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Transportation

Iowa Wants To Let You Carry Your Driver's License On Your Phone 232

An anonymous reader writes: The Iowa Department of Motor Vehicles is busily developing software that will allow users to store the information from their driver's license on their smartphone. It would also add features like a simple barcode to scan for information transfer, and two-factor authentication to access it. "At first thought, the idea seems rife with potential security and privacy issues. It is well known at this point that nothing is unhackable; and if a project is made on a government contracting schedule, the likelihood of a breach is only greater. ... Questions of security, however, must take into account context – and there, it can be argued that our current regimes of physical documents have been an enormous failure. Having every state choose their own approach for issuing IDs has led to patchwork regulations and glaring weak points in the system that criminals have repeatedly taken advantage of. Driver's licenses today are regularly forged, stolen, and compromised – it’s far from a secure situation."
Transportation

Facial Recognition Might Be Coming To Your Car 131

cartechboy writes What if you got into your car and you had to authenticate that it was you behind the wheel? That might be what's coming in the near future as Ford's working with Intel to bring facial recognition to the car. The idea would be to improve safety and in-car tech with this system which is being called Project Mobil. When someone enters a Project Mobil-equipped car the system uses front-facing cameras to authenticate the driver. If the driver can't be authenticated it'll send a photo to the vehicle owner's phone asking for permission for this person to drive the vehicle. Once identified, the car can then automatically adjust certain settings to the driver's preference. This could also theoretically allow parents to control how loud their kids listen to the music while driving, how fast they can drive, and even simply monitor them driving. Obviously this NSA-like surveillance tech is a bit creepy on some levels, but there could be a lot of terrific applications for it. While only an experiment, don't be surprised if your dashboard stares back at you eventually.
Cellphones

California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets 341

alphadogg writes "Politicians and law enforcement officials in California will introduce a bill on Friday that requires all smartphones and tablet PCs sold in the state be equipped with a digital 'kill-switch' that would make the devices useless if stolen. The bill is a response to a rise in thefts of portable electronics devices, often at knife or gunpoint, being seen across the state. Already half of all robberies in San Francisco and 75 percent of those in Oakland involve a mobile device and the number is rising in Los Angeles, according to police figures. The trend is the same in major cities across the U.S. and the California bill, if it passes, could usher in kill-switch technology nationwide if phone makers choose not to produce custom devices for California. California Senate bill 962 says all smartphones and tablet PCs sold from Jan. 1, 2015, should have 'a technological solution that can render the essential features of the device inoperable when the device is not in possession of the rightful owner.'"
Transportation

Government To Require Vehicle-to-vehicle Communication 390

An anonymous reader writes "For decades, the focus of auto safety has primarily been on surviving the traumatic impact of crashes through features like air bags and seat belts. But now the focus has shifted to avoiding crashes by developing technology to make future vehicles 'smart' enough to detect and respond to threats, such as an oncoming vehicle. The technology, known as 'vehicle-to-vehicle,' or "V2V," lets cars 'talk' to each other and exchange safety data, such as speed and position. If a nearby car abruptly changes lanes and moves into another car's blind spot, the car would be alerted. Federal transportation officials did not announce when the new regulations would go into effect but said they hope to propose the new V2V rules before President Barack Obama leaves office in January 2017." Combine this with remote kill-switches or pulse guns, Amber-alert scrolling signs, proliferating cameras, automatic plate recognition and unstoppable text messages from on high for some not-so-distant driving dystopia.
Transportation

Nissan's Autonomous Car Now Road Legal In Japan 205

Daniel_Stuckey writes "The current test vehicle uses what Nissan calls its 'Advanced Driver Assist System,' which isn't fully autonomous, but rather can be thought of as a really advanced cruise control system. According to the company, the system can keep a car in its own lane, while automatically changing lanes to pass slower vehicles or prepare to exit a freeway, which it can also do automatically. Along with that, the car automatically slows for congestion, and — most impressively in my opinion — can automatically stop at red lights. In other words, the car isn't fully automatic in that you can't simply type in a destination and have it do all the work, but the bulk of driving load is taken care of. Curiously, Nissan's goal appears to be to take sloppy human drivers out of the equation to eliminate road fatalities."
Transportation

NTSB Calls For Wireless Tech To Enable Vehicles To Talk To Each Other 153

Lucas123 writes "In the aftermath of a school bus accident last year, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) this week called for cars, trucks and buses to be equipped with machine-to-machine communications technology that could help vehicles avoid accidents by knowing what other vehicles are doing. In the bus accident, a Mack truck sped through an intersection slamming into the rear of the bus, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others. 'Systems such as connected vehicle technology could have provided an active warning to the school bus driver of the approaching truck as he began to cross the intersection,' the NTSB stated in its report. Among others, Intel is working with National Taiwan University on M2M technology that would allow vehicles the exchange of data, allowing each to know what's going on around them. 'We're even imagining that in the future cars would be able to ask other cars, "Hey, can I cut into your lane?" Then the other car would let you in,' said Jennifer Healey, a research scientist with Intel."
Data Storage

Boeing 787s To Create Half a Terabyte of Data Per Flight 213

Qedward writes "Virgin Atlantic is preparing for a significant increase in data as it embraces the Internet of Things, with a new fleet of highly connected planes each expected to create over half a terabyte of data per flight. IT director David Bulman said: 'The latest planes we are getting, the Boeing 787s, are incredibly connected. Literally every piece of that plane has an internet connection, from the engines, to the flaps, to the landing gear. If there is a problem with one of the engines we will know before it lands to make sure that we have the parts there. It is getting to the point where each different part of the plane is telling us what it is doing as the flight is going on. We can get upwards of half a terabyte of data from a single flight from all of the different devices which are internet connected.'"
Transportation

Nissan Develops Emergency Auto-Steering System 391

AmiMoJo writes "Japanese automaker Nissan Motor says it has developed a new technology to help drivers avoid collisions. A new computer system automatically steers the car to avoid colliding with objects in the road. The system relies on radar and laser scanners. It also uses a front-mounted camera to provide information on what's happening outside the car. The system first alerts the driver to turn in a certain direction. If the driver cannot immediately turn in that direction, the system takes over the steering to help avoid a collision."
The Military

A Peek At South Korea's Autonomous Robot Gun Turrets 298

cylonlover writes "If there's one place you don't want to be caught wandering around right now, it's the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. Especially since South Korean military hardware manufacturer DoDAMM used the recent Korea Robot World 2010 expo to display its new Super aEgis 2, an automated gun turret that can detect and lock onto human targets from kilometers away, day or night and in any weather conditions, and deliver some heavy firepower."
Windows

Microsoft Opens Source Code To KGB's Successor Agency 187

Jack Spine writes "Microsoft has struck a deal with the Russian government which will give the FSB, successor to the KGB, access to the source code for Windows 7, among other products. The agreement is an extension of Microsoft's Government Security Program, according to a source with links to the UK government."
HP

HP Gives Printers Email Addresses 325

Barence writes "HP is set to unveil a line of printers with their own email addresses, allowing people to print from devices such as smartphones and tablets. The addresses will allow users to email their documents or photos directly to their own — or someone else's — printer. It will also let people more easily share physical documents; rather than merely emailing links around, users can email a photo to a friend's printer. 'HP plans to offer a few of these new printers to consumers this month, and then a few more of the products to small businesses in September.'"
Transportation

Senate Votes To Replace Aviation Radar With GPS 457

plover writes "The US Senate on Monday passed by a 93-0 margin a bill that would implement the FAA's NextGen plan to replace aviation radar with GPS units. It will help pay for the upgrade by increasing aviation fuel taxes on private aircraft. It will require two inspections per year on foreign repair stations that work on US planes. And it will ban pilots from using personal electronics in the cockpit. This just needs to be reconciled with the House version and is expected to become law soon. This was discussed on Slashdot a few years ago."
Biotech

Scientists To Breed the Auroch From Extinction 277

ImNotARealPerson writes "Scientists in Italy are hoping to breed back from extinction the mighty auroch, a bovine species which has been extinct since 1627. The auroch weighed 2,200 pounds (1000kg) and its shoulders stood at 6'6". The beasts once roamed most of Asia and northern Africa. The animal was depicted in cave paintings and Julius Caesar described it as being a little less in size than an elephant. A member of the Consortium for Experimental Biotechnology suggests that 99% of the auroch's DNA can be recreated from genetic material found in surviving bone material. Wikipedia mentions that researchers in Poland are working on the same problem."
Biotech

Virus-Like Particles May Mean Speedier Flu Vaccines 80

We've been talking a lot lately about flu vaccines. Now an anonymous reader sends us to a Technology Review piece on two human trials involving so-called virus-like particle vaccines, which promise to be much faster to churn out than traditional vaccines. (Here's a single-page version but without the useful illustration.) VLP vaccines use a protein shell, grown in either plant or insect cells, that look just like real viruses to the body's immune system but that contain no influenza RNA genetic material. A company called Medicago grows its VLPs in transgenic tobacco plants, while another called Novavax uses "immortalized" cells taken from caterpillars. Providing they pass safety muster, both techniques should be able to produce an influenza vaccine more quickly than current methods, using just the DNA of the virus.
Power

MIT Building Batteries Using Viruses 98

thefickler writes "Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are now using viruses to build cathodes for Lithium-Ion batteries. Three years ago these same researchers found they could build an anode using viruses. Creating both the anode and cathode using viruses will make batteries easy to build. This nanoscale battery technology will allow batteries to be lightweight and to 'take the shape of their container' rather than creating containers for the batteries, which could open up new possibilities for car and electronics manufacturers."

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