Monthly Archives: April 2017

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Facing a Self-Driving Smackdown, Uber Opts for Damage Control Pilot models of the Uber self-driving car is displayed at the Uber Advanced Technologies Center. Google’s lawsuit alleging that Uber straight-up stole its autonomous vehicle technology won’t go before a jury until October, but Uber already finds itself on dangerous ground. This week, the judge presiding over the civil case said he might just grant Google’s request for a preliminary injunction, which could force Uber to rein in or even stop testing its robocar technology testing until the case is resolved. Eager to avoid the worst, Uber issued a response designed to limit the damage. All of this started in February when Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicle division, filed a lawsuit claiming former employee Anthony Levandowski downloaded 14,000 technical files from a company server and used the info to launch his autonomous truck startup  Otto. Uber acquired Otto a few months later and put […]

The Search for the Universe’s Missing Antimatter Remains Annoyingly NebulousResearchers line the sides of their ultra-sensitive detector with foil to trap light in. The first particles in the universe formed when a hot, dense blob exploded. Physicists think that under the extreme conditions of the Big Bang, light transformed into matter: the electrons, protons, and neutrons that later became you and me.But physicists are confused about how that transformation occurred. Back in the ’90s, physicists showed they could convert light into matter by colliding two extremely powerful beams of radiation. They also found that light produces equal amounts of antimatter at the same time. The very first particle of matter would have met an antimatter cousin in an annihilating ka-boom. No more matter. Yet clearly, matter exists. For some reason, more matter formed than antimatter just after the Big Bang, and physicists don’t know why. “It’s one of the very […]