Is Tesla Equipped To Change The World?

Tesla Vehicles Supercharging


We live in a cynical age, in which the idea that someone might be motivated by a desire to make the world a better place is simply incomprehensible to many people. This is one of the reasons why the mainstream press has never understood Tesla [NASDAQ: TSLA] – the pundits pontificate, prattle and preen, but much of what they write reveals a profound ignorance of the company’s mission.

*This article comes to us courtesy of Evannex (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Charles Morris

The financial media provides the most obvious example of this obliviousness. Most stock analysts think about the future only in three-month units, and pretty much all are convinced that the only reason to run a company, or to buy a stock, is profit. Every time TSLA stock makes a new surge, they rant and rave: “This company loses money quarter after quarter! It’s just got to crash and burn soon!”

Tesla Model S at company’s Fremont factory

One possibility that hasn’t occurred to any of these market mavens is that Tesla will never book any substantial profit, because it will always plow its earnings back into new projects, and that the company exists for another reason than enriching its owners. Does this mean that investors will desert the company once they figure out the con? Maybe not – just maybe, many of Tesla’s backers are also interested in using their wealth to do good, and are proud to be part of a company that’s changing the world.

And change the world Tesla has indisputably done. The innovations that Elon Musk and his merry men and women have set in motion have already had enormous influence on the automotive industry, on the environment, and on society as a whole – and the party is just getting started. A recent article in Futurism* describes seven ways in which Tesla is changing… everything.

  • Electric vehicles

When it comes to EVs, Tesla is the undisputed leader. Furthermore, it has proven that an EV can compete, and win, against legacy internal-combustion vehicles. Musk and company set out to build “not just the best electric cars, but the best cars,” and by almost all accounts, they have succeeded (see Consumer Reports, Motor Trend, Car and Driver, etc etc etc). The Model S P100D is the world’s fastest-accelerating production car, and Teslas also earn top marks in safety and owner satisfaction. “That these cars are better for the environment ends up feeling like a really, really great bonus,” says Futurism.

  • Autonomy

Electrification remains controversial in the auto industry, but almost everyone agrees that self-driving cars are on the way, and that they will greatly improve highway safety. Considering how much of today’s civilization revolves around cars, vehicle autonomy has more potential to redefine the way we live than just about any other technology on the horizon. In this area also, Tesla has been the prime mover.

  • Ridesharing

Five years after the first Uber app was downloaded, ridesharing has become a billion-dollar industry and a major disruptor of the transportation market. Uber and Lyft have been the main innovators in this space, but Tesla is never far from the conversation. In 2015, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick famously told Tesla backer Steve Jurvetson that “if Tesla’s cars are autonomous, he’d want to buy all of them.” Tesla has suggested that it may get into the ridesharing game itself, with a twist. The Tesla Network would allow self-driving Teslas to be summoned via an app, and to generate income for Tesla owners while they aren’t using their vehicles. “This would be… a significant offset on the cost of ownership for a car,” said Musk in August 2016.

  • Solar energy

Renewable energy and electric vehicles are symbiotic industries, related in many ways. Tesla formalized this close relationship with its recent acquisition of SolarCity, which has already been one of the major drivers of solar adoption in the US. The company’s new solar roof tiles may prove to be the tipping point that really kicks the solar market into high gear. “I think there’s quite a radical difference between having solar panels on your roof that actually make your house look better versus ones that do not,” said Musk during Tesla’s recent earnings conference call. “I think it’s going to be a night-and-day difference.”

  • Tesla Energy

Stationary storage is the missing link between the solar panels on your rooftop and the EV in your garage.  It will also be critical to converting the electrical grid to renewable energy. Tesla’s huge 80 MWh Powerpack station is already storing energy for Southern California Edison, and more and bigger projects are on the drawing board.

  • US manufacturing jobs

Manufacturing does have a future in first-world economies, but it’s high-tech industry, not 20th-century smokestack industry, that will be providing the blue-collar jobs. Tesla’s Gigafactory already employs hundreds of workers, and now the company has announced it will adding 550 more jobs there, to produce Model 3 motors. Musk has predicted that the Gigafactory could someday employ 10,000 people. A new right-wing regime in the US is highly skeptical of the new energy economy, but they do understand the language of jobs.

  • Vision

Around the world, people and nations are building walls, burning bridges and retreating inward, saying that we can’t afford big projects or big thinking. Elon Musk and Tesla follow precisely the opposite philosophy, offering a beacon of hope. In 2013, shortly after unveiling the Hyperloop proposal, Musk was asked by a BBC interviewer, “Do we suffer from a low level of ambition? Should we think bigger?” Naturally, the Iron Man said yes: “You want to do projects that are inspiring and that make people excited about the future. Life’s got to be about more than just solving problems.”

Futurism put it well: “Musk has proven that a single person can still have a huge impact on the world around them. At a time when big business is often seen as the Goliath out to exploit the Davids of the world, Tesla is a welcome exception. It’s a multi-billion-dollar company that seems more interested in building a better future than satisfying shareholders, and for that, we are grateful.”


The Tesla Revolution (Infographic)


*Source: Futurism

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX, Check out the site here.

Intel Kaby Lake X Core i7-7740K And X299 Platform Details Leak In SiSoft SANDRA Database

The rumor mill doesn’t seem to rest for a single day lately. We learned yesterday that AMD will be releasing both 4GB and 8GB versions of its RX Vega graphics cards, and that it will also be releasing Vega for notebooks. Today we learn a little bit about Intel‘s next big thing: Kaby Lake X.

Kaby Lake-X is going to represent the first chips available for Intel’s upcoming X299 chipset for motherboard platforms, with Skylake-X chips with beefier specs to come later and ultimately supersede the current Broadwell-E chips.

Thanks to SANDRA, the popular benchmarking tool from the folks at SiSoftware, we’re getting an early glimpse of at least one of these upcoming Kaby Lake-X chips, the Core i7-7740K. Found in a results database, we see this quad-core chip will be clocked at 4.3GHz, and will Turbo boost to 4.5GHz.


Intel Kaby Lake
Intel’s 7th generation Core Series processor, aka Kaby Lake

If those clocks prove true, then this particular chip will beat out the 7700K’s base clock by 100MHz, which is to be expected since Intel now reasonably strong competition from AMD’s Ryzen family of processors. It also seems very likely that when Skylake-X gets here, with its 6-, 8-, and 10-core variants, that the clocks will be a little more modest out-of-the-gate.

With this leak, we also learn of one new motherboard, ASRock’s X299 Professional Gaming i7. Kaby Lake-X will make use of the X299 chipset, which will be the first major new enthusiast chipset in quite a number of years.


Intel i7 7740K Leak2


AMD Ryzen 5 1600 CPU

In a quick performance comparison, it looks like this Core i7-7740K fights a tough battle against AMD’s Ryzen 5 1600, almost matching each other in an arithmetic test. The Intel chip does however come ahead in the multi-media tests by quite a large margin, which isn’t a surprise, given the clock speed difference between the two, though the Ryzen chip as two more cores at its disposal. It’s also shown that the Core i7-7740K will bring a dual-channel memory memory interface to the chip, just like the rest of Kaby Lake, although we’d expect Skylake-X to follow the quad-channel design that’s been in place for the enthusiast platform since Sandy Bridge launched in 2011.

And finally: Apple Watch could get a driving mode

The latest wearable tech news murmurs and blips
Apple Watch may get driving mode

This week’s Baselworld has showered us with smartwatch news. From Hugo Boss to Tommy Hilfiger to Fossil and Movado, everyone’s getting in on the Android Wear game, joined by a lineup of equally intriguing hybrids from Alpina, Marc Jacobs and more.

Elsewhere, of course, Apple and Samsung were still making headlines. Apple debuted some new spring bands for the Apple Watch while Samsung unveiled some cool concepts of its own at Basel, including a hybrid pocket watch, and gave the Gear S3 Classic an LTE edition.

There was a ton of news but, believe it or not, there are a few more nuggets to explore.

Apple Watch may soon have a driving mode

And finally: Apple Watch could adapt to when you're driving

The snoopers over at 9to5Mac have uncovered a new Apple patent that hints at a driving mode for Apple Watch. Basically, the Apple Watch would detect when you’re driving based your motion and change how notifications are handled.

Once the Watch knows you’re driving it would change what notifications are sent to you, how many notifications you can receive and where you can receive them. For instance, if you’ve got your iPhone connected to Car Play and an Apple Watch, all your notifications will be routed to Car Play and not on your Watch. Using an Apple Watch while driving is definitely a no-no, and if Apple can figure out a way to make it less appealing to check out the watch while driving then all the better.

Researchers’ new wearable detects dangerous chemicals

And finally: Apple Watch could get a driving mode

When you’re working in a lab creating herbicides, insecticides and nerve agents you’ve got to work with some extremely dangerous chemical compounds, specifically one called organophosphates.

These should never come into direct contact with humans, and so researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a new flexible glove wearable that can detect these dangerous organophosphates on objects.

Each finger is given a different function: the thumb detects nerve agents, the index finger detects enzymes and the other fingers can be set to do other kinds of electrochemical biosensing.

Marijuana as medicine

Aside from illegal recreational users, there are 130,000 Canadians licensed to use medical marijuana. The landscape is shifting for all consumers

Hamilton Spectator

Caught somewhere between the government, federally-licensed medical marijuana growers and illegal dispensaries are the consumers who say marijuana is medicine.

Depending on who you ask, it’s either way too easy or too hard to access medical marijuana.

Cory Kaus says that before he started using marijuana for pain and nerve damage from a knee injury, he once went a whole month with only an hour of sleep a night.

“It feels like somebody dipped my leg in gas and lit it on fire and every step I’m walking on broken glass,” he said.

The marijuana industry and regulation is complex and promises to only become more so with legalizing recreational use.

“I’ve never seen anything as close to as complicated as this issue.”

Michael DeVillaer

Assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences

McMaster University

Kaus says he needs about 25 grams of marijuana a day, even though his licence is only for 3 grams a day. He uses a lot of oils and edibles to cut down on smoking.

His licence is for personal production, which is allowed in the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR) released in August in response to a federal court ruling that upheld patients’ rights to grow their own medical marijuana.

However, the vast majority of patients must go through licensed producers, who sell online. The 130,000 Canadians with licences are required to have a doctor sign off, something some patients find difficult.

Because of stigma and uncertainty around marijuana use, Kaus said many doctors won’t sign off. A small number work for clinics or have arrangements with dispensaries, but most are too afraid to speak publicly. Patients often face long waits and have to pay administrative fees.

To maintain a licence, patients can only buy from one LP at a time and must buy regularly. Some patients complain this system is too expensive and difficult, and makes turning to an illegal dispensary more appealing.

While Hamilton police continue to charge dispensary owners, Det. Craig Leishman, says vice and drug officers use their discretion and do not charge patients who buy from dispensaries, even through it’s not a legal source.

Inside his small Hamilton apartment, Kaus shows a large collection of dried marijuana, oils and edibles he says he needs to get through the day. He is skeptical of both the licensed producers and many dispensaries.

Dispensaries are the wild west — with no regulation and a huge range in product quality and service. The licensed provider process is expensive and cumbersome, with many patients finding it difficult to find the strain that works for them.

“If you find one you like, it’s never there next time you go to order,” he said.

It can take some trial and error to find the right product, patients say.

Patients smoke, use vaporizers and dab (smoking a concentrated wax). Then there are edibles — cookies, brownies, chocolate and gummies.

While licensed growers do sell oils, many of the specialized products are not available.

It’s the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that is hallucinogenic, and is also believed to have therapeutic properties. There is also emerging research that another chemical compound found in cannabis called cannabidiol (CBD) — which doesn’t make you high — has health benefits. Some products isolate CBD.

Then there are the roughly 80 more chemical compounds that haven’t been studied and the suspected aromatherapy benefits from terpenes — pungent oils.

“That’s my mantra, when people ask me what does the cannabis industry need, more research,” said Jeannette VanderMarel, co-founder of licensed producer The Green Organic Dutchmen.

That was ultimately the findings of a recent massive study examining marijuana research by the Committee on the Health Effects of Marijuana at the National Academy of Sciences in the United States:

“Despite extensive changes in policy at the state level and the rapid rise in the use of cannabis both for medical purposes and for recreational use, conclusive evidence regarding the short and long term health effects of cannabis use remains elusive.” The marijuana industry and regulation is complex and promises to only become more so with legalizing recreational use.

Despite Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promising legislation by this summer, experts agree it’s likely years before the legislation comes into effect.

Meanwhile, 20,000 Canadians are getting criminal records for simple drug possession charges each year, said drug policy expert Michael DeVillaer.

Hamilton’s vice and drug unit has strategically decided not to charge dispensary patients, but officers can use their discretion when deciding whether or not to charge for simple possession for consumers without a licence.

DeVillaer would like to see immediate decriminalization of simple possession and then the creation of a nonprofit cannabis authority to oversee legalized marijuana.

DeVillaer, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioural neurosciences at McMaster University, detailed his recommendations in a recent paper Cannabis Law Reform in Canada: Pretense and Perils.

“I’ve never seen anything as close to as complicated as this issue,” he said.

For his research, DeVillaer looked at the existing alcohol, tobacco and opioid industries, which he argues are poorly regulated and cause significant harm to Canadians. He believes part of the reason public health has been so unable to curb the risks of these drugs is the influence of their profit-driven manufacturers.

Instead of following a similar path to legalizing marijuana, he would like to see the creation of a not-for-profit oversight authority that would prohibit for-profit companies from being involved in the business. This would include buying out current medical marijuana producers.

The arms-length government body would include public health experts, ban all advertising and reinvest money in health (not profit shareholders).

DeVillaer said he recognizes his ideas are not popular, but believes it’s the best option to protect consumers.

“The odds are against it, but not giving up on it yet.”

Some patients complain this system is too expensive and difficult, and makes turning to an illegal dispensary more appealing.

Talk therapy for depression? Brain scan may predict efficacy

These results suggest that achieving personalised treatment for depressed patients will depend more on identifying specific biological characteristics in patients rather than relying on their symptoms.

depression, depression therapy, mri scan, brain scan depression, depression brain scan, health news, mental news, indian express, lifestyle newsSpecifically, patients with positive connectivity between the brain regions were significantly more likely to achieve remission with talk therapy. (Source: Thinkstock images)

Researchers have found that specific patterns of activity on brain scans may help clinicians identify whether talk therapy or antidepressant medication is more likely to help a patient recover from depression.

“All depressions are not equal and like different types of cancer, different types of depression will require specific treatments,” said lead researcher Helen Mayberg, Professor at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, US.

The study, published online in the American Journal of Psychiatry, randomly assigned patients to 12 weeks of treatment with one of two antidepressant medications or with cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), a talking therapy aimed at helping people manage their problems by changing the way they think and behave.

At the start of the study, patients underwent a functional MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) brain scan, which was then analysed to see whether the outcome from CBT or medication depended on the state of the brain prior to starting treatment.

The MRI scans identified that the degree of functional connectivity between an important emotion processing centre (the subcallosal cingulate cortex) and three other areas of the brain was associated with the treatment outcomes.

Specifically, patients with positive connectivity between the brain regions were significantly more likely to achieve remission with talk therapy, whereas patients with negative or absent connectivity were more likely to remit with antidepressant medication.

“Using these scans, we may be able to match a patient to the treatment that is most likely to help them, while avoiding treatments unlikely to provide benefit,” Mayberg added.

These results suggest that achieving personalised treatment for depressed patients will depend more on identifying specific biological characteristics in patients rather than relying on their symptoms or treatment preferences.

For all the latest Lifestyle News, download Indian Express App now

Quadruped robot can change steps with speed

Tokyo, March 26 (IANS) In a first, a research group has found that by changing only its parameter related to speed, a quadruped robot can spontaneously change its steps.

Tokyo, March 26 (IANS) In a first, a research group has found that by changing only its parameter related to speed, a quadruped robot can spontaneously change its steps.

The research group led by Akio Ishiguro and Dai Owaki from Tohoku University in Japan demonstrated that a quadruped robot — which has four legs — can spontaneously change its steps between energy-efficient patterns (gait transition phenomena).

Until now, the manner in which changing speeds cause quadrupeds to change walking, trotting and galloping was poorly understood, the researchers said in their paper.

Through this study, they successfully demonstrated the quadruped gait transition phenomena.

They achieved this by a decentralised control scheme, using a simple local rule in which a leg continues to support the body while sensing weight on the corresponding leg.

The researchers hope that the study will lead to a wide range of applications such as adaptive legged robots working in disaster areas, user-friendly legged entertainment robots and automatic motion-creation algorithms for computer graphics (CG) animation.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.