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IanD

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IanD last won the day on September 7 2016

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About IanD

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    Male
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    London

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    Engineer
  1. How Many Straws To Break The Camel’s Back ?

    I'm sure last time I was there (overnight, around 2010) we moored online in the section without electricity/water and weren't charged.
  2. Brexit 2017

    So walk away and pay nowt, in other words default on agreed contract commitments with the EU. Now let's go and try to agree these wonderful trade deals with all the countries who've seen that we don't keep our word and wriggle out of commitments we don't like -- how well do you seriously think that's going to go?
  3. Driverless Cars, do we actually want them?

    Maybe at first, but they might not love it in the end. They might have to take CaaS cars out of service after no more than 3 years anyway because they'll have done 300k miles and will be knackered, the fact remains that they'll sell a lot fewer cars (depending on utilisation), so even at higher prices (+50%?) their volume and revenue will drop massively. Once continued software support becomes essential for car safety there will inevitably be a point where updates for an old model stop, partly because of support effort/cost but also because the safety will not be as good as newer cars with cleverer AI -- so insurance costs will go up, and since they're paid for by the manufacturer (and included in the charge to a CaaS user) they'll get more expensive for the user. But by then most people probably won't care because they'd much rather have a nice CaaS car turn up at their door when needed than buy/maintain/park/drive their own car and have to stay awake/alert/sober/off the phone/not working and pay a fortune to run and insure it... This might seem like an apocalyptic vision to many people (including me) who like cars and even still enjoy driving sometimes, but there will be many pressures -- financial, legal, society -- to make this happen, and they won't be stopped by people raising objections about insurance/liability :-(
  4. Driverless Cars, do we actually want them?

    How's that any different to passengers/pedestrians suing a human driver in the event of an at-fault accident? The driver is insured, so they're up against the (big) insurance company, they may need their own insurance/legal aid to pay for this, or have to give up if they can't afford it. Exactly the same case if the "driver" is software, except they'll be up against the car company's insurance company (probably the same one) instead of the driver's. Often the insurance company pays out instead of fighting (because it's cheaper), and then charges the driver a higher premium -- which is exactly what will happen with the car company. To get their premiums back down (which will increase the cost of their cars making them less competitive) they'll have to demonstrate to the insurer that they've fixed the problem, so it's in their interest to do it. Everyone makes this out to be such a big thing, but once the principle is accepted (which Volvo already did) that the car company has to be insured because their software is the "driver", the situation is no different to that with a human driver -- same good points, same bad points. Except a lot fewer people are dead -- and you don't have to go after an uninsured driver, because all the car companies will have to have insurance...
  5. Driverless Cars, do we actually want them?

    Why would the difference be any different to cars driven by people, or any other type of corporate (ir)responsibility leading to death or injury? If a crash happens and the driver is to blame but it's an "accident" (not caused by deliberate idiocy or breaking a law like drink-driving or using a mobile) insurance pays up and nobody goes to jail -- this would be the same except the car company pays the insurance since their software is driving, not a person. If the driver was being a dangerous idiot/breaking the law, they go to jail. If the crash is due to the software "driver" but couldn't reasonably have been foreseen then the company walks away, just like a driver. If the fault was known about but concealed or was due to deliberate corner-cutting then the company gets sued, probably fined if found guilty, maybe somebody goes to jail if it can be pinned on them. This is no different to any other area of corporate criminally bad behaviour such as tobacco companies hiding cancer problems, Ford covering up exploding petrol tanks, BP and Deepwater Horizon... There *will* be crashes due to software problems and people *will* die as a result, the key is to not lose sight of all the people who didn't die (because autonomous cars will undoubtedly be a lot safer overall) and to put robust -- not panic-driven -- processes in place to make sure that bugs are fixed quickly and rolled out to all the cars out there. A knee-jerk reaction ("Ford robocar killed someone, take them all off the road!") is likely to cause more deaths overall than a properly thought-out solution -- it's like banning seatbelts because they killed somebody trapped in a car (which has happened) leading to a much higher death rate overall. In the end the reduced crash/death rate will make this an unstoppable trend once autonomous cars cross the "much safer than human drivers" threshold -- which has probably already happened, after the Joshua Brown Tesla accident which lead to their "Autopilot" capabilities being reined in, statistics gathered from all the Teslas on the road showed that the accident rate using the (prototype, flawed) Autopilot was already 30% lower than cars being driven by people. On the other hand it's difficult to see why the car companies are so keen, since Level 5 autonomous cars and CaaS will probably kill their business because far fewer new cars will be needed...
  6. Driverless Cars, do we actually want them?

    The number of car journeys might increase due to increased convenience and lower cost, but congestion will be reduced by V2V communication/better routing/fewer accidents -- and also far fewer parked cars which block up roads and cause holdups. The biggest cost of running a car is depreciation, the cost of this and insurance should fall massively because of much higher utilisation and lower accident rates, so CaaS should be cheaper than owning (also because of not having to pay a taxi driver, or for parking). If the system was logical it would also use road pricing to manage congestion, so journeys at peak times cost more and off-peak ones cost less but overall the cost of running CaaS is covered. But no doubt the Daily Mail will scream about "Killer robot cars!!!" the first time there's a fatal autonomous car accident in the UK, while conveniently ignoring the many more lives saved by falling accident rates -- this is probably the biggest threat to a common-sense CaaS solution to the automotive chaos we have now...
  7. Driverless Cars, do we actually want them?

    Some manufacturers (Volvo?) have already said that any crashes in their driverless cars will be their responsibility and they will pay for insurance, which is obviously how it should be since as you say the passenger (not a driver any more) has nothing to do with it. Of course the cost of this will be built into the price of cars, but overall there will still be a big money saving, not mentioning the reduction in deaths and injuries. It's also becoming obvious that driverless cars where the driver has to be ready to take over if the car can't cope (class 3, if you're interested) are pretty pointless, because drivers not only have to be sober and alert but ready to take over at a moment's notice, and tests have already shown this just doesn't work. This is why the Tesla crash was Joshua Brown's fault, he shouldn't have been relying 100% on the car. Full autonomy (class 4 or 5) is the only thing that will work, and this will take longer -- but not that much longer, maybe 5 years at most. The impact on society will however be huge; apart from getting rid of lots of driving jobs, car ownership will drop massively because CaaS (Car as a service) will largely replace it, and this will in turn hugely reduce the number of new cars needed each year once the initial replacement of human-driven cars has happened, which will kill off large parts of the motor industry and cause further job losses. And I'm sure the consumer demand will be huge -- being able to commute or travel in safety and comfort (not crammed onto a train or bus) without having to own and maintain a car, or stay sober, and being able to read/work/do whatever you want while travelling would sound great to a lot of people. And it will be a lot cheaper than a human driven car because of much better use of the vehicle, moving people around most of the time instead of being parked more than 90% of the time.
  8. Driverless Cars, do we actually want them?

    The main reasoning behind driverless cars is that 94% of crashes are caused by human error -- inattention, boredom, phoning, texting, drink, showing off, overestimating skills, underestimating stopping distance, not looking ahead or around -- and that tens of thousands of people are killed every year by this and many more injured. Driverless cars may not be as good as a skilled attentive sober driver, but these don't cause most crashes -- almost everyone thinks that they're a good driver, and most of them are wrong. It shouldn't be at all difficult to halve the crash rate for driverless cars and this should improve over time to maybe a tenth of that for human driven cars, meaning that not only deaths/injuries but also insurance costs should be greatly reduced. Whether we want them or not may become irrelevant -- it's possible that in future having a ton of lethal metal controlled by a fallible human (at the risk to other lives as well as their own) will be seen as unacceptable by society as indoor smoking is nowadays, and legislation will no doubt follow in the same way...
  9. Can Anyone Help Transport A Box?

    We used to have weekly music sessions there back in the 80s when it was a proper pub called the Shovel. Drove past it the other week, looks like now it's yer standard tarted-up gastropub but called the Malt Shovel -- completely wrong since AFAIK it was named after a navvies shovel not a brewers one...
  10. For Katty's benefit, if you have a home mooring *anywhere* the only restriction is that you can't spend more than 14 days in one place (except the home mooring), you don't have to meet the "bona fide navigation" requirements of continuous cruising (multiple places spred over maybe 20 miles with no shuffling back and forth) or ever visit your home mooring -- so you can move back and forth between two places every 14 days (assuming mooring spots permit this), neither of which has to be your home mooring. If one of them is your home mooring you can spend longer there (subject to license conditions).
  11. Nairn about Britain

    It's been on iPlayer for ages, I've watched it a couple of times -- it's especially interesting to see how scuzzy places like Skipton and Leeds were in comparison to nowadays, if fact the same applies to most of the canal which was a lot scruffier then.
  12. Ideal size boat?

    Don't worry, you'll love it -- it's only paint when all is said and done... ;-)
  13. Loss of coolant

    One of the guys here at work has got a Riley Elf that he's just finished restoring...
  14. Poorly muntjac

    Very likely the same -- or maybe not if they're covered by the general description of "deer" rather than specifically as "muntjac deer". Anyone know for sure? They are *very* tasty...
  15. Poorly muntjac

    I suspect they're not, because they're not native to the UK and are classified as a pest. If so, you can kill and eat them legally, just like grey squirrels.
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