Planet Google

We’ll All Have Self-Driving Cars Long Before We Can Actually Use Them

Doesn't matter if the tech is ready, you still need to map every road before the cars are worth anything. (Photo by Jakob Montrasio)

Every other week, some automotive CEO or founder you’ve never heard of will make news and keep their stock prices stable by guessing at the future of self-driving cars. Late Wednesday night, the robot-fearing space explorer and transportation tycoon Elon Musk of Tesla and SpaceX took his turn when he told the Wall Street Journal that Tesla would have self-driving cars ready in six years.

“The big car companies have been a lot slower than I thought,” he said.

Mr. Musk is fond of making fanciful predictions and projections about the future of transportation, but saying that he’ll have a self-driving car in six years isn’t as far fetched as, say, a bullet-speed interstate monorail in the sky. After all, Nissan says that they’ll have self-driving cars ready by then, too. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Tumblr’s Spooktacular Halloween Party and Techies Flee to the Emerald Isle

Screenshot_2013-11-01-15-40-04

Tumblr Goes Hard Taking a break from reblogging, faving and figuring out when their shares are going to vest, Tumblr employees threw themselves a cute little Halloween party. We spotted them sharing some photos on rival social network Twitter, but it looked like they were having a good time. The sales team dressed up as the cast of Spring Breakers, Betaworks’ golden child Poncho was spotted in the crowd and some jokester decided to be a Yahoo! employee. That forced smile and suit looks rigid enough to fit in the corporate world, so well done. Read More

IRL Iron Man

Elon Musk Is Dragging His Family on a Cross-Country Road Trip to Tout the Tesla Model S

"Get in the car I MEAN IT." (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

Elon Musk really wants to convince everyone that the Tesla Model S won’t constantly run out of juice, leaving you stranded in traffic more than the lemon of a Triumph this reporter’s dad drove in the late 1970s.

Now, it seems, he’s decided to rope his kids into promoting the Tesla brand with a cross-country road trip, designed to demonstrate that you can get wherever you need in a Model S.

This sounds like a fantastic opportunity for Mr. Musk and his five sons to subsist entirely on Vienna sausages and cheese and peanut-butter sandwich crackers. But let’s hope the experience is more Crossroads, less National Lampoon’s Vacation. Read More

Linkages

Booting Up: Feds Seized $2.9M from Mt. Gox’s Dwolla Account

Oops. (Photo: Round Rock Offices)

When the Department of Homeland Security seized the funds from Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox’s Dwolla account, we were unsure just how much was taken; now, according to court documents, that number totaled $2.9 million. [Gigaom]

Yesterday Twitter added “related headlines” to tweets, and everyone momentarily freaked out. [PandoDaily]

If you’re building an app that connects to Instagram, better not put “Insta” or “gram” in the title or else you’re gonna have a bad time. [Techcrunch]

Internet citizens, typically reasoned and level-headed when it comes to these sorts of things, freaked the fuck out yesterday when Amazon temporarily went down. [Fast Company]

Elon Musk’s Tesla Model S achieved the highest safety rating of any car. Ever. We like to imagine Mr. Musk celebrating with a lavish party on Mars. [Tesla]

IRL Iron Man

Elon Musk Pulls All-Nighter Before Unveiling His Science Fair Project

FUTURISM. (Photo: Tesla)

Hey, do you love Space Mountain and hate bumper-to-bumper traffic? Boy, does Elon Musk have the highly theoretical transit system for you!

The PayPal cofounder just released the open-source plans for his pipe dream, the Hyperloop, along with some futuristic renderings we’re pretty sure he stole from Frank Herbert’s Dune. It’s basically the love child of a supersonic jet and the monorail at Epcot. Mr. Musk says it’s “the right solution for the specific case of high traffic city pairs that are less than about 1500 km or 900 miles apart.”

Anything more and you just want to upgrade to supersonic air travel. (As one does.) Though he’s not entirely done hashing out the details, after pulling an all-nighter working on the plans:  Read More

IRL Iron Man

Whoops! Elon Musk Didn’t Mean to Get Your Hopes Up About the Hyperloop

We've maybe been trolled. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

Did Elon Musk’s pie-in-the-sky promises about releasing a plan for an ultra-fast “Hyperloop” get you all excited for the future of travel? Bad news: This time, even Mr. Musk has to admit he got a little ahead of himself.

On Tesla’s quarterly earnings call, someone asked (wholly seriously, it seems) whether shareholders would “see any benefit” from the Hyperloop, for which he’s supposed to release a plan on August 12. According to a Seeking Alpha transcript, that’s when the backtracking began:  Read More