In other news... (humorous news items)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Carlington » Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:52 am UTC

Ah! I had, until just now, been really confused by this discussion.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Adacore » Wed Jun 17, 2015 2:58 am UTC

Carlington wrote:Ah! I had, until just now, been really confused by this discussion.

I was, conversely, very confused a few years ago when I learned that this guy was going to play Captain America.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby pkcommando » Wed Jun 17, 2015 11:10 am UTC

Now I'm waiting for the BBC to admit there was a mix-up:

"We... uh... we meant to call the other one and offer him the job. By the time we realised our mistake it was too late to fix it without causing significant embarrassment - our bad, apologies."

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:42 am UTC

The food company Heinz has apologised after a QR code on a bottle of tomato ketchup directed people to a pornography website. The company said that the code was out of date and that it was taking steps to prevent it happening again.

The issue was spotted by Daniel Korell, a customer in Germany, who reported it to the company.

The issue was illustrative of the potential dangers of QR codes, according to one security expert.

The code, which people can scan using a smartphone in order to access content online, was supposed to direct browsers to a site where users could design their own label for a bottle of Heinz Tomato Ketchup Hot, as part of a promotion by the company. Instead, the URL was hosting porn.

"I happened to scan it during lunch and I was a bit surprised where I got redirected to," Mr Korell told the BBC. "I found it rather funny and thought it was worth [sharing] on Heinz's Facebook page."

He reported the issue to the company after spotting it in late May, telling them: "Your ketchup is probably not for minors."

He said he believed he bought the bottle recently, but that the registration of the URL had lapsed because the related promotion had ended. The site is no longer live. Mr Korell said Heinz sent him a free bottle as a thank you.

A spokesman for the company said: "Heinz in Germany has apologised for the way in which an out-of-date QR code and website link to design a Ketchup label in 2014 has been reassigned to an adult content site. Clearly this was never our intention and we are taking steps to avoid this reoccurring."

Graham Cluley, an online security expert, said: "QR codes can point to anywhere on the web. The problem is that humans don't have a clue where they're going to be taken because their brain can't read a QR code, like they can a regular URL. It seems [Heinz] failed to renew their registration of the domain name, so it slipped out of their hands and was snatched up by an opportunistic porn site. Maybe in future they'll think of redirecting any customers via heinz.com, rather than directly to a custom site for a specific campaign."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-33200142

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Djehutynakht » Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:39 am UTC

North Korea basically cures everything.

This is their official English-language announcement.

According to one pro-DPRK site, they've had it since 1996, bringing up interesting questions about why the Ebola outbreak freaked them out so much.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:07 am UTC

That is darned funny.
Following links is risky business.

elasto; I followed your link to some weird places.
From the BBC to God knows what in five easy links.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby eSOANEM » Sat Jun 20, 2015 11:44 am UTC

Djehutynakht wrote:According to one pro-DPRK site, they've had it since 1996, bringing up interesting questions about why the Ebola outbreak freaked them out so much.


They didn't freak out. We have always been at war with oceania.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ahammel » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:46 pm UTC


Work-to-rule is a not unheard-of form of industrial protest.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby eSOANEM » Thu Jun 25, 2015 2:14 pm UTC

obeying traffic rules seems like an unusual form of work-to-rule though.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Whizbang » Fri Jun 26, 2015 4:56 pm UTC

There are plenty of legitimate reasons to need manual control of a car. But the vast majority of the time, driving is done on roads with set rules and best practices. That said, initially auto-atuos will have a manual control option that can be turned on at any time. It is my opinion that this will not go away. It may be regulated such that it cannot be turned on while the vehicle is on a proper road, unless emergency conditions are present, but I really cannot see consumers, as a whole, giving up the option. You go to buy a car, you're given the option of two types of vehicles, one with a manual control option and one without. Do you really think that enough people will chose option 2 such that the market becomes saturated with only that option? I don't. I am confident in my opinion that people will instead remain firm on their insistance that there be a manual option, for all the reasons that people have stated above and more.

Manual control is not going anywhere. Auto-autos, however, are definitely coming.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby rath358 » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:05 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
ucim wrote:
PeteP wrote:Is that a serious argument against autonomous cars? Are trains mass dehumanizing?
Not against autonomous cars, but against the prohibition of non-autonomous cars implied by the poster I was referring to, and also against law being enforced by machine. I'm not against trains, but against laws that prohibit travel except by train.
Are you also, therefore, opposed to laws which prohibit the riding of horses on public roads?

I am. The Amish, for example, deserve to be able to use public roads, especially out in the country where is doesn't clog anything up. Making them use a frontage road instead of the interstate is totally reasonable though

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:23 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
morriswalters wrote:Their isn't anything particularly humanizing about driving, you weren't evolved to drive 2 tons at 80 MPH.


It's called wanderlust. Driving is a good way to satisfy that urge, if you have it. Walking or cycling limits your range. Public transport means you're beholden to someone else's timetable, and you have to plan in advance. With a car, you can just wake up one morning and decide "Hey, I want to go somewhere today. No idea where, but I'm going to go there".

Also, you know, it's pretty convenient for getting to work, and going shopping and whatnot.

I'll agree with the Wanderlust.
Americans like all other people Lust for things to Wonder about.

It's our Common Religion.
The Sunday Drive.

It's the Religion of my people.
The Sunday Drive is like going to Church.

Saints and Sinners alike take to the open road around 10:00 a.m. Sunday Morning.
People that woke up with a wicked hangover in the Wrong bed are waking up.

The Catholic Churches are sending them forth.
The Produstants are out there Visiting and Going to Meeting.

The Hindu, Buddhists and Sikh have a day off, too.
Picnics are a part of every culture I know of.

Spoiler:
Some people think it's fabulous.
Some think it is stereotypical of the Poor.


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Our most intimate moments with God and each other happen in or near a car.

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They were like a child's tea set,
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Amazing!
For a child.

Each piece of a picnic basket had it's place.

Some made sense.
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The American Road Trip!
A Sunday Drive that got out of hand.

Can you inagine taking a car from Oregon to Tennessee in 1930?
Even in 1940; It would be easy to get lost. No Google!
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:22 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:There are plenty of legitimate reasons to need manual control of a car. But the vast majority of the time, driving is done on roads with set rules and best practices. That said, initially auto-atuos will have a manual control option that can be turned on at any time. It is my opinion that this will not go away. It may be regulated such that it cannot be turned on while the vehicle is on a proper road, unless emergency conditions are present, but I really cannot see consumers, as a whole, giving up the option. You go to buy a car, you're given the option of two types of vehicles, one with a manual control option and one without. Do you really think that enough people will chose option 2 such that the market becomes saturated with only that option? I don't. I am confident in my opinion that people will instead remain firm on their insistance that there be a manual option, for all the reasons that people have stated above and more.

Manual control is not going anywhere. Auto-autos, however, are definitely coming.


I'm guessing that there will still be many cars where that's an option for offroad or country driving but given google is already making cars without any steering wheel ... this will be one of the directions they go.

http://indialive.today/wp-content/uploa ... ss_car.jpg

To be honest if the rules were such that I could legally climb into one of these blind or blind drunk and go to sleep while I travel on the basis that I'm not driving it and can't do anything more than tell it the destination due to it being fully automatic then it would have significant appeal.

I can definitely see it being popular with many disabled and elderly people: a car for which you don't have to be legally able to drive in order to utilise it.

There's also a large urban commuter market who just want to get to work on boring, reliable roads who would jump at a car without manual controls. I'd be quite happy to sit back and read.

I can also see it being popular with automatic taxis so that passengers can't take control of them.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Whizbang » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:24 pm UTC

HungryHobo wrote:I'm guessing that there will still be many cars where that's an option but given google is already making cars without any steering wheel that this will be one of the directions they go.


Ah, but will enough people buy them such that it will be the only option, or will enough people demand (and buy) a manual option such that the option will always be there?

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby HungryHobo » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:28 pm UTC

Do you mean the option always being there for a particular car or always being there in general?

I wouldn't bet on it being impossible to buy a car with a steering wheel in 30 years even if you offered me 10 to 1 odds because there's going to be no shortage of scenarios where people will still want manual control but I would definitely bet that there will be particular makes/models which only do steering-wheel-free cars.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Whizbang » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:33 pm UTC

Oh, sure, there will definitely car models that do not have the option (at least for a while), but those arguing that soon there will be no cars with that option seem pessimistic to me. I'd buy a car without a manual option, but then I hate cars and only want a box with wheels that will take me from one point to another easily and reliably. But I seem to be the odd one and most people appear to not only enjoy driving, but also tie their personalities to their cars in strong ways. Those people will keep the manual option alive. Plus there is a case to be made that not having a manual option could be unsafe in certain situations, and so an emergency manual override needs to be available and mandatory in all vehicles.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Alexius » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:34 pm UTC

ucim wrote:@Isaac Hill - In some areas (France, for example), the requirement to stay right except to pass is quite ingrained. It is normal to weave left and right when passing many cars, rather than simply claim the left lane for yourself.

Recently in the UK someone was fined £500 and got five penalty points on his licence (the typical speeding penalty is £60 and three points, but this often goes up significantly if you choose to go to court as this guy did) for driving at 60 mph in the middle lane of three on a motorway (70 mph limit) when the right lane was available.

That seems to be quite divisive, though. Many drivers will admit to it and defend doing it, while many others are annoyed by it (and it is of course illegal).

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:41 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:
HungryHobo wrote:I'm guessing that there will still be many cars where that's an option but given google is already making cars without any steering wheel that this will be one of the directions they go.


Ah, but will enough people buy them such that it will be the only option, or will enough people demand (and buy) a manual option such that the option will always be there?
Economics may provide the answer. Will people be able to afford manual cars? Or private ownership thereof. Get close to to my current cost of owning and operating per trip and I would dump my car soonest.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ucim » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:49 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Ah, but will enough people buy them such that it will be the only option, or will enough people demand (and buy) a manual option such that the option will always be there?
That will be up to the insurance companies, mostly.

Alexius wrote:[Keep right in France] seems to be quite divisive, though. Many drivers will admit to [violating] it and defend doing it, while many others are annoyed by it (and it is of course illegal).
The important thing is that the consistency allow a driver to count on what the other driver is likely to do. Another example is right-of-way. In France, entering traffic has the right of way. In the US, existing traffic does. Mix it at your peril.

As to horses on the road, how about bicycles? Sure, they shouldn't be on the interstate, but removing them from side roads (because motorcycles: progress!) is not something I would support.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Whizbang » Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:56 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Whizbang wrote:Ah, but will enough people buy them such that it will be the only option, or will enough people demand (and buy) a manual option such that the option will always be there?
That will be up to the insurance companies, mostly.


Which in turn will be decided by consumers and whether or not they are willing to purchase a policy that allows manual control, or to voters who vote to prohibit insurance companies from unfairly charging high fees for manual cars, or to those who sue insurance companies for said unfair fees and the legal process that will (or will not) enforce a policy of lower prices for manual options. And so on. You can certainly be pessimistic about all of that, but I forsee people crying "You can have my manual car when you pry it from my cold dead hands!" and the like with very little prompting.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Quercus » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:05 pm UTC

I guess there are a few options there that I'd be happy with. Another few you don't mention, but that seem like good compromises to me: a) Have a significantly more challenging driving test to be allowed to drive manually (Scandinavian style, where they make you drive in all conditions, at night, on a skid pan, in the snow etc. etc. before you get a licence); b) Revert to third party only insurance when you hit the manual mode button, I'd be happy to take the risk, especially given that most other cars will be very much more predictable than they are now; c) Have a "Jesus computer, take the wheel" mode, which lets you drive manually, but steps in and takes control to avert collisions. High end modern cars are half way to that already.

I can see manual driving being totally prohibited on motorways (freeways), as there's lots of efficiency maximising stuff - like slipstreaming convoys - that only really work if everyone is on automatic.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby SlyReaper » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:33 pm UTC

Alexius wrote:
ucim wrote:@Isaac Hill - In some areas (France, for example), the requirement to stay right except to pass is quite ingrained. It is normal to weave left and right when passing many cars, rather than simply claim the left lane for yourself.

Recently in the UK someone was fined £500 and got five penalty points on his licence (the typical speeding penalty is £60 and three points, but this often goes up significantly if you choose to go to court as this guy did) for driving at 60 mph in the middle lane of three on a motorway (70 mph limit) when the right lane was available.

That seems to be quite divisive, though. Many drivers will admit to it and defend doing it, while many others are annoyed by it (and it is of course illegal).


I think you mean the left lane was available. Remember, in the UK, we drive on the correct side of the road. :wink:
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:45 pm UTC

Economies aside the end result may be a function of how well a mixed regime would work on public roads. Which is less dangerous.
Quercus wrote:As far as I'm aware I've never done anything contrary to any law in the UK when I've driven off-road.
Nor did I mean to imply you did.
SlyReaper wrote:It's called wanderlust. Driving is a good way to satisfy that urge, if you have it.
You can wander where you want when you want, you just can't wander over into my lane and kill me.
ucim wrote:Today. Not tomorrow, when Google figures out the best route for everyone to take so that capacity can be increased without spending money on more roads. At first you may merely be taxed for taking the scenic route, and ultimately who knows. Each step is small, but the benefit evaporates, eaten by society at large filling the vacuum.
Unless Google can read minds, they can't stop you from joyriding. The car can only go where you tell it to go. A joy ride is a series of random choices to little destinations. The only difference is you speak it and don't do it.
Dauric wrote:Another place one may need to drive without a road: along a fence line.
Why? "Google follow the fence on the west side of my property, stop on my command." Google and other people in the smart car space aren't trying to program where you go, they are trying to have the vehicle doing things you aren't very good at doing.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Dauric » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:04 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Dauric wrote:Another place one may need to drive without a road: along a fence line.
Why? "Google follow the fence on the west side of my property, stop on my command." Google and other people in the smart car space aren't trying to program where you go, they are trying to have the vehicle doing things you aren't very good at doing.


I'm guessing you've never driven a fence-line on 10 or 40, or more acres. A fence can cross a number of obstacles, from sharp inclines to deep ravines, large rocks, fallen trees, etc. My parents have a property you can't get a vehicle to the corner of the property because a ravine cuts across it.

Now DARPA has a program working on vehicles capable of driving themselves over all sorts of terrain, but so far it hasn't produced something that would be workable in a practical sense.

Edit:

The other thing about Google's auto-driving car is that it assumes a certain quality of surface to drive on. Even beyond the angle of a slope, when you're driving along a property line you have to be concerned about the stability of the ground, whether it will hold your vehicle's weight, or whether the slope you can safely drive down may be a one way trip if you try to go back up it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby morriswalters » Fri Jun 26, 2015 9:41 pm UTC

Sure. But sensors are coming down, someone just announced chip level Lidar. So autonomous drones to sweep the fenceline to map it in realtime. It is only a matter of time. But sure, farm vehicles will be a special case for some period.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:23 pm UTC

ucim wrote:
Whizbang wrote:As to horses on the road, how about bicycles? Sure, they shouldn't be on the interstate, but removing them from side roads (because motorcycles: progress!) is not something I would support.

Jose

I sure support horses, hikers and bicycles having roads away from cars, whenever possible.
Old railway lines that are no longer usable for trains are nice for long distance cyclists.

Bikes, horses and hikers are at high risk of injury when on major roads.
It's a statistic thing. Will driverless cars be safer for The World?

oh, dear.
Cars hit a lot of deer.
People look a lot like deer.

huh....?
(shrug?)
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby ucim » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:25 pm UTC

Whizbang wrote:Which in turn will be decided by consumers and whether or not they are willing to purchase a policy that allows manual control, or to...
Yes, and the outcry will be as loud, and as effective, as the one against the loss of internet (and other) privacy.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby phlip » Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:36 am UTC

A counterpoint: Automatic transmission has existed for over half a century (depending on what you count). After all that time, manual transmissions are still available, and comparable in price. There are some legal restrictions to getting them, but they're not onerous (here, at least, if you do your driving test in an automatic, you aren't allowed to drive a manual on your initial provisional license, but once you go up to the next level of licensing even that restriction is lifted).

I think the assumption that driverless cars will inevitably end up with manually-drivable cars becoming unavailable, or prohibitively expensive, or flat-out illegal... is a bit pessimistic. Enough people have a use (or just a desire) for a car that at least has the option of manual driving that they'll stick around.

Hell, car companies are able to sell four-wheel drives to people who never leave the city based purely on the idea that someday they'll go offroading... it's hardly an unknown niche impulse.

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enum ಠ_ಠ {°□°╰=1, °Д°╰, ಠ益ಠ╰};
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:39 am UTC

Automatic Transmissions have come a long way, Baby.
The first automatics I drove were...frankly, Crap.

Now, an automatic is superior to manual in many ways.
Many, if not most, automatics today have a manual option.

I can choose gears or let the car do it.
I let the car do it.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby commodorejohn » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:40 am UTC

I'll consider trusting Google to drive a car at some point after they learn to stop screwing around with their UI, worsening compatibility, and increasing system requirements with basically every revision of every one of their services this side of the 8.8.8.8 DNS server.
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K-R
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby K-R » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:46 am UTC

phlip wrote:(here, at least, if you do your driving test in an automatic, you aren't allowed to drive a manual on your initial provisional license, but once you go up to the next level of licensing even that restriction is lifted).
That sounds absurd.

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bentheimmigrant
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bentheimmigrant » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:10 am UTC

Which part? Not being allowed to drive manual at first, or the restriction being lifted?
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby addams » Sat Jun 27, 2015 10:13 am UTC

ucim wrote:
Whizbang wrote:Which in turn will be decided by consumers and whether or not they are willing to purchase a policy that allows manual control, or to...
Yes, and the outcry will be as loud, and as effective, as the one against the loss of internet (and other) privacy.

Jose

That kind of privacy will have even more immediate risks.
Our cars are already 'hackable'.

I found listening to these guys interesting.
http://www.sciencefriday.com/segment/08 ... r-car.html
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby K-R » Sat Jun 27, 2015 3:44 pm UTC

bentheimmigrant wrote:Which part? Not being allowed to drive manual at first, or the restriction being lifted?
The restriction being lifted.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby PAstrychef » Sat Jun 27, 2015 5:13 pm UTC

There are safety reasons for the requirement that in today's cars there must be direct, mechanical linkages between the steering and the wheels and the brakes and the wheels. If my driverless software suffers a glitch, then without any manual backup I'm roadkill, or someone else is. Big solar flares can cause havoc in electronics. Want your road safety effected by sun spots? Want some malicious asshole to hack a system just for the lulzs? At least you can only drop one rock off an overpass at a time. On special roads, for long hauls-dandy. Otherwise, there's this great system for nots having to drive when impaired-calling a taxi.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:12 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:Otherwise, there's this great system for nots having to drive when impaired-calling a taxi.

Yeah. A driverless taxi!

I see car ownership going way down in the future actually.

Many jobs that require people present are going to succumb to automation. The ones that don't are mostly going to be intellectual/creative tasks, which in many cases will be doable remotely. Either way, the need for people to have to commute to work is going to fall off. Likewise the need to drive to go shopping.

Driving is going to become something most people do a few times a week instead of two to three times daily.

And if your car is going to drive itself, why does it really need to be your car? Why not just grab the nearest car via an Uber-type app when you need one? You'll never need to go fill it up, or take it to be serviced. It's just hassle-free.

In the future, the fact that people had to sink tens of thousands of dollars of personal financing into transportation will seem quaint and inefficient...

(Obviously I'm talking about in the city here; For people in remote areas, clearly personal transportation is going to remain a necessity)

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby Whizbang » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:50 pm UTC

I have truly only ever seen a taxi a handful of times in my life. So, for many areas, a taxi is not a practical or convenient option.

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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:25 pm UTC

They're generally called for or ordered through a web service rather than randomly flagged down.
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Re: In other news... (humorous news items, etc)

Postby elasto » Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:15 pm UTC

Uber
At the end of 2014 Uber announced that worldwide, it’s doing one million rides per day and delivered 140 million rides just last year. On New Year’s Eve 2014, Uber logged 58 trips per second, 20,000 customers installed the Uber app after midnight, more than 100,000 people were riding an Uber car at midnight and more than 50,000 users took more than two rides.

Lyft
According to reports, at the beginning of 2015, Lyft is doing 2.5 million rides a month. By the end of the year, the company expects to be doing 13 million rides per month or about 90 million rides by the end of 2015 and plans to be doing 205 million rides by 2016. Lyft’s numbers are minute compared to Uber’s but it should be noted that Uber’s numbers encompasses its global operations. Lyft is currently available in the U.S., but if it goes global, it has the potential to match Uber’s numbers.


Here in China, my wife taps the app on her smartphone and a car appears outside our house. Or, if we're out, a mapping app will walk us to the spot where the car is waiting or will stop. Can't ever recall having to wait longer than you'd spend finding a parking spot if you owned a car, so time-wise it's a win.

When we get to our destination, no cash changes hands, my wife merely taps her phone again and funds are transferred. The app of course confirms that the driver took a sensible route, so overcharging is impossible. A ten mile taxi ride for us will cost under five dollars. US rates may run slightly higher ^^

I've been here almost 6 years and between the buses (~20c for a return journey across the entire city - filthy commies!!11) the underground/elevated metro system and the taxis, I've never missed not having a car.

It's the future baby..! (For cities at least)
Last edited by elasto on Sat Jun 27, 2015 8:23 pm UTC, edited 5 times in total.


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