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+ - California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Google showed us what it feels is the car of the future. It drives itself, it doesn't have a gas or brake pedal, and there's no steering wheel. But that last one might be an issue. Back in May California's Department of Motor Vehicles published safety guidelines aimed at manufacturers of self-driving vehicles. After seeing Google's self-driving car vision, the California DMV has told the company it needs to add all those things back to their traditional locations so that occupants can take "immediate physical control" of the vehicle if necessary. Don't for a second think this is a major setback for Google, as the prototypes unveiled weren't even close to production ready. While the DMV may loosen some of these restrictions in the future as well all become more comfortable with the idea of self-driving vehicles, there's no question when it comes down to the safety of those on the road."

+ - IBM Gearing up Mega Power 8 Servers for October Launch->

Submitted by darthcamaro
darthcamaro (735685) writes "Now that IBM has sold off its x86 server business to Lenovo, it's full steam ahead for IBM's Power business. While Intel is ramping up its next generation of server silicon for a September launch, IBM has its next lineup of Power 8 servers set to be announced in October.

There is a larger than 4U, 2 socket system coming out," Doug Balong ,General Manager of Power Systems within IBM's System and Technology Group said.

Can IBM Power 8 actually take on x86? Or has that ship already sailed?"
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+ - How Does Tesla Build A Supercharger Charging Site?

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla's Superchargers are the talk of the electric car community. These charging stations can take a Model S battery pack from nearly empty to about 150 miles or range in around 30 minutes. That's crazy fast, and it's nothing short of impressive. But what does it take to actually build a Tesla Supercharger site? Apparently a lot of digging. A massive trench is created to run high-capacity electric cables before the charging stations themselves are even installed. A diagram and photos of the Electric Conduit Construction build out have surfaced on the Internet. The conduits connect the charging stations to a power distribution center, which in turn is connected to a transformer that provides the power for charging cars. It took 11 days to install the six charging stalls in Goodland, Kansas. If you thought it was a quick process to build a Supercharger station, you were clearly wrong. Now, what ever happened to those battery swapping stations?"

+ - Is California Going To Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla?

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "We all know Tesla is working on its Gigafactory, and it has yet to announce officially where it will be. But the automaker did announce a shortlist of possible locations, and California wasn't on it. The state has quickly been trying to lure Tesla to get back into contention. Now the state may waive environmental rules which would normally make construction of such a large manufacturing facility more difficult. Apparently, Governor Jerry Brown's office is currently negotiating an incentive package for Tesla that would waive certain parts of the nearly half-century-old California Environmental Quality Act. Not only that, but state officials are reportedly considering letting Tesla begin construction and perform damage mitigation later, along with limiting lawsuits that could slow down the project. Let's not forget some massive tax breaks to the tune of $500 million. Is California stepping out of bounds here? Is it about to be in hot water, or does this all sit just fine with everybody?"

+ - Reversible USB cable design finalized

Submitted by mrspoonsi
mrspoonsi (2955715) writes "The design for the new reversible USB interface — the standardized connection for data transfers between electronic devices — has been finished. It means users will no longer have to worry which way round the part is facing when plugging it into a device. The new USB Type-C is small enough for mobiles but "robust enough for laptops and tablets", its designers said. But the new USB cables will not connect into the current ports that are found on millions of devices."

+ - Twitter Reports 23 Million Users Are Actually Bots

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In its most recent quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Twitter disclosed that approximately 8.5% of its users are actually bots. Some of these 23 million bots were created to make revenue-generating URLs, others were created to collect followers that would later be sold to whoever needs a ready audience, and a few were created to mimic stereotypes just for fun. Now that Twitter is a public company, some wonder if these bots help or hinder Twitter's stock value."

+ - What happens to electric-car batteries once they leave cars? 1

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Skeptics will ask what happens to electric-car batteries once they leave the car? Do they just end up in landfills? This is a great question, and the answer is no, not really. While some could be recycled, that doesn't seem like a realistic plan as the stuff inside lithium-ion batteries is cheap, and technological breakthroughs will make it dated. But a secondary use, that's more realistic. The idea of these massive battery packs being re-purposed for something else is completely real. Maybe they'll be bundled to a solar panel system on a house to both create and store renewable energy for peak utility times. So will these battery packs end up creating more waste by going to landfills? Not likely, but they also might not get recycled."

+ - Idiot Left Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On The Highway

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Self-driving cars are coming, that's nothing new. People are somewhat nervous about this technology, and that's also not news. But it appears self-driving cars are already hear, and one idiot was dumb enough to climb out of the driver's seat while his car cruised down the highway. The car in question is a new Infiniti Q50 which has Active Lane Control and adaptive cruise control. Both of which essentially turn the Q50 into an autonomous vehicle while at highway speeds. While impressive, taking yourself out of a position where you can quickly and safely regain control of the car if needed is simply dumb. After watching the video, it's abundantly clear why people should be nervous about autonomous vehicles. It's not the cars and tech we need to worry about, it's idiots like this guy."

+ - MIT Considers Whether Courses Are Outdated->

Submitted by jyosim
jyosim (904245) writes "People now buy songs, not albums. They read articles, not newspapers. So why not mix and match learning “modules” rather than lock into 12-week university courses? A committee at MIT exploring the future of the elite school suggested that courses might now be outdated, and recommended creating learning modules that students could mix and match. The report imagines a world in which students can take online courses they assemble themselves from parts they find online: “Much like a playlist on iTunes, a student could pick and choose the elements of a calculus or a biology course offered across the edX platform to meet his or her needs.""
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+ - Think you can drive better than an autonomous car? You're wrong. 3

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Humans seem to fear the idea of self-driving cars. Why? The reasons we have accidents are more times than not because of human error. A recent study by which polled 2,000 licensed drivers in June 2014 found that 61 percent of those surveyed said they would make better driving decisions than a computer. While one would love to believe such a thing, it's a fact that computers drive better than humans. This may not be true today, but very, very soon, once software is tidied up, autonomous cars will make far better drivers. Why? Because humans are taking selfies, putting on makeup, and reading email while behind the wheel of the car they are supposedly driving. Self-driving cars don't get hammered before driving, they can't take selfies, and they certainly aren't reading the most recent Buzzfeed article. Human error accounts for up to 95 percent of all traffic accidents. So the next time you think you're a better driver than a computer, you aren't."

+ - Tesla's Already Shopping For More Office Space

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Remember four years ago when Tesla's new headquarters in Palo Alto, California seemed like a big risk? Yeah, time flies and now the Silicon Valley startup is already running out of room. Apparently the electric-car maker is already looking for 200,000-300,000 square feet of office space in the lower Peninsula market. Part of the motivation is that the company would like to have employees closer to its Fremont factory, which is 20 miles from its current headquarters. With heavy traffic that journey can take up to an hour or more. While not looking to relocate its headquarters, Tesla's simply looking to expand its space. Meanwhile, we all eagerly await to hear if the Gigafactory will indeed end up being built in Nevada."

+ - How Facebook Sold You Krill Oil

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "With its trove of knowledge about the likes, histories and social connections of its 1.3 billion users worldwide, Facebook executives argue, it can help advertisers reach exactly the right audience and measure the impact of their ads — while also, like TV, conveying a broad brand message. Facebook, which made $1.5 billion in profit on $7.9 billion in revenue last year, sees particular value in promoting its TV-like qualities, given that advertisers spend $200 billion a year on that medium. “We want to hold ourselves accountable for delivering results,” said Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president for global marketing solutions, in a recent interview. “Not smoke and mirrors, maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t.”"

+ - Haking a Mercedes to autonomous car with a soda can

Submitted by Petrut Malaescu
Petrut Malaescu (3748097) writes "Last year Mercedes introduced an intelligent Lane Assist system to it's S-class which is cataloged as a Level 1 "Function-specific Automation" aka "hands and feet always on the controls", but a clever(?) driver discovered that all it takes to turn his car up a notch, is a soda can that bypasses the steering wheel sensor which detects the drivers hands. The trick was picked up by Road & Track magazine and I agree that it's not a good idea to try this on a busy highway."

+ - Researchers Just Created The 'Holy Grail' For Battery Cells

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "Tesla says the future is electric cars, but many are skeptical that battery technology is advanced enough. It seems researchers just created pure lithium anode which is considered the 'holy grail' of battery tech. Existing lithium-ion batteries rely on the movement of lithium ions between the anode and cathode--and back--as the battery charges and discharges. While it's currently the best option for powering electric vehicles (and consumer electronics), there's room for improvement. The researchers at Stanford University just created that improvement. The pure lithium anode has the potential of boosting battery efficiency by a large margin over today's units. It proveds higher energy density, lighter weight and more power. A lithium anode would be ideal, but it's also unstable as the lithium expands during charging, causing cracks and fissures in the anode. Then lithium ions escape and battery life is reduced. That, and lithium anodes chemically react with the electrolyte, further reducing its life. Researchers fixed this issue with a carbon nanosphere arranged in a honeycomb structure. Is this the future? Did Standord's researchers just truly create the holy grail of battery technology?"

+ - How You Control Wheelspin At 1,100 MPH

Submitted by cartechboy
cartechboy (2660665) writes "We've covered the Bloodhound SSC before because it's being built to go at least 1,000 mph. That's just crazy. Throughout the car's development the team has kept us updated on how it's constructing and testing various components. The latest development has the team testing the wheels to ensure they won't explode at 1,100 mph. How do you test such a thing? You run the wheel up to 1,100 mph and see what happens, naturally. We know the record speed attempt will be live streamed for all to view, so if something catastrophic does happen, we'll know about it as it's happening. In the past we've learned about the Bloodhound SSC's anatomy, brakes, and engine. The team is clearly working hard to ensure both the driver's safety and the ability to control the car in case the worst happens. The question still remains: will the Bloodhound SSC actually break the speed record and hit 1,000 mph, safely?"

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol