Hyundai has been absolutely on fire the past few weeks. First they unveiled the ridiculously cool Le Fil Rouge EV concept car at the Geneva International Motor Show. And now, at the New York International Auto Show, Hyundai, excuse me, Genesis (Hyundai’s luxury badge) just unleashed the new all-electric, high-performance Essentia concept car.
As you can see, the Genesis Essentia is yet another car that looks like it was dropped here from the future. Then again, it’s also pretty much what movies and TV shows promised us cars would look like in the 21st century, only, unfortunately, it’s still only a concept and not a reality.
That doesn’t make it any less cool, though.
Essentia is the brand’s first battery electric vehicle and features a lightweight carbon-fiber monocoque, a multi-motor electric powertrain, and a custom-tailored interior.
“The Genesis Essentia concept defines our vision for an electric Gran Turismo that integrates Athletic Elegance and Genesis DNA as defining parameters,” said Executive Vice President Luc Donckerwolke, Head of Genesis Design. “A Gran Turismo typology highlights our ambition as a luxurious car brand for the connoisseurs and it is the perfect base to project our DNA in the future.”
Throw in some cognac leather seats with chevron quilting, a center console covered in oxford blue leather, extremely thin, flush headlights integrated into the body, fingerprint controls and biometric facial recognition for opening and closing the butterfly doors, a state-of-the-art, high-density battery pack with multiple electric motors, and you do indeed have a car from the future on your hands.
Oh yeah, it also boasts an estimated 0 to 60 time of 3.0 seconds.
And check this out. Essentia features advanced vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle technology that can inform the driver of up-to-the-minute road conditions, and help avoid accidents and traffic jams. And instead of simply providing the quickest or most efficient route to travel, Essentia uses machine-learning intelligence to recommend routes based on the driver’s inclination. Talk about your smart cars.
Then once the route is chosen, the Genesis Essentia automatically tailors the driving characteristics to its owner’s preference for that road, adjusting everything from the seat position to powertrain performance, chassis settings and audiophile system.
Now do you see why I want this concept car to be available at my local dealership RIGHT NOW?
The BroBible team writes about gear that we think you want. Occasionally, we write about items that are a part of one of our affiliate partnerships and we will get a percentage of the revenue from sales.
from BroBible.com http://bit.ly/2GV2lJY
For decades, scientists have debated the cause of the popping sound when we crack our knuckles. Using computer models, a research team from France may have finally reached the answer.
As the authors state in the new paper published today in Scientific Reports, the sound of knuckles cracking is caused by a “collapsing cavitation bubble in the synovial fluid inside a metacarpophalangeal joint during an articular release.” More simply, it’s the sound of microscopic gas bubbles collapsing—but not fully popping—inside the finger joint. Scientists first proposed this theory nearly 50 years ago, but this latest paper used a combination of lab experiments and a computer simulation to bolster the case.
Seems weird, but scientists have been investigating this bodily quirk since the early 1900s, and they haven’t been able to reach consensus on the cause of the popping sound. The seemingly endless debate is the result of unconvincing experimental evidence, and the difficulty in visualizing the process in action: The whole phenomenon takes only about 300 milliseconds to unfold. What scientists have agreed upon, however, is that knuckle cracking is not something everyone is able to do, not every finger can produce the popping sound, and it takes about 20 minutes before a knuckle can be cracked again.
To help clear things up, and to add more support to existing experimental data, V. Chandran Suja and Abdul Bakarat from École Polytechnique in France took geometric representations of the metacarpophalangeal joint (MCP), where the popping happens, and converted them into mathematical equations that powered computer simulations of knuckle cracking. Or more specifically, computer simulations that showed what goes on in our fingers just prior to that popping sound.
“Mathematical modeling is particularly useful because [real-time] imaging is not sufficiently rapid to capture the phenomena involved,” Bakarat told Gizmodo. “Another advantage of the modeling is that it allows varying one parameter at a time and therefore permits determining which parameters are truly important in determining the behavior. In this regard, we found that the parameter that has the most effect on the sound generated by knuckle cracking is how hard you pull on the knuckle. How fast you pull, the geometry of the joint, and the viscosity of the fluid (which changes with age) do not have a very strong effect.”
The models showed that when the joint undergoes a certain amount of stress, the resulting pressure changes in the joint fluid causes the collapse of microscopic gas bubbles within the synovial joint fluid. This theory was first proposed by scientists from the University of Leeds in 1971, but in 2015, a PLoS One paper led by Greg Kawchuk from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine used MRI scans to show that gas bubbles remained in the fluid even after the knuckles were cracked. So instead of collapsing bubbles causing the popping sound, Kawchuk’s team said it was the sudden growth of bubbles that produced the noise.
But as Suja and Bakarat show, this is not a deal-breaking contradiction. According to their models, only a partial collapse of the bubbles is needed to make the pop, and that’s why bubbles can still be seen even after knuckle cracking. And to prove their point even further, the researchers recorded the sound of knuckles cracking from three test subjects, and compared the digital acoustic waves to those mathematically produced by the computer simulation. The two acoustic waveforms were extremely similar, suggesting that Suja and Bakarat’s model is providing an accurate representation of knuckle cracking, and that the cause of the popping noise is indeed the sound of bubbles collapsing.
In terms of limitations, Bakarat said his team made a number of assumptions in the study, including the presence of only a single bubble, that the bubble is perfectly spherical, that the joint has an idealized, common shape, among others. “Furthermore, a limitation of the study is that we do not model the formation of the cavitation bubble in the synovial fluid but only bubble collapse,” he said. “A possible future direction of this work is to extend the modeling to include the phase of bubble formation.”
Greg Kawchuk, the lead author of the 2015 paper, said Suja and Barakat “should be congratulated” for designing a mathematical model that creates a theoretical pre-existing bubble. He thought it was interesting that other phenomena may be involved in between the frames of the MRI video published in his earlier study. But he believes the new study doesn’t completely solve the knuckle cracking mystery.
“First, it must be emphasized that the work presented in this new study is a mathematical model that has not yet been validated by physical experimentation—we do not yet know if this occurs in real life,” Kawchuk told Gizmodo. “Second, although the authors of the paper demonstrated that the theoretical sounds produced by a theoretical bubble collapse were similar to actual sounds produced in knuckle cracking, the authors did not test the opposing circumstance proposed previously in the literature by asking, ‘what acoustics could be generated from bubble formation?’”
Which is an excellent point—one that Bakarat himself admitted was a limitation to the research. For all we know, rapid bubble formation may be producing a very similar knuckle-cracking sound, but the new study didn’t go there.
“As such, the impact of this new study is diminished by having investigated only one possibility (collapse of a pre-formed bubble) and disregarding other alternative phenomenon such as bubble formation, multiple formation/collapse events and the lingering issue of large volumes of gas in the joint following sound production that have been visualized by many investigators,” said Kawchuk.
This topic may seem trivial, Kawchuk said, but he believe this issue has potential importance to healthcare—it could reveal insights into preserving joint health and joint mobility on account of disease and increasing age.
As to whether or not knuckle cracking is unhealthy, this latest study doesn’t speak to that (and neither Bakarat nor Kawchuk were comfortable in answering this question). But in 2015, Robert D. Boutin from the University of California, Davis did some research showing that the habit produced no immediate pain, swelling, or disability among habitual knuckle crackers, nor among those who rarely, if ever, do it. Boutin added that “further research will need to be done to assess any long-term hazard—or benefit—of knuckle cracking,”
So for you knuckle crackers out there, you probably don’t have to worry about contracting arthritis or anything like that, but just remember that many of us non-knuckle crackers find your habit to be absolutely revolting. So stop it.
from Lifehacker http://bit.ly/2Jhfk79
Over the past few days, the Chinese government announced the potential creation of a new trillion-dollar investment market, and it isn’t an April Fools’ joke.
China’s tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent are some of the most valuable in the world, and upcoming potential IPOs by the next generation of startups like Xiaomi are causes for celebration. Most Chinese citizens would be thrilled, however, there is a deep irony behind their success. These Chinese tech companies can actually not be purchased on a Chinese stock exchange, nor can Chinese retail investors buy a share in them.
Chinese workers build these companies up, and the value accretes to American capitalists (“Socialism with Chinese Characteristics,” I guess?)
Now, the central government is proposing new rules that would allow these companies to come back to the mainland through the use of Chinese Depositary Receipts, or CDRs. That’s big news, and could completely transform not only the market caps of some of the largest tech companies in the world, but also increase competition between trading houses like the New York Stock Exchange and Chinese stock exchanges in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Shenzhen.
WTF is a CDR then? Before we get to that, we first need to understand why they are needed in the first place.
Domestic buyers buying domestic stocks is really, really hard in China
In economics theory, stock exchanges are epitomized as a shining exemplar of the notions of free trade and efficient markets. Each company is selling a standard unit (a share), prices are transparently disclosed and buyers and sellers can connect in a central market (an exchange) to buy and sell their securities at voluntary prices.
In reality of course, governments strongly regulate financial securities to ensure that those exchanges are well-ordered. The Securities and Exchange Commission in the United States is just one of several public and private bodies that regulate the conduct and operation of the nation’s exchanges.
Now up that regulation by 100x when you enter China. Listing on a stock exchange must be approved by the central government, and regulators have been aggressive in blocking listings over the past few years. Due to robust capital controls, Chinese citizens may only buy local securities, and can’t invest in companies outside of China through foreign stock exchanges. Likewise, foreign investors face daunting challenges in investing in local companies, even with liberalization programs over the last two decades. The government regularly intervenes in the operation of the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges through trade freezes and other machinations. Local securities regulations can be highly burdensome, and force companies to engage in “party building” activities.
For Chinese companies looking to raise capital from private investors, there are two paths forward. One is to offer multiple types of shares traded in different places. Classically, this has meant an “A-share” that was traded in say Shanghai and only available for purchase by locals, and a “B-share” that was only available to foreigners. Some companies chose to have an “H-share,” which was listed in Hong Kong, which has none of the securities regulations of domestic Chinese exchanges. These different classes of shares are priced independently, and there can be wide discrepancies between them (A-shares have traditionally had massive premiums compared to other share types, and researchers still don’t know exactly why).
This path is convoluted, so large Chinese companies — including Alibaba and Tencent — are often incorporated in places like the Cayman Islands to avoid domestic securities requirements, while also giving them access to foreign capital markets. According to an analysis by offshore incorporation specialist law firm Walkers, nearly half of all Hong Kong-listed stocks are based in the Cayman Islands, with another quarter based in Bermuda. That is financially prudent for executives, but deeply unpopular with Chinese authorities, which both loses corporate control and also loses the future growth that these stocks attain when they list on a foreign exchange.
WTF is a CDR?
That’s where Chinese Depositary Receipts (CDRs) come in. Modeled after American Depositary Receipts, which were invented almost a century ago, CDRs are a way for local buyers to own foreign shares in a way that both fits within local securities regulations and reduces friction in the trading process.
A bank acts as a middleman broker between a foreign issuer and local buyers. This institution, known as the depositary, holds foreign shares of companies in trust, and then offers a new security to the local market linked to those deposited shares by a ratio (say one receipt per six shares). We now have two securities: the receipt, held by a shareholder which is connected to a depositary bank, and the original foreign share, which is held by the bank on behalf of a foreign issuer.
This is where the “magic” happens: Securities regulations apply to the new security targeting local buyers, and not to the shares of the original company (massive asterisk here since the reality is thousands of pages of policies and laws, but this is the general idea). By intermediating the transaction, everyone can win: Local buyers get access to foreign investments, while also still coming under the purview of domestic regulations.
It’s important to note that there are a bunch of peculiarities that I don’t want to dive too much into. There are more fees than standard shares in order to pay for custody of the shares and the trading logistics to maintain them. There are tax implications and other accounting issues that can be quite complex depending on the investor.
Despite such complications though, depositary receipts are quite popular in the United States. The market in 2016 was worth an estimated $2.9 trillion, with roughly 3,500 such securities available to be traded, and dozens more launched that year, according to BNY Mellon, which is among the largest depositary bank institutions in the country. Given that the Chinese economy is already larger than America’s today by some economic measures, the scale of a CDR market could well pass a trillion dollars.
Share the wealth at home
The concept behind depositary receipts may not be new, but their use in China has not previously been formalized, and that is liable to change now. This past Friday, the central government circulated a draft policy of new securities regulations that would allow for Chinese Depositary Receipts to be issued on local stock exchanges.
According to China Banking News, tech companies look like the major focus here. “The Opinions will allow some tech companies or enterprises in strategic emerging industries to perform listing via the issuance of either shares or depository receipts, with a focus on sectors including big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, software, integrated circuits, high-end manufacturing and bio-tech.” That focus on technology would match other initiatives of the Chinese Communist Party, namely the country’s roadmap for technological dominance, known as Made in China 2025.
Once the CDR mechanism is in place, Chinese companies listed overseas are expected to face significant pressure to utilize it and open up their ownership to local buyers. Already, companies like Baidu, Sogou, Alibaba, Tencent and Xiaomi have said publicly that they are interested in finding a channel to return to the mainland (or in the case of Xiaomi, to potentially launch its initial offering at least partially there). As Bloomberg wrote a month ago, “Enticing mega-corporations to list locally will help burnish the reputation of China’s twin bourses in Shanghai and Shenzhen, notorious for spotty regulation, volatility and periodic government intervention.”
Furthermore, having more domestic Chinese shareholders ensures that corporate control of these local companies stays in Chinese hands. The Chinese Communist Party has been particularly aggressive on this front, proposing taking a point of equity in top firms and potentially installing party cadres on corporate boards. Changing the shareholder structure of these firms then should be seen as an extension of control by the party into the private sector.
While the changes are still being promulgated, we should be prepared for large changes in the ways that companies — particularly those in the technology sector — are capitalized. Alibaba and Tencent’s combined market cap is nearly a trillion dollars. There are dozens of other Chinese stocks listed exclusively in U.S. and Western exchanges, so if CDRs become popular, it could be a massive market. Expect CDRs to be a major news story for the remainder of the year as final regulations are published.
from TechCrunch https://tcrn.ch/2GKFhOj
- At approximately 8:16 p.m. ET on April 1, Chinese space station Tiangong-1‘s orbit around the planet finally decayed enough that it was caught up in the thicker air that surrounds our planet.
- Tiangong-1 was launched launched in September 2011. It was a major step for the Chinese space program — a place to practice docking to prepare for the eventual Chinese large modular space station.
- After the Chinese space agency lost control of Tiangong-1, it was just a matter of time before it crashed back into Earth.
In the end, Chinese space station Tiangong-1’s crash back into Earth’s atmosphere was exactly what anyone could have hoped for.
The station’s fiery re-entry was close to where scientists would have tried to direct it if they’d had any control over the spacecraft’s return.
But for a long time, the exact return point was being closely followed. Most space debris burns up in atmosphere — fortunately for us since there’s so much debris there. But this spacecraft was large and multi-layered enough that it was possible at least some segments or parts would survive re-entry.
Still, the chance that any bit of space station would hit a person was always infinitesimal, about "1 million times smaller than the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot," the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit spaceflight-research company, wrote before the re-entry.
"It’s not impossible, but since the beginning of the space age … a woman who was brushed on the shoulder in Oklahoma is the only one we’re aware of who’s been touched by a piece of space debris," Bill Ailor, an aerospace engineer with the Aerospace Corp. who specializes in atmospheric reentry, previously told Business Insider.
Chances were always highest that if anything did survive the fall, it would land in the ocean. Oceans cover 71% of Earth’s surface, after all, so statistically, that’d be where you’d place the safest bet for anything to end up.
And that’s what happened.
At approximately 8:16 p.m. ET on April 1, Tiangong-1’s orbit around the planet finally decayed enough that it was caught up in the thicker air that surrounds our planet.
The "vast majority" of the 34-foot, 9.4 ton schoolbus-sized spacecraft burned up in the atmosphere, China’s space agency announced in a statement, according to Reuters.
But some material from the craft most likely survived, astrophysicist Brad Tucker of the Australian National University told the newswire. That material seems to have ended up in the largest ocean on the planet, the Pacific, not all that far from the "spacecraft graveyard" where scientists try to de-orbit large spacecraft so they crash back to Earth safely, astronomer Jonathan McDowell said on Twitter.
NW of Tahiti – it managed to miss the ‘spacecraft graveyard’ which is further south! pic.twitter.com/Sj4e42O7Dc
— Jonathan McDowell (@planet4589) April 2, 2018
"Most likely the debris is in the ocean, and even if people stumbled over it, it would just look like rubbish in the ocean and be spread over a huge area of thousands of square kilometers," said Tucker.
From launch to crash
China first launched Tiangong-1 into orbit on September 30, 2011. The launch of Tiangong-1, which translates into "Heavenly Palace" in English, was lauded as an important achievement by space experts.
The station was a stepping stone for the Chinese space program. It was used to practice docking maneuvers in space — something essential for further space exploration, including the use of larger space stations in the future. Tiangong-1 also served as a prototype for a larger and more permanent 20-ton station (the Chinese large modular space station) that China is planning to have operational in 2022.
Tiangong-1 was visited by two crews of taikonauts, or Chinese astronauts. The first was a three-person crew in June 2012 that included the first Chinese woman in space; the second was another three-person crew in June 2013.
All in all, the station "conducted six successive rendezvous and dockings with spacecraft Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9, and Shenzhou-10 and completed all assigned missions, making important contributions to China’s manned space exploration activities," according to a memo that China submitted in May 2017 to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
No visitors arrived at Tiangong-1 after that second crew, but the station was still used to gather data and observe Earth’s surface, monitoring ocean and forest use, according to Space.com.
In September 2016, China launched Tiangong-2, a second space station, which was first visited by a crew the next month. Earlier that year, China had lost contact with Tiangong-1.
Since the loss of contact, the space station’s orbit slowly decayed. Objects in low-Earth orbit need the occasional boost to maintain their orbit. Otherwise, those orbits eventually decay until the objects hit Earth’s atmosphere.
When Tiangong-1 did hit the atmosphere, it was likely traveling around 17,000 miles per hour.
It would have been a sudden stop, however — moving that quickly into thicker air is a recipe for a fireball. Most likely, the drag would have quickly ripped off solar panels and antenna. Superheated plasma would have melted and disintegrated much of what was left.
And finally, a rain of whatever remained sprinkled over the South Pacific, northwest of Tahiti and fairly close to Samoa.
It wasn’t the largest object to ever fall back to Earth and with more than 14,000 uncontrolled pieces of space junk larger than a softball flying around the planet, it won’t be the last.
from SAI https://read.bi/2q2266s
Following is a transcript of the video.
A home like this can be built in less than 24 hours at a cost of only $4,000. The secret? 3D printing. And they could help families living in poverty and unsafe conditions. New Story, a housing charity organization, and ICON, a construction tech company, have partnered together. Their goal is to end global homelessness.
Alexandria Lafci: So having strong, sturdy walls, having a door that we can close at night — it’s something that we take for granted. Being able to lock our door and be safe. For many of these families, for years, sometimes even a lifetime, they don’t have that opportunity to have a safe shelter. So when they move into a New Story community, when they move into a safe home, families lives are transformed.
An entire community of these 3D printed homes will be constructed in El Salvador. The ultimate goal is to get costs down to $4,000 per house with a build time of fewer than 24 hours.
This prototype house was built in Austin, TX. The home measures 650 square feet. Mortar was printed layer by layer. Human workers installed windows, doors, plumbing, and electrical systems. Here’s what’s inside: A living room. Small office space. One bedroom. One bathroom. ICON staff will use the home as an office to test the durability.
Evan Loomis: Our first product is a 3D printer that can print a house in 24 hours for half the cost. Phase one for News Story and for ICON is a proof of concept house and the good news is we’ve done it. We printed the first home in the United States that’s going to be permitted and for us, this is just the beginning. The real kind of home run for us is to be able to do what we’ve done here in Austin, Texas in the developing world and we’re doing that in what we call phase two which is in El Salvador. We are going to be printing an entire village for people that don’t have homes.
from SAI https://read.bi/2EgTb57