I'm the kind of record buyer that always reads album credits, and starting in the early 1990s, with the Pixies' "Surfer Rosa," Nirvana's "In Utero," and PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me" I noticed that all of these great sounding recordings were engineered by Steve Albini. The man is extraordinarily prolific, and to date has worked on 2,000 albums! I reached out to him a few weeks ago to talk about his work.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk plans to prove that traveling across the country with one of his company's electric cars isn't as challenging as some might think.
Musk took to his Twitter account on Wednesday to announce that he has finalized a family road trip that will take him from Los Angeles to New York City. According to Musk, he plans to complete the trip in six days and travel 3,200 miles in his Tesla Model S. During the trip, he'll spend just nine hours charging.
"At 1.5 hours per day, we will only … Read more
California's HOV lane sticker program -- which is meant to give drivers incentive to adopt more efficient, but more expensive, electrified vehicles -- was scheduled to come to a close at the end of 2015, but a bill approved by the state legislature has extended the program until 2019.
Drivers of fully electric vehicles (such as the Tesla Model S, Nissan Leaf, or Fiat 500e) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in or Chevrolet Volt) can receive white or green stickers, respectively, that will allow them full access to high-occupancy vehicle carpool lanes, even if they'… Read more
Irregular and sometimes life-threatening heart rhythms -- called arrhythmias -- are able to be treated thanks to electric jolts in defibrillators and pacemakers, but those jolts aren't completely without risk. Not only can they be painful, but in some instances they can even damage tissue.
And while most people would probably put up with a little pain if it means saving their lives, five biomedical engineers at Johns Hopkins and Stony Brook universities figured they'd work on improving the system to see if these devices would work just as well without the jolts of electricity.
Instead, they want … Read more
I'm writing to inform you that you have less than two years.
If I'm flicking through the latest issue of a technology magazine or tech Web site in 2015 and don't see a hoverboard, I'll be mighty disappointed.
And it won't just be me. Thousands, perhaps millions, of others, all waiting patiently for hoverboards. And you only have three years.
While you're at it, you wouldn't mind rustling up some flying cars, would you?
Actually, scratch that. People have enough trouble on tarmac, so God forbid you give them an extra … Read more
Out in a parking lot by the San Francisco Giants' ballpark, KLD CEO Christian Okonsky explains that the basic electric motor, that used by automakers like Tesla in its electric cars, has not changed much in 100 years. Then he shows me a teardown of KLD's electric motor, this one employing radical features such as a stator broken down into multiple, modular components.
Okonsky's chief scientific officer, Ray Caamano, takes over, diving deep into electrical engineering terminology of which I can follow a bit before my brain starts humming the theme song from "Speed Racer." It'… Read more
City dwellers know how crazy-making it can be to endlessly hunt for a parking space.
The Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) this week revealed an electric-vehicle prototype designed to fold up to save parking space. Affectionately christened the Armadillo-T after the animal that hides itself inside its shell, the car is quite possibly one of the first of its type to be introduced to South Korea. You may have heard of a similar concept in the form of the Hiriko, a brainchild of MIT that launched in Spain last year.
With a maximum speed of 37 mph, the Armadillo-T can travel 62 miles after 10 minutes of lithium ion battery charging. After parking, the car can be folded in length from 110 inches down to almost half, 65 inches, via a smartphone interface. To save space, cameras replace the side and rear-view mirrors. According to the Korean Wall Street Journal, three Armadillo-Ts can be slotted into a standard sized parking lot in Korea after folding, using the same smartphone application. … Read more
After Tesla reported better-than-expected earnings Wednesday, its chief executive discussed upcoming models and challenges the young car company faces.
The Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric carmaker reported a second-quarter non-GAAP profit of $26 million, or 20 cents a share, beating an expected non-GAAP loss of 17 cents.
That drove the stock price up in after-hours trading to $153 a share, up from Wednesday's $134 closing price.
Revenues were $405 million, beating the average analyst estimate of $383 million.
Tesla announced that it had sold 10,500 Model S sedans in the first six months and is on track to … Read more
Shin-Etsu Chemical thinks new material it has developed could boost battery life by tenfold. Needless to say, even if the company achieved a fraction of that, it would be groundbreaking.
The new development replaces traditional carbon-based material in lithium-ion batteries with silicon, according to a report in the Japanese-language version of Nikkei -- which didn't provide much detail about the technology.
Though the cost is higher than carbon-based materials, the expected tenfold increase in battery life would -- theoretically -- effectively obviate the need to frequently re-charge smartphones, Nikkei said.
The material would have applications to electric car batteries … Read more
Tooling around San Francisco in a convertible, taking in sights such as the Golden Gate Bridge, is a real treat. Doing it in an electric convertible car fits the city's compact dimensions and progressive, high-tech culture even better.
And the only car for this mission is the 2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive, mostly because it is the only electrically driven convertible on the market.
Smart brought a selection of its Fortwo Electric Drive vehicles to San Francisco for a press event, and I grabbed the Cabrio, in Rally Red. The Fortwo Cabrio is sort of a half-convertible. The cloth … Read more