The new Mac Pro: First impressions

The new Mac Pro is here! Well, not everywhere, exactly—Apple’s shipping them out starting Dec. 19, but orders are already backlogged into February. We were fortunate to get our hands on an eight-core model (retail price of our configuration, complete with RAM, GPU, and SSD upgrades: a whopping $6799) today; it’s currently in the Macworld Lab undergoing as many tests as we can throw at it. In the meantime, here are our first impressions based on opening the box and seeing the thing in person for the first time since the few minutes we spent with it in June. Designed in California, built in … Continue reading The new Mac Pro: First impressions

Toyota Enters into Settlement Talks over Sudden Unintended Acceleration

This week’s edition of IT hiccups, snarls, and general foul-ups begins with the surprising announcement last Thursday by U.S. District Judge James V. Selna who, according to Bloomberg News, issued an order stopping lawsuits into claims of sudden unintended accelerations in vehicles manufactured by Toyota. The reason: to give time requested by both Toyota and plaintiff lawyers to find a way to settle claims against the car manufacturer. As long time readers of the Risk Factor may recall, the issue of sudden unintended acceleration (SUA) really came to the fore in 2009 when Toyota issued an initial recall of 3.8 million vehicles over the possibility … Continue reading Toyota Enters into Settlement Talks over Sudden Unintended Acceleration

World’s First Robotic Security Guard

The job of a security guard can be monotonous and also difficult for humans due to physical limitations. Knightscope Inc. is developing a solution to provide greater protection than our average human security guard. The startup company is creating an “Autonomous Data Machine” that collects information of the surrounding area while keeping watch over it. The Knightscope K5 and K10 are the two models for which the company has already started securing beta customers. Both models utilize a wide range of high-end sensors such as a 360-degree HD camera, high quality microphone, thermal imaging, infrared, radar, lidar, ultrasonic sensors (to … Continue reading World’s First Robotic Security Guard

The World’s Largest Solar Thermal Energy Plant

The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility is one of the largest solar thermal energy facilities in the world, situated on the border of California and Nevada in Mojave Desert. It is a $2.2 billion project. 170,000 heliostat mirrors will be installed in this project which will help us in directing the solar energy on boilers that are positioned in centralized towers spread across the 4000 acre area. Steam will be produced as the water will start to heat up in the centralized boilers and this steam will help in driving the turbines to generate electricity. The Ivanpah Solar Power Facility has the … Continue reading The World’s Largest Solar Thermal Energy Plant

Michael Jackson Concert Promoter Cleared in Wrongful Death Suit

Singer’s family sought $1.5 billion in damages from AEG Live Michael Jackson’s final concert promoter, AEG Live, was not responsible for the pop star’s death in 2009, a California jury decided yesterday after a five-month trial. Jackson’s family had sought $1.5 billion in damages from the company, which is the second-largest concert promoter in the world. Where Does Michael Jackson Rank on Our 100 Greatest Singers List? The singer’s family, led by his 83-year-old mother, Katherine, had accused AEG of negligence in hiring Conrad Murray, the doctor who gave Jackson a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25th, … Continue reading Michael Jackson Concert Promoter Cleared in Wrongful Death Suit