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Transportation

Is Google CEO's "Tiny Bubble Car" Yahoo CEO's "Little Bubble Car"? 190

Posted by timothy
from the otherwise-would-have-been-huge-and-square-I-guess dept.
theodp (442580) writes "Back in 2011, then-Google VP and now-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer brainstormed with BMW to sketch out an idea she had for self-driving 'little bubbles' that could ease office commutes. Here's Mayer's pitch from a BMW film short: 'All I really need is a little bubble that drives itself and when it runs into something, it doesn't hurt that much...and...you know, like it doesn't actually take up that much fuel because it's so lightweight and it's good for the environment for that reason.' So, with Google's newly-built, steering wheel-less self-driving car being described as a 'tiny bubble-car', one wonders if Google CEO Larry Page's "Tiny Bubble Car" has its roots in Mayer's 'Little Bubble Car,' especially considering the striking similarity of Mayer's concept car sketch and Google's built vehicle." Seems to me there's been plenty of concept art (as well as actual tiny bubble-like cars, even if they generallly have had steering wheels) for car designers to draw on.
The Internet

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot 343

Posted by timothy
from the contortions-of-all-kinds dept.
lpress (707742) writes "At a recent conference, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts rationalized charging Netflix to deliver content by comparing Comcast to the Post Office, saying that Netflix pays to mail DVDs to its customers but now expects to be able to deliver the same content over the internet for free. He forgot to mention that the Post Office does not charge recipients for those DVDs. The underlying issue in this debate is who will invest in the Internet infrastructure that we badly need? Comcast has a disincentive to invest because, if things bog down, people will blame content providers like Netflix and the ISP will be able to charge the content provider for adequate service. If ISPs have insufficient incentive to invest in infrastructure, who will? Google? Telephone companies? Government (at all levels)? Premises owners?"

Comment: Obligitory Futurama Quotation (Score 1) 205

Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"

Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

Comment: Education Bottlenecks (Score 1) 433

by eieken (#39224787) Attached to: Science and Engineering Workforce Has Stalled In the US
I don't know how much of a problem this is in higher academia, but according to more articles like this

And the fact that prestigious universities such as this only accept a handful of students in computer science in a year, it's not surprising. One of the more surprising things is that UW received 40 million dollars from Paul Allen a while ago, and they used it to build a giant 40 million dollar new computer science building. But the number of students they accepted per year didn't change. Why is this? If you have lots of students who want to go there, why not use extra funds you have to expand the number of applications you can accept?

I dunno, I'm sure the downward trend of education spending all over our country isn't helping universities to expand the number of students they can accept either.

Comment: Re:Absolutely nothing. (Score 1) 415

by eieken (#35977986) Attached to: Supreme Court: AT&T Can Force Arbitration

This is exactly how I felt about a lot of recent "vigilantism", either online or in real life. It's too soul crushing for me to believe that there aren't great leaders out there who do understand human behavior. The idea that you need to treat the cause and not the symptoms seems lost on most people and that makes me sad.

Data Storage

Avoiding a Digital Dark Age 287

Posted by kdawson
from the you-must-remember-this dept.
al0ha writes to recommend a worthwhile piece up at American Scientist on the problems of archiving and data preservation in an age where all data are stored digitally. "It seems unavoidable that most of the data in our future will be digital, so it behooves us to understand how to manage and preserve digital data so we can avoid what some have called the 'digital dark age.' This is the idea — or fear! — that if we cannot learn to explicitly save our digital data, we will lose that data and, with it, the record that future generations might use to remember and understand us. ... Unlike the many venerable institutions that have for centuries refined their techniques for preserving analog data on clay, stone, ceramic or paper, we have no corresponding reservoir of historical wisdom to teach us how to save our digital data. That does not mean there is nothing to learn from the past, only that we must work a little harder to find it."

Comment: DMCA and Buy Something Else (Score 4, Insightful) 965

by eieken (#30972116) Attached to: Apple's Trend Away From Tinkering
What we should be doing is trying to get the DMCA overturned; It is the bane of the tinker. It's ironic because I'm guessing many of the people working on this stuff over at Apple got interested in computers because of the creativity they could express by hacking away at computers.

I should say though, that Apple is not the only company in town creating hardware, I mean honestly a lot of these articles seem to make some leap at some point about how Apple is representative of all hardware manufacturers, when I think that's just not true. They create some stylish products, people buy them, and then they miss out on hacking the hardware. If people really want the option to hack the hardware, don't buy this locked down crap. It's not like Apple is the only game in town, they live off this spotlight everyone creates for them. Just get that less stylish piece of hardware that offers tons of customization and hopefully at some point Apple will have to learn what they should be doing.
The Internet

Using the Internet To Subvert Democracy 202

Posted by kdawson
from the you-thought-diebold-was-bad dept.
david_adams writes "All the recent talk about various polls and elections being pranked or hijacked, serious and silly alike, prompted me to write an article about the technical realities behind online polling, and the political fallout of ever becoming subject to online voting for serious elections. Even if we were to be able to limit voting to legitimate, legal voters, the realities of social networking and the rise of Internet-based movements would dramatically alter the political landscape if online voting were to become commonplace."
The Courts

Kentucky Officials "Changed Votes At Voting Machines" 494

Posted by kdawson
from the smoking-gun dept.
The indispensible jamie found a report out of Kentucky of exactly the kind of shenanigans that voting-transparency advocates have been warning about: a circuit court judge, a county clerk, and election officials are among eight people indicted for gaming elections in 2002, 2004, and 2006. As described in the indictment (PDF), the election officials divvied up money intended to buy votes and then changed votes on the county's (popular, unverifiable) ES&S touch-screen voting systems, affecting the outcome of elections at the local, state, and federal levels.

Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.

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