Technology is at its best when it makes people’s lives better, and that’s precisely what we’re going for with our self-driving car project. We’re using advanced computer science to try and make driving safer and more enjoyable.
Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing. They’ve covered a wide range of traffic conditions, and there hasn’t been a single accident under computer control.
We’re encouraged by this progress, but there’s still a long road ahead. To provide the best experience we can, we’ll need to master snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations that many drivers encounter. As a next step, members of the self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs), for things like commuting to work. This is an important milestone, as it brings this technology one step closer to every commuter. One day we hope this capability will enable people to be more productive in their cars. For now, our team members will remain in the driver’s seats and will take back control if needed.
With each breakthrough we feel more optimistic about delivering this technology to people and dramatically improving their driving experience. We’ll see you on the road!
Source: Google – The self-driving car logs more miles on new wheels
Continue reading Google puts its self-driving cars to use as commuter vehicles
If you watch movies and TV shows streaming from Netflix on your PC or Mac you may have noticed that we have updated our Web video player. We’ve refreshed the look of the existing features and added some new functionality.
Some of the new features include:
- You can view season/episode information and change to the next episode when watching a TV show
- The size of the controls now scales, making it easier to use the player on large screens, for example if you connect your computer to your TV
- Similarly, the player will scale down to smaller windows, which is useful if you want to watch something while working in another window.
- Pausing the video now shows more information about the title
In our new player, we’ve consolidated controls into one line. We’re also using icons instead of words (see image below).
Perhaps the biggest change is to the ‘Back to Browse’ option, which used to sit at the bottom right of the old control bar. We’ve moved this up to the top of the screen and to the left. It’s now an arrow icon and text will explain its functionality when you hover over the arrow with your mouse.
via Netflix Blog
And, more detail from Janko Roettgers:
Additional episodes of a TV show can be previewed right from within the player, even in full-screen mode.
The player makes way for additional information, lightbox-style, when paused for a few seconds.
A ruling by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires tobacco companies to be transparent about the chemicals in their products. This hasn’t yet happened, despite all the warnings and labels on cigarettes, and it’s no wonder considering:
“Over 7,000 chemicals and chemical compounds are present in tobacco and the smoke that emanates from tobacco. A list of 93 HPHCs has been established by the FDA that tobacco companies will need to inform consumers about in their products sold throughout the country.”
The act, called the The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, requires “makers of tobacco products, as well as importers, to report what HPHCs (harmful and potentially harmful constituents) exist in their products or the smoke that comes from their products, by brand and sub-brand.”
“They will also have to back up any “reduced harm” claims with compelling proof, the Agency added.”
It will be interesting to see what the results of this are. I have smoked tobacco products sold in other countries, from Europe to the Caribbean, and noticed a vast difference in the quality. Not to mention a seemingly lower amount chemicals in them, meaning I cough less, have less aftertaste, and don’t get as addicted.
// Quotes from Medical News Today, thx to Amelia S.
Continue reading FDA ruling – cigarette makers must be transparent about chemical additives