How iPhones helped Elon Musk crush Detroit

Way back in 2011, major American automakers were slow to realize that "companies in Silicon Valley have for some time been looking at cars just like another mobile device or app." When the disruption, hit, it hit hard, writes Nick Bilton: Read the rest

Spy shots of the Tesla Model 3

Jalopnik posted spy photos of a Tesla Model 3 that that is likely "damn near production-spec." It makes me miss my 1986 Honda Accord hatchback.

(photos: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde/Jalopnik) Read the rest

Tesla autopilot warns of accident about to happen to the cars in front

In this footage from Europe, the autopilot on a Tesla warns driver Frank van Hoesel of an accident about to happen. He doesn't even realize why his car is braking suddenly until he sees the crash occur—forty yards away. Read the rest

Tesla announces full self-driving hardware on all models

Tesla released a video of a commute from home to office, including parking as a demonstration of its fully self-driving hardware. "The person in the driver's seat is only there for legal reasons. He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself."

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Tesla promises its upgraded Autopilot is UFO-proof

From Tesla's release notes for its upgraded Autopilot technology based on radar as its primary control sensor:

The net effect of this, combined with the fact that radar sees through most visual obscuration, is that the car should almost always hit the brakes correctly even if a UFO were to land on the freeway in zero visibility conditions.

Taking this one step further, a Tesla will also be able to bounce the radar signal under a vehicle in front - using the radar pulse signature and photon time of flight to distinguish the signal - and still brake even when trailing a car that is opaque to both vision and radar. The car in front might hit the UFO in dense fog, but the Tesla will not.

Of course they're kidding. Or so they'd like us to believe.

Video clip from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).

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100+ best design innovations from 1996 to 2016

Wallpaper took on the daunting task of narrowing down 20 years of design innovations to just over 100 eclectic choices, including the Tesla Roadster, the 9/11 memorial, Instagram, the bushy brow, and Ilse Crawford's IKEA collection, above. Read the rest

Tesla: The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Tesla: The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah

Tesla: The Life and Times of an Electric Messiah by Nigel Cawthorne Chartwell Books 2014, 192 pages, 7.2 x 10.5 x 0.8 inches $9 Buy a copy on Amazon

Mad scientist. Inventor. Philosopher. Visionary. Eccentric. A man who was terrible at business, but great with pigeons. A mythic figure, Nicola Tesla was all these things and more. Examining his life and career, Tesla: The Life And Times Of An Electric Messiah is a lengthy, oversized book filled with illustrations, photos, diagrams of his many inventions, and brief, informative vignettes about his friends, colleagues, business associates, and rivals.

Tesla's own words are pulled from writings and correspondence, and help flesh out a turn-of-the-century futurist, although they can be somewhat dry and academic. His eccentricities liven things up considerably. For instance, did you know he once fell into a vat of boiling milk, and lived on a diet of bread, warm milk, and something mysteriously known as 'Factor Actus'? Did you know he had a strange aversion to women's earrings, and would become feverish at the sight of a peach? Tidbits like these keep the book moving at a nice pace, as the man became more reclusive and odd toward the end of his life.

His War Of The Currents with Thomas Edison is detailed, as well as his battle of radio with Guglielmo Marconi. His experiments with wireless transmission of energy, X-Rays, flying machines, remote control, and artificial intelligence are also described, as well as the mystery surrounding the disappearance of his papers concerning his invention of a death ray by the US government. Read the rest

Tesla car involved in fatal crash while in Autopilot mode, U.S. says

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today said it is opening a preliminary investigation into 25,000 Tesla Model S cars, following the death of a driver who was killed using the vehicle's Autopilot mode.

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Elon Musk Says Humans Will Go To Mars by 2024

In my weekly segment on KCRW's “Press Play” news program with host Madeleine Brand, we listen to Elon Musk wax poetic about artificial intelligence and whether life might be a dream--and his plans to send humans to Mars by 2025.

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Elon Musk personally high-fiving people in line at Tesla Model 3 release in Century City

How can you not appreciate how personally Elon Musk cares about the cars his company produces? The man really means it.

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Leatherbound Nicola Tesla hollow book/safe

The Hollow Book Company (previously) has expanded its line of hollow book-safes (some with matching whisky flasks!), including this fabulous leatherbound Nicola Tesla book-safe. (via Geeky Merch) Read the rest

Tesla's "car-as-service" versus your right to see your data

Espen got a parking ticket for his Tesla, and he's pretty sure he can exonerate himself, if only the company would give him access to his car's data, but they won't. Read the rest

Caturday [Nightmare Edition]

Hey, found this on my computer. No idea what I made it for, but it appears to feature an evil cat god summoned to our plane by the power of Wardenclyffe Tower. You can have it now! [Warning: autoplaying audio] Read the rest

Weird Tales seeking Tesla fiction!

Starting tomorrow, the current incarnation of Weird Tales magazine is opening up to fiction submissions. They're looking specifically for stories that fit the theme of two upcoming issues: "Ice" and Nikola Tesla, "devoted to strange takes on the inventor who loved pigeons and intercontinental wireless transmission. These stories should have Nicola Tesla as a character, or at least a presence." Weird Tales: Opening to Fiction Subs! And New Submissions Editor! (Thanks, Dave Gill!) Read the rest

Laser-etched Tesla "Souvenir of Wardenclyffe" vase

Rachel writes, "My chap and I are dedicated steampunks and geeks. My chap Andy also happens to be the owner of a very tidy laser cutter! Put the two together and you end up with our fabulous tribute to Nikola Tesla in the form of a beautiful laser etched vase entitled Souvenir of Wardenclyffe featuring a super illustration via Leo Blanchette. The back of the vase is also etched using a sample of Tesla's own handwriting!"

Nikola Tesla Souvenir of Wardenclyffe Laser etched Vase Steampunk (Thanks, Rachel) Read the rest

Nikola Tesla pitches VCs

Nikola Tesla pitches some Silicon Valley venture capitalists. Perfect. (Thanks, Gabe Adiv!) Read the rest

Tesla vs. Edison vs. The Great Men of History

Whether you think Tesla > Edison or Edison > Tesla, perhaps you're missing something important. In reality, technology isn't shaped by one guy who had one great idea and changed the world. Instead, it's a messy process, full of flat-out failures and not-quite-successes, and populated by many great minds who build off of and are inspired by each other's work.

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