Tag Archives: Working
About 8 months ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned his troops that building the Model 3 would require “production hell.” For once, the man known to sometimes be a bit too optimistic about timelines nailed it. Last year’s Tesla’s production numbers were dismal; now, according to numbers released this week, they’re looking up.
Meanwhile, WIRED’s Transpo team explored why self-driving car crashes look different from human ones; how the electric car could fare after Environmental Protection Agency rolled back fuel economy standards this week; and why an electronic logging rule has truckers shaking their horn-honking fists at the Trump administration.
It was a messy week. Let’s get you caught up.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
Last Friday night, Tesla announced that its Autopilot feature was activated when a Model X carrying driver Wei Huang crashed into a highway barrier last week, killing him. As senior writer Jack Stewart reports, the crash comes amidst a wider debate about the role of humans in semiautonomous vehicles. Should engineers ever expect (imperfect) to compensate for (imperfect) tech?
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt went ahead and rolled back rules that would have forced the auto industry to nearly double 2012’s fuel economy standards by 2025. But transportation editor Alex Davies explains why there’s still hope for electric vehicles: China’s aggressive electric vehicle quotas and environment-loving millennials.
When a video showing the fatal collision between a self-driving Uber and a woman on an Arizona road came out, it almost made sense at first—of course the car didn’t see the pedestrian on a darkened road. But as I discovered, self-driving car crashes and fender-benders don’t look like human crashes. Car software can miss things that seem obvious to humans, and yet also prevent collisions that look downright unpreventable.
Tesla’s last week of the first quarter looked pretty good, Model-3-production-wise. But as Jack reports, the electric carmaker still needs to bring consistency to its production line.
Contributor Nick Stockton reports on the hottest topic at this year’s Mid-American Trucking Show: electronic logging devices. The tech, now required by law, replaces the pen and paper logging systems that truckers have used to keep track of their hours for decades. But truckers aren’t happy with the new system—and had hoped the Trump administration would fix it.
Educational Work Distraction of the Week
If your goal is to waste time like a WIRED transportation staff writer, have I got a tip for you. Streetmix lets the armchair urban planner fuss about with the elements of the city street, adding bike lanes, bus lanes, sidewalks, parklets, and streetcars as they see fit. The game—created by Code for America whizzes back in 2014—is a good reminder of the tradeoffs that cities face every day. Because there’s only so much street space!
News from elsewhere on the internet
In the Rearview
Essential stories from WIRED’s canon
Last year, when the Trump administration swept into Washington, Alex anticipated the conversation we’d be having today: Can the federal government really roll back pollution regulations? As he explained then, it will have a hard time—and it’s all because of California.
Twitter is working to shield Parkland, Fla. students from bots and trolls on the platform. Many of the high schoolers are organizing in the wake of the shooting at their school on Feb. 14 that left 17 dead.
As Marjory Stoneman Douglas students continue to speak out about gun control and their follower counts on Twitter rise, there are more instances of online abuse and conspiracy theories about these teenagers.
The claims that students are “crisis actors” paid to take advantage of the tragedy to further political agendas have spread on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.
Meanwhile, Twitter is takings steps to protect these teens. The company moved quickly to verify some students’ accounts and says it is “actively working on” addressing reports of harassment and abuse.
Twitter is also using its anti-spam tools “to weed out malicious automation” targeting Parkland survivors and the conversation they’ve started.
Directly after the shooting, bots and users linked to the Russian influence campaign began pushing both sides of the gun control debate.
These announcements from Twitter come in the midst of an effort to purge bots from the site that also affected some real people. Many of the users locked out of their accounts were conservative voices on the platform, leading to calls of political bias, which the company denounced.
Users have called for Twitter to take action to combat abuse and harassment repeatedly, and the demands for better management of the platform and the community intensified after the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Chris Lee, a member of Hawaii’s state House of Representatives, is drafting legislation that would prohibit the sale of games with randomized in-app purchases, known as “lootboxes,” to gamers under 21 years old. Lootbox systems have been increasingly compared to gambling, as well as drawing the ire of gamers themselves, who derisively refer to the mechanic as “pay to win.”
Lee describes lootboxes as “predatory,” and their randomized nature seems to be built around the same reward structures that make gambling addictive. Lee’s push was highlighted today by Kotaku, and Lee told the gaming outlet that since announcing his proposal, he’s heard stories of children spending thousands of dollars on gaming microtransactions. In one case relayed to Lee, a child reportedly stole a parents’ credit card to pay for game purchases.
Lee’s initative could pave the way to national legislation, and is being documented in videos posted online by his office.
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In taped discussions with aides, Lee has made clear he has no desire to prohibit or restrict in-game purchases as such, as long as rewards are not random.
The marketplace seems to be making some headway in fighting back against lootboxes. Player disgust with the systems reached a fever pitch surrounding Electronic Arts’ Star Wars Battlefront II, leading the publisher to remove lootbox elements from the game at launch. The controversy nonetheless seems to have badly tarnished the game, which as of this week has fallen dramatically short of sales projections. Lee — himself an avowed gamer — has previously referred to Battlefront II as a “Star Wars-themed online casino.”
Lootbox sales still drive big revenue for publishers including EA. Lee, a Democrat, told Kotaku that he’s seen interest in and support for his and similar legislation across party lines, but warns that game industry lobbying groups are gearing up to defend the practice.
But, why do we still fear cloud computing when it’s been around for so many years now and in actuality, the Internet itself is the Cloud! Even so, when …
Late this afternoon, Nilay Patel, the editor-in-chief of The Verge, published a post detailing the circumstances around the departure of Chris Ziegler, a founding member of the site. As it turns out, according to Patel, Ziegler had been pulling double duty as an employee of both The Verge and Apple.
22 that the department is stepping up efforts to help federal civilian agencies increase their use of cloud computing services beyond just email and …