31 luglio 2017

Elon Musk News - Issue 94

Elon Musk News - Issue 94
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Note From The Curator
The top three stories in this issue of Elon Musk News are:
  1. Elon Musk Previews Tesla Model 3 Launch Event, and It Looks Huge
  2. SpaceX Is Now One of the World's Most Valuable Privately Held Companies
  3. First look at The Boring Company's car elevator – Tesla lowered into the ground
If you woke up this morning with a feeling of excitement and electricity in the air, you're definitely not alone! Tonight Elon Musk & Tesla will host the Model 3 delivery event. Keys will be given to 30 reservation holders, and all the long awaited details will be officially revealed. The webcast starts at 8:45 pm PT, and you will be able to watch it on Tesla's website.

To get you juiced up for tonight, I've filled this issue with Model 3 related news. Thanks so much for joining me on this journey, and enjoy issue 94!

Featured Quote
"Twenty years? It will be like having a horse. People have horses, which is cool. There will be people who have non-autonomous cars, like people have horses. It would just be unusual to use that as a mode of transport."
— Elon Musk

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SpaceX has raised up to $350 million in new financing and is now valued at around $21 billion, making it one of the most valuable privately held companies in the world. SpaceX's new financing was disclosed in public filings that were obtained by Equidate, a marketplace for private company stock.

With the latest funding round, SpaceX joins an elite club of seven venture-backed companies valued at $20 billion or more around the world, according to research firm CB Insights. SpaceX's latest funding nearly doubles the valuation of the company, which was pegged at around $11 billion when it raised $1 billion from Fidelity and Google in 2015. Previous investors in SpaceX include venture capital firms Founders Fund and DFJ.
Late Thursday night, Elon Musk tweeted that SpaceX's next big rocket — the Falcon Heavy — will make its inaugural flight this November. It's a new launch date for a vehicle that has had many tentative launch dates before, none of which have actually panned out just yet. But perhaps this time, the vehicle will fly when Musk says it will.
In response to a question on Twitter, Musk wrote, "A 9m diameter vehicle fits in our existing factories ..." This is actually quite a substantial hint, because the original "Interplanetary Transport System" had a massive 12-meter diameter. By scaling back to 9 meters, this suggests that Musk plans to remove the outer ring of 21 Raptor engines, leaving a vehicle with 21 engines instead of the original 42. While still complicated to manage during launch and flight, 21 engines seems more reasonable. Such a vehicle would also have about 50 percent less mass.

A 9-meter rocket means that it could be produced in SpaceX's existing facilities, saving the company the expense of building a much larger factory. (Pragmatically, it could also be produced in NASA's rocket factory in Michoud, La., without major renovations). A smaller, but still powerful rocket also opens the door to commercial opportunities and military contracts.
Meetings on Monday and Tuesday offered more detailed information on SpaceX's Dragon programs. In Monday's NASA advisory meeting, Sam Scimemi (Director of the ISS) discussed ISS operations between now and the end of the year, and went on to discuss SpaceX's upcoming CRS-12 mission. Currently slated for no earlier than August 14th, CRS-12 will mark the final "new" Dragon capsule to visit the ISS, with all future CRS-1 launches from SpaceX to be conducted with reused capsules. Including CRS-12, SpaceX has nine more contracted cargo missions through the first CRS program.
NASA published July 20 what it called "the most recent publicly-releasable dates" of the test flights of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon vehicles. Each company, under terms of Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts awarded in September 2014, are required to first fly an uncrewed test flight of their spacecraft, followed by one with astronauts on board.

The latest SpaceX schedule calls for an uncrewed test flight in February 2018, followed by a crewed test flight in June 2018. Those scheduled have slipped considerably from the original CCtCap announcement. A leading NASA official, though, sounded more confident about the companies' efforts towards those 2018 test flights. "Commercial crew is making great progress. By the next ISS R&D Conference, I expect to have flown the first Boeing CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX Crew Dragon flight" said Kirk Shireman, ISS program manager.
Elon Musk shared a preview of Tesla's Model 3 launch event on Friday, and it looks set to stun. Musk is gearing up to hand over the initial batches of the Model 3 to a select few buyers at a "handover event," set to start at 7 p.m. Pacific time at the Tesla Design Studio in Hawthorne, California.
Ahead of the Model 3 event today, Tesla has been making several changes to its website and it apparently accidentally resulted in Tesla disclosing the average efficiency of the vehicle. It shows an efficiency of 237 Wh per mile. The company quickly removed the code after it was spotted yesterday ahead of today's event – leaving only the Model S, 344 Wh per mile and the Model X, which is using 369 Wh per mile, according to the same code.

It's no surprise that the Model 3 is significantly more efficient than the Model S considering it's much smaller, but that's quite an improvement. Now we have yet to get a confirmation of the Model 3's battery pack options (hopefully later today), but if we were to speculate about a 60 kWh and a 75 kWh options, it would result in ranges of ~253 miles and ~316 miles respectively.
Tesla has been making a lot of changes to the options and configurations of its current flagship vehicles, Model S and Model X, in preparation for the launch of the less expensive Model 3. As part of this strategy, Tesla is now about to discontinue the cheapest version of Model S, the 75 kWh battery pack with the rear-wheel-drive powertrain.

The company confirmed that discontinuing the option is in the plans by the end of the year – without any firm date for now. At $69,500, the Model S 75 with a single rear-wheel-drive motor is the cheapest new Tesla vehicle currently available with the Model S 75D with dual motor all-wheel-drive being the second cheapest at $74,500. Unless the vehicle is being replaced by something else, all Tesla vehicles, Model S or X, will be dual motor all-wheel-drive.
The Tesla Model S is again Consumer Reports' top-rated ultra-luxury sedan after the automaker updated its software to include automatic emergency braking at highway speeds. Earlier this month, CR's Tesla Model S received an over-the-air update that moved the upper limit of the AEB system from 28 mph back to 90 mph, like Teslas built before October 2016.

CR's engineers then verified at our test track that the AEB operated at higher speeds by driving the electric Model S at a target that mimics the back of a car. We also verified that Tesla had sent the software update to its other cars by checking online forums and inspecting cars at Tesla dealerships.
The Model 3 is not likely to see tough winter driving conditions by the end of the year since early deliveries are expected to be concentrated in California. Though it's already winter in New Zealand, which makes it ideal to test the Model 3 in winter conditions. It looks like Tesla has been putting the vehicle through the paces since it looks pretty banged-up.

Tesla has been putting a lot of emphasis on winter driving performance with the Model S and Model X. The Model X has never been a concern since it's only offered in all-wheel-drive, but even the rear-wheel-drive Model S has proved to be performing well under tough winter conditions. There's no reason to think the Model 3 shouldn't have comparable performance to the Model S & X in winter conditions – though it will only be offered in rear-wheel-drive until the dual motor version is available later this year or early 2018.
Tesla has announced that the top 3 Project Loveday fan-made commercials will be picked on Friday ahead of the Model 3 delivery event start time. Among 100s of video submissions, Tesla has narrowed it down to their top 10 favorite videos and will allow fans to vote on them through Twitter. "Got 100s of great Project Loveday videos. Picked our top ten... Top 3 most liked by 5pm PT Fri will run on Model 3 webcast" read the Tweet by Tesla. This is also the first time we're receiving confirmation that Tesla will be live streaming Friday's Model 3 delivery event.
Just a few days before the launch of the Model 3, Tesla has slipped an interesting update into the onboard instruction manuals of Model S and Model X. After the most recent software update, the new gear selector seen on Model 3 prototypes is now part of the manuals. The Model 3 is also equipped with the latest hardware suite, but interestingly, it also features, at least on the release candidates, a new gear selector. It was first spotted last month on one of the prototypes in Silicon Valley.

The interesting thing is that the Autopilot is now featured as a gear, just like drive or reverse, on the new lever. Elon Musk says that the latest Autopilot hardware suite could enable up to level 5 fully autonomous driving with future software updates. And with anything over level 3, which is basically fully autonomous but with the driver acting as a backup, treating the system as a gear could be a better way to approach this than as a cruise control.
Tesla Model X owners Robbie and Chuck from Colorado ran into a Tesla engineer in a Model 3 at a Supercharger doing some long distance testing from Fremont, California, to Denver, Colorado. Chuck asked him about the lack of an instrument cluster and related the insights to us:

'I asked him if he missed having an instrument cluster in front of him behind the steering wheel. He said you quickly get used to not having one there, only the touchscreen tablet to the right. He noted that it was especially helpful at night not having the glare of the instrument cluster right in front of him, so he could concentrate on the road, and he felt his night vision was better.'
Overnight, Tesla made some changes to their available options, making some options standard, and notably eliminating one thing: leather seats. As of now, Tesla only sells vegan seats. While this lack of leather is not made explicit on the Tesla configuration page, any mention of leather has been removed, and all upgraded interiors are now referred to with Tesla's "premium" designation which they applied to the original rollout of vegan seats made of a new synthetic material.

However, not every component in a Tesla is vegan – cars still come with a leather-wrapped steering wheel standard, but Tesla has offered to provide a non-leather steering wheel upon request in the past for customers who make a point of avoiding all leather. For any buyers who are worried about this because they traditionally prefer leather seats, Tesla's vegan interiors have been getting good reviews from owners and seem quite durable and comfortable.
The main changes are that Model S and X now come with various upgraded lighting options included (LED fog lights, three-position LED turning headlights, lighted door handles and ambient interior lighting) and all models now include air suspension, which previously wasn't even available on the 75, as standard. Meanwhile the upgraded sound, XM satellite radio (requires sunroof), bioweapon defense mode, and subzero package (heated rear seats, steering wheel and wipers) have all been merged into a single $5,000 option on Model S.  The Model X Premium Upgrades Package includes all of the above, plus self-presenting front doors for $6,000.
"I've talked to Mark about this. His understanding of the subject is limited." Musk was responding to Twitter user Darren Cunningham‏, who shared an article with recent comments from Zuckerberg.

During a Facebook Live broadcast over the weekend from his house in Palo Alto, Zuckerberg took questions from users about the future of technology. "I watched a recent interview with Elon Musk and his largest fear for future was A.I.," one user asked. "What are your thoughts on A.I. and how it could affect the world?" Zuckerberg responded with "I have pretty strong opinions on this. I am optimistic. And I think people who are naysayers and try to drum up these doomsday scenarios — I just, I don't understand it. It's really negative and in some ways I actually think it is pretty irresponsible."
The Boring Company
Elon Musk took to Instagram late Tuesday evening to demonstrate The Boring Company's newest car elevator. The video shows what appears to be a driverless Tesla Model S being summoned onto a platform, before being lowered into an underground tunnel. This is the first time we're seeing a working proof of concept by The Boring Company, which comes less than three months after Musk first revealed details about his futuristic tunnel-boring project at TED 2017.
Since he announced a planned hyperloop route from New York to Washington DC, Elon Musk has been talking about other possible routes for his new Boring Company. Now a Hyperloop route all the way up to Tesla Gigafactory 1 in Nevada is apparently being considered for cargo. If Tesla sticks to its production plan, they could be moving as many as 10,000 battery packs from Nevada to California every week by the end of next year. Now Musk is considering covering the route with an underground Hyperloop system built in a tunnel bored by his new startup, The Boring Company.
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30 luglio 2017

Premio Roberto Morrione: L'inchiesta come una punta affilata sulla roccia

I canali: l'inchiesta come una punta affilata sulla roccia. Diario dei finalisti

I canali: l'inchiesta come una punta affilata sulla roccia.

Ultimi giorni, ultime cose da fare prima di chiudere un lavoro che ha composto le nostre giornate e scandito il nostro tempo negli ultimi tre mesi. Siamo un po' indietro, ma abbiamo infilato la quinta marcia e sfrecciamo con il cuore affannato e il fiato corto. In realtà, se c'è qualcosa che ci fa …
Le mani sul fiume: il webdoc ha forma e sostanza. Il diario della inchiesta finalista

Le mani sul fiume: il webdoc ha forma e sostanza.

Questo mese non ho preso in mano la telecamera, non ho tirato fuori il taccuino degli appunti e non ho fissato interviste. Questo è stato un mese di assemblaggi e di accostamenti. E' stato il mese in cui questo webdoc ha preso forma, in cui questa casa virtuale ha costruito le sue fondamenta e ha cambiato mille …

Matti per sempre: il webdoc è pronto!

Ormai lo possiamo dire: il nostro viaggio nel mondo della salute mentale è terminato. Eccoci qua, davanti al nostro web doc: rileggiamo i testi (e ogni volta scopriamo nuovi refusi), riascoltiamo gli audio, guardiamo i video, sfogliamo le foto. Sistemiamo gli ultimi dettagli con una certa soddisfazione. Sappiamo che abbiamo cercato di fare …
Minacce alla redazione de I SICILIANI GIOVANI

Minacce alla redazione de I SICILIANI GIOVANI

Riccardo Orioles, direttore de I Siciliani Giovani ci informa delle minacce ricevute dalla redazione de I Siciliani giovani nel giorno del ricordo della strage di via D'Amelio, nella quale morirono il giudice Paolo Borsellino e gli uomini della sua scorta. Condanniamo questo atto intimidatorio e rinnoviamo tutta la nostra solidarietà a Giovanni …

29 luglio 2017

Imposimato, giudice NoVax: «Io non sono contrario...»

«Io non sono contrario - dice - ma per consentire a ciascuno di decidere. Io rispetto la legge, ma quando ce vò, ce cò». La Cassazione: nessuna correlazione tra vaccini e autismo, respinta la richiesta di risarcimento di un padre

Roma -Giudice Ferdinando Imposimato, ha visto cosa dice la Cassazione? Non c'è correlazione tra i vaccini e l'autismo (respinta la richiesta di indennizzo di un padre che attribuiva all'antipolio l'insorgere della malattia nel figlio). Lei era uno dei sostenitori della causa. «Cosa vuole che ne capiscano i giudici della Cassazione? Non hanno la più pallida idea della materia».
Il magistrato che ha combattuto mafia, camorra, terrorismo e misteri di Stato è uno dei paladini «Free Vax». Perché è contrario ai vaccini?
«Io non sono contrario, sono per la libertà di scelta».
Qui però si parla di scienza su una perizia tecnica già accolta in primo e secondo grado, non di opinioni...
«E invece bisognerebbe parlare del conflitto di interessi del direttore sanitario del ministero, Ranieri Guerra, che figura anche nel cda di Glaxo produttrice del vaccino esavalente. C'è una denuncia del Codacons contro di lui. La Corte costituzionale mi dà ragione».
Su cosa?
«Sentenza numero 107 del 26 aprile 2012. Parla di falsa propaganda che influenza il senso comune sui vaccini e di generale clima di affidamento senza che siano conosciuti i rischi per la salute».
Da magistrato che difendeva le istituzioni ad agitatore di battaglie che sembrano riprendere le bufale del web. Perché questa sfiducia?
«Già Aldo Moro, nell'assemblea costituente, parlava di rispetto della tutela per la salute, spiegando che nessuno può essere obbligato a trattamenti sanitari per legge, nel rispetto della persona».
Vaccini a parte, il suo sembra un sentimento più generalizzato: il gasdotto in Puglia, lo stadio della Roma, le stragi di Capaci e via D'Amelio, Emanuela Orlandi viva in Turchia, il gruppo Bilderberg che guiderebbe i governi di tutto il mondo... Non c'è una tesi complottista che non la veda schierarsi.
«Io ho una posizione laica, sono dalla parte della giustizia. E molte di queste operazioni che ha citato sono portate avanti da società che non danno affidamento. Multinazionali come la Goldman Sachs».
Come si è formato questi convincimenti? Avrà documenti per provare quello che dice...
«Indagando sulla mafia e sul terrorismo. E grazie ai miei amici ebrei che mi hanno insegnato la disobbedienza civile. Rispetto la legge, ma quando ce vò ce vò».
Il Movimento Cinque Stelle la voleva presidente della Repubblica. È un fatto politico?
«Io sono per l'imparzialità e la verità. A volte mi sbaglio, ma sempre in buona fede».