How About Carless Drivers?

The actors strike has concluded as SAG-AFTRA has reached a deal with employers. Also, Meta seems to be intentionally preying on minors, an airplane had less windows that most would prefer, a robo-taxi company recalled their whole fleet, and a docked ship left its mark.

How About Carless Drivers?

Actors Strike Concludes

After 118 days of striking, the SAG-AFTRA president has officially called for the strike to end and for actors to return to work as a deal has been reached with the media corporations.

Highlights of the deal include wage increases, improved payouts for streaming shows, protections from exploitation from AI, and a whole bunch more.

The historic strike is the latest in a line of high profile strikes in the past few years which have resulted in major compensation and workplace quality improvements. There might be something to this whole "class solidarity" thing after all!

ZUCC Prefers Broken Teenagers

Meta (Facebook/Instagram) is in the midst of a massive lawsuit brought to them by 42 (!!) US State Attorneys General, alleging that Meta intentionally chose to continue exploiting young users vulnerabilities to make a buck.

Recent unsealed evidence shows that during internal communication about limiting features such as beauty filters on Instagram for children, Zuckerberg made a final call to ignore input from experts and his staff and instead keep the potentially dangerous features available.

Twisted beauty standards, dopamine addiction loops and self-worth evaluation by way of engagement are not particularly healthy things for developing minds, especially on a platform that uses algorithms to optimize usage time and maximize ad delivery.

"Welcome to Instagram, small child! You are ugly and unloved. Here's some ads about how you can fix that!"

If You Look Out The Window, You'll See…

No window, apparently!

An Airbus A321 commercial flight was flying at about 10,000 feet when passengers got ahold of the crew to point out the unusually loud and cold cabin. After some of the flight crew checked it out, they realized that some of the windows on the plane were broken, with the external panes flapping in the wind rather than, y'know, protecting the cabin.

Thankfully this was caught fairly early, in part due to the ear-shattering noise. Turns out those external windows do quite a lot of noise reduction.

You may calm your anxiety: the plane changed course, stopped climbing and landed uneventfully.

Upon investigation, it was found that this plane had been used in "a filming event" the day prior, where high powered lights had been shining on the cabin for hours. Presumably that caused some of the window adhesive to melt, causing the damage.

As the old adage goes: "don't film a plane for several hours with high powered lighting shining on the broadside of the cabin before using the plane for commercial service the next day, or you might have mechanical malfunctions with the exterior passenger windows!"

My grandfather used to tell me that all the time.

Robot Taxi Glitch Double Taps Pedestrian

Cruise, a fully automated robo-taxi company, has recalled their fleet of 950 driverless taxis after one of their cars ran over a pedestrian (who had already been hit by another car!) and then dragged them along the ground.

According to the safety recall report, 100% of the fleet is affected by a "software issue" which "characterized" hitting the pedestrian as a lateral collision, which influenced its next steps in attempting to handle an accident, prompting it to drive forward over the pedestrian and drag them.

This event comes after prior concerns were raised about Cruise's self driving cars being unable to recognize children and have previously had issues with crashing into emergency vehicles, running over active fire hoses and more.

Cruise says they have a software update to fix the whole "running over a person who just got hit by another car and then dragging them along the pavement" glitch.

I get it. I do. Self driving cars can seem appealing. Its also easy to say that this is just growing pains, and that once we equip every car with self driving tech, it'll all be good! Right? Nah, dawg. Emergency vehicles still exist. Animals still cross roads. Kids still chase balls out into the street. People still stage protests on highways. Roads are incredibly complex and messy, and while its easy to blame the human drivers for the danger on the roads, the reality is that roads are just dangerous. Cars are multi-ton metal contraptions propelled by fire and lightning. Humans are squishy meatbags with weird skeletons inside. One error in one car can cause immense damage. All it takes, human or otherwise, is a single actor to break down to impair an entire stretch of highway.

If we want automated infrastructure, there are far, far safer and cheaper options. Self driving cars are only such a lofty goal due to entrenched forces at play.

On This day…

On this day in 1944, the USS Mount Hood exploded while docked at Seedler Harbor.

The USS Mount Hood was an ammunition ship. Like, its whole purpose was to carry immense amounts of munitions for distribution. At the time of the disaster, she had about 3,800 tons of ammunition on board.

On the morning of November 10th, 1944, a group of 17 sailors from the ship were out collecting the mail. Walking along the beach over 4 kilometers away, the men were thrown to the ground by a massive shock wave, turning around to see a plume of smoke and wreckage where the ship once stood. Other vessels within a 2 kilometer radius of the Mount Hood were damaged or destroyed, with hundreds of lives of sailors claimed instantaneously.

Virtually nothing from the ship was salvaged, because there was virtually nothing to find. In the depths below where the ship was positioned, a massive underwater trench appeared, 300ft long and 40 feet deep. The largest piece of scrap recovered from the ship was just 16x10 feet, some metal from the hull.

According to investigative reports, the cause of the explosion essentially amounted to "the crew was careless with the ammunition," citing inexperienced crew, poor leadership and bad training…

…on a ship whose sole purpose is to carry thousands of tons of explosives…

…you do you, The Navy.

Here's the Weather

Source: VentuSky

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