You might find Tesla (and all of Elon Musk's businesses) to be excitingly Geektastic (or not), but you may have wondered if there's anything more to it than just a lot of cool engineering. Does any of it actually have the potential for real positive change? If you want some information and a framework to help answer that question, check out this post, which investigates Understanding Why What Tesla Is Doing Is Important. [more inside]
Tesla Powerwall Battery Economics: Almost There - "Elon Musk announced Tesla's home / business battery today. [video] tl;dr: It'll get enthusiastic early adopters to buy. The economics are almost there to make it cost effective for a wide market... That said, for large scale grid deployment (outside of the home), it still looks like flow batteries and advanced compressed air are likely to be far cheaper in the long run." [more inside]
Wings of Desire. "[There] stood the imposing figure of Tesla, wearing a crown of two pigeons on his head, his shoulders and arms festooned with a dozen more, their white or pale-blue bodies making strong contrast with his black suit and black hair, even in the dusk. On either of his outstretched hands was another bird, while seemingly hundreds more made a living carpet on the ground in front of him, hopping about and pecking at the bird seed he had been scattering. It was Behrend’s [the scout’s] impulse to rush in, shoo the birds away and, seizing the missing man, rush him back to the auditorium. Something caused him to halt. Such an abrupt action seemed almost sacrilegious. …" [Via]
Full of assumptions, still thought-provoking article about self-driving cars by writer Zach Kanter, How Uber’s Autonomous Cars Will Destroy 10 Million Jobs and Reshape the Economy by 2025. [more inside]
Tesla Motors announced today that the company will no longer defend its patent portfolio, on the heels of an earlier announcement that the company would open up the designs and specifications for its "supercharger" system.
Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal sure loves his Tesla Model S. He also thinks that, for using Tesla's name for his company, the least Elon Musk could do was help fund a Tesla museum. Musk agreed.
"While DC continues to race through San Francisco power lines at nearly the speed of light, it does so anonymously. You’ll find no reference to DC power distribution in PG&E’s annual reports or on its websites. Even some utility engineers are unaware of its existence, which raises a curious question: Why is the inheritor of this legacy, the mighty and sophisticated PG&E, still bothering with DC distribution 133 years later?" [more inside]
A few months ago there was a list of links to classic video game emulators posted. Very recently, I'm pleased to report, those links all came true. The Internet Archive bespoke upon aforementioned consoles, computers, and mileposts on our way to the tech utopia of today, (seriously, where's my flying car?) and they asked us to do something: Imagine every computer that ever existed, literally, in your browser. And it was so. I have absolutely no affiliation with jscott, btw. Thought I should disclose that.
Teslapunk is a new game for mobile where Nikola Tesla has to save the world, shoot-em-up style. The heavy vintage graphics are by Thorsten Fleisch who is no stranger to metafilter. He also did the music. It doesn't get more indie than this. [more inside]
Consumer Reports says the Tesla Model S is a truly remarkable car.
While Tesla Motors expects its first profitable quarter (despite some bad press), the electric car competitor it unsuccessfully sued for stealing its technology, Fisker Automotive, teeters on the brink of insolvency. How did Fisker, a company valued at over $1 billion dollars at the beginning of 2013, end up in this sitation? A Timeline of Fisker's Rise and Fall
Owen Phairis, aka “Nikolai Tesla, Man of Lightning”, has a planetarium projector museum near Bear Lake, CA. Cool Hunting takes a tour.
The year 2100 will see eugenics universally established. In past ages, the law governing the survival of the fittest roughly weeded out the less desirable strains. Then man’s new sense of pity began to interfere with the ruthless workings of nature. ~Nikola Tesla, Liberty Magazine, February 9, 1935
"Does Tesla's Supercharger answer the road trip question for EVs?" Tesla announces plans to rollout a network of supercharger stations that will generate more solar power than the Tesla S series cars draw, leading to a net input into the grid. Yahoofinance says "...the first six Supercharger stations, which will allow the Model S to travel long distances with ultra fast charging throughout California, parts of Nevada and Arizona."
Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal published a comic entitled "Why Nikola Tesla was the greatest geek who ever lived.." Alex Knapp at Forbes responds with "Nikola Tesla Wasn't God And Thomas Edison Wasn't The Devil" Inman responds to the response very succinctly. (the oatmeal previously)
This is the coolest thing in the world. For reals. It's "Dueling Banjos"... played on two giant Tesla Coils. That's... pretty dang amazing. As if that's not enough, perhaps you'll like the Nyan Cat theme? Or perhaps Sweet Home Alabama, for jonmc? Or In The Hall of the Mountain King, for the most awesome remake of M ever? [more inside]
$40,000 is what you'll pay to have the battery replaced if you leave your Tesla Roadster, a $100K electric car, unplugged long enough that the battery discharges completely. Reportedly, the problem will also plague the upcoming Model S coupe, a $50K downmarket model. Owners cannot insure against this loss, it is not covered by warranty, and the car cannot be driven, recharged, or easily towed if so "bricked".
Designer and Illustrator - Dr. Monster- shows us how to make a modern movie poster. Maybe you'd like to see one of his posters? Or a happy scooter? Or a motivational poster? Or just a dapper looking Tesla with a Tesla Cannon?
The Doctor Who theme, Adam Savage of Mythbusters, and tesla coils! (SLYT) ... just a part of this weekend's S.F. Bay Area Maker Faire.
You are Nikola Tesla. Dodge obstacles and control the elements as you race to stop Thomas Edison. A game by ThoughtQuake Studios, made using open source software and part of IndieDB's top 100 games of 2010. via BlenderNation.
(MLYT) Danyk666 and his microwave oven, danyk and his unshielded Source, danyk's little jacob's ladder, danyk heats water, zaps a CD, uses wrong AC power. Also hairspray high-volt abuse, his flyback transformer no workee (wait for it), carbon scoring on your droids? And danyk's small shaded-pole motor ...OF DEATH!!! [more inside]
The History of Nikola Tesla - A Short Story. In celebration of the 154th anniversary of Nikola Tesla's birth. [Via]
Wireless electricity has been mentioned previously. A recent TED Talk actually shows it in action. The presenter, Eric Giler of WiTricity Corp (a startup founded by MIT researcher Marin Soljačić), mentions the first attempt at wireless electricity, the Wardenclyffe Tower, designed and built over a hundred years ago by Nikola Tesla. [more inside]
Pics of the new Tesla S-Model have been leaked. With an anticipated price tag of 50K and a potential 45-minute recharge time, will this finally kick-start a true replacement to the internal combustion engine? And if so, where will the electricity come from? What future is there for the fuel-cell vehicle, or will fuel cells remain stationary? Is that really it for hydrogen? [more inside]
SpaceX's fourth flight was successful. Scaled Composites' X-Prize winning SpaceShipOne made the first privately funded hop into space. SpaceX just took the next big step and inserted a dummy payload into orbit. Next, they will launch the much larger Falcon 9 and later test out the human-carrying Dragon. CEO Elon Musk also enjoys dabbling in banking and exotic electric cars.
Two takes on the immediate future of the electric car: we are either "Going Nowhere Fast" (if you ask a petrolhead from Top Gear magazine) or we are witnessing "The End of the Petrolhead" (if you ask The Economist). A bestiary of current and planned models includes TeslaMotors (now in production), Fisker Automotive (who are being sued by Teslamotors), the GM Volt (due 2010), The Lighting Car Company, the plug in Prius, the GWiz (now slightly less squishy apparently), the Corbin Sparrow, a few (vapory?) models from Zap! and the wondrous Sinclair C5.
Creepy High Voltage Installations The Russian countryside yields sometimes most improbable sights - abandoned artifacts and installations from bizarre military/scientific research, strangely futuristic forms left to rust and decay - to be found by a curious photographer. "Master" stumbled upon this installation close to Russian city of Istra (50 km from Moscow) quite by chance, and these mysterious shots were percolating for a while around the web, until the answer was found. According to this little, cryptic, and quite secretive website [in Russian], the weird alien-like towers are the Experimental Grounds for High-Voltage Generation, the only open-air kind in the world. Amazingly, it's still in use... as the powerful lightnings rip through the night and the darkened forest - much like in "The Prestige" movie.
Don't try this at home. Watch in awe, bedazzlement, and concern as a lone Australian (with no professional training) builds tesla coils, lasers, railguns and exploding wires -- in his own garage. [Previous mad science on MeFi]
Tales of Future Past* — It's been a looong Monday. Do you want to get off the planet and out of the city to a place where you can really live? Well, here's some food for thought on the way home down life's highways. First, take a break from all this depressing war talk. Then empower yourself by giving yourself some space and maybe taking off for a few days. Drive just a bit slower, turn up the volume and imagine that your mechanic will say the tranny's OK after all. Once you're in the front door, take time to get slightly wired and forget all about politics. Get recharged for tomorrow: have a nice long bath, put your mind at ease, watch Ur Fave shOw, and listen to some soothing music. Now, don't things look a lot better? [*Note the 'Start the Tour' links at the bottom of each page.]
Nikola Tesla lends his name to an electric car that can reach 60pmh in 4 seconds and travel 250 miles between charges. Early witnesses include Arnie and Wired. An old Tesla rumour is that he made his own back in the 1930s.
One-page history of remote-controlled weapons. Includes some Tesla goodness.
Did God create hurricane Katrina? Well, probably not. But perhaps, it was George Bush continuing his plan for world domination by using HAARP and scalar technology to control the weather by applying the suppressed theories of Nikola Tesla! See, once Bush has induced economic armageddon it will quickly induce the peak oil crisis thus leading to permanent martial law whereby he'll be able to suspend the constitution. Once all these pesky government controls have been removed, then Bush will finally be able to achieve the neocon dream of a New American Century.
Lightning On Demand is a volunteer organization of engineers, artists, scientists and machinists. Our key objective is to produce a controllable discharge of lightning at the greatest physical scale imaginable using modern technology. They've built the worlds biggest Tesla coil, Electrum, a Taser Cannon and some other projects
"The newspapers of the twenty-first century will give a mere "stick" in the back pages to accounts of crime or political controversies, but will headline on the front pages the proclamation of a new scientific hypothesis."
From an interview with Nikolai Tesla in 1937 about the now near future...
From an interview with Nikolai Tesla in 1937 about the now near future...
While scientists like Einstein and Heisenberg are familiar names, others like Nikolai Tesla have been largely forgotten by history, despite the fact that some of his work with electricity still cannot be replicated to this day. Despite this, claims of governmental conspiracies are probably fairly far from the truth.
Bert Hickman has a ten inch diameter Tesla coil powered from two neon sign transformers in his screened-in (but unheated) porch, along with a device that produces magnetic fields strong enough to shrink coins. One of the byproducts of the coin-shrinking: an eight inch ball of plasma.