Tag Archives: Engine’

Infiniti's 2019 QX50 Is the First Car With a Variable Compression Engine
December 1, 2017 12:19 am|Comments (0)

The coolest thing about Infiniti’s newly redesigned QX50 crossover has nothing to do with its looks, its technological goodies, or even its ability to (kinda) drive itself. No, the best thing about this vehicle is sitting under the hood, and it’s got an important message for the drivers of Earth: Reports of the internal combustion engine’s demise might be a tad premature.

That’s because this compact five-seater features the world’s first variable compression engine. We’ve known about this clever system for a few years, but now it’s finally entering the market.

The trick lies in the engine’s ability to change the compression ration, which determines how tightly the pistons squeeze the air and fuel before the spark plug ignites the mixture (that’s the combustion bit). It does that by changing the angle of a center link, which rotates around the crank shaft and separates upper and lower piston links, and thus the distance the piston travels up the cylinder.

If you didn’t catch that, all you need to know is that Nissan, Infiniti’s parent company, has developed an engine that can optimize its behavior for whatever you want in the moment: performance or fuel economy.

INFINITI

The somewhat Rube Golbergian contraption smacks of added complexity, but the company’s engineers have been working on the VC-Turbo, as the call it, for 20 years, and swear it will stand up to hundreds of thousands of miles of use. The automaker plans to eventually distribute the engine to other models across its Nissan and Infiniti lineups. As that happens, it could stave off the advent of electric propulsion, or at least ease the transition.

The QX50 has some other goodies worth mentioning. It’s the first Infiniti to offer Nissan’s ProPilot semi-autonomous system (which was already available on the Leaf and Rogue). Like Tesla’s Autopilot, ProPilot can control braking, acceleration, and steering, tracking road markings to keep in its lane and radar to monitor its proximity to other vehicles.

Like most of these systems, it really only works on the highway, and still requires hands-on participation from the driver (otherwise it beeps aggressively), but it has an easy to understand user interface, a bonus in the too often murky world of semi-autonomy. It also capitalizes on Infiniti’s steer-by-wire technology to generate more precise control of the vehicle’s reactions to obstacles and other vehicles.

If you’re eager to take home the new engine—then let it drive you around—you’ve got until late 2018 to save up $ 35,000.


Engineering Exploits

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Microsoft search engine Bing to focus on PC search market: CEO
September 27, 2017 10:30 pm|Comments (0)

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella said on Wednesday the company’s search engine, Bing, will focus on expanding in the PC search market after losing its deal with Apple Inc’s Siri.

“Bing is a big business growing at a strong double-digit rate, and we see a significant opportunity for us even on the PC side,” Nadella said at a Reuters newsmaker event in New York.

Earlier this week, Apple said it would replace Bing as its default search engine for Siri on iOS and Spotlight on Mac with Alphabet Inc’s Google.

Reporting by Angela Moon and Salvador Rodriguez; Editing by Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Watson Set to Become `Huge Engine’ for Sales, IBM Executive Says
February 7, 2016 1:40 pm|Comments (0)

These moves are part of IBM’s effort to sell more data-analytics and cloud-computing technology as demand for older services weaken, leading to …

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Microsoft pact makes Baidu the Edge browser’s default search engine in China
February 1, 2016 12:05 pm|Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2015-09-23 at 6.58.05 PM
Microsoft has announced a new partnership with Baidu, the hugely popular Chinese search engine. In China, Baidu.com will be the default home page and search engine for the new Microsoft Edge browser. Additionally, Baidu will deliver Universal Windows Applications for search, video, cloud and maps for Windows 10. The company plans to deliver a customized experience for Baidu’s more than 600 million users, featuring local browsing and search. Microsoft will make it easy for customers to upgrade to the official Windows 10 via a Baidu “Windows 10 Express” distribution channel. Microsoft isn’t abandoning Bing in China in its support for Baidu. According to Yusuf…

This story continues at The Next Web


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Watson Set to Become `Huge Engine’ for Sales, IBM Executive Says
January 31, 2016 10:50 pm|Comments (0)

These moves are part of IBM’s effort to sell more data-analytics and cloud-computing technology as demand for older services weaken, leading to …

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Data centers are the digital engine rooms of China's new economy
January 14, 2016 8:30 pm|Comments (0)

Even Apple has taken advantage of China Telecom’s expansive database network and purchased cloud computing storage for itself on the mainland.


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Cloudera is building a new open-source storage engine called Kudu, sources say
November 18, 2015 12:00 pm|Comments (0)

Cloudera CeBIT Flickr

EXCLUSIVE:

Big data company Cloudera is preparing to launch major new open-source software for storing and serving lots of different kinds of unstructured data, with an eye toward challenging heavyweights in the database business, VentureBeat has learned.

The storage engine, Kudu, is meant as an alternative to the widely used Hadoop Distributed File System and the Hadoop-oriented HBase NoSQL database, borrowing characteristics from both, according to a copy of a slide deck on Kudu’s design goals that VentureBeat has obtained. The technology will be released as Apache-licensed open-source software, the slides show.

Cloudera has had one of its early employees leading a small team to work on Kudu for the past two years, and the company has begun pitching the software to customers before an open-source release at the end of this month, a source familiar with the matter told VentureBeat.

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That source and others believe Kudu could present a new threat to data warehouses from Teradata and IBM’s PureData (formerly Netezza), and other vendors. It may also be used as a highly scalable in-memory database that can handle massively parallel processing (MPP) workloads, not unlike HP’s Vertica and VoltDB, the sources say. And one day Kudu — which works across multiple data centers with RAM and fast solid-state drives (SSDs) — could even play a part in backup and disaster recovery.

Cloudera declined to comment.

However Cloudera chooses to market Kudu, it’s clear that the software is a big step forward for the company, not only in the company’s efforts to outdo other Hadoop vendors, but also in its quest to become a prominent player in enterprise software.

Not that Cloudera is a nobody. It’s worth almost $ 5 billion, according to one recent estimate, it has considerable backing from Intel, and it’s been positioning itself as a competitor to much larger database companies, like IBM and Oracle. But the fact is, fellow Hadoop vendor Hortonworks has gained credibility after it went public last year, and Hadoop company MapR is still around, too.

Cloudera recently doubled down on the rising Apache Spark open-source big data processing framework, but Spark is something Cloudera has been working on for years. And a few months ago, Cloudera brought new Python capability to Hadoop, following its acquisition of DataPad last year. Those are important efforts, but Kudu is something entirely new, something that can give the company freshness as it grows toward an initial public offering.

So what is Kudu, then?

It’s “nearly as fast as raw HDFS for scans” and, at the same time, “nearly as fast as HBase for random access,” according to one slide from a presentation on Kudu’s design goals. But Kudu is not meant to be a drop-in substitute for HDFS or HBase. “There are still places where these systems will be optimal, and Cloudera will continue to support and invest in them,” a slide said.

Kudu could be used for time-series data, or real-time reporting, or model building, according to another slide.

And it’s important to note that Kudu isn’t a SQL query engine for pulling up specific data. Cloudera has Impala for that, and others have Hive for that. Kudu has an “early integration” with Impala, and Spark support is coming, according to a slide.

The Kudu application programming interface (API) works with Java — the common language of Hadoop — as well as C++. Kudu’s architecture allows for operation across sites, according to one slide. That makes it comparable to Google’s Spanner and the Spanner-inspired CockroachDB. That could make Kudu a great choice for big companies looking to store their big data around the world.

Is Kudu well adopted, though? No, not yet.

“Looking for beta customers,” a slide said.

More information:

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Watson Set to Become `Huge Engine’ for Sales, IBM Executive Says
September 27, 2015 3:50 pm|Comments (0)

These moves are part of IBM’s effort to sell more data-analytics and cloud-computing technology as demand for older services weaken, leading to …

Cloud Computing

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