Khashishi writes: Slashdot has been following the story of Volkswagen manipulating diesel emissions tests for some time now. The control software contained algorithms which reduced emissions during testing but not during normal driving. Well, now Volkswagen has agreed to pay $10.2 billion to settle the case. This is higher than the $430 million damages estimated in this story. It appears that vehicle owners will have the choice of fixing their cars or selling them back. Most of the money will go towards fixing the cars, buying them back, and compensating owners.
Khashishi writes: Google was awarded a patent for putting a strong glue on the front of cars as a safety measure for pedestrians hit by cars. The glue keeps pedestrians from bouncing off and making "secondary collisions" with the ground or other cars. I'm not sure how it will affect aerodynamics or how it will deal with dirt.
Khashishi writes: "TAIPEI (Reuters) — Taiwan chip designer Elan Microelectronics is suing Apple in the United States for what is says is infringement of two of its touchscreen technology patents by the MacBook, iPhone and iPod Touch."
Khashishi writes: Seismologist Giampaolo Giuliani claims to have predicted the deadly earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy, that killed at least 92 people. His attempts at warning the public were reported to the authorities and his warnings were censored to prevent public panic.
It must be noted that accurate earthquake prediction is not well-established within the science community, so what is the government's proper response?
Khashishi writes: LA times and Associated Press report that the FCC v. Fox Television Stations case is being heard in the Supreme Court. The FCC policy would impose a heavy fine on use of "indecent" words on broadcast television, which Fox and others are claiming is a violation of free speech. The case was appealed after being ruled in Fox's favor in a federal appeals court in New York. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia support the FCC policy of censorship.
Khashishi writes: A pediatrician turns away service to a child's family because the parents have tattoos, claiming the right to refuse service. The Unruh act puts some restrictions on reasons for refusing service, disallowing refusal for such reasons as race, religion, creed, or disability. But do tattoos count?