Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:ATT is NOT a charity (Score 1) 163

They'll go where the money is.

You are correct. They went to the government, lobbied for subsidies to build out broadband networks they had no intention of completing. They also have local monopolies that lower competition levels and increase profits. That's how to profit with crony capitalism.

Comment Re:They already made money (Score 2) 163

If the government did it, they would be putting the finishing touches on their plan to roll ISDN

Like they did in Chattanooga, TN, Longmont, CO, and tens of other cities across the US? Oh wait, you said ISDN, not Gigabit fibre.

I'm not a big government fan, but when it comes to services that have reached utility level (aka everyone needs them to function in society, like water, electricity, and now internet access) the profit driven "free market" approach only seems to create monopolies that drive up prices and lower the quality of service.

Comment Re:No one makes anyone buy anything. (Score 2) 247

Would you be fine with companies treating consumers like this in the physical world?

One of the grocery stores (Kroger/King Soopers/City Market group) here is getting close to that with their loyalty rewards program. You can get personalized coupons through their phone app. I'm sure a number of the variables you listed, and others, play into what coupons, and at what discounts, are provided to individual users. I don't have the app, only a card with no phone number attached, so I couldn't elaborate much more. I'm aware of this b/c my neighbor was explaining all the ways the app kept track of her shopping habits and then gifted her with coupons. She went on and on about how wonderful it all was to only have to bring her phone and not keep track of physical coupons.

Comment Re:Who is liable when your tv catches fire (Score 1) 180

If you own a home and a tree on your property falls on your neighbor and injures them; aren't you liable?

Yep. It's my tree, and I could have taken better care of it so that it wouldn't be prone to breaking. I also have insurance (homeowners or renters) to cover me in case of accidents.

You have friends over for a party; your gas oven blows up and kills one of your guests; aren't you liable?

I guess that would depend. Did my lack of maintenance or improper installation cause the accident, or was it a manufacturing defect? If it was a manufacturing defect that should have generated a recall, the insurance company or I will likely be going after damages from the manufacturer.

Same scenario, but you rent instead of own, then isn't the owner of the apartment liable?

If I'm a renter, then maintenance of the landscaping or appliances that come with the rental aren't my responsibility. If I was aware of a problem, and didn't report it, I guess I could have some portion of blame.

Hopefully we can figure that out vis-a-vis robots before there's too many cases where we must have the answer.

Those are all cases that have been visited multiple times, with multiple variations. They're similar examples, but not quite on the level of "I'm inside this rolling box that I'm not in control of". Historically the driver, and in some cases the owner, of the vehicle is liable for damages. Defining "driver" in the case of autonomous cars seems be one of the points that will have to be worked out before they will be fully integrated into society. No matter how proactive we try to be with creating law ahead of the implementation, there will be plenty of corner cases that statutes won't clealy cover. From the USian perspective, I expect most of those corner cases will get sorted out via litigation, not legislation.

Comment Re:Who is liable when your tv catches fire (Score 1) 180

that needs to change because the "driver" cannot be held responsible.

Your use of quotes there is interesting and important. The people inside a fully autonomous cars are passengers, not drivers. If someone is driving a car, it's not autonomous. Essentially, the manufacturer *is* the driver. Their programming, sensors, algorithms, and maps are what is used to control the vehicle, the passenger isn't involved. If I'm not in control of a vehicle, I have no intention of being liable for its actions.

if the owner modifies the car or fails to perform maintenance, and that causes the AI to malfunction, the owner should probably still be held responsible.

Another interesting choice of wording. I don't think manufacturers will sell fully autonomous cars. They will lease them, they will license them for use, or something similar will happen. If the manufacturer is going to accept increased liability for accidents, they are going to want increased maintenance levels and less modifications. To get that level of control of the car, they won't sell them, they will be rented in some way. I could even see where they don't lease or rent an actual car. Instead, you would subscribe to a service. The car manufacturer then has fleets of different types of autonomous vehicles waiting to be told where/when to pick you up. You need a truck to haul lumber and building supplies, select that type in the app. You need an SUV or other vehicle that can carry 5+ people, same deal.

This isn't all going to happen at once, as human driven cars will be phased out over time, but eventually, there won't be any humans legally driving cars (at least in anything resembling an urban area, the pace and method of change in rural areas will be different), and they won't own the ones they are riding in.

I'll go crank up Red Barchetta by Rush now.

Comment Re:Rich are winning class war [Re: Bull] (Score 1) 644

Yep, that's the next level. Once machines can build themselves, from mining to manufacture and repair, all that's needed for the machine apocalypse is an AI that makes the logical conclusion that humans are inefficient energy sinks and the machine world would be better off without them.

Comment Re:Onstar compulsory in all GM cars. OK to rp it o (Score 1) 163

I mean who's car do they think it is?

If Chevy took the route that John Deere took when they were challenged regarding the ability of individuals to repair their own equipment, the car actually belongs to them. "John Deere said that those who buy tractors are actually purchasing an "implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.""

Comment Re:Rich are winning class war [Re: Bull] (Score 1) 644

Fair enough, but isn't that exactly what we seem to be heading towards? We seem to be trying to reach a level of machine knowledge where natural resource extraction, raw material refinement, manufacturing, and service of the machines is all automated. Once we get there, what reason is there to have most of us sweaty, non-machine-owning meatbags around?

Comment Re:Rich are winning class war [Re: Bull] (Score 5, Insightful) 644

Then what they will be buying themselves, eventually, is civil war.

The owner-class won't worry about that. They'll be directing their hunter/killer robots from within their walled off enclaves.

Seriously. Once the dirty business of producing food, clothing, shelter, and high-tech toys is fully automated, why would the .1% want the unwashed masses around, other than for entertainment?

Comment Re:Linus is a dumb ditch digger (Score 2) 361

The early 1990's when Linus created Linux was the perfect time. And at that time all of the Unixes were walled off proprietary prison camps and ran on workstations that at that time cost a couple tens of thousands of dollars. Linux ran on a common PC.

I was running 386BSD on x86 PCs in 1992-93. While all UNIX wasn't proprietary at that point, this was a time of great changes in that realm. ATT UNIX was in the process of getting re-written as BSD. There was also much legal wrangling going on around the re-write, slowing down the process. According to Linus, "If 386BSD had been available when I started on Linux, Linux would probably never had happened."

Comment Re:Supply and demand (Score 1) 120

b) with a credit card - that must be shown to pick up the tickets upto an hour before the show.

If I buy one of these tickets, which often go on sale months before an event, and for some reason I'm not able to go, can I get a refund? Or did I just piss away whatever I spent on the tickets and leave some empty seats to discourage the artist, other fans and venue? Well, I guess the artist and venue wouldn't be toooo mad, they got paid.

Comment Re:Supply and demand (Score 1) 120

The only people getting rich are scummy middlemen with no skin in the game

You must be talking about companies like Ticketmaster, right? Because all the ticket scalpers have skin in the game, they didn't get the tickets they are selling for free. If they buy tickets that they don't sell, they take a loss.

Slashdot Top Deals

Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless. -- Sinclair Lewis

Working...