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Submission + - Black Mesa: Source Actually Nearing Completion (blackmesasource.com)

slimjim8094 writes: Black Mesa the long-in-the-running total-conversion mod recreating Half-Life 1 for the Source engine, has been discussed on Slashdot before. At the time it was described as "nearing completion" and "confirmed out in 2009", but now they've given a date: September 14th. The first part of the game (through Lambda Core) is apparently what's being released now; it looks like they're still finishing up the Xen and some other stuff for later release. The soundtrack is available for download over at the official announcement on the forums.

Submission + - California to license self-driving cars (tgdaily.com)

DevotedSkeptic writes: "Californian senators have passed a bill that looks set to make the state the second in the US to approve self-driving cars on its roads.

The bill was passed unanimously by state senators, and now hits the desk of governor Jerry Brown, who's expected to sign it into law.

It calls on the California Department of Motor Vehicles to start developing standards and licensing procedures for autonomous vehicles.

"This bill would require the department to adopt safety standards and performance requirements to ensure the safe operation and testing of 'autonomous vehicles', as defined, on the public roads in this
state," it reads.

"The bill would permit autonomous vehicles to be operated or tested on the public roads in this state pending the adoption of safety standards and performance requirements that would be adopted
under this bill."

Until these standards are developed, though, it's unclear precisely under what conditions driverless cars will be allowed to operate. It's pretty certain that a driver will be required to sit behind the steering wheel at all times, as in Nevada.

Google's already been testing its autonomous vehicles on California roads for some time. In a recent blog post, engineering lead Chris Urmson said that the company's cars had now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing without a single accident.

Don't expect to be riding in a self-driving car any time soon, though.

"To provide the best experience we can, we’ll need to master snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations that many drivers encounter," says Urmson.

"As a next step, members of the self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs), for things like commuting to work. This is an important milestone, as it brings this technology one step closer to every commuter.""


Possible Treatment For Ebola 157

RedEaredSlider writes "Researchers at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have found a class of drugs that could provide treatment for Ebola and Marburg hemorrhagic fever. The new drugs are called 'antisense' compounds, and they allow the immune system to attack the viruses before they can do enough damage to kill the patient. Travis Warren, research scientist at USAMRIID, said while the work is still preliminary -— the drugs have been tested only on primates — the results are so far promising. In the case of Ebola, five of eight monkeys infected with the virus lived, and with Marburg, all survived. The drugs were developed as part of a program to deal with possible bioterrorist threats, in partnership with AVI Biopharma."

Quark! Quark! Beware the quantum duck!