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Vehl

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Member since: Wed Feb 25, 2009, 02:07 AM
Number of posts: 1,915

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Google puts a blind man behind the wheel of its self-driving car (video)


Sometimes it feels all too easy to succumb to cynicism when looking at the cutthroat competition in the tech world, but a new video from Google that demonstrates its self-driving car is more than enough to lead one's heart back to the optimism inherent in human technology. In the video, Google employees pick up Steve Mahan, a man who's lost 95 percent of his vision, and put him behind the wheel — and from the moment the car starts up to a gentle robotic voice that announces "auto driving," it's clear that this ride is going to be unlike any other you've seen. Steve explains how "you lose your timing in life, everything takes you much longer" — "there are some places that you cannot go, there are some things that you really cannot do." But it's clear that for Steve, who's able to order a drive-through burrito and pick up his dry cleaning, that this could be an utterly uplifting technology, and one more imminent than some could have imagined.

Google announced its self-driving car project back in 2010, and since then it says it has safely completed over 200,000 miles of computer-led driving. Others like BMW, Audi, Toyota, and university engineers are working on their own versions of computer-controlled driving systems, too. And with states like Nevada easing into the use of self-driving cars on public roads with recently approved regulations, the concept seems to be gaining legitimate traction in the public eye. Google says that it organized the test as a "technical experiment outside of our core research efforts," but that "it's also a promising look at what this kind of technology may one day deliver for society" — a promise that could one day allow those like Steve to experience the joy of driving, and more importantly, the dignity of self-determination in ways they never thought possible.

link
http://www.theverge.com/2012/3/29/2910196/google-self-driving-car-video

Video



Truly Amazing. This technology is much further along than I thought possible. Opens up a whole new world for the differently abled.


PS: When news about Google's self driving cars leaked to the press in 2010, a lot of "tech journalists" pooh poohed it, claiming that Google should just "focus" on what it does already..and should not invest in such different stuff. However this video clearly shows how wrong they were. Imagine a world where the disabled could do much more than they can do now.

Other stuff being worked on at Google's secret X labs include Space elevators (yep!) and Robots. One does not see other Companies invest in such far-out tech. They all do iterative development of existing tech and call it 'innovative", while Google is one of the very few companies which actually do bleeding edge research on technologies that might or might not bear fruit in the distant future. I mean come on...space elevators! how cool is that

An article about the Google X labs
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/14/technology/at-google-x-a-top-secret-lab-dreaming-up-the-future.html?pagewanted=all

Loose-lipped iPhones top the list of smartphones exploited by hacker

As a security professional who gets paid to hack into high-value networks, Mark Wuergler often gets a boost when his targets use smartphones, especially when the device happens to be an iPhone that regularly connects to Wi-Fi networks.

That's because the iPhone is the only smartphone he knows of that transmits to anyone within range the unique identifiers of the past three wireless access points the user has logged into. He can then use off-the-shelf hardware to passively retrieve the routers' MAC (media access control) addresses and look them up in databases such as Google Location Services and the Wireless Geographic Logging Engine. By allowing him to pinpoint the precise location of the wireless network, iPhones give him a quick leg-up when performing reconnaissance on prospective marks.

..
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The exposure of MAC addresses extends not only to iPhones, but to all Apple devices with Wi-Fi capabilities, he said. It means that whenever the wireless features are enabled and not connected to a network—for instance, during a brief encounter at a Starbucks—they broadcast the unique identifiers, and it's trivial for anyone nearby to record them.

Apple did not respond to our requests for comment for this article.

more here
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2012/03/loose-lipped-iphones-top-the-list-of-smartphones-exploited-by-hacker.ars?clicked=related_right


Screenshot of information gleaned from Apple products due to this flaw, by the Security analyst. Hackers have access to this information

[IMG][/IMG]


Edited to add: Right click and select "view image" to view a high-res version of the image.

Contact details
Called list.
images.
apps..everything is accessible to the hacker.


^^ So much for the "it just works" by the most "innovative" company. It just works ...by being the most insecure consumer device on market, according to the article. It takes special skill all right.....after all its not easy for a company to have this bug in ALL of its Wifi-capable devices.

This just underscores what non Apple users have been saying all along..that the claims that Apple products are more secure, more stable are flat out wrong, and do not have any statistics backing them up. People willingly pay hundreds if not thousands of $$$ more for stuff that is essentially no different(at times even less capable) from the other stuff out there.


on a related note

Study shows Ios more prone to crashes than Andorid.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomiogeron/2012/02/02/does-ios-crash-more-than-android-a-data-dive/

Apple "changes everything again"

[IMG][/IMG]


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