Colorado is a windy place. Let's make use of that.
These are the sorts of things that private citizens can't pull of alone. The government they elect has to be used to incentivise private business to build these chargers. Otherwise we'll never escape from petrol-based personal commuting.
John Voelcker over at Green Car Reports put together an interesting story about how auto companies are approaching the US federal government in preparation of infrastucture legislation.
First, the good news. GM is trying to use the environment to get more funding for EV chagrin stations. It's essential to the zero-emissions future. Here's the meat:
Now the bad news.
While CES 2018 saw Toyota make a move toward taking its fleet's powertrain over to battery electric; a turn of events I celebrated earlier this month, it seem that Toyota still hasn't given up on the awful Mirai concept, and wants money spent on Hydrogen fueling stations - an idea I've considered utterly foolish for years now. The problem is that they're not the only ones. Voelcker says that Toyota was joined by Honda in the request for hydrogen fueling infrastructure.
I've noted it time and again and I'll note it here now: Hydrogen, while likely the most abundant substance in the universe, is difficult to obtain on Earth. One needs to burn natural gas to get it. That's not eco friendly.
If you recall, we are to believe that it took Yahoo! leadership years to both recognise that their data storage systems had been breached, and then notify users that their data, including some personally identifiable information had been stolen.
When put in the context of the scandal around the recent Equifax breach, and the emerging understanding of how state actors may be infiltrating US data systems, Senator Bill Nelson seems to have said what everyone was thinking:
“...only stiffer enforcement and stringent penalties will help incentivize companies to properly safeguard consumer information.”
Meyer had to be subpoenaed after she refused to appear voluntarily. You can read more about the hearing here.
This image pretty much expresses everything about the move from 140 to 280.
While this blog is mostly intended to lay out my ideas associated with various technologies, every once in a while I'm happy to depart from that theme.
Last week, Geeks of Doom was gracious enough to allow my opinion to be represented as their review of Alien Covenant.
My overall assessment? Better than Prometheus, but still flawed. Here's an excerpt of what I had to say:
Find tne entire review here at Geeks of Doom.
A few years ago I had a chance to check out the Toyota Mirai - a hydrogen powered electricly propelled car that Toyota claimed was, rather than its Pruis line or the trending battery electric vehicles, the wave of the future.
Suffice it to say I didn't agree. hydrogen is not a sustainable or ecologically friendly fuel source at this time - maybe never.
Still, Toyota put a lot of $$$$ into the research and development of the thing and they still believe that this thing, which allows for the continued time, energy and money drive-to-pump model of re-fuelling, in addition to the fact that one needs CNG or LNG to produce the fuel, is a product that Toyota hopes will take off.
To that end, Toyota has reached out to LA-based ad agency Saatchi to develop advertising materials for the series of poor logistical and ecological choices on four wheels that is the Mirai.
To that end, the ad agency took to IBM's Watson Artificial Intelligence computer, where time and energy was spent programming the supercomputer to write phrases that would appeal to every single type of consumer that would be interested in the hydrogen-powered Mirai.
The computer was able to find myriad new ways to describe the vehicle to potential buyers. Unfortunately, the data neglected to mention that tech-savvy, eco-minded buyers, are not necessarily into under-powered vehicles that have to be powered by fuel that's only available at select pumps in or around California. Especially when they realise that hydrocarbons are needed to create that fuel in the first place.
Still, the method of advertising is novel. While it's not clear how well crafted the data set was that determined the targeting for this campaign, there are plenty of ways to identify users and consumers who are in the market for this or that trinket. The added benefit of AI is that it can make the messages more applicable to potential consumers and, eventually, it holds the promise of being able to do that in real time with the latest available data. Did your Android Watch recently report that you just finished a run? How about a smoothie?
It may sound "creepy" at first, but relevance is everything when it comes to saving time and money in the ad space. I'd rather be enlightened about something I want than be annoyed by ads that interrupt the flow of my day, pushing products I have no real interest in.
So what's the takeaway? We're that much closer to Minority Report, which is, in more ways than just advertising, the holy grail of so much of tech.
This week, a global ransomware hack will make you WannaCry, Google’s I/O Conference, babies made from skin cells, Apple builds a new spaceship, and a pizza box, plus much, much more.
You can find the episode here.
Steve Lohr, writing for the New York Times,
"...recent research and even the people working on the software meant to automate legal work say the adoption of A.I. in law firms will be a slow, task-by-task process. In other words, like it or not, a robot is not about to replace your lawyer. At least, not anytime soon."
This makes sense to me. Automation isn't a one-shot when it comes to thought-intensive tasks: it's a process. The good news for automators of the AI world, is that for all of the complexity of our legal system, it's (mostly) logical. Getting around arguments is going to be exceedingly difficult for a machine to take on, but when it comes to the *happy path* of any particular legal process, just look at Legal Zoom. They're taking the boring stuff away from lawyers every day, so all they need to do is check the documents once the forms have been filled in.
“Are you a God?” asked Shadow. The buffalo-headed man shook his head. Shadow thought, for a moment, that the creature was amused. “I am the land,” he said.
And then - as if Picard himself willed it, they made it so.
See the entire post here, on Geeks of Doom.
- A company has developed a type of technology that allows a machine to effectively learn from fewer examples and refine its knowledge as further examples are provided.
- This technology could be applied to everything from teaching a smartphone to recognize a user's preferences to helping autonomous driving systems quickly identify obstacles.
You've heard it before-- This is the stuff of science fiction. But it's not. It's real and it's here and it's one of the surest signs that our civilization can take advantage of computing in new and powerful ways, including but not limited to robotics.
And Robotics is where this gets interesting. We've heard a lot of talk about advanced engineering-- robotics taking over jobs. With technology of the ilk described in this article, we could see robots being trained to build new machines that incrementally increase efficiency by increased automation. It's quite possibly the path to the end of work, which has been explored by both the Atlantic and the New York Times.
There are precious few people who have seen and comprehended enough of the rise of computing (and now mobile computing) to have some perspective on the industry’s mind-bending velocity. “The tools have just gotten so much better,” he says. “When I was working on the game for Electronic Arts, I did the entire development on the Atari 800 and it took me 45 minutes to do one compile off of a floppy disk which held a grand total of 380 kilobytes. Today I have a device in my pocket with can give me access to the world’s knowledge,” he says. “That is unbelievable–but I think we have lost the idea of the software artist. When the machines were much smaller, I did my game essentially as a one-man team. I did all the art. I did all the programming. I had one other engineer help me with some of the music. I have a friend working with EA today and he is probably working in a team of 120 engineers.”
A couple interesting points below based on the article, which you can find here.
What it takes to pop solar on rooftops takes far more workers than the big industrial stuff that would replace coal fired power plants. The efficiency at scale is real.
Rooftop installations drove much of the growth this year. Household projects accounted for 63 percent of the industry’s jobs, with 15 percent of the workforce tackling commercial projects and 22 percent building utility-scale installations. That points to an interesting disjoint in the way the industry operates: the type of solar installation that replaces the most greenhouse gas emissions represents a smaller share of the solar workforce. The report says this is because utility-scale projects are less labor-intensive.
If this sort of growth continues, then Solar jobs will be the energy sector's most dominant type of work. That can seriously change the way Congress is lobbied. to be sure, Congressional representatives of places that still extract fossil fuels will be against it, but all that means is that companies need to look at the map and choose sunny places to hire people so that they can break those representatives constituencies and thus ensure long term growth with government support. Let's not forget-- government always picks winners and losers.
Going back to point #1 above-- there's a huge win-win-win for the president if he can see past the sterotypical GOP dislike of renewable energy. Power plants are usually government monopolies, which means that they receive corporate welfare. If he gave incentives to solar companies and the 50 states to ramp up on rooftop solar, it would begin the obviation of traditional power companies while ramping up the need for these workers. The third win is that opposition party Dems would have to work with him or look like they're not genuine about energy and the environment. Whether the opposition party works with him or not, he'd look like he was putting "America First" with regard to jobs and any dependence the US has to foreign energy sources.
You save a lot of oil if you don't have to transport coal by truck or diesel locomotive.
You also require less natural gas and oil pipelines if most electricity is coming from people's rooftops.
And a bonus? The idea of each homeowner generating and managing their own electricity usage falls inline with the individual responsibility and self-reliance ideals and principles of US conservative politics.
The environment, specifically, the carbon crisis, is probably the most important issue of our time. Let's use political and scientific realities to solve it.
On this week’s Drill Down podcast, fighting terrorist drones… with eagles, Facebook’s vision for the future, should the robot that takes your job pay your taxes?, newly discovered planets that may contain life, and much much more.
This week’s Drill Down podcast, U.S. border guards may demand your passwords, Apple’s first TV show, Yahoo! gets a markdown, PewdiePie gets canned, robot bees save the environment, and more.
On this week’s Drill Down podcast, Tosin recaps PAX South, drones at the Super Bowl, the tech world opposes President Trump’s immigration ban, Snap goes IPO, factory robots on the rise, Tesla breaks another speed record, and more.
Check out the episode on Geeks of Doom.
On this week’s Drill Down podcast, “Rogues and Resistance,” Science and the National Parks go rogue, tech’s response to President Trump’s immigration ban, Oculus loses a $500M suit, a human/pig hybrid, and more.
On this week’s podcast, The Drill Down co-host emeritus Tom Cheredar joins us to discuss Donald Trump’s first week of Presidency as it affects the tech world, is this the end of Net Neutrality, the final word on the Samsung Note 7 and the Tesla crash, Sprint buys into TIDAL, and much, much more.
On this week’s Drill Down podcast, President Trump’s social media strategy, President Obama’s last act for Chelsea Manning, Nintendo’s new console, crowdfunding’s shaky ground, and much, much more.