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Rivian starts building R1T electric trucks for customers | Engadget

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Rivian starts building R1T electric trucks for customers | Engadget


At the start of the month, Rivian achieved a major milestone. The Environmental Protection Agency for the company’s , putting both vehicles one step closer to an official launch. Rivian has now hit another important milestone. 

In a tweet spotted by , Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe announced on Tuesday that the company produced its first R1T EV for a customer. “After months of building pre-production vehicles, this morning our first customer vehicle drove off our production line in Normal,” Scaringe wrote on Twitter. “Can’t wait to get these into the hands of our customers!”

Getting to this point has been something of a journey for Rivian. The company had initially planned to start deliveries of the R1T in 2020 but was forced to delay the truck’s when it couldn’t get its manufacturing facility, a former Mitsubishi plant, retooled quickly enough. The coronavirus pandemic only added to the automaker’s problems, forcing it to push bach the launch of the R1T and R1S from to . “Everything from facility construction, to equipment installation, to vehicle component supply (especially semiconductors) has been impacted by the pandemic,” Scaringe wrote at the time.

But even with you factor in those setbacks, the R1T is making its way to consumers before the Tesla and . Both of those vehicles won’t debut before the start of 2022.

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Ultra-white paint could reduce the need for air conditioning | Engadget

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Ultra-white paint could reduce the need for air conditioning | Engadget


White houses are often boring, but they might just save the planet. As USA Today reports, Purdue University researchers have developed an ultra-white paint (it just earned a Guinness World Record) that reflects 98.1 percent of solar radiation while outputting infrared heat. As this leaves the surface cooler than the environment (regular paint warms the surface), it could effectively replace air conditioning in some cases — it produces a cooling power of 10kW for a 1,000sq. ft. roof, or more than a typical house AC unit.

There are existing paints made to reflect heat, but they reflect no more than 90 percent of sunlight and don’t cool surfaces. The team didn’t have much breathing room, either — an even whiter paint might have compromised it.

The trick was to use a high ratio of barium sulfate, a compound you often see in cosmetics and photo paper, in varying particle sizes. The wider range of sizes helps scatter more of the light spectrum and thus reflect more sunlight.

It’s not clear how close this extremely white paint is to your local store, but the researchers are fully bent on commercializing their work. They’ve teamed with a company to mass-produce and sell the paint, and have already filed patents. If it lives up to the billing, though, it could play an important role in fighting climate change. It could reduce or eliminate the need for air conditioning in some homes, particularly in warm regions with ample sunlight. That could reduce emissions and power consumption, and might save you some money on hot summer days.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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NASA’s chief scientist will retire in 2022 | Engadget

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NASA’s chief scientist will retire in 2022 | Engadget


NASA is about to close an important chapter in its history. Chief Scientist Jim Green, who has worked at the agency for over 40 years, now plans to retire in early 2022. He started by developing NASA’s equivalent to the internet (the Space Physics Analysis Network) shortly after he arrived in 1980, but he’s best known for overseeing some of NASA’s biggest space exploration projects in the past 15 years — you’re likely very aware of his work.

Green directed NASA’s Planetary Science Division during the Curiosity landing in 2012, and played a key role in both promoting and explaining the Mars rover to the public. He further took leading roles during the Juno probe’s investigation of Jupiter, Messenger’s tour of Mercury, Dawn’s visit to Ceres and New Horizons’ historic flyby of Pluto. The scientist also greenlit plans for the Perseverance rover currently roaming Mars.

It’s not yet clear who will succeed Green, although he will assist with the search for his replacement. However, it’s safe to say he’ll have a healthy legacy. He both nurtured missions and made them more accessible to the public — he helped explain why Curiosity, New Horizons and other vehicles were exciting. If you’re pursuing a career in space science, Green’s work might well have served as an inspiration.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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US probe into Binance reportedly expands to investigate insider trading | Engadget

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US probe into Binance reportedly expands to investigate insider trading | Engadget


Binance is apparently facing more pressure from regulators over possible abuses at its cryptocurrency exchange. Bloomberg sources said US officials have expanded their probe of Binance to include possible insider trading and market manipulation. The company hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing, but Commodity Futures Trading Commission investigators have reportedly inquired with potential witnesses about issues like the location of Binance servers (and thus whether the US can pursue any cases).

The commission had previously launched an investigation into the sales of derivatives tied to cryptocurrencies. It’s reportedly looking for internal Binance data that might show sales of those derivatives to American customers, breaking regulations that forbid those sales without registrations. The Internal Revenue Service and Justice Department are also probing possible money laundering on the exchange.

There are no guarantees of action. The CFTC and Justice Department have supposedly been investigating Binance for months, and any decisions might take a while longer.

Not surprisingly, Binance said it was above-board. A spokesperson told Bloomberg the exchange had a “zero-tolerance” approach to insider trades as well as ethical codes and security guidelines to prevent those actions. The company added that it fires offenders at a bare minimum. The CFTC has declined to comment.

The heightened scrutiny of Binance, if accurate, would come as part of a larger US crackdown on cryptocurrencies. Officials are concerned the lack of consumer protections (including regulation) might hurt customers who sign up for services expecting the same safeguards they have with conventional money. In this case, the focus is on accountability — insider trading could wreck valuable investments and erode trust in Binance and other crypto exchanges.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.



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