A brand new affordable offering from Tesla, unofficially dubbed the Tesla Model E, has been slated for a 2015 unveiling. Although we’ve still got more than a year to wait before the highly anticipated electric vehicle hits the market, the Model E is creating quite the buzz and is the source of great speculation.
The car company’s chief designer, Mr. Franz von Holzhauzen, revealed during a recent interview that the Model E is likely to be unveiled at the 2015 North American International Auto Show, which is held in Detroit.
Part of what makes the vehicle so interesting to the average driver is that, unlike most electric cars on the market, the Model E is to be set at a price point that is actually within reach for modern American families. A popular rumour puts the price around $35,000 pre-tax credit; which means the actual cost to buyers would be closer to $30,000.
With an attractive price tag making the Model E attainable by the masses, Tesla’s upcoming vehicle could be the catalyst that finally lands electric vehicles into the average American driveway. However, Tesla’s Elon Musk has not said much on the subject of expected mileage for the Model E, although speculation suggests a real-world driving range of 200 miles might be in the works.
But before the public ever catches a glimpse of the Model E, Tesla is launching another vehicle, the Model X, in 2014. Unfortunately, the Model X will not be as affordable as the Model E, or the Model S for that matter. A luxury SUV, the Model X is expected to sell for around $75,000. We’ll likely hear plenty more about the Model X as its launch date approaches, and we probably won’t get any details on the more affordable Model E until Tesla has finished marketing the SUV.
American satellite service provider DirecTV may soon provide a new video streaming service to consumers in an attempt to boost dwindling revenues. During an investor meeting this week, the company discussed the possibility of branching out to include video streaming in its offerings.
DirecTV, along with other satellite providers, is struggling to maintain its customer base in the post-TV era. With a vast number of cheap and accessible sources for streaming shows and movies, consumers all over the country are downgrading or cancelling their satellite and cable packages. Another major hit to DirecTV and its competitors is the fact that fewer consumers are bothering to sign up for their services in the first place, preferring streaming to traditional television services.
So really, introducing a video streaming service is the next logical move for DirecTV. The service would be lost cost to consumers, thereby helping grow and maintain a customer base and would help the company compete in today’s market. However, there are already a number of successful streaming services, including Netflix and Hulu, which would make attaining a market share difficult for the satellite provider. So what is DirecTV’s solution to this dilemma?—targeted streaming aimed at niche demographics.
DirecTV’s chief executive Mike White spoke about the possibility of targeting children’s programming or a specific nationality, likely Latino, in order to gain a foothold in the world of streaming. Both of these suggested demographics are underserved and it would be a smart move for DirecTV to zero in on these audiences, because it would also allow them to continue offering satellite TV programming without interference. The last thing DirecTV would want from a potential streaming service is to create even more direct competition for its satellite offerings.
The company plans to reveal more about their plans for a potential streaming service over the course of the year.
Twitter recently introduced a new policy that allowed stalkers to access to view and follow the users who blocked them. Although this seems completely illogical—what good is blocking another user if they can still view and interact with your account?—Twitter assured the concerned public that they had a perfectly valid rationale behind the decision. Twitter claimed the new policy was designed as a means protect users who want to block certain people from any type of retaliation.
What does that mean exactly? Twitter wanted to make blocking more discreet so that none of the users who were blocked became offended to the point of seeking offline revenge or harassing the user who blocked them through other social media channels. The policy allowed blocked users to read, retweet and even favourite tweets by the accounts that wanted to block them.
As expected, Twitter did not receive positive feedback for its new policy, which was introduced Thursday. Critics pointed out the redundancy of having the option to block someone without being able to restrict their interactions with your account. So, in response to the extremely negative reactions towards their new policy, Twitter revoked the changes on the same day they were implemented.
“Earlier today, we made a change to the way the ‘block’ function of Twitter works,” said Twitter’s Michael Sippey on the company’s blog. “We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users. We never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe. Any blocks you had previously instituted are still in effect.”
With the old policy restored, Twitter users are once again capable of blocking certain following from reading their tweets and the social media company can breathe again after a day of mass criticism.
Just four months ago, Leo Grand was homeless and hopeless in New York City, without any employable skills. But today, the 37-year-old man has an eco-friendly app that runs on both Apple and Android devices. How did he change his life so drastically in four months time? When a stranger offered Grand either $100 cash or two months of coding lessons, Grand opted for the lessons, despite what that cash could mean for a man living on the streets.
The generosity of that stranger, whose name is Patrick McConlogue, provided Grand with the opportunity to turn his life around and learn a valuable skill. And now all of his learning and hard work has come to fruition—in the form of 3,621 lines of code and a fully completed app.
So what did Grand create with his newly acquired skills? His app is an environmentally friendly program called “Trees for Cars” that helps users organize carpools. Grand’s app arrived in both the Apple App Store and Google Play on Tuesday just after 12:00 a.m. ET.
On the night of the big launch, Grand and his teacher anxiously awaited midnight when the app would go live. The pair sat together in a New York Office, anticipating the moment they had been working towards for months. “This is going to change my life in a magnificent way,” said Grand.
Lessons first began back on August 26th, when McConlogue followed through on his offer and provided his student with several helpful textbooks and a used Chromebook laptop. Although the original offer had been a single hour of lessons for two months, the project turned into almost four months of effort. But 23-year-old McConlogue has no regrets and says that working with Grand was “by far the most rewarding experience of [his] life.”
Samsung is experiencing the heat this week following the emergence of an alarming video in which a Galaxy S4 user shows off his singed phone and charger, which allegedly caught fire one night while he was sleeping. Under the YouTube moniker GhostlyRich, the user posted a video online as evidence and “proof for Samsung” that his mobile device had indeed caught fire and was damaged by the flames.
The first uploaded video, which appeared on GhostlyRich’s YouTube channel on December 2nd, shows that both the charger and port on the Galaxy S4 were damaged in the fire. The user goes on to explain that while the phone was charging one night, it caught fire at the base where it was plugged into the charger. He quickly rushed into the room, following “the smell of smoke and fire and destruction”.
On the bright side, the battery did not explode when the device caught fire, but there are clear signs of damage and a burnt bubble on the phone near the charging port. The user’s Galaxy S4 can no longer be charged due to the damage, and is essentially useless. The device in question is still under warranty, suggesting that Samsung would simply replace the phone and apologize to GhostlyRich for the horrible inconvenience.
Although it’s never good news when a device goes rouge and catches fire while its owner soundly sleeps, perhaps the worst part of this ordeal is the way in which Samsung reacted. The Korean tech company first attempted to have the incriminating video removed from the internet and then sent a ‘hush’ document to GhostlyRich—a nightmare waiting to happen for Samsung’s PR team.
Samsung sent the user a notice stating that they would only replace his defective S4 once he removed the video evidence of the calamity from YouTube. Of course, Samsung’s refusal to comply with their own warranty has attracted more interested to this story and more views to the user’s original YouTube video.
The video posted above is a second clip uploaded by GhostlyRich, in which he explains the incident in further detail and discusses Samsung’s attempt to silence him.
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