Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for April 17th, 2017

During renovations at the former site of a medieval church in London, England, construction workers uncovered the entranceway to a hidden crypt. Inside lay 30 lead coffins, including the remains of five former Archbishops of Canterbury. It’s a completely unexpected archaeological finding—showing that even London’s… Read more…

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Tesla cuts the price on its entry-level Model S by $7,500

Posted by kenmay on April - 17 - 2017

Just because Tesla is ditching the Model S 60 and 60D doesn’t mean that you’ll be paying dramatically more to own the luxury electric sedan. Tesla has cut the price on its current entry-level models, the 75 and 75D, by $7, 500. It’s still $1, 500 more expensive than the outgoing model at $69, 500, but not so much so that you might balk if you were seriously considering the 60 before. It’s certainly a better value if you were already looking at a 75 for the extra range. On top of that, Tesla is sweetening the pot by making key features standard. All Model S variants now come with the glass roof (previously a $1, 500 option) and an automatic rear power liftgate. The 90D has also received a price cut to $87, 500, we’d add. And if you bought an upgradeable 60 or 70 car, the bump to a 75kWh battery capacity is cheaper. Unlocking the full battery on the Model S 60 now costs ‘just’ $2, 000 versus the previously steep $9, 000, while Model S 70 owners just have to spend $500 instead of $3, 500. There are some gotchas in the lineup, however. The price of the 100D and P100D is going up by a few thousand dollars on April 24th to $97, 500 and $140, 000 respectively (Model X owners are seeing similar price hikes to $99, 500 and $145, 000). Also, certain upgrades are now off-limits on some models. You can’t get smart air suspension on the 75 and 75D, for example, while you have to go with a 100 or 100D to get the high amperage charger. Why all the tweaks? Tesla is likely harmonizing its EV range so that there are clear incentives for people to step up to the Model S instead of ‘settling’ for the Model 3 , whose battery capacity will stop at the 75kWh where the Model S starts. The 100 and 100D price hikes are merely a way of balancing things out — Tesla gets to maintain its average selling prices by asking for more from those customers that can most likely afford to pay a bit more. We wouldn’t count on these prices lasting forever, but it’s easy to see them sticking around through the Model 3 launch later this year. Via: Electrek , TechCrunch Source: Tesla

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‘Breakthrough’ LI-RAM Material Can Store Data With Light

Posted by kenmay on April - 17 - 2017

A Vancouver researcher has patented a new material that uses light instead of electricity to store data. An anonymous reader writes: LI-RAM — that’s light induced magnetoresistive random-access memory — promises supercomputer speeds for your cellphones and laptops, according to Natia Frank, the materials scientist at the University of Victoria who developed the new material as part of an international effort to reduce the heat and power consumption of modern processors. She envisions a world of LI-RAM mobile devices which are faster, thinner, and able to hold much more data — all while consuming less power and producing less heat. And best of all, they’d last twice as long on a single charge (while producing almost no heat), according to a report on CTV News, which describes this as “a breakthrough material” that will not only make smartphones faster and more durable, but also more energy-efficient. The University of Victoria calculates that’s 10% of the world’s electricity is consumed by “information communications technology, ” so LI-RAM phones could conceivably cut that figure in half. They also report that the researcher is “working with international electronics manufacturers to optimize and commercialize the technology, and says it could be available on the market in the next 10 years.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Graphical demos created with severe code-length limitations sometimes betray the techniques used to fit a world into a few kilobytes: tessellating textures, featureless fractals, repetitive sequences, and so on. Final Stage , by 0x4015 , is not one of those demos. [ via ] Here it is rendered on a XEON x560 with a GTX 1070 video card and 24GB of RAM. Check out all the other uploads from the Revision 2017 demoparty. Eidolon , by Poo-brain, won in the 64k category: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bwLkEwLIgQ

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An anonymous reader shares a report: In a few weeks, at its education-oriented software and hardware event in New York, Microsoft could unveil a sub-premium laptop — something more robust than a Surface but not as fancy as a Surface Book. And rather than run good old Windows 10, the new product could run something called Windows 10 Cloud, which reportedly will only be able to run apps that you can find in the Windows Store, unless you change a certain preference in Settings. The idea is that this will keep your device more secure. However, that does mean you won’t be able to use certain apps that aren’t in the Store — like Steam — on a Windows 10 Cloud device, such as the rumored CloudBook. Microsoft is going after Google’s Chromebooks that are very popular in the education space — so much so that they are playing an instrumental role in keeping the entire PC shipments up. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Cleveland Police Department is searching for a man named Steve “Stevie Steve” Stephens in connection with the murder of an elderly man that was broadcast live on Stephens’ Facebook page. In earlier posts, he claimed to be perpetrating an “Easter day slaughter.” Read more…

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