from the look-for-gridguide-coming-soon-from-saeder-krupp dept.
alecclews writes "The BBC is reporting on some German research to allow the exchange of information between road vehicles about travel conditions using peer to peer networking (I assume some sort of mesh). Cars or bikes experiencing problems would pass data that would ripple down the chain of vehicles behind them. 'For example, cars could spot oil on the road by combining temperature readings with wheel traction information. A wheel slipping on the road even though the temperature was not low enough for frost or ice would suggest oil or another slippery substance was present. Once a car detected this sort of danger, information about it would be generated and passed down the line of vehicles approaching the patch of oil.'"
Karrde712 writes "According to a study by the British government, as reported by the BBC, robots may some day improve to a level of intelligence where they might be able to demand rights, even 'robo-healthcare'." From the article: "The research was commissioned by the UK Office of Science and Innovation's Horizon Scanning Centre. The 246 summary papers, called the Sigma and Delta scans, were complied by futures researchers, Outsights-Ipsos Mori partnership and the US-based Institute for the Future (IFTF) ... The paper which addresses Robo-rights, titled Utopian dream or rise of the machines? examines the developments in artificial intelligence and how this may impact on law and politics." I'd better get started on my RoboAmerican studies degree.
from the winning-combination dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Times of London has an article on how Garry Kasparov, former world chess champion, is using his fame and intellect in an attempt to defeat President Putin at the presidential elections in March 2008. Kasparov believes that Putin is virtually a dictator who is dismantling democracy and returning Russia to an authoritarian regime. Some high-profile Putin critics, such as Alexander Litvinenko, have been the victims of unsolved murders, and Kasparov is aware of the dangers: 'I can calculate the possibilities as a chess player and I have to be honest and say that our chances are not high. But I take this as a moral duty, and when you do something out of moral duty, then who cares?'" From the article: "[Kasparov] will not be a contender for the presidency but [his political umbrella group] The Other Russia aims to create the conditions under which an anti-Putin candidate can win. It appears, however, to be an uneven contest against a man who enjoys 80 per cent approval ratings. Most Russians want Mr. Putin to overturn a constitutional bar on a third term in office. Many will back whomever Mr. Putin endorses to succeed him."
Wellington Grey writes "Author of the popular webcomic xkcd has put up a hand made map of the internet as today's comic. He also has an interesting blog entry detailing some of the work that went into it, such a pinging servers and creating a method of fractal mapping to display related regions as contiguous sections on the grid." The drawing is pretty damn impressive; somebody get on making that thing a giant wall poster so I can paper over Taco's office door.
from the holiday-weekend-is-starting-early dept.
TurboPatrol writes "CNET have published a list of the Top Ten Girl Geeks throughout history. The winners include the elegant Ada Byron (the world's first computer programmer), Grace Hopper (invented the compiler) and Lisa Simpson (invented the perpetual motion machine — well, in the world of cartoons). Some of the entries are fascinating, for example Marie Curie apparently used to carry plutonium in her jacket pockets. Have they missed anyone out?" At least two entries on the list are stupid. I guess someone thought they were funny.