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New Privacy Threat: Automated Vehicle Occupancy Detection

Recent /. Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 6:18pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation is warning against a new potential privacy threat: cameras that look inside cars and try to identify how many people are inside. This technology is a natural combination of simpler ones that have existed for years: basic object recognition software and road-side cameras (red light cameras, speeding cameras, license plate readers — you name it). Of course, we can extrapolate just a bit further, and point out that as soon as the cameras have high enough resolution, they can start running face recognition algorithms on the images, and determine the identities of a vehicle's occupants. "The San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), a government umbrella group that develops transportation and public safety initiatives across the San Diego County region, estimates that 15% of drivers in High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes aren't supposed to be there. After coming up short with earlier experimental projects, the agency is now testing a brand new technology to crack down on carpool-lane scofflaws on the I-15 freeway. ... In short: the technology is looking at your image, the image of the people you're with, your location, and your license plate. (SANDAG told CBS the systems will not be storing license plate data during the trial phase and the system will, at least for now, automatically redact images of drivers and passengers. Xerox's software, however, allows police the option of using a weaker form of redaction that can be reversed on request.)"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Engineer's Lament -- Prioritizing Car Safety Issues

Recent /. Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 4:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Malcolm Gladwell has an article in The New Yorker about how automotive engineers handle issues of safety. There have been tons of car-related recalls lately, and even before that, we'd often hear about how some piece of engineering on a car was leading to a bunch of deaths. Sometimes it was a mistake, and sometimes it was an intentional design. But we hear about these issues through the lens of sensationalized media and public outrage — the engineers working on these problems understand better that it's how you drive that gets you into trouble far more than what you drive. For example, the Ford Pinto became infamous for catching fire in crashes back in the 1970s. Gladwell says, "That's a rare event—it happens once in every hundred crashes. In 1975-76, 1.9 per cent of all cars on the road were Pintos, and Pintos were involved in 1.9 per cent of all fatal fires. Let's try again. About fifteen per cent of fatal fires resulted from rear collisions. If we look just at that subset of the subset, Schwartz shows, we finally see a pattern. Pintos were involved in 4.1 per cent of all rear-collision fire fatalities—which is to say that they may have been as safe as or safer than other cars in most respects but less safe in this one. ... You and I would feel safer in a car that met the 301 standard. But the engineer, whose aim is to maximize safety within a series of material constraints, cannot be distracted by how you and I feel."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Holographic Principle Could Apply To Our Universe

Recent /. Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:39pm
New submitter citpyrc sends this news from the Vienna University of Technology: The "holographic principle" asserts that a mathematical description of the universe actually requires one fewer dimension than it seems. What we perceive as three dimensional may just be the image of two dimensional processes on a huge cosmic horizon. Up until now, this principle has only been studied in exotic spaces with negative curvature. This is interesting from a theoretical point of view, but such spaces are quite different from the space in our own universe. Results obtained by scientists at Vienna (abstract) now suggest that the holographic principle even holds in a flat spacetime, like ours.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Kerbal Space Program Version 1.0 Launches

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
The Kerbal Space Program Blog announces the release of Kerbal Space Program version 1.0, marking the official launch of the launch simulation. The update is now available on the KSP Store, Steam, and...

DiRT Rally Early Access

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
Codemasters is now offering the chance to get behind the wheel with DiRT Rally with the release of the off-road racing game on Steam Early Access. They show off the game in a new trailer, and dish...

Bethesda on Paid Skyrim Mods

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
The Bethesda Blog has their side of the story regarding the launch of paid mods on Steam for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, an announcement that has spurred considerable unhappiness in many circles....

Star Citizen Passes $80M; Accepting Subscription Contributions

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
The Roberts Space Industries Stretch Goals page shows that Star Citizen has now surpassed the $80 million mark by a good margin, with a rush of funding spurred by a MISC Hull Series Sale. They also...

FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward Benchmark

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
SQUARE ENIX now offers a benchmark to allow users to gauge their systems' readiness to play FINAL FANTASY XIV: Heavensward when the first expansion is released for the MMORPG on June 23rd. Word is: "T...

On Sale

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
Blackguards Franchise Bundle on Steam. Save 75%. Lords of Xulima on GOG.com. Save 40%.

Gatherings & Competitions

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
StarCraft II Ladder Update -- April 27, 2015.

Evening Previews

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void Beta: Balance Update Preview.

Evening Consolidation

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
Minecraft adds free female avatar to console versions. Call of Duty: Black Ops III is Now Available for Digital Pre-order on Xbox One. Project CARS - Pre Order Edition is Now Available for Digital...

Evening Mobilization

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
Only Fifth Of U.S. Apple Watches Shipped Over Launch Weekend, Says Data Firm. Thanks HARDOCP. ASUS Announces the ZenBook Pro UX501.

Evening Metaverse

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
Streaming music ?war? looming between Jay Z?s Tidal and Apple. Thanks HARDOCP.

Evening Tech Bits

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
Apple?s Q2 2015: iPhone 6 is still star of the show, iPads are still weak. How Long Will My Hard Drives Really Last? Thanks Neutronbeam.

Evening Safety Dance

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
Login Vulnerability Exposes SAP ASE Databases. Thanks j.c.f. Just-released WordPress 0day makes it easy to hijack millions of websites.

Evening Legal Briefs

Recent Blue's News Posts - Mon, 04/27/2015 - 3:16pm
Google to disarm trolls by buying patents before they become weapons. ESPN sues Verizon over customizable FiOS TV plan. Thanks HARDOCP. Microsoft phones infringe patents- U.S. International Trade...
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