By Bill Gates – Introducing the Green Premiums

Over the past several years, I’ve been making the case that we have to eliminate global carbon emissions. To avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need new zero-carbon ways to generate electricity, grow food, make things, move around, and keep warm and cool.
But knowing what we need to accomplish is very different from knowing how to do it—or even whether we can.
Do we have everything we need to deliver enough affordable electricity for the world, or do we need more innovation? What about things like clean fuels, steel, and cement—are they viable options yet? In short, which clean sources are effective enough and cheap enough now, and which ones aren’t yet?
Understanding the answers to these questions will help us make sure we’re putting our best minds and resources on the toughest problems in climate and energy. In my view it boils down to one issue: What is the difference in cost between a product that involves emitting carbon and an alternative that doesn’t? This difference in cost is what I call the Green Premium, and understanding it is key to making progress on climate change. (It is also a central idea in my book about climate change, which will come out in February.)
Here’s an example of a Green Premium: The average retail price for a gallon of jet fuel in the United States over the past few years has been around $2.22, while advanced biofuels for jets cost around $5.35 per gallon. The Green Premium is the difference between the two, which is $3.13, or an increase of more than 140 percent.
Since airlines would not be willing to pay more than twice as much to fuel their planes—and many customers would balk at the resulting increase in air fares—the Green Premium on biofuels suggests that we need to find ways to either make them cheaper or make jet fuel more expensive. Or a combination of the two.
Unfortunately, calculating Green Premiums is not an exact science. It involves making assumptions about the cost of emerging technologies, for example, that well-informed people can disagree about. It is also important to note that one reason the Green Premiums exist is that the prices of fossil fuels don’t factor in the damage they inflict by making the planet warmer. In many cases, clean alternatives appear more expensive because fossil fuels are artificially cheap.
So even though Green Premiums are an imperfect measure, they are better than no measure at all.
For one thing, they help us measure our progress toward eliminating carbon emissions. The bigger a Green Premium is—especially for lower-income countries like India and Nigeria whose energy needs are growing—the further we are from a zero-carbon future.
They also serve as a guide to action. In cases where the Green Premiums are big, we know we need innovations that will close the price gap. In cases where they’re small—or where clean products are actually cheaper than the polluting version—it suggests that something other than the cost is keeping zero-carbon products from being deployed, and we need to understand why.
I’ll give you two examples that show why I find Green Premiums so useful.
First, electricity. The Green Premium for electricity amounts to the additional cost of getting all power in our grid from non-emitting sources like wind, solar, nuclear power, and fossil fuel plants equipped with carbon-capture technology. For the reasons I explained in this post, there’s a high Green Premium for electricity in most parts of the world, and we need innovation to drive it closer to zero.
But clean alternatives are within striking distance in the U.S. and Europe. One study suggested that decarbonizing Europe’s power grid by 90 to 95 percent would cause rates to go up roughly 14 euros per month for a typical household in the European Union. In the United States, it would cost an extra $18 a month for the average home. While that is still a substantial premium, especially for low-income people, it’s encouraging that Europeans and Americans may be able to generate most of their electricity carbon-free for the cost of a few cups of coffee each month.
Once we know what’s driving a given Green Premium, it acts like a roadmap—it tells us the route we need to take to get to zero. In the case of electricity, one step is to keep deploying renewables where they make sense. Another is to invest more in developing technologies like long-term electricity storage, carbon capture, and advanced nuclear. And we need to modernize and expand the grids that deliver clean electricity from where it’s generated to where it’s needed—often a distance of thousands of miles.
Electricity is a relatively straightforward case. A much more complicated one is manufacturing.
Consider the process of making cement. It’s responsible for releasing carbon dioxide in two ways: when fossil fuels are burned to generate heat for cement production, and during the chemical reactions involved in the manufacturing process.
We don’t yet know how to make cement without releasing this carbon. The best we can do is to capture it once it has been released and stash it away permanently, a process that adds between 75 percent and 140 percent to the cost of cement. Few construction firms would be up for absorbing such a price increase in any competitive market.
Other Green Premiums in manufacturing—for steel, for example—are also quite high. This tells us that we don’t have the tools we need to make clean manufacturing anywhere near economical enough that everyone will adopt it. We need more innovation.
As a rule, there are three levers we can pull to reduce Green Premiums:
• Governments can use policies to either make the carbon-based version of something more expensive, or make the clean version cheaper—or, ideally, some of both. This could include requiring a certain amount of electricity or fuel to be generated in zero-carbon ways.
• Companies and investors can commit to buying and using cleaner alternatives, investing in research and development, supporting clean-energy entrepreneurs and startups, and advocating for helpful government policies.
• Individuals can help create markets for better, cleaner alternatives. When you buy an electric vehicle or a plant-based burger even though it costs more than the alternative, you’re saying to the companies that make these products: “There’s demand for these items. Make more and we’ll buy them.” That will drive investment in research, which helps decrease the price and ultimately makes clean products more affordable and available for everyone.
Not everyone can afford these premiums, but if you can, it’s a productive way to contribute.
I’m convinced that the Green Premium concept can bring clarity to a debate where it is badly needed right now. I hope more people embrace it and help improve the idea. Understanding the Green Premiums will help the world make the most of its efforts and funding as we work together to avoid a climate disaster.

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Top 50 Modern TV Stand Design Ideas For 2020

TV stands also referred to as TV consoles, are furniture items used to hold the television above the floor at a comfortable viewing height for a seated viewer. Typically used in residential living rooms, most TV stands provide additional storage options such as shelves and drawers for minimizing living room clutter.
Many TV stands also include the option for having closed backs to any open shelves that can hide the assortment of wires needed by the television and other devices. Unlike larger media centres that occupy a much more significant amount of wall space, TV stands are more streamlined and minimal furniture items that can also hold the television. TV stands are available in a range of lengths and unique styles for each desired unique household aesthetic.p

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About – Fuel Cells for Heavy-Duty Trucks

 

Wqeinheim (Germany), September 8, 2020. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has launched the development of a special fuel cell system for heavy-duty trucks. The company is collaborating with Quantron AG, a specialist in the field of commercial vehicle conversion. The project’s first fuel cell system will be installed in a heavy-duty truck for real-world testing in the near future. These collaborative efforts are being supported by the Energy Research Program of the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy in Germany.
The 40-ton heavy-duty trucks are the titans of the highways. Thanks to their large loading volume, they enjoy great popularity among freight carriers. While state-of-the-art technologies have been implemented in this weight class in recent years to improve environmental performance, safety and efficiency, overall fuel consumption and vehicle emissions still remain a challenge. This is true particularly within the European Union, where trucks account for 25 percent of the entire CO2 emissions in the transportation sector.
While battery-electric vehicles can be used efficiently and in an eco-friendly way in urban areas, fuel cell technology offers the optimal approach when it comes to emission-free logistics over long distances and with higher payloads. Electric commercial vehicles that are powered solely by batteries are not suited for everyday operations, partly because of longer charging cycles and limited range. During stop-and-go traffic or traffic jams, the battery loses significant power. An additional, time-consuming refueling stop is economically inefficient. A battery-powered electric drive may also require concessions in terms of payload.
An alternative to the 40-ton truck with diesel driveWeinheim (Germany), September 8, 2020. Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has launched the development of a special fuel cell system for heavy-duty trucks. The company is collaborating with Quantron AG, a specialist in the field of commercial vehicle conversion. The project’s first fuel cell system will be installed in a heavy-duty truck for real-world testing in the near future. These collaborative efforts are being supported by the Energy Research Program of the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy in Germany.
The 40-ton heavy-duty trucks are the titans of the highways. Thanks to their large loading volume, they enjoy great popularity among freight carriers. While state-of-the-art technologies have been implemented in this weight class in recent years to improve environmental performance, safety and efficiency, overall fuel consumption and vehicle emissions still remain a challenge. This is true particularly within the European Union, where trucks account for 25 percent of the entire CO2 emissions in the transportation sector.
While battery-electric vehicles can be used efficiently and in an eco-friendly way in urban areas, fuel cell technology offers the optimal approach when it comes to emission-free logistics over long distances and with higher payloads. Electric commercial vehicles that are powered solely by batteries are not suited for everyday operations, partly because of longer charging cycles and limited range. During stop-and-go traffic or traffic jams, the battery loses significant power. An additional, time-consuming refueling stop is economically inefficient. A battery-powered electric drive may also require concessions in terms of payload.
An alternative to the 40-ton truck with diesel drive

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies’ fuel cell expertise is focused on making emission-free, economically viable heavy-duty transportation a reality. In the past year, the company has launched successful development projects for buses and cruise ships with partners such as FlixBus and Meyer Werft in Germany. With the cooperation of Quantron AG, a specialist in retrofitting existing commercial vehicles with electric powertrains and batteries, Freudenberg has now turned its attention to truck solutions in the 40-ton weight class to create a low-emission alternative to standard commercial heavy-duty trucks powered by diesel drivetrains. The goal is to test the fuel cell systems for performance, durability and range under continuous commercial driving conditions. The project is funded by the Energy Research Program of the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy and is one of the first initiatives that explicitly supports the development of a fuel cell for use in heavy-duty trucks. A first test vehicle with the new drive technology is expected to be rolling across Bavarian roads in mid-2021. The vehicle named Energon was presented to the public in early August this year.
“Fuel cell trucks are the only economical, emission-free alternative that permits large payloads as well as significant ranges and fast refueling cycles,” said Dr. Manfred Stefener, Vice President Fuel Cell Systems at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. “That’s why we are looking forward to working with Quantron AG to create fuel cell applications that are explicitly designed for the maximum load and operating points of trucks.”
Clear focus on heavy-duty trucks

Fuel cells for trucks must cover completely different load and operating profiles than those for passenger cars: On average, a passenger car drives for a maximum of one hour per day and stands still for the remaining 23 hours. This is why passenger car systems are designed for only 5,000 to 8,000 operating hours. Truck systems, in contrast, require a service life of at least 35,000 hours. This is because commercial vehicles earn money exclusively through reliable, continuous operation.
As it focuses on heavy-duty trucks, the current project offers additional innovations. These include, for example, the consistent use of material combinations that optimize the service life as well as the development of special interfaces for space-optimized application in a commercial vehicle. This makes it possible to perform maintenance, repair and replacement tasks with a minimal effort at any time and, thanks to the standardization, to operate a maximum range of vehicles. Existing fuel cell systems were originally developed for passenger cars. For heavy-duty applications, however, all essential design aspects of the system have to be optimized for a long service life.

“The goal is to develop fuel cells that can manage a long service life and real heavy-duty profiles to outshine the diesel when it comes to total cost of ownership,” Dr. Stefener said. “We intend to launch a sustainable, emission-free alternative for heavy-duty traffic on the market.”
For decades, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies has been supporting automotive and commercial vehicle manufacturers in reducing the fuel consumption and emissions of their internal combustion engines with innovative sealing technology. In the mid-1990s, the Freudenberg Group, began conducting research into alternative drive concepts and started developing technically-sophisticated components for fuel cells and batteries. Among other things, the company has developed gas diffusion layers (GDL), humidifiers, filter solutions and seals for fuel cell stacks that are ready for series production.
Unique depth of value creation at the company
At the beginning of 2018, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies strategically supplemented this expertise by acquiring fuel cell manufacturer, Elcore. As a result, the company now offers comprehensive systems competence as well as deep value creation in the core components of fuel cells. In 2019, Freudenberg Sealing Technologies also acquired majority ownership of US-based XALT Energy, a market leader in the development and production of advanced lithium-ion batteries and battery solutions.
These strategic acquisitions have positioned Freudenberg Sealing Technologies as a market leader in the development and production of alternative and electric drivetrain solutions focused on both lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells. This provides a significant value benefit for customers. The company is actively capitalizing on this depth of expertise: The in-house production of gas diffusion layers, permeable sealing materials and catalysts forms the basis for fully integrated membrane-electrode assembly (MEA) and offers the starting point for truck fuel cells of the future.
“Merely assembling purchased components is not a solution for the heavy-duty fuel cells of the future in high volumes,” said Claus Möhlenkamp, CEO of Freudenberg Sealing Technologies. Instead, the company focuses on the design of the overall system and the targeted further development of its material and design expertise at a component and system level. “With this research and development project, we are consistently pursuing our fuel cell strategy for heavy-duty applications,” Möhlenkamp added. “Thanks to our cooperation with Quantron AG, we can bring the latest research results of the Freudenberg Group for truck fuel cells on the road within a very short time.”

Ulrike Reich
Head of Media Relations & Internal Communications

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About – New Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept revealed

Audi has surprised customers and fans by introducing a new sportback version of the Q4 e-tron one year ahead of launch. But will this fancy SUV be enough to convince more people to buy a premium EV?

Looks like Audi’s design wizard Marc Lichte has conjured up another hit with the Q4 Sportback e-tron
It’s fair to say the Q4 e-tron Concept didn’t exactly set the world on fire when it was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show last year. Granted, it had tough competition – the hotly anticipated GT e-tron Concept was centre stage and the rest of the Audi stand had cameos from the TTRS, RS5 and R8 Spyder among many other Ingolstadt headturners.
Despite its importance to Audi and VW Group, the Audi Q4 e-tron Concept also received a shrug of the shoulders from followers of my Audi Instagram – always a useful barometer of opinion – although this was before the Porsche Taycan single handedly Made EVs Great Again.
But since then, Audi’s been busy hammering away in the bodyshop and the result is a hot sportback version that’s guaranteed to get the automobile internet talking ahead of the launch of both versions in less than a year’s time.
They’ve done such a magnificent job that it’s quickly become one of my favourite SUV designs of recent years. Comparing this Q4 with the one we saw at Geneva in 2019 is similar to the transformation they pulled off with the new generation Q3 and RSQ3 versus their previous incarnations.
The difference is so dramatic, it feels like the Q4 got its first facelift before it even launched.
Even better, they’ve nailed the range issue that dogged its big brother, the e-tron Quattro, with both Q4s almost level pegging with the Tesla Model Y – but more on that later. For now, here are the headline stats.

He’s got all the moves. Mr Lichte shimmies his way around the Q4 Sportback e-tron – now my favourite compact-ish SUV. Pic: Audi Media
Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron at a glance:
• Top Speed – 112mph/180km/h
• 0-62 mph/100 km/h – 6.3s
• Range – 450km/280 miles (Quattro). A rear wheel drive version will offer 500km/311 miles
• Power – 82 kilowatt hours battery, 225 kW output through 2 electric motors
• Charging: 125kw max, for an 80% charge in 30 minutes
• Platform – MEB
• Class – “Upper third of compact class” – Audi
• Dimensions – wheelbase 2.77m, length 4.6m, height 1,6m, width 1.9m

Confident lines and statement lights – the new Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept
Sportback/coupe styled SUVs are a relatively new niche for Audi, but one it has quickly excelled in. By now, you’ll probably either love or hate their design regardless of brand, with many people seeing them as needless, less practical “lifestyle” alternatives to SUVs. The problem with that line of thought is that SUVs are needless lifestyle alternatives to good, practical avants and large sedans. So where do you begin and end with it all?

The Q4 Sportback e-tron – coming to an abandoned dystopian car park near you. Pic: Audi Media.
Audi’s first foray into this market was the sporty coupe-style Q8, which has already become hugely successful only a couple of years into its run. Meanwhile, the new Q3 and RSQ3 sportbacks surprised everyone with their sleek good looks and are destined to be revealed as big sellers once the official stats catch up with what dealers are telling me. The e-tron Quattro then got the sportback make-over, and the best-selling Q5 will be next in line, with test cars already seen on the loose in Germany. If the Audi Q5 sportback render below looks anything like the real thing, and I reckon it will, then they will sell like hot cakes.

The facelift Q5 will be the next to get the Sportback treatment
With the Q4 e-tron Concept revealed last year, I didn’t expect to hear much else about it until the end of this year when the first teaser camo cars are likely to be seen. That was until Audi UK spilled the beans last week and asked me to join a virtual reveal which would launch the Q4 Sportback e-tron to the media. After interviews with the CEO and other senior suits, Audi’s design head honcho Marc Lichte – looking once again like a cool, bonkers genius from a Tim Burton movie – took to the stage (or rather, his design lair at the heart of Audi HQ) to explain the thought process behind the car.
Thankfully, the Q4’s lines are more Batman than Beetlejuice, with razor-sharp angles casting dramatic shadows on the atmospheric Kinetic Grey shown here. It comes complete with rear lights that look cribbed from the yet-to-be-released Audi e-tron GT, which itself has a distinct Batmobile vibe.

Pic: Audi AG Media.
As ever with recent design launches, Mr Lichte talked about “quattro haunches” and “quattro blisters”, the favourite buzzwords from the PR team. Up front, there are already some changes from the Q4 we saw last year, the sportback now owning a less fussy, highly aerodynamic front grill making it look more conventionally “EV” in appearance and new lights. It’s still very obviously Audi, in case there’s anyone left in the world who can’t recognise one of those grills when they see it.
Despite being only 1cm longer than the regular Q4, the sloping roofline makes it look way longer and sleeker than its boxier brother. The rear three-quarters angle shows the car off at its best, bringing an unexpectedly sharp boldness and originality to the whole design. The PR people were right – the haunches are huge and definitely a talking point, as is the rear spoiler which becomes an integral, almost sculptural part of the overall design.

Spoiler alert – the sculptured lines of the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron’s huge rear wing
Look – here’s a video!
Studio tour of the new Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept
But what about the performance? Audi is billing the two cars as “identical twins” in terms of specs, both producing 225 kW from an 82 kilowatt hours battery in the top model. This powers all four wheels via two electric motors, allowing 0-100 km/h of 6.3 seconds and a range of 450km (280 miles) and a restricted top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph). However, a rear wheel drive version will offer increased range of 500 km (311 miles) according to the WLTP standard.
This actually puts the Audi Q4 Sportback e-tron’s range bang in the middle of Tesla Model Y territory, even if the latter would leave it for dust at the traffic lights.

Size matters, and the Q4 e-tron Sportback will obviously be a bit bigger than the Q3 and a bit smaller than the Q5. If you want more technical stats: 4.6m long, 1.6m high and 1.9m wide
Centre stage at the back are lights that seem inspired by the Audi e-tron GT, a cute statement of intent from Audi that this car is sharing design ideas not with the old Q5 (as per the e-tron Quattro, which actually shares some of that car’s parts) but with the future flagship itself. You can see the resemblance, below.

Inside, the Q4 Sportback e-tron is a bastion of sustainability. The headlining, window pillars, upper section of the door rail and dash panel are decked out with microfibre textiles. The floor covering is made from recycled materials and all four seats are Alcantara rather than leather, for that full Autogefuhl seal of approval.

Sassy yet classy – but enough about me. The interior retains Audi’s trademark premium fit and finish
Up front is the latest incarnation of Audi’s ground-breaking Virtual Cockpit, which remains the best in the business. But now, there’s a new trick up Audi’s digital sleeve – yes, the Q4 Sportback e-tron comes with augmented reality on the windscreen, which places important information such as navigation arrows directly on to the road in front of you. Or at least, it presents that illusion. We saw it first in the VW ID.3 and there had been rumours it would make the leap to the Q4 – so thankfully, it’s happened.

Fancy LEDs and a beautiful two-tone design complete a look that to my eyes is far more elegant than the cluttered VW ID.3 and cheap as chips Tesla Model Y
No new car would be complete without a touchscreen, and this is no exception. In the middle above the console is a 12.3 inch unit with all the usual operational functions. There’s no traditional central console where a gear would normally be found, but rather a spacious storage compartment with a charging station for a mobile phone as well as horizontal area into which the transmission mode is integrated.
In terrible news for duster manufacturers the world over, there is a big reduction in the use of shiny black plastic, with a classy two-tone colour scheme instead.
Interestingly, there’s no third screen as per the e-tron Quattro and all new higher spec Audis from theA6/Q7 upwards. Either the Q4 doesn’t make the grade, or that whole concept has been reviewed. It’s probably the former, but many customers won’t mind. It seems that when it comes to setting temperatures, we just love good old fashioned buttons.

The touchscreen and Virtual Cockpit of the Q4 – but it’s a return for analogue buttons to control the air-con
Welcoming both cars today was Andrew Doyle, Director of Audi UK, who said they “show our plans to cascade e-tron technology into the compact SUV class will be downsizing without in any way downgrading” and added “both versions are underpinned by the very latest technology delivered with characteristic Audi quality and ingenuity. I have no doubt they will encourage wider acceptance of the benefits of electric driving”.
On this, he’s absolutely right and I envisage more sales for both Q4s than for the e-tron Quattro as long as they are priced well. But it’s going to be a crowded market, so how will they compare with their compact rivals?
The SUV version of the popular Model 3 is sure to be a huge success for Elon Musk, but it’s come with the usual Tesla baggage of late deliveries and disappointing build quality. Tesla owners @carconfections counted a litany of problems in the early model they reviewed for their YouTube channel, both externally and inside the car, from panel gaps to exposed wiring. However, on paper, the Tesla Model Y leaves the Q4 standing. The basic long-range version is almost 2 seconds faster to 100kmh but with near-identical range. The Performance version is 3 seconds faster to 100kmh but has 18 miles additional range compared to the Quattro version of the Q4. If Audi were to release an S version, and disappointingly there’s no news on that yet, then it’s likely to be no faster than the bog-standard Tesla in terms of acceleration, if not driving sophistication.
Also coming up soon will be the Ford Mustang Mach-E which will have a myriad of models, including the short range AWD with 210 miles/338km of range and 0-62mph in the mid 5 seconds all the way to the GT Performance with a 0-62mph of about 3 seconds. The sensible one, the rear wheel drive extended range will have a range of 300 miles/483km which puts it a little lower than the Q4 but still a bit faster to 62mph.
And within VW Group itself will be the ID.4 which will mark VW’s first foray into the North American EV market, with obviously comparable stats to the Audi Q4.
Below: the Ford Mustang Mach E (top left), the VW ID.4 (bottom left) and the Tesla Model Y (right). /

Simon Says:
So what are my thoughts on today’s reveal? To say the Q4 and this hot sportback version are hugely important cars for Audi and VW Group would be the understatement of the year. Sitting on the same electric-bespoke MEB architecture as much of the VW ID series, this car is the first true EV from Audi, built new from the ground-up on a pure EV platform. It’s also one of the first premium, higher volume results of VW’s 50 billion+ euro investment in electric, on which they’ve gambled the entire Group’s future.
No pressure, then.
I genuinely believe the muted reaction to the first Q4 concept last year spooked a few suits and this sportback, first scale-modelled at HQ a year ago, should do a huge amount to allay any concerns and provide more choice for customers. So what are the highs and lows of this new concept for me?
First, it looks a million dollars. The rear-quarter view is better than all the competitors and as long as the Board doesn’t send it to VW’s infamous Department for Making Concepts Dull Again, this design should be more or less ready to go.
Second, range finally doesn’t seem to be much of an issue, thank goodness. Audi got schooled on this with the e-tron Quattro by that most irritating of mediums – Tesla Twitter – and have taken no chances with both Q4s having a range bang in the middle of the sector average and highly competitive with Tesla. The fact that the car is on the new MEB platform helps – the e-tron Quattro had been criticised for being the right car built from the wrong materials and got a reputation for being a bit hefty. Having been there myself a few times, I know how the poor beast felt. But the new platform has ironed out these problems, allowing the entire VW Group the opportunity to slap whatever car they want on highly engineered, and highly slimming EV specific platforms.
Third, one of the most important elements here is one I don’t have the answer to – value. Will Audi shock everyone in the same way VW did last year with its ultra competitive ID.3 pricing? Well, I wouldn’t take any bets on it, this is Audi after all, but I do think they will have to be more competitive than they were with the e-tron Quattro. The Q4s will be higher volume which may help, but if Audi really wants to put their foot in Elon’s door, then they may have to show more willing to offer value. This is especially true in the post-covid economic environment; better product value is one thing, improved transparency/flexibility in terms of car financing is another. Can Audi dealership groups keep charging near double-digit interest on monthly PCPs when major central banks are registering almost zero?
Finally, Vosprung. New Audi CEO Markus Duesmann has said he wants to bring Vorsprung back to the brand, and eagle-eyed readers may have noticed the V-word emblazoned on the wall’s of Lichte’s design lair on the video grabs. But the Q4’s performance isn’t exactly the epitome of raging, sweaty, pulse-racing Vorsprung. It’s more… Horlicks, knitting and a nice sit down.
Thankfully there is a chance the Q4’s somewhat gentle 0-62mph time may be revised by software tweaks before launch; the VW ID.3 will get a full two seconds chopped off its 0-62mph between now and first deliveries thanks to software improvements. But there need to be serious questions asked as to why Audi still can’t get anywhere near the sort of performance figures that Tesla techies seem to conjure up in their sleep. Or perhaps the problem is that they are not being asked to.
Legacy car manufacturers are taking an awfully long time to understand that Tesla is using the full performance and torque of its electric cars as PR hype, even if most of Tesla’s customers seem far happier playing with excel spreadsheets and powerpoint than driving with pace and passion. The scenario we see today, where real car enthusiasts get dull EV specs from their favourite sporty brands whilst watching nerds and geeks get all the fun stuff from Tesla is one where there will only be one winner. His name is Elon and just check out his stock.
There may of course be an S version, but Audi perhaps needs to work on ending its ye olde legacy habit of announcing the hot versions centuries after the initial models (often just prior to the base model’s facelift!). If Ford and Tesla can have them from the get-go to excite and entice customers to look at their products and the cheaper trims they’ll actually buy, then why can’t the home of Vorsprung?
With a few performance tweaks and competitive pricing, the Q4 Sportback e-tron Concept looks well placed to shift thousands of units when the finished version is released and be a compelling justification for VW Group’s move to electrification. From the look of the pictures so far, it will attract those who want classier interiors and a bit more style than many of its competitors. And with range no longer an issue, there will be even more reason to buy.
I’ll be here and on my Instagram to give you updates all the way to launch. Stay tuned!

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About – A Community of Elevated Luxury

Description
The Space
The facilities and services provided by with our villa ensure a pleasant stay for guests. The hotel provides 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, gift/souvenir shop, portable wi-fi rental, ticket service to ensure our guests the greatest comfort.

Guests can choose from 4 rooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony. Whether you’re a fitness enthusiast or are just looking for a way to unwind after a hard day, you will be entertained by top-class recreational facilities such as boats, hiking trails, yoga room, snorkeling, surfing lessons. Whatever your purpose of visit, we are an excellent choice for your stay in Bali.
Guest Access
Welcome drink and cool towel upon arrival
24 hours unlimited WIFI in your villa and public areas
Daily Staff
Tax and service charge
Two Private swimming pools
4 Air-conditioned bedrooms
4 En-suite bathrooms
Satellite TV, DVD and CD players
Children allowed in the villa
Baby Cots
Laundry Service available
Spa Treatments available upon request
Internet Connection
DVD Library
Book Library
In house food menu
BBQ facilities
Interaction with Guests
Staff
Looked after by a large household staff, Mandala strives to cater for every whim or desire.

Kitchen Staff-Trained in the preparation of both local and international cuisine. A in-house menu at reasonable prices is provided and the cooks will do all the market shopping.

Room Attendant-Responsible for all housekeeping duties and providing waiter service throughout the villa.

Security Guard-Proving the villa with night time security.
Gardener and Pool Attendant-Tending the garden, the grounds of the villa and the pools.
The Neighborhood
What’s nearby *
Tirta Gangga Water Palace-9.5 km
Lempuyang Temple-11.7 km
Padangbai Bay-12.4 km
Goa Lawah Temple-17.3 km
Getting Around
Just in front of the villa is the only surfing spot in East Bali, it has calm waves and beautiful coast which make this beach good for surfing by locals and tourists. Jasri beach is deserved to be the choice for watersports such as scuba diving, paddle boarding and snorkeling are easily enjoyed in the pristine sea . Boats called jukung in indonesien are always available for fishing. The frequent cultural ceremonies that take place on the oceanfront will give you the chance to see and enjoy the special and authentic character of this region.

Activities:
-Cooking class Off-site
-Tour or class about local cultureAdditional charge
-Happy hour Additional charge
-Bike tours Additional charge
-Walking tours Additional charge
-Beach
-Yoga classes
-Massage chair
-Spa lounge/relaxation area
-Spa Facilities
-Beachfront
-Snorkelling
-Diving Additional charge
-Cycling Off-site
-Hiking Additional charge
-Bicycle rental (additional charge)
-Massage Additional charge
-Spa and wellness centre
-Fishing Additional charge
Other Things to Note
Nyepi Day

Please be informed that Bali island celebrates Nyepi (Silent) Day each year on below dates. The Nyepi (Silent) Day is a day of absolute silence throughout the island. No outdoor activities are allowed including check in and check out from hotels.
Dates affected: March 17, 2018 | March 7, 2019 | March 25, 2020 | March 14, 2021 | March 3, 2022 | March 22, 2023

**Extra-person charges may apply and vary depending on property policy.
Government-issued photo identification and a credit card, debit card, or cash deposit may be required at check-in for incidental charges.
Special requests are subject to availability upon check-in and may incur additional charges. Special requests cannot be guaranteed.

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Amazon Infuses Rs 1,125 Crore Into India Unit Ahead Of Festive Sales – Times Of India

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Amazon Corporate Holdings Private Limited, Singapore and Amazon.com Inc Limited, Mauritius have pumped in Rs 1,125 crore into Amazon Seller Services, regulatory documents sourced by business intelligence platform Tofler, showed.
Amazon Seller Services allotted equity shares to these entities for the said transaction on September 17, 2020.
Amazon did not respond to queries.
In June this year, Amazon had pumped in fresh capital to the tune of Rs 2,310 crore into Amazon Seller Services. In January this year, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had announced $1 billion (over Rs 7,000 crore) investment in India to help bring small and medium businesses online. Previously, the online retail giant had committed $5.5 billion investments in India, one of Amazon’s most important markets outside of the US and a key growth driver.
Amazon rival Flipkart had announced raising $1.2 billion funding led by parent Walmart in July – which valued the e-commerce company at $24.9 billion.
Interestingly, Reliance Industries – which had announced the acquisition of Future’s retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units for Rs 24,713 crore last month – is also bolstering its operations ahead of the festive season.
Earlier this month, RIL’s retail arm – Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd – had said US private equity firm Silver Lake Partners will buy 1.75 per cent stake for Rs 7,500 crore.
Reliance Retail’s network includes supermarkets, consumer electronics chain stores, cash and carry wholesale business, fast-fashion outlets, and online grocery store JioMart – spanning almost 12,000 stores in nearly 7,000 towns. In May, Reliance launched an online grocery delivery service, JioMart and had tied up with WhatsApp to connect customers with local kirana stores.
E-commerce companies see a large chunk of their business coming in during the festive sales and they make significant investments ahead of time to ramp up their capacity to be able to handle the spike in orders.

As per a report by RedSeer, festive sales are expected to almost double this year and touch $7 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV) as compared to $3.8 billion in the same period last year.
GMV is a term used in online retailing to indicate the gross merchandise value of products sold through the marketplace over a certain period.

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The Miata Is a Better Sports Car Than the S2000

Even a VTEC-loving, rev-happy S2000 owner like me can’t deny how good the Miata is.
Syd Cummings
The S2000 is an incredible feat of engineering. The AP1’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder revs to 9000 rpm. The engine made more horsepower per liter than any other naturally aspirated car and was mated to probably the best gearbox ever installed on a production car. It’s my attainable dream car, one that I still can’t help but smile at every time I walk by. But it’s not a better sports car than the ND2 Miata.
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The Miata Is a Better Sports Car Than the S2000

Mack Hogan
This wasn’t easy to swallow. Because I long maintained that all I needed was a Miata, until a chance opportunity to drive an S2000 at an autocross course fell into my lap. From the second that AP2 crested 6000 RPM, the VTEC light has shone brightly within me. No Miata would ever be special enough, I thought. Great cars, sure, but in frequent arguments in real life and on Twitter—mostly with Engineering Explained’s Jason Fenske—I proclaimed my ethos loudly. If your car doesn’t rev to 8000 rpm or more, you should probably throw it out. If it’s a decade newer than the S2000 and is still down nearly 60 hp, you should definitely throw it out. Forget torque, forget Miatas: The S2000 makes you work, but in return it offers the best sports car experience.
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I relitigated this argument at a team camp fire recently, the night before a big Road & Track shootout featuring eight of the best cars ever built. Only one new car earned an invitation, the ND2 Miata. Zach Bowman, our senior editor and the man whose dad sold me my S2000, argued strongly that the accessibility, cheapness, and replaceability of Miatas made them more fun; you don’t ever have to baby them. Plus, they offered more torque across the rev range and an overall better experience. Sure, I conceded, a Miata has better steering feel and low-end grunt, but the S2000 is the across-the-board champion.
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Syd Cummings
The next morning, about 25 feet into driving the Miata, I realized I was wrong. The Miata is down 60 hp and 1500 revs compared to the S2000 I had flogged on the way to the track, but it’s also 400 pounds lighter. You can feel that and the torque, which both contributed to the eagerness with which it goes about its business. The S2000 pays no mind to you until you slam it down two gears and bury the gas pedal. The experience becomes religious as you crest 6000 rpm; Some buzzy, exhilarating blur that reaches higher than Miata driving’s most prominent peaks.
But the beauty of the Miata is that the best parts aren’t fleeting, they’re ever-present. The suspension tuning is perfect, softer over bumps than the S2000 but more predictable and sure-footed in corners. Its steering never shuts up, giving you far more information than AP1 or AP2 S2000s. All of that encourages you to push harder, the ND2 revealing more of itself the faster you go. You can push it knowing that the chatterbox steering and progressive, communicative body roll will warn you long before you reach the limits of your grip. When you do, it dips into controllable, easy slides that are far more manageable than the S2000’s past-the-limit behavior.
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Mack Hogan
Most of this was always true. Yet the pre-2019 Miatas suffered from forgettable engines, with little sensational reward for your momentum-conserving driving. Not so in the ND2, with a power band that crescendos near its raised 7500-rpm redline. The extra horsepower—now 181—isn’t what matters, it’s that you get access to more as you wring it out. It’s far from the world-beating splendor of a 9000-rpm screamer, but it’s excitable and charming all the same. And unlike the S2000, you can enjoy the engine pulling out of a parking lot, its punchy low-end ready to fling you toward the horizon. The AP2 improved on the around-town eagerness of the S2000, but the Miata takes it a step further. It is always interesting, always urging you to play. On the track or in traffic, the Miata is more fun more of the time.
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Make no mistake, though, I still contend that the heights of S2000 driving surpass the Miata. Come into a corner hard, bang off a heel-toe downshift, manage the back end, and wait for the white-knuckle explosion out of the corner as you blow past 6000 rpm onto a straightaway. Keep the F20 singing right up until 9000 rpm, grab another gear with the best shifter in the world, and revel in knowing that no Miata has ever felt that good. It’s just in so many other scenarios—at a race track, around tight corners, in daily driving—the Miata feels better. It’s more friendly, a better incarnation of the democratized sports car we all love. The same peaky power band, the same excitement, but with better handling, better steering, less weight, and no bite. In the ND2, Mazda has unquestionably built a better two-seat sports car than the S2000. Only took ’em 19 years.
Mack Hogan
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Designing Scalable Instagram Architecture – System Design

The prerequisite for learning the Instagram architecture design is, how to design a URL Shortner Service like a tiny URL. Please read it here…
1. What is Instagram?
Instagram is a free photo & video-sharing and social networking service that is very popular. In this tutorial, we will learn to design a simple architecture of Instagram that enables users to share photos, follow other users and create a unique “NewsFeed” for each user consisting of top photos from accounts they follow.
2. Design Goals
Our service should provide the following features to a user:
1. Mandatory Features
1. Users should be able to upload and view photos.
2. Users can perform a search based on photo titles.
3. A user can follow other users.
4. Create a unique NewsFeed for each user, consisting of top photos from all people/accounts the user follows.
2. Optional Features
3. Capacity Estimation
The important thing to note here is, the number of reading requests will be 100 times more than the number of uploads (writing) requests. Suppose we are going to have 500 Million users registered to our platform with 1 Million daily active users. Let’s assume 5M (million) photos are uploaded every day, then the number of photos uploaded in 1 second is:
1 sec = 5M / (246060) ≈ 57 photos
If the average photo size is 150 KB, then storage usage in a day:
5M * 150KB = 716 GB
Assuming our service runs continuously for 10 years, the space required will be:
716GB 365 10 ≈ 2553TB ≈ 2.6PB
4. Database Design Choice
The database design will help us to understand the data flow among various components in the Instagram architecture. We need to store the data about users, their uploaded photos, people they follow. Note – calculating the likes, and comments on a photo uploaded by a user are out of the scope of this tutorial.
Data related to user
1. User ID (Primary key): A unique user id to make users globally distinguishable.
2. Name: The name of the user.
3. Email: The email id of the user
4. Password: Password of the user to facilitate the login feature.
5. Creation Date: The date on which the user was registered.
Data related to photos
Since we are storing here actual photos and size limit for each photo size is 150KB. As calculated above if service runs for 10 years, we will end up accumulating 2.6 PB of data, which is too much to be stored in a database. Hence we will Object Storage service such as AWS S3.
So, the flow will be as follow: We will store the actual photo in the S3 bucket and store the photo-path(URL) in the database.
1. PhotoId (Primary Key): A unique 10B photo id to uniquely identify each photo.
2. UserId: The id of a user who uploaded the photo.
3. Path: The path/URL of object storage where the photos are stored.
4. Latitude & Longitude: We will store this information to find the location of the photo.
5. Date & time: The date & timestamp at which the photo was uploaded.

Data related to users following & followers
1. Following – UserId of all the users followed by the current user.
2. Followers – UserId of all the people following the users.

To overcome this problem we dedicated servers for reading and different dedicated servers for writing. Also, separating photos’ read and write requests will allow us to scale and optimize each of these operations independently. The following diagram aptly defines how the read-write will work.

6. News Feed Generation
1. Generating News Feed
One of the most critical requirements of Instagram type service is designing the unique newsfeed for every user, containing the latest post from each user he/she is following. For simplicity let’s assume each user all followers combined uploads 200 new unique photos every day. Hence a user newsfeed will be a combination of these 200 unique photos and after that reputation of past uploads. So, for generating a news feed for a user we will first fetch the metadata(likes, comments, time, location, etc) of the latest 200 photos and pass it to the ranking algorithm and ranking algorithm will determine which how the photos should be arranged in the newsfeed based on metadata. The major challenge with the above newsfeed generation approach is it requires querying lots of tables simultaneously and then ranking them using predefined parameters, hence this approach will result in higher latency i.e. it will take a lot of time to generate newsfeed.
Pregenerating News Feed – To overcome the challenges with the above news feed generating algorithm we will create a server dedicated to generating the newsfeed unique to each user beforehand and storing it in a separate newsfeed table. With this approach whenever the user needs to see the updated newsfeed we will simply query this table.
2. Serving the News Feed
Now we have seen the way of creating a news feed. The next major challenge in Instagram architecture design is how will we serve the resulting newsfeed to the user.
Push – One way is whenever a new photo uploaded by a user we will notify of all of his/her followers. For this, we can use Long-Pooling. A possible problem with this approach is, a user who follows a lot of people or celebrities, in this case, the server has to push updates/ send notifications quite frequently.
Pull – Users will refresh their newsfeeds(make a pull request to the server), whenever they want to see the fresh content. The problem with this approach is that the new post will not be visible until users don’t refresh also most of the refresh will result in empty results.
Hybrid Approach – The hybrid approach will involve applying the Pull-Based approach for all the users with lots of followers(celebrities) and the PULL based approach and normal users to the Push-Based approach.
7. Load Balancing
To overcome the problem of limited network bandwidth and single point of failure in Instagram type service architecture design, we will use Load Balancers. Load Balancer does its magic by diving the traffic among a group of servers thus resulting in improved response and availability of a website or application. Read more here…
To distribute the load among servers we will use the Least Bandwidth Method. This algorithm will choose the server currently serving the least amount of traffic, measured in megabits per second (Mbps). We can place the Load Balancers between:
1. The client and the server.
2. The server and the database.
This is how we will design the Instagram architecture that will scale in realtime.
Books Recommendation for Coding Interview Preparation
1. Cracking the Coding Interview. (Buy – India / USA)
2. Cracking the PM Interview: How to Land a Product Manager Job in Technology. (Buy – India / USA)
Do you know System Design is a very important topic in product based company interviews and almost every tech giant asks it? At Nlogn we have a dedicated section for system design to help you prepare. Read here.

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About – San Francisco Housing Has Cooled As Some Flee The City, But Demand Is Still There

Key Points
• San Francisco housing inventory is at its highest in years, and residences are sitting on the market longer and getting fewer bids than they did a year ago.
• The coronavirus pandemic, which eliminated many of the charms of the city, pushed some people who were already considering leaving to accelerate their move.
• Nonetheless, there’s still plenty of demand for stand-alone houses in many neighborhoods.

People sit in Alamo Square overlooking the city skyline in San Francisco on March 26, 2020.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Greg Tribulato is having trouble getting buyers interested in two extensively renovated condominiums he’s trying to sell in San Francisco’s Mission district.
They’ve been on the market for three months. The one with two bedrooms is going for $1.5 million, and the four-bedroom unit costs $2.3 million. He said he and his father, Gary, are talking with the seller about renting out the homes or lowering their prices.
“We did everything under the planet that’s humanly possible,” he said. They staged the homes, they created websites with custom domain names, videos and 3D digital tours, and they sent out flyers and emails to get people’s attention.
The coronavirus pandemic and corresponding recession have shaken the dynamics of the second-most expensive city to buy a home in the U.S. (The Silicon Valley city of San Jose boasts the highest median home sale price, according to data maintained by Zillow). Brokers say many people simply no longer wish to live in densely populated areas, especially apartment buildings where they have to share common areas such as elevators. People are looking for enough space for a home office or two. They want their own outdoor space, and some people even want garages because they expect to buy cars in order to commute safely when they have to return to work. Plus, some people who have lost their jobs have been flocking to less expensive places.
Technology companies with extensive real estate in the region, such as Facebook and Google, have been adding to the upheaval. Many have told employees they can keep working from home for months. A few companies, such as Atlassian, Okta, Slack, Square, Twitter, VMware and Zillow, have gone further, declaring that many or all employees can stay remote permanently.
But while San Francisco’s infamously red-hot housing market has cooled, houses are still selling — they’re just sitting on the market for longer, and not receiving as many bids as they did in recent years.
To the suburbs…and beyond
In August the number of home listings in San Francisco reached the highest point in at least four years, at 1,483. Price cuts are also more common than they’ve been in at least four years, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. The median listing price of a San Francisco home in August, at below $1.4 million, was the lowest since February 2019.
Two renovated condominiums in San Francisco’s Mission district have sat on the market for three months.
Jordan Novet | CNBC
The inventory of available homes in San Francisco is the highest it’s been in six or seven years, said Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst for the Bay Area at Compass, a venture-backed real estate brokerage company. Buyers have become more picky. Homes are getting two, three or four bids, instead of eight before the virus hit, said Robert Collett, an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Drysdale Properties.
Part of the reason for the high inventory is because people held off from listing San Francisco homes in March and April — normally the spring home buying season — after Mayor London Breed announced the city’s shelter-in-place order. As a result, more homes than usual have come up for sale in the following months.
But there’s also a lifestyle shift, suggested by the red-hot market in the suburbs. Many of the things people love about the city, including its clubs and museums, are unavailable at the moment. Consequently, the densest parts of the Bay Area, typically the most in demand, are currently the softest, said Carlisle.
“More rural and suburban counties and markets have gone absolutely nuts — Sonoma, Monterey, Marin,” Carlisle said. “I’ve heard Tahoe is absolutely out of control.”
Lake Tahoe is a getaway spot several hours northeast of the city where people historically keep vacation homes. One broker there, Breck Overall, said he and his partner Jeff Hamilton did a year’s worth of transactions in two and a half months. Normally the busiest time of the year is the Fourth of July, when traffic from the town of Truckee to the lake is bumper to bumper.
“That’s what it’s like almost every day,” Overall said. “It’s not letting up.”
People are also moving to Marin County, which San Franciscans can reach by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.
Rick and Victoria Dade, who had lived in the city for more than two decades, recently abandoned a newly constructed home in the Marina District for Marin. As playgrounds shuttered and parks limited occupancy across San Francisco, their living situation proved untenable for an elementary- and middle school-kid eager for open space. Rick owns a commercial general contracting company, called R3 Builders, that services San Francisco and other parts of the Bay Area, including Oakland. Victoria works for a video technology company, Sonic Foundry, based halfway across the country in Madison, Wisconsin.
While their children’s age was the primary driver behind the move, the Dades said their family was after a lifestyle change.
“We had always thought that we would possibly move to Marin, and we just hadn’t been ready to do it,” Rick Dade said. “And, as you see reports about people leaving the city for the suburbs, it can almost become a self-fulfilling prophecy.”
CNBC spoke with several former San Francisco homeowners who have moved out of the city in recent months. Like the Dades, the majority did not cite the Covid-19 pandemic as a key factor in their decision-making, but rather pointed to the pandemic as an accelerating force. In other words, people who were already planning to move to the suburbs simply expedited their plans.
Those trends dovetail with recent data. In a survey of 1,350 people conducted between January and June by moving company Hire A Helper, only 15% said they had relocated because of Covid-19.
Andrew Miramontes, who works in sales for European wine importer Weygandt Metzler, had been renting in San Francisco since 2015. When the calendar turned to 2020, he and his wife Erin started looking for homes outside the city to better suit their family’s needs, including their young daughter’s quest for more room to walk. The Miramontes extolled the city’s arts and culinary scene, but said that once the pandemic hit, the city’s deteriorating infrastructure, coupled with shutdowns for the foreseeable future and an uncertain economic recovery, accelerated their plans.
“Unfortunately, San Francisco, and the space that we had, was not going to allow for what we saw for ourselves,” Miramontes said. “We were forced to put eyeballs outside of the city.”
A few months after San Francisco enacted its shelter-in-place order, Miramontes and his wife honed their search, focusing on Marin and Sonoma counties. In five days they met with a realtor, viewed five homes, and submitted an offer on the home they would eventually buy in Novato — about 30 miles north of San Francisco in Marin County.
Andrew Miramontes and his family left San Francisco for a new home about 30 miles north of the city in Novato, Calif.
Courtesy Andrew Miramontes
“It happened that fast,” Miramontes said. “When we were looking, if there was an appealing property, it seemed to be pending sale in less than a week.” His real estate agent said some clients were closing on homes based based solely on pictures.
Some long-time San Francisco residents are going farther than the suburbs.
Christin Anderson, a senior account executive at Seattle-based sales management software start-up Outreach, had lived in San Francisco for 20 years before the pandemic hit. After spending three months at her home amid shelter-in-place restrictions, Anderson decided to rent a place outside of the city to “ride out the summer” and settled on Park City, Utah.
Six weeks into her stay there, Anderson made the move more permanent. Many tech companies, including hers, were not requiring employees to be back in the office until 2021, at the earliest. Anderson bought a town house in Park City and began renting out her condo in San Francisco’s Nob Hill neighborhood.
Silicon Slopes — the moniker given to a stretch of cities along the Rocky Mountains in Utah, from Ogden in the north to Provo in the south, with Park City and Salt Lake City in between — has emerged as a hotbed of tech entrepreneurship in recent years.
“There are a lot of great business opportunities here,” Anderson said. “If things return to normal, I can come back to San Francisco. And that was a big part of my decision calculus. But, right now, no one knows when this will end and what the tech industry will look like on the other side.”
For his own part, Collett, the agent with BHHS Drysdale, said that for the first time in 12 years, he’s ready to give up his apartment and his view.
“I think it’ll take years for the city to come back, and it’ll never be the same,” he said. “Cities will never be the same. They must evolve. It will take at least five years to forget the fears. And so everything needs to be retooled — the use of the buildings, the ventilation systems, public transit, business logistics.”
‘San Francisco is very resilient’
Few people are willing to speculate on when exactly life, and San Francisco’s real estate market, will return to normal. Over the long term, though, there are plenty of reasons for optimism about the city.
The Dades saw blistering demand for their Marina District home, which they listed earlier this month. The property was in contract within a week, sold to a couple decamping to a new neighborhood of San Francisco.
“If you’re not going all cash with a quick close, and no contingencies, then you’re probably going to get beat out,” Rick Dade said. “The market is that strong.”
For those who have opted to stay in San Francisco, less trendy neighborhoods with more space, including the Richmond, the Sunset and West Portal, are becoming more highly sought after.
Then there are San Francisco renters who held off on buying homes in the city and are now living and working elsewhere during the pandemic. Some found homes to rent outside the city or places listed on Airbnb or VRBO, or friends’ houses, said Alexander Lurie, an agent with Compass. Eventually, they could come back.
“They’re looking at this as a really exciting opportunity to experience different parts of this region, but their mindset is when things open back up, they’ll be back,” he said.
Most agents agree that rents and condominium prices will remain lower through 2021, while prices for single-family homes will be less impacted.
“San Francisco is very resilient,” Tribulato said. “We may get hit a little bit, but for some reason, we always seem to come back.”

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About The Ultimate Guide to Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, often referred to as the “fourth industrial revolution,” represents the increases in connectivity, automation, and cyber-physical systems that underpin the modern “smart factory.” By leveraging Internet of Things devices, big data integration, and cloud-based information technology, Industry 4.0 provides a framework for more efficient, customizable, and synergistic production processes.
Though Industry 4.0 as a concept is only just beginning to show its full potential, the groundwork for its innovative reworking of industrial systems has already been laid by advances in computing and industrial technology. More of an evolution than a revolution, this new industrial paradigm is already changing the nature of the supply chain and the rules of modern manufacturing. These changes can certainly seem daunting from the outside, but once you understand the basic tenets that inform these new systems, you’ll see right away the tremendous potential they hold for creating smarter, leaner production workflows.

The amount that Industry 4.0
could add to the global economy by 2030

The proportion of companies that report achieving advanced digitization commensurate with Industry 4.0

The proportion of companies who believe they will achieve advanced digitization by 2020
1. The Origins of Industry 4.0
If Industry 4.0 represents the fourth industrial revolution, you may be wondering, what were the first three? As experts understand them today, the three prior revolutions in the industrial world were:
• 1784: Water and steam power were harnessed to mechanize production, drastically reducing production time.
• 1870: Thanks to the introduction of electricity, Henry Ford introduces the assembly line, leading to divisions of labor and more efficient manufacturing.
• 1969: With the invention of the computer, industry begins to incorporate automated production. This also paves the way for the fields of IT and robotics.
While the preceding industrial revolutions occurred following the introduction of new technology that radically shifted manufacturing capabilities and processes, Industry 4.0 leverages existing technology and builds on it in new ways, making it in some ways more of an evolution than a revolution.
Likewise, where previous revolutions were founded on specifics instances of innovation, Industry 4.0 is a deliberate framework launched in anticipation of new technology, which was conceptualized and named in 2011. Seeking to capitalize on Germany’s competencies in engineering, logistics and IT, the German federal government finalized its revolutionary Industry 4.0 concept in 2013.
Today, Industry 4.0 acts as a sort of roadmap to high-tech, industrial digitalization. Its foundation is a digital convergence of operations, where process and data can be integrated across multiple supply chains and product life cycles. It isn’t a manufacturers’’ silver bullet, but a guideline for improved organizational and process performance. Because Industry 4.0 builds on existing revolutionary technologies, it requires lean setups as a starting point, and needs lean, well-structured processes in order to emerge.

2. Industry 4.0 Pillars and Concepts
While the sweeping impact of Industry 4.0 may not be obvious for five to ten years, the impact on supply chain management is already visible today. As supply chain managers look to the future, they should look to Industry 4.0 as a foundation when they make major operational or purchasing decisions, i.e. adopting new logistics software or workflows, or driving towards a lean supply chain. But what exactly should businesses look for when making decisions? To begin with, they should focus on these four key Industry 4.0 concepts:
• Information transparency: Industry 4.0 systems create a “cyber-physical system,” where the physical world is quantified into contextual, accessible data. Systems seamlessly and instantly share that data as required, ensuring that all systems cooperate using real-time information. Any new technology your company adopts should offer this transparency.
• Interoperability: In an Industry 4.0 system, it’s possible for people, machines, sensors and devices to connect and communicate with one another. This facet of Industry 4.0 generally requires supply chain managers to take a broader perspective on compatibility requirements for software, machines and other devices.
• Decentralized decision making: Currently most supply chains operate using centralized decision making. But Industry 4.0 has brought a new level of autonomy, where systems will be able to make simple decisions on their own. This has the potential to increase efficiency by reducing time and resources allocated for centralized oversight.
• Technical assistance: Automation and robots already provide vital support in environments that are too treacherous for humans. The next phase is building a system that can support humans in decision making and problem solving. This interdependence of systems and humans is a key feature of Industry 4.0
By keeping these principles in mind, businesses can identify new IT and workflow changes that will bring them closer to Industry 4.0 adoption. Rather than focusing on all of the jargon that often surrounds discussions of new paradigms in manufacturing, businesses can use these concepts to home in on the key value-added elements of the fourth industrial revolution.
3. Key Components of Industry 4.0
We’ve covered the pillars that define the Industry 4.0 mindset, but what does this new paradigm look like when its put to the test in an actual industrial or manufacturing setting? While many elements of Industry 4.0 are still in the evolutionary stages, and will continue to grow and develop over time, there are certain key components that businesses can and should be aware of.
Greater Customization through Additive Manufacturing
Commonly known as 3D printing, additive manufacturing is the process of building an object by depositing materials in multiple layers. The use of additive manufacturing has certainly become trendy, but it has yet to reach its full potential. Industry 4.0 provides the technological infrastructure for manufacturing enterprises to use 3D technology at scale, producing smaller numbers of more customized products. And because additive technology can be done on demand, production time for these customized products is also significantly shorter. One hallmark of a true Industry 4.0 enterprise, therefore, is the robust integration of additive manufacturing throughout the supply chain, not only to produce products for end users, but also for the manufacture of customized machine parts within the supply chain itself.
Full Integration of Advanced Analytics
Virtually all supply chain leaders currently rely on analytics to inform and optimize production. Indeed, the implementation of advanced analytics consistently yields higher production quality, along with reduced downtime and improved customer experience – all contributing to a better bottom line. But these analytics are often disjointed or orphaned, existing without cohesive connection to an overarching system. As the manufacturing world continues to evolve toward Industry 4.0, analytics systems are simultaneously evolving. The Industry 4.0 supply chain uses advanced analytics and Big Data to inform end-to-end (E2E) visibility. Up-to-the-minute data are available to support real-time decision-making and bring visibility to the entire supply chain, both within and without individual organizations.
Visibility for All Stakeholders
Supply chain leaders have long sought greater visibility, and Industry 4.0 delivers exactly that. All stakeholder groups have access to real-time data for their specific tasks. Furthermore, thanks to aggregation schemes, companies can be controlled from the individual machine view all the way up to global corporate controls. All of this is implemented in on unique “single point of truth” enhanced by your business rules. This approach not only eliminates the need for duplicative and potentially flawed manual data aggregation, but it also increases process speed and supports continuous process improvement. Furthermore, this E2E visibility within a company positions the organization for E2E visibility across the entire supply chain, from the raw materials supplier to the end user.

A Move Beyond Postmodern ERP
The manufacturing industry’s approach to enterprise resource planning (ERP) has been evolving alongside technology. Innovative supply chain leaders are looking beyond the “best of breed” approach that characterizes modern ERP. Instead, they are adopting ERPs that foster strategic collaboration between business and IT leaders and set organizations on the path to thriving in the Industry 4.0 environment. This Postmodern ERP mindset has just begun to catch hold in the supply chain industry, yet Industry 4.0 pushes the boundaries of even this cutting-edge approach. Industry 4.0 calls for a truly agile supply chain that integrates IT systems both vertically and horizontally. Using robust data-integration networks that span usually disconnected departments like engineering and customer service, the Industry 4.0 company is much more cohesive. And because these data systems can communicate beyond the boundaries of the company, they provide unprecedented integration, resulting in a much more agile supply chain.
Widespread Incorporation of the Internet of Things
Another aspect of that integration is the incorporation of networked machines and sensors throughout the supply chain. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to computing technology embedded in devices, which can communicate with other devices and people through the internet. Currently IoT is most often found vertically within an organization; for instance, the supply chain’s devices and sensors communicate with each other, providing useful but limited intelligence to the manufacturing control system. The next phase, however, incorporates the IoT to communicate across departments as well. Much like IT system software will be integrated, so too will devices, sensors and humans throughout the organization. The Industry 4.0 supply chain fully leverages the IoT for streamlined, agile operations with far greater visibility and transparency.

Increased Reliance upon the Cloud
The Industry 4.0 supply chain is a data-generation machine. It’s constantly producing insights in real time, requiring incredible speed and precision, not to mention the capacity for instant access and E2E visibility. Those demands are best met in the Cloud. As Cloud technology continues to improve, the Industry 4.0 enterprise will increasingly deploy it for data management and functionality. Coupled with seemingly endless storage capacity and an ever-shortening reaction time, the Cloud offers the necessary agility for the supply chain of the next generation.

Robust In-Memory Databases
To complement the endless storage capacity of the Cloud, supply chain leaders must also rely on in-memory databases (IMDBs) to handle ad hoc optimization and analytics. Sometimes also called a main memory database (MMDB), the IMDB uses the computer’s main memory (as opposed to a disk) for data storage. Data stored on IMDB is more readily accessible than data stored in the Cloud because it need not be procured via online transaction – which can cause delays in the process. Thus the IMDB improves speed, workflows and data quality. The most efficient supply chains rely on both the Cloud and IMDB to maximize the organization’s storage capacity and agility.

4. Industry 4.0 Challenges
Previous industrial revolutions have changed not just the way that factories function, but the nature of the businesses that operate them. While the components of Industry 4.0 listed above are largely technological, many of the most significant hurdles to embracing Industry 4.0 will be organizational. Yes, this means breaking down information and decision-making silos and eliminating Shadow IT, but it also means rethinking the nature of digital business in the 21st century.
Redefining Partnership
Just as much as Industry 4.0 is about technology, it is also about processes and people. Supply chain leaders of the future need to understand that as the manufacturing industry evolves, classic understandings of supplier and producer structures will not survive. A new definition of partnership is already emerging, creating new value networks. To succeed in the era of Industry 4.0, supply chain leaders must integrate supplier into their corporate structure They need to adeptly manage their suppliers’ data support and production design, as well as their supply chain risks. This will also mean a new approach toward purchasing decisions: instead of product price-driven models, supply chain leaders must embrace partnership models that take into account risk figures and optimization potential for the future of product development.
A New Concept of Corporate Integration
A critical dimension of successful Industry 4.0 initiatives is vertical integration. Traditional companies are structured in hierarchies that do not allow interaction between layers. This often leads to high efforts in synchronization processes and even more to large gaps between corporate planning processes and execution. In these organizations, production plans aren’t synchronized with logistics. Production planners perform detailed planning tasks that often drastically differ from real outcomes because there is no structured back-loop of execution information and no real-time re-planning process in case of deviations. Businesses need to synchronize these layers, including IoT devices, for operational feedbacks.

Roadmaps to Industry 4.0
As Industry 4.0 continues to change the way that business is done, companies will increasingly need to be adaptable, and be proactive rather than reactive when trying to gain a competitive advantage in an ever-changing marketplace. In doing so, it’s crucial to remember that while Industry 4.0 may seem daunting now, it is fundamentally a tool for making factories and entire business operations more efficient, scalable, and agile. Make sure that you’re implementing new technology in a way that aligns clearly with pre-defined business goals, and that new workflows promote connectivity and interoperability. As the fourth industrial revolution continues to drive adaptation and transformation across myriad business sectors, a strong understanding of the Industry 4.0 framework can help to illuminate roadmaps to future success.
Download the Supply Chain Manager’s Guide to Industry 4.0
In our Guide to Industry 4.0 you find essential tips to move your organization to the future of the supply chain industry; it discusses key components and benefits, topics such as advanced analytics and visibility for all stakeholders and much more.

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