[chbot] Drone Delivery Service

Charles Manning cdhmanning at gmail.com
Mon Oct 14 22:57:20 BST 2013

It is unfortunately not a matter of what you or I want or think is
reasonable. It is a matter of what a lawyer can contort into a case.

Many products performing useful tasks can never be completely safe to
everyone. A safe kitchen knife, box of matches, chainsaw or electricity
supply would be useless. Thank goodness these and many other products
reached society before the lawyers got so greedy. The legal system is out
there trying to find cases to try and can turn pretty much anything new
into a legal mess.

An extreme case of that is Therac25 which had a software bug during the
first 2 years of operation. This caused 6 known cases of overdose which
caused 3 deaths. Of course nobody writes about the thousands on lives that
the machines saved during that time because that is not newsworthy. Did the
company get lauded for saving thousands of lives? No, they got taken to the
cleaners for the three deaths.

Some people would argue that the Therac25 should have been better tested.
Maybe. But it is worth considering that the machines were saving dozens of
lives a day and delaying the release would have caused more deaths.
Applying the "common good" principle, any delays in the release should be

It is never a simple decision to make.

The same goes for, say, traction control technology. This might save
thousands of lives a year, but those don't make the news. One lock-up that
can be blamed for a death or injury will end up in court.

On Tue, Oct 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM, Volker Kuhlmann
<list0570 at paradise.net.nz>wrote:

> On Tue 15 Oct 2013 10:23:16 NZDT +1300, Charles Manning wrote:
> > It is an unfortunate attribute of society that new technologies can work
> > 99.9% of the time, but when things go wrong that 0.1% of the time, the
> > operators, designers, programmers, office cleaners and everyone else
> > remotely involved will end up being sued. No doubt the lawyers are
> > salivating...
> IMHO designers need to ensure their new technologies are safe to
> everyone if they are used, and should clearly ensure their copter rotors
> don't smash anyone's eye out. I don't have too many problems with making
> sure they take responsibility for that.
> And do you want more of someone creaming off the profits while leaving
> the problems for someone else to sort out and pay for?
> Volker
> --
> Volker Kuhlmann
> http://volker.dnsalias.net/     Please do not CC list postings to me.
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