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  • Elon Musk To Stay At Tesla For Another Decade
    by BeauHD on January 24, 2018 at 2:03 am

    Thelasko writes: "On Tuesday, Tesla's board announced that it had convinced Musk to stay at the helm for another decade with a truly gargantuan performance-based pay package," reports Ars Technica. The pay package is in a series of 12 milestones based on market capitalization. [The report notes the possibility that Musk could get nothing for a decade's work as Tesla's CEO if the company's stock never rises above $100 billion. However, Musk will get awarded with $1 billion -- 1 percent of the company's stock -- if the stock reaches a value of $100 billion and the company either achieves revenues of $20 billion or earnings of $1.5 billion.] "If the stock rises to $150 billion (and Musk reaches another revenue or profit target), Musk gets another 1 percent of the stock, which will be worth $1.5 billion," reports Ars. "That pattern continues in $50 billion increments until Tesla's stock rises above $650 billion -- at which point Musk will get a stock award worth $6.5 billion. Musk's stock awards will total $45 billion if he hits all 12 milestones." I guess Musk will have to wait to move to Mars until 2028... Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • More Than 750 American Communities Have Built Their Own Internet Networks
    by BeauHD on January 24, 2018 at 1:25 am

    Jason Koebler shares a report from Motherboard: According to a freshly updated map of community-owned networks, more than 750 communities across the United States have embraced operating their own broadband network, are served by local rural electric cooperatives, or have made at least some portion of a local fiber network publicly available. The map was created by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a nonprofit that advocates for local economies. The Institute's latest update indicates that there's now 55 municipal networks serving 108 communities with a publicly owned fiber-to-the-home internet network. 76 communities now offer access to a locally owned cable network reaching most or all of the community, and more than 258 communities are now served by a rural electric cooperative. Many more communities could expand their local offerings according to the group's data. 197 communities already have some publicly owned fiber service available to parts of the community, while more than 120 communities have publicly-owned dark (unused) fiber available for use by local residences and local area businesses. The group's map also highlights which states have erected legislative barriers to hamper these local efforts and explains what these laws actually do. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • Fantasy Fiction Novelist Ursula K. Le Guin Dies At 88
    by BeauHD on January 24, 2018 at 1:05 am

    sandbagger shares a report from The New York Times (Warning: may be paywalled; alternative source): Ursula K. Le Guin, the immensely popular author who brought literary depth and a tough-minded feminist sensibility to science fiction and fantasy with books like "The Left Hand of Darkness" and the Earthsea series, died on Monday at her home in Portland, Oregon. She was 88. Her son, Theo Downes-Le Guin, confirmed her death. He did not specify a cause but said she had been in poor health for several months. Ms. Le Guin embraced the standard themes of her chosen genres: sorcery and dragons, spaceships and planetary conflict. But even when her protagonists are male, they avoid the macho posturing of so many science fiction and fantasy heroes. The conflicts they face are typically rooted in a clash of cultures and resolved more by conciliation and self-sacrifice than by swordplay or space battles. Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • Apple Will Release Its $349 HomePod Speaker On February 9th
    by BeauHD on January 24, 2018 at 12:45 am

    After it was delayed in mid-December, Apple finally announced the availability of its new smart speaker. The company announced it will release the HomePod on February 9th and that preorders for the device will start this Friday, January 26th. The smart speaker will initially go on sale in the U.S., UK, and Australia. It'll then arrive in France and Germany sometime this spring. The Verge reports: The company's first smart speaker was originally supposed to go on sale before the end of the 2017, but it was delayed in mid-December. That meant Apple missed a holiday season where millions of smart speakers were sold -- but the market for voice-activated speakers is clearly just getting started. And at $349, Apple's speaker is playing in a very different market than Amazon's and Google's primarily cheap and tiny speakers. The HomePod is being positioned more as a competitor to Sonos' high-end wireless speakers than as a competitor to the plethora of inexpensive smart speakers flooding the market. Despite the delay, Apple doesn't appear to have made any changes to the HomePod -- the smart speaker appears to be exactly what was announced back in June, at WWDC. The focus here continues to be on music and sound quality, rather than the speaker's intelligence, which is the core focus of many competitors' products. The speaker will still have an always-on voice assistant, but Apple's implementation of Siri here will be more limited than what's present on other devices. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • Apple Releases Meltdown and Spectre Fixes For Older Versions of MacOS
    by BeauHD on January 24, 2018 at 12:03 am

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Neowin: Apple released its round of bug fix/security updates -- including iOS 11.2.5, macOS 10.13.3 High Sierra, watchOS 4.2.2, and tvOS 11.2.5 -- today. In doing so, it also offered some security updates for Macs running older versions of its OS, including OS X 10.11 El Capitan and macOS 10.12 Sierra. The security updates mainly focus on the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities, which were fixed for High Sierra users a couple of weeks ago. OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan got the smallest update, including fixes for IOHIDFamily, Kernel, QuartzCore, and Wi-Fi. As for the Sierra update, it's available for machines that are running macOS 10.12.6. It includes the above fixes, but it also includes improvements for Audio, LinkPresentation, Security, and there's an additional Kernel fix. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • Tesla Model S Plows Into a Fire Truck While Using Autopilot
    by BeauHD on January 23, 2018 at 11:20 pm

    On Monday, a Tesla Model S plowed into the back of a fire truck on a freeway near Culver City, California. The driver is claiming the car was on Tesla's Autopilot driver assistance system. As a result, the National Traffic Safety Board will be investigating both driver and vehicle factors. CNBC reports: The Culver City Firefighters Association Local 1927 union chapter tweeted out a picture of the crash on Monday afternoon. The firetruck was on the freeway helping after a motorcycle accident, the union said in an Instagram post. The post said there were no injuries. The outcome could have been much worse if firefighters had been standing at the back of the truck, Battalion Chief Ken Powell told the San Jose Mercury News. "Autopilot is intended for use only with a fully attentive driver," Tesla said in a statement sent to CNBC. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • DJI's New Mavic Air Drone Is a Beefed-Up Spark With 4K Video Support
    by BeauHD on January 23, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    Earlier today, DJI announced the latest entry in its popular line of consumer drones: the Mavic Air. The drone starts at $799, which is $400 more than the Spark's current going rate and $200 below the cost of a new Mavic Pro. "The entry-level package does include a dedicated controller, though, albeit one without an integrated display," reports Ars Technica. "The Mavic Air is available for pre-order today, and DJI says the device will start shipping on January 28." From the report: At first blush, the Mavic Air appears to find a middle ground between DJI's beginner-friendly Spark drone and its pricier but more technically capable Mavic Pro. Like both of those devices, the Mavic Air is small -- at 168x184x64mm, it's a bit larger than the Spark but smaller than the Mavic Pro. Like the latter, its arms can be folded inward, which should make it relatively easy to pack and transport. Its design doesn't stray too far from the past, either, with the rounded, swooping lines of its chassis punctuated by stubby, Spark-like propeller arms. The whole thing weighs 430 grams, which is much lighter than the Mavic Pro's 734g and a bit heavier than the Spark's 300g chassis. DJI says it can reach up to 42.5 miles per hour in its "sport" mode, which is faster than both the Spark (30mph) and Mavic Pro (40mph). It has a flight range of 2.5 miles with the included controller -- provided you keep it in your line of sight -- which is closer to the Spark than the Pro. With a smartphone, that range drops to 262 feet, the same as the Spark. The drone carries a 12-megapixel camera with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor and a 24mm F2.8 lens. As with all DJI drones, it comes integrated into the device. Notably, like the Mavic Pro, it's capable of capturing video in 4K up to 30 frames per second, with 1080p video up to 60fps. It can also take DNG photos. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

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