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  • Mar 26th, 2018 @ 2:53pm

    (untitled comment)

    Wow. That's like preschool level whining.

    Johnny is is still making fun of me...

    Did his mother never tell him about "Sticks and Stones"?

  • Mar 23rd, 2018 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: This is a watcher problem

    Why are we calling them the "safety driver" then? It seems to me that it's exactly what the public expects of them. "Normal drivers" aren't necessarily "engaged" either. You don't get away with killing someone because you had cruise control on, or Telsa's autopilot.

    Misnomers and bad assumptions don't change the realities of human reaction.

    The person in the seat, is NOT the driver. The car is doing all the driving.

    The person is monitoring the car. We should call them Autonomous Vehcile Monitors.

    AV Monitors are effectively passengers. If an emergency happens, the car is supposed to handle it. The monitor is not pressing the brakes every time the AV gets close to something. They are really assuming the AV will hit the brakes because the AV is driving.

    If an emergency happens an AV monitor would have to:

    1: Recognize it. But since they are in relaxed passenger mode, it would almost certainly take longer than an actual driver, who would be more engaged.

    2: Recognize that the car isn't going to handle. Because they are used to the car doing all the driving and handling all the situation, this could be a long pause.

    3: Shift into driving mode, grab the controls and take action, and this will take time because unlike a normal driver, they aren't already using the controls.

    Regardless of how you try to legislate this, there are many more cognitive and physical steps for an AV monitor to take than a regular driver, an it will take them a multiple of the time a regular driver would to react.

    Thus considering them a safety element in any fast developing emergency is absurd.

    As I said in a previous post:

    If an AV isn't considered safe enough to operate on it's own without a backup/safety driver, then it should not be considered safe enough to operate with one, because the difference between those two is mostly illusory.

    IMO, given the failure by this Uber platform, it does NOT meet that safe enough standard, and shouldn't be permitted on the road with or without a backup/safety/monitor in the seat.

  • Mar 23rd, 2018 @ 9:50am

    Re: BMW/Mercedes/Audi infrared would have spotted this cyclist

    None of the thermal systems apply brakes for collision avoidance.

    They just put a video image on a screen. Thermal cameras tend to be too low resolution to provide meaningful data for self driving cars.

  • Mar 23rd, 2018 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re: Uncharacteristically poor slanting by techdirt.

    First, Uber should be on the road if the car is at least as safe as the human driver that they allow on the road.

    There is no evidence that Uber AV's are safe. You fail to grasp the "watcher" problem, that makes a human observer much less effective than a normal human driver.

    Second, the human driver isn't a scapegoat, he/she is there to make sure the car is at least as safe as a human driver (which is the standard the law holds us to). If the car was less safe than that standard, it's the human driver's fault.

    As someone already posted. The human backup is NOT required under Arizona law. So you can't claim her role is to intervene and make it safer.

    The role of such backup/safety drivers is mostly about providing the illusion of safety. A real driver that is already operating the controls of a car, will usually take ~1.5 seconds to react to an emergency. Someone who isn't actually driving the car is obviously going to take MUCH longer to react to an emergency, so there is no way this backup driver can be as safe as a normal driver.

    If an AV isn't considered safe enough to operate on it's own without a backup/safety driver, then it should not be considered safe enough to operate with one, because the difference between those two is mostly illusory.

  • Mar 23rd, 2018 @ 7:50am

    Disingenuous expert?

    “If I pay close attention, I notice the victim about 2 seconds before the video stops,”

    I have checked this, and that claim seems very disingenuous. I used a stopwatch and timed it on multiple runs.

    I get 1.0 seconds average from the time I see the first visible indication, and when the video freezes.

    1.0 and "about 2 seconds" are significantly different. Different enough, that I question the motivations of "Expert" that is that far off from the truth when making public statements.

    Check it yourself.

    Normal driver reaction time to a surprise event it 1.5+ seconds. There is no way in hell an average normal driver would even touch the brakes before hitting her.

    I am not trying to exonerate Uber. The Car should NOT be limited to visible beam of the headlights. LIDAR should have picked her out of the shadows. The car failed. The fleet should be grounded indefinitely.

    Hopefully the official investigators will ignore the media circus around this.

    It probably would have been best to say nothing, and not release video until after the investigation was concluded.

  • Mar 23rd, 2018 @ 7:25am

    Re: This is a watcher problem

    Thanks for getting it. The reaction time of an actual engaged driver to a surprise event is something like 1.5 seconds.

    It will obviously be worse from someone who is essentially monitoring the car. So it would be completely unfair to expect them to react as a normal driver would.

  • Mar 22nd, 2018 @ 6:50pm


    The whole point is to be a scapegoat when something goes wrong?

    Because if you are watching a car drive, you are really in no position to take over fast enough if something like this goes wrong.

  • Mar 22nd, 2018 @ 5:46pm

    Re: Re: tl;dr

    The paper is wrong.

    Here is the streetview, with a X in green to show the accident location. You can see the accident location from 45 MPH limit sign:

    Bottom Right corner of the image, is the vidcap from a video uploaded yesterday, showing that Limit sign is still 45 MPH.

    And here is the Video uploaded yesterday, Sign is visible around 26 seconds.

    I don't see how that can be a 35 MPH zone with a clearly marked 45 MPH limit sign right in front of it.

  • Mar 22nd, 2018 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Uncharacteristically poor slanting by techdirt.

    I saw a video shot after the accident. The posted limit is 45 MPH.

  • Mar 22nd, 2018 @ 4:47pm

    Uncharacteristically poor slanting by techdirt.

    Check your own previous story. The chief didn't say darted.

    She said "based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway."

    That is a direct quote from the previous Techdirt story.

    What the chief said in that previous story is a fair characterization of what happened in the video. She does appear right out the shadows when the headlights hit her.

    First: the victim certainly did cause this collision. She is casually crossing a 45 MPH road, in the dark while wearing dark clothes. It's fatally reckless to do that. You don't count on car to stop for you in broad daylight on a 25 MPH road, it's suicidal to do on 45 MPH road in the dark.

    Second: Ubers Vehicle shouldn't be on the road if they can't pick out one person crossing an empty road. All the blame belongs to the pedestrian and Uber.

    Third: The Safety driver would have no chance to react in time, even if she was paying attention. She still isn't driving. Reaction time would be longer than typical 1.5 seconds of someone actually driving, instead of watching. Also, I strongly dispute anyone would have seen the victim a full 2 seconds before impact. You don't get to rewind the video multiple times real life until you see what you are expecting. The first time I watched that video, it was "shit- boom", and I knew it was coming.

    The safety driver is in an impossible situation and should not be a scapegoat for a fatally reckless pedestrian and poor Uber technolgy.

  • Jan 20th, 2018 @ 7:09am

    Re: Proof peoole will watch anything.


    Some of us like slower, thought provoking SciFi. TMFE has an 8.0 on IMDB.

    But you can stick to Michael Bay movies, if you want more action.

    I loved the original Man from Earth. Watched it with friends many years ago and thought it was a hidden gem we stumbled upon.

    I never heard the story of how it leveraged file sharing.

    Unfortunately TMFE:Holocene isn't getting great reviews, and it really seemed that TMFE, really was a movie that shouldn't have a sequel.

  • Oct 31st, 2016 @ 12:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    Stephen Harpers legacy lives on.

  • Aug 16th, 2016 @ 10:17am

    Laughable to call Gawker journalism.

    What they did with Hogan was right up there with revenge Porn.

  • Oct 6th, 2015 @ 11:08am

    Re: iFixit is in the wrong

    Agreed. I read techdirt a lot but seldom comment.

    But this time the headline is one sided, and misses the basic truth here.

    iFixit violated an agreement that allowed them early access to hardware.

    That is what they are being punished for.

  • Jun 7th, 2014 @ 5:43am

    Cost a lot of money to make?

    I like Wil Wheaton, I love him on TBBT, and his writings on Nerd stuff.

    But this show was pretty bad. It's him standing in front of a green screen for the whole show (cheaper than a real studio with a desk/chair), with one bad bad static computer graphic as his background. Content is covering SciFi with really bad humor layered on top.

    It is really, quite bad.

    Sorry Wil.

  • Dec 6th, 2013 @ 8:41pm

    (untitled comment)

    On the Apple. Apples are one of the most pesticide laden fruits and the great concentrations are in the top/bottom. I don't eat those parts at all.

    On Banana peeling. WTF? Pulling the stem back is how I get started peeling it. How do you start it cleanly from the bottom?

  • Sep 23rd, 2013 @ 6:45am

    (untitled comment)

    @"Yeah smart guy, how about your prints are all over your phone. "

    Borrow a friends phone and try to lift any clean print off it (let alone the exact one you need). You are watching too much CSI if you think you can pull that off.

    This "hack" starts with the owner providing them a perfect smudge free print on a clean glass.

    I know it is fashionable for some to bash Apple at every turn, but I hoped we could have a reasoned discussion about how likely it is someone could pull this off in the real world, by surreptitiously trying to pull a print from a phone or other surfaced in the home/office.

    I would say that chances are approaching zero.

  • Jun 27th, 2013 @ 7:04pm

    HIIT over-rated.

    I have do occasional HIIT workouts and you need to separate the hype from the reality.

    They don't count warmup time, which is critical if you are going to do an all out intervals. So add about 4 mins. Also the rest periods often aren't counted. Add 1-2 minutes per interval, and likely another 4 minutes to cool down.

    I did a peak 8 type interval workout today. Here is what it looked like:
    4 Min warmup
    8 X intervals(20 sec all out + 100 sec rest) 16 minutes total
    4 minute cooldown.

    Total Interval time is only 160 seconds. Less that 3 minutes of Work. This is how it often gets hyped.

    But it takes 24 minutes of real time.

    Also if you are really going all out on your intervals, you won't enjoy the "rest" part. You will be deep in oxygen debt, and gasping to catch your breath.

    If you ever watch video of anyone doing these workouts, the moderate aerobic control group is left on their own to relax and go at moderate pace, while the interval group is coached to: "Go!, Go!, Go!".

    Are you going to have a coach at home, or are you highly motivated to push yourself very hard over and over like you were being coached?

    Intervals have their place, but be aware the are quite overhyped in general.

  • Jun 4th, 2013 @ 12:20pm


    I honestly see this as accelerating big game studio demise.

    First: Less consoles will sell, because of alienated buyers.

    Less consoles, less game sales.

    Second: Selling games used, recovers cash to buy more new games.

    Killing second hand sales will not increase the sale of new anymore than killing second hand car sales would increase the sale of new cars.

    If you couldn't sell your old car, you would only buy a new one when you finished driving the old one into the ground. Most of us would likely be driving around in 14 year old cars.

    Finally, didn't they make the same industry killing/saving claims about Piracy, isn't game console piracy virtually non-existent. Why are they rolling in bucks and selling us cheaper games?

    Declaring war on your customer is not a good business model.

    1) Make games on reasonable budget, so you don't go broke from one sub-million seller.
    2) Bend over backwards to treat your customer with respect, so they want you to succeed.

    I remember when I wanted Bioware to keep making great games I would buy anything they made. They had great after sale service and treated customers with respect. I own more (old school) Bioware games than anything else.

    Then they sold out to EA and they can go rot in a hole now. I haven't bought anything from them since.

  • May 27th, 2013 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: The original topic...

    @"DON'T BUY IT.."

    I won't.

    Further to that we should warn others away from it as well.

    Just another attack on the "First Sale Doctrine".

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