly think that Musk is going to find that it's simpler to get to Mars than it is to build a universal self driving truck. At least this could be a good start, though.

Comment Re:WHAT? (Score 1) 209

Didn't they just arrest a guy because he didn't provide it?

Are you thinking of Alain Philippon?
If so, the difference in that case is that it was at a border during customs inspection and he was charged with hindering a border agent in their duties. It's set to go to trial this month. Although, since it's essentially Charter of Rights and Freedoms v Customs Act, I wouldn't be surprised to see it dragged all the way to the Canadian supreme court.

Comment Re:Summon into back of trailer mode? (Score 5, Interesting) 408

The trailer bed was up high with significant overhang of the rear axle

Actually... that's not the rear of the trailer. When I saw the still frame in the linked article I couldn't help but wonder where the underride guard (aka Mansfield bar) was, as they're extremely common these days. After watching the video I realized why - that was just the trailer (well, technically two in tandem) without the tractor out front. The Tesla crashed into the front of the trailer, not the back. When they slide the camera in under the trailer you can clearly see the nose plate and kingpin for a fifth-wheel setup. That's why there's no underride guard or anything low enough that the Tesla would see as an obstacle.
Then I thought maybe the trailer was parked backwards, but it's clearly on the right hand side of the road, with a vehicle parked behind it in the same orientation.

So now my question is - why did this goofball park his car on the wrong side of the road?

Comment Re:The cost case against (Score 5, Informative) 1116

I have a suggestion, rather than everyone sitting around drawing conclusions out of their asses, lets see what actually happens when someone tries it. Let them prove or disprove it and then we will have some results to examine and criticize.

Been done, forty years ago. And the results (WARN: PDF) seem fairly positive. Now, one test is never good enough but it didn't reduce the town to a smoking ruin. So why shouldn't we throw some more at the wall and see what sticks?

Comment You're halfway there already (Score 2) 129

do you recommend any third-party apps for keeping track of data use?

On Android? No. Data usage is a baked in feature since forever ago, including an app by app breakdown, warning levels and mobile data cutoff limit. Just use that - it should be buried in settings somewhere.

As far as data limiting tools, the only thing like that I've ever used is DroidWall, which is just a simple GUI for IPTables. It does require root (!) but once installed you can hand out network privileges (Roam, Data, WiFi, all independently) on an app by app basis. This lets you keep data crazy apps from ever touching a cell tower (WiFi only), or apps that have no good reason to be calling the outside world from doing so. Just be warned that a blacklist by default policy means installing a new app isn't just as simple as pushing install - you also have to remember to set it's network rights, or most mobile apps won't work as designed. All that said, I'll admit that DroidWall isn't a perfect solution for what you're looking for (requires root, no way of throttling an app, just yes/no access) but it might still be useful.

Comment Re:OT: Dogs (Score 1) 435

They make seatbelts for dogs. Essentially its just a padded chest harness with a short lead that terminates in a standard male seatbelt buckle. Although, with it properly adjusted, fido may have trouble sticking his head out the window. But its a nice compromise between "get in the box" and "come along - and do try not to kill anyone"

Comment Re:Holy Stiction, Batman! WTF is hysteresis? (Score 1) 113

It's ok, I have a car analogy for hysteresis:

So, my first car was a 92 Plymouth Laser RS Turbo. It had a (rudimentary) cruise control system that wasn't quite capable enough for a turbocharged engine. The problem was that cruise control behaved as if throttle input was linear, but a 90's era turbocharged car is the very definition of non-linear throttle input. Thus, any time cruise was on and you hit a decent slope, the system would begin to oscillate. When the car slowed from climbing a hill, cruise control would apply more throttle - but then the turbo would spool up and you'd overshoot your desired speed. This caused the system to sharply back off, causing the turbo to slow, power to drop, and thus speed to drop too rapidly. The car ended up stuck in this long loop of "too slow, too slow, more gas more gas more more mooooOOOOH CRAP TOO MUCH TOO MUCH OFF OFF OFF WAY Ooooh that's better, much better this is nice, I'm right on, wait, no no no wait too slow, too slow more gas more more MOOOOAAAAHHHH TOO FAST TOO FAST..." which could sometimes last for miles, unchecked. That's a car experiencing hysteresis. The solution was as simple as very brief and very gentle throttle input right as the system started to back off too much. You could keep the turbo spooled and nail target speed for just a second, and then cruise could simply hold the throttle for you... until the next hill. Fortunately for me, I was young at the time and not quite as interested in cruise control as I was in long 3rd gear pulls while passing people on a two-lane highway.

Comment Re:Bell Now Determines to Comply (Score 4, Informative) 39

Yep. Chase the links and you'll find this tidbit:

Bell Canada says it is reversing its policy on tracking the Internet browsing habits of cellphone customers in response to a report from the country’s privacy watchdog that chastised the company’s “opt-out” approach.

From: www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/privacy-watchdog-urges-bell-to-change-web-tracking-policy/article23822585/

Comment Re:Wind is (Score 1) 262

We should just bolt solar panels to the blades of the windmill.
And then bolt copies of that windmill to the tips of an even bigger windmill that's ALSO covered in solar panels.
On top of a hydro dam!
With an underground fission reactor that uses the reservoir lake as a cooling loop!
With natural gas backup generators!

I... didn't sleep one minute last night. :(

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