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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Tesla voluntarily recalls 123,000 Model S vehicles

If you own a Model S built before April 2016, you’re probably going to want to swing by a dealer and get it checked out..

Tesla has just issued a voluntary recall for 123,000 Model S vehicles, having found that the power steering bolts in some were displaying “excessive corrosion”. Model X and Model 3 vehicles aren’t affected here, nor are Model S built after April 2016.

The company says that the corrosion is primarily occurring in cars driven in particularly cold climates, but isn’t limiting the recall to those cars (because, well, who knows where you’ll be driving it a few years from now.)

In an email outlining the recall to affected owners, Tesla notes that swapping out the bolts will “take around an hour,” and that no accidents or injuries are believed to have been caused by this issue.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has issued a recall, but it’s their biggest recall to date. It recalled around 53,000 Model S and Model X vehicles in April of last year due to parking brakes that could potentially get stuck in the ‘on’ position; a few months later, it recalled 11,000 Model X because of a faulty cable in the second-row seating.


Source: TechCrunch

University of Michigan opens up its M-Air UAV testing facility to students

Companies and students who want to test an autonomous vehicle at the University of Michigan have the excellent Mcity simulated urban environment. But if you wanted to test a drone, your options were extremely limited — think “at night in a deserted lecture hall.” Not anymore: the school has just opened its M-Air facility, essentially a giant netted playground for UAVs and their humans.

It may not look like much to the untrained eye, and certainly enclosing a space with a net is considerably less labor-intensive than building an entire fake town. But the benefits are undeniable.

Excited students at a school like U-M must frequently come up with ideas for drone control systems, autonomous delivery mechanisms, new stabilization algorithms and so on. Testing them isn’t nearly as simple, though: finding a safe, controlled space and time to do it, getting the necessary approvals and, of course, containing the fallout if anything goes wrong — tasks like these could easily overwhelm a few undergrads.

M-Air serves as a collective space that’s easy to access but built from the ground up (or rather, the air down) for safe and easy UAV testing. It’s 80 by 120 feet and five stories tall, with a covered area that can hold 25 people. There are lights and power, of course, and because it’s fully enclosed it technically counts as “indoor” testing, which is much easier to get approval for. For outdoor tests you need special authorization to ensure you won’t be messing with nearby flight paths.

We can test our system as much as we want without fear of it breaking, without fear of hurting other people,” said grad student Matthew Romano in a U-M video. “It really lets us push the boundaries and allows us to really move quickly on iterating and developing the system and testing our algorithms.”

And because it’s outside, students can even test in the lovely Michigan weather.

“With this facility, we can pursue aggressive educational and research flight projects that involve high risk of fly-away or loss-of-control — and in realistic wind, lighting and sensor conditions,” said U-M aerospace engineering professor Ella Atkins.

I feel for the neighbors, though. That buzzing is going to get annoying.


Source: TechCrunch

All the Silicon Valley talk from our Jimmy O. Yang interview – CNET

He discusses playing Jian Yang, his friendship with Mike Judge and season 5.
Source: CNET

CNET Asks: The new iPad vs. Chromebook? – CNET

Apple announced its newest iPad, a direct Chromebook competitor as part of its education initiative. Which would you rather purchase?
Source: CNET

OnePlus 6 notch will be narrower than iPhone X – CNET

OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei said so.
Source: CNET

SpaceX gets FCC approval to provide satellite broadband – CNET

Elon Musk plans to deploy 4,425 small satellites in low-Earth orbit to provide internet service in remote areas.
Source: CNET

Tesla recalls 123,000 Model S cars over faulty steering bolt – Roadshow

No accidents and injuries have been reported in connection with the component, Tesla says.
Source: CNET

Uber has settled with the family of the homeless victim killed last week

Uber has reportedly come to a fast settlement with the family of 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg, who was fatally struck last week by one of the company’s self-driving vehicles as she crossed a darkened street, pushing a bicycle.

Terms of the settlement are not being disclosed; Uber declined to comment when we asked the company for further information.

The move helps Uber avoid what could have been an ugly civil case against it, even while it isn’t clear how big or sophisticated a support system Herzberg had.

Reuters reported last week that Herzberg was homeless and close to getting off the streets, with friends describing her as someone who took care of those around her. She was reportedly known in the homeless community as “Elle” and “Ms. Elle.”

She did have a daughter and was apparently married. Indeed, according to a separate Reuters report, a Glendale, Arizona attorney who typically focuses on bankruptcy and debt negotiation, told the outlet “the matter has been resolved” between Uber and Herzberg’s daughter and husband. No further information about them was disclosed.

Presumably, the case was settled at a high cost to the company, but could have been higher had it dragged out. Personal injury lawsuits typically arrive at a settlement amount after both sides determine on their own what they think a case is worth; typically, that amount is reached by reviewing similar cases and seeing what juries have awarded past victims.

Given the unique circumstances of this case — Herzberg was the first person to be killed by a self-driving car — and given Uber’s unprecedentedly high private market value of $72 billion, determining the amount would be particularly tricky.

Uber is still facing fallout from all corners over last week’s incident, including, potentially, criminal charges. The Tempe Police Vehicular Crimes Unit is actively investigating the details of last week’s incident.

Uber also announced it wouldn’t reapply to test its self-driving technology on public roads in California in the wake of the accident, meaning that as of next week, after its current permit expires, it won’t be able to operate its self-driving cars on that state’s public roads.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey separately suspended the company’s right to operate autonomous cars on public roads in Arizona on Monday night, though emails have since surfaced that suggest Ducey himself enabled the program with limited oversight.

Pictured above: the type of vehicle that struck Herzberg.


Source: TechCrunch

FCC approves SpaceX plan for 4,425-satellite broadband network

SpaceX has a green light from the FCC to launch a network of thousands of satellites blanketing the globe with broadband. And you won’t have too long to wait — on a cosmic scale, anyway. Part of the agreement is that SpaceX launch half of its proposed satellites within six years.

The approval of SpaceX’s application was not seriously in doubt after last month’s memo from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who was excited at the prospect of the first U.S.-based company being authorized to launch a constellation like this.

“I have asked my colleagues to join me in supporting this application and moving to unleash the power of satellite constellations to provide high-speed Internet to rural Americans,” he wrote at the time. He really is pushing that “digital divide” thing. Not that Elon Musk disagrees:

SpaceX COO Gwynne Shotwell echoed the sentiment in a statement provided to TechCrunch:

We appreciate the FCC’s thorough review and approval of SpaceX’s constellation license. Although we still have much to do with this complex undertaking, this is an important step toward SpaceX building a next-generation satellite network that can link the globe with reliable and affordable broadband service, especially reaching those who are not yet connected.

The proposed service, which will be called Starlink, was opposed by several existing satellite operators like OneWeb and Spire. They’re rightly concerned that another operator in space — especially one that wants to launch thousands of satellites — will crowd both spectrum and orbit.

Illustration of SpaceX satellite coverage from the FCC application

OneWeb, for example, said that SpaceX satellites shouldn’t be allowed to be deployed within 125 kilometers of altitude of its own. You do want to avoid interference, but really, it’s too much to ask for a 150-mile buffer zone around your gear.

One objection that did carry water, however, was the request for an extensive orbital debris mitigation plan.

The unprecedented number of satellites proposed by SpaceX and the other [non-geostationary orbit fixed-satellite service] systems in this processing round will necessitate a further assessment of the appropriate reliability standards of these spacecraft, as well as the reliability of these systems’ methods for deorbiting the spacecraft.

So SpaceX will have to provide more studies on this by the time it finalizes its designs and starts launching.

And that will have to be fairly soon. To move things along, the FCC requires SpaceX to get underway in a hurry or else, presumably, it will have to be reauthorized:

SpaceX must launch 50 percent of the maximum number of proposed space stations, place them in the assigned orbits, and operate them in accordance with the station authorization no later than March 29, 2024.

The company has already launched test versions of the satellites, but the full constellation will need to go out more than two at a time. SpaceX eventually plans to launch 12,000 of the things, but this authorization is for the high-altitude group of 4,425; a separate authorization is necessary for the remaining number, since they’ll be operating at a different altitude and radio frequency.

The Falcon 9 carrying SpaceX’s test Starlink satellites launches on February 22

Commissioner Rosenworcel, in a separate statement, also called for a general revisiting of regulations around commercial space.

“This rush to develop new space opportunities requires new rules,” she writes. “Despite the revolutionary activity in our atmosphere, the regulatory frameworks we rely on to shape these efforts are dated. Across the board, we need to prepare for the proliferation of satellites in our higher altitudes. In short, we have work to do.”


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook's Election Safeguards Are Still a Work in Progress

The social media giant Thursday outlined several attempts to help protect the midterm elections, but still has a long way to go.
Source: Wired

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