Two self-driving startups team up to build a different kind of lidar

Two self-driving startups team up to build a different kind of lidar

Enlarge / Four Blackmore lidar units sit atop a demo vehicle in Washington DC. (credit: Timothy B. Lee)

Fresh from a $530 million fundraising round earlier this year, self-driving startup Aurora made a big bet on lidar last week. The company—founded by veterans of Tesla and of Google’s self-driving car projects—scooped up a Montana-based lidar startup called Blackmore.

Lidar sensors have a lot in common with fiber-optic communications gear. Both work by sending out information encoded in light, then recapturing it and interpreting the information it contains.

Blackmore’s leaders have deep ties to the optical telecom industry, and the company aims to pack more and more components of its lidar sensors into photonic integrated circuits that have been pioneered in the optical telecom sector. These circuits are expensive to design but affordable to manufacture at scale. Earlier this year, Blackmore’s most powerful lidar sensors cost as much as $20,000. But

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OnePlus 7 Pro Display is HDR10+ Certified, Which Means Better Viewing Experiences

Open Beta Update for OnePlus 6, 6T Brings Zen Mode and Screen Recorder Features


A new open beta for the OnePlus 6 and OnePlus 6T is bringing a couple of features from the newly launched OnePlus 7 Pro, as well as other various optimizations.

The big additions are Zen Mode and Screen Recorder. For Zen Mode, this feature is OnePlus’ way of telling you it’s time to put the phone down for a bit. When enabled, it turns off all non-critical aspects of the device for 20 minutes, though, you can customize it however you want. The other is Screen Recorder, which is a built-in… you guessed it, screen recorder.

Here’s the full log.


What’s New

  • System
    • Fixed the bug where Facebook messenger pops up notifications when in gaming mode
    • Improved smooth-scrolling experience
  • Message
    • Supported PIN-TO-TOP for notification category (India Only)
  • Network
    • Support Telia Denmark VoLTE/VoWiFi
  • Zen Mode
    • Added Zen Mode feature
  • Screen Recorder
    • Added Screen Recorder feature
  • Communication
    • Optimized the logic of dialing
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IEA: Nuke retirements could lead to 4 billion metric tons of extra CO2 emissions

IEA: Nuke retirements could lead to 4 billion metric tons of extra CO2 emissions

Enlarge / A view of the decommissioned Duke Energy Crystal River Nuclear Power Plant. (credit: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

A report released today by the International Energy Agency (IEA) warns world leaders that—without support for new nuclear power or lifetime extensions for existing nuclear power plants—the world’s climate goals are at risk.

“The lack of further lifetime extensions of existing nuclear plants and new projects could result in an additional four billion tonnes of CO2 emissions,” a press release from the IEA noted.

The report is the IEA’s first report on nuclear power in two decades, and it paints a picture of low-carbon power being lost through attrition (due to the retirement of aging plants) or due to economics (extremely cheap natural gas as well as wind and solar undercutting more expensive nuclear power for years in some regions).

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Lobbying cost of US cap-and-trade bill estimated at 1% its climate cost

Lobbying cost of US cap-and-trade bill estimated at 1% its climate cost

Enlarge / House Republicans hold a press conference opposing part of the Waxman-Markey Bill with the help of a chart representing… something. (credit: Talk Radio News Service/flickr)

Lobbying is ostensibly a way to inform politicians about issues affecting their constituents. But it has also become an industry of its own as those with a financial interest in legislation vie to sway decisions in their favor. Windows into the lobbying world are limited in the US, but required public reporting can at least enable a postmortem of the actions associated with major bills.

In the first two years of the Obama administration, healthcare legislation was not the only weighty proposal rattling around in Congress. The Waxman-Markey Bill very nearly led to a national cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. It would have established a continually shrinking cap on national emissions, with tradable permits required for significant emitters. It was supposed

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Trump, steamed over delays, pulls plug on electric carrier catapults

Trump, steamed over delays, pulls plug on electric carrier catapults

Enlarge / US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pose for a photograph with US military personnel aboard the USS Wasp aircraft carrier at the US naval base in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, on Tuesday, May 28, 2019. Trump told troops stationed in Japan he plans to order traditional steam-powered catapults aboard American warships instead of newer electromagnetic systems that he said may not work as well during wartime. (credit: Bloomberg/Getty Images)

During his Memorial Day visit to the USS Wasp (LHD-1) at anchor at Yokosuka, Japan, President Donald Trump made comments indicating that he is ordering changes to the aircraft catapult system of the USS Gerald R. Ford and the remaining ships of its class.

Trump has long derided the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS), an all-electric aircraft catapult designed for the Ford, as too complicated and too expensive. After polling the preference of

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OnePlus 7 Pro has Hidden Bottle Opener

OnePlus 7 Pro has Hidden Bottle Opener


It doesn’t really have a hidden bottle opener, but a crazy person used the selfie camera on the OnePlus 7 Pro to open a bottle.

Watching that happen will give you instant anxiety, in case you are interested. The subtle flex of the camera backwards until it appears to reach a breaking point, only to then thrust off the bottle cap, is a motion that will make my teeth cringe every time.

What the hell, man?

Please don’t do this with yours. Or you could, just make sure to send us the video of it.

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How Russia (yes, Russia) plans to land cosmonauts on the Moon by 2030

How Russia (yes, Russia) plans to land cosmonauts on the Moon by 2030

Last Thursday, the leader of Russia’s state space corporation, Dmitry Rogozin, gave a wide-ranging talk at Moscow University. The speech sought to describe activities happening now at Roscosmos and what may happen in the future, including a potential lunar landing.

Rogozin addressed his comments largely to students at the university, and he sought to paint a picture of a vibrant national space enterprise. This is presumably to boost the desirability of a career in space, as young people have been pursuing aerospace careers in smaller numbers. Reports of low salaries, low morale, and a lack of funding to even remove trash from Roscosmos facilities has not helped this trend.

The Russian plan

Via Robinson Mitchell,

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DEAL: SanDisk 200GB, 256GB, and 512GB MicroSD Cards are so Cheap Today

DEAL: SanDisk 200GB, 256GB, and 512GB MicroSD Cards are so Cheap Today


Amazon’s deal of the day today includes big discounts on “PC products and accessories,” which normally wouldn’t grab our attention except there are a bunch of heavy price drops on SanDisk’s best microSD cards. 512GB, 256GB, and 200GB SanDisk cards are all available with some of their lowest prices.

The best deals are on the SanDisk Extreme 256GB and 512GB cards. You can grab these at $43 or $140, respectively, with both offering A2 speeds for Android apps and the fastest read and write speeds. If you don’t need that much storage or your budget is limited, the 200GB Ultra card is still plenty fast with an A1 rating and can be had for $25.

This is a today-only thing, folks, so get after it.

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Atomically thin material could cut need for transistors in half

Atomically thin material could cut need for transistors in half

With the development of carbon nanotubes and graphene, scientists were given an entirely new collection of materials to work with: sheets and tubes that could be consistently made with thicknesses roughly those of individual atoms. These materials hold the promise of building electronic devices with dimensions smaller than is currently possible through any other process and with properties that can be tuned by using different starting materials.

So far, most of the attention has gone to re-creating new versions of familiar devices. But a new paper by a group of researchers in Shanghai looks into what can be done if you’re not constrained by the sorts of devices we currently make in silicon. The result is a device that can perform basic logic in half the transistors silicon needs, can be switched between different logical operations using light, and can store the output of the operation in the device itself.

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Google kills its Twitch killer—the YouTube Gaming app shuts down this week

Google kills its Twitch killer—the YouTube Gaming app shuts down this week

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YouTube Gaming is more or less shutting down this week. Google launched the standalone YouTube gaming vertical almost four years ago as a response to Amazon’s purchase of Twitch, and on May 30, Google will shut down the standalone YouTube Gaming app and the standalone gaming.youtube.com website.

The plan to shut down the gaming portal was announced in September, with a report from The Verge saying the site was dying because it simply wasn’t popular. YouTube serves more than 50 billion hours of gaming content a year, but people just

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