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The Weekly Roundup 9.18 Edition

by Amy September 18, 2015

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Driverless Cars Duped by Laser Pointer

Driverless cars have been cause for concern for many people due to their reliance on cameras to ensure the safety of others around them. A new hack may give those who oppose the autonomous vehicles further ammunition to distrust the car’s technology. The hack, which only requires a cheap computer and a laser pointer, tricks the camera into believing there is an object in the road. While this may only result in the car stopping due to a perceived obstacle, in extreme cases, the car may completely change its route if it detects that it cannot get by. This hack certainly isn’t the most threatening vehicle hack around, but the ability to affect the camera sensors in driverless cars could present larger problems as the vehicles become more prevalent on our roadways.

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Mac Computers Susceptible to Hack

Users of Mac computers have long felt impervious to viruses and other vulnerabilities that have plagued Windows computers. If we have learned anything in the past few years from cyber security breaches, however, it’s that every internet connected device has vulnerabilities, and Mac computers are no different. A new Mac hack let’s apps bypass passwords and gain root permissions which then allows them to install any malware they want onto the computer.  The hack also opens users up to being tricked by hacker-created ads, called malvertising, which aim to lure users into sharing personal and financial information. Apple has yet to fix this vulnerability despite criticism from members of the tech community. Cyber security continues to be an issue that spans a multitude of industries and could pose larger threats in the future.

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Hummingbirds Use Hawks for Home Security

All home security comes at a cost. For people, it is usually a small monthly fee, but for hummingbirds, the cost is the constant threat of being eaten by hawks. A new study found that 80 percent of hummingbird nests in the Chiricahua Mountains in Arizona are built near hawk nests. This may sound like a poor strategy, but it is in fact a good way to increase the chance of humming bird survival. On a day to day basis, only 6% of hummingbird nests survive. Nests built near hawk nests, however, have a 52% chance of survival. This is primarily due to the fact that hawks scare away many of the squirrels and jays that normally prey on hummingbirds. Also, hawks generally refrain from eating hummingbirds and hummingbird eggs, because they prefer more substantial meals. Still, relying on your security system not to devour you, because you aren’t as filling as other options, hardly seems ideal.

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Driving Tips for Older Drivers

You often see driving tips geared towards young drivers who have just passed their license test. Rarely do you encounter tips that focus on ageing drivers. Below is a list of tips that can help you stay safe behind the wheel as you get older.

  • Stay physically active so that you are ready to react when you are driving
  • Schedule regular vision and hearing tests so that you can make sure your senses are sharp
  • Manage any chronic conditions that may have an affect on your ability to drive
  • Consider any limitations you may have and adjust accordingly
  • Drive under optimal conditions whenever possible
  • Know your route before you get in the car so you aren’t distracted by a map or directions
  • Update your driving skills with a refresher course

Use these tips to stay comfortable and in control while you are driving.

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