Water Cooler (1/2/16) OPEN THREAD - Driverless Cars and Alabama Millionaires


We won the lottery. That must have been the thought when lawmakers passed the $1 Trillion-plus  omnibus last month.  Nothing like the promise of a whole lot of cash in your pocket to make you go a little crazy.  Since there’s a tiny chance you may similarly find yourself flush with lotto winnings, USA Today has several reminders to help you keep that cash longer. Mostly it’s lots of things not to do like:  “Become the Excessive High Roller; Let Your Debts Remain in Place; Buy Everything For Everyone and Give Away the While Enchilada”.  Those are really helpful tips. But my favorite was “Forget to wonder if the lottery you are playing is solvent and financially sound”.  Where was this list when Congress was working on that Omnibus?


Look, Up in the Sky! Yesterday on Dan’s Water Cooler I mentioned the skywriting which showed up at the end of the Rose Parade with the message ” America is Great. Trump is Disgusting”.  Today we find out who was behind it .  He’s an Alabama millionaire real estate developer and a [mc_name name=”Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)” chamber=”senate” mcid=”R000595″ ] supporter.  His name is Stan Pate and apparently he doesn’t plan to bring down the planes anytime soon. “This is not over,” Pate told CBS News. “This is just beginning.” All have been warned.  

This is Just Scary.  Washington State officials have confirmed more than 3000 convicted felons have gotten released early over the last 12 years because of …a computer glitch.  Any problems with that? Well, yeah actually. NPR notes a couple of issues were found just this week:

One convict has been charged with committing vehicular homicide after his early release; another is charged with first-degree murder.

Officials admit they’ll probably find more crimes have been committed by some of the early released inmates.


Glitchy Driverless Cars.  That whole thing with early released felons should give us a little pause when considering something as fantastical as chauffeurless vehicles. In case you’re wondering what the formula  for uh-oh is, this is it:  Computers = Glitches =Bad Things Happen. So it should come as no big shock if when you read this Wired article you discover I’m not totally embracing the whole idea of driverless cars.  Nevermind the fear someone could hack into your car’s computer while you’re in it and send you veering off to North Dakota while you really wanted to visit Louisiana. If we can’t safely handle hover boards and drones should we really be given a license to sit idly by in a driverless car? Also, are we still ticketed for talking on a cell phone in a driverless car?  Who is at fault in an accident me, my car, them or their driverless car?

Stock up now..for Easter? Because some stores are already lining their shelves with chocolate eggs they think we should get a head start on the next big holiday too.  No. No. Just no. Because the tree’s still up. There’s still champagne in the bottle. We haven’t even hit St. Patrick’s Day yet.


That’s it, I’m tapped out for today. If you found something interesting here and want to leave a comment you know where to do it. Water Coolers are always Open Threads so anything goes.  The comments section has been professionally decorated so you can leave breaking news or anything else you find interesting.



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