Journalism 101 It looks like somebody is gunning for a spot at Nick Denton’s soon-to-relaunch Silicon Valley gossip site Valleywag. TechCrunch co-editor Alexia Tsotsis wrote an impassioned post about why tech journalism needs another Valleywag, “a watchdog with enough independence and daring to call it as it is.” Writers at blogs like her own, Ms. Tsotsis argues, are simply too embedded in the ecosystem to properly perform their jobs, unwilling to report on certain unseemly aspects of Valley business and culture for fear of having to, get this, sit next to those she’s written about at a demo day.
IRL Iron Man
Things aren’t looking so great for Boeing right now, as the 787 Dreamliner has morphed into a nightmare. Turns out the lithium ion batteries that were supposed to be such an innovation are showing a distressing tendency to go wrong in one way or another, and the brand new model is currently grounded.
But hey, it’s always darkest before the dawn, right? And it looks like there’s at least one person willing to lend a hand. Via the Next Swiftmoney Web:
Today is the opening of the Detroit Auto Show, and so automotive execs are making the rounds talking up their companies’ latest and greatest models. Among them, according to Reuters: Tesla founder Elon Musk, who came bearing promises of profitability–or at least assurances that his firm is working on it.
The Final Frontier
News has been swirling that PayPal vet and SpaceX founder Elon Musk is hellbent on creating a colony on Mars specifically targeting vegetarians. PETA, of course, immediately jumped on the idea, demanding that instead of making the colony vegetarian, it should obviously be vegan.
Now, Mr. Musk has spoken out on his Twitter account saying that, yes, he would like to get tech people to Mars, but no, he is not the red planet’s vegan-loving leader.
Deal With It
Count Tesla CEO Elon Musk as the latest Silicon Valley entrepreneur unwilling to wait for the Securities and Exchange Commission to mark social media as an appropriate platform for sharing material information about public companies.
Space the Final Frontier
Looking for a lift… to space? Today, after a week of Internet speculation, a new commercial aerospace startup called the Golden Spike Company made its official debut. Headed by former NASA administrators, the company wants to get regular missions to the moon going by 2020–and at a fraction of the current cost. The name is meant to evoke the transcontinental railway that opened up the American west for settlement.
Yeah, they basically want to build a train to space. NBD.
The Final Frontier
Millennial icon Bill Nye the Science Guy, whom this reporter once had the immense pleasure of interviewing, currently serves as the CEO of the Planetary Society. There, he’s worked to raise awareness about the Curiosity Rover’s mission to Mars, as well as advised Elon Musk on what the space research community needs out of a commercial space program. (“We need cheap access to orbit,” Mr. Nye told us in an interview. “It’s the key first step. Getting to orbit right now is too expensive.”)
Mr. Nye is working to raise awareness about NASA’s gutted space exploration budget. Yesterday, his team published a YouTube video of Mr. Nye urging viewers to send a letter to the President, asking him to restore the budget.
15 Minutes Into the Future
Elon Musk‘s aerospace venture is off to a good start with the recent launch of SpaceX’s Dragon cargo ship, but his Tesla stores selling expensive electric Model S sedans are running into problems with fossil-fueled competitors.
Several state associations of auto dealers are invoking older laws protecting conventional methods of selling cars by claiming the way Tesla sells cars is unfair to other dealers and possibly even illegal. Here’s one example out of several cited by Automotive News:
The discussion board from the mind of Y Combinator founder Paul Graham is a place where some of the smartest people on the Internet congregate to flaunt just how smart they really are…in order to impress Paul Graham. An arbiter of influence in the science and tech sphere, it can send impressive amounts of traffic to even the most self-aggrandizing of Svbtle blogs, which is why so many people try to game the voting system. But it also provides an accepted way of ranking what’s important to certain players in the tech world.
Space the Final Frontier
Weather permitting, it looks like Elon Musk and his SpaceX aerospace startup will ride their Dragon cargo capsule into a shiny new era of private enterprise in space Sunday night, when Dragon is set to launch from Cape Canaveral on its first trip to the International Space Station (ISS).
The New York Times reports on Dragon’s payload: