More Distracted Driving

New federal rules are pending that will force automakers to limit built-in electronic devices, like GPS systems, to accept user input only when the vehicle is in park. The intent is to reduce accidents caused by drivers typing on electronic devices. Automakers are complaining because they feel that mobile devices providing the same services should also be covered by the new rules. Meanwhile MIT researchers are studying the next front of distracted driving: wandering minds. The researchers are discovering that even a small amount of “cognitive demand” – drivers thinking about something other than driving, can cause an accident – even when the driver is looking at the road. How will the fed regulate that? Time to roll out the self-driving cars!

Future Now

Google is developing augmented reality glasses that will layer information over your view of the world around you. By the end of the year, people on the streets may be donning thick rimmed sunglasses equipped with a small video camera, and wireless network access. The glasses will display text and graphics on the lenses to provide information about objects you are looking at. No doubt some of that information will include ads.
Google Goggles, Virtual Reality [NYTimes]
Google to Sell Heads-Up Display Glasses by Year’s End [NYTimes]
Google Planning Data-Display Glasses [NewsFactor]

IBM’s Watson to Compete on Jeopardy

IBM is tuning up its supercomputer to take on human kind once again. Just as IBM’s Deep Blue supercomputer beat the world’s grandmaster chess champion in 1997, a new supercomputer by the name of Watson will be taking on the champions of the television gameshow Jeopardy. The match will air February 14 – 16. Last week Watson easily beat its human rivals in a practice round. Watch the video accessed via the link below.

IBM’s Watson supercomputer destroys all humans in Jeopardy practice round (video) [Engadget]