Odds and Ends 

In venture capital, its still the age of the unicorn

Howie Xu At the time, the piece defined a new breed of startup — the $1 billion privately held company. When Lee did her first count, there were 39 “unicorns”; an improbable, but not impossible number.. Today, the once-scarce unicorn has become a global herd with 376 companies on the roster and counting. But the proliferation of unicorns begs raises certain questions. Is this new breed of unicorn artificially created? Could these magical companies see their valuations slip and fall out of the herd? Does this indicate an irrational exuberance…

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Elon Musk admits he shouldn’t have tweeted so much

Elon Musk goes into his wild 2018.Image: DAVID MCNEW/AFP/Getty Images Tesla, SpaceX, and the Boring Company CEO Elon Musk made an appearance on Recode’s podcast and he talked to the publication’s Kara Swisher about tweeting, building a car company, a cyberpunk Tesla pickup truck, electric scooters, and the race to self-driving cars. Plus a whole lot more, like the eccentric billionaire’s likely demise on Mars. In an hour-plus conversation the tech journalist hit on a lot of hot topics and Musk didn’t evade or skip around most answers. He admitted…

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GMs Super Cruise just beat out Teslas Autopilot in Consumer Reports ranking

Tesla’s Autopilot is often touted as the most capable and advanced driver assistance system available on the market today. But in Consumer Reports’ view that honor actually goes to Cadillac’s Super Cruise. The consumer organization gave Super Cruise the top spot in its first-ever ranking of partially automated driving systems because it is the best at striking a balance between technical capabilities and ensuring drivers are paying attention and operating the vehicle safely. That’s an important distinction that means CR is considering a lot more than simply the technical capabilities of…

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Spotted: Tesla’s electric Semi truck pops up in Utah

The Semi electric Tesla truck has been on the road for weeks.Image: VERONIQUE DUPONT/AFP/Getty Images Where Tesla’s prototype electric Semi — a battery-powered long-haul truck — will go next is anyone’s guess. But in recent days, Elon Musk’s truck was spotted in Salt Lake City, Utah. SEE ALSO: Tesla’s electric semi could be the ‘biggest catalyst for the trucking industry in decades,’ says analyst A woman who said she’s a Tesla employee posted on her Instagram Friday pictures of the truck and an inside view of the big-rig. She wrote…

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It’ll Take Way More Than All This to Oust Elon Musk From Tesla

Reported SEC probes. Snowballing shareholder lawsuits. Email fights with reporters, a possible libel suit in the offing, a brow-furrowing interview with The New York Times. Smoking a blunt on a podcast. Yes, you could say Tesla’s Elon Musk has had quite the summer. And despite Thursday night's multi-hour, congenial, and far-ranging conversation on Joe Rogan's podcast—covering AI, the Boring Company's tunnels, the nature of evil, Instagram, and Musk's new idea for an electric, vertical takeoff and landing supersonic airplane—there's no reason to think those worried about Musk's state of mind…

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Update: New whistleblower claims against Tesla allege drug trafficking, theft and phone hacking coverup

This post has been updated with a comment from Tesla and to indicate that a single employee was allegedly involved in the drug trafficking ring.  Employees at Tesla’s Nevada gigafactory were allegedly involved in a massive drug ring, stole $37 million worth of precious metals and equipment and illegally spied on former employees at the behest of chief executive Elon Musk, according to a new whistleblower complaint filed against the company. First reported by Jalopnik, the complaint is only the latest in a string of damaging news stories that have…

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Elon Musk’s Tesla Tweets Could Spark a Fight With the SEC

Elon Musk is, if nothing else, a warrior. He has battled short sellers. He was waged war against the auto industry and the National Transportation Safety Board. He has scrapped with the media and Los Angeles traffic and, because 2018, Azealia Banks. Now, Musk may be in yet another battle, with the US Securities and Exchange Commissions. This all started a week ago, when the Tesla CEO tweeted, “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.” But as Musk revealed in a Monday blog post, that funding may not,…

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This Week in the Future of Cars: The Inside Look

Every so often, WIRED gets to take a good, long sojourn behind the scenes, to observe what the people we write about are doing all day. This was one of those nice weeks. Editor Alex Davies hopped a plane to Winnemucca, an isolated mining town in northern Nevada that’s hosting Alphabet’s latest moonshot: its effort to spread the gospel of internet via broadcasting balloons. Senior writer Jessi Hempl got under Uber’s hood after the announcement that HR chief Liane Hornsey—the woman brought in to fix the unicorn’s culture—resigned for improperly…

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The Terrible Timing of Tesla’s Expiring $7,500 Tax Credit

Just a few weeks after finally reaching its goal of building 5,000 Model 3 sedans in a week, Tesla has hit another threshold: Earlier this month, it sold its 200,000th car in the US. This milestone, however, is more cause for concern than celebration: From here on out, Elon Musk's customers will start to lose access to the $7,500 federal tax credit that softens the blow of buying an expensive electric. The tax credit scheme dates to the 2008 Energy Improvement and Extension Act, which boosted the budding electric car…

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Elon Musk visits Shanghai to announce first Tesla factory outside U.S.

Right after Tesla raised the prices of its cars by at least $20,000 each due to China's increased import tariffs on American-made cars, the company announced it would open its first international factory in Shanghai today. This will allow the car manufacturer to circumvent the newly imposed taxes.Image: Shanghai Municipal People’s government A looming trade war with China hasn’t slowed down Elon Musk or his beloved brainchild Tesla. Right after the car company was forced to raise the prices of its cars by at least $20,000 each due to China’s…

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The $4,000 Tesla iPhone X claims to charge your phone with solar panels

Image: caviar Remember the company that created the iPhone 6S with Putin’s head encrusted in gold? Well, they’re back with a raaaaather different homage—this time, to Elon Musk.  Russian phone accessory maker Caviar—renowned for its ultra-expensive and over-the-top iPhone cases—has created something called the iPhone X Tesla, which it claims “is able to charge from light.” SEE ALSO: A $3,200 iPhone 6S has Putin’s head encrusted in gold Oh, and it’s all yours for a whopping $4,590 (£3,392). A bargain!  “iPhone X Tesla by Caviar is equipped with a solar…

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Odds and Ends 

Tesla Semi does its first production cargo run with batteries on board

Tesla is putting its new electric Semi to work, with its first run as a “production” vehicle — for a familiar client. Tesla itself is the customer, as the trucks were equipped with trailers loaded up with battery packs fresh from the Gigafactory assembly line, heading to the Tesla Fremont car factory in California. Elon Musk shared an image of the trucks at work, with both the matte black version and the silver one with the aero hood, which presumably are the same they showed off at the official unveil…

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Elon Musk shares the last image of his Tesla Roadster in space

Unless you spent your day under a rock on Tuesday, you probably already know that SpaceX successfully launched its largest rocket ever, the Falcon Heavy. Oh, and on that rocket was a Telsa Roadster, because why not? Elon Musk shared the last image of the Roadster — equipped with a “Starman” at the wheel — before it spends the rest of eternity somewhere in space. Kind of haunting, kind of beautiful. May he ride forever, and not be blown to bits.  SEE ALSO: Watching SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy launch to space…

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Why Tesla’s Autopilot Can’t See a Stopped Firetruck

On Monday, a Tesla Model S slammed into the back of a stopped firetruck on the 405 freeway in Los Angeles County. The driver apparently told the fire department the car was in Autopilot mode at the time. The crash highlighted the shortcomings of the increasingly common semi-autonomous systems that let cars drive themselves in limited conditions. This surprisingly non-deadly debacle also raises a technical question: How is it possible that one of the most advanced driving systems on the planet doesn't see a freaking fire truck, dead ahead? Tesla…

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Fisker EMotion electric car debuts at CES, immediately inspires drooling

Picture the Distracted Boyfriend internet meme, where the boyfriend is a Tesla owner and the girlfriend is the Model S. The other woman? That’s gotta be the Fisker EMotion. SEE ALSO: 7 tech trends that will rule CES 2018 The all-new Fisker Inc. debuted its luxury electric car, the EMotion, at CES 2018, and it’s a beauty. Fisker’s sporty sedan would look completely in its element pulling up next to a Corvette or Porsche. But this a car made for the future, with equal attention paid to brains as well…

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