US endorses self-driving cars, with a catch: Feds want to control tech approval, not states

Lexus SUV Google prototype autonomous vehicle in Mountain View, 2015.  REUTERS

Federal auto safety regulators today said that self-driving cars “will save time, money and lives,” but also sent a clear signal that they want the power to inspect and approve technology before it hits the highways, rather than each U.S. state setting its own safety standards.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said on a press call today that a new federal premarket approval system "would require a lot more upfront discussion, dialogue and staffing on our part."

The government's statement today is big news for Uber, Google, Apple, and other Silicon Valley firms pouring millions of R&D dollars into figuring out how to swap human drivers for smart machines, or at least allow us to share control in “semiautonomous” setups.

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abc.wtf redirects to Bing

Image: @darth

Within hours of Google announcing Sundar Pichai as CEO and reconfiguring itself into Alphabet (AKA abc.xyz), the proliferation of amusing abc.[TLD] domains begins. abc.wtf redirects to competing search engine Bing.

John Gruber notes that Google is not the proprietor of alphabet.com or the Twitter handle @alphabet.

Perhaps it is all a sign of a too-hurried decision, of hands forced.

Photo: Darth!

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Google shakes its structure up with Alphabet, and Sundar Pichai becomes Google CEO

Image: @darth
Google, the core search business that started it all, will have a new CEO: Sundar Pichai.

An epidemiology alphabet

Learn your letters — from "anthrax" to "zoonoses".