Newsletter 9: Uber, Spectre and Meltdown patches from Intel, and flying cars

by | Mar 1, 2018 | Newsletter

Hello All, and Happy March

Read on for the context behind Uber’s recent accident, Spectre and Meltdown fixes, and flying cars.

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What We’re Reading

  • According to documents obtained by the New York Times, Uber’s self-driving car problems predate the tragic and fatal crash that occurred earlier this month. Ironically, the crash appeared to be part of a rapid drive toward improving the company’s self-driving technology, which lags behind that of competitor Waymo in terms of miles-per-driver-intervention, in time for a demo for new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in April.
  • To protect their older products against the Spectre and Meltdown attacks, Intel is shipping updates for all of their products going as far back as their “2nd generation” Sandy Bridge architecture. It plans to ship updates for their Core 2 processors as well, although the company has not yet specified a date.
  • A new report from Gartner says that $1.5 billion will be spent on IoT security in 2018, up from $1.2 billion in 2017, with the main obstacles to IoT security growth will be “lack of prioritization and implementation of security best practices and tools.” Now may be the time to invest, as they also predict that IoT security will become increasingly regulated and standardized over the next 3 years, especially in critical area like automotive and healthcare.

What’s Happening

Just Plain Cool

  • With startups like Volocopter competing with established entities like Airbus and NASA, the flying car space is rapidly becoming a real thing! Although they’re technically called VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft. But will the industry be able to overcome the major hurdles of infrastructure and battery weight? AeroMobil seems to think so, telling NBC News that their 5.0 VTOL craft will roll out in five to seven years.
  • Researchers at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology have recently achieved single photon release at room temperature by using a material called silicon carbide. This represents an enormous stride for commercially viable quantum computing, as losing the near-zero temperature requirement opens up the technology to users without specialized facilities.
  • In the first step toward 3D printing your own home, these friendly robots helped a Swiss construction team build a house in less time than usual, and with fewer resources wasted on scaffolding and bracing. And all based on specs from CAD drawings!