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Comment Re:I would invest (Score 1) 156

Those Singapore cars rely on not just one, but two drivers.

That's what's fascinating about the self-driving car movement. So much money, and so many promises - entire companies even are banking on a technology that doesn't exist in a meaningful way. What we get instead are pledges and advertisements that are completely disconnected from reality.

They may come eventually, but no one in the industry seriously expects to see an autonomous car that can handle city driving within the next 10 years.

Comment Re:Never go to be work "as is" (Score 1) 265

Autonomous vehicles will never take off if the prerequisite is to first create a centralized traffic control system. What I think we'll see instead is autonomous vehicles taking cues from human driven vehicles via the V2V (vehicle to vehicle) communication system that will roll out in the next few years.

Tesla's vehicle already kinda does this. They used the car's GPS units to build a map of highway lanes, based on how the humans drove them, and then feed this map into their autonomous system. One can easily imagine that auto makers will continue to use shortcuts like this; perhaps a car will realize that it needs to divert around construction once it observes so many of the surrounding vehicles doing it.

When one considers what kind of behavior may emerge from this type of vehicular flocking, its easy to imagine a lot of strange and unintended consequences. Perhaps a centralized authority will eventually come about, whose job it is to manage the data that is sent to cars and massage out strange behaviors. I predict that such a thing is far in the future however, in the meantime a true autonomous vehicle will have to be able to figure out a heck of a lot of stuff on its own.

Comment Re:There had to be a first case... (Score 5, Insightful) 379

I don't know if I agree that the accident was unavoidable. The inference of the article is that the driver wasn't paying any attention at all and had surrendered the driving completely to the car.

My opinion is that Tesla's self-driving system is not nearly as safe as they claim. One doesn't have to look very hard to find videos like this one where the driver has to react to prevent the auto-pilot from causing a crash. I question how long, realistically, a production Tesla can stay on the highway before a human needs to intercede to prevent an accident.

Given enough time, and enough lawsuits, I think that Tesla will shut off their self-driving feature. It needs to be a lot robust than it current is. I can't say with any expertise, but it seems like their competitors are taking their autonomous vehicle research far more seriously with plans to install a more sophisticated sensor package on their cars.

Submission + - Jeep/Chrysler's New Gearshift Appears to be Causing Accidents (roadandtrack.com)

bartle writes: The new gearshift design for the Jeep Grand Cherokee appears to be causing rollaway accidents: 121 crashes and 30 injuries so far. The gear shifter is designed to look and feel similar to a traditional automatic gear shift lever but it is meant to cycle through the gears rather than move directly to a certain gear. A driver who is used to placing their vehicle in park by pressing the shifter all the way forward may instead be setting it to neutral before exiting the vehicle. The NHTSA is investigating.

Comment Re:Children or not (Score 1) 200

Theoretically, it is possible to install a speed camera that measures speed very accurately. That does not mean that the speed cameras that are currently being installed are accurate.

I've received a ticket from a photo radar van that miscalculated my speed. If these systems continue to be installed everywhere, eventually you will too.

Comment Why the Ads? (Score 1) 203

The thing that seems extremely strange to me about the walmart.com website is the sheer number of ads. And I don't mean ads for products that Walmart sells, I mean they're selling ad space for companies like Avis and Equifax through AdChoices. The result of this, for me at least, is that their site runs incredibly slow.

I invite people to navigate to the walmart.com site and take a look. What are they trying to do there? Is it that the walmart.com team is expected to be financially self supported? I would not expect a company that is as large and successful as Walmart to be insisting on something that surely can't be bringing in much money while undercutting their future.

Comment Re:Simething simple you missed? (Score 3, Interesting) 212

I would also recommend looking at rsnapshot which is built on top of rsync.

I used to use a development system where the entire fire tree was mirrored at the top of every hour. Recovering old files was as simple as navigating to a different directory.

Personally, I like the rsync solution because it is filesystem agnostic. It also has been around for a long time; whatever you're trying to do, I can guarantee that someone was doing it with rsync 20 years ago.

Comment Re:Programming games for kids (Score 1) 527

Agentsheets (the subject of the article) is actually pretty good. The coding is almost completely drag n' drop and each of the agents processes its code in parallel. The result is I think more intuitive for a mind that is not trained in computer logic. Unfortunately the product is being produced by grad students which (at least in this case) means that it's overpriced and not terribly well coded. I kinda wish they had just sold the idea to Hasbro or something - it would be running on the iPad by now.

Comment Re:Isn't that just a network? (Score 3, Interesting) 258

This idea of a nationwide secure network has never made much sense to me. Creating a secure network in a small organization is pretty easy but creating one that links many public and private enterprises sounds like a disaster. Gaps will inevitably appear but worse it creates a real target for someone who wishes to create harm.

Comment Re:medicore (Score 1) 132

I'm glad you pointed this out, I hadn't even noticed. One thing I love about my G1 is the keyboard, with Connectbot I have a surprisingly usable remote terminal in the palm of my hand.

It's a shame that keyboards are viewed only in the context of sending text messages.

Submission + - Amateur radio in the backcountry? 1

bartle writes: I currently spend a lot of time hiking in the Colorado Rockies. Cell phone reception is very unreliable and I'm curious if carrying a small amateur radio would make any sense at all. I don't want to add too much weight to my pack so I'm uninterested in carrying a radio that weighs much more than a pound; from what I gather this would give me at best 5 to 10 watts of transmitting power. I have no idea if this is enough to be effective in a mountainous region, I'm hoping some experienced Slashdot hams could give me a clue.

I'm only interested in acquiring a radio and license if it is a lot more effective and reliable than the cell phone I already carry. Otherwise I'm probably better off just waiting for Globalstar to bring back their duplex service and buy a next generation SPOT messaging device. I know some Slashdotters will want to suggest a modern SPOT or Personal Locator Beacon; these are suitable for the worst kinds of emergency but I'll point out that reliable communication can help prevent small crises from becoming big ones.

I don't expect anyone to be able to answer this question spot on but I bet there are a few Slashdotters out there with experiences they can share. Are small, amateur radios effective in the field or are vehicle rigs really the only way to go? Or am I just best off waiting for satellite?

Comment Re:Heading this off--see link to juror (Score 4, Insightful) 418

Exactly. Quoting from this post on Slashdot:

As to these configuration backups, Mr. Childs kept these on a DVD he kept with him at all times. Furthermore, this DVD was encrypted and could only be decrypted using his laptop (as the encryption program required not only a password, but access to a specific file that existed on the laptop).

Can these actions be defended as anything other than job security? Unless someone has reason to think that BengalsUF is getting the story wrong, why is there so much popular defense for this guy?

Comment Re:Perhaps a buy one donate several model? (Score 2, Interesting) 413

A cat-hole is not always an option, depending on where you go and the season. The current expectation is that in these situations all hikers will pack their excrement out. I've observed that most people are fine with packing out trash but draw the line at feces. I think a lot of people would be fine with carrying in a little extra weight if they could minimize their interaction with their own stool.

Comment Re:Good but overrated (Score 1) 37

In general I agree with you. As a puzzle game it is outstanding but the story just leaves players dazed and confused. I've read some Blow interviews and various interpretations and the game, while very well thought out, simply does not intend to lead the player to a specific outcome. Blow used every literary device in the book but in the end couldn't make a single recognizable point.

It makes me sad that the final level has one of the most brilliant videogame twists I've ever seen but ultimately it leads nowhere. If only the game had solidly been about a man reconciling a lost relationship with no mention of the Manhattan Project.

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