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Comment Re:Just Remember, Folks. (Score 1) 143

They're announcing this shortly before the Model 3 goes into production, which will be a mid-budget vehicle.

(Also worth noting: the AutoPilot++ or whatever it's called, the version that's supposedly SAE 5 level that'll be released before the end of the year, isn't free. It's an extra people will have to pay for. If you assume SDC technology will reduce accidents by 66%, and if regular insurance is $1000 a year, then they need to price this at around $3,000 assuming a normal average ten year lifespan of each vehicle. IIRC that was the ball park for the price for the SDC add-on they're going for, so this is quite believable. You're not paying for the technology - that's already paid for, you're buying insurance for the lifetime of the vehicle.

Comment All-In-One likely to be the future norm (Score 4, Insightful) 143

If you bought a chauffeur service you would expect the service to pay the chauffeur, maintain the car, and maintain the insurance. This isn’t much different (other than you own the car). Tesla is large enough to create the shared risk pool that insurance is founded on. Better yet, by also being the insurance it incentives them to make their cars as safe as possible. I don’t image regular insurance companies are too happy about this and will propose various strawman arguments in an attempt to keep Tesla and others from doing this once self-driving cars really get popular. In fact this all in one model is about the only way self-driving cars will be able to work. Self driving cars will only be safe as long as they are always maintained in top condition. Sensors have to be functioning and calibrated. Brakes have to be in good working order to maintain the cars safe expected stopping distance. Software upgrades are needed. Etc...

Once driver error is not the major factor in accidents it just doesn't make sense to keep the old insurance structure as the fault will almost always be with the manufacturer. This does of course reduce the insurance company's incentive (in this case the manufacture) to really go after claims due to negligence, though that will still be a private legal suit option. Let make sure providing the insurance doesn't also take away your right to sue.

Comment Just to add useful information (Score 5, Informative) 63

Alphabet are alleging they have specific evidence the former employee downloaded the designs to a laptop, which he then tried to wipe to hide any trace he'd done this. Alphabet are also alleging the same former employee actually bragged about what he was going to do before he did it.

So... assuming they're not lying, this is pretty much open and shut. I guess we'll find out over the next few weeks.

Comment Re:so non dealer service or not paying for softwar (Score 2) 244

Sometimes the user is at fault. Maybe that means not updating software. Maybe that means after-market software or hardware modifications. Maybe that means extreme neglect of maintenance leading to mechanical failure (which happens now with non-self driving cars), assuming that self-maintaining cars will be way off in the future.

Not only can this be out of the user's control, it should be. The car should be constantly monitoring itself, and the car - being self driven - is capable of driving itself to be serviced, or calling a tow truck if it isn't capable of driving, with core functionality disabled if the car detects a state that means it can't guarantee a safe journey.

There's absolutely no reason not to take this out of the hands of the car "owner". The car doesn't have to be capable of servicing itself, it just needs to be capable of getting qualified people to provide that servicing.

Comment Re:The owner should be liable (Score 1) 244

So in other words, you believe Truth in Advertising laws should be overturned? If someone advertises a car as self driving, the consumer should be on the hook for believing them?

If a car is self driving, the manufacturer is making a claim they should stand behind. The consumer shouldn't be blamed for a fault they could not possibly predict or know about.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 244

I'm not following. At worst, you'd expect the additional costs to be equal to, or less than (if the manufacturer believes their cars are less likely to get into an accident, or that the accidents will be lesser in cost, than a human car) to the cost of the liability insurance human-driven car owners pay.

So anyone looking at a self driving car vs a regular car will see a lower TCO, all other things being equal. In reality, right now the SDC will cost slightly more due to the cost of the actual driving equipment, but what we're looking at here is something that brings the cost down, not pushes it up.

Comment Re:Weak/nonexistent punishments for faulty notices (Score 1) 81

All patent applications are signed under penalty of perjury. However, the US Patent and Trademark office disbanded its enforcement department in 1974. So, you can perjure yourself on a patent application with impunity.

Unless it's testimony in a criminal case, or the perjury trap in front of a grand jury, or something they want to prosecute like lying on your tax form, the Federal government is in general lassiez faire about perjury, or even encouraging of it with their reluctance to prosecute, especially perjury committed by a so-called intellectual property holder.

Comment Re:Awesome (Score 1) 194

It really depends on the algorithm. This is apparently about the type of language used, not the opinions expressed. If the algorithm mostly removes one word replies like "Fucktard", and leaves in place "I respectfully disagree with you that Mr Trump's policies will have the effect you describe", then, well, it's fine. What's the problem?

What I find interesting right now is that the word "Toxic" is used to describe the kinds of comments that'll be removed, and immediately rather a lot of people on Slashdot (not you) immediately assume it's anything that's anti-StrawJW.

Kinda tells you something about the people who use the term "SJW" to describe opponents of their own beliefs, doesn't it.

Comment Re:written in Go (Score 1) 57

Given Go is a mainstream language without anything unusual about it, and given that's pretty much well known, I'd say most programmers wouldn't consider it a barrier. The programmers that do? Probably the people who aren't going to contribute to an open source project in the first place.

Why do I say this? Well, because you either love programming or you don't. If you do, then yes, open source is interesting to you, and no, you're not going to be put off by having to use a language you're only 90% familiar with (because, like I said, for non-LISP/Prolog/etc programming languages, you're already 90% familiar with them), you'll consider that a feature, not a bug.

What might put a programmer off contributing to a project because of the language is if the language is unpleasant or a chore to use, not if the language is not something they've used before. But Go isn't that either.

I'm a developer too. I've been in this profession for nearly 25 years, and been programming since I was 10 years old. If something can be modified and the source is available, I tend to play with it, regardless of the language. I really suspect most of us are the same way. Those who aren't... well, do you think they're really interested in open source?

Comment Re:infrastructure (Score 1) 57

I'm sure it will make sense to plenty of non-google engineers.

Unless those non-Google engineers have already heard of ftp, scp, rsync, etc.

The only real problem with sharing on home connections involves NAT, ISP ToS, etc: being findable and connectable. Rent a VPS and install OpenVPN on it, have your home fileserver connect to it, and it's solved.

Comment Re:Can Uber really make money at this? (Score 1) 122

Does it really make sense economically for Uber to get 100% of the cost of a ride this way but having to spend money to buy main, maintain and insure cars?

If you hypothesize that robot drivers can really do the job sufficiently well, the conclusion is an extremely strong and obvious yes. Taxis, limo services, etc are already viable business models even when you have all those same expenses plus a driver to pay. Remove the driver expense and it only gets more viable.

Or is this another sign of a company that doesn't know what it is doing, perhaps most recently suggested by the recent charges of sexism and sexual harassment?

It's possible they don't know what they're doing, but this certainly isn't a sign. It all comes down to whether or not you think robots perform as well as humans, and this story merely works from the conclusion that they can; it doesn't show any strengths or weaknesses of the premise itself.

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