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Comment Re:Stray radiation (Score 1) 36

As far as I know, those machines usually use linear accelerators to provide the radiation beams, that means the technicians don't get exposed when they are inside the treatment room when the machine is not operational or being serviced. The dots in the screen look like laser dots to me, they wouldn't have the machine turned on with the door open, and in that picture there are violet dots as well.

Comment Re:Aaaaaaaaannnnnnd (Score 1) 106

But that was not a sensor issue or reliability problem, the sensors work perfectly fine, it is an extra piece of code that does the cheating. Besides, there were all the other articles where Bosch already claimed they alerted VW that the feature in question was to only be used as a test mode during development. I guess we'll wait and see.

Comment Aaaaaaaaannnnnnd (Score 1) 106

Another article without absolutely no additional information regarding either the VW scandal or self-driving cars.

"Sensor manufacturers, for instance, may be untruthful about their abilities or, more likely, reliability." Is the author implying that before VW's scandal everyone trusted their suppliers blindly?

Comment Nothing new on the article (Score 3, Insightful) 153

I think the explanation as to why diesel engines create more nitrogen oxides and how the EGR works was simple and on point, but the conclusion not so much. I drive a diesel myself, but it is a 2006 model, it doesn't have adblue injection, my exhaust system only has a catalytic converter and a particle filter (and an EGR, of course). Even though it is an old model, like most cars since then it has more than enough sensors to do what VW did: individual wheel speeds for the ABS, steering wheel angle for the ESC, multiple sunshine sensors, front and rear suspension angles for the headlight height control, multiple temperature and pressures sensors on both the intake and exhaust, multiple flow rate sensors, mass air flow sensors, multiple sensors in the cooling system etc.

That's why I find the article a bit thin on new information, I'm certain the embedded engineers at Bosch/Delphi/Siemens/etc. could have done that with far less information that a more modern car has.

Did they all knew about it? Probably. Did they made hardware efforts to cheat? I don't believe it yet, that's the point of cheating, "passing" the test without having to add new hardware, there is plenty of data that can tell you if the car is really moving or in a test chamber.

Comment Re:Don't learn from the past. (Score 1) 66

Mobile phones have very powerful magnets in their speakers and they don't usually cause problems like that, do they? Maybe they have very good mu-metal shields in the sepakers.

That is valid concern but, as far as I know, magnetic cards are mostly being replaced with smartcards or RFID, that might not be an issue in a couple of years. I've not used the magnetic stripes in my cards in a long time, the ICs are so cheap and functional that using smartcards or RFID instead of magnetic stripe is a no-brainer in most applications.

Comment Re:Mikrotik (Score 1) 427

Agreed, Mikrotik routers are awesome, you simply can't go wrong with them. They are also very cheap.

Out of curiosity, my last purchase for the office was an EdgeRouter from Ubiquity. It was a pain to configure, it took me a couple of hours to configure dual wan, but this thing is fast, really fast. 5 gigabit ports, all of them capable of delivering PoE (passive). It doesn't have wifi, though, but that's where the PoE comes in handy to power the AP. AFAIK there is no alternative firmware, though...

Submission + - Surgical Snakebots Are Real, And Heading For Humanity's Orifices ( 1

malachiorion writes: Last week marked the first use of a surgical snakebot—the Flex system, from MA-based Medrobotics—on living human beings. It wriggled down two patient's throats, to be specific, at a hospital in Belgium. That's neat, and could mean an interesting showdown-to-come between this snake-inspired robot (invented by a Carnegie Mellon roboticist), and the more widely-used da Vinci bot. But this is bigger than a business story. The next era in general surgery, which involves making a single small incision after entering the anus or vagina, instead of multiple punctures in the abdomen, might finally be feasible with this kind of bot. This is my analysis for Popular Science about why instrument-bearing snakebots wriggling into our orifices is a technology worth rooting for.

Comment Re:The actual technical fault. (Score 1) 865

This is the reason I oppose moving to a push-button system. We've already seen at least one person have an uncontrolled acceleration problem and not have a key to turn off. Push-button HAS to include an emergency cutoff switch. Requiring the user to hold in a button for several seconds to stop the engine is not acceptable.

There may be cars that are not like those I've seen with start/stop buttons, but from what I've seen I don't see any problem.

My car has a start/stop button, when driving above 5 or 10 km/h the button does not shut down the engine when pressed, and it is plausible that it could mechanically malfunction at some time. In any of these cases I can force the engine to stop by removing the electronic key from the slot, either by pressing the emergency release button or simply by ripping it off.

Other than keyless systems, all cars I've seen with start/stop buttons need the electronic key to be inserted in some kind of reader, and I would very surprised if those with keyless systems didn't have some simple way to stop the engine in case of emergency.

Submission + - Nasa's next Mars mission will join the interplanetary internet (

radioedit writes: When MAVEN arrives at Mars on 22 September 2014, the spacecraft will join up with the other seven nodes of Nasa's interplanetary internet, exchanging data with orbiters, rovers on the surface, and us back on Earth using delay-tolerant protocols. It's the latest part of Vint Cerf's mission to create a giant antenna array across the solar system that'll be able to receive signals by laser from Alpha Centaurii.

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