Range Anxiety

Drove the Tesla 3 to College Station from Austin.  Charged it up to the full 300 mile range, figuring it would be enough for the 105 mile distance and back.  Turns out a little extra driving, maybe some dependence on speed, wind, hills rounding error led to us getting back into Austin with less than 50 miles on the battery.  Except we spent maybe an hour and a half charging up at the sad little charger at the back of the George Bush Library.  Probably added 30 or 40 miles.  We would have made it anyway, but it would have been close.  I guess the lesson is charge when you can and be conservative in your estimates.

Why you have (probably) already bought your last car

Form the BBC:

Why you have (probably) already bought your last car

By Justin Rowlatt, BBC News
10 October 2018

“[electric cars] are more reliable, for a start. The typical electric car has around 20 moving parts compared to the 2,000 or so in an internal combustion engine.

As a result electric vehicles also tend to last much longer. Most electric car manufacturers expect their vehicles to keep on going for at least 500,000 miles.”

I think the electric car part is right, and this will have far reaching effects on the US and the world.  Think gas stations, oil companies, auto repair shops.  This happened many times before.  We used to go to the far ends of the earth to get whale oil.  This large international industry also vanished almost over night, along with the sailors, shipbuilders and their associated support industries.

I differ a bit on the self-driving part though.  I am still a skeptic of turning an automated car loose on the roads with a bunch of humans.  Ultimately I can see transportation as a standardized service (think of how the internet is organized around standards).  You will still have problems like malicious actors, but things will function pretty much like a decentralized version of public transportation.

 

The Big Hack

The Big Hack: How China Used a Tiny Chip to Infiltrate U.S. Companies

The attack by Chinese spies reached almost 30 U.S. companies, including Amazon and Apple, by compromising America’s technology supply chain, according to extensive interviews with government and corporate sources.

I feel a bit bad for SuperMicro, who has always made nice stuff.  I wonder who else has this (or similar) problems and was just able to keep it quiet.

 

Fauxtomation

From The Verge:

Burger King’s ‘AI-written’ ads show we’re still very confused about artificial intelligence

All we know is that we don’t know nothing

Burger King’s joke lands because AI exists in the public imagination as a quantum entity — simultaneously powerful and pathetic. Artificial intelligence is about to take our jobs, we’re constantly told; it’s going to destroy the economy and humanity to boot. But we also know from our own experience that it’s incredibly dumb, incapable of understanding the simplest commands (hello, Siri), or telling the difference between a stop sign and a cyclist, or of not showing me nine toilet seats I might like to buy after I buy the one toilet seat I will need this decade.