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More Than 500,000 Full Electric Cars Sold So Far This Year In Europe

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Carmakers have sold more than 500,000 battery electric cars in Europe during 2020, a milestone in the automotive industry's move away from fossil fuels. Sales of all plug-in cars, including hybrids, have surpassed 1m during the year in the UK and the largest 17 European markets, according to data collated by Schmidt Automotive Research. During the whole of last year only 354,000 battery electric sales were recorded across the region.

In the UK, the sale of new cars that run solely on petrol or diesel will be banned in 2030 -- although new hybrids will be legal until 2035. Other countries including France and Norway have also introduced plans to ban new internal combustion engines over varying timeframes. However, the car industry still faces a steep uphill journey away from fossil fuels. Total UK and European new car sales in the year to October were 13.3m, the vast majority of which had petrol and diesel engines, which are expected to be more profitable than battery cars until about 2024.

British consumers bought more than 75,000 electric cars in the year to October, well over double the sales in the previous year, plus another 50,000 plug-in hybrids, but the UK market share of battery electric cars was still only 5.5%. Data for the whole of November will be published on Friday. None of the 10 most popular cars in the UK in 2020 have been electric, although some are available as hybrid or plug-in hybrid models, such as the Mercedes A-Class.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Pfizer Halves Covid-19 Vaccine Shipments For 2020 Due To Supply-Chain Problems

"The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Pfizer is planning to cut their shipment of Covid-19 vaccines for 2020 in half due to supply-chain problems," writes Slashdot reader phalse phace. Axios (non-paywalled source) reports: The U.K. government has ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine -- enough to inoculate some 20 million people. The companies now expect to ship 50 million vaccines by the end of 2020, per WSJ. "Based on current projections we expect to produce globally up to 50 million vaccine doses in 2020 and up to 1.3 billion doses in 2021," Pfizer spokesperson Kim Bencker told Axios.

"[S]caling up a vaccine at this pace is unprecedented, and we have made significant progress as we have moved forwards in the unknown," Bencker said. "And it's important to highlight that the outcome of the clinical trial was somewhat later than the initial projection requiring us to focus additional efforts on clinical trial production." Pfizer did not specify to the Journal what shortfalls over ingredients and raw materials -- which were sourced from Europe and the U.S. -- took place as production ramped up. For the record, Pfizer's vaccine has been shown to be more than 90% effective.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Fires AI Ethics Co-Lead Timnit Gebru

Timnit Gebru, one of the best-known AI researchers today and co-lead of an AI ethics team at Google, said she was fired Wednesday for sending an email to "non-management employees that is inconsistent with the expectations of a Google manager." VentureBeat reports: She said Google AI employees who report to her were emailed and told that she accepted her resignation when she did not offer her resignation. According to Casey Newton's Platformer, who reportedly obtained a copy, Gebru sent the email in question to the Google Brain Women and Allies listserv. In it, Gebru expresses frustration with the lack of progress in hiring women at Google and lack of accountability for failure to make progress. She also said was told not to publish a piece of research and advised employees to no longer fill out diversity paperwork because it didn't matter. No mention is made of resignation.

"There is no way more documents or more conversations will achieve anything. We just had a Black research all hands with such an emotional show of exasperation. Do you know what happened since? Silencing in the most fundamental way possible," the email reads. When asked by VentureBeat for comment, a Google spokesperson provided a link to the Platformer article with a copy of an email sent Thursday by Google AI chief Jeff Dean to company research staff. In it, Dean said a research paper written by Gebru and other researchers was submitted for publication at a conference before completing a review process and addressing feedback. In response, Dean said he received an email from Gebru.

"Timnit wrote that if we didn't meet these demands, she would leave Google and work on an end date. We accept and respect her decision to resign from Google," he said. "Given Timnit's role as a respected researcher and a manager in our Ethical AI team, I feel badly that Timnit has gotten to a place where she feels this way about the work we're doing. I also feel badly that hundreds of you received an email just this week from Timnit telling you to stop work on critical DEI programs. Please don't. I understand the frustration about the pace of progress, but we have important work ahead and we need to keep at it."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tesla Cybertruck-inspired camper trailer for Tesla fans who can’t just wait for the truck!

If you’re waiting to drive the most outlandish vehicle of our time, the wait is going to be a little bit longer. Allegedly ballistic and tougher than a tank – the Tesla Cybertruck is not going to be a real deal any time before the end of 2021. If you can’t wait that long to get into a Cybertruck – there are a few rip-offs you can get into right away. But if you’re an outdoorsy person, you’d want the imitation to take you off-road and into the woods where you can relax for a night or two under the starry sky.

Ivan Zheltonogov thinks the latter is a good idea. A reason the designer/DIYer from Russia has built what he calls the LandTraveler Cybertruck – which can be instantly identified as an eye-catching Tesla’s futuristic truck-style camper trailer you can tag along behind the EV. From the look of it, you’d expect the motorhome to look best tagged behind a Cybertruck, but if you don’t want that, it can even tow behind the Model X, Model Y, or any other capable vehicle and still look futuristic.

The LandTraveler doesn’t just look futuristic – it even scores high on the camping trailer aspect. It is well equipped with all the necessities for a night well spent in the outdoors. The camping trailer is made from composite aluminum on the outside and comes complete with a bathroom, a kitchenette, dining cum sleeping area, and lots of skylights to ensure the compact interiors are well lit throughout the day and present a panoramic view by the night. For some off-grid capabilities, the LandTraveler is fitted with roof-top solar panels, a 100-liter water tank, and a heater to keep you warm when away from home.

The entry to the trailer is through the compact bathroom that features a commode, sink, shower and storage space. Separated from the bathroom by a screen, the living space on the far-end – that is also the dining and sleeping area -has a large skylight that can be covered by a blind for privacy. Ideal for a couple, the LandTraveler has a dining table that folds to include the seating and transforms into a double bed. This Cybertruck-inspired camper is a real deal in Russia and there are accounts of people already buying it. It is priced at RUB 1,490,000 (roughly $20,000) and can be customized to your needs if required. Delivery Stateside is not specified, but if you’re interested, Ivan can be contacted.

Designer: LandTraveler

This outdoor puffy jacket isn’t just weather-proof, it’s fireproof too!

Most weatherproof jackets fail to consider the one element that’s often key to the outdoor experience… fire. Imagine this – you’re outdoors on a trek, and you’ve made it to your campsite. Craving some food or even a coffee, you build yourself a campfire, and a rogue spark or ember flies into the air, making it onto the sleeve of your jacket. You immediately brush it off, but it does manage to burn a small hole through the outer fabric of your jacket, not just ruining it aesthetically, but also compromising its ability to keep you protected in the rain or bad weather.

Being campfire-proof is arguably as integral to outdoor apparel as is being weatherproof, and that’s what the Trekka Element Jacket promises. Designed like any high-performance outdoor-wear, the Elements Jacket is waterproof, windproof, warm, breathable, and moisture-wicking, but the fact that it’s also fire-resistant gives it an edge of superiority. The outer layer of the jacket is outfitted with laminated Nomex® fabric, a fire-resistant, tear-resistant, and waterproof fabric that’s been used on everything from the Mars Rover to Flight Suits, and from firefighting gear to industrial apparel. The special Nomex® outer fabric gives the Elements Jacket the protective layering it needs, shielding you not just from bad weather and rough terrain, but giving you a jacket that won’t burn or melt when you try to start a campfire or toast a s’more! While the Nomex® fabric protects you from the outer elements, the jacket’s Polartec® Power Fill™ insulation keeps you warm and protected on the inside. A premium insulation material exclusively from PCR (post-consumer recycled) materials like plastic water bottles, the insulation provides greater warmth retention in colder conditions, without added weight or bulk. It’s also cruelty-free (as opposed to down), and is naturally hydrophobic, making it quick-drying.

Its innovative materials aside, the Trekka Elements jacket also boasts of a design that’s arguably perfect for the outdoors. The jacket is designed with a 4-way stretch for flexibility and sports an athletic fit that contours to the shape of your body, so you look great outdoors. 8 pockets give you ample space to stash your belongings so you don’t need to carry your backpack everywhere. Microfleece-lined hip pockets keep your hands warm in the cold, while YKK-lined chest pockets on the inside and the outside let you carry EDC or travel essentials, accessing them in a heartbeat. Moreover, the Essentials Jacket even comes with its own stash-and-go pocket that’s large enough to carry a water bottle or an umbrella with you. Like most good jackets, the Elements also comes with a waist drawcord and a 3-panel hood that provides a large head-covering, protecting your face in the rain. Available in multiple colors, the jackets come in both men and women variants across a wide variety of sizes. They also ship as early as February 2021, which should hopefully mark the rollout of vaccines and the official end of the pandemic, so you can travel outdoors with your family once again and crack open a fizzy one while bonding over a campfire!

Designer: Trekka Designs

Click Here to Buy Now: $229 $349 ($120 off). Hurry, only 5/320 left! Raised over $110,000.

Trekka Element – A Jacket For All The Elements

The Trekka Element is a minimal puffy jacket that is fire resistant, waterproof, wind-proof, and tear-proof.

Fire Resistant – An outdoor jacket needs to be as light and breathable as possible, even campfire-proof ones. They worked with fabric manufacturers to develop a lightweight laminated Nomex® fabric that is fire resistant and waterproof. Nomex® is a naturally fire resistant fiber that is used on everything from the Mars Rover to Flight Suits, from firefighting gear to industrial apparel that is now making its way to the outdoor industry.

Tear-proof – Not only is their Nomex® fabric fire resistant and waterproof, but as Kevlar®’s little brother, Nomex® is as strong as it is comfortable.

Water-proof – Most puffy jackets claim to be waterproof by applying a durable water repellency (DWR) coating that lets water bead up and run off the jacket. The Trekka Element jacket goes a step further and used it for their exterior material along with a 3 layer naturally waterproof and breathable fabric that is designed up to a 10-meter water column. That is the quality of waterproof in most $200+ rain shells.

Wind-proof – Most jackets on the market are wind resistant which means that they block some of the wind, but not all… Trekka’s Element jacket blocks ALL the wind – keeping you warmer.

Panel Construction – Most insulated puffy jackets use a baffled design. They do this because their insulation is loose and they have to keep it in place. This reduces the warmth and let’s be honest, it doesn’t look good.

They went with a structured insulation which allows them to design the jacket using large panels. This creates uniform insulation coverage – reducing cold spots & increasing warmth.

Polartec® Power Fill™ –  A premium insulation made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. This proprietary insulation provides greater warmth retention in colder conditions, without added weight or bulk– ideal for a variety of activities where body heat can’t ensure proper warmth. Polartec® Power Fill™ is a soft and pliable matrix of polyester fibers engineered with a distinct geometric shape.

Breathable – Even though this jacket doesn’t let water in, it will let water out. Thanks to a 3 layer outer fabric that is laminated with a membrane that is permeated with tiny holes that are big enough to let water vapor from your body out, but small enough to keep the water droplets out.

8 Great Pockets – The Element comes with eight hidden pockets – four outside and four inside. The four exterior pockets are on either side of the chest and waist and zippered with premium YKK zippers. Two of the interior pockets are staggered in-between the exterior pocket pairs to prevent bulky spots.

Dual Zippered Chest Pockets – Most companies out there only give you one chest pocket. They gave you 4, and there is a reason for that. Whether you’re left or right handed you will find a pocket placement that is natural for you. Exterior pockets are great if you want to put something in your pocket without unzipping the jacket letting out precious heat.

Interior Stash-And-Go Pockets – Sometimes you just need to quickly throw some stuff in pockets and get moving.

Click Here to Buy Now: $229 $349 ($120 off). Hurry, only 5/320 left! Raised over $110,000.

Simple Mechanics

that's one way to do it

Visualizing the R-value in yarn

Want to see a crocheted illustration of the importance of reducing the R-value? Norwegian biostatistician Kathrine Frey Frøslie explains in this 4-minute video.

Gold Beach Sunset

guerrerogjess has added a photo to the pool:

Gold Beach Sunset

A tale of two nations: See China blast off from the Moon as drone shows America's Aceribo telescope falling apart

Everyone has an off day, er, year, er, make that four years...

Videos  Hours after Chinese state media showed the Chang'e-5 moon probe successfully leaving the Moon, with lunar lunar samples safely tucked away inside, US officials released the first footage of the Arecibo telescope collapsing.…

Labor watchdog accuses Google of illegally firing staff in union-busting push – as AI ethics guru is pushed out

Web giant could be dragged in front of a judge to justify its actions

Google unlawfully spied on and interrogated staff to prevent them from organizing a union, and fired two employees in the process, it is claimed.…