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Ted Holmes
Reporting on the near future impact of accelerating technology.
Reporting on the near future impact of accelerating technology.


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Practical robots are on the way.
Boston dynamics has come a long way. They are just a few iterations and a high power density battery away from a practical robot.
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Wikileaks has been blocked by Visa, MasterCard, Payal, AmEx, Mooneybookers, et al since 2010. So Wikileaks turned to Bitcoin, which in 2017, has grown in value by 50,000%
Julian Assange: My deepest thanks to the US government, Senator McCain and Senator Lieberman for pushing Visa, MasterCard, Payal, AmEx, Mooneybookers, et al, into erecting an illegal banking blockade against @WikiLeaks starting in 2010. It caused us to invest in Bitcoin -- with > 50000% return.
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The Blockchain Meets the Web: "For the first time ever, historical archived data cannot be altered without being noticed."

A blockchain ledger of 750,000,000 files from The Internet Archive have been searchably timestamped using Bitcoin’s blockchain.
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Summary: Google's AutoML project is an A.I. that assists in the creation of other AIs.

Deep learning involves a complicated process of passing data through layers of neural networks, so Google created an AI to automate that task.

They have already used AutoML to design networks for image and speech recognition. It matched Google’s experts at image recognition and designed better speech recognition architectures than the humans were able to create.
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Ransomware and/or Malware Solution if you use Google Drive.

If you, or someone you know, has been hit with ransomware or malware that attacks Windows systems, and you/they use Google Drive as a backup system for valuable files, you may be able to restore and recover those files.

Here's how:

Step 1: Download the latest Microsoft security updates
Before you restore your files, make sure you remove the malware from your computer.
See information on the Windows security update here:

Step 2: Try to restore files from the trash.
Some harmful software puts your original files in the trash and replaces them with encrypted versions.
Learn how to get files out of your trash:

Step 3: Restore older versions
If your files aren’t in the trash, you can try to restore an older version from

Learn how to restore an older version of your file.
For info on how to recover lost files after a malware attack, read here:
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This product combines Google’s computer vision and AI technologies to bring intelligence directly to your phone’s camera.
The smartphone camera will be able to understand what you see to help you take action.
You could point your camera at something and the Lens tells you what it is, for example, it could identify the flower you’re preparing to shoot.
Or you could connect to a home’s Wi-Fi network simply by snapping a photo of the sticker on the router.
Or take a photo of a business’s storefront — and Google Lens could pull up the name, rating and other business listing information in a card that appeared over the photo.
Google is pushing Photos into some really exciting new directions with Lens, a kind of visual search engine.
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Seba’s premise is that people will stop driving altogether. They will switch en masse to self-drive electric vehicles (EVs) that are ten times cheaper to run than fossil-based cars, with a near-zero marginal cost of fuel and an expected lifespan of 1 million miles.

It will become harder to find a petrol station, spares, or anybody to fix the 2,000 moving parts that bedevil the internal combustion engine.

It is a “death spiral” for both big oil and big autos.

It is an existential threat to Ford, General Motors, and the German car industry.
Market forces are bringing it about with a speed and ferocity that governments could never hope to achieve.

The “tipping point” will arrive over the next two to three years (by 2020), as EV battery ranges surpass 200 miles and electric car prices in the US drop to $30,000. By 2022 the low-end models will be down to $20,000.

“Global oil demand will peak at 100 million barrels per day by 2020, dropping to 70 million by 2030.” There will be oil demand for use in the chemical industries, and for aviation, though NASA and Boeing are working on hybrid-electric aircraft for short-haul passenger flights.

The residual stock of fossil-based vehicles will take time to clear but 95 per cent of the miles driven by 2030 in the US will be in autonomous EVs for reasons of costs, convenience, and efficiency.

“Our research and modeling indicate that the $10 trillion annual revenues in the existing vehicle and oil supply chains will shrink dramatically”

Exxon-Mobil, Shell and BP could see 40 per cent to 50 per cent of their assets become stranded."

These are all large claims, though familiar those on the cutting edge of energy technology.

China is moving in parallel, pushing for 7 million electric vehicles by 2025, enforced by a minimum quota for “new energy” vehicles that shifts the burden for the switch onto manufacturers.

The cartel’s World Oil Outlook last year dismissed electric vehicles as a fringe curiosity that would make little difference to ever-rising global demand for oil.
The cartel said fossils will still make up 77 per cent of global energy use, much like today.

Shale fracking in the US is now so efficient, and rebounding so fast, that it may cap oil prices in a range of US$45 to $55 until the end of the decade.
The simplicity of the EV model is breath-taking.

The Tesla S has 18 moving parts, (vs 2,000 moving parts that make up the internal combustion engine). Maintenance is essentially zero.

Self-driving “vehicles on demand” will be running at much higher levels of daily use than today’s cars and will last for 500,000 to 1 million miles each.

It has long been known that EVs are four times more efficient than petrol or diesel cars, which lose 80 per cent of their power in heat.

What changes the equation is the advent of EV models with the acceleration and performance of a Lamborghini costing five or 10 times less to buy, and at least 10 times less to run.

“The electric drive-train is so much more powerful. The gasoline and diesel cars cannot possibly compete."

EVs will increase U.S. electricity demand by 18 per cent but that does not imply the need for more capacity.

They will draw power at times of peak supply and release it during peak demand.

They are themselves a storage reservoir, helping to smooth the effects of intermittent solar and wind, and to absorb excess base-load from power plants.
Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank England and chairman of Basel’s Financial Stability Board, has repeatedly warned that fossil energy companies are booking assets that can never be burned under the Paris agreement.
He pointed out last year that it took only a small shift in global demand for coal to bankrupt three of the four largest coal-mining companies in short order.

Other seemingly entrenched sectors could be just as vulnerable. He warned of a “Minsky moment” (a sudden major collapse of asset values), if we do not prepare in time, where the energy revolution moves so fast that it precipitates a global financial crisis.
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Just like he re-engineered the space industry, Elon Musk has his sights on traffic congestion. His strategy is to reduce the prohibitive costs preventing further advances in these fields. With space travel, he overcame the cost barriers of space exploration by making rockets reusable. With traffic congestion, he's making the costs decrease and the speed of underground tunnel construction increase by at least a magnitude:

"Currently, tunnels are really expensive to dig, with some projects costing as much as $1 billion per mile. In order to make a tunnel network feasible, tunneling costs must be reduced by a factor of more than 10. First, reduce the tunnel diameter. To build a one-lane road tunnel, the tunnel diameter must be approximately 28 feet. By placing vehicles on a stabilized electric sled, the diameter can be reduced to less than 14 feet. Reducing the diameter in half reduces tunneling costs by 3-4 times. Secondly, increase the speed of the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). A snail is effectively 14 times faster than a soft-soil TBM. Our goal is to defeat the snail in a race. Increase TBM power. The machine’s power output can be tripled (while coupled with the appropriate upgrades in cooling systems)."

And he makes a good case for the benefits of of an underground high-speed traffic network compared with an air-borne one:

"To solve the problem of soul-destroying traffic, roads must go 3D, which means either flying cars or tunnels. Unlike flying cars, tunnels are weatherproof, out of sight and won't fall on your head. A large network of road tunnels many levels deep would fix congestion in any city, no matter how large it grew (just keep adding levels). The key to making this work is increasing tunneling speed and dropping costs by a factor of 10 or more – this is the goal of The Boring Company."
"To alleviate traffic, transportation corridors, like the buildings that feed into them, must expand into three dimensions. One option is to “go up” with flying cars. However, flying cars have issues with weather, noise, and generally increase anxiety levels of those below them. The other option is to “go down” and build tunnels."

The complete FAQ is at the link.

Elon Musk‏ @elonmusk
- All the answers to questions you never asked about holes in the ground.
- What I love about The Boring Company are the low expectations. Nowhere to go but down.

Brian Oliver‏ @Oliver_Brian
Replying to @elonmusk
is this pun intended??

Elon Musk‏ @elonmusk
What pun?

William Fairaday‏ @Fairaday
Replying to @elonmusk
Should it be abruptly falling off at ‘What do you do with all that dirt?’

Elon Musk@elonmusk
We got stuck

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Encouraging stats for autonomous vehicles are coming in.

"The data show that the Tesla vehicles crash rate dropped by almost 40 percent after Autosteer installation.”
Elon Musk ‏@elonmusk
- Final report on Autopilot issued by @NHTSAgov is very positive
- Report highlight: “The data show that the Tesla vehicles crash rate dropped by almost 40 percent after Autosteer installation.”

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The first ~10 minutes is Kevin Kelly's eye-opening perspective on near-future AI. Packed with practical insights.
Me yammering about AI at the place in Canada where the modern form was invented.
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