Sunday, 30 April 2017

Wolffepack orbital backpack for easy access & improved security



Wolffepack Metro backpack
Credit: Wolffepack/Tabi Labo

Two difficulties with managing a backpack are access & security. Wolffepack backpacks allow the container to be swung to the front for quick access, or more secure carry without removing the shoulder &/or hip strap.

Handy for sitting on public transport too.



Wolffepack has several models, including the Summit



Gizmodo – “This Retractable Backpack Brings Your Camera To You”
https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2016/07/this-retractable-backpack-brings-your-camera-to-you/

Manufacturer’s web site
https://www.wolffepack.com/
/ Metro travel city shoulder strap waist strap hip strap pelvis pelvic Escape Summit everyday action snow sports outdoors Capture photography travel /

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Model 3 – how Tesla will control costs



467 robots are being installed at the Tesla Fremont factory prior to the start of Model 3 production.
Credit: Electrek/Google+

Tesla’s Model S is a luxury sporting sedan – the Model 3 is a, “mass market”, car. To appeal to a mass market, the price has to come down – “$35,000 before incentives”,1,2 has been promised repeatedly, for the US market.

Make it smaller, make it out of steel

● Most obviously, reduce cost by decreasing size by 20% compared to the Model S.3

● Extensive use of steel, rather than the more expensive aluminium widely used in the Model S.4


Reduce battery pack cost
An electric motor is simpler & cheaper than an a comparable internal combustion engine – electric cars are more expensive largley because of battery cost. A $35,000 Model 3 will require a substantial reduction in battery pack cost. This will be achieved by:

● Battery costs have been coming down world-wide for some time – including 80% in six years.5

● Price will be driven down further by increased volume – i.e. Gigafactory.6

● Reduce cell count – Tesla has historically used commodity 18650 size lithium ion cells. Individual cells in the Model 3, will be 47% larger in volume, with a similar effect on storage capacity, for negligible increase in cell cost.7

● Each cell stores more power, so fewer are needed for a given pack capacity.7

● Assembling fewer cells to make a pack is faster & cheaper.7

● Smaller battery pack – two options, the larger of which will be, at most, the same size as the smallest currently available in the Model S – “The shorter wheelbase only allows for a 75 kWh pack in Model 3 at current cell/module energy densities.” – Elon Musk, Twitter8,9


Automate the production line

● 467 robots are being installed at the Tesla Fremont factory prior to the start of Model 3 production.10

● Level of automation will increase over time, with no people on the production line itself, “in a few more years”.10

● Increased automation is planned to ultimately yield a 20 times increase in production line speed, further reducing production cost.10


Simplify the production line initially

● Initially, the production line will be simplified by producing only rear wheel drive cars. First 4WD, “probably in 6 to 9 months.”9


Streamline the delivery process

● “We need to deliver three or four times as many cars. But we don’t want to have three or four times as many delivery centers.” – Elon Musk11

● “Less paperwork, less bureaucracy.”11

● Shorten the hand-over to customers: “... get people ready ahead of time with really well-produced instruction videos.”11

__________

1 Jalopnik: “​Elon Musk Says Tesla Model 3 Will Cost $35,000 Before Incentives”, http://jalopnik.com/elon-musk-says-model-3-will-cost-35-000-before-incent-1679351127


2Tesla: Model 3 Will Be $35,000 Pre-Incentives, Taking Orders In March”,
http://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-will-be-35000-pre-incentives-taking-orders-in-march/


3 Autoblog: “Elon Musk: Tesla Model E will be 20 percent smaller than Model S”, http://www.autoblog.com/2014/03/06/elon-musk-tesla-model-e-20-percent-smaller-model-s-video/


4 Wikipedia: “Tesla Model 3”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_3


5 Electrek: “Electric vehicle battery cost dropped 80% in 6 years down to $227/kWh – Tesla claims to be below $190/kWh”, https://electrek.co/2017/01/30/electric-vehicle-battery-cost-dropped-80-6-years-227kwh-tesla-190kwh/


6 Tesla: “Tesla Gigafactory”, https://www.tesla.com/gigafactory


7 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla cell size comes from the first principles of physics & economics”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/09/tesla-battery-size-comes-from-first.html


8 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla Model 3 event (video)”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/04/tesla-model-3-event.html


9 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla Model 3 – 4WD option, performance, battery size (video)”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2017/03/tesla-model-3-4wd-option-performance.html


10 Electrek: “Tesla receives massive shipment of robots for Model 3 production line – first pictures”, https://electrek.co/2017/04/25/tesla-model-3-robot-production-line-pictures/


11 Electrek: “Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk details the 5 minute delivery process, paperwork & instruction videos to be sent ahead of time”, https://electrek.co/2017/03/17/tesla-model-3-delivery-process-elon-musk/

/ less paperwork less bureaucracy Tesla Motors Elon Musk LiIon lithium ion lithium iron phosphate LiFeO4 charge recharge battery Model S Model 3 range capacity kilo Watt hour Supercharger 4WD 4 wheel drive 2 wheel drive rear wheel drive RWD LiIon battery pack cell battery electric vehicle EV battery lithium ion LiIon charge battery electric vehicle BEV Elon Musk released very first images very first Tesla Model 3 release candidate Tesla started production release candidate Model 3 vehicles cars made almost entirely production machines test production process vehicles themselves video of the Model 3 no visible changes we can see the cameras for the Autopilot sensor suite see the camera in the Tesla badge front fender pillar on the side slight adjustments front fascia headlights video is very low-res Model 3 another color than silver red matte black spot other changes release candidate definitely significant difference front end Model 3 release candidate live streaming Tesla Model 3 unveil event on Tesla.com beginning at 8.30pm PDT March 31st reservations Model 3 worldwide two ways to make a reservation queue visit your local Tesla make a reservation online Tesla.com live unveil Tesla model 3 electric car mass market car electric vehicle EV steel aluminium twenty percent smaller 20% smaller automation automate robot production line 75 kWh kiloWatt hour /

Friday, 28 April 2017

First you could buy them faded ...


... then you could buy them worn, then ripped, now ...

caked with mud!


Credit: Nordstrom/The Gadgeteer

99%cotton
1% mud

& only $US425

None of the above is a typo, nor, as far as I can tell, a joke.


Credit: Nordstrom/The Gadgeteer

Adds a whole new dimension to the occasional advice seen on clothing, “Wash before wearing.”

The Gadgeteer – “First you could buy them faded, then ripped, & now covered in mud. Wait, what?!”
http://the-gadgeteer.com/2017/04/26/first-you-could-buy-them-faded-then-ripped-and-now-covered-in-mud/#more-216934

This is where they are sold
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/prps-barracuda-straight-leg-jeans/4457245?origin=category-personalizedsort
/ bluejeans blue jeans denim straight leg distressed faded ripped true to size comfortable through the seat and thigh classic straight cut from knee to ankle details care heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans comfortable straight-leg fit embody rugged Americana workwear that's seen some hard-working action crackled caked-on muddy coating shows you're not afraid to get down and dirty 34 1/2" inseam 17" leg opening 8 1/4" front rise button fly closure five-pocket style 100% cotton machine wash cold line dry made in Portugal PRPS Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans who cares right no ordinary jeans jeans are covered in mud price tag of $425 a pair Nordstrom Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty degraded into a society that has to pay for dirty clothes to give us the appearance of being hard workers traditionally styled 5 pocket jeans made of 100% cotton machine washable buy a pair of muddy jeans for $425 you can wash them this can’t be for real I fear that we’re doomed as a species distressed about this /

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Hoverboard a no-show, but Uber has promised a flying car for 2020



Credit: EHang/Twitter

Hoverboard was a no-show in Back to the Future year.1 We’ve been waiting even longer for the flying car, but Uber has promised them for 2020.

As you’ve no doubt noticed, the problem is that the technology doesn’t exist. Uber’s way around this is something like an X-prize – competitive development of a device to carry out a defined task – in this case, a flying car. And the prize? Access to Uber’s world-wide client-base. Though, at this point only Dallas-Fort Worth & Dubai have indicated an interest.

Uber has signed deals with five companies – if they don’t deliver, an obvious contender would be the Lilium jet electric aircraft.2

Wired: “Uber Really Seriously Promises Flying Cars by 2020”, https://www.wired.com/2017/04/uber-really-seriously-promises-flying-cars-2020/

CW33: “Uber SERIOUSLY promises flying cars by 2020 in DFW!”,
https://cw33.com/2017/04/25/uber-seriously-promises-flying-cars-by-2020-in-dfw/

“Flying car”? Anything that might be developed to provide the functionality required, is closer to a light aircraft. New term required:

The Verge – “Stop calling them flying cars”
https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/25/15426178/flying-car-uber-larry-page-vtol-elevate
__________

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Back to the Future year – hoverboard a no-show – self lacing sneakers …”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/09/back-to-future-year-hoverboard-no-show.html

2 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Lilium jet electric aircraft”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2017/04/lilium-jet-electric-aircraft.html

/ Uber promises flying cars by 2020 Uber fly taking ridesharing to the air roll out network flying cars Dallas-Fort Worth Dubai by 2020 ambitious aircraft Uber shuttling customers through the air electric vertical takeoff and landing capability VTOL flying 100 miles in just 40 minutes infrastructure support FAA Federal Aviation Administration agency speed aircraft federal safety regulations fit into complex air traffic control system Uber catalyst spurring manufacturers build aircraft FAA regulations cities company CEO Travis Kalanick reward Xprize X prize X-prize Uber’s 55 million monthly active riders 600 cities worldwide 2020 realistic vehicle replacing an airplane replacing a car Richard Pat Anderson director Flight Research Center Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University purely electric aircraft serial hybrid setup aircraft carries fuel-burning turbine Chevrolet Volt Uber Elevate summit partnerships real estate companies Hillwood Properties Texas Dubai Holding UAE United Arab Emirates identify locations vertiports built Chargepoint electric vehicle charging spots North America Australia design develop deploy infrastructure keep the aircraft going white paper Uber Uber developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft Pentagon-backed Aurora Flight Sciences electric plane maker Pipistrel Bell Helicopter Embraer small plane maker Mooney Germany’s Lilium funky electric aircraft can fly China’s eHang launch people-carrying drones Dubai Google founder Larry Page revealed flying car prototype Skymall cities city Dubai flying cars Fort Worth Elevate pilot Mayor Betsy Price FAA air traffic control Uber pilot FAA certifying new technologies consensus-based standards system private market rules FAA accelerate three years is optimistic flying cars will need to negotiate already congested airspace build novel aircraft paying passengers flying car /

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Kitty Hawk Flyer is a flying electric recreational vehicle



Kitty Hawk Flyer
Credit: Kitty Hawk/YouTube/GeekWire

Some details of the, “flying car”, backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, have finally surfaced.



Available specs are thin on the ground:
● weighs 220 lbs (100 kg)
● single passenger
● altitude 15 feet (4.6 metres)
● 8 electric motors drive downward-facing propellers

Kitty Hawk claims that it is possible to learn to pilot the Flyer in minutes, & that it qualifies as an ultra light, so that no licence is required.

Consumer version is promised for the end of 2017.

Trusted Reviews – “Forget self-driving cars, the Kitty Hawk Flyer is officially off the ground”
http://www.trustedreviews.com/news/kitty-hawk-flyer-larry-page#pA01bAO63bZ5KvIf.99

The Verge – “This is the first footage of Larry Page’s ‘flying car’”
https://www.theverge.com/2017/4/24/15406208/larry-page-flying-car-kitty-hawk-flyer-prototype

If the name rings a bell, Wright Flyer was the name of the first heavier-than-air machine flown by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk in 1903.1


Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright, Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, 17 December 1903
Credit: Wikipedia
__________

1 Wikipedia: “Wright Flyer”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wright_Flyer
/ flying car backed Google co-founder cofounder Larry Page available specs 220 lbs 100 kg single passenger altitude 15 feet 4.6 metres 8 electric motors drive downward-facing propellers Kitty Hawk to learn to pilot Flyer minutes qualifies ultra light FAA regulations no licence required consumer version end of 2017 self-driving cars Kitty Hawk Flyer Larry Page’s flying car Wright Flyer first heavier-than-air machine flown Wright Brothers Kitty Hawk 1903 Kitty Hawk flying car company financially backed Google founder Larry Page published first video prototype aircraft Kitty Hawk Flyer all-electric aircraft designed to operate over water doesn’t require pilot’s license to fly Kitty Hawk learn to fly in minutes consumer version available end of this year test flight footage Flyer aerospace engineer operating the craft Kitty Hawk what the Flyer is for price retail version enticing eager pilots priority placement waiting list company-branded gear exclusive access flight simulator company events members $2,000 discount retail price Flyer ultralight aircraft FAA regulations no pilot’s license required Kitty Hawk light aircraft Kitty Hawk Zee.Aero industry giants Airbus flying car startups Zee.Aero Uber flying car Kitty Hawk Zee.Aero flying car Larry Page invested Kitty Hawk /

Monday, 24 April 2017

Lilium jet electric aircraft – update



Credit: Lilium/Wired

Although the Lilium aircraft is called, a “jet”, it would be more usual to describe its propulsion as, “ducted fan”.1

Advantages of ducted fans compared to conventional propellers1

● more, shorter blades allow higher speed of rotation & more thrust, without the problems caused by the tips of the blades approaching the speed of sound

● reduced noise – especially when driven by an almost-silent electric motor
● surrounding shroud makes ducted fan safer
● occupies less space

In urban environments, where Lilium sees many of it's aircraft operating, these advantages are particularly valuable.

Conventional aircraft generate lift by using relatively few engines to produce thrust (jet &/or propeller) to drive the aircraft forward. Forward speed produces lift due to the motion of the wings through the air.2

A small number of engines is a limitation imposed by internal combustion engines. In an electric aircraft, many small motors can be used.2 Illustrations show the Lilium with 36. Many motors allow lift to be generated at low aircraft speed (even zero) because they can drive air over the wings at a speed independent of the aircraft’s forward motion.

Update – Other advantages of multiple engines include:2

● shorter (front-to-back & side-to-side) wing is lighter & generates less drag

● wings can be optimised for cruise, rather than take off & landing, improving overall efficiency


In an aircraft with few engines, the most difficult & dangerous parts of a flight are taking off & landing, due to the direct dependance of lift on speed. Wings are optimised for these purposes.

Multiple motors, by disconnecting lift & speed, increase safety at take off & landing. Wings can be optimised for cruise, increasing overall efficiency – wings are shorter & narrower & so lighter, with less drag. Check the image above & the video.

Such a configuration will have disastrous glide characteristics. Electric motors are very reliable, & 36 of them provide plenty of redundancy, but battery failure is a problem which does not appear to have been addressed. This is not surprising in a prototype with only one unmanned test flight to its credit. Two solutions which spring to mind are battery redundancy (which may already have been allowed for in the existing battery configuration) or a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System.3

Lilium has its ducted fans pivoted vertically, to direct thrust at a range of angles, including straight down, for vertical take off.

Multiple motors can be run at different speeds to turn the aircraft, eliminating the drag created by a vertical tail.

Drag is further reduced by a lifting body design4 – the body of the aircraft is shaped to produce lift – thus the wings can be smaller & lighter for the same total lift.

Lilium has backing from the European Space Agency.



Engadget – “Lilium's electric personal jet manages a vertical takeoff”
https://www.engadget.com/2017/04/21/lilium-electric-jet-vertical-takeoff-landing/

Futurism – “A Real Life, All-Electric Flying Car Just Took Off”
https://futurism.com/a-real-life-all-electric-flying-car-just-took-off/

Manufacturer’s web site
https://lilium.com/
__________

1 Just to complicate things, almost all current jets are of the turbofan type, which is a ducted fan, where the fan is driven by a gas turbine – that is to say, a jet engine.

Wikipedia: “Ducted fan”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ducted_fan
“The most common ducted fan arrangement used in full-sized aircraft is a turbofan engine, where the power to turn the fan is provided by a gas turbine. Turbofan engines are used on nearly all airliners, fighters, & bombers.”

2 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “LEAPTech — many more propellers for better performance”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2015/04/leaptech-many-more-propellers-for.html


3 Picture this: complete blackout conditions at 5,000 feet – engine fails – it is not possible see the ground, let alone look for a landing site – pilot survives – video at the link is definitely worth a look

Cirrus Aircraft: “Cirrus Airframe Parachute System”,
https://cirrusaircraft.com/innovation/airframe-parachute/


4 Wikipedia: “Lifting body”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body

/ Lilium electric personal jet vertical takeoff all electric flying car took off Lilium jet concept futuristic aircraft fly couldn't be further from the truth completed series of flight tests Munich Germany the first all-electric vertical take off and landing vertical takeoff and landing VTOL jet capable taking to the skies released a video Lilium's maiden flight plans to conduct manned flights future first series of tests remotely controlled two-seater prototype from the ground release five-seater version fit whole families groups of friends Lilium potential become great personal jet flying car VTOL doesn't need a runway take off and land like helicopter within the city range 186 miles speeds up to 186 mph German startup pre-orders Lilium five-seater variant years of testing successful test flights \backing from the European Space Agency production version make its way to market /

Sunday, 23 April 2017

What to do with your old phone


Your old phone has many potential uses
Credit: Macworld UK

Bright, shiny new mobile phone – but what to do with the old one? Some people have a drawer full of them. Two of the more popular options are: sell it, or pass it on to a family member or friend. These are obviously good options, depending on your circumstances, but there are others.

Keep it as a spare – that bright, shiny new phone, may suffer a misadventure – drop, or other physical damage, internal failure, loss or theft. In any of these circumstances, another phone to swap the SIM into, or a new SIM, depending on the misadventure, could be very useful.

Second phone – many have abandoned their fixed phone. A second phone with its own account can become a home phone. Some mobile phone providers have pay-as-you-go accounts, with no cost while the phone remains unused. I used such an account with an old phone, for several years, to contact family members at home, at no cost.

Use it as a mobile router – free public WiFi, is not always available when you need it, & is not secure1 – your own mobile data is a more flexible & secure choice. You can use the hotspot function of your mobile phone, or, if your data allocation is insufficient, an additional, data only account. Rather than buying a purpose-built mobile router,2 use your old phone at no cost.

Other possibilities include:
● add it to a multi-camera video shoot
● baby monitor
● video doorbell
● GoPro replacement
● dedicated VR headset
● white noise generator

7 ways to repurpose an old Android phone
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/ways-to-repurpose-an-old-android-phone/

8 ways to repurpose an old iPhone
https://www.cnet.com/how-to/repurpose-an-old-iphone/
__________

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “VPN Internet security for mobile use”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2017/03/vpn-internet-security-for-mobile-use.html


2 Many mobile routers are available, such as: Huawei's Mobile Wifi Pro, http://m.huawei.com/enmobile/consumer/mobile-broadband/mobile-wifi/detail/e5770-en.htm


Google, “mobile router”, to see many more.

/ what to do with your old phone your old phone has many potential uses bright shiny new mobile phone what to do with the old one some people have a drawer full of them two of the more popular options are sell it pass it on to a family member or friend other options spare bright shiny new phone drop or other physical damage internal failure loss or theft another phone to swap the SIM in new SIM useful second phone fixed phone second phone with its own account home phone mobile phone providers pay-as-you-go accounts no cost while phone remains unused old phone contact family members at home at no cost mobile router free public WiFi not always available when you need it not secure your own mobile data more flexible and secure choice use the hotspot function your mobile phone your data allocation is insufficient additional data only account purpose-built mobile router your old phone backup phone dedicated camcorder add it to a multi-camera video shoot baby monitor video doorbell GoPro dedicated VR headset Amazon Echo nightstand repurpose an old Android phone repurpose an old iPhone VPN Internet security for mobile use mobile router mobile router smartphones smartphone upgraded upgrade upgrade your old phone sell it defray the cost of the upgrade option repurposing that old phone favorite uses for a discarded Android smartphone iPhone phones lost stolen broken phone my old standby access to my calendar contacts email they're all synced daily-use apps Facebook Spotify Twitter password manager no better short-term rescue option new phone pop the SIM card out old phone restoring voice and data repair repairs old phone in a drawer low-cost second line no-cost second line unlocked GSM phone model SIM card Freedompop sign up Basic plan 200 voice minutes 500 text messages 200MB 4G data per month at no charge how to set up a backup phone dedicated camcorder recording wedding kid's soccer game music video indie movie multiple cameras edit mix footage different angles positions create much more interesting video your old Android great second camera older lower-end phones capture at least 1,920x1,080-pixel video 30 frames per second as much storage as possible new footage baby monitor video Android phone baby-monitor duty exceed standalone products app like Dormi audio and video monitoring app offers two-way audio crying baby audio video audio/video feeds Android phone connected via Wi-Fi Dormi app supports multiple parent devices phone that's doing the monitoring app is free unlock lifetime monitoring video doorbell door duty outdoor Wi-Fi webcam smart doorbell phone full-time video monitor Canary Flex versatile security-minded webcam video doorbells August Doorbell Cam DoorBird Video Door Station Ring Video Doorbell SkyBell Video Doorbell GoPro video option turn your old phone into a GoPro solid camera in there mount it for action-video duty Velocity Clip phone mounts bike chest head strapped to your head cheaper than buying a separate GoPro mount option cheap Bluetooth camera-shutter button start and stop video recording dedicated VR headset old Android phone iPhone virtual reality smartphone virtual reality VR experiences headset and some apps headset universally compatible VR goggles adjust focal width adjust focal length accommodate users less-than-perfect vision Bluetooth gamepad control games and access menus apps Google Play Store search for VR Google Cardboard Android and VR headset iPhone iOS App Store nightstand old phone nightstand lamp serve countless purposes alarm clock alarm Voice Snooze Alarm iPhone iOS App Store alarm clock snooze customizable vocal command clock radio TuneIn Radio alarm sleep-timer features dedicated e-reader iBooks Kindle Nook OverDrive iPhone iOS App Store app meditation player Calm spare Roku remote latest update white-noise machine white noise machine /

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Giant iceberg in Iceberg Alley


Iceberg Alley is an area stretching from the coast of Labrador to the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland. Every spring, icebergs from the massive glaciers on the west coast of Greenland appear there.

In the past week, many more icebergs than usual have appeared, including this monster:


Ferryland, Newfoundland, Canada
Credit: Greg Locke/Reuters/Huffington Post

More, larger glaciers, appearing earlier in the season is consistent with climate change.

Wired: “An Enormous Hunk of Ice Gets Stuck in Iceberg Alley”, https://www.wired.com/2017/04/enormous-hunk-ice-gets-stuck-iceberg-alley/
/ giant iceberg in Iceberg Alley Iceberg Alley coast of Labrador to the northeast coast island Newfoundland every spring icebergs massive glaciers west coast Greenland more icebergs than usual many more icebergs consistent with climate change accelerating chunks Greenland ice sheet break off & float away enormous hunk of ice stuck Iceberg Alley enormous 150-foot tall iceberg near Ferrlyand Newfoundland Canada earliest icebergs break free and drift down Iceberg Alley Newfoundland famed Iceberg Alley passing icebergs each spring chunk of ice double take especially big one ran aground near the village of Ferryland iceberg towers 150 feet above dark blue water North Atlantic unusually large Ferryland beautiful iceberg start of iceberg season along the Northern Atlantic coastline each April icebergs Arctic float away carried south by the current past Labrador and Newfoundland open sea season started early this year March storm broke up more sea ice than usual Ferryland a popular tourist destination /

Friday, 21 April 2017

Kentucky coal investing in solar



Credit: Electrek

Kentucky is a US state famed, perhaps most of all, for its bluegrass (the pasture plant & the music), & for its coal mines. It’s making progress towards note for its solar energy output too – & coal interests may be the drivers:

● Kentucky’s Berkeley Energy Group & EDF Renewable Energy are considering a solar farm with a peak capacity of 100 megaWatts:


Renew Economy – “Kentucky coal company to build state’s largest solar farm on old coal mine”
http://reneweconomy.com.au/kentucky-coal-company-build-states-largest-solar-farm-old-coal-mine-14857/


Insurance Journal – “Coal Mining Company Proposes Turning Kentucky Mine Into Solar Farm”
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/04/21/448601.htm


● In the small town of Benham (population 5001), the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum, owned by Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, is investing in solar panels. Budget cuts have necessitated cost saving measures:


WYMT – “Kentucky Coal Mining Museum converts to solar power”
http://www.wymt.com/content/news/Kentucky-Coal-Mining-Museum-converts-to-solar-power-418430563.html


Huffington Post – “A Coal Museum In Kentucky Went Solar This Month. The Backstory Is Even Better.”
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kentucky-coal-solar_us_58f76a49e4b029063d3590a9


New York Times: “Coal Museum Sees the Future; Trump Doesn’t”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/19/opinion/coal-museum-sees-the-future-trump-doesnt.html

__________

1 Wikipedia: “Benham, Kentucky”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benham,_Kentucky

/ coal mining company turning Kentucky mine into solar farm former strip mine converted into solar farm under proposal Appalachian coal company hundreds of thousands of panels Kentucky mountains Berkeley Energy Group EDF Renewable Energy former Democratic state Auditor Adam Edelen mountaintop removal site Pikeville Kentucky coal country diversify energy output nation’s third-largest coal producing state economic impact declining coal industry state legislature voted decades long moratorium nuclear energy Kentucky Coal Museum installed solar panels on its roof build solar on the foundation of coal Kentucky energy producer powered the entire country adopt an all of the above energy strategy Kentucky more than 80 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants percentage dropping steadily coal plants replaced natural gas largest solar farm Kentucky Louisville Gas & Electric’s E.W. Brown Plant Mercer County 10-megawatt array solar panels 50 acres produces enough electricity power 1,500 homes Berkeley Energy Group Development Executive Ryan Johns proposed solar farm generate between 50 100 megawatts electricity sold to power companies along East Coast project cost tens of millions of dollars include hundreds of thousands of solar panels strip mines thousands of acres engineering and cost studies coal mined using mountaintop removal surface coal mining technique blasting heavy machinery remove layers dirt rock coal seams jobs project construction phase officials EDF Renewable Energy hire former coal miners work Eastern Kentucky filled with former coal mines redeveloped various purposes Tyler White president Kentucky Coal Association proposed solar farm subsidies federal tax credits coal rolling back policies winners and losers /

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Pebble smartwatch – app update



Pebble 2 smartwatch – last model delivered
Credit: Best Buy

An update to the Pebble app for Android appeared on my phone today. Judging from dates on the comments, it appeared world-wide at the same time. I have no way of verifying this, but it appears that an update for iOS has also been released, or will soon.1

What will the update do for your Pebble?

“WHAT'S NEW” for the update says:2


We’ve updated our Android app to preserve the Pebble smartwatch experience & remove the dependence on cloud services.
The app lets Pebble devices keep working, even if online servers are not accessible for any reason. The login process can be skipped, apps can be side-loaded, & the latest watch firmware (including language packs) can be installed.
Visit developer.pebble.com for full details.


All of which promises to extend the useful life of Pebble watches.

All functions I use continue to work, including:
● notifications: incoming SMS & email
● phone calls
● music control
● step count (with sync to Google Fit)

● weather continues to update – temperature indication retains the inaccuracy which has always prevented me from using it – to be fair, it's no worse than almost every phone app I have tried

● watch faces continue to be available for download

Pebble – “Pebble App & Developer Transition Updates”, https://developer.pebble.com/blog/2017/04/04/transitioning-update/

Pebble – "First Steps Forward With Fitbit"
https://developer.pebble.com/blog/2016/12/14/first-steps-forward-with-fitbit/
__________

1 Pebble: “Pebble App & Developer Transition Updates”, https://developer.pebble.com/blog/2017/04/04/transitioning-update/


2 Google Play: “Pebble
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.getpebble.android.basalt / Pebble Into the Future Pebble ecosystem next major transition working hard make sure Pebble users can keep enjoying their smartwatch experience share the progress made Pebblers today continuing efforts honor Pebble's legacy ecosystem functionality Pebble app updated for iOS and Android today’s updates Pebble apps iOS Android liberate from past dependency on cloud services freeing ecosystem from these dependencies Pebble smartwatches can operate normally online servers are not accessible Pebble authentication server can’t be reached mobile app Pebble devices keep working login process can be skipped apps can be side-loaded the latest watch firmware including language packs can be installed iOS users update Pebble app iTunes App Store Android users Pebble beta program download update beta channel updated Android app publicly available Google Play Store soon after the beta channel release full release notes User Account Tokens deprecated getAccountToken() API discouraging developers relying on it consistently generated unique account token API continues to work normally for most users return random unique value users skipping Pebble app’s login process account token value should remain constant user either re-installs the Pebble app switches to a different smartphone danger zone authentication issues likely to arise user re-installs Pebble app skips the login process generate different account token value causing problems validating user account any watchapps purchased from third parties restoring a purchased license third-party watchapp re-validating new account token third-party service new options community developers updates include three new options for Pebble developers integrate efforts official Pebble mobile app Offline Mode link enable Offline Mode mobile app attempting to communicate with any Pebble cloud services Default Mode Online Mode Custom Boot Config link Pebble mobile app load its service configuration from the specified custom URL mobile application periodically check custom URL configuration updates default service configuration files iOS and Android developers new weather property variable identifies which server to ask for weather data /

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Engineer builds an iPhone 6s with $300 of parts – video


Scotty Allen is described by some as a hacker, but it there’s much more than that to him. To quote from his web site:
“I’ve always been an adventurer, maker, & hacker. From riding a $120 bike through Laos & Cambodia, to building & racing land yachts, to planting coral underwater in Borneo, I’ve always sought out the weird, wonderful, & out-of-the-way thing to do.”
“I used to be a software engineer in Silicon Valley, at places like Google & a few other prominent startups. I even started my own. But now I travel the world full time, seeking out the novel & the obscure.”

Some things he found out along the way

● investigated building his own logic board from bare board & chips – “a rabbit hole” – “way over my head” – “not impossible, it’s possible, but very difficult”

● other problem with building a logic board is that the logic board is uniquely paired with the TouchID sensor by Apple – for TouchID to work, logic board & TouchID sensor must be a matched pair – this is a security measure to prevent attackers from gaining unauthorised access by replacing the TouchID sensor

● similar to building a desktop computer, but much, much smaller & thus, much more difficult


Parts list
● case
● logic board & matched TouchID sensor

● screen – glass + digitiser + LCD + backlight + clear adhesive – had it built by people who had the equipment

● back camera
● front camera
● bottom cable assembly, including lightning dock & headphone jack
● battery
● speakers
● brackets
● lots of tiny screws
● cables

Other resources:

● Cost: “I’ve spent over $1000 at this point, but a lot of it was duplicate parts I didn’t end up using & tools I didn’t end up needing. I’d estimate the cost of the actual parts that went into the phone at around $300, maybe a bit more (I wasn’t keeping perfect track).”

● Parts: obtained from the markets of Huaqiangbei Futian, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China1

● Time: project took two months, including time outside of China (when no progress was made), working out what was required, & procuring parts




Popular Science – “This hacker built his own iPhone using parts from Chinese electronics markets” http://www.popsci.com/how-hacker-in-china-built-his-own-iphone-from-scratch?dom=rss-default&src=syn
__________

1 Wikipedia: “Huaqiangbei”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huaqiangbei
/ hacker built his own iPhone using parts from Chinese electronics markets project took roughly two months about $300 in parts to complete Scotty Allen first got the idea make his own iPhone over beers with fellow gadget enthusiasts American hacker engineer lives part-time in Shenzhen China electronics markets experimental spirit fostered inhabitants breadth of available parts build his own iPhone 6S from the ground up not actually that hard biggest barrier is language what drove him sense of curiosity about Shenzhen’s bustling cell phone markets project learn more about them took about one to two months and cost roughly $300 in parts extra cash skilled help along the way Allen created 16 GB Rose Gold iPhone 6S runs iOS 9 compares parts Frankenphone genuine Apple parts scavenged from iPhones been recycled phone’s logic board corresponding TouchID sensor must match specific logic board camera Apple-made parts less sure about provenance metal shell that houses the phone made by another manufacturer I made my own iPhone accomplishment It looks just like the original phone operating system came with the logic board volume buttons didn’t click tiny piece of metal solved that problem software engineer former Google employee nomad availability multitude of cell phone parts electronics geek project highlights globalization of the electronics industry Apple assembles cell phones Asia sold all over the world accompanying spare-parts marketplace engineer build his own iPhone Apple Store video project website what happens when I get rid of a phone recycle donate taken apart for parts turned back into nice working phones /

Monday, 17 April 2017

Has Mercedes seen the light on fuel cells?



Mercedes F-Cell
Credit: Wikipedia

Fuel cells are one third as efficient as lithium ion batteries. In practice, used to drive a car, they yield poor acceleration.1 These problems appear to be fundamental to the physics & chemistry of fuel cells. Or as hydrogen proponent David Wenger, CEO of Wegner Engineering, which developed the hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for the Mercedes F-Cell hatchback put it, “In total, the results are sobering, sadly. That really hurts.”2,3

Elon Musk understands fuel cells too:



Digital Trends – “Elon Musk on hydrogen fuel-cell cars: ‘I just think that they are extremely silly’”, http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/elon-musk-says-fcvs-are-extremely-silly/

In light of the above, the apparent enthusiasm of some car makers for that technology is puzzling. Mercedes, though is showing signs of having seen the light:

Green Car Reports – “Did Mercedes turn its back on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles?”, http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1109713_did-mercedes-turn-its-back-on-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles

Car Advice – “Mercedes-Benz fuel-cell future uncertain”
https://www.caradvice.com.au/513308/mercedes-benz-fuel-cell-future-uncertain/

Gas2 – “Mercedes Says It Will Not Pursue Fuel Cell Development For Its Cars”
http://gas2.org/2017/03/31/mercedes-will-not-pursue-fuel-cell-development/
__________

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Can fuel cells compete with batteries?”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/01/can-fuel-cells-compete-with-batteries.html


2 Green Car Reports: “Did Mercedes turn its back on hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles?”, https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1109713_did-mercedes-turn-its-back-on-hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles


3 Wegner Engineering: “Engineering Office – Wenger Engineering GmbH”, https://www.wenger-engineering.de/en/engineering-office/

/ Wenger Engineering GmbH Elon Musk hydrogen fuel-cell cars Mercedes-Benz Mercedes Benz F-Cell compress liquefy hydrogen compress extremely high pressure liquefy large global automakers research multiple technologies future powertrains German automakers plug-in electric cars zero-emission vehicles hydrogen fuel cells networks of fueling stations supply pure hydrogen high pressures Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler research vehicles powered by hydrogen partnered with Ford and Nissan research and development R&D hydrogen fuel-cell technologies high costs vehicles production volume production Mercedes powered fuel cell adapted GLC crossover utility hydrogen fuel cell electric drive motor plug-in battery pack grid electricity plug-in hybrid range extender hydrogen fuel cell planned battery-electric vehicle David Wenger German hydrogen proponent driver Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-Cell small Mercedes hatchback powered by a hydrogen fuel cell trade H2-International results are sobering short range between refueling stops reliability fueling network phone app show real-time status of each station Mercedes negative future cars powered by hydrogen Mercedes Benz Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche industry conference fuel cells battery costs declining rapidly hydrogen production remains very costly reserved to fleet operators only will not be practical for consumer sale until the price of hydrogen fuel falls considerably widespread and cheap renewable energy /

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Elon Musk tweets Tesla semi & pickup truck



Artist's impression
Credit: Twitter

Semi

Electric semi has long been in the too hard basket:
● road-freight is low-margin

● making a profit depends on keeping the vehicle moving, which makes long charging times a problem

● battery size & weight is less of a barrier in a such a big vehicle
● battery price remains a problem

● energy & maintenance costs will be significantly lower than internal combustion

● battery swapping has been demonstrated,1 but hasn’t taken off for electric cars – perhaps in this application, high utilization in freight centres may make it viable

● short-haul may be the best application for battery-electric prime movers, at least initially


Teslarati – “Tesla Semi-truck: What will be the ROI & is it worth it?”
https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-semi-truck-return-investment-roi/

Wired – “Unlike Hyperloop, Elon Musk’s Electric Big-Rig Actually Makes Sense”
https://www.wired.com/2017/04/tesla-electric-truck/

Pickup truck
__________

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Demonstration of Tesla Model S battery swap today – video – update”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2013/06/demonstration-of-tesla-model-s-battery.html

/ Tesla semi-truck semi truck semi trailer truck prime mover tractor ROI return on investment battery cell lithium ion LiIon charge recharge battery swap battery swapping station Supercharger Elon Musk Tesla Semi reinvention entire industry Tesla truck program Jerome Guillen history with Daimler specifically Freightliner large Class 8 semi-trucks Tesla how far tractor-trailer tractor trailer operations two basic types of freight moving short-haul long-haul short haul long haul types of freight hauling return on investment ROI battery-electric rig Tesla unveil equipment current paradigms in tractor-trailer freight hauling battery electric vehicle BEV trucking industry freight moved United States commercial truck U.S. Department of Transportation USDOT moved by trucks agricultural products pharmaceuticals goods moved highways surface roads nationally trucking industry change technology improves freight hauling Internet faster communications traditional consignee-broker-hauler paradigm goods haul contacted freight broker contracted freight hauler move the goods skimming percentage off the top connection middleman cut out trucking trucking companies having load brokers on staff electronics and global positioning changed how trucks operate computers more efficiently organizing load and truck movements minimize empty movement USDOT truck movement pulling an empty trailer freight drop-off point drops exponentially networks of computers get more efficient organizing trucking trucking companies consolidate larger fleets longer average trip load delivery tractor-trailer faster truck’s ROI owner shorter hauls higher per-mile maintenance costs longer hauls cost of fuel equipment maintenance costs engine fuel higher with shorter distances how often brakes are used time spent not working idling or sitting higher incidences of accidents short-haul operations are less than ideal roads breakdown flat tire hours wasted waiting for repair potential ROI short-haul long-haul Tesla electric semi-trucks short haul short-haul operations tractor-trailer shipments moving 250 miles or less long-haul long haul types of shipments more than 250 miles large Class 8 semi-trucks pulling freight overlap between short-haul and long-haul shipments distribution location reassembled for longer distance hauling short-haul diversity grain stones to specialized equipment trucks day cabs no sleeper unit attached driver rest quarters when not at the wheel electrified Class 8 vehicles short-haul category battery-electric hydrogen fuel cell hybrid yard dogs moving trailers around a dock area portage trucks moving containers and freight out of port to staging areas local distribution centers local area urban and suburban delivery vehicles large push in California to make all port vehicles including container-moving trucks zero-emissions good news for battery-electric truck makers USDOT, about half of all shipments by value moved less than 250 miles weight being moved around the country bad news segment less is paid per ton freight to be moved American Transportation Research Institute segment 25 percent trucks on the road equipment age higher in this category trucks being used for more years fewer miles compared to long-haul trucks cost maintenance most expensive items tractor-trailer short or long-haul fuel driver wages benefits truck-trailer lease payments insurance most conventional operations short haul or long haul maintenance six percent higher in short-haul operations compared to long-haul insurance usually a bit higher assume battery-electric semi-truck higher price tag diesel-powered counterpart averages about $150,000 new up-front costs will be at least 50 percent higher expense of the batteries Morgan Stanley report on electric and autonomous trucking $75,000 for 500 kWh of battery storage roughly 150 miles range fully loaded 80,000 pound semi-truck current lithium crunch economies of scale more than half the Tesla Semi’s cost would be in batteries larger up-front price tag returned with fuel savings long term view /

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Apple has a permit to test self driving cars in California



Apple’s existing automotive tech – Apple Car Play
Credit: Pinterest

Speculation & hints about an Apple car, or self driving tech, has been around for a period of years.1,2 Application for, & granting of an, “Autonomous Vehicle Testing Permit”, puts Apples's participation in autonomous driving tech beyond reasonable doubt.

Boy Genius Report – “Apple just got a permit to test driverless cars in California”
http://bgr.com/2017/04/14/apple-car-driverless-permit-california/

Sydney Morning Herald – “Apple is going to test self-driving cars”
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/apple-is-going-to-test-selfdriving-cars-20170414-gvlf7l.html
__________

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Will Apple build an electric vehicle?”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2015/02/will-apple-build-electric-vehicle.html

2 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Apple car — much speculation — now some documentation”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2015/08/apple-car-much-speculation-now-some.html

/ Apple test self-driving cars months of speculation Apple developing automotive technology Apple self-driving cars obtaining test permit from California regulators permit allows Apple begin testing up to three 2015 Lexus SUVs similar Google uses autonomous cars obtaining clearance California's Department of Motor Vehicles Apple serious about pushing forward self-driving technology reports scaling back its ambitions California's DMV disclosed permit website Friday several dozen other companies testing self-driving technology including BMW Ford Honda Nissan Uber others other companies Apple's test vehicles human drivers behind the wheel public roads California regulations speculation Apple automotive project Apple keeping a tight lid on its plans project open secret Apple ambiguity development project effort project Apple Car iCar Project Titan producing driveable vehicles Apple focusing on software control a car upgrade car injecting autonomous capabilities reports Apple's new vehicle powered battery-electric technology 2015 hiring spree Apple automotive engineers prompted rumours new hires companies Ford Tesla also researching self-driving technology many team reportedly left or been reassigned strategic shift focus on software self-driving technology permit unclear specific aspect Apple is working on Apple declined to comment public remarks submitted to federal highway authorities November research into automation many potential applications for these technologies future of transportation work with NHTSA National Highway Traffic Safety Administration best practices for the industry Apple wrote National Highway Traffic Safety Administration permit Apple increasingly competitive race build world's first mainstream self-driving car General Motors plans expand self-driving autos unit 1100 additional jobs $US14 million $Au18.5 million $A18.5 million investment Ford investing $US1 billion artificial intelligence company called Argo AI self-driving technology potential reshape how people work play commute proponents automating vehicles will help reduce congestion prevent crashes caused by human error according federal statistics account for 95 per cent all accidents analysts Apple accelerate arrival fully autonomous car to the market Apple autonomous vehicle game Rebecca Lindland executive analyst Kelley Blue Book Apple entry into self-driving push the industry provide product safer more secure even faster timeline several automakers technology hardware firms software companies applied test cars California's autonomous car program California Department of Motor Vehicles companies test vehicles provide evidence train qualified employee drivers insure their cars will be liable for any damage incurred during tests required submit regular reports outlining any accidents testing times that drivers turn off a vehicle's autonomous systems during a test automotive space CarPlay interface allows drivers to connect their vehicles with their iPhones market in-car infotainment increasingly common in consumer automobiles /

Friday, 14 April 2017

MacBook refurb – initial impressions from an enthusiastic new owner



MacBook connected to 29 inch monitor
Credit: The Gadgeteer

Laptop computers have a number of disadvantages compared to desktop equivalents. To a greater or lesser extent, these include:
● smaller screen

● smaller keyboard – keys themselves are not necessarily smaller, or closer together, but numeric keypad – almost never

● less powerful processor
● overheating
● easier to steal
● less bang for the buck

Despite all of these disadvantages, laptops are very popular. This popularity revolves around their portability. Amongst the most portable is Apple's MacBook 12 inch:1,2
● weight similar to a tablet – great choice if portability is at a premium
● 12 inch retina screen

● plenty of power for the tasks most people use a computer for – email, browsing, video, word processing


Below is a review from a new owner who wanted a computer for travel, but is now thinking about selling her MacBook Pro:

The Gadgeteer – “Julie’s gadget diary – I have finally found my perfect travel computer”
http://the-gadgeteer.com/2017/04/10/julies-gadget-diary-i-have-finally-found-my-perfect-travel-computer/
__________

1 “New MacBook 12 inch”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2015/03/new-macbook-12.html

2Apple MacBook 2016 – what’s changed & what hasn’t”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/04/apple-macbook-2016-whats-changed-what.html
/ subtle differences updated 12 inch MacBook just released original version benchmarks performance 5th Generation Broadwell processor MacBook 6th Generation Skylake chip early benchmarks Geekbench 3 benchmark new Skylake 1.2GHz Core m5 powered MacBook last year’s 1.1GHz Broadwell 25 percent speed bump benchmarks difference in price 2016 MacBook new Intel HD Graphics 515 flash drive speeds benchmarks boost battery life subtle hour more battery life Apple's rating battery life DRAM RAM LPDDR3-1600 DRAM new MacBook LPDDR3-1866 DRAM new Rose Gold color colour chassis identical Retina display resolution same one USB-C port original 12-inch MacBook update MacBook 2 pounds 12 inches MacBook Air models 24 percent thinner 11 inch MacBook Air measuring 13.1mm thickness all-new keyboard full width new MacBook butterfly mechanism better much more precise typing experience individual LED lighting for each key device that little bit thinner 12-inch screen Retina display family 2304 x 1440 resolution consumes 30 percent less power touchpad four force sensors one in each corner click feel managed by software pressure sensitivity pressing harder fast-forward QuickTime make a video play faster Force Click new USB Type-C connector upgraded reversible USB internal redesign logic board 67 percent smaller previous generations most dense densest no fan required computer Intel Core M Broadwell CPU battery life nine hours web browsing 10 hours movie playback new MacBook silver space gray stunning gold shipping begins April 10th most energy-efficient notebook laptop EPA US Environmental Protection Agency MacBook no extra name /

Thursday, 13 April 2017

When is Easter?



Credit: Android Central

Have you noticed
● Easter is on a different weekend each year
● there’s often a full moon just before Easter

● there was a full moon on Tuesday of this week (11 April)

● Easter is this weekend?

When is Easter? – simple answer
Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after the first full moon on, or after, 21 March each year. Other days of Easter are positioned around the date of Easter Sunday – Easter Friday (Good Friday etc.) is two days before – Easter Monday the day after, etc.

Applying this rule to 2017
● 12 March was a full moon

● next full moon (i.e. first on, or after, 21 March) was on Tuesday 11 April

● so Easter Sunday is the first Sunday after 11 April – Sunday 16 April 2017


Earliest possible Easter Sunday
“In 1818, as a paschal full moon fell on Saturday March 21 (the Spring Equinox), Easter was the following day – Sunday March 22 – the earliest date possible. It will not fall on this date again until 2285, a span of 467 years.” – Wikepedia1

Latest possible Easter Sunday
“In 1943 a full moon fell on Saturday March 20. As this was before the Equinox the next full moon, which fell on Sunday April 18, determined the date of Easter – the following Sunday, April 25. It will not fall on this date again until 2038, a span of 95 years.” – Wikepedia2

When is Easter? – complex answer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastical_full_moon
__________

1 Wikipedia: “Ecclesiastical full moon”, “Earliest Easter”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastical_full_moon#Earliest_Easter

2 Wikipedia: “Ecclesiastical full moon”, “Latest Easter”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesiastical_full_moon#Latest_Easter
/ ecclesiastical full moon 14th day ecclesiastical lunar month ecclesiastical moon) ecclesiastical lunar calendar ecclesiastical lunar calendar spans the year lunar months 30 29 days approximate observed phases of the moon true synodic month length vary 29.27 29.83 days moment of astronomical opposition 14.75 days after the previous conjunction sun moon 28 days lunar month ecclesiastical full moons Gregorian lunar calendar dates of astronomical opposition day beginning midnight at 0 degrees longitude within a day or so astronomical opposition single moment entire earth hour and day opposition measured having taken place vary with longitude ecclesiastical calendar 14th day of the lunar month reckoned in local time considered day of the full moon at each longitude schematic lunar calendars get out of step with the moon checking their performance compare variation astronomical new moon standard time of 6 A.M. last day of a 30 day month 6 P.M. end of day last day of a 29 day month medieval period age of the ecclesiastical moon announced daily office of Prime reading of the martyrology Book of Common Prayer Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States of America dates paschal full moons 19 years Gregorian Easter cycle Golden Number date in March or April paschal full moon falls year of the cycle practice some editions Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England /

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

There’s a hunger for the truth in news reporting



Credit: Mediaite

Three days ago, I posted this:

Google fights fake news with “Fact Check” tag

Result, more page views than the previous 3 posts together, & the post with the fourth highest number of page views in 6 years. There really is a hunger for the truth.

In the face of recent world events, that's the best news this year.

Since you've read this far, it probably includes you – & you'll probably be interested in this:

FactCheck.org – “How to Spot Fake News”
https://www.factcheck.org/2016/11/how-to-spot-fake-news/
/ How to Spot Fake News fake news nothing new bogus stories can reach more people more quickly via social media viral emails Facebook Google crack down fake news sites restricting their ability garner ad revenue dissipate malarkey online news consumers best defense defence spread of misinformation passed along online complete fiction Snopes.com exposing false viral claims fabricated messages distortions containing bits of truth founder David Mikkelson fake news category fictions fabrications comprise fake news subset larger bad news phenomenon shoddy unresearched error-filled error filled deliberately misleading reporting disservice to everyone viral claims aren’t news fiction satire efforts to fool readers encouraged readers skeptical of viral claims delete chain email Ask FactCheck feature answer readers’ questions viral emails social media memes made-up email windfall tax malicious fabrication fake news in today’s parlance rid inboxes garbage red flags Key Characteristics of Bogusness clear tip-offs chain email wasn’t legitimate anonymous author excessive exclamation points capital letters misspellings entreaties This is NOT a hoax links sourcing does not support completely contradicts claims being made fake stories completely made-up news grown more sophisticated site designed to look like legitimate news organization organisation easy to figure out what’s real and what’s imaginary armed with some critical thinking fact-checking tools of the trade how to spot a fake consider the source fact-checked fake news not the actual URL fantasy news website a gmail address debunked claim site most of what it publishes is fiction fantasy news satire warning bogus headline Donald Trump for President information on its mission staff members physical location legitimate news organization organisation site debunked by fact-checking organizations organisations Snopes.com viral claims online rumors maintains list known fake news websites read beyond the headline provocative headline pass along the shocking information legitimate news stories headline doesn’t always tell the whole story fake news particularly efforts to be satirical several revealing signs in the text viral rumor rumour read the full story check the author tell-tale sign of a fake story byline Peabody award Pulitzer Prize bio bogus story byline Darius Rubics bogus stories official sources source doesn’t back up the claim viral claim crime statistics murder statistics retweeted tweet Twitter from sources that are very credible FBI crime data is publicly available supposed source data fake news story satirical site surprise announcement surprise announcement garner media coverage website Google Snopes.com article fake news check the date false stories completely fake distortions of real events mendacious claims legitimate news story twist what it says claim that something that happened long ago is related to current events many inquiries from readers Trump’s election blog items that quoted from evidence check the support for claims deceptive website credit CNN bogus headline deception involves copyright infringement article distorted Trump took credit deserved no credit some kind of joke satire clearly labeled as such satirical news column Borowitz Report not everyone gets the jokes satirical columns suspected the details were far-fetched more debatable forms of satire online hoaxer Paul Horner fact a fake piece after the election hoaxes helped the campaign satire fake news designed to encourage clicks generate money ad revenue makes a living off his posts nobody fact-checks anything anymore check your biases confirmation bias confirms their beliefs take a moment to check it out express doubt in the outrageous skepticism is justified debunked claims resurgence of a fake quote since the election viral image circulated archives public relations representative quote interview fake meme Instagram quote is fake consult the experts debunking takes time FactCheck.org Snopes.com Washington Post Fact Checker PolitiFact.com fact-checked fact checked viral claim pop up in your news feed FactCheck.org fact-checkers Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg principles underpin more accurate news ecosystem News Feed readers remain the first line of defense against fake news Viral Spiral page Ask FactChecks claim investigate factcheck.org /

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Tesla Model 3 instruments in front of the driver – definitely not happening



Tesla Model 3 interior as seen at the reveal event – notice centre screen & absence of any instruments in front of the driver. Notice too, the zero in the top left of the centre screen, which is a speed display.
Credit: @steve_cars/Twitter

Since the Tesla Model 3 reveal, there has been speculation about the 15" landscape centre screen & the possibility of other instruments in the production vehicle. One popular suggestion has been a head up display (HUD). With the benefit of hindsight, the engineer driving the prototype in my post about the Model 3 reveal was committed to the advantages of the centre screen & eliminating instruments in front of the driver.1

Recently, Elon Musk placed it beyond doubt in a Twitter exchange:




“You won’t care”? – Elon Musk makes it clear that it doesn’t mean a HUD, but it does imply something in the user interface that will overcome objections to the absence of a speed display in front of the driver.

If, as the owner of a production Model 3, you do care, there are many existing add-on HUDs, including:

“15 Best Head-Up Displays (HUD)”
http://www.crookedbrains.net/2016/04/best-head-up-displays.html
__________

1 HitchHiker's Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla Model 3 event (video)”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/04/tesla-model-3-event.html

/ Tesla Model 3 interior reveal event centre screen absence of any instruments in front of the driver speed display top left of the centre screen speed display Tesla Model 3 reveal speculation 15" 15 inch landscape centre screen center screen other instruments production vehicle popular suggestion head up display HUD engineer driving the prototype my post about Model 3 reveal committed to the advantages of the centre screen eliminating instruments in front of the driver Elon Musk placed it beyond doubt Twitter exchange battery electric car electric vehicle EV battery electric vehicle BEV lithium ion battery LiIon charge /

Monday, 10 April 2017

Electric GT Championship – first two races scheduled



Electric GT
Credit: Autosport

First 2 races of the Electric GT Champioship1,2,3 are scheduled for 25 & 26 November 2017 at France’s Circuit Paul Ricard. Complete 2017-2018 10-race-schedule is:

25 November – Circuit Paul Ricard, France
26 November – Circuit Paul Ricard, France
January – location to be announced
March – Portugal
April – Italy
May – Germany
June – Belgium
July – The Netherlands
September – U.K.
October – Spain


Electric GT interior
Credit: Evening Standard

Each event will include:
● 20-minute practice session
● 60-minute qualifying, to determine the grid for the first race
● day race – 60km
● dusk race – 60km

http://electriccarsreport.com/2017/04/electric-gt-championship-announces-official-first-race-nov-25-26-france/

http://www.thedrive.com/accelerator/9078/first-electric-gt-championship-race-scheduled

Mark Gemmell, Co-Founder & CEO, Electric GT Holdings Inc., speaks to the Tesla Motors Club about the series in the video below. He’s made a Musk-like investment in the Championship – “All of my money’s in this business, & all my wife’s money’s in the business & a lot of my friends, so we better make this work.”

Formula E: “I do know that if we take our Model S, we take it to the same circuit, we would beat them.”

Formula 1: “This thing is gonna die soon because young folks just are not interested.”



Electric GT on a circuit


__________

1Tesla Model S racing series”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/03/tesla-model-s-racing-series.html

2Tesla Model S racer for Electric GT World Series makes an appearance”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2016/10/tesla-model-s-race-car-for-electric-gt.html

3Electric GT circuit racing series – lighter, quicker Tesla Model S P100D (video)”, https://hhg2tech.blogspot.com/2017/03/electric-gt-circuit-racing-series.html

/ Electric GT Championship first two races confirmed This thing is gonna die soon because young folks just are not interested first race 25th 26 November 2017 France’s Circuit Paul Ricard complete 2017-2018 10-race-schedule 25 November Circuit Paul Ricard France 26 November March Portugal April Italy May Germany June Belgium July The Netherlands September U.K. October Spain Tesla Model S racing series Tesla Model S racer Electric GT World Series Electric GT circuit racing series lighter quicker Tesla Model S P100D Electric GT Championship announces official first race November 25-26 France Electric GT Championship world’s first 100% zero-emission GT series announce 10-round championship kick off double-header Circuit Paul Ricard 25-26 November 2017 first competitive running EGT Tesla Model S P100D Le Castellet circuit launching championship pending FIA approval January Portugal March Italy April Germany May Belgium The Netherlands July U.K. September United Kingdom Britain England Spain October Electric GT round one-day event two races grids first decided during 60-minute qualifying session plenty of action both on and off the track opening event weekend long festival celebrating technology sustainability innovation marks beginning The Age of Light dates for the rest of the championship finalised next few months P100D develop development developed preparations inaugural campaign entering the final stages Electric GT Championship CEO Mark Gemmell Paul Ricard will host first two EGP events November tremendous enthusiasm championship festival for sustainability fans certain to enjoy working on the official dates rest of the campaign finalised over the coming months Electric GT Championship announced Tesla Model S P100D chosen for the first season 20 international drivers both male and female 10 professional teams identical Tesla Model S machines equipped latest OMP safety equipment running on bespoke Pirelli tyres 20-minute practice session 60-minute qualifying heat day race 60km dusk race 60km round weekend-long festival technology innovation sustainability around the circuits Season One 2017 November 25-26 France Paul Ricard Rounds 1 and 2 /