Elon Musk

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Elon Musk tweets he’ll “bet ya a signed dollar” that Thai cave rescuer is a “pedo”

Elon Musk seems not only intent on burning all the goodwill he earned for trying to help last week’s Thai cave rescue, but rolling around in its ashes, too. In a series of extraordinarily offensive, now deleted tweets, the SpaceX and Tesla CEO called a British diver who participated in last week’s dangerous rescue mission a “pedo guy,” adding in another tweet “bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.”

Musk’s tantrum was triggered by an interview the diver, Vern Unsworth, gave CNN International last Friday, in which he called the small submarine Musk had SpaceX engineers build a “PR stunt” and said Musk could stick it “where it hurts.” Though the submarine was intended to help the 12 boys stranded with their soccer coach navigate flooded cave passageways, Unsworth, who helped plan the rescue operation and recruited other cave diving experts, said it “had absolutely no chance of working.”

Unworth added that Musk “had no conception of what the cave passage was like. The submarine, I believe, was about 5 foot 6 long, rigid, so it wouldn’t have gone round corners or round any obstacles. It wouldn’t hadn’t have made the first 50 meters into the cave from the dive start point.” When the reporter mentioned that Musk had gone into the cave on Tuesday, Unsworth said he was “asked to leave very quickly. And so he should have been.”

The rescue mission, made even more challenging by monsoon season, claimed the life of a Thai Navy seal before all boys were saved last week.

This is not the first time that Musk has clashed with a member of the cave rescue team. As confirmation came in that the last group of boys and their coach had been freed on July 10, the head of the rescue mission, Narongsak Osatanakorn, told reporters that “although [Musk’s] technology is good and sophisticated it’s not practical for this mission.”

In response, Musk dismissed the credentials of Ostanakorn, who led the joint command center coordinating the operation and is former acting governor of Chiang Rai, the province where the cave is located. In a tweet he said Ostanakorn was “described inaccurately as ‘rescue chief’” and “is not the subject matter expert” (the Columbus Dispatch reports that Ostanakorn holds a Master’s degree from Ohio State University, where he studied geodetic engineering and surveying).

Though Musk’s tweet about Ostanakorn was sharply criticized, many still gave him credit for his efforts. After all, engineering a submarine in a few days to save a group of children is an impressive and laudable feat. While Musk is known for going on strange Twitter rants, however, his attack on Unsworth is an entirely different stratosphere. In addition to defaming Unsworth in a particularly heinous way, the implication that a British diver would only go to Thailand, one of the world’s top diving destinations, for child sex tourism is problematic and arguably racist, as many have pointed out.

Elon Musk implying that British expats who live in Thailand are all kiddie fiddlers?
Erm… wow… isn’t that kind of a little bit racist?

— Robert Percy (@astweetedbyRP) July 15, 2018

Sure, Elon Musk calling a diver who help rescue 12 boys a ‘pedo’ just because he lives in Thailand is insulting, inflammatory and borderline libelous, but let’s not forget that it is also horrifically racist.

— Bay Area for Bernie (@BayArea4Bernie) July 15, 2018

He didn’t just call the British rescuer in Thailand a pedophile. He called him a pedophile because he couldn’t imagine another reason for a white guy to be in Thailand. Which is a false assumption. Sometimes white guys visit Thailand to show off their useless submarines.

— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) July 15, 2018

TechCrunch has contacted SpaceX for comment on Musk’s remarks.

Elon Musk is building a ‘kid-size submarine’ to rescue Thai kids trapped in cave

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Elon Musk is coming to the rescue.

The tech leader, along with SpaceX and Boring Company engineers, have been working with cave experts in Thailand to rescue the boys’ soccer team of 12 that’s been stuck in a cave system since June 23.

On Saturday, Musk tweeted an updated rescue plan, which essentially involves constructing “a tiny, kid-size submarine” that he plans to fly to Thailand.

Musk began his Saturday updates by discussing an “escape pod design” and “an inflatable tube with airlocks.” But as the day progressed, he settled on the idea of a mini-submarine. Read more…

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Elon Musk details his plan to rid LA of traffic with $1 rides on the Boring Co. ‘Loop’

This evening, Boring Company executives Elon Musk and Steve Davis offered a few more details about their plans to revolutionize LA urban transit, introducing the “Loop” which would eventually be composed of all-electric pods that transport up to 16 passengers at a time. Musk theorizes that the Loop could take Los Angeles residents from downtown LA to any terminal at the LAX airport within 8 minutes for about $1.

Much of the focus of the presentation was to assure the public that the Boring Company’s efforts would not be disruptive to the public or heavily stress the city’s existing highway systems. While the company has been best known for its hat and flamethrower sales, its most daunting challenge is courting public opinion for its plans to upgrade LA’s transport infrastructure.

The odd little presentation held at an LA synagogue started about 25 minutes behind schedule after a late arrival from Elon Musk who ironically said he got stuck in traffic. Musk offered a few minutes of eccentric discussion about why flying cars couldn’t solve the problem of “soul-destroying traffic.” Tunnels, on the other hand, Musk detailed were “way less nerve-racking than flying cars” and still “so fun.”

Alongside the execs onstage was Boring Company “mascot” Gary the snail.

Musk said that Boring Company Loop’s vision of the future would be much more congruous with city life than subways, and that while it was very difficult to weave large stations into a city, building many more parking spot-sized stations could theoretically be much more effective. Musk also noted that he hoped the Loop would supplement existing transport systems and connect public transport lines.

To get moving towards this “Loop” vision, the company will begin with a 2.7 mile test tunnel on private property with private funds. Just last month, SEC documents were filed detailing that Musk’s Boring Company had raised just shy of $113 million.

Once the test site has been completed, Musk suggested that they would begin offering free rides which he hoped the company could make as fun as a Disney theme park, joking that guests could “bring [their] flamethrowers.”

As Musk has previously noted, the Boring Company’s focus will prioritize pedestrian traffic rather than pods that house vehicles. While the executives were sure to distinguish the difference between the “Loop” and the Hyperloop, Musk also theorized that the two systems could eventually be seamlessly connected so riders could travel within the city and between cities with minimal friction.

Musk was notably asked during a Q&A about whether the Boring Company would do a full environmental impact report. He noted that they would but given the length of the process would do so once moving towards a larger-scale project rather than on one of the test tunnels.

It’s clear from the presentation that things are very much in their early stages, but Musk and Davis seemed to do a good job assuring the public that they would be moving with the bureaucracy on this project rather than trying to push their vision forward quickly and recklessly.

Elon Musk drops epic Falcon Heavy launch trailers made by ‘Westworld’ co-creator

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Attendees of the the Westworld panel at SXSW got a surprise visit from Elon Musk.

The Tesla and SpaceX CEO used the panel to not only inspire a new generation on space exploration, but also drop two epic highlight reels of the Falcon Heavy rocket launch that carried Starman riding in a Tesla Roadster into deep space.

“Life cannot just be about solving one miserable problem after another,” Musk said. “That cannot be the only thing. There need to be things that inspire you, that make you glad to wake up in the morning and be part of humanity.” Read more…

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Elon Musk just replied to Trump’s SpaceX Falcon Heavy tweet

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President Donald Trump has congratulated Elon Musk’s SpaceX for the successful launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

Musk replied, “An exciting future lies ahead.”

Trump tweeted at the SpaceX and Tesla CEO on Tuesday after the launch of the Falcon Heavy (and its payload of a Tesla Roadster) from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. 

It would have been a much more straightforward space-related moment for Trump than the time he looked directly into an eclipse without glasses

Congratulations @ElonMusk and @SpaceX on the successful #FalconHeavy launch. This achievement, along with @NASA’s commercial and international partners, continues to show American ingenuity at its best! pic.twitter.com/eZfLSpyJPK

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 7, 2018 Read more…

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Elon Musk’s Boring Co. flamethrower is real, $500 and up for pre-order

 So that flamethrower that Elon Musk teased The Boring Company would start selling after it ran out of its 50,000 hats? Yeah, it’s real – and you can pre-order one now if you want need a ridiculous way to spend $500. Musk revealed the flamethrower on Saturday, after some digging tipped its existence late last week. The Boring Company Flamethrower is functional, too, as you can see… Read More

Elon Musk announces an early February launch plan for Falcon Heavy

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Elon Musk’s “week or so” until the Falcon Heavy launch is now looking like it’ll be closer to two weeks.

The SpaceX founder confirmed on Twitter that he’s “aiming” to have a Feb. 6 launch for the private aerospace company’s largest rocket to date. It will lift off from the Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy, Musk tweeted.

“Easy viewing from the public causeway.”

Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb 6 from Apollo launchpad 39A at Cape Kennedy. Easy viewing from the public causeway.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 27, 2018 Read more…

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Elon Musk promises to make a pickup truck ‘right after Model Y’

 On the heels of Elon Musk unveiling the Tesla all-electric semi-truck and a second-generation Roadster in November, Musk took to Twitter today to ask his fans how Tesla can further improve. In response to someone who requested a Tesla pickup truck, Musk said, “I promise that we will make a pickup truck right after Model Y. Have had the core design/engineering elements in my mind for almost… Read More

Here’s our first look at Elon Musk’s Boring Co. LA tunnel

 Elon Musk is digging a tunnel under Hawthorne near SpaceX headquarters in California, after receiving approval from city council to do so. Musk’s Boring Co. has already made considerable progress on the dig and tunnel build, apparently, as Musk shared an image of the tunnel from the inside showing a reinforced tube that stretches off into the distance out of sight.
The tunnel features… Read More

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Elon Musk says story about fired assistant is 'total nonsense'

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In the last couple of days, a story lifted from Ashlee Vance’s biography of Elon Musk has been making the rounds on the internet, claiming that Musk fired his assistant of 12 years when she wanted a raise.

The story portrays Musk as an unusually cruel (or extremely efficient, depending on your perspective) leader, but now Musk himself has taken to Twitter to explain that the story isn’t true. 

The anecdote, originally published in Vance’s book Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, goes like this. Mary Beth Brown asked for a significant raise after having worked as Musk’s assistant for 12 years. Musk responded by asking Brown to take two weeks’ leave to see whether she’s really indispensable to him. After he’d realized she’s not, he promptly fired her.  Read more…

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Crunch Report | SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch Planned for November

Falcon Heavy launch is set for November, i.am+ acquires Wink and Stitch Fix has confidentially filed for an IPO. All this on Cruch Report. Read More

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Elon Musk says first Model 3 will exit the factory Friday

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Tesla’s affordable mid-size electric sedan, the Model 3, is ready for production, and the first car (Musk calls it SN1 which likely means serial number 1) will be completed on Friday. 

That’s according to Elon Musk, who shared the news on Twitter, explaining the Model 3 passed “all regulatory requirements for production two weeks ahead of schedule.” 

Musk also tweeted that he plans to throw a “handover party” for the first 30 Model 3s to be handed to customers on July 28. He says that production will grow “exponentially,” meaning the company should be producing 100 cars in August, more than 1,500 in September, and 20,000 in December.  Read more…

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Elon Musk's weird Ambien tweets are back

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Don’t tweet while on Ambien.

If you didn’t already know that before, let Elon Musk’s series of bizarre tweets on Tuesday night serve as an example kids. 

Case in point: 

A little red wine, vintage record, some Ambien … and magic!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 7, 2017

Once you add the vintage record player, it’s all good

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 7, 2017

It started off with him talking about the Tesla shareholder meeting — and then things quickly take a very random turn. 

And um … not trying to brag or anything, but I think I look good for 500

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 7, 2017 Read more…

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Crunch Report | Elon Musk’s Tunnel Vision Gets Rendered

Elon Musk shows off a video about his tunnel boring company, The Boring Company, a self-driving Apple test vehicle is spotted in the wild and Cloudera and Carvana each price their IPO at $15; one does well, the other not so much. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Elon Musk draws farting unicorn to showcase Tesla's new Sketch Pad feature

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Of course the new software update for Tesla cars has a hidden feature. Of course, it’s a sketch pad. 

And of course, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the feature with a drawing of what appears to be a farting unicorn. 

Musk shared two drawings, the other one being a slightly displeased Mona Lisa, complete with a signature and all. 

Made today on Tesla sketch pad pic.twitter.com/Z8dFP2NN41

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 30, 2017

We’ll leave it to the cruel, cruel world of Twitter to critique these. As for how to get the sketch pad in your Tesla, Musk shared that, too: Tap the T on your Tesla’s center screen three times.  Read more…

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Crunch Report | Tesla’s Long List of Updated Updates

Tesla’s long list of updated updates, Instacart agrees to settle class-action lawsuit and SB Drive pulls in $4.6 million. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Tesla Model 3 is ‘just a smaller, more affordable’ Model S, says Elon Musk

 The Tesla Model 3 is not a product iteration along the lines of successive iPhones, Elon Musk clarified on Twitter on Friday. Instead, it’s a “smaller model affordable versions of Model S” with less range, less power and fewer features, according to the Tesla CEO. The Model S is still going to be the leader in terms of it technological capabilities – so think more iPhone… Read More

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The hat for Elon Musk's 'Boring Company' is predictably boring

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As we’ve said time and time again, Elon Musk is serious about boring. 

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX (who, since recently, also has “Tunnels” listed in his Twitter description) has posted a photo of a hat with a sign “The Boring Company.” 

The hat, a flimsy black baseball cap — you know, the type your granddad probably wears — is exactly what we’d expect from Musk at this point, since he made several puns about “boring” tunnels. 

pic.twitter.com/3YSXZq1EVj

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2017

If you’re wondering what the hell are we talking about and whether this is the same Musk who aims to send people to the Moon and Mars, the answers are “we’re not quite sure yet” and “yes, it’s the same Musk.”  Read more…

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Jeff Bezos wants Blue Origin to be the Amazon of the Moon

Fourth successful launch of the same New Shepard vehicle during test flights / Image courtesy of Blue Origin Not one to be left out, Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos is also making plans to go to the Moon, just like fellow space magnate Elon Musk. Bezos’ plan, uncovered by The Washington Post via a draft proposal presented to NASA and Trump’s administration, outlines Blue Origin’s plan to create a cargo spacecraft destined for the Moon that would help it ferry supplies… Read More

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Crunch Report | Tesla and Rollercoasters

Waymo is suing Otto and Uber for allegedly stealing its trade secrets, Layer gets more funding and acquires Cola, a major Cloudflare bug leaked sensitive data from customers’ websites and Elon Musk addresses unionization concerns at Tesla. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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Crunch Report | Elon Musk’s Tunnel Project

Apple’s WWDC moves to San Jose, an update on Elon Musk’s tunnel project, Google makes an update that plays piano duets and Google Home steps on Alexa’s turf. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

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SpaceX targets February 18 for Dragon resupply mission to ISS

spacex-iridium-1 SpaceX has a new date for its next launch – February 18, when it’s hoping to make its first launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center at pad LC-39A. The first launch from the Florida facility was originally set for January 29, and was set to be a mission to deliver a commercial EchoStar satellite into orbit,  but that was pushed back to a target of the end of February when… Read More

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Elon Musk: Tesla Model 3 won't come with a 100 kWh battery

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If you wondered just how big a battery will Tesla pack into its upcoming Model 3 electric car, we’ve got some bad news for you: It won’t have a 100 kWh capacity like some Model S and Model X models.

Elon Musk confirmed that in a reply on Twitter on Tuesday, explaining that the Model 3’s wheelbase just can’t fit such a big battery. 

@jovanik21 @Veidit No, will be lower. Wheelbase can’t fit 100.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2017

Musk did not say exactly how big a battery the Model 3 will have. The Model S is available with either a 60, 75, 90 or a 100 kWh battery, so it’s likely the Model 3 with come with one of the lower three options. In the car’s initial announcement in March 2016, Tesla said the car will have a minimum 215-mile range.  Read more…

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Elon Musk defends meeting with Trump: 'Does not mean I agree'

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Elon Musk, one of the tech leaders that joined President Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum in December 2016, will not be leaving just yet, despite not being too happy with some of the Trump administration’s decisions. 

On Friday, Musk posted a public note explaining why he didn’t quit the council. 

“Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the administration,” he wrote in the note that he shared on Twitter. 

Musk also said he would express his objections to Trump’s recent executive order on immigration — or so-called the “Muslim ban” — at the scheduled council meeting on Friday.  Read more…

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Elon Musk says he’ll present objections to Trump’s immigration order at Friday advisory council meeting

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 23:  White House Senior Advisor Stephen Miller (L) and Klaus Kleinfeld of Arconic visit with Elon Musk (C) of SpaceX before a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Roosevelt Room at the White House January 23, 2017 in Washington, DC. Business leaders who also attend the meeting included Elon Musk of SpaceX, Mark Sutton of International Paper, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies, Marillyn Hewson of Lockheed Martin, Andrew Liveris of Dow Chemical and others.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued a statement about his participation in Donald Trump’s economic advisory council, and a scheduled meeting of the group tomorrow. Musk said that he and others on the council will take the opportunity to voice their opposition to the president’s executive order on immigration and suggest how it might be changed. Musk took the opportunity to specifically… Read More

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Energy is the new new internet

Photo: Chris Sattlberger/Blend Images/Getty Images If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in energy, you should. We’ve seen this movie before. Spoiler alert: There’s massive economic opportunity ahead. How massive? Imagine standing in 1992, knowing that Google, Akamai, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, BuzzFeed and Uber lay ahead. This time it’s the “Enernet,” not the internet, that will… Read More

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