Also Not the Onion

Ford’s “Driverless” Food-Delivery Vehicles in Miami Aren’t Actually Driverless (New Times)

“Research vehicles for our business pilots are designed to appear as self-driving, however, they are manually driven by an experienced driver,” Ford wrote this week in a post on Medium. “The focus of our research is on the first and last mile of the delivery experience.”

Actually not odd or surprising — this is how testing of would-be autonomous works nationally, for safety and liability reasons.

Posted in Miami, Robots | Leave a comment

Got Me

I added The Onion to my RSS feed a bit over a week ago. Since then there have been a couple headlines where I had to check just to make sure they were fakes, but I haven’t actually been caught believing one yet.

Instead, I was caught out by a real headline that I was sure would be a fake: Fugitive wanted for attempted murder found at White House, where he worked for National Security Council.  That’s actually a real Boingboing headline — although the underlying story is slightly less sensational than you might think: instead of being in the Cabinet, the fugitive was only a contract worker, and the Secret Service is trying to make it sound like they caught him on his first day of work, although the linked story doesn’t quite say that.

Posted in The Media, The Scandals | Leave a comment

Yes, the CRA is a Way to Restore Net Neutrality

National treasure Harold Feld explains why the CRA really would be a means of restoring the net neutrality rule.

Strangely, it appears some folks actually doubted this as a theoretical matter. Of course the House won’t likely vote to overturn the FCC, so this is a bit academic. But then, I am an academic…

Posted in Law: Administrative Law, Law: Internet Law | Leave a comment

Worse than Corruption

I know people who think that the worst thing about the Trump administration is the corruption: the Trump family lining its pockets in various grifting ways, be it emoluments via hotel; deals in the shadow of official favor; multiple appointees acting like swamp-dwellers wasting tax money on first class airfares, hotels, weird security apparatus and guards, or office furniture.

I disagree: the worst things about the Trump administration are legal or at least carry a figleaf of legality: our disgraceful treatment of would-be immigrants and refugees; withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change and other anti-environmental decisions; the war on healthcare; and now, the nearly irrational decision to blow up the Iran nuclear deal.

The stated reasons make no sense: if one is afraid the Iranians have nuclear plans that they can pick up at the end of the 10-year deal period, there is no sense in accelerating that window of opportunity to today.

Rather, if one thinks there is any method to the madness, one is left to choose among two lousy hypotheses: perhaps Trump is so consumed with Obama derangement that anything Obama must be blow up; or, worse and yet more likely, the Bolton vision of attacking Iran is in ascendant and the reason for ending the accord is to drive the Iranians into nuclear development that could then be waved as a casus belli. That means war.

As far as I am concerned, the Trump family and its hangers-on could steal all the money they want if they would just stop hurting and poisoning other people.

Posted in Trump | 1 Comment

Most Unusual Campaign Ad of 2018 (So Far)

The year is young, but Katie Hill has set the bar, er, high, for unusual and arresting campaign ads.

Ms. Hill is running for Congress in California’s 25th district. All I know about her besides what is on her issues page is that she’s promised to reject all corporate PAC contributions and that she can scale mountains.

Posted in 2018 Election | 1 Comment

Grossman on We Robot 2018

In what has become an annual tradition, Wendy Grossman provides the best write-up of We Robot 2018 you are going to read.

See you in Miami next year!

Posted in Robots, Talks & Conferences | 1 Comment