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Comment Re:This is NOT a matter of trademark violation (Score 2) 229

Not necessarily. Take a look at the relevant portion of the Lantham Act. It would have to fit one of the provisions therein. It might make a false suggestion of affiliation, but it's arguable.

15 U.S.C. 1125 - False designations of origin, false descriptions, and dilution forbidden

(a) Civil action

(1) Any person who, on or in connection with any goods or services, or any container for goods, uses in commerce any word, term, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, or any false designation of origin, false or misleading description of fact, or false or misleading representation of fact, which

(A) is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of such person with another person, or as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of his or her goods, services, or commercial activities by another person, or

(B) in commercial advertising or promotion, misrepresents the nature, characteristics, qualities, or geographic origin of his or her or another person's goods, services, or commercial activities,

shall be liable in a civil action by any person who believes that he or she is or is likely to be damaged by such act.

Comment This is NOT a matter of trademark violation (Score 1) 229

You violate a trademark if you mis-represent a good or service as that of the trademark holder. And it has to be in the same trademark category that they registered. Having a trademark does not grant ownership of a word, and does not prevent anyone else from using that word. Use of a trademark in reporting and normal discussion is not a violation.

Comment Re:Saying you are aware and actually being aware . (Score 1) 578

Absolutely, but renaming "autopilot" to "driving aid that works quite well in most cases but can kill you if something unexpected happens and you don't brake in time" wouldn't have helped in this case as the driver was well aware of the limitations of the autopilot. Which is really an exception as you would not expect most drivers to be as aware of the technology in their car as much as Josh Brown was. Which really means that the name doesn't matter. What matters is that after using the system for a while you realise that it works reliably. You then start dozing off, and even then it still is reliable mostly. But at some point an accident will happen.

Comment Re:74 at time of crash (Score 1) 578

I don't think that would have helped. The radar return would have been pretty much the same. There is some vertical aperture of course, but that was already sufficient to detect the truck (and is sufficient to detect overhead signs). The problem is that a significant part of the radar were not returned which suggests to the system that the way is clear enough. In my view, radar is simply not enough for an autonomous car, which the Tesla isn't. There is a reason why Google spends a lot of money on the LIDAR for its self driving cars. If Radar was sufficient they wouldn't go through that trouble.

Comment Re: Er (Score 1) 578

That's a big effing problem!! It's already led to one death, and can easily lead to many more.

The terminology did not lead to the death. The killed driver was very aware of the limitations of the autopilot and that you need to be aware of your surroundings. He said this in his YouTube videos and the comments.

Comment Re: Er (Score 1) 578

Yes I agree that "autopilot" is a horrendous choice of name because "auto" and "automatic" imply autonomy, no matter how many clickthrough EULA's you shove in front of someone.

I agree. I got in my car the other day and while driving, I remembered it is actually an automobile so I let go of the steering.

Comment Re:74 at time of crash (Score 3, Insightful) 578

How would the car have been able to do this? The radar used does not have any vertical resolution, you only get a certain proportion of the radar that is returned, similar to what you get from a overhead sign. The camera would have been able to see the size of the gap but it did not detect the truck either as it was the same colour as the sky.

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 103

I have the front panel of the VAX 11/780 used to render that scene hanging on my wall, but I got to Pixar after that project. This year and last I've contributed some designs that will fly on a FEMA satellite, and a long time ago did a little work to support the Biosciences mission on the shuttle.

Comment Re:Politics aside, is this a copyright violation? (Score 1) 460

each email is a creative work by the author

Yes, good point! Without the government sticking their guns in everyone's faces and enforcing the email-writer's monopoly on commercially profiting from their blood, sweat, and tears, what incentive would party members have to communicate with each other?

If we don't properly enforce this monopoly, party members will give up and stop emailing each other! Then where will be be?

Comment Re: drone ship landings require a lot less fuel? (Score 1) 103

I don't need to stand by the rotation theory. However, the 2.5 degrees that the Earth rotates are about equivalent to the downrange distance.

The first stage is going about 1/5 of the target LEO orbital velocity at separation. While you might well model the trajectory as a parabola over flat ground, given the lack of fuel I would expect that SpaceX puts a lot more care into their trajectory. So far I've failed to attract the attention of the person responsible for Flight Club, the most trusted modeling of SpaceX flights, but I'll message him directly.

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