The Conversation

Technology: Discussion of technology events and developments.

Tesla vs. the NY Times Follow Up

Feb 14, 2013 1:16 PM PT

Tuesday I wrote about the public spat between Tesla's co-founder Elon Musk and John Broder, a writer for the NY Times. Broder wrote a negative story about Tesla's $100k electric sports car (the Model S) and Musk responded by accusing him of faking the events in the story. Musk claimed that data logged during the test drive proved Broder hadn't been honest in his account.

Yesterday, Musk did publish a response on Tesla's website including several graphs based on data taken during the test drive. It turns out that some of the claims Broder made are not true. Specifically, in his initial response to Musk he claims "I drove more than 100 miles below 55 on cruise control to conserve power." Not so according to the logs which show a roughly 100 mile stretch driving an average of 60mph.

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Tesla vs. the New York Times

Feb 12, 2013 1:36 PM PT

Last week, New York Times reporter John Broder took a top of the line Tesla Model S for a road trip from Washington DC up Interstate 95 to Connecticut. 

The trip started out fine, but as the weather got cold, the car's battery began showing reduced range, which left him wondering if he could make the next charge station. Broder then spent part of his day driving a $100k sports car in the right lane at 54 mph. He even had to turn the heat down inside the cabin to improve his odds.

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Wall-to-wall propaganda

Feb 9, 2013 8:22 PM PT

In response to Out of the Mouths of Reporters:

Another thought about the "global warming attracts asteroids" nuttiness: Leftists understand that even patently absurd propaganda can be effective when it's wall-to-wall.  Global warming (and later, when that term became too specific and untenable, "climate change") has been a flood-the-zone affair, since its inception.  It's everywhere.  It's difficult to get through a few days of nothing but light entertainment programming without being hit by global warming ideas and terminology, dropped casually by characters in everything from breezy comedies to sci-fi epics.  And of course, it's perpetually appearing in news broadcasts, too.  I vaguely recall a story years ago in which some meteorologist urged his peers to mention global warming at every opportunity, precisely because he understood the value of repetition, particularly casual mentions.

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Global warming primitivism

Feb 9, 2013 8:08 PM PT

In response to Out of the Mouths of Reporters:

That's really one for the books, Ace, although as you mentioned, it's not really all that far removed from the regular fare at the Church of Global Warming.  It's funny how all the "science is settled" types have gone deadly silent about the "science," now that report after report is slamming down that shows there isn't really any climate change to speak of.  Even the most adroit "hockey stick" malarkey artists can't twist the latest round of data enough to make it look like there's a crisis, and some of the more intellectually honest old bulls of the climate change movement are quietly admitting that the data doesn't support their earlier alarmism.

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Mobile App Promises Total Privacy from Government Snooping

Feb 6, 2013 5:47 PM PT

Slate has a fascinating tech article I've been meaning to write about for a couple days now about Silent Circle, a mobile developer which claims its latest app can send calls, texts, and files in such a way that they cannot be traced or intercepted, even by law enforcement or the company itself.

Until now, sending encrypted documents has been frustratingly difficult for anyone who isn’t a sophisticated technology user, requiring knowledge of how to use and install various kinds of specialist software. What Silent Circle has done is to remove these hurdles, essentially democratizing encryption. It’s a game-changer that will almost certainly make life easier and safer for journalists, dissidents, diplomats, and companies trying to evade state surveillance or corporate espionage. Governments pushing for more snooping powers, however, will not be pleased.

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