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Pivoting by Bryce - Issue #18: Tesla's self-driving cars & the mainstream DDOS

Sorry I've been missing for a couple weeks, but time is not something I have a lot of these days as t


October 24 · Issue #18 · View online
Technology, Startups & the Future. I'm lucky when it comes to finding amazing content written by others and want to share that luck with you. Find me at 💖

Sorry I’ve been missing for a couple weeks, but time is not something I have a lot of these days as the Metorik launch gets closer.
In other news, I’ll be in Philadelphia for WordCamp US in early December, so let me know if you’re going to be there and we can hang out IRL! 😀
Now for some exciting tech news and articles. There were a couple significant topics over the past week, so I’m going to split the newsletter up and cover them each in a bit of detail.

Telsa and the driverless future
For years now we’ve ben hearing about developments in self-driving cars, from Google’s years showing off their own self-driving technology to the countless startups trying to solve the problem. Progress has been spectacular, especially over the past few years, as both the parts to manufacture a self-driving car and the software to power it have become cheaper and more accessible.
When it comes to autonomous vehicles, the real breakthroughs needed to make it possible are in the software. We’ve been building cars for over 100 years. Making a car go, stop, turn - those are problems that have already been solved, perfected, packaged, and shipped to consumers billions of times over. But having a car do all this on its own (and playing nice with the rest of the cars and humans on the road) is the real breakthrough needed.
The approach that every company is using involves ‘machine learning’, which pretty much means that overtime, the decisions/choices the software makes improves as it uses past data to improve itself.
Think of it this way. A car is travelling down a road at 40 miles an hour. At some point on the road, there’s a bump, so the car jumps a little bit as it probably should have gone over the bump at 20 miles an hour. The car can learn from that experience. Next time its lasers/cameras see a similar bump and it’s already going 40 miles an hour, it can correct itself and slow down to 20 miles an hour. Of course, this is a simple example and the intricacies of machine learning are more complex, but should make the next part a bit clearer.
According to Google’s Self Driving Car website, their self-driving cars have driven over 2 million miles. That’s impressive, really. It’s also a lot of data that their software can learn from and improve itself through. Tesla on the other hand, has over 140 million miles of data. Of course, those aren’t self-driven miles like Google’s, but it’s still 70x the data that Google’s self-driving cars have generated. That may help explain how Tesla is already preparing to offer consumers production-ready self-driving technology, which is of course the news here.
If you’re a new Pivoting subscriber, you may have not seen Issue #7 where I wrote about Tesla’s master plan. Definitely give it a read if you’re interested in the long term ambition of Tesla and the genius of it all.
For now, here are some articles from the past week as Tesla showed off what it’s technology can do, how much it will cost (~$8000) and when consumers will get it.
Tesla Expects to Demonstrate Self-Driven Cross-Country Trip Next Year - WSJ
Tesla Sets Price for Self-Driving Feature, Lays Groundwork for Ride-Hailing Service - WSJ
Driverless cars will change everything
The DDOS that took DDOSing mainstream
Did you try access Twitter on Friday only to find that it was offline, along with Netflix, PayPal, GitHub, Shopify and many other sites? Well, you weren’t alone.
Internet users in North America and Europe were left in the dark as a massive DDOS attack took most of them offline.
I won’t get into what a DDOS is and why this happened, purely because it’s a very technical topic and these articles explain it better than I ever could, but the interesting thing is how the attack was possible. It comes down to internet-enabled hardware that millions of homes use, from cameras to thermostats to children’s toys. The sheer abundance of these appliances combined with the lack of default security, allowed hackers to take over the majority of them and use them as soldiers or ammunition in their DDOS attack.
Internet Attack Spreads, Disrupting Major Websites - The New York Times
Large DDoS attacks cause outages at Twitter, Spotify, and other sites | TechCrunch
Hackers used 'internet of things' devices to cause Friday's massive DDoS cyberattack - Technology & Science - CBC News
The Reading List
Some other articles that I’m hoping to get to this week and you’re likely to find interesting!
Addicted to Your iPhone? You’re Not Alone - The Atlantic
Inside The Strange, Paranoid World Of Julian Assange - BuzzFeed News
Is Bill Ackman Toast? | Vanity Fair
How to Rig a Presidential Election in 1000 Easy Steps | WIRED
BBC - Travel - The secret behind Italy’s rarest pasta
What $50 Buys You at Huaqiangbei, the World’s Most Fascinating Electronic Market.
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