Amazon was temporarily valued at US$1 trillion last night, the second company after Apple to do so. "Analysts cite the company's ever-diversifying portfolio as a value driver. Last year, Amazon launched into the grocery industry with its purchase of Whole Foods Markets. It is rounding out its hardware and logistics segments with last-mile deliveries, and it's pushing forward in advertising to challenge Facebook and Google". To put into perspective how big Apple and Amazon are, their combined market caps are higher than the entire ASX, which has a market cap of ~AU$2t. Investors love Apple and Amazon so much, that they value those two businesses higher than literally every company listed on ASX combined.
German car makers have been busy spewing out electric car announcements the past two days. BMW teased the Vision iNext concept EV that won't be put into production until 2021. They also started accepting orders in Norway for the iX3 electric SUV that won't go on sale until 2020. Audi made sure we all know that their e-tron quattro electric SUV went into production yesterday in Brussels. The "big" news is that Mercedes-Benz finally announced a proper electric car, the EQC 400 4MATIC. It's a large-ish SUV with only 320km of range despite a big 80kWh battery. It'll go on sale in 2020 at an unknown price. Autogefühl has a great video preview of the Mercedes EQC.
Elon Musk is doubling down on his claims that Vernon Unsworth (a diver that assisted in rescuing those kids from a cave in Thailand) is a pedo, despite earlier apologising for doing so. Elon let loose with a rant in an email to a Buzzfeed journalist, saying that Unsworth has a 12 year old bride (?!?) and is a child rapist. Elon, of course, offers no proof of this. The Buzzfeed journo went digging and couldn't find evidence supporting Elon's claims. I hope Elon is sued, loses and is made to pay back all the costs Unsworth incurs in defending himself from this clear bullying by a rich dude who knows he can spend way more on lawyers than Unsworth can.
The South Australian state budget is out and there's a bunch of tech/startup related stuff inside. $4.8m in rental subsidies for 650 startups that are using the state's Innovation and Commercialisation Precinct, which will receive a $43.9m refurbishment. $400,000 will go towards testing a "new visa category for startup entrepreneurs seeking to base their operations in SA". $5.2m for a new emergency warning smartphone app, $4.2m for a 000 system upgrade. $1m for lobbying the federal government to place the federal Space Agency HQ in SA. No payroll tax for businesses with a payroll under $1.5m. $27.9m to get SA businesses collaborating with universities and researchers. $100m of funding for the Economic and Business Growth fund and chief entrepreneur position that'll hype up SA as a cool place to be a cool startup.
The LiFePO4wered/Pi+ does what it says on the tin - lets you add an 18650 or 14500 sized LiFePO4 battery to your Raspberry Pi and charge it directly from a solar panel using MPPT charging. Literally just hook the panel up directly to the LiFePO4wered/Pi+ and it does the rest. It'll even work like a UPS (so if the mains USB power dies, this will take over) and shut down cleanly if the battery goes flat. Depending on what you're doing with your Pi, a solar panels and a single 18650 LiFePO4 battery isn't enough to go fully off grid, but it is possible if you've got a light workload and a lotta sun. The LiFePO4wered/Pi+ is still in crowdfunding mode, but I don't see why it wouldn't get released.
Mounting TV anntenas often? Check out Antenna Mate. It's a classic example of an app that does one task really well and nothing else. Open it up on your iPhone or iPad and it pops up with a big arrow pointing towards your nearest TV transmitter. Angle your antenna in the same direction as the arrow and bam, your antenna is perfectly aligned - no more guess work. Perfect for people who install TV antennas for a living, or caravanners who are in a new place often and don't know which way to point the TV antennas on top of their caravan. What a classy idea, I love it even though I have absolutely no need for it as I'm too scared of heights to ever go up on a roof to fuck with a TV antenna.
That's it, see ya tomorrow!