Romanian Teenager Designs Technology for Autonomous Cars

Learn more about our attorneysOne of the winners of this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair has designed a technology which could prove essential to the development of driverless cars as a viable technology for mass production. Ionut Alexandru Budisteanu, a 19 year old from Romania, developed a technology that replicates the positioning systems that autonomous cars use to detect nearby obstacles to avoid car accidents.

Budisteanu achieved results that are similar to what Google has been able to achieve with its own driverless car projects, using 3D radar and cameras mounted on several areas of the vehicle. The important of the discovery, however, is that, while Google must spend more than $70,000 to implement these systems in each of their vehicles, Budisteanu was able to do this on a relatively cheap budget of only $4000.

This development could have incredibly important implications for the future of driverless cars. While the technology in all of these vehicles is still not perfected to the point that it can be a reliable replacement for human drivers, it is clear from the trajectory of their development that driverless cars will eventually have all the technology necessary to be a safe replacement for human drivers. The biggest issue is pricing: they may be too expensive to become widely available. However, if this breakthrough is applicable to mass-produced vehicles, that could significantly change this equation, potentially saving thousands of lives on American roads in the future.

Facing Mountains of Debt

Individuals can find themselves in serious debt for any number of reasons. With today’s economy, the rate of unemployment, the housing market downturn, and any number of unavoidable accidents, such as natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy, major accidents, and serious illnesses, people all over the United States are facing large amounts of debt, often not due to a lack of proper financial management.

When facing unmanageable levels of debt, many people begin to worry about what the consequences could be if they can’t continue making regular payments. One major concern many people find themselves facing is the loss of their home due to being unable to make mortgage payments. While there are, unfortunately, some situations in which a person cannot prevent foreclosure on their home, the truth is that there are a number of various options for people in this situation that can help them keep their home. Whatever the circumstances were that resulted in unmanageable debt, people who are facing foreclosure may be able to use one of these many options to keep their home.

Government Programs and Aid to Prevent Foreclosure

Because of the substantial hit the housing market took in recent years, many government programs have been made available in an effort to protect and aid struggling homeowners. While there are a variety of different programs available, each tailored to meet individuals in varying situations, some of the most beneficial and most used programs include the following:

  • HAMP – the Home Affordable Modification Program is designed to support those Americans who are employed, but are struggling to make their monthly mortgage payments. Through this program, eligible home owners may be able to have their mortgage payments lowered (modified) to be more affordable in the long-term. While this program existed previously, President Obama made the group of people eligible for this program wider in June of 2012 by allowing debtors whose income to debt ratio is 31% or less, those who defaulted on their trial period payments or on their modified payments, and those who are applying for non-primary residences that they rent out or intend to rent to be eligible for applying for a mortgage modification.
  • HARP – even those who are currently able to make their mortgage payments may find themselves struggling to do so or find these payments are becoming more burdensome. In such a situation, the government has provided the HARP, Home Affordable Refinance Program, which allows those who are current on payments, but their home’s value has decreased, to refinance their mortgage into one that is more affordable and stable.
  • UP – for those that meet eligibility requirements, which includes being unemployed and unable to meet mortgage payments, the Home Affordable Unemployment Program allows them to decrease their mortgage payments to 31% of their income or stop making payments for a year or longer.

If you are not eligible for these programs, there are several other programs under the Making Home Affordable government program that could help you prevent foreclosure on your home.

Other Alternatives to Prevent Foreclosure

In addition to using the Making Home Affordable programs, there are other alternatives for homeowners who do not want to lose their homes. These include the following options:

  • Chapter 13 Bankruptcy – by filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy with the support of a bankruptcy lawyer, a person not only receives an automatic stay, which stops creditors from seeking collection of debts including foreclosure proceedings until the bankruptcy filing is complete, but also allows a debtor to create a repayment plan for their debts that works better with their financial situation, making it easier for them to make monthly mortgage payments. Additionally, under certain circumstances, a second or third mortgage may be reclassified as unsecured debt, allowing it to be discharged at the end of the bankruptcy.
  • Truth in Lending Violation Claim – according to the Truth in Lending Act, lenders must disclose, or tell, borrowers certain information, such as the amount that will be financed, potential penalty charges, number of payments that need to be made, and other vital information. Should they fail to follow the requirements of this Act, the lender may be in violation, allowing the borrower to file a claim and stop foreclosure.
  • Bankruptcy Exemptions – Chapter 7 bankruptcy exemptions may help a debtor to protect their real property, such as a home. However, in some cases the value of a person’s mortgage may be greater than what these exemptions allow for, meaning that a person may not be able to use them to protect their home. Should the amount that is owed be less than the total amount of real property / home exemptions a debtor is allowed to claim, though, they may be able to prevent foreclosure.

Facing the prospect of foreclosure is frightening and stressful. Fortunately, you are not without options for protecting your family’s home. By exploring these and other options more thoroughly and with professional help, there is a good chance that you can take action to save your home.



Common Birth Injuries

While we live in an age where the process of childbearing and birthing is down to a science, many children suffer injuries prior to and during the course of the birthing process at the hands of negligent medical professionals and pharmaceutical corporations.

There are several pharmaceutical products that, if taken during pregnancy, have been shown to cause defects in unborn children. Such dangerous product defects should be tested for before drugs are released to the marketplace, but they often slip through the cracks, hurting innocent people. In response, many individuals choose to file defective pharmaceutical lawsuits in hopes of recuperating compensation for the damages they’ve sustained as a result of pharmaceutical negligence.

When handling newborn children, people are cautious to avoid injuring the child. It would follow that doctors who deal with newborns on a daily basis would carry this caution into the delivery room, but some forget that an unborn baby is still a baby and use excessive force during the birthing process.

There is a lot that can go wrong as a child is making its journey into the world and poor decisions from a physician can exacerbate these situations, potentially leaving the child with lifelong injuries, such as cerebral palsy, which can be the result of overly-forceful instrument use on a stuck baby. Sometimes, a newborn’s shoulder gets blocked in the birth canal and doctors try to pull them out. This can cause a serious shoulder injury that can last for months.

Of course, doctors don’t intentionally injure infants, but when their actions are the cause of impairment, they should be held accountable for their medical mistakes.

The Weight of the Matter in Cocaine Possession

The penalties for cocaine possession largely depend on the amount of the controlled substance found in your possession and the number of previous offenses, if any. However, it is considered possession with intent to sell or distribute if it is beyond a certain weight, and in such cases even first offenses can result in serious consequences. This is a much more serious case than simple cocaine possession

According to Part I, Title XV, Chapter 94C Section 32E(b) of the Massachusetts General Laws, a person found in possession of cocaine of more than 14 grams may be considered as a drug trafficker regardless of the actual intention of possession. This includes 14 grams or more of substances containing cocaine, so it doesn’t even have to be pure cocaine. Anyone convicted of cocaine possession in the amount of 14 grams or more will be required to serve a minimum of 3 years in prison with a maximum sentence of 15 years, the latter being imposed only when possession exceeds 200 grams. Fines of $2,500 to $50,000 may also be imposed. In general, a conviction will also result in the suspension of the defendant’s driver’s license.

Cocaine possession in Massachusetts, or possession of any Class A or Class B controlled substance for that matter, is a felony no matter what the amount. Cocaine is considered a Class B controlled substance. The mandatory minimum penalties for trafficking apply even for first offenders, so it is important to seek legal counsel immediately if you are charged with trafficking in cocaine. Life-changing penalties can result from a trafficking conviction, and every effort should be made to challenge the particulars of the case with the objective of a more favorable judgement

With the right cocaine possession attorney, you will have access to the resources you need to fully research the details of your case in order to have the charges dismissed or reduced, as well as negotiating with prosecutors.