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The Rivian SUV. Photo: Michael Brochstein/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty
When it comes to personal vehicles, Americans are pretty clear what they like — something large, muscular and gasoline-driven. Sedans were fewer than one-third of U.S. vehicles sold last year, and electrics just 2%.
The big picture: For the last few years, electric cars have been one of the buzziest tech items on the market, propelled almost single-handedly by the showmanship and design of Elon Musk's Tesla Motors. But Tesla, Ford, BMW and GM have offered up almost exclusively sedans, with the Tesla Model X SUV being the exception.
Now, though, Musk and a crowd of other carmakers — Ford, VW, Volvo and a startup called Rivian — are on the verge of releasing a slew of SUVs, crossovers and electric pickup trucks.
Rivian is attracting a lot of the attention. Over the last three months, Amazon led a $700 million round of investment in the company, and Ford made a $500 million investment in it.
For two reasons, few have been able to imagine an electric pickup. The batteries would be too heavy and expensive, and, it was believed, very few hard-core truck enthusiasts would be seen in a quiet, sissy electric.
The bottom line: These bigger electrics will come onto the market gradually, but within 5 years, electric pickups and SUVs will be an intensely competitive market.
Guyot Hall, 1909. Photo: Princeton Library Division of Rare Books and Special Collections
The future of American philanthropy, according to former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, is massive contributions to computer science education — and to artificial intelligence in particular.
Driving the news: Schmidt and his wife, Wendy, donated an unspecified amount to Princeton to create a single, large computer science building.
At Princeton, computer science has gone from a major that barely existed to the biggest on campus, the school said. It's spread over nine buildings with 44 full-time tenure-track faculty. The Schmidt donation will go to consolidate all that into a renovated building currently called Guyot Hall.
Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty
The sidewalk bots that trundle through Berkeley, delivering food to students and residents near campus, are guided remotely, Kaveh writes.
The Kiwi Campus bot overseers are sitting thousands of miles away in Colombia, the native country of the company's three co-founders, reports Carolyn Said for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Our thought bubble: We've written about the invisible, underpaid class of workers who power and improve AI, often from outside the developed countries where the technology is deployed for others' benefit. This couldn't be a better illustration of the pattern.
Kiwi did not respond to requests for comment.
Cat's Paw Nebula, from the Spitzer Space Telescope. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Photo: Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis/Getty
A project to uncover how Shakespearean works were pronounced in his time — 400-plus years ago — stumbled upon a hint in the bard's own writing, Kaveh writes.
His rhyme schemes, it turns out, are a giveaway.
The Shakespearean accent sounds surprisingly familiar, Crystal says. "It has flecks of nearly every regional U.K. English accent, and indeed American and in fact Australian, too."