Google self-driving cars deemed ready

I’m all for this:

Google’s Self-Driving Cars Complete 300K Miles Without Accident, Deemed Ready For Commuting

Google’s self-driving car project is probably one of the most audacious experiments the company has embarked upon. Today, Google announced another milestone for this project: its fleet of about a dozen autonomous cars has now driven 300,000 miles without a single accident under computer control. While this is obviously very positive news for the project, Google warns that “there’s still a long road ahead.” The cars still need to learn how to handle snow-covered roads, for example, and how to interpret temporary construction signs and other situations that could throw its systems for a loop.

Google also announced that it has added the Lexus RX450h hybrid car to its self-driving car family.

Source: Techcrunch

People can be affected by the emotions when they drive, with driver-less technologies this can be circumvented. I’m waiting for this, it puts back the auto in an automobile. I can’t wait for this to be in Singapore one day. We could very well have our first accident-free day.

[And meanwhile, I am hearing some rumors about Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.]

How to get automatic update working in WordPress

WordPress 2.7 introduced a feature to perform automatic updating of plugins and WordPress itself. It annoys me endlessly that the automatic update refuses to work and require me to input a FTP username and password which I don’t have. This blog runs on a server that does not have FTP installed. I use SSH for that. The method is to change ownership of your WordPress directory to www-data (for Apache).

Run the following command in your WordPress directory (sudo required):

[code lang=”bash”]sudo chown -Rf www-data *[/code]

That did the trick for me by changing the ownership every folder and it’s files recursively to ‘www-data’. It is slightly risky and you may not like the idea of giving so much privileges to the WordPress directory. But before I can think of any way to attack the server, I guess this method is more or less safe. Unless there is a malicious plugin that you install. Always install proven plugins. That said, use it at your own risk.

Changing the ownership give Apache access to your WordPress directory allowing WordPress to overwrite its own files and automatic update works. Well not really automatic actually. Semi-automatic since you actually have to trigger something to continue the update.

Thanks jer for the hint. 😉

IBM patents automatic database TRIM

What? You can patent that?


A computer Implemented method of automatically removing space characters from data being entered into a database system are provided. When a user creates a table in a database system into which data having leading and/or trailing character spaces may be entered, the user may specifically instruct the database system to remove any character spaces before entering the data into the table. Consequently, when a piece of data is being entered into the table, the database system will determine whether the piece of data includes leading and/or trailing character spaces. If so, the database system will automatically remove the character spaces from the piece of data before it is entered into the table. Hence, the use of TRIM functions when retrieving data from the database system will be obviated. (Source: USPTO)

Well it’s a fairly simple idea…