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The best way to bring an entire crew together behind a single project is to share a vision. That’s where storyboards come in.Storyboards have been around for a long time. Think prehistoric cave paintings. In fact, some of my drawings look just like some of those ancient pictograms! One of the reasons I encourage film students to learn how to draw is because sooner or later, a drawing will convey a vision far more effectively than words ever could — particularly if you’re working abroad, where language is already an issue.Storyboards over TimeThe collage of storyboards above is a good sample of the boards I’ve worked with in my career. In the ’80s, most visual effects companies had in-house art departments that would create storyboards and key frame production paintings that captured the scale, mood, and dramatic intent of a particular scene or moment in the script. Most storyboards in those days represented all of the elements in each shot that could break down into schedule-able and budgetary terms — a visual menu, if you will. Art departments needed a lot of wall space because each board was tacked up, in sequence, for all to see and discuss.You should draw your storyboards with the project’s aspect ratio in mind. The three boards across the top are in 2:40 to 1 — or “widescreen” format. In the old, old days, art directors would actually draw with a specific lens in mind from a shoot-able spot determined from a plan view drawing — now that’s knowing your set.Storyboards vs. Pre-VisualizationWhat’s inherent to storyboards is that they are static and pre-visualization is not. The animated process of pre-vis gives the director a peek into the possibilities of framing, speed, and scale in a sequence. It’s a moving storyboard that you can edit and improve prior to actual shooting. The downside of pre-vis is that the animator may create something that is very difficult, if not impossible, to shoot. A lens may be too wide, a camera move may be too fast, or there may be a focus and magnification issue.Further, if everyone falls in love with the pre-vis, there is no room for a filmmaker to improve the sequence in the real world with real people. This happened to me once on a very big feature film: I thought I came up with a better, more efficient way to shoot a scene, pitched it passionately but was ultimately shot down because, “the studio likes it the way it is.” They had seen the pre-vis and wanted it shot exactly that way. Boring, and we also had to reshoot parts of it because the pre-vis didn’t translate well to live-action. I tried to warn them!Be Prepared.On the other hand, a storyboard is a guide that accommodates improvement during production. It’s an inventory of beats that the cinematographer will photograph in a real setting. Screen direction and blocking are TBD on the day of shooting. In other words, don’t be constrained by the boards.It’s why we mostly only board action bits and Visual FX sequences. Anything complex and potentially expensive needs meticulous planning. Never show up on the day without the equipment you need and only a couple of sketches on a napkin. The crew will punish you for it.We don’t board much in TV because they don’t want to pay for the illustrations, and there is rarely enough time to shoot the scenes properly as it is. In those cases, I’ll do some simple drawings of my own to keep track of the moments that are essential to the sequence.Work on your drawing, it’s a very handy thing to know how to do.All images courtesy of the author.What organization tips do you rely on? Let us know in the comments.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s first Cabinet reshuffle was expected to address governance and image deficit in the wake of a string of scams and political crises. But the consensus in the political circles as President Pratibha Patil was swearing in new ministers was that the PM’s endeavour was mostly an exercise in futility.PM Manmohan Singh announces a new teamIncompetent ministers were shifted, not sacked; he failed to infuse young blood into the council of ministers; and there was no attempt to bridge the governance and image deficit.The much-anticipated rejig failed to send out a strong message against corruption to the people or to the political class.Ministers who presided over the Commonwealth Games (CWG) scams and management mess – urban development minister Jaipal Reddy and sports minister M. S. Gill – were not dropped but let off with only a change in their portfolios.Reddy’s transfer was, in fact, seen as a promotion because he was given charge of a more important portfolio – petroleum in place of urban development that went to Kamal Nath. All the more shocking was the transfer of Vilasrao Deshmukh, who figures in the Adarsh Society flat allotment scandal, to the crucial rural development and Panchayati Raj ministry.Deshmukh’s appointment to this ministry is questionable considering that in December 2010, the Supreme Court had imposed a fine of `10 lakh on the Maharashtra government on a complaint that Deshmukh, as chief minister, had influenced the police against registering an FIR against his brother, who was facing charges of money-lending irregularities by farmers in Maharashtra’s Buldhana district.advertisementMoreover, this ministry is closely monitored by Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son and general secretary Rahul Gandhi. Both feel it has potential to empower the “aam aadmi”. Some in the Congress feel the suave Mumbaikar is a bad choice for rural development as his heart is in Mumbai.Meanwhile, there was no attempt to address issues of non-governance, or “governance-deficit” as the PM himself has admitted several times as known non-performers – C.P. Joshi, Kamal Nath, Virbhadra Singh – were simply transferred to different departments. Contrary to expectations, there was no infusion of young blood barring a 48-yearold K.C. Venugopal from Kerala as minister of state.The Opposition was quick to point out that the cabinet reshuffle has not addressed any issue concerning the people. “The PM has failed to punish the corrupt,” said BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain. “He has just effected a change in rooms for his non-performing and corrupt ministers.”The PM, however, tried to rekindle hopes of a major shake-up by promising a “more expansive” exercise after the budget session of Parliament which concludes in May.This is a minor reshuffle and after budget session of Parliament, we will do a more expansive exercise,” Singh told mediapersons. Ageing and ineffective ministers such as Virbhadra Singh and B.K. Handique were retained, while Beni Prasad Verma, who can barely walk, has been inducted as minister for steel. Similarly, Sushil Kumar Shinde was allowed to continue in the power ministry though the PM was apparently considering shifting him out.Compulsions of coalition politics were evident in the hands-off approach to two important departments – agriculture and railways. The PM left the allies untouched and despite persisting food inflation which is eating into Congress’s political space, the shuffle does not show any desire to arrest the price spiral. Sharad Pawar continues to occupy agriculture, the only token change being the food and public distribution being taken away from him.Gill, sports and youth affairs minister, and best known for his weak handling of the CWG mess and arm-twisting sports bodies, also escaped the axe as he was shifted to an obscure statistics and programme implementation ministry.None of the non-performing ministers holding an infrastructure portfolio was dropped. Instead they were merely shifted to other portfolios, as if these ministries are of no consequence. Another infrastructure minister Kamal Nath, who figured in the Nira Radia tapes and was considered wanting in performance, has been shifted to urban development from road transport and highways.Minister of state V. Narayanaswamy, who is articulate neither in Hindi nor in English, analysts said, was considered by many insiders to be a bad choice for the MoS slot in the PMO.The reshuffle did not convey any message to trouble-torn Andhra Pradesh, especially when the Telangana region is on the boil and state Congress leader Jaganmohan Reddy is threatening to split the party. Many party leaders from the state in private have expressed dismay over non-induction of any new face from the state.advertisementDespite sending 33 MPs, the state has only one cabinet minister in Jaipal Reddy. As against Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, which has only seven Congress MPs in the Lok Sabha, has three cabinet ministers.The re-jig does not show any strategy to bring Parliament back to normalcy. Many in the party hoped incumbent soft-spoken parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, may be replaced with someone more aggressive like Ghulam Nabi Azad to craft a strategy to take the Opposition parties on board. However, the PM opted for status quo even when the Opposition continues to remain adamant on a JPC to probe in the 2G scam threatening to cripple the Budget session.Ashwani Kumar’s appointment as parliamentary affairs minister is also circumspect. “We doubt if he can forge a compromise with the Opposition to break the deadlock over the JPC to look into the 2G scam,” a Congress leader said.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Barnes swoops to earn Burnley crucial win at Huddersfieldby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley produced a critical victory at Huddersfield Town on Wednesday night.The Clarets’ win, their second in three days, was sealed when Ashley Barnes slotted home midway through the second half from Ashley Westwood’s pass.Huddersfield had taken the lead through Steve Mounie’s header in the 33rd minute but conceded an equaliser and had Christopher Schindler sent off within two minutes before half-time.Wood met Dwight McNeil’s low cross from the left six yards out and swept in for his fifth goal of the season.Schindler, who had earlier been booked for a foul on Wood, was then shown a second yellow card for hauling down McNeil on the edge of the penalty area.Defeat means bottom-of-the-table Huddersfield are eight points from safety.
TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say DONE DEAL: Stevenage sign West Ham midfielder Moses Makasiby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveStevenage have signed West Ham midfielder Moses Makasi on loan until the end of the season.The 23-year-old, who is yet to make his senior debut for the Hammers, spent time on loan with Plymouth last season scoring once in seven appearances.He could feature for Boro in Saturday’s home game against Crawley.”Moses is a good footballer and I am really pleased we have been able to get this one over the line,” boss Dino Maamria told the club website.
Chris Stewart APTN National NewsThe Enoch Cree First Nation in Alberta isn’t on a boil water advisory – but people in the Alberta community didn’t trust the water.And with the community hosting the World Indigenous games this July, the federal government will pay for a supply fresh drinking email@example.com
UK service provider TalkTalk has launched a new TV player to deliver on-demand movies and entertainment to its TV subscribers.The new player will house TalkTalk’s movie rental service, TalkTalk Box Office, which has been boosted with additional titles.Titles currently available include Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave.TalkTalk says it has improved discovery features on the service with a new ‘Included Channels’ feature. Viewers can browse the entire library of over 500 movies and hundreds of hours of on demand programmes, with prices clearly marked.All live channels included within the additional flexible monthly Boosts mini-packs, and the seven additional Sky channels that were recently bundled into in TalkTalk’s Plus TV package, can now be found in the YouView guide.Other features of the new player include Watchlist, allowing users to save ovies and shows to watch at another time, a ‘more like this’ feature, a green-button feature enabling them to lay every episode in a series back to back, a ‘most popular’ feature and a ‘currently watching’ feature that enables viewers that leave half way through a show to return to the point where they left off.The player will be rolled out from this week and will be complete by June 17.“YouView from TalkTalk is fast becoming a destination for family entertainment and our all-new TalkTalk Player offers more of the best TV and movies at a cost viewers can control. We’ve made our on-demand movies, kids and Sky entertainment library bigger than ever and the TalkTalk Player is faster, and smarter, making it easier to find shows and films you want to watch,” said Tristia Harrison, managing director for consumer at TalkTalk.
Here’s another set of numbers that Nick sent my way yesterday. It shows the credit creation, a.k.a. money-out-of-thin-air, for these “G4” countries/geographic areas. Except for Japan, credit creation was pretty wild in 2007 before the financial crisis. In Q2 and Q3 of 2013 in these same places, it’s radically different. Even Japan’s “improvement” is nothing to write home about, and the situation in Europe is wildly deflationary. It was more or less the same chart pattern in the silver shares up until about 2:30 p.m. in New York. Then, as the silver price began to move higher, the equities followed. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed up 2.47%. It was more or less that same price action in silver, except for the fact that early rally ended at 10 a.m. in New York, and then rallied again once the 1:30 Comex close was in. That rally also got cut off at the knees as the price threatened to break above the $20 spot price mark and go vertical at 3:15 p.m. EST. From there it got sold down into the 5:15 p.m. electronic close. The low and high in silver were $19.435 and $19.98 in the March contract. Silver finished the Monday session at $19.84 spot, up 30 cents from Friday’s close. Compared to gold’s light volume, silver’s net volume was pretty decent at 34,000 contracts. I have a decent number of stories for you today, and I hope you can find the time to read the ones that are of interest to you. Even though JPMorgan’s gold position is “only” 70,000 contracts, that is 21.7% of the entire Comex gold market (minus spreads). It is also more than 46% of all the long contracts held by commercial traders. There is no possible legitimate explanation that could justify JPMorgan’s outsized COMEX gold market corner. By any measure, this is a concentration and market corner of scandalous proportions. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 07 December 2013 The price action on Monday was interesting from a price perspective, especially considering the fact that in gold it was done on such light volume. Silver had the same price pattern as well, but volume was much higher, relatively speaking. I took a quick look at the preliminary open interest/volume numbers for yesterday that are posted on the CME’s website, and it shows that gold’s open interest only rose by 500 contracts and silver’s open interest was actually down on the day. There appears to have been considerable short covering involved in yesterday’s price action. But I’ve learned from hard experience that these preliminary numbers can’t be totally trusted, as “da boyz” can hide their tracks well. However, if I had to bet ten bucks based on what I’ve seen, I’d bet that yesterday’s price action was quiet short covering, and Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report may, or may not, shed some light on this. While I’m on the subject of the COT Report, the cut-off for Friday’s report is at the 1:30 p.m. EST Comex close today, so I’ll be more than interested to see what happens during the rest of the Tuesday trading session, particularly in New York. The other thing I noticed when looking at the CME’s preliminary report from yesterday was silver’s open interest in the December delivery month. It currently sits at 1,500 contracts, but that will drop by more than a thousand contracts once Goldman Sachs delivers to JPM and Scotiabank tomorrow. I would also guess that most of the other 500 contracts still open for December will also be picked up by these two bullion banks, because I said further up, they are the two biggest Comex silver shorts on Planet Earth. Not much happened in Far East trading on their Tuesday, but all four precious metals rallied going into the London open, and all met with same fate—a seller of last resort. London has been open for an hour as I write this paragraph, and volumes are on the lighter side, and mostly of the HFT variety. The dollar index is down a handful of basis points and clinging to the 80.00 mark by its fingernails. And as I hit the “send” button on today’s missive at 3:15 a.m. EST, none of the four precious metals have regained their London open highs. Volumes are about average for this time of day, and the dollar index is still sitting on its precarious perch a few points above the 80 level. Before heading out the door, I’d like to remind you one more time that Doug Casey’s new book Right on the Money will be released on December 16. Right on the Money is the second book in the Conversations with Casey series. This time, the conversations focus on speculating, economics, investing, politics, and how to profit in times of political and economic chaos. “In it, famed speculator and New York Times best-selling author Doug Casey tackles investing head on. In his typical no-holds-barred style, Doug shares his philosophical views on economics, politics, and life itself… and his tools to turn them into actionable investment ideas. This book is nothing less than a speculator’s guide to profiting from the Greater Depression… a set of keys to a potential fortune, available only to contrarians who are brave enough to use them during a time of chaos and volatility gripping our world.” If you want to learn more, or find out how you can order it, all you need to know is at this link here. That’s all for today, and I’ll see you here tomorrow. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 206 gold and an eye-popping 1,089 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Wednesday. In gold, the short/issuer was Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia with 200 contracts. The only long/stopper of note was JPMorgan Chase in it’s in-house [proprietary] trading account. The number of contracts that they stood for delivery on was — 200 contracts! But the shocker was in silver, as sitting in the bushes as short/issuer was none other than the “Vampire Squid” themselves—Goldman Sachs—with 1,037 contracts, over 5 million ounces. Not surprisingly, the two biggest long/stoppers were the two biggest Comex silver shorts; JPMorgan Chase and Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia. JPM stopped 737 contracts, and Canada’s Scotiabank stopped 209 contracts. ABM Amro was a distant third with 74 contracts stopped. My first reaction when I saw GS as the big short/issuer was — what client’s face did they rip off on that trade so JPMorgan could pick up this silver? Or maybe a “Friend of the Shorts” arranged this. Nothing would surprise me, dear reader, as the red flags are flying on this one. Yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is a must to view here, and to me it reeks of collusion. There were no reported changes in GLD, and as of 9:24 p.m. yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV, either. Since yesterday was Monday, the U.S. Mint had a sales report. They sold 4,000 troy ounces of gold eagles; 4,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes; and 526,000 silver eagles. Very decent. Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Friday, they reported receiving precisely one metric tonne of gold: 32,150 troy ounces. I would guess that would be 1,000 kilobars at 32.15 troy ounces a copy. They also reported shipping out a smallish 898 troy ounces. The big receipt was at HSBC USA, and the link to all this activity is here. In silver on Friday, these same depositories didn’t report receiving any, but they did ship out 498,474 troy ounces of the stuff. The link to that action is here. The news that China imported about 130 tonnes of gold through Hong Kong came out about two weeks ago from an inside source and is now old news. But now that the numbers have been “officially” released, here’s Nick Laird’s chart of the situation as it stands as of October 31. Note that the “Cumulative Imports” from this one official source is now double what China has stated they have in reserves. Without doubt they have more they haven’t told us about, and probably much more. Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations. An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in October 2012 and using 0.3 g/t cutoff the current resource is 73,580,000 tonnes grading 0.67 g/t Au for total of 1,576,000 contained ounces in the indicated category, and 223,300,000 tonnes grading 0.62 g/t Au for a total of 4,437,000 contained ounces in the inferred category. In addition to the Golden Summit Project the Vinasale also hosts a NI 43-101 resource calculation which was updated in March 2013. Indicated resources are 3.41 million tonnes averaging 1.48 g/t Au for 162,000 ounces, and Inferred resources are 53.25 million tonnes averaging 1.05 g/t Au for 1,799,000 ounces of gold utilizing a cutoff value of 0.5 grams/tonne (g/t) as a possible open pit cutoff. Please send us an email for more information, firstname.lastname@example.org There appears to have been considerable short covering involved in yesterday’s price action The gold price didn’t do much on Monday until shortly after the noon silver fix in London. The subsequent rally lasted until 15 minutes before the London close before getting sold down a hair by 12:30 p.m. in New York. Then the gold price rallied anew, and really took off shortly after 3 p.m. in electronic trading in what looked like the beginnings of a “no ask” market, but got capped at 3:15 p.m. EST. After that, the price didn’t do much. The low and high ticks according to the CME were $1,224.60 and $1,242.60 in the February contract. Gold closed on Monday afternoon in New York at $1,240.40 spot, which was up $9.70 from Friday. Net volume was extremely light at only 84,000 contracts. Platinum had three separate rallies on Monday, and it, too, got capped around 3 p.m. in electronic trading, and finished the day up about a percent. Palladium had just one rally, the same one the other three precious metals enjoyed that started shortly after the noon silver fix in London. That rally ended/got capped at 9:30 a.m. in New York as the equity markets opened. Here are the charts. The dollar index closed late Friday afternoon in New York at 80.26, and spent all of Monday chopping quietly lower and finished the session around 80.16, which was down 10 basis points. Nothing to see here. The gold stocks gapped up about 2% by the London p.m. fix at 10 a.m. EST, and then traded more or less sideways for the remainder of the day. The HUI finished up 2.16%. Sponsor Advertisement
By Doug Casey, founder, Casey Research In this article, I’d like to explain how I learned to love Bitcoin. Why it’s a wonderful thing. Its potential as a speculation. How the government is going to co-opt it. And how this is all likely to end.I was first introduced to Bitcoin several years ago in Cafayate, Argentina. A young Belgian guy came to visit, I bought him lunch, and we discussed Bitcoin. He was a very early enthusiast, and he gave me a physical Bitcoin as a souvenir. They’re now collectibles, but the digital codes are inscribed on them. I still have that Bitcoin. It was worth $13 at the time.I wish I had listened to his argument more carefully, because I could have made millions. Over 600-1 in just a few years… that’s rare indeed. I was inclined towards it philosophically, but outsmarted myself on an investment level. Because Bitcoin was pitched to me as an alternative currency, and I failed to see all of its advantages in that role.My original objection was that Bitcoin isn’t backed by anything. It’s really a private fiat currency. It’s very much like the Zambian Kwacha, the Argentine peso, the US dollar, or any of the other 150-plus currencies in today’s world. It’s a floating abstraction. Unlike state currencies, though, its acceptance isn’t enforced by laws. But, on the other hand, its quantity is limited. Would that be enough to get large amounts of people to use it as a currency?I missed something when I said, back then, that it had no value. It’s a fiat currency, yes, but it has much more practical value than any other.A currency has to be a good medium of exchange, and a store of value. I’ll have more to say about this in a few paragraphs, but Bitcoin’s big fault is that it’s so volatile. In other words, it’s nice to see your savings perhaps double in value over a few weeks. But few want to risk them losing value the way Bitcoin did in the recent crypto winter, when it went from about $20,000 to about $3,000 in 15 months. That said, as more people adopt Bitcoin, it should stabilize. But Bitcoin has already gone from being a wild speculation to a useful monetary tool. I believe it will keep improving, rapidly.Why? Analyze the situation rationally, using Aristotle’s five characteristics of a good money. Aristotle defined the five characteristics of good money in the 4th century BC. His analysis is as accurate now as it was then.A good money must be durable, divisible, convenient, consistent, and have use value in and of itself. Based on that, Aristotle believed gold and silver were best suited for use as money. How does Bitcoin compare using these five criteria?Durable. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are definitely durable – unless we have a major electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or a significant solar flare that wipes out all the computers. Bitcoins are not as durable as the metals, but they’re adequate, barring a veritable collapse of civilization.Divisible. Bitcoin is infinitely divisible. Better than the physical metals, actually – although the metals can be accounted in tiny fractions too.Convenient. Yes – as long as you have a smartphone, Bitcoin is very convenient. But your smartphone, or something like it, may not always be with you. And your counterparty also has to have one. And it’s not very convenient if someone doesn’t know or trust Bitcoin. Right now, that’s still probably 98% of humanity.Consistent. Absolutely. Every Bitcoin is exactly like another one. It’s at least as good as .999 fine gold that way.The problem I had with Bitcoin was the fifth point: Does it have use value in itself, so you can’t get stuck holding the bag?If you have a million US paper dollars, and nobody accepts them, they have no use in and of themselves – except as wall decorations or kindling. They’re just unsecured liabilities of a bankrupt government. In essence no better than a million Zimbabwe dollars, although there’s obviously a continuum. Fiat currencies can be easily destroyed by their issuers. The things are burning matches. They have half-lives, like radioactive elements.Sure, there were advantages to Bitcoin being a privately issued fiat currency. But I didn’t see its real use value; that’s where I went wrong.Bitcoin is certainly a fiat currency like the dollar or the Kwacha. But it’s also an excellent transfer device. You can move wealth from one country to another, or to another person, quickly and privately. I’d say secretly, but you’re not supposed to say “secret” anymore, you can only say “private.” Part of the politically correct corruption of language, I might add.Better yet, you can do so outside of the banking system, which is increasingly important. If you use Bitcoin, you don’t need a bank to store your money.Cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoins, are just the first, and most obvious, application of blockchain technology. Hopefully, among other things, blockchain and Bitcoin are going to destroy the SWIFT system, the vehicle for wiring money from one bank to another. SWIFT is expensive (typically $50-100 per transaction), slow (generally a day or two, sometimes a week or more), and insecure (who trusts either big banks or the US Government?). And SWIFT requires that all dollars clear through New York; non-Americans don’t care for that. SWIFT is used by thousands of banks around the world to send payment instructions worth trillions of dollars each day.So, this is one big use value of Bitcoin. It allows you to transfer something that is accepted as money outside of the banking system, privately, and outside of government fiat currencies.Bitcoin is well on the way to being accepted as money. I think it will succeed. Remember, money is just a medium of exchange and a store of value. Almost anything can be used as money. Some things are just much better than others.Salt, seashells, and cows have all historically been used as money. After all, the word “pecuniary” comes from the Latin pecus, which means cow; cows were used as money. And “salary” comes from the Latin sal, which is salt, which was also a money. Wampum were seashells. Cigarettes are money in prisons and war zones. Giant Yap island discs were used as money.Bitcoin is becoming more and more accepted as a medium of exchange, while most government fiat currencies approach their intrinsic values – essentially zero.Bitcoin is a bit more problematic as a store of value. Once again, let’s get back to the basics. You’ve got two kinds of currencies: commodity currencies and fiat currencies.The commodity currencies are actual physical commodities. You know they have use value. Fiat currencies, on the other hand, are just made up. They’re totally arbitrary and political.It’s like that old joke about sardines. You’ve got eating sardines and trading sardines. Commodity currencies are eating sardines. Fiat currencies are trading sardines. Of course, there’s no guarantee that Bitcoin is going to be accepted a year or two from now. It’s a high tech innovation, and maybe a Version 2.0 will collapse the value of the current version. So in a few years, we may find that Bitcoin fails the store of value test. But it’s accepted at the moment. And its acceptance is growing at a crazy rate – unlike fiat currencies, which have almost all been falling against real goods and services at about 5-10% a year. Incidentally, I don’t put much faith in the accuracy of government inflation figures.Bitcoin has been a great speculation so far. But is it a store of value? Bitcoin is a technological innovation. There likely will be Bitcoin 2.0 and 3.0, not to mention other, even more advanced cryptos. What will the current Bitcoin then be worth? There’s a reason the expression “High tech, big wreck” is true. Just because it’s been a great speculation, doesn’t mean it’s a good store of value. Technology, a solar flare, or even government action could wipe it out.The bottom line? Bitcoin passes the medium of exchange test for the moment and store of value test for the moment. So you can definitely say it’s money – for the moment. But so does the Argentine peso – for the moment. I have little confidence, however, Bitcoin will be here, say, five years from now. Buying cryptos is not like socking away gold coins.The $64 question is: Where are we in the market cycle for cryptos? Clearly, we’re no longer early in the game. It’s like getting into the Internet stocks back in 1998 – they weren’t cheap, but the bubble got much, much bigger. And the Internet – contrary to what people like Paul Krugman thought – was not itself a bubble. Up till now, the main way to play this has been tokens, like Bitcoin. There are perhaps two thousand of them out there now, and most of them are garbage.Because I think the crypto bubble will be reinflated now that the crypto winter that started in December 2017 is over, I’m getting involved in these cryptocurrencies on several levels. I’m trying to make the trend my friend. But cautiously.Regards,Doug Casey Founder, Casey ResearchEditor’s note: Our resident crypto expert, Marco Wutzer, has been following digital currencies for decades. He was an early investor in bitcoin. And like Doug, he’s truly an “international man.” He made so much money from cryptos, he dropped everything and traveled the world for five years.And now, he’s ready to share the details on his latest discovery…A new and exciting tech opportunity that could make early investors a fortune.You haven’t heard anything like this before. Marco just released an urgent video with all the details. Go here to get the full story.
This year has brought an unprecedented wave of new state laws that only allow abortions to be performed early in pregnancy — if at all.Most of the new laws — known as early abortion bans — explicitly outlaw abortion when performed after a certain point early in the pregnancy. The laws vary, with some forbidding abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, and some after eight weeks. Alabama’s law is the most extreme: It aims to outlaw abortion at any point, except if the woman’s health is at serious risk. So far in 2019, nine U.S. states have passed laws of this type, and more states are considering similar legislation.Don’t see the graphic above? Click here.None of the laws passed this year are actually in effect, either because they have a future enactment date or because judges have put them on hold in response to lawsuits, or both.These new bans are a direct challenge to the precedent set by the 1973 Supreme Court ruling Roe v. Wade, which affirmed that a woman has a right to seek an abortion up until the point that the fetus could be “viable” outside of the uterus. Viability must be determined on an individual basis but is generally between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.”We want to stop abortion of unborn children. And the only way we can do that is to go back and revisit the Roe decision,” Eric Johnston, the president of the Alabama Pro-Life Coalition, told NPR’s Ari Shapiro. Johnston helped write the Alabama law that outlaws almost all abortions.”This law is, in effect, a vehicle to do that,” he added.A few states already have existing laws that outlaw abortion earlier in pregnancy than the standard sent by Roe, banning the procedure as early as 18 or 20 weeks. When challenged, bans on abortion at this stage of pregnancy have consistently been struck down in court, according to the Guttmacher Institute. But not all of those laws have been challenged in court, so they remain on the books. There is no state law currently in effect that bans abortion before 20 weeks.Two states, New York and Vermont, have moved in the other direction. Both states passed laws this year that affirm the legal right to an abortion in each state, even if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.These early abortion bans differ from another common type of state regulation known as a TRAP law — for Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers. TRAP laws place particular restrictions on the doctors or health clinics that provide abortions, and the Supreme Court has allowed some of these laws to go into effect, while striking down others.Don’t see the graphic above? Click here.Here’s some details on the newest bans, by state.*Important note: Supporters of reproductive rights have filed multiple lawsuits against this type of law. None of these early abortion bans are currently in effect or are being enforced.Alabama – No abortion after 0 weeks. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life is threatened. No exceptions for rape or incest. Arkansas — No abortion after 18 weeks. Allows exceptions for rape, incest or medical emergencies.Georgia – No abortion after 6 weeks. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life is endangered, if the pregnancy is deemed “medically futile” and in cases of rape or incest if the woman files a police report.Kentucky – No abortion after 6 weeks. No exceptions for rape or incest. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life is endangered.Louisiana – No abortion after 6 weeks. No exceptions for rape or incest. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life is endangered or if the pregnancy is deemed “medically futile.”Mississippi – No abortion after 6 weeks. No exceptions for rape or incest. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life is endangered.Missouri – No abortion after 8 weeks. No exceptions for rape or incest. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life is endangered.Ohio – No abortion after 6 weeks. No exceptions for rape or incest. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life is endangered.Utah – No abortion after 18 weeks. No exceptions for rape or incest. Allows exceptions if the woman’s life is endangered.NPR’s Carrie Feibel, Sarah McCammon and Carmel Wroth contributed to this report. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
Elon Musk Next Article The SpaceX and Tesla CEO shares his views on the future of transportation. May 3, 2017 Add to Queue Watch and Read the Transcript of Elon Musk’s ‘Boring’ TED Talk Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Entrepreneur Staff Register Now » 15+ min read Entrepreneur Staff Elon Musk leads Tesla, SpaceX, Neuralink and now The Boring Company, giving him a guiding hand on the future of transportation and the survival of the humanity. On Friday, April 28, he sat down with TED’s head curator, Chris Anderson, to discuss his new side project — digging tunnels — and his grand ambitions for the next decades. Below is the full transcript of the conversation.Chris Anderson: Elon, hey, welcome back to TED. It’s great to have you here.Elon Musk: Thanks for having me.CA: So, in the next half hour or so, we’re going to spend some time exploring your vision for what an exciting future might look like, which I guess makes the first question a little ironic: Why are you boring?EM: Yeah. I ask myself that frequently. We’re trying to dig a hole under LA, and this is to create the beginning of what will hopefully be a 3D network of tunnels to alleviate congestion. So right now, one of the most soul-destroying things is traffic. It affects people in every part of the world. It takes away so much of your life. It’s horrible. It’s particularly horrible in LA.CA: I think you’ve brought with you the first visualization that’s been shown of this. Can I show this?EM: Yeah, absolutely. So this is the first time — just to show what we’re talking about. So a couple of key things that are important in having a 3D tunnel network. First of all, you have to be able to integrate the entrance and exit of the tunnel seamlessly into the fabric of the city. So by having an elevator, sort of a car skate, that’s on an elevator, you can integrate the entrance and exits to the tunnel network just by using two parking spaces. And then the car gets on a skate. There’s no speed limit here, so we’re designing this to be able to operate at 200 kilometers an hour.CA: How much?EM: 200 kilometers an hour, or about 130 miles per hour. So you should be able to get from, say, Westwood to LAX in six minutes — five, six minutes.CA: So possibly, initially done, it’s like on a sort of toll road-type basis.EM: Yeah.CA: Which, I guess, alleviates some traffic from the surface streets as well.EM: So, I don’t know if people noticed it in the video, but there’s no real limit to how many levels of tunnel you can have. You can go much further deep than you can go up. The deepest mines are much deeper than the tallest buildings are tall, so you can alleviate any arbitrary level of urban congestion with a 3D tunnel network. This is a very important point. So a key rebuttal to the tunnels is that if you add one layer of tunnels, that will simply alleviate congestion, it will get used up, and then you’ll be back where you started, back with congestion. But you can go to any arbitrary number of tunnels, any number of levels.CA: But people — seen traditionally, it’s incredibly expensive to dig, and that would block this idea.EM: Yeah. Well, they’re right. To give you an example, the LA subway extension, which is — I think it’s a two-and-a-half mile extension that was just completed for $2 billion. So it’s roughly a billion dollars a mile to do the subway extension in LA. And this is not the highest utility subway in the world. So yeah, it’s quite difficult to dig tunnels normally. I think we need to have at least a tenfold improvement in the cost per mile of tunneling.CA: And how could you achieve that?EM: Actually, if you just do two things, you can get to approximately an order of magnitude improvement,and I think you can go beyond that. So the first thing to do is to cut the tunnel diameter by a factor of two or more. So a single road lane tunnel according to regulations has to be 26 feet, maybe 28 feet in diameter to allow for crashes and emergency vehicles and sufficient ventilation for combustion engine cars. But if you shrink that diameter to what we’re attempting, which is 12 feet, which is plenty to get an electric skate through, you drop the diameter by a factor of two and the cross-sectional area by a factor of four, and the tunneling cost scales with the cross-sectional area. So that’s roughly a half-order of magnitude improvement right there. Then tunneling machines currently tunnel for half the time, then they stop, and then the rest of the time is putting in reinforcements for the tunnel wall. So if you design the machine instead to do continuous tunneling and reinforcing, that will give you a factor of two improvement. Combine that and that’s a factor of eight. Also these machines are far from being at their power or thermal limits, so you can jack up the power to the machine substantially. I think you can get at least a factor of two, maybe a factor of four or five improvement on top of that. So I think there’s a fairly straightforward series of steps to get somewhere in excess of an order of magnitude improvement in the cost per mile, and our target actually is — we’ve got a pet snail called Gary, this is from Gary the snail from South Park, I mean, sorry, SpongeBob SquarePants. So Gary is capable of — currently he’s capable of going 14 times faster than a tunnel-boring machine.CA: You want to beat Gary.EM: We want to beat Gary. He’s not a patient little fellow, and that will be victory. Victory is beating the snail.CA: But a lot of people imagining, dreaming about future cities, they imagine that actually the solution is flying cars, drones, etc. You go aboveground. Why isn’t that a better solution? You save all that tunneling cost.EM: Right. I’m in favor of flying things. Obviously, I do rockets, so I like things that fly. This is not some inherent bias against flying things, but there is a challenge with flying cars in that they’ll be quite noisy, the wind force generated will be very high. Let’s just say that if something’s flying over your head, a whole bunch of flying cars going all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation. You don’t think to yourself, “Well, I feel better about today.” You’re thinking, “Did they service their hubcap, or is it going to come off and guillotine me?” Things like that.CA: So you’ve got this vision of future cities with these rich, 3D networks of tunnels underneath. Is there a tie-in here with Hyperloop? Could you apply these tunnels to use for this Hyperloop idea you released a few years ago.EM: Yeah, so we’ve been sort of puttering around with the Hyperloop stuff for a while. We built a Hyperloop test track adjacent to SpaceX, just for a student competition, to encourage innovative ideas in transport. And it actually ends up being the biggest vacuum chamber in the world after the Large Hadron Collider, by volume. So it was quite fun to do that, but it was kind of a hobby thing, and then we think we might — so we’ve built a little pusher car to push the student pods, but we’re going to try seeing how fast we can make the pusher go if it’s not pushing something. So we’re cautiously optimistic we’ll be able to be faster than the world’s fastest bullet train even in a .8-mile stretch.CA: Whoa. Good brakes.EM: Yeah, I mean, it’s — yeah. It’s either going to smash into tiny pieces or go quite fast.CA: But you can picture, then, a Hyperloop in a tunnel running quite long distances.EM: Exactly. And looking at tunneling technology, it turns out that in order to make a tunnel, you have to — in order to seal against the water table, you’ve got to typically design a tunnel wall to be good to about five or six atmospheres. So to go to vacuum is only one atmosphere, or near-vacuum. So actually, it sort of turns out that automatically, if you build a tunnel that is good enough to resist the water table, it is automatically capable of holding vacuum.CA: Huh.EM: So, yeah.CA: And so you could actually picture, what kind of length tunnel is in Elon’s future to running Hyperloop?EM: I think there’s no real length limit. You could dig as much as you want. I think if you were to do something like a D.C.-to-New York Hyperloop, I think you’d probably want to go underground the entire way because it’s a high-density area. You’re going under a lot of buildings and houses, and if you go deep enough, you cannot detect the tunnel. Sometimes people think, well, it’s going to be pretty annoying to have a tunnel dug under my house. Like, if that tunnel is dug more than about three or four tunnel diameters beneath your house, you will not be able to detect it being dug at all. In fact, if you’re able to detect the tunnel being dug, whatever device you are using, you can get a lot of money for that device from the Israeli military, who is trying to detect tunnels from Hamas, and from the U.S. Customs and Border patrol that try and detect drug tunnels. So the reality is that earth is incredibly good at absorbing vibrations, and once the tunnel depth is below a certain level, it is undetectable. Maybe if you have a very sensitive seismic instrument, you might be able to detect it.CA: So you’ve started a new company to do this called The Boring Company. Very nice. Very funny.EM: What’s funny about that?CA: How much of your time is this?EM: It’s maybe … 2 or 3 percent.CA: You’ve bought a hobby. This is what an Elon Musk hobby looks like.EM: I mean, it really is, like — this is basically interns and people doing it part time. We bought some second-hand machinery. It’s kind of puttering along, but it’s making good progress, so –CA: So an even bigger part of your time is being spent on electrifying cars and transport through Tesla. Is one of the motivations for the tunneling project the realization that actually, in a world where cars are electric and where they’re self-driving, there may end up being more cars on the roads on any given hour than there are now?EM: Yeah, exactly. A lot of people think that when you make cars autonomous, they’ll be able to go faster and that will alleviate congestion. And to some degree that will be true, but once you have shared autonomy where it’s much cheaper to go by car and you can go point to point, the affordability of going in a car will be better than that of a bus. Like, it will cost less than a bus ticket. So the amount of driving that will occur will be much greater with shared autonomy, and actually traffic will get far worse.CA: You started Tesla with the goal of persuading the world that electrification was the future of cars, and a few years ago, people were laughing at you. Now, not so much.EM: OK. I don’t know. I don’t know.CA: But isn’t it true that pretty much every auto manufacturer has announced serious electrification plansfor the short- to medium-term future?EM: Yeah. Yeah. I think almost every automaker has some electric vehicle program. They vary in seriousness. Some are very serious about transitioning entirely to electric, and some are just dabbling in it. And some, amazingly, are still pursuing fuel cells, but I think that won’t last much longer.CA: But isn’t there a sense, though, Elon, where you can now just declare victory and say, you know, “We did it.” Let the world electrify, and you go on and focus on other stuff?EM: Yeah. I intend to stay with Tesla as far into the future as I can imagine, and there are a lot of exciting things that we have coming. Obviously the Model 3 is coming soon. We’ll be unveiling the Tesla Semi truck.CA: OK, we’re going to come to this. So Model 3, it’s supposed to be coming in July-ish.EM: Yeah, it’s looking quite good for starting production in July.CA: Wow. One of the things that people are so excited about is the fact that it’s got autopilot. And you put out this video a while back showing what that technology would look like.EM: Yeah. There’s obviously autopilot in Model S right now. What are we seeing here? Yeah, so this is using only cameras and GPS. So there’s no LIDAR or radar being used here. This is just using passive optical, which is essentially what a person uses. The whole road system is meant to be navigated with passive optical, or cameras, and so once you solve cameras or vision, then autonomy is solved. If you don’t solve vision, it’s not solved. So that’s why our focus is so heavily on having a vision neural net that’s very effective for road conditions.CA: Right. Many other people are going the LIDAR route. You want cameras plus radar is most of it.EM: You can absolutely be superhuman with just cameras. Like, you can probably do it ten times better than humans would, just cameras.CA: So the new cars being sold right now have eight cameras in them. They can’t yet do what that showed. When will they be able to?EM: I think we’re still on track for being able to go cross-country from LA to New York by the end of the year, fully autonomous.CA: OK, so by the end of the year, you’re saying, someone’s going to sit in a Tesla without touching the steering wheel, tap in “New York,” off it goes.EM: Yeah.CA: Won’t ever have to touch the wheel — by the end of 2017.EM: Yeah. Essentially, November or December of this year, we should be able to go all the way from a parking lot in California to a parking lot in New York, no controls touched at any point during the entire journey.CA: Amazing. But part of that is possible because you’ve already got a fleet of Teslas driving all these roads. You’re accumulating a huge amount of data of that national road system.EM: Yes, but the thing that will be interesting is that I’m actually fairly confident it will be able to do that route even if you change the route dynamically. So, it’s fairly easy — If you say I’m going to be really good at one specific route, that’s one thing, but it should be able to go, really be very good, certainly once you enter a highway, to go anywhere on the highway system in a given country. So it’s not sort of limited to LA to New York. We could change it and make it Seattle-Florida, that day, in real time. So you were going from LA to New York. Now go from LA to Toronto.CA: So leaving aside regulation for a second, in terms of the technology alone, the time when someone will be able to buy one of your cars and literally just take the hands off the wheel and go to sleep and wake up and find that they’ve arrived, how far away is that, to do that safely?EM: I think that’s about two years. So the real trick of it is not how do you make it work say 99.9 percent of the time, because, like, if a car crashes one in a thousand times, then you’re probably still not going to be comfortable falling asleep. You shouldn’t be, certainly.It’s never going to be perfect. No system is going to be perfect, but if you say it’s perhaps the car is unlikely to crash in a hundred lifetimes, or a thousand lifetimes, then people are like, OK, wow, if I were to live a thousand lives, I would still most likely never experience a crash, then that’s probably OK.CA: To sleep. I guess the big concern of yours is that people may actually get seduced too early to think that this is safe, and that you’ll have some horrible incident happen that puts things back.EM: Well, I think that the autonomy system is likely to at least mitigate the crash, except in rare circumstances. The thing to appreciate about vehicle safety is this is probabilistic. I mean, there’s some chance that any time a human driver gets in a car, that they will have an accident that is their fault. It’s never zero. So really the key threshold for autonomy is how much better does autonomy need to be than a person before you can rely on it?CA: But once you get literally safe hands-off driving, the power to disrupt the whole industry seems massive, because at that point you’ve spoken of people being able to buy a car, drops you off at work and then you let it go and provide a sort of Uber-like service to other people, earn you money, maybe even cover the cost of your lease of that car, so you can kind of get a car for free. Is that really likely?EM: Yeah. Absolutely this is what will happen. So there will be a shared autonomy fleet where you buy your car and you can choose to use that car exclusively, you could choose to have it be used only by friends and family, only by other drivers who are rated five star, you can choose to share it sometimes but not other times. That’s 100 percent what will occur. It’s just a question of when.CA: Wow. So you mentioned the Semi and I think you’re planning to announce this in September, but I’m curious whether there’s anything you could show us today?EM: I will show you a teaser shot of the truck. It’s alive.CA: OK.EM: That’s definitely a case where we want to be cautious about the autonomy features. Yeah.CA: We can’t see that much of it, but it doesn’t look like just a little friendly neighborhood truck. It looks kind of badass. What sort of semi is this?EM: So this is a heavy duty, long-range semitruck. So it’s the highest weight capability and with long range. So essentially it’s meant to alleviate the heavy-duty trucking loads. And this is something which people do not today think is possible. They think the truck doesn’t have enough power or it doesn’t have enough range, and then with the Tesla Semi we want to show that no, an electric truck actually can out-torque any diesel semi. And if you had a tug-of-war competition, the Tesla Semi will tug the diesel semi uphill.CA: That’s pretty cool. And short term, these aren’t driverless. These are going to be trucks that truck drivers want to drive.EM: Yes. So what will be really fun about this is you have a flat torque RPM curve with an electric motor, whereas with a diesel motor or any kind of internal combustion engine car, you’ve got a torque RPM curve that looks like a hill. So this will be a very spry truck. You can drive this around like a sports car. There’s no gears. It’s, like, single speed.CA: There’s a great movie to be made here somewhere. I don’t know what it is and I don’t know that it ends well, but it’s a great movie.EM: It’s quite bizarre test-driving. When I was driving the test prototype for the first truck. It’s really weird, because you’re driving around and you’re just so nimble, and you’re in this giant truck.CA: Wait, you’ve already driven a prototype?EM: Yeah, I drove it around the parking lot, and I was like, this is crazy.CA: Wow. This is no vaporware.EM: It’s just like, driving this giant truck and making these mad maneuvers.CA: This is cool. OK, from a really badass picture to a kind of less badass picture. This is just a cute house from Desperate Housewives or something. What on earth is going on here?EM: Well, this illustrates the picture of the future that I think is how things will evolve. You’ve got an electric car in the driveway. If you look in between the electric car and the house, there are actually three Powerwalls stacked up against the side of the house, and then that house roof is a solar roof. So that’s an actual solar glass roof.CA: OK.EM: That’s a picture of a real — well, admittedly, it’s a real fake house. That’s a real fake house.CA: So these roof tiles, some of them have in them basically solar power, the ability to –EM: Yeah. Solar glass tiles where you can adjust the texture and the color to a very fine-grained level,and then there’s sort of microlouvers in the glass, such that when you’re looking at the roof from street level or close to street level, all the tiles look the same whether there is a solar cell behind it or not. So you have an even color from the ground level. If you were to look at it from a helicopter, you would be actually able to look through and see that some of the glass tiles have a solar cell behind them and some do not. You can’t tell from street level.CA: You put them in the ones that are likely to see a lot of sun, and that makes these roofs super affordable, right? They’re not that much more expensive than just tiling the roof.EM: Yeah. We’re very confident that the cost of the roof plus the cost of electricity — a solar glass roof will be less than the cost of a normal roof plus the cost of electricity. So in other words, this will be economically a no-brainer, we think it will look great, and it will last — we thought about having the warranty be infinity, but then people thought, well, that might sound like were just talking rubbish, but actually this is toughened glass. Well after the house has collapsed and there’s nothing there, the glass tiles will still be there.CA: I mean, this is cool. So you’re rolling this out in a couple week’s time, I think, with four different roofing types.EM: Yeah, we’re starting off with two, two initially, and the second two will be introduced early next year.CA: And what’s the scale of ambition here? How many houses do you believe could end up having this type of roofing?EM: I think eventually almost all houses will have a solar roof. The thing is to consider the time scale here to be probably on the order of 40 or 50 years. So on average, a roof is replaced every 20 to 25 years. But you don’t start replacing all roofs immediately. But eventually, if you say were to fast-forward to say 15 years from now, it will be unusual to have a roof that does not have solar.CA: Is there a mental model thing that people don’t get here that because of the shift in the cost, the economics of solar power, most houses actually have enough sunlight on their roof pretty much to power all of their needs. If you could capture the power, it could pretty much power all their needs. You could go off-grid, kind of.EM: It depends on where you are and what the house size is relative to the roof area, but it’s a fair statement to say that most houses in the U.S. have enough roof area to power all the needs of the house.CA: So the key to the economics of the cars, the semi, of these houses is the falling price of lithium-ion batteries, which you’ve made a huge bet on as Tesla. In many ways, that’s almost the core competency. And you’ve decided that to really, like, own that competency, you just have to build the world’s largest manufacturing plant to double the world’s supply of lithium-ion batteries, with this guy. What is this?EM: Yeah, so that’s the Gigafactory, progress so far on the Gigafactory. Eventually, you can sort of roughly see that there’s sort of a diamond shape overall, and when it’s fully done, it’ll look like a giant diamond, or that’s the idea behind it, and it’s aligned on true north. It’s a small detail.CA: And capable of producing, eventually, like a hundred gigawatt hours of batteries a year.EM: A hundred gigawatt hours. We think probably more, but yeah.CA: And they’re actually being produced right now.EM: They’re in production already.CA: You guys put out this video. I mean, is that sped up?EM: That’s the slowed down version.CA: How fast does it actually go?EM: Well, when it’s running at full speed, you can’t actually see the cells without a strobe light. It’s just blur.CA: One of your core ideas, Elon, about what makes an exciting future is a future where we no longer feel guilty about energy. Help us picture this. How many Gigafactories, if you like, does it take to get us there?EM: It’s about a hundred, roughly. It’s not 10, it’s not a thousand. Most likely a hundred.CA: See, I find this amazing. You can picture what it would take to move the world off this vast fossil fuel thing. It’s like you’re building one, it costs $5 billion, or whatever, $5 to $10 billion. Like, it’s kind of cool that you can picture that project. And you’re planning to do, at Tesla — announce another two this year.EM: I think we’ll announce locations for somewhere between two and four Gigafactories later this year. Yeah, probably four.CA: Whoa. No more teasing from you for here? Like — where, continent? You can say no.EM: We need to address a global market.CA: OK. This is cool. I think we should talk for — actually, double mark it. I’m going to ask you one question about politics, only one. I’m kind of sick of politics, but I do want to ask you this. You’re on a body now giving advice to a guy –EM: Who?CA: Who has said he doesn’t really believe in climate change, and there’s a lot of people out there who think you shouldn’t be doing that. They’d like you to walk away from that. What would you say to them?EM: Well, I think that first of all, I’m just on two advisory councils where the format consists of going around the room and asking people’s opinion on things, and so there’s like a meeting every month or two. That’s the sum total of my contribution. But I think to the degree that there are people in the room who are arguing in favor of doing something about climate change, or social issues, I’ve used the meetings I’ve had thus far to argue in favor of immigration and in favor of climate change. And if I hadn’t done that, that wasn’t on the agenda before. So maybe nothing will happen, but at least the words were said.CA: OK. So let’s talk SpaceX and Mars. Last time you were here, you spoke about what seemed like a kind of incredibly ambitious dream to develop rockets that were actually reusable. And you’ve only gone and done it.EM: Finally. It took a long time.CA: Talk us through this. What are we looking at here?EM: So this is one of our rocket boosters coming back from very high and fast in space. So just delivered the upper stage at high velocity. I think this might have been at sort of Mach 7 or so, delivery of the upper stage.CA: So that was a sped-up –EM: That was the slowed down version.CA: I thought that was the sped-up version. But I mean, that’s amazing, and several of these failed before you finally figured out how to do it, but now you’ve done this, what, five or six times?EM: We’re at eight or nine.CA: And for the first time, you’ve actually reflown one of the rockets that landed.EM: Yeah, so we landed the rocket booster and then prepped it for flight again and flew it again, so it’s the first reflight of an orbital booster where that reflight is relevant. So it’s important to appreciate that reusability is only relevant if it is rapid and complete. So like an aircraft or a car, the reusability is rapid and complete. You do not send your aircraft to Boeing in-between flights.CA: Right. So this is allowing you to dream of this really ambitious idea of sending many, many, many people to Mars in, what, 10 or 20 years time, I guess.EM: Yeah.CA: And you’ve designed this outrageous rocket to do it. Help us understand the scale of this thing.EM: Well, visually you can see that’s a person. Yeah, and that’s the vehicle.CA: So if that was a skyscraper, that’s like, did I read that, a 40-story skyscraper?EM: Probably a little more, yeah. The thrust level of this is really — this configuration is about four times the thrust of the Saturn V moon rocket.CA: Four times the thrust of the biggest rocket humanity ever created before.EM: Yeah. Yeah.CA: As one does.EM: Yeah. In units of 747, a 747 is only about a quarter of a million pounds of thrust, so for every 10 million pounds of thrust, there’s 40 747s. So this would be the thrust equivalent of 120 747s, with all engines blazing.CA: And so even with a machine designed to escape Earth’s gravity, I think you told me last time this thing could actually take a fully loaded 747, people, cargo, everything, into orbit.EM: Exactly. This can take a fully loaded 747 with maximum fuel, maximum passengers, maximum cargo on the 747 — this can take it as cargo.CA: So based on this, you presented recently this Interplanetary Transport System which is visualized this way. This is a scene you picture in, what, 30 years time? Twenty years time? People walking into this rocket.EM: I’m hopeful it’s sort of an eight- to 10-year time frame. Aspirationally, that’s our target. Our internal targets are more aggressive, but I think –CA: OK.EM: While vehicle seems quite large and is large by comparison with other rockets, I think the future spacecraft will make this look like a rowboat. The future spaceships will be truly enormous.CA: Why, Elon? Why do we need to build a city on Mars with a million people on it in your lifetime, which I think is kind of what you’ve said you’d love to do?EM: I think it’s important to have a future that is inspiring and appealing. I just think there have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Like, why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? And if we’re not out there, if the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multiplanet species, I find that it’s incredibly depressing if that’s not the future that we’re going to have.CA: People want to position this as an either or, that there are so many desperate things happening on the planet now from climate to poverty to, you know, you pick your issue. And this feels like a distraction.You shouldn’t be thinking about this. You should be solving what’s here and now. And to be fair, you’ve done a fair old bit to actually do that with your work on sustainable energy. But why not just do that?EM: I think there’s — I look at the future from the standpoint of probabilities. It’s like a branching stream of probabilities, and there are actions that we can take that affect those probabilities or that accelerate one thing or slow down another thing. I may introduce something new to the probability stream. Sustainable energy will happen no matter what. If there was no Tesla, if Tesla never existed, it would have to happen out of necessity. It’s tautological. If you don’t have sustainable energy, it means you have unsustainable energy. Eventually you will run out, and the laws of economics will drive civilization towards sustainable energy, inevitably. The fundamental value of a company like Tesla is the degree to which it accelerates the advent of sustainable energy, faster than it would otherwise occur.So when I think, like, what is the fundamental good of a company like Tesla, I would say, hopefully, if it accelerated that by a decade, potentially more than a decade, that would be quite a good thing to occur. That’s what I consider to be the fundamental aspirational good of Tesla.Then there’s becoming a multiplanet species and space-faring civilization. This is not inevitable. It’s very important to appreciate this is not inevitable. The sustainable energy future I think is largely inevitable, but being a space-faring civilization is definitely not inevitable. If you look at the progress in space, in 1969 you were able to send somebody to the moon. 1969. Then we had the Space Shuttle. The Space Shuttle could only take people to low Earth orbit. Then the Space Shuttle retired, and the United States could take no one to orbit. So that’s the trend. The trend is like down to nothing. People are mistaken when they think that technology just automatically improves. It does not automatically improve. It only improves if a lot of people work very hard to make it better, and actually it will, I think, by itself degrade, actually. You look at great civilizations like ancient Egypt, and they were able to make the pyramids, and they forgot how to do that. And then the Romans, they built these incredible aqueducts. They forgot how to do it.CA: Elon, it almost seems, listening to you and looking at the different things you’ve done, that you’ve got this unique double motivation on everything that I find so interesting. One is this desire to work for humanity’s long-term good. The other is the desire to do something exciting. And often it feels like you feel like you need the one to drive the other. With Tesla, you want to have sustainable energy, so you made these super sexy, exciting cars to do it. Solar energy, we need to get there, so we need to make these beautiful roofs. We haven’t even spoken about your newest thing, which we don’t have time to do, but you want to save humanity from bad AI, and so you’re going to create this really cool brain-machine interface to give us all infinite memory and telepathy and so forth. And on Mars, it feels like what you’re saying is, yeah, we need to save humanity and have a backup plan, but also we need to inspire humanity, and this is a way to inspire.EM: I think the value of beauty and inspiration is very much underrated, no question. But I want to be clear. I’m not trying to be anyone’s savior. That is not the — I’m just trying to think about the future and not be sad.CA: Beautiful statement. I think everyone here would agree that it is not — none of this is going to happen inevitably. The fact that in your mind, you dream this stuff, you dream stuff that no one else would dare dream, or no one else would be capable of dreaming at the level of complexity that you do. The fact that you do that, Elon Musk, is a really remarkable thing. Thank you for helping us all to dream a bit bigger.EM: But you’ll tell me if it ever starts getting genuinely insane, right?CA: Thank you, Elon Musk. That was really, really fantastic. That was really fantastic. –shares
Director of the Entrepreneur Partner Studio Technology July 12, 2011 –shares Add to Queue Next Article Register Now » Entrepreneur Staff Swiss Group Wants to Banish PowerPoint Jason Fell min read While most people might not love using Microsoft’s PowerPoint to create presentations, at least one person is taking his distaste for the software to a global level.Matthias Poehm, a former software engineer-turned-public speaking trainer has started — yes — the Anti-PowerPoint Party (APPP) earlier this month. Headquartered in Bonstetten, Switzerland, the APPP calls itself an “international movement” that intends to “decrease the number of boring presentations worldwide.” The goal is to make it so that people who don’t want to use PowerPoint “will not have to justify themselves in the future,” it says.Right. Here’s the real kicker: The APPP says people who attend “futile” PowerPoint presentations result in almost $500 billion in hourly wage losses for employers worldwide. Instead, APPP says people should consider using flip charts, which it claims are 95 percent more effective than using presentation software. Here’s a video of Poehm explaining his reasoning: Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. While an APPP representative didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment, the statistics above seem to originate from Poehm’s book, “The PowerPoint Fallacy.” Coincidentally, Poehm is offering the book at a 37 percent discount to APPP members.If this doesn’t seem wacky enough, the group says it also wants to participate in the Swiss national elections in October and become the country’s fourth-largest political party.In the meantime, for those of us who either like using presentation software or just don’t want to use a flip chart, business strategist, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki — who’s seen his fair share of PowerPoint pitches over the years — suggests abiding by a “10/20/30” rule when putting them together. Here are his tips:Keep it short. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 PowerPoint slides to explain your project or business, Kawasaki says. “A normal human being cannot comprehend more than 10 concepts in a meeting,” he says.Don’t be long-winded. You should be able to present your 10 slides in no more than 20 minutes. “In a perfect business world, you would give your pitch in 20 minutes and then have 40 minutes remaining for discussion,” Kawasaki says.Make it readable. Kawasaki suggests using a font no smaller than 30 points and to use only the content that most convincingly communicates your points. “I guarantee it will make your presentations better because it will require you to find the most salient points and then know how to explain each of them well,” he says.How have you spiced up your presentations? Leave a comment below and let us know. Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business
Arkose LabsArkose Labs systemBugcrowdfraud prevention technologyMarketing Technology NewsNews Previous ArticleMediaRadar Study: Number of Companies Placing Native Ads Programmatically Increases YoYNext ArticleMonetate Recognized as A Leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines for the Second Consecutive Year Arkose Labs Announces Private Bug Bounty Program with Bugcrowd to Strengthen Fraud Prevention System MTS Staff Writer12 hours agoJuly 23, 2019 Private Bounty Program Leverages Bugcrowd’s Crowdsourced Research Team for More Robust Security TestingArkose Labs, the leading provider of advanced fraud prevention technology for the world’s most targeted enterprises, announced an exclusive private bug bounty program with Bugcrowd, the #1 crowdsourced security platform. The program will enable a continuous assurance of the stability and strength of the various product features that make up the Arkose Labs system.With a private bounty program, Arkose Labs will gain access to Bugcrowd’s Elite Crowd, and is able to tailor its testing pool based on specific skill sets to help eliminate account takeover attacks, fake user registrations, and other types of fraud and application abuse. Arkose Labs will now have more direct communication with a smaller group of testers, and can harness the power of the crowdsourced model while retaining more control to test and introduce new challenges to market faster.“As a security company in the fraud prevention space with an end-user facing product, we are lucrative targets for a wide range of attackers using innovative methods, such as Single Request Attacks,” said Anna Westelius, senior director of engineering at Arkose Labs. “Compromising our proprietary challenge—response mechanism, Enforcement, requires a very specific skill set and partnering with Bugcrowd ensures we have a more informed path forward to stay ahead of attackers.”Marketing Technology News: OpenText Automates Invoicing for Rosneft DeutschlandFollowing the launch of the public bounty program in 2018, Arkose Labs saw significant value in crowdsourced cybersecurity, specifically in the development process. Utilizing crowdsourced testing as an additional validation step during development enables Arkose Labs to test features against “real world” attackers and gain insight into how attackers approach an attack on the company’s system. The new private program empowers Arkose Labs with the knowledge on what is still good enforcement technology for a more informed path forward.Bugcrowd connects organizations with hundreds of highly skilled and diverse whitehat hackers, and a team of security experts helping triage vulnerability submissions as they come in to manage crowdsourced security programs. Bugcrowd’s Elite Crowd is comprised of the top researchers, measured in two key areas:Skill: A standard of high-impact submissions, averaging only high and critical submissions across a range of specific attack surface areas.Trust: Proven trust through ID verification and success working on private programs for top customers.Marketing Technology News: Gartner Survey Shows Inside Sales Organizations Risk Losing 24% of Employees This Year“Arkose Labs is unique in its approach to fighting online fraud and abuse, led by the sophisticated challenge mechanics it deploys through Enforcement,” said Ashish Gupta, CEO of Bugcrowd. “By partnering with us on a private bounty program, Arkose Labs is demonstrating its commitment to protecting the world’s largest enterprises from increasingly sophisticated attacks, and will continue to stay ahead with a more informed approach.”The Arkose Labs system exclusively stops abuse before it occurs with zero impact to user conversion, and Arkose Labs is the only provider to offer a service-level agreement to back the efficacy and accuracy of proprietary defenses.Marketing Technology News: James Liu Appointed to Board of Directors of Opera Limited
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 11 2019Citing fierce pushback from hospitals, California lawmakers sidelined a bill Wednesday that would have protected some patients from surprise medical bills by limiting how much hospitals could charge them for emergency care.The legislation, which contributed to the intense national conversation about surprise medical billing, was scheduled to be debated Wednesday in the state Senate Health Committee.Instead, the bill’s author pulled it from consideration, vowing to bring it back next year.”We are going after a practice that has generated billions of dollars for hospitals, so this is high-level,” said Assemblyman David Chiu (D-San Francisco). “This certainly does not mean we’re done.”Chiu said he and his team would keep working on amendments to the bill that address the concerns of hospitals while maintaining protections for patients.Hospitals focused their opposition on a provision of the bill that would have limited what they can charge insurers for out-of-network emergency services, criticizing it as an unnecessary form of rate setting.”Balance billing,” better known as surprise billing, occurs when a patient receives care from a doctor or hospital — or another provider — outside of her insurance plan’s network, and then the doctor or hospital bills the patient for the amount insurance didn’t cover. These bills can soar into the tens of thousands of dollars.In the absence of federal laws, many states have tried to formulate solutions to balance billing, but health policy experts suggest this issue would be best addressed by the federal government.Congress is discussing different approaches but not without facing fierce opposition and lobbying from two influential groups: health insurers and providers, including doctors and hospitals.Last week, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee passed the Lower Health Care Costs Act, which would require insurers to pay providers no more than the median in-network rate in a geographic region for emergency and nonemergency care. But the American Hospital Association deemed the payment arrangement unworkable.Getting buy-in from hospitals and other providers will not be easy.”The system exists in a way that allows a subset of providers to stay out-of-network and charge very high rates,” said Christen Linke Young, a fellow at the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy. “They’re basically exploiting the system.”Chiu’s bill would have prohibited out-of-network hospitals from sending surprise bills to privately insured emergency patients. Instead, hospitals would have to work directly with health plans on billing, leaving the patients responsible only for their in-network copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.The bill also would have limited the amount hospitals could charge insurers for each service, and the amounts would have varied by region.That’s the part hospitals opposed.”We’ve said from the beginning that we are supportive of protecting patients. Unfortunately, the proponents of the bill inserted a completely unrelated provision regarding rate setting,” said Jan Emerson-Shea, a spokeswoman for the California Hospital Association.Related StoriesHow to get a cheaper prescription before leaving the doctor’s officeStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfaces’Traffic light’ food labels associated with reduction in calories purchased by hospital employeesEmerson-Shea said that if the state sets prices, health plans would have little incentive to negotiate contracts with hospitals. If this provision were removed, the hospital association would support Chiu’s bill, she said.”That provision doesn’t need to be in the bill if the bill is really about protecting patients,” she said.Chiu disagrees. Protecting patients from high costs and capping what insurers pay hospitals are “inextricably related,” Chiu said.If this provision were removed, patients might still face high costs in the form of rising insurance premiums as insurers try to recoup their costs, Chiu said.”It is useless to protect patients from receiving a bill on the front end if hospitals can turn around and price gouge consumers on the back end. It’s like closing your front door and leaving the back door wide open,” he said.In California, a 2009 state Supreme Court ruling protects some patients against surprise billing for emergency care, and a state law that took effect in 2017 protects some who receive nonemergency care.But millions remain vulnerable to surprise bills, largely because California’s protections don’t cover all insurance plans.Chiu’s bill was designed to close some of the loopholes. “It is disappointing it couldn’t get done this year” because more Californians will get hit with exorbitant balance bills in the meantime, he said.The measure was prompted by the peculiar billing practices at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, located in his district.Unlike most large hospitals, San Francisco General does not contract with private insurers. An investigation by Vox found that the hospital considered patients with private insurance out-of-network for emergency care and was slapping many of them with whopping bills. The hospital has since announced it has stopped balance billing patients.This KHN story first published on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation. This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Using a proton exchange membrane electrolyser to produce hydrogen from renewable electricity and water can help industry slash emissions. Credit: Siemens This is Germany’s largest refinery, consuming about 180,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year. The new electrolyser will provide a modest amount of hydrogen towards this total – about 1,300 tonnes a year. But if the trial is successful, then the technology could be expanded.Aside from producing hydrogen, REFHYNE has another purpose that helps make a business case for its use. The electrolyser can be turned on or off very quickly, meaning it can provide a grid balancing service to cope with periods of high or low demand in the electrical grid.’The utility (companies) need to balance intermittent renewables with base plants,’ said Dr Frithjof Kublik, senior consultant for business development at the Rhineland refinery. ‘The electrolyser has the advantage that it can turn on or off very fast, in a few seconds, and from that point of view you can offer a grid balancing service.’Grid balancing services benefit from flexibility, which ‘the utility company is willing to pay a price for,’ said Kublik.It’s also something being investigated in Denmark, where a project called HyBalance has developed a demonstration plant in Hobro that produces hydrogen from water electrolysis when the amount of electricity being produced by renewables exceeds that needed by the grid.’The project is really to test how we can use the renewable energy from the grid and transform it into hydrogen, that can be used either in industry or for energy applications,’ said Caroline Le Mer, Hydrogen Energy Europe Director at Air Liquide, which coordinates the project.SpikesThe plant opened in September 2018 and will run for 15 years, using the same electrolysing process as H2FUTURE and REFHYNE to produce hydrogen, which is known as proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis. More traditional electrolysers rely on alkaline electrolysis, but PEM is advantageous as it can deal with spikes in supply, such as from renewable energies like wind and solar.That’s particularly useful in Denmark, where wind power is abundant – in 2015, 42% of its electricity was produced by wind power. At the HyBalance demonstration plant, this is used to produce hydrogen when electricity levels are low, such as at night, or when wind levels are high.The gas is either sold to industry or used for powering hydrogen cars, with the overall goal being to show that hydrogen can be produced in large enough quantities via renewable energy to be useful to industries.At a later stage, the hydrogen could be kept in salt caves for future use – a low cost way to store large quantities. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Around a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions are produced by industries such as steel and cement so if we’re going to work towards an emission-free society then this is a good place to start. And one promising technology may have a key role to play. Provided by Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine Credit: Horizon It is admittedly a small test – the electrolyser will reduce just a fraction of carbon emissions at the plant. But this is only a pilot project, with designs on scaling this up for bigger hydrogen production in future, using an electrolyser running at a capacity of 100 megawatts.Near Cologne in Germany, meanwhile, under a project called REFHYNE, ITM Power is developing a ten-megawatt electrolyser which will begin operations in 2020. It is being installed on the Rhineland refinery, operated by Shell Deutschland Oils, which currently relies on steam reforming to produce hydrogen. ‘Hydrogen and fuels derived (from it) is capable of reducing the carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels in the very, very long term, down to zero,’ said Klaus Scheffer, project manager at Siemens. ‘You don’t need fossil energies in a future world. I hope my kids will see that.’The technology is green hydrogen – using an electric current to convert water into oxygen and hydrogen – and if this is powered with renewable energy then it produces no carbon emissions. If this is, in turn, used to provide a clean source of fuel for industry or to balance the electricity grid, it could help alter the future of the planet.The main problem so far has been how to make hydrogen in large quantities cleanly. Currently, about 96 percent of global hydrogen is produced by reforming methane, which produces carbon dioxide as a waste product. Green hydrogen produced with this electrolysis method, however, is a much cleaner alternative.Scheffer is helping to create a source of green hydrogen for use at a steel plant in Linz, Austria, as part of a project called H2FUTURE. The goal of this project is not just to produce green hydrogen from renewable energy, but to see if it can in turn be used to produce steel with a lower carbon footprint, dubbed green steel.’Steel production is one of the industries which are dominating the carbon dioxide emissions in the world,’ said Scheffer. ‘The steel production process applied in Linz uses loads of coal for steel production, (so there are) a lot of carbon dioxide emissions.’ViableThe first step of this project is to test if the technology is viable for commercial use – the electrolyser is set to begin full operations in spring 2019. Running at a capacity of six megawatts, the plant will produce about 1,200 cubic metres of green hydrogen an hour when it is fully operational. Citation: Can we produce enough green hydrogen to save the world? (2018, November 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-green-hydrogen-world.html Emissions-free hydrogen production edges closer with new pilot site in Denmark Explore further
Sundar Pichai, CEO, Google, will testify at a congressional hearing weeks after lawmakers left an empty seat for the key internet executive Citation: Google CEO to appear before US House panel December 5 (2018, November 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-google-ceo-house-panel-december.html The House Judiciary Committee hearing follows complaints by President Donald Trump and some lawmakers of “bias” by internet firms and unsubstantiated claims of suppression of conservative voices.Pichai declined to appear at a Senate hearing in September on online foreign influence campaigns, prompting lawmakers to leave a “Google” sign in an empty seat reserved for the company.The House panel said in a statement that next week’s hearing “will examine potential bias and the need for greater transparency regarding the filtering practices” of Google.Committee chair Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, said the hearing would look at how internet firms may “suppress particular viewpoints and manipulate public opinion.””Americans put their trust in big tech companies to honor freedom of speech and champion open dialogue, and it is Congress’ responsibility to the American people to make sure these tech giants are transparent and accountable in their practices,” Goodlatte said in a statement.House majority leader Kevin McCarthy repeated claims that Google, which accounts for nearly 90 percent of worldwide search traffic, may be biased in how it presents search results.”Recent reports suggest Google might not be wielding its vast power impartially,” McCarthy said in the statement announcing the hearing.”Its business practices may have been affected by political bias. Additionally, reports claim the company is compromising its core principles by complying with repressive censorship mandates from China.”Google and other internet firms have long faced complaints about search results, which are based on algorithms that can take into account user browsing history, location and other factors.But technology and media analysts say there is little evidence to suggest Google skews results for political reasons. And if they did, the government would have little recourse under the constitution’s free speech protections.Google has also faced pressure—including a petition signed by hundreds of its employees—to shut down its efforts to create a search engine that could be acceptable to Chinese filtering, a project the company says is in very early stages. Explore further Google CEO to meet with US lawmakers after previous snub © 2018 AFP Google chief executive Sundar Pichai will testify at a congressional hearing next week where he will be questioned on “transparency” and “filtering practices” used by the internet search giant, lawmakers said Wednesday. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.