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Comment Re:human factor (Score 5, Informative) 273

I am currently enrolled in Sebastian Thrun's robot car course CS373. He's the Stanford professor and Google Fellow that headed the group that WON the DARPA Grand Challenge. My understanding, from taking this course, is that their self-driving car is not only able to navavigate to a goal-destination in unfamiliar territory (as in the Grand Challenge, which took place in a desert), but the car is able to identify urban obstacles: crosswalks, stop signs, traffic lights, and can also predict the motion of potential obstacles around it (i.e. cars and pedestrians). The robot car uses controllers with statistical models, so it is able to identify the probability of an obstacle entering the trajectory of the vehicle and respond accordingly -- slowing down like you would in that situation.

Watch some videos of the Stanford car.

Here's the class at Udacity if you're interested.

Submission + - DARPA: Reconstruct Shredded Docs, Win $50K USD (

ematic writes: The ability to reconstruct shredded documents will potentially yield information that may save lives or offer critical information about an adversary's plans. Currently, this process is much too slow and too labor-intensive, particularly if the documents are handwritten. We are looking to the Shredder Challenge to generate some leap-ahead thinking in this area.

The Shredder Challenge is composed of five separate problems. The overall prize awarded depends on the number and difficulty of problems solved.


Submission + - Windows Vista Encryption Review

CTilluma writes: "Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to provide content protection for so-called "premium content", typically HD data from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server)."

Submission + - UFO witnessed at O'Hare International Airport

An anonymous reader writes: A UFO had been witnessed yesterday by dozens of employees at the O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, the Chicago Tribune reports. From the article: "A flying saucerlike object hovered low over O'Hare International Airport for several minutes before bolting through thick clouds with such intense energy that it left an eerie hole in overcast skies, said some United Airlines employees who observed the phenomenon." The sighting occurred during daylight at 4:30 p.m. local time, just before sunset. "All the witnesses said the object was dark gray and well defined in the overcast skies. They said the craft, estimated by different accounts to be 6 feet to 24 feet in diameter, did not display any lights."

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