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Current Affairs Discourse

Blog about Current Affairs

Current Affairs Discourse

Apple Car – Connecting the dots…Updated

The much rumored Apple car is here folks!! An autonomous transport vehicle system rather than a personal passenger car?

https://www.motorauthority.com/news/1131142_first-apple-car-reportedly-designed-to-skip-the-driver

Makes sense since in the future, which has arrived due to 2020 reset, personal vehicles parked most of the time doesn’t make sense. If it is an autonomous vehicle, even more so. It needs to be out there generating revenue for someone.

Apple partnering with Hyundai Kia to manufacture the car similar to what they do with iPhone where the manufacturer is Foxconn – a contract manufacturer.

Hyundai meanwhile has adopted Canoo’s EV platform:

https://www.motortrend.com/news/canoo-electric-skateboard-platform-hyundai-kia/

Canoo’s software platform is Blackberry QNX software architecture for safety and security:

https://blogs.blackberry.com/en/2020/08/blackberry-to-power-autonomy-systems-in-canoo-next-generation-electric-vehicles

QNX is the only RTOS that has the ISO 26162 ASIL D certification which most likely will be a regulatory requirement soon for all connected vehicles with OTA and some form of autonomous system.

Hyundai’s other vehicles also use Blackberry QNX now:

https://www.blackberry.com/us/en/company/newsroom/press-releases/2019/hyundai-autron-selects-blackberry-qnx-to-power-next-generation-adas-and-autonomous-driving-software-platform

Here is the kicker, Canoo platform is designed to be a subscription model for a lifestyle!!

https://www.canoo.com/

Subscription model probably makes perfect sense here for the next generation and new reality of the 21st century economy. Ownership model of a personal vehicle will probably be obsolete soon.

Last, but not least, Apple is rumored to have setup a Software development center in Canada right next to Blackberry HQ and hired QNX engineers to develop this car. This has been going on for several years. They pivoted couple of times.

This is most likely a collaborative effort and not an attempt by Apple to usurp the patented QNX algorithms and development process. Blackberry has also developed tools like Jarvis for automated software testing, functional safety analysis and integrated the Cylance AI into the QNX RTOS for real-time threat monitoring and proactive mitigation which most likely will be a subscription service. There is also the matter of QNX RTOS safety certification mentioned above.

It is all coming together now.

 

Report: Apple continues hiring from BlackBerry’s QNX team for Canadian R&D office developing car software

This is really brilliant. Skate to where the puck is going….

Check back for updates.

Macrumors post:

https://www.macrumors.com/roundup/apple-car/

Update February 8, 2021:

Hyundai denies Apple Autonomous car  venture:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-tech-apple-hyundai-motor-idUSKBN2A800T

It appears the push back is on being a contract manufacturer? The original speculation wasn’t about building an Autonomous car. Apple is most likely in talks with several manufacturers about contract manufacturing. Magna does this for BMW for example.

Update February 15, 2021

Nissan discussions ran into Same issue as Hyundai?

https://www.motor1.com/news/488046/apple-car-not-made-by-nissan/

Apple might end up emulating Dyson’s strategy. Dyson was on the right track before abandoning it due to capital requirements most likely.

https://www.dyson.com/newsroom/overview/features/june-2020/dyson-battery-electric-vehicle

The problem in automotive sector is that it is highly capital intensive business and margins are low.

A conundrum for tech companies with high margins. Apple however, could pull this off since they have access to cheap capital.

Tesla appears to have done the reverse. Capital after the fact from selling stock!! Is it sustainable though? Will the software and services margins really come to fruition?

They key ingredient and enabler for all this is safe and secure software.

Disclosure: Long $BB 10 year horizon.

Trillion is the new billion?

The possibility of a repeat of the 20th century roaring 20s in the 21st century has now become a certainty due to the great 2020 reset.

https://www.slideshare.net/ShakerCherukuri/roaring-20s-again

What we now have is the beginnings of Universal basic income enabled by the astronomical M1 and M2 money supply expansion by all the central banks.

Transition to a fully Autonmous economy has been accelerated by a decade at the least. Which is why we are now seeing ridiculously high valuations for the so called “tech” companies.

Is this for real? Most likely yes. Trillion is the new billion. 100 years after US steel became the first Corporation to get to the $1 Billion market capitalization mark, we now have several with $1 Trillion market caps.

The money supply expansion will be followed by velocity of money acceleration once the aggregate demand picks up. Aggregate Demand will accelerate with the gradual transition to a semi Autonmous economy. Major component of this change will be a new framework for the 21st century fiscal policy in the major economies and you guessed it “technology “.

Technology here does not mean “apps” on “phones”. It is about sensors and connected real-time actionable insights that enable mission critical fault tolerant systems to operate without any human intervention.

key enablers will be things like this -> https://blackberry.qnx.com/en/aws

Safety and security is paramount for such a hyper connected system (besides fault tolerance that is) and this solution from BlackBerry IVY on Amazon AWS will most likely become the platform for the 21st century.

Barriers to entry for the other competitors is formidable since this type of system can not be created in all night hackathons over beer and pizza unlike apps on phones. The moat, as Mr. Warren Buffett calls it, is very very very large.

Supply & Demand chains disruptions?

This have never happened before ever!

Global supply chains AND Demand Chains collapse!!

Not even in 2008 or 2001 or 1930s. How is that possible?

Natural disasters, which is what Coronavirus is, usually impact global supply chains if the disaster happens at a global supply base location.

This causes supply shortage, price spike, demand contraction or new supply and self correction.

A recession causes demand collapse, supply glut, price collapse, supply contraction and self correction.

Now we are about to see both simultaneously: Supply disruption AND demand collapse. There is no precedent for this.

Yes, we have had pandemics before, however it was before globalization and global trade and global intertwined economy. All impact was local. There was no global savings glut or global trade or global travel.

We do, however, have $30+ Trillion of global QE stimulus out there now when we combine 2008 and 2020.

Who will be doing the consumption?

New Golf rules during Coronavirus!

Finally got out to golf after a long break and ran into new Coronavirus golf rules!

Golf during Coronavirus
Single riders or walk. What about the caddy?

Flag stick is locked down. Don’t touch it! Compatible with new regulation I suppose.

No rakes in bunkers. Pick it up or play as is. Use your shoes smooth out if you want. Sounds like a good idea all the time. Speeds up play.

No congregation anywhere on golf course. This too speeds up play I noticed.

No shaking hands, high five etc. Again, keeps things moving as a side benefit.

Club house closed. Can get to go orders. Hmmm…

Wash your hands after touching surfaces. Range balls?

Justin Rose concurs!

 

BCG Vaccine vs COVID-19 Immunity Hypothesis

There appears to be something to the theory that BCG (TB) vaccination provides immunity to COVID-19.

The clinical trial mentioned in the tweet above could take a long time. Since proving causation from a mere correlation is a giant leap.

However, if there is enough data to prove a strong R square for the regression between people with BCG vaccination and immunity to COVID-19 it might be enough to “prove” the causation via hypothesis test with reasonable degree of certainty.

Not too different from how most drugs are approved for specific purposes by the FDA.

Establishing causation conclusively by turning the problem on and off as is done in engineering problem solving, or should be I should say, is simply not possible in most medical issues.

Now there are situations where such conclusive proof is elusive even in the engineering world. The hypothesis test with 95% confidence level is quite adequate for most situations.

When it isn’t, it is still possible to fail safe the system via multiple redundant backup systems.

Like in an aircraft for example. However, even that can fail.

Case in point is Boeing 737 max MCAS fiasco.

Soon to be seen in the “full self drive” cars…

TALF Is Back!!

Is it 2008 Redux? This is about selling secuterized assets (loans) to the Fed. Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF)

What is the Other assets?

Basically zero percent loan backed by assets.

Will it be similar to 2008 or different? 2008 was about Collateralized Mortgage Bond Securities (CMBS) mostly and Colleteralized Debt Obligations (CDO).

I sure hope it is NOT Bitcoin and other block chain digital currencies this time around.

So what is it?

 

Small Business Cash Flow Management during Coronavirus

Starting to see lot of posts from Small Business Owners about the severe contraction in cash flows due to the Cornonavirus shutdown.

Unlike large corporations that have a recourse via short term commercial paper to tide over cash flow constraints which is also being supported by The Fed now, Small Business do not have lot of options.

The fundamentals of cash flow management and Working Capital Gap reduction however are the same for all business. This might help.

 

Having said that, Small businesses do not have the leverage to negotiate with suppliers, lessors, banks etc. Customers are usually transactional and not in Long Term Contracts. So this poses unique challenges.

There are some levers that can be used. For VC funded startups, the VC might step in if they see viability. For the rest, usually the owner has to use personal resources.

However, before doing that it might help to optimize for the new reality.

How? contact@processisinc.com

 

WiFi6 Mesh Network for Gigabit Problem Solving

I have been trying to get the Gigabit internet service for a while now. It finally happened. Just in time for the entire family working and schooling from home due to the Corona virus induced COVID-19 seclusion!

The fiber service provider provides their own Modem in this case. Needed to get a new router since my old router is a Cable Modem/Router combo. Seemed like a good idea when I got the combo router just couple of years ago. Had to get a new router since the then five year old router was obsolete. Such is the travails of technology. The dreaded incompatibility of the hardware as software evolves.

Should have leased the router? Perhaps. I suspect a lifetime TCO analysis would probably indicate otherwise. Anyway, getting back to issue at hand, the new router evaluation brought to light, you guessed it, new technology! WiFi6 protocol.

Lo behold, I found a brand new router just out in the market. None of my devices are Wifi6 yet, but they will be eventually. Especially with IoT and the connected 21st century autonomous economy. So I went with it. It has been an interesting couple of weeks. Figured some things out during the course of troubleshooting with the service provider and the router vendor.

Needed to breakdown the problems into its individual components and formulate a hypothesis. Is it the back haul? The fiber install? The modem? The router hardware? The router software? Wifi congestion? Settings? Some combination of the above?

All said and done, the performance of the network is a lot better than it was before I got the gigabit service. However, it could be better.

Still work in progress…

21st Century Entrepreneurship! It is not about mobile apps…

The recent upheaval in the 2019 IPOs might just be a good indication of peak mobile and peak mobile apps.

 

WeWork just shelved its IPO! Most of the the other 2019 IPOs are trading well below the IPO valuations and may have a long way to go before reasonable valuation if any.

 

Moving forward, the opportunity of a lifetime might be in the autonomous space (not limited to automotive) where AI and 5G enabled edge computing via IoT is the key enabler and safety & security is paramount.

 

These are interesting times indeed for early stage startup scene…

 

https://twitter.com/processisinc/status/1169555281593950209?s=21

We are at the cusp of yet another episode of Roaring 20s. 100 years since the last one.

Here is why: https://www.slideshare.net/ShakerCherukuri/roaring-20s-again

Stay tuned for more…

Boeing 737 Max 8 adding New Flight Control System Module?

This is a big deal! Agree.

https://twitter.com/processisinc/status/1157459811514142720?s=21

However what is the new problem discovered?

https://twitter.com/processisinc/status/1155102744216264704?s=21

So looks like the software only fix was deemed to be ludicrous as I suspected.

 

The erroneous streams of data are now deem to be due to cosmic rays bombarding the microprocessor cells?

 

This was replicated in a lab? How? Using cosmic rays?

 

Was the problem tuned on and off?

 

The fix will now be a third control module that evaluates the two Flight control systems outputs and decide what makes sense? During erroneous streams of data caused by cosmic rays bombardment on the microprocessor cells?

 

How exactly is all this going to be validated?

 

To be continued…