Avowed "utopian anarchist" Elon Musk is also one of the top donors to the GOP "Protect the House" PAC

Elon Musk, an avowed utopian anarchist, is one of the top fifty donors to the Republican Protect the House PAC, having funneled $38,900 to support the group's mission of protecting Republican Congressional seats. Read the rest

Report: almost 25% of Tesla Motors Model 3 pre-orders have been refunded

Well, this should soften Elon Musk’s opinions about journalism: According to Engadget, Musk’s electric car-making baby, Tesla Motors, has had to return almost one quarter of the pre-order money it received from its American customers for the company’s delayed Tesla Model 3.

From Engadget:

Tesla raked in hundreds of thousands of pre-orders for its Model 3 after it unveiled the vehicle in 2016, but a report from analytics firm Second Measure shows that a good chunk of US pre-orders have since been refunded. As of April, the company's analysis shows that 23 percent of those who placed a pre-order in the US have had their $1,000 deposit refunded. A Tesla spokesperson told Recode that Second Measure's findings didn't match the automaker's own numbers, but declined to say by how much they were off. However, last August, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that 12 percent of reservations had been cancelled at the time – data that aligned with Second Measure's analysis.

Engadget’s Mallory Locklear reckons that the rampant production delays associated with the Model 3’s production are a viable culprit for the refund requests. That said, buying any new car, let alone a premium ride like the ones that Tesla offers, is an expensive undertaking. A person’s fortunes can turn pretty quickly within the space of a few months. Having the money to be able plunk down a grand to reserve the right to purchase a new car back then doesn’t translate into being flush enough to seal the deal now. Read the rest

How a photographer captured Elon's Tesla hurtling through space a million miles from earth

Deep-sky photographer Rogelio Bernal Andreo did the calculations, then managed to catch footage of Starman and the Tesla Roadster that were launched via the Falcon Heavy rocket. Read the rest

#StarMan: Watch live views of Elon Musk's SpaceX 'pilot' driving Tesla Roadster in Space

We were promised flying cars, and we finally pretty much got 'em. Elon Musk, Tesla, and SpaceX's 'Live Views of Starman' is the first car commercial broadcast in real time from space. Read the rest

Ted Chiang: Elon Musk's fear of runaway AI is a projection of his repressed terror of runaway corporations

Why do billionaires like Elon Musk make terrified pronouncements about the imminent rise of self-aware, murderous AIs that use us to reproduce themselves, controlling us instead of serving us? Read the rest

Mars Needs Elon

Elon Musk is going to colonize Mars and has produced a science-fiction extravaganza to prove it. Read the rest

Elon Musk gave assistant 2-week test when she asked for raise, and she failed

Here's a good lesson for anyone thinking about asking for a raise. In his biography, Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future," author Ashlee Vance tells us what happened when Musk's assistant, Mary Beth Brown, asked for a big raise after working for him for 12 years. Read the rest

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

Martian Immigration Nightmare: Kafka meets Musk in a trumpism immigration simulator

Among those caught in the crossfire of last weekend's Muslim ban were lawful immigrants and permanent residents who were in the air when the rules changed; when these people landed, they were told that since they had arrived at the US in violation of the rules, they were being deported, and were banned from entering the USA for the next five years. Read the rest

Kim Stanley Robinson says Elon Musk's Mars plan is a "1920s science-fiction cliché"

Kim Stanley Robinson, whose seminal Mars trilogy (coming soon to TV?) changed the way we talk about our neighboring planet, says that Musk's Mars colonization plan "is sort of the 1920s science-fiction cliché of the boy who builds a rocket to the moon in his back yard." Read the rest

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. Read the rest

SpaceX plans to send unmanned Dragon spacecraft to Mars by 2018, with humans to follow

By way of tweets and Facebook posts, SpaceX this week announced plans to send its unmanned “Red Dragon” spacecraft to Mars as soon as 2018. Sending this privately-funded craft on a bold, brave, risky trip like this could bring SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk closer to his goal of getting humans to Mars. Read the rest

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. Read the rest

How to talk to your child about Elon Musk

Brian Sacks: "Tell your child that before he/she was born you too had a groundbreaking idea for a rainbow-powered washing machine. Let them know you were on the verge of getting a patent and becoming fabulously wealthy but then they happened." Read the rest

Rocket launch filmed by drone

The SpaceX Grasshopper's latest launch—and graceful descent!—captured by a drone-mounted camera. Grasshopper was most recently seen terrifying the cows. Read the rest

SpaceX readies for launch this Saturday, May 19, 2012

If all goes according to plan, tomorrow, Saturday, May 19th, SpaceX will become the first commercial space flight company in history to head for the International Space Station. You can watch online, live, at SpaceX.com starting at 1:15 AM Pacific / 4:15 AM Eastern / 08:15 UTC. You can also follow SpaceX founder and CEO @elonmusk on Twitter. He'll live-tweet from mission control during launch.

Veteran space journalist Miles O'Brien covered the story in a recent PBS NewsHour segment.

And below, Miles and NewsHour host Hari Sreenivasan talk about the details of the mission, the engineering challenges and the other spaceflight companies vying for a chance at delivering cargo and people to low-Earth orbit. Read the rest