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Power

Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory 177

Posted by timothy
from the if-only-there-were-fast-swap-stations-everywhere dept.
Hodejo1 (1252120) writes "Tesla has already put over 25,000 cars on the road with more to come and, presumably, most will still be running well past the 8-year battery warranty. What would happen if it is time to replace the battery pack on an old Model S or X and the cost is $25K? Simple, it would destroy the resale value of said cars, which would negatively affect the lease value of new Tesla automobiles. That's a big part of the real reason why Tesla is building its own battery factory. They not only need to ensure enough supply for new cars, but they have to dramatically bring down the price of the replacement batteries low enough so owners of otherwise perfectly running old Teslas don't just junk them. The Tesla Roadster was not a mass produced vehicle, so the cost of replacing its battery is $40K. The economies of scale of a gigafactory alone will drop battery costs dramatically. Heavy research could drop it further over the next decade or so."

Comment: Re:I would think (Score -1, Flamebait) 339

by Spiked_Three (#46798929) Attached to: OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week
You are right, it is nothing like closing the door after the horses got out, it is more like closing the door after all the horses are dead.

Multiple eyes on code, security, these are things that are great about open source, except they aren't. This is a prime example of how bugs get through anyhow, major bugs. So it is now shown beyond a shadow of anyones doubt, open source is NOT superior in these respects.

Design and QA are 2 more things open source does not do anywhere near as well as closed source. It doesn't take much of a leap to understand open source it what it is, a free less than ideal solution that is NO competitor to closed source.
Encryption

OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week 339

Posted by timothy
from the the-good-kind-of-competition dept.
New submitter CrAlt (3208) writes with this news snipped from BSD news stalwart undeadly.org: "After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape. Leading this effort are Ted Unangst (tedu@) and Miod Vallat (miod@), who are head-to-head on a pure commit count basis with both having around 50 commits in this part of the tree in the week since Ted's first commit in this area. They are followed closely by Joel Sing (jsing@) who is systematically going through every nook and cranny and applying some basic KNF. Next in line are Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) and Bob Beck (beck@) who've been both doing a lot of cleanup, ripping out weird layers of abstraction for standard system or library calls. ... All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week.'" You can check out the stats, in progress.

+ - One week of OpenSSL cleanup ->

Submitted by CrAlt
CrAlt (3208) writes "After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape. Leading this effort are Ted Unangst (tedu@) and Miod Vallat (miod@), who are head-to-head on a pure commit count basis with both having around 50 commits in this part of the tree in the week since Ted's first commit in this area. They are followed closely by Joel Sing (jsing@) who is systematically going through every nook and cranny and applying some basic KNF. Next in line are Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) and Bob Beck (beck@) who've been both doing a lot of cleanup, ripping out weird layers of abstraction for standard system or library calls.

Then Jonathan Grey (jsg@) and Reyk Flöter (reyk@) come next, followed by a group of late starters. Also, an honorable mention for Christian Weisgerber (naddy@), who has been fixing issues in ports related to this work.

All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week. Some of these are simple or small changes, while other commits carry more weight. Of course, occasionally mistakes get made but these are also quickly fixed again, but the general direction is clear: move the tree forward towards a better, more readable, less buggy crypto library.

Check them out at http://anoncvs.estpak.ee/cgi-b..."

Link to Original Source

+ - Android Smartphone Activation in the U.S. Triumphs Over iOS in Q1->

Submitted by awaissoft
awaissoft (2930871) writes "Google’s Android platform dominated the smartphone market in the U.S. yet again with majority smartphone activations during the first quarter, while Apple’s iOS came in second place.

The dominance of the Android platform in the U.S. smartphone market continued as it again took the top spot during the first quarter of 2014. According to new data from research firm Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, CIRP, Android smartphone activations accounted for 53 percent of the entire market share in the U.S., but Apple’s iOS platform witnessed a significant drop from the previous quarter, nabbing 42 percent of all activations during the CIRP’s survey period.

The results were based on a survey of 500 U.S. residents who activated their devices from January through March. CIRP’s data only shows the number of new activations and not the total number of devices running Android or iOS.

Since Android and iOS took the majority share, with 95 percent of all activations in the U.S., other competing platforms were left with a mere 5 percent. Based on the findings, Microsoft’s Windows Phone and BlackBerry OS took one percent each and the remaining three percent was mustered by basic phones.

The results show a significant drop in the non-smartphone activations, down 20 percent from the beginning of Q1, CIRP shows. As for Android, the market share grew significantly from 43 percent at the beginning of the quarter to 53 percent by the end of the period. The growth was seen for iOS platform as well, which was weighed at 30 percent at the beginning to 42 percent during the quarter’s end.

“On a percentage bases during the quarter, iOS grew a little faster than Android, from a smaller base, even though in absolute terms Android had a larger share,” Mike Levin, Partner and Co-Founder of CIRP, said in a press release, Friday. “The long term issue is where Android and iOS growth will come from when there are no more basic phones being retired. First time smartphone buyers are key to that equation.”

Another recent survey from a market intelligence firm, IDC, revealed in February that Android accounted for nearly 80 percent of all smartphones in 2013. The survey was conducted on a global level and showed the total number of devices powered by different mobile operating systems and not just activations."

Link to Original Source

+ - What tech will be available in an energy constrained world.

Submitted by westernjanus
westernjanus (900664) writes "The Archdruid is currently running a writing contest on what a "De-industrial Civilization" will look like.

One of the pre-existing conditions of the story is a world 75-100 years from now where no viable source of energy comparable to fossil fuels has been found to replace the energy density of fossil fuels.

In this model, I feel that the loss of access to concentrated and relatively low-cost energy will have severe impacts on manufacturing processors. The high cost of energy will be reflected in the cost to the consumer for the processing power. This increase in cost will, more likely than not, decrease the demand for chips. The decrease in demand will provide a feedback loop which will require further price increase to offset volume of sales.

Chips would necessarily require the lowest amount of energy possible in their manufacture in order to retain the volumes required to economically maintain production

What sort of processors would fit into such a economic model, and what processor system, if any, would be the precursors of such a line of computing technology?"
Government

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt 218

Posted by timothy
from the just-passing-through dept.
jones_supa (887896) writes "In Russia, the State Duma (lower house) on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012. Russia sees this lucrative in advancing the plans to build a gas pipe and railroad through North to South Korea. The rest of the debt, $1.09 billion, would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal installments every six months. The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia's state development bank, Vnesheconombank. Moscow has been trying to diversify its energy sales to Asia away from Europe, which, in its turn, wants to cut its dependence on oil and gas from the erstwhile Cold War foe. Russia's state-owned top natural producer Gazprom is dreaming shipping 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually through the Koreas. Russia has written off debts to a number of impoverished Soviet-era allies, including Cuba. North Korea's struggling communist economy is just 2 percent of the size of neighboring South's."

+ - The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper 1

Submitted by Hugh Pickens DOT Com
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Joel Werner writes in Slate that when Citicorp Center was built in 1977 it was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world but no one figured out until after it was built that although the chief structural engineer, William LeMessurier, had properly accounted for perpendicular winds, the building was particularly vulnerable to quartering winds — in part due to cost-saving changes made to the original plan by the contractor. "According to LeMessurier, in 1978 an undergraduate architecture student contacted him with a bold claim about LeMessurier’s building: that Citicorp Center could blow over in the wind," writes Werner. "LeMessurier realized that a major storm could cause a blackout and render the tuned mass damper inoperable. Without the tuned mass damper, LeMessurier calculated that a storm powerful enough to take out the building hit New York every 16 years." In other words, for every year Citicorp Center was standing, there was about a 1-in-16 chance that it would collapse.

LeMessurier and his team worked with Citicorp to coordinate emergency repairs. With the help of the NYPD, they worked out an evacuation plan spanning a 10-block radius. They had 2,500 Red Cross volunteers on standby, and three different weather services employed 24/7 to keep an eye on potential windstorms. Work began immediately, and continued around the clock for three months. Welders worked all night and quit at daybreak, just as the building occupants returned to work. But all of this happened in secret, even as Hurricane Ella, the strongest hurricane on record in Canadian waters, was racing up the eastern seaboard. The hurricane became stationary for about 24 hours, and later turned to the northeast away from the coast. Hurricane Ella never made landfall. And so the public—including the building’s occupants—were never notified.

Until his death in 2007, LeMessurier talked about the summer of 1978 to his classes at Harvard. The tale, as he told it, is by turns painful, self-deprecating, and self-dramatizing--an engineer who did the right thing. But it also speaks to the larger question of how professional people should behave. "You have a social obligation," LeMessurier reminded his students. "In return for getting a license and being regarded with respect, you're supposed to be self-sacrificing and look beyond the interests of yourself and your client to society as a whole.""
Government

Declassified Papers Hint US Uranium May Have Ended Up In Israeli Arms 149

Posted by timothy
from the long-long-ago dept.
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Victor Gilinsky and Roger J. Mattson update their story on the NUMEC affair to take into account the recent release of hundreds of classified documents that shed additional light on the story. In the 1960s, the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) was found to be missing about a 100 pounds of bomb-grade uranium. Based on available evidence, Gilinsky and Mattson are convinced that the material ended up in Israel nuclear bombs. The newly release documents add more to the story, and Gilinsky and Mattson are calling on President Obama to declassify the remainder of the file."

+ - Did Israel steal bomb-grade uranium from the United States?->

Submitted by Lasrick
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Victor Gilinsky and Roger J. Mattson update their story on the NUMEC affair to take into account the recent release of hundreds of classified documents that shed additional light on the story. In the 1960s, the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) was found to be missing about a 100 pounds of bomb-grade uranium. Based on available evidence, Gilinsky and Mattson are convinced that the material ended up in Israel nuclear bombs. The newly release documents add more to the story, and Gilinsky and Mattson are calling on President Obama to declassify the remainder of the file."
Link to Original Source

+ - DARPA developing the ultimate auto-pilot software->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Call it the ultimate auto-pilot — an automated system that can help take care of all phases of aircraft flight-even perhaps helping pilots overcome system failures in-flight. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will in May detail a new program called Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) that would build upon what the agency called the considerable advances that have been made in aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years, as well as the advances made in remotely piloted aircraft automation, to help reduce pilot workload, augment mission performance and improve aircraft safety."
Link to Original Source
Businesses

California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers 213

Posted by Soulskill
from the if-california-falls-into-the-ocean-would-that-count-as-offshoring dept.
dcblogs writes: "Southern California Edison is preparing to offshore IT jobs, the second major U.S. utility in the last year to do so. It will be cutting its staff, but it hasn't said by how much. The utility is using at least two offshore outsourcing firms, according to government records. SCE's management culture may be particularly primed for firing its IT workers. Following a workplace shooting in SCE's IT offices in 2011, the utility conducted an independent audit of its organizational and management culture. One observation in this report, which was completed a year later, was that 'employees perceive managers to be more concerned about how they 'look' from above, and less concerned about how they are viewed by their subordinates. This fosters an unhealthy culture and climate by sending a message to employees that it is more important to focus on how things look from the top than how they actually are down below.'"

+ - Southern California Edison prepares to ship IT jobs offshore->

Submitted by dcblogs
dcblogs (1096431) writes "Southern California Edison is preparing to offshore IT jobs, the second major U.S. utility in the last year to do so. It will be cutting its staff, but it hasn’t said by how much. The utility is using at least two offshore outsourcing firms, according to government records. SCE’s management culture may be particularly primed for firing its IT workers. Following a workplace shooting in SCE’s IT offices in 2011, the utility conducted an independent audit of its organizational and management culture. One observation in this report, which was completed a year later, was that "employees perceive managers to be more concerned about how they 'look' from above, and less concerned about how they are viewed by their subordinates. This fosters an unhealthy culture and climate by sending a message to employees that it is more important to focus on how things look from the top than how they actually are down below.""
Link to Original Source
United States

Americans Uncomfortable With Possibility of Ubiquitous Drones, Designer Babies 153

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-you-design-the-babies-to-also-be-drones dept.
alphadogg writes: "Americans are optimistic about scientific inventions on the horizon, though are cautious about future uses of DNA, robots, drones and always-on implants, according to the latest Pew Research Center survey on future technology (PDF). Asked about the likelihood of certain advances 50 years from now, survey respondents were most sure that lab-grown custom organs for transplant will happen (81%). Only 19% expect humans will be able to control the weather by then. When asked how they felt about possible near-term advances, 65% thought robot caregivers for the elderly is a bad idea, 63% didn't want to see personal drones in U.S. airspace, and 66% thought parents altering the DNA of prospective children was a bad idea."

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