TechCrunch

Google’s self-driving car project is probably one of the most audacious experiments the company has embarked upon. Today, Google announced another milestone for this project: its fleet of about a dozen autonomous cars has now driven 300,000 miles without a single accident under computer control. While this is obviously very positive news for the project, Google warns that “there’s still a long road ahead.” The cars still need to learn how to handle snow-covered roads, for example, and how to interpret temporary construction signs and other situations that could throw its systems for a loop.

It’s not clear how many of these 300,000 miles were driven on Google’s secret racecourse, by the way.

According to today’s update, Google also plans to soon let some of the team’s members drive the cars solo for their daily commutes. Currently, the cars are always driven by at least two people, but the…

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Gigaom

A U.S. judge yesterday threw aside a much-anticipated trial between Apple (s aapl) and Google-owned Motorola Mobility (s goog) over smartphone patents. The decision and a blog comment by the same judge could prove to be a watershed moment for a U.S. patent system that has spiraled out of control.

In his remarkable ruling, U.S. Circuit Judge Richard Posner stated that there was no point in holding a trial because it was apparent that neither side could show they had been harmed by the other’s patent infringement. He said he was inclined to dismiss the case with prejudice — meaning the parties can’t come back to fight over the same patents — and that he would enter a more formal opinion confirming this next week.

The order is extraordinary not only for what it said but for who wrote it. For the unfamiliar, Richard Posner is a legend in legal and academic…

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