motorpsycho

“The Pleasure Principle” is an “independent woman” anthem about love gone wrong built around a dance beat

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Previous studies have shown that male attractiveness can be enhanced by manipulation of status through, for example, the medium of costume. The present study experimentally manipulated status by seating the same target model (male and female matched for attractiveness) expressing identical facial expressions and posture in either a ‘high status’ (Silver Bentley Continental GT) or a ‘neutral status’ (Red Ford Fiesta ST) motor-car. […]

Results showed that the male target model was rated as significantly more attractive on a rating scale of 1–10 when presented to female participants in the high compared to the neutral status context. Males were not influenced by status manipulation, as there was no significant difference between attractiveness ratings for the female seated in the high compared to the neutral condition.

{ The British Psychological Society | PDF }

unrelated { Sweden plans to make sex toys safer because so many people get them stuck in their rectum }

Three Billboards is a good damn movie. I give it two billboards up!

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Here, we present a method that estimates socioeconomic characteristics of regions spanning 200 US cities by using 50 million images of street scenes gathered with Google Street View cars.

Using deep learning-based computer vision techniques, we determined the make, model, and year of all motor vehicles encountered in particular neighborhoods.

Data from this census of motor vehicles, which enumerated 22 million automobiles in total (8% of all automobiles in the United States), were used to accurately estimate income, race, education, and voting patterns at the zip code and precinct level.

The resulting associations are surprisingly simple and powerful. For instance, if the number of sedans encountered during a drive through a city is higher than the number of pickup trucks, the city is likely to vote for a Democrat during the next presidential election (88% chance); otherwise, it is likely to vote Republican (82%).

{ PNAS | PDF }

photo { Tod Papageorge }

‘To him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in its turn presents a rational aspect.’ –Hegel

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Google started testing their cars on public roads back in 2009, long before any regulations were even dreamed of. An examination of the California Vehicle Code indicated there was nothing in there prohibiting testing.

For testing purposes, Google has a trained safety driver sitting behind the wheel, ready to take it at any moment. Any attempt to take the wheel or use the pedals disables the automatic systems and the safety driver is in control. The safety drivers took special driving safety courses and were instructed to take control if they have any doubt about safe operation. For example, if a vehicle is not braking as expected when approaching a cross walk, take the controls immediately, do not wait to see if it will detect the pedestrians and stop.

The safety drivers are accompanied by a second person in the passenger seat. Known as the software operator, this person monitors diagnostic screens showing what the system is perceiving and planning, and tells the safety driver if something appeared to be going wrong. The software operator is also an extra set of eyes on the road from time to time.

Many other developers have taken this approach, and some of the regulations written have coded something similar to it into law.

This style of testing makes sense if you consider how we train teen-agers to drive. We allow them to get behind the wheel with almost no skill at all, and a driving instructor sits in the passenger seat. While not required, professional driving instructors tend to have their own brake pedal, and know how and when to grab the wheel if need be. They let the student learn and make minor mistakes, and correct the major ones.

The law doesn’t require that, of course. After taking a simple written test, a teen is allowed to drive with a learner’s permit as long as almost any licenced adult is in the car with them. While it varies from country to country, we let these young drivers get full solo licences after only a fairly simple written test and a short road test which covers only a tiny fraction of situations we will encounter on the road. They then get their paperwork and become the most dangerous drivers on the road.

In contrast, robocar testing procedures have been much more strict, with more oversight by highly trained supervisors. With regulations, there have been requirements for high insurance bonds and special permits to go even further. Both software systems and teens will make mistakes, but the reality is the teens are more dangerous.

{ Brad Templeton | Continue reading }

related { Will You Need a New License to Operate a Self-Driving Car? }

‘Against boredom even gods struggle in vain.’ –Nietzsche

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Darius McCollum has been arrested 29 times over the past 30 years for a series of transit-related crimes ranging from impersonating subway workers to stealing buses. […]

He first drew notice in 1981, when as a 15-year-old he operated an E train six stops from 34th Street to the World Trade Center without the conductor or passengers reporting anything amiss.

{ WSJ | Continue reading }

photo { Thomas Hoepker, Lover’s Lane, New Jersey, 1983 }

See you on the road, skag. See you like we saw your friend, The Nightrider.

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A subtle, but significant tweak to Florida’s rules regarding traffic signals has allowed local cities and counties to shorten yellow light intervals, resulting in millions of dollars in additional red light camera fines.

{ 10 News | Continue reading }

The bulldog of Aquin, with whom no word shall be impossible

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{ Driving school for dogs in New Zealand | Thanks Tim }

In the second carriage, Miss Douce’s wet lips said, laughing in the sun

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Six years ago, Mexico was the world’s ninth largest exporter of cars. Today the country is ranked fourth—behind Germany, Japan and South Korea—with exports expected to total more than 2.14 million vehicles this year.

One in 10 cars sold last year in the U.S. was made in Mexico. Next year, every new taxi in New York’s fleet—made by Nissan Motor Co.  —will carry the “Hecho en Mexico” label. Mexico is now exporting vehicles to China, and even helped Japan keep up with orders after last year’s tsunami.

Mexico’s Economy Minister Bruno Ferrari boasted that a batch of new factories planned by car makers will help Mexico surpass South Korea in a few years. […]

For decades, the free world drove cars made primarily in the U.S., Germany and Japan. But a global shift toward smaller cars has put pressure on profit margins, forcing car companies to find lower-cost manufacturing elsewhere. […]

Wages for Mexican assembly-line workers begin at $40 a day, experts said. That is far below minimum wage requirements in the U.S. or Europe and approaching the average manufacturing wage in China, which is $3 per hour.

{ WSJ | Continue reading }

Each one is sister to another and he binds them all with an outer ring and giveth speed to the feet of men

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The gap between professional race drivers and self-driven cars isn’t all that big, as a race at the Thunderhill Raceway in California proved yesterday. Although the human driver achieved victory against the self-driven Audi TTS in a head-to-head, he only managed to shave off a few seconds from the computer’s time.

{ Silicon Angle | Continue reading }

photo { Roger Minick }

Single and sick of it?

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If you’re expecting me to help out with the rent you’re in for a big fuckin’ surprise

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{ Traffic cop issues ticket to moving bus }

Hi. I’m probably home. I’m just avoiding someone I don’t like. Leave me a message, and if I don’t call you back, it’s you.

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{ We show that if a car stops at a stop sign, an observer, e.g., a police officer, located at a certain distance perpendicular to the car trajectory, must have an illusion that the car does not stop, if the following three conditions are satisfied: (1) the observer measures not the linear but angular speed of the car; (2) the car decelerates and subsequently accelerates relatively fast; and (3) there is a short-time obstruction of the observer’s view of the car by an external object, e.g., another car, at the moment when both cars are near the stop sign. | Dmitri Krioukov/arXiv | PDF }

You’re gonna have to grow up. There’s a war on.

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{ The True Story Of How A Ferrari Ended Up Buried In Someone’s Yard }