Summary of “Elon Musk says that, if given the green light, he can power Puerto Rico”

When Scott Stapf read a story about Puerto Rico’s “Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rethink how it gets electricity,” he had a thought: Could Elon Musk rebuild the country’s electricity system with independent solar and battery systems?
The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too.
Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.- Elon Musk October 5, 2017.
As Musk says in his tweet, Tesla TSLA, -2.03% is familiar with what it takes, though on a smaller scale than the one desperately needed in Puerto Rico.
Late Thursday, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricky Rossello expressed his interest, tweeting “Let’s talk” to Musk, saying “PR could be that flagship project.”
Musk has already stepped up in a big way to do his part for Puerto Rico.
Musk also donated $250,000 of his own money to the relief effort.
Tesla shares have gained 66% in 2017, while the S&P 500 SPX, -0.07% has gained 14% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.04% has gained 15%..

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Summary of “The Coming Software Apocalypse”

It’s been said that software is “Eating the world.” More and more, critical systems that were once controlled mechanically, or by people, are coming to depend on code.
“The serious problems that have happened with software have to do with requirements, not coding errors.” When you’re writing code that controls a car’s throttle what’s important is the rules about when and how and by how much to open it.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration enlisted software experts from NASA to perform an intensive review of Toyota’s code.
Barr described what they found as “Spaghetti code,” programmer lingo for software that has become a tangled mess.
“Typically the main problem with software coding-and I’m a coder myself,” Bant├ęgnie says, “Is not the skills of the coders. The people know how to code. The problem is what to code. Because most of the requirements are kind of natural language, ambiguous, and a requirement is never extremely precise, it’s often understood differently by the guy who’s supposed to code.”
On this view, software becomes unruly because the media for describing what software should do-conversations, prose descriptions, drawings on a sheet of paper-are too different from the media describing what software does do, namely, code itself.
Still, most software, even in the safety-obsessed world of aviation, is made the old-fashioned way, with engineers writing their requirements in prose and programmers coding them up in a programming language like C. As Bret Victor made clear in his essay, model-based design is relatively unusual.
For Lamport, a major reason today’s software is so full of bugs is that programmers jump straight into writing code.

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Summary of “How to live your best #vanlife”

Because this dealt with drilling, running wires behind panels, and things that could catch fire and/or explode if done improperly, I decided to have professionals do it, and I took the van to AM Solar in Springfield, OR. They were reputed to be the best in all the forums I’d read, and they did not disappoint.
A small antenna magnetically attaches to the roof of the van and connects to a box, that plugs into a DC outlet.
My audio engineer friend Greg Sextro even made me a custom EQ setting, tuning the system to the resonant frequency of the van’s interior.
Mood Lighting The van came with a whole bunch of small incandescent bulbs and a few fluorescent tubes.
It’s amazing how much that has changed the look and feel of the van.
Miscellaneous Miracles Because my van was already converted it already had an AC/DC fridge, a microwave, and a two-burner propane stove, so it’s pretty well set-up for cooking, and I’d say I make about 75-percent of my meals in the van.
Basically, any item you select for your van needs to be evaluated for its versatility.
It’s small enough to pack into a little cabinet, but it offers excellent suction, and the detachable hose is critical for getting into tight spaces, which a converted van is full of.

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Summary of “The Real Reason the U.S. Has Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance”

Specifically, to offer more, and more generous, health care insurance.
In 1940, about 9 percent of Americans had some form of health insurance.
People become dependent on their employment for their health insurance, and they are loath to leave their jobs, even when doing so might make their lives better.
The single largest tax expenditure in the United States is for employer-based health insurance.
The tax break for employer-sponsored health insurance is worth more to people making a lot of money than people making little.
The system also induces people to spend more money on health insurance than other things, most likely increasing overall health care spending.
Many economists believe that employer-sponsored health insurance is hurting Americans’ paychecks.
Known as the Healthy Americans Act, it would have transitioned everyone from employer-sponsored health insurance to insurance exchanges modeled on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

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Summary of “How to Regulate Artificial Intelligence”

The technology entrepreneur Elon Musk recently urged the nation’s governors to regulate artificial intelligence “Before it’s too late.” Mr. Musk insists that artificial intelligence represents an “Existential threat to humanity,” an alarmist view that confuses A.I. science with science fiction.
Even A.I. researchers like me recognize that there are valid concerns about its impact on weapons, jobs and privacy.
It’s natural to ask whether we should develop A.I. at all.
The A.I. horse has left the barn, and our best bet is to attempt to steer it.
These three laws are elegant but ambiguous: What, exactly, constitutes harm when it comes to A.I.? I suggest a more concrete basis for avoiding A.I. harm, based on three rules of my own.
First, an A.I. system must be subject to the full gamut of laws that apply to its human operator.
We don’t want A.I. to engage in cyberbullying, stock manipulation or terrorist threats; we don’t want the F.B.I. to release A.I. systems that entrap people into committing crimes.
We don’t want autonomous vehicles that drive through red lights, or worse, A.I. weapons that violate international treaties.

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Summary of “The Smartphone’s Future: It’s All About the Camera”

Mr. Jacobowitz added that emerging camera technologies would be the key to stronger security features and applications for so-called augmented reality, which uses data to digitally manipulate the physical world when people look through a smartphone lens.
A so-called depth-sensing camera system, is one example of how face scanning works.
Older facial recognition systems worked by simply using the camera to take a photo of yourself and comparing that with an image that was stored on the device.
All a thief would need to do to fool the system was hold a photo of your face in front of the camera – which some people already did with Samsung’s facial-recognition feature.
Apple is well acquainted with depth-sensing camera technologies.
In 2013, the iPhone maker acquired PrimeSense, a company that developed sensors for Microsoft’s Kinect, a depth-sensing camera system that let Xbox players control games using body movements.
ARKit uses a combination of the iPhone’s camera and motion sensors, including the accelerometer and gyroscope, to let people lay digital objects on top of the real world and interact with them with precise movements.
In April, Facebook announced Camera Effects Platform, an environment for software developers to build augmented-reality apps for Facebook.

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Summary of “To Survive in Tough Times, Restaurants Turn to Data-Mining”

Newer companies now aspire to eliminate the need for translation, to create an analytics program that integrates all aspects of a restaurant’s operations into one system, with one password, in real time with mobile access, said Shu Chowdhury, the chief executive of a start-up called Salido, based in SoHo.
These new tools make a paradoxical promise: that they can take restaurants back to the good old days, before the business grew so big.
“The goal,” Mr. Oberholtzer said, “Is to leverage the technology to do what we would do if we had one little restaurant and we were there all the time and knew every customer by name.”
Mr. Oberholtzer and his two partners opened the first of two dozen cafeteria-style restaurants in Culver City, Calif., in 2006, and plan to open an equal number in the Northeast by 2020.
In June 2015, the online reservation service OpenTable, which represents 43,000 restaurants worldwide, started to provide customized recommendations, just as Netflix and Amazon suggest programs or products based on a customer’s history.
If data can help a customer find a restaurant, it can also help a restaurant find its customers.
The basic point-of-sale part of the program is already in use in New York at Made Nice, the new fast-casual restaurant from the chef Daniel Humm and Will Guidara, owners of Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad, and at Jean-George Vongerichten’s ABC Kitchen.
The sheer glut of new restaurant data systems can be overwhelming, even to those who embrace them.

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Summary of “13 Ways to Strengthen America’s Economy”

Universal health care: The U.S. should implement a government health-insurance system that pays all costs for catastrophic care and for regular health checkups.
Skilled immigration: An increase in skilled immigration will do many good things for the economy – boost innovation and entrepreneurship, increase the tax base and help pay for the retirement of older generations.
The U.S. should establish a points-based green-card system, modeled on Canada’s, on top of the existing family-based immigration system, and use this new class of permanent residents to increase immigration from today’s modest levels.
Wage subsidies: The government now subsidizes incomes through the earned income tax credit, which has been proven to be an effective poverty-fighting system.
Stronger review of mergers, and continuing review of past mergers, would help reverse this trend and increase competition throughout the economy.
Although certain export subsidies are banned by international trade agreements, the government can still provide a variety services to help smaller, domestically focused U.S. companies break into global markets.
An export-promotion agency, similar to Japan’s JETRO, could find all sorts of innovative ways to turn U.S. companies’ focus outward.
No. 13: Federal housing for the homeless: Homeless people are the most abject and destitute of Americans, so helping them should be a priority.

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Summary of “Elon Musk leads 116 experts calling for outright ban of killer robots”

Tesla’s Elon Musk and Alphabet’s Mustafa Suleyman are leading a group of 116 specialists from across 26 countries who are calling for the ban on autonomous weapons.
These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways.
Experts have previously warned that AI technology has reached a point where the deployment of autonomous weapons is feasible within years, rather than decades.
While AI can be used to make the battlefield a safer place for military personnel, experts fear that offensive weapons that operate on their own would lower the threshold of going to battle and result in greater loss of human life.
The founders call for “Morally wrong” lethal autonomous weapons systems to be added to the list of weapons banned under the UN’s convention on certain conventional weapons brought into force in 1983, which includes chemical and intentionally blinding laser weapons.
Ryan Gariepy, the founder of Clearpath Robotics said: “Unlike other potential manifestations of AI which still remain in the realm of science fiction, autonomous weapons systems are on the cusp of development right now and have a very real potential to cause significant harm to innocent people along with global instability.”
The UK government opposed such a ban on lethal autonomous weapons in 2015, with the Foreign Office stating that “International humanitarian law already provides sufficient regulation for this area”.
While the suggestion of killer robots conjures images from science fiction such as the Terminator’s T-800 or Robocop’s ED-209, lethal autonomous weapons are already in use.

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