Tesla: Charging Is Our Priority

Tesla:  Charging Is Our Priority

From Tesla Website

As Tesla prepares for our first mass-market vehicle and continues to increase our Model S and Model X fleet, we’re making charging an even greater priority. It is extremely important to us and our mission that charging is convenient, abundant, and reliable for all owners, current and future. In 2017, we’ll be doubling the Tesla charging network, expanding existing sites so drivers never wait to charge, and broadening our charging locations within city centers.

As always, the most convenient way to charge is to plug in overnight where you park. However, to better serve the needs of owners who are traveling or those who don’t have access to reliable home charging, we will continue to aggressively expand our public charging networks. Since we first energized the Supercharger network in 2012, Tesla has built over 5,400 Superchargers with the goal of enabling convenient long distance travel for more than 200,000 Tesla owners around the world. In parallel, we’ve built a network of more than 9,000 Destination Charging connectors that replicate the convenience of home charging by providing hotels, resorts, and restaurants with Tesla Wall Connectors. But we know that to truly advance electric vehicle adoption, we must continue investing in charging infrastructure.

We started 2017 with over 5,000 Superchargers globally and by the end of this year, Tesla will double that number to total more than 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 Destination Charging connectors around the world. In North America, we’ll increase the number of Superchargers by 150 percent, and in California alone we’ll add more than 1,000 Superchargers. We’re moving full speed on site selection and many sites will soon enter construction to open in advance of the summer travel season.

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Tesla app update lets Powerwall owners keep an eye on their electricity

Tesla app update lets Powerwall owners keep an eye on their electricity

Tesla’s iOS and Android apps are being updated today to give owners of the company’s Powerwall home energy storage product access to information about their in-home electricity grid.

The new app lets customers monitor all their Tesla products including the Model S and Model X vehicles, Powerwall, and solar panels. Real-time data on solar power generation, battery power flow, and household energy consumption are displayed. The app can also notify customers of a power grid outage and share info about current Powerwall status and that the battery has kicked in to keep the home powered up.

In the event of an anticipated power outage, either planned or because of possible bad weather, Powerwall owners can also adjust the amount of power stored by their home battery pack.

The update should be rolling out later today.

The Powerwall 2, introduced last year, is a giant battery similar to those used in Tesla’s electric cars. It allows homeowners to store 14 kWh of energy per unit, allowing for solar power generated during the day to be used at night — or as a backup power source in the event of a electricity outage. A built-in inverter allows for easier connection of solar panels to a home energy grid.

Xiaomi Unveils $360 Mi 6 Phone, Dual-Lens Camera, No Headphone Jack

Chinese mobile maker Xiaomi unveiled the Mi 6, its latest flagship smartphone, at a packed-out event in Beijing on Wednesday.

The Mi 5’s successor features curved “four-sided 3D glass” and a front that isn’t bezel-free like the company’s Mi MIX, but the phone does boast a lot of tech for a device that starts at 2499 RMB, or $360 – about half of what a base iPhone 7 goes for in China.

Like the iPhone 7 Plus, the new 5.15-inch Mi 6 includes a 12-megapixel rear dual lens camera combining a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. It also matches Apple’s latest smartphone with 10x digital zoom, 2x lossless zoom, image stabilization, and depth of field effects.

 

Similar to the Mi 5s, the Mi 6 features a Qualcomm-based ultrasonic fingerprint reader built under the glass at the bottom of the phone. The “button-less” technology is said to recognize a 3D map of each user’s fingerprint through ultrasonic waves, although it only works within the bezel’s concave indentation that marks out the home button.

The Mi 6 includes 2×2 Wi-Fi, which is meant to improve connectivity speed, and does away with the headphone jack, settling for a single USB-C port instead. Elsewhere the handset features the latest Snapdragon 835 processor (also found in the S8), 6GB of RAM, 64GB of storage memory on the entry model, dual stereo speakers, a 3,350mAh battery, a new “night display” screen mode, and water resistance.

The Mi 6 with 128 GB option costs 2899 RMB ($420) while a special Ceramic edition goes for 2999 RMB ($435). It’s unclear at this time whether the phone will become available in Europe or the U.S.

The announcement of a new flagship phone comes at a particularly important time for Xiaomi, which suffered its first sales slump last year. The company’s former VP of Global Efforts Hugo Barra left in February, while CEO Lei Jun recently admitted the firm had grown too fast and was now entering a transitional period, as it focuses on its main markets in China and India.

Real-Time Strategy Classic ‘StarCraft’ Becomes a Free Download for Mac & PC

Blizzard Entertainment today made wildly popular real-time strategy game StarCraft a free download for Mac and PC, nearly two decades after its original release.

The RTS hit was universally acclaimed when it launched in 1998, and went on to become an e-sport phenomenon in South Korea, where big-prize tournaments and TV channels drew legions of fans to the game.

The free download is the game’s first in eight years and includes the Brood War expansion pack. The patch 1.18 download also sports a handful of new features, including windowed mode, a better online game search engine, and improved response times during multiplayer battles.

Blizzard’s decision to make the title freely available comes ahead of this summer’s Remastered edition of StarCraft, which promises enhanced 4K graphics, better audio, high-quality cinematics, and a redesigned matchmaking system.

Tesla Model 3 in the wild!

Elon Musk released a video of the first Model 3 release candidate drive last month, but the video was very low resolution and dark.

Tesla has been testing the vehicle ever since, but it has only now been spotted in the wild for the first time. New friend of the site Wayne said that he spotted it near Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto – where most of Tesla’s prototypes are spotted. Apparently, the Model 3 was following a BMW when both vehicles passed him. He followed and wrote: Two cars, other was a BMW. They were driving pretty fast past me. I pulled a u-turn and followed. They switched drivers. They could be tuning the vehicle’s driving performance, which would explain why it was following a BMW and they switched drivers.  That’s when he was able to snap a picture of the prototype:

YouTube TV + Unlimited cloud DVR $35 per month

YouTube TV has arrived, and with it the potential to change how television works. Google-owned YouTube’s first foray into true cable-like television takes to the internet equivalent of the airwaves in select cities today: 40-plus channels of entertainment, news and sports for $35 per month, the so-called skinny bundle. So far, the service is still a little wonky. But the possibilities are there to inspire a whole new generation of viewers to actually pay for TV, and advertisers seem eager to give it a shot.

In particular, YouTube believes it can persuade a whole new audience that otherwise never considered paying for TV at all. “There are a lot of ‘cord-nevers’—millennials who never sign on for cable,” says Kelly Merryman, YouTube’s vice-president of content partnerships. “They love TV programming. They just don’t love the distribution.” That means TV, on any device, on demand. (Cable companies may offer similar-seeming options, but so far cable still remains tied to the cable box.)

YouTube brings built-in cachet as it jumps into the fray—not just in name recognition but as a platform and service used by more than one billion people. Reaching even a fraction of that audience could be a boon to marketers. But YouTube TV still has some kinks it needs to work out before it qualifies as a full-blown TV substitute.

YouTube is hardly alone in trying to win at live internet TV. Dish’s Sling TV, Sony PlayStation Vue, and AT&T’s new DirectTV Now are already vying for viewers, and Hulu is expected to come out with its own version of a service later this year.

The name YouTube alone carries weight as a signifier of people’s viewing habits migrating online. And for networks taking part in YouTube TV’s launch, that could make coming aboard the service seem like a smarter move than saying no. “YouTube brings the brand in online video (to live internet TV),” says Glenn Hower, a senior digital media analyst with research firm Parks Associates. If any platform is likely to cannibalize (more) viewers, it’s YouTube. To not participate as more and more viewers look to the internet for video could mean dealing yourself into irrelevance.

At least, if and when YouTube TV fulfills its seeming potential. The service so far is fun, because television is fun. When you take a closer look, you see some glaring gaps in content compared to regular TV. The experience is not smooth or intuitive in the vein of Netflix, with its single, comprehensive catalog of shows and movies.

I gave the service a spin on a YouTube-supplied Pixel smartphone, and overall I thought it was enjoyable, though mildly frustrating. I added some of my favorite shows to YouTube TV’s (unlimited) cloud DVR, and I noticed that tapping into these individually gave me different results. I could watch every episode to date from the current seasons of Saturday Night Live and Empire, for instance. But I could only watch five not-all-consecutive episodes of Shark Tank, presumably due to licensing issues.

Those same issues also plague YouTube TV’s sports offerings. You can’t watch the NFL on your phone, for instance, because Verizon owns those rights exclusively. But you can stream games on the web or via Chromecast on your TV. Depending on how YouTube worked out its individual deals with local affiliates among the initial markets where it’s available, you may or may not be able to watch your home team.

Which brings up another issue: fragmentation. You can get YouTube TV today in New York, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and Philadelphia with other cities “coming soon,” according to YouTube. But for now, it’s impossible to generalize about how many channels you’ll get for your $35 each month, because local availability varies per market. On top of that, YouTube TV has the networks ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and ESPN, among others, on board. But some are still missing. For me, personally, no CNN or HGTV are big minuses.

In short, watching YouTube TV does not yet work as complete cable substitute. For people who like to dip into TV passively to find something to watch, the service does not disappoint, from movies to recent TV to original YouTube Red content (which is actually really funny!—especially CollegeHumor’s “Bad Internet”). You’ll probably find something to like on YouTube TV. What’s less clear is whether you’ll like it enough to pay $35 per month on top of all your other monthly subscriptions.

Geekbench 4 for iOS goes free until April 10, now with Metal !!

Popular cross-platform benchmarking tool, Geekbench, has added something iOS number chasers will be most pleased about. With the latest version, 4.1 if you’re counting, Geekbench has added support for Metal, meaning you can now run a proper compute benchmark for the GPU in your iPhone or iPad.

Geekbench 4.1 introduces support for Metal in the Compute Benchmark. While Geekbench 4.0 introduced the Compute Benchmark, it did not support Metal meaning you could not use it to benchmark iOS devices. Now, with the addition of Metal support, you can benchmark the compute performance of the GPU in your iOS device.

To celebrate the launch, Geekbench 4 has gone free in the App Store, but only until April 10. So act fast if you want this bargain!

Click Here to Download Geekbench 4 for all platforms

The update to Geekbench 4.1 is cross-platform, and the macOS version also has some important changes under the hood.

Geekbench 4.1 also includes a number of changes and improvements to the CPU and GPU workloads that Geekbench uses to measure performance. These changes address a number of issues present in the 4.0 release and should provide a more accurate measure of multi-core scalability and compute performance. A complete list of changes is available on the Geekbench website.

As a result of the changes it’s recommended only Geekbench 4.1 scores are compared against each other to preserve accuracy. If you don’t yet have the desktop version of Geekbench 4, now is the time to buy with a 20% discount on all licenses to celebrate the update to version 4.1. This, too, is only available until April 10 so you’ll have to act fast again!