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Comment Re:Effective solution (Score 1) 132

I know the government wants to make coding the next blue collar job but it takes a lot of knowledge and practice to perfect the craft.

In the decades I've worked as a software developer, I've almost never had a boss who cared at all for "perfect". OTOH, I can think of many times when I was explicitly ordered to not implement something correctly. Normally, their only concern is getting deliveries to customers, which involves satisfying sales people and customer people who usually have no clue at all about software quality, and are primarily concerned with money issues.

Granted, I have had a few cases where, years after my job was terminated, I received some nice messages saying that nobody had ever found a bug in any of the sofware that I wrote. But this is after the fact; while working they were never particularly interested in high-quality code. And they had no way of judging it except by waiting for years and counting the reported bugs.

So I'd predict that most educators and employers will be pleased by the "hour of code" concept, and will push for its adoption. Then they'll work out the bugs in the approach in the future, as the bugs make themselves known.

Comment Re:Stupid, stupid questions (Score 1) 339

This. Exactly this.

Nobody experiences fear weekly about losing their job to a robot" unless they are mentally unstable, or they are literally in the midst of an automation wave in their own company and they are watching coworkers get let go.

Hell... even the cashiers at mcdonalds or the grocery store who are literally watching them install self-serve checkouts a few feet away don't worry weekly about losing their jobs to robots.

Comment Re:Drone has no passenger at all. Results, not err (Score 2) 244

If UPS's truck rear-ends me on an ice-covered road, I'm going to sue UPS. I don't know what Tesla told UPS about what conditions are safe and which are unsafe for the trucks.

Right. That makes sense.

If UPS also sues Tesla for selling them bunk trucks, that's none of my business. That's all about the discussions and contract between UPS and Tesla.

But I think that's the point, UPS *is* going to sue Tesla for selling them bunk trucks, and the government stance on it that UPS *should* sue them, because the government feels that Tesla is going to be ultimately responsible, not UPS, not Amazon, and not the passengers.

So yeah, i think you are right... if my self driving car hits you, youre insurance covers you for the injurty/damage. And then promply sues me because its my car, and then my insurance company jumps in and pays yours on my behalf, and then when i demonstrate to my insurance company that the car was properly maintained so its not a negligent maintenance issue by the owner they'll turn around and sue the manufacturer...

And the government is saying, yeah, that's who is going to be ultimately liable here.

So when the government says we want to make the manufacturer responsible, i don't think that necessarily means in an accident the victim goes straight to suing the manufacturer bypassing the owner... but as the process winds through the system, the owners of the self-driving vehicles ARE going to be able to successfully sue the manufacturers for accidents the vehicles have.

Comment Re:I am, and should be, liable. Also implied warra (Score 4, Interesting) 244

If I chose to send my drone (toy) flying around a busy parking lot and a gust of wind sent it crashing into a baby stroller, I would be responsible.

Ok, that's a reasonable analogy. But I think its 'wrong' on two points.

First, it fails the scale test.

Cars are not a small hobby toy. And car accidents happen far more frequently than windblown drones crashing into baby strollers.

In other words, the analogy isn't applicable because if you scaled it up society would NOT be content with the status quo... that of simply holding you liable for your bad decision.

If it were happening thousands of time per day we'd surely see all kinds of new restrictions, regulations, licensing, and mandatory training and insurance for hobby drones. Drone manufacturers would be regulated to automatically detect and land and refuse to fly in windy weather. Perhaps even the outright ban of private citizens owning hobby drones.

Second, your analogy fails because the idea of it being your operational decision ... choosing to watch youtube in busy traffic or driving yourself is really missing the obvious endgame. We already know various industries (taxi/trucking/delivery/..) all want self driving cars, there won't be drivers -- only passengers, and the passengers won't be making any operational decisions; there may not even BE passengers in lots of cases. When there are passengers, they may not even be able to drive. They be drunk, or sleeping, or children...

Who is liable for the accidents those vehicles cause?
The passenger? Surely not. They aren't operating them except to have called it up and set a destination.


What error in judgement did they make that makes them liable? Provided they maintained the vehicles to the manufacturers specifications how are they responsible for car accidents resulting for deficiencies in the vehicles programming/sensor coverage/testing?

Chrysler/GM/VW/Tesla? It makes sense. They foisted the vehicles on the public. If they crash, it is because the vehicle wasn't sufficiently able to cope with doing the thing it was made to do. Operating in traffic in the real world safely is their function. That includes windy days, or in traffic jams, or during a police road closure or construction detour. If they are not fit to operate reliably, predictably, and safely in all these scenarios then they shouldn't be sold as self-driving cars.

I can choose to watch Youtube in busy traffic.

*Right now*, yes, there is this notion that the 'driver' is still operating the vehicle and could be responsible for whether or not the vehicle is operating autonomously or not... but that's today right now, this minute. We're in the beginning of a transition phase. Next year the cars will cope with more scenarios and do it better. The year after that even more still. 20 years from now, situations they can't safely cope with will be much rarer, and the idea that the person sitting in the front seat is responsible minute by minute for whether the car should operate itself or not will be ridiculous.

We need to consider the future. Because this little stitch in time where cars can drive themselves safely... but only sometimes and only when its really easy... is going to be quite temporary.

Comment Re:Talk about a subset of a subset (Score 2) 61

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.

Because, face it: What reason does Joe Average still have to use Windows? Internet? Nope. Every major browser, mail system, video player you might want is available. Document writing? Nope. Libreoffice is good enough for personal use.

What's left for Joe that ties him to Windows is gaming. Yes, there are a lot of other applications that are not available on Linux, or not at the same quality. But they are mostly things that are niche products that are interesting to a very small subset of users. The only big issue that remains is actually gaming.

Comment Re:scare mongering getting old (Score 1) 77

We froze both of our credit files after the identity theft. It's useful when stores try to pressure you to "save 5% now if you just sign up for our card." Nope. No can do. My credit's frozen due to identity theft. That shuts them up real quick. On the down side, though, we gave up on refinancing our mortgage a couple of years ago even though we could have saved money. It was too much of a headache to thaw our credit, get the mortgage quotes, and try to get everything signed before the freeze took effect again.

Comment Re:I know I'm being selfish, but... (Score 2) 329

That was my first thought, too - if this is successful, it may change the nature of "programming", but won't obviate the job classification. What it WILL do, which CASE tools, and UML, and DSL's, and "AngularJS" and every other miracle time-saving product did, is convince people who don't know how to use those tools that a) programming is easy-to-trivial and b) should be more or less a minimum-wage type of paper-pushing task. The reality is, all of these things actually end up making programming mentally harder, because you have to understand what those tools are doing on your behalf in order to troubleshoot them when they don't do what they should have done, but I don't see that resonating with the Illiterati that are running the show these days.

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