Vegan burger maker Beyond Meat raises price range in upsized IPO

(Reuters) – Plant-based meat maker Beyond Meat Inc on Tuesday increased the expected price range and size of its initial public offering, ahead of an expected market debut on Wednesday, indicating strong investor demand.

The company said it expects to offer 9.63 million shares, up from 8.75 million shares and the IPO to be priced between $23 and $25 per share, up from $19 and $21 per share, its latest filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission showed. (

The higher end of the indicative price range gives the company a market value of $1.49 billion, up from $1.21 billion earlier.

Plant-based meat substitutes have been gaining popularity as more attention is focused on the environmental hazards of industrial ranching.

The Los Angeles-based company in early January announced it was rolling out its plant-based burger at fast-food chain Carl’s Jr.

Investors in Beyond Meat include actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Microsoft Corp founder Bill Gates.

Tyson Foods Inc, the no. 1 U.S. meat processor, owned a 6.5 percent stake in Beyond Meat, but last week said it sold its investment in the vegan burger maker, as it looks to develop its own line of alternative protein products.

Beyond Meat’s net loss narrowed marginally to $29.89 million in the year ended Dec. 31, from $30.38 million a year earlier. Net revenue more than doubled to $87.93 million in the same period.

The company expects to start trading on the Nasdaq under the symbol “BYND”.

Goldman Sachs, J.P.Morgan, Credit Suisse are the lead underwriters to the IPO.

(Reporting by Bharath Manjesh in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel and Shounak Dasgupta)



To say that cognitive computing is a disruptive technology is an understatement of huge proportions. Already it is freeing humans from tedious tasks, streamlining city traffic, improving emergency services, saving lives on operating tables, and delivering parcels to your front door.

Cognitive computing is poised to disrupt the entire education section as well.

The technology comprises technology platforms that combine machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, data mining, and human/computer interaction to mimic the workings of the human brain.

Experts expect that cognitive computing will transform the educational landscape by making education more interactive and creative.

IBM Watson is an example of such a cognitive computer system that will completely change how schools, colleges, and universities are run, and how they offer their services. For students, cognitive computing will radically change their learning experience.

Throughout the education spectrum, from pre-primary through to high school and tertiary education institutions, cognitive computing systems will automate administrative processes that, in the past, took untold human hours to perform.

This will help to reduce costs and lead to administrative efficiency throughout the education sector.

“It used to take days or even weeks to analyze some of the trends to see how our enrolment campaigns were tracking against our historical data, but now we’re reducing that to hours or even minutes,” Dr. Rick Ede, chief executive officer of Auckland’s Unitec Institute of Technology told the BBC.

Another factor that will positively affect the bottom line, is the ability of cognitive computing to follow students throughout their school and university life cycle, gathering personalized insights and adapting to the evolving needs of students, which in turn, will improve retention.

Also, schools, colleges, and universities will be able to leverage cognitive computing to better support students in their studies. One element of this is that each student will have access to a personalized learning and assessment experience.

This is especially important at pre-primary and primary level education. In the past, so many pupils fell through the cracks because their preferences and unique learning styles were not taken into account.

Cognitive computing assistants can be of great value here. They can monitor a student’s progress and note when they fail to grasp basic concepts, something that could later sabotage their learning. Cognitive assistants can offer adapted learning materials and take students through their work at their own pace.

The cognitive assistant can also keep the teacher appraised of the student’s progress or lack thereof so appropriate action can be taken.

Higher education will also see the rise of cognitive assistants.

Students at university are overwhelmed with information. It is as impossible for them to make sense of it all as it is for any lecturer or administrative staff member to have sensible answers to all possible questions that students might ask.

Here cognitive computing platforms really come into their own. They can analyze and distill torrents of data, make sense of it, and produce actionable suggestions for staff and students. Students don’t have to be bothered with all the information – they just get the distilled answer after all the diverse information has been digested by the learning algorithms.

In the future, cognitive platforms will become indispensable for students, teachers, and administrative staff, right through the entire education sector. The technology will fulfill diverse roles that will be the glue that keeps everything going.

Best Raspberry Pi Kits in 2019


If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to enter the world of DIY electronics, a Raspberry Pi is a great place to start. It’s a well-built, small PC board that uses standard input and outputs for audio and video, standard USB ports, a set of simple input/output pins to connect to just about anything, and most importantly, a huge collection of accessories and a vast community of developers. This spells success whether you’re building a hobby project or a prototyping something more complicated.

All ages:Kano Computer Kit

Staff Pick

A Kano Computer Kit is designed for kids to be able to build their own PC and use it to do just about anything. It’s also a great way for anyone to get started with a Raspberry Pi no matter their age. Everything is included; just plug it into any display with a free HDMI input and start having fun.

$94 at Amazon

Smart Car:Sunfounder PiCar-S

Build your own robotic SmartCar with Sunfounder’s PiCar kits. The PiCar-S comes with a set of sensors that can avoid obstacles, follow a line on the ground, or follow a light without any remote control needed. It’s not too difficult to assemble and program, and makes for a great project.

$150 at Amazon

Taking it up a notch:ELECROW CrowPi

The CrowPi is a small attache-style case that holds a Raspberry Pi, a full-color 7-inch touch display, and a load of buttons, sensors, LEDs and a secondary Matrix display. It’s a sizable step up from the Kano Computer Kit, which makes it a perfect STEM-inspired gift or a cool gadget for yourself.

$339 at Amazon

Go Retro:Vilros Raspberry Pi 3 Retro Arcade Gaming Kit

There are some great open-source arcade system images built for the Raspberry Pi, and a great kit complete with two controllers is a great way to get started with one. Everything you need except the television is in this kit, and getting started is simple. You’ll be feeling the nostalgia in no time.

$80 at Amazon

Little Brother:Vilros Raspberry Pi Zero W Basic Starter Kit

The smaller and less power-hungry Raspberry Pi Zero W is the right choice for some small projects even if it’s not as popular as the model 3 B+. That means finding a good starter kit is a little more challenging, but this basic kit from Vilros has what you need to get a smaller Pi Zero W running and ready for the next step.

$27 at Amazon

The Kitchen Sink:CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 B+ Ultimate Starter Kit

CanaKit’s Ultimate Starter kit is a perfect addition to any workbench or electronics lab as well as the garage or spare room. Made for hobbyists that want to go to the next level, the Raspberry Pi comes with everything needed to attach the Input and Outputs to the rest of the world and do cool things.

$90 at Amazon

Get started in DIY

You can do so much with a Raspberry Pi. Yes, you. This little PC board was designed with education in mind so it’s easy to learn, fairly simple to master, and extremely powerful when used to control things like a smart home or robot. Best of all, they’re incredibly inexpensive.

You’ll find kits for every level of skill and out staff pick — the Kano Computer Kit — is perfect for most people who aren’t quite sure where to start. Like the Pi itself, it was designed as a STEM tool for kids that have an interest in building a PC and programming, but it’s a complete system for everyone that’s super easy to get started with.

At the other end of the spectrum is CanaKit’s Ultimate Starter Kit which includes the Pi and essentials like a power adapter and an SD card, then branches out by bundling a breadboard, jumpers, a GPIO Bridge and a handful of parts like LEDs, resistors, buttons and other tiny things you’ll need if you want to do a little more than just the basics. I’ve used this CanaKit (or its older equivalent) several times for small projects and love having everything I need and not paying anything extra for those tiny parts.

Or just buy the PiCar and have a load of fun out in the parking lot. You know you want to.

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.

Jerry Hildenbrand

Jerry is Mobile Nation’s resident nerd and proud of it. There’s nothing he can’t take apart, but many things he can’t reassemble. You’ll find him across the Mobile Nations network and you can hit him up on Twitter if you want to say hey.

Weird Black Hole Is Shooting Out Wobbly Jets Because It’s Dragging Spacetime

29 APR 2019

Some 7,800 light-years away, in the constellation of Cygnus, lies a most peculiar black hole. It’s called V404 Cygni, and in 2015, telescopes around the world stared in wonder as it woke from dormancy to devour material from a star over the course of a week.


main article image

That one event provided such a wealth of information that astronomers are still analysing it. And they have just discovered an amazing occurrence: relativistic jets wobbling so fast their change in direction can be seen in mere minutes.

And, as they do so, they puff out high-speed clouds of plasma.

“This is one of the most extraordinary black hole systems I’ve ever come across,” said astrophysicist James Miller-Jones of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) at Curtin University in Australia.

V404 Cygni is a binary microquasar system consisting of a black hole about nine times the mass of the Sun and a companion star, an early red giant slightly smaller than the Sun.

The black hole is slowly devouring the red giant; the material siphoned away from the star is orbiting the black hole in the form of an accretion disc, a bit like water circling a drain. The closest regions of the disc are incredibly dense and hot, and extremely radiant; and, as the black hole feeds, it shoots out powerful jets of plasma, presumably from its poles.

Scientists don’t know the precise mechanism behind jet production. They think material from the innermost rim of the accretion disc is funnelled along the black hole’s magnetic field lines, which act as a synchrotron to accelerate the particles before launching them at tremendous velocities.

But V404 Cygni’s wobbly jets, shooting out in different directions at different times, on such rapidly changing timescales, and at velocities up to 60 percent of the speed of light, are in a class of their own.

“We think the disc of material and the black hole are misaligned,” Miller-Jones said. “This appears to be causing the inner part of the disc to wobble like a spinning top and fire jets out in different directions as it changes orientation.”

It’s a bit like a spinning top that starts to wobble as it’s slowing down, the researchers said. This change in the rotational axis of a spinning body is called precession. In this particular instance, we have a handy explanation for it courtesy of Albert Einstein.

In his theory of general relativity, Einstein predicted an effect called frame-dragging. As it spins, a rotating black hole’s gravitational field is so intense that it essentially drags spacetime with it. (This is one of the effects scientists hoped to observe when they took a picture of Pōwehi.)

In the case of V404 Cygni, the accretion disc is about 10 million kilometres (6.2 million miles) across. The misalignment of the black hole’s rotational axis with the accretion disc has warped the inner few thousand kilometres of said disc.

The frame-dragging effect then pulls the warped part of the disc along with the black hole’s rotation, which sends the jet careening off in all directions. In addition, that inner section of the accretion disc is puffed up like a solid doughnut that also precesses.

“This is the only mechanism we can think of that can explain the rapid precession we see in V404 Cygni,” Miller-Jones said.

It’s so fast that the usual method radio telescopes use for imaging space were practically useless. Usually, these devices rely on long exposures, observing a region for several hours at a time, moving across the sky to track their target. But in this case, the method produced images too blurred to be of use.

So the team had to use a different method, taking 103 separate images with exposure times of just 70 seconds and stitching them together to create a movie – and sure enough, there were the wibbly wobbly spacetimey jets.

“We were gobsmacked by what we saw in this system – it was completely unexpected,” said physicist Greg Sivakoff of the University of Alberta.

“Finding this astronomical first has deepened our understanding of how black holes and galaxy formation can work. It tells us a little more about that big question: ‘How did we get here?'”

The research has been published in Nature.

Learn More

  1. Spinning black hole sprays light-speed plasma clouds into space
    International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research,ScienceDaily, 2019
  2. Mystery of raging black hole beams penetrated
    University of Southampton, ScienceDaily, 2017
  1. Observation of long-lived coherent spin precession in orthoferrite ErFeO3 induced by terahertz magnetic fields
    Hiroshi Watanabe et al., Applied Physics Letters, 2017
  2. A parametrically modulated dual-axis atomic spin gyroscope
    Liwei Jiang et al., Applied Physics Letters, 2018

Physicists set a new record of quantum memory efficiency

HKUST physicist contributes to new record of quantum memory efficiency
Experimental set-up and energy level scheme of the single-photon quantum memory. Credit: The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Like memory in conventional computers, quantum memory components are essential for quantum computers—a new generation of data processors that exploit quantum mechanics and can overcome the limitations of classical computers. With their potent computational power, quantum computers may push the boundaries of fundamental science to create new drugs, explain cosmological mysteries, or enhance accuracy of forecasts and optimization plans. Quantum computers are expected to be much faster and more powerful than their traditional counterparts as information is calculated in qubits, which, unlike the bits used in classical computers, can represent both zero and one in a simultaneous superstate.

Photonic quantum  allows for the storage and retrieval of flying single-photon quantum states. However, production of such highly efficient quantum memory remains a major challenge as it requires a perfectly matched photon-matter quantum interface. Meanwhile, the energy of a single photon is too weak and can be easily lost into the noisy sea of stray light background. For a long time, these problems suppressed quantum memory efficiencies to below 50 percent—a threshold value crucial for practical applications.

Now, for the first time, a joint research team led by Prof. Du Shengwang from HKUST, Prof. Zhang Shanchao from SCNU, Prof. Yan Hui from SCNU and Prof. Zhu Shi-Liang from SCNU and Nanjing University has found a way to boost the efficiency of photonic quantum memory to over 85 percent with a fidelity of over 99 percent.

The team created such a quantum memory by trapping billions of rubidium atoms into a tiny, hair-like space—those atoms are cooled down to nearly absolute zero (about 0.00001 K) using lasers and a magnetic field. The team also found a smart way to distinguish a single photon from the noisy background light. The finding brings the dream of a universal quantum  a step closer to reality. Such quantum memory devices can also be deployed as repeaters in a quantum network, laying the foundation for a new generation of quantum-based internet.

“In this work, we code a flying qubit onto the polarization of a single photon and store it into the laser-cooled atoms,” said Prof Du. “Although the demonstrated in this work is only for one qubit operation, it opens the possibility for emerging quantum technology and engineering in the future.”

The finding was recently published as a cover story of the authoritative journal Nature Photonics, the latest of a series of research from Prof Du’s lab on memory, first begun in 2011.

Explore further

Physicists get thousands of semiconductor nuclei to do ‘quantum dances’ in unison

More information: Yunfei Wang et al, Efficient quantum memory for single-photon polarization qubits, Nature Photonics (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41566-019-0368-8

Journal information: Nature Photonics

Scientists use graphene to create diode for cheaper and more durable fluorescent lamps

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology succeeded in creating light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, on a graphene surface.

According to a brief that explains their research, professors Helge Weman and Bjørn-Ove Fimland, and Ph.D. candidates Ida Marie Høiaas and Andreas Liudi Mulyo were able to create a new electronic component that has the potential to become a commercial product. The diode is non-toxic and could turn out to be cheaper, and more stable and durable than today’s fluorescent lamps.

“The problem today is that many UVC lamps contain mercury. The UN’s Minamata Convention, which went into effect in 2017, sets out measures to phase out mercury mining and reduce mercury use,” the scientists’ statement reads. “The convention was named for a Japanese fishing village where the population was poisoned by mercury emissions from a factory in the 1950s.”

The Norwegian group’s invention consists of a layer of graphene placed on a glass surface. This forms the substrate for the new diode that generates UV light.

Graphene is a high-quality form of graphite that ‘evolves’ into a material made of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is super-strong, ultra-thin and crystalline.

Using nanowires of aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) grown on graphene lattice and delivered to them from Japan, the researchers make metal contacts of gold and nickel on the graphene and nanowires. When power is sent from the graphene and through the nanowires, they emit UV light.

“Graphene is transparent to light of all wavelengths, and the light emitted from the nanowires shines through the graphene and glass,” Høiaas said. “It’s exciting to be able to combine nanomaterials this way and create functioning LEDs.”

According to the Ph.D. student, who is working with the same technology on an industrial platform for startup CrayoNano, UVC LEDs that can replace fluorescent bulbs are already on the market, but her goal is to create far more energy-efficient and cheaper diodes because one reason that today’s UV LEDs are expensive is that the substrate is made of aluminium nitride. Graphene, on the other hand, is cheaper to manufacture and requires less material for the LED diode.

Could TypeScript replace JavaScript? Use of programming language spin-off soars

New research shows Microsoft TypeScript’s popularity is rocketing and that nearly all JavaScript developers are worried about open-source security.,39194.html

Atomic Pi Brings Intel to Single-Board Computers

Credit: Digital Loggers

Credit: Digital LoggersThe onslaught of single-board computers continued last week with the debut of Atomic Pi, a product from Digital Loggers that combines the small form factor of a Raspberry Pi with an Intel Atom processor, ostensibly because the company believes it can offer better pricing and performance that way.

Atomic Pi features a quad-core Intel Atom x5-Z8350 with a 2M cache, a 480MHz GPU and 1.92GHz maximum clock speed. According to Digital Loggers, that “eats [Raspberry Pi] for dessert” and also “beats some desktops.” Additionally, it features 2GB DDR3L-1600 memory, 16GB eMMC storage complemented by an SD card slot with support for up to 256GB of additional storage, HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports; as well as Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4 and Wi-Fi.

Other specs include:

  • 9-axis inertial navigation sensor with compass BNO055
  • Secondary XMOS audio output with class-D power amp
  • TTL serial debug and expansion serial ports up to 3.6Mbps
  • Real time clock and battery
  • JST-style connectors on top
  • 26-pin header for power and GPIO underneath

Atomic Pi also features a “legitimate licensed BIOS” that can boot from SD, USB, or Ethernet-connected storage. Digital Loggers said that Linux comes pre-loaded and that Atomic Pi will also run the 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows 10 (hopefully the experience is better than it is on a Raspberry Pi). More information about the Atomic Pi is available via an FAQ page on the company’s website, a user forum and a dedicated subreddit.

Digital Loggers offers multiple configurations of the Atomic Pi. The base version only includes the board and costs $34. The next model up adds support for a 2.5mm PSU at $39, and another model offers a large breakout board with screw terminals for $49. The company also bundled the Atomic Pi as a Full Developers Kit featuring cameras, a power supply and two Atomic Pi boards for $95 or 24 of the single-board computers for $696.

Atomic Pi is sold via the Digital Loggers store as well as Amazon. (With Prime shipping, for those who can’t wait to get their itty-bitty computer.) The base model is sold out on Amazon, but the Digital Loggers store appears to have everything but the Full Developers Kit in stock.

I’ll concede, toasted English muffins make a decent burger bun

Photo: julie clancy (Getty Images)

Earlier this month, we engaged in a civil discussion about the merits of various burger buns—potato rolls, pretzel buns, brioche. But commenter Proud Hamerican said we were all misled, because the true best burger bun is an English muffin. I couldn’t very well let that claim stand uninvestigated.

Photo: Kate Bernot

So on a recent burger night, I grill-toasted some English muffins alongside the standard buns. On went the cheeseburger, on went the caramelized onions, on went the condiments. I took a big bite. My verdict: Hey, pretty good!

The toasted English muffin’s nooks and crannies trap and capture the condiments and sauces without getting soggy. The muffin’s thickness is also a point in its favor; it’s not so substantial that it overwhelms the beef itself. Its flat surfaces, dusted with those farina particles, are easy to hold and didn’t make my hands as greasy as a brioche bun. A sourdough muffin could contribute a pleasing, slightly citric tang.

An English-muffin burger is a bridge between standard burgers and patty melts, and I heartily endorse it. Thanks again, Hamerican.

Industry Expert On Tesla’s Motors: “They’ve Got Magic!”

April 28th, 2019 by 



Disclaimer: I have been hesitating whether to write this article for some months now. I am not an engineer. I am an environmental advocate and avid cleantech follower. I had really hoped an engineer would cover this story, but I have not seen an article that covers this aspect of Tesla’s technology. (I could have missed it.)

The main source for this article is an Autoline video interview done with engineer/auto industry expert Sandy Munro. (CleanTechnica’s Paul Fosse recently gave a great breakdown of a newer Sandy Munro interview. See: “Auto Industry Expert In Lean Design, Sandy Munro, Gushes Over Tesla In New Video.”)

Munro owns a consultancy firm that helps automakers improve their vehicles, their production methods, their understanding of new technology, etc. A link to this video has been provided in multiple CleanTechnica articles. Near the 10:40 mark of the video directly below, Munro begins explaining why Tesla’s motors are “magic!”

After conducting a complete Model 3 teardown, Sandy Munro went from criticizing Tesla’s panel gaps to being absolutely blown away by its technology. He and his team have written a very expensive Model 3 teardown industry report, and he has been traveling the world giving presentations to packed crowds on Tesla’s technology. Unfortunately, his great explanations have not been picked up by the media to the level they deserve.

Last year, his comments about Tesla’s poor panel gaps were covered intensely. However, his subsequent comments about Tesla’s advanced technology have received paltry coverage. After watching numerous interviews of Munro, it is apparent that it takes a lot to impress him, and Tesla does it exactly that. When talking about Tesla’s innovation, he is as happy as a kid in a candy store. Like anyone, Munro wants to make money, but like many engineers, he is intrinsically obsessed with his work and you can tell he really loves this technology.

Tesla’s newer permanent magnet motors are superior to the competition for a number of reasons. This article covers just one of those reasons.


So, why are Tesla motors magical?

A lot of that magic is in the magnets!

Tesla was able to to take advantage of what is referred to as the Halbach array. Tesla’s new permanent magnet motors are an improved design that first appeared in the Model 3. Only recently have the Model S and Model X been upgraded to this new technology.

Magnets within these motors are engineered to create a more optimal magnetic field. Four carefully designed, small magnets that oppose each other are actually glued together to create a stronger — or rather, a more optimized — magnetic field that makes the permanent magnet motor more powerful and more efficient. There are several of these magnets within the motor.

This crucial aspect of the motor is one of the main reasons why Tesla vehicles get more range than competing vehicles that have the same size battery packs.

I am going to try to give a very brief CliffsNotes explanation of the Halbach array. According to Wikipedia, “A Halbach array is a special arrangement of permanent magnets that augments the magnetic field on one side of the array while canceling the field to near zero on the other side.”

To begin with, let’s look at this diagram on the right of this single magnet and its magnetic field. Notice how the magnetic field is symmetrical. It is the same on both sides of the magnet.

The Halbach array is a number of opposing magnets formed (glued) together to make the magnetic force stronger on one side.

The altered magnetic field pictured above is one of the key reasons why Tesla’s motors are lighter and less expensive yet also more powerful and efficient than other motors. In the video above, Munro explains that it is much more complicated than gluing four magnets together. Each magnet is designed in such a manner that Munro does not know how to reverse engineer them yet (the interview was posted to YouTube on January 3rd, 2019, so maybe he and his team are on their way to figuring that out.)

In the Autoline interview, Munro also discussed Tesla’s innovative Superbottle, which also has not been covered nearly enough. The Superbottle is part of Tesla’s brilliant and efficient thermal battery management and HVAC system. If you found this topic of discussion interesting, keep an eye out for a future discussion of Tesla’s Superbottle. It could be called old news, but it is news that has not been widely covered at all.

As a wrap-up, below is a great video demonstrating the Halbach array. Remember, Tesla’s magnets are more complicated than this demonstration. However, the video is an instructive introduction to the Halbach Array.