Yamaha’s new generation of “emotional” EV motors

Yamaha has been hard at work developing new electric motors and drive units sized for motorcycles and larger vehicles.

The development began in Yamaha’s motorcycle division, but has apparently grown to include larger motors capable of powering full-sized electric cars…

As part of a new video, Yamaha first shows off a 35kW unit that was developed for electric motorcycles…

On the heavier side of things, Yamaha also shows off a new 150kW unit designed for full-size electric cars. In the video, Yamaha demonstrates a pair of the 150kW Yamaha electric motors powering a rear-wheel drive electric car.

How long do we wait for these critters? After-market-availability?

The Inevitable happened…in a hurry


Om Malik

The 2001 downturn turned telecom and cable giants into the Internet’s gatekeepers. Microsoft emerged victorious with its Internet Explorer. During the 2008 financial crisis, when cash was king, the big banks — JP Morgan Chase, for example — became more prominent and more pervasive. In a similar fashion, the present pandemic is making big tech bigger. And it is not just that their coffers are overflowing. They suddenly have a much larger and more receptive audience…

Over the past few months, we have experienced the mainstreaming of technology-enabled behavior previously thought of as being on the fringe. Shopping for groceries online and having them delivered, for example, was something of coastal luxury. Now, it has been experienced and used by millions across the country. Instacart has boasted of hiring another 250,000 shoppers. Amazon is hiring an additional 175,000 delivery people. Food-on-demand services are going through a boom like none other — Doordash saw its revenues jump over 20% in March. Uber Eats is saving Uber’s bacon. There is no reason to expect these new behaviors to change.

In a conversation this week, Wired editor Nicholas Thompson marveled at the growth in telemedicine and online education, two technologies (for lack of a better term) that have been around for so long that we often overlook them. Khan Academy has seen 20 times as many registrations. The Silicon Valley investors who viewed remote work and the distributed company as a net negative, and penalized companies that didn’t have a physical presence in their backyard, are now “work from home” gurus…

Together with data, cloud, and automation — companies are going to be looking at a more resilient future, one that sits on top of a network. It is not as if they had a choice. COVID-19 has exposed one harsh truth: digital channels are more flexible and faster to adapt to change than physical channels. And now, the world is almost entirely running on the network. This affirms my long-held beliefs. It is a testament to the inevitability of the Internet, which I wrote about in 2008 — and again in 2013.

And as the thoughtful and farsighted Om Malik said at the end of this article, “Now, the inevitable has happened.”

Boeing email re 737 MAX: “I’ll be shocked if the FAA passes this turd.”


737 MAX fuselages waiting to become finished airplanes

Boeing has been forced to publicly apologise after internal communications suggested employees were aware of issues with its now grounded 737 Max plane before disaster struck.

Boeing on Thursday published over 100-pages of internal communications as part of the US Federal Aviation Authority and Congress’s investigations into issues with the 737 Max.

The planes have been grounded globally last March following two fatal crashes that killed all passengers…

“This airplane is designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys,” a chat message from April 2017 reads. Another message from the same exchange describes working on the plane as “patch[ing] the leaky boat.”

This is such a shit show,” one employee wrote to another on a chat system in mid-2018.

“Totally,” a colleague replied, “I’ll be shocked if the FAA passes this turd.”

Building crap – or just doing a crappy job of building something – means the same thing to the families of all the folks who died as passengers in 737 MAX crashes.

Tesla getting ready to introduce million-mile electric vehicle battery


Battery on wheels

❝ Battery research revealed earlier this month and affiliated with Tesla could suggest that the company is well on its way to bringing a million-mile battery to market.

The result could last three times as long as Tesla’s current cells—6,000 cycles, across a wide temperature range—and be the electric-car brand’s “secret sauce” as it moves to prove its vehicles as high-mileage self-driving workhorses.

❝ The work was presented by pioneering lithium-ion battery researcher Jeff Dahm, and focused on a new “single crystal nickel metal hydride (NMC)/artificial graphite” chemistry.

“We conclude that cells of this type should be able to power an electric vehicle for over 1.6 million kilometers (1 million miles) and last at least two decades in grid energy storage,” the paper’s authors outline…

❝ Research presented in the paper, published September 6 in Journal of The Electrochemical Society, was supported by Tesla Canada and included years of testing…

Notable in other articles/interviews with Dahm is that Musk isn’t trying to hold the technology secret. Building the EV industry as a whole is also beneficial to Tesla. After all, they’ll still probably be first on the street with this tech.

Hopefully, Xi listens better to Huawei than Trump listens to Apple

NOTE: Bloomberg changed the 1st full showing of this interview to Friday, the 31ST, 9PM EDT.

Music isn’t made the same way, anymore

❝ It’s Grammy time, and as always, watching the awards ceremony…will include a subtext of cross-generational carping: “They don’t make music the way they used to,” the boomers and Gen Xers will mutter. And they’ll be right. Music today, at least most of it, is fundamentally different from what it was in the days of yore — the 1970s and 80s.

❝ Last year, the industry celebrated a sales milestone. The RIAA certified that the Eagles’ “Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975),” was the best-selling album of all time…the album, released almost exactly 43 years ago, was the first to be awarded platinum status…an evocative reminder that songs were once commodities so valuable that millions of people would even buy them in repackaged form. It was also a taken as a quiet victory for people who believe that music today is too loud…

❝ By “too loud,” I don’t mean you can’t crank the Eagles, if that’s your thing. I’m talking about loudness as a measure of sound within a particular recording. Our ears perceive loudness in an environment by reflexively noting the dynamic range — the difference between the softest and loudest sounds…A loud environment in this sense is one with a limited dynamic range — highs that peak very high, and lows that aren’t much lower…Compression boosts the quieter parts and tamps down louder ones to create a narrower range…

RTFA. For there has been and continues to be a war over sound. The sound landscape has never been more varied – from the audiophile with big bucks and peers and who can only afford to supplement the CDs they still buy, radio stations they listen to streamed online — to walking around music fans from hip-hop to classical listening through earbuds.

Geeks on Trump’s payroll make him look thinner, fingers longer

❝ The longest government shutdown in U.S. history shows no sign of resolving, and Americans wonder what President Trump and his team are doing.

Now we know. They are doing the important work the people sent them to do. They are elongating Trump’s fingers.

❝ The tech website Gizmodo reported this week that it found at least three retouched photographs on Trump’s social media pages since October, including two in the past few days, in which his body and face have been slimmed, his face and neck wrinkles tightened, his hair cleaned up — “and in one of the strangest alterations, Trump’s fingers have been made slightly longer.”

Trump still hasn’t gotten over Marco Rubio accusing him of being smaller in other body parts – to match his small hands! Har.

China is Building “Sponge Cities” Facing A Critical Aspect of Climate Change

❝ China is taking the repercussions of climate change seriously. One consequence of our warming world is increasingly frequent and more severe flooding. This is especially problematic in growing, crowded cities, which has made certain regions in China more vulnerable. To combat this growing issue, the country is pursuing the development of “sponge cities.”

❝ The Sponge City Initiative, launched in 2015, invests in projects that focus on absorbing floodwater. Currently, spongy designs are being explored in 30 cities, including Shanghai, Wuhan, and Xiamen. The current aim of the initiative is that, by 2020, 80 percent of urban areas in China will re-use at least 70 percent of their rainwater…

The creation of a sponge city is not a singular, defined process. Each project is customized to its region and aims to improve upon previous techniques and overcome difficult challenges. Strategies include using permeable surfaces and green (meaning that it incorporates plant-life) infrastructure. The concept has so much potential that other cities around the world, like in Berlin, are looking to become more “spongy.”…

❝ Increased natural disasters will be a consequence of climate change that threatens all countries around the world, as illustrated by the recent hurricane and resulting flooding in Houston. …China is taking a firm stand against such flooding with this initiative, and the rest of the world might follow suit. From advanced drainage systems to roadways capable of absorbing water and creative planting, sponge cities are getting increasingly innovative in how they might be able to better fend off treacherous floodwaters.

Or we might continue with the existing style firmly grounded in conservative American politics. “Thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers” for the victims of a growing number of environmental disasters.