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Comic for April 21, 2019

Dilbert - April 22, 2019 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

Did Google Sabotage Firefox and IE?

Slashdot - 1 hour 29 min ago
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Erlang Creator Joe Armstrong Has Died

Slashdot - 1 hour 29 min ago
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Mazda brings a new diesel CX-5 SUV to the US—but why?

Ars Technica - 1 hour 58 min ago

Enlarge / You'd have to look carefully at the CX-5's badges to tell whether it was one of the new diesel-powered versions. (credit: Mazda)

When Mazda invited us to a roundtable discussion about powertrain technology at this year's New York auto show, it was easy to say yes. After all, the company is responsible for a significant recent breakthrough in internal combustion engine technology. So you can imagine my surprise when it turned out the topic on Mazda's mind was the introduction of its Skyactiv-D diesel engine to the North American market, under the hood of the (excellent) CX-5 SUV. Intrigued, I had to find out why the Japanese automaker was taking this step.

Diesel's fall from grace

You can be forgiven for thinking that "diesel" was now a dirty word. For a while, this liquid hydrocarbon fuel looked like it might be an important tool in helping fight climate change. After all, diesel engines are much more efficient than ones that run gasoline, so you can drive further between filling stations and emit less CO2 while doing it. But CO2 isn't the only problematic component of diesel exhaust. A more immediate danger posed by diesel exhaust is the soup of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates that result as combustion products. While CO2 will wreck our climate in the coming decades, NOx damages peoples' lungs today. And it's NOx that's responsible for diesel's fall from grace.

Or, more accurately, it's been the widespread lying by industry to regulators about the exact amounts of NOx emissions from their cars. The most well-known culprit has been Volkswagen Group. In 2015 it got caught lying to federal regulators in the US and the penalties have been stiff. Executives have been prosecuted. Hundreds of thousands of cars have had to be bought back from owners, billions of dollars in fines were levied, and an entirely new business plan had to be created to rapidly electrify one of the three biggest car companies in the world by the middle of the next decade.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hannah TV adaptation sacrifices magic of original film for typical teen angst

Ars Technica - 3 hours 13 min ago

Enlarge / Esme Creed-Miles plays the titular teen assassin in Amazon Prime's new series, Hannah. (credit: YouTube/Amazon Prime)

An isolated teenaged girl genetically engineered to be an assassin must elude rogue CIA agents intent on terminating her in Hannah, Amazon's adaption of the 2011 film of the same name. It's a gritty, competent thriller, with strong performances from a talented cast, and has already been renewed for a second season. The problem is that no matter how much one tries to separate the series from the film, comparisons are inevitable. And in almost all respects, the TV adaptation comes up short.

(Some spoilers for the series and the 2011 film below.)

Not everyone was a fan of Director Joe Wright's original film, with its strange mix of revenge thriller and dark coming-of-age fairytale. But it's one of my recent favorites for precisely those elements, driven by an exquisitely unsettling performance by Saoirse Ronan in the titular role. Ronan had this otherworldly presence of untouched innocence, combined with a ruthless hunter's instinct, as we saw in the very first scene when she kills and dresses a deer with just a bow and arrow and a hunting knife.

Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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