Podcast - This Is Only a Test

Episode 464 – Unprotected Left Turns – 8/30/18

This week, we discuss reports of autonomous driving difficulties, early hints at Disney’s streaming service, Nikon’s new mirrorless cameras, and a science video that has us squirming. Plus, we hit 4 million subscribers on YouTube! Thanks so much for watching our stuff!

Comments (6)

6 thoughts on “Episode 464 – Unprotected Left Turns – 8/30/18

  1. I have no problems with autonomous cars, if the people getting them can afford to pay for them. They are robot chauffeured private luxury pods. No one who isn’t rich can afford them. My “good” car is a 2010 Colorado with 190000 miles on it and I’m hoping to get at least 50000 more out of it. I had to search high and low to find a used vehicle with crank windows and as few electronic accessories as possible so there are fewer things to go wrong. Even with that effort I have a warning light for the tire pressure monitoring system that would cost $60 per wheel and tire to fix when I have both a summer and winter set of wheels and tires, or I can use a $10 tire pressure gauge. No one should be forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars more than they need to on a vehicle so that someone else’s robot chauffeured private luxury pod is more reliable. We are already spending asinine amounts of taxpayer dollars to do things like slightly recessing the white lines in areas where snow is a thing so plows don’t wear them off so the car’s sensors can see them. We shouldn’t have to subsidize luxury items not only through taxes, but also by forcing people want to drive to take public transit because they can’t afford their own robot chauffeured private luxury pods so people who don’t want to drive can have have theirs. This whole idea is horribly classist.

  2. Hey jnzkngs, welcome to the San Francisco state of mind. It’s not malicious, I don’t think. It really is a case where folks are so ensconced in a bubble of their own reality they have a difficult time even imagining or comprehending what life is like outside that bubble. I partly blame Twitter and Facebook, although I suspect they just amplify already existing tendencies. And that bubble encompasses political and philosophical thought as well as economic realities.

    I know a family that has 7 cars (because they have lots of children) that are all at the 200,000 mile mark. The dad keeps costs down by doing most of the maintenance himself. They can’t afford a new, cheap gasoline car let alone a luxury electric vehicle (not that there’s anywhere to charge such a car or get it serviced in this rural area), even though the dad is very much into environmental causes and believes in the electric car movement (no amount of my personal cynicism has been able to dissuade his optimism in that industry). Yet his tax money goes to pay for subsidies so folks in San Francisco can get a discount on the Tesla 3 – a car from a company that would never, ever have succeeded if it weren’t for government subsidies and which is apparently run by an unhinged megalomaniac. But, hey, it’s okay, because we can pretend that driving a Tesla means we’re saving the entire planet, so hooray for us heroes! Nevermind that the environmental impact of all of the electronics going into all these new cars, all the batteries being manufactured, all the rare earth metals being mined, all the impact of the actual manufacturing and distribution process — all that is likely much worse for the environment than attempts to try to maintain and reuse equipment until it really has reached the end of its service life – nah, who cares about that type of analysis. That might break the fairy tale of “green” technology, and we don’t want to do that. So you get folks who support so-called socialist/communist politicians while doing their best to keep mass-production capitalism alive and thriving (ooh! I have to upgrade to the next iPhone! It’s been a whole year already!!). What a confused world we live in.

    Meanwhile, the homeless epidemic in San Francisco continues to grow, and they pay $180k per person for the poop patrol to go out and clean up the streets.

  3. It is obvious to most, the TIOAT crew and the so-called “SF Bubble” included I suspect, that ubiquitous autonomous cars are very far into the future.

    The software challenges are considerable and it should be clear by now that throwing billions at the problem won’t bring that future here tomorrow. At the same time, history suggests that it will arrive eventually, and that costs won’t remain in the “luxury pod” category forever once they do.

    It took decades for cars to be affordable, as did it air travel, or computers, or cell phones…

    And, as long as enough people in cities prefer privacy to economy it seems fairly likely that the demand will be sufficient to mass produce and drive costs down. Eventually to the point where they become a financially viable option when that old car finally goes to the scrap-man, even for those who live outside urban areas.

    Now, if people in cities weren’t such anti-social misanthropes, they might have long-since realized that the supposed non-safety related benefits, i.e. being able to focus on other tasks, relax, lay back, are already there in the form of taking the bus/subway/train.

    Still, even if the autonomous car reality is fifty years down the road, personally that fact alone isn’t enough to make me too upset by the five minutes per week of self-driving cars news this podcast subjects me to.

  4. I am sure that there are efforts by all the self driving endeavors to change the traffic laws so to further the business model. Enforcing those changed laws will require complete data aggregation of the self driving car but also all other traffic and pedestrian around in minute detail. I encounter 4-5 idiots driving recklessly every morning even passing on the left when you stop to make a left turn or texting and calling while changing lanes without signaling etc. Good luck with that. Traffic in SF is harmless. Try Boston.

  5. Hi Norm, Jeremy and Kishore!

    I played Rec Room in VR on ps4 extensivly this week-end and found the update really interesting. my score in paintball stayed more or less the same even with mouse and gamepad players. I saw a diference when facing each types of oponents but alaround everybody had some type of disadvantage. teleporting player leave a big circle where they’ll drop, vr player can shoot behind and run foward, screen players only see 180 degrees approx. but in vr the brain patch up all the 360 degrees and the reflexes tend to come more naturaly.

    i had a lot of fun in the quests too, being in VR but playing with screen players

    im not affraid of the division between players you spoke of, it won’t hurt the comunity as you fear it could, it’ll produce some great players on each format

    I hope your quests will be shun at by the lights of victory 😉

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