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The Senate Is About to Approve Commercial Sale of Self-Driving Cars (But Not Trucks)

You will soon be able to ride home from your local car dealership in a car that finds its way there unassisted while you nap or read. That reality came a whole lot closer this week, with bipartisan agreement in the Senate on legislation allowing self-driving cars to take the the roads. The law is expected to come up for vote in the near future, and pass.

The House passed similar legislation, also with bipartisan support, several weeks ago. That legislation allows car manufacturers to sell up to 25,000 autonomous vehicles the first year they offer them. That will go up to 100,000 cars a year if the self-driving cars prove as safe as human-driven ones. And that’s not all. The Trump administration also helped out recently by issuing voluntary safety guidelines for autonomous cars and at the same time requesting that states avoid writing laws or regulations governing self-driving cars and possibly hampering their introduction.

The senators who arrived at the self-driving deal note that autonomous cars appear to be safer than human-driven ones. “Ultimately, we expect adoption of self-driving vehicle technologies will save lives, improve mobility for people with disabilities, and create new jobs,” said Senators John Thune (R-S.D.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) in a joint statement. They may be right: When a Tesla owner died while his car was in Autopilot mode last summer, company founder Elon Musk pointed out that it was the first known Autopilot fatality in 130 million miles of driving, whereas there’s a human fatality for every 89 million miles of traditional driving.

But if cars with no one at the wheel will soon become a common sight, the same won’t be true of semi trucks. The Teamsters successfully lobbied for the House version of the bill to limit self-driving vehicles to 10,000 pounds or less. That could be a problem for the U.S. trucking industry, which was short an estimated 48,000 drivers at the end of 2015, a shortage that’s expected to grow to 175,000 over the next seven years. That will create enormous pressure to replace hard-to-find long-haul truck drivers with no-muss, no-fuss AI.

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We Really Need to Talk About That Get Out Ending

We Really Need to Talk About That Get Out Ending

It’s time to wade in a little deeper on @jordanpeele’s new movie. The post We Really Need to Talk About That Get Out Ending appeared first on WIRED.
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Here’s What the Last Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Trailer Revealed About the Villains and Their Plans

Last night was the premiere of the last trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy. A lot of stuff wasn’t new, but what was new was that our new villain explained herself. And Nebula got enough screentime to help us chart her path.

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2017 transformational technology trends no one is talking about

Cloud computing is not just about the technology, it is a paradigm shift. It presents new economic models that companies can use to provision IT and …
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The 13 Best Quotes About Silicon Valley & The People Who Live In It

Love it or hate it, Silicon Valley continues to be the home of innovation and insanity. Elon Musk, Temple Grandin et al. tell us why.


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Space Photos of the Week: Dying Star Insists on Being Dramatic About It

Space Photos of the Week: Dying Star Insists on Being Dramatic About It

Space photos of the week, September 18 — 24, 2016. The post Space Photos of the Week: Dying Star Insists on Being Dramatic About It appeared first on WIRED.
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EMC’s Hidden Gem – and Why No One Is Talking About It

EMC’s Hidden Gem - and Why No One Is Talking About It

There’s gold in them there hills. If the aforementioned sounds like one of those corny, tired statements we were using when writing about the emerging big data and Hadoop market nearly five years ago, it is.

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Cloud Chronicles: Why Care.com cares about the cloud

In the latest edition of Cloud Chronicles, Network World’s Brandon Butler visits the offices of Care.com, which runs almost its entire business via the cloud.


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Reddit change raises alarm about possible U.S. government spying

Reddit

(Reuters) – Digital privacy advocates and users of Reddit expressed their alarm on Friday over a change in the forum’s transparency report that suggested it may have been asked to give customer data to FBI investigators under a secretive government authority.

The annual report lists a variety of requests the site has received for information on users and for removal of content. On Thursday, Reddit deleted a paragraph known as a “warrant canary.”

The paragraph had said that Reddit had not been subject to national security letters, which are used by the FBI to conduct electronic surveillance without the need for court approval, or “any other classified request for user information.”

Privacy advocates have long contested the letters, saying they are not subject to sufficient judicial oversight or transparency safeguards.

Brett Max Kaufman, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said on Friday that authorities were possibly seeking the IP address, or an identifying number that corresponds to a specific computer, of an anonymous user on Reddit. Private messages between users could also be subject to search.

Reddit collects relatively little customer data that could be subject to a national security letter and useful for investigators, Kaufman said. Reddit does not require users to reveal their identities and stores less customer data overall compared to email or other social media such as Facebook, he said.

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who gave classified documents about U.S. spying to journalists in 2013, expressed concern on Twitter.

“Is dissent a threat to national security?” tweeted Snowden (@Snowden), whose leaks prompted a vigorous international debate about digital privacy and surveillance.

The leaks helped popularize the use of “warrant canaries” by tech firms eager to display resistance to government attempts to obtain access to user data.

“When you ask someone ‘Are you helping authorities in investigations?’ and they say ‘I’m not allowed to discuss that with you,’ I think the question has been answered,” wrote Reddit user khegiobridge.

National security letters are almost always accompanied by an open-ended gag order barring companies from disclosing the contents of the demand for customer data, making it difficult for firms to openly discuss how they handle the subpoenas.

That has led many companies to rely on somewhat vague warnings. Apple previously had a “warrant canary” but removed it in 2014.

“I’ve been advised not to say anything one way or the other,” Reddit Chief Executive Officer Steve Huffman, who goes by “spez” on the site, said in a thread discussing the change. “Even with the canaries, we’re treading a fine line.”

The FBI can use national security letters to compel Internet and telecommunications firms to hand over a wide range of customer data, including web browsing history and records of online purchases.

San Francisco-based Reddit did not respond to a request for comment. The Federal Bureau of Investigation did not respond to a request for comment.

National security letters have been available as a law enforcement tool since the 1970s, but their frequency and breadth expanded dramatically under the USA Patriot Act, which was passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by Islamist militants.

Several thousand of the letters are now issued by the FBI every year. At one point more than 50,000 such letters were issued annually.

In 2014, Twitter sued the U.S. Department of Justice on grounds that the restrictions placed on its ability to reveal information about government surveillance orders violates free speech rights. Reddit and others have filed friend of the court briefs in Twitter’s lawsuit.

(Reporting by Dustin Volz; Additional reporting by Amy Tennery, Anjali Athavaley and Melissa Fares in New York; editing by Frances Kerry and Grant McCool)

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The iPhone 6s outperforms the 2015 MacBook in some tests, which says a lot about the iPad Pro

iPhone 6S
Although the iPhone’s ‘s’ models aren’t normally as hype-worthy as the full version upgrades, one thing you can always expect out of them is top notch performance. This year’s iPhone 6s, however, has the special honor of being as powerful as one of Apple’s newest laptops, the 2015 MacBook. John Gruber from Daring Fireball benchmarked the iPhone 6S using Geerkbench 3, a multi-platform testing tool designed to measure overall computer performance. Needless to say, the results are impressive. The phone’s A9 chip can outperform or beat the $ 1300 1.1 Ghz MacBook, and nearly go head to head with the 1.3Ghz model: Test iPhone 6s…

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