Snake crawls up on man’s windshield mid-drive because nightmares are real

We’re all familiar with Snakes on a Plane, but get ready for snake (singular) on a car. 

An Australian driver was surprised by a deadly snake on their windshield while driving recently. The snake, a venomous Eastern brown, had been hiding under the bonnet but came out mid-drive. 

Photos uploaded to Facebook by the snake-catching service The Snake Catcher 24/7 show the slithery fare-dodger. 

“We are currently on our way to a call to get a large Eastern Brown snake out from under a guys bonnet,” The Snake Catcher wrote. “The big Brown snake came out onto the windscreen whilst he was driving. HECTIC.”

“Hectic” is one way to put it. Try “horrifying”.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f86639%2f7d0b1fdd f9a5 4eb8 a730 f178e1b15336

 

Read More

Emotional support squirrel gets kicked off airplane

These days people fly with everything from peacocks to hamsters,  but an incident on Tuesday reminded us squirrels have a long way to go before we accept them as emotional support animals.

A Frontier flight from Orlando to Cleveland was delayed by a few hours as police removed a woman who had brought a squirrel on board. 

According to Orlando ABC affiliate WFTV, the woman had noted on her reservation that she would be bringing an emotional support animal on board, but she didn’t specify what kind of animal. 

Because rodents of any kind are banned from Frontier flights, officials asked the woman to deplane. When she refused, police were called in and had to remove everyone from the plane. Eventually, the woman agreed to leave, and her removal was met with cheers from the other passengers. 

In a statement to ABC, Frontier said, “Rodents, including squirrels, are not allowed on Frontier flights.”

The furor over service animals is such that Frontier’s policy is changing as of Nov. 1, after which service animals must meet a stringent list of requirements and will be limited to only dogs or cats. 

So long, emotional support squirrel. May you one day realize the dream of cramming on to a flight on a budget airline to Cleveland.

Read More

‘Pet Sematary’ trailer proves that Stephen King’s ‘It’ was no fluke

Stephen King adaptations are on a roll, clearly.

It was one of the top-grossing releases of 2017, closing out the year at seventh overall despite the fact that it released months after most of those ranked ahead of it. The reason? It was great.

This first trailer for Pet Sematary — adapted from King’s 1983 novel (which was already a 1989 movie) — is here. And friends, let me tell you: It is creepy as hell. 

If you somehow haven’t been spoiled on this story’s wild ride, try to avoid reading anything before the latest adaptation’s April 2019 release. To this day, Pet Sematary remains one of King’s most surprising stories.

Read More

Waymo hits 10 million self-driving miles

Waymo, Alphabet’s self-driving car division, keeps racking up the miles.

On Wednesday, the company announced it had hit 10 million robot car-driven miles on public roads across 25 cities in states like California, Arizona, and Michigan.

In August, Waymo announced it had reached the 8 million mile mark. Just months before in June, it was at 7 million miles. In less than half a year, the company has tested an additional 3 million miles on public roads.

According to CEO John Krafcik, if you add in simulated rides on a computer, not real roads, Waymo has driven 7 billion miles. Those 10 million daily miles help challenge the self-driving software and put it in situations both new and old. 

In its latest blog post, Waymo belatedly addressed issues brought up in a report from The Information from late August. Waymo’s self-driving taxi service is supposed to kick off with truly driverless cars by the end of the year in Arizona and is already in testing with 400 early riders in Phoenix. The report highlighted some road bumps, like the problems Waymo’s cars have with merging and left-hand turns.

“Our cars are programmed to be cautious and courteous above all, because that’s the safest thing to do,” said Krafcik. The post seemed to defend Waymo’s emphasis on safety: “We stay out of other driver’s blind spots, give wide berth to pedestrians, and come to a full stop at 4-way stops.”

It also explained that there’s a balance between driving naturally and assertively, especially while merging.

For some perspective on Waymo’s announcement, we called Optimus Ride co-founder and president Sertac Karaman. He said it’s not just about getting the most miles, but testing miles you can actually use.

He explained that a lot of self-driving car companies aren’t making much progress, even though they’re racking up miles. “They end up collecting a lot of data which is fancy garbage,” he said.

Instead, he promotes testing in geo-fenced areas at medium speeds around 30 mph to get denser data. He described the difference as driving 10,000 miles all over the country but only seeing every place once. Those same 10,000 miles in a smaller area that you’ve driven through repeatedly means you’ve seen the same places thousands of times and know so much more about every intersection and bump in the road.

Most importantly for the machine-learning robot cars, they “absorb the culture of how to drive in that environment,” Karaman said.

For self-driving cars to improve and get to the point of actually driving people around autonomously they need to see a lot of samples (stretches of road) with a lot of repetition. With the end of the year looming, Waymo better hope its miles are teaching its cars as much as possible. The clock’s ticking.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f86780%2fe6606be3 b89b 4156 906c e1e30393849a

Read More

PlayStation Network will finally let you change your old screen name

Image: Shutterstock / oneinchpunch

PlayStation Network launched in 2006. The service has grown exponentially since then, but in all of that time one much-asked-for feature has eluded subscribers: name changes.

We all make questionable choices when we’re young. Some smoke cigarettes. Others toilet paper the homes of their enemies. One youthful transgression most of us can relate to, though, especially in a post-internet world: the embarrassing screen name.

There are respectable grown-ass adults walking around right now hiding that terrible secret. Online, they’re xXxBiGB00TY69xXx, or L33t_3dg3l0rd, or Weed4Lyfe420. And it’s a scarlet letter. They’re terrified of having to share their online handle.

Now, at long last, PSN will fall in line with virtually every other online service you can think of and let users change their name. The feature will be here soon, and Sony’s breakdown makes it sound like a pretty simple process — one that should sound familiar to Xbox users.

Your first PSN name change is a freebie, on Sony. Any name changes after that will cost you $10 a pop. If you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you get a discount: $5 per name change.

That’s it! There’s going to be a preview program for registered PlayStation testers during which all name changing will be free.

There’s a few quirks to the upcoming feature that you should know about, especially if you’re the sort of person who likes to dive into their library and play older games. Here’s what the PlayStation Blog post has to say:

When you change your online ID, you will have the option to display your previous ID with your new ID, so your friends can recognize you. Once you decide to display your old ID or not, you won’t be able to adjust this after completing the online ID change process.

This feature is compatible with PS4 games originally published after April 1, 2018, and a large majority of the most-played PS4 games that were released before this date. However, please note not all games and applications for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita systems are guaranteed to support the online ID change, and users may occasionally encounter issues or errors in certain games. If for any reason you experience issues after changing your ID, you can revert back to your original ID for free at any time (you will only be able to revert once during the preview program). Reverting back to an old ID will resolve most issues caused by the ID change. In addition, when this feature officially launches, a list of compatible games published before April 1, 2018, will be provided on PlayStation.com for reference before you make a change.

The testing process should begin soon, as Sony expects it to end in November. There’ll be a short wait after that, with the feature set to officially roll out for all users sometime in early 2019.

Https%3a%2f%2fblueprint api production.s3.amazonaws.com%2fuploads%2fvideo uploaders%2fdistribution thumb%2fimage%2f86785%2f183756e0 0d94 43cc 94a8 b58118deeeef

Read More