Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers

One Google car, in a test in 2009, couldn’t get through a four-way stop because its sensors kept waiting for other (human) drivers to stop completely and let it go. The human drivers kept inching forward, looking for the advantage — paralyzing Google’s robot.

It is not just a Google issue. Researchers in the fledgling field of autonomous vehicles say that one of the biggest challenges facing automated cars is blending them into a world in which humans don’t behave by the book.

via Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers – The New York Times.

Posted in Interesting | Comments Off

A Field Guide To Chicago NIMBYs

The origin of the term NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) is a little hazy, but is believed to have originated with the hazardous waste disposal industry in the middle of the last century.  The term spread as rapidly as its adherents did and evolved into what we have today in Chicago: FRUIT (Fear of Revitalization Urban Infill and Towers) and BANANAS (Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything).

And so, inspired by a recent article in L.A. Weekly, and not by the pearl-clutching dramatists of the West Loop, or the “I got mine, sucks to be you” crowd of Streeterville, we present a Field Guide to Chicago NIMBYs.

via A Field Guide To Chicago NIMBYs :: The Chicago Architecture Blog.

Posted in Architecture | Tagged , | Comments Off

No-fly list uses ‘predictive assessments’ instead of hard evidence, US admits

On Friday, the ACLU asked Judge Anna Brown to conduct her own review of the error rate in the government’s predictions modeling – a process the ACLU likens to the “pre-crime” of Philip K Dick’s science fiction.

“I believe this is the first case in which a court is being asked to review the basis for the government’s predictive model for blacklisting people who have never even been charged, let alone convicted, of a violent crime,” said ACLU attorney Hina Shamsi.

via No-fly list uses ‘predictive assessments’ instead of hard evidence, US admits | US news | The Guardian.

Posted in Current Events | Tagged , | Comments Off

There is no honeybee crisis

So no, there is no bee crisis. According to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization, worldwide bee populations have rebounded to a record high. The real crisis is the crisis of ideologically driven policy making – and for that there is, as yet, no cure.

via Good news: There is no honeybee crisis – The Globe and Mail.

Posted in Gardening | Comments Off

The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car

But we’re now driving enough — and getting hit enough — that we can start to make some assumptions about that real crashes-per-miles-driven rate; it’s looking higher than we thought. (Our cars, with safety drivers aboard, are now self-driving about 10,000 miles per week, which is about what a typical American adult drives in a year.) It’s particularly telling that we’re getting hit more often now that the majority of our driving is on surface streets rather than freeways; this is exactly where you’d expect a lot of minor, usually-unreported collisions to happen. Other drivers have hit us 14 times since the start of our project in 2009 (including 11 rear-enders), and not once has the self-driving car been the cause of the collision. Instead, the clear theme is human error and inattention. We’ll take all this as a signal that we’re starting to compare favorably with human drivers.

via The View from the Front Seat of the Google Self-Driving Car, Chapter 2 — Medium.

Posted in Science | Tagged | Comments Off