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Comment Car automation (Score 4, Insightful) 391

I wonder how the system would handle animals on the road. I don't know exactly how many animals I've hit since I've been driving, but I'd bet it's been dozens. 3 deer, all on the highway, some raccoon, some squirrels, some opossum. I was in a situation where I literally had to choose between swerving and wrecking in to the cars beside me on the freeway or hitting the deer. Needless to say, if its an animal, it's game. But, OTOH, computers are faster than humans, and sometimes things happen so fast that you don't get time to think.

In the split second between imminent danger and reaction, the speed of your vehicle, it's trajectory, and where your likely to have impact...these are all things a computer can calculate nearly instantly. I am not saying Yay for driver-less cars, i'm merely saying that If your going to crash, and with so many variables associated with crashes, at least if it's computer controlled, your risk is calculated, instead of solely relying on random reactionary impulses.

There is always that scary feeling like you lost control. Humans like to give control up for mundane and repetitive tasks, However, this is literally putting your life in the hands of a machine.

I'm more in favor of safety warnings that get noticed by the computer and escalated to the driver. For example, if your switching lanes and a car is in your blind spot, and you put your signal on, the computer warns you there is a car there in the blind spot. That's awesome. Or if standards were in place cars would talk to each other in such a way that Jimmy's BMW could bug the shit of of him for being a dick and cutting me off and getting too close while doing it...that's awesome too.
Or if i'm getting on the freeway and my Jeep knows that the guy coming down the road is going too fast and chances are high that if I try to merge on, he'll hit me in the rear. Or, (and this one is great) if your trying to get out on a busy road, the system could let you know when it is truly safe to pull out on to the main road, based on the speeds of the oncoming cars.

There are all kinds of things a computer system can do to make us safer drivers, without outright taking full control of the situation.

Comment Re:This is America (Score 1) 528

As a father of a 9 month old. I'm telling you....I would KILL to keep her safe.

I'd be peppering the names of all faculty involved with this on telephone poles, and windshields, start a protest, and round up PLENTY of like minded parents and call for an emergancy PTA meeting stat. I would make it so damn easy for them to be local celebrities that they will most likely quit their jobs or move to another district out of embaressment and ridicule.

Either way, there are plenty of ways to get rid of people like this. Even if it's not a court ordered punishment.


The Power Grid Can't Handle Wind Farms 681

DesScorp writes "The Times reports on the problems of adding wind farms to the power grid. Because of the grid's old design, it can't handle the various spikes that wind farms sometimes have, and there's no efficient way to currently move massive amounts of that power from one section of the country to the other. Further complicating things is the fact that under current laws, power grid regulation is a state matter, and the Federal government has comparatively little authority over it right now. Critics are calling for federal authority over the grid, and massive new construction of 'superhighways' to share the wind power wealth nationally. Quoting the article, 'The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not.'"
Desktops (Apple)

Andy Hertzfeld Shares His Thoughts on 25 Years of the Mac 142

blackbearnh writes "It may make you feel very, very old, but the Macintosh will be turning 25 in January. As we approach this momentous anniversary, O'Reilly News had a talk with Andy Hertzfeld, one of the original Macintosh designers, about the long and storied history of the Mac. Hertzfeld, who tells the story of the Mac in his book A Revolution in the Valley, shares his thoughts about how the Mac has aged over time, how life might have been different if Steve Jobs had stayed on at Apple, and the differences between working for Apple, and for Google (his current employer.)" Read on below for a bit of what Hertzfeld had to say.

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