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Transportation

Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb 239

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-hands dept.
Rick Zeman writes Wired has an interesting article on the possibility of selectable ethical choices in robotic autonomous cars. From the article: "The way this would work is one customer may set the car (which he paid for) to jealously value his life over all others; another user may prefer that the car values all lives the same and minimizes harm overall; yet another may want to minimize legal liability and costs for herself; and other settings are possible. Philosophically, this opens up an interesting debate about the oft-clashing ideas of morality vs. liability." Meanwhile, others are thinking about the potential large scale damage a robot car could do.

Lasrick writes Patrick Lin writes about a recent FBI report that warns of the use of robot cars as terrorist and criminal threats, calling the use of weaponized robot cars "game changing." Lin explores the many ways in which robot cars could be exploited for nefarious purposes, including the fear that they could help terrorist organizations based in the Middle East carry out attacks on US soil. "And earlier this year, jihadists were calling for more car bombs in America. Thus, popular concerns about car bombs seem all too real." But Lin isn't too worried about these threats, and points out that there are far easier ways for terrorists to wreak havoc in the US.

Comment: Pretty clever use of available I/O options (Score 4, Interesting) 25

by whyde (#47206463) Attached to: Security DVR + iNet + X10 = Easy Home Automation (Video)

I have to hand it to this individual for definitely thinking outside-the-box and hooking up three types of systems using interfaces you'd not expect to be used in this manner, and coming up with something which is (at least in his case) useful.

This was very gratifying to watch.

Stats

Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked 557

Posted by timothy
from the not-quite-as-advertised dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Forbes reported on Monday that The President of Russia's Council on Civil Society and Human Rights very briefly and supposedly by accident posted the actual results of the Crimean secession vote. According to the blog post, which has since been taken down, only 30% of Crimeans participated in the vote instead of the 83% participation officially advertised by Russia, and of that 30% only half voted for secession, which means that 15% of all Crimeans voted for secession rather than the 82% officially reported by Russia. There is no way for this claim to be verified as no foreign observers were allowed during the voting process. The vote is reportedly being conducted again during the 'May 11 referendum on the status of the so-called People's Republic of Donetsk.'" We've had a lot of discussion over the years about election methods and transparency; it would be interesting to hear from Ukranian readers in particular on this topic.
The Courts

Supreme Court Rules For Monsanto In Patent Case 579

Posted by samzenpus
from the all-your-seeds-are-belong-to-us dept.
Pigskin-Referee writes in with news of the Supreme Court's decision in a dispute between Monsanto and an Indiana farmer over patented seeds. "The Supreme Court has sustained Monsanto Co.'s claim that an Indiana farmer violated the company's patents on soybean seeds that are resistant to its weed-killer. The justices, in a unanimous vote Monday, rejected the farmer's argument that cheap soybeans he bought from a grain elevator are not covered by the Monsanto patents, even though most of them also were genetically modified to resist the company's Roundup herbicide. Justice Elena Kagan says a farmer who buys patented seeds must have the patent holder's permission. More than 90 percent of American soybean farms use Monsanto's 'Roundup Ready' seeds, which first came on the market in 1996."
Education

Alaskan Middle Schoolers Phish Their Teachers 215

Posted by timothy
from the deadliest-catch dept.
lukej writes "In Ketchikan, Alaska a small group of unidentified students gained access to school owned computers by using phishing techniques on their teachers. The then used the elevated access to remotely control their peers computers. Fortunately the school administrators seem to have a taken a realistic and pragmatic viewpoint of the situation, although no official punishment has yet been determined. '"Kids are being kids," (Principal) Robinson said, adding that he was surprised something like this had not already occurred. "They're going to try to do what they try to do. This time we found out about it."'" And no one got arrested.
Music

V&A Scraps Napalm Death Gig For Fear Decibel Levels Will Damage Sculptures 79

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the slaves-to-the-grind dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Victoria and Albert Museum has cancelled an 'experimental' concert by a death metal rock band amid fears that the high decibel levels could destroy some of its most treasured artefacts, including Ming vases and priceless sculptures. The British band planned to play inside a specially-constructed ceramic sculpture with the idea that the piece would explode under the force of hits such as Order of the Leech and Fear, Emptiness, Despair" I believe this "death metal rock" is known as "grindcore." Maybe they should book Manowar next.
Microsoft

Will Microsoft Sell Off Its Entertainment Division? 404

Posted by samzenpus
from the take-it-all dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Forbes analyst Adam Hartung has predicted that Microsoft will sell off its entertainment division, which includes Xbox, in the coming years. He even goes so far as to list Sony or Barnes & Noble as potential buyers. Lets forget how crazy this sounds for a moment and focus on the reasons why Hartung believes such a sale will happen. It basically comes down to Windows 8, and how poorly it is selling. Combine that with falling sales of PCs, the Surface RT tablet not doing so great, the era of more than one PC in the home disappearing, and Microsoft has a big problem. The problem not only stems from the PC market not growing, but because Microsoft relies so heavily on Windows and Office for revenue. With that in mind, Hartung believes Steve Ballmer will do anything and everything to save Windows, including ditching entertainment and therefore Xbox."

Comment: SCSI drive in a musical instrument (Score 1) 272

by whyde (#38343706) Attached to: The oldest hard drive I'm still using is ...

The oldest hard drive I'm still actively using holds patches and sample data in a keyboard--a little 200MB SCSI drive. I think it may eventually outlive the keyboard itself. At one point in time, the keyboard itself also had the largest RAM of any computer I owned, at a whopping 64MB. When I was driving it back and forth from college, the keyboard was insured for more than the car it was in.

Comment: Jeff Atwood had a good take on this (Score 1) 149

by whyde (#36924024) Attached to: Analyzing Long-Term SSD Failure Rates

Any thread on SSD failures should include a link to Jeff Atwood's blog entry on the topic:

I feel ethically and morally obligated to let you in on a dirty little secret I've discovered in the last two years of full time SSD ownership. Solid state hard drives fail. A lot. And not just any fail. I'm talking about catastrophic, oh-my-God-what-just-happened-to-all-my-data instant gigafail. It's not pretty.

Full post here: http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2011/05/the-hot-crazy-solid-state-drive-scale.html

Crazee Edeee, his prices are INSANE!!!

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