* Posts by StewartR

4 posts • joined 6 Jul 2017

Uber won't face criminal charges after its robo-car killed woman crossing street

StewartR

Re: Jesus!

"Actually I see some similarity with the problem of automated airliner control systems. In both cases there is a (presumably skilled and experienced) human operator ready to intervene at a moment's notice. But then the automated system does more and more of the work, and the human operator just sits for hour after hour after hour...

And then, with no warning at all, a disastrous emergency arises and the operator is unready, shocked, disoriented, and more or less incapable of responding appropriately."

I'm not an airline pilot, but I would imagine that the timescale for responding to sudden emergencies is somewhat different. If one of your engines fails at 39,000 feet, you're going to have quite a lot longer than 1.3 seconds to deal with it. That's a very significant and important difference. Sure, if there's a major problem in the take-off or landing phase then that's more urgent, but you'd expect the pilots to be at their most attentive at those times.

Clock blocker: Woman sues bosses over fingerprint clock-in tech

StewartR

Re: Stupidity

"If a copy of a fingerprint gets stolen, on the other hand, while sure, it might be easy to de-authorize the fingerprint, but umm, how are you going to allocate a new fingerprint to that user so they can get about their work?"

Fortunately most users have up to 9 readily available backups which can easily be deployed.

What is the probability of being drunk at work and also being tested? Let's find out! Correctly

StewartR

Re: Rail projects are funny

"Train drivers must be dry, obviously, but there are no train drivers on the design team, and none of us will ever go near a train as anything other than a passenger. However, everyone working on the project must be dry, as a condition of the contract."

Yep. It's been that way since 1991. There was a fatal buffer stop crash at Cannon Street caused by the driver not braking properly. The driver tested positive for cannabis three days later, though it was impossible to determine whether and if so to what extent that might have contributed to the crash. Nevertheless the Chairman of British Rail, Bob Reid II, brought in an immediate ban on the use of drugs and other substances which could impair concentration, including alcohol. Obviously the new rules could have just been applied to drivers and other safety critical workers such as signallers, but Reid thought it wasn't fair to insist that drivers couldn't have a lunchtime pint whilst managers and executives, including himself, still could. So the entire organisation went dry, overnight, right from the very top down. And after British Rail was broken up by the privatisation process, all its successor companies inherited the same policy.

While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

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