An electric car is an automobile that is propelled by one or more electric motors, using electrical energy stored in rechargeable batteries or another energy storage device. Electric motors give electric cars instant torque, creating strong and smooth acceleration. They are also around three times as efficient as cars with an internal combustion engine. The first practical electric cars were produced in the 1880s. Electric cars were popular in the late 19th century and early 20th century, until advances in internal combustion engines, electric starters in particular, and mass production of cheaper gasoline vehicles led to a decline in the use of electric drive vehicles. The energy crises of the 1970s and 1980s brought a short-lived interest in electric cars; although those cars did not reach the mass marketing stage, as became the case in the 21st century.
Nissan Leaf 2016 First Glow In The Dark Car… paylaşan: WilliamwBeca
Since 2008, a renaissance in electric vehicle manufacturing has occurred due to advances in batteries and energy management, concerns about increasing oil prices, and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Several national and local governments have established tax credits, subsidies, and other incentives to promote the introduction and now adoption in the mass market of new electric vehicles depending on battery size and their all-electric range. Electric cars are significantly quieter than conventional internal combustion engine automobiles. They do not emit tailpipe pollutants, giving a large reduction of local air pollution, and, can give a significant reduction in total greenhouse gas and other emissions (dependent on the method used for electricity generation). They also provide for independence from foreign oil, which in several countries is cause for concern about vulnerability to oil price volatility and supply disruption. Recharging can take a long time and in many places there is a patchy recharging infrastructure. For long distance driving, many cars support fast charging that can give around 80% charge in half an hour using public rapid chargers. While battery cost is decreasing fairly rapidly, it is still relatively high, and because of this, most electric cars have a more limited range and a somewhat higher purchase cost than conventional vehicles. Drivers can also sometimes suffer from range anxiety- the fear that the batteries will be depleted before reaching their destination.
As of December 2015, there were over 30 models of highway legal all-electric passenger cars and utility vans available for retail sales, mainly in the United States, China, Japan, and Western European countries. By the end of 2015, almost 60% of the global stock of light-duty plug-in electric vehicles were pure electric cars and vans. Cumulative global sales of highway-capable light-duty pure electric vehicles passed the one million unit milestone in September 2016. The world’s all-time top selling highway-capable electric car is the Nissan Leaf, released in December 2010, with more than 250,000 units sold worldwide through December 2016. The Tesla Model S, released in June 2012, ranks second with global sales of over 158,000 units through December 2016.
It seems like yesterday — not 10 years ago — that Steve Jobs took the stage at MacWorld to debut Apple’s latest new gadget: the iPhone.
The iPhone was three devices in one, he declared at Moscone West in San Francisco. It was a widescreen iPod with touch controls, a revolutionary mobile phone, and a breakthrough Internet communications device.
Apple’s “three-in-one device” has gone on to become a critical contributor to the company’s success, accounting for more than half its revenues annually, as well as a can’t-live-without tool for many people.
“iPhone is an essential part of our customers’ lives, and today more than ever it is redefining the way we communicate, entertain, work and live,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
“iPhone set the standard for mobile computing in its first decade and we are just getting started,” he continued. “The best is yet to come.”
What made the iPhone different from what passed for a mobile phone before Jobs introduced it that fateful day 10 years ago?
“What we’ve realized over the last few years is that the iPhone fundamentally changed how we thought about phones,” said Jack E. Gold, principal analyst atJ.Gold Associates.
“Before the iPhone, we looked at phones as primarily communications devices,” he explained to TechNewsWorld. “iPhone changed that to ‘we’ve got a computer in our hands that happens to be a phone as well.'”
Prior to the iPhone’s arrival, most vendors believed there was scant need or demand for a palm-sized “smart” device supporting search, media consumption and other Internet-based functions, recalled Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
“The iPhone put an end to those assumptions and transformed the marketplace,” he told TechNewsWorld.
It also flipped forever how mobile phones were used.
“Before iPhone, we talked on phones 90 percent of the time,” Gold said. “Now we talk 10 percent and do other stuff 90 percent of the time.”
Apple brought something else to mobile phones that hadn’t been there before: usability.
“In the early days of smartphones, they were awful to use,” Gold noted. “The iPhone wasn’t perfect, but it fundamentally changed how people perceived these things as fun and easy to use.”
Another notable change the iPhone pioneered was the use of mobile applications.
“A big innovation was the introduction of a development kit for creating apps and making apps a key part of the iPhone design,” said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies.
“That allowed them to create a broader ecosystem that included hardware, software and services,” he told TechNewsWorld.
There is no doubt that the iPhone created a good monster with its app-centric approach. Since Apple began selling software from its App Store in 2008, it has returned more than US$50 billion to developers.
“The app economy opened the floodgates for the transformation of many industries — streaming music, mobile banking, mobile video, mobile retail and mobile games,” Reticle Research Principal Analyst Ross Rubin told TechNewsWorld.
A Few Bad Blemishes
Perhaps what has distinguished the iPhone above all else during its 10 years of existence has been its design.
“Some of the technology in the iPhone was around before the iPhone, but the iconic design wasn’t seen before,” noted David McQueen, a research director at ABI Research.
“There’ve been a lot of copycats, but none have come up to the beauty of the iPhone’s designs,” he told TechNewsWorld.
Ironically, one of the iPhone’s biggest flubs was connected to the design of the iPhone 4. The so-called Antennagate problem occurred because the phone’s antenna was placed on the edge of the phone where a user’s hand could interfere with the call signal.
The introduction of Maps created another blemish on the iPhone’s record that Apple would like to forget. The app was embarrassingly inaccurate when it made its debut.
Those mistakes were just bumps in the road for the iPhone, though, with little impact on its popularity or sales. That is attributable in part to Apple’s service, which is “fantastic,” according to McQueen.
Another factor is customer loyalty.
“People who love Apple love Apple,” Gold observed. “There aren’t a lot of people leaving Apple.”
If Apple can maintain the iPhone’s premium status, it should continue to thrive.
“Apple has done really well by staying at the high end, where margins are good, and by selling additional services,” Gold explained. “If they can maintain those margins, they’ll do fine.”
Apple is also making investments in artificial intelligence, which should help the iPhone keep pace with competitors.
“The prospects are good for the future iPhone as long as Apple continues to perfect next-generation use cases like AR, VR, MR and modularity,” Moor Insights and Strategy Principal Analyst Patrick Moorhead told TechNewsWorld.
Short-term prospects look good for the iPhone, too.
The United States Department of Defense on Monday announced a successful demonstration of one of the world’s largest micro drone swarms at China Lake in California.
Three F/a-18 Super Hornet combat jets launched 103 Perdix drones in the exercise, which took place last fall.
The micro drones demonstrated advanced swarm behaviors such as collective decision making, adaptive formation flying and self-healing.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory debuted Perdix in 2013. Since then, the DoD’s Strategic Capabiities Office has upgraded the technology using commercial components, 3D printing and agile manufacturing.
The DoD demo, which employed sixth-generation Perdix micro drones, confirmed that the their commercial components were reliable under a variety of potential deployment conditions — that is, speeds of Mach 0.6, temperatures of -10 degrees Celsius and large shocks.
Perdix is one of the first examples of the DoD using teams of small, inexpensive autonomous systems to perform missions previously conducted with large expensive systems.
Perdix fits into the DoD’s concept of future battle network scenarios in which autonomous systems allow humans to make better decisions more rapidly.
Sting Like a Bee
Perdix autonomous micro drones can be launched in the air, at sea, or on the ground. They can operate in small or large numbers.
Once launched, the micro drones gain situational awareness and locate other micro drones to create a swarm.
The drones run on AA batteries. They are 6.5 inches long and have a wingspan of 11.8 inches. They have propellers 2.6-inch propellers. They weigh 290 gm, fly at 40 to 60 knots, and can stay airborne for 20 minutes.
More than 670 Perdix micro drones have flown since the system’s first test two years ago.
Perdix micro drones share one distributed brain for decision-making and adapting to each other. They collaborate through communications.
“This is called swarm robotics,” noted Philip Solis, a research director at ABI Research.
Perdix operators set a mission, and Perdix decides how best to carry it out. Because the system cannot change its mission, operators can predict the swarm’s behavior without micromanaging.
Swarms have communication, cooperation and coordination capabilities, noted Mike Blades, a senior industry analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
Communication is the foundation that allows the passing of information. Cooperation is the next step — information sharing throughout a swarm. Coordination involves using that shared information to make autonomous or semi-autonomous decisions for all or part of the swarm.
For example, the swarm must decide whether a drone that’s been destroyed is expendable or needs to be replaced, and “this is where much of the testing of algorithms, communication and processing is going on now,” Blades told TechNewsWorld. Gradual increases in swarm sizes also are being tested.
Perdix can be deployed for low-altitude missions such as surveillance and reconnaissance.
The system is now best for intelligence gathering, suggested Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.
Each drone could be specialized and redundant, and the system’s collective mind spread over an area “could provide an unprecedented level of information and be very hard to block,” he told TechNewsWorld.
“Eventually, you can attack multiple targets while gathering intelligence,” said Frost’s Blades, “and do so while overwhelming the enemy’s defense capabilities.”
The drones also could use artifical intelligence to alter attack routes or surveillance operations based on changing conditions communicated by other drones in the swarm, he speculated.
Still, drones “can be jammed or taken over under the right circustances,” Blades noted, which could lead to a “mini arms race.”
There are commercial uses for mini-drone swarms, Enderle said, noting that Disney is using them in some of its parks.
The added features will be rolled out next week, when the old Google+ layout will vanish.
First, lower quality comments will be hidden, although Google didn’t explain how comments will be judged or who will make those calls.
Google has tweaked the Google+ user interface to display more posts and less white space.
Further, a zoom functionality has been added to photos on Google+.
Google is also bringing back the Events feature so users can create and join events on Google+ as they used to. However, Events will not be available to G Suite users.
The company will continue working on Google+ and is soliciting user feedback.
The Red-Headed Stepchild of Social Media
Google+ has not fared well in the social media space, and Google last year recharacterized it as a content curation site rather than a social network.
It redesigned the Google+ site, offering tools for moderating communities, as well as adding images and linking to comments.
There’s a dearth of statistics and information about Google+ online to support either side of debate over the validity of its existence.
Although some have compared it to the walking dead, Google+ has an estimated 120 million unique monthly users, according to eBizMBA, which ranked it sixth on its top 15 list of most popular social networking sites in January. Its eBizMBA rank — which is a continually updated average of each website’s global Alexa rank and U.S. Compete and Quantcast ranks — is 34.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest were the five most popular social networking sites in January. and Tumblr, Instagram, Reddit, Flickr and Vine are among the sites trailing after Google+ in the top 15.
“Google+ has had a hard time getting traction,” noted Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.
That’s because it was late to the game, he told TechNewsWorld. “Most people have accounts on other social sites, and adding yet another is too much overhead for most.”
The Tweaks’ Impact
The latest changes to Google+ “should make the device more efficient,” said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.
However, while positive, they are more “along the lines of a hotel saying they’re going to repaint the bathrooms and get rid of the smell,” he told TechNewsWorld. “They may lead fewer people to leave the service, but aren’t compelling enough to bring people back.”
Any improvement is good, Jude noted, but Google+ “is not a dominant player in social, so unless [the changes make it] remarkably better, it will still be an also-ran.”
Strengths, Weaknesses, Potential
The principal attraction of Google+ is the way it integrates with the Google solution set, Frost’s Jude remarked. “It’s possible to do everything in Google, rather than use several service providers.”
However, it’s one more application to manage, he said.
Another weakness is that Google “has not been exactly trustworthy with personal information,” Jude pointed out. “Many people distrust putting all of their personal lives under Google’s scrutiny.”
Google+ “could be a far better way to do social networking, but like the kid in school with great potential, if [Google isn’t] willing to put in the effort, that potential will never be reached,” Enderle observed.
The service “could be a useful way to manage internal company communications and teams,” Jude suggested.
As for why Google is continuing to work on Google+, given the service’s relatively weak showing and its failure to compete with Facebook, it may be that company officials “just haven’t got around to shutting it down yet,” Enderle said. “Unless their interest changes, I expect that decision is still coming.
If there is a lesson to be drawn from Internet search giant Yahoo’s hellish past year, it is a grimly illustrative one: Never assume a cybersecurity disaster can’t get worse.
Last September, the Internet portal disclosed that it had suffered the most damaging and far-reaching data breach in history — only to then announce in December the discovery of a second, earlier, and even larger hack.
Since the discovery, the sale of the company to Verizon has been put in jeopardy, as Yahoo — which recently announced its name would be changing to “Altaba” — began a probe into the hack that is expected to take several weeks. We may not know the full extent of these hacks’ effects for years; indeed, it took years for the breaches to even be discovered.
What is known is that these travails were a long time coming. The Yahoo hacks were not acts of God, falling from the sky and striking an unlucky victim; they were the direct result of the corporation’s continual neglect of information security as a vital priority for doing business.
The tragedy of Yahoo’s troubles is not merely that its systems were compromised; that is a risk even the most secure online servicers may face. Rather, it is Yahoo’s lack of attention to cybersecurity, such that it was unable to detect and respond to the breach, making a very bad situation into a nightmarish one.
In 2014, hackers gained access to Yahoo’s main user database, pilfering credentials and personal information from at least 500 million accounts in what was the biggest data breach in history.
Perplexingly, the theft went undiscovered until September 2016, when 200 million sets of user credentials appeared for sale on a darknet website. Yahoo’s failure to identify a breach of such gargantuan magnitude — one that it would somewhat ominously claim to be a “state-sponsored” act (an accusation rejected by researchers) — was a dark portent of things to come.
The hack reported last December seems to be worse — much worse. That hack, which is believed to have occurred in August 2013, resulted in at least 1 billion accounts suffering theft of personal information like names, phone numbers, and dates of birth. Perhaps even more damaging was the hackers’ theft of poorly encrypted Yahoo passwords, as well as unencrypted answers to security queries like “What is your mother’s maiden name?” or “What was your first car?” That information is meant to easily allow users to confirm their identities when resetting account details.
Some sensible security protocols and simple, low-cost encryption could have prevented this calamity. Adding insult to injury, the theft was not discovered until government investigators and private data analysts examining the first reported hack found evidence that a mysterious “third-party” had gained access to other Yahoo data.
Incredibly, these thefts — the largest and most damaging hacks in Internet history — were perhaps not even the lowlight of Yahoo’s year. That honor would belong to CEO Mayer’s decision, at the behest of a U.S. intelligence agency, to scan the content of all Yahoo users’ emails for specific phrases or attachments, a massive warrantless spy program so invasive that Yahoo’s security team, uninformed of the effort, initially thought it was a hack.
It is not enough that Yahoo’s security posture is moribund — not only unable to prevent successive blitzes against billions of its users, but even to detect their occurrence. Worse, in this instance, is the fact Yahoo is as fully complicit as any hacker in exposing its customers’ most sensitive personal communications: It did so without permission, simply at the demand of a government agency bearing no warrants or probable cause.
Security Tsunami Warning
What, then, will be the fallout of Yahoo’s year of living dangerously? Given the enormous potential for secondary fraud on other sites using Yahoo account credentials, forcing password resets now, years after the crime, is both entirely necessary and woefully inadequate.
After years of criminals likely trading Yahoo user information on darknet marketplaces for cash, this attempt to rectify the situation is equivalent to changing the vault’s combination a couple of years after a safecracker robbed the bank. In an information technology environment where Internet users commonly recycle the same credentials across the dozens of sites they regularly use, password reuse attacks are a growing threat.
Such an attack against Yahoo users has precedent, and the results could be frightening. In 2012, the login credentials of as many as 167 million accounts on business networking site LinkedIn were stolen by hackers, emerging again on darknet auction sites in May 2016.
The compromised information, which, as with Yahoo, included poorly encrypted passwords, is believed to have been responsible for numerous large-scale “password reuse” secondary attacks, including one major attack against cloud hosting platform Dropbox and 60 million of its accounts.
Given the potential for wreaking havoc, Yahoo’s inadequate and outdated password encryption could have severe consequences, affecting even sites that securely encrypt their customers’ passwords, through no fault of their own. This is the nightmare made possible through the theft of reused passwords: a concatenating wave of data breaches affecting website after website.
Beyond these technical threats, Yahoo’s lack of transparency in combating information theft has further endangered Internet users. It is becoming clear that under Mayer’s leadership, Yahoo downgraded the importance of instituting much-needed cybersecurity measures, fearing that it would alienate a fickle user base with annoying new security requirements. However, the end result will be far worse reputational damage.
A user experience that results in hackers compromising every one of your Web accounts, or stealing your identity, is far worse than the inconvenience of signing into an email account using two-factor identification.
This short-sightedness extended to Yahoo’s public relations reaction: While the company would ultimately estimate that a half billion accounts were affected in the 2014 hack, the true number may be as high as 3 billion; and while Yahoo may claim any affected accounts are being identified and reset, its inability to detect even larger breaches is more than enough reason to doubt the effort’s efficacy.
Fortunately, this debacle need not be entirely in vain, if some simple lessons can be absorbed. Had Yahoo made modest, sensible improvements in its security posture, the hackers might have been dissuaded from attempting such an ambitious heist, or at least been frustrated in their attempts to do so.
Cyber risk is an unavoidable aspect of Internet business today, and even in the worst-case scenario of a breach, reasonable precautions and rapid action can prevent extensive damage.
For example, when “drag-n’drop” website creator Weebly suffered a hack affecting 43 million of its users, the company’s ready cooperation with observers who discovered the attack helped it to quickly issue password resets, while its strong password encryption further prevented customer sites from being accessed.
The latest breach revelation may derail Verizon’s planned $4.83 billion acquisition of the search giant, but that would hardly be the greatest cost of Yahoo’s incompetence.
As always, the people who will most suffer are the consumers to whom Yahoo owes its responsibility. They entrusted Yahoo with their personal information — a trust the former No. 1 search engine has inexcusably betrayed
Alphabet’s reasonable valuation and growing market share across segments could see the tech giant outperform rivals this year, according to Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. analyst James Cakmak.
Cakmak told CNBC’s “The Rundown” on Tuesday investor expectations for Alphabet were still relatively modest, potentially setting the stage for the company’s shares to outperform.
Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page speaks at Google I/O in San Francisco.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page speaks at Google I/O in San Francisco.
The parent company of Google has a “pretty reasonable valuation at 10 times EBITDA,” said Cakmak. “I can’t say the same about Facebook and Amazon.”
In a separate Jan. 3 note, he estimated Alphabet’s 2017 EV / EBITDA at 10.9 times, versus 19.2 times for Amazon and 13.5 times for Facebook. EV / EBITDA is the ratio of a company’s enterprise value over earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization. The higher the EV/EBITDA number, the more overvalued a company is.
Alphabet’s market capitalization as of Tuesday stood at $563.04 billion, according to Thomson Reuters data. For 2017, Cakmak expects the company’s earnings per share to come in at $32.63, up from 2016’s estimate of $27.78.
From an operational standpoint, significant progress in optimizing search experiences and ads, capturing brand ad dollars through YouTube and Google’s prowess in natural language processing underpinned the favorable outlook for Alphabet, Cakmak noted. Alphabet has also made “genuine efforts” in healthcare and education, Cakmak added in his note.
Meanwhile, Cakmak said in his note Amazon was a crowded trade, where the costs associated with content, logistics and competitive pricing pressure to Amazon Web Services were unlikely to have been fully incorporated into expectations. Facebook, on the other hand, was battling increasingly challenging competitors and threats to engagement. It could also potentially invest in photo messaging service Snap.
FANG stocks back in favor? FANG stocks back in favor?
Monday, 9 Jan 2017 | 5:47 PM ET | 02:11
He concluded the expectations for both Amazon and Facebook were “extremely high” and suggested their performances may not live up to investors’ expectations; he maintained a neutral rating for both companies.
Meanwhile, on the political front Alphabet was one of the better-positioned tech companies in Silicon Valley that was in tune with the incoming administration of President-elect Donald Trump, Cakmak said Tuesday.
In December, Alphabet’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt and CEO Larry Page were part of the group of top executives from the world’s biggest tech companies that gathered at Trump Tower to meet the President-elect. Jobs, skilled immigration and China were the main topics on the table at the meeting. Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos were also in attendance.
Domestic jobs growth, particularly in the manufacturing sector, is a key agenda for Trump. By contrast, Silicon Valley is known for hiring foreigners under the H-1B visa scheme and outsourcing low-skilled, labor intensive jobs to the developing world.
“You look at the H-1B issue, I think that’s something that the administration and Silicon Valley can work together around,” said Cakmak.
To offset the rising cost of shifting manufacturing back to the U.S., Trump and his team have talked about providing both tax and regulatory relief to companies. Additional tax relief on cash repatriation from overseas has also been on the agenda which, Cakmak believes, many Silicon Valley companies are in favor of.
Wayne Rooney added to his legacy by becoming Manchester United’s all-time leading goalscorer on Saturday afternoon.
The England forward scored his 250th goal for the club to break Sir Bobby Charlton’s record.
He did it in style, too, curling home a brilliant free-kick in the 94th minute to clinch a point for the Red Devils at Stoke City.
His manager, Jose Mourinho, now believes he has reached legendary status.
“The record is the record,” Mourinho told Sky Sports, via BBC. “It is the record of the biggest club in England and one of the biggest in the world.
The rumours that Manchester City are confident of signing Lionel Messi are, let’s face it, far-fetched.
As if Messi would really swap a team that targets multiple trophies every season to one that is currently fifth in the Premier League.
The Argentinian has played for Barcelona since he was 13-years-old. Why now, at the age of 29, would he up sticks to a different country, where Pep Guardiola is living proof that being great at the Camp Nou doesn’t always equate to success at City?
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW
The Citizens may be interested, yes, but they shouldn’t be confident of luring Messi away.
His father, Jorge, dealt those monitoring his situation in Spain a blow by confirming a new contract is in the offing.