Google has sent a letter today to U.S. transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx asking that the process of setting rules for autonomous vehicles be fast-tracked. Writes Dawn Kawamoto at InformationWeek:
Google's proposal calls for granting new federal authority to the Department of Transportation that would allow driverless car manufacturers to market their vehicles, if they can demonstrate that the cars passed federal safety standards, noted AP in reviewing a summary of the proposal. To alleviate safety concerns, the DoT could establish certain conditions that would restrict use, as well as review manufacturers' applications within a ‘tight but realistic’ period, according to the report.
The story says that the normal rules-setting process can take years. Google is suggesting that a way be found to make the trip quicker.
Microsoft, Polycom and Logitech Partner with Project Rigel
Polycom, Logitech and Microsoft are teaming up on Project Rigel, which is aimed at placing Skype Meeting in meeting rooms that are not customized to accommodate videoconference. The eWeek story on the announcement says that up to 97 percent of meeting rooms worldwide fit this description – and therefore are targets for the service.
The goal is to use the business version of Microsoft’s Skype to provide video, screen sharing, IM and white boards, according to commentary in the piece. The story says that Project Rigel will use devices running Windows 10 for “center-of-room touch control” and Skype Business to bring in remote participants.
A Step Toward Quantum Computers
Any sentence with the word “quantum” in it is complex and counter-intuitive. The fact remains, however, that scientists are working on quantum computers that potentially will be orders of magnitude faster than the transistor-based machines we use today.
Katherine Noyes at Computerworld says that an important step has been made. She writes that quantum bits (qubits) – the bits that can exist in two states simultaneously and provide the speed boost researchers point to – are sensitive to magnetic disturbances.
The breakthrough, which occurred at Florida State University’s National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, is that a process called atomic clock transitions was able to keep the magnetic limitation at bay for 8.4 microseconds. This, Noyes writes, is long enough to let the qubit perform its computing task. Despite the breakthrough, quantum computers are still a long way off. Of course, in a quantum universe these computers already exist – until we look at them.
The MEF Changes
Carol Wilson at Light Reading discusses the changes that the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) is working through. The organization, which just named its first ever chief technology officer, is working toward new vistas. According to Wilson, the MEF is trying to keep up with what end users want:
Chief among these are its efforts to enable on-demand services that deliver end-to-end service level agreements for cloud connections, something that doesn't exist today, says new MEF CTO Pascal Menezes, the former principal at Microsoft Skype for Business. In addition, the MEF has finished and is about to publish its Lifecycle Service Orchestration Reference Architecture & Framework, a benchmark in its LSO work, a major focus for the organization. And it is working more actively with open source groups such as ONOS, which is adapting its Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center (CORD) project to include delivering enterprise services, including Carrier Ethernet.
As the role of Ethernet grows, the tasks it is called on to perform grow more complex, the service levels it must attain more demanding, and the proof it must provide to customers more comprehensive and exacting. The MEF, which is the industry’s technical and marketing consortium, is trying to keep up with these changes.
IoT Growth: Aggressive, Consistent
Grand View Research predicts that retailers are going to be big users of the Internet of Things (IoT). The firm predicts that the value of the worldwide market will reach $53.75 billion in 2022, which is five times the $11.17 billion spent last year.
The study, as reported upon at Datamation, predicts evenly distributed growth. The radio frequency identification segment will have a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 percent, Bluetooth LE (Low Energy) will have a CAGR of 25 percent, and the software segment will have a CAGR of 24 percent. Providers of remote device management services will have a CAGR of 24 percent over the term of the study.
Carl Weinschenk covers telecom for IT Business Edge. He writes about wireless technology, disaster recovery/business continuity, cellular services, the Internet of Things, machine-to-machine communications and other emerging technologies and platforms. He also covers net neutrality and related regulatory issues. Weinschenk has written about the phone companies, cable operators and related companies for decades and is senior editor of Broadband Technology Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and via twitter at @DailyMusicBrk.