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Comment: Re:How does it handle the unexpected? (Score 1) 506

by JigJag (#47765787) Attached to: California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

if it can stop at a red light by _looking_ at the lights, then it has a level of 1) vision 2) rules, and 3) "understanding" (in quotes since it's just an algorithm).

So if the road is blocked, the car will see it and adjust appropriately. If it's not in this revision of the code, it will be in an upcoming one.

As for the best ever use, here it is: you tell your car to drop you at the restaurant and go park kilometres away where parking is free. When done dinner, you text your car and it comes get you.

Medicine

How to Maintain Lab Safety While Making Viruses Deadlier 218

Posted by timothy
from the this-one-goes-to-11 dept.
Lasrick (2629253) writes "A scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison published an article in June revealing that he had taken genes from the deadly human 1918 Spanish Flu and inserted them into the H5N1 avian flu to make a new virus—one which was both far deadlier and far more capable of spreading than the original avian strain. In July it was revealed that the same scientist was conducting another study in which he genetically altered the 2009 strain of flu to enable it to evade immune responses, 'effectively making the human population defenseless against re-emergence.' In the U.S. alone, biosafety incidents involving pathogens happen more than twice per week. These 'gain-of-function' experiments are accidents waiting to happen, with the possibility of starting deadly pandemics that could kill millions. It isn't as if it hasn't happened before: in 2009, a group of Chinese scientists created a viral strain of flu virus that escaped the lab and created a pandemic, killing thousands of people. 'Against this backdrop, the growing use of gain-of-function approaches for research requires more careful examination. And the potential consequences keep getting more catastrophic.' This article explores the history of lab-created pandemics and outlines recommendations for a safer approach to this type of research."

Comment: Misleading title (Score 3, Informative) 160

by JigJag (#47556583) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites

Hey editors, the City of London Police is NOT the same as the London Police. To get a good understanding of the difference, please view The (secret) City of London, Part 1: History (less than 5 min) and then The (secret) City of London, Part 2: Government (less than 6 min).

JigJag

Comment: Re:So close, and yet... (Score 1) 118

[...] it's the Internet of whomever builds it

If only! But the reality is much different when you look at those laws that forbid municipalities from laying their own fibers or operating their own network. How many stories on Slashdot have we had about this issue already?

No, rather, it's the Internet of whomever greases the palms of lawmakers the best, at least in North-America (Canada included of course).

Comment: free tax for Canadians (Score 1) 386

by JigJag (#46757799) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

My taxes are very simple, so simple in fact, I was able to use TELEFILE (enter your taxes via telephone, it was amazing). For some unknown and probably stupid reason, the Canadian Revenue Agency decided to cancel this method, so I had to scramble to find a free alternative. Since I work on Linux, none of the software out there could help me out. Then I saw on the CRA website a list of certified NETFILE providers (enter your taxes online), and that's where I found simpletax.ca. A few questions, a few clicks, and done! Free to use regardless of income. They ask for donation at the end of the filing only if you have a return, so I ended up giving them $10 or so, since I really liked the simplicity. This year, they sent me ONE email, reminding me to do my taxes, with most of the relevant information pre-filled. Amazing!

Music

Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin 469

Posted by samzenpus
from the have-you-tried-the-gold-cables? dept.
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "If you know only one thing about violins, it is probably this: A 300-year-old Stradivarius supposedly possesses mysterious tonal qualities unmatched by modern instruments. However, even elite violinists cannot tell a Stradivarius from a top-quality modern violin, a new double-blind study suggests. Like the sound of coughing during the delicate second movement of Beethoven's violin concerto, the finding seems sure to annoy some people, especially dealers who broker the million-dollar sales of rare old Italian fiddles. But it may come as a relief to the many violinists who cannot afford such prices."

"What man has done, man can aspire to do." -- Jerry Pournelle, about space flight

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