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Comment Re:I agree, but not for the same reasons as Musk (Score 1) 133

how do you rescue passengers from a stranded pod in an evacuated underground tube?

TBC is not dependent on hyperloop. You can fill the tunnel however you want. You could just put normal roads in there, or normal rail, or light rail, or a PRT monorail (monorail? monorail!) or a moving walkway or a canal or... use your imagination. (Personally, I'd imagine away the wheels, and use rail of some sort, whether single or dual. But I imagine the idea is to have dual-mode vehicles that can actually use the network without the sled.)

Comment Re:The problem (Score 1) 133

I'd much rather be in a helicopter that's lost its engine than an airplane.

Sadly, multicopters (where multi > bi) don't autorotate, and the "flying cars" which are about to hit the market are all multicopters.

I'd rather just be on the ground, so I don't have to worry about whether I will fall out of the sky, unless I'm going someplace across an ocean. Moving quickly on the water is quite inefficient, so far.

Comment Re:The problem (Score 1) 133

happened to me in my first car that was 17 years old, I used the parking brake to stop, some of that redundant system magic.

According to slashdot logic, that's unpossible as it would definitely have caused your car to spin out or some other such BS, because "the parking brake is not an emergency brake"

Which is a load of hot cockery, but what can you do? Congrats on not dying.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 133

So you're predicting the batteries will be monitored for approximately the first 7 years?

I don't know why it's common to say the numbers in this order, probably because it started out as just "24x7" as an abbreviation of "twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week". But 7 years ought to cover it. How long do you think they're going to keep using the same batteries in a shared aircraft, anyway?

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 133

He does have a point in that anything owned and operated by the general public tends to be maintained to a lower standard than anything owned and operated in an industry which has rigorous maintenance standards and penalties for not following them, such as the airline industry...

Nobody is trying to sell flying cars to the mass public- yet? I hope not, too. The flying cars which will actually be overhead any time soon will all belong to corporations, possibly the ride"sharing" companies, maybe taxi companies. Maybe Google, or Amazon, who knows.

Even with private aircraft and pilots, the pre-flight walk rounds can take more time than the flight - precisely because it is necessary to ensure some level of safety.

Well, it's going to be a whole lot less necessary with aircraft which resemble nothing so much as a scaled up R/C quadcopter. Presumably most of them will be at least octocopters, with at least one design which is supposedly going to be in the air immediately using a four-boom octo design. They're all solid state and have only a handful of moving parts, and wear of bearings can be measured using microphones. Batteries will be continually monitored (as in, 24x7x365) and evaluated by software so that their condition is always known. Any component which seems the least bit iffy will be swapped out (trivially) so that the aircraft can be restored to service.

I still don't look forward to seeing them overhead, I think that there are better solutions. But maintenance is actually the least of my concerns. I'm more worried about allowed areas, flight paths, fundamental hardware and software design issues, etc. The hardware is actually pretty simple, but that doesn't mean people won't get it wrong. The software is not simple, and there's lots of room to botch it.

Comment Re:Look at all the anti vehicle protection round p (Score 2, Informative) 133

If flying cars are available the defenses will be useless.

They already are, if that's what you mean by useless. It's already possible to practice flying in simulation, then get some manuals and learn how to actually start up a plane, then stroll onto an airfield someplace and steal one since so many of them have basically no security.

You won't be allowed to control a flying taxi manually, and they will be totally dependent on their computers to fly so you're not going to be trivially overriding them from inside the cockpit.

Comment Typically Boring Comment (Score 3, Interesting) 133

He also doesn't like them because his company, The Boring Company, wants to provide a competing transportation solution.

He also doesn't like them because people will report on that, and then people will talk about his boring company. It's extremely profitable dislike.

On the other hand, I agree with him. Adding more air traffic is inefficient at best.

On the third hand, there's probably plenty of places where tunnels won't work. That's not a reason not to build tunnels where they will work, but we still need something which handles those situations. I still like elevated PRT.

Comment Re:One man's picky is another man's prudent (Score 1) 79

But the wealthy told us that if we gave them all of our money, they would create jobs!

Seriously, the element missing from your story is that they're spending people's retirement funds on this shit while the one-percenters are literally just sitting on cash that could be invested in such business ventures. Didn't they tell us that's what they were going to do with the money? Invest it, and create jobs?

Comment Re:So do tell (Score 1) 140

The last military contract I worked on -- a number of decades ago -- was a system that ran on a computer built to military standards using discrete transistors -- none of those fancy IC things. It was nowhere near as powerful as the PC-XTs in our office. But it would run equally poorly in the Arctic in January or the Middle East in July. And the computer would probably survive being inadvertently dropped off a truck by some high school dropout then run over by the next two vehicles in the convoy.

Sure, but for the price of maintaining an antique, you could probably put a more modern computer in every pocket...

Comment Re:4 out of 30 are French (Score 1) 63

The Democrat party lost because their leaders as a whole are the worst corporate tools that there has ever been.

What? And also what? The republicans are much worse. Much, much worse. Democrats occasionally try to help people. Republicans only try to help corporations. It's true that the Democrats lost because their leaders are corporate tools, but calm your hyperbole there, son.

Comment Re: Not a big deal (Score 1, Insightful) 132

I hope for your sake and for the rest of the democrats that you do some good soul searching prior to 2018 & 2020... otherwise you will be trounced again.

The DNC is still up to the same old tricks, refusing to support genuinely leftists candidates in favor of centrist tools of the corporatocracy. So yeah, expect a repeat.

Comment Hmm (Score 1) 248

1.) Artificial intelligence is already getting smarter than us, at an exponential rate. 2.) We'll make AIs into a general purpose intelligence, like our own. 3.) We can make human intelligence in silicon. 4.) Intelligence can be expanded without limit. 5.) Once we have exploding superintelligence it can solve most of our problems.

1. no 2. probably 3. probably 4. probably 5. probably not, it will most likely use us for axle grease as we will otherwise compete for resources and we won't be good for anything else.

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