Luckbox Digest

New Car Tech, Nvidia News and an Australian Singer

By:James Melton

A weekly look inside Luckbox magazine

Luckbox The Auto Trader Issue

Electric cars are coming

The electric vehicle debate teeters between praise for groundbreaking innovation and wariness about perceived impracticality.

But, while EV euphoria is subsiding, companies like BYD (BYDDY) are cranking out multitudes of EVs. The China-based manufacturer even outsold Tesla (TSLA) to become the world’s biggest maker of EVs for the first time ever in the fourth quarter of last year. (Tesla still led for the year after falling behind in the final quarter.)

Luckbox expects the march toward wider EV adoption—albeit peppered with lessons from its formative years, as well as future missteps—will continue nearly unabated, eventually transforming our very notion of mobility and rewarding savvy investors. Read the whole story.

Two key Nvidia partners unite

AI chip giant Nvidia (NVDA) says it will deepen its collaboration with software firm Ansys (ANSS), signaling a strategic move with far-reaching consequences.

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang. Photo courtesy ofTechovedas

The two companies intend to expand and accelerate the integration and use of each other’s products. Nvidia will rely more heavily on Ansys proprietary platforms to optimize hardware, while ANSYS will weave Nvidia’s AI offerings into its software.

The deepened partnership comes amid Ansys’ pending acquisition by Synopsys (SNPS), which specializes in electronic design automation (EDA) software and services. The merger heralds a significant milestone in the convergence of EDA and engineering simulation software. Read the whole story.

Singer Julia Jacklin performs an impressive set

Australian singer-songwriter Julia Jacklin opened for American singer-songwriter Mitski at a sold-out show in Chicago on March 21. Jacklin demonstrated her songwriting, which is simultaneously devastating and hopeful. She writes and sings softly about heartbreak, the obliqueness of everyday life, and finding comfort and power in intimacy and agency.

Julia Jacklin in Chicago at the Auditorium Theater on March 21, 2024. Photo by Kendall Polidori

"Seeing Jacklin live will leave you wanting more," The Rockhound, Kendall Polidori writes. "And as someone who doesn’t tour the U.S. as often as I wish she would, attending one of her shows is a special occurrence that feels like it's solely for you." Read the whole review.

Cocoa prices soar

So far in 2024, the meteoric surge in cocoa prices has been nothing short of remarkable. Prices have already doubled since the beginning of the year. However, the true magnitude of the cocoa rally is even more astounding when viewed through a wider lens.
Optimal growth of cacao trees is only possible in certain parts of the world—typically about 20 degrees north and south of the equator. For this reason, there’s only a handful of countries that produce the bulk of the world’s annual supply. These include Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Ghana and Indonesia, which together account for about 60% of the world’s annual output.

The concentration of cocoa production in a handful of countries has a downside. In December, heavy rains inundated West Africa, resulting in widespread flooding that inflicted severe damage on cacao groves in Ghana and Ivory Coast. This deluge not only caused immediate crop loss but also facilitated the spread of black pod disease, which often devastates the bean pods on cacao trees. Prices have soared ever since. Read the whole story.

Read the latest edition of Luckbox magazine here.

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James Melton is managing editor of Luckbox magazine. @JDMeltonWriter

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