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Elon Musk

Self-driving car prototypes need less human help, data show

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Self-driving car prototypes appear to be getting better at negotiating California streets and highways without a human backup driver intervening, according to data made public Wednesday by California transportation regulators. The data reflect safety-related incidents reported by 11 companies that have been testing more than 100 vehicles on public roads, primarily in the Silicon Valley neighborhoods where the technology has grown up. The reports were made to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, which posted them online. The documents catalog the…

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Tesla looking at cameras, radar in Florida crash

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Tesla engineers told members of a Senate committee they are looking into the role cameras and radar played in the fatal crash of a Model S using self-driving mode, according to two people familiar with a meeting held Thursday. The engineers have two main theories, the people said. Either the car’s cameras and radar failed to spot a crossing tractor-trailer. Or the cameras didn’t see the rig and the car’s computer thought the radar signal was false, possibly from an…

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SpaceX launches may resume Dec. 19, 6 months after accident

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SpaceX says it’s close to launching rockets again six months after an accident. Chief executive Elon Musk announced via Twitter on Thursday a rocket test-firing for next Wednesday in Florida. A satellite launch for Orbcomm could come three days later – Dec. 19th. SpaceX has been stuck on Earth since June, when a broken strut doomed its Falcon rocket during liftoff. The accident left NASA without a viable U.S. supplier for the International Space Station. NASA’s other commercial shipper, Orbital…

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Unmasked, Stephen Colbert debuts tonight hosting ‘Late Show’

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Stephen Colbert is about to turn a corner in his career: onto Broadway at 54th Street. Having split from cheeky Comedy Central a few blocks away, he will now hold court at old-guard CBS. He will inherit the theater, time slot and series title (though with an added “The”) owned for 22 years by David Letterman. Little wonder that Colbert’s disciples — his erstwhile Colbert Nation — wait anxiously to see what “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” will be…

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Postcard from a Tesla P85D

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If only the Legislature could get it up as fast as a car made by Elon Musk. “Holy s$#@, where’s my heart monitor?!” said Tallahassee Magazine Editor Rosanne Dunkelberger, a full ten minutes after our test drive ended. In the driver’s seat was Orlando-based Tesla representative Kevin Leyva.  His mother can be very proud of him. Leyva surely could tell by looking that his passengers were not “in the demographic;” he spoke slowly and used small words so as not…

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4th Floor Files talks with Taylor Patrick Biehl on Springsteen, loyalty and Abe Lincoln

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Today’s chapter of the “4th Floor Files” talks with lobbyist Taylor Patrick Biehl, a fan of both Bruce Springsteen and Abraham Lincoln.  Last year, Biehl and Dr. Jeffry Sharkey created the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida. Biehl has served as the director of governmental affairs for the Florida Alcohol and Drug Abuse Association, as an associate with Uhlfelder & Associates, P.A. and on the staff of the Senate Community Affairs Committee. Biehl credits a former history professor with his…

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