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Reducing the Risk of Human Extinction 399

wiredog sends in a study from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Center For Biosecurity, assessing risks of human extinction and the costs of preventing it. "In this century a number of events could extinguish humanity. The probability of these events may be very low, but the expected value of preventing them could be high, as it represents the value of all future human lives."

Online Carpooling Service Fined In Canada 541

TechDirt is reporting on a disappointing development out of Canada. An Ontario transportation board has fined PickupPal, a Web-based service for arranging carpools, because a local bus company complained of the competition. (TechCrunch apparently first broke the story.) "[The transportation board has] established a bunch of draconian rules that any user in Ontario must follow if it uses the service — including no crossing of municipal boundaries — meaning the service is only good within any particular city's limits. It's better than being shut down completely, and the service can still operate elsewhere around the world, but this is yet another case where we see regulations, that are supposedly put in place to improve things for consumers, do the exact opposite."

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