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$3 billion Accounting Error Means Pentagon Can Send More weapons To Ukraine

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. The Pentagon has inflated the worth of the weaponry it has shipped to Ukraine by at least $3 billion, an accounting miscalculation that could benefit the war campaign by allowing the Pentagon to transfer more weapons now without asking Congress for more money.

The appreciation Thursday’s announcement comes at a time when the Pentagon is under greater pressure from Congress to account for the billions of dollars in weapons, ammunition, and equipment deployed to Ukraine, and some lawmakers are questioning whether that level of support should continue.

It might also free up additional funds for key armaments as Ukraine prepares for a long-anticipated counteroffensive that will necessitate as much military assistance as possible. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that insufficient supplies postponed the offensive.

The miscalculation occurred when officials overestimated some of the systems shipped to Ukraine, calculating the cost of totally replacing an item rather than the weapon’s existing value. The Pentagon has chosen to draw from its inventories of older, existing equipment in many of the military aid packages because it can transfer such goods to Ukraine faster.

“During our routine oversight of presidential drawdown packages, the Department discovered inconsistencies in Ukraine’s equipment valuation.” “In some cases,’replacement cost’ rather than ‘net book value’ was used, which overestimated the value of the equipment drawn down from U.S. stocks,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh explained.

She also stated that the error had not impacted U.S. support for Ukraine or the ability to deploy aid to the battlefield.

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The U.S. The Pentagon has inflated the worth of the weaponry it has shipped to Ukraine by at least $3 billion.

According to a defense official, the Pentagon is still attempting to calculate the overall surplus. According to the person who spoke anonymously to discuss internal deliberations, the comptroller has directed the military services to assess all prior Ukraine aid packages using the right cost figures. As a result, the insider claimed, the agency would have greater available financing authority as the Ukraine offensive approaches.

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the aid surplus.

Since Russia’s invasion in February 2022, the United States has supplied Ukraine with almost $37 billion in military aid. Most of that has been in weapons systems, millions of munitions and ammunition rounds, and various trucks, sensors, radars, and other equipment retrieved from Pentagon stockpiles and promptly delivered to Ukraine.

Members of Congress have regularly questioned Defence Department officials about how closely the U.S. monitors its help to Ukraine to ensure that money is not vulnerable to fraud or ends up in the wrong hands. The Pentagon has stated that it has a “robust programme” in place to trace the aid as it crosses the border into Ukraine and to monitor it once it arrives, depending on the sensitivity of each weapon system.

There is also a small team of Americans in Ukraine working with Ukrainians to conduct physical and virtual inspections when necessary, as that person will not be heading to the front lines.

In late February, the Pentagon’s inspector general stated that his agency had discovered no indication that any of the billions of dollars in weaponry and supplies to Ukraine had been lost to corruption or diverted into the wrong hands. He warned that the investigations were still in their early stages.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Google Denies Gmail Is Shutting Down After Viral Hoax

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Google has been forced to publicly affirm that Gmail is “here to stay” after a hoax claiming it was shutting down went viral on social media.

A post on X, formerly Twitter, which has been read over seven million times, stated that it would close in August.

Google responded to the same platform to deny the bogus allegation.

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Google Denies Gmail Is Shutting Down After Viral Hoax

A communications expert told the BBC that it was “a classic example” of the risks of misinformation.

“Most people believe what they see online, and there’s a lack of tools and processes to verify the facts,” said Richard Bagnall, CEO of CARMA, a communications evaluation organisation.

“Whilst social networks can act without responsibility and pump unfiltered, unverified information to their audiences, this Gmail incident won’t be the last case we’ll see.”

All social media sites struggle to combat misinformation, but X has been singled out for special criticism, with the EU saying in 2023 that it was worse than its rivals at propagating lies.

The corporation has previously stated that it is devoted to “tackling hate speech” while aiming to “protect free speech.”

The BBC has contacted X for comment on this scam, which appears to be based on an email from Google in 2023. It informed users that access to Gmail’s most basic HTML view would be disabled.

google

Google Denies Gmail Is Shutting Down After Viral Hoax

The initial HTML interface was utilised when Gmail started in 2004 and would be unfamiliar to most individuals who use the service today.

“We are reaching out to share an important update about Gmail,” the viral post states.

“After years of connecting millions worldwide, enabling seamless communication, and fostering countless connections, the journey of Gmail is coming to a close.”

Gmail is the world’s most popular email service, with over 1.5 billion active users globally, according to Statista.

google

Google Denies Gmail Is Shutting Down After Viral Hoax

Despite firmly denouncing the bogus claims in the hoax communication, Google has closed numerous services in recent years.

In 2023 alone, Google discontinued its Stadia gaming service and its Snapchat-like YouTube Stories feature and began deleting old and inactive Gmail accounts.

It has stated plans to close Google Podcasts however this service has been effectively replaced by YouTube Music, which it also controls.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

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Nvidia’s market value has reached $2 trillion (£1.58 trillion), marking a new milestone in the chipmaker’s meteoric rise to the ranks of the world’s most valuable corporations.

Shares of the Silicon Valley corporation gained more than 4% in opening trading on Friday before falling slightly.

The gains built on the company’s impressive earnings announcement earlier this week.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

The company is profiting from improvements in artificial intelligence (AI), which has boosted demand for its processors.

The company’s turnover doubled last year to more than $60 billion, and CEO Jensen Huang told investors this week that demand was “surging” worldwide.

The corporation, which became worth $1 trillion less than a year ago, is now the world’s fourth most valuable publicly traded company, trailing Microsoft, Apple, and Saudi Aramco.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

After shares fell from their early Friday highs, the company’s market capitalization ended the day just under $2 trillion.

Nvidia was founded in 1993 and was originally recognized for producing computer processors that processed images, primarily for computer games.

Long before the AI revolution, it began adding capabilities to its chips that it claims to aid in machine learning, which has helped it acquire market dominance.

It is currently regarded as a vital company to monitor how quickly AI-powered technology spreads throughout the commercial world.

The firm’s stock price has more than tripled the previous year, from less than $240 per share to about $800 in midday trading on Friday.

On Thursday, the day after its earnings release, purchasers snapped up shares, boosting its value by $277 billion, the greatest one-day rise in Wall Street history.

He research has also contributed to a larger market rise, appearing to persuade investors that, as Derren Nathan of Hargreaves Lansdown put it, the AI boom is “living up to the hype”.

nvidia

AI Chip Firm Nvidia Valued At $2tn

“It’s being used in automotive for design, in telecommunications for network planning, and in mainstream companies to figure out and get insights into data that they haven’t been able to get before,” Bob
O’Donnell, a technology analyst based in the United States, told the BBC earlier this week.

“This is now really starting to hit the kinds of companies across the board, not just specialized tech companies and that’s a real tipping point for the industry.”

SOURCE – (BBC)

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The Tesla Cybertruck Is Impressive And Worrying

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There was a time when an electric Tesla truck, built to compete with America’s most popular goods, the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado, appeared to be the perfect way to propel Tesla into the mainstream.

Then, in 2019, Elon Musk revealed the Tesla Cybertruck, a bare metal box with wheels. It is the furthest thing from the mainstream. This truck has ardent fans and much more ardent detractors. However, it has good towing and hauling capabilities despite its edgy design limiting its usability. For some clients, the sacrifice is unquestionably worthwhile.

However, it is possible that Ford and GM are overly concerned.

If it’s a popularity contest, they win. Even after I put a rented Tesla Cybertruck next to a hot-pink McLaren supercar in a shopping centre parking lot in California, the McLaren drivers couldn’t stop chatting about the Cybertruck. The large, bright silver truck drew a crowd everywhere I went, attracting both young people waiting to see one in person and others, usually older, who had no idea what it was.

cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck Is Impressive And Worrying

The Tesla Cybertruck resembles nothing else on the road. Its size, which is not quite as long as a Ford F-150 but appears even larger, is also striking. Of course, once the Cybertruck has been on the market for a time, its appeal will fade.

There’s much to enjoy about the Cybertruck, but it also represents a terrible amount of personal arrogance in cold, unforgiving steel. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has prioritized design and technical goals over customer needs and concerns for other drivers’ safety. As Walter Isaacson’s latest biography of Musk explains, Musk’s obsession with this structure, built from the same steel SpaceX uses for rockets, resulted in the rectilinear mass of naked metal that I was driving through the southern California hills.

It was the most enjoyable electric truck I’d ever driven. I’ve driven practically all of the other electric trucks on the market, including Fords and Rivian, and I don’t anticipate any of them outperforming Cybertruck’s sports-car-like performance. Normally, it is not a priority in a pickup. It has exceptional acceleration and steering that feels quick, sensitive, and agile. Its powerful acceleration, fast steering, and custom-designed Goodyear truck tyres reminded me of driving the Lamborghini Huracán Sterrato, a high-performance sports vehicle outfitted with off-road tyres and higher suspension. However, the Cybertruck is significantly larger and heavier.

Even a light tap on the accelerator swiftly pushed everyone else behind. With its drive-by-wire steering system, a tiny turn of its small, rectangular steering wheel produced tight bends at lower speeds, but it was easy to keep the truck in its lane at greater speeds. With four-wheel steering, it can turn around in a smaller area than one may imagine.

Tesla did not provide CNN with a Cybertruck for testing. Instead, we rented one for more than $1,000 daily from Turo, a-to-peer vehicle rental service. (Turo does not determine the rates; vehicle owners do, and Cybertruck charges have decreased slightly since then.) My Turo host guided me through the Cybertruck’s several unusual controls – by non-Tesla standards.

Instead of a stalk, steering wheel buttons control the turn signals. (Again, this is comparable to a Lamborghini or Ferrari.) I swiped up and down on a truck icon on the centre screen to shift the truck into drive or reverse. (If the screen ever goes blank, there is a row of gear selector buttons on the ceiling, right over the windscreen.) And I had to hunt around on the touchscreen to find the control for the Cybertruck’s single massive windscreen wiper. Everything made sense after driving the vehicle for an hour.

So, what’s with the rearview mirror?
It features a rearview mirror on the windscreen, but it is largely ineffective. With the bed cover closed, nothing is visible from the back window.

Many current SUVs include rearview mirrors that double as video screens, displaying a view from a camera installed in the rear. Tesla could have employed a comparable technology but didn’t. The Cybertruck’s back video view is presented in a small rectangle on the truck’s centre screen. It’s always there while you’re driving.

cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck Is Impressive And Worrying

This seemingly trivial element reveals Tesla’s approach to car controls. The only justification for having the rearview video display within the rearview mirror is that this is where drivers are accustomed to viewing. Similarly, the only purpose for a turn signal stalk is because it is what people expect. For better or worse, Tesla is okay with what you’re used to.

There are indicators that this mentality contributes to greater crash rates, yet if Tesla were designing a vehicle from the start, the unusual choices would be entirely understandable.

Then there’s the Cybertruck’s unusual shape. Other firms have been producing pickup trucks for well over a century, and there are reasons why they are rarely shaped like wedges. In this case, the Cybertruck’s obvious and unnecessary desire to stand out is a hindrance.

Not suitable for freight.
If you load the cargo bed in the Cybertruck and decide you want to reach anything in the front or back window, you’ll need to begin unpacking. It is not accessible by reaching over the side of the bed. The side wall is too high.

Unlike other large trucks, the Cybertruck has nowhere to put your foot to help you reach over the cargo bed’s edge to save the back tyre, which may be sticky with mud and filth. There isn’t even much room to stand on the rear bumper.

The “frunk,” or front trunk, is a rather ineffective afterthought compared to the one on the Ford F-150 Lightning. Ford’s is just larger and has plenty of power outlets, making it a truly useful office. The Cybertruck is useful as a place to sit. However, there is a reasonably sized storage bin.

For now, the Cybertruck is also more expensive than the Lightning. The Foundation Series truck that I drove cost more than $100,000. It will be next year before Tesla says it will begin building trucks for under $60,000.

Most problematic, however, is the manufacturing quality. The cabin is relatively good, although spartan, but that’s the easy part, especially because Tesla eliminates most switches. The difficult element is creating a body from stainless steel, particularly one with relatively straight edges that do not conceal misalignments.

Body panel alignments are primarily cosmetic in most automobiles and trucks. Having large, irregular gaps between different body portions does not look nice. However, most automobiles are not composed of thick, hard-edged stainless steel. Our Cybertruck’s front corners had openings large enough to see daylight through and hard edges protruding from the body.

cybertruck

The Tesla Cybertruck Is Impressive And Worrying

I was concerned that if this vehicle collided with a pedestrian or if someone slid while climbing over the bedside, the unforgiving metal might inflict serious injury. It’s not knife-edged, but it appears to rip through the skin when it hits soft flesh with enough force. I emailed Tesla to see if they had any issues, but I am still awaiting a response. Tesla has been waiting to respond to CNN’s questions for years.

This is not a truck that customers will buy in large numbers, and it’s not simply because Tesla still needs to produce them. It’s entertaining and engaging, but there’s little need to acquire this instead of something more ordinary and useful for those who want to get the job done. It doesn’t do much better – or at least anything significant – than a Ford F-150 Lightning or a Chevrolet Silverado EV, and it will undoubtedly be worse in several critical respects.

If you want to attract a crowd, this is your ride. At least as long as the novelty lasts.

SOURCE – (CNN)

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