An anonymous reader tips a story about comments from Ford Motor Company showing how confident they are in the autonomous car technology currently in development. They say self-driving cars will be here within just five years, and that the tech to do so is available already. They also think these cars will dramatically affect the flow of traffic. Quoting: "Ford makes this projection, based on simulator studies: If one in four cars has Traffic Jam Assist or similar self-driving technologies, travel times are reduced by 37.5% and delays are reduced by 20%. In other words, if the freeway part of your rush hour commute takes 60 minutes, it will drop to 38. That’s because adaptive cruise control (ACC) is better at pacing the car ahead without continual brake, speed-up, brake cycles. Here’s how it works: Stop-and-go ACC keeps pace with the car ahead, using a look-ahead radar and mirror-mounted camera. Lane keep assist keeps the car centered, also taking advantage of the camera in the mirror. Electric power steering is better for remote control than mechanical power steering; it can be guided by the Traffic Jam Assist black box. Sonar units — for blind spot detection and cross traffic alerts (cars crossing behind when backing) — monitor traffic to the side. Combine all those and you have a car that’s smart enough to guide itself during predictable, low-speed conditions."
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Nerval's Lobster writes "Tech writer David Strom starts a discussion about how you should go about securing virtual machines for your organization. 'The need to protect physical infrastructure is well known at this point: most enterprises would balk at a network without any firewalls, intrusion prevention devices or anti-virus scanners. Yet these devices aren’t as well deployed in the virtual context. ... Take firewalls, for example. The traditional firewalls from Checkpoint or Juniper aren’t designed to inspect and filter the vast amount of traffic originating from a hypervisor running, say, ten virtualized servers. Because VMs can start, stop, and move from hypervisor to hypervisor at the click of a button, protective features have to be able to handle these movements and activities with ease and not set off all sorts of alarms within an IT department.' He goes through the main functional areas that need protection, and points out that many vendors make it difficult to price out a given security plan."
coondoggie writes "Want to run a successful high-tech company? Don't drop out of college. The myth of the brilliant Ivy League student who starts a business in his dorm room, drops out of school, and goes on to run a successful high-tech start-up for many decades to come is essentially just that: a myth. Despite a few high-profile exceptions — such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates — the vast majority of CEOs running successful U.S. high-tech firms have college degrees, and more than half have at least one graduate degree."
An anonymous reader writes "Last week, a number of Cisco customers began reporting problems with three specific Linksys-branded routers. When owners of the E2700, E3500, are E4500 attempted to log in to their devices, they were asked to login/register using their 'Cisco Connect Cloud' account information. The story that's emerged from this unexpected "upgrade" is a perfect example of how buzzword fixation can lead to extremely poor decisions."
Once upon a time, it was easy to characterize Google’s domain and business model: they provided well-organized internet search results through a simple, friendly interface, and made money through targeted advertising. Over the years, the company has grown more complex even faster than has the — still admirably spare — Google home page, as it’s either assimilated or originated all kinds of adjuncts to pure search. The Nexus Q, as the company’s first-ever fully home-grown consumer electronics product (as opposed to Google-branded but jointly developed phones and tablets) shows just how far that path has led, and hints at cooler things to come. By default, though, the device is severely limited, intended basically as an overqualified gateway to content stored at Google’s Play media store, or at (Google-controlled) YouTube. And if that weren’t constrained enough, it requires another Android device (phone or tablet, say) as a remote control. The Q is equipped with impressive hardware internally, though, which might soon be exploited with software more flexible than that which comes loaded.
Tech writer David Strom offer this in-depth article on keeping your cloud costs suppressed. He writes: "Some cloud providers don’t make pricing available until you sign up for their service. Others hide pricing schedules behind complex formulae. And therein lies the challenge for an IT manager who wants to try to find the best-priced cloud: you have to read the fine print, and make sure you understand what is billable, how it is measured and priced, and when the meter starts (and stops) running. Let’s look at where you can get more precise cost information, as well as examine a few of the growing number of third-party comparison services that can help you get more control over your cloud costs."
dgharmon writes "The Command Line Interface has its uses, acknowledged Mobile Raptor blogger Roberto Lim, but no piece of technology targeted at the consumer market should ever require that something be done via CLI, he says. Keep it as an option or you can take it out all together. 'If it is there, it should just be there for the IT people or tech support to use when you encounter a problem.'"
snydeq writes "The Compute Engine announcement at Google I/O made it clear that Google intends to take Amazon EC2 head on. Michael Crandell, who has been testing out Compute Engine for some time now, divulges deeper insights into the nascent IaaS, which, although enticing, will have a long road ahead of it in eclipsing Amazon EC2. 'Even in this early stage, three major factors about Google Cloud stood out for Crandell. First was the way Google leveraged the use of its own private network to make its cloud resources uniformly accessible across the globe. ... Another key difference was boot times, which are both fast and consistent in Google's cloud. ... Third is encryption. Google offers at-rest encryption for all storage, whether it's local or attached over a network. 'Everything's automatically encrypted,' says Crandell, 'and it's encrypted outside the processing of the VM so there's no degradation of performance to get that feature.'"
CWmike writes "Microsoft will support full upgrades to Windows 8 only from the three-year old Windows 7, according to a report Thursday by ZDNet blogger Mary Jo Foley. Citing unnamed sources, Foley said that Microsoft has informed select partners of the upgrade paths to Windows 8. While Microsoft may be revealing upgrade paths to some partners, it has been much more reticent to keep customers informed than three years ago when it rolled out Windows 7. Among the details the company has not disclosed are the on-sale date and the pricing of the two retail editions. By this time in 2009, Microsoft had revealed both: On June 2 that year, it pegged a launch date for Windows 7, and by June 25 had not only posted prices for the operating system but had also kicked off a pre-sale that discounted upgrades by as much as 58%. The increased secrecy from the company was demonstrated best last week, when it unveiled its first-ever tablet, the Surface, but left many questions unanswered, including the price, sales date, and even the hardware's battery life."
thomst writes "Rob Coppinger of Space.com reports that UK-based private company Excalibur Almaz plans to offer commercial lunar-orbital tourist missions based on recycled Soviet-era Soyuz vehicle and Salyut space stations, using Hall Effect thrusters to power the ensemble from Earth orbit to the Moon and back. The company estimates ticket prices at $150 million per seat (with a 50% profit margin), and expects to sell about 30 of them. Excalibur Almaz has other big plans, too, including ISS crew transport, Lagrange Point scientific missions, and Lunar surface payload deliveries. It expects to launch its first tourist trip to the Moon in 2014."
darthcamaro writes "You don't really buy an open source company — since the tech is all open. But then again, Red Hat 'buys' open source companies all the time, they just bought one this week. So when does it makes sense for Red Hat to buy a company versus just building it on their own? Apparently, it all comes down to community. 'When you buy an open source company, if the people aren't coming and passionate about staying then you spend a lot of money for what? Because you don't get a lot of intellectual property,' Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said."
jfruh writes "The cashless future is one of those concepts that always seems to be just around the corner, but never quite gets here. There's been a lot of hype around Sweden going almost cashless, but most transactions there use easily traceable credit and debit cards. Bitcoin offers anonymity, but isn't backed by any government and has seen high-profile hacks and collapses in value. Could an experiment called MintChip brewing in Canada finally take us to cashless nirvana?"
lampsie writes "You may recall from back in January 2012 that the Irish government had deemed their stock of 7,000 e-voting machines 'worthless.' Turns out they are not — after spending upwards of €54 million purchasing them almost a decade ago, all 7,000 will now be scrapped for €70,000 (just over nine Euros each). The machines were scrapped because 'they could not be guaranteed to be safe from tampering [...] and they could not produce a printout so that votes/results could be double-checked.'"
First time accepted submitter Dslice_allstar writes "I have a '77 GMC Van that I would like to take into the 21st century with some good tech. I have several large LCD monitors, and I want to hook at least one up for watching movies and doing some mild PC gaming. I am concerned about power, i.e. using an inverter and not frying the computer every time the van starts/stops, and I'm worried about whether the alternator will support a computer/monitor setup as well as LEDs and the like. Would a UPC backup be a good idea? I would also like to be able to play music over the sound system, preferably off the computer. Should I be thinking mini ITX HTPC, or would a netbook better serve my purposes? How would you all pimp out an old conversion van?"
ericjones12398 writes "The effectiveness of television, as an advertising medium and as a return on investment (ROI), has been constantly questioned since the arrival of the 'digital marketing age.' Not surprisingly, those who are loudest with this concern are mainly high-tech technology companies that are either strong proponents of online advertising — like Google — and/or device hardware manufacturers — like Apple. These organizations hope to 'improve the user experience' by introducing proprietary technologies — usually their own — that can integrate within the existing television environment."