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Comment the case for driverless cars everywhere? (Score 1) 97

So, if I get this right, those Google cars cause about 0.5 accidents per 1M miles? If so, that equates to about 1.5M traffic accidents per year in the US if you replaced every car with a driverless model (assuming all rates are constant, of course). If that seems like a big number, Americans currently drive about 3 trillion miles per year and get into about 5.5 million traffic accidents. If I did the math right, driverless cars will result in about 2/3 fewer accidents per year than we experience now. Should we all welcome our autonomous vehicle overlords now?

Submission + - As Big Data Comes to College, Officials Wrestle to Set New Ethical Norms (

jyosim writes: Colleges are increasingly awash in information and so-called clickstream data about their students — much of it ripe to be mined and analyzed. Data is becoming ubiquitous thanks to advances in analytics software, a slew of new personalized-learning and student-success companies, and course-management platforms that collect and analyze students’ online interactions. The promise is that colleges can use such data to improve retention and help students graduate.
But as more colleges experiment, they're facing complex questions about what to do with the findings the data-crunching reveals.
What, if anything, should students be told about the judgments institutions are making about them from the data footprints they’re leaving behind? Should companies be able to profit from that data? And should students have the right to opt out of being monitored?
Just as a new medical finding can create standards by which doctors provide care to their patients, does having such information establish a new standard of care for colleges?

Submission + - Feds Contemplate Bounty Program for Medical Devices (

chicksdaddy writes: The Security Ledger notes ( that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is considering a bug bounty program for medical devices and healthcare technology, modeled after the Department of Defense's recently launched Hack the Pentagon program. (

The Chief Privacy Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has made public statements that suggest HHS is considering a similar program.

Speaking at the Collaboration of Health IT Policy and Standards Committees meeting on June 23, Lucia Savage, chief privacy officer at HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said that the practice could show promise at HHS if it was scaled up to meet health care needs, Federal Times reported on June 23rd. (

"This is a struggle for devices as well,” she said. “You can’t hack something in the field, because what if the hacker disrupts the operation of the device. Similarly, health data and EHRs, we may not want to have the hacker accessing your live data because that might cause other problems relative to your obligation to keep that data confidential."

"Given that space and given the need to improve cybersecurity, is there something that ONC can do to improve that rate at which ethical hacking occurs in health care?” Savage wondered.

On June 17, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced preliminary results from the program, which invited some 1,400 vulnerability hunters to try their luck on DOD systems. In all, the DOD paid bounties for 138 vulnerabilities submitted by 250 researchers. In all, the DOD paid out $150,000 in bounties, with about half going to the hackers.

Submission + - Our balloons are safe! (

beschra writes: Scientists have discovered a large helium gas field in Tanzania.
With world supplies running out, the find is a "game-changer", say geologists at Durham and Oxford universities.

Using a new exploration approach, researchers found large quantities of helium within the Tanzanian East African Rift Valley.

Submission + - Judge rules No-Fly list unconstitutional

schwit1 writes: A federal judge ruled last week that the method by which the federal government places people on the no-fly list is inherently unconstitutional, and must either be changed, or cease.

Specifically, U.S. District Judge Anna Brown said the process doesn’t give Americans on the list an effective way to challenge their inclusion. The Oregonian reports: “In a 65-page opinion issued Tuesday Brown ordered the government to come up with a new way for the 13 plaintiffs to contest their inclusion on the list that prohibits them from flying in or through U.S. airspace. The government must provide notice to the plaintiffs that they are on the roster and give the reasons for their inclusion, Brown wrote. She also ordered that the government allow the plaintiffs to submit evidence to refute the government’s suspicions.

“The decision marks a big win for the plaintiffs, all U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and the American Civil Liberties Union, which argued the case on their behalf. The plaintiffs have all been denied boarding due to their placement on the list, they argue, despite never having been charged with a terrorism-related offense.”

Comment Re:RT OS for Reatime tasks (Score 1) 266

I completely agree with you, but this case isn't like a Da Vinci surgery robot crashing (or going haywire!) in the middle of the surgery. It's more like the camera/imaging equipment crash. Yeah, the cardiologist was probably pissed/confused and the OR techs and nurses were freaking out a bit, but I doubt the patient was in any actual direct danger from the crash. Any danger would indirect, such as prolonging the procedure and exposing the patient to more anesthetic, or rendering the procedure futile and they'd have to try it all over again the next day.

Disclaimer: It's been more than a few years since I've seen a cardiac cath.

Comment Re:"Granted ethical permission" (Score 1) 119

From the article:

"The ReAnima Project has just received approach from an Institutional Review Board at the National Institutes of Health in the US and in India, and the team plans to start recruiting patients immediately."

I'm not British, so maybe it's isn't a mistake but I think the word "approach" should have been "approval".

Basically, they got IRB approval for the study. They mention NIH, because the NIH's Office of Science Policy has rules and criteria for the formation of hospital's or university's IRB. I don't know the details of the study, but my guess is that local hospital where the trial is to take place gave approval. They mention NIH because it gives it an air legitimacy. I'm not saying this isn't a legit study, but I think all the NIH did was to approve the formation and composition of the IRB, not the actual study.

NIH Office of Science Policy:

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