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Huawei Fights Back

Slashdot - 52 min 52 sek më parë
mspohr writes: Looks like Huawei is going to fight back against the U.S. for the sanctions it has imposed on the company... using the U.S. patent system, which recently made some changes to FRAND agreements (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) to make it even easier to sue. They're starting with Verizon and its suppliers, HP and Cisco. "It has filed patent infringement claims against Verizon for its own technology and for products Verizon has acquired from Cisco and Hewlett-Packard and demanded royalty payments for hundreds of patents," reports Forbes. "Huawei's patents may not even be practiced in the firms' accused products, but Huawei is using the legal process to compel court discovery on Verizon's and its suppliers' confidential information to enrich Huawei's knowledge of competitors' products and technology." [...] The report adds: "It is likely that the Trump Administration simply had not considered how Huawei would turn U.S. patent law against U.S. companies, since the President and his team have consistently led the charge to rid Chinese-controlled companies from the communications infrastructure in the U.S. and abroad, especially in 5G." Didn't see that coming?

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next-20200715: linux-next

Kernel Linux - 2 orë 50 min më parë
Version:next-20200715 (linux-next) Released:2020-07-15

SpaceX's Starlink Asks Potential Service Testers For Addresses, Says Private Beta Starts This Summer

Slashdot - 3 orë 52 min më parë
A private beta for SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet service will kick off this summer, with a "public beta to follow," reads an email sent out to those who've registered their interest in becoming beta testers. "The email asks for a specific address, to replace the previously requested zip codes (or area codes in Canada) for potential testers to help them be more specific about network availability," reports TechCrunch. From the report: The email asserts that SpaceX's Starlink private beta will kick off this summer, with a "public beta to follow." Those who've registered their interest and signed up to receive updates about the service will be notified "if beta testing opportunities become available," SpaceX continues in the email. SpaceX has continued to launch new batches of Starlink satellites as it grows its constellation ahead of its official service launch. So far, it looks like a very few select individuals have been able to actually use Starlink-powered internet connections, including SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk (naturally) and early SpaceX investor Steve Jurvetson. To date, SpaceX has launched a total of 540 Starlink satellites, though a number have either been deorbited, deactivated or died, leaving a total of likely somewhere over 500 currently active. The company has three more launches confirmed as planned through August, including one that was delayed from June and that will now likely occur later this month.

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Samsung: Expect 6G In 2028, Enabling Mobile Holograms and Digital Twins

Slashdot - 7 orë 22 min më parë
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: [A]s 5G continues to roll out, 6G research continues, and today top mobile hardware developer Samsung is weighing in with predictions of what's to come. Surprisingly, the South Korean company is preparing for early 6G to launch two years ahead of the commonly predicted 2030 timeframe, even though both the proposed use cases and the underlying technology are currently very shaky. Given that the 5G standard already enabled massive boosts in data bandwidth and reductions in latency over 4G, the questions of what more 6G could offer -- and why -- are key to establishing the need for a new standard. On the "what" side, Samsung expects 6G to offer 50 times higher peak data rates than 5G, or 1,000Gbps, with a "user experienced data rate" of 1Gbps, plus support for 10 times more connected devices in a square kilometer. Additionally, Samsung is targeting air latency reductions from 5G's under 1 millisecond to under 100 microseconds, a 100 times improvement in error-free reliability, and twice the energy efficiency of 5G. The obvious question is "why," and it's here that Samsung is either grasping or visionary, depending on your perspective. Some of 6G's potential applications are clearly iterative, it notes, including faster broadband for mobile devices, ultra-reliable low latency communications for autonomous vehicles, and factory-scale automation. Better performance of 5G's key applications will appeal to some businesses and consumers, as will support for next-generation computer vision technologies that well exceed human perception: Samsung suggests that while the "human eye is limited to a maximum resolution of 1/150 degrees and view angle of 200 degrees in azimuth and 130 degrees in zenith," multi-camera machines will process data at resolutions, angles, wavelengths, and speeds that people can't match, eating untold quantities of bandwidth as a result. "Samsung also suggests that 6G will be needed to enable 'truly immersive' extended reality, as next-generation XR headsets will need around 0.44Gbps throughput to power human retina-matching 16 million pixel displays; that's more individual bandwidth than what 5G networks can guarantee," adds VentureBeat. "Similarly, Samsung expects that mobile and larger displays will begin to display actual volumetric holograms, requiring 'at least' 580Gbps for a phone-sized 6.7-inch display, and 'human-sized' holograms at several terabits per second." The company also predicts that people, objects, and places will be fully replicated digitally, enabling users "to explore and monitor the reality in a virtual world, without temporal or spatial constraints," including one-way or two-way interactions between physical and digital twins.

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Your Car Is Spewing Microplastics That Blow Around the World

Slashdot - 7 orë 22 min më parë
rmdingler shares a report: When you drive, tiny bits of plastic fly off your tires and brakes. Now scientists have shown how all that road muck is blowing into environments like the Arctic. When the world fully transitions from cars that run on dinosaur juice to cars that run on electricity, humanity will have eliminated a major source of planet-warming carbon dioxide and a major threat to human health -- air pollution kills nearly 550,000 children under age 5 each year. But a hidden environmental threat from cars will persist, and perhaps get worse as more of the world enters the middle class, putting more vehicles on the road: the microplastics that shear off cars' tires and brakes. Tires are made of rubber but also contain synthetic elastomers and fibers to improve stability; brakes are a mixture of metal and plastic. Little fragments of these materials erode with friction whenever rubber meets the road or you hit the brakes, and these pieces end up in the gutter. Later, they wash out to sea in rainwater, or get caught up in the wind. Today in the journal Nature Communications, researchers model how microplastics from our cars are traveling from densely populated regions into the environment. These little automotive bits pour from the cities of Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and settle out in the Arctic, Greenland, and the world's oceans. The researchers find that the mean lifetime for the smallest particles, which more easily get caught up in winds, is nearly a month. Their modeling calculates that 52,000 tons of the smallest particles end up in the sea each year, and 20,000 tons end up in remote snowy and icy regions. "Small particles are lofting higher, of course. But they also weigh less than larger ones and can easily reach remote regions under favorable meteorological conditions," says Nikolaos Evangeliou, senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute for Air Research and lead author of the new paper. "Larger particles are usually deposited near the sources." Slashdot reader rmdingler adds: "Reducing CO2 emissions and other airborne pollutants are certainly steps in the right direction, but it seems like there's a new environmental toxin around every corner."

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Google Faces Lawsuit Over Tracking In Apps Even When Users Opted Out

Slashdot - 8 orë 42 min më parë
Google records what people are doing on hundreds of thousands of mobile apps even when they follow the company's recommended settings for stopping such monitoring, a lawsuit seeking class action status alleged on Tuesday. Reuters reports: The new complaint in a U.S. district court in San Jose accuses Google of violating federal wiretap law and California privacy law by logging what users are looking at in news, ride-hailing and other types of apps despite them having turned off "Web & App Activity" tracking in their Google account settings. The lawsuit alleges the data collection happens through Google's Firebase, a set of software popular among app makers for storing data, delivering notifications and ads, and tracking glitches and clicks. Firebase typically operates inside apps invisibly to consumers. "Even when consumers follow Google's own instructions and turn off 'Web & App Activity' tracking on their 'Privacy Controls,' Google nevertheless continues to intercept consumers' app usage and app browsing communications and personal information," the lawsuit contends. Google uses some Firebase data to improve its products and personalize ads and other content for consumers, according to the lawsuit.

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White House Reportedly Orders Hospitals To Bypass CDC During COVID-19 Data Collection

Slashdot - 9 orë 22 min më parë
The Trump administration is now ordering hospitals to send coronavirus patient data to a database in Washington, DC as part of a new initiative that may bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a report from The New York Times published on Tuesday. The Verge reports: As outlined in a document (PDF) posted to the website of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), hospitals are being ordered to send data directly to the administration, effective tomorrow, a move that has alarmed some within the CDC, according to The Times. The database that will collect and store the information is referred to in the document as HHS Protect, which was built in part by data mining and predictive analytics firm Palantir. The Silicon Valley company is known most for its controversial contract work with the US military and other clandestine government agencies as well as for being co-founded and initially funded by Trump ally Peter Thiel. "A unique link will be sent to the hospital points of contact. This will direct the [point of care] to a hospital-specific secure form that can then be used to enter the necessary information. After completing the fields, click submit and confirm that the form has been successfully captured," reads the HHS instructions. "A confirmation email will be sent to you from the HHS Protect System. This method replaces the emailing of individual spreadsheets previously requested." While the White House's official reasoning is that this plan will help make data collection on the spread of COVID-19 more centralized and efficient, some current and former public health officials fear the bypassing of the CDC may be an effort to politicize the findings and cut experts out of the loop with regard to federal messaging and guidelines, The Times reports.

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Verizon Has Turned To Google Cloud's Contact Center AI To Automate Phone Calls

Slashdot - 10 orë 2 min më parë
Verizon has turned to Google Cloud's Contact Center AI to automate its customer-service phone calls and chatbot conversations. The Register reports: The Contact Center AI technology will, we're told, use natural-language recognition to transcribe on-the-fly customers as they talk down the line. This speech-to-text output will be fed into Dialogflow, a platform that parses the text and generates responses in real-time. Similarly, written conversations with online support chatbots will be processed in real-time by Google's AI. The overall aim is to allow subscribers to rant, er, complain away using natural language at the computer system, from their keyboards or over the phone, and the artificial intelligence should be able to work out what customers want, and help them out, without them having to navigate a menu or bark simple commands. And presumably the aim is to sort out simple stuff quickly without a human operator having to come on the line and deal with it. Subscribers with trickier problems should also, we hope, be directed to a human being without having to negotiate their way through a menu or a script of irrelevant procedures. The software agents can also suggest relevant online documentation, such as information on how to view or pay a bill, based on a subscriber's request. Amusingly, if you get through to a human, or demand to speak to a person, the staffer will probably just tell you what the AI wanted to say anyway: the software will, behind the scenes, provide prompts to the call-center workers.

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Baby Was Infected With Coronavirus In Womb, Study Reports

Slashdot - 10 orë 42 min më parë
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Researchers on Tuesday [reported in the journal Nature Communications] strong evidence that the coronavirus can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to a fetus. A baby born in a Paris hospital in March to a mother with Covid-19 tested positive for the virus and developed symptoms of inflammation in his brain, said Dr. Daniele De Luca, who led the research team and is chief of the division of pediatrics and neonatal critical care at Paris-Saclay University Hospitals. The baby, now more than 3 months old, recovered without treatment and is "very much improved, almost clinically normal," Dr. De Luca said, adding that the mother, who needed oxygen during the delivery, is healthy. Dr. De Luca said the virus appeared to have been transmitted through the placenta of the 23-year-old mother. The testing indicated that "the virus reaches the placenta and replicates there," Dr. De Luca said. It can then be transmitted to a fetus, which "can get infected and have symptoms similar to adult Covid-19 patients." [Dr. Yoel Sadovsky, executive director of Magee-Womens Research Institute at the University of Pittsburgh] said, it is important to note that cases of possible coronavirus transmission in utero appear to be extremely rare. With other viruses, including Zika and rubella, placental infection and transmission is much more common, he said. With the coronavirus, he said, "we are trying to understand the opposite -- what underlies the relative protection of the fetus and the placenta?" Another study published on Tuesday in eLife, an online research journal, may help answer that question. It found that while cells in the placenta had many of the receptor proteins that allow viruses to propagate, there was evidence of only "negligible" amounts of a key cell surface receptor and an enzyme that are known to be involved in allowing the coronavirus to enter cells and replicate. The study was led by Dr. Robert Romero, chief of the perinatology research branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

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Google Steers Users To YouTube Over Rivals

Slashdot - 11 orë 22 min më parë
A Wall Street Journal investigation found that Google gives its online video service YouTube the advantage when choosing the best video clips to promote from around the web. From the report: Take a clip of basketball star Zion Williamson that the National Basketball Association posted online in January, when he made his highly anticipated pro debut. The clip was popular on Facebook Inc., drawing more than one million views and nearly 900 comments as of March. A nearly identical YouTube version of the clip with the same title was seen about 182,000 times and garnered fewer than 400 comments. But when The Wall Street Journal's automated bots searched Google for the clip's title, the YouTube version featured much more prominently than the Facebook version. The Journal conducted Google searches for a selection of other videos and channels that are available on YouTube as well as on competitors' platforms. The YouTube versions were significantly more prominent in the results in the vast majority of cases. This isn't by accident. Engineers at Google have made changes that effectively preference YouTube over other video sources, according to people familiar with the matter. Google executives in recent years made decisions to prioritize YouTube on the first page of search results, in part to drive traffic to YouTube rather than to competitors, and also to give YouTube more leverage in business deals with content providers seeking traffic for their videos, one of those people said. A Google spokeswoman, Lara Levin, said there is no preference given to YouTube or any other video provider in Google search. "Our systems use a number of signals from the web to understand what results people find most relevant and helpful for a given query," Ms. Levin said. She declined to comment on the specific examples cited in the article.

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Is It Time To Kill the Penny?

Slashdot - 12 orë 2 min më parë
COVID-19 has constipated the economy and prompted the U.S. Mint to cut back on coin production to keep its workers safe. As NPR's Greg Rosalsky writes, this could be a rallying cry for a long-running movement that has lost steam in recent years: Kill the penny! "With the closure of the economy, the flow of coins through the economy has ... kind of stopped," explained Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell last month. Is now the time to kill the penny? From the report: Last year, almost 60% (PDF) of the coins that the U.S. Mint churned out were pennies. 60 percent. It made more than 7 billion (PDF) pennies. Seven billion. That's a lot of manpower that could be used toward making coins we actually need. The penny is basically worthless. Actually, it's worse than worthless. It costs the U.S. government about 2 cents (PDF) to produce every penny. Pennies aren't even worth our time. Wake Forest University economist Robert Whaples has calculated that the typical American worker earns a penny every two seconds. It takes most of us more than two seconds to fumble around with change or pick a penny off the ground, which explains why there are so many pennies on the ground. Money is supposed to be the medium of exchange, not dead weight. For most of U.S. history, we never had a coin as worthless as the penny is now. Back in 1857, we killed the half-cent coin -- which, when adjusted for inflation, was as valuable then as about 14 cents is today. And we did just fine. [...] The U.S. Mint lost over $72 million (PDF) making pennies last year. But there doesn't seem to be much urgency about this because in the grand scheme of the federal budget, it's just pennies. We reached out to the U.S. Mint to discuss the coin shortage, and its representative Michael White told us that after retooling to keep its employees safe during the early part of the pandemic, the U.S. Mint has been operating at full capacity since mid-June. But depressed retail activity and reduced deposits by coin processors -- like, you know, those machines at the supermarket that exchange your coins for bills -- have hampered coin circulation. Since the U.S. Mint went into overdrive to end the coin shortage, White says, about 40% of the coins that it has produced have been pennies.

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German Court Bans Tesla Ad Statements Related To Autonomous Driving

Slashdot - 12 orë 42 min më parë
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Germany has banned Tesla from repeating what a court says are misleading advertising statements relating to the capabilities of the firm's driver assistance systems and to autonomous driving, a Munich judge ruled on Tuesday. Tesla can appeal the ruling. The case was brought by Germany's Wettbewerbszentrale, an industry sponsored body tasked with policing anti-competitive practices. The Munich court agreed with the industry body's assessment and banned Tesla Germany from including "full potential for autonomous driving" and "Autopilot inclusive" in its German advertising materials. It said such claims amounted to misleading business practices, adding that the average buyer might be given the impression that the car could drive without human intervention and might suggest such a system was now legal on German roads.

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IBM Job Ad Calls For a Minimum 12 Years' Experience With Kubernetes -- Which is Six Years Old

Slashdot - Mar, 14/07/2020 - 11:30md
IBM's Global Technology Services has posted a job ad calling for candidates with a "minimum 12+ years' experience in Kubernetes administration and management." From a report: Which is a little odd because the first GitHub commit for the project was made on June 7, 2014. And the feature freeze for version 1.0 was announced on May 22, 2015. Sharp-minded Reg readers will have recognised that -- absent time travel -- it is therefore not possible for anyone to have 12 years' experience with Kubernetes. The ad is sadly silent on just how IBM expects candidates will have found the time to accumulate a dozen years' experience in a six-year-old project.

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Trump Administration Rescinds Rule on Foreign Students

Slashdot - Mar, 14/07/2020 - 10:35md
Facing eight federal lawsuits and opposition from hundreds of universities, the Trump administration on Tuesday rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer or leave the country if their schools held classes entirely online because of the pandemic. From a report: The decision was announced at the start of a hearing in a federal lawsuit in Boston brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said federal immigration authorities agreed to pull the July 6 directive and "return to the status quo." A lawyer representing the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said only that the judge's characterization was correct. The announcement brings relief to thousands of foreign students who had been at risk of being deported from the country, along with hundreds of universities that were scrambling to reassess their plans for the fall in light of the policy. Under the policy, international students in the U.S. would have been forbidden from taking all their courses online this fall. New visas would not have been issued to students at schools planning to provide all classes online, which includes Harvard. Students already in the U.S. would have faced deportation if they didn't transfer schools or leave the country voluntarily.

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Microsoft Warns of a 17-Year-Old 'Wormable' Bug

Slashdot - Mar, 14/07/2020 - 10:10md
Since WannaCry and NotPetya struck the internet just over three years ago, the security industry has scrutinized every new Windows bug that could be used to create a similar world-shaking worm. Now one potentially "wormable" vulnerability -- meaning an attack can spread from one machine to another with no human interaction -- has appeared in Microsoft's implementation of the domain name system protocol, one of the fundamental building blocks of the internet. From a report: As part of its Patch Tuesday batch of software updates, Microsoft today released a fix for a bug discovered by Israeli security firm Check Point, which the company's researchers have named SigRed. The SigRed bug exploits Windows DNS, one of the most popular kinds of DNS software that translates domain names into IP addresses. Windows DNS runs on the DNS servers of practically every small and medium-sized organization around the world. The bug, Check Point says, has existed in that software for a remarkable 17 years. Check Point and Microsoft warn that the flaw is critical, a 10 out of 10 on the common vulnerability scoring system, an industry standard severity rating. Not only is the bug wormable, Windows DNS software often runs on the powerful servers known as domain controllers that set the rules for networks. Many of those machines are particularly sensitive; a foothold in one would allow further penetration into other devices inside an organization. On top of all of that, says Check Point's head of vulnerability research Omri Herscovici, the Windows DNS bug can in some cases be exploited with no action on the part of the target user, creating a seamless and powerful attack. "It requires no interaction. And not only that, once you're inside the domain controller that runs the Windows DNS server, expanding your control to the rest of the network is really easy," says Omri Herscovici. "It's basically game over." Check Point found the SigRed vulnerability in the part of Windows DNS that handles a certain piece of data that's part of the key exchange used in the more secure version of DNS known as DNSSEC. That one piece of data can be maliciously crafted such that Windows DNS allows a hacker to overwrite chunks of memory they're not meant to have access to, ultimately gaining full remote code execution on the target server. (Check Point says Microsoft asked the company not to publicize too many details of other elements of the technique, including how it bypasses certain security features on Windows servers.)

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China Will Sanction Lockheed Martin Over Arms Sales To Taiwan

Slashdot - Mar, 14/07/2020 - 9:30md
China said on Tuesday it would place sanctions on Lockheed Martin for its involvement in arms sales to Taiwan, a move that could further escalate tensions between Beijing and Washington. hackingbear writes: "China firmly opposes US arms sales to Taiwan," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference. Taiwan is a self-ruled island, but China has long vowed to unify it with the mainland. The United States is one of Taiwan's main arms suppliers. The US State Department last week approved a request by Taiwan to upgrade its Patriot Surface-to-Air missiles at an estimated cost of $620 million, according to Taiwan's state-run Central News Agency. In response, China is imposing "sanctions on the main contractor of this arms sale, Lockheed Martin," Zhao said, without going into detail. The United States should "stop selling arms to Taiwan and cut its military ties to Taiwan, so it won't do further harm to bilateral relations between China and the United States," he added.

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next-20200713: linux-next

Kernel Linux - Hën, 13/07/2020 - 11:20pd
Version:next-20200713 (linux-next) Released:2020-07-13

A Volunteer Supercomputer Team is Hunting for Covid Clues

Slashdot - Hën, 13/07/2020 - 9:44pd
The world's fastest computer is now part of "a vast supercomputer-powered search for new findings pertaining to the novel coronavirus' spread" and "how to effectively treat and mitigate it," according to an emerging tech journalist at Nextgov. It's part of a consortium currently facilitating over 65 active research projects, for which "Dozens of national and international members are volunteering free compute time...providing at least 485 petaflops of capacity and steadily growing, to more rapidly generate new solutions against COVID-19." "What started as a simple concept has grown to span three continents with over 40 supercomputer providers," Dario Gil, director of IBM Research and consortium co-chair, told Nextgov last week. "In the face of a global pandemic like COVID-19, hopefully a once-in-a-lifetime event, the speed at which researchers can drive discovery is a critical factor in the search for a cure and it is essential that we combine forces...." [I]ts resources have been used to sort through billions of molecules to identify promising compounds that can be manufactured quickly and tested for potency to target the novel coronavirus, produce large data sets to study variations in patient responses, perform airflow simulations on a new device that will allow doctors to use one ventilator to support multiple patients — and more. The complex systems are powering calculations, simulations and results in a matter of days that several scientists have noted would take a matter of months on traditional computers. The Undersecretary for Science at America's Energy Department said "What's really interesting about this from an organizational point of view is that it's basically a volunteer organization." The article identifies some of the notable participants: IBM was part of the joint launch with America's Office of Science and Technology Policy and its Energy Department.The chief of NASA's Advanced Supercomputing says they're "making the full reserve portion of NASA supercomputing resources available to researchers working on the COVID-19 response, along with providing our expertise and support to port and run their applications on NASA systems."Amazon Web Services "saw a clear opportunity to bring the benefits of cloud... to bear in the race for treatments and a vaccine," according to a company executive.Japan's Fugaku — "which surpassed leading U.S. machines on the Top 500 list of global supercomputers in late June" — also joined the consortium in June. Other consortium members: Google CloudMicrosoftMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyRensselaer Polytechnic InstituteThe National Science FoundationArgonne, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Sandia National laboratories.National Center for Atmospheric Research's Wyoming Supercomputing CenterAMDNVIDIADell Technologies. ("The company is now donating cycles from the Zenith supercomputer and other resources.")

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Can Tesla Build Cheaper Electric Cars With Advanced (and Cobalt-Free) Batteries?

Slashdot - Hën, 13/07/2020 - 6:06pd
"One of the main reasons we're not all driving electric vehicles is the price," argues a transportation writer in Forbes — explaining how Tesla hopes to finally change that: The company is placing a huge bet on rechargeable battery technology that doesn't use cobalt. This is one of the main elements making lithium ion batteries so expensive. It's also fraught with political issues, since the mining can be in conflict areas like the Congo, and its production is considered quite polluting of the environment. But cobalt is used because it enables the energy density required in batteries intended to last for hundreds of miles per charge. A couple of months ago, it was revealed that Tesla was working with CATL on lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, and these could be the real gamechanger. LFP batteries don't use cobalt and have a roadmap to push well past the magical $100 per kWh (wholesale) that is considered the threshold for EVs being cheaper than Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles... Tesla has also recently patented technology for cathodes that significantly improves the number of charge cycles... The new Tesla technology, patented by the company's battery team led by Jeff Dahn, can increase charge cycles to nearly 4,000, which would be more like 75 years if charged once a week — hence the talk of million-mile batteries. More recently, the Tesla team headed by Jeff Dahn patented some new technology for lithium metal/anode free batteries, which could drastically improve energy density and thereby considerably reduce costs. These technologies, if they become commercially viable, could revolutionize battery durability and price, and there's another technology called all-polymer batteries on the horizon that is being developed by a former Nissan senior researcher, which he claims could cut 90% off the current price. But these are improvements for the future that may not happen, and cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate batteries are here now. Tesla will be using LFP for the batteries in its Chinese Model 3, after receiving government approval to do so. It is estimated that using LFP batteries will allow a 15-20% reduction in manufacturing cost. Taking calculations regarding how much of a car's cost is batteries into account, this could make EVs a mere 10% more expensive than ICE instead of 30%, which will be easy to regain in cheaper running costs over a year or two of ownership. It will also give EVs an even greater lead over fuel-cell technology, making it even less likely that hydrogen will be the future of electric cars. The time is fast approaching when EVs are not just more ecological and cheaper to run than ICE cars, but cheaper to buy too, and batteries free of cobalt are a key step in that direction. That's why Tesla's shift to LFP is so significant — it could be the final nail in the coffin for fossil fuel vehicles.

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Data Scientist Tries AI/Human Collaboration For Audio-Visual Art

Slashdot - Hën, 13/07/2020 - 3:34pd
"Swirls of color and images blend together as faces, scenery, objects, and architecture transform to music." That's how AI training company Lionbridge is describing Neural Synesthesia. Slashdot reader shirappu explains: Neural Synesthesia is an AI art project that creator Xander Steenbrugge calls a collaboration between man and machine. To create each piece, he feeds a generative network with curated image datasets and combines the ever-transforming results with music that is programmed to control the shifting visuals. Steenbrugge describes how the music controls the visuals in an interview with Lionbridge: I think coding for the first rendered video took over six months because I was doing it in my spare time. The biggest challenge was how to manipulate the generative adversarial network (GAN)'s latent input space using features extracted from the audio track. I wanted to create a satisfying match between visual and auditory perception for viewers. I apply a Fourier Transform to extract time varying frequency components from the audio. I also perform harmonic/percussive decomposition, which basically separates the melody from the rhythmic components of the track. These three signals (instantaneous frequency content, melodic energy, and beats) are then combined to manipulate the GANs latent space, resulting in visuals that are directly controlled by the audio... [Y]ou are not limited by your own imagination. There's an entirely alien system that is also influencing the same space of ideas, often in unexpected and interesting ways. This leads you as a creator into areas you never would have wandered by yourself.

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