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OpenStack Stein: A new cool drink of open-source cloud

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The future of cloud-based services
Jason McGee, IBM fellow, VP and CTO, IBM cloud platform, talks about how IBM continues to grow within the open-source community.

While OpenStack is concerned with more than just Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud these days, it’s still primarily an open-source cloud open-source consortium. In its latest release, OpenStack Stein, the cloud comes with significant network management, bare metal, and containers improvements.

For its users, which include many telecoms, the network management part is the most tasty part. OpenStack Neutron, its networking-as-a-service component, now boasts Network Segment Range Management. This enables cloud administrators to manage network segment type ranges dynamically. It uses a new application programming interface (API) extension to do this. Previously, you were stuck with manually editing configuration files.

Neutron also now treats treats bandwidth as a resource. Thus, it can work with the OpenStack Nova compute service to schedule instances only to hosts, which have enough bandwidth to do a given job effectively.

Finally, other Neutron API improvements support for Quality of Service (QoS) policy rule aliases. This enables sysadmins to to delete, show, and update QoS rules much more easily.

Ironic, OpenStack’s bare-metal provisioning service, offers better deployment templates. Standalone users can now request allocations of bare-metal nodes with submitted configuration data. Previously, you had to use pre-formed configuration drives.

As for Kubernetes — because who isn’t using Kubernetes for container orchestration? — OpenStack Magnum has greatly improved Kubernetes cluster launch time. With Stein, it will only take you five minutes per node instead of 10 to 12 minutes. With this release, too, you can now launch a fully integrated Kubernetes cluster with support for such core OpenStack services as Manila, Cinder, and Keystone on a pre-existing OpenStack cloud.

OpenStack is also adding some new services. These include:  

  • Blazar, the resource reservation service, introduced a new Resource Allocation API allowing operators to query the reserved state of their cloud resources.
  • Placement enables you to target a candidate resource provider. This makes it easier to specify a workload migration host. In turn, this increases API performance by 50 percent for common scheduling operations. Nova’s internal Placement service will be removed by the the Train release scheduled for October 2019.
  • Sahara, makes it easier to provision data processing frameworks, such as Apache Hadoop, Apache Spark, and Apache Storm, on OpenStack. It’s been been refactored into a easier-to-use architecture to make it easier to use this functionality.

Jonathan Bryce, the OpenStack Foundation executive director, summed this release up: “With Stein, operators gain new capabilities for bare metal management and networking, running high-performance workloads with GPUs, operating and Network functions virtualization (NFV) deployments. OpenStack has also become a powerful platform for managing Kubernetes clusters in private and multi-cloud deployments.”

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Lamborghini tease hints at reborn Countach LP500

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Back in August, Lamborghini pulled the wraps off the Countach LPI 800-4. As cool as the vehicle is, it’s not as breathtaking as the original Countach was when it debuted. Unfortunately for Lamborghini, as cool as the new hypercar was, it didn’t generate the buzz the company hoped for. In its soul, the LPI 800-4 is nothing more than a reskinned Sian.

However, Lambo has teased fans again by tweeting a video that shows the construction of a seat reminiscent of those in the Countach concept car that hinted at the design of the production car 50 years ago. The teaser video certainly doesn’t show or suggest a new Countach is in the works.

However, the text that accompanies the teaser talks about a car from 50 years ago that is coming back on the road. The audio in the video has the wail of a Lamborghini V-12. Judging from the time frame 50 years suggests and the V-12 scream, the car is a Countach.

The original Countach debuted on March 11, 1971, in Geneva. It went on to be one of the most iconic cars of the 80s and adorned the wall of teenagers around the globe. Rumors suggest Lamborghini is teasing is a recreation of the original concept car. It’s not a complete restoration by any means, considering the original concept car was used in crash tests to homologated the production vehicle.

There’s certainly the chance that what Lambo is teasing has nothing to do with the Countach at all. However, it would be very cool to see Lamborghini re-create the original Countach concept using modern power and technology.

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Ford reveals the Mustang Mach-E EV for police testing

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Ford has been building cars used by police departments and other law-enforcement agencies around the country for many years. In the past, its Mustang with the 5.0 liter V-8 and the Crown Victoria, among other Ford vehicles, were widely used as police cars. Many police agencies are pushing towards automobiles that get better fuel economy and pollute less.

To meet the demand for zero-emissions police vehicles, Ford has submitted the all-electric Mustang Mach-E for testing with the Michigan State Police. Ford is exploring fully electric vehicles built specifically for police as part of its $30 billion investment in electrification through the year 2025.

Ford is aiming to demonstrate that its electric vehicle can deliver impressive performance and operate on demanding police duty cycles. The all-electric police vehicle is based on the 2021 Mustang Mach-E. It will be part of the 2022 model year Police Evaluation performed by the Michigan State Police on September 18 and 20th.

Ford says that the pilot program is going to be used as a testing benchmark as it explores purpose-built electric police vehicles for the future. The automaker expects that demand for green zero missions police will continue to grow. Previously Ford revealed a Mach-E police car for the United Kingdom.

As regulations tighten for emissions around the world, many police departments and law-enforcement agencies will be forced to seek green patrol vehicles. One potential downside to an electric vehicle for police work is long charge times and short driving ranges in pursuit situations. However, despite its drawbacks, electric vehicles offer impressive performance. It would be no surprise to see the Mach-E police car record the best performance of all vehicles in the test.

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The NTSB is probing another fatal Tesla crash

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Over the years, there have been multiple accidents involving Tesla vehicles that were allegedly operating on Autopilot at the time. Autopilot is Tesla’s semi-autonomous driver assistance tech. To use Autopilot, drivers are supposed to keep their hands on the wheel, but some owners have found ways to defeat that system.

Recently police in Coral Gables, Florida, were called to the scene of an accident involving a Tesla Model 3. The accident occurred on Monday evening of this week and happened in a residential area. According to police, the vehicle was using the Autopilot system at the time of the accident.

After the Model 3 crashed, its battery packs caught fire, and the two deceased occupants were badly burned. The bodies were damaged enough that they haven’t been positively identified at this time. The fatal accident occurred when the Model 3 impacted a tree. After that impact, there was a fire.

The NTSB has confirmed that it has sent three investigators to the area to look into the cause of the fire. This accident isn’t the first allegedly involving Tesla’s Autopilot system that NTSB has investigated. Previously, the NTSB also investigated an accident involving a Tesla that happened in Texas in April.

In that particular accident, police believe no one was in the driver’s seat. Some Tesla owners have discovered how to activate autopilot without being in the driver’s seat. In August, the NHTSA opened a formal probe into Tesla automobiles and its Autopilot driver assistance system after 11 crashes involving Autopilot-equipped vehicles and police and fire vehicles. There have been 11 crashes involving Tesla’s that have led to the death of occupants since 2016. Whether or not autopilot is at fault is unknown.

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