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Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars In a Simulation 15

Posted by timothy
from the do-you-want-to-be-a-virtual-pedestrian? dept.
An anonymous reader writes Google has been testing its autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads for a while now. In fact, they're required to, by law. "California's regulations stipulate autonomous vehicles must be tested under "controlled conditions" that mimic real-world driving as closely as possible. Usually, that has meant a private test track or temporarily closed public road." It's easy enough to test a few prototypes, but whenever autonomous cars start being produced by manufacturers, it'll become a lot more complicated. Now, Google is lobbying to change that law to allow testing via computer simulation. Safety director Ron Medford said, "Computer simulations are actually more valuable, as they allow manufacturers to test their software under far more conditions and stresses than could possibly be achieved on a test track." Google spokeswoman Katelin Jabbari said, "In a few hours, we can test thousands upon thousands of scenarios which in terms of driving all over again might take decades." Shee adds that simulator data can also easily provide information on how human behavior creeps into driving. "It's not just about the physics of avoiding a crash. It's also about the emotional expectation of passengers and other drivers." For example, when one of Google's computer-controlled cars is cut off, the software brakes harder than it needs to, because this makes the passengers feel safer. Critics say relying heavily on simulation data is flawed because it doesn't take into account how other cars react to the computer's driving.
Censorship

Illinois University Restricts Access To Social Media, Online Political Content 23

Posted by timothy
from the teach-the-controversy dept.
onproton writes Northern Illinois University recently began restricting student access to web pages that contain "illegal or unethical" content which, according to University policy, includes resources used for "political activities...and the organization or participation in meetings, rallies and demonstrations." A student raised concerns after attempting to access the Wikipedia page for Westboro Baptist Church, and receiving a filter message informing him that his access of this page would likely violate the University's Acceptable Use Policy, along with a warning that "all violations would be reviewed." This has lead to questions about whether some policies that restrict student access to information are in the best interest of the primary goal of education.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1) 342

by phantomfive (#47733329) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

There might be some small albedo differences but without an atmosphere there would be little water so not much ice to affect that.

It would actually be a big albedo difference.

but I [guess] we could figure that out to better than 10 C too.

That's you're problem, you're speculating. Find out, like I did, instead of speculating.

+ - Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find Good Replacement Batteries?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "I have an old phone with a battery that barely works any more. My current phone's battery is mediocre — I can put up with it, but I've been thinking about getting a new one. My four-year-old ThinkPad holds less of a charge than I'd like, and less than it did when I bought it. In all these cases, the only thing holding me back from buying a new battery is that I'm not sure where to find a good one. Searching for my phone's battery on Amazon yields a dozen results, all fairly cheap. But which are reliable? They all seem to have varying reviews, ranging from "Perfect official factory replacement!" to "Garbage knock-off, worse than the battery I replaced." Part numbers don't seem to help, as the knock-offs replicate those pretty well. I ask you, Slashdot: where can I find a good replacement battery?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Google Wants To Test Driverless Cars in a Simulation->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Google has been testing its autonomous vehicles on U.S. roads for a while now. In fact, they're required to, by law. "California's regulations stipulate autonomous vehicles must be tested under "controlled conditions" that mimic real-world driving as closely as possible. Usually, that has meant a private test track or temporarily closed public road." It's easy enough to test a few prototypes, but whenever autonomous cars start being produced by manufacturers, it'll become a lot more complicated. Now, Google is lobbying to change that law to allow testing via computer simulation. Safety director Ron Medford said, "Computer simulations are actually more valuable, as they allow manufacturers to test their software under far more conditions and stresses than could possibly be achieved on a test track." Google spokeswoman Katelin Jabbari said, "In a few hours, we can test thousands upon thousands of scenarios which in terms of driving all over again might take decades." Shee adds that simulator data can also easily provide information on how human behavior creeps into driving. "It's not just about the physics of avoiding a crash. It's also about the emotional expectation of passengers and other drivers." For example, when one of Google's computer-controlled cars is cut off, the software brakes harder than it needs to, because this makes the passengers feel safer. Critics say relying heavily on simulation data is flawed because it doesn't take into account how other cars react to the computer's driving."
Link to Original Source
Google

Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the bet-you-wished-you'd-stuck-to-word-of-mouth dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Terrorist organization ISIS has been in the news a lot lately for their hostile activities in Iraq and Syria. They've also been very active online, posting propaganda and photos on various social networking sites to try to recruit more members. Frequently, they'll have pictures of themselves in nondescript locations — but even carefully selected images give clues to a real location. Citizen journalists at Bellingcat analyzed a group of these photos, comparing buildings and bridges in the background to images from Google Earth. With very little to go on, they were able to pinpoint the location of a terrorist training camp.

Google News Sci Tech: Western US Drought Causing Earth's Crust to Rise - Voice of America->

From feed by feedfeeder

Voice of America

Western US Drought Causing Earth's Crust to Rise
Voice of America
The major drought gripping the western United States is not only drying the landscape, it's causing the land to rise. Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California at San Diego used GPS data to determine the drought has...
GPS Discovers the West Is So Dry, It's RisingNBCNews.com
California Drought Has Resulted in Mountains Rising Another Half an Inch, New ... University Herald
Drought is causing Earth's crust to rise in the WestPort Huron Times Herald
WallStreet OTC-Los Angeles Times
all 180 news articles

Link to Original Source

+ - 'MythBusters' drop Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci 1

Submitted by rbrandis
rbrandis (735555) writes "In a video announcement Thursday on Discovery Channel, "MythBusters" hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman revealed that longtime co-hosts and fan favorites Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tory Belleci are no longer on the show.

"This next season we're going back to our origins with just Adam and me," Hyneman said in the video, which explained that the change took hold as of the season's last episode on August 21."

+ - U.S. University Restricts Network Access to Social Media, Political Content 1

Submitted by onproton
onproton (3434437) writes "Northern Illinois University recently began restricting student access to webpages that contain "illegal or unethical" content which, according to University policy, includes resources used for "political activities...and the organization or participation in meetings, rallies and demonstrations." A student raised concerns after attempting to access the Wikipedia page for Westboro Baptist Church, and receiving a filter message informing him that his access of this page would likely violate the University's Acceptable Use Policy, along with a warning that "all violations would be reviewed." This has lead to questions about whether some policies that restrict student access to information are in the best interest of the primary goal of education."
Biotech

A Better Way To Make Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Limbs 20

Posted by Soulskill
from the resistance-is-futile dept.
the_newsbeagle writes: To make a brain-machine interface, you need a way to capture neurons' electric signals. The most precise and most invasive way uses implants that are stuck in the gray matter. The least precise and least invasive way uses EEG sensors stuck to the scalp. But researchers at Johns Hopkins University say there's a third way that gets the best of both worlds, which is not too invasive and fairly precise. They use ECoG systems, in which a mesh of electrodes is placed under the skull, draped over the surface of the cortex.

They're testing their systems on epilepsy patients, who have these ECoG systems inserted anyway while they're waiting for surgery (the electrodes record the source of their seizures). The researchers are capturing these patients' movement commands from their brains, and using them to control robotic limbs. Someday such a system could be used by amputees to control their prosthetic limbs.

Comment: Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 1) 342

by phantomfive (#47731975) Attached to: Cause of Global Warming 'Hiatus' Found Deep In the Atlantic

The only source of heat on the Earth is the Sun with minor, rounding error level contributions from geothermal processes and human heat production

If you're going to talk about rounding errors, you ought to mention we can't accurately figure out how much warming the earth's atmosphere does to within 10 degrees Celsius. That is, if the earth didn't have an atmosphere at all, there is significant uncertainty in how warm the earth would be.

It is much easier to suggest solutions when you know nothing about the problem.

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