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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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US tells Google computers can qualify as drivers

US tells Google computers can qualify as drivers

US vehicle safety regulators have said the artificial intelligence system piloting a self-driving Google car could be considered the driver under federal law, a major step toward ultimately winning approval for autonomous vehicles on the roads.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google, a unit of Alphabet, of its decision in a previously unreported Feb. 4 letter to the company posted on the agency’s website this week.

Google’s self-driving car unit on Nov. 12 submitted a proposed design for a self-driving car that has “no need for a human driver,” the letter to Google from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Chief Counsel Paul Hemmersbaugh said.

“NHTSA will interpret ‘driver’ in the context of Google’s described motor vehicle design as referring to the (self-driving system), and not to any of the vehicle occupants,” NHTSA’s letter said.

“We agree with Google its (self-driving car) will not have a ‘driver’ in the traditional sense that vehicles have had drivers during the last more than one hundred years.”

Major automakers and technology companies such as Google are racing to develop and sell vehicles that can drive themselves at least part of the time.
Reuters

OMAN: Omantel signs subsea cable pact

A
  • AFRICA CONNECTION: Link will connect Oman with Somaliland, Puntland and Ethiopia

Samuel Kutty –
MUSCAT –
Feb 10:
Omantel on Wednesday announced the signing of the supply agreement with Xtera Communications Inc for building yet another unique submarine cable to strengthen its position in the region and beyond.

Gulf to Africa, G2A, a new groundbreaking cable system between Oman, Somaliland, Puntland and Ethiopia will develop the telecommunications in Eastern Africa using Xtera’s Turnkey Subsea Solution.

G2A will be ready for service in the fourth quarter of the current year.

The new cable will be built in partnership with Ethio Telecom, Golis Telecom and Telesom Company and will be a direct highway from Salalah in Oman to Bosaso in Puntland and Berbera in Somaliland, with a terrestrial extension to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia.

“This is the first step on our expansion journey into Africa where we will go from Oman directly to Somalia and then extend the cable further into Africa to Ethiopia,” said Sohail Qadir, Vice President Omantel Wholesale.

UAE: Shaikh Mohammed announces new cabinet

  • In a series of tweets, Shaikh Mohammed has announced the members of the new cabinet.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday, announced the UAE's 29-person cabinet, which now includes nine women.

There are eight new faces in the cabinet, including five women. The average age of the new cabinet members is 38, reflecting the UAE's shift towards including youth in government.

It was previously announced that the UAE will also have a Minister of State for Happiness soon with the mission to "channel policies and plans to achieve happier society". Another new position, the Minister of Tolerance, will "inculcate tolerance as a fundamental value in the UAE."

In another major change, the government had approved a restructure in the Ministry of Health - now called the Ministry of Health and Prevention - and "launched an independent entity to oversee and manage public hospitals".

Cabinet reshuffle 2016

His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum - Vice-President, Prime Minister and Minister of Defence.

2
 Lieutenant-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior.

3 Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.

4 Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum - Minister of Finance.

5 Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan - Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

UAE gets happiness, tolerance ministers


These positions are just two of the sweeping changes announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on Monday.

The UAE will soon have a Minister of State for Happiness with the mission to "channel policies and plans to achieve happier society". Another new position, the Minister of Tolerance, will "inculcate tolerance as a fundamental value in the UAE."

These positions are just two of the sweeping changes announced by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in a series of tweets on Monday's "Social Media Dialogue of the Future." The President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, approved a large-scale restructuring of the federal government. Shaikh Mohammed said that "in the new structure of Federalgovernment, we will have a road map for outsourcing most of the government services to the private sector". "The new government is comprised of less ministries but more ministers handling national, strategic and dynamic files," Shaikh Mohammed explained. "The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education will be merged under one minister supported by two ministers of state."

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