By timothy from Slashdot's otherwise-would-have-been-huge-and-square-I-guess department
writes "Back in 2011, then-Google VP and now-Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer brainstormed with BMW to sketch out an idea she had for self-driving 'little bubbles' that could ease office commutes. Here's Mayer's pitch from a BMW film short: 'All I really need is a little bubble that drives itself and when it runs into something, it doesn't hurt that much...and...you know, like it doesn't actually take up that much fuel because it's so lightweight and it's good for the environment for that reason.' So, with Google's newly-built, steering wheel-less self-driving car being described as a 'tiny bubble-car', one wonders if Google CEO Larry Page's "Tiny Bubble Car" has its roots in Mayer's 'Little Bubble Car,' especially considering the striking similarity of Mayer's concept car sketch and Google's built vehicle."
Seems to me there's been plenty of concept art
(as well as actual tiny bubble-like cars
, even if they generallly have had steering wheels) for car designers to draw on.Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's orange-groves-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see department
After Seattleites objected
to the local police department's plan to deploy unmanned aircraft
, that plan was withdrawn
. Now, it seems, Seattle has found a willing recipient
for some of the drones that it no longer has use for: the Los Angeles Police Department. From the linked article: "The Draganflyer X6 aircraft, which resemble small helicopters, are each about 3 feet wide and equipped with a camera, video camera and infrared night-vision capabilities. In making the announcement, however, department officials were at pains to make it clear the LAPD doesn't intend to use the new hardware to keep watch from above over an unsuspecting public. If they're used at all, the remotely controlled aircraft will be called on only for "narrow and prescribed uses" that will be made clear to the public, the statement said."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's high-priority department
An anonymous reader writes "Peter Sunde was arrested today in a police raid in southern Sweden. The Pirate Bay co-founder was wanted by Interpol as he had yet to serve prison time for his involvement with the site. Sunde's arrest comes exactly eight years after the police raided the Pirate Bay servers, which marked the start of the criminal prosecution against the site's founders."
From the article: "While details are scarce at the moment, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reports that the arrest has been confirmed by the Swedish authorities.
According to Peter Althin, Sunde’s lawyer, the news means that his client will most likely be sent to prison to serve his 8-month sentence.
Sunde’s prison sentence was made final in 2012 after Sweden’s Supreme Court announced its decision not to grant leave to appeal in the long-running criminal case against the founders of The Pirate Bay."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's yes-please department
, SpaceX has unveiled its design for a 7-passenger space capsule
, intended for carrying astronauts to the International Station or other missions. Writes the L.A. Times: "SpaceX's Dragon V2 spacecraft looks like a sleek, modern-day version of the Apollo capsules that astronauts used in trips to the moon in the 1960s. Those capsules splashed down in the ocean and couldn't be reused. SpaceX builds its Dragon capsules and Falcon 9 rockets in a vast complex in Hawthorne, where fuselage sections for Boeing's 747 jumbo jets once were built. The company is expanding its complex, near Los Angeles International Airport, and has more than 3,000 employees."
NBC News offers more pictures and description of what conditions aboard the Dragon would be like
, while astronaut Chris Hadfield says that for all its good points, the Dragon won't eliminate the need for international cooperation in space
: "The United States cannot fly to the Space Station without Russia, and Russia can't fly to the Space Station without the United States. It's a wonderful thing to have. If you look at the whole life of the Space Station, think of all the tumult, with the fall of the Soviet Union, and the devaluation of the Ruble in 1998, and other countries backing out of it, the Columbia accident, which would have left us completely helpless if we hadn't had the international commitment. It's easy to have a one-month attention span, but that's just not how you build spaceships, or how you explore the rest of the universe."Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's don't-call-me-a-spammer-that-was-a-long-time-ago department
The EU's new rule (the result of a court case published May 13) requiring that online businesses remove on request information that is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant"
has struck a chord with more than 12,000 individuals
, a number that's rising fast. Other search engines, ISPs, and firms are sure to follow, but the most prominent reaction to the decision thus far, and one that will probably influence all the ones to come, is Google's implementation of an online form
that users can submit to request that information related to them be deleted. The Daily Mail reports that the EU ruling "has already been criticised after early indications that around 12 per cent of applications were related to paedophilia
. A further 30 per cent concern fraud and 20 per cent were about people's arrests or convictions"; we mentioned earlier this month one pedophile's request for anonymity
. As the First Post story linked above puts it, the requirement that sites scrub their data on request puts nternet companies in the position of having to interpret the court’s broad criteria for information meeting the mandate's definition of "forgettable," "as well as developing criteria for distinguishing public figures from private individuals." Do you favor opt-out permissions for reporting facts linked to individuals? What data or opinions about themselves should people not
be able to suppress? (Note: Google's form has this disclaimer: "We're working to finalize our implementation of removal requests under European data protection law as soon as possible. In the meantime, please fill out the form below and we will notify you when we start processing your request." That finalization may take some time, since there are 28 data-protection agencies across the EU to harmonize.)Read Replies (0)
By timothy from Slashdot's ironie-und-sarcasmus department
An anonymous reader, tongue in cheek, writes"Facebook, Twitter, et al are tools for terrorists planning to do whatever terrorists do, Germany's BND has discovered. Inevitably, real-time monitoring of these sites is necessary and urgently required [original, in German], not least because that Snowden chap has shown we're running behind the U.S. and UK. And Spain. And Italy. In short, it's a national emergency — 300 million euros, presto please — and if we do this smartly, we could even get a sense of what the population outside Germany thinks. And while we're at it, why not throw in automated enemy face recognition too — and biometry and-and a program to deform the faces of our own spies' selfies, so the enemy cannot google them. Time to invest in national security startups."Read Replies (0)