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Comment Re: It can't come soon enough... (Score 1) 239

Given how dumb and panicky people get in any situation slightly out of the normal it will be infinitely better if the car handles the emergencies and only wakes you up for the odds and ends like your driveway. The computer can dodge around a cat better than you even if gets flummoxed by deciding to stop at the first or second drive thru window.

Comment Re:Tell me w a straight face the AGWers are all Ph (Score 1) 634

Nobody serious has ever claimed there weren't some blind zealots on the climate change side because on EVERY issue there are blind zealots. There really are people who get their undies in a serious bunch on both sides of the airline peanut issue. Over peanuts, literally.

But at this point the only people left denying climate change entirely are the blind zealots and the politicians, because even the paid shills have limits.

Comment Re:sounds horrible (Score 1) 103

Same here... my legs are in agony if they can't extend under the seat in front of me. 6 hours with my legs doubled up would probably be considered torture. Why not just give me an injection, knock me out, and stuff me in the cargo hold?

Because human bodies do not respond nearly as well to being treated like luggage as luggage does.

Comment Re:Something about eggs and a basket (Score 2) 63

I am willing to bet that Google has more than 8 data centers. And as many as they have, placing clusters of data centers in different regions has the same effect as a smaller company putting each of their few data centers in different areas.

Also by clustering it reduces the costs of laying some seriously high capacity private fiber between them and the five centers can function more like one mammoth center.

Comment Re:Good? (Score 2) 230

The would still be collateral damage, fallout and stigma, just less of it. But I think the real loss of ever using a weapon like these is that when dealing with countries like North Korea fine distinctions don't work. If you use any sort of nuclear weapon in one limited situation they will maintain they can use all types they have whenever the Dear Leader is feeling pissy.

There really is a great deal of value in simple messages like "Never again."

Comment Re:Boondoggle and can it combat other ships? (Score 1) 331

I am pretty sure current navy doctrine (for basically all navies) frowns on using ships to kill other ships because that leaves open the possibility of your ship being the one that gets killed.

The preferred ways to kill ships are with airplanes (fast way) or submarines (sneaky bastard way). The US Navy is heavily invested in both. And neither is above using missiles to add a little extra 'you can't touch me' to the process.

Comment Re:What is the end game to gutting the middle clas (Score 1) 284

There is no grand plan, conspiracy or end game. There are just a bunch of people who would rather be the king of a mound of shit than a prince on a mountain of gold, enabled by a second bunch of people who would see the world go to hell in a bucket so long as they get to touch the handle.

Comment Re:Why not set a limit to total weight? (Score 1) 373

Its pretty simple: you load your own self onto the airplane, checked luggage does not. So until some airline decides to wade into legal minefield that would be charging passengers by the pound they will continue to charge one rate for each person who lugs their self aboard plus a surcharge for each bag the airline has to load.

Comment Re:Yeah! (Score 1) 213

Yes, how dare the US government insist on there being some standards and paperwork for a flying machine that moves at freeway speed, weighs as much as a child, has spinning blades of doom, a battery that can catch fire if poked wrong and will be built by a company that has trouble taping a box closed. The nerve!

Comment Self driving does not have to mean self reliant (Score 1) 362

I think the key to making cars that are really 'self driving' will be to have the on-board systems backstopped by a call center rather than anyone sitting in the vehicle itself. Autonomous aircraft are really designed with a computer to handle the routine flying and then pass things off to a remote pilot for the interesting bits. An autonomous car could handle the freeway and major streets by itself quite well but might need to call up a licensed operator to negotiate a parking garage or a work zone.

Something I can see happening to lead to this will be commercial trucks that are self driving, and unmanned, on the freeway but that pull into special truck stops where a pool of local drivers are available to get the truck the last few miles to its destination.

Comment Re:Total disservice to taxpayers (Score 1) 293

On a per-seat mile basis, yes the A380 is cheaper than any 747, there wouldn't really have been any purpose the A380 if this weren't the case. But Air Force One only has a single seat that matters in determining where it goes, a 747 with a lower total per-hour operating cost would be the cheaper option. And the American made option. And much more importantly, even the slightly bloated 747-8 can operate out of airports that an A380 simply cannot.

Comment Most people would screw up First Class Mail online (Score 1) 182

Particularly this guy. Most people would have no earthly idea as to which type of First Class Mail they should use for any given item: letter, flat or parcel. The allowed weights and sizes are different for all three and even the price increase per unit weight is different. Many people wouldn't have a scale on hand that is accurate to the tenth of an ounce and would get upset when their item was returned because they guessed to low. All in all, the USPS is quite right to have domestic first class offered through click-n-ship because it would only end in tears.

If you actually mail out enough stuff to know what you are about you can use PayPal. Or do what I do: use stamps. Really, I do, and it works great.

Comment Re:Pallet ecosystem (Score 5, Informative) 250

Don't forget plastic stretch wrap: until they get wrapped up tight many pallet load are too dangerous to move more than a few feet and impossible to move over the bumps of a dock plate. Rope, tape, cargo nets and other options can kinda work but the modern pallet freight system would slog down without cheap, disposable (and recyclable) plastic wrap. (Aside: I have been witness to what happens when a Walmart store runs out of pallet wrap. It is... awkward.)

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