Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Coming Soon to a Road Near You (if you live in California)

Next year, autonomous cars without human drivers will be allowed on California roads.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles will allow autonomous cars without steering wheels, foot pedals, mirrors, and human drivers behind the wheel to be tested on its roads starting next year. The department released its revised regulations today governing the safe deployment of autonomous vehicles on public roads.

Read more at the Verge

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Struts Framework Problem led to Equifax Data Breach

Hackers gained access to millions of credit report holders' information via a known Java Struts vulnerability.

The credit reporting agency Equifax announced on Sept. 7 that hackers stole records containing personal information on up to 143 million American consumers. The hackers behind the attack, the company said, “exploited a U.S. website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files.” That vulnerability, according to a report on the data breach by William Baird & Co., was in a popular open-source software package called Apache Struts, which is a programming framework for building web applications in Java. Two vulnerabilities in Struts have been discovered so far in 2017.

The breach details can be found here...


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Some Legislative Movement on Autonomous Vehicles

Congress might be making progress on self-driving cars: a bill put forth addresses manufacturers seeking to test robot cars have to demonstrate self-driving cars are at least as safe as existing vehicles. States could still set rules on registration, licensing, liability, insurance, and safety, but not performance standards.

The U.S. House ... unanimously approved a sweeping proposal to speed the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls by putting federal regulators in the driver’s seat and barring states from blocking autonomous vehicles.

The House measure, the first significant federal legislation aimed at speeding self-driving cars to market, would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy up to 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year. The cap would rise over three years to 100,000 vehicles annually.


Friday, August 25, 2017

Are Worker-Owned Cooperatives an Economic Panacea?

Perhaps more employee ownership would improve the performance of companies?

Shareholder value maximization has many issues but the most important one is that it “drains” a large part of the profits from companies both because shareholders control the board of Directors and thereby dictate how the profits are redistributed (to their advantage), and also in a desperate attempt to retain shareholder. Given the ever increasing free flow of capitals, investors can shift their capital allocations continuously to seek the highest return on investment at the lowest risk. This “free market” environment encourages a “race to the bottom” and a skewed allocation of profits between dividend payouts, investments inside the company, and investment in human capital (working conditions, wages…) In an economic system which relies heavily on consumption as the main driver of growth, squeezing human capital investments is tantamount to suicide (and no, credit is no substitute for a decent pay).

Read the whole concept here...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Vikings Lead the Way -- Drone Delivery in Reykjavik

Iceland is never too cold to try new things -- a startup is offering deliveries via the air:

Drone logistics startup Flytrex has teamed up with Iceland's main online retailer, AHA, to launch a courier drone service in Reykjavik. Specifically, it's serving one part of Reykjavik -- robotic fliers carry food across a river in the city, cutting the delivery time from 25 minutes to 4.
Read more here...