By BeauHD from Slashdot's cheaper-by-the-dozen department
Rei writes: An interesting report came out the other day from Germany, where an engineering firm purchased four Tesla Model 3s on the grey market to study on behalf of an anonymous major German auto manufacturer. Among their key findings: due in part to a huge reduction in cobalt in the batteries (2.8% in the cathodes versus a typical 8%) and a number of simplifications, the parts cost of a Model 3 (in units of 10,000 vehicles per week) is estimated at $18,000, along with $10,000 in production costs. Note that the teardown was for the long-range version with the premium upgrades package.
On Reddit, users with access to the full report added further details. The 75kWh battery is 40% of the components cost ($7,200); the interior is completely symmetric (facilitating RHD); there are only 4 kinds of screws used in the underbody (a typical German luxury manufacturer uses 40); many parts of the car are designed specifically so as to be easier for robots to grab; and the battery pack is harder to remove than on the S/X (e.g. not battery swap capable). After studying the individual components, they concluded that German EV manufacturers would not be capable of producing a similar vehicle at this point in time. Asked on Twitter whether Musk agreed with their price conclusions at a rate of 10,000 vehicles per week, Musk replied: "Definitely." That said, Tesla is still in the process of moving from 3,500 to 5,000-6,000 per week by the end of this quarter, and is not expected to reach 10,000 vehicles per week until next year.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's high-rollers department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Three U.S. states announced major investments in charging infrastructure for electric cars on Thursday. In total, California, New York, and New Jersey will put $1.3 billion on the table in the coming years to help chip away at one of the biggest barriers standing in the way of widespread EV adoption. California's Public Utilities Commission approved up to $738 million worth of projects over the next five years, the agency announced. Southern California Edison and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will spend up to $343 million and $236 million, respectively, to build charging infrastructure that will support thousands of medium or heavy-duty vehicles at around 1,500 locations throughout the state. PG&E will spend another $22 million building 234 DC fast-charging stations at around 50 different sites throughout the state.
In New York, the governor's office announced a pledge of up to $250 million through 2025 to its electric vehicle expansion initiative, EVolve NY. The New York Power Authority will work with the private sector to install up to 200 DC fast chargers "along key interstate corridors" with the goal of making them available every 30 miles, and it will also bring them to urban areas as well, including at or near New York City's two major airports. Meanwhile, New Jersey's biggest utility owner Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG) announced a $300 million pledge to build out up to 50,000 charging stations along highways, in residential areas, and at workplaces.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department
The tussle over technology talent is reaching far beyond Silicon Valley. From a report: Firms from industrial giants to car makers are rethinking the way they recruit as they compete with each other and traditional technology outfits for people with expertise in high-tech fields like machine learning, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity. For some positions that Siemens AG needs to fill, there may be a universe of fewer than 2,000 qualified people in the U.S., said Michael Brown, vice president of talent acquisition in the Americas for the German industrial conglomerate that makes everything from gas turbines to mammography machines. "The question is how many of those are looking for a job?" Mr. Brown said. Finding the right potential candidates on sites like LinkedIn isn't easy because "they're tired of being found." Siemens has 377,000 employees world-wide and about 50,000 in the U.S. At the moment, it has about 1,500 open jobs across America, most of which require some software or science-related background. Employers are handicapped by several factors, data show and recruiters say: Cutting-edge skills are evolving faster than universities can train people, the supply of talented young workers entering these fields isn't satisfying the huge demand for them, and mobility -- a worker's willingness to uproot their life for a job in a new place -- has declined. The odds of luring rare, coveted candidates away from their current job or city are long, Mr. Brown said.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's older-people-need-not-apply department
Older workers are accusing Facebook, Ikea, and hundreds of other companies for discriminating against job seekers in their 50s and 60s through targeted job ads posted on Facebook. From a report: The Communications Workers of America, a labor union representing 700,000 media workers across the country, added the companies to a class-action lawsuit on Tuesday, which was filed in California federal court in December. In its original complaint, the labor union accused Amazon, T-Mobile, and Cox Media Group of doing the same thing. The case, Bradley v. T-Mobile, has major implications for US employers, who routinely buy job ads on Facebook to reach users. The plaintiffs argue that Amazon, T-Mobile, Ikea, Facebook, and hundreds of other companies target the ads so they are only seen by younger Facebook users. The lawsuit revolves around Facebook's unique business model, which lets advertisers micro-target the network's users based on their interests, city, age, and other demographic information. In the past, equal rights advocates have sued Facebook for accepting ads that discriminate against consumers based on their religion, race, and gender. Facebook has argued that the company is not legally responsible when other companies buy ads that violate the law.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's exponential-growth department
In March, Google secretly signed an agreement with the Pentagon to provide cutting edge AI technology for drone warfare, causing about a dozen Google employees to resign in protest and thousands to sign a petition calling for an end to the contract. Google has since tried to quash the dissent, claiming that the contract was "only" for $9 million, according to the New York Times. Internal company emails obtained by The Intercept tell a different story: The September emails show that Google's business development arm expected the military drone artificial intelligence revenue to ramp up from an initial $15 million to an eventual $250 million per year. In fact, one month after news of the contract broke, the Pentagon allocated an additional $100 million to Project Maven [the endeavor designed to help drone operators recognize images captured on the battlefield]. The internal Google email chain also notes that several big tech players competed to win the Project Maven contract. Other tech firms such as Amazon were in the running, one Google executive involved in negotiations wrote. (Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.) Rather than serving solely as a minor experiment for the military, Google executives on the thread stated that Project Maven was "directly related" to a major cloud computing contract worth billions of dollars that other Silicon Valley firms are competing to win. The emails further note that Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing arm of Amazon, "has some work loads" related to Project Maven.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's someone-poked-you department
PolygamousRanchKid shares a report from Quartz: In an ironic twist in the saga of Facebook's troubles, Russian lawmakers have declared that they, too, would like to question Mark Zuckerberg. According to the Moscow Times, senator Anton Belyakov yesterday offered to invite the Facebook CEO to address the upper chamber of the Russian parliament. "After all, he spoke about information security, not giving access to personal data, preventing the dissemination of harmful content," Belyakov reportedly said, referring to Zuckerberg's meetings with the U.S. Congress and European Parliament. Another reason for those meetings was to discuss whether the social network facilitated Russian meddling in foreign elections.
The U.S. company is in trouble with Russian authorities for disobeying a 2015 law that requires it to store the data of Russian citizens on the country's soil. In April, the state communications watchdog threatened that if Facebook didn't comply, it would face the same fate as LinkedIn, which was banned in the country last year. Much to the chagrin of UK politicians, he (Zuckerberg) has not agreed to multiple calls, and even a mild threat, to testify in front of a UK parliamentary committee.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's imitation-learning department
Artem Tashkinov shares a report from The Register: DeepMind has taught artificially intelligent programs to play classic Atari computer games by making them watch YouTube videos. Exploration games like 1984's Montezuma's Revenge are particularly difficult for AI to crack, because it's not obvious where you should go, which items you need and in which order, and where you should use them. That makes defining rewards difficult without spelling out exactly how to play the thing, and thus defeating the point of the exercise. For example, Montezuma's Revenge requires the agent to direct a cowboy-hat-wearing character, known as Panama Joe, through a series of rooms and scenarios to reach a treasure chamber in a temple, where all the goodies are hidden. Pocketing a golden key, your first crucial item, takes about 100 steps, and is equivalent to 100^18 possible action sequences.
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department
MojoKid writes: Last week, Arm showed off its new Machine Learning Processor design, but today it has lifted the veil on its next-generation Cortex and Mali CPU, GPU, and VPU architectures, destined for 2019 smartphones and mobile devices. The Arm Cortex-A76 CPU, Mali-G76 GPU, and Mali-V76 VPU designs all step up performance and efficiency over previous generation designs, though there are architectural and layout changes and more advanced manufacturing processes. Arm believes its A76 core, which can be clocked at 3GHz+ when produced on a 7nm process, can perform within 10 percent of an Intel Skylake core within the same thermal constraints, but at approximately half the footprint. The Mali-G76 improves density and energy efficiency by 30 percent over the previous generation G72, while providing a 2.7x uplift in machine learning workloads. And the Mali-V76 VPU improves on the recently announced V52 by adding support for 8K UltraHD content, among many other improvements.Read Replies (0)