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Comment Re:Driverless (Score 1) 273

Sure public transportation is fine. You said Uber and Lyft.

Dude, I'm not the Emperor of the World. I'm making my predictions of the future. Whether you like it or not, whether I like it or not, I predict that Uber and Lyft and such services are going to become more common in the future (especially if there are self-driving cars). It's too bad you don't approve, I guess, but there it is.

(In principle a city or county could operate a service similar to Uber or Lyft. Perhaps that would make you happier?)

They have at least thought of these things?? Wow, drink the kool-aid some more.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you believe that Tesla is spending thousands of dollars per car to provide the hardware for self-driving, without having thought of common problems like driving in snow in the winter. They've been testing this stuff for years, but presumably you believe their testing was flawed and/or inadequate. I'd be interested to find out from you what Tesla did wrong, and why they are wrong to think that their hardware is adequate.

Would you say the Tesla hardware is completely useless, or would you say that there are some circumstances under which the Tesla hardware can do a useful job of driving the car? Also, in your opinion, are the various videos of self-driving Teslas all faked? And the videos where a Tesla equipped with "Autopilot" takes action on its own to avoid an accident, are those faked?

Comment Re:Driverless (Score 1) 273

It will be a sad world if people ever have to rely on Uber and Lyft to get from place to place.

I suspect that you are older than a Millenial and do not live in a dense urban area. (Personally, I'm older than a Millenial, I don't live in a dense area, and I very much treasure owning my own car.)

When I was a teen I was just counting the days until I got a permit to be able to drive a car; now Millenials are increasingly not bothering to get driver's license and insurance, and taking bus/Uber/Lyft when they want to go somewhere.

And there are people who live in dense urban areas who would find it a hassle to park a car, and prefer not to own a car there. More, there are cities that are actively trying to reduce the number of cars on their roads.

Tesla has not demonstrated that the sensors they are shipping will be able to handle all cases.

Okay, we get it, you're skeptical of the full self-driving features.

Will they be aimed low enough to stop to allow a rabbit to cross the road safely or are we just running over animals now? Will they scan the contour of the road so they can drive properly through ice ruts or around deep potholes? I didn't think they had that kind of tech yet.

Frankly I don't know the answers to these questions, but if Tesla thinks their current sensor tech is sufficient for full self-driving, my guess is they have at least thought of each of these things.

My guess, and it is just a guess, is that the ultrasonic sensors would be used to watch for ice ruts and potholes; that the testing program has already included people driving the test cars on roads with ice ruts and potholes; and the forward radar would likely do a better job of spotting a rabbit than a tired human at night. I don't think anyone is claiming that the self-driving features would completely eliminate all road kills, but equally I doubt self-driving cars will be worse than humans.

https://www.tesla.com/blog/upgrading-autopilot-seeing-world-radar

https://www.tesla.com/blog/all-tesla-cars-being-produced-now-have-full-self-driving-hardware

Comment Re:Driverless (Score 1) 273

There are a lot of promises that the pro-automated crowd are making over and over. Two of the main ones are, 1) they will make driving safer, and 2) insurance will be cheap because they will be low-incident.

This will only happen if 95% of all people can afford these things.

If true automated cars truly work, then services like Uber and Lyft have the potential to become even cheaper. The cars get more expensive but no human drivers need be paid. It may be that if ride services are ubiquitous and cheap, people will use them more and not want to tie up their own money in a car.

Also, insurance for you may become cheaper if you use self-driving even if nobody else does. If you let the car drive you safely home you aren't getting into an accident due to being sleepy or drunk. From what I have read, insurance on Tesla cars is surprisingly inexpensive since the cars are so safe. (Although I think if you buy a "P" model with the "Ludicrous Speed" crazy acceleration, insurance rates go up.)

I consider it somewhat of a cop-out to just assume that any sensor on a fighter jet can apply when some of those sensors may be worth thousands of dollars.

And I consider it somewhat strange that you are arguing about whether Tesla can ship sensors that Tesla is already shipping as standard equipment on every car. The Tesla web site promises that the full self-driving sensors will be on every Model 3, that's the less-expensive model.

Tesla is making a bet that including all those sensors will pay off eventually. That bet may or may not be a good idea, but we are past the point of arguing over whether Tesla can do it. They are already doing it.

Comment Re:If you want juice, don't buy a juicer (Score 1) 359

Sounds like a lot of work.

It really isn't.

I just put some frozen (straw)berries in bowl, put it in the microwave to thaw, add some yogurt, and eat it.

That doesn't sound like it makes strawberry frozen yogurt. I like strawberry frozen yogurt, and the way I make it, it includes a whole lot of strawberries.

Comment If you want juice, don't buy a juicer (Score 1) 359

Having lots of fibre and vitamins in your diet is good. But a juicer is basically a machine for separating the fibre from the juice, and it also separates the skin of the fruit which often contains a lot of vitamins.

Juice by itself is sweet and tasty, but it basically gets all of its calories from carbohydrates, and without any fibre the carbs will hit your system quickly. The glycemic index of carrot juice is very high, while eating carrots will not usually have much effect on your blood sugar. (See the difference between glycemic index and glycemic load: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_load)

If you want to enjoy a tasty beverage that is better for you than juice, I recommend you get a VitaMix. The VitaMix company has been around for decades, and their product is an extremely expensive blender that is IMHO worth the expense. A VitaMix is so much more powerful than a cheap blender that it can do things the cheap blender cannot do.

So a typical fruit smoothie will start with some juice or even water and then throw fruit in, where the 2 horsepower motor at full speed breaks the fibre, skin, and even seeds down to the point where you don't really even know they are there. If you want to add a pleasing orange color to a smoothie, throw in some carrots; the texture will be a bit thicker and the color will be orange but you won't find any carrot chunks.

VitaMix has competitors, and some of the competitors may be as good. BlendTec and Ninja seem to have similar horsepower. I'm only recommending VitaMix since I have had one in my house for like two decades now. We use it so much that, despite the high purchase cost, it has a very low cost per operating minute... our food processor cost less but we hardly use the thing.

My favorite recipe: put a cup of plain yogurt into the blender, and add a spoonful of sugar and a squeeze of lime juice. Then dump a 10-ounce bag of frozen organic strawberries in (still frozen!), and run the blender on "high" while using the "tamper" to push the berries down into the blades. When the texture is smooth, serve. Don't overblend because you don't want to heat up the mixture. It's a tasty sweet dessert, and much healthier than any strawberry frozen yogurt you can buy.

Here's an example of throwing various hunks of vegetables into the thing to make a vegetable smoothie. After that demo the next demo is a sweet fruit smoothie. https://youtu.be/1qemLSu63d0?t=1m36s

P.S. LOL, YouTube appears to have a channel called "Blender Babes" where young females demonstrate blenders. I wonder what would happen if they tried to get a booth at a conference that bans "booth babes"... would they not be allowed at their own booth? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXG65NgmrIM

Comment Re:Driverless (Score 1) 273

How do you know what equipment is adequate for self-driving, when no self-driving cars have actually been made?

Are you serious?

Tesla has been testing experimental self-driving cars for years now. The Tesla "Autopilot" is a limited self-driving system that actual customers are using on actual roads, right now; and Tesla has been working on full self-driving features even though a fully autonomous car isn't legal yet.

Watch the demo video on this page: https://www.tesla.com/autopilot What's neat is that they also show feeds from three of the car's cameras, augmented with annotations from the computer vision system showing what the car is tracking in its environment. Note how the human keeps his hands off the wheel. Note how the car slows when unexpected pedestrians pop up at one point. Also note how, after the human leaves, the car parks itself.

Unless you are going to argue that the above video was faked, then clearly self-driving cars have actually been made.

Comment Re:Nothing says... (Score 1) 273

There are limits on how long the drivers can be actively driving

True for human drivers. Put a sleeper cab on the thing, let the human sleep while the truck drives itself, and the truck could drive round the clock, just pausing for battery swaps.

That's assuming they want to keep a human on the truck to handle unexpected breakdowns or whatever. If they are willing to leave the truck completely unattended and just send someone out to check on it when it breaks down, then the truck can still drive around the clock and you don't even need the sleeper cab.

Comment Re:Nothing says... (Score 1) 273

How do they get the batteries to the hubs? Manually driven vehicles?

Probably. But who cares?

Once the batteries are there, they will be used for swaps. Every time a battery is taken away, another battery is left behind. So these hubs will be charging hubs, hooked up to the electrical grid.

Now, let's assume that Mr. Anonymous Coward is correct and it really does take 6 hours to charge the battery. If truck A does a swap, and 6 hours later truck B needs a swap, the battery from truck A will be charged. A remote hub that never gets more than one truck every 6 hours could squeak by with a single on-site battery, but of course spares would always be a good idea. Anyway it won't be difficult to work out how many battery packs to stock at the various hubs.

Comment Re:Nothing says... (Score 5, Informative) 273

Nothing says long haul trucking like a vehicle with a 200 mile range and a 6 hour recharge time.

I guarantee you that this thing is going to have a fast-swap battery pack.

The Model S already has a battery pack that can be swapped in about 90 seconds by a computer-controlled machine. It turned out that very few Model S owners wanted to pay for the fast battery swap service; the Supercharger service is adequate to most people's needs. (By the way, the Supercharger is much faster than your suggested 6 hours of charge time, for existing cars at least.)

So if range and charging time is an issue, companies will have the option of buying extra batteries and setting up battery-swap hubs at key locations on long haul routes. Or Tesla will do it like they tried for the Model S.

And hey what do you know, Tesla is investing heavily in a battery "gigafactory" and is going to bring the cost of batteries down as much as possible, as soon as possible.

So your joke was amusing but you have not actually identified a real problem. It's almost like Tesla knows what it's doing.

Comment Re:Driverless (Score 3, Informative) 273

It has to have the capacity for a driverless upgrade out of the gate

Please note that Tesla is now building every new car (Model S, Model 3, and Model X) with full self-driving hardware. This includes 8 cameras, 12 ultrasonic sensors, a forward-facing radar, and computers adequate for self-driving (they claim 40x more processing power than the previous "Autopilot" computers). In the future, every Tesla car sold this year could be software-upgraded to full self-driving.

So, call me crazy, but I think Tesla might have thought of your point and is probably on top of it.

Comment Battery-first series hybrid airplane (Score 2) 163

I found an article with a better description of the proposed technology.

https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/this-startup-is-building-an-electric-airplane

The aircraft will be a battery-first series hybrid, or an electric-powered aircraft with a range extender -- sort of like General Motors' Chevy Volt. All of the propulsion will come from the electric motor, said Kumar, and if there's enough battery power to run the entire flight, the jet fuel won't need to kick in. The company will also offer all-electric options.

Comment Re:Seems like a good idea to me... (Score 1) 307

Developers will never, ever build enough units to drop rental prices. That would be stupid.

This idea only makes sense if these "developers" you name can keep some kind of monopoly. If just anyone can build more units and enter the market, then your idea falls apart. Your idea is that by underbuilding, the developers can collect a premium... but the higher the premium, the more attractive the market becomes, and the more likely some new players are to try to build more units and enter the market.

If the developers have the ability to keep new units from being built, then sure. It's why I'm a big fan of the free market, and not at all a fan of crony capitalism.

There is no incentive whatsoever to build cheap apartments.

Oh, yeah? If there is an underserved market segment, someone could make money by serving it. Your statement makes exactly as much sense as saying there is no incentive whatsoever to build a fast-food hamburger shack instead of a fancy steakhouse. The steakhouse can charge more per meal, but would leave money on the table from the lower end of the market. Someone who wants all the money is incented to build both.

It is true that there are forces working against people who want to build affordable housing. One obvious way to make affordable apartments is to design them to be super space-efficient and just pack more of them into the same space; Seattle has made that practice illegal.

http://www.sightline.org/2016/09/06/how-seattle-killed-micro-housing/

But that's not the free market failing. That's government putting its boot on the neck of the people who want to build small apartments.

It could very well be that the current property owners used crony capitalism to get the city of Seattle to block the tiny apartment projects. In a truly free market they would be unable to do that... someone would build apartments for the low end of the market as well as the high end.

Comment Re:Double standard (Score 1) 470

how do you feel about states rights?

I'm in favor of them. In general I am in favor of regulations being handled at the lowest reasonable level. Example: Schools should be regulated by school districts, not the Federal government.

You know, the part that makes two different standards that different people in different states have to follow.

The article that I linked made the case that California was unequally enforcing its laws, by ignoring surreptitious recordings made by one group and prosecuting another group with felonies. Since that is not "different states", your comments are irrelevant.

P.S. The article overlooked the distinction between surreptitious video-only recordings and surreptitious recordings that include audio, so my objection was not well-founded and I withdraw it.

Comment Re:Double confused (Score 1) 470

If you try to compare the legality of video recordings (like most animal abuse recordings) and of these audio+video recordings, then you are just showing a complete lack of knowledge about the subject and a complete unwillingness to spend the 20 minutes of googling it would take to become partly informed.

I provided a link to a web article on this, which made the case that California has a double standard. I found this persuasive and I shared it here on Slashdot. It didn't occur to me that the premise of the article might be flawed due to the whole audio vs. video aspect... I thought surreptitious recording of any nature was forbidden.

Neither the article I linked nor the NPR article linked on the Slashdot story covered the audio vs. video distinction and I didn't think of it on my own.

Let me state clearly for the record: I Googled up a few pages about surreptitious recording, and it does look to me like California permits surreptitious video recording but not audio. This answers to my satisfaction the question as to why Mercy for Animals can make surreptitious videos and not get charged. The article whose link I provided was based on a flawed premise, and I wish I had checked up on it before posting it here.

And, again I'm not trying to be rude, but this shows that you don't really let facts get in the way of your opinions.

I didn't think you were being rude until this sentence.

I didn't spend 20 minutes Googling for background because I mistakenly thought I already understood the background. I think it's fair to call this "a mistake" rather than evidence that I "don't really let facts get in the way of [my] opinions."

You can continue on this way, or you can change and try to become informed. It's your choice, but it's kinda an important one I think.

Friend, you have made the mistake of generalizing from limited data. I'm not perfect, but I haven't done anything to earn this lecture from you.

I made a mistake and you called me on it. Fair enough. But it's not reasonable to conclude on the basis of that one mistake that I don't care about facts at all, or that I am completely uninformed.

If I wanted to be ironic, here I would lecture you on how you seem awfully quick to judge, and that you should work to rid yourself of this flaw. But all I know for sure is that you did it this one time.

Comment Re:Double confused (Score 3, Insightful) 470

If I am understanding you correctly, it is legal in California to record visual evidence of a crime, but not audio of someone discussing willingness to do illegal things. This possibly answers my objection. If it's a protection against self-incrimination, I don't think I can object to it.

If 60 Minutes has made undercover videos in California that included audio recordings, and they were never prosecuted for it, then I have an objection again.

As for the rest of your comments, you seem a bit confused. The animals are not accused of anything; the secret videos were of humans doing things to animals, and those secret videos are apparently perfectly legal.

P.S. "Flamebait"? Seriously? Moderators, if you must mod me down just because you don't like what I wrote, the traditional one to use is "Overrated". I may be overrated but I'm neither trolling nor flamebaiting.

I really do think the law should be easy to understand and applied even-handedly. Justice should be blind, and people I hate should be treated the same as people I admire.

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