Wednesday, 13 August 2014

The Driverless Era

Monday, came a five-star article with the Wall Street Journal (my favorite daily paper)...."How do you ensure a driverless automobile?"

The issue is that we are quietly progressing almost weekly toward the day that one state will approve full-use of a driverless truck/car/delivery vehicle.

Insurance companies are kinda quiet on this.  I suspect they hope that a decade or two will go by before this actually happens.  They need more data....more information....more accident come to some mythical number that says something about fate and a driverless car.

Imagine the first driverless car accident in Texas.  Some driver will yell and scream as a Texas cop drives up.....a driverless car hit him.  He'll try to blame everything possible in ten minutes on the other vehicle.  Eventually, the cop will download the video and data from the driverless car.....basically showing the human at fault.  The guy will sue in local court.....finding that the local judge can't agree with him either.

Two years into the driverless era in one'll spread to other states, and be accepted nationwide within five years (I'll go ahead and  predict New York state is the last state to accept them....meaning an end to the human-driven taxi force of New York City).

Total accidents in the first two years of use?  I'll make a prediction it'll be around the normal number of accidents.....but a strange thing will occur with video and data collected.  Cops will come to agree almost down to one-hundred-percent of cases.....that it was the other driver that triggered the accident.

The driverless car?  It automatically slowed down in bad weather.  It came to a complete stop when the air temperature and humidity reached the point of possible ice.  Tired-driver syndrome?  Ended.  Drunk-driving accidents?  Ended.

Somewhere in this five-year period of introduction.....I'll predict that insurance companie come to a shocking realization.....a standard of $100 a year will be introduced...mostly because they can't find fault in the data, systems, or programming.  When asked why $100 works.....they won't be able to respond.....other than saying they had to charge something.  Profits for the insurance companies?  It'll start to be questioned.

By 2025, I expect one state to accept driverless vehicles....related to the delivery trade.  Eleven years away?  Yeah.  For some reason, I see legal challenges coming up continually and keeping the idea from being adopted early on.  It just won't be easy for any US culture or society to accept it.  It might even show up in the UK before the US.

Yeah....a radical change to our lifestyles.....letting Ford or BMW drive us.

Worst Adaption of Book to Movie Ever

There are a lot of books that have been turned into movies.  Some are twisted badly....Catch-22....for example.  The book is ten times better than the movie.

My nomination for this is Fantomas.

The series of books over Fantomas (the character)....written by Marcel Allain (1885-1969) and Pierre Souvestre (1874-1914)....two French gentlemen.

Fantomas was this bad-ass character, who got himself into various jams.....with dying left and right as his effort of cleaning up a mess.  There was nothing left to the imagination.  Fantomas was a nutcase who could have killed anyone just for the enjoyment of the act.

These two guys teamed up to write 32 total novels on their character....Fantomas.  As Souvestre passes away in 1914 (not from the war, but from a lung ailment).....there is a twelve-year period where Fantomas is finished, and then in 1925....Fantomas will reappear for a couple of books.  

If you'd asked any Frenchman in the 1890s to 1914 about a good decent book....most of them had read at least one Fantomas novel and could cite the general story and evil nature of Fantomas.  

All of this kinda remains to history, until 1964....when a French producer picked up the novels and developed a comical science fiction piece with a police chief in the midst of a chase of Fantomas.  The comedy side of the movie went onto appealing to a large audience in France, and throughout all of Europe.  The evil nature of Fantomas?  Basically gone.  He was just a bad guy......nothing much beyond that.  None of the murders and terrible stuff.

I've watched the 1964 movie at least ten times and always enjoy the police chief (similar to the Peter Sellers character of Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame).   Compared to the book?  No.  

There's a rumor in France of an effort to turn the Fantomas novels back into a realistic movie....going to the serious nature of the book, rather than reusing the 1964 comical story.  It might happen.....but I doubt if it's ever made.  

The History Change

The College an organization that gears tests to some way....assessing if you really learned much in high school, and gives you a ranking.  This all paves the way for you to attend a fine, lesser-than-fine, or a far-step-from-fine college/university.

There's some debate that has erupted over the last month over the question of history, and the new upgraded test structure.  The comments over this developed new structure?  Somewhat negative, with accusations that the people who developed the new strategy are looking negative upon history.

The obvious changes?  Multiple choice questions are gone.  Shocking?  To some degree.  

The new way of testing?  A number of charts and historical documents are laid out for you to read through, then you have to assess the questions asked, analyze the documents and data, and note your answer.

The essay portion? went from two significant essay tasks to be four lesser significant essays.  Your writing skills are challenged to a degree...meaning you had gained some talents via English, grammar and literature classes.  Failing the essay because of lousy writing skills?'s entirely possible you want get picked up by a big-name college because you had a vast knowledge of history, but you just couldn't write to the degree they desired.  At that point, you are destined to some community college.

The questions being posed to the College Board?  It's more than just a dozen aspects.

I kinda noted at some point.....the people opposing these changes to the history test asked one simple question....who wrote the new history structure for the test of the College Board.

It's a simple question.  You'd expect the College Board to simply note three or six or nine prominent national history professors having done the project, and they'd vouch for the fine work they'd done.

Well...the College Board has sat and denied the names of the writers of the history testing project.

This has led various people looking at the reaction by the College Board as odd.  Normally, you'd be proud of changes, and people would associate their names with such a project.  In this names.

There is another suggestion to this....that no actual college professor wrote any of the test changes, and it was simply assigned to some college grad students who were working under one professor with a slanted view of history.

What's all of this mean?  The entry port to studying history at any significant college in this stupid College Board test.  If it says you have to do A, B and C in a stupid pass a test, then you will study that way and mentally prepare yourself in that fashion.  Wrongful interpretation of get you into big-name college history program? silly as it sounds.

Did we always require this College Board test to get to some university program?  No.  Once we commercialized colleges (1900s), you had to have some method of limiting enrollment to the bigger name colleges.  The College Board started out about a hundred years ago....acting as an agent....with tests that would separate the winners and losers.  Everyone accepted their independent status and middle-of-the-road authority on tests.  We are closing in on a dilemma where people now question the Board and how they reach a change in their tests.