A Perfect Integration of Hardware and Software in Google’s Autonomous Car

From Google comes the possible solution to reducing the annual number of car accidents to as much as 50%, that is, by using a car that can operate itself and which can make the same decisions as a human driver would.

Designing and manufacturing autonomous cars within the next 5 to 8 years are the latest concerns of car manufacturers around the world. In an auto show in Frankfurt very recently, Mercedes-Benz displayed a prototype that is capable of accelerating and braking by itself, needing only a human driver to steer the wheel. Whereas Volvo, Toyota, Nissan, General Motors, Ford, BMW and Audi, according to the Los Angeles and New York Times, are not far behind in their plans.

Google’s huge participation in the whole thing is on the production of the software that will allow automakers’ cars to operate on their own; however, due to the slow-going negotiations, it seems that Google has decided to design and develop its own model, which, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, the company will release to the market in 2017. Even now, Google is conducting road tests in California, making sure that their newly developed technology works and is safe.

Autonomous cars are designed to significantly reduce driving errors through the help of sensors and cameras, laser-range finders and radars which are supposed to create a detailed map of the vehicle’s surroundings to enable it to react to any road obstacle. Besides having the capability of significantly reducing drunk-driving, speeding and reckless driving cases, it can also allow car owners to get off and proceed to work, while leaving it to park by itself.

read more

Minimum Wage Violation

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) mandates a minimum wage for all employees on the federal level. Each state may have its own minimum wage but it may not be lower than the FLSA rate. In Wisconsin, there are several categories for minimum wage which reflects the FLSA regulations and may provide the basis for any claim of minimum wage violation.

The current minimum wages in Wisconsin, effective as of July 24, 2009, are the following:

  • General Employees
    • Non-opportunity – $7.25 an hour
    • Opportunity – (less than 20 years old, employed for 90 days or less) – $5.90 an hour
  • Tipped Employees
    • Non-opportunity – $2.33 an hour
    • Opportunity (less than 20 years old, employed for 90 days or less) – $2.31 an hour
  • Agricultural Employees
    • Adults – $7.25 an hour
    • Minors – $7.25 an hour
  • Caddies
    • 9 holes – $5.90
    • 18 holes – $10.50
  • Camp counselors (adults and minors)
    • With board and lodging – $210 a week
    • With board only – $265 a week
    • No board or lodging – $350 a week

For employees for whom board and lodging is provided for the employees, the following are the maximum that may be deducted from an employee’s salary:

  • Non-agricultural Employees
    • Board
      • Non-opportunity – $58.00 per week or $8.30 per day
      • Opportunity – $47.20 per week or $6.75 per day
    • Meals
      • Non-opportunity – $87.00 per week or $4.15 per meal
      • Opportunity – $70.80 per week or $3.35 per meal
  • Agricultural Employees
    • Board  – $58.00 per week or $8.30 per day
    • Meals – $87.00 per week or $4.15 per meal

When employers fail to follow these guidelines for the minimum wage law as well as the maximum deductions for room and board, this may be a minimum wage violation. Provided the plaintiff is not exempt from the minimum wage law, a claim may be filed to recover lost wages and perhaps to get some compensation for any losses that resulted from a lack of proper compensation. For more information in Spanish about minimum wage laws in Wisconsin, your legal options can be further explained by an experienced lawyer.

read more

Drains Can Cause a Swimming Pool Accident

Small children are especially vulnerable to injury in and around swimming pools because they are curious, energetic and at the same time weak. Statistics indicate that drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children below 14 years of age. For children between 1 and 4 years old in that group, the leading cause is a residential swimming pool accident.

Drains are a necessary part of swimming pools. It circulates and filters the water that provides so much enjoyment to children of all ages. However, there is a dark side to those little holes at the bottom of any home or public swimming pool that can spell danger to children.

What most people may not know is that while relatively rare, the suction of a swimming pool drain can cause injuries, even death through circulation entrapment. This means that aside from drowning, drains can capture and hold body parts to the extent of disembowelment, such the case of 6-year-old Abigail Rose Taylor, who later died of her injuries. And because children are usually too weak to pull themselves free, most fatalities due to drowning because of circulation entrapment are children. There is the case of Virginia Graeme Baker, the 7-year old that drowned when she was trapped by the force of a drain’s suction to the bottom of the tub, prompting the passing of the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act.

It is therefore important to keep an eye on small children at all times when they are in swimming pools, whirlpool tubs, hot tubs, spa or anything that has a drain. It doesn’t take a lot of water, or time, for a child to get sucked in and stuck. Even when no serious injury or death occurs, it can traumatize a child considerably. Only vigilance can keep a child from a swimming pool accident.

 

read more

Asbestos Exposure is Still Very Real

The health risks associated with asbestos have been known since the 1930s, and many countries have completely banned its use. In the US, however, the mineral is still being used in consumer and industrial products today because it is cheap, resistant to fire, electrical and chemical damage, and absorb sound. So it is not only old buildings and houses that you need to be on the look-out for, but things you may have bought or installed recently. If you work in certain industries, your exposure is likely both constant and extensive.

The reason why asbestos exposure is still a very real danger is because while new uses for asbestos have been outlawed, products that have traditionally used it are still considered legal. In the spirit of minimizing exposure, you should know what products in the US are likely to contain asbestos. These include (but not limited to):

Brakes and Clutch Linings – while American car makers don’t use asbestos in their vehicles, replacement parts supplied by third parties may still be doing so. These are usually cheaper than their branded counterparts, so most car owners opt to get those. While asbestos exposure is not a danger to you as the car owner directly, those that work on your car may be getting a free trip to mesothelioma (a type of cancer) or lung disease country.

Construction Materials – If you have recently had your roof re-shingled or your floor tiles replaced, you may have just brought in asbestos to your home. Other likely candidates are cement boards, cement pipes, joint cements and caulking compounds. Unless something happens to reduce these to dust, you’re not in any real danger of exposure, but when it starts to crumble with age, or you have it broken up for any reason, then that’s another story.

Fire Protection Gear and Clothing – Firefighters are required to wear respirator masks when fighting fire or doing training because exposure to heat exposes the asbestos layer. If you aren’t a firefighter, avoid having such things in your possession.

If you are in the automobile, construction or firefighting business, you should be aware of the danger, and your employers should follow federal regulations for minimizing asbestos exposure for their employees. If you have not been made aware of these dangers, or there are no safety procedures in the workplace concerning asbestos exposure, you may already be sick and not know it. Consult with an asbestos lawyer and your physician about your concerns, and get their advice. Hopefully you won’t need either of them. But if it turns out that you do, it is best to be prepared.

 

read more

Cosmetic Dentists

One of the first things people notice about a person is their smile. Since first impressions last, most people care a lot about having a perfect smile, and although not everyone is born with the perfect smile, with good cosmetic dentists, everyone can have one.

Many people tend to think of dentists as solely treating tooth decay and performing routine maintenance. In reality, dentists also perform cosmetic procedures to help fix any dental problems and also to enhance the appearance of the teeth.

Dental veneers are one of the most common procedures in dental cosmetics. As time goes by, teeth can end up chipped, stained, cracked, or just worn down. When this happens, veneers can be placed on top of the teeth to help protect them from discoloration as well as restore it to its former shape. Veneers can also be used on decayed or damaged teeth, as they can help prevent further damage by coating the teeth.

Cosmetic dentists use many options for veneers, though porcelain and resin types are among the most common. The most popular and highly recommended of these are porcelain veneers, mainly because they are better in adopting the natural look of the teeth and they are much more efficient in preventing stains.

Traditional veneers are long lasting; with the right maintenance, they can last from 5 to 10 years. Once they are put in place, they cannot be taken out. Also, since veneers are an accepted method in dental cosmetics, they are safe for the gums and offer more care for your teeth.

If you are considering getting veneers on your teeth, it would be best to ask professional advice from cosmetic dentists who can provide you with a better understanding of how it works and you can get the best benefits for your dental health. Not only will you be getting the perfect smile, you will also be saving and protecting your dental health for a long time.

read more