Fiat Chrysler announces $1 billion investment in U.S. manufacturing, 2,000 new jobs

FILE – In this Tuesday, May 6, 2014, file photo, a vehicle moves past a sign outside Fiat Chrysler Automobiles world headquarters in Auburn Hills, Mich.  (AP)

Fiat Chrysler said Sunday it would spend $1 billion on U.S. manufacturing, including modernizing plants in Michigan and Ohio, in a move thats set to add 2,000 new jobs, Reuters reported.

According to the companys plan, the plant in Warren, Michigan will be made capable of producing a pickup truck currently built in Mexico. 

The Warren plant will make the new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer large SUVs. A plant in Toledo, Ohio also will get new equipment to make a new Jeep pickup.

The move by Fiat Chrysler follows a similar recent announcement made by a competing auto brand.

On Tuesday, Ford said it would cancel a $1.6 billion plant planned for Mexico and instead invest $700 million in a Michigan assembly plant. Though CEO Mark Fields said the decision would have gone ahead whether or not Donald Trump was elected president, Fields also said Trump’s “pro-growth policies” gave the company’s executives confidence.

The president-elect has taken many auto manufacturers to task for Mexican production and encouraged building more vehicles in the U.S. He tweeted at General Motors after the Ford announcement on Tuesday, threatening a “big border tax” for producing cars in Mexico and then selling them in the U.S. GM pushed back on that characterization of its business model.

Sunday’s announcement by Fiat Chrysler also follows news a day earlier that the company was recalling 100,000 mostly older trucks and SUVs to replace Takata air bag inflators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: www.foxnews.com

1 obvious and 4 not-so-obvious reasons your next automobile should be electric.

If you’re not one of the roughly 85% of Americans over age 16 with a driver’s license, you’ve still probably ridden in a car or bus in the past week.

And even more importantly, you’re probably pretty familiar with the impact automobiles have on our environment. The EPA estimates that the average passenger car emits nearly 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. For trucks and SUVs, that number goes up to over 13,500 pounds.

But what does a pound of carbon dioxide even mean? Well, the Natural Resources Defense Council put it nicely. “Filling a balloon with one pound of CO2 would swell the balloon to about the size of one of those rubber exercise balls that have become so popular lately. The balloon would be about two and a half feet across.

Now imagine 10,000 of those balloons in one place. And that’s just from one single car.

Clearly, we have an issue here.

But here’s something you don’t know: something pretty interesting has been happening in the car world behind the scenes to fix this issue.

A lot of it involves Elon Musk going full-on Tony Stark, with giant robot arms and high-speed test drives and everything. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images.

The electric car movement has grown by leaps and bounds.

Cars aren’t really cars anymore. Sure, they’re still meant for driving, but the machinery is making way for batteries. The hardware is moving over for software. The line between “car show” and “electronics show” is blurring.

And while we know that these computerized electric cars are the key to a more environmentally friendly future, it’s always felt like some far-off technology that may or may not ever be ready for public consumption.

For some, going electric is just too expensive. For others, they worry the performance just isn’t there yet.

But times, and cars, they are a changin’. Fast.

Here are four great reasons to make your next car electric.

1. It’s step one to Planeteer initiation.

OK, so you probably won’t actually get a ring that combines with other powers to summon a blue, muscly flying man whose sole purpose is saving the world.

The power is YOURS! GIF from “Captain Planet and the Planeteers.”

But reducing fuel consumption is a major step toward limiting CO2 emissions, which means you’re doing more to stop pollution from getting out of hand. And you know Captain Planet would totally make you an honorary planeteer for that.

Of course, all cars still require power to go. Even if you’re not emitting carbon dioxide from your tailpipe, the electricity you use to charge an electric car releases some harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But the U.S. Department of Energy shows us that it’s half the CO2 a gas-powered SUV would emit.

Not too shabby, eh?

2. Electric power is downright powerful.

You’ve probably heard of this guy Elon Musk, and his car company Tesla Motors. They’ve done what Toyota failed to do with the Prius and made the electric car straight-up sexy, and they made people want to buy them.

But they also made these things damn fast.

Grab onto what you can because the G forces from these cars will, without a doubt, send you flying. Check out the “insane mode” reaction videos on YouTube.

Fun fact: At 28 years old, Elon Musk made his first big break in Silicon Valley with the sale of PayPal, and he bought himself a McLaren F1. It was, at the time, the fastest car in the world, with a 0-60 mph acceleration time of just 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 240 mph.

With the Tesla Model S, Musk wanted to match the F1’s 0-60 mph time, and when Tesla launched the P85D a performance variant of the Model S sporting a 85 kWh battery they did.

And now there’s the Tesla P90D and its absurd Ludicrous mode, which can do the 0-60 mph sprint in 2.8 seconds. So, yes, an electric car is now faster than a supercar and can beat a Ferrari or a McLaren in a drag race.

3. Those tax breaks are phenomenal.

How does an extra $7,500 in your pocket sound? Come tax season, that’s exactly what you’ll have if you choose to go green with your car. There’s a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500 if you buy a plug-in hybrid or electric car.

Sweet, sweet cash. Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images.

With some used models, that’s enough to knock almost a quarter of the prices off the purchase amount. Add that to the amount you’ll save in monthly gas costs, and with the right buy, your car could pay for itself within three to four years.

4. Your options are growing every year.

For the past 100 years or so, electric cars were about as popular as I was in middle school. There weren’t often many choices on the market, much like my options for dates to the seventh grade formal.

But my, oh my, how times have changed! I’m getting married, and electric cars are the belle of the automotive ball. At the North American International Auto Show, Ford, Chrysler, Nissan, and Chevrolet all introduced electric or hybrid vehicles, while another new electric concept, the Faraday Future FFZero1, attracted crowds and press at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The FFZero1 electric vehicle concept, or, a real life version of the batmobile. Rendering courtesy of Faraday Future.

Even the luxury manufacturers are getting in on this game. Porsche is launching their Mission E electric vehicle by 2020, with 700 million euros and 1,000 new jobs invested in the project. Lamborghini is creating the Asterion. Koenigsegg has created the Regera.

Porsche’s Mission E, a sleek and awesome look at the future of Porsche’s design. Rendering courtesy of Porsche.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, the entire automotive industry is investing in the development of electric technology. Frankly, it’s pretty freakin’ awesome.

5. Maintaining electric cars is a breeze.

There’s no engine. That means there’s no oil to check, no pressure systems to get thrown out of whack, no fan belts that can come loose, no cylinders that need replacing, and no coolant that needs topping off. At long last, no more “check engine” light that won’t turn off, even though you religiously bring your car in for its 5,000-mile checkups.

In Tesla’s business model, when their cars need an update, they can simply send out a wireless software update. It’s like you’re driving a big phone on wheels, and most updates can happen overnight, while your car is charging and you’re sleeping.

Tune-ups here and there will always be necessary, but they’ll be fewer and farther between. Photo by Fred Dufour/Getty Images.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that regular maintenance is a thing of the past. You still have tires that need air and rotating and axles that need proper care and attention. There’s still paint and a body that needs protection and an interior that can be damaged.

But they’re things that can be much more easily managed by someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time hanging out around a body shop.

When you’re looking for your next car, consider the one that’ll keep the earth happy.

But also consider the one that’ll keep you and your budget happy, in the short and long run.

Photo by Bryan Mitchell/Stringer for Getty Images.

There’s little doubt around the world that humanity, as a whole, needs to move to sustainable technology. But without the votes of consumers, it is going to take a much longer time.

Whether we like them or not, cars aren’t going anywhere. But the types of cars we choose for ourselves count as our loudest vote to one of the world’s largest industries.

Read more: www.upworthy.com

Audi’s latest concept is a new all-electric Tesla Model X challenger

Audis newest electric vehicle is a crossover SUV with a 4.5 -second 0-60mph period, and an impressive scope of around 300 miles when its 95 kWh battery is topped up. The Audi e-tron Sportback is decide for production starting in 2019, and its part of Audis larger strategy to bring at the least three fully electric cars to marketplace by 2020, and to have a quarter of its overall lineup equipped with EV batteries by 2025.

The carmaker is seeking electric options fairly aggressively, likely part of an overall shifting dictated by its mother company Volkswagen, which has been more emphatic about its EV plans since its diesel emissions scandal. The e-tron Sportback definitely sounds like it could be a strong contender to help show that the electric strategy is full of potential for a range of purchasers, and it would be nice to see a vehicle that can compete in many ways with Teslas gull-wing luxury electric SUV, the Model X.

Audi has already announced the all-electric e-tron quattro, which is set to begin being offered for sale in 2018, and by then , not to mention when the e-tron Sportback makes the market, there should be no famine of options in the high-end electric SUV market, judging by the announced roadmaps of a number of carmakers.

Audi e-tron Sportback concept

Static photo, coloring: Lux Silver

Audi e-tron Sportback concept

Static photo, colouring: Lux Silver

Audi e-tron Sportback concept

Static photo, coloring: Lux Silver

Audi e-tron Sportback concept

Static photo, color: Lux Silver

Audi e-tron Sportback concept

Static photo, colour: Lux Silver

Audi e-tron Sportback concept

Dynamic photo, coloring: Lux Silver

New Hampshire chowder shop serves up extra helping of Republican support

For more than 50 years Genos Chowder & Sandwich restaurant has continued the tradition of hosting presidential hopefuls in the Republican primary

On a clear blue October morning, after an unsteady debate performance the night before, Jeb Bush came to a waterside seafood shop.

At Genos Chowder & Sandwich Shop, an idyllic spot on the banks of the Piscataqua River, Bush wrapped himself in not only his own familys presidential ambitions but in a time-honored tradition of the Republican primary.

For more than 50 years, Genos has served as a picturesque backdrop for Republican hopefuls. They have come for as long as Francesca Marconi Fernald, the owner, can remember.

Barry Goldwater was the the first candidate to visit, Fernald said. Since then, the small-shingled building in liberal Portsmouth has hosted Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and his wife Elizabeth Dole, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and Carly Fiorina, to name but a few.

The walls are decorated with framed photos of the family posing with presidential candidates, as well as letters from John F Kennedy and Richard Nixon. A box holding campaign buttons from Reagan, Gerald Ford and Ross Perot hangs above the tables.

In another photo, Romney smiles with his arms wrapped around Fernald and her mother, Evelyn Marconi. Fernald points out the photograph and sighs.

I worked so hard for him, she said. I was the saddest woman on election day.

Francesca

Francesca Marconi Fernald, owner of Genos Chowder & Sandwich Shop in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Photograph: Bastien Inzaurralde/the Guardian

Fernalds parents shop opened its doors on Memorial Day in 1965. The shop is named after Fernalds father, who skippered a local lobster boat. While he caught lobsters, her mother ran the restaurant.

Anybody of any political importance has been here, and I mean that, Marconi said. They always came here.

Marconi, who grew up just down the street, was well known in the neighborhood and a natural networker. But she didnt become involved in politics until her family home was taken by eminent domain.

Then she became like mama bear, Fernald recalled.

It wasnt long before Marconi became a member of the city council; she eventually became assistant mayor. Her position on the council attracted local lawmakers to the restaurant as well as governors, congressmen and, every so often, future presidents.

One story Fernald likes to tell is about the time, decades ago, when a man in a dark suit stopped by while she was outside, playing with her brother. A few days later, he returned.

Fernald said she ran into the house and told her mom: That man is back again.

Her mom chided her: That man may be president of the United States someday.

Well, not with my vote! Fernald remembers saying.

That young man was George HW Bush, fresh out of the CIA and looking to make early inroads in New Hampshires political scene. Fernald said she reminded the elder Bush of the moment when he returned with his sons campaign years ago, and they laughed about it.

Fernald took over the family business in 1998. She is still helped by her mother and, when the school year permits, her daughter, Emily. Fernald has carried on the tradition of hosting Republican candidates during campaign season.

I am not trying to convince my customers or the general public how to vote, Fernald said. I want you to make your own decision an informed decision.

Evelyn

Evelyn Marconi, who founded Genos Chowder & Sandwich Shop with her husband, takes a look at a scrapbook of photographs of national and local politicians who have made campaign stops at the restaurant. Photograph: Bastien Inzaurralde/the Guardian

Genos proudly offers customers samples of the chowder before they order, a practice Fernald said New Hampshire residents apply to politicians as well.

We like to look you in the eye and size you up, she said. In larger states, they dont get that luxury.

Diners can enjoy locally caught lobster roll and creamy clam chowder on a deck with a view of the bridge to Pierce Island. Every four years, they may just get a stump speech to go with that view.

Its like youre going to a local bar and seeing a really great band up close versus going to a stadium and seeing a concert, Fernald said. There is a difference between those two venues.

As a general rule, Fernald said, she likes to have photos taken with the candidates who come to her shop.

You never know whos going to be the next president, she said.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

The Obsessive, Secretive Race to Stimulate the Perfect Tire for Electric Cars

Every tire youve riddenon is balancing act, the triangulation of qualities that negate each other. Great-handling tires dont last. Durable tires are loud. Quiet tires cant manage. The rubber wrapped around the wheels on every new auto is a carefully crafted compromise that favors some traits over others, because you cant have it all.

Electric vehicles complicate things further, because they demand more of everything. They absence the roar of an engine to drown out the brain-numbing drone of rubber on asphalt, so quiet matters. Range is crucial, so the tires must play their part in pulling every mile from every watt. The torquey performance demands rubber stout enough to keep up. And electrics are expensive enough without worrying about buying them new shoes every few thousand miles.

Thats why Teslas and Chevy Bolts share track time with Corvettes and Camaros( along with Accords, Camrys, Sentras, and plenty of others) at Michelins R& D centre near Greenville, South Carolina. Engineers and test drivers set new designs through rigorous tests on a plethora of surfaces at sprawling test track shrouded in trees to ward off Peeping Pirellis.

These engineers jugglemore than 200 variables–rubber compounds, construction methods, sidewall design, belt arranging, tread design, groove width, and so on–to find the best combination for a given manufacturer and model.

As they focus on electrics, theyre looking to have it both styles. Historically, the tire industry has created tires with either high performance or low rolling resistance, necessitating customers to attain the trade-off for range or grip, a Tesla representative says. Harder rubber lasts longer, for example, and extends scope but restriction the stickiness you want in performance tires. The upstart automaker wants tires that break down this historic compromise by offering minimal noise, plus maximum performance, scope, and consolation. Thats Michelins job.

The company constructs tires for 45 percent of EVs built in the US, including Tesla’s Model S and Model X, the Nissan Leaf, and Chevys Volt and upcoming Bolt EV. And it’s the sole provider of tires for Formula E, the electric racing series. The lessons learned with one program–improvements in longevity, rolling-resistance, etc.–carry over to others.

For Formula E’s race cars, Michelin specially developed the Pilot Sport EV tire.Michelin

For the Bolt, cominglater this year, Michelin delivered what it callsits best tire ever, at the least in terms of rolling resistance. Thats the tendency for a tire to deform, involving more energy to keep it rolling. The less energy you expend there, thefarther you go on a charge, makinga stiffer tire optimal. The tradeoff, though, is comfort. A steel wheel, for example, offers negligible rolling resistance, but is no fun to ride on. Michelin declined to uncover exactly how good the Bolt tire’s performance is.

To get there, the engineers generated a customized compound and construction that stiffens the tire without degrading convenience. The difference of the Energy Saver All-Season tires going on the Bolt also are self-sealing in the event of a puncture, eliminating the need for a spare or even an inflation kit. That saves weight, which also helps boost scope. Acoustics were a factor contributing to the tires design–down to tweaking tread patterns, block sizes, and groove widths to minimise noise–but it wasnt as much of a driving fear because the cars relatively lower velocities won’tgenerate quite as much noise as Teslas more performance- and luxury-oriented lineup.

Tesla has challenged Michelin in a variety of ways. Were pretty proud of the work weve done with them, says tire technologist Ed Gliss. For Musk, Michelin made a compound that minimizes heat buildup, allowing the tire blocks to retain their inflexibility and not bend or flex overly while driving. That offers the best mixture of rigidity and adhesion, minimizing rolling resistance while maximizing handling.

The Model S wears a bespokevariation of Michelins Pilot Sport 2 tires, which are ultra-high performance tires designed for higher-torque sports cars. Smaller electric cars largely care about rolling resistance to extend their scope, but Tesla wants that plus good handle and low noise, Gliss says. But the Tesla is heavy, with all the batteries under the floor. So the weight-loading is a bit bizarre. You cant just take a tire off the shelf and expect it to manage the Model S. We had to reconfigure it to be able to absorb all those forces.

Michelin is the sole provider of tires for Formula E, the electric racing series.Michelin

Handling that unconventional weight distribution came down to carcass design–the interior construction of the tire. Adjusting the number, size, and placement of the steel belts made a stronger product that could accommodate the heavy loadings from both the car itself and as the assorted, more dynamic loads that come with cornering and accelerating. Tweaking the rubber compound selection to achieve the right combination of inflexibility and noise attenuation sealed the deal.

Pushing the boundaries with future electric cars–straining that balance between performance and EV tranquility–will require plenty of new science, research, and many thousands more miles deep in the woods of South Carolina. Its where the rubber genuinely fulfils the road.

Read more:

Tech capitalists won’t fix the world’s problems- their unionised workforce might | Lizzie O’Shea

Workers in the US tech sector are organising. They , not their billionaire boss, offer hope that technology will be enhanced the well-being of the many, writes Lizzie OShea, human rights lawyer, broadcaster and writer

De-industrialisation and the Reagan-Thatcher years attained trade unions seem like a 20 th-century artefact. But evidence of a revival in workplace organising can be found in one of the most modern corners of the global economy: the US technology sector.

After the election of Donald Trump, thousands of technology workers signed a pledge against constructing government databases for targeting someones based on race, religion, or national origin. The effect was immediate, with numerous companies publicly declaring they would not cooperate with such a policy. Tech employees organised a protest outside Palantir, the data analytics company that received seed fund from the CIA and boasts Trump-supporting billionaire Peter Thiel as a founder and board member.

Such activists have a more nuanced understanding about the role of technology in the modern world than many of their bosses. They also see their industry’s power to influence public policy. And their ranks are growing. The Tech Worker Coalition has become one focal point for revolutionary politics in Silicon Valley. Established in 2015, it is part of a broader activist movement.” We want to give a voice to tech workers as an independent entity from their companies and their corporate PR, as often rank-and-file’ techies’ are lumped in with the CEOs and entrepreneurs of the industry ,” says an organiser with the coalition, Ares Geovanos.

Tech employees in Silicon Valley are not all elite graduates with high salaries- many struggle with cost of living a matter that lead them to identify with more traditional sectors of the working class. Discrimination crops up repeatedly as an issue, particularly in relation to gender, with Google facing a lawsuit from former employees alleging disparities in pay and opportunities for women, as well as an ongoing investigation by the Department of Labor.

Relatively few US tech sector employers provide parental leave, sick leave and job security. These are bread-and-butter issues for unions, so it is no surprise that the work of organising labor has gained a new relevance. The coalition aims to organise not just technologists, but also collaborate with services and manufacturing employees associated with the industry, some of them going through unionisation processes themselves.

This is not a movement that is confined to the US either. India has assured the flourish of worker radicalism in the wake of recent layoffs in its technology industry. The New Democratic Labour Front( NDLF) has been organising itself among technology workers for 15 years, and recently formed an IT employees’ wing. In Brazil an organisation called Infoproletarios is growing, while the UK union Prospect says one of the added benefit of its merger with broadcasting union Bectu was the opportunity to bring together digital workers in the creative industries with those in other sectors.

S Kumar, a representative from the NDLF , notes that in sticking with traditional approaches to organising, many trade union have failed to make inroads into sectors such as information technology. He argues that the NDLF is different, because of the emphasis it places on education.

This is especially important in an era in which a number of technology capitalism heavyweights are looking to impose themselves on other segments of society. Seemingly restless running a platform used by billions, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been conducting a tour of America that appears remarkably like a campaign for office. Tech billionaires are donating liberally to both sides of politics in the US, in defiance of the traditional perception of Silicon Valley as left-leaning. Thiel is well-known for his political activities, but he is not the only one: Trump’s now-disbanded advisory board boasted numerous tech chief executives, including founder of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, and Michael Dell from Dell Technologies. Sam Altman, wealthy entrepreneur and investor, has announced a plan to fund a squad in the next Californian elections.” My heart is on the left, but I’m a pragmatist ,” says Altman, who had said he is willing to work with both Republican and Democrats.

While the primary role of unions has always been to fight for the rights of their members, organised workers also have a vital role to play in holding their bosses politically accountable. At a few moments when clues of Zuckerberg’s ambitions are met with breathless exhilaration, tech workers are some of the best-placed people to offer a critical account of how their industry runs- and how its most senior figures might adapt to politics. They are adept too at undercutting the idea that we should look to tech entrepreneurs to solve social problems.

” Humanity faces actual existential menaces right now, like massive inequality or global warming, and these guys aren’t going to innovate us out of them ,” says Geovanos of the Tech Employee Coalition. Technological development has made a small group of people unbelievably wealthy. More power for workers, rather than billionaires, provides access to the best chance for a future in which technology improves the well-being of the many, rather than the few.

* Lizzie O’Shea is an Australian human rights lawyer, broadcaster and writer living in London

Read more: www.theguardian.com

2016 Chevrolet Camaro V6 Test Drive

Sure, you couldve had a V8. But V6 pony cars are the best. Its true!

Well, its true if you care only about style, or if you run a automobile rental agency. At least thats how its been for the past 50 years, but not anymore.

The 2016 Chevrolet Camaro may still look like the Transformer that vanquished the Ford Mustang on the sales charts after the nameplate returned from hibernation in 2010, but its an all-new and far superior machine.

Read more:

A soap brand is launching billboards overgrown with bacteria

A billboard coated in bacteria from the joystick of a game controller .
Image: courtesy of the electric factory

Soap brand Lifebuoy has launched some genuinely grimy billboards.

The company’s new shopping mall ads are basically giant Petri dishes in which bacteria swabbed from everyday objects grows before the eyes of passers-by over the course of days.

The end result is a colorful pattern of living bacterial colonies splayed out around their comparatively small source.

A time-lapse of the bacterial growth

Image: the electric factory

The stunt is intended to demonstrate on a super-sized scale the amount of bacteria and fungis that lurk unseen on household items like smartphones, one dollar bill and game controllers.

It’s unclear, however, whether the company distinguishes between harmful germs and microorganisms that can actually be beneficial to health.

The Unilever-owned brand enlisted a team of microbiologists to construct the specially designed enclosings and inoculate them with the samples.

The ads are currently merely running in South American shopping center, and Lifebuoy plans to expand the effort worldwide with a range of new formats starting next year.

Juan Ciapessoni, group chief creative policeman at The Electric Factory, the design firm behind the ads, said the campaign is also meant to refute the healthcare advertising trope in which germs are rendered as cartoonish villains.

Advertising, until now, told you that bacteria are bad and cause illnes by showing them as funny and disgusting 3D ogres, ” he said in a statement. “But by making caricatures of their own problems, theres the potential threat that a very real issue could be taken lightly.”

The campaign is actually not the first to incorporate living microbes into outdoor advertising. An earlier LifeBuoy billboard used samples of ten different germs to spell out the company’s name. And marketers for the 2011 movie Contagion use a similar gimmick.

Image: the electric factory

BONUS: An ex-Tesla engineer fixed everything that’s incorrect with the hoverboard

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Samuel L Jackson says he carries a firearm and is against gun control

Actor says guns are a natural way for Americans to defend themselves and he would use one on an intruder in his home

The actor Samuel L Jackson has spoken out against gun control and revealed he carries a weapon that he would not hesitate to use against a burglar.

In a week when Barack Obama made a tearful plea for new rules to limit gun ownership in the wake of numerous mass shootings, Jackson, a lifelong Democrat, defended US citizens right to bear arms.

The 67-year-old said it was a natural way for Americans to defend themselves and their property.

Speaking to the Times, Jackson said he had continued carrying a gun after becoming a successful actor. I am not an unarmed citizen now, he said.

He added that he would use his gun against anyone trying to break into his home. He said he would tell any intruder: Get the fuck out of my house. I have a gun, adding that if the warning was ignored a big tongue of fire will come out of the end of this weapon.

Jackson is best known for his Oscar-nominated performance as a hitman in Quentin Tarantinos film Pulp Fiction, when he quoted passages from the book of Ezekiel about vengeance before killing his victims.

Jackson has expressed opposition to gun control before. In the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012, he told an interviewer: I dont think its about more gun control.

But in the latest intervention, he recalled how he grew up in an armed and segregated area of Tennessee. He said following the assassination of President John F Kennedy in 1963, guns gave his neighbours a sense of security amid fears of white supremacists.

In my black community, everybody was loading their guns because we were just sure that, OK, they killed Kennedy, the Klan is coming for us, he said.

In the interview, Jackson also joked that he blamed Tarantino for the fact that he has never won an Oscar, after the director cut scenes out of the film Django Unchained.

He said: I talked a lot in Django. Its just not on screen because he cut it out. I looked at him like, Dude you left my Oscar on the floor.

But the actor insisted he was not bitter, claiming no one remembered Oscar winners.

Who won an Oscar for best actor last year? … I guarantee you, if you ask somebody who is the highest-grossing actor in the history of movies, theyll go, Oh, Samuel L Jackson.

Unfortunately for Jackson, however, he was overtaken in the last few days by Harrison Ford star of the record-breaking Star Wars: The Force Awakens as the highest-grossing actor of all time.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Human Drivers Are Afraid to Hand the Wheel to Robots

Davy Andrews is so adept at technology that he’s become the de facto IT troubleshooter in his office. But there’s one bit of tech he won’t touch: self-driving cars.

“I wouldn’t want to be the first to jump into something with that kind of risk,” said Andrews, 33, an administrative assistant at a New York investment firm. “I would have to see enough evidence that it is safer, considerably safer. From where we are right now, it’s hard to imagine getting to that point.”

Autonomous autos are advancing so rapidly that companies like Uber Technologies Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo are beginning to offer robot rides to everyday consumers. But it turns out the traveling public may not be ready. A recent survey by the American Automobile Association found that more than three-quarters of Americans are afraid to ride in a self-driving car. And it’s not just Baby Boomers growing increasingly fearful of giving up the wheel to a computer, a J.D. Power study shows — it’s almost every generation.

“One of the greatest deterrents to progress in this field is consumer acceptance,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told Bloomberg News last week at a department-sponsored conference in Detroit. “If there’s public concern about safety, security and privacy, we will be limited in our ability to help advance this technology.”

Most commuters don’t have access to a self-driving car, so Chao has called on Silicon Valley to “step up” and explain how they work. She and other regulators advocate for autonomy as a solution for curbing the hundreds of horrific collisions that happen every day in regular automobiles. Among those that end up being fatal, 94 percent are caused by human error, according to U.S. authorities.

Test Drives

Consumers will only become comfortable with driverless cars after they ride in them, Mary Barra, the chief executive officer of General Motors Co., said this week. The largest U.S. automaker is testing 180 self-driving Chevrolet Bolts and ultimately plans to put them in ride-hailing fleets, though it won’t say when.

Barra speaks at GM’s Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township, Michigan, on June 13.

Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

“You can talk about it, but until you experience it,” self-driving cars are hard to comprehend, Barra told reporters at the GM factory building the Bolts north of Detroit. “Once you’re in the vehicle and you see the technology, you understand how it works.”

A Michigan test facility for autonomous autos is looking at opening its proving grounds to the public to promote acceptance of driverless technology, said John Maddox, president of the American Center for Mobility in Ypsilanti.

“What we’re considering in Michigan is the second Sunday or the fourth Sunday of every month, we would invite the public in and let them actually experience this technology,” Maddox told a panel of lawmakers on Wednesday. “Driving it and experiencing it is worth a thousand words and pictures.”

Sit Back, Human Driver. Computers Will Take the Wheel: QuickTake

The opportunity for autonomy to make a meaningful impact on public safety is immense. Last year, 40,200 people died in motor-vehicle accidents on U.S. roads, the National Safety Council estimates. That was up 6 percent from the year before.

“Forty thousand people a year is unacceptable,” Alex Epstein, the council’s senior director of digital strategy, said during a panel discussion at the TU-Automotive technology conference in Detroit last week. “It’s a jumbo jet going down every couple days.”

‘Dark Space’

Dangerous as it may be to operate cars themselves, many drivers are anxious about autonomous technology because they associate it with the fragility of electronic devices. Laptops crash and calls drop with nagging regularity. The consequence of a computerized car crash is much greater.

“While it might be convenient to have a car drive for you, driving is a very high-stakes pursuit,” said Andrews, who has no interest in letting a robot take the wheel of his Volvo. “When things go wrong, it’s not the same as a normal computer error.”

Another culprit killing consumer confidence has been automakers over-hyping the capabilities of today’s driver-assist technologies. That’s led some drivers to drop their hands from the wheel even with systems built to require constant attention of the traffic environment, as was the case with the fatal crash last year of a driver in a Tesla operating in the semi-autonomous Autopilot mode.

Respondents to J.D. Power’s survey made mention of Tesla crash and recognized vehicles with autonomous features can still get into accidents, said Kristin Kolodge, executive director of J.D. Power’s driver-interaction research.

“When you’re not in control and the vehicle is in control, now you’re in this dark space where you wonder ‘What actually happens if the technology fails?”’ she said. “This fear of failure is the major reason” consumers are wary.

Mercedes Ads

Regulators investigated the Tesla crash and cleared the company’s Autopilot system of fault in January. And the company hasn’t been the only one to come under scrutiny — Daimler AG last year pulled Mercedes-Benz ads that consumer groups complained had wrongly suggested its E-Class sedan with driver-assist features was fully autonomous.

The television spot showed the driver removing his hands from the wheel, even though the automaker’s Drive Pilot system requires resuming control every 30 seconds.

“The fastest way to make sure the public does not accept these technologies is to over-promise and then have some horrific crash because the consumer believed the capability was higher than it actually was,” Epstein said.

Another impediment to consumer acceptance may arise from semi-autonomous features, which should inspire confidence and instead feel unnatural and annoying, said Lukas Kuhn, chief technology officer at Tourmaline Labs Inc., a California company that analyzes driving behavior for insurance and ride-sharing companies.

Read more: Automakers bet gradualism will ease consumers’ anxieties

Driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, which adjusts speed to the flow of traffic and lane keeping that steers a car back into the lines, can feel intrusive rather than intuitive.

“In order to make the user buy into the feature, we have to make it feel more natural,” Kuhn said. “If I can drive this car way better than the machine, why should I take my hands off the wheel?”

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