Issue 828

Monday, 4th March 2019

In This Issue


Tesla to reveal Model Y, the SUV variant of the Model 3, on March 14

Elon Musk sent out three tweets early this morning: "Model Y unveil event on March 14 at LA Design Studio", "Model Y, being an SUV, is about 10% bigger than Model 3, so will cost about 10% more & have slightly less range for same battery", "Detailed specs & pricing will be provided, as well as test rides in Y". Apparently it will look pretty much like the Model 3, just with a higher road clearance and a different rear end to facilitate the hatch/more cargo. SUVs (and utes/pickups) massively outsell sedans in most parts of the world, so the Model Y is gonna be super popular. I wonder if they'll have the capacity to build it in Fremont or if they'll need to build a second factory?

France is getting serious about implementing a large internet company tax

France plans to tax "large internet companies" up to 5% of their revenue as a "matter of fiscal justice". The French finance minister said the tax is aimed at companies with worldwide digital revenue of at least 750 million euros and French revenue of more than 25 million euros. This will snag about 30 companies all up, mostly American, like the obvious targets in Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple. The tax is still in draft stages, but they've been talking about it for a while at the EU, but nobody was that keen (Ireland & Luxembourg in particular), so they're going alone. I'm no economist or taxation expert but I like the cut of this tax's jib.

Canada extradites Huawei CFO to USA & Huawei invites journos to China

A fresh Huawei news update - Canada's courts approved the USA's extradition request for Huawei's CFO, meaning she will now be sent to the US to face charges of "conspiring to violate US sanctions on Iran". China is obviously pissed off, so expect some sort of consequences (more tariffs!) soon. On the same day, Catherine Chen, a Director of the Board at Huawei, has published an open letter to US journalists, inviting them to come visit Huawei's campuses in China and see for themselves the cutting edge R&D Huawei carries out. Not sure what that'll achieve besides a sweet junket opportunity, as any company sanctioned visit it'll be 100% stage managed and chaperoned by PR stooges.

Facebook exposed as two faced liars, again

The Guardian has confirmation that as Facebook was giving out press releases saying how they need to improve and be more transparent, they were also lobbying governments around the world not to increase or introduce privacy and data security legislation. Facebook used "Cheryl Sandberg's feminist memoir Lean In" to bond with female politicians they knew already disliked Facebook and "threatened to withhold investment from countries unless they supported or passed Facebook-friendly laws". The Guardian even reckons that Facebook was gloating about Irish PM offering to use his upcoming role as the EU President to make sure anti-Facebook stuff stays off the agenda, despite the fact the EU President is supposed to remain neutral. Just goes to show you can't trust anything coming out of Facebook's two faced mouth.

NHTSA & NTSB to investigate suspected Tesla Autopilot fatality, again

Also Tesla related, the USA's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have sent a team to Florida to investigate a fatal crash involving a Tesla that may have had Autopilot engaged, where a 50yo bloke got decapitated as his Model 3 slammed into the side of semi-trailer - again. The "NHTSA is also probing the January 2018 crash of a Tesla vehicle apparently traveling in Autopilot that struck a fire truck in Culver City, California, a May 2018 crash in Utah of a Tesla in Autopilot mode and a May 2018 Tesla accident in Florida that killed two teenagers and injured another but was not in Autopilot mode". Let's see how Tesla spins this as to not be Autopilot's fault.

Not News, But Still Cool

Cryptocurrency mining company buying a US coal plant to power its operation

I try to keep the stuff in this section "cool" (i.e: not upsetting), but today I learned that there's a coal power plant in Montana up for sale and a cryptocurrency mining outfit is looking to buy it to fuel their number crunching. The buyer is known as "Big Horn Datapower Holdings", and while it isn't confirmed they're a cryptocurrency mining outfit, a bunch of crypto miners were given a tour recently and with a name like "Datapower", it's a good chance that's what's going on. Whatever you think of cryptocurrency and its uses, there's no excuse for polluting the planet whilst doing so. If you wanna waste electricity, at least waste solar or wind which will emit barely any (keep in mind manufacturing) CO2 compared to a coal-fired power plant.

I like this weatherproof LTE modem & wi-fi router

I stumbled across this sweet outdoor 4G router over the weekend. Here's a Thai YouTube video of it in action. It's designed to be placed up a pole and share delicious 4G internet over wi-fi. Inside its hardy weatherproof metal case is an Category 6 LTE modem connected to a wi-fi router. It's powered via PoE that can also act as an ethernet WAN/LAN link and comes with a full suite of removable antennas so you can add higher gain units if you're in a rough coverage area. There's plenty of ways to achieve this but this was the nicest ready to go unit I've seen and it's not even that expensive at $460 delivered with mounting hardware & PoE injector.

Cheap TP-Link smartbulbs, Q Acoustics bookshelf speakers, Xiaomi scooter, Orico USB charger, Tesla Model S, Microsoft Surface Go data plan, Bose QC25 headphones & Nanoleaf Canvas kit

That's it, see ya tomorrow!

 Buddy Holly - Weezer