In this section: technology

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VW taps Nvidia to build AI into its new electric microbus and beyond

 Nvidia will power artificial intelligence technology built into its future vehicles, including the new I.D. Buzz, its all-electric retro-inspired camper van concept. The partnership between the two companies also extends to the future vehicles, and will initially focus on so-called “Intelligent Co-Pilot” features, including using sensor data to make driving easier, safer and… Read More

Expect GM Cruise self-driving vehicles to arrive in ‘quarters, not years’

 GM and Cruise are still reluctant to put any specific timeframes on their plans for self-driving vehicle deployment, but the company is getting a bit more specific about its intent to bring self-driving to market. It wants to do so only when it can manage it safely, at scale, and in busy urban markets where it’ll have the largest impact, according to GM President Dan Ammann – and… Read More

Volkswagen and Google to bring quantum computing benefits to cars

 Computers have changed cars at least as much as they’ve changed our daily lives, but a new partnership between Google and Volkswagen could transform transportation further still: The two are collaborating on how to apply quantum computing to solving some fundamental car-related problems, including optimizing traffic flow, making machine learning more intelligent, and helping to crack… Read More

Toyota sees traditional gas engines phased out of its line by the 2040s

 Toyota sees dedicated gas and diesel engines in its vehicles lineup reducing down to zero by the 2040s, on its path to its goal of reducing the CO2 emissions of its vehicles by 90 percent by 2050 (compared to 2010). At a press conference hosted by the company at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show today, Toyota’s Chief Safety Technology Officer Kiyotaka Ise noted that this is their anticipated… Read More

Amazon patents a drone that delivers a charge to power up EVs on the go

 A recent Amazon patent could be an answer to range anxiety, albeit one that sounds a bit more sci-fi than practical solution at the moment: the newly granted patent (via Roadshow) describes a drone that could carry a battery charge for electric cars, and deliver them to any cars out on the road that need them while in route, providing enough juice to get to a proper charging station.… Read More

Gore Inconvenient Sequel Conveniently Misleading

I watched Al Gore’s Inconvenient Sequel and I was not impressed. But before I review it I’ll disclose my biases.

I’m of the opinion that there is some global warming but that we have more time to fix it than some alarmists would have you believe. There is no tipping point and the Earth isn’t going to turn into Venus. But putting pollution into the air is a bad idea and anything that reduces that is a good thing.

While I applaud those who generally increase environmental awareness I’m also a scientific purist and lying about science is worse than the benefits of stirring up environmentalists.

I also think it’s worthless to just talk about problems without talking about solutions. The “what are we going to do to fix it” is the most important part.

And, as you all know, the real hero in the environmental movement is Elon Musk who started Solarcity, the world’s biggest solar installer, the guy who made the electric car practical, and is now developing grid storage technology and building the world’s largest batter factory.

Having said that, here’s my review.

I found the new Gore movie as a self serving piece to position Al Gore as the center of the climate change movement. This movie has very little to do with science and everything to do with fanning the culture war. I think Gore is using this movie to position himself for a run for president in 2020 and is trying to use this movie to take credit for things he had nothing to do with.

The movie was full of misleading information. There was a scene about some Florida road being flooded and implied that sea levels had risen to cover the road, but didn’t actually say that. He also shows, as you can see in the trailer, that there was flooding of the World Trade Center memorial during Hurricane Sandy, and implies that this is proof of sea level rise. But considering the memorial is just a few blocks from the ocean one can easily see where during a hurricane there might be some water running into the hole. And that’s just plain dishonest.

Unlike the original movie which provided some useful scientific information that was maybe 2/3rds correct, this movie provides no new useful information about science and is mostly misleading. The subject of the movie is about spreading political hatred and has nothing to do with solving environmental problems.

The movie seems to imply that you can reverse climate change by voting against it. But the way it really works is that geniuses working in labs and experimenting for years develop the technologies for solar, wind, batteries, and electric cars necessary to actually create a method to give up burning things for energy. Governments can create tax incentives and fund research to fund the development of cleaner technologies, but government can’t actually do much more that creating a favorable environment.

The bottom line, while encouraging people to care about the environment is a good thing, doing it in a misleading manner is a bad thing. Al Gore’s movie is all about Al Gore and like Trump and other politicians he is exploiting the culture war for political purposes. And in culture war politics Democrats always lose. Democrats need to clean house and run on issues of substance and Gore is not the guy for that rile.

This movie isn’t going to make anyone smarter but is going to just create needless anger that is more likely going to hurt the environmental movement than help. So I’m giving it a thumbs down. If you watch the above trailer you’ve seen the movie.

Me and Al Gore 1996.