* Posts by Davidcrockett

19 posts • joined 5 Nov 2017

Woman calls cops on shadowy baddie barricaded in bathroom... to discover: Roomba gone rogue


We've got a Neato called Murphy. The imaginary conversation goes something like this:

"Officer Murphy, you were killed in the line of duty but we brought you back as a cyborg"

"Am I an unstoppable robot crime fighter?!?"

“Errr, not quite... "

Peak Apple: This time it's SERIOUS, Tim


Re: Durability?

Yeah this. If you ask most people what version of Android they're on they'll just give you a blank look. As long as security and app compatibility is up to snuff it's not really an issue for most users.

Should a robo-car run over a kid or a grandad? Healthy or ill person? Let's get millions of folks to decide for AI...


Re: Important 'cause...

My one experience of running my car off the road went like this:

"Oooh, the back end's coming out, this will be fun"

"I've got it, I've got it, oh s*** I haven't got it"

"I think the car's going to stop before I hit something"

"Oh dear, is that a wall approaching?"

"Ahh, well that appears to have stopped me"

I was fine, the car wasn't. All entirely my fault, and very lucky there wasn't any cars coming the other way. I suspect if the car was equipped with stability control (this was a while ago) I would have got away with it.


Re: They May Have Gotten It Wrong

I like this, nice and simple.

Would there be no situations though where you'd accept the vehicle should kill you? Extending your rules you could say that the car should kill it's occupants (who have put themselves at some kind of risk by choosing to travel at speed) ahead of pedestrians on the pavement who haven't.


Re: The most hated people in society.

Seriously, they included criminals in the list? How do they expect the car to identify criminals - will they be forced to wear stripy jumpers and carry bags with 'Swag' written on the side...

Self-driving cars will be safe, we're testing them in a massive AI Sim


Re: L5

True in theory but probably not in practice. People who drive dangerously and kill someone are sent to prison. If a million Google cars are on the road, drive dangerously infrequently and kill 500 people a year will we just all shrug our shoulders and say that's necessary for their development and hey at least they're better than human drivers. Nope, they'll be a clamour to ban the cars and jail Google executives.


Re: L5

I disagree. If you could design an affordable vehicle that could drive itself along easy roads like motorways sales reps, the freight industry and pretty much anyone who frequently drove long distances would be queing up to buy one.

Robo-callers, robo-cops, robo-runners, robo-car crashes, and more


Re: "... so dialed down the AI to ignore them."

Government policy analysis does this all the time via cost benefit analysis. Statistical value of a life was about 1.6 million last time I checked.

Google Pay heads for the desktop... and, we fear, an inevitable flop


Re: Barriers to entry

You don't even have chip and PIN in the US right? I can see the appeal of mobile payments if the alternative is signing a slip, but in the UK at least most cards allow contactless payments now anyway. Waving a phone in front of a terminal rather than a card can only really appeal to ultra minimalists who don't fear flat batteries.

LG's flagship arrives with <checks script> ... G7 what now?


Re: Apparently .....

Sorry, but it didn't (I've got one). The second screen is used for shortcuts, media controls, etc rather than the notifications, battery and all that which are still on the main screen. Great phone though.

Time to ditch the front door key? Nest's new wireless smart lock is surprisingly convenient


Whilst this all sounds marvelous I can't help thinking it's just another thing to worry about. A conventional lock needs next to no attention to use it. Whilst temporary access codes and all that sound useful I suspect the chances of it going wrong, batteries going flat, company ceasing to support it, etc are orders of magnitude more likely to happen than my cleaner sneaking back in and ransacking the house.

PCs were more and less expensive in Q1 as shipments stalled


Re: My 2009 desktop still works fine

Ditto - my PC is a similar age and spec. Got a new graphics card, more memory and an SSD a few years back. I keep thinking of getting a new one but struggle to think of any reasons why.

Watchdog growls at Tesla for spilling death crash details: 'Autopilot on, hands off wheel'


Re: Crash (almost) re-created by another driver

I'd imagine for the same reason that one went under the lorry - couldn't pick it out of the background. The concrete barrier was missing the crash thingybob on the front of it, so could have appeared as a concrete block against a concrete road.

Oddly my small sprog did something much the same the other day. He crashed his bike into a concrete wall because he couldn't pick it out against a concrete path.

Uber self-driving car death riddle: Was LIDAR blind spot to blame?


Re: Illuminating or not?

Brilliant! Waymo has probably just returned the cheque saying the judge obviously got it wrong.


Re: "...a [Lidar] blind spot low to the ground all around the car."

Yeah, this. Looking at the car it's mounted well above the roof line and should have a better view than a human driver. Assuming it's a 360 degree sensor as the story says it shouldn't have any issues picking out a pedestrian.

Uber's disturbing fatal self-driving car crash, a new common sense challenge for AI, and Facebook's evil algorithms


Re: Couldn't the cyclist see the car?

True - if this had been a normal car blame would have been placed on the victim and it would have only made the local press.

But it wasn't a normal car. It was one of these new super autonomous cars which see in the dark, never get tired and will radically cut road accidents. Yet it mowed her down without even braking. Therefore that's the story and the culpability of the victim is somewhat irrelevant.


The thing with this crash is it's one of the simpler situations that a self driving car should be able to deal with, yet it failed so spectacularly. A machine packed full of sensors should be able to make out an unobstructed person going straight across the road ahead and react accordingly - there's no tricky problems identifying the object and trying to work out it's intentions. If there's any truth in LIDAR being unable to pick out black objects then the whole technology is screwed, as there's quite a few black objects on the road that you don't want to run into.

Pure speculation (but here goes anyway) but maybe the sensors spotted the person just fine but the computer ignored it. As crossing the road here is (probably) illegal the computer could have either have assumed it was a glitch or alternatively a wild animal that it was safer to hit rather than brake/ swerve for. Probably entirely wrong but hey ho.

Dumb autonomous cars can save more lives than brilliant ones


Surely the best combination (currently) is a human driver with a robot back seat driver that takes control if you're going to bin the car. Humans are better at edge cases whilst robots have better all round vision and don't get tired, seems like a good combo.

For fanbois only? Face ID is turning punters off picking up an iPhone X


Re: Adults vs Fanbois ... again

But this approach would be incredibly cumbersome for a device that's unlocked many, many times a day. There's a huge difference between ideal and good enough security. Fingerprint or face unlocking is a good ballance between ease of use and security for most people - the most likely scenario for a badass trying to break into their phone is after losing it or having it stolen, not someone doing a Demolition Man on their finger or face.


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