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Seeing as we seem to have lost the Whatever Thread, here's a new one...

And as the first post, I'd like to present a new word I just invented:

Pastard: A pastard [PAST - erd] is you from the past when you didn't do something you should have which creates a complication for the present you.  The "past" you was a "*******." 

For example:

"I didn't re-fill the fridge with beer when I took the last can out yesterday, so now I've only got room temperature beer.  I was such a pastard."

or:

"If I don't stop and get gas on my way home from work today I won't have enough to to get to work in the morning.  I don't want to stop and get it now cause it's so hot out... but I don't want to be a pastard to my future self so I'll stop."

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3 minutes ago, Antrat said:

How much better would life be if farts smelled like roses?

But then roses would smell like farts.

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Just now, Walt said:

But then roses would smell like farts.

So are you telling me that if roses smelled like ****, that women would wear **** scented perfume?

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Google's self-driving car project loses another engineering leader.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/technology/alphabet-google-autonomous-car-chris-urmson.html

The E-school at UM is heavily invested in autonomous vehicles - I'm still on the sceptical side.

I could see an eventual move to autonomous vehicles, but only if the road environment was rebuilt to remove most the unknowns that drivers have to deal with. Could happen, but it would be big $$$.

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If they had self-driving cars on Seinfeld, George would have had a shelf installed to hold an alarm clock. 

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1 hour ago, Walt said:

Figured - it worked OK on the freeway. And that might end up being the market - which might  be OK. It would be analogous to airplanes using autopilot once they are airborne but leave the city streets to the more versatile analog system xD.  I wouldn't mind a car I didn't have to drive on the freeway. And the one great advantage is that if you could enforce everyone switching to autonomous on the freeway, it could put an end to stop and go in heavy traffic.

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County fairs.  People watching at its best.

I have always wanted to travel for a season with a carnival company and write about it. I think it would be great reading. Or a documentary

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County fairs.  People watching at its best.

You should come on out here for our state Fair. The best people watching ever combined with food on sticks.

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32 minutes ago, Oblong said:

I have always wanted to travel for a season with a carnival company and write about it. I think it would be great reading. Or a documentary

Just join the Trump campaign.  

 

I already have the idea for an HBO series about it starring William Shatner as Donald Trump.   It's a can't-miss.   Shatner already hates Khan, so it's not much of a stretch. 

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28 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

Just join the Trump campaign.  

 

I already have the idea for an HBO series about it starring William Shatner as Donald Trump.   It's a can't-miss.   Shatner already hates Khan, so it's not much of a stretch. 

Alec Baldwin. 

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1 hour ago, Oblong said:

I have always wanted to travel for a season with a carnival company and write about it. I think it would be great reading. Or a documentary

Perhaps this will be the next reality show?  Whoa, hold on a second, I think we may have inadvertently struck gold here.  I mean, there are shows about trucks driving on ice lakes, and throw a bunch of random people on a desert island and see which one lasts longest through stupid human tricks and personality drama, and pick your wife for the next 3 1/2 months until it shockingly falls apart, and yada, yada, yada.

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On 8/6/2016 at 0:47 PM, Gehringer_2 said:

Google's self-driving car project loses another engineering leader.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/06/technology/alphabet-google-autonomous-car-chris-urmson.html

The E-school at UM is heavily invested in autonomous vehicles - I'm still on the sceptical side.

I could see an eventual move to autonomous vehicles, but only if the road environment was rebuilt to remove most the unknowns that drivers have to deal with. Could happen, but it would be big $$$.

What percentage of the "unknowns" would you say are the result of other drivers?  In a "perfect world" if all cars were autonomous and interlinked it would (at least in my opinion) removed a significant portion of those unknowns.  If a car can not only break when it see an emergency but also broadcast that it's breaking hard to all the other cars around it so they can take action before they even see that the car in front of them is breaking... that would help.

Of course, a perfect world is quite a while off yet, so robot cars still have to deal with other human drivers, but I would see 20-40 years down the road a move towards a mostly autonomous driving, at least on the highway.

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On 8/7/2016 at 9:51 AM, Gehringer_2 said:

And the one great advantage is that if you could enforce everyone switching to autonomous on the freeway, it could put an end to stop and go in heavy traffic.

Yes, yes, yes, yes, YES!!! This would be so freakin' nice.  Everyone taking their turn AND nobody rubber necking at 3 mph past the accident... once you're clear, hit the gas and move, don't sight see.

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2 hours ago, RedRamage said:

What percentage of the "unknowns" would you say are the result of other drivers?  In a "perfect world" if all cars were autonomous and interlinked it would (at least in my opinion) removed a significant portion of those unknowns.  If a car can not only break when it see an emergency but also broadcast that it's breaking hard to all the other cars around it so they can take action before they even see that the car in front of them is breaking... that would help.

Of course, a perfect world is quite a while off yet, so robot cars still have to deal with other human drivers, but I would see 20-40 years down the road a move towards a mostly autonomous driving, at least on the highway.

Yes - I think an all autonomous freeway system could work. But there are still some problems even there. One general problem is sensor reliability, quality and testing. In an autonomous vehicle you are relying for your safety on all the sensors working all the time, but really good, really reliable sensors are less a technology problem than a simple cost problem, they are expensive and will require scheduled re-validation. And then are you going to force people to park cars (or at least stay off the freeway if that turns out to be the application)  if people can't afford to maintain them to autonomous standards, or force the manufacturers to do it for free?  Those will be political issues if your system requires all the cars on the road/freeway to be autonomous.

The cost and maintenance issue around sensors is just a part of the more general cost issue. Even if all the technical problems are solved, at what price? Will we be willing to pay enough to buy it?  We all want flying cars too - we actually have them, they are called helicopters, but they are way too expensive to have ever become common. The fact that the technical solution can be found never insures that the cost equation can be solved for mass marketing.

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22 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Yes - I think an all autonomous freeway system could work.

...

The fact that the technical solution can be found never insures that the cost equation can be solved for mass marketing.

Lots of very good stuff there.  Personally, I suspect that the sensors hardware itself probably isn't going to be THAT expensive.  Many cars these days already have a lot of sensor tech built in.  As for reliability, that can be accomplished to a large extent via redundancy.  Multiple sensors/processors doing the same job and have to agree in order for it to work.

The major cost (again, just my guess) is the development of the systems and software.  But that's already happening so I don't see it has a hugely expensive extra add on.

The bigger issues are, as you point out, the non-technical ones: Do only people who have the tech get to use the highways?  Do we use just some lanes for automated vehicles?  How do handle when accidents happen with automated vehicles?

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On ‎8‎/‎7‎/‎2016 at 10:10 AM, Oblong said:

I have always wanted to travel for a season with a carnival company and write about it. I think it would be great reading. Or a documentary

I worked a summer at Cedar Point.

Not quite the same as a carnival (they had dorms, there was no tear down / set up of rides or town to town travelling / differences), but I think someone could make a good story out of working at CP, so yeah, a carnival could yield a great book.

The problem is I would guess you would almost need some amount of fame to draw the average reader in, and if you have that, you probably aren't getting the anonymous carnie experience.

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16 minutes ago, Mr. Bigglesworth said:

I worked a summer at Cedar Point.

Not quite the same as a carnival (they had dorms, there was no tear down / set up of rides or town to town travelling / differences), but I think someone could make a good story out of working at CP, so yeah, a carnival could yield a great book.

The problem is I would guess you would almost need some amount of fame to draw the average reader in, and if you have that, you probably aren't getting the anonymous carnie experience.

Dang, that sounds like a heck of a lot more fun then working at Sambo's!

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It was and it wasn't.

The hours were long (10 or 12 hours a day), 6 days a week, no overtime because it is seasonal labor.  You are on your feet the entire time and it is often hot.

So 60 to 70 hours a week, which back then was $250 - $300 before taxes, probably $175 - $225 a week after taxes and dorm fees, and you have to feed yourself on that.  But by the same token, you could legitimately fill up on $3 back then at Taco Bell. $2 at Hot n' Now.  Plus, they had commissary where you could buy pizza, hot dogs, etc. near cost. (note: almost all those gates with 'Employee only' signs are gates to commissary areas).  So I walked away with some money in my pocket at the end.

Best part for a guy that just graduated high school was exposure to dorm life and you could visit the park as a guest in your off hours.  Sometimes you would see some friends and hang out with them after my shift was done.  Heck, a couple of times a random girl visiting the park liked the cut of my jib and asked to meet up after I got off work *and* - this is the important part - both times they were good looking.  I can assure you that never happened again lol.

Bad part is the hours start to wear on you.  Especially when you close one night (say 12 - 12 shift) , open the next morning (9 - 7 shift) and both days are hot, humid and busy.  The park ceases to be interesting after 3 or 4 weeks (I maybe had visited 10 times total before working there, maybe 5 times total since).  Everyone working there is 18-22, so there is a fair amount of drama because drama.  Our manager was maybe 22 and she wasn't horrible, but, how good is a 22 year old manager really going be?

They would also let people go on the drop of a hat and people quit left and right.  My booth probably had 20 employees and maybe 5 of the employees I started with in June were still there in August.  So I really didn't form any friendships there because half the time the person was gone in two weeks, and even if they stayed they were going to college in Ohio or Pennsylvania or something.

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