Digging Into Self-Driving Data and More Car News This Week

Digging Into Self-Driving Data and More Car News This Week

Digging Into Self-Driving Data and More Car News This Week This week, the California DMV released the disengagement reports every self-driving developer testing in state must file to the DMV.

California's Rain Was a 'Cat 4' Atmospheric River. Wait, What?

California's Rain Was a 'Cat 4' Atmospheric River. Wait, What?

Most of those multiday deluges are the product of atmospheric rivers, high-altitude streams of air that originate near the equator and are packed with water vapor.

There's Still So Much We Need to Learn About Weed—and Fast

There's Still So Much We Need to Learn About Weed—and Fast

With its proximity to the legendary growing regions of Northern California, the center can start to quantify this historically secretive industry, measuring its toll on the environment and looking at how existing rules affect the growers themselves.

Can Lettuce Survive Climate Change?

Can Lettuce Survive Climate Change?

A week into the new year, federal investigators announced that the latest outbreak of foodborne illness, from romaine lettuce, seemed to be over : There hadn’t been any cases of illness caused by a dangerous variety of E.

America Needs Way, Way More Electric-Car Charging Stations

America Needs Way, Way More Electric-Car Charging Stations

(The researchers expect that come 2025, electrics will make up 15 percent of new car sales in California, 9 percent in those other states, and 1.4 percent everywhere else.) The report projects that Los Angeles will need 35,000 charging stations, about seven times the number it had in 2017.

Pesticides Are Harming Bees in Literally Every Possible Way

Pesticides Are Harming Bees in Literally Every Possible Way

While soybean farmers watched the drift-prone weed killer dicamba ravage millions of acres of crops over the last two years, Arkansas beekeeper Richard Coy noticed a parallel disaster unfolding among the weeds near those fields.

Weedmaps’ Grip on the High-Flying California Pot Market

Weedmaps’ Grip on the High-Flying California Pot Market

“If you’re unlicensed, you’re probably not paying taxes, you’re certainly not paying licensing fees, and you’re not participating in all the regulations and oversight the state has in place.” The number of businesses listed on Weedmaps fluctuates as shops pop up and shut down, but by the beginning of August 2018, the site was listing about 2,000 total marijuana dispensaries and delivery services in Southern California.

Do You Need a Digital License Plate? One Startup Thinks So

Do You Need a Digital License Plate? One Startup Thinks So

“I see it less as a license plate and more as a communication portal," says Reviver cofounder and CEO Neville Boston. Reviver Auto If that sounds like too much money for a license plate, Boston wants you to change your perspective.

Analysis Finds Oracle Paid Women $13,000 Less Than Men

Analysis Finds Oracle Paid Women $13,000 Less Than Men

Michael Short/Bloomberg/Getty Images Oracle allegedly paid some female employees more than $13,000 less per year, on average, than male employees in similar roles, according an analysis of Oracle’s own pay data revealed Friday as part of a gender bias lawsuit against the company.

To Prevent Wildfires, Treat Utilities Like Railroad Barons

To Prevent Wildfires, Treat Utilities Like Railroad Barons

(PG&E declined to comment for this story, pointing instead to a press release that says it will “make investments in system safety as it works with regulators, policymakers and other key stakeholders to consider a range of alternatives to provide for the safe delivery of natural gas and electric service for the long-term in an environment that continues to be challenged by climate change.”) Utilities know full well how to manage their risk.

For Nervous Californians, Fire-Proofing Is a New Obsession

For Nervous Californians, Fire-Proofing Is a New Obsession

Despite a flurry of stories in the media about people losing their insurance and leaving the area, Mark Sektnan, president of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, told me, “We’re not seeing a trend.” Insurance prices are increasing in some places, but California doesn’t allow insurers to jack up premiums based on recent disasters, and nearly everyone can find home insurance if they want it, he said.

Cities Are Tucking Climate Change Fixes Into New Laws

Cities Are Tucking Climate Change Fixes Into New Laws

“There are liberals or progressives who oppose climate change, but they definitely don’t want that multifamily apartment building to go up next to transit if it’s in their neighborhood.” That’s what Wiener says he found in his initial efforts to link development and transit in California last year.

California Could Soon Have Its Own Version of the Internet

California Could Soon Have Its Own Version of the Internet

Meanwhile, search results within the European Union can differ from those elsewhere due to its right to be forgotten law, and web publishers around the world are still grappling with the effect of the sweeping EU privacy regulations that took effect this year.A series of laws passed in California this year raise a new possibility: that individual US states will splinter off into their own versions of the internet.

As Snow Disappears, the Sierras and Rockies Are Shrinking

As Snow Disappears, the Sierras and Rockies Are Shrinking

“For the future, that percentage will keep increasing,” says Zeng, who presented his findings at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in Washington.LEARN MOREThe WIRED Guide to Climate ChangeAt the same time, the length of the snow season shrank by 34 days for the snowiest regions.

How Supercomputers Can Help Fix Our Wildfire Problem

How Supercomputers Can Help Fix Our Wildfire Problem

Thus the fire sucks in surface winds.Researchers are using supercomputers and lookout stations like this to model the dynamics of wildfires in real time. At Los Alamos National Laboratory, atmospheric scientist Alexandra Jonko is using a supercomputer and a system called FIRETEC to model fires in extreme detail.

Cities Have Turned Into Fire Bait—But We Can Fix Them

Cities Have Turned Into Fire Bait—But We Can Fix Them

High winds blow embers perhaps miles in advance of a blaze, firebrands that land on clusters of pine needles or leaves on roofs, quickly triggering hundreds if not thousands of house fires, as appears to have happened in Paradise.Part of what makes the destruction of Paradise so shocking is that we tend to assume that cities just don’t burn anymore.

How and Where to Watch NASA's InSight Finally Land on Mars

How and Where to Watch NASA's InSight Finally Land on Mars

How and Where to Watch NASA's InSight Finally Land on MarsNASA/JPL-CaltechOn Monday, November 26th, following a six-month journey across hundreds of millions of miles of deep space, NASA's InSight spacecraft will arrive at Mars in suitably dramatic fashion, hitting the top of the planet's atmosphere at 12,300 miles per hour—several times faster than a speeding bullet—shortly before 12:00 pm PST (3:00 pm EST).If all goes as planned, it will take InSight (short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy, and Heat Transport) just seven minutes to decelerate completely and alight on Mars' surface.

California Fire Survivors Brace for Debris-Filled Mudslides

California Fire Survivors Brace for Debris-Filled Mudslides

“Once it starts raining hard on a burn area, the things can get generated really fast, like five minutes,” says Kean.The debris flow can carry boulders and trees along with mud, making it more dangerous than a regular flood or a dry landslide.

An Obscure Concealed Carry Group Spent Millions on Facebook Political Ads

An Obscure Concealed Carry Group Spent Millions on Facebook Political Ads

The company requires these advertisers to go through an authorization process, which includes submitting their government-issued ID and a residential mailing address.Concealed Online’s owner says he had no choice but to register as a political advertiser when Facebook instituted its new policies.

How California Needs to Adapt to Survive Future Fires

How California Needs to Adapt to Survive Future Fires

The Camp Fire comes just a year after the second most destructive blaze, the Tubbs Fire, struck the city of Santa Rosa to the south of Paradise, leveling 5,500 structures and killing 22.LEARN MOREThe WIRED Guide to Climate Change“How could this happen?” says Stephen Pyne, a fire researcher at Arizona State University.

Is California's Smoke Getting Worse? It's Complicated

Is California's Smoke Getting Worse? It's Complicated

"If you use intensity as a proxy for pollution—that is, if you assume stronger fires will produce more emissions like smoke—then by stint of that, yes, there ought to be more smoke," says atmospheric composition scientist Mark Parrington.A senior researcher at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, Parrington tracks wildfires around the world to better understand their effect on pollution and public health.

Take a Good Look, America. This Is What the Reckoning Looks Like

Take a Good Look, America. This Is What the Reckoning Looks Like

That turns out to be a myth—frogs are smarter than that.Humans aren’t, at least when it comes to climate change.LEARN MOREThe WIRED Guide to Climate ChangeFor nearly a week, fires of unprecedented speed and ferocity have been tearing through California.

The US Is the Only Country Where There Are More Guns Than People

The US Is the Only Country Where There Are More Guns Than People

Today, the US boasts more firearms than residents.Canada, for its part, may have a lot of guns as well, as the chart below shows, but its citizens don't often die from gunfire; the country ranks 72nd in the world for deaths from firearms.

These Wind Patterns Explain Why California's Wildfires Are So Bad

These Wind Patterns Explain Why California's Wildfires Are So Bad

That’s why all these fires popped up on either end of the state nearly simultaneously: They share a common origin in the jet stream.https://twitter.com/RobElvington/status/1061385865857949696When the air masses hit the Sierra Nevada Mountains in eastern California, they behave like water flowing over a rock in a stream.

The Terrifying Science Behind California’s Massive Camp Fire

The Terrifying Science Behind California’s Massive Camp Fire

“We have a weather event, in this case a downslope windstorm, where, as opposed to the normal westerly winds, we get easterly winds that are cascading off the crest of the Sierra Nevada,” says Neil Lareau, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Nevada, Reno.A windstorm barreling from the east just set the stage for this week's burning disaster.

How Antivax PACs Helped Shape Midterm Ballots

How Antivax PACs Helped Shape Midterm Ballots

In three counties, non-medical exemption rates reach as high as nine percent.“We’ve got kids dying of the flu, an enormous risk of a measles outbreak, over what?” says Hotez, who has been one of the loudest voices to condemn the modern anti-vaccine movement.

Don’t Be Duped by Voting Misinformation Before the Midterms

Don’t Be Duped by Voting Misinformation Before the Midterms

There are also third-party tools supported by nonpartisan organizations like Ballotopedia, Democracy Works, and Vote411.org, which allow you to input your address and receive individualized voter information for your area.What People Are SayingThere’s a ton of misinformation out there, and it’s always evolving, but there are a few general themes that come up every election cycle.Voter FraudVoter fraud is a constant boogeyman.

Los Angeles Must Pay Billions to Adapt—or Slip Into the Sea

Los Angeles Must Pay Billions to Adapt—or Slip Into the Sea

But much of it is in trouble: Sea level rise is coming for Los Angeles County and its 74 miles of coast.According to a new report from the New York Academy of Sciences, it’ll take LA as much as $6.4 billion to fortify itself against an impending increase in coastal flooding, with moves such as nourishing its beaches with extra sand and elevating its ports.

The Mystery of the Dying Mesquites

The Mystery of the Dying Mesquites

“If the screwbean mesquite disappears, it will be a huge loss for migrating and desert riparian birds,” says Warren. “Experts have pointed out that screwbean mesquites are dying in many places where there has been no tamarisk control,” says Warren.

GM Breaks with Trump Administration in Call for National Electric Car Mandate

GM Breaks with Trump Administration in Call for National Electric Car Mandate

(IW 500/4) plans to propose that federal regulators embrace a nationwide electric-car sales program starting in 2021, patterned on California’s so-called zero emission vehicle sales mandate that requires manufacturers to sell more EVs each year.

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