Rivian Lost $1.7 Billion in the Second Quarter

Rivian was once viewed as “the next Tesla,” an electric-vehicle maker poised to grow rapidly and unsettle century-old giants of the auto industry like Ford Motor, General Motors and Volkswagen. It planned to make an electric pickup and sport utility vehicle — models that would set it apart from the minimalist electric cars that Tesla produces.

The company gained billions of dollars in backing from investors including Ford and Amazon, which announced it intended to buy 100,000 electric delivery vans from Rivian.

Rivian’s initial public offering was the largest of 2021, and within a few days its stock price soared. For a time, the company’s market value was greater than that of Ford and General Motors combined.

But difficulty in sourcing critical computer chips and manufacturing troubles at its plant in Normal, Ill., kept production far below what the company had hoped for. It has also struggled to build delivery vans for Amazon. Rivian’s stock price plummeted, and investors remain concerned about the company’s prospects.

Now, as production is climbing, it faces a tougher competitive landscape. Ford has started making an electric pickup, the F-150 Lightning, which is likely to pass Rivian in sales by the end of the year. Ford, Volkswagen, Hyundai and several others have ramped up sales of electric S.U.V.s, and G.M. has said it will start selling an electric version of its Chevrolet Silverado pickup and a pair of electric S.U.V.s next year.

Buyers of some of Rivian’s vehicles are also expected to soon lose access to a federal tax credit under the climate bill that the House is expected to approve on Friday; the Senate passed it on Sunday. Under the bill, purchases of vans, S.U.V.s and pickups that sell for more than $80,000 will not qualify for tax credits. The credits will also not be available to individuals or couples who earn more than $150,000 or $300,000 a year.

Rivian said last month that it was laying off about 6 percent of its 11,500 employees. “To fully realize our potential, our strategy must support our sustainable growth as we ramp towards profitability,” Mr. Scaringe said in a letter to employees. “We need to be able to continue to grow and scale without additional financing in this macro environment.”

Ukraine summons Canadian envoy over turbine return to Germany | Energy News

Ukraine’s president says return of repaired turbine for Nord Stream 1 pipeline upkeep ‘completely unacceptable’.

Ukraine has summoned Canada’s envoy to the nation, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated, in protest of the Canadian authorities’s determination to return a turbine to Germany for upkeep on the Nord Stream 1 fuel pipeline.

In his late-night deal with on Monday, Zelenskyy slammed Canada’s transfer as an “completely unacceptable” breach of sanctions towards Russia and warned it will be considered by Moscow as a “manifestation of weak spot”.

“If a terrorist state can squeeze out such an exception to sanctions, what exceptions will it need tomorrow or the day after tomorrow?” stated Zelenskyy, based on an English translation of his speech posted on his workplace’s web site.

Canada’s determination to return the repaired turbine to Germany, which might assist to make sure continued flows of vitality till Europe can finish its dependency on Russian fuel, has sparked anger from the Ukrainian authorities in addition to Ukrainian advocacy teams in Canada.

Ukraine’s vitality and international ministries have stated the choice quantities to adjusting sanctions imposed on Moscow within the aftermath of its invasion of Ukraine in late February “to the whims of Russia”.

On Monday, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress advocacy group additionally known as for a parliamentary committee to convene hearings on the federal government’s determination, saying the transfer “will embolden Russia to additional aggression” in Ukraine.

However the Canadian authorities has defended its determination, saying in an announcement on Saturday it was issuing a “time-limited and revocable allow” to exempt the return of generators from its Russian sanctions.

Russia final month cited the delayed return of the turbine, which Germany’s Siemens Power has been servicing in Canada, as the explanation behind its discount of flows to 40 % of capability by way of the Nord Stream 1 fuel pipeline from Russia to Germany.

Europe, which is attempting to wean itself off Russian vitality provides amid the warfare in Ukraine, imports about 40 % of its fuel and 30 % of its oil from Russia. The Nord Stream 1 pipeline transports 55 billion cubic metres (bcm) a 12 months of fuel from Russia to Germany beneath the Baltic Sea.

The Canadian authorities stated delivery the gear to Europe would help “Europe’s means to entry dependable and inexpensive vitality as they proceed to transition away from Russian oil and fuel”.

Along with the particular allow for the turbine, Canada stated it will increase sanctions towards Russia’s vitality sector to incorporate industrial manufacturing.

“We’re unwavering in our help for Ukraine. We’ll proceed to focus on Russia’s coffers. We won’t relent in pressuring the Russian regime,” International Minister Melanie Joly said on Saturday.

America additionally stated it backs Canada’s determination to return the turbine.

“Within the brief time period, the turbine will permit Germany and different European nations to replenish their fuel reserves, rising their vitality safety and resiliency and countering Russia’s efforts to weaponize vitality,” State Division Spokesperson Ned Worth stated in an announcement on Monday.

It was not clear how lengthy it will take for the turbine to be returned.

In the meantime, Ukrainian Ambassador to Canada Yulia Kovaliv instructed Canada’s public broadcaster CBC that Ukraine will proceed to debate the problem with the Canadian authorities within the coming weeks.

“We do admire lots of help that the Canadian authorities supplied to Ukraine in numerous spheres, and we nonetheless hope that this determination will probably be revoked,” Kovaliv stated in an interview with CBC program Energy & Politics.

The tensions come after Nord Stream 1 shut down for annual upkeep on Monday, as Berlin grew involved that Moscow could not resume the circulation of fuel as scheduled.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, Germany’s foremost supply of Russian fuel, is scheduled to be out of motion till July 21 for routine work that the operator says contains “testing of mechanical parts and automation techniques”.

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What is PS4?

The PlayStation 4 (officially shortened to PS4) is an eighth-generation home video game console developed by Sony Computer Entertainment. Presented on April 20, 2013, it succeeds the PlayStation 3 and competes with the Xbox One from Microsoft and the Wii U then the Switch from Nintendo.
What is the difference between PlayStation and PS4?
The significant feature and performance difference comes with the PlayStation 4 Pro, and even then the difference isn’t huge unless you own a 4K television with HDR support. … The biggest functional difference between the original PS4 and the new slimmer PS4 is power consumption.
How to choose a PS4?
The original PS4 only has 500 GB. Graphics: Games look much better on the PS4 Pro than on the Slim and the standard version. And if you want to push the picture quality to the max, the PS4 Pro boasts 4K resolution. But you will need a suitable screen.
What is the difference between the PS4?
The size of the Sony console: the PS4 Slim and the PS4 Pro do not have the same dimensions. The Slim version is much smaller and offers a size of 26.5 x 3.9 x 28.8 cm against 29.5 x 5.5 x 32.7 cm for the Pro. In addition, the weight of the PlayStation Pro is heavier at 3.3 kg against 2.1 kg for the PlayStation Slim.
What can you do with a PS4?
This console also offers something to please the most cinephiles among us. In addition to its 500 GB hard drive that will allow you to record and play all the movies in your personal library, this console plays DVDs and Blu-Rays.

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Restaurants Face an Extortion Threat: A Bad Rating on Google

In a brand new rip-off focusing on eating places, criminals are leaving adverse scores on eating places’ Google pages as a bargaining chip to extort digital present playing cards.

Restaurateurs from San Francisco to New York, many from institutions with Michelin stars, mentioned in latest days that they’ve acquired a blitz of one-star scores on Google, with no description or pictures, from folks they mentioned have by no means eaten at their eating places. Quickly after the critiques, many homeowners mentioned, they acquired emails from an individual claiming duty and requesting a $75 Google Play present card to take away the scores. If cost just isn’t acquired, the message says, extra dangerous scores will observe.

The textual content risk was the identical in every electronic mail: “We sincerely apologize for our actions, and wouldn’t need to hurt your small business however we’ve no different selection.” The e-mail went on to say that the sender lives in India and that the resale worth of the present card may present a number of weeks of revenue for the sender’s household. The emails, from a number of Gmail accounts, requested cost to a Proton mail account.

Kim Alter, the chef and proprietor at Nightbird in San Francisco, mentioned Google eliminated her one-star scores after she tweeted the corporate to complain. Chinh Pham, an proprietor of Sochi Saigonese Kitchen in Chicago, mentioned her one-star critiques had been taken down after clients raised an outcry on social media.

“We don’t have some huge cash to fund this sort of loopy factor from occurring to us,” Ms. Pham mentioned.

At Google, groups of operators and analysts, in addition to automated programs, monitor the critiques for such abuses. A Google Maps spokeswoman mentioned Monday that the platform was investigating the state of affairs and had begun eradicating critiques that violated its insurance policies.

“Our insurance policies clearly state critiques have to be based mostly on actual experiences, and after we discover coverage violations, we take swift motion starting from content material elimination to account suspension and even litigation,” she mentioned.

However some restaurateurs mentioned it’s been a problem to achieve somebody at Google to assist them. As of Monday, some eating places had been nonetheless receiving the adverse critiques. Some mentioned that they’ve continued to flag them, however that Google had not but acted.

“You’re simply form of defenseless,” mentioned Julianna Yang, the overall supervisor of Sons & Daughters in San Francisco, who has taken on a lot of her restaurant’s response to the messages. “It looks like we’re simply sitting geese, and it’s out of luck that these critiques may cease.”

For EL Concepts in Chicago, Google dominated Monday that one of many latest one-star scores the restaurant reported as pretend didn’t violate the platform’s insurance policies and wouldn’t be eliminated, mentioned William Talbott, a supervisor on the restaurant.

“That is one other nightmare for us to deal with,” he mentioned. “I’m dropping my thoughts. I don’t know how you can get us out of this.”

Regulation enforcement officers have urged restaurant homeowners to contact Google in the event that they’ve been focused, and to report these crimes to their native police departments, in addition to the F.B.I. and the Federal Commerce Fee. The fee advises companies to not pay the scammers.

This sort of extortion is taken into account a cybercrime, mentioned Alan B. Watkins, a cybersecurity marketing consultant and the writer of “Making a Small Enterprise Cybersecurity Program.” He mentioned it might’t be prevented, and that the one factor companies can do is decrease injury by reporting it to the authorities and informing clients in regards to the bogus critiques. The usage of Google Play present playing cards is probably going an intentional selection, he added, as a result of such transactions are troublesome to hint.

An onslaught of dangerous critiques could be disastrous for companies nonetheless recovering financially from the coronavirus pandemic. A decrease common ranking on Google, restaurateurs mentioned, may make the distinction for a buyer deciding the place to dine.

“These are a part of the decision-making course of, the place folks determine the place to go for the primary time,” mentioned Jason Littrell, the advertising director at Overthrow Hospitality in New York Metropolis, which has a number of plant-based eating places, together with Avant Backyard within the East Village. “Individuals are keen to go additional and pay extra for the upper star ranking.”

Mr. Littrell mentioned that the scammers are “weaponizing the scores,” and that he feels that restaurant employees can’t do a lot to cease it. The phony critiques have proved that “our popularity doesn’t actually belong to us anymore, which is actually scary.”

At Roux in Chicago, the employees has been responding to every review it believes is pretend with a observe that features the textual content from the e-mail risk. This has prompted the scammers to ship a extra strongly worded follow-up electronic mail: “We are able to hold doing this indefinitely. Is $75 price extra to you than a loss to the enterprise?”

“These are enterprise terrorists,” mentioned Steve Soble, an proprietor of Roux. “and I hope it ends earlier than it begins to wreck our enterprise.”

Driverless Cars Shouldn’t Be a Race

I grind my teeth when the metaphor of “a race” is used in discussions about self-driving vehicle technology.

Companies developing computer-piloted car technology, including Tesla, the Chinese company Baidu, and Waymo, a sibling company of Google, are regularly described as being in a horse race to make self-driving vehicles ready for widespread use. Some U.S. policy organizations and elected officials talk about America’s need to demonstrate “leadership” by beating China at autonomous technology.

There are risks to moving too slowly with a technology that could make people’s lives better, but we shouldn’t uncritically buy the narrative that a technology that will take many years to develop — and could have both profound benefits and fatal pitfalls — should be treated as a race.

The danger is that an artificial sense of urgency or a zeal to “win” could create unnecessary safety risks, give companies permission to hog more of our personal information and prioritize corporations’ self-interest at the expense of the public good.

When you read that a company or country is speeding, rushing, racing or winning in an emerging area of technology, it’s useful to stop and ask: Why is it a race at all? What are the potential consequences of this sense of urgency? Whom is this message for?

Most self-driving vehicle technologists now think it may take decades until computer-piloted cars are commonplace. Another month, year or two years might not make much difference, and it’s not clear that all races are worth winning.

So why does this narrative about self-driving cars exist? First, companies find it useful to be perceived by their employees, investors, business partners, regulators and the public as having the best shot at making safe, useful and lucrative computer-piloted transportation technology. Everyone wants to back a winner.

Pioneers have a shot at dictating the direction of a new technology and building a network of business allies and users.

But winning a “race” in technology isn’t always meaningful. Apple wasn’t the first company to make a smartphone. Google didn’t develop the first online search engine. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company didn’t produce the first advanced computer chip. They are technology superstars because they did it (arguably) best, not first.

Second, the “race” narrative feels like a cudgel to persuade the public or elected officials to move faster with rules and regulations, justify loose ones or expose people to unnecessary risks to “win.”

The Wall Street Journal reported last week about concerns that the autonomous trucking company TuSimple was taking safety risks with people’s lives “in a rush to deliver driverless trucks to market.” The Journal reported that a truck fitted with TuSimple technology veered suddenly on an Arizona interstate last spring and careered into a concrete barricade. TuSimple told The Journal that no one was hurt and that safety was its top priority.

Apple’s autonomous test cars have smacked into curbs near the company’s Bay Area headquarters, and earlier this year one nearly crashed into a jogger who had the right of way crossing the street, The Information reported last month.

Cars without drivers could eventually make our roads safer, but each of those incidents was a reminder of the threats that these companies pose as they work out the kinks in self-driving vehicles. Developing a streaming video app doesn’t kill people.

“We are letting these companies set the rules,” Cade Metz, a New York Times reporter who writes about autonomous vehicle technology, told me.

Cade suggested a redefinition of the race narrative. Instead of trying to win at making driverless cars widespread, there could be a race to steer this technology in the public interest, he said.

Characterizing emerging technology as a “race” with China isn’t great, either. There are advantages if an American company is the first to commercialize a new technology, but it’s also dangerous to treat everything as a superpower competition.

In an interview last year with Kara Swisher, who at the time hosted a Times Opinion podcast, the 23andMe chief executive Anne Wojcicki lamented that the U.S. was “behind” China in an “information war that’s going on with respect to understanding the human genome.” Then Swisher asked: “Is this a war we want to win?”

Good question. If China is collecting mass amounts of people’s DNA, does that mean the U.S. should do it, too?

Plus, putting this much focus on driverless cars also may crowd out alternative ideas for improving transportation.

Perhaps the race metaphor we need is from Aesop’s fable of the hare and the tortoise. Slowly, steadily, sensibly, with a keen awareness of the benefits and drawbacks — that is the way to win the self-driving car race. (But it’s not a race.)

Tip of the Week

Samsung this week unveiled a new set of foldable phones that combine elements of smartphones and tablets. Brian X. Chen, the consumer technology columnist for The Times, brings us his likes and (mostly) dislikes of foldable phones:

Foldable cellphones are basically smartphones with a hinge to open and close like a book to expand the screen size. Samsung has been refining this technology for years, but I remain generally skeptical about it.

These were my impressions of the pros and cons of earlier models after testing them years ago (starting with the cons):

Cons

  • When folded up, foldable phones are thicker than a typical smartphone, which adds bulk in your pocket or hand.

Pros

For a similar take: David Pierce, a writer for The Verge, wrote that folding phones seem like a great idea but are annoyingly compromised.

  • It’s the twilight of Silicon Valley boy bosses: My colleague Erin Griffith reported on why some founders of young technology companies are quitting. Surprise: It’s not so fun to run a company when investor money is harder to come by, the economy is rocky, and cost-cutting is cooler than “vision.” (Bonus points for the sparkling unicorn illustration.)

  • Bad government technology is a symptom, not a cause, of dysfunction: The Washington Post has a delightful and infuriating photo essay showing the I.R.S.’s antiquated technology and clunky bureaucracy for processing tax returns. The cafeteria is just a sea of paper. (A subscription may be required.)

  • Hobby drones go to war: Drones used in combat zones are no longer only large, expensive weapons. Ukraine’s military is also using hobbyist drones adapted in makeshift workshops to drop bombs and spot artillery targets, my colleague Andrew E. Kramer reported.

NO ONE can resist doggy Martha with the pleading eyes.


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