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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Endophage Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

You can actually get a very good measure of how your engines would do in a lighter vehicle by comparing recent Mustangs and F150s. The 5.0L Coyote engine is available in both and gets significantly different highway mileage and slightly different city mileage. The F150 is the less efficient in both cases. There is some slightly different tuning to take into account and I don't know how much of the difference should be attributed to that.

about 8 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Endophage Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

I'm telling you I've done the test, personally, first hand...

about 8 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Endophage Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

Huh... well crap, I remembered it as something else. Even so, same result.

about 8 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Endophage Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

Haha! Definitely on the same page regarding Prius drivers in CA. However, it definitely wasn't a hybrid, it was some econo-hatchback.

about 8 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Endophage Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

I believe it is. My wife's car is a family 4 door that supposedly gets good fuel efficiency at 55mph. The extreme drop off in efficiency causes the non-performance cars to rapidly drop below the performance cars in MPG as you increase MPH, which is essentially what Top Gear demonstrated.

about 8 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Endophage Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

In this instance, I'm pretty confident they were accurate. My own personal experience having gotten my first driving license on european hatchbacks and over the years upgrading through typical family 4 doors and on to more powerful performance cars, I found that hatchbacks/family 4 doors do great around the city, but once you're up to motorway speeds (70+mph), the extra high gears combined with the higher HP in the performance cars tend to produce better fuel efficiency. The drop off in efficiency for non-performance cars once you go over about 55mph is really extreme. I spent a long drive in my wife's car playing with her cruise control. Her car has real time MPG reporting. The drop off in efficiency between 55mph and 65mph was like a cliff. The drop off in efficiency for performance cars appears, in my experience at least, to be less extreme.

about 8 months ago
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Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

Endophage Re:Efficiency. (937 comments)

Top gear did a good episode demonstrating fuel efficiency where they put something like a Ford Focus (some small "economical" hatchback) up against a BMW M3 on their track. The requirement was the Focus had to race the track, the M3 just had to keep pace, whoever drove the greater distance on a single gallon of fuel won. The M3 thrashed the Focus.

The Focus at 75mph (typical motorway speed in the UK) is running at a much higher RPM (probably 4000+RPM, I can't say for sure but my old Peugeot 306 ran about that) than the M3, which is practically idling at that speed. It's part gearing, if you gave those hatchbacks an extra top gear they could get great efficiency at real motorway speeds. It's also horsepower. If you generate more HP per revolution, you don't need so many revolutions to maintain a speed. Obviously there's a balance as increasing HP typically means decreasing MPG.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

Endophage Handel-C (365 comments)

I don't know how easy it would be to port your specific algorithm, but I did my masters thesis around a language called Handel-C. It's a super-set of C that provides a high level FPGA programming interface. That might get you some distance in determining the number of gates. Disclaimer: I was working with it a few years back and the documentation/support was appalling, I don't know if it's become any better.

about 8 months ago
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Computer Scientists Invents Game-Developing Computer AI

Endophage Re:What's that smell? (103 comments)

I went to college with the the guy. He has been working on this for coming up on 4 years now. The games I've seen so far are simple platformers reminiscent of the first Mario games, but everything has to start somewhere. That 3D Ludum Dare entry is a step up. It's all very legitimate, but I don't see it generating an RPG any time soon. Simple Mario/Doom clones though are bread and butter.

about 8 months ago
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No. of vehicle license types I hold:

Endophage Re:I wish I could say "none" (312 comments)

There is always enough space to maintain a braking distance, the traffic may just have to travel a little slower. The only issue I've seen with it is drivers cutting each other off because they don't understand braking distances or how to safely maneuver between lanes. I manage to maintain safe braking distances, I probably just average 5 mph slower than the traffic around me, which in reality is the result of matching speed with the car in front of me, then having to slow down when somebody gets between us to again increase the space to a safe distance. Doing that has saved me from an accident on exactly 2 occasions since I moved to the US; both times the traffic in my lane only (supposedly the "fast" leftmost lane), stopped very abruptly, then moved off again with no apparent indications as to what had caused the stop in the first place. On one of those occasions, had I not left an appropriate braking distance, I would certainly have hit the car in front of me as I was tired and reacted slowly.

about 8 months ago
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No. of vehicle license types I hold:

Endophage Re:I wish I could say "none" (312 comments)

Haha! If I had mod points (and hadn't posted already) I'd give you some for that "back up" comment.

about 8 months ago
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No. of vehicle license types I hold:

Endophage Re:I wish I could say "none" (312 comments)

I moved to California from the UK a few years back and frankly, the CA driving test is a joke compared to the UK test. I didn't have to do any reversing, I was not tested on any maneuvers (3 point turn, parallel parking, etc...), and I passed the written component having only done the sample tests on the dmv website. For the UK theory test (identical in style to the written component of the CA test, but done on a computer) you have to know things like average braking distances for a typical car at 10mph speed increments from 20mph to 70mph. Might see a bit less tailgating and fewer multi-car pileups if CA drivers knew those numbers.

about 8 months ago
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No. of vehicle license types I hold:

Endophage Re:I wish I could say "none" (312 comments)

I would go with "knew" the rules of the road. They forgot them as soon as they passed the test. That's generally true of any automotive drivers license though, not just the US. If you asked most people to pass the driving test again a year later, I'm willing to put money on the majority failing to pass.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Books Everyone Should Read?

Endophage Some good Sci-fi/Fantasy (796 comments)

  • Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. A comedy about the coming of the anti-christ. Very British humour.
  • Nine Tomorrows - A collection of shorts by Asimov. Some very interesting visions of the future that have been the basis for a number of more recent authors' work.
  • Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson. The backdrop is an interesting vision of a hyper-privatised world.
  • Foundation - Asimov, the whole trilogy. At a deep level, it observes the cycles of civilization and the optimal methods of control exerted at different stages of development.
  • The Marching Morons - Cyril Kornbluth. Sometimes I feel this is where the world is headed.

about 8 months ago
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5-Year Mission Continues After 45-Year Hiatus

Endophage Just one thing... (283 comments)

It's a very good effort, it's just unfortunate that Vic Mignogna has such a nasal, weedy voice. Shatner had a voice and way of speaking that exuded confidence and leadership. Vic's voice makes me feel like he'd run away from most Kirk worthy situations.

about a year ago
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Oracle Attacks Open Source; Says Community-Developed Code Is Inferior

Endophage Commercial Motivation (394 comments)

Open source projects also lack motivation to lock you in to their product (as they have no financial incentive to protect) and therefore have more reason to actually make a product people enjoy and want to use. Of course, there's typically a quality difference between open source projects like Linux and those that fall into the "I built this because I needed it/for fun/for practice, maybe somebody else will find it useful" category.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?

Endophage Re:Rockstars are never necessary (356 comments)

Plenty of people that aren't assholes can't have an argument and remain friends. Too many people take an argument as a personal affront, "rockstars" especially because they think you're questioning their supposed brilliance.

1 year,4 days
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Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?

Endophage Re:Rockstars are never necessary (356 comments)

And you're confusing job title with discipline. Engineering is a discipline with certain methods taught to its practitioners. When I talk about engineers, I mean people I consider members of that discipline.

1 year,4 days
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Ask Slashdot: Are 'Rock Star' Developers a Necessity?

Endophage Rockstars are never necessary (356 comments)

I'm a tech lead at a startup and have worked at mid-size companies (I've avoided large corporations). Even if your problems are difficulty 10, you don't need a "rockstar" to solve them. My experience with typical rockstar developers has been similar to yours, they work poorly with others, communicate poorly, and often write inscrutable code. I firmly believe that nobody is invaluable. No company can afford to have a person that were they hit by a bus, or just left, the company would fail.

There are plenty of developers out there that wouldn't be considered "rockstars" in the stereotypical sense but when given a problem, I know they will produce good, well thought out, performant code within a short period of time. During development they will seek out criticism from their peers (and they see the rest of the team as their peers) and the final solution will be respected and understood by the team. I think of these people as seasoned engineers, not rockstars and certainly not developers. Engineers break down problems and build a solution before they ever write a line of code. I also believe you can become a seasoned engineer rapidly, possibly even straight out of college. It's about perspective, not necessarily experience.

One of the most important things in an engineering group, in my opinion, is the ability to walk into a room, argue out a solution, possibly admit you're wrong and somebody else's solution is better, but know when to fight your corner, then leave the room as friends and colleagues, ready to build the solution together. The ego rockstars carry makes that scenario impossible.

1 year,4 days
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Ask Slashdot: When Is It OK To Not Give Notice?

Endophage Re:Re-hirable (892 comments)

It depends on the industry, your skills, and why you left. Nobody is going to think badly of you if you leave to gain a post-graduate degree. In that situation the company may be very happy to hire you back, and keep you, as you have strengthened their talent pool.

about a year ago

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