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BMW says electric car mass production not viable until 2020 - which is likely why prices are still high...

Posted on: Sat, 2018-03-24 - 19:53 By: admin

BMW says electric car mass production not viable until 2020 - which is likely why prices are still high

The i8 Roadster model, due to hit showrooms in May, is equipped with what BMW calls its fourth-generation electric drive technology. Advances in battery raw materials and chemistry has increased its range by 40 percent over the previous version, BMW said. BMW is working to make electric car technology more modular and scalable to make mass production commercially viable.

“We wanted to wait for the fifth generation to be much more cost competitive,” Chief Executive Harald Krueger told analysts in Munich. “We do not want to scale up with the fourth generation.”

BMW said it wanted to add 25 new electrified models by 2025, of which 12 vehicles will be fully battery electric variants.

Thanks to a new production method available from 2020 onwards, BMW will be able to make all its cars with pure electric, hybrid and combustion engined variants.

In 2019 BMW will start making a fully electric Mini at its plant on the outskirts of the British city of Oxford, and will start production of a battery electric version of the X3 offroader in 2020.

The point is that manufacturers are carefully controlling their volumes of production and will only start to mass produce when the demand is ready. Too early and they sit with lots of unsold stock which is an older generation. Even for my Toyota Hybrid I had to wait about four to five months for it to be manufactured.

See https://www.reuters.com/article/us-bmw-results-electrification/bmw-says-electric-car-mass-production-not-viable-until-2020-idUSKBN1GY1BQ


BMW says electric car mass production not viable until 2020
BMW will not mass produce electric cars until 2020 because its current technology is not profitable enough to scale up for volume production, the chief executive said on Thursday.

Spotify reveals 2 million free users are dodging ads

Posted on: Sat, 2018-03-24 - 17:53 By: admin

Spotify reveals 2 million free users are dodging ads

Yes, it is quite technically possible to do this but firstly musicians are being robbed of their income (the free service is paid for by adverts) and secondly, it could risk the free service just being discontinued for everyone.

Just because something can be done, does not mean it is ethically or morally the right thing to do. Streaming music services are already not that expensive to subscribe to.

If someone has a moral objection to advertising then rather just pay for the service like millions of other people do. The service itself needs to operate, and if we want streaming music, then the service has to pay the musicians.

So if you can afford to pay then pay for the service, and if you can't then support it by accepting the adverts. Many really cannot afford to pay, and for them, it would be tragic if they lost the option to listen for free with adverts.

See https://www.theverge.com/2018/3/23/17156014/spotify-users-premium-modded-hacked-app-free-streaming

#spotify #musicians # music #theft


Spotify reveals 2 million free users are dodging ads
Over 2 percent of free users

Babcock Ranch - This Florida City Is 100% Solar-Powered

Posted on: Sat, 2018-03-24 - 17:44 By: admin

Babcock Ranch - This Florida City Is 100% Solar-Powered

Babcock Ranch offers a town-size rejoinder to those who say solar power can’t scale. In the suburbs of Fort Myers in South Florida, Babcock is meant to become America’s first city fueled entirely by the sun, thanks to its 75-megawatt array of solar panels. Only two families have moved in so far, but students from nearby towns have already filled the first of several planned schools, and the footprint includes plans for 19,500 homes and about 50,000 residents.

So far, only about 100 homes are contracted for construction—but self-driving shuttles have already begun to ferry people around.

See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-03-23/this-florida-city-is-100-solar-powered

#solar


This Florida City Is 100% Solar-Powered
About 343,000 sun-hungry panels fuel Babcock Ranch, where residents are just starting to move in.

Solution to OTA updates not working with Magisk root on Android - No need to wipe the phone

Posted on: Sat, 2018-03-24 - 15:28 By: admin

Solution to OTA updates not working with Magisk root on Android - No need to wipe the phone

If the OTA update just hangs on the "downloading update" message after you followed the normal process to "Magisk Manager → Uninstall → Restore Images" then it likely means there is some issue with the temporary restore on the boot.img file. Re-enable the root within Magisk before going any further as you first want to try an alternate method and you need to fully backup your device. It means that, try as you may, you are anyway going to have to restore the root manually, but you do not have to lose all your data and wipe the phone.

It will still only take 30 mins or so but that is way better than doing a full wipe and restoring 200 apps. Leave your bootloader in its unlocked status as changing that does an automatic wipe.

First backup the full device using Titanium Backup so that if you do have to wipe, you can restore everything. Note you must backup outside of the device as any wipe will also lose your backup stored on the phone, so copy the files via USB to your PC or use the built-in function in Titanium to backup to Google or Dropbox cloud.

For my Pixel 2 XL - I grabbed the latest full factory image from https://developers.google.com/android/images. Follow all the instructions but one key edit must be made BEFORE executing the flash-all script. Open the script with an editor (.bat for Windows or .sh for Linux) and remove the "-w" in the line starting with "fastboot -w update". This will prevent an automatic wipe as part of the process. Once done, reboot and check all is OK. The phone should be updated and in unrooted status.

After this, you need to manually enable your rooted status again with Magisk. I followed the instructions at https://android.gadgethacks.com/how-to/root-pixel-2-pixel-2-xl-install-magisk-0181117/. As I already still had the Magisk app on my phone I just had to redo steps 5 and 6 to patch the boot.img file. You already downloaded the factory image for the flashing above so you will use the same image.

And that as it, updated, all apps as they were, and rooted.

Disclaimer: I'm just providing this as a guide for others to try if they hit the same snag. This worked for me but I can't guarantee it will work fine on your phone so cannot accept any liability for loss of data or bricking of a phone.

#android #root #magisk #OTA


Factory Images for Nexus and Pixel Devices | Google APIs for Android | Google Developers

‘Fibre in the Sky’: A carrier-grade wireless connectivity solution for SA businesses

Posted on: Sat, 2018-03-24 - 00:43 By: admin

‘Fibre in the Sky’: A carrier-grade wireless connectivity solution for SA businesses

For many organisations where fibre is too costly or not available, this quick-to-install wireless option can deliver up to 1Gbps in uplink and downlink speeds simultaneously – suitable for the demands of the modern digital economy.

Known as Comsol Connect, it’s a carrier-grade Layer 2 network that’s now available in over 200 metros from a variety of Internet Service Providers. Best of all, it can be set up in less than two weeks, getting businesses online and connected to the world in rapid time.

Comsol harnesses the power of the licensed 28GHz millimetre band of spectrum, with access to over 2,000 high-sites that beam high-strength microwave connections to local businesses in a given area.

It’s a carrier-grade, wholesale network that covers a total of over 13,000 licensed square kilometres, compliant to the international MEF 2.0 standards and promising stringent service level agreements to ensure all your multimedia applications perform optimally.

See https://mybroadband.co.za/news/industrynews/253343-fibre-in-the-sky-a-carrier-grade-wireless-connectivity-solution-for-sa-businesses.html


‘Fibre in the Sky’: A carrier-grade wireless connectivity solution for SA businesses
Think that fibre is the only industrial-strength internet option for your firm? Think again…

Elon Musk deletes the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX

Posted on: Fri, 2018-03-23 - 23:04 By: admin

Elon Musk deletes the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX

The head of SpaceX and Tesla ordered the pages for both companies to be deleted on Friday after responding sarcastically to an article on Vox sister site The Verge about companies deleting their Facebook accounts — but only temporarily. “Wow, a whole week,” Musk snarked. “Risky.”

Facebook’s ongoing scandal related to data firm Cambridge Analytica has prompted a public backlash against the company, including the rise of the hashtag #DeleteFacebook and an outpouring of takes about how, why, and whether you should or shouldn’t stop using the cultural juggernaut that is Facebook.

Musk evidently sees Facebook differently than many of us, however; he followed up his response to The Verge with a tweet to WhatsApp co-founder Brian Acton, as Acton encouraged people to take the plunge and say goodbye to Facebook; Musk responded with “What’s Facebook?”

See https://www.vox.com/2018/3/23/17156958/elon-musk-deletes-spacex-tesla-facebook-pages


Elon Musk deletes the Facebook pages for Tesla and SpaceX
The tech guru chipped into the anti-Facebook conversation by deleting pages he hadn’t known existed.

China's latest energy megaproject shows that coal really is on the way out - 166,000-panel array which...

Posted on: Fri, 2018-03-23 - 22:39 By: admin

China's latest energy megaproject shows that coal really is on the way out - 166,000-panel array which can generate 40 MW of power

China has some of the worst air pollution in the world. In several cities, thick layers of smog are common, resulting in thousands of deaths every year. According to a 2016 study, the top contributor of air pollution-related deaths in China is the burning of coal. The team of Chinese and American researchers behind the study said that pollution from coal caused 366,000 premature deaths in 2013.

This year marks China’s fourth anniversary since it started a “war on pollution,” and there’s reason to believe the country is making headway. Looking at over 200 monitors throughout China, a new analysis found that Chinese cities have cut concentrations of fine particulates – often considered the deadliest type of pollution – by 32% on average since 2013. The city of Xingtai saw the largest pollution decline at 52.2%. If China sustains these reductions, the average resident could see their lifespan extend by 2.4 years, according to the researchers.

China’s latest energy megaproject – a giant floating solar farm on top of a former coal mine in Anhui – may get the country closer to that goal.

In 2017, workers turned on the 166,000-panel array, which can generate 40 megawatts of power – enough to accommodate 15,000 homes, according to the South China Morning Post. It’s currently the world’s largest floating solar project and will operate for up to 25 years.

See https://www.businessinsider.com.au/china-floating-solar-farm-coal-mine-renewable-energy-2018-1


China's latest energy megaproject shows that coal really is on the way out

How to schedule meetings using Doodle or it's alternatives

Posted on: Fri, 2018-03-23 - 16:59 By: admin

How to schedule meetings using Doodle or it's alternatives

One of the biggest pains I ever have to face is sometimes scheduling a meeting for a few people, some in my organisation, and some outside. The emails go back an forth trying to arrive at some compromise, and if the meeting has to move, it all starts over again.

So after looking at freeRSVP (managing invites to one date that you set) I thought I'd have a bash at seeing what is available for scheduling meetings for multiple people. Well, it was not so easy especially if you want to do it for free. What did start to clarify is the types of things to consider when choosing a tool. I approached from the point of not buying a tool though so yes the paid version may well give a lot more.

It became clear at the start that Doodle seems to be the Slack of meeting schedulers. So let's start there:

1. Doodle - has no options for places to choose from (you need to have a venue in mind), has integration for O365, GCal, Outlook and ICS format. Can provide multiple date/time slots for invitees to choose from. Has Android and iOS apps. The Private paid version is $39pa and includes seeing who is missing, request additional information, sending reminders, sending messages, and loses the adverts. See https://doodle.com/.

2. Vyte - touts itself as "the best alternative to Doodle", has multiple place options as well as dates/times, no Outlook integration but integrates with O365 or GCal, has ready to use Slack integration. Attendees don't have to register to respond, and they can also suggest alternative times and places.. See http://doodle-alternative.vyte.in/. Payment of $96pa gets you webhook integration, team branding, own page backgrounds, assistant's access, setting default availabilities and default venues with buffer times between meetings. For individuals, the free option will probably work just fine. Vyte has webapps that work on mobile as well as a Chrome extension.

3. Xoyondo - no registration needed at all to use it, but it also means an invitee could vote/respond many times, no place options, invitees can comment, and can be anonymous (with associated problems mentioned earlier like multiple voting). With this option, you can set a maximum number of attendees and just publish a link, or you can opt for specific invites that are e-mailed directly from Xoyondo. This service probably has the most options and controls over the event, apart from multiple venues/place selection. The admin can also add attendees manually, say for those who do not work online. See https://xoyondo.com. No paid option.

4. Need2Meet - free version says no comments but I was able to comment as an invitee (this may have been because it was a trial version - no commenting can make it difficult to get feedback or consensus though), no calendar sharing, no Outlook integration, attendees can't follow the meeting for automatic changes on free version, only one place can be used. See http://www.needtomeet.com. Paid option sare $12pa or $19pa and will give unlimited timeslots and attendees, commenting, syncing of contacts, and on the Premium plan also sharing calendars and Outlook integration. Has Android and iOS apps.

5. FreeBusy - only a single date/time can be booked so it is really attendance not without options to choose alternatives by attendees, has good integration with GCal, Exchange, iCloud, Zimbra, Outlook, ownCloud, Facebook and others. See https://freebusy.io. Paid version stats at $48pa with unlimited linked calendars and sharing of free/busy time in real-time.

6. Rally - I liked the way this open source option worked except it only selected days to choose from and no time slots at all. If they added that it could be pretty well worth considering. See http://rallly.co.

7. Meeting for Good - another open source solution handling multiple times and timezones. Has GCal integration but seems to require a Google account to authenticate and log in. It summarises the "times that work for everyone" as they respond. The "grid approach" is a bit clunky unless you check first how it works, but is more flexible in that you can select multiple ranges of available time slots per day. No ability to comment though and also single venue/place. See https://meeting.freecodecamp.org/.

So there are some quite usable options to consider for free.



Doodle: easy scheduling
Doodle helps you to schedule meetings and other appointments. Doodle is simple, quick, free and requires no registration. Simply set up a poll, send a link to all participants, watch progress online, and finally choose the most suitable date.

The race is on to create renewable-powered devices that extract water from thin air

Posted on: Fri, 2018-03-23 - 09:11 By: admin

The race is on to create renewable-powered devices that extract water from thin air

Clean water is a necessity, but as recent events in Cape Town have shown, securing it isn't so easy.

That looming challenge has led to a competition called the Water Abundance XPRIZE. It's getting teams to build technology which can extract a minimum of 2,000 litres of water per day from the atmosphere, using 100 percent renewable energy, at a cost of two cents a litre.

One of the five finalists is Behdad Moghtaderi from Australia's University of Newcastle, whose team has developed a process which heats the air first, before cooling it.

"We went into the competition wanting to keep the technology as simple as possible to ensure it would have worldwide applications, especially for developing countries," Moghtaderi said in a statement.

See https://mashable.com/2018/03/22/water-xprize-thin-air/


These teams are competing to create devices that can extract water from thin air
These devices must generate a minimum of 2,000 litres of water a day.

freeRSVP - invite guests to events and manage the RSVPs online

Posted on: Thu, 2018-03-22 - 23:22 By: admin

freeRSVP - invite guests to events and manage the RSVPs online

It's a digital world and what better way to go paperless than with such an invite service instead of just sending plain e-mails or relying on snail mail when many people no longer check their post boxes. There are quite a few of these services online, some with really fancy artwork, but this particular on eis completely free.

Interesting touches are the addition of an interactive Google Map for guests to locate the event, customisation of the RSVP to include for example the option of choosing meal options, and also Facebook integration.

See http://free-rsvp.com/Home/Features


Features - New Wedding RSVP Service
Free RSVP Wedding RSVP service, 100% Free Online Wedding event planner and wedding RSVP service. Free rsvp wedding planner
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