Tag Archives: europe

Greece Gets First Self-Driving Bus

Robosoft logoMost of the news these days in regards to self-driving vehicles has to do with cars. Tesla has been breaking ground in this technology for years and now rumors are circulating that Apple is about to roll in with its own autonomous car. While it seems self-driving passenger cars might be all the world can really handle right now, that hasn’t stopped French technology firm Robosoft from building its first robotic bus. The bus recently completed a test run in the Greek city of Trikala.

CityMobil2, as the bus is called, can’t compete with the buses we usually see in large urban areas. The autonomous bus is fully electric and carries a total of 10 passengers. Its maximum speed is 12.4 miles (20 kilometers) per hour. The bus is guided by GPS to follow a pre-programmed path. There are no traditional controls on board (steering wheel, brake/acceleration controls, etc.). CityMobile2 is incapable of changing lanes but it will stop if it detects objects in the way, like parked cars.

The self-driving bus did well enough in its initial six-month, accident-free phase that it will soon be deployed to the Spanish town of San Sebastian. There, it will undergo another series of trials, similar to what happened in Greece.

US Relays Most Spam

The USA is the worst country in the world for relaying spam, according to Sophos’ latest report on spam.  The US was responsible for 13.1%, followed by Brazil and India at 7.3% and 6.8% respectively, with the UK, Russia and Italy tied in 7th place.  In a further twist, China has completely disappeared from the top 12 and now relays only about 1.9%.

The full hall of shame is below.

1. USA 13.1%
2. India 7.3%
3. Brazil 6.8%
4. S Korea 4.8%
5. Vietnam 3.4%
6. Germany 3.2%
7=. United Kingdom 3.1%
7=. Russia 3.1%
7=. Italy 3.1%
10. France 3.0%
11. Romania 2.5%
12. Poland 2.4%
Others 47.3%

Given the amount of attention that China receives as the “Country of Cybercrime”, the table shows that US and Europe ought to be looking a bit closer to home when it comes to spam.

Sophos estimates that 97% of email received to business servers is actually spam and only 3% is legitimate email.  Frankly that’s a both scary and a disgrace.  The level of resources needed to cope and the subsequent cost incurred by business shows that spam ought to be much higher up on the agenda of our lawmakers.

Perhaps they could take a break from the usual “digital rights” arguments and do something that would help everyone. That would get my vote.