* Posts by auburnman

1228 posts • joined 28 Jul 2011

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

auburnman

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

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

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

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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auburnman

I feel your pain with the milk bottles. I usually go to Specsavers for the 2 for 1 deal, but instead of getting two pairs I get the thinning/tinting gratis. your local branch might do the same deal depending on the complexity of what you need.

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Want to avoid a hangover? DRINK MORE, say boffins

auburnman

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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If you installed Windows 10 and like privacy, you checked the defaults, right? Oh dear

auburnman

Re: Enterprise

Yeah, an Enterprise version will (probably) start out safe. But when (not if) a blunderer or bad actor in your IT or Microsoft or any one of a million programs with poor installers trips a registry setting somewhere, do you know for a fact that the Enterprise version is so structurally different to Spyware version that phoning home cannot possibly come active? And even if you did know for a fact last week Enterprise Edition doesn't have the phone home code, do you know for a fact that the latest wave of updates didn't accidentally or otherwise sneak some phone home code in as part of a wider update?

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auburnman

Re: 'Cheap' in terms of food, now means selling your privacy too.

Sounds like enforcement has fallen by the wayside; they did used to hand out paltry fines some years back. I seem to recall they billed ASDA about ten grand.

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auburnman

I think it's time to accept the viewpoint that with all the obfuscation of your Privacy settings you probably have missed at least one, and/or MS have reset them while you weren't looking. Someone will need to figure out if you can firewall off any data that tries to escape to Microsoft while still letting OS updates in. (In fact firewalling the update server could be a good control mechanism to ensure that updates happen on your schedule, not Redmond's. However all this seems like a hell of a faff and will probably only see use by people forced into using/supporting W10.

Where I think this will hit Microsoft bigtime is Compliance: what if the data I handle on a day-to-day basis is not only confidential, but I have a legal or professional duty to keep it private? Are people really going to use W10 if misclicking a privacy flag (or a forced update resets it) could put your job or your freedom at risk?

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auburnman

Re: 'Cheap' in terms of food, now means selling your privacy too.

In fairness to Curry's I believe it is legislated that a seller must get your address when you buy a TV so that the TV licencing mob can hound you.

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Websites that ID you by how you type: Great when someone's swiped your password, but...

auburnman
Trollface

Re: Everyone misses the whole point of this...

Identifying a person by their gait? Does that mean the Ministry of Silly Walks was actually an MI5 school that taught how to disguise your stroll?

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Chechen women swindle ISIS via social media: 'We need roubles to join you xx'

auburnman

Re: Why arrest them?

Because if someone is entering into a relationship with a terrorist organisation and is observed making overtures towards joining or aiding that organisation, they should be picked up. If the police let off everyone who turned around and said "oh but I didn't mean it" they'd be a laughing stock. Ironically these women may need to admit they were trying a con job to avoid much more serious charges.

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Lottery chief resigns as winning combo numbers appear on screen BEFORE being drawn

auburnman

Re: how that could be reliably faked

Wouldn't that be fairly obvious to spot during the actual draw? If you manipulate the majority of the balls so that they won't be selected, surely the draw would be noticeably longer while everyone waits for the 'correct' balls to be 'randomly' selected.

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auburnman

Re: Scratchcards ?

It's probably already been done, just not freely publicised. Someone will want to profit by either selling the info to gamblers or 'gaming' the scratch-card system themselves.

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Stop forcing benefits down my throat and give me hard cash, dammit

auburnman

Re: One thing does

I never said I was in favour of an unregulated environment, I said it has unintended consequences. For the record I do think regulation of the drivers is a good thing, but there should be some leeway other than "done X miles = stop now" as that will always lead to drivers feeling under the gun and pushing it.

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auburnman

Re: One thing does

"Nowadays truck drivers are only allowed to do a certain amount of hours at a stretch, must take breaks etc. and there's a maximum on the number of hours of driving they can do per week."

Which has had the unintended consequence of drivers taking more risks, chancing red lights and taking shortcuts down roads not built for trucks in an attempt to complete their run before a mandatory rest stop forces them to sleep in the cab ten miles from their house.

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Google's Moto-v-Microsoft appeal denied

auburnman

Losing this could well work out in Google's favour if the settlement to Microsoft is 'only' a few million. An official court judgement in favour of RAND not being abused will hopefully be another nail in the coffin of the 'sue everyone' decade that (hopefully?) seems to be dying down now.

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Bloke cuffed for blowing low-flying camera drone to bits with shotgun

auburnman

Outside, but still on his property, harassing his family, lower than rooftop height.

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auburnman

Re: It's time

Net Gun. Job done.

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auburnman

The shooter just needs to spin this right to walk free: This was a home invasion, just so happens to be the first unmanned variant thereof we have heard about. Since a drone has spinning blades he should easily be able to claim self-defence if it was within range to be brought down by a shotgun. How high the drone was will come down to his word vs. theirs unless the camera footage survived. I was expecting something like this to happen way back when animal rights groups in the UK said they'd start using drones to monitor farmers livestock.

I'm no gun fan, but the new wave of drone owners need to learn some acceptable limits and fast.

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The Breakfast (Table) of Champions: Micro Machines

auburnman

Also in top-down rally antics, Rock 'N' Roll Racing from around the same era was great fun.

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Google turns cookie monster on AdSense, DoubleClick clients

auburnman

Re: Cookies now non negotiable...

Yeah it's a pretty bad own goal for the EU here. Worse, once the general public is attuned to tolerating these sort of extra conditions for site access, along will come "Turn off AdBlock or GTFO."

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Hurrah! Uber does work (in the broadest sense of the word) after all

auburnman

I think that's the slightly schizophrenic thing about Uber - in one country they may be unpopular but they are working with licenced drivers under minicab regulations, but in the next country over they appear to be shitting on everyone and doing as they please. This could be what is polarizing the debate into leave 'em be vs. Lock 'em up.

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auburnman

Re: @Spartacus

But if the method of enforcing standards includes training and testing upfront as in the London system, and those costs are passed onto prospective drivers, then the taxi fee can't be nominal, and the enforcement budget can scale in relation to the amount of taxi hopefuls. The scarcity argument assumes enforcement has failed from the get-go.

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auburnman

@Spartacus

"You probably do need a bit of scarcity.You can't reasonably enforce standards if everyone can run a taxi for a £5 charge"

I'm not following your logic there; if you enforce standards then people can't run a taxi for a £5 charge (unless somehow complying with standards were cheap enough that you could still profit) so I can't see it making an argument for deliberate scarcity. Unless you mean you can't enforce standards in regulated taxis if Uber are wilfully sidestepping them going "LA LA LA NOT A TAXI" ?

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auburnman

Potential topic for Worstal...

Was there ever a serious rationale for the limitation on taxi licences/medallions or whatever, or has it always been a naked attempt to force scarcity and enable rent-seeking?

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Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

auburnman
Facepalm

Shit shit shit

I don't think I nuked the 'helpful' upgrade reminder on Mum and Dad's PC...

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Hacked US Census Bureau staff to take anti-phishing classes

auburnman

I'd like to see the trainer actively try to fish the users he's training, along the lines of "my laptop is broken, can I run the presentation from yours? I'll just need your user ID and password." Would be interesting to see how many people would have the wisdom to know that's not a good idea and the balls to say no in front of a group.

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Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again

auburnman

If only Donald Trumps course in Aberdeen wasn't so far out of town, "the turtle" could have ended up with a copycat. Back on topic, no-one keeps up a vendetta this long without a personal connection; my money is on one of the groundskeepers. Either that or it has become a traditional dare/rite of passage at a local school to go for a midnight 'hole in one'.

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Game over, Ouya, the Android gaming console

auburnman
Thumb Up

"[T]hat Ouya is giving up the hardware so soon after release must be disappointing to those who had backed the company in its early days."

No it isn't. Early backers wanted and (eventually) received a cheap console box that could be tinkered with for pet projects and emulate megadrive/SNES classics in the living room. During the wait for delivery, the arrogance and shoddiness of OUYA the company convinced me to never risk giving my credit card details to their store. So despite playing a number of demos for games I could have bought, the developers didn't get my money.

Long story short slowly divorcing OUYA from the company that made it could be the best thing to happen for OUYA in a while. It might even lead to the development of an independent OUYA-centric Android OS that makes loading non-store apps easier.

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Take off, eh, you Uber: Ontario lobs $300m lawsuit at cab app biz

auburnman

Re: If it's illegal, it's trivial to stamp out

Summoning the people you planned to book/arrest etc with the app would likely be seen as Agent Provocateur and therefore a no no.

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Bitcoin fixes a Greek problem – but not the Greek debt problem

auburnman

Re: no control [...] over the amount of Bitcoin in circulation

I don't think you can fiddle with the difficulty curve outside the established parameters. It's already tied to ensuring a steady stable trickle of BitCoins into the system; the calculations only become more difficult when new coins are being mined too quickly. Because this is one of the underlying assumptions the BC system is built on, any change would likely lead to a panic 'run' on BitCoins and possibly a crash in value.

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auburnman

As I understand it the billions of uncollected tax is a fiction at this point, as it is an accumulation of uncollected receipts going back decades that has just piled up. The idea that debt this old can be tracked down, proven and collected is pure fantasy. It's only still on the books because no-one wants to write it off (and presumably to the inattentive eye it makes Greece look slightly less bust than they really are.

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HTC in crisis: How did it get to this point? How did it get this bad?

auburnman

Re: Their (lack of) support killed my interest in HTC

"I suffered from the random turn off bug (not widespread but I found various other users with the same problem)"

I had that! Didn't even realise it was a bug, I had assumed I'd damaged it or wonked the battery somehow. Same net result - I also dropped HTC - but on the erroneous rationale that their phones couldn't take the punishment of day-to-day life.

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

auburnman

Re: Don't install it !

I think most of us have a painful "what harm could it do?" Story that snowballs into a stupidly complex rebuild somewhere in a mental folder marked "OH GOD WHY I DO THIS?"

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Unions call for strike action over 'unusable' Universal Credit IT

auburnman

I dunno, you get continuous smooth runs from a bout of the skitters, so this could well describe an IDS project to a T without having to twist meanings.

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NSA continues mass slurping of Americans' phone metadata

auburnman

They probably arrange for one of those spam robocall companies to call any two numbers they want to link. Once you've got the rationale to track the second number by 'association' with the primary, sift through the data until you can justify tracking it independently and boom, another root to grow out through the system.

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Chap slapped in Dogecoin crap app flap

auburnman

Re: Blah blah "no wrongdoing"

Of course there was wrongdoing, but to admit that would utterly finish them because they would almost automatically lose any further lawsuits against them. Therefore the company offers up whatever else the prosecution want.

The prosecution don't have getting a courtroom verdict as their main motivation though: they want a win on their track record (and a one-sided settlement is the best kind of win because you don't have to waste countless hours in court) especially when it comes with a nice fat payout for the state coffers and the company surrendering to government audits for X years (jobs for the boys.)

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WikiLeaks docs show NSA's 10-year economic espionage campaign against France

auburnman
Black Helicopters

Wonder if Assange is angling for asylum in France? From his viewpoint of the world it makes sense. Sneak out of the embassy dressed as a delivery guy or somesuch, then sneak on the Eurostar or more likely bribe someone with a small boat to cross the channel. Then jolly it up in a nice château, stirring it up occasionally to keep his name in the papers and everyone pissed off.

Only question is, would France buy into the conspiracy theory that the charges against him have been orchestrated by America? And if they did, would they be willing to defy Sweden just to piss off the US?

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Why OH WHY did Blighty privatise EVERYTHING?

auburnman

Re: Thoughts

"That the nationalised industries provided many more well paid jobs than the privatised ones is all the proof we need to show that the nationalised industries were inefficient."

False: You also need to show that the lower number of jobs in the privatised scenario are shouldering the same or higher workload (of actual work, not busywork) rather than just slicing everything to the bone.

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We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

auburnman

Re: BBC - "We forget nothing"

Dad's Army.

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auburnman

BBC - "We forget nothing"

Wish they had this attitude decades ago before they started taping over bits of our national heritage...

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As the US realises it's been PWNED, when will OPM heads roll?

auburnman
Trollface

Archuleta sounds like the name of a mole working for Ming the Merciless. When the attack from space begins, her spider-minions will reveal themselves and strike at key targets throughout the globe!

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Indiana Jones whips Bond in greatest movie character poll

auburnman

The TV list seems to be heavily biased towards most recent shows getting the most votes. With a few exceptions like Frank and Homer it looks more or less like a roll call of memorable characters time ordered based on their show airing date.

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Gaming's favourite fly by night. Batman: Arkham Knight reviewed

auburnman

Re: Darkness. No Parents.

Not just PC games. Arkham City was borderline unplayable shortly after release on PS3 due to some insane slowdown if you tripped certain conditions (Gliding too long, using fast travel? Can't remember now but it was fairly easy to fall foul of.) Luckily a prompt patch fixed it, but putting up with this sort of day 1 bullshit appears to be par for the course now.

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auburnman

Arkham Origins was not developed by RockSteady FYI, it may be why some parts of it were not up to par with the rest of the franchise. I have to say I'm looking forward to a Batman game where the Clown Prince of Crime has ceded the spotlight to allow one of the other superlative villains a crack at being the main baddie.

I'm sure I'm going to be raging when the whole thing turns out to have been staged by the Joker and he comes back from the dead though.

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E3 2015 in a nutshell: Hurry up Hoth, and plenty to Unravel

auburnman

Re: I hope Doom is due out well into 2Q2016

The people who still want to play DOOM are already playing DOOM. The original is still being supported with hi-res texture packs, top notch map packs and mods by the community.

The 'modern' era graphic DOOM games can't hold a candle to them, especially when they discard the original virtue of throwing you straight into the action for various cutscenes with various people you don't care about gurning at the camera, trying to lay down story rationales more complicated than 'Kill all the baddies.'

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auburnman

Oh bollocks, Batman comes out tomorrow! There's no way I'm going to beat the last boss of BloodBorne in only a day.

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Ubuntu daddy Mark Shuttleworth loses fight to cancel $20m bank fee

auburnman

Multimillionaire loses pocket change

The main thing I'm taking away from this article is that a flash pad in New York can be more expensive than a holiday IN SPACE.

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DuckDuckGrow: Privacy search soars 600% after Snowden dumps

auburnman

"Which means they are essentially piggybacking on the work of others?"

If they are (making no judgement here) Google will have a hard time doing anything about it. They can't make Google search harder to access without shooting the golden goose that's made them billions over all these years, and I don't think they want to open the can of worms that any sort of lawsuit around profiting off the work of others would bring (people in glass houses and all that.)

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