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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Volvo inks multi-billion dollar battery deals with LG Chem and CATL for EVs

Volvo Car Group has inked a massive multi-billion dollar supply deal with the Chinese battery manufacturer, CATL, and Korea’s LG Chem to supply its planned fleet of electric vehicles.

The lithium ion batteries from both suppliers will power the development of Volvo Cars’ electrification strategy for its own brand and the company’s Polestar joint venture with Chinese auto manufacturer Geely.

Deals with the two companies cover the global supply of battery modules for all models on the upcoming SPA2 and CMA modular vehicle platforms, Volvo said in a statement.

Back in 2017, Volvo . committed that all of its new vehicles launched after 2019 would be electrified and this marks a big step in making that commitment a reality, the company said.

Volvo expects 50 percent of its global sales volume from 2025 to be comprised of electric vehicles.

“The future of Volvo Cars is electric and we are firmly committed to moving beyond the internal combustion engine,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and CEO of Volvo Cars, in a statement. “Today’s agreements with CATL and LG Chem demonstrate how we will reach our ambitious electrification targets.”

Volvo’s got one battery assembly line currently under construction at its manufacturing plant in Ghent, where it expects its first fully-electric XC40 small SUV to be rolling off the assembly line by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Volvo revealed new electrified powertrain options for its entire model range. The company upgraded its T8 and . T6 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid powertrains and now has plug-in options for every model the company makes.

Just three months ago Volvo unveiled its first all-electric vehicle design for Polestar, its joint venture with Geely. And the Polestar 2 will be the first vehicle to reap the fruits of the battery supply agreement with LG and CATL.

The deals between Polestar and the battery makers cover the supply of lithium ion battery modules for the entire portfolio of Polestar vehicles over the next ten years, starting with its first fully electric car, the Polestar 2, in early 2020.

“With these suppliers in place we have the secure knowledge that our electric performance cars will be powered by high-quality batteries that our customers can rely on,” comments Thomas Ingenlath, Chief Executive Officer of Polestar.

This battery supply agreement comes as roadblocks have emerged to Polestar’s plans to sell its new electric vehicle in the U.S. as a direct competitor to Tesla’s Model 3.

Ingenlath told the Los Angeles Times that if the U.S. trade war with China lengthens, the company may have to scrap plans to sell in the U.S.

“We would embrace free trade as in the interests of the consumer,” Ingenlath told the LA Times in an interview. He said that the company wouldn’t export cars to countries where tariffs would make selling the vehicle impossible because it couldn’t be priced competitively.

Polestar would look to expand or contract its sales presence in the U.S. based on where tariffs land, the executive said. At current levels tariffs on cars manufactured in China are set at 25%.


Source: TechCrunch

Trump reportedly mulling order paving the way for Huawei ban – CNET

Executive order could come as early as this week, Reuters reports.
Source: CNET

George R.R. Martin goes full mad Targaryen over Game of Thrones rumors – CNET

Naturally.
Source: CNET

Twitter launches new search features to stop the spread of misinformation about vaccines

As measles outbreaks in the United States and other countries continue to get worse, Twitter is introducing new search tools meant to help users find credible resources about vaccines. It will also stop auto-suggesting search terms that would lead users to misinformation about vaccines.

In a blog post, Twitter vice president of trust and safety Del Harvey wrote “at Twitter, we understand the importance of vaccines in preventing illness and disease and recognize the role that Twitter plays in disseminating important public health information. We think it’s important to help people find reliable information that enhances their health and well-being.”

When users search for keywords related to vaccines, they will see a prompt that directs them to resources from Twitter’s information partners. In the U.S., this is Vaccines.gov, a website by the Department of Health and Human Services. A pinned tweet from one of Twitter’s partners will also appear.

One of Twitter's new tools to stop the spread of vaccine misinformation

One of Twitter’s new tools to stop the spread of vaccine misinformation

In addition to the U.S., the vaccine information tools will also appear on Twitter’s iOS and Android apps and its mobile site in Canada, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore and Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.

Harvey wrote that Twitter’s vaccine information tools are similar to ones it launched for suicide and self-harm prevention last year. The company plans to launch similar features for other public health issues over the coming months, she added.

Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said measles cases in the U.S. had increased to 839. Cases have been reported in 23 states this year, with the majority—or almost 700—in New York.

Social media platforms have been criticized for not doing more to prevent the spread of misinformation about vaccines and, as measles cases began to rise, started taking measures. For example, YouTube announced earlier this year that it is demonetizing all anti-vaccine videos, while Facebook began downranking anti-vaccine content on its News Feed and hiding it on Instagram.


Source: TechCrunch

19K Google Home Minis given away at Warriors-Trail Blazers playoff game – CNET

Fans will also have a chance to win tickets to a future Warriors game.
Source: CNET

Eurovision 2019: Start times, how to watch, finalists and everything else you need to know – CNET

Roll out the smoke machine and brush up on your Norwegian — the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest is here to blow your mind.
Source: CNET

Amazon deal: Save hundreds on a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 or Surface Laptop

Microsoft might be known for Windows, but it makes some solid hardware, too: The excellent Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and innovative Surface Laptop are both on sale right now on Amazon at discounts of up to 44%.

The post Amazon deal: Save hundreds on a Microsoft Surface Pro 6 or Surface Laptop appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Uber Black launches Quiet Driver Mode

Tired of chatty drivers? Uber is finally giving users its most requested feature: an in-app way to request minimal conversation during your ride. The “Quiet Mode” feature is free and will be available to everyone in the US tomorrow, but only on Uber Black and Uber Black SUV premium rides. Users can select “Quiet preferred”, “happy to chat” or leave the setting at “No preference”. The desire for silence might convince more riders to pay for Uber’s more expensive vehicle types so they can work, nap, take a call, or just relax in the car.

Quiet Mode comes as part of a new slate of Rider Preferences features that users can set up before they hail an Uber Black or SUV. A Bags option lets users signal that they have luggage with them so the driver knows to pull over somewhere they can help load them into the trunk. The Temperature control lets them request the car be warm or cold so drivers know whether to crank the air conditioning.

Uber Black drivers are now supposed to wait 15 minutes after arriving before cancelling on you as is standard with private car services, though you’ll start to be charged and they’ll be compensated after 5 plus they technically can cancel whenever they want. Uber Black riders will get premium phone support like members of Uber Rewards’ highest Diamond tier. And Uber is going to require nicer and newer cars for future drivers signing up for Uber Black, with centralized rules written by Uber HQ instead of local branches. “We’re looking to create more differentiation between the premium products and the regular products to encourage more trips” Uber product manager Aydin Ghajar tells me. Quiet Mode in particular “is something that people have been asking for for a long time.

I think Quiet Mode is going to be a hit, perhaps because I requested that Uber build a “Quiet Ride Mode” in my December product wish list after suggesting it last July. The feedback I received from many male readers was that there are worse things than having to chat with a friendly driver, and it’s dehumanizing to demand they stay silent. But that ignores the fact that women often feel uncomfortable when male drivers incessantly talk to them, and it can get scary when it turns into unwanted flirtation considering the driver is in control. That’s why I hope Uber plans to expand this to UberX as well as international markets, though the company had nothing to share on that.

What Uber’s Ghajar did reveal was that “the reaction of Uber black drivers was overwhelmingly positive because they want to deliver a great experience to their rider…but they don’t necessarily know what the rider wants. These guys take a lot of pride in what they do as customer service agents”.

Uber did extensive research of drivers’ perceptions in the three months it took to develop the feature. But due to employment laws, it can’t actually require that drivers abide by user requests for quiet, though they might get negative ratings if they ignore them. “It’s not mandatory. The driver is an independent contractor. We’re just communicating the rider’s preference. The driver can have that information and do with it what they want” Ghajar insists.


Source: TechCrunch

NASA Needs $1.6 Billion More to Send a Human to the Moon

The space agency’s new budget amendment has been called a “down payment” on what will be needed in future years to fund the program.
Source: Wired

Jeff Bezos personally dumps a truckload of dirt on FedEx’s future

Amazon want to be plenty of things, the most predictable of which is its ambitions to control America’s shipping backbone. The company’s efforts to bring users whatever they desire in 24 hours requires movements by land, air and sea.

Today, the company broke ground on expanding its airborne ambitions, breaking ground on a three million square-foot Prime Air airport outside Cincinnati (in Kentucky). In case the optics of three million square feet is lost on you, it’s essentially a parking garage for a 100 cargo jets. Amazon doesn’t even have that many jets yet, but the hub is a housing for the company’s grand logistics ambitions.

Per Bezos’ tweet, Amazon is investing $1.5 billion in this effort. The company says the hub will create 2,000 jobs.

Like most ground breaking events, it was a ceremonial affair with a lot of pomp and photo-ops. CEO Jeff Bezos himself made a surprise appearance, jumping into the driver’s seat of a front-end loader and dropping some dirt onto an already hefty pile.

The optics were also clear that Amazon is adding salt to the wound as it moves to take down the country’s logistics kings like FedEx and UPS.

Even as Amazon looks to add new regional Prime Air hubs in Texas and Ohio this year, it’s clear the tech giant still has a lot of ground to make up. Amazon has a few dozen planes flying several hundred flights per week while UPS and Fedex have hundreds of planes flying thousands of flights.

One thing that’s certain, Amazon is encroaching on the core businesses of FedEx and UPS while it doesn’t quite seem like Amazon is in any danger of the opposite coming true.


Source: TechCrunch

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