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Thread: Forum Software Problems

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Forum Software Problems

    I've noticed that the forum's php scripts have been malfunctioning for a while now. I'm seeing two things happen that seem to be an artifact of php script errors.

    1. Double posting, Enzo Style.

    there's a definite error in the php script code that deals with processing of the "Submit" button on the Preview Post page. Normally you'd expect a speedy processing of the post submission, but instead it's taking ~15 seconds for me to see any page change in response to the submission. When the new page finally loads, the board fails to load the updated thread page ; instead of loading the view thread page, the php code is kicking the user back to the "view changes" page.

    To the user this looks like the change never got submitted, so if the user isn't paying close attention they might just click on the submit button again, with the result being a double-post. That's happened to me and I had to learn to avoid it.

    If the user clicks on the submit button within 30 seconds of the original post submission, the board's once-post-every-30-seconds rule recognizes a potential spam violation and issues a warning. Most users will interprest this as the post having been successfully submitted, stop pressing on the submit button and back out of the page. Sometimes that warning may not get displayed, and if the user responds with the submit action thinking that they need to do that, the result is a double post.

    Anyone who is familiar with the phpBB code will recognize this as a corrupted redirect in the post submission script. There are a couple of ways to fix the problem -- one is to edit the script (if you're good at coding php). The other is to back up the forum database and reinstall the LAMP server.

    2. Forum Offline Every Day

    I don't know if anyone else has seen it, but I'm noticing the forum falling offline every day. Sometimes for short periods sometimes longer. Browser messages get issued for me saying that the server dropped the connection, also suggesting a hosting problem with LAMP.

    Just thought I'd throw this out.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    from another thread that I'm trying not to hijack:

    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    bob, I am not double clicking anything.

    I hit post once, just once, then it spins for a moment or so, yes longer than usual. Then it does one of two things. usually it just puts up a box asking if I want to leave the page, so I click yes. The other common thing it does is to show me the advanced dialog box and tells me I have to wait 28 more seconds to post again. It THINKS I asked to post again, but I did not click any posting buttons. At that point I usually just page back out of it, hoping it will just keep the original post and not put up the duplicate post it thinks I want. In other words it looks like it is asking me to hit post again, but I do not.

    I am doing nothing at all different from the way I post all the time on this forum for the last few years. I am not clicking post again in impatience.
    Part of the way that I deal with this problem is to realize that when I did what you are describing, that DID amount to clicking twice.

    The first click is when you clicked the first time ("I hit post once, just once...").

    The second click is when you clicked on a dialog box that asks if you want to leave the page, so you click "yes."

    That's two clicks. The problem here is that there is a disconnect between what the board is asking you, and what the board does in response to your click. You make a completely normal assumption that the board is going to do what it says it's going to do, so you provide the second click. Unfortunately the board has disconnected what it says it is going to do with what it actually ends up doing, because the php script that executes the board's action has been corrupted.

    The key to not double posting in this situation is not to continue behaving in the same what that you've always behaved for years. IMO the key to success is to recognize that the board is misbehaving and to modify our behavior in recognition of the problem.

    I see the same prompts that Enzo is seeing, but I don't click on any prompt that suggests proceeding with any subsequent action, the reason being that the action being associated with the button has become corrupted. Clicking on a second button is a necessary condition for the double post to occur.

    I don't know if anyone else has encountered this problem, or if it's just Enzo and me. I had the double post problem for a while, but I've come to avoid it by not giving the board any commands that amount to approval of a proposed action after a failed post request. By doing that I'm avoiding the double post problem. YMMV.
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    g1
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    If you haven't, I think you should PM the above (1st post) to tboy.
    Last edited by g1; 12-24-2017 at 02:12 AM.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    I have already clicked on the "report this post" icon. I hope that'll do it.
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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Report this post mostly goes to moderators., a direct PM is better.


    If I click on leave the page, I understand I clicked something, but if I click on stay then I still have to leave the page somehow.

    But the bottom line is the forum software should be fixed. It hasn;t done this all along, it does it in episodes. It might get fixed for two years, then goes into this mode again. We have to clear our cookies now and then, I suspect tboy needs to do the equivalent on the forum software.
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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    So I have to click STAY then back out of the thread. I shouldn't have to do that though.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    I shouldn't have to do that though.
    Of course not ... not if things worked the way they're supposed to. But things are broken. Now everything is different.

    Your best bet is going to be to click once to submit your post, and when you get taken back to the "view changes" page, click on the top link on the page, which corresponds to the name of the thread. That takes you directly to the updated thread that already contains your post. Backing out is way too cumbersome.
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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    But I lose my place in line, especially when I am looking at 20 new posts stacked up. Backing out is a click or two.


    I see it like the kid who brings me his amp for something like reverb, and doesn;t complain about his input jack. he has discovered that if he plugs in, he has to tape the cord over to the side with duct tape for it to work. It works, but he shouldn't have to.

    This is broken, it needs to be fixed, not subject to coming up with new strategies to help it limp along.
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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    I don't think I've ever had the double post problem? (knock on wood)
    Not sure what the difference is?
    I use multiple OS's and multiple computers.
    I have my browser setup to empty cache upon closing.
    I also check the remember me box on MEF log-in.
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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    It affects some posters and not others. I have no idea why. I will bet my lunch money the problem is in the software of this board, not on the poster end.
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    Supporting Member Jazz P Bass's Avatar
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    When this happens (it just did) I click "leave this page" & then close out the post.
    Somehow it is saved & posted.

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    "Thermionic Apocalypse" -JT nickb's Avatar
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    I see the same problem. In addition the PM posting is misbehaving; sent messages are not showing in sent items so I'm not sure if they are going or not.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_teee View Post
    I don't think I've ever had the double post problem? (knock on wood)
    Not sure what the difference is?
    I use multiple OS's and multiple computers.
    I have my browser setup to empty cache upon closing.
    I also check the remember me box on MEF log-in.
    T
    Since the problem appears to be php-dependent, and php executes only on the server side, anyone who is looking at the client OS and browser instead of the server php scripting is probably barking up the wrong tree.

    Terry, are you using the quick reply window that appears immediately below the post when you click reply? Or are you using the "Go Advanced" button?

    I wonder if the problem only comes up when the "Go Advanced" feature is used. If anyone writes short posts in the quick reply window does anyone still see the problem? OTOH the loquacious types who do a lot of post editing and want to WYSIWYG their posts before posting them seem to have the problem.

    Just wondering if it appears in other areas as well. According to Nick, even the PM subsystem is having problems.
    Last edited by bob p; 12-24-2017 at 09:29 PM.
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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I use the Quick Reply box exclusively. The only time I go to the full editor page is when I need to add attachments
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    sounds like an underlying feature that controls many aspects of system operation has become borked. ouch.
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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    I know squat about forum software, I have zero occasion to encounter it other than as a user here.

    But I used to work on a ton of computer based systems like synthesizers. Sometimes a unit would come in with all kinds of problems. Some seemingly unrelated. And a quick re-initialization later, et voila, everything is back to normal. My spider sense makes me wonder if a variety of troubles were not caused by the same thing. One corrupted file could do it.
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    I've experienced a number of the same weird issues, too, including many compete outages.

    I usually use the "Go Advanced" option. I don't think it makes much difference either way.

    Enzo, it is true that every type of computer software you (or I) has ever used has misbehaved from time to time. But the self-driving cars that are coming soon will all have perfect software, and will never exhibit buggy behaviour. Google and Tesla say so, so it must be true.

    -Gnobuddy

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Oh don't get me started on the automatic cars they are trying so hard to sell us. I think they should be required to have some sort of beacon on top so we can get the hell out of the way when they come around. Good luck finding the lane markers when there is an inch of ice and five inches of snow on top of that covering the road. When you are behind one, or even in one, does it recognize that there is a bus in the right lane two blocks ahead, and a train track just beyond, and if you are in the right lane, you will have to stop behind the stops-at-all-train-tracks bus. (I do in fact run into just this situation a lot on Waverly Rd in Lansing.) How will it know I get to park in handicap spaces? WIll it recognize those? How exactly do I tell it to back half way out of a parking spot so my wife can open her door to get in? Or pull out and drive over to the door and pick her up? it is one thing to have controls you can take over from the system, but they are talking cars without steering wheels.

    On the other hand our local Big Boy has a charging post in the lot, and there was a car using it this morning at breakfast.
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    g1
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    You guys have way too much faith in your fellow drivers.
    Bring on the robot apocalypse, I say. Can only be better than what is out there. "Oh, you want a drivers license? Let's just verify that you have a pulse. Ok, all good, next!"
    The problem is that people don't want to drive anymore. It get's in the way of their tech. At that point, automation is the only safe solution.
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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    people don't want to drive, they don;t want to shop, they don;t want to cook, hell, batteries even replace the husband. people don;t want to be bothered maintaining the cars either. Automatic cars brings everything down to the lowest common denominator. Traffic will look like a scene from CHiPs. You know, all the cars on the freeway are going about 15mph and no one is changing lanes or moving with respect to anyone else, except of course the bad guy who careens around. Automatic cars then are more like individual little busses.
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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    When I click submit for a reply, and it shows me a reloaded reply screen with my response and/or asks me if I want to stay or leave, I just click on settings and go back to the posts I need to reply to. Otherwise ignoring the stay/leave option. This works, but sometimes my post doesn't show in my settings for a while. I still get the double post occasionally either due to a brain fart or trying to negotiate some other maneuver.

    I wouldn't bug tboy. He's an awfully good sport about all us forum rats and he's well aware of the problem. The forum has done this before and it was eventually resolved. It will be again. Let a man decide on priorities. It's not keeping us from posting and he'll get to it soon enough.
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    g1
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
    people don't want to drive, they don;t want to shop, they don;t want to cook, hell, batteries even replace the husband. people don;t want to be bothered maintaining the cars either. Automatic cars brings everything down to the lowest common denominator.

    They have run computer linked cars in packs at high speeds. They are already transporting things in automated trucks on the highways.
    https://www.wired.com/story/embark-s...ck-deliveries/
    The future is already here and they are self-driving among us. We just aren't aware of it yet.
    Yes people cook even though they don't want to. But the death toll is much lower.
    Ask the youth of today if they would rather give up driving, or their mobile devices. Many don't even bother getting their licenses anymore. Our ancestors didn't want to see their horses go either.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    You guys have way too much faith in your fellow drivers.
    Bring on the robot apocalypse, I say. Can only be better than what is out there. "Oh, you want a drivers license? Let's just verify that you have a pulse. Ok, all good, next!"
    The problem is that people don't want to drive anymore. It get's in the way of their tech. At that point, automation is the only safe solution.
    We had an inch or two of snow fall in the past 24 hours, an steady slow accumulation. The local governments were too cheap to pay the Teamsters sunday/holiday pay (I think it's double time and a half) to drive the plows, so everyone got to do their Christmas Eve driving in raw conditions. Not a problem for me, I decided to switch cars and broke out the extreme weather vehicle... the monster that I use to haul the SVT ... the one that has 8APRIUS on the license plate.

    Conditions weren't THAT bad, but the other drivers were. The roads weren't icy at all, there was good traction in the hardpack snow. But people became so discombobulated with the snow that they all started driving 25 mph on the US Highways and Interstates. People were driving at 25 mph with nobody ahead of them for a mile, causing a huge backup behind them. When I passed them on the shoulder doing 40, then they started doing 40. Monkey see Monkey do. LOL. At least that cleaned up some of the congestion and spaced the cars out at a safer distance and got the traffic moving again.

    I don't have much faith in my fellow drivers. They don't have skills on driving in adverse conditions, they panic, create bottlenecks and accidents that result from bad decision making. Even in good conditions some people are not paying attention, and that creates problems of it's own. At least with robotic cars there will be algorithms that should promote consistent behavior. I don't want a robotic car, but I think if other cars on the road start to behave predictably, I can work with that. I'll be the guy who looks like the CHiPs driving around the rolling chicanes.
    Last edited by bob p; 12-25-2017 at 06:47 AM.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Robotic trucks delivering refrigerators? In California, not here.

    Maybe they'll replace the two assholes that dragged the icemaker connection along my maple cabinets and fucked up my house when they delivered my refrigerator.
    Last edited by bob p; 12-25-2017 at 06:48 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    At least with robotic cars there will be algorithms that should promote consistent behavior.
    Yes, early attempts at self-driving cars consistently drove themselves into tree-trunks by the side of the road.

    It turns out tree-trunks tend to be darker than their surroundings, are bordered by clearly defined edges, and taper (due to geometric perspective) as they go up. Roads have the same characteristics. Ergo, the cars thought tree-trunks were roads. Consistently!

    Another way to look at it: it's been shown in various experiments that chimpanzees are better drivers than humans. They have much faster reflexes, for one, sharper senses, more limb strength. They also have a pretty clear mental picture of the world around them, and because they stand, walk, sit, and move in the real world, have some intuitive sense of forces, accelerations, gravity, momentum, et cetera. But they don't understand the ethical, legal, and moral implications of making a mistake while driving a car in an urban environment. Anyone willing to hand over driving chores to chimps?

    Meantime, insects are vastly stupider than chimps, and have no conceptual mental image of the world around them. The computers in self-driving cars are stupider than an insect. Why are we so eager to hand over driving chores to something much stupider than a chimp, in fact, stupider than a cockroach?

    Finally, a (true) scientific story from circa 2004. A scientist taught approximately ten thousand rat brain cells in a petri dish to "fly" a simulated aircraft: https://www.newscientist.com/article...fighter-plane/

    So, would you trust ten thousand rat brain cells to drive your car for you? They constitute a neural network that quite possibly "knows" as much (or as little) about driving as the microprocessors in today's self-driving cars.

    Most people I know wouldn't trust a chimp, or a cockroach, to drive their car for them. But many are willing to consider trusting software that is almost certainly both more buggy and less smart than a cockroach. Why is that?

    -Gnobuddy

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    I don't think it will be all that bad. All of the people who want a car that's dumber than an insect to chauffeur them around will be on the side of the road wrapped around a tree trunk. Maybe that will clear the roadways for the rest of us.
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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnobuddy View Post
    Yes, early attempts at self-driving cars consistently drove themselves into tree-trunks by the side of the road.

    It turns out tree-trunks tend to be darker than their surroundings, are bordered by clearly defined edges, and taper (due to geometric perspective) as they go up. Roads have the same characteristics. Ergo, the cars thought tree-trunks were roads. Consistently!

    Another way to look at it: it's been shown in various experiments that chimpanzees are better drivers than humans. They have much faster reflexes, for one, sharper senses, more limb strength. They also have a pretty clear mental picture of the world around them, and because they stand, walk, sit, and move in the real world, have some intuitive sense of forces, accelerations, gravity, momentum, et cetera. But they don't understand the ethical, legal, and moral implications of making a mistake while driving a car in an urban environment. Anyone willing to hand over driving chores to chimps?

    Meantime, insects are vastly stupider than chimps, and have no conceptual mental image of the world around them. The computers in self-driving cars are stupider than an insect. Why are we so eager to hand over driving chores to something much stupider than a chimp, in fact, stupider than a cockroach?

    Finally, a (true) scientific story from circa 2004. A scientist taught approximately ten thousand rat brain cells in a petri dish to "fly" a simulated aircraft: https://www.newscientist.com/article...fighter-plane/

    So, would you trust ten thousand rat brain cells to drive your car for you? They constitute a neural network that quite possibly "knows" as much (or as little) about driving as the microprocessors in today's self-driving cars.

    Most people I know wouldn't trust a chimp, or a cockroach, to drive their car for them. But many are willing to consider trusting software that is almost certainly both more buggy and less smart than a cockroach. Why is that?

    -Gnobuddy
    That's some pretty obtuse reasoning. Let's examine...

    Chimps aren't better drivers than humans BECAUSE they can't conceptualize all criteria. Regardless of physical abilities. You could probably also reason that dogs or dolphins have a similar reflexive and reactive advantage over humans. Alas, no underwater cars and dogs lack thumbs. Chimps were chosen for the comparison because they breath air and have thumbs. Arbitrary.

    Since the tree trunk issue is now realized and understood, as you have explained, we probably aren't far from resolving that matter. Making any construct of human ingenuity suffers the requisite process of refinement. To imply that self driving cars can never be safe on the tree trunk argument firmly places you in the company of people who believed we would sail off the edge of the earth.

    Lastly, regardless of the actual information processing power of a cockroach compared to a computer a self driving car won't require more than a computer is capable of. The reason a computer, with less processing power, is more suitable is that you can't sufficiently program a cockroach.
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    g1
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    There are the dire predictions and there are the vehicles that are already out there functioning. With people appearing to be driving who are just there to push the 'kill switch' in case of emergency (for now).
    The downside as I see it is when the machine has to make the choice between the one or the many, and you are the one.
    Out here we have multi-million dollar farm tractor rigs that are multitasking on autopilot and the human operators are sitting in them watching youtube and standing by in case they are ever needed to push the 'kill switch'.

    Tell me how stupid the computers are that run anti-missile missiles. A little smarter than Lance Link I think.

    (P.S. all my vehicles still have carbs. As long as I can find some kind of hooch to put in them, I'm golden )
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    I had thought the double post was because I waited too long, and something to do with autosave. If I write and submit within a few seconds, I never got a double post. Usually happens (almost always happens) if I type in a post, walk away to do something, come back 10, 20 etc later, then finish and click "post".

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    The downside as I see it is when the machine has to make the choice between the one or the many, and you are the one.
    That is asking a lot of the computer. The computer is there to save the car and its occupants. It seems a lot to ask it to analyze whether a side path will ultimately lead to a new situation AND that new situation has a less desirable outcome ASSUMING we place differing importances on who the victim might be. I am familiar with the psychological testing over human decision making on this type issue, and projecting it onto the self-driving cars, but it seems a stretch.

    Having the car do something other than protect me, I think, is beyond a reasonable task for the car. It asks the car to evaluate my worth versus that of others based on a ethical position programmed into it by others. it makes me think somehow of the Terri Schaivo case some time ago, where her right to live or die was being claimed by disparate elements in society. I am not saying my life has more value than a school bus full of children, but to my car, I think it does.
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    Supporting Member Chuck H's Avatar
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    And... When purchasing your new, driverless car you can get the upgrade "SAS" (safety assurance system) for an extra 20Gs that signals other cars around yours to favor you in the event of an accident. Ensuring that, as someone who can spend the money, you are appropriately prioritized in the social hierarchy. No doubt that would manifest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    Tell me how stupid the computers are that run anti-missile missiles.
    Very stupid. Ask one of those computers to run down to the grocery store on the corner and fetch you a pound of sugar, and you'll get the equivalent of a blank stare. A ten-year old child, meantime, would have no trouble at all understanding you!

    The fundamental issue here is that what is easy for computers is often hard for human beings, and vice-versa. Computers beat humans very easily at tasks like basic number-crunching (aiming missiles is an example). They beat the best human champions at chess long before anyone thought they would. But making a robot stand and walk on four legs took many decades of effort from our smartest computer scientists and mathematicians and robot builders, while a newborn foal takes one hour to figure it out.

    Another example: picking one bolt out of a tray piled with bolts is still almost an impossible task for AI, while a two year old child would have no trouble. Software has no concept of what a bolt or a spoon or a fork is, and has a terribly hard time separating one bolt out from the complicated visual image of multiple bolts in a pile.

    There is a (human) perceptual issue here: we humans think that chess and calculus is hard, and walking is easy, because it appears that way to us. The reality is that actually we humans stink at chess, and calculus, which is why it seems hard to us. But actually they are easy, as computational science found out - rather primitive computers beat us easily at calculus, and some years later, at chess.

    On the other hand, walking seems easy to us, because evolution has honed our brains and bodies to be exceedingly good at learning how to balance ourselves on two feet. But in fact it is a very hard problem computationally, and there were many decades of utter failure before Troody finally did what every other bipedal robot had failed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TepEj2yz1BE

    My issue with self-driving AI software is that understanding the physical world is squarely in the category of things that computers are very, very bad at. What we have is the equivalent of the ten thousand rat brain cells flying the F22 in the simulator - the rat cells have no idea what they're doing, and when something goes wrong, and good judgement is required to recover, there will be total and utter failure. Like the Tesla that drove full-speed into a tractor trailer, killing the occupant ( https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...r-harry-potter )

    Note how Tesla themselves described the accident (my emphasis):
    Quote Originally Posted by Tesla
    According to Teslaís account of the crash, the carís sensor system, against a bright spring sky, failed to distinguish a large white 18-wheel truck and trailer crossing the highway. In a blogpost, Tesla said the self-driving car attempted to drive full speed under the trailer
    A human can very easily tell the difference between a "bright spring sky" and a light-coloured truck and trailer. The sophisticated self-driving car's AI could not.

    Also, a human being (assuming he didn't grow up watching "The Fast And The Furious" movies during his formative years) would know that a car can't fit under a trailer. An AI driving system has no idea what a truck is, or what a trailer is, or how tall a car is, or that two physical objects cannot travel through each other, or that you can't drive a car under a trailer, or what death means, or that the cars occupants will die if you smash them into a solid object at 100 kmph.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tesla
    (P.S. all my vehicles still have carbs. As long as I can find some kind of hooch to put in them, I'm golden )


    My last carburetted car was a '73 Datsun 240Z I owned until 2012 or so. I converted the brakes to a 4-piston caliper system from a Toyota pickup truck, replaced all the suspension bushings with urethane, put sticky tires and alloy wheels on it, and enjoyed the heck out of it for several years. I had to sell it during the downsizing so we could move to Canada, leaving behind the land soon to be devastated by Trump.

    My current car has a computer deciding how much fuel to give the engine. On snowy days, the computer enthusiastically overdoes the software equivalent of the carburetor's accelerator pump - and that initial surge of power even if you just barely touch the throttle invariably breaks the front tires loose, making me look like an idiot, and scaring me every time I have to stop on a snowy hill.

    In this car, I would have welcomed traction control - another thing computers do better than humans, mainly because they're so much faster than we are.

    I have driven other fuel-injected cars that had worse throttle response than a well tuned carburetor. A rental Chevy Astro-Van from the mid 1990's with a slow and laggy throttle comes to mind. I found out that the fuel injection system was so slow that you could put the car in neutral, stomp the gas pedal quickly all the way to the floor, release it, watch it come all the way back up, and only after the pedal had come completely to rest would you hear a little surge in engine RPM! The fuel injection system was much slower than the human leg/foot!

    Of course there are some things that a good fuel-injection system does much better than a carburetor, too. Compensating for high altitude being one example.

    -Gnobuddy

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck H View Post
    And... When purchasing your new, driverless car you can get the upgrade "SAS" (safety assurance system) for an extra 20Gs that signals other cars around yours to favor you in the event of an accident. Ensuring that, as someone who can spend the money, you are appropriately prioritized in the social hierarchy. No doubt that would manifest.
    This, and similar stuff, is the reason why I think so many are salivating over driverless cars.

    The auto companies have had terrible trouble getting Millenials to buy today's cars, since they'd rather sit at home and poke at their phones than go anywhere. So the car companies are hoping to sell lots of driverless cars.

    The trucking companies are hoping to fire lots of truck drivers, along with associated costs. No more salaries, no more sick leave, no more pesky health care costs, no more unions, no more retirement plans.

    The software industry will find a way to sell you extra-cost additional "safety upgrades". "Only $9999.99 to make your car safer than everybody else's! Doesn't your wife deserve to be safer?"

    The cost of new cars will go through the roof, particularly when, after some years, it will become illegal to own a car that does NOT have self-driving capability. At which point, prohibitively expensive new cars will be the only option.

    And everybody who currently spies on your cellphone GPS, your automobile GPS, and all your online computing activity, will be thrilled: your self-driving car will report every detail of your movements, in real time, to whomever pays the right amount of money to the right people.

    -Gnobuddy
    Justin Thomas likes this.

  34. #34
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    There are the dire predictions and there are the vehicles that are already out there functioning. With people appearing to be driving who are just there to push the 'kill switch' in case of emergency (for now).
    Good luck getting a millennial to raise their eyes from the phone to hit the kill switch during an emergency. More likely, they won't realize there was an emergency until the car sends them a text to ask of they're OK after a crash.


    Out here we have multi-million dollar farm tractor rigs that are multitasking on autopilot and the human operators are sitting in them watching youtube and standing by in case they are ever needed to push the 'kill switch'.
    I think you're over extrapolating.

    There's a big difference between a John Deere automated tractor that is designed to recognize the perimeter boundary of the farm field, while driving in parallel lines to create evenly spaced furrows (as the GPS determines how much fertilizer to drop in each zone), and operating a vehicle on a city street or Interstate. There usually are not autonomous moving obstacles in a bean field, and when there are, the deer know to stay away from the farm equipment. The risks to navigation on real roadways are not in any way similar to plowing a field. Yes, it's a start but it's not really a fair comparison.
    Justin Thomas and rjb like this.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

  35. #35
    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Calculus isn't hard for all humans. Calculus involves a different way of looking at the world, and some people make that transition easily while others just can't make it. For me, it was difficult until it "clicked." Then, once the "click" took place in my head, calculus became easy and I started looking at the world in an entirely new way. The same could be said for imaginary numbers, Fourier Theory and learning to see things in the frequency domain instead of being stuck in the time domain.
    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

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