Elon Musk has a very bad idea for a website rating journalists

Elon Musk has, as I imagine he often does during meetings or long automobile rides, come up with an idea for a new thing. Unlike the Hyperloop, which was cool, and various space-related notions, which we know he’s at least partly expert about, this one is just plain bad. It’s basically Yelp But For Journalism.

He may as well have said, I detected this large can marked “worms” and I’m going to open it, or, I’ve determined a new method for herding cats.

The idea of holding publishings and people accountable is great. Unfortunately it is the kind of problem that does not yield to even the best of intentions and smart engineering, because it is quickly complicated by the ethical, procedural and practical questions of crowdsourcing “the truth.”

He agreed with another Twitter user, whose remark is indistinguishable from sarcasm 😛 TAGEND

My guess is Musk does not often use Yelp, and has never operated a small business like a restaurant or salon.

Especially in today’s fiercely divided internet landscape, there is no dependable metric for truth or accountability. Some will say The New York Times is the most trusted newspaper in America — others will call it a corrupted cloth with a liberal agenda. Individual stories will receive the same treatment, with some disputing what they believe are biases and others asserting those same things as totally factual.

And while the truth lies somewhere in between these extremes, it is unlikely to be the mathematical mean of them. The” wisdom of the crowd ,” so often elicited but so seldom demonstrated, cannot depend on an equal number of people being totally wrong in opposite styles, producing a kind of stable system of bias.

The forces-out at work here — psychological, political, sociological, institutional — are subtle and incalculable.

The origins of this faith, and of the notion that there is somehow a quorum of truth-seekers in this age of misrepresentation, are unclear.

Facebook’s attempts to crowdsource the legitimacy of news narratives has had mixed results, and the predictable outcome is, of course, that people simply report as false news with which they disagree. Independent adjudicators are required, and Facebook has fired and hired them by the hundreds, but is yet to arrive at some system that produces outcomes worth talking about.

Fact-checking sites perform an invaluable service, but the objective is labor-intensive , not a self-regulating system like what Musk proposes. Such systems are unavoidably and notoriously was governed by chaos, election brigades, bots, infiltrators, agents provocateur and so on.

Easier told than done — in fact, often said and never done, for years and years and years, by some of the smartest people in the industry. It’s not to say it is impossible, but Musk’s glib positivity and ignorance or dismissal of a decade and more of efforts on this front are not inspiring.( Nate Silver, for one, is furious .)

Likely as a demonstration of his” faith in the people ,” if there are any on bot-ridden Twitter, he has put the idea up for public evaluation.

Currently the vote is about 90 percent yes. It’s hard to explain how dumb this is. Yet like most endeavours it will be instructive, both to others attempting to tame the zeitgeist, and hopefully to Musk.

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Leaked Tesla email says Model 3 will go to 24/7 production

Tesla is about to ramp up production of the Model 3 sedan according to an email obtained by Jalopnik. The company shut down the sedan’s production line this week, but this email says the line will shortly run away and a third shift will be added, permitting the sedan to be built around the clock. Tesla is aiming to produce 6,000 Model 3 sedans per week by June.

The email, reportedly penned by Elon Musk, details a wide-range of topics, including Model 3 production, fiscal expenditures, manufacturing tolerances, Tesla’s lack of fiscal profit and how meetings can kill a company.

According to this note, the Model 3 line will be down for three to five days” to do a comprehensive package of upgrades .” It states that this will allow Tesla to ramp up production to 3,000 to 4,000 Model 3 sedans by next month. Then, the company plans to implement another set of upgrades to allow for 6,000 by the end of June. Last week, according to this email, Tesla completed its third consecutive week of building more than 2,000 Model 3s.

It’s a tall order to expect production to triple in two months.

To help meet this expectation, Tesla is adding another shifting to official records of the general assembly, body and paint at its Fremont facility. Between Fremont and its Gigafactory, Tesla is looking to 400 additional employees to help meet the production schedule.

This news about increasing production arrives amid questions about safety and work conditions in Tesla’s facility. Though Tesla fiercely pushes back against the news, the issues to will likely continue as employees fight to satisfy Musk’s lofty production expectation.

Musk is apparently looking to rein in expenditures, too , noting that anything costing more than a million dollars requires his direct acceptance. Maybe he will accept that couch fans raised money for.

Jalopnik published the email in its entirety, and the bit at the end about sessions is worth reading. This is just part of it:” Excessive meetings are the blight of big companies and almost always get worse over time. Please get of all big meetings, unless you’re certain they are providing value to the whole audience, in which suit keep them very short .”

Tesla has yet to respond with a comment.

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Tesla posts record $710m net loss as it struggles to produce Model 3 cars

Elon Musk get testy with analysts amid concerns over companys future, after it burned through $745.3 m in money during important quarter

Tesla posted a record $709.6 m net loss in the first quarter and burned through $745.3 m in money while struggling to crank out large numbers of its Model 3 mass-market electric car.

The loss and cash burn announced Wednesday raised questions about the company’s future and whether it would be able to pay all of its bills by early next year without more borrowing or the other round of stock sales.

During a sometimes-testy conference call with analysts, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, conceded that criticism was valid but said it was ” quite likely” the company would make money and have positive cash flow in the third quarter.

” It’s high time we became profitable ,” told Musk, who also promised restructuring this month to attain earning goals.” The truth is you’re not a real company until you are, frankly. That’s our focus right now .”

But Tesla investors dedicated a rare rebuke to Musk after he cut off analysts asking about future gain potential, sending shares down 5% despite promises that production of the troubled Model 3 electric car was on track.

Tesla stock was little changed after the earnings announcement but fell during a conference call with analysts, when Musk began cutting analysts’ topics short, expensing Tesla over$ 2bn in market capitalization.

” These questions are so dry. They’re killing me ,” Musk told after an analyst asked what percentage of Tesla 3 reservation holders have started to configure options for their vehicles, an indicator of how much gain Tesla will be able to wring from the vehicles. Another analyst asked about a capital requirement before being cut off.

He then took several questions in a row about plans for a self-driving vehicle network and other long-term projects from the host of a YouTube channel focused on investing, praising the questions as not boring.

Tesla said its net loss amounted to $4.19 per share. Excluding one-time expenditures such as stock-based compensation, the company lost $3.35 per share. Revenue grew by 26% from a year ago to $3.4 bn.

The giant loss in a critical quarter for the 15 -year-old company fell short of Wall Street estimates. Analysts polled by FactSet expected an adjusted loss of $3.54 per share. Revenue, however, exceeded estimates of $3.28 bn.

In April, Tesla said it would not need to return to marketplaces for more capital because it expected to generate cash from sales of the Model 3. But it has had trouble getting them out the door to several hundred thousand people who put down $1,000 deposits to order one.

Moody’s Investor Service downgraded Tesla’s debt into junk province back in March, alerting at the time that Tesla didn’t have money to covering $3.7 bn for normal operations, capital expenses and debt that come due early next year. At the end of last year the company had a total of $9.5 bn in long-term debt.

A Tesla Model 3 at an auto show in China. Photograph: Roman Pilipey/ EPA

” The negative outlook reflects the likelihood that Tesla will have to undertake a large, near-term capital raise in order to refund ripening obligations and avoid a liquidity shortfall ,” Moody’s wrote in a note to investors.

Tesla has had only two profitable quarterss in its virtually eight years as a public company.

The key to raising money to cover-up expenses is production of the Model 3 mass-market electric car, which starts at $35,000 but can easily top $50,000 with options.

Musk said the restructuring would involve getting rid of third-party contractors that have grown out of control.” We’re going to scrub barnacles on that front ,” he said.
He admitted that Tesla made a mistake by adding too much automation too quickly at the factory.

The plant has missed Musk’s forecasts by a wide mark. When production started last summer he promised to build 20,000 Model 3s during the course of its month of December. Instead, Tesla induced merely 2,425 during the course of its entire fourth quarter.

Then Tesla forecast 10,000 Model 3s per month at the end of the first one-quarter. As it turned out, only under 9,800 were assembled from January through March, Tesla said in April. The Fremont, California factory was shut down for four or five days last month to clear production bottlenecks, Tesla said.

The company, which also makes solar panel, predicted in April that production would climb rapidly through the second one-quarter and reach about 5,000 vehicles per week- which would return Tesla to its originally promised 20,000 per month rate- around the end of June. It predicted high marketings and strong cash flow in the third one-quarter.” As a outcome Tesla does not require an equity or indebtednes create this year, apart from standard credit lines ,” the company said.

The Model 3 is the most important piece of Tesla’s plan to become a mainstream automaker. At one point it had more than 500,000 potential purchasers on a waiting list. But in April the company conceded that some had canceled, although women refused to give numbers. Tesla said reservations “remained stable” through the first quarter.

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Gov officials conclude SpaceX not at fault for Zuma satellite separation failure, report says

In turns out, SpaceX was indeed not responsible for the loss of a top-secret government spacecraft that fell back to globe and was destroyed following a Falcon 9 rocket launch earlier this year, a report in The Wall Street Journal today states.

The Zuma satellite’s purpose was highly categorized, but the fate of the project, which was rumored to cost $3.5 billion to develop, was covered in a high-profile manner because it was intimately tied to a live-streamed SpaceX launch. Sources familiar with two separate federal and industry investigations tell the Journal that the held accountable for the failing rests with the failure of a payload adapter modified by top military contractor Northrop Grumman, which also constructed the Zuma satellite itself.

The payload adapter device struggled to operate in zero gravity conditions, research reports details 😛 TAGEND

The device, purchased from a subcontractor, was significantly modified and then successfully tested three times on the ground by Northrop Grumman, according to one person very well known the process. But upon reaching orbit, this person said, the adapter didn’t uncouple the satellite from the rocket in zero-gravity conditions.

Sensors on board failed to instantly report what happened, this person said, so officials tracking the launch weren’t aware of the major malfunction until the satellite was dragged back into the ambiance by the returning second stage. The satellite ultimately violated free but by then had dropped to an altitude that was too low for a rescue.

In the the consequences of the successful Falcon 9 launch, term emerged that the Zuma satellite separation had been far less successful, but because of the project’s classified nature there was no official word find their way. Dedicated the often tenuous nature of SpaceX’s history with public perception of its rocket safety, the company did subsequently publicly note that the Falcon 9″ did everything correctly ,” insinuating that the flaw did not lie with its tech.

Reports soon emerged that the failing was likely not the defect of SpaceX, and it seems that after investigations, the government has concluded the same.

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Tesla shareholder wants to remove Elon Musk from chairman position

Ahead of Tesla’s annual stockholder meeting in June, stockholder Jing Zhao has submitted a proposal to replace the board’s chairwoman, Elon Musk, with an independent director. Musk, the chief executive officer at Tesla, has been chairman of the board since 2004.

” Although the present leadership structure, in which the positions of Chairman and CEO are held by one person, could provide an effective leadership for Tesla at the early stage , now in this much more highly competitive and rapidly changing technology industry, it is more and more difficult to oversee Tesla’s business and senior management( especially to minimize any potential conflicts) that may result from combining the positions of CEO and Chairman ,” Zhao wrote in his proposal.

Zhao, who holds 12 shares of the company’s common stock, also noted Musk’s stances at SolarCity and SpaceX, and how Musk’s involvement could lead to conflicts down the road. But the likelihood of this happening is slim to none.

And the board has already expressed its opposition, recommending a vote against this proposal. In its statement, the board says Tesla’s success would not have been possible without Musk at the helm of both the board and the company itself.

” In lighting of the considerable future a chance for growth and the careful execution needed for the Company to achieve it, the Board believes that the Company is still best served by Mr. Musk continuing to serve as Chairman ,” the board stated.” Furthermore, the role of the Lead Independent Director protects the Company against any potential governance issues arising from a non-independent director serving as Chairman. This position is vested with broad authority to lead the actions of the independent directors and communicate regularly with the Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, the Company now has seven independent directors following the addition of two additional independent directors in July 2017.”

I reached out to Tesla for remark and the company directed me to the board’s response. Here it is in full 😛 TAGEND

The Board believes that the Company’s success to date would not have been possible if the Board was led by another director lacking Elon Musk’s day-to-day exposure to the Company’s business. In sunlight of the significant future a chance for growth and the careful execution needed in order for the Company to achieve it, the Board believes that the Company is still best served by Mr. Musk continuing to serve as Chairman.

Moreover, the role of the Lead Independent Director protects the Company against any possible governance issues arising from a non-independent director serving as Chairman. This position is vested with broad authority to lead the actions of the independent directors and communicate regularly with the Chief executive officer. Additionally, the Company now has seven independent directors following the addition of two additional independent directors in July 2017. The Board believes that the broad authority of the Lead Independent Director and the presence of six other independent directors ensures that the Board acts independently. This current Board structure also is consistent with majority practice at large public companies: according to the 2017 Spencer Stuart Board Index, 72% of companies in the S& P 500 do not have an independent board chairman.

The proponent acknowledges that a combined Chief Executive Officer and Chairman is an effective kind of leadership for an early-stage company, until it faces increased competition and rapid technological changes. The Board believes that it is precisely during times when a company must speedily adapt to constant change and outside pressures that Board leadership needs to be lockstep with the Company’s operations. Our accomplishments to date notwithstanding, the Company is still at a phase in its development where we must execute well in order to realize our long-term goals, and separating the roles of Chief executive officer and Chairman at this time would not serve the best interests of the Company or its stockholders.

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Elon Musk says humans are underrated, calls Teslas excessive automation a mistake

In a rare mea culpa for the mercurial billionaire, Tesla CEO Elon Musk acknowledged that the company has been too reliant on robots for production.

” Excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake ,” Musk wrote, responding to a Wall Street Journal reporter’s tweet.” Human are underrated .” He also talked about this with CBS News’ Gayle King, adding” we had this crazy, complex network of conveyor belts….And it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing .”

Tesla has faced mounting public pressure amid a production slowdown for its Model 3, its lower-priced car. The company lately revealed that it missed its target to produce 2,500 cars a week, disappointing investors.

The uncertainty has resulted in a volatile stock. A month ago shares were trading at $340 and then slid to $252. Things have started to recover now that Musk says the company will be profitable and cash flow positive in the third quarter .

This was also revealed in a tweet that Musk wrote to The Economist on Friday.

There’s ” no need to raise money ,” he added. Shares closed Friday at $300.34.

The company has a market cap of $50.7 billion. By comparing, Ford Motors has a market cap of $45 billion.

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Elon Musk just took charge of Model 3 production, saying its his most critical job right now

You can probably argue over whether it’s a good or a bad sign, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed on Twitter today a report in The Information that he has taken over direct control of the division that’s making Tesla’s Model 3 electric sedan after the company failed to meet the delivery objectives it had set.

Specifically, Tesla had intended to produce 500 Model 3 vehicles per day, or 2,500 per week, by the end of last month. But according to a company-wide email to employees that was sent today and obtained by Jalopnik, Musk said Tesla has been building closer to 2, 000 of the cars per week.( Musk calculated last July that Tesla would be stimulating 20,000 of the cars per month by December .)

In his email — fired off at 3 am. PDT — Musk added that if” things go as planned today, we will comfortably exceed that number over a seven day period! ”

Musk may have been referring in part to the reorganization. But while The Information reported that Musk had seemingly” pushed aside the company’s senior vice president of engineering, Doug Field, who had been overseeing manufacturing in recent months ,” Musk quickly took issue with that characterization of events.

He complained on Twitter to Information reporter Amir Efrati,” Can’t believe you’re even writing about this. My undertaking as CEO is to focus on what’s most critical, which is currently Model 3 production. Doug, who I regard as one of the world’s most talented engineering exec, is focused on vehicle engineering .”

Musk continued, tweeting:” About a year ago, I asked Doug to manage both engineering& production. He agreed that Tesla required[ engineering and production to be] better aligned, so we don’t design autoes that are crazy hard to build. Right now, tho, better to divide& subdue, so I’m back to sleeping at factory. Car biz is hell …”

That Musk is feeling sensitive to press reports right now won’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows the company, given the string of negative advertising that Tesla has received in recent weeks.

In addition to a voluntary remember of 123, 000 Model S vehicles that owes to a problem with the power-steer component of some of the cars, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week launched an investigation into the role of Tesla’s Autopilot in a fatal crash.

In fact, in a series of separate tweets today, Musk responded to the National Transportation Safety Board, a security bureau that said it was ” unhappy” with Tesla’s decision on Friday to publish a blog post about the accident, given that investigations are ongoing.

In that post, Tesla said the driver, since identified as an Apple engineer,” had received several visual and one audible hands-on alerting earlier in the drive and the driver’s hands were not detected on the wheel for six seconds prior to the collision .” The company also noted that a highway security roadblock that might have mitigated the impact of the collision had been” crushed in a prior collision without being replaced .”

The suggestion was plainly that Tesla can’t be blamed, at the least not entirely, for the fatality.

In response to the NTSB’s newly public frustration over the release of these details by Tesla, Musk wrote on Twitter today,” Lot of respect for NTSB, but NHTSA governs automobiles , not NTSB, which is an advisory body. Tesla releases critical accident data affecting public safety instantly& always will. To do otherwise would be unsafe .”

Tesla closed down 5.1 percentage at $252.48 in trading today.

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BrainQ aims to cure stroke and spinal cord injuries through mind-reader tech

Israel-based BrainQ is a new neurotech startup hoping to take over brain-computer interface( BCI) companies like Braintree founder Bryan Johnson’s Kernel and Silicon Valley billionaire Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

It’s not clear yet what Musk’s startup intends to do with the computer chips it plans to put in our heads, but Johnson’s startup tells it is focused on developing “technologies to understand and treat neurological diseases in new and exciting ways.”

Whatever sector each company runs for, both plan to insert chips in our brains to connect us to computers — the consequences of which could have dramatic impacts on human memory, intelligence, communication and many other areas that could rocket humanity forward, should they work out.

But it’s early days in this industry, including for BrainQ, which plans to use a non-surgically embedded EEG machine instead to gather data and help improve outcomes for stroke and spinal cord patients.

Aside from the brain implant options, BrainQ faces quite a bit of competitor in this area. EEG machines are nothing new , not even in the spinal cord trauma space. Missouri-based NeuroLutions is working on similar EEG type technology to improve and restore function to paralytics. NeuroPace, a Kleiner-funded startup, is focused on seizures rather than stroke and spinal cord traumata, but is based on the same idea.

BrainQ admits it is also a couple years out from being fully operational here. It still needs to get through clinical human trials and gain Food and Drug Administration approval to sell its services in the U.S.

So far, the company is in the process of conducting two human clinical trials for stroke patients in Israel and a spokesperson for the company, Assaf Lifshitz, tells BrainQ will likely try to go to other marketplaces first while waiting on the FDA. BrainQ tells TechCrunch it hopes to be available in the U.S. market by 2020.

Alzheimer’s research is another area TechCrunch was told the company wants to get into soon, and perhaps children’s syndromes, as well.

There are a lot of different areas the company could go into with this type of tech but it’s probably safest to bet on a few narrow areas in the beginning, as there is already so much competitor in the space in just the U.S. For instance, NeuruLutions’ Ipsihand device is already connecting stroke patients’ brains to a moveable bracing they can control with thought and help them move certain body parts again.

And, while Lifshitz believes BrainQ is at least ahead of the market as far as Kernel and Neuralink run, that’s too easy of a comparison to stimulate. EEG is a low-risk entry toward a BCI device win FDA approval. All the company needs to show, as many of these companies are either on their style to proving or have proved already, is that the device runs. That is far from the same thing as a chip surgically inserted into your head.

BrainQ will continue to forge ahead, of course. Google’s Launchpad Studio chose to work with the startup this last fall, based on what it thought was some interesting machine learning tech. The company also has raised about $3.5 million to date from various Israeli investors and angels, and presented previous clinical findings to the World Congress of Neuro Rehabilitation.

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Elon Musk crashes SXSW panel to talk about space travel

Elon Musk, co-founder of Tesla and founder of SpaceX, made a astonish appearance on the Westworld panel at SXSW. After getting cued up by Jonathan Nolan, the co-creator of HBO series Westworld , Musk walked out on stage to people cheering and person or persons screaming, “Elon, we love you! ”

During his stage hour, he spoke about the excitement of space travel, sending a Tesla into a space and what a time it is to be alive. Musk kicked off his quick on-stage appearance with discussing how there are a lot of negative things in the world.

“There are a lot of terrible things happening all over the world, all of the time, ” Musk said. “There are lots of problems that need to get solved. Lots of things that are miserable and kind of get you down.”

“But life cannot just be about solving one miserable thing after another, ” he added. “That can’t be the only thing. They need to be things that inspire you, that stimulate you glad to wake up in the morning and be part of humanity. That’s why we did this.”

Musk is referring to SpaceX’s recent launching of the Falcon Heavy. You know, the rocket that carried a red Tesla with a dummy in an astronaut suit.

The SpaceX CEO also gave a shoutout to Russian scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who talked about how earth is the cradle of humanity but that you can’t stay in the cradle forever.

Musk said he felt really excited by Tsiolkovsky’s notions around needing to be out there among the stars, and to expand the scope and scale of human consciousness.

“I found that unbelievably arousing, ” Musk said on stage. “That attains me glad to be alive. I hope you feel the same way.”

Nolan and Westworld series co-creator Joy Lisa has hitherto worked with Musk to create a short video of the Falcon Heavy’s recent launch into space. You can check that out here, courtesy of Musk’s Instagram.

Falcon Heavy and Starman, Part 1

A post shared by Elon Musk (@ elonmusk) on

Falcon Heavy and Starman, Part 2

A post shared by Elon Musk (@ elonmusk) on

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Heres how to keep track of Elon Musks Roadster and Starman in space

Elon Musk’s Starman, the mannequin driver of the Tesla Roadster SpaceX launched aboard its Falcon Heavy rocket, is taking a trip around our solar system, in a large elliptical orbit that will bring him comparatively close to Mars, the Sun and other heavenly bodies. But how to track the trip-up , now that the Roadster’s onboard batteries are out of juice and no longer transmitting live footage?

Thanks to the work of Ben Pearson, a SpaceX fan and electrical technologist working in the aerospace industry, who made’ Where is Roadster, ’ a website that stimulates use of JPL Horizons data to track the progress of the Roadster and Starman through space, and to predict its path and let you know when it’ll come close to meeting up with various planets and the Sun.

The website tells you the Roadster’s current position, too, as well as its velocity and whether it’s moving towards or away from Earth and Mars at any given moment. It’s not officially affiliated with SpaceX or Tesla, but it is something Elon Musk is apparently use to assist recollect where he parked his galactic ride.