The Switchboard: Google’s driverless car prototype gets rid of the steering wheel


A very early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. The two-seater won't be sold publicly, but Google on Tuesday said it hopes by this time next year that 100 prototypes will be on public roads. (Google via AP)

Google’s new self-driving car ditches the steering wheel. Google's new driverless car prototype "lacks many of the trappings of a normal car, and that includes the three essentials: A steering wheel, an accelerator and a brake pedal," reports Liz Gannes at Re/code. "What’s left are lots of sensors, and a transplant of the self-driving software system Google has built to use on the Toyota Priuses and Lexus SUVs it has trained to drive on highways and city streets over the past five years."

Spotify says one user’s data accessed in breach. The music-streaming service announced it had suffered a data breach Tuesday. "We've become aware of some unauthorized access to our systems and internal company data," wrote Spotify chief technology officer Oskar Stål in a blog post."Our evidence shows that only one Spotify user’s data has been accessed and this did not include any password, financial or payment information," the company said, adding that it had contacted the individual.

Chinese report accuses U.S. of ‘unscrupulous’ cyber-snooping. A week after the U.S. announced criminal commercial cyber-espionage charges against five Chinese military employees, a report from the China Academy of Cyber Space alleges China is the victim of cyberspying.

Brokers use ‘billions’ of data points to profile Americans. A new report from the Federal Trade Commission sheds light on the potentially thousands of data points used by data brokers to categorize people, reports The Post's Craig Timberg. "Data brokers’ portraits feature traditional demographics such as age, race and income, as well as political leanings, religious affiliations, Social Security numbers, gun-ownership records, favored movie genres and gambling preferences (casino or state lottery?)," he says. " Interest in health issues — such as diabetes, HIV infection and depression — can be tracked as well."

Appeals court slams Prenda Law’s mass-copyright lawsuit strategy. "The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has dealt a blow to the legal strategy used by Prenda Law, a "copyright troll" that sued thousands of users over allegations of downloading porn movies over BitTorrent," reports Joe Mullin at Ars Technica. "Prenda shell company AF Holdings previously argued that it should be allowed to sue more than 1,000 people in the same lawsuit, because they were all part of the same BitTorrent 'swarm' sharing the same file, an adult movie called Popular Demand."

Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government.
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Andrea Peterson | May 27