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Ford might just move the driver, not go driverless
Unfortunately there’s not a 600+ horsepower Ford GT at the other end of the wireless connection. Instead, Ford’s engineers and their partners at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta outfitted a somewhat less powerful golf cart with the necessary kit.
In Palo Alto, you sit at a triple monitor rig with the Logitech wheel and pedals, and see what’s in front of the golf cart through streaming video cameras. Exactly how much of the periphery is visible is customizable; initially, Ford showed us a relatively broad view spread across all three displays, but you can cut that down to a single camera if you don’t have the screen real-estate for it.
After that, it’s a matter of using a single pedal to control the accelerator, and steering around the lot. Ford overlays some green and red lines to indicate the width of the cart and where the current steering angle should take it, but in this current implementation the sensor load is low. There’s a local kill-switch, in case you decide to go on a remote rampage and crush cones, but none of the sensors Ford says it would expect to fit were the product commercialized.
Rather than send cars like the Fusion Hybrid Autonomous Research Vehicle that Ford is loaning to Stanford out onto the streets every time there’s a new sign-identification build to put through its paces, Ford can set the autonomous leaning algorithms loose into a virtual road system.
That also allows testing density to be far higher: you can pepper the streets with stop signs and speed warnings, for instance, at a far greater density than you’d ever encounter in the real world, while those signs can also be rotated, partially obscured with paint or snow, or have their sizes and shapes changed.
“The reason we’re using game engines is because games are getting very realistic now,” Ford computer vision engineer Arthur Alaniz explained to me. Currently, the team is experimenting with various different underlying engines – they declined to name specifics – hunting for the most efficient one. The AI spots signs and flags them with different colored boxes and circles, reading things like speed limits or lane guidance.
It’s technologies like these which leaves Ford confident that – contrary to what map specialists like Nokia HERE might suggest - you don’t need to have a perfect understanding of every territory before you can set a self-driving car loose in it. Instead, Alaniz argued, it’s just a case of having a different, and perhaps more cautious algorithm in command, reacting to the topography and signage in real-time.
Remotely piloting a car rather than leaving it entirely to a robot driver may not be as dramatic, but it could be market ready a whole lot sooner. Ford hasn’t committed to actually launching it yet, but the assumption is that the legal hurdles holding back fully-autonomous vehicles could be less strenuous to pass if there’s still a human in command, even if they’re not physically present.
The upshot might be car sharing schemes where vehicles could be moved around an urban environment to better suit driver demand, or parking garages where virtual valets could squeeze cars into spaces without having to leave room for doors to be opened.
Is it practical? “As cars get more electrified, it gets easier and easier to do this in the real world,” Tinskey told me, though the limits of the off-the-shelf technology Ford is relying upon are being felt. Already, the team has encountered a noticeable increase in latency when students at the Georgia Institute of Technology get out of class, bandwidth on the 4G network Ford is relying upon becoming narrower.
“I wouldn’t say it’s ready for prime time,” Tinskey concludes, “but it’s giving us some interesting results.”
Curious what else Ford is working on beside self-driving cars? We went behind-the-scenes
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HBO Now and Go offers one of the largest catalogs of popular TV shows and movies on the go. However, at times the service may stop working. Several users have reported the HBO Now not working on TV, Chrome, and Roku devices.
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In this article, we have listed a couple of troubleshooting tips to help you resolve the HBO Now not working issue on your streaming devices.What to do if HBO Now or HBO Go stops working? 1. Force Close the app
For Android TV
From the home screen, scroll down and open Settings.
Select the HBO Go app from the list.
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Power off your TV and other streaming devices like Roku.
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Press the Star * button on your Roku TV remote.
Select Remove Channel and then select OK to confirm.
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Doug Hines, CEO of a software company in Decatur, GA, has logged hundreds of miles in his Tesla. In addition to the obvious perks of owning an all-electric car—little maintenance, no exhaust, and just downright fun to drive — there was one he hadn’t expected: the unfailing generosity of people willing to offer up their home chargers to a stranger, often for free.
“It amazes me how people are so open to have anybody come to their home, drive into their garage, and plug in their car,” says Hines, 55, who lives in Lithonia, GA. “I’ve probably been to about six or seven homes on long trips. People have been so gracious. Some have even invited me to spend the night.”
Doug and Sheryl Hines Doug and Sheryl Hines
In a Dayton, Ohio suburb, Hines took one family out to dinner as a thank you for giving him a charge. In Battle Creek, Michigan, he left a Panera gift card for a man who was away from his home when Hines arrived, but who “left his garage door up for me,” he says.
“We plan our trips around charging,” says Hines, a father of six, who drove an SUV — “the only car that has 8 seats” — for 20 years, until the last of his children left for college. “I’ve had to depend on the kindness of strangers. I grew up in Detroit, where nobody trusted anybody outside your neighborhood. I love the idea that people are generous enough to make their chargers available.”
The PlugShare network, where Hines found places to charge his car along his route, is one example of the countless incentives created by proponents of all-electric vehicles to encourage people to own and drive them, and to ease consumers’ “range anxiety,” or worry that the battery will run out before getting to a destination or charging station. Hines himself is a member of PlugShare, offering up the charger located outside his Decatur office building to anyone who needs it.
In addition to nationwide volunteer peer-to-peer sharing, cities, states, utilities and private companies are setting up charging stations for the public. Some states, like Massachusetts and New York, are providing grants to municipalities and businesses to help them reduce the costs of installing EV charging stations, or even adding electric vehicles to their fleets.
Many utilities, like Kansas City inPower & Light, are installing public EV charging stations and offering cheaper electricity rates for those who charge their vehicles during off-peak hours. Utility companies see electric cars as a new and growing segment of the electricity market, especially as people can plug in at night when demand is at its lowest.
Public charging stations in the Boston area PlugShare
Several states, including New York, California, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, now offer rebates of up to $3,000 to defray the price of all-electric vehicles. This is in addition to the federal tax credit of $7,500 for buying an electric vehicle.
“These types of incentives that make EVs less expensive and more convenient are starting to pay off,” says Gina Coplon-Newfield, director of the Sierra Club‘s electric vehicles initiative. “Last year, U.S. EV sales jumped 37 percent over 2023 sales, despite low gasoline prices. Many people have figured out that — with cheaper fueling and maintenance costs, and with state incentives — EVs are actually cheaper than many conventional vehicles, in addition to being much lower in emissions.”
Moreover, she adds, “EVs are cleaner today than conventional vehicles, even factoring in the emissions from the electricity used to charge them. EVs will become even cleaner over time as we switch to more renewable sources of power.”
Currently, there is a paucity of easily accessible public charging stations, but that is likely to change.
A Tesla charging station Pixabay
“As we get more electric cars on the road — and we’re starting to get more on the road — the public infrastructure is going to follow,” says Dave Reichmuth, senior engineer in the clean vehicles program at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Reichmuth says he recently bought a Chevy Bolt, a new, affordable EV that gets an estimated 238 miles with a single charge.
Kansas City Power & Light, for example, recently invested $20 million to install 1,000 public charging stations throughout its service area, which hugs the Kansas-Missouri border. These include chargers at workplaces, in apartment garages, at grocery stores, in city parking lots and malls, and near its baseball and football stadiums. The project has helped turn this Midwestern metropolis into a fast-growing EV hub.
Companies also have begun to recognize that supporting electric vehicles is good for business because it makes their workers happy. MilliporeSigma, for example, the life science component of the Germany-based Merck KGaA, is expanding its charging stations at its sites around the world and sponsors a number of incentives to encourage its employees to purchase EVs and hybrids.
In the United States, it has installed charging stations in its parking lots at its facilities in Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, and Wisconsin. The company will add them to its forthcoming facility in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Charging stations sold by LilyPad EV LilyPad EV
“This program supports the work that we do to increase our environmental sustainability in all aspects of our business,” says Jeffrey Whitford, the company’s head of corporate responsibility. “Our employees are one of the driving forces behind these investments… it gives [them] options, and supports their desire to work for a socially and environmentally responsible company.”
Larry Kinder, the CEO of LilyPad EV, a company that markets charging stations, believes the future of EVs is secure. “The old days of cars not having the range are gone, and they are becoming more affordable,” Kinder says. “What else can you drive that becomes cleaner all the time?”
To be sure, there also are disincentives to EVs, particularly at a time when sentiment at the federal level is hostile. The new administration opposes renewable energy, and has not proposed anything to support electric cars in its energy plan.
Moreover, a number of states have imposed fees for owning an electric car, or have introduced legislation that would charge fees, some as high as $300 a year. Others, like Georgia, have repealed their tax credit and replaced it with a fee, causing EV sales to drop there.
“It’s an unnecessary headwind, though not likely to derail EVs,” says the UCS’s Reichmuth. “It makes sense to have a mechanism to make sure that all drivers contribute to road maintenance, but some of the fees are much higher than what the driver of an efficient gasoline car would pay. Some states, Oregon for example, are looking at a per mile fee to replace per gallon fees, which would tie revenue directly to driving, rather than fuel consumption.”
At the national level, Reichmuth acknowledges “these are trying times,” but adds, “I am still really excited about what’s happening in transportation right now.”
For his part, Hines would agree. He loves his car and is happy doing something positive for the environment. “This whole global warming thing is scary,” he says. “Every time I pull up behind some truck spewing out exhaust, I hope the driver will see the light — or at least my car.”
Marlene Cimons writes for Nexus Media, a syndicated newswire covering climate, energy, policy, art and culture.
WASHINGTON — The migration of government IT to a cloud-computing environment might be charitably called a gradual process.
Even the most exuberant proponents of revamping the federal computing infrastructure to a more efficient and lower-cost cloud model, such as federal CIO Vivek Kundra, consider it a decade-long transition.
But here at a House hearing probing the benefits and pitfalls of the federal migration to the cloud, Kundra told lawmakers that the transition is well under way. At the same time, he cautioned that the government’s early forays into the cloud are only first steps, and the federal computing environment remains bogged down by lengthy procurement periods and delayed implementation of new technologies.
“[The cloud] is by no means a silver bullet that’s going to solve all the IT problems we have,” Kundra told members of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
What the cloud does promise, Kundra said, is the potential to significantly cut the portion of the government’s $76 billion IT budget that’s spent on infrastructure.
“Unfortunately, the number of data centers in the United States government has gone from 432 to over 1,100 in a decade,” Kundra said. “That’s not sustainable in the long term.”
Kundra outlined several of the administration’s early initiatives aimed at curbing IT waste and driving adoption of cloud-based services, such as the online spending dashboard that allows the public to track the cost of each agency’s technology projects, as well as chúng tôi an online gallery for federal managers that hosts commercially available software applications from companies like Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and chúng tôi (NYSE: CRM).
Then, earlier this week, the administration initiated a detailed review of agencies’ IT initiatives, aiming to snuff out underperforming projects in the 2012 budget.
Kundra’s vision for remaking federal IT in the cloud model would see agencies both adopt lightweight software applications such as those available from commercial vendors on chúng tôi and begin to shift their server and data-center infrastructure to a remote, multi-tenant environment.
“What we’re finding, unfortunately, is that in some agencies server utilization is at 7 percent,” Kundra told the panel, noting that over the last decade, while businesses have been consolidating their IT infrastructure, the number of federal data centers has spiked from 432 to more than 1,100.
The White House Office of Management and Budget, where Kundra’s office is housed, has directed the agencies to submit plans for consolidating their IT operations by December.
But for all of Kundra’s enthusiasm, other witnesses noted that cloud computing in government IT is a double-edged sword.
Today’s hearing coincided with the release of a report from the Government Accountability Office that found that 22 of the 24 major agencies polled expressed concerns about the security of moving data to the cloud and sharing infrastructure.
Gregory Wilshusen, GAO’s director of information security services, told the panel today that it would be “imprudent” to move certain types of data to any sort of remotely managed environment, but he acknowledged that the term “cloud” is hardly monolithic.
As part of the federal government’s push to the cloud, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is developing baseline security standards for federal IT projects using cloud-computing technologies.
The General Services Administration, the agency that oversees chúng tôi and houses the Federal Cloud Computing Program Management Office, is also working to streamline the integration of private could technologies into government IT.
GSA developed an interagency initiative dubbed the Federal Risk Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which provides joint security authorizations for cloud-computing technologies. That means that a vendor like chúng tôi which counts numerous federal agencies as clients, would be spared the red tape of having to win a separate certification each time it deployed the same solution in a different corner of the government.
Following the government witnesses, a second panel of industry representatives generally praised the government’s efforts to increase efficiency and lower costs with cloud computing.
Of course, representing Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Salesforce and EMC (NYSE: EMC), each has a lively federal business that stands to grow as more agencies transition their computing operations to the cloud.
By turns, the witnesses commended initiatives such as FedRAMP and chúng tôi for simplifying the migration process, and suggested reforms to laws such as a 1986 statute that sets a looser privacy safeguard for information stored remotely on a company’s servers than for files locked inside a PC or an on-site data center.
The witnesses also offered emphatic assurances that providers in the private sector have resolved the security issues that continue to trouble so many agency administrators when they think about the cloud.
Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing division, seemed to capture the position of the vendors when he told the panel: “While the cloud is getting ready for the government, the government must get ready for the cloud.”
Kenneth Corbin is an associate editor at chúng tôi the news service of chúng tôi the network for technology professionals.
BTC’s price has rallied by 40% since 1 January.
Investors have recorded significant gains, and now, a price reversal might follow.
Exchanging hands at the $23,200 price mark at press time, the leading coin Bitcoin [BTC], currently trades at levels last seen in August 2023. On a year-to-date basis, BTC’s price has rallied by 40%, per data from CoinMarketCap.
Sharing a statistically significant positive correlation with several other assets in the market, the growth in BTC’s price has resulted in the growth in the value of several other crypto assets in the last month.
According to data from CoinGecko, global cryptocurrency market capitalization has increased by 21% in the last month.Holders are in profit, but for how long?
BTC’s rally to a five-month high in the last month has led many of its holders to log profits on their BTC holdings. An assessment of the cost basis for short-term and long-term holders revealed this.
The cost basis for any BTC holder is the average purchase price of the BTC they possess. This considers any variations in BTC’s price at the time of purchase. This cost basis determines capital gains or losses when the BTC is sold.
According to Twitter analyst Will Clemente, the cost basis for short-term and long-term BTC holders were $18,900 and $22,300, respectively.
However, since BTC’s price has rallied beyond these points, these cohorts of investors were “no longer underwater,” Clemente said.
Bitcoin has now reclaimed its long-term holder cost basis ($22.3k) in addition to its short-term holder cost basis ($18.9k) and the aggregated cost basis. Behavioral shift as holders in aggregate are no longer underwater.
— Will Clemente (@WClementeIII) January 29, 2023
Further, CryptoQuant analyst Phi Deltalytics assessed BTC’s short-term Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) and found that “sentiment from Bitcoin short-term on-chain participants has reached the greediest level since January 2023.” According to the analyst, the SOPR was positioned well above the bullish threshold of one, indicating an overly stretched market.
Is your portfolio green? Check out the Bitcoin Profit Calculator
Deltalytics noted further that the bullish trend could be short-lived without an increase in stablecoin reserves on spot exchanges.
A look at Crypto Fear & Greed Index confirmed the analyst’s position. At press time, the index showed that greed permeated the cryptocurrency markets.
When the index is in the “greed” range, it means that investors have become increasingly confident and optimistic about the market and may be more willing to take on risk.
This also suggests that prices are becoming overvalued and that a market correction may be imminent.
An assessment of BTC’s movement on the daily chart confirmed the possibility of a price correction. Since 21 January, the king coin has traded in a tight range.
When BTC’s price oscillates within a tight range, it means that the price is not making significant moves in either direction and is staying within a relatively narrow band.
An analysis of BTC’s Money Flow Index (MFI) and Chaikin Money Flow (CMF) indicators raised more concerns as these technical indicators have been trending downwards since 21 January.
The tight range of BTC’s price combined with downtrends in the MFI and CMF suggested a lack of buying momentum and potential for increased selling pressure.
This also showed that the market was likely to break down from the tight range to the downside.
Ford leapfrogs GM to ink Rivian deal: All-new electric vehicle confirmed
Ford has inked a deal with electric vehicle startup Rivian, investing $500m into the new automaker, and revealing plans to build an all-new vehicle using Rivian’s platform. The deal sees Ford join other high-profile investors like Amazon in backing the EV-maker, which came out of stealth mode in late 2023 with not one but two vehicles.
The first was the Rivian R1T, an all-electric pickup truck. That was swiftly followed by the Rivian R1S, a seven seat, three-row SUV. Specifications include a maximum range of over 400 miles, the automaker promised.
Both vehicles use the same underlying architecture, Rivian’s so-called skateboard platform. This packages together the motors, batteries, and other hardware and electronics, onto which the body of the vehicle is mounted. It’s a clever strategy, leaving plenty of space both in the cabin and for unusual storage areas, like the R1T’s truck-spanning cargo area just behind the cab.
It also, however, gives Rivian the flexibility to provide its architecture to other automakers. Back when the company broke cover, the talk was of how niche players could bypass the lengthy and expensive process to EV certification and regulatory approval by instead adopting its skateboard platform. However now it’s big names in the auto industry who are getting involved.
Ford is one such example. “As we continue in our transformation of Ford with new forms of intelligent vehicles and propulsion, this partnership with Rivian brings a fresh approach to both,” Jim Hackett, Ford president and CEO, said of the deal. “At the same time, we believe Rivian can benefit from Ford’s industrial expertise and resources.”
First off, Ford will make a $500 million minority investment into Rivian, and Joe Hinrichs – who, as of May 1, will be president of Automotive at Ford – will join Rivian’s board of directors. In the meantime, Ford will develop an all-new vehicle, using the Rivian platform.
This will be in addition to, rather than replacing, Ford’s previously-announced EVs. They include a Mustang-inspired crossover, which the automaker has said should debut in 2023, and an electric F-150 pickup truck. Rivian will remain an independent company, though get to dip into Ford’s expertise in mass-manufacturing.
It’s unclear at this stage what vehicle Ford might build using Rivian’s platform or, indeed, what nameplate it might launch on. Although the startup opted for two of the most popular categories when it developed a pickup truck and a three-row SUV, the underlying skateboard architecture isn’t solely intended for larger vehicles. By adjusting the size of the battery pack, and the number of motors, for instance, Rivian could just as well create a smaller, front-wheel drive city car, or a midsize rear-wheel drive crossover.
One strong possibility, though, is that Lincoln could benefit from this new deal. Ford’s premium nameplate has done well in recent years with a number of highly-praised SUVs, starting with the new Navigator. However while there is a hybrid in Lincoln’s range, it’s the MKZ sedan: there are no electric Lincoln SUVs at present. Rivian’s technology could well help the automaker correct that omission.
Ford hasn’t been the only automaker reportedly sniffing around Rivian for a potential deal. Around the same time as Amazon leading an investment round into the new automaker earlier this year, it was reported that General Motors – parent company of Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC, and other brands – was also exploring the idea. However talks stalled, according to insider reports, earlier this month.
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