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Submission + - Toshiba plans to ship a 1TB flash chip to manufacturers this spring (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Toshiba has begun shipping samples of its third-generation 3D NAND memory product, a chip with 64 stacked flash cells that it said will enable a 1TB chip it will ship this spring. The new flash memory product has 65% greater capacity than the previous generation technology, which used 48 layers of NAND flash cells. The chip will be used in data center and consumer SSD products. The technology announcement comes even as suitors are eyeing buying a majority share of the company's memory business. Along with a previous report about WD, Foxxcon, SK Hynix and Micron have now also thrown their hats in the ring to purchase a majority share in Toshiba's memory spin-off, according to a new report in the Nikkei's Asian Review.

Submission + - Self-driving cars, trucks may always need a human behind the wheel (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Even as self-driving car technology quickly evolves, technologists and lawmakers are still grappling with a big problem : In the event of an accident, who's to blame? For example, the U.K.'s Department for Transport announced plans this month to require owners of cars with advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) to carry two-in-one insurance policies: one to cover the person when they're controlling the vehicle and the other for the car when it is in autonomous mode. One glaring problem with trusting autonomous vehicle software to control a one-ton car (or a 16-ton semi-tractor truck) is that each manufacturer programs its product differently from its competitors. And, if a software glitch exists in one vehicle, it exists in the entire line of cars or trucks. André Platzer, who is part of DARPA's High-Assurance Cyber Military Systems project which learns from the military's experience in developing hardened technology for controlling autonomous vehicle system. Platzer believes autonomous vehicles should always have a human being behind the wheel so that in instances where the vehicle is outside of its operating parameters, it can alert the driver to take control. Platzer, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science, is also part of a team developing software that would make self-driving vehicles self aware in the sense that the vehicle would know its operating limitations. "The world is a complicated place and that makes the road a complicated place. Most of the time, roads are the same, but every once in a while the situation is a bit different," Platzer said. "Even if you take a million of these scenarios..., you've still not tried all the cases by testing alone."

Submission + - Ford to invest $1B in A.I. startup founded by former Google and Uber employees (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Ford plans to invest $1 billion over the next five years in Argo AI, an artificial intelligence startup that will help develop a virtual driver system for the carmaker's autonomous vehicle coming in 2021. Ford said its relationship with Argo AI, which was founded last year in Pittsburgh, will combine its existing autonomous vehicle development program with Argo AI's robotics and "startup speed" on artificial intelligence software. Argo AI founders CEO Bryan Salesky, and COO Peter Rander are alumni of Carnegie Mellon National Robotics Engineering Center and former leaders on the self-driving car teams of Google and Uber, respectively. Argo AI's team will include roboticists and engineers from inside and outside of Ford working to develop a new software platform for Ford's fully autonomous vehicle, expected in 2021. Ford said it could also license the software to other carmakers.

Submission + - U.S. solar industry power generation jobs pass oil, coal and gas combined (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: In 2016, the solar workforce in the U.S. increased by 25% to 374,000 employees, compared to 187,117 electrical generation jobs in the coal, gas and oil industries. Solar employment, which includes both photovoltaic electricity and concentrated solar steam generators, accounts for 43% of the electric power generation workforce — the largest share of workers in that sector. Fossil fuel generation employment now accounts for 22%. In addition to losing ground in employment, net power generation from coal sources declined by 53% between 2006 and September 2016; electricity generation from natural gas increased by 33%; and solar grew by over 5,000% —from 508,000 megawatt hours (MWh) to just over 28 million MWh.

Submission + - President Trump Signs Executive Order to Withdraw from the TPP (freezenet.ca)

Dangerous_Minds writes: President Donald Trump has signed an executive order for the US to pull out of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It was a campaign promise he is seemingly following through on. The agreement would have instituted laws that would unmask DNS registrants trying to protect their privacy, added criminal liability to the circumvention of a DRM (Digital Rights Management), mandated government spying on online copyright infringement, and even allow enforcement of copyright laws even when infringement does not take place. For many, the move represents a significant blow to the future of the agreement.

Submission + - Energy storage to grow from 2GW to 80GW in the next decade (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: With researchers predicting 378.1GW of new solar and wind generating capacity to be installed globally over the next five years, a staggering amount of battery storage technology will be needed to connect it effectively to grids around the world, and particularly in developing economies. Over the next decade, energy storage capacity in developing countries is expected to skyrocket 40 fold from 2GW today to more than 80GW, according to a new report by the World Bank Group. The report, "Energy Storage Trends and Opportunities in Emerging Markets," indicates the annual growth in energy storage capacity will exceed 40% each year over the next eight to nine years. Those storage technologies include mechanical systems such as flywheels, compressed air or pumped hydro; electrochemical storage, such as lithium-ion (li-on) and flow battery technology; and thermal systems like phase-change technology. Phase-change tech uses materials such as molten salt to store heat from concentrated solar farms for later release in steam generators. An already aging grid infrastructure in many developing nations is also driving the adoption of distributed grid technology and energy storage systems. By 2030, it is estimated that $45 billion will need to be invested to provide universal access to modern electric power — and energy storage is set to play a key role in those investments.


Comment For all those calling for Snowden's pardon (Score 4, Interesting) 798

President Obama noted stark differences between Manning's and Snowden's cases.

From the New York Times article: “Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing,” Pres. Obama said. “Mr. Snowden fled into the arms of an adversary, and has sought refuge in a country that most recently made a concerted effort to undermine confidence in our democracy.”

He also noted that while the documents Ms. Manning provided to WikiLeaks were “damaging to national security,” the ones Mr. Snowden disclosed were “far more serious and far more dangerous.” (None of the documents Ms. Manning disclosed were classified above the merely “secret” level.)

So, the president isn't about to pardon someone who hasn't even been tried for his crimes.

Submission + - Carbon nanotube-based memory poised for commercialization in 2018 (computerworld.com)

Lucas123 writes: Nano-RAM, which is based on carbon nanotubes and is claimed to have virtually a limitless number of write cycles and can achieve up to 3.2 billion data transfers per second or 2.4Gbps — more than twice as fast as NAND flash — is now being produced in seven fabrication plants around the world. Fujitsu plans to develop a custom embedded storage-class memory module using a DDR4 interface by the end of 2018, with the goal of expanding its product line-up into a stand-alone NRAM product family. A new report from BCC Research states the NRAM will likely challenge all other memory types for market dominance and is expected to be used in everything from IoT sensors to smartphone memory and embedded ASICS for automobiles.

Comment Re:Waaah! (Score 2, Insightful) 600

And, it took all of about 37 seconds before someone compared a businessman and reality TV star to a vicious, military-style dictator who started a world war that caused the death of more than one hundred million people and methodically murdered millions of people in concentration camps.

Yeah, I'm invoking Godwin's Law because it's applicable here and really a really tired comparison.

Comment This was a hero (Score 5, Interesting) 113

John Glenn was a U.S. Marine fighter pilot who flew 59 combat missions over the South Pacific during WWII and 63 combat missions during the Korean War. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism or extraordinary achievement six times! In Korea, he got the nickname "magnet ass" because he attracted so much enemy flak on his missions.

Oh, and then he went on to become a test pilot, the first American to orbit the Earth, a U.S. senator and then the oldest man to go into space.

He stopped flying planes at age 90.

"The most important thing we can do is inspire young minds and to advance the kind of science, math and technology education that will help youngsters take us to the next phase of space travel." John Glenn.

If you're looking for someone children can look up to, he's it.

Comment Re:Great! (Score 1, Insightful) 176

I always get a kick out of people who think subsidies for the nascent renewable energy industry is unfair because I can then point out that global fossil fuel subsidies represent about 6.5% of global GDP. That's $5.3 trillion in subsidies in 2015 alone. And those subsidies have been ongoing for decades even though I think we can all agree that industry doesn't need it -- never did.

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