What You Need to Know Today: October 28

Good afternoon, Early Risers!

Here’s what you need to know


The biggest hurdle yet for self-driving cars. “Imagine that in the not-too-distant future, you own a self-driving car. One day, while you are driving along, an unfortunate set of events causes the car to head toward a crowd of 10 people crossing the road. It cannot stop in time but it can avoid killing 10 people by steering into a wall. However, this collision would kill you, the owner and occupant. What should it do?” Researchers from MIT are examining different ethical scenarios, like this one, to determine how self-driving cars should be programmed. Obviously there is no right or wrong answer to these questions, which is why most of the research has been surveys, fielding popular opinion. What researchers have found is that most people are in favor of self-driving cars that sacrifice the occupant to save other lives — as long as they don’t have to drive one themselves. This presents a big hurdle for anyone selling self-driving cars. What do you think? Leave a reply in the comments.  

Why BuzzFeed is threatening to withdraw from SXSW. “BuzzFeed has participated deeply in SXSW for years, and our staffers are scheduled to speak on or moderate a half-dozen panels at SXSW 2016. We will feel compelled to withdraw them if the conference can’t find a way to do what those other targets of harassment do every day — to carry on important conversations in the face of harassment.” This is an excerpt from the letter sent by three of BuzzFeed’s key staffers to SXSW yesterday after it was made known that two panels related to gaming and harassment were canceled due to threats of “on-site violence.” Full story. It’ll be interesting to see how SXSW responds, stay tuned.   

Apple may have invented the podcast, but Google’s Play Music plans to take the throne


“Sensory seasoning” sounds like a corny Dad joke. You know how you know someone just opened a can of beer in your 400-person lecture hall by that distinguishable Whooosh sound the can makes? Well, that is what Charles Spence, an experimental psychology professor at Oxford, knows best. Some of Spence’s research has concluded that the quieter the Whooosh sound a can of pop makes, the less fizzy consumers believe it to be, and vice-versa. The loudness of a crunch sound a potato chip makes, you guessed it, people perceive it to be more fresh. While these observations may sound boring to you or I, Spence’s work is highly sought after by large food and drink companies. What does it matter for sales if a can of Coke is red or white? Read this.  

The truth about time-saving tech. “The little prince comes across a merchant selling pills intended to quench one’s thirst. A person only has to swallow a single pill once a week to make the need for drink disappear. The little prince asks why the merchant would sell such a thing. ‘Because it saves a lot of time,’ the merchant replies. ‘Experts have it all worked out. You save 53 minutes a week.’ ‘If I had 53 minutes to spend,’ the little prince replies, ‘I would walk very slowly toward a spring of fresh water.’ There’s a key lesson in this childrens’ story. When it comes to time-saving technology, most of us are asking the wrong question. 


Hello? Adele’s first interview in three years happened.  

+ Lionel Ritchie calls Adele to say, Hello.   

This guy told his boss he was taking a sabbatical, and it was the best thing he’s ever done

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007’s ROI 

The average Daniel Craig James Bond movie grosses $835 million. That’s the highest out of all the Bond movies. But, the cost to make the new Bond movies is much higher than it once was. To give you an idea: The first three Bond movies in the 1960s grossed over 30 times their production costs. While performing well at the box office, the most recent three in the series have brought in just four times their production budgets, says the Economist. Read more.

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