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Comment Re:Something I never see discussed.. (Score 1) 72

Computer operated quadcopters can theoretically deal with vortices better than human pilots in traditional helicopters, but yeah, that's a definite concern. I expect their flight profile to be more or less straight up, fly to destination, straight down, even thought that's a rather inefficient flight plan.

Comment Re:Not crazy (Score 1) 72

They're basically building giant quadcopters. I've seen some of the prototypes. You are right that the range will not be very long, but most taxi rides are less than a couple of miles as I recall.

I do think this idea is going to require a whole lot more work than Uber is hoping for, but I don't think it's an impossible problem. It is going to be mostly for the rich, but who knows, maybe it will let some dad get to the hospital in time to see his baby born despite it being rush hour. I'd imagine the cost would run around $70-$200/mile or so when all is said and done and the system is scaled up a bit. The other big problem will be getting high enough density on the helipads to make them useful. It's no good if the nearest helipad is always a mile away.

Comment Re:example (Score 1) 113

I didn't say it was right, I said it was on to something.

When prosecution doesn't work as a deterence - and it obviously doesn't in high-stakes white collar crimes - then prevention needs the be stronger.

This could very well take the form of pre-crime investigations. I'm against imprisoning someone for something they didn't (yet) do. But why is it that police has to wait until a crime has been committed before they can even begin looking?

I was in this position once. Someone tried to run a common scam on me and I went to the police so that they could catch them in flagranti. The answer pretty much was "well, no crime has been committed so far, so we can do nothing".

A bigger stress on the part where in many crimes the attempt is a crime would help out a lot, especially with corporate crime.

Comment Re: Robots are good (Score 1) 276

Doesn't matter how essential the goods are. All that matters is that competition exists in the market. And if robots can make anything, competition is trivial - just buy some robots and sell the thing cheaper (but still at a profit) and completely displace the other guy.

For that matter, we've seen this curve before - for normal consumer goods, why not have your own manufacturing robots at home, and avoid the markup? There are a few good reasons, but only if the markup isn't too high.

Comment Re: Robots are good (Score 1) 276

Self-checkouts, for instance do not offer any savings to consumers that use them over using a checkout with a human teller, for instance.

The store saves on overall labor costs. Given how competitive grocery stores (usually) are, prices go down at least a little for all shoppers. This is an example where automation won't kill all the jobs any time soon, as many people like the human contact of the checker, and avoid the self-checkout. But one day maybe checkout-free stores (like Amazon is pioneering) will displace normal stores, due to lower price.

Supply is one variable. Delivered cost is another. Technology is mostly about the latter - technology is that which makes it cheaper to produce something.

Comment Re:CEO's now ... (Score 1) 276

The CEOs in Atlas Shrugged won their war by unionizing and going on strike.

More than that. Rand realized that a well-managed company could continue for a long time without its CEO, as the next tier down would be good leaders as well, so she had the striking CEOs actively destroy what they had built.

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