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Comment Commingling Inventory (Score 4, Insightful) 346

The biggest problem raised in the article is the commingling of inventory. Many sellers of products provide the products to Amazon, and they are shipped out of Amazon warehouses. When multiple companies are selling the exact same product, Amazon commingles the inventory, as they consider the products to be fungible. In theory, that's fine. However, if some of the companies are selling knock-offs, you have a problem. People ordering from the knock-off seller have a good chance of getting the real thing and writing a great review. People ordering from legitimate sellers get knock-offs and write terrible reviews.

I've seen a number of products myself where the reviews clearly indicate that people are receiving different products, and there's no way to tell which one you might actually receive.

If Amazon were to fix this one problem, they would be in a much better position to manage counterfeit products.

Comment Google Street View (faces/license plates) (Score 1) 82

I've wondered how hard it would be for Google to take multiple photos and then automatically remove temporary objects like cars and people. I'm not sure how they could do it without significantly adding to the cost of collecting the images, though (by combining photos from multiple drives). They might be able to remove pedestrians with multiple cameras at different angles on the same vehicle.

Comment Requirements shouldn't be a problem (Score 1) 164

How hard is it to package the binary along with all the required libraries together. Put them in some directory by themselves, and then have /usr/bin/skype be a script that uses something like LD_LIBRARY_PRELOAD to use the versions that work with the binary?

If you have the right versions, you can just move the real binary to /usr/bin, but you're fine if you don't.

Your distribution could set this up when they package it. There's no need for end users to ever have to worry about it.

Personally, I'm just glad that this is a 64-bit binary. I think this leaves only one other program that I need that is only available as a 32-bit binary (the discontinued Adobe Acrobat Reader for those times when Okular can't handle forms).

Comment Re:Three Space Indent! (Score 1) 523

No, because you may find that you need to use half a dozen different tools that all display the code, plus emailed copy-and-paste snippets here and there. Sure, you can control what a tab expands to in your primary editor, but you don't have control over all the other tools.

Yes, if the use of tabs is completely consistent, then at least the code won't be too terribly mangled by other tools, but it won't look anything like what you're used to.

Comment Three Space Indent! (Score 1) 523

I love three-space indent!

Not really, but that's actually what I use because work mandates it. Apparently there was a big debate in the early days of the company between 2 and 4, so they compromised. Much of our coding standard is based on one particular engineer who had vision problems and needed to keep the number of columns restricted.

But you know what? It works. Millions of lines of code dating back two decades, and it's extremely consistent. Ninety percent of the code looks like it was written by the same engineer. That's what you want on a major project.

Though I will say that I've come to hate tabs in indentation. They're fine until they're not. At some point you end up using some tool where they don't look right.

My pet peeve, though, is trailing spaces. Any code management system should be designed to strip trailing spaces or block commits that contain them. I've seen far too many code merges break because of a disagreement on trailing spaces, and that's just dumb.

Comment Better than DNA or Fingerprints? (Score 2) 32

DNA and fingerprints get left all over the place. Iris scans don't. That has obvious privacy implications.

On the other hand, fingerprints and DNA are very well understood at this point. (Yes, there have been scandals where markers in DNA have provided "conclusive" matches that were anything but, but at least the science is understood.) We're pretty clear on fingerprints being left behind when we touch things, and DNA being left behind pretty much everywhere we go. Most people aren't so clear on iris scans--apparently a good camera can check for a match at some distance. The privacy implications are quite serious. This has the potential to be the biometric equivalent of license plate scanners that pick up every car that drives by.

It's like facial recognition without the false matches.

We might someday soon talk about sunglasses instead of tinfoil hats.

Comment Re:They already have radar (Score 1) 136

They already do. Obviously, they need to adjust the algorithms. The camera was fooled by the lack of contrast between the side of the truck and the sky (white truck and white clouds, perhaps). The radar was fooled by the open space under the truck, making it look like an overhead sign. The good news is that unlike most traditional accidents, this one will result in an improved design that should eliminate similar accidents in the future.

Comment Re:Horrible in daylight (Score 1) 290

I've never had trouble with glare making my backup camera unviewable in my Tesla. I've seen some horrible screens on rentals, though.

The problems I have had are too many fingerprints on the screen and water drops on the camera. A heating element around the lens could quickly eliminate water drops, but they haven't incorporated that yet.

Comment They already have radar (Score 1) 136

The current system already has radar.

The radar is the primary sensor for the traffic-aware cruise control that slows the vehicle down below the set speed when there is a slower vehicle in front.

The camera is the primary sensor for watching the stripes on the road to handle the steering. The camera also watches for vehicles and reads speed limit signs.

The sonar is the primary sensor for auto-park and summon features. It's also used to detect if the lane is clear for lane changes and to swerve to avoid side-impact collisions.

Please note my use of "primary" above. The autopilot system uses a combination of all three sensor systems.

It's widely expected that the next generation of hardware will include more cameras. It's also widely expected that this new hardware will start shipping later this year on the S and X, and will be the same hardware that is on the Model 3 late next year. Any updates besides a second or third camera and an updated controller would be a welcome surprise. The ability to upgrade existing cars to the new hardware would also be a welcome surprise.

Comment Re:Model S shortcomings (Score 1) 243

No, no other files. It's actually a micro SD card reader, but the system shouldn't notice the difference. I don't buy real flash sticks anymore so that all my flash is in the same format.

It's not 100%, but it's pretty frequent. It may ask for a reboot 20% of the time we drive it, but then it will often take a half dozen reboots before it's happy. We've seen it report a touch screen problem immediately upon inserting the stick. If the system comes up correctly, then there's never a problem until the next time we turn on the car.

The stick we're using has 9.4GB in 2416 files in 170 directories. There are three .m3u playlist files that I believe it ignores, the rest are all .mp3.

Comment Re:Model S shortcomings (Score 1) 243

No, it's not fixed, but your post suggests two possibilities: First, our flash stick might have less data but more separate files; I would assume that it's the number of files or directories that cause the problem. Second, our flash stick is VFAT, not EXT2; I should convert it and see if that solves the problem.

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