Google forced to add steering wheels to driverless car designs

The California department of motor vehicles has introduced new road safety rules, requiring all vehicles on its roads to have a steering wheel and brake pedal – including Google’s fleet of driverless cars.

Google will have to fit manual control devices to each of the cars in its test fleet of driverless vehicles before it can take them onto public roads in the tech giant’s home state.

Google unveiled its latest prototype for a button operated car in May this year, with a movie showing members of the public test driving one of the vehicles. The company said it would create a fleet of around 100 cars to test on the roads near its headquarters in Mountain View, California.

But California’s DMV has now announced new rules that will come into effect in mid-September, that say a driver must be able to take “immediate physical control” of a vehicle on public roads – meaning it has to have a steering wheel and brake and accelerator pads.

Google told the Wall Street Journal that it would comply with the rule by adding temporary devices, including a pedal system.

“With these additions, our safety drivers can test the self-driving features, while having the ability to take control of the vehicle if necessary,” said Google spokeswoman Courtney Hohne.

The company’s prototype cars had in-built sensors designed to detect objects up to two football-field lengths away in all directions, were operated with the push of a button and had a speed cap of 25 miles per hour.

But one of Google’s lead software engineers on the project revealed this week that the cars were now being programmed to exceed speed limits by up to 10 miles per hour.

Dmitri Dolgov told news agency Reuters that research had shown that it was safer to allow the cars to accelerate to keep up if surrounded by other vehicles that were speeding.

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Hans Christian Ørsted

Hans Christian Ørsted (Danish: [ˈhanˀs ˈkʰʁæsd̥jan ˈɶɐ̯sd̥ɛð]; often rendered Oersted in English; 14 August 1777 – 9 March 1851) was a Danish physicist and chemist who discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, an important aspect of electromagnetism. He shaped post-Kantian philosophy and advances in science throughout the late 19th century.[3]

In 1824, Ørsted founded Selskabet for Naturlærens Udbredelse (SNU), a society to disseminate knowledge of the natural sciences. He was also the founder of predecessor organizations which eventually became the Danish Meteorological Institute and the Danish Patent and Trademark Office. Ørsted was the first modern thinker to explicitly describe and name the thought experiment.

A leader of the so-called Danish Golden Age, Ørsted was a close friend of Hans Christian Andersen and the brother of politician and jurist Anders Sandøe Ørsted, who eventually served as Danish prime minister (1853–54).

The oersted (Oe), the cgs unit of magnetic H-field strength, is named after him.

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Julio Cortázar’s 100th Birthday

Julio Cortázar, born Jules Florencio Cortázar[1] (American Spanish: [ˈxuljo korˈtasar] ( listen); August 26, 1914 – February 12, 1984), was an Argentine novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Known as one of the founders of the Latin American Boom, Cortázar influenced an entire generation of Spanish-speaking readers and writers in the Americas and Europe. He has been called both a “modern master of the short story” and, by Carlos Fuentes, “the Simón Bolívar of the novel.”

Early life[edit]
Julio Cortázar was born on August 26, 1914, in Ixelles,[3] a borough of Brussels, Belgium. According to biographer Miguel Herráez, his parents, Julio José Cortázar and María Herminia Descotte, were Argentine citizens, and his father was attached to the Argentine diplomatic service in Belgium.[4]

At the time of Cortázar’s birth Belgium was occupied by the German troops of Kaiser Wilhelm II. After the irruption of German troops in Belgium, Cortázar and his family moved to Zürich where María Herminia’s parents, Victoria Gabel and Louis Descotte (a French National), were waiting in neutral territory. The family group spent the next two years in Switzerland, first in Zürich, then in Geneva, before moving for a short period to Barcelona. The Cortázars settled outside Buenos Aires by the end of 1919.[5]

Cortázar’s father deserted his wife when Julio was six, and the family had no further contact with him.[6] Cortázar spent most of his childhood in Banfield, a suburb south of Buenos Aires, with his mother and younger sister. The home in Banfield, with its back yard, was a source of inspiration for some of his stories.[7] Despite this, in a letter to Graciela M. de Solá on December 4, 1963, he described this period of his life as “full of servitude, excessive touchiness, terrible and frequent sadness.” He was a sickly child and spent much of his childhood in bed reading.[8] His mother, who spoke several languages and was a great reader herself, introduced her son to the works of Jules Verne, whom Cortázar admired for the rest of his life. In the magazine Plural (issue 44, Mexico City, May 1975) he wrote: “I spent my childhood in a haze full of goblins and elves, with a sense of space and time that was different from everybody else’s.”

Education and teaching career

Cortázar in his youth
Cortázar obtained a qualification as an elementary school teacher at the age of 18. He would later pursue higher education in philosophy and languages at the University of Buenos Aires, but left for financial reasons without receiving a degree.[9] According to biographer Montes-Bradley, Cortázar taught in at least two high schools in Buenos Aires Province, one in the city of Chivilcoy, the other in Bolivar. In 1938, using the pseudonym of Julio Denis, he self-published a volume of sonnets, Presencia,[10] which he later repudiated, saying in a 1977 interview for Spanish television that publishing it was his only transgression to the principle of not publishing any books until he was convinced that what was written in them was what he meant to say.[11] In 1944 he became professor of French literature at the National University of Cuyo in Mendoza, but he resigned the position in June 1946 due to political pressure from Peronists. He subsequently worked as a translator and as director of the Cámara Argentino del Libro, a trade organization.[12] In 1949 he published a play, Los Reyes (The Kings), based on the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur.

Years in France[edit]
In 1951, Cortázar emigrated to France, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life, though he traveled widely. From 1952 onwards, he worked intermittently for UNESCO as a translator. He wrote most of his major works in Paris or in Saignon in the south of France, where he also maintained a home. In later years he became actively engaged in opposing abuses of human rights in Latin America, and was a supporter of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua as well as Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution and Salvador Allende’s socialist government in Chile.[13]

Cortázar had three long-term romantic relationships with women. The first was with Aurora Bernárdez, an Argentine translator, whom he married in 1953. They separated in 1968[14] when he became involved with the Lithuanian writer, editor, translator, and filmmaker Ugnė Karvelis, whom he never formally married, and who reportedly stimulated Cortázar’s interest in politics,[15] although his political sensibilities had already been awakened by a visit to Cuba in 1963, the first of multiple trips that he would make to that country throughout the remainder of his life. He later married the Canadian writer Carol Dunlop. After Dunlop’s death in 1982, Aurora Bernárdez accompanied Cortázar during his final illness and, in accordance with his longstanding wishes, inherited the rights to all his works.[16][17]

He died in Paris in 1984 and is interred in the Cimetière de Montparnasse. The cause of his death was reported to be leukemia though some sources state that he died from AIDS as a result of receiving a blood transfusion.[18][19]

Marble grave stone with mementoes, flowers, notes and other small items placed on it.

Cortázar’s grave in Montparnasse, Paris
Cortázar wrote numerous short stories, collected in such volumes as Bestiario (1951), Final del juego (1956), and Las armas secretas (1959). In 1967, English translations by Paul Blackburn of stories selected from these volumes were published by Pantheon Books as End of the Game and Other Stories. Cortázar published four novels during his lifetime: Los premios (The Winners, 1960), Hopscotch (Rayuela, 1963), 62: A Model Kit (62 Modelo para Armar, 1968), and Libro de Manuel (A Manual for Manuel, 1973). Except for Los premios, which was translated by Elaine Kerrigan, these novels have been translated into English by Gregory Rabassa. Two other novels, El examen and Divertimiento, though written before 1960, only appeared posthumously.

The open-ended structure of Hopscotch, which invites the reader to choose between a linear and a non-linear mode of reading, has been praised by other Latin American writers, including José Lezama Lima, Giannina Braschi, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, and Mario Vargas Llosa.[citation needed] Cortázar’s use of interior monologue and stream of consciousness owes much to James Joyce[20] and other modernists,[citation needed] but his main influences were Surrealism,[21] the French Nouveau roman[citation needed] and the improvisatory aesthetic of jazz.[22] This last interest is reflected in the notable story “El perseguidor” (“The Pursuer”), which Cortázar based on the life of the bebop saxophonist Charlie Parker.[23]

Cortázar also published poetry, drama, and various works of non-fiction. In the 1960s, working with the artist José Silva, he created two almanac-books or libros-almanaque, La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos and Último Round, which combined various texts written by Cortázar with a photographs, engravings, and other illustrations, in the manner of the almanaques del mensajero that had been widely circulated in rural Argentina during his childhood.[24] One of his last works was a collaboration with Carol Dunlop, The Autonauts of the Cosmoroute, which relates, partly in mock-heroic style, the couple’s extended expedition along the autoroute from Paris to Marseille in a Volkswagen camper nicknamed Fafner. As a translator, he completed Spanish-language renderings of Robinson Crusoe, Marguerite Yourcenar’s novel Mémoires d’Hadrien, and the complete prose works of Edgar Allan Poe.[25]

Influence and legacy[edit]
Michelangelo Antonioni’s film Blowup (1966) was inspired by Cortázar’s story “Las babas del diablo,” which in turn was based on a photograph taken by Chilean photographer Sergio Larraín during a shoot outside of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.[26] Cortázar’s story “La autopista del sur” (“The Southern Thruway”) influenced another film of the 1960s, Jean-Luc Godard’s Week End (1967).[27] The filmmaker Manuel Antín has directed three films based on Cortázar stories, Cartas de mamá, Circe, and Intimidad de los parques.[28]

Chilean novelist Roberto Bolaño cited Cortázar as a key influence on his novel The Savage Detectives: “To say that I’m permanently indebted to the work of Borges and Cortázar is obvious.”[29]

Puerto Rican novelist Giannina Braschi used Cortázar’s story “Las babas del diablo” as a springboard for the chapter called “Blow-up” in her bilingual novel Yo-Yo Boing! (1998), which features scenes with Cortázar’s characters La Maga and Rocamadour.[30] Cortázar is mentioned and spoken highly of in Rabih Alameddine’s 1998 novel, Koolaids: The Art of War.

In Buenos Aires, a school, a public library, and a square in the Palermo neighborhood carry Cortázar’s name.

Presencia (1938)
Los reyes (1949)
El examen (1950, first published in 1985)
Bestiario (1951)
Final del juego (1956)
Las armas secretas (1959)
Los premios (The Winners) (1960)
Historias de cronopios y de famas (1962)
Rayuela (Hopscotch) (1963)
Todos los fuegos el fuego (1966)
Blow-up and Other Stories (1968); a compilation of stories from Bestiario, Final del juego, and Las armas secretas, in an English-language translation.
Around the Day in Eighty Worlds (La vuelta al día en ochenta mundos) (1967)
62: A Model Kit (62/modelo para armar) (1968)
Last Round (Último Round) (1969)
Prosa del Observatorio (1972)
Libro de Manuel (1973)
Octaedro (1974)
Fantomas contra los vampiros multinacionales (1975)
Alguien anda por ahí (1977)
Territorios (1978)
Un tal Lucas (1979)
Queremos tanto a Glenda (1980)
Deshoras (1982)
Autonauts of the Cosmoroute (Los autonautas de la cosmopista) (1983)
Nicaragua tan violentamente dulce (1983)
Divertimento (1986)
Diary of Andrés Fava (Diario de Andrés Fava) (1995)
Adiós Robinson (1995)
Save Twilight (1997)
Cartas (Three volumes, 2000; expanded version in five volumes, 2012)
Papeles inesperados (2009)
Cartas a los Jonquières (2010)

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Anders Jonas Ångström: Google doodles


Anders Jonas Ångström was born in Medelpad. He moved to and was educated at Uppsala University, where in 1839 he became docent in physics. In 1842 he went to theStockholm Observatory to gain experience in practical astronomical work, and the following year he was appointed keeper of the Uppsala Astronomical Observatory.

Becoming interested in terrestrial magnetism he made many observations of magnetic intensity and declination in various parts of Sweden, and was charged by the Stockholm Academy of Sciences with the task, not completed till shortly before his death, of working out the magnetic data obtained by the Swedish frigate “Eugenie” on her voyage around the world in 1851 to 1853.

In 1858, he succeeded Adolph Ferdinand Svanberg in the chair of physics at Uppsala. His most important work was concerned with the conduction of heat and withspectroscopy. In his optical researches, Optiska Undersökningar, presented to the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1853, he not only pointed out that the electric spark yields two superposed spectra, one from the metal of the electrode and the other from the gas in which it passes, but deduced from Leonhard Euler‘s theory of resonance that an incandescent gas emits luminous rays of the same refrangibility as those it can absorb. This statement, as Sir Edward Sabine remarked when awarding him the Rumford medal of the Royal Society in 1872, contains a fundamental principle of spectrum analysis, and though overlooked for a number of years it entitles him to rank as one of the founders of spectroscopy .

From 1861 onwards, he paid special attention to the solar spectrum. His combination of the spectroscope with photography for the study of the Solar System resulted in proving that the Sun‘s atmosphere containshydrogen, among other elements (1862), and in 1868 he published his great map of the normal solar spectrum in Recherches sur le spectre solaire, including detailed measurements of more than 1000 spectral lines, which long remained authoritative in questions of wavelength, although his measurements were inexact by one part in 7000 or 8000, owing to the metre he used as a standard being slightly too short.

He was the first, in 1867, to examine the spectrum of the aurora borealis, and detected and measured the characteristic bright line in its yellow-green region; but he was mistaken in supposing that this same line, which is often called by his name, is also to be seen in the zodiacal light.

He was elected a member of a number of learned societies, including the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1850, the Royal Society in 1870 and the Institut de France in 1873.

His son, Knut (1857–1910), was also a physicist.

He died in Uppsala on 21 June 1874.


The Ångström unit (1 Å = 10−10 m) with which the lengths on a scale of the wavelength of light or interatomic spacings in condensed matter is measured are named for him.[2] The unit is used in crystallography as well as spectroscopy.

The crater Ångström on the Moon is named in his honour.

One of the main building complexes of Uppsala University, the Ångström Laboratory, is named in his honour.

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Equinoccio de Otoño

Se denomina equinoccio al momento del año en que el Sol está situado en el plano del ecuador terrestre. Ese día y para un observador en el ecuador terrestre, el Sol alcanza el cenit (el punto más alto en el cielo con relación al observador, que se encuentra justo sobre su cabeza (90°) ). El paralelo de declinación del Sol y el ecuador celeste entonces coinciden. La palabra equinoccio proviene del latín aequinoctium y significa «noche igual».2

Ocurre dos veces por año: el 20 o 21 de marzo y el 22 o 23 de septiembre de cada año,3 épocas en que los dos polos terrestres se encuentran a una misma distancia del Sol, así la luz se proyecta por igual en ambos hemisferios.

En las fechas en que se producen los equinoccios, el día tiene una duración igual a la de la noche en todos los lugares de la Tierra. En el equinoccio sucede el cambio de estación anual contraria en cada hemisferio de la Tierra.

Google Doodles

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Project google (x) Wing

Last week Google revealed it has a secret drone delivery service in the works. Called Project Wing, it is the tech behemoth’s answer to another tech behemoth’s futuristic delivery service. Amazon’s Prime Air hopes to deliver 5-pound parcels, which make up more than 85 percent of its packages, via small unmanned aircraft flying 50 miles per hour to homeowners’ doors in 30 minutes.

The Google announcement comes as no surprise. When it acquired Nest this year, it became clear that Google wanted to make a big bet on the future of the connected home — meaning smart devices control the home. Now it’s taking that a step further and investing in smart devices that deliver goods to the home. Of course, there are first numerous legal hurdles to jump over, as the Federal Aviation Administration is attempting to tighten its grip on drone use. And Project Wing founder Nicholas Roy says in a video of test footage (below) that its drone product is years away. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos himself said in a now-famous 60 Minutes segment that drone delivery is five to seven years away at best, and more likely 10 to 15 years.

Already Hovering Around Homes and Building Sites

Homeowners and home professionals are already putting drones — and their attached high-definition cameras — to use with residential properties in a variety of ways. Professional photographers use drones to take aerial shots of homes and acreage for advertising and marketing materials. Architects use them to do site reconnaissance work for clients. And homeowners are taking them on as hobbies.

Martha Stewart has a drone. No, not a scone. A drone. The home-making doyenne recently took her thoughts to Time magazine’s website to explain just why she loves flying her drone so much. “Photographing my properties, a party, a hike in the mountains and a day at the beach,” she wrote of how she uses it. She’s even had drone shots taken of the expansive vegetable garden at her Bedford, New York, farm.

For the future of drone use around the home, the sky may be the limit. And with Amazon and now Google leading the charge, it appears it will be only a matter of time before drones around the home are an everyday thing.

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