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Google and Uber

jwz
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How are these murderous sociopaths not in jail?

"If it is your job to advance technology, safety cannot be your No. 1 concern," Levandowski told me. "If it is, you'll never do anything. It's always safer to leave the car in the driveway. You'll never learn from a real mistake."

Levandowski had modified the cars' software so that he could take them on otherwise forbidden routes. A Google executive recalls witnessing Taylor and Levandowski shouting at each other. Levandowski told Taylor that the only way to show him why his approach was necessary was to take a ride together. The men, both still furious, jumped into a self-driving Prius and headed off.

The car went onto a freeway, where it travelled past an on-ramp. According to people with knowledge of events that day, the Prius accidentally boxed in another vehicle, a Camry. A human driver could easily have handled the situation by slowing down and letting the Camry merge into traffic, but Google's software wasn't prepared for this scenario. The cars continued speeding down the freeway side by side. The Camry's driver jerked his car onto the right shoulder. Then, apparently trying to avoid a guardrail, he veered to the left; the Camry pinwheeled across the freeway and into the median. Levandowski, who was acting as the safety driver, swerved hard to avoid colliding with the Camry, causing Taylor to injure his spine so severely that he eventually required multiple surgeries.

The Prius regained control and turned a corner on the freeway, leaving the Camry behind. Levandowski and Taylor didn't know how badly damaged the Camry was. They didn't go back to check on the other driver or to see if anyone else had been hurt. Neither they nor other Google executives made inquiries with the authorities. The police were not informed that a self-driving algorithm had contributed to the accident.

Levandowski, rather than being cowed by the incident, later defended it as an invaluable source of data, an opportunity to learn how to avoid similar mistakes. He sent colleagues an e-mail with video of the near-collision. Its subject line was "Prius vs. Camry." (Google refused to show me a copy of the video or to divulge the exact date and location of the incident.) He remained in his leadership role and continued taking cars on non-official routes.

According to former Google executives, in Project Chauffeur's early years there were more than a dozen accidents, at least three of which were serious. One of Google's first test cars, nicknamed kitt, was rear-ended by a pickup truck after it braked suddenly, because it couldn't distinguish between a yellow and a red traffic light. Two of the Google employees who were in the car later sought medical treatment. A former Google executive told me that the driver of the pickup, whose family was in the truck, was unlicensed, and asked the company not to contact insurers. kitt's rear was crushed badly enough that it was permanently taken off the road.

In response to questions about these incidents, Google's self-driving unit disputed that its cars are unsafe. "Safety is our highest priority as we test and develop our technology," a spokesperson wrote to me. [...]

As for the Camry incident, the spokesperson [said that] because Google's self-driving car did not directly hit the Camry, Google did not cause the accident.

These words actually came out of this creature's mouth, on purpose, when it knew that humans could hear it speaking:

"The only thing that matters is the future," [Levandowski] told me after the civil trial was settled. "I don't even know why we study history. It's entertaining, I guess -- the dinosaurs and the Neanderthals and the Industrial Revolution, and stuff like that. But what already happened doesn't really matter. You don't need to know that history to build on what they made. In technology, all that matters is tomorrow."

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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acdha
6 days ago
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Washington, DC
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mkalus
6 days ago
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W T F.
iPhone: 49.287476,-123.142136
jimwise
7 days ago
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😳

"I Want to Eat Your Pancreas"

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Seen by a friend of Jeff DeMarco in Sydney, Australia's Chinatown:

Most people who encounter this poster assume that it is just the result of bad machine translation.  But that's the real name of a real novel and a film based on the novel, and it is the correct translation of the Japanese title:

Kimi no Suizō o Tabetai 君の膵臓をたべたい ("I Want to Eat Your Pancreas")

web novel (2014)

novel (2015)

manga (2016-17)

live-action film (2017) ("Let Me Eat Your Pancreas")

anime film (2018)

Nathan Hopson remarks:

I'm unfamiliar with this particular cinematic gem, but the interwebs say:

Plot Summary: An unnamed protagonist happens to find a diary in a hospital one day. The diary belongs to his classmate, a girl named Sakura Yamauchi, who is revealed to be suffering from a terminal illness in her pancreas, and who only has a few months left to live. Sakura explains that the protagonist is the only person apart from her family that knows about her condition. The protagonist promises to keep Sakura's secret. Despite their completely opposite personalities, the protagonist decides to be together with Sakura during her last few months.

Cecilia Segawa Seigle observes:

It is indeed a very weird title and personally I don't want to see the movie they are making from the book with that title – which was evidently a sensational moving story of a high school boy who picked up a sick girl's diary she had accidentally dropped and fell in love with her.  She is dying from a pancreatic illness — and eventually dies.  Evidently Japanese people (young and old) loved the story — it was a best seller and received some literary prize.  I have no idea why the writer Yoru Sumino (a male) gave his novel such a weird title — maybe to draw attention to the book — and he succeeded.

Although the title sounds terribly gruesome in English, I'm wondering if there's something about its expression in Japanese that makes it less so.

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acdha
7 days ago
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Incoming Calls

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I wonder if that friendly lady ever fixed the problem she was having with her headset.
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emdot
8 days ago
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Real life, again.
San Luis Obispo, CA
JayM
21 days ago
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Hey! I am that one friend!
Atlanta, GA
alt_text_bot
22 days ago
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I wonder if that friendly lady ever fixed the problem she was having with her headset.
alt_text_at_your_service
22 days ago
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I wonder if that friendly lady ever fixed the problem she was having with her headset.

Arablish

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Adrian Bailey sent in this Yemeni restaurant menu from @wokeeth's Twitter account:

The Arablish here is really wild.  Here are some of my favorites:

"I went through a pimp" (near the bottom of the left column).

The first two:  "His love is his liver" and "His liver spilled".

Fifth one:  "Total sum".

Right column:  "Henning Rice", "Meat and meat", "Thickness of the maroon", "His love is chicken kneading". "Text of a chicken contract" (!), "Normal problem", "His love is chicken and rice".

Middle column:  "His love is compressed", "Compressed text" (!), "Doubt double".

Left column:  "Ashes", "He passed".

But there are so many others that are too precious for words.

Most of them come right out of Google Translate (GT):

hubb-u kibd-u / hubih kabdah  حبه كبده

His love is his liver

nafar kibd-u / nafar kabdah نفر كبده

His liver spilled

fata Zubaydi / fath zbydy فته زبيدي

Zubaidi came to him

hubb-u madghut / hubih madghut  حبه مضغوط

His love is compressed

But not all can be attributed or credited to GT, including this splendid specimen:

"I went through a pimp"

fata tamurr qishta / fatah tamuru qushtatan فته تمر قشطة

For which GT gives "He passed a cream".

This being Language Log, it would be much appreciated if readers who are conversant with Arabic would offer correct translations of a few of the more bizarre items on the menu.  For each item, please provide:

  1. Arablish mistranslation
  2. Arabic script
  3. Romanization
  4. accurate translation

Compared to the advanced stage we are at in Chinglish Studies, it seems as though Arablish Studies are still in their infancy.

(Thanks to Roger Allen)

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acdha
28 days ago
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Washington, DC
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hannahdraper
28 days ago
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Compared to the advanced stage we are at in Chinglish Studies, it seems as though Arablish Studies are still in their infancy.
Washington, DC

Realistic storm surge depicted in Weather Channel forecast

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The Weather Channel is using a realistic 3-D depiction surrounding a reporter to show what a storm surge might bring. Here, just watch it:

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ameel
39 days ago
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This is really cool.
Melbourne, Australia

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