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Comment Road-worthiness of this road? (Score 1) 277

What is the actual performance of this new material for the job that it's meant to do, i.e. being a road? How is traction affected? What about at temperature extremes? What about rain and snow? What about when the road is salted or has gravel on it? Roads take a lot of abuse...

Also, how is the power production affected when the road inevitably develops some cracks? What about repair and maintenance cost?

Comment Driving is a social activity... (Score 2) 255

What a lot of people fail to take into consideration about self-driving cars is that driving (in a city) is a deeply social activity (well, for good drivers at least). There are many signals that a person can read (vehicle type and condition, their occupants, the environment, time and day, pedestrians etc.) that do not fall into the standard list of signals you might associate with driving speed, turn signals etc. A lot of these can be very area-specific and require local knowledge. It will be difficult for software to ever match a human in these tasks. Having said that, computers excel in other areas, such as reaction time, so a hybrid approach where both the human and the computer are used should yield the best results. For really mind-numbing stop and go highway driving you can be on full auto. For city driving you switch to manual plus assist...

Besides, after a few years your on-board computer will stop receiving OTA updates and the required APIs will be discontinued so you will need that full-manual capability.

Comment Re:Dumb idea (Score 1) 255

Yep. Ditching the steering wheel and the pedals would be really, really dumb. It would mean that if the car had a problem it would be stuck where it is.

Surprise! The very high end cars have already done this. Lexus, BMW, Rolls Royce, several others all have drive-by-wire systems, the steering wheel is controlled by individual electric motors(sometimes a single motor). And and electric motor on the pedal simulates the feel of hydraulic pressure.

Steering and brakes have mechanical fallback mechanisms.

Comment Re:Cost will double? (Score 1) 472

Allowing external forces to decide what a healthy / acceptable profit margin can be is the surest way to destroy capital investment by businesses.

True but no business operates in a vacuum. External forces also include the rules, as setup by governments as well as public perception about how the product you are selling them is being made.

It would be no surprise that Foxcon is being a bit disingenuous about their assessment. The cost of manufacturing items in China will eventually to go up as the living standards of Chinese workers goes up and their labour and environmental laws tighten. This is good for everyone and should help balance the overall picture.

Comment Cost will double? (Score 3, Informative) 472

According to this article. The $649 iPhone 7 costs around $220 to make meaning that Apple gets roughly around $400 in profit. Lets imagine that the cost does double, they will still be getting ~$200 per phone. A very healthy profit with a lot of that money staying in the US rather than China or Ireland.

Also, the cost doubling calculation (done by Foxcon!) probably assumes that they would do things exactly the same in the US as they do in China. That is, hiring thousands of people for minimal pay to to a large part of the assembly by hand. However, if moved to the US they would probably automate more of the process and employ much less people. Think of the savings on suicide netting alone.

Comment Too much money... (Score 3, Informative) 135

Uber is trying desperately to use up all that money they were given based on their (relatively simple) app. An app that they can't even make profitable. Apparently they lost around $1.2B in the first half of the year.

They have no clue what they're doing and this pie-in-the-sky stuff is just a bullshit distraction before the money runs out.

I don't know why companies aren't happy to just perfect and run an existing product profitably instead of looking for endless and everlasting growth? It's not sustainable. After all, why shouldn't they when there are investors willing to sign $1.5B cheques for a fucking app.

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