A thousand virtual PDs trying a thousand different things a thousand different times until the virtual is good enough to be decanted into the physical. These simulations are trivial in comparison to full scale atmospheric modeling and executable on common and reasonably priced hardware available today, including just by renting cycles from AWS or Azure.
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I brute-forced my way through the countless experiments necessary to learn to solve the cube with the neural net in my head without outside guidance in Grade 11, because I like beating my head against brick walls and math was boring. Managed to get under 70 seconds, which is glacially slow by speed cubing standards, but I was happy with it.
A lot more people have picked up the Cube and put it down without ever solving it than not. And the number of people who can do it one handed is even smaller, but the world record is about 8 seconds.
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We never think about our hands, but there are 27 bones in each one, they are capable of remarkable degrees of movement and are one of the most sensor laden components of our bodies. They have evolved to remarkable degrees of competence, and speed cubers and magicians constantly amaze us with the art of the possible. Then they start interfering with the hand with among other things, a stuffed giraffe.
There are two pieces to unpack there. The first is reinforcement learning. This is the reward mechanism for positive outcomes. Among other things, Google is using it to make its data centers more energy efficient. The second is automatic domain randomization. They made the cubes heavier and lighter, and made them rotate more and less smoothly. In the physical, they put a rubber glove over the hand, dropped scraps of paper on it, and nudged it with a stuffed giraffe to explore the limits of its ability to focus on the task through increasing degrees of noise.
This is the equivalent of the massive virtual parallel attempts that Plastic Dinosaur makes to solve problems. Every time he fails to achieve an objective, the next time he sleeps he dreams a bunch of dreams that allow him to improve. But this is an incredibly sophisticated degree of control over the robotic facsimile of the most sophisticated physical manipulator on our bodies.
That took 2. Another interesting question that arises is how it would choose what to simulate? Think about your daily routine as you walk through the world, encountering dozens of doors of dozens of weights with dozens of different door mechanisms including automatic ones. Think about a paper coffee cup vs a ceramic one vs a glass one with a serviette around it. Think about encountering an out-of-service escalator and walking up the unusual height steps, or another set of steps that due to architectural and aesthetic choices are different in depth and tread width.
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We adapt incredibly smoothly and quickly, exploring the absurd variance of the physical world without really noticing how clever we are. Until we try to imagine doing it with neural nets and a robotic velociraptor. Follow CleanTechnica on Google News. He works with startups, existing businesses and investors to identify opportunities for significant bottom line growth and cost takeout in our rapidly transforming world. He is editor of The Future is Electric, a Medium publication. He regularly publishes analyses of low-carbon technology and policy in sites including Newsweek, Slate, Forbes, Huffington Post, Quartz, CleanTechnica and RenewEconomy, and his work is regularly included in textbooks.
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Follow cleantechnica. Definitely a CVT failure. Yep…the exact reason my best buddy scraped his Maxima versus attempting to fix it. The cost of the replacement transmission was just about what the vehicle was worth.
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Not a big fan of those CVTs. Not my idea of an attractive design, but I like that Nissan tried something different. Now Lexus and Toyota, those make me angry….. My guess is the CVT.
If that went out of warranty the replacement cost could equal the value of the vehicle. The burning question is whether someone already swiped the optional dash-top shag carpet. Yeah, I feel old seeing a non-wrecked car in a junkyard. Plus the common cars usually generate a lot more discussion in the comments. Good idea — which make and model is the most frequent early arrival to the junkyard without obvious accident or theft damage? Maybe the Mirage, though maybe not for more years. Junked Cubes were purchased as High School graduation presents for daughters — sons would have torched it on the spot.
So they end up here when they are the place to get the most money for them. This has to have been a catastrophic mechanical failure of some sort. Or it was totaled out by an insurance company for some reason theft? I love the fact that Nissan tried something as odd as the Cube. Here in Japan they seem to last, although the low power is not a problem, and Japanese driving is much less hard on those apparently fragile CVTs.
Murilee, as a great man once said back in , your mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives. I was going to quote Mr. I owned a cube for about 5 years. It was a great, reliable little car not a minivan.
It had tremendous passenger space and was great in the city and surprisingly good on long road trips. My daughter loved it so I gave it to her as her first car. It was a perfect first car with awesome visibility. Sadly, she rear ended somebody about a year later and the cube was totaled. I had a customer whose Sentra CVT lunched at 9 years and k miles. Free CVT! The hallucinogenic drugs that the Nissan designers used when they did the Juke were wearing off but not totally out of their systems when this thing was designed.
I would call the Japanese the kings of both weird and ugly, but they keep most of the truly odd stuff at home. More than just several, the basic exterior design of the 3rd gen Cube sold here is just a freshened up version of the 2nd gen which went on sale in The xB1 started the modern US incarnation of the little box car, continued by the Element, cube, and Soul as kvndoom mentioned above.
But only the Soul lives on, and it continues with strong sales.
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My guess as to why: xB1 I had one; it was great : Buyers wanted more power, more sound deadening. Element: SUV-like fuel consumption. Soul: Just the right combination of power, utility, comfort, and price. Yeah my short-lived xB2 was a gas hog. It still was noisy — not bad — but still loud enough on the highway that the stereo would get drowned out and you had to shout at any rear passengers to be heard.
And as for the Xb1, its tempting to say that the consumer demands for more power and a quieter ride turned the Xb1 into a car that no one wanted to buy the Xb2 , but the Soul is exactly that — an Xb1 with more power and a quieter ride. Has served me without issue for 41 months and miles since I bought it.
I agree they were hit harder by cost cutting in the early-mid s than perhaps any other Japanese auto maker and that coupled with the mass CVT roll-out did them no favors. But the older stuff is rock solid, if rust-prone. But those Maximas and Hardbodies I would add the Infiniti G20, a couple of generations of Q45, a couple of generations of Pathfinder, and the turn of the century Xterras, Altimas and Sentras to this list are actual Nissans.
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When Renault exerted its influence, and cost-cutting PhD Ghosn got involved, Nissan quality started its descent into a place Dante once wrote of. All three of our cars have rear drums and work just fine. Front drums on the Beetle are a bit feeble though…. Once again, manual transmission for the longevity win. I fail to see any downsides of them in this sort of application. In the salt belt especially, drums are much more hassle-free. Is that a Mercedes R-Class next to it? Talk about another car that the market hated! I remember a radio commercial for it that described it as a great car for grandparents.
I think it is. They seemed to sell in decent not huge numbers in my upscale suburb. They sold rather badly here as well, and I rarely see them. This is the first time I have clicked on one of these articles. I like old cars but seeing them in the junkyard is just depressing, not interesting. Stuff like this though is very interesting.
I would love a series like this which explored the reasons for a late model winding up scrapped other than for serious wreck damage. I have no issues purchasing a 10 year old car, so real world stories of problems serious enough to junk one would be most helpful. I was disappointed to learn that the wraparound rear window on the Cube hid thick pillars just like in any ordinary car.