* Posts by auburnman

1223 posts • joined 28 Jul 2011

Volvo to 'accept full liability' for crashes with its driverless cars

auburnman
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Re: Crash for cash

Never; but that has no bearing because I am talking about a problem that could arise, not one that already exists. Perhaps a masked thug scenario is a bit too far fetched though; think instead of trying to get home through the town centre on a Saturday night when a bunch of drunks notice 'one of them new cars' and decide it'll be a laugh to see how long they can hold it up for?

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auburnman
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Re: Crash for cash

The crime problem for driverless cars isn't insurance fraudsters, it's when thugs learn to spot them and know with a large amount of confidence they can block the road and the car WILL stop (whereas a meatbag-controlled missile seeing a masked figure in the road might just put the foot down.)

I doubt it'd be a big problem, but I can guarantee someone will try it and the car manufacturers will have to consider it when building cars (possibly automatically locking the doors under certain conditions or somesuch.)

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Want to self-certify for Safe Harbor? Never mind EU, YES WE CAN

auburnman
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Re: Cloud CRM providers

A ton of clauses in contracts are so no-no that they are automatically null and void; they're not there to stand up in court, they are there to make the contract signee think 'Shit, they've got it signed in writing that I agreed to this, suing won't work.'

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How much do UK cops pay for Microsoft licences? £30 a head or £137? Both

auburnman
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I'm not saying centralising couldn't possibly have savings on the IT & general organisation side of things, but I worry 'rationalising' HQ's is just a cover for downsizing until the nearest bobby is at times 50 miles away from smaller population areas.

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auburnman
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Perhaps that's because you haven't seen the Scottish news. There have been a few issues at least, the head honcho of Police Scotland has actually taken early retirement 'completely unrelated' to the state of the force.

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Noughty by nature: Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection and Rock Band 4

auburnman
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Uncharted multiplayer

The multiplayer for Uncharted was a highly entertaining Co-op or competitive blast absolutely ruined by the near-impossibility of successfully connecting to your friends. I'm gutted they just ditched it instead of taking the opportunity to fix her up.

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Assange™ offered 'plans for escape by flying fox to Harrods'

auburnman
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No court in the land would allow time on the lam to count as time served, regardless of the restrictive conditions. If anything they'll go heavier on him the longer he tries to evade justice.

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auburnman
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Trollface

If he'd touched a letter from the CIA we'd have him by now - it'd be so laced with LSD he'd have jumped out the window screaming about the lizardmen in his teeth.

Unless he's already that crazy and has had plenty of practice keeping it under control.

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auburnman
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Happy

On the plus side, 3 and a quarter years of self imprisonment and counting. Plus he's reduced to only getting attention from a breakfast radio show, not exactly first headline on News at Ten.

On the subject of bottom-of-the-pile news hacks, has El Reg tried to get an interview with him? [/Trollface]

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Join Uber in a tale of rent seeking and employment law

auburnman
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Re: One network?

You have the option of paying the cab direct though, and the cabbie is unlikely to only receive payment from one source for the day's trade. The argument is whether Uber drivers can call themselves contractors if they only get money from Uber - your company paying for your cab has no bearing on that.

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auburnman
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Re: One network?

It is sneaky but it seems like it's accurate if you think it through; Uber get payment from the customer and pay the driver, ergo the customers relationship is with Uber and the driver is merely an agent (contractor or employee, however that shakes out) tasked with completing the service sold by Uber. This will almost certainly have big implications on Uber's liability for crashes and other service issues.

Maybe they could duck the issue if they spun out or partnered with a payment handler so that the customer's cash (less their cut) went directly to the driver when a booking is taken? then they could position themselves as simply a marketplace for driving services. Or would they have to give drivers greater say in pricing?

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Top telematics: Black box helps driver swerve speeding fine

auburnman
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Re: Having evidence seems to be enough

I think it's more a case of challenging the Police's evidence seems to be enough in radar gun cases. Anectodally* it seems that when the radar gun is challenged plod routinely find they can't prove it's been tested or calibrated in years. And since showing the gun is duff (or at least not up to scratch as incontrovertible evidence) has the potential to unravel hundreds of fines they'll bail out as soon as they can.

*I read it on the internet so it must be true

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auburnman
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The big question is, why is it not classed as harassment to drag the case all the way to court and then offer no evidence? Did the Judge not give the Prosecution a bollocking at least?

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GCHQ's SMURF ARMY can hack smartphones, says Snowden. Again.

auburnman
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Re: "...he says can turn a phone on or off"

By definition the remote on could only be done to a phone that's already compromised so some sort of standby mode masquerading as true off sounds about right.

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What is money? A rabid free marketeer puts his foot in lots of notes

auburnman
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Re: ...the right to call upon the resources...

Pretty much what squander two said. Land, food (possibly only high quality delicacies), Labour, experiences etc. would still all be scarce resources that someone somewhere will chase.

Unlimited Free Energy would open up tons of opportunities that people would throw money at - e.g. California could build desalination plants like there's no tomorrow and run them at full tilt. That's construction, design and plant maintenance jobs (and associated economic stuff) right there.

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auburnman
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FAIL

Re: Moral dimension

"There is always profit to be had in a mortgage"

This is the kind of wishful thinking that caused the economic crash in the first place.

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Hand-cranked ‘DDoS’ floors Thai government website amid protests

auburnman
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If IT in your country is at the state where a hand-cranked DDOS (allegedly) can be successful, no wonder they are horrified at the possibility of sliding further back.

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Microsoft and Google ink SECRET TREATY to end all their patent wars

auburnman
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This is just Microsoft's endgame play in the Android section of the 'Linux uses our patents' scam. They have already shat all over the smaller players, forcing them to fold and accept licencing agreements under secret terms (some players may have called Microsoft's bluff on court action but agreed to token payments in lieu of fighting a huge court battle).

Now that that's sewn up they come to (secret again) terms with Google; MS can't push them around, but other than rhetoric they haven't directly attacked Google yet - so Google currently has no incentive to fight MS. My money is on this agreement simply establishing that MS won't go after Google, so long as Google keeps it's nose out of the licencing racket.

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Adblock farms out acceptable ad policy to independent reviewer

auburnman
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I don't think the returns documents have to be made public unless the company is traded on a stock exchange, which I don't think it is.

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auburnman
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This could be the advertisers strategy...

...fragment the Ad-blocking sector so it's just too complicated to gain much traction outside of the tech-savvy demographic. Theoretically we could have blocked ads with blacklists in the pre-plugin days, but I doubt many bothered.

Now the barrier to entry for the ad free club has fallen a fair bit, and the focus for the advertisers is to prevent it from falling further.

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Is Windows 10 slurping too much data? No, says Microsoft. Nuh-uh. Nope

auburnman
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Has anyone checked yet if it's easy to block the snooping with the firewall* and still let OS updates occur?

*Might as well assume you've missed at least one of the obfuscated settings to turn it off and have a better line of defence.

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SONY HACK WAS WAR says FBI, and 'we're still struggling to hire talent'

auburnman
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If the West has warrants/bounties out for the arrest of Foreign Hackers, I wonder if Russia or China have shit-lists for our 'good-guy' hackers?

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Apple VICTORY: Old Samsung phones not sold any more can't be sold any more

auburnman
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Bugger

The S3 was good enough for most uses, I was hoping that when my old folks need new phones or I need a budget spare I could pick new S3's up super cheap from clearance stock, bit of a bugger that Apple have got their way and they can't be sold. Hopefully they can still flog them in Blighty.

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Robots, schmobots. The Rise of the Machines won't leave humanity on the dole

auburnman
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Re: Satisficers rather than Maximisers

Give everyone a robot that they can contract out to companies? And tax/licence robots in a way that it gives companies economic incentive to rent from Joe Public instead of owning their own?

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The 'vampire squid' wants a bankers' blockchain

auburnman
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Re: Questions?

I believe the blockchain data is being (ab)used as a method of storing data not related to BitCoin, which is what they could (although in my opinion probably won't) do to co-op BitCoin. e.g. I could transfer 0.01 Bitcoins to you and attach data to the transfer that has no relation to BC like IOU 100USD. Then you have a public, distributed and unfakeable* record of a matter unrelated to BitCoin that piggybacks on the BC infrastructure.

*Well, probably technically fakeable, but becomes exponentially harder to fake over time.

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'Walter Mitty' IT manager admits to buying gun on dark web

auburnman
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Re: Entrapment?

"Entrapment" is poorly named; it's generally OK for plod to set a trap, provided they are not actively encouraging people to take the bait. So it's okay to set up a fake gun store, where Walter comes looking of his own volition, but not okay to say "you should buy a gun."

The undercover "store" operators would have had to tread lightly though; they'd have to make sure nothing they said could be taken as encouraging the purchase. For example if they 'upsold' ammunition or tried to get Walter to take a different model to what he had asked for.

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Anti-peeping-tom drone law nixed in California

auburnman
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"There may have already been an existing law which covered this situation"

Agreed, although I'm not sure of the specifics, I'm pretty sure a 'ceiling' for your property rights was worked out way back when passenger flight became a thing. Anyone flying over your property but under whatever height the ceiling is in your jurisdiction should be covered by trespass laws.

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Well, what d'you know: Raising e-book prices doesn't raise sales

auburnman
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" It's also instructive that the average price of an e-book from the big publishers is $10.81, while the average price of all non-big publisher e-books is $4.95"

Hypothesis - perhaps a 'big' publisher just can't survive and still be a big publisher on the rational economics of eBooks? When it's all ones and zeroes and a startup publisher could theoretically compete with you from a garden shed with minimal costs, how do you support all your bureaucracy and cruft? This might explain (as others have posted) why they are keeping prices higher than appear to make sense to increase the appeal of physical books.

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Laminate this: Inside Argos' ongoing online (r)evolution

auburnman
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Re: collect the physical item

I've always said Argos should be a pick up point for Amazon - storing stock in the warehouse until the customer comes for it is 90% of their business anyway, getting a slice of Amazon's action and getting a customer into their store where they may see adverts or make impulse buys seems like a no-brainer.And amazon could have some of the benfits of a High Street presence without picking up the tab for it.

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auburnman
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"The idea is that rather than tell a customer their Argos store is out of stock, Argos can tell them instead when they can expect the product will be ready for collection."

They went downhill with this one recently in my opinion. Not sure if they've reversed the policy now but last time I was looking for something I could pick up *that day* and was checking the stores in reasonable travel distance they had really obfuscated whether they were actually carrying what I needed or not.

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Feeling sweary? Don't tell Google Docs

auburnman
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Re: heh...

Way back when the PS3 chat starred out bits of 'punching' and 'engine'. I think we worked out 'unchi' was something pretty rude in Japanese.

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NCA targeted by Lizard Squad in apparent DDoS revenge attack

auburnman
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Re: Hmmmmm - Lets paint a target on our own backs

"while someone is banged up its a bit difficult for them to re-offend."

But a piece of piss for them to learn a lifetime's worth of criminal behaviours and skills - which they'll need for a life of crime when they do get out given that prospects of making an honest wage are pretty fucked.

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Groin-melting Fujitsu LifeBook batteries recalled in conflag alert

auburnman
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Re: LifeBook

Would be pretty harsh to give someone a Darwin just for using a faulty laptop. IIRC correctly you have to die* doing something dangerous and moronic to qualify, like taunting a wild lion or somesuch.

*or otherwise render yourself unable to contribute to the gene pool.

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Google's Chrome to gag noisy tabs until you click on them

auburnman
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Re: Finally!

" Find some way to identify the tiny 30 pixel player located halfway down the page I'm reading that is making noise"

According to the intertron you can do the below, which allows you to mute on a tab by tab basis.

"To try Chrome’s Tab Mute feature out for yourself, bearing in mind that it’s still experimental, you need simply to do the following:

Go to chrome://flags in a new tab

Search for the ‘Enable tab audio muting UI control’ flag

Hit the ‘Enable’ link

Relaunch Chrome when prompted (on Chrome OS a full restart is required¹)"

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FORKING BitcoinXT: Is it really a coup or just more crypto-FUD?

auburnman
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Re: What's always puzzled me is, where are the fraudsters?

Perhaps they are put off by the BlockChain being a very 'public' place to run a scam, and/or the people with the prerequisite knowledge of bitcoin to scam it have a vested interest in keeping it running - why walk off with £20M and leave the system in ashes behind you, when you could skim e.g. £1M/month for as long as the system runs?

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Dropbox DROPS BOX as service GOES TITSUP worldwide

auburnman
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Re: So a BOFH screwed up?

If a BOFH did it it was probably to teach someone a lesson/get someone fired. Perhaps a well-loved on-call bonus was at risk because some PHB said "we never have out of hours emergencies?"

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New low for humanity: ONE BEELLION lost souls log on to Facebook in one day

auburnman
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Trollface

Re: Internet of Transactions?

If you're on a night out and you leave your phone unattended the SOP is for your mates to post "I AM GAY FOR DOGS" or something equally hilarious in your name. Will this be superceded by ordering a box of dildos to be delivered to your house?

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Legal eagles accuse Labour of data law breach over party purge

auburnman
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Re: Galloway

He gave one of the finest speeches I've ever seen back in the days of the Independence debate - it went a little something like:

"POUND! OIL! VOLATILE! HITLER!"*

*Paraphrasing, but honestly not by much. Yes, he really did bring up Hitler for some unfathomable reason.

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Net neutrality: How to spot an arts graduate in a tech debate

auburnman
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Re: Except that....

I can't find the link but I could swear there was an El Reg article about Google reversing their Net Neutrality stance once they started laying fibre cables. Anyone remember it?

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auburnman
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Re: Er, but...

This isn't about different levels of service; this is about stopping ISP's from double dipping (or even arguably triple dipping) into people's pockets and/or crushing competitors. If I pay for internet access, and Netflix pays for internet access, what right does any ISP have to say that we have to pay extra to stream content? Would you feel comfortable if Sky broadband throttled Netflix unless you paid extra but left their own streaming service alone?

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Vodafone UK rocks the bloat with demands for vanilla Android

auburnman
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To be fair to the boy, I read the article twice and I'm struggling to believe it. A Network Operator not bundling shiteware? Call me when the other shoe drops.

Next they'll be saying they want to ship phones unlocked to any carrier...

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Salesforce back in the red, reviews future black ink orders

auburnman
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Seems like a shitload of their value is going into deferred revenue, sales or big contracts that are expected to pay off in the future but legally they can't recognise as recoverable (yet.) The cost of drumming up all this business does have to be recognised though.

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Spotify now officially even worse than the NSA

auburnman
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Re: And people ask me why I'm not on Facebook

I was going to mention this - a Spotify user shouldn't be asked to consent to the scraping of their friends details as it is not the user's data therefore they have no authority to consent.

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Geeks on quest for world's most pointless YouTube video

auburnman
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I would like to submit the entire category of 'Videos' that turn out to be a recording of a slideshow done with *shudders* Microsoft filmmaker or whatever it's called.

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YouTube bloggers told to slap 'advert' stickers on their vid posts

auburnman
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Re: Government gotta control, and its depth

I hate to make the clichéd old thin end of the wedge argument, but that's exactly what this would be if the marketers realised vloggers were being given more leeway than traditional advertising; marketing would set up a production line to get vloggers shilling their products until youtube looked like a rolling infomercials channel.

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Why do driverless car makers have this insatiable need for speed?

auburnman
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Re: Descisions

Why would all self driving cars not be in constant communication with all others within their stopping distance using a standardised protocol? It would seem a trivial thing to implement in the scope of self driving.

What sort of range would this "trivial" communication have? Oncoming traffic will be closing on you at your combined speeds, so probably 80mph and up in a number of situations. What sort of calculation delay would there be if two cars negotiate a mutual action? Regardless of whether they were in communication before, this would have to be done after the emergency occurs and it wouldn't be a trivial delay.

If both cars brake and lane share there may not need to be an accident. Certainly there is no risk if your car knows having 'spoken' to the other car, that it will stop and in what distance, and your car knows it too can stop in the remaing gap.

If.If.If. My point of view is that autocars can talk amongst themselves all they like and it will likely come in helpful to crowdsource knowledge of traffic jams and roadworks, but a car should never put itself into a high-risk position (and it's certainly not 'no risk' as you say) based on what another cars 'plan' is. To do that is to assume that the other party has all the facts and then bet a variable number of lives on it.

it won't think, it will know for a fact because the other car will have confirmed it.

I will accept that autocars know something 'for a fact' when they have physical evidence supporting it, e.g. the cameras show the other car stopping. Anything less/earlier isn't good enough to bet lives on.

I realise this comes across quite negative about autocars, but this couldn't be further from the truth. I would love to see them come about asap and agree that they will improve safety for all massively, I just don't think split second coordinated responses are feasible; it throws a lot of complexity into a time critical situation.

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auburnman
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Re: Descisions

"In most situations of that sort, if the on coming car is also automated then it applies its brakes and moves over as far as it can. That creates more space for 'your' automated car to swerve into and brake. Serious accident avoided, and in all probability there's no actual collision - the computers can play as a team in situations where people can't."

I can't see autocars collaborating as a team in this instance. Even if they managed to do an ad-hoc handshake, verify they are both talking to the right car and agree on a safe combined course of action in a small number of milliseconds (which I find unlikely) there are two concepts woven in that would be unacceptable to program into the car. The first has already been mentioned by other posters, namely deliberately increasing risk to unrelated third parties e.g. the people in the car that is not about to have an accident.

The second concept is concerning intent - even if the two cars agreed in time to cooperate, you can't program your car to use someone else's lane just because it "thinks" the lane will be safe & the other car will brake. It's an admirable attempt to increase overall safety, but it wouldn't be driving to the conditions of the road and therefore shouldn't be accepted in any autopilot.

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Clueless do-gooders make Africa's conflict mineral mines even more dangerous

auburnman
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While I understand and accept the concept that squeezing bandits out of the conflict minerals trade may increase violence elsewhere as they move on, wouldn't this be an issue with every conflict mineral solution that doesn't directly deal with the bandits themselves? i.e. it doesn't serve to condemn the current* solution while no-one is tabling an alternative that wouldn't have resulted in bandit migration.

*Which is terrible and overpriced I do agree.

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Epson: Cheap printers, expensive ink? Let's turn that upside down

auburnman
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Does that work without being too much of a faff? I've been thinking about it lately. any particular online place you'd recommend?

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Want to avoid a hangover? DRINK MORE, say boffins

auburnman
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Re: Hell, if you wanna compare (-pear?)

I usually substitute the water in step 2 for tanning as much milk as I can manage before passing out; the extra fat seems to help and if you are still a bit wonky in the morning you can lie there a bit longer before you have to crawl off in search of food.

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