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Comment Re:The answer is no, of course (Score 1) 250

Which of these companies are the most likely to disappear:

Facebook, Apple and Google; in that order. These companies are the ones who depend most on the preferences and tastes of fickle consumers. They (especially Facebook) have little to no value in the delivery of business services where longevity and stability reigns.

Comment Re:Fallacy (Score 1) 329

Your experience is nearly the same as mine in two different companies, in two different industries which inspired the parent comment. Ultimately in both cases it was decided to simply stop looking at Chinese manufacturing as an option.

I can see how companies who are only interested in the bottom line can turn a blind eye to what is going on with their suppliers as it is easy to take "yes" at face value and still maintain plausible deniability.

Comment Re:Fallacy (Score 4, Insightful) 329

Chinese manufacturers will make tools to spec - if you pay them less, get a lower quality product.

I believe really that they will make tools to whatever spec the customer aggressively tracks, monitors and enforces every little detail of; and as soon as there is a hint of flexibility or laxity in the oversight, will slip through lower quality where ever they think they can get away with. This includes things like "crimes of omission", where they will actively seek to work around the spec and poke holes where the inspectors may not be looking or may not have even thought to look. It is taking an approach of delivery of the least possible quality, rather than a good faith effort to meet or exceed the intent of the customer.

Comment Re:How do they fail? (Score 1) 177

The truck is already on the ground and the vast majority of failures leave it there.

Does it matter? Many, many people are also on the ground in the proximity of streets, so if it goes wild it is still likely to hit pedestrians and vehicles. Drones could feasibly avoid busy streets by taking routes over rooftops for example; trucks simply cannot thereby forcing failure modes where people, cars and trucks collide.

Trucks are also much more expensive and contain even more valuable human drivers, this creates a much bigger incentive to keep things working safely. There's also more opportunity for the human driver to mitigate mechanical failures.

Agreed on the value disparity, but it seems to be in line with the opportunity for the vehicle to cause damage. Absolute worse case is a drone hits a person on the head and kills them, but statistically those odds have to be remote compared to other non-fatal injuries or property damage -- certainly when compared to the opportunity for injury and property destruction caused by a truck. The human driver also provides a significant failure mode (medical problem, distraction, driver error), which I suspect is a much larger risk than the small chance the driver could use to avert accidents after a mechanical failure.

As for maintenance a lot of businesses operate very close to the margin, sometimes in the red. They're going to save money everywhere they can, this includes doing the absolute minimum maintenance and running every drone until complete failure, it just becomes a question of how they fail.

True, but doesn't that also suggest that is the current operating mode for truck fleets? Isn't it overall better to have vehicles with less kinetic energy, even when poorly maintained, from a safety point of view?

Comment Re:How do they fail? (Score 5, Interesting) 177

I'm sure the same way any fleet of other vehicles is maintained. Repair it until it no longer meets serviceability standard, then part it out or scrap it. How is this any different than if a tire on a UPS truck blows out sending the truck careening into oncoming traffic? They do a reasonable amount of preventative maintenance to ensure a level of usefulness and safety, but occasionally a machine breaks and it could potentially hurt someone when it fails -- just like every other aspect of our lives. I know I'd rather be hit by a 55 pound out-of-control drone than a 10,000 pound out-of-control truck. Even still, I would imagine that a drone AI could be programmed to crash into trees or empty green space or some other reasonably safe emergency landing sites in the event of failure.

Comment Re:Security... (Score 1) 177

I'm sure exactly the same way other aircraft do: someone monitors FAA bulletins and enters no-fly zones into some sort of map software. With even the slightest bit of technology there's no reason the FAA couldn't issue no-drone-fly instructions directly to a public database that any drone could query.

Comment Re:Never (Score 2) 177

You mean sort of like 10,000 lb brown steel vans with whirring metal parts and a large payload of flammable fuel piloted by a rushed/distracted operator speeding through populated areas while looking for addresses, backing out of driveways and turning rapidly?

Comment Re:In Poor Taste vs Illegal (Score 1) 257

There are also quite a few activities that cause little to no harm other than being in poor taste or offensive to some moral views, but are various degrees of illegal nonetheless. Public nudity, cursing on FM radio, selling/consuming/possessing drugs and/or alcohol in particular counties or times of day for example.

Comment Re:Question is what the source is... (Score 3, Informative) 303

Not really abandoned as much as Flint made it a very easy choice for GM to leave when other options became available. The extremely corrupt union locals and local politicians in Flint made it impossible for GM to continue doing business there. While many other rust belt cities faced similar challenges in keeping the manufacturing companies from leaving, Flint was a cut above in terms of being actively hostile to the auto business. It was no surprise at all to those of us in the region when GM left Flint.

Many of the surrounding cities in a ~50 mile radius of Flint still have large manufacturing businesses, including auto industry, so it was not something that effected the entire region to anywhere near the degree of Flint. The attitude and culture in Flint was really different and GM responded by washing their hands of that mess and leaving.

Comment Re:Self directed/managed teams are not new ... (Score 1) 327

I'll also add it's much more likely to work with younger people who have fewer concerns in their lives outside of their jobs, who don't need to use leave for ((embarrassing medical problem they don't want all their co-workers to know about)), or a divorce, or any of the other very personal things that may affect work performance someone can share with their supervisor with a reasonable degree of confidentiality that they really don't want to share with their team mates. Managing people is about a lot more than assigning tasks and completing projects.

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