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US self-driving car bill heads to the House floor

Last month, a Senate committee created a proposal to allow autonomous vehicles onto the roads under specific safety and “tech neutral” requirements. Now that the bill has hit House of Representatives, the bipartisan Energy and Commerce Committee voted to send it along to the full chamber. The Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research In Vehicle Evolution Act, or SELF DRIVE, is aimed at allowing companies like Uber and Google to test up to 100,000 autonomous vehicles across the country. While we’re far from an actual bill, this seems like good forward movement.

If driverless cars are ever going to gain a foothold on the road, they’ll need to be as safe as (or safer that) current automobiles are. Companies like Lyft, GM and Toyota have been lobbying for this type of legislation for a while now. The Department of Transportation will need to ensure this if it wants to exempt the vehicles from federal rules that govern current cars, like the requirement they have steering wheels, for example. The proposed bill, which isn’t yet scheduled for full House consideration, also bars states from setting their own possibly conflicting regulations around the design, operation and software components of self-driving cars. States will be able to restrict autonomous vehicles on public roads in some way, according to ReCode.

Via: ReCode

Source: US House of Representatives

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Windows 10 included password manager with huge security hole

There's a good reason why security analysts get nervous about bundled third-party software: it can introduce vulnerabilities that the companies can't control. And Microsoft, unfortunately, has learned that the hard way. Google researcher Tavis Ormandy discovered that a Windows 10 image came bundled with a third-party password manager, Keeper, which came with a glaring browser plugin flaw -- a malicious website could steal passwords. Ormandy's copy was an MSDN image meant for developers, but Reddit users noted that they received the vulnerable copy of Keeper after clean reinstalls of regular copies and even a brand new laptop.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Ars Technica that the Keeper team had patched the exploit (in response to Ormandy's private disclosure), so it shouldn't be an issue if your software is up to date. Also, you were only exposed if you enabled the plugin.

However, the very existence of the hole has still raised a concern: are Microsoft's security tests as thorough for third-party apps as its own software? The company has declined to comment, but that kind of screening may prove crucial if Microsoft is going to maintain the trust of Windows users. It doesn't matter how secure Microsoft's code is if a bundled app undermines everything.

Source: Monorail, Tavis Ormandy (Twitter)