mfioretti: safety*

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  1. According to a report from the Governors Highway Safety Association, the United States saw its largest annual increase in pedestrian fatalities since such record keeping began 40 years ago. "The association » estimated there were 6,000 pedestrian deaths in 2016, the highest number in more than 20 years," reports CNN. "Since 2010, pedestrian fatalities have grown at four times the rate of overall traffic deaths." From the report:
    The thing that has changed dramatically in recent years is smartphone use. The volume of wireless data used from 2014 to 2015 more than doubled, according to the Wireless Association. Drivers and pedestrians who are distracted by their smartphones are less likely to be aware of their surroundings, creating the potential for danger. The Governors Highway Safety Association looked at data from the first six months of 2016 that came from 50 state highway safety offices and the District of Columbia. The complete data will be available later this year. The findings come as traffic safety experts have called for totally eliminating deaths on roadways. Near-term solutions include designing roads and vehicles to be safer. Cutting down on speeding and drunk driving are obvious targets.
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  2. L’improvvisa accelerazione nel mercato della stampa 3D ha di fatto posto il mondo del diritto davanti ad alcune sfide giuridiche di non semplice soluzione. Il fenomeno del 3D printing sta infatti crescendo a dismisura, con il rischio che la rivoluzione dei makers sia ‘in-controllata’, con impatti negativi e rischi per tutta la filiera produttiva e per gli utenti finali. La stampa 3D ha messo in atto il c.d. processo di democratizzazione della manifatturizzazione, facendo entrare in crisi l’attuale sistema di proprietà intellettuale.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2017-02-08)
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  3. Under the law, anyone who refuses to hand over their phone would surrender their license, much like refusal to submit to a breath test is grounds for a license suspension.

    Should the bill pass, New York would be the first to deploy a so-called textalyzer, raising profound legal questions. Beyond the fact it’s not clear just how the device would work, the courts continue grappling with technologies the law cannot keep up with. Fighting distracted driving with technology borrowed from the fight against drunk driving may seem logical. But the complex privacy and technological questions involved are anything but.

    “Distracted driving is a significant concern, as much as significant concern as drunk driving,” says Mariko Hirose, a senior staff attorney at the New York Civil Liberties Union. “But that doesn’t mean the solutions are the same.”
    Tags: , , , by M. Fioretti (2016-05-02)
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  4. we finally got something that the bay has been missing for generations, which is public will for the cleaning.

    “Nobody wants to have guests at their house and show a dirty house. So if we’re not able to reach the target, we need to keep working until the last minute and make sure that the athletes can compete in safe waters, and we’ve been doing this.”

    That’s not a very encouraging statement, doubly so considering that independent testing done by the Associated Press suggested that the presence of viral pathogens in the water was a problem the IOC was failing to address.
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  5. In the UK, for model rocketry, there are no laws preventing model rocket launches (unless you launch from private land without permission - this is trespass). There are also no aviation laws preventing flight of model rocketry apart from the obvious case of not launching a model rocket within 5 miles of an airfield or airport.
    Tags: , , by M. Fioretti (2015-06-16)
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  6. The great promise of autonomous technology is that it will make getting around a whole hell of a lot safer. Robo-cars won’t get sleepy, angry, drunk, or distracted. That gives them a massive advantage over us carbon-based lifeforms, which is why automakers will begin offering cars with at least some autonomous tech within three to five years. Yes, there are problems to be solved. The companies pushing this transition have to perfect their hardware and software, and deal with messy regulations and insurance questions.

    Then, they have to convince consumers to surrender control. In that battle, at least, they’ve got plenty of ammunition. There is mounting evidence that letting humans do the driving isn’t the hottest idea, and this week saw two more studies they can add to the pile.

    On Tuesday, AT&T released research that underscores just how terrible we are at keeping our eyes on the road—a fundamental prerequisite for good driving.
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  7. a list of 10 reasons 3D printing hasn't quite caught on yet and what is holding the technology back
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  8. Another problem with maps is that once you make them, you have to keep them up to date, a challenge Google says it hasn't yet started working on. Considering all the traffic signals, stop signs, lane markings, and crosswalks that get added or removed every day throughout the country, keeping a gigantic database of maps current is vastly difficult. Safety is at stake here; Chris Urmson, director of the Google car team, told me that if the car came across a traffic signal not on its map, it could potentially run a red light, simply because it wouldn't know to look for the signal. Urmson added, however, that an unmapped traffic signal would be "very unlikely," because during the "time and construction" needed to build a traffic signal, there would be adequate opportunity to add it to the map.

    But not always. Scott Heydt, director of marketing at Horizon Signal Technologies, says his company routinely sets up its portable traffic signals at road construction sites. Frequently, they are simply towed to a site and turned on.
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  9. Departments of Interpol and Europol are beginning to crack down on gangs profiting off of a fairly new form of illegal activity: food fraud. Former drug dealers have hung up their dime bags and moved into the food counterfeiting game because, as it’s still in its nascent stages, legal consequences are almost negligible. The payoff for substituting cheap, low-quality, and often dangerous ingredients for certain in-demand foods and beverages far outweighs the risk — because that makes sense! Welcome to the modern food system; you must be new here.

    So there’s now a black market to create additional profits on food that’s already dirt-cheap, thanks to well-oiled industrial food production. Drug runners don’t need to have MBAs to realize that the risks of their old ventures (jail time, turf wars, dead customers) far outweigh those of the new (angry foodies).

    As reported by The Independent, some of these substitutions seem fairly benign: Spanish olive oil passed off as extra-virgin Italian; lower-proof alcohol masquerading as vodka; impostor tuna. But consider that the Spanish olives were washed in deodorant, the lower-proof alcohol was mixed with industrial solvent, and the tuna was mislabeled because its mystery-fish source couldn’t be traced … you can see where we’re going here.
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  10. if packers have been delighted by the increased output, workers’ rights advocates say that runaway production increases have also jeopardized safety. While employees have always experienced challenging conditions along the cut line, Darcy Tromanhauser, program director for Immigrants & Communities at the Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, warns that line speeds in meatpacking plants are now “dangerously fast.
    Tags: , , , , , , by M. Fioretti (2013-12-07)
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