RANT: New education lows

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/12/patrick-j-buchanan/is-the-us-a-90-pound-weakling/

Is the Sun Rising in the East?
By Patrick J. Buchanan
December 7, 2013

*** begin quote ***

The scores are in from the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment, which, every three years, tests 15-year-olds from the world’s most advanced countries.

For the United States, the report card is dismal. The U.S. ranking has fallen to 17th in reading, 21st in science, and 26th in math.

*** end quote ***

Maybe it’s Gooferment and Gooferment Skrules?

How about if “we” do less and put the parents back in charge?

Argh!

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INTERESTING: Clothes Can Be Bad for Your Health

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/wardrobe-clothes-deadly-health-unsafe-dangerous.html

7 Ways Your Clothes Can Be Bad for Your Health
Katie Waldeck
December 3, 2013
6:02 pm

*** begin quote ***

7. Collars & Neckties.

Over 2/3 of men buy shirts that are too small for their necks, and that can surprisingly have serious repercussions for their health. Too-tight collars and ties have actually been linked to cancer. Tight collars can cut off circulation to the brain, and increase pressure in the eyes, one of the most important risk factors for glaucoma.

*** end quote ***

Not many collars or ties in my future.

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POLITICAL: Cell phone ban

CNET December 10, 2013
CNET COMMUNITY
How do you feel about in-flight cell phone calls?

Dear CNET members,

{Extraneous Deleted}

In October the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave the green light to allow the use of electronic devices from takeoff to landing, which allows you to play games, read books, listen to music and videos, and so on. But what it doesn’t allow is voice calls or mobile broadband services. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is considering also lifting this ban — which would mean that at above 10,000 feet, the person next to you could break out his cell phone and start chatting with his buddies about what a great partying week he had.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not too keen on hearing everyone’s conversations throughout my flight. And the great news is a chairman of the House Transportation Committee agrees with me (OK, he’s not exactly agreeing with me, but I share his opinion). As he says, flights are noisy enough without having to listen to a plane full of passengers shouting to be heard on their phones. He has introduced a bill that would prohibit passengers from making in-flight cell phone calls on commercial aviation flights.

So what do you think of all this? Do you support a bill to prohibit cell phone calls in planes? Why or why not? Do you even think the government should be involved in this at all or should it be left to the airlines to decide? If the ban was lifted, what do you imagine would happen? More air rage and scuffles among passengers? Or maybe nothing — people will be respectful and everyone will be able to take advantage of it. Check out this CNET article titled “New House bill seeks to ban in-flight cell phone calls” and share your thoughts!

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Why can’t the airlines decide? I’d much rather have free wifi.

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CLOUD: Verizon changes TOS and cuts you off

http://www.dslreports.com/forum/remark,28858275

Verizon Fiber Optics Forum – Dslrep… 
TODAY

Verizon Discontinuing Personal Web Space

Verizon Fiber Optics forum – dslreports.com community 3h // keep unread // hide // preview
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Anyone else get the email today? No great loss :p —————— IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING YOUR PERSONAL WEB SPACE SERVICE Dear Valued Verizon Customer, At Verizon, we strive to keep you informed of changes that may impact your Verizon online experience. That’s why we wanted to notify you that as of March 15, 2014, the Site Builder tool and the online Personal Web Space pages will be decommissioned. – You will continue to be able to view any web pages you created until September 30, 2014, but will not be able to create new pages, update or make any changes to existing pages after March 15, 2014 – If you currently pay for additional Web Space, this charge will be automatically removed from your account after March 15, 2014 when your online Personal Web Space service is decommissioned – Customers who purchased VerizonYourDomain to establish a personal website/domain are not impacted by this change – If you have previously used the Site Builder tool to create your own web page(s) you may un-publish or delete your content by taking the following steps: – Log into your account at http://verizon.com/myverizon – Navigate to Accounts and Services/My Services/Internet Click – Security & Free Tools/Manage Click – Personal Web Space Click – Actions/Edit My Website Click – Advanced Options icon in the bottom right corner of the screen Under Site Options Select Unpublish/Delete/Copy Site or Download Site Please Note: All Web Space pages will be permanently deleted as of September 30, 2014. While you cannot directly transfer your website to another provider or use any stock images from Site Builder , you may be able to download the images that you originally uploaded by clicking on the “Download Site” link within the Advanced Options setting. If you are looking for an alternative provider to host your domain and website, you may contact Web.com directly at 855-852-5186 for information on their services and pricing. Thank you for your continued use of Verizon services. We appreciate your business and look forward to continuing to serve you. Sincerely, Your Verizon Team

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And why do you believe the ISPs?

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RANT: Gooferment outrages don’t even register anymore

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-pardon-these-turkeys/2013/11/27/aa718f32-56c8-11e3-8304-caf30787c0a9_story.html

Pardon these turkeys
By George F. Will, Published: November 27

*** begin quote ***

In Washington, even local government is demented: Its transit authority Metro threatened Henry Docter with “arrest, fines and imprisonment” for the crime of unregulated gardening. Docter had filled 176 empty planters at the Dupont Circle subway stop. Metro was briefly deterred by the public outcry against its threat to punish Docter for his uncompensated act of beautification. But then it had the 1,000 morning glories and other plants ripped out.

Those vigilant about our welfare never sleep; Canadian relief supplies for Oklahoma tornado victims were stopped at the U.S. border until every item could be itemized in alphabetical order and its country of origin noted. You can’t be too careful.

*** end quote ***

Argh!

Did anyone hear about these?

Somehow the Press isn’t doing its job.

We should have a daily litany of these stupidities!

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CLOUD: Can’t depend on even for-profit websites

https://accounts.proflowers.com/ManageReminders.aspx

Their website lost all my reminders. Emailed in; got a non-responsive auto response. Did these guys study the Obamacare website? I really want websites, services, and products that off-load details. Not lose my stuff for me. I can do that on my own. 

Argh!

Guess one needs a paper backup of everything.

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Checking out the competition:

http://www.1800flowers.com

http://www.ftd.com

http://www.teleflora.com

http://www.myflorist.com

http://www.thepottingshedflorist.com/

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INTERESTING: Coke to clean your toilet

http://www.buzzfeed.com/readcommentbackwards/32-real-life-cheat-codes-that-will-change-your-lif-dmjk

32 Real Life Cheat Codes That Will Change Your Life
Cheat codes aren’t only meant for video games. Here are 32 that can change your real life and make it easier.
posted on September 13, 2013 at 4:39pm EDT
Andrew P.

*** begin quote ***

Fast toilet cleaning, pour 20oz of coke (or sprite) into your toilet, let sit for 10 minutes, flush. The acid will clean your bowl.

*** end quote ***

Yeew, and we drink that stuff?

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TINFOILHAT: Another JFK controversy

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Novas_JFK_show_rigged_and_biased_author_says.html

PBS show on JFK assassination ‘rigged’ and ‘biased,’ author says
Peter Mucha, Philly.com
Last updated: Friday, November 15, 2013, 6:42 PM

*** begin quote ***

But no re-creation was attempted at Dealey Plaza which is open in the direction of the grassy knoll, not surrounded on four sides by buildings. Witness reliability might be tested with firecrackers and billfolds. And if one shot sounds like two, shouldn’t Oswald’s three shots have sounded like six, instead of four?

Further, rough calculations suggest that the two sounds of a single bullet, heard near the spot of the fatal shot, should appear about a quarter-second apart, not nearly three-quarters.

“I think the way we summed it up in the program is fair,” DeNooyer said. “We don’t really reach a conclusion.”

“I got handled by Nova,” Thompson said.

The Californian said his book is complete, except for 100 to 150 pages of endnotes, and it’s not about who’s behind the slaying.

“I have always had zero interest in any kind of conspiracy theories,” he said. “I have always wanted to answer one question: What happened?”

*** end quote ***

As if there wasn’t enough doubt, here’s a meld of Oswald and the grassy knoll.

Truth?

A casualty of the propaganda machine designed to opiate of the masses.

If it was coup, then it worked.

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INSPIRATIONAL: Different designs that are uplifting

http://www.inc.com/worlds-coolest-offices/tiny-offices.html?ps01904cubicles

The Coolest Cubicles in the World
BY CAROLYN CUTRONE , CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN AND ERIC MARKOWITZ

Small is beautiful–and efficient. These freestanding pods, domes, and workstations are so artfully designed and ecologically sound that one might wonder: Is this the future of work?

Turns out, the future of the cubicle isn’t very square at all. Some of the coolest small-office spaces in the world–for the workplace or the home–have indoor plexiglass spheres that dampen phone-call noise or outdoor polygons with triangular windows.

Here’s a look at all nine of Inc.’s favorites.

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Some very neat designs. 

Maybe when I get to New Hampshire?

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INSPIRATIONAL: Mandella — a conumdrum

FROM EMAIL

On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 6:43 PM, X wrote:

You have a statement for your blog?

 

On Thursday, December 5, 2013 11:51 PM, I wrote:

Why? He’s a symbol who went a little nuts in his old age. Probably not without reason. (i.e., torture)

 

On Fri, Dec 6, 2013 at 9:02 AM, X wrote:

It’s just that when famous people die, you usually write a short eulogy on your blog. See, someone is reading your blog!

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So Mandella was an admitted “communist”, but if I was in prison for 27 years, i’d be nuttier than I am now.

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/andrewkaczynski/7-nelson-mandela-quotes-you-probably-wont-see-in-the-us-medi

7 Nelson Mandela Quotes You Probably Won’t See In The U.S. Media
The former South African president, who died Thursday, was a revolutionary and a deep skeptic of American power.
posted on December 6, 2013 at 10:08am EST
Andrew Kaczynski

7. On the U.S. war with Iraq:

“If there is a country that has committed unspeakable atrocities in the world, it is the United States of America. They don’t care for human beings.”
Via cbsnews.com

6. On Israel:

“Israel should withdraw from all the areas which it won from the Arabs in 1967, and in particular Israel should withdraw completely from the Golan Heights, from south Lebanon and from the West Bank.”
Via jweekly.com

5. On the U.S. war with Iraq:

“All that (Mr. Bush) wants is Iraqi oil.”
Via cbsnews.com

4. Mandela on Castro and the Cuban revolution:

“From its earliest days, the Cuban Revolution has also been a source of
inspiration to all freedom-loving people. We admire the sacrifices of the Cuban people in maintaining their independence and sovereignty in the face of the vicious imperialist-orquestrated campaign to destroy the impressive gain made in the Cuban Revolution. … Long live the Cuban Revolution. Long live comrade Fidel Castro.”
Via lanic.utexas.edu

3. Mandela on Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, his longtime supporter:

“It is our duty to give support to the brother leader … especially in regards to the sanctions which are not hitting just him, they are hitting the ordinary masses of the people … our African brothers and sisters.”
Via finalcall.com

2. On the U.S. preparing to invade Iraq in a 2002 interview with Newsweek:

“If you look at those matters, you will come to the conclusion that the attitude of the United States of America is a threat to world peace.”
Via newsweek.com

1. On a Palestinian state:

“The UN took a strong stand against apartheid; and over the years, an international consensus was built, which helped to bring an end to this iniquitous system. But we know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.”
Via cbsnews.com

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GUNS: Attacks on seniors would end quickly

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/11/29/and-wammmmmm-teens-randomly-target-beat-up-senior-citizens/

CRIME
‘AND WAMMMMMM’: TEENS RANDOMLY TARGET, BEAT UP SENIOR CITIZENS
Nov. 29, 2013 9:10am Liz Klimas

*** begin quote ***

A Fort Myers, Fla., teen was arrested this week for attacking senior citizens.

Traveshia Blanks is charged with two counts of battery in the seemingly random and senseless attacks, according to WBBH-TV.

*** end quote ***

Hope the proverbial book gets thrown.

And Florida seniors should arm and protect themselves.

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” — Robert A. Heinlein

Sorry, if it takes a few casualties to reestablish civility.

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INTERESTING: A “Flying Dutchman” or a Libertarian Paradise?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2514936/The-incredible-mile-long-floating-CITY–complete-schools-hospital-parks-airport-50-000-residents.html

The incredible mile-long floating CITY – complete with schools, a hospital, parks and an airport for its 50,000 residents

The Freedom Ship is 25 storeys high and would feature a casino, an art gallery, a park and a shopping centre

The concept, designed by a Florida-based company would cost $10billion if was commissioned to be built

The vessel could house 50,000 people but it would contain additional space to hold an extra 30,000 visitors

The ship would constantly sail around the world – doing a full circuit every two years – but would be too large to enter any ports

By VICTORIA WOOLLASTON
PUBLISHED: 07:21 EST, 28 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:43 EST, 28 November 2013

*** begin quote ***

Capacity: 50,000 permanent residents with room for an extra 30,000 daily visitors, 20,000 crew and 10,000 overnight guests.

*** end quote ***

If it can never dock (due to its size)?

… … then how do you keep it supplied? (The average cruise ship spends a lot of time being resupplied?)

… … then how do you do annual maintenance? (Seems like a big chore?)

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POLITICAL: FTC protecting us from piano teachers?

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303562904579224251626379422?mod=Opinion_newsreel_2

POTOMAC WATCH
Strassel: Piano Sonata in FTC Minor
Music teachers, beware. The feds are onto you. Better not try to raise the price of your lessons.
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL
Nov. 28, 2013 4:51 p.m. ET

*** begin quote ***

While this abuse of power has received no national attention, it has riled the music community. Brian Majeski, the editor of the journal Music Trades, lambasted the FTC in a December editorial, noting that “a consumer watchdog that sees piano teachers as a threat either has too much time on its hands, or badly misplaced priorities.”

That might be too kind. Whether it is the IRS targeting conservatives, the Justice Department hounding Gibson Guitar, or the EPA conducting an armed raid on an Alaskan mine—this administration has a tendency toward abuse of power. That’s how antitrust laws created to tackle megamonopolies end up being used to hound and hammer a nonprofit devoted to piano teachers.

*** end quote ***

Anyone still think that this isn’t Gooferment?

Argh!

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RANT: Corruption in the numbers?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/11/27/did-the-bls-give-obama-a-major-election-2012-gift/

Peter Ferrara, Contributor
OP/ED | 11/27/2013 @ 8:00AM
Did The BLS Give Obama A Major Election 2012 Gift?

*** begin quote ***

Just before the election. How convenient.

That was totally unbelievable at the time, and I and others said so then.

In my Forbes column the very next week, “President Obama’s Unemployment Still Stuck at 14.7%,” I noted how inconsistent the supposed unemployment drop was with other contemporaneous economic data.

The sharp unemployment drop supposedly resulted from a total of 114,000 new jobs created in September, 2012, according to the Establishment Survey of business payrolls of the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the Obama Administration had been emphasizing throughout its first term.

But economist John Lott noted at Foxnews.com that the working age population had grown by 206,000 in September, 2012. With normal labor force participation during a recovery from a steep recession, that would have required 138,000 new jobs that month, just to keep pace with population growth, let alone to reduce the unemployment rate.

Moreover, the BLS also reported for September, 2012 that the number of full-time jobs declined by 216,000 in that month.

*** end quote ***

Nothing like “cooking the books”!

A CEO or CFO would be in prison.

A politician gets reelected.

And, no one inquires.

Argh!

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Where are the yellow dog journalists?

OH, yeah, it’s “their candidate” doing it.

Argh!

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RANT: A new report of ‘unarmed, barefoot’ officers

http://www.wnd.com/2013/11/whos-lying-benghazi-witnesses-vs-state-dept/?cat_orig=world

WND EXCLUSIVE
WHO’S LYING? BENGHAZI WITNESSES VS. STATE DEPT.
Narratives clash amid new report of ‘unarmed, barefoot’ officers
AARON KLEIN

*** begin quote ***

TEL AVIV – None of the security officers inside the U.S. compound were armed during the Sept. 11, 2012, attack and one was barefoot while another two were “riding around in a Land Cruiser,” according to the witness testimony given to a U.S. House panel.

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., chairman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee, disclosed the details in an interview with Fox News earlier this week.

Unreported by Fox News is that the witness testimony of unarmed personnel directly contradicts the narrative in the extensive report released by the State Department-sponsored Accountability Review Board, or ARB.

The ARB report states the personnel inside the compound were armed and even describes how the security officers retrieved their weapons.

*** end quote ***

Anyone think that we will ever get the truth?

I don’t!

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MONEY: Public Defined Benefits Pension Plans are a disaster

http://unionwatch.org/how-unions-and-bankers-work-together-to-protect-unsustainable-defined-benefits

How Unions and Bankers Work Together to Protect Unsustainable Defined Benefits
by ED RING on NOVEMBER 26, 2013

*** begin quote ***

Greed is compounded with corruption and delusion, when in response for calls to bring public sector pensions into line with what is affordable and fair, unions and pension bankers claim 7.5% annual rates of return can be sustained forever. Their first mistake is suggesting that 7.5% rates of return is all they need. Current levels of underfunding mean either annual contributions go way up, or returns have to greatly exceed 7.5%. For example, CalSTRS is 67% funded, and to avoid becoming more underfunded, they must either earn 11.2% per year, or they must make a supplemental “unfunded contribution” of $4.1 billion per year – last year their unfunded contribution was only $1.1 billion. We are at the top of another bull market and in the terminal phases of a long-term credit cycle – anyone want to bet that CalSTRS is going to earn 11.2% a year for the next 30 years?

*** end quote ***

If the private sector is abandoning them, what is the justification for the public sector?

And, please don’t tell me that the public sector earns less.

If the do happen to earn less, then that represents their “job security” premium.

However, most earn more than they could command in the private marketplace.

And, let’s not overlook the abuses: revolving door between regulator and regulated, “lobbying”, and (my particular favorites) “double dipping” / “part time pensions” / “multiple pensions”.

Time to move on!

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POLITICAL: Estimate 80 million with employer health care plans will be cancelled

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/26/evidence-shows-obama-administration-predicted-tens-millions-would-lose-plans/

HEALTH CARE
Almost 80 million with employer health care plans could have coverage canceled, experts predict
By Jim Angle
Published November 26, 2013FoxNews.com

*** begin quote ***

Almost 80 million people with employer health plans could find their coverage canceled because they are not compliant with ObamaCare, several experts predicted.

Their losses would be in addition to the millions who found their individual coverage cancelled for the same reason.

Stan Veuger of the American Enterprise Institute said that in addition to the individual cancellations, “at least half the people on employer plans would by 2014 start losing plans as well.” There are approximately 157 million employer health care policy holders.

*** end quote ***

I wonder if this will make a dent in the thinking of “The Sheeple”?

Probably not!

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CLOUD: Autoresponder responses

ProFlowers lost my reminders!

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On Thu, Nov 28, 2013 at 1:12 PM, Corporate Customer Care <corporate@customercare.providecommerce.com> wrote:
Dear Ferdinand,

Thank you for contacting Proflowers regarding your Reminders. Although we are always here to assist you, we have a helpful feature on our web site that allows you to make these kinds of changes or look ups to your account. Our Account Management feature provides you the security and convenience to make these types of changes in the future.

If you visit our online account management feature, you can view and maintain:

-Your Profile (includes changing your e-mail address)
-Payment Options (includes changing your billing address or deleting credit card information)
-Address Book (includes entering new addresses or editing existing addresses)
-Your Orders (includes tracking and modifying orders, when possible)
-Reminder Service (includes editing or adding event reminders)
-Preferences (includes catalog requests and signing up for e-mail savings)

To access your account, simply click on the link titled “Track Your Order” at the top of our home page and log in with a password.

Your satisfaction is our foremost objective, and it is only through your feedback that we learn whether or not we are achieving our goal, so please do not hesitate to contact us with any additional comments or concerns you may have. To reach us, we are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 888.336.1396.

Your survey comments state,”my reminders are gone! “

We appreciate your business and truly thank you for being our customer.
Sincerely,

CCSS Blanca S

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I love non-helpful stock emails. Autoresponder! 

Argh!

And, my “reminders” appear to have gone to data heaven!!!

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RANT: Crony Drug War

http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org/2013/11/crony-drug-war-a-government-crime-lab-chemist-with-close-relations-to-prosecuters-has-been-caught-intentionally-forging-signatures-and-tampering-with-evidence-in-as-many-as-40000-cases/

Crony Drug War: A government crime lab chemist (with close relations to prosecutors) has been caught intentionally forging signatures and tampering with evidence in as many as 40,000 cases
By Nick Sorrentino on November 27, 2013

*** begin quote ***

The drug war is a colossal disaster. It is a massive sociological experiment which because of crony capitalist forces (and other forces) continues on. Many groups make lots of money and have gained lots of power because drugs are illegal. They are not going to give up this power just because the lives of millions of Americans are destroyed by the policy every year. Hey, they’ve got to get paid.

There was a time when the war on drugs, as stupid as it is, had the hope of success. (Because it hadn’t been tried.) There was a time when thoughtful people could defend the effort (sort of.) But that time has passed. The below story is a reflection of an asinine, corrupt, horribly unhelpful policy put forward by big government nanny staters.

*** end quote ***

So when do we stop this suicidal self-destructive corrosive program?

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INSPIRATIONAL: Google’s self-driving car

http://www.impactlab.net/2013/11/28/burkhard-bilger-on-googles-self-driving-car/

November 28th, 2013 at 9:28 am
Burkhard Bilger on Google’s self-driving car

*** begin quote ***

The reality was so close that he could envision each step: The first cars coming to market in five to ten years. Their numbers few at first—strange beasts on a new continent—relying on sensors to get the lay of the land, mapping territory street by street. Then spreading, multiplying, sharing maps and road conditions, accident alerts and traffic updates; moving in packs, drafting off one another to save fuel, dropping off passengers and picking them up, just as Brin had imagined. For once it didn’t seem like a fantasy. “If you look at my track record, I usually do something for two years and then I want to leave,” Levandowski said. “I’m a first-mile kind of guy—the guy who rushes the beach at Normandy, then lets other people fortify it. But I want to see this through. What we’ve done so far is cool; it’s scientifically interesting; but it hasn’t changed people’s lives.”

*** end quote ***

A long read but well worth the time.

Maybe in my lifetime?

It would be nice to be driven!

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