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Comment Re:You can't do autonomous half-way like this. (Score 1) 485

I've seen this argument before and I'm (genuinely) curious where the 1-fatality-in-96 million miles is based on. Wikipedia lists 1.27 casulaties per 100M miles, which is close enough, but that statistic is for all roads. AFAIK, interstates are the safest road type, and most casualties are on local roads and non-divided highways. I would like to know what the fatality rate would be for the same conditions that people use autopilot on, I would expect it to be much lower than 1 per 130MM?

Comment Re:Good (Score 5, Interesting) 1080

I can't blame them either.

I think the only reasonable system possible is one which has private ownership, free and competitive enterprise, and a government providing basic services, ensuring security and regulation, and promoting fairness and equality by e.g. making sure everyone has access to health care and education.

If this is 'capitalism', I'll take it. You can also call it the Rhineland model or social market economics, or whatever you want. I want it :)

What we're seeing now is:
- wage share of income falling relative to capital's share [1]
- real median income stagnant for the past 20 years even though real average income has increased by 25% [2]. Over 50 years median income increased by 25% (not even .5% per annum), while average income increased by 100%. In other words: the economic growth since the seventies has almost entirely gone to the above-median earners: the top 1% share of income jumped from 10% in the seventies to over 20% now, with a large part of this increase going to the top 0.1% (i.e., not us).
- governments are unable to provide basic services because the rich don't pay their fair share of tax [4]
- governments are unable to provide basic services because they are unable to reform entitlement/welfare systems which are in fact transferring money from the relatively poor young to the relatively well-off old [5]
- markets aren't acutally well regulated, especially in the US, and too many industries have (near-)monopolies, causing profits to be historically way too high [6]

In Europe, 'capitalism' means that old people have either permanent contracts with generous benefits, or are already enjoying their equally generous retirement which they entered between 55 and 65. Young people have temporary contracts at stagnant wages, are unable to buy a house because of (1) inflated prices due to government meddling (green belts, mortgage interest deductability); (2) they don't have a permanent contract; and (3) new lending regulations means banks are a lot more stingy than even 10 years ago; and will not retire before 67 on a defined contribution scheme, which is pretty bad news especially given the essentially zero interest rates and government bond yields. In the US (and increasingly the UK), added to this is a nice pile of student debt. If I were young(er), I'm not sure I would think this is such a good bargain...

2) https://research.stlouisfed.or...

Comment Re: How does it do in the winter? (Score 4, Insightful) 430

Yep, tax gas cars enough and provide large enough EV incentives, and people will do that sort of thing...

Doesn't make it a rational market nor mean it will work elsewhere. :)

Purely "rational" / "homo economicus" behaviour is very far away in the mobility market even without EVs:

- Passenger trains are (often) subsidized directly and indirectly by not having to pay full cost for using rails, stations etc.
- Cars are subsidized indirectly by building roads, but taxed directly with sales tax and (often) extra vehicle tax or import tax
- Gasoline is taxed with sales tax and other taxes, but subsidized indirectly by military interventions / protecting shipping lanes

So let's see what your rational mobility decision is in a country without a functioning government to 'distort' the market. My bet is going to be on walking, especially walking away :).

Comment Re:"mass market affordable car" (Score 1) 430

I live in Amsterdam, and there would only be one reason to get an EV: to be allowed to park on the EV-only spots with charger ports :-)

We bought a new car a year ago, but my daily commute is by bicyle and I use the car for longer trips. So, EV would only make sense once the charging-on-the-road is really solved. Now we just bought a cheap and light city car (VW UP) which supposedly gets 5l/100km (1:20, 47mpg), in reality gets between that and 5.5l/100 (1:17, 43mpg), but that is partly due to 'bad' driving on my part

Comment Re:Eliminate git, move back to cvs (Score 2) 87

I hope that you are being facetious, but I'll bite.

I've worked with cvs, subservsion, mercurial/hg, and git, and git is by far the most powerful tool and the easiest one to work with after the initial learning curve. You might have massively larger projects than me, but checking out the whole tree has never been a problem for me, and I really like being able to commit (and more rarely: check version history) when working offline.

Branching, tagging, cherry-picking, and rebasing are very easy to do and make it possible to manage a largish project with multiple release and feature branches relatively painlessly. In my daily workflow there are only a few commands I use regulary, and a couple more than I use occasionally (e.g. when releasing a stable version). Moreover, I've never found that there was anything I couldn't do, from rewriting history when needed (e.g. after checking in passwords or copyrighted code), to undoing stupid stuff (e.g. a force push from a branch that wasn't pulled or a merge with a wrong branch).

Although the commands can be a bit arcane (e.g. the three levels of git reset or the exact rebase syntax) the community support, tooling, and documentation is excellent.

As another poster above said:

I'd rather remove my testicles with a rusty hacksaw than ever use CVS again.

Sounds painful, but: yes :)

Comment help with sailing (Score 1) 103

I like sailing on tidal waters... a drone (if quiet enough to not annoy the wildlife and other boaters) would be great for checking out where the water is deep enough. Navigational Charts are nice, but below depths of 1m (the draft of my boat with keep fully raised is 35 cm / 1 ft) and especially in tidal waters that change after every storm are not so useful, so you often have to find your way with trial and error. Getting a couple (gps-anchored) pictures from above at moments around low tide would be fantastic.

Comment Re:This is for XPS laptops. (Score 1) 55

Frankly, it's much less important. I've built and bought quite a number of desktops and put linux on them the past years, never had issues. With laptops, there is less choice within segments (especially within the ultrabook segment), and there are more less-supported parts (and it's more expensive and annoying to replace a part if you need to, e.g. the broadcom wifi chip in the XPS13)

Comment Re:Why not 16.04? (Score 2) 55

I have a xps13 for about a year now with ubuntu installed. It was somewhat painful at first because of driver issues (the developer edition wasn't released yet for the new xps13), so required a kernel recompile and some fidgeting. A couple months ago I replaced the broadcom chip with an intel (a very quick operation once you get hold of a tiny torque screwdriver) and installed ubuntu 15.10 which worked perfect out of the box.

The resolution is incredibly nice when everything behaves. I run emacs / terminal with font 14 or 16 and it is just so much clearer and nicer to the eyes. What is annoying if you switch between the built in 13" hidpi and a 27" lodpi external monitor, I've not found a way to make it behave sane, and not all programs obey the system settings. Maybe I'll just get a hidpi external monitor :)

Comment Re:Yeah, um, not so much (Score 4, Interesting) 819

Jimminy Cricket, this is the 21st century. Do you see no other political solution to your grievance than buying a gun?

Don't you realise there's no other functioning democracy other than the USA? The existence of guns is the only thing that keeps the country in check! /sarcasm.

That is really funny! You have a great career as a comedian ahead of you (or as a politician, but I sincerely hope you will choose the former)

The one thing I'll grant you is that at the time of founding, the US did pretty well on the democratic front - although it was nowhere near as exceptional as a lot of people might think: the vast majority of the population had no voting rights (excluding in no particular order slaves, indians, women, and people without property), which makes the system less radically different from (proto-)parliaments such as the British Parliament, the French Estates-General, or the institutions of the 17th century Dutch republic. All of these systems ranged somewhere between monarchy, aristocracy, and "real" democracy. See e.g.

Currently, there are plenty of "real" democracies, with political processes that are each flawed in their own way but that more or less succeed in translating popular preferences into policy and protecting the rights of its citizens. On the Economist's democracy index, the US has 20th place (after most of northwestern Europe) and is only just above the level of "flawed democracy", scoring especially bad on functioning of government and political participation.

Freedom house similarly places the US on a downward trajectory and below almost all (north)Western European countries. ( From their report: "[American] elections and legislative process have suffered from an increasingly intricate system of gerrymandering and undue interference by wealthy individuals and special interests. Racial and ethnic divisions have seemingly widened, and the past year brought greater attention to police violence and impunity, de facto residential and school segregation, and economic inequality, adding to fears that class mobility, a linchpin of America’s self-image and global reputation, is in jeopardy."

A nation without a functioning political process, but where everybody has guns - I believe we call that a "failed state". See also Somalia, Iraq, or South Sudan.

Comment Re:Bridge trolls get what they deserve. (Score 4, Interesting) 311

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

That said, there would be value in a additional legislation to force copyright holders to "use it or lose it". If copyright is used to deliberately keep something from publication (e.g. Mein Kampf in Germany) or if a publisher owns the copyright, but doesn't see the business case in using it, I think that the law should either

(1) revert the work to public domain after some time, and/or
(2) allow for making copies as "fair use", or
(3) apply some sort of RAND licensing on the work, so anyone can decide to publish (derivatives of) the work if they pay a reasonable fee, probably some percentage of last known retail value.

(this should only apply to works that have been made public before, e.g. acquirable by the general public. As an author you should still have the right to keep something private)

There is an analogy in the Dutch housing market history: until recently it was quasi-legal to squat a house if it had been empty for 1 year. So, a house owner has the exclusive right to use his or her house (by living in it or renting it out to whom s/he pleases), but if s/he just lets the building stand empty, the public used to gain a general right to take occupancy. The owner would then have to go to court and show that there are immediate plans to re-use the building, on which the court could decide to evict the squatters. As noted in the wiki:"Dutch squatting has its origins in the 1960s when the Netherlands was suffering a housing shortage while many properties stood empty" - empty houses were mainly bought for speculation, and rent was not considered enough to cover cost of maintenance and operation (a market failure). In a sense, although the house was private property, the total residential space in the city was seen as a public good. ( and )

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