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+ - Oso disaster had its roots in earlier landslides->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "The disastrous March 22 landslide that killed 43 people in the rural Washington state community of Oso involved the "remobilization" of a 2006 landslide on the same hillside, a new federally sponsored geological study concludes.

The research indicates the landslide, the deadliest in U.S. history, happened in two major stages. The first stage remobilized the 2006 slide, including part of an adjacent forested slope from an ancient slide, and was made up largely or entirely of deposits from previous landslides. The first stage ultimately moved more than six-tenths of a mile across the north fork of the Stillaguamish River and caused nearly all the destruction in the Steelhead Haven neighborhood. The second stage started several minutes later and consisted of ancient landslide and glacial deposits. That material moved into the space vacated by the first stage and moved rapidly until it reached the trailing edge of the first stage, the study found.

The report, released Tuesday on the four-month anniversary of the slide, details an investigation by a team from the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance Association, or GEER. The scientists and engineers determined that intense rainfall in the three weeks before the slide likely was a major issue, but factors such as altered groundwater migration, weakened soil consistency because of previous landslides and changes in hillside stresses played key roles.

"Perhaps the most striking finding is that, while the Oso landslide was a rare geologic occurrence, it was not extraordinary," said Joseph Wartman, a University of Washington associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and a team leader for the study.

"We observed several other older but very similar long-runout landslides in the surrounding Stillaguamish River Valley. This tells us these may be prevalent in this setting over long time frames. Even the apparent trigger of the event – several weeks of intense rainfall – was not truly exceptional for the region," Wartman said."

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+ - The Tesla Model S Has Been Hacked

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "A few weeks ago we heard about a challenge being thrown down to hack a Tesla Model S. It seem that challenge was both accepted and accomplished. Chinese internet security company Qihoo has announced it's found ways to remotely control aspects of the Model S, even while the car is in motion. The company posted screenshots showing several vital functions of the car disabled--such as ABS and traction control--while the company also "discovered ways to remotely control the car's lock, horn and flashing lights." Obviously this move could simply be a PR stunt by Qihoo. Forbes suggested it might be a way to scare Tesla's CEO Elon Musk into doing business with Qihoo. Tesla said, "WE hope that the security researchers will act responsibly and in good faith."

+ - Tesla Model S Falters On The Nürburgring

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Most normal road cars aren't designed to handle track conditions, though, newer performance cars have become surprisingly good at going around a track. It seems the same can't be said for the Tesla Model S which faltered during a hot lap around the legendary Nürburgring. Racing driver Robb Holland piloted the electric car around the 14-mile track, but after just one third of the loop the Model S went into reduced-power mode to help preserve the battery. Before this happened Holland described the car as too heavy, too short of mechanical grip, and devoid of steering feel. He did praise the electric sedan saying it's probably capable of a 9-minute lap if it doesn't overheat, and for a brand new car company that didn't exist a decade ago, it's an impressive vehicle. So it seems the Tesla Model S isn't perfect at everything, yet."

+ - Nissan's Self-Driving Car Won't Actually Be Fully Autonomous

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Last summer Nissan said it would be launching a self-driving car with revolutionary technology in 2020. It seems the "revolutionary technology" Nissan was talking about won't actually be hitting by 2020, as the launch plan it just announced doesn't put a fully autonomous car on the road any time soon. The plan calls for a vehicle with automated lane controls and highway traffic management system (essentially a traffic jam assistant) to launch in 2016. Then by 2018 it will launch a vehicle with additional multiple-lane control system, which will allow the vehicle to autonomously negotiate hazards and change lanes. By the end of the decade Nissan plans to have a vehicle with intersection-autonomy, allowing a vehicle to negotiate city cross-roads without driver interaction. So by 2020, Nissan's autonomous car will still require a driver to remain in control and behind the wheel. This is a bit different than what Google's looking to launch. Which then begs the question, is this truly even going to be a self-driving car?"

+ - California in the running for Tesla Gigafactory

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Thanks to some clean-energy tax incentives approved late this spring, California appears to be in the running again for Tesla's "Gigafactory". From the article: "The decision should have been made by now, and ground broken, according to the company's timeline, but is on hold, allowing California, which was not in the race initially — CEO Elon Musk has called California an improbable choice, citing regulations — to throw its hat in the ring. 'In terms of viability, California has progressed. Now it's a four-plus-one race,' said Simon Sproule, Tesla's vice president of global communication and marketing, referring to the four named finalists — Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada — for the prize. That's heartening. Having the Gigafactory would be a vindication of Gov. Jerry Brown's drive to make California the home of advanced manufacturing, of which Tesla's battery technology is a prime example. With its technology, 'Tesla may be in position to disrupt industries well beyond the realm of traditional auto manufacturing. It's not just cars,' a Morgan Stanley analyst told Quartz, an online business publication last year."

+ - White House Responded To Tesla's Direct-Sales Petition

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Remember about a year ago when a Tesla supported created a petition on asking President Obama to allow Tesla Motors to sell its vehicles directly to consumers in all states? The petition has the necessary 100,000 signatures and was completed properly. Well, the White House got around to responding, a year later. Basically, the answer was sorry, go talk to congress. The response from the White House was actually 10 paragraphs long, but two sentences basically sum it up: "As you know, laws regulating auto sales are issues that have traditionally sat with lawmakers at the state level." And also, "We understand that pre-empting current state laws on direct-to-consumer auto sales would require an act of Congress." Naturally Tesla and Tesla supporters weren't pleased to see this type of response."

+ - Workbooks for 6% of all the kids->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Many of us know a family with a child who has autism or ADHD. More than 1% have autism and for ADHD the number is a lot higher. A new workbook series from Be My Rails Publishing can help these children to develop executive functions and theory of mind by teaching even a young child to think in steps and understand others. The two latest workbooks are released 18th July and in-between Lego challenges and a memory game, there is a superhero to help children to wash hands and wait."
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+ - White House won't back Tesla's Direct Sales Initiative->

Submitted by neanderslob
neanderslob (1207704) writes "Last Friday, the whitehouse rejected a petition to "allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states." The rejection, written by Dan Utech, stated: "as you know, laws regulating auto sales are issues that have traditionally sat with lawmakers at the state level." The letter went on to defend the administration by citing their initiatives "in promoting vehicle efficiency."

In response, Tesla is firing back, blasting the whitehouse for a lack of leadership on the issue and stating:

"138,469 people signed the petition asking the White House to allow Tesla Motors to sell directly to consumers in all 50 states. More than a year later, at 7.30pm EST on Friday as most of America prepared for the weekend, the White House released its disappointing response to those people. Rather than seize an opportunity to promote innovation and support the first successful American car company to be started in more than a century, the White House issued a response that was even more timid than its rejection of a petition to begin construction of a Death Star,"O’Connell said. "Instead of showing the sort of leadership exhibited by senior officials at the Federal Trade Commission who declared their support for consumer freedom of choice, the White House merely passed the buck to Congress and trumpeted its advances in promoting vehicle efficiency. Given the economic and environmental principles at stake, we would have hoped for stronger leadership and more action."


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+ - Hyundai Exec Trash Talks Tesla, Electric Car Maker Bites Back

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "It's not uncommon for executives to talk about the competition, but it is unusual for them to not only trash talk them, but to literally call them out. That seems to be the scenario that just happened as a Hyundai executive has called out Tesla. Michael O'Brien is head of U.S. product planning for Hyundai called out Tesla by saying it bought and paid for its Supercharger network with "money that has come from grants and loans from the government." Meanwhile he's angry that the government has provided exactly zero dollars towards the development of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Tesla of course was less than thrilled to hear about this and immediately refuted the claims made by Mr. O'Brien. Could it be that Hyundai is simply sour that it's chosen to invest in fuel-cells and that there's no infrastructure to refuel these vehicles?"

+ - Creepy New Seats Monitor Your Heart Rate, Can Control The Car

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Cars already have the technology to determine when you're drowsy, that's nothing new. But having seats with sensors in them monitoring your heart rate to determine if you're falling asleep, that's new, and creepy. A new project from Nottingham Trent University in the UK is working on an electrocardiogram (ECG) built into the driver's seat to detect heart rate and determine when the driver is too fatigued—or worse, falling asleep—in order to improve road safety. The tech uses circuits integrated right into the seats to monitor heart rate, respiration, and more to monitor alertness and health. The idea is the system can take over using active cruise control, lane-keep assist, and other safety technology if the driver were to be drowsy or fall asleep. Of course, the creepy part is the car knows your health and determines whether it would be more fit to drive than you. Maybe in the future you won't get to decide if you're fit to drive, your car will."

+ - How a supercomputer beat the scrap heap and lived on to retire in Africa.->

Submitted by jorge_salazar
jorge_salazar (3562633) writes "Pieces of the decommissioned Ranger supercomputer, 40 racks in all, were shipped to researchers in South Africa, Tanzania, and Botswana to help seed their supercomputing aspirations. They say they'll need supercomputers to solve their growing science problems in astronomy, bioinformatics, climate modeling and more. Ranger's own beginnings were described by the co-founder of Sun Microsystems as a "historic moment in petaflop computing.""
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+ - Apple Gets Its First Batch Of iPhone Chips From TSMC->

Submitted by redletterdave
redletterdave (2493036) writes "Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the world’s biggest chip maker by revenue, has shipped its first batch of microprocessors to Apple as the iPhone maker looks to diversify its overseas suppliers. Apple will continue to rely on Samsung for its microprocessors, but as the rivalry between Apple and Samsung heats up in the mobile and soon wearable arenas, the deal with TSMC allows Apple to be less reliant on Samsung and therefore have more leverage with respect to price negotiations for future chips, as TSMC has supplanted Samsung Electronics as Apple’s chief chipmaker for iPhones and iPads. Since 2011, Apple has been striking deals with other display and chip makers around Asia to reduce its dependence on Samsung. As a result of this slowdown in sales, Samsung on Monday announced operating income for its fiscal second quarter had sunk to a two-year low, blaming “weak” sales of low- and medium-end smartphones, strong competition and subpar demand."
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+ - Hack A Tesla Model S Challenge Set With $10,000 Prize

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "It seems there's a new hack challenge set every week, but this time, it seems different. A challenge has been thrown down to hack a Tesla Model S with a $10,000 prize. The organizers of a computer security conference have set the challenge and it's open to anyone that registers for the Syscan conference. Taking place in Beijing from July 16-17, the rules for the hack competition haven't been revealed yet but a Model S will be on display for hackers to try their luck on. It's important to note that Tesla itself isn't involved in the competition in any official capacity, nor does it support the competition. If successful, this wouldn't be the first time a Tesla Model S has been hacked. In that instance Tesla was quick to warn people that making changes in the Model S' software would immediately void the car's warranty. Given the car's high-tech nature, it's no shock Tesla's taking security seriously. With $10,000 on the line, it'll be interesting to see if anyone manages to crack the code."

+ - Single European Copyright Title on the Horizon->

Submitted by presroi
presroi (657709) writes "It has been 13 years after the last harmonization effort of copyright within the European Union and this period might soon be over. After the election of a new European Parliament in May this year, Jean-Claude Juncker has been nominated to become the new President of the European Commission. He has named a unified copyright his top priority, a statement repeated today at a hearing before the Greens/EFA group in the European parliament (transscript of the question by MEP Julia Reda and his answer in German, Video recording). These statements are coinciding with the upcoming release of a report by the General Directorate in charge of copyright, of which an advanced draft has been already leaked to the internet. The report analyzes four possible policy options, one of which is the introduction of a Single EU Copyright title."
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Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.