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Intel Wants To Computerize Your Car

Ogi_UnixNut Re:autopilot software / hardware has lot's testing (191 comments)

Yes, but airplanes cost in excess of 30 million USD. For that amount you can justify the high costs in testing, triplicate redundancy, and hiring code auditors, security auditors, every cable accounted for EM interference, etc.., etc...

You really think that your average car will have that level of redundancy and checks? Hell, the only reason airplanes have it is because it is mandated by the flight authorities. An Airbus or Boeing would not get type approval if they didn't produce certificates, and signed documents from all involved, that all the unit tests/audits were done, and passed successfully.

You really think automakers will do the same? It would drive the cost up immensly, and unless forced to, I suspect you will find most of the code will be a lousy hack-job done by the lowest bidder somewhere on the Indian subcontinent, a bit like most built-in car tech.

The only place this hasn't been the case is the ECU/EMU's. This is:

a) The only people who can do the job are competent already (very rarely can you find cheap, good, embedded programmers.)
b) the ECU/EMU controls fuel efficiency, and emissions, which the car has to pass to be allowed to be sold. Incentive to get it right
c) It is a very simple problem, relatively. Control of fuel/ignition timing, and power output/throttle control.
d) the project isn't very big (a few K of data/code).
e) It doesn't change much. It only gets refined with time (like the IC engine, which, as a concept is about 100 years old).

Also, the whole point of a driverless car is that you would be able to ignore the driving, and just go do what you want. However that level of sophistication has not even been reached in airplanes. Airplane autopilots, despite being around for decades, and generally dealing with a 3D space , in which 99% of it is air, still have software glitches/unexpected situations. That is why airlines still have highly trained people sitting at the controls at all times, paying attention and ready to make corrections if necessary.

I don't think a normal "driver" in a self driving car, will want to sit there and stare at everything around them, making sure the computer is doing the right thing. If you can't disconnect, and be a passenger, then you might as well be driving. Just as much effort, slightly higher risk of error, and you don't end up bored to death.

On the flip side, I don't think they can make a pure driverless car, just because driving is really complicated, and requires the ability to think ahead, and not just react to immediete events. Something AI is not yet able to do. You could make self-driving only roads, which area designed to not confuse the AI, and make everything work reliably. However then you've just really reinvented trains, with roads instead of rail.

The only place where I could see a self driving car working at all is on Motorways, due to their predictable, linear nature, no pedestrians and other obstacles, and clearly defined rules.

about 3 months ago

SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Wow! (140 comments)

You're living on a plant ??

Well, that would explain where all the bugs and spiders have come from in my flat :-) I live on a pile of plants, which live on earth, which floats on mantle surrounding a partly-molten core. :-D

Well spotted though!

about 3 months ago

SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Wow! (140 comments)

They have clearly shown they have no problem breaking agreements when it suits them.

Well, based on what I've seen in my time on this plant, The Russian Government, The EU, and the US governments break agreements, violate sovereignty and meddle in the affairs of other smaller nations as much as they want. It is one of the perks of being a top-dog in the world.

However those are governments, you will generally find that people on all sides are more the less the same. They have fun, get laid, party, and have dreams and goals of their own.

As such, just because the governments do nasty shit, doesn't mean that you should not co-operate where there are mutually aligning goals. That is one of the fundamental tenants of diplomacy.

If the human race as a whole does not co-operate in space, the alternative is to compete, which could well cause more problems in future.

Besides, as long as the US pays for the engines, they will get them. Communism is gone, currency is the new ideology. Likewise for trips to the ISS, as long as the US is willing to pay, they will get a seat there. What may be influenced by the geopolitical situation is the price for future seats though.

Not to say that having two suppliers for a job is a bad idea, that is just good business. Otherwise your only supplier can lock you in :o)

about 3 months ago

Popular Shuttered Torrent Site Demonoid Returns

Ogi_UnixNut It has the most awful captcha I've ever seen... (80 comments)

Since the US shut down Lavabit I don't have my old email for Demonoid, so I'm trying to create a new account.

I've spent 40 mins trying the damn captcha, and I just can't read any of them. I so far got it only once, and then the site came back saying my username was invalid.

They have successfully thwarted any bots from registering, by successfully preventing humans from registering as well :-/

And their audio option doesn't even work, most annoyingly. Am I the only one having trouble with it?

about 3 months ago

Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Why would they do anything else? (673 comments)

Or... you know... hire the best person for the job, not set a goal of having a 50/50 distribution?

Humans are not marbles, we are all unique, all have our strengths and weaknesses, and different ways of thinking.

Hire the right person for the job in hand, don't hire people based on some magical need to have a particular distribution. I really don't get this desire...

about 5 months ago

NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Yes...but no (291 comments)

Lasting peace in Europe? You must have been asleep for the last 25 years.

Bombing, invasion, annexation, partition, suffering, in Europe and abroad, by the hand of NATO.
Your "peace" and general prosperity is built on the blood, death and suffering of others, and don't you forget it.

Personally, I'm happy Russia finally slapped NATO in the face. I was wondering if anyone on this planet had the balls to finally stand up to the bully (Disclaimer, I'm not Russian). Now just to see how this develops, geopolitically.

about 5 months ago

Will Cameras Replace Sideview Mirrors On Cars In 2018?

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Yes (496 comments)

But why is parallax relevant?

It allows us to judge distances using depth perception, partly because we have two eyes at offsets, and as mentioned earlier, because we can bob our head about to help us get depth cueing.

The only way cameras will come close to being as good as a mirror is if they are 3D cameras and displays, to allow us to judge distances like a mirror, at which point I suspect they will be a lot more expensive than just having a mirror.

(Talk about using a jackhammer to crack a nut. It is always easy to make things complicated. Making something elegantly simple, now that requires serious brain power).

about 5 months ago

Google Poised To Settle EU Anti-Trust Probe

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Better idea (55 comments)

I was looking into the YaCY P2P search engine (âZ ), but I have not given it a go yet. Have you tried that one? What did you find about it that was bad?

about 7 months ago

A Rebuttal To Charles Stross About Bitcoin

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Please shut the fuck up about bitcoin. (396 comments)

(I dream of a blockchain based DNS system, login/ID system that can't be corrupted or subverted by violence or legal threats pointed at a host or host organization)

Your dream has been (partially) answered: Namecoin :)

about 8 months ago

US Spying Costs Boeing Military Jet Deal With Brazil

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Remote control? (439 comments)

If that is their worry, then buying any NATO countries produce would not help them. AFAIK The SAAB Gripens use American engines, avionics and components. Apart from the airframe and the final country of assembly (and some local parts), they are not really making much a difference as far trust of the hardware goes.

If that was the real worry, then you'd have to buy someone elses (probably Russian), but they went out of the race a while ago.

about 8 months ago

The Geekiest Game Ever Made?

Ogi_UnixNut ThePowderToy (87 comments)

One of my faves (physics simulator), where you can create all sorts of machines.

The only game I know of where you can simulate nuclear reactions, and build different types of nuclear reactors/rockets with it.

Wasted hours of my life on it.

GPL game at:

about 8 months ago

DRM To Be Used In Renault Electric Cars

Ogi_UnixNut Re:DRM not possible in my ride (231 comments)

Funny you mention that, here in the UK, like in most of Europe, cars have DRM already. As such you have to go to "authorized" garages, where they have to reprogram the car computers every time they replace the part. The result being that they can charge you £300 to replace a headlamp.

Classic cars (80's mostly), anyone can do it, and it is cheap (I had my alternator replaced for £35, including parts cost). When I tell people that their jaws drop, as their yearly checkup alone costs a few hundred. That is why I never owned a new car.

The thing is, so many people have realised the same as me now, and have started buying classic cars, that classic car insurance premiums have been increasing rapidly. Car insurance companies have taken to refusing to insure classic cars because of demand, unless you can provide you will not use it as a daily driver (i.e. you can only have a classic if you own a modern, and the classic is only for meets, shows and the occasional drive).

It is becoming harder for me to keep mine to be honest because of the switch, and I wonder if in future there will be a bigger push to restrict people from the classics.

It is interesting to note that the largest rise in classics I've seen corresponds to the years when European new car sales have been flat or shrinking. I suspect causation.

about 10 months ago

EU To Allow 3G and 4G Connections On Planes

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Well crap... (106 comments)

Yes, I've heard great things about the trains in Europe, however they don't go where I want to, and quite frankly I like driving.

What I would not mind is an extension of what Germany does. There you can drive your car onto a train, and it will do the long boring slog for you (which currently I have to do on highways), and you can drive off at your destination.

However the above is only in Germany (And in Italy, but apparently it doesn't work that well there, and is horrendously expensive), and the high speed rail doesn't go to south/southeast Europe at the moment.

We will see what the future holds, but I am grateful that we actually have alternatives to flying, at least in the core EU.

about 10 months ago

EU To Allow 3G and 4G Connections On Planes

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Well crap... (106 comments)

No no no... this is the EU doing this, not the US. This means that, after twelve long years, we FINALLY have something about which WE can feel a smug sense of superiority over someone else's airline travel.

Actually, my description of the above is from the EU ;-)

What, you thought we were better? Pretty much everyone here mimicked the US when they introduced their procedure, primarily because they insisted that anyone flying to the USA had to go through this, and it was cheaper to just subject everyone to it then make a whole separate line (and hire separate people) for those traveling to the US.

I pretty much avoid flying in Europe whenever I can. Driving is so much nicer (even if more expensive), plus I can take as much luggage and liquids as I want, without being fondled at the border!

At least we have the option of high speed trains, which I've heard work really well.

about 10 months ago

EU To Allow 3G and 4G Connections On Planes

Ogi_UnixNut Well crap... (106 comments)

Between the long lines at security, stress, and being fondled and stripped before entry, the only nice thing that was left about flying was the lack of self-important people yakking on their phones throughout the flight... until now.

(hopefully the roaming charges will make absolutely sure nobody does voice calling, but that will depend on how much they charge).

about 10 months ago

Nearly 1 In 4 Adults Surf the Web While Driving

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Nearly 1 In 4 *American* Adults... (365 comments)

Well... it has less to do with intelligence, then with the driving lessons and tests.

In Germany you tend to not have such incompetence at the wheel. Ditto in the Nordic countries (Finland is where I had a chance to directly observe).

What these countries have in common is a very thorough course in learning to drive, and a lot of time spent on theory (including things about distracted driving). They take driving with the seriousness it deserves.

Quite frankly, I am shocked for what passes for a driving test in the US. It is almost as if driving is a joke, or a game. It was really surprising, considering the US is seen as the worlds biggest Car enthusiast.

about 10 months ago

One In Five Sun-Like Stars May Have an Earth-Like Planet

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Maybe won't make any difference (142 comments)

if we're so far along the process to colonizing the galaxy, why haven't one of the countless probable civilizations beaten us to it? Or if they had, why is there no trace of their colonies? That's at the core of the Fermi paradox.

Maybe they did, and maybe we are the evidence of it? I can imagine a robotic probe that seeds DNA to hospitable worlds is possible, but that would just be the seeding of life, not any society/culture (and evolutionary pressures may well make the resulting beings look very different to the original). I see no difference to claiming life was brought to this earth by comets, space dust or alien robotic spacecraft (except plausibility, but we will never really know)

I guess it depends on what your goals are as a species, an exact copy of your society (unlikely given the distances and opportunities for information exchange), or just knowing that you are seeding the universe with life that may well develop one day.

Remember, we are only getting started with exploration, only in the last 15 years have we started detecting exoplanets. For all we know some of these exoplanets may bear signs of life, we just can't detect it yet.

about 10 months ago

Tesco To Use Face Detection Technology For In-Store Advertising

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Google Glass (212 comments)

Heh, my Nokia n900 had an app that did the same thing. Fired off every single "power off" command in its database. Took about a minute and could turn off every electronic device in the vicinity with an IR port.

If it wasn't for the broken usb connector making it impossible to charge, I probably would still use it. Shame most new phones don't have CIR.

about 10 months ago

Drone-Mounted Laser Weapons Are On the Way

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Nope (116 comments)

Yes, it could be the case that these things may need some time to recharge between blasts, but the advantage is you can have many up in the air at the same time.
So one may only be able to fire every minute, but if you have 20 of them in the air targeting a missile, there is a good chance they will destroy their target.
Unlike manned aircraft, these things have already proven to be able to loiter for hours, so having quite a few in the air at once is possible.

Besides, as energy storage improves, I see no reason why the recharge time won't decrease.

about 10 months ago

UK Prime Minister Threatens To Block Further Snowden Revelations

Ogi_UnixNut Re:Needs to be Japan that releases the docs now (431 comments)

No, they would not need to go to war with Japan, all they would have to do is abandon them to the Chinese. Things like removing the nuclear umbrella over them, or cutting off military aid/support would be enough.

about 10 months ago



Mouse cloned from drop of blood

Ogi_UnixNut Ogi_UnixNut writes  |  about a year ago

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) writes "Scientists in Japan have succeeded in cloning a mouse from a drop blood. From the BBC: "Circulating blood cells collected from the tail of a donor mouse were used to produce the clone, a team at the Riken BioResource Center reports in the journal Biology of Reproduction."

The female mouse managed to live a normal lifespan and could reproduce, according to the researchers."

Link to Original Source

Key test for Skylon spaceplane engine technology

Ogi_UnixNut Ogi_UnixNut writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Ogi_UnixNut writes "The Skylon spaceplane is an ambitious project to develop a single-stage-to-orbit craft that can take off and land like a normal airplane.
Part of this project requires an engine that can work both as a rocket engine and a normal air-breathing engine (a hybrid approach essentially).
This would reduce the amount of oxidizer required to send stuff into space, and could greatly reduce the cost of sending things into space.
Now, some key experimental parts of the engine have been built, and are to be tested in public at the Farnborough Air Show in the UK in July.

For more information, as well an overview of the engine and Skylon project, check out the BBC link."

Link to Original Source

3D-nanoprinting speed record set by Vienna University

Ogi_UnixNut Ogi_UnixNut writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Ogi_UnixNut writes "A new world speed record for the fastest 3D-printed nano-objects has been claimed by researchers in Austria. The team was able to create sculptures as small as a grain of sand in a fraction of the time than had previously been required, and to demonstrate this process the group created a model of a Formula 1 racing car 0.285mm (0.011in) in length in just over four minutes.

The process itself (two-photon lithography) is well known to the science community, but until now it has been too slow, typically taking days to weeks to generate large 3D structures. This technology offers the prospect of 500x to 1000x speed improvement, and the team are researching applications in 3D printing of bio-compatible matter for use in the medical industry."

Link to Original Source

'Twisted' waves could boost capacity of wireless spectrum

Ogi_UnixNut Ogi_UnixNut writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) writes "In Venice, Italy, Physicist's have shown that it is possible to use two beams of incoherent radio waves, transmitted on the same frequency but encoded in two different orbital angular momentum states, to simultaneously transmit two independent radio channels.

In principle this allows the implementation of an infinite number of channels in a given, fixed bandwidth, even without using polarization, multiport or dense coding techniques.

Potentially a boon for congested spectrum problems, although at the moment I suspect it would only work for directional links."

Link to Original Source


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