Tesla cuts Model 3 price for second time this year

FILE PHOTO – A 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is shown in this photo illustration taken in Cardiff, California, U.S., June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake/File Photo

(Reuters) – Electric carmaker Tesla Inc is lowering the price of its Model 3 by $1,100, citing the end of a costly customer referral program, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday.

The second price cut to the Model 3 this year now brings the cost of its least expensive variant to $42,900, according to the company’s website here.

Tesla’s customer referral incentive plan ended on Feb. 1 after Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had tweeted that the referral program was “adding too much cost to the cars, especially Model 3”.

Tesla delivered fewer-than-expected Model 3 sedans in the fourth quarter and cut prices for all its vehicles in the United States to offset a reduction in a green tax credit.

The company is rapidly increasing production of its Model 3 sedan and lower prices could help it reach a broader customer base than its pure luxury vehicles.

Reporting by Sanjana Shivdas in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier

Recently patched Ubuntu needs another quick patch

Featured stories

Sometimes when I fix things around my house I end up causing more problems. Software developers are the same way. Last week, Canonical‘s Ubuntu developers fixed over 10 security bugs in Ubuntu 18.04… But, as it turned out, it introduced at least two other bugs.

Also: Ubuntu 18.04 needs patching

The Ubuntu security team admitted: “USN-3871-1 fixed vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS. Unfortunately, that update introduced regressions with docking station displays and mounting ext4 file systems with the meta_bg option enabled. “

These aren’t show-stopping bugs for most of us, but if you’re one of the people they hit, you’d feel differently. So, it behooves you to patch the patch sooner rather than later.

The patch replaces the troubled linux-image 4.15.0-44.47 with the fixed linux-image 4.15.0-45.48 kernel.

Also: Inside Ubuntu’s financials

Besides Ubuntu 18.04, this bug can impact Ubuntu variants as  Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu. They could also pop up on Linux distros, such as Mint 19 and Mint 19.1, which are built on top of Ubuntu 18.04


MUST READ


To patch an Ubuntu desktop, run Update Manager. Once up, check for new updates and press the ‘Install Updates’ button to upgrade the selected packages to their updated version on your PC. On a server without a GUI, run the following commands from the shell:

$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Then, after installing the patches, reboot the system to make sure the changes are all put in place.

Related Stories:

Tech Companies Have a Brand Image Problem: Here's How to Solve It

Tech companies everywhere, but especially those in Silicon Valley, have a serious brand image problem. Over the past few years, major tech companies have drawn ire from the public for their lack of diversity, apathy toward privacy issues, as well as their accumulation of wealth.

This isn’t exactly stopping people from using the tech products we’ve come to rely on so heavily, but it is having an effect on share prices–and it’s attracting stricter regulations from governments all over the world. If these corporate juggernauts are going to earn back the trust of consumers, shareholders, and policymakers, they need to take serious strides to change how they’re publicly perceived. There are several ways to accomplish this, but it’s going to take a concentrated effort.

Diversity and Representation

First, Silicon Valley has a major diversity problem–and has had one for many years. The overwhelming majority of tech CEOs (and even tech employees) are white men. This is problematic both for the vision and products of the companies and for the reputation of those companies in the general public. Having a leadership team without representation from women and minority groups means your company is less likely to consider the wants, needs, and perspectives of those groups; it’s why we end up with algorithms that discriminate against women and minorities.

There is a fix, though it’s not necessarily a simple one. The most obvious solution is to hire more people from underrepresented groups, but tech companies don’t always have the luxury of having equal or proportional quantities of applicants from each of those groups; in other words, you can’t hire more women if there aren’t many qualified women applying.

So instead of simply adjusting HR practices to hire more applicants who belong to underrepresented demographics, companies need to take part in programs designed to incentivize people from minority groups to pursue careers in tech. As an example, Women in Technology (WiT) programs are becoming more popular, offering mentorship and guidance for young women looking for careers in fields like software engineering, mechanical engineering, or signal processing. Given a few years of development, enough early-stage outreach programs like these could fill the pipelines with more appliances from diverse groups, and slowly change the overall composition of these companies.

Consumer Privacy and Corporate Transparency

Tech companies have also taken a hit on the consumer privacy front, with Facebook showing up in the headlines many times in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, when it was a London-based political consulting firm was capable of harvesting the personal data of millions of Facebook users for political manipulation purposes. Apple, Amazon, Google, and other companies have also been called to testify in front of a Senate Committee on consumer privacy protections.

We use devices, software, and digital products capable of collecting and storing ridiculous quantities of data on our lives, from where we are at any given time to what we’re talking about in our homes. With opaque and hard-to-understand terms of service agreements and an increasing diversity of connected devices, consumers and policymakers are more concerned than ever that data could be used for nefarious purposes–and tech brands are getting labeled as malicious, data-hungry consumer manipulators, working in darkness to take advantage of us.

There’s no quick fix to this dilemma, but offering more transparency is a good start. Giving users more options when it comes to their privacy, giving them simpler tools so they can truly understand what’s at stake when they use a product or service, and taking accountability when breaches do occur are the only path to restore trust.

Leadership and a Company “Face”

Tech brands also suffer from being faceless, corporate conglomerates. They’re either so massive they don’t have a public face, or their public face seems too detached from reality to seem relatable. Take, for example, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; this man serves as the “face” of Facebook, but has become generally disliked and distrusted due to his reclusiveness and seemingly robotic disposition when testifying before Congress. Or take Jeff Bezos, who is periodically caricatured as a cartoonish supervillain due to his similarly reclusive nature, his ambition for growth, and his access to practically unlimited resources.

Having a stronger, more trustworthy public face isn’t going to fix everything, but it would give the public someone more relatable to associate with the brand. And it doesn’t have to be a charismatic, charming CEO either–it can be a handful of PR reps or even customer representatives who make consumers feel like there are “real” people behind these companies, instead of just automated tech and reclusive billionaires. It would be a massive investment, to be sure, but it’s one of the only reliable ways to rebuild public trust.

Become an Armchair Quarterback With These Amazon Alexa Super Bowl Skills

Alexa, who is playing in the 2019 Super Bowl?

For those who are clueless about the big game on Sunday, Amazon’s Alexa is able to help. (In case you were wondering, it’s the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.)

There are now more than 80,000 skills in Amazon’s Alexa store, according to CEO Jeff Bezos. And thankfully, for football rookies, these will come in handy for game day:

The Rookie’s Guide to the NFL

Go straight to the source with the NFL’s Alexa skill. After enabling this skill, Alexa will be able to help explain everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the game, including rules, penalties, scoring, plays and football lingo. The NFL skill even offers a history lesson previous Super Bowls.

Tom Brady Facts

By now, rookies may have learned that Tom Brady, widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, will be playing to win his sixth Super Bowl championship ring. Patriots fans may want to consult the “Tom Brady Facts” skill during the big game, so they can attempt to back up any trash talk with facts.

American Football Trivia

Learn something newor test your existing gridiron smartswith the American Football Trivia skill. And then get ready for the big game.

In addition to the ads, Amazon is teasing a new, celebrity-packed commercial this year, showing what might happen when the company puts Alexa in everyday objects. Expect a hilarious cameo from Harrison Ford, who tells his rambunctious dog to stop ordering so much foot by barking at its Alexa-enabled smart collar.

Last year, Amazon had to do some behind the scenes tinkering to make sure customers’ speakers wouldn’t go haywire when the word “Alexa” was mentioned ten times in the company’s 2018 Super Bowl ad. Let’s hope this year’s game plan is equally effective.