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Tesla Model S Review

I recently had the opportunity to drive my friend’s new Tesla Model S with the 60 KWh battery (Tesla also offers an 85 kWh battery). I have to say that I was thoroughly impressed by the vehicle and I am convinced that the Model S represents the future of driving. The entire driving experience is truly a leap forward from what is offered by today’s vehicles. The ride is smooth, quiet and planted. Acceleration is phenomenal with the electric motor generating gobs of torque. The Model S is virtually maintenance free; no more oil changes, transmission fluid replacements, or radiator flushes. Inside the cockpit, all buttons and knobs have been replaced with an elegant touch screen that spans the entire height of the dash and provides access to Google Maps. And the retractable door handles, while somewhat superfluous, is realllllly trick.  Driving a Model S makes you wonder, why didn’t we think of this sooner???

 

However I do have three bones to pick. In my opinion, if Tesla can address these three issues then it can truly begin its march towards becoming a main stream vehicle (as opposed to the niche position it currently holds).

 

1) The driver’s seat isn’t as comfortable as other comparable luxury vehicles. When you first enter the Model S and you take a seat, you immediately notice that the driver’s seat is smaller than those of comparable vehicles in this class. Whereas the driver seats in a BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus, have a throne-like feel, the size of the Model S is somewhat low-rent, more in line with an economy car. Clearly, the seat design was dictated by an effort to save weight. In a vehicle like the Model S, the quest for weight savings is akin to optimizing a high performance road bike, every ounce matters. The smaller seat undeniably saves weight but unfortunately I think it also sacrificed too much comfort. For Tesla to win over buyers who are cross-shopping with other luxury brands, the small seat will be a deal breaker in my opinion, especially for those with larger frames.

2) The interior lacks functional storage space. Just like the seat size was sacrificed in the name of weight savings, interior storage was cut from the list of features. I can appreciate a clean minimalist look but I really need a center console to store items such as a cel phone, wallet, papers, etc.

3) The on-board computer needs to have a 4G connection. One of the greatest features of the Tesla S, the large touch screen with built in Google Maps and a web browser, also becomes a huge annoyance. Tesla has eschewed traditional on-board navigation for cloud based turn by turn navigation from Google Maps. I think this is a brilliant idea. Unfortunately, waiting for the maps to load on a 3G connection can be agonizing. The faster download speeds offered by 4G will make the response times of using Google Maps for navigation and surfing the web a much more pleasant experience.

 

So, in conclusion, if Tesla can address these three items then I will be the first in line at the dealership.

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FAA Funding… The question not asked

In an unprecedented display of efficiency, Congress passed emergency legislation giving the FAA the ability to divert funding for air traffic control. This was in response to countless flight delays across the country. The delays are a direct result of the recent budget sequestration that forced the FAA to furlough air traffic controllers. According to one report airline employees went on the PA system to announce to waiting passengers that the delay was caused by budget cuts!

So what I’m wondering is why hasn’t anyone considered having the airlines pick up the tab for air traffic control? Why do tax payers foot the bill? This is a service that directly benefits those that are flying. The costs could be easily be distributed amongst the airlines based on the number of passengers. Of course the airlines would pass these costs on to the passengers, but that would just be the cost of flying. No different from jet fuel or maintenance.

I understand the need for the FAA to remain an autonomous organization. There clearly would be a conflict of interest if the airlines were running the organization responsible for maintaining air safety. But I don’t see a reason why airlines can’t pay the bills.

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Bitcoin, what is it?

Recently you may have heard of a new currency known as “bitcoin.” What is it? It’s a digital currency that can be used to pay for services and goods. Bitcoin came into prominence recently during the European banking crisis when depositors were withdrawing funds form their banks and converting them to Bitcoin. 

If you want to learn more about this novel new currency click here…. http://lifehacker.com/5991523/what-is-bitcoin-and-what-can-i-do-with-it

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What’s going on in Cyprus?

So this is not a good week to be Cypriot… the banking system is on the verge of collapse and the European “troika” wants to levy a tax of up to 10% on deposits in the country. The situation is so dire that banks have been closed all week to prevent depositors from withdrawing their funds and igniting a bank run. And it all started with bad investments in Greek bonds.

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IFTTT (If This, Then That)

IFTTT (If This, Then That)

Just stumbled across an interesting website today. It’s called ifttt.com, which stands for If This, Then That and is pronounced like gift without the g.

It allows you to create “recipes,” which are essentially automated tasks that are triggered by an event you define. For example, I can create a recipe that will automatically download any Facebook photos that I am tagged in to my Dropbox. Pretty neat.

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“In 1999, a per…

“In 1999, a person […] emailed me and told me that he claimed ownership to the sun and he was charging me $30M a year for the energy he put out for all the planetary bodies that I owned. I waited a couple of days and wrote back to him and said, ‘I don’t want your energy, please turn it off.'”

Dennis Hope, a Nevada resident who has been selling properties on the moon and other planets since 1980.