Day: July 28, 2018

Tesla is making a $1500… surfboard?

Tesla is no stranger to branded merch. Its got the standard company swag — the hats, the shirts, and the mugs. It’s got quirkier stuff, like miniature Teslas for kids and USB chargers shaped like the Superchargers that juice up their vehicles.

And now they’ve got… surfboards?

While it’s now gone for some reason, a product page went live in its shop early this morning detailing a $1500 Tesla-branded board (we’ve asked Tesla for insight, but it sounds like they sold out.) Electrek caught the description before the page vanished:

“Designed by the Tesla Design Studio in collaboration with Lost Surfboards and Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, surfboard shaper for World Surf League Championship athletes. The Limited Edition Tesla Surfboard features a mix of the same high-quality matte and gloss finishes used on all our cars. The deck is reinforced with light-weight “Black Dart” carbon fiber, inspired by the interiors in our cars, and featuring tonal logos in subtle contrast gloss.”

(Update: the page is back up now, and it is, in fact, sold out)

While its unclear why the product page vanished, a Google cache of it is visible here, and a few people on Twitter mention being able to get orders in before it went down.

At $1500 before tax, the board is… certainly on the higher end of the surfboard pricing scale. A solid board from a company like JS or Ripcurl would cost you around $750. Most of the boards made by Lost (the company Tesla is doing the collab with here) go for around $700-800. But with a limited run of 200 boards, they’re probably going to sell out here anyway. My gut feeling is that many of these could end up being wall pieces or permanent roof rack accessories rather than shredding up the ocean — but who knows.

And for the curious surfers out there: based on Lost’s other “Black Dart” models, this board comes in at 6’8″ long. It doesn’t come with fins. The now-gone product page said all 200 boards should ship within 2-10 weeks.

Here’s all the photos that were on the product page:

Math determines that the more Tom Cruise runs, the better his movies are

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Arguably, Tom Cruise running his goddamn ass off is the glue that holds the Mission: Impossible franchise together. And now, we have math to prove it.

In celebration of the most recent addition to the franchise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Rotten Tomatoes has crunched the numbers to find out exactly how much the man has sprinted throughout his nearly four-decade long career, and whether his running has a net positive effect for his films.

Spoiler alert: Tom Cruise’s running sells more tickets than Forrest Gump could ever hope to.

More about Entertainment, Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible, Rotten Tomatoes, and Mission Impossible Fallout

Why a $95 million bill to study tech’s effects on kids might actually pass this time

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Congress wants to spend $95 million to study how gadgets and social media affects children. 

The proposal for the Children and Media Research Advancement Act, or CAMRA Act, was introduced Thursday in the U.S. Senate. A bipartisan group is behind the bill, so it might actually have a chance of passing. 

The bill is not new. Back in 2004, then-Sen. Joseph Lieberman wanted to study the effects of electronic media on the youth. It fizzled out. The same thing happened when a version of the bill was introduced again in 2007 — just a few months before Steve Jobs introduced the iPhoneRead more…

More about Children, Congress, Social Media, Devices, and Tech Addiction

Twitter will suspend repeat offenders posting abusive comments on Periscope live streams

As part of Twitter’s attempted crackdown on abusive behavior across its network, the company announced on Friday afternoon a new policy facing those who repeatedly harass, threaten or otherwise make abusive comments during a Periscope broadcaster’s live stream. According to Twitter, the company will begin to more aggressively enforce its Periscope Community Guidelines by reviewing and suspending accounts of habitual offenders.

The plans were announced via a Periscope blog post and tweet that said everyone should be able to feel safe watching live video.

We’re committed to making sure everyone feels safe watching live video, whether you’re broadcasting or just tuning in. To create safer conversation, we’re launching more aggressive enforcement of our guidelines. https://t.co/dQdtnxCfx6

— Periscope (@PeriscopeCo) July 27, 2018

Currently, Periscope’s comment moderation policy involves group moderation.

That is, when one viewer reports a comment as “abuse,” “spam” or selects “other reason,” Periscope’s software will then randomly select a few other viewers to take a look and decide if the comment is abuse, spam or if it looks okay. The randomness factor here prevents a person (or persons) from using the reporting feature to shut down conversations. Only if a majority of the randomly selected voters agree the comment is spam or abuse does the commenter get suspended.

However, this suspension would only disable their ability to chat during the broadcast itself — it didn’t prevent them from continuing to watch other live broadcasts and make further abusive remarks in the comments. Though they would risk the temporary ban by doing so, they could still disrupt the conversation, and make the video creator — and their community — feel threatened or otherwise harassed.

Twitter says that accounts that repeatedly get suspended for violating its guidelines will soon be reviewed and suspended. This enhanced enforcement begins on August 10, and is one of several other changes Twitter is making to its product across Periscope and Twitter focused on user safety.

To what extent those changes have been working is questionable. Twitter may have policies in place around online harassment and abuse, but its enforcement has been hit-or-miss. But ridding its platform of unwanted accounts — including spam, despite the impact to monthly active user numbers — is something the company must do for its long-term health. The fact that so much hate and abuse is seemingly tolerated or overlooked on Twitter has been an issue for some time, and the problem continues today. And it could be one of the factors in Twitter’s stagnant user growth. After all, who willingly signs up for harassment?

The company is at least attempting to address the problem, most recently by acquiring the anti-abuse technology provider Smyte. Its transition to Twitter didn’t go so well, but the technology it offers the company could help Twitter address abuse at a greater scale in the future.