There’s a narrative that the tech industry’s future lies in Texas and Florida. That tech workers and executives — sick of California’s oppressive policies and sky-high real estate costs — are moving en masse to Miami and Austin this year. That these cities are building dominant talent foundations that will persist for years due to the pandemic. That narrative is wrong.
The story crumbles when placed next to new LinkedIn data showing where tech workers are actually moving in 2020. The key beneficiaries of this year’s tech migration are less buzzy cities like Madison, Wisconsin; Richmond, Virginia; and Sacramento, California. These places don’t get much play in the news, but they’re attracting tech talent at significantly higher rates than they were last year. Austin, conversely, is gaining tech workers more slowly.
The new LinkedIn data, which Big Technology is first publishing here, examines several hundred thousand tech workers in the U.S. It breaks down the ratio at which they’re moving into a city vs. moving out, something LinkedIn calls the inflow/outflow ratio. The data ranges from April to October, comparing 2020 with 2019. It encompasses the core months people left their cities due to the pandemic.
The country’s biggest tech migration increase took place in Madison. The city was gaining 1.02 tech workers for each one that left last year, and it’s now gaining 1.77, a 74% jump. Sacramento and Richmond, meanwhile, were losing tech workers before the pandemic and have turned it around. Sacramento was adding a fraction of a tech worker — 0.87 — for each one that left last year, and now it’s adding 1.02. Richmond was adding 0.95 last year, and it’s adding 1.06 this year. Other Midwest cities, including Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Cleveland, Ohio, have significantly reduced the rate at which tech workers were leaving their cities.
These tech talent shifts could invigorate tech and startup activity in the communities experiencing the gains, leading to lasting economic benefit, LinkedIn chief economist Karin Kimbrough told Big Technology. “I could totally envision that people who have that skill, if they decide to remain in what might call the second cities or nontraditional tech hubs, they eventually could spin off into something where they build their own thing,” she said.
Austin, for its part, is not experiencing a pandemic-induced tech worker surge. Last year, Austin was gaining 2.06 tech workers for every one that left; now it’s down to 1.84, a drop of 10.78%. Though Austin is still gaining tech workers this year, the notion that 2020 was a watershed year for tech workers moving there is a myth.
Miami is another buzzy city among people trying to anoint the next Silicon Valley. “If you’re an entrepreneur, it is probably easier to raise a VC round in Miami right now than CA,” said venture capitalist Keith Rabois last week. But that might be because the supply of VCs outweighs the demand from tech talent. Miami is gaining tech workers faster this year than last but not dramatically, an increase of 3%, according to LinkedIn.
Now on to the ugly stuff. The only two cities in the country losing tech workers that previously were gaining them are New York City and San Francisco. New York’s change in inflow/outflow ratio is -20%. San Francisco’s is -35%. To put that in context, San Francisco was previously gaining 148 workers for every 100 that left; now it’s gaining only 96. These steep drops may only be temporary, however, as these cities will likely bounce back post-pandemic.
“There are some people who have moved and are going to stay in their new place and some who might be willing to come back in a couple of years to San Francisco or New York,” Kimbrough said. “I’m not calling time on these cities. They will definitely come back.”
Seattle, meanwhile, has kept up its surge of incoming tech workers during the pandemic. The city was adding 2.52 tech workers for each one it was losing before the pandemic, and it’s kept the ratio well above 2. I wondered if this meant Seattle was on its way to becoming the new tech capital of the U.S., thinking Amazon and Microsoft’s ascents might have something to do with it. But Kimbrough looked at LinkedIn’s data along with other housing data and poured cold water on the idea. “We believe a lot of these moves are likely short-term,” she said. “We expect to see tech talent returning to legacy tech hubs like the Bay Area when offices reopen.” In other words, beware the narrative.
by Alex Kantrowitz (Big Technology)
The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, the most popular long-term commitment after marriage, fell to a record low of 2.67%, according to Freddie Mac. That’s 1) the 15th record low this year and 2) the lowest since Freddie started tracking ~50 years ago.
- FYI: Freddie Mac is a government-sponsored mortgage investor. To calculate the average rate, it compiles rates extended to “high-quality” borrowers by 80 lenders across the country.
Bargain basement rates have pushed folks who might otherwise have held off a few years into the homebuying ring. Compared to 2019, mortgage applications are up 26% and refinances 105%, per the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Economists expect that momentum to continue into 2021, especially after the Fed recommitted Wednesday to its bond-buying program (which includes mortgage-backed securities that have helped keep rates down).
While we’re here…amazing news for aspiring Chip and Joanna Gaineses. Returns on home flips are at a two-decade high, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. But good luck getting your hands on cheap property: Surging home sales have squeezed supply and inflated prices.
by: Alex Hickey
Jaguar on Wednesday unveiled a new concept car for the “Gran Turismo” video game, specifically the seventh edition of the popular racing sim that’s set for launch in 2021 for the Sony PlayStation 5.
The new concept is called the Vision Gran Turismo SV, and it’s an evolution of the Vision Gran Turismo Coupe concept Jaguar unveiled in 2019 for the “Gran Turismo Sport” video game.
In both cases the concepts are battery-electric cars, though the new SV concept ups the motor count by one for a total of four electric motors that deliver a combined 1,900 horsepower. The result is a car that Jaguar estimates will sprint to 60 mph from rest in 1.65 seconds and reach a top speed of 255 mph. Powering the motors is a lithium-ion battery, though Jaguar didn’t say how big the battery is or how much range it can deliver.
“We were given one objective: take everything that makes the Jaguar Vision GT Coupe so special—the performance, the handling and the soundtrack—and take it to another level,” Jamal Hameedi, engineering director at Jaguar Land Rover’s SVO department. You may recognize the name as Hameedi was chief engineering at Ford Performance until he left to join Jaguar in 2018.
Another key difference between the SV and earlier Coupe is that the newest concept has been designed strictly with racing in mind. As a result it draws inspiration from iconic Jaguar race cars, like the C-Type and D-Type for its curved fenders, and the XJR-14 for its active rear wing. Jaguar said the SV concept has a drag coefficient of 0.398 Cd, which is relatively low by race car standards, yet still generates over 1,000 pounds of downforce at a speed of 200 mph.
While the Vision Gran Turismo SV and previous Coupe concept aren’t intended for production, elements of the designs may appear on future electric vehicles from Jaguar, including a potential electric F-Type. Jaguar’s sole EV at present is the I-Pace crossover SUV but the automaker is working on an electric XJ that was originally due in 2020 but has been pushed back to 2021.
source: Full Article
Outwardly, nothing about this Ferrari 458 Speciale is amiss. It is the incredibly desirable, high-performance, and lightweight predecessor to the 488 Pista and whatever insane(r) performance variant Maranello has cooking up for today’s F8 Tributo. However, if you were to, say, try shooting at this specific 458 Speciale with the intent of harming its occupants (and you’re not packing, say, a rocket launcher), you might be surprised when the mid-engine supercar shrugs off the attack. That’s because the red Ferrari pictured here is armored.
Why on earth would anyone armor a lightweight sports car? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the whole point of a lightweight sports car? Aren’t there plenty of Chevy Suburbans and other huge SUVs laying around for people to slap heavy armor and protective glass onto? These are all valid questions. AddArmor, the outfit behind this project, has a simple answer: “Heavy vehicles tend to be slow, and a slow target is an easy target.”
Okay, fair point. But AddArmor also is using this prototype armored Ferrari to show off how its protection packages need not be literal boat anchors for the vehicles they’re fitted to. That isn’t to say the B4-level protection fitted to this Ferrari doesn’t add mass—it does, about 150 pounds worth—but that’s a far cry from the sort of scale-crushing weight numbers armoring used to generate. AddArmor’s point, then, is that modern vehicle armoring can be lightweight, enough so that it can be fitted to something like a Ferrari and not impact the car’s performance much.
With B4-level protection, the 458 Speciale can repel attacks from .44 Magnum rounds and pretty much any handgun. Using laminated armoring materials that are claimed to be many times stronger than ballistic steel but 60 percent lighter, AddArmor is able to keep the Ferrari from turning into a literal lead sled. The company also works to offset the armor’s extra mass by incorporating every carbon-fiber option Ferrari offers, plus a Capristo lightweight exhaust. The efforts cancel about 90 pounds of the protection parts’ mass—meaning the AddArmor Ferrari only weighs 67 pounds more than stock.
The Nissan GT-R (X) 2050 concept is quite obviously a flight into the future. Designed by Nissan intern Jaeburn (JB) Choi, it is an autonomous supercar designed for a single occupant who puts on a dockable body suit, climbs in, and lies face down and face first. This contortionist exercise is no mere sketch, either. David Woodhouse, vice president of Nissan Design America, was intrigued enough by Choi’s
vision that he approved a full-scale model to be built.
Nissan GT-R (X) Concept: All About The Size And Shape
The concept is almost 10 feet long but is only about 2 feet high. It only has room for one person—who, technically, is not the driver since it is an autonomous vehicle. Would you ride in something like this, in that face-first, face-down position? We’ll leave that question in your head, but also point out that most autonomous vehicle concepts these days resemble shrunken subway cars with plain upright benches. So this is different.
Nissan’s concept also is essentially a wearable machine: the single occupant not only lies prone with arms and legs splayed so the body forms an X, but the “driver” (occupant?) wears a form-fitting suit and helmet—picture the skeleton competitors at the Winter Olympics.
Driver Wears A Dockable Suit
And the driver is essentially “docked” in the car: the helmet inserts into a slot to access the front vision camera with virtual-reality vision—there is a small window in the car but visibility is limited. Never mind that the occupant becomes a sort of iPhone charging cable in the process.
Woodhouse describes it as similar to a four-wheel superbike laid on its side.
The wheels are designed to allow the vehicle to turn 360 degrees. The tires have an outer diameter of 21 inches and inner wheel circle of 15 inches. An active wing adds downforce when extended—it folds so the drive can get in and out which is done by lifting the top of the car.
Powered Like Iron Man
The GT-R (X) supercar would be an electric vehicle and Choi visualizes a beating heart energy source, like the one in Marvel’s Iron Man. He envisions a lightweight vehicle made of a flexible material.
During a time of isolation and working from home, the X-shaped supercar evoked excitement, drew on some current Nissan GT-R design cues, and also dovetails with some of the future technology Nissan is working on, known as B2V for Brain-to-Vehicle, said Woodhouse in explaining why this project made it to the milling machine for a scale model.
The GT-R-inspired car would be an alternative for enthusiasts in a future of otherwise identical squarish pods providing transportation. As for the GT-R cues, Choi points to the taillights, red striped accents and overall body volumes.
Woodhouse liked the idea of a supercar driven by brain-to-vehicle integration. “His (Choi’s) thesis was all about demonstrating the emotional connection technology can create, and the benefit that it can deliver for customers,” says Woodhouse.
Don’t get spooked, but a “brain-to-core transmitter” in the vehicle helps the brain activate the car. Choi’s idea was to connect the human brain to the car’s brain, the computer. The car design imitates the human body to protect the brain, he says.
In Choi’s vision, all cars decades from now are fully autonomous. In 2050 he envisions a world where computers have far better driving skills than humans and it may, in fact, be illegal for people to actually drive themselves. But they can feel as one with the car and give it directions and the car will determine if they are smart and safe to do.
Nissan used CES 2018 to show its emerging work on B2V technology that reads a driver’s brain waves. B2V interprets signals from the driver’s brain to assist with driving and to help the vehicle’s autonomous and manual systems learn from the driver. The technology promises shorter reaction times and systems that adapt to maximize driving pleasure.
Who Is This Intern?
Choi, born in Seoul, South Korea, is a graduate of the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, CA. His thesis was to create an autonomous GT-R for 2050, when machines are a physical extension of the driver.
As part of his internship at Nissan Design America, (mostly a remote exercise, done from home because of the pandemic) Choi brought his thesis to life as the Nissan GT-R (X) 2050 concept. He never imagined Nissan would let him create a full-size model.
Choi’s internship has ended, but he will soon be a Nissan employee, Woodhouse says.
This Holliday season has confirmed the dominance of online shopping. All those smiling boxes couldn’t make it to you without thousands of delivery vans, so the next generation eSprinter has been announced by Mercedes-Benz. Their latest press release hints at the details of their new “Electric Versatility Program”. Starting with an investment of 350 million euro ($422,822,750), the Sprinter plants in South Carolina and abroad will be re-tooled for a high-voltage future.