By EditorDavid from Slashdot's hands-on-the-wheel department
Long-time Slashdot reader Rei writes: Friday, the results of a study by the MIT Center for Transport and Logistics on autonomous system driver attentiveness were released, and the results were conclusive: "drivers do not appear to over-trust the system to a degree that results in significant functional vigilance degradation in their supervisory role of system operation".
The study, involving 323,384 miles driven (34,8% on autopilot) and 8682 "tricky situations" identified. Of the "tricky situations", 0% of incidents involved slow driver responses or missed detections; 4,5% rapid/timely responses; 90,6% anticipatory reaction (preventing the situation from occurring); and 4,9% "other". The study suggests that this is the result of two effects: 1) drivers effectively learn the limits of the system through usage; and 2) "tricky situations" are common enough so as to prevent excess trust by the driver in the system — creating the counterintuitive result that the better the systems become, the worse the driver may become.
While the study is limited by the age of the vehicles (under a quarter were even running HW2, vs HW3 which is being released now — and due to the length of the study, most of the miles were accumulated on older software versions), it offers positive conclusions — but also a precaution — about the integration of humans and driver assist systems. In other news, Tesla has announced an April 22 Autonomy Investor Day to showcase the capability of its development versions of the software in city driving, and has started rolling out stoplight detection, no-confirmation automated lane changes and exits, and a limited rollout of advanced summon (navigates through parking lots without a driver).Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's tricky-trends department
An anonymous reader quotes Forbes:
Tesla's stock dropped 8% Thursday on the news that Q1 deliveries fell 31% from the previous quarter. However, being a seasonal business, car companies usually compare their results against the same quarter from the previous year. On that basis, virtually all of the major car companies have said Q1 sales will be flat to 7% lower than last year. In contrast, Tesla's deliveries are up 110% from last year. From the one year perspective, Tesla is the only car company that is growing...
Yesterday's headlines which focused on the 31% decline are factually correct but misleading. Moreover, Tesla said that delays in deliveries to Europe and China caused "a large number of vehicle deliveries to shift to the second quarter. At the end of the first quarter, approximately 10,600 vehicles were in transit to customers globally..." Had Tesla managed the increased deliveries in Europe and China a little better, they might have come close to Wall Street's expectations.
On Friday, Tesla's stock bounced up 2.68%.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cities-of-the-future department
dmoberhaus writes: On Wednesday, the United Nations convened its first ever round table on floating cities. WIRED was in attendance to hear about one specific proposal -- Oceanix City -- the creation of a co-founder of Blue Frontiers, the for-profit wing of the Thiel-backed Seasteading Institute. This project, he says, is less about libertarianism and more about survival. It sounds like paradise, but many technological, economic, and political hurdles will have to be overcome before it's a reality. "Oceanix City was designed by the renowned Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, along with dozens of experts from institutions like the UN and MIT," Wired reports. "According to Ingels, who lives on a houseboat himself, residents of the floating city will use 100 percent renewable energy, eat only plant-based food, produce zero waste, and provide housing affordable to all, not just the rich." "At the core of Oceanix City is a 4.5-acre hexagonal floating platform that is meant to host up to 300 people," the report adds. "These platforms are modular, meaning they can be linked to form larger communities as they tessellate across the surface of the ocean. Each platform will be anchored to the ocean floor using biorock, a material that is harder than concrete and can be grown using minerals found in the ocean, which could make the anchor more secure over time. These anchors might also serve as the seeds of artificial reefs to rejuvenate aquatic ecosystems around the floating city." The community's needs and city's location will determine the design of each platform. For example, some could act as barriers to limit the impact of waves; while others could be dedicated to agriculture. Wired goes on to discuss the political and technological challenges associated with these floating cities. "The plan for the first Oceanix City is to moor it about a mile off the coast of a major city," reports Wired. "If one of these ocean-top communities were to get parked near New York City, for example, the floating community could be treated as a new borough, or a separate city under the jurisdiction of the state..."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's contrary-to-popular-belief department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Daily: Data from more than 17,000 teenagers show little evidence of a relationship between screen time and well-being in adolescents. The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, casts doubt on the widely accepted notion that spending time online, gaming, or watching TV, especially before bedtime, can damage young people's mental health. The research found that adolescents' total screen time per day had little impact on their mental health, both on weekends and weekdays. It also found that the use of digital screens 2 hours, 1 hour, or 30 minutes before bedtime didn't have clear associations with decreases in adolescent well-being, even though this is often taken as a fact by media reports and public debates.
Unlike other studies, the Oxford research analyzed data from Ireland, the US, and the UK to support its conclusions. The researchers used a rigorous methodology to gather how much time an adolescent spends on screens per day, including both self-reported measures and time-use diaries. This is important as many studies are based solely on self-reported digital technology use, even though recent work found only one third of participants give accurate accounts of how much time they spend online when asked after the fact. The researchers were also able to create a comprehensive picture of teens' well-being, examining measures of psychosocial functioning, depression symptoms, self-esteem, and mood, with data provided by both young people and their caregivers. Additionally, the final of the three studies conducted was preregistered, meaning that the researchers publicly documented the analyses they would run before they analyzed the data. This prevents hypothesizing after the results are known, a challenge for controversial research topics.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's history-lessons department
"BBC Culture reports on DJ Denniz Pop (born Dagge Volle), who couldn't sing, play an instrument, or write a song but could mathematically craft a song from stitching together electronically programmed sounds and beats," writes Slashdot reader dryriver. "Pop was the musical brains behind acts ranging from the Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, Ace Of Base to Britney Spears, and trained Max Martin who wrote 22 Billbooard #1 hits for the likes of Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Katy Perry, P!nk, Justin Timberlake, Ariana Grande and Maroon 5 using a technique called 'Melodic Math.'" From the report: In a basement in Stockholm's suburbs, Pop brought together an elite team of eight songwriters and producers for a new venture -- Cheiron Studios -- in 1992. Over the next eight years they would go on to sell hundreds of millions of records through the likes of Ace of Base, 5ive, Robyn, Boyzone, Backstreet Boys, Westlife, *NSYNC and Britney Spears. The secret of their songwriting success was to marry the melody to the beat, not work against it, and to have a big chorus. The team at Cheiron followed Pop's example, experimenting in clubs across the capital with up to a hundred different versions of each new track -- meticulously documenting the combinations of beats and melodies that made the club crowds go wild. Through these experiments, an entirely new genre of music blossomed, one that seemed tailor-made for the age of manufactured boybands and girl groups. Having grown up in socialist Sweden, Pop's approach to writing music was almost utilitarian. Like so many Swedish success stories -- IKEA, H&M, Volvo and Spotify -- the Cheiron team wanted their product to appeal to the maximum amount of people, which in a country with a population of only nine million meant focusing outside the nation's borders. Pop designed his music to reflect the lives of the people who bought more music than anyone else -- American teenagers -- at least as far as he understood them from his basement in faraway Stockholm.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's updated-estimates department
schwit1 shares a report from the New York Post: In the U.S., 5.8 million people are living with the debilitating condition, according to the Alzheimer's Association, and that number is projected to rise to nearly 14 million by 2050. Scientists at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota believe, however, that many more people are probably already living with it without having a formal diagnosis. They've been using brain imaging to give a definite answer as to how many people are affected. Tests on 2,500 people have shown that double the number of people have telltale signs of protein plaques and tangles in the brain -- markers of Alzheimer's disease -- even if they're not experiencing dementia. "The prevalence of Alzheimer's disease is all based on clinical assessment. It's just based on the question 'Do you have dementia?'" Dr. Jack Clifford, the Alexander Family professor of Alzheimer's disease research at the Mayo Clinic, told The Telegraph. "Classically defined Alzheimer's undercounts people who have the pathology but do not have symptoms. A lot more people have the disease but do not have symptoms, just like a lot more people have hypertension than have had a stroke, or a lot more people have diabetes than people who have gone blind."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's dude-chill department
Jackson Cosko, a former employee of Senator Maggie Hassan, has "admitted to breaking into Hassan's office after being fired, stealing data that included personal contact information, then posting that information online during Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing," reports The Verge. The report says Cosko added several senators' private phone numbers and addresses to Wikipedia. He has pleaded guilty to computer fraud, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and making restricted personal information public. From the report: Cosko worked as a computer system administrator for Hassan, but he was fired in May of 2018. According to a plea agreement, he retaliated by using another employee's key to break into his old workplace at least four times, installing keyloggers on computers and using stolen login credentials to download gigabytes of data. While watching the Supreme Court confirmation hearing in September, Cosko "became angry" at Republican senators questioning Kavanaugh -- so he posted contact information for Senators Lindsey Graham, Mike Lee, and Orrin Hatch on Wikipedia. Cosko was interning for US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee at the time, and his changes were flagged by a bot that detects Wikipedia edits from congressional computers. The bot inadvertently helped spread the senators' information across Twitter, a process that prosecutors say Cosko aided by tweeting about his leaks.
< article continued at Slashdot's dude-chill department
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's oh-you-don't-say department
A massive class-action lawsuit is accusing AT&T of lying to customers about DirecTV Now when it bought Time Warner. KCTV5 reprots: At the time, they promised customers and investors, they would be cutting prices for their streaming service called DirecTV Now. However, the lawsuit accuses the company of switching up TV packages, confusing customers by getting rid of the bundles it had been offering, charging higher prices for new types of bundles, and then bringing back the original bundles at a higher price. Investors were not happy about this because stock prices tanked. DirecTV Now was hemorrhaging customers, losing about 260,000 customers in December. "AT&T's registration statement 'touted yearly and quarterly growth trends... including quarterly subscriber gains in its DirecTV Now service sufficient to offset any decrease in traditional satellite DirecTV subscribers, such that AT&T was experiencing an ongoing trend of total video subscriber 'net additions,'" reports Ars Technica, citing a segment of the complaint.
"But in reality, 'DirecTV Now subscribers were leaving (i.e., not renewing) as soon as their promotional discount periods expired, while at the same time new potential DirecTV Now customers were unwilling to pay the higher prices and therefore not subscribing at all,' the complaint said. By the time AT&T bought Time Warner, 'AT&T's reported 'net additions' growth trend was already reversing into a severe 'net loss.' [T]he AT&T registration statement 'purported to warn of numerous risks that 'if' occurring 'may' or 'could' adversely affect the company while failing to disclose that these 'risks' had already materialized at the time of the acquisition,' the complaint said."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's it-all-works-out,-eventually department
Bare Bones Software this week announced the return of BBEdit, a popular text, code, and markup editor, to the Mac App Store after a nearly five year hiatus. Bare Bones Software: When the Mac App Store debuted in 2011, BBEdit was one of its first products available for sale. However, due to technical and business constraints we encountered in the store, we decided to withdraw BBEdit from the Mac App Store in 2014. Following BBEdit's exit from the Mac App Store, we had many conversations with our customers, and with Apple, regarding the issues that we had encountered with the store. In the spring of 2018, Bare Bones and Apple announced that, subsequent to the release of macOS Mojave (10.14) and the accompanying refresh of the Mac App Store, BBEdit would be returning to the store.
This was made possible by changes to the OS itself which allow Mac App Store versions of BBEdit to function to their fullest extent while complying with Mac App Store rules; as well as changes to the Mac App Store business mechanics which make it possible for us to distribute our software through the Mac App Store as part of a sustainable business model. A limited features version of BBEdit is free to download and use, while the suite with all the features is priced at $3.99 a month or $39.99 a year. BBEdit remains available on a perpetual license basis for $49.99 via Bare Bones Software's online store and at participating resellers. Further reading: The Old Guard of Mac Indy Apps Has Thrived For More Than 25 Years.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
The European Union Commission today accused BMW, Daimler, and Volkswagen Group (which makes VW, Audi, and Porsche vehicles) of colluding to limit emissions reduction technology in their diesel and gas vehicles. From a report: The commission accused the three manufacturers of coordinating to limit the size and refill ranges of AdBlue tanks on their diesel vehicles made between 2006 and 2014. AdBlue is a urea-based liquid that is injected into exhaust gas to reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides (NOx) that are released during diesel combustion. The commission also accused the three manufacturers of agreeing to avoid or delay the introduction of "Otto" particulate filters on gas-powered vehicles between 2009 and 2014.
After opening an investigation last September, the EU Commission today sent the three German automakers Statements of Objections, that is, a formal letter outlining the preliminary view that the manufacturers' behavior was illegal. "Such market behavior, if confirmed... would violate EU competition rules prohibiting cartel agreements to limit or control production, markets or technical development," an EU Commission press release read.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department
Samsung Electronics has started mass-producing its 5G chips, the company said. From a report: Among the company's new chip offerings is the Exynos Modem 5100, which contains a 5G multi-mode chipset; it is the same chipset that is used to power the Galaxy S10 5G, which became available for sale in South Korea as of Wednesday. The model, unveiled in August, is the world's first 5G modem to be compatible with the 3GPP's 5G New Radio (5G-NR) standard. Mass production for its single-chip radio frequency transceiver, the Exynos RF 5500, and supply modulator solution, the Exynos SM 5800, have also started, Samsung said. These technologies also power Samsung's flagship 5G phone. The Exynos RF 5500 has 14 receiver paths for download, 4x4 MIMO (Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output), and a higher-order 256 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) scheme for data transfer in 5G networks; and the Eyxnos SM5800 is 30% more power efficient than previous offerings.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
Remember when Netflix used to be a DVD-by-mail company? Well, for 2.7 million subscribers in the US, it still is. From a report: The familiar red envelopes have been arriving in customers' mailboxes since 1998 and helped earn the company a healthy $212 million profit last year. Why are so many people still using this old-school service in the age of streaming? There are a number of reasons. Streaming Netflix video requires a lot of bandwidth -- so much so that Netflix consumes 15% of all US internet bandwidth, according to a 2018 industry report. But many rural areas of the country remain without broadband access. The Federal Communications Commission estimates 24 million Americans fall on the wrong side of this digital divide. The US Postal Service, however, can reach every ZIP code with those red envelopes. One such customer is Dana Palmateer, who lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
"Streaming movies was a no-go, so I just went with the disc service that Netflix offers," she says. "As all of us are doing it in these parts." But Netflix also has plenty of DVD customers in urban areas who prefer the service for its convenience and selection of movies, spokeswoman Annie Jung says. "People assume that our customers must either be super seniors or folks that live in the boonies with no internet access," she says. "Actually, our biggest hot spots are the coasts, like the Bay Area and New York." In 2017, the number of people who subscribed to Netflix's DVD subscription was about 4 million.Read Replies (0)