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+ - 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."
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+ - Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
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 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 their 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."
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+ - C++14 Is Set In Stone

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Apart from minor editorial tweaks, the ISO C++14 standard can be considered completed. Implementations are already shipping by major suppliers. C++14 is mostly an incremental update over C++11 with some new features like function return type deduction, variable templates, binary literals, generic lambdas, and so on. The official C++14 specification release will arrive later in the year, but for now Wikipedia serves as a good overview of the feature set."

+ - Hackers Steal Data On 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Community Health Systems said the attack occurred in April and June of this year, but it wasn't until July that it determined the theft had taken place. Working with a computer security company, it determined the attack was carried out by a group based in China that used 'highly sophisticated malware' to attack its systems. The hackers got away with patient names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers of the 4.5 million people who were referred to or received services from doctors affiliated with the company in the last five years. The stolen data did not include patient credit card, medical or clinical information."
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+ - When Reporting On Piracy Becomes Ethically Irresponsible, If Not Illegal->

Submitted by sperlingreich
sperlingreich (1841352) writes "The leak of "Expendables 3" more than three weeks before its theatrical release made me question whether reporting on the news was the right thing to do.

Freedom of the press laws may "allow" media outlets and journalists to report on pirated titles without becoming financially culpable for a producer's losses, though doesn't such activity actually publicize the availability of specific content, thus increasing illegal downloading and ultimately the economic damage it causes?"

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+ - Feds: Red light camera firm paid for Chicago official's car, condo

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The former CEO of Redflex, a major red light camera vendor, and John Bills, former Managing Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Transportation, have been indicted on federal corruption charges stemming from a contract with the City of Chicago. According to the indictment, a friend of Bills was hired as a contractor and paid $2 million. Much of that money was then kicked back to Bills, who also got a Mercedes and a condominium via Redflex employees. The defendants are facing 23 counts including: mail fraud, wire fraud, and bribery. Each fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years."

+ - Fukushima's Biological Legacy-> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Scientists began gathering biological information only a few months after the disastrous 2011 meltdown of the Fukushima power plant in Japan. Results of these studies are now beginning to reveal serious biological effects of the Fukushima radiation on non-human organisms ranging from plants to butterflies to birds. A series of articles summarizing these studies has been published in the Journal of Heredity describing impacts ranging from population declines to genetic damage (abstract 1, abstract 2, abstract 3, abstract 4). Most importantly, these studies supply a baseline for future research on the effects of ionizing radiation exposure to the environment. Common to all of the published studies is the hypothesis that chronic (low-dose) exposure to ionizing radiation results in genetic damage and increased mutation rates in reproductive and non-reproductive cells."
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+ - Processors and the Limits of Physics->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "As our CPU cores have packed more and more transistors into increasingly tiny spaces, we've run into problems with power, heat, and diminishing returns. Chip manufacturers have been working around these problems, but at some point, we're going to run into hard physical limits that we can't sidestep. Igor Markov from the University of Michigan has published a paper in Nature (abstract) laying out the limits we'll soon have to face. "Markov focuses on two issues he sees as the largest limits: energy and communication. The power consumption issue comes from the fact that the amount of energy used by existing circuit technology does not shrink in a way that's proportional to their shrinking physical dimensions. The primary result of this issue has been that lots of effort has been put into making sure that parts of the chip get shut down when they're not in use. But at the rate this is happening, the majority of a chip will have to be kept inactive at any given time, creating what Markov terms 'dark silicon.' Power use is proportional to the chip's operating voltage, and transistors simply cannot operate below a 200 milli-Volt level. ... The energy use issue is related to communication, in that most of the physical volume of a chip, and most of its energy consumption, is spent getting different areas to communicate with each other or with the rest of the computer. Here, we really are pushing physical limits. Even if signals in the chip were moving at the speed of light, a chip running above 5GHz wouldn't be able to transmit information from one side of the chip to the other.""
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+ - Google protects undersea cables against potential shark attacks->

Submitted by brunes69
brunes69 (86786) writes "When you plan for the costs to span the entire Pacific Ocean with fibre optic communication cable, you need to account for a lot of different factors to ensure that cable will remain protected and intact. Google, for one, is apparently taking no chances with its cables, even going so far as to protect them against shark attack."
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+ - DARPA contemplates vast ocean network->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Probably one of the last and perhaps unforgiving areas of the world not truly “wired” is above and below the ocean. Researchers at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) want to explore the possibility of seriously changing that notion and develop what it calls “a system-of-systems architecture and critical components to support networked maritime operations, to include undersea, surface, and above surface domains.”"
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+ - Stem cell research breakthrough from transparent fish 1

Submitted by brindafella
brindafella (702231) writes "Australian scientists have accidentally made one of the most significant discoveries in stem cell research, by studying the transparent embryos of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The fish can be photographed and their development studied over time, and the movies can be played backwards, to track back from key developmental stages to find the stem cell basis for various traits of the fish. This fundamental research started by studying muscles, but the blood stem cell breakthrough was a bonus. They've found out how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), among the most important stem cells found in blood and bone marrow, is formed. The scientishs are based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. The research has been published in the Nature medical journal. This discovery could lead to the production of self-renewing stem cells in the lab to treat multiple blood disorders and diseases."

+ - Lucid Dreams may be better in solving problems->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "According to a study of University of Lincoln, UK, lucid dreamers have better problem-solving abilities

In the first empirical study on the subject, "Lucid Dreamers”, those who actually know they are dreaming while the dreams play out, exhibit better problem-solving abilities in their day-to-day lives

"It is believed that for dreamers to become lucid while asleep, they must see past the overwhelming reality of their dream state, and recognise that they are dreaming," said Patrick Bourke, senior lecturer at the Lincoln School of Psychology. "The same cognitive ability was found to be demonstrated while awake by a person's ability to think in a different way when it comes to solving problems"

For the study, the researchers observed the cognitive ability in 68 participants, aged between 18 and 25 years, who had experienced different levels of lucid dreaming, ranging from never to several times a month. The participants were asked to solve 30 problems intended to test their insight.The researchers said that each problem comprised of three words and a solution word. Each of the three words could be combined with the solution word to form a new compound word. For example, with the words 'sand', 'mile' and 'age', the linking word would be 'stone'

They found that frequent lucid dreamers solved 25 per cent more of the insight problems than non-lucid dreamers"

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