How to swapkown with GYRT!

If all goes to plan, this will be the question that everyone is asking this week.  The problem with the plan is that no one has heard of GYRT before, and no one knows what swapkown means!

As usual, it’s all part of my master plan to force you to seek help when you need it. What most people do when they run into a problem is give up. But in order to learn how to code, you need to have a different mindest. You have to see instructions to swapkown your keyboard with GYRT, and you have to simultaneously realize that you have no idea what that means or how to do it, but also believe that you have the power to figure it out.

In other words, regular people see an instruction to perform a swapkown on your GYRT and they think “I have no idea how to do that.” Coders see that same instruction, and they think “I have no idea how to do that… YET!” And then they figure it out!

So how can you figure it out? You can ask your friends on Slack. You can ask the massive distributed artificial intelligence in your pocket. You could form a question on Stack Overflow. Any of those things will hopefully get you an answer pretty quickly.

So after that preface, what’s the actual answer? The answer is here: swapkown.

autonomous intersections

Here’s my idea. You take the brain of a Tesla Model 3 and all of the associated autopilot sensors and you install it in one or more intersections. Maybe you add some extra sensors to other locations so it has expanded awareness about traffic which is approaching the intersection.

Then you can do a few cool things.

First, you could have the intersection intelligently direct traffic for optimum flow and minimum wasted energy. It would be aware of not only nearby vehicles, but pedestrians and random obstacles–anything that an autonomous car could be aware of. Think about how many times you’ve stopped at a red light when you didn’t need to, or when if the light had stayed green for just two seconds longer you wouldn’t have had to stop and no other cars would have been seriously inconvenienced. Over the course of a year, a single intersection like this would save thousands of person-hours and many tons of CO2.

You could also have the intersection broadcast the info it has gathered over a V2V network. This would give all nearby autonomous cars additional information which would not only make them safer. The autonomous intersection would have better info than an autonomous car because it has the aditional power of being in control of a finite area with relatively fixed context. That would enable it to be more intelligent about stuff like large non-moving obstacles that might suddenly appear in a roadway. Autonomous cars have a hard time knowing if a big non-moving rectangle is a dangerous road hazard or an innocuous sign.

It would intelligently route traffic to easily allow emergency vehicles through with a minimal disruption of surrounding traffic. It could also prioritize mass transit vehicles like busses, which would reduce the time it takes to get places on a bus and make them a more attractive and feasible option for commuters.

The more of these autonomous intersections you add, the more intelligent and efficient they become. Two adjacent intersections could share knowledge to expand their reach in smoothing out traffic flow. A whole city could optimize traffic on a massive scale. A city-wide grid of these would also be able to provide traffic information to cars and route-planning software that would allow trips to predict with high accuracy when and where traffic would form in the future and route around it.

A city like this would also be able to solve some of the expense issues with lidar on autonomous cars. Lidar scanners are super expensive, which is why Tesla has gone the route of creating an autonomous system that doesn’t use them. But while visual-only autonomy can absolutely be superhuman, lidar provides unquestionably more precise and accurate information about moving objects in a 3D space, especially in dense urban areas with many types of moving vehicles, pedestrians and objects, particularly in intersections. So instead of installing one lidar for every single vehicle in a city, you could have one lidar installed at each intersection, which would make all autonomous cars safer in the city while saving the expense.

Three Pointing Back

We should be critical of others and three times  more critical of ourselves, because it’s ten times harder to see your own flaws than it is to see the flaws in someone else.

Firefox Developer Edition

Firefox just came out with a developer edition of their browser.

You can install it parallel to your existing Firefox installation. Has a ton of cool features for developers built right in, and is kept up to date on the “aurora” channel so you can test with all the newest features currently in development months before they come out on the standard release channel.

More info here and here, and a video here.


I think of a Chef as a sensitive guy
Cutting onions makes him happy, but it also makes him cry.