* Posts by DougS

12863 posts • joined 12 Feb 2011

Dear racist Airbnb host, we've enrolled you in an Asian American studies course

DougS Silver badge

There's a small segment of Trump supporters

Who think that "Trump won" excuses all sorts of uncivil behavior, or worse. Of course 99% of them were acting like that before he won, and will continue to act like that after he's gone...

Amazon mumbles into its coffee when asked: Will you give app devs people's Alexa chats?

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Re: I am so happy

If your Android can only go 24 hours on standby, it needs a new battery.

Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

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Re: It can go on

If you have the ability for constant 1g acceleration you can go anywhere in the universe in your lifetime. Of course if you return, you will find things have changed quite a bit during the billions of years since you left.

What did OVH learn from 24-hour outage? Water and servers do not mix

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Heat exchanger on TOP of rack?

Ugh, that's the part most likely to leak! Why not put it on the bottom? Assuming it is a raised floor you can move air at much higher velocities than you would where people go, and if a leak develops it won't hurt anything (assuming cabling is run in trays above the racks) and water sensors here and there on the floor can let you know.

Sleuths unearth 'Panic Mode' in Android, set off by mashing back button

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Wait, there's no way to kill the foreground app in Android?

Surely this isn't the case???

Not even just for malicious apps, any buggy app that stops responding can be a problem and need to be killed.

A few revs back the Facebook app on iOS seemed to get 'stuck' and stop responding to any input, and I'd need to kill and restart it. If there was no way to do this, and I could only power down or force reset the phone, I would have been mightily annoyed!

Juno beams back first closeups of Jupiter's unsightly red acne

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Re: Where's the monolith?

Maybe it will only appear when a human goes there.

DougS Silver badge


So a guy in the 1600s sees what he thinks is a big red spot on Jupiter, which we later found has a big red spot on it, and we now believe he was mistaken why exactly? If he had claimed to see two of them, or a green spot, I could see it, but that's a fairly specific observation...

Especially if it has shrunk in the past 100 years, who knows how big it could have been 350 years ago?

Robo-surgeons, self-driving cars face similar legal, ethical headaches

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Given what a surgeon in the right specialty makes in the US, a robot that's able to schedule operations back to back, day and night, 365 days a year is worth up to $3 million a year. That robot will get cheaper and better performing over time, while surgeons will only get more expensive (unless/until their salaries start being pushed down by robots)

In countries where doctors don't make what they do in the US robots will take much longer before they can compete, but it should happen eventually.

PC sales still slumping, but more slowly than feared

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@AMBxx - Apple's market share didn't drop, it increased

You must have been looking at the table El Reg included, which shows Gartner and IDC numbers, both from 2017.

If you follow the links you see that IDC reckons Apple shipments went up 1.7% YoY, increasing from 6.8 to 7.2% market share. Gartner shows a 0.4% drop in shipments, but as that's less than the overall drop a gain from 6.7% to 6.9% market share.

An AI can replace what a world leader said in his video-taped speech. This will end well. Not

DougS Silver badge

Render the mouth perfectly

Or use a low quality video or one taken from sideways to dub in the fake speech, and you don't need to bother with such perfect rendering. I fully expect that if for example someone like Flynn produced a recording of Trump approving collusion with the Russians (i.e. part of a plea deal to save his skin) Trump would deny it and claimed it is faked, and his supporters would believe it.

Even if it was perfect 4K video, someone at Breitbart would link to this research, and all the Trump bots would fall into line. Doesn't matter if the technology isn't ready yet, the existence of research merely discussing the possibility means that video evidence will no longer be acceptable to the suitably brainwashed.

Adult toy retailer slapped down for 'RES-ERECTI*N' ad over Easter

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Re: Its offensive that I must treat people who claim to believe in a sky fairy...

You don't have to be tortured. Even fifty years ago, telling people you were an atheist might not get you the rack, but it probably would guarantee you didn't get invited to many parties.

DougS Silver badge

Re: But hang on...

The Pope has relaxed some restrictions, there's only so much he can do without backlash that will get some ultra conservative pope that follows him and undoes everything. I have a feeling they will change their tune about that in my lifetime.

DougS Silver badge

Re: 2 Wrongs make a right here I think

Maybe you should live in a former colony where religion and government are separated (well, for the most part)

There are certainly no laws preventing advertising sex toys and Easter together here, though quite why one would think that's a good sales tactic is another matter altogether.

WD gets court order: Toshiba can't block access to shared database

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Re: Gulp

Only 512 GB? So wake me when you set up a Surface or equivalent with a 100 TB SSD. I figure maybe sometime in the 2030s...

DougS Silver badge

Re: Gulp

While 1 TB in a single package is cool, I'm not sure what the market is for it. That's great for saving space in a phone or tablet, but no one is shipping 1 TB phones or tablets, or is likely to do so in the next few years. I suppose that would be handy for building a 100 TB SAS SSD, but the market for those is tiny.

I guess 8 TB m.2 SSDs could use these - four chips on each side?

Slower US F-35A purchases piles $27bn onto total fighter jet bill

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@Joe User

Yes, Russia supplies arms to Syria, but that's a long standing relationship as they've been allies forever, sort of like the US with Israel and Saudi Arabia. It isn't like they stuck their noses in suddenly like we did.

If the Palestinians got together a more organized resistance against Israel, and Russia suddenly started supplying them arms to help, I think you'd find a lot of people in Israel and the US would be quite upset about that. That's pretty much what happened when we started supplying arms to the rebels in Syria when we had never got involved in their internal affairs previously.

DougS Silver badge

Re: and yet...

Think of it like ordering from web sites with quantity discounts. If you want to buy 10 widgets you pay $20/ea, but if you're willing to buy 500 you can get them for $17 and if you are willing to buy 10,001 you can pay $12. The price per F35 is increasing because we're moving down in the quantity discount category.

DougS Silver badge

Re: An imperfect solution for an imperfect world

Depends on why you think Putin wants to invade Ukraine. Does he wants to reconstitute the old USSR? Or does he want Russia to have a buffer against NATO, and only got interested in invading Ukraine because the west wants to bring them into NATO?

I can't read Putin's mind so I don't know, but there's at the very least a decent chance that had we not been so interested in expanding NATO right up to Russia's border, that we wouldn't have to worry about conflict over Ukraine.

No doubt some of the conflict in the Middle East would have happened anyway, but would Syria be in the mess it is in today if the west had stayed out and not even provided arms support to the rebels? Are the people of Iraq really better off today now that we've "liberated" them, compared to how things were under Saddam? There were people suffering and being murdered then, there are people suffering and being murdered now - just different sets of people.

Switzerland isn't fighting a bunch of terrorist incidents. Is that because their security is so much better than other countries, or because they haven't ruined lives and turned a small segment into suicidal maniacs like the US, UK, France and other NATO countries have done?

Guess who doesn't have to pay $1.3bn in back taxes? Of course it's fscking Google

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Re: 700 employees in France but Google does not have an office in France.

Welcome to the world of corporate courts, where word definitions are made up and the laws don't matter.

No, quite obviously laws DO matter and hang on word definitions as defined (if defined) by the legislators who wrote the law and as interpreted by the judge who decides the case.

The problem is that companies like Google, Apple and Facebook can afford lawyers who find the loopholes. It seems like Google set up their structure quite deliberately with the intention of avoiding taxes in France. Similar to how Apple set up that whole Irish deal, and Facebook has set up its affairs, and so on.

When 'Saving The Internet' means 'Saving Crony Capitalism'

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Comparison with tobacco lawsuits

Those took over 30 years to happen after the Surgeon General determined that tobacco was deadly, and many years before that where many people believed it but it hadn't yet been proven.

If the internet companies waited for consumers to act, that would be a long wait. We'd also have to live without net neutrality and seeing abuses (because why would the public care if it is all rosy with no regulation needed like the ISPs claim it will be) for a few decades first!

The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

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Re: It is more a copy of ultrabooks than iPad Pro is a copy of it

The original iPad has had keyboards available from third parties since before the first Surface came out and "invented" the concept. So the only thing it brought was a bigger screen and a pen (which it doesn't come with, so hardly everyone is buying/using it) Some might say it copied Samsung, not Microsoft.

I've yet to see anyone using an iPad Pro as a laptop, though they will use it that way in limited fashion if they have to do more typing than is convenient with the screen. Just like some people used the original iPad for years before that. I've seen exactly ZERO people using a Surface Pro as a tablet, everyone I know with one uses it as a PC 100% of the time.

DougS Silver badge

It is more a copy of ultrabooks than iPad Pro is a copy of it

People are buying Surface as a laptop to run PC software on, NOT as a tablet nor are they running tablet software on it! People are buying iPad Pro as a tablet to run tablet apps, not as a laptop to run Mac software (since it can't) The idea that the iPad Pro is a copy of Surface is laughable, they serve two completely different markets!

I will give Microsoft credit for getting the "ultrabook" right, after the PC OEMs had taken the original concept that aped Macbook Air of a quality ultralight laptop and cheaped it out into plastic junk. Microsoft went the other way and charged even more, but built a quality device (at least the one with the proper keyboard, not the typepad)

AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

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Re: That's only too true

Errrr....how else would you operate the brake/accelerator pedals in ANY car if not with only one foot? Are you saying that in a manual car you use both feet on those two pedals, and I guess a third foot for the clutch??

European Parliament keen to throw news publishers a bone

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Re: Only Google and Facebook?

Google manages the ranking of news sites presented to users. Facebook controls the algorithm about how many of my friends will see a news link I post. Twitter and the Reg don't act as middlemen - whatever I post is there for anyone who follows me or reads my posts.

So an argument can be made that if the company is inserting itself in the question of whether the end user sees a given article or not that's where they step in, while most other sites including Twitter and El Reg who do not exercise any such control are left alone.

Not saying I support governments inserting themselves into this, just pointing out that it isn't necessarily a problematic law applied in this manner.

NASA flies plane through Earthly shadow of Kuiper Belt object

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Conspiracy theory

Now that the cat's out of the bag, NASA might as well come clean. 2014 MU69 was struck by Voyager 1 a few years ago, knocking it out of its orbit (it was really struck hard, honest!)

It is transiting in front of the sun so they took the opportunity to take some measurements, and now know exactly where it will strike. In a few weeks it will strike the Earth in the Atlantic approximately 500 miles SW of the Canaries. This will cause a tidal wave 1200 ft high on the Irish and French coasts and 200 ft at NYC. They hadn't told anyone yet because Trump wants to sell his NYC properties before it is made public. The whole Russia thing is a fake news smokescreen to distract people from noticing how quickly he's selling all his holdings, done in cooperation with the NYT because they plan to sell their HQ and relocate to Pittsburgh.

Apple building data centre in China to comply with tough cybersecurity laws

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And you know it will be powered by coal how, exactly? Just assuming because it is China it must be coal?

11% of China's electricity is generated by non-fossil fuel means, planned to increase to 20% by 2030. Considering how quickly their electrical generation capacity is growing, that's pretty good.

Given that Apple could choose to site it almost anywhere in China, its likely they would have taken into account availability of hydro or solar generation nearby since they've done that elsewhere. Since solar panels are so cheap there, and installation as well, it may get its own solar farm on site to fully offset its draw. Anyone know if the region it is being built is an area good for solar, or near a major hydro plant?

DougS Silver badge

Big countries like China or collectives like the EU can get away with forcing companies to store/use data in ways they proscribe. It is smaller ones, like those who have Brexited, that will lack the clout to force companies to comply.

Trump Hotels left orange faced: Hackers plunder systems for credit cards

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Re: "Card security code"?

If Trump Hotels is to blame for saving the security code, I imagine PCI will find an excuse not to sanction them that wouldn't have been an obstacle to doing so two years ago.

If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft pushing its magical white space broadband

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Relying on a white space database

Yeah, that's a great idea right before the 'repack' where many stations are going to change their broadcast frequency over the next three years.

And oh yeah, there will be a whole lot less white space left once the repack is complete! I don't understand why Microsoft doesn't just buy spectrum like everyone else. Or buy Dish Network who holds tons of spectrum it has never used and will eventually lose if it doesn't use it soon or sell it to someone who will.

Got a Windows Phone 8 mobe? It's now officially obsolete. Here's why...

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@AC "flash to a different ROM"

I always laugh when I see people post stuff like this. It applies to maybe 1% of people who are willing to do this, and while it might be a solution for a Reg reader who likes to tinker and doesn't care about warranty/support, it is not a meaningful rebuttal to objections for ordinary people.

Two-factor FAIL: Chap gets pwned after 'AT&T falls for hacker tricks'

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Re: We need to collectively stop calling SMS/phone verification 2FA

I don't want to carry even one thing around. I want a single app, or I'm going to continue using SMS for 2FA because that's the only other alternative that doesn't make me carry shit around with me. It is 2017, there's no reason I should have to carry a physical object around with me for this purpose when I carry the equivalent of 1990's fastest supercomputer in my pocket!

DougS Silver badge

Re: why would anyone link their bank accnt to paypal

Yeah, I doubt credit card companies care if you pay in full every month or not. They make money either way, and if you don't carry a balance they won't make interest charges but they also don't have to worry about selling the account into collections for pennies on the dollar if the person can't pay, disappears, dies etc.

DougS Silver badge

Re: We need to collectively stop calling SMS/phone verification 2FA

Almost everyone takes this shortcut because it is easy - everyone has a phone and text messages are free for almost everyone these days. Personally I'd rather run a standard RSA app on my phone after having them provide me a seed, but what would really happen is that everyone would want their own damn app which is no kind of solution.

However, a separate device is MUCH worse - then everyone will want their own separate device - the result would be that I simply wouldn't use 2FA unless forced because no way I'm carrying around a Paypal 2FA device, another for my bank, yet another for my retirement account, etc. etc. etc.

The company I'm consulting for has smartcards that can be used with employer issued PCs that have a smartcard reader, or with a standalone PIN reader for those like me without employer issued PCs. They use these for remote access and access to most resources in their intranet.

Last year they enabled SMS as an alternative to the smartcard, so now I use that, so when I got notification my smartcard certificate was going to expire I didn't even bother to renew it. I suppose it is less secure given that SMS is not secure and someone might be able to "brute force" AT&T and find a stupid rep who will transfer my phone number. But using my phone to login is a lot more convenient than using a PIN pad and smartcard that adds to the crap I have to carry around, so as long as they choose to allow it, I'll choose to use it. If there was a way I could use the RSA app on my phone, I'd switch to that from SMS.

DougS Silver badge

Re: why would anyone link their bank accnt to paypal

I agree 100%. Originally it was horror stories about Paypal reversing charges on the say-so of someone else that made me resolve to never link it to a bank account, this is merely another reason. I have linked it to a credit card, so if a fraudulent charge is ever made, I can go to my credit card company and have it reversed, instead of being at the mercy of Paypal.

If you have a lot of money coming in to Paypal you may have reason to link it to a bank account, but IMHO it should be a bank account you open specifically for that purpose, and have some sort of automated 'sweep' function set up to leave as little money in it as possible to minimize potential losses. Linking to your own main/only bank account is criminally stupid, and you deserve what you get if you do that.

Trump to world: Forget moving to America to do a startup

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@Voyna i Mor

Putin's attempt at supporting Trump is only a failure because people found out about it. Had it been successfully kept secret like Trump's crew intended, they could have lifted the sanctions by now and he'd have the perfect excuse of it being part of a "Russian reset" (something every president has attempted since forever)

While Putin tried to aid Trump's campaign and clearly wanted him to win, the original reason for the election interference had nothing to do with Trump, or with Clinton. He just wants to create chaos in western political systems. He's IMHO more likely to use his hackers against the republicans in 2018 than against democrats, because a divided US government is less likely to agree on anything, which is better for him. If his Trump connections had been kept secret he'd want republicans to win so they could support Trump's agenda, but now he will probably go back to his default strategy of trying to foster dysfunction in the US government.

DougS Silver badge

Re: The Post-US Era...

I think a four year absence from the world stage is hardly enough to usher in the "post-US" era. And if it does, it doesn't follow that another country must take over the leadership role. The whole point of the G7/G8/G20 stuff is to come together as a group, as opposed to one country having the reins.

The only thing worse than the US staying in control would be some other country taking it over. The most desirable outcome for those outside the US (and quite possibly for those in the US in the long run, if it means we give up trying to be the world's policeman) would be for no country to be in charge.

DougS Silver badge

@AC "Threaten the judiciary into slavish compliance."

Fortunately Trump can bluster all he wants against judges, but as they're appointed for life there's nothing he can threaten them with. The founders were smart when they put the judiciary and legislative branches as checks against unlimited executive power - they knew we'd screw up and elect someone like Trump someday who would be firing judges who disagreed with him and eventually disbanding congress if it weren't for the Constitution.

Insurers may have to adjust policies to reflect 'silent' cyber risks

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This might put insurers in charge of company security policy

How can an insurer evaluate risk unless they have some insight into how the company manages its security policy? Once they find out how many systems are out of date or unpatched, and tell you "you will have a 600% increase in premiums next year unless you fix all these issues" the insurance company is basically in charge of your security policy from then on - they'll be sending out notices "please insure you have patched all Windows systems by July 15 if you want to maintain your Ransomware policy".

Viking storms storage monastery wielding 50TB SAS SSD

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Re: Slooow ??

And how much does 50 TB worth of 10K/15K drives cost, plus the array to put them in? Thought so...

DougS Silver badge

Re: 50TB in a single disk

This isn't intended for home use, and probably costs as much as a car. It will take more than a few years before this is what you would consider buying for your home!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Yay!

The DWPD warranties are just a way to reassure people concerned about SSDs. If that's the warranty, you can be sure it will last much longer than that. Besides, using SMART you can tell how it is doing as far as its rated write lifetime.

Given that it would take 40 hours to write the whole drive, you can "hammer" it all you like you won't hit the write lifetime warranty! I'll bet you could write it 24x7x365x10 before you started seeing flash sector remapping begin...

Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

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There's no such thing as a "cyber" cease fire

A cease fire in a traditional war is pretty simple to monitor, but how do you monitor a cease fire of hacking? It is pretty much impossible to conclusively prove that Russians hacked the US, as well as the reverse if we counterattacked (and maybe we did and it isn't publicly known)

Not to mention that a "cease fire" implies there has been official hacking, and given that Putin has always denied this it seems odd he'd commit himself to a cease fire. That's like me committing to quit having sex with Scarlett Johannson.

Web inventor Sir Tim sizes up handcuffs for his creation – and world has 2 weeks to appeal

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@Doctor Syntax - textbook sales

I am guessing you aren't from the US, where textbooks are a racket to steal money from college students. Professors get kickbacks from book companies for using textbooks in their classes, and so sometimes require more than one. They cost a ridiculous amount, and there's a new edition every year (perhaps every semester now?) to prevent their resale and reuse - they have different homework problems in them so you can't get by with older editions!

Even more money is made by the professors who write textbooks, so it is worth it for those who teach big lecture classes to write their own textbooks even if the only people who use them are their own students!

Students in the US will often spend upwards of $1000 per semester on books, the resale value of which is nearly zero when they finish the class because new editions are forthcoming which obsolete the old ones.

DougS Silver badge

@AC "easy to copy"

Books are "easy" to copy in that you can spend a half hour with a copy machine and copy it. It requires an investment of time, and an investment of money (unless you use the copy machine at work or something) Maybe it would be worth it for a college student who doesn't want to pay $200 for a textbook, but for a $9.99 paperwork, no way.

Copying unprotected digital data on the other hand requires no investment of time or money. Well, unless you want to KEEP copies of every book you read and every movie you see!

There is a huge difference here, and it is silly to pretend that difference does not exist.

Semiconductor-laced bunny eyedrops appear to nuke infections

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Since Samsung is the one making those, they probably will be toxic to animal life. Most fires involving a lot of plastic are!

DougS Silver badge

Re: Double-edged sword?

Since when is "in the range of several thousand teragrams per year" several orders of magnitude higher than "in the range of several hundreds to thousands of Tg per year"?

I wonder if the authors of the paper meant "several hundred thousand" was the natural occurrence, or if they mean gigagrams instead of teragrams?

Regardless, I'm glad that we have plenty of natural sources for nanoparticles. While the ones we create won't necessarily be identical to ones that occur naturally, at least biologic processes on Earth have evolved to deal with them in many forms.

DougS Silver badge

Re: Double-edged sword?

Thank you for the very informed reply from someone who does research on this very subject! However, what I meant was whether there are any naturally occurring nanoparticles similar to these present on our planet, not that they are used in other products which also contribute to man-made nanoparticles in our biosphere.

I would be surprised if there are any nanoparticles created by natural processes on Earth, but I wonder if they may be present on Earth in small quantities due to piggybacking on meteors and comets that reach the atmosphere?

Sysadmin bloodied by icicle that overheated airport data centre

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"No U in team"

My concept of teamwork ends at a point before where I enter a sewage pipe filled with frozen shit as part of an IT job.

I'm surprised ANYONE here would be OK with it, with all this "No U in team" bullshit being spouted. Are you really that worried about finding another job or love your company so much you'll literally crawl through shit for them like Andy Dufresne?

Fast-spreading CopyCat Android malware nicks pennies via pop-up ads

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Re: I feel retarded

Linux and other Unixes have had extensions for many many to provide fine grained admin access, e.g. to provide the ability to change network adapter settings without being able to perform other "root" level actions. From the earliest days of Unix, setuid provided a way (albeit with its own problems) to execute tasks requiring administrative privileges without using an admin/system level account.

Despite your false claim that Windows has an advantage in this regard, it hasn't proven to be very secure, which shows how little privilege separation and delegation matters. It mostly eliminates one type of attack, but there are so many other methodologies available to malware authors it hasn't been nearly as effective as security researchers claimed it would be back in the 90s when Windows and Unix first acquired these capabilities but they weren't widely used.

Most privilege escalation attacks rely on attacking a process or subsystem that already has elevated privileges as part of its design/requirement.

Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

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Re: I find it hard to believe . .

I agree. I don't think Level 3 is practical, and no one should try to implement it. If you want to let the driver take their attention away from the road, the car has to be able to handle every possible situation as it comes, or have ample time/room to pull over until a human is ready to take over.

Expecting a person not paying attention to the road to be able to take over at a moment's notice is ridiculous. People will be like that idiot who killed himself with the Tesla autopilot, they aren't going to be paying full attention watching the car do the driving. While that might be kind of interesting to watch the first hour or two you have an autonomous car, it isn't going to hold one's attention for long. Before long you'll be doing other things and go an hour without even looking out the front of the vehicle, and it'll take 3-5 seconds for you to reach a state of alertness, take in your surroundings, and make intelligent decisions. Which will probably be at least 2.5 to 4.5 seconds too long!

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