At a press conference yesterday, Tesla founder Elon Musk revealed the company’s latest creation: The Powerwall consumer battery. He told reporters, “Our goal is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy. It sounds crazy, but we want to change the entire energy infrastructure of the world to zero carbon." The idea behind the devices is to allow people to get energy off the traditional grid and have a source of electricity in times of outages. The Powerwall also could have implications in developing countries where electricity infrastructure isn’t available.
The $3,500-device—which will hit the market in the coming months—is based on the battery used to power their high-performance electric cars. Though it’s designed to utilize and store solar power, the Powerwall can also store energy from traditional sources, but can be programmed to absorb it during cheaper, non-peak utility hours. The company is planning partnerships with energy companies to make it practical for consumers ... Discuss
After almost 11 years in space and four years of orbiting Mercury, NASA’s Messenger spacecraft (which stands for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging) has run out of fuel and crashed onto the surface of the planet. Messenger is estimated to have traveled somewhere around 5 billion miles during its time in space—which makes the numbers on your run-down car's odometer seem suddenly much less impressive. After the planet’s gravity pulled the vehicle out of orbit, it slammed into Mercury’s surface at 8,750 mph, creating a small crater. Messenger's mission to Mercury began in 2004, and the spacecraft settled into orbit in 2011. It has since completed more than 4,000 orbits of the planet and sent back volumes of data about Mercury back to scientists on Earth. Little was known about the planet before the mission. NASA scientists and experts hosted a live-stream of the crash to celebrate the end of Messenger's mission and explain some of the spacecraft's discoveries—you can re-watch it here ... Discuss
Two artists named Aric Snee and Justin Crowe have created a new device, that according to DesignBoom, was birthed out of a fascination “by the idea of technology and its illusionary ‘connectedness’ and ‘sociableness’” that offers “the sarcastic solution to a quintessential problem—nobody wants to look alone while they mindlessly snap pictures of themselves.” Their “Selfie Arm,” which is basically artistic commentary on how ridiculous selfie sticks are, allows users to hold a creepy, realistic looking fake hand while taking selfies. The results are deeply unsettling ... Discuss
Chances are, Google already fulfills a lot of your technology needs, but soon, they could be providing you mobile phone service too. The tech company has announced a plan for a phone network in the U.S. Instead of building a brand new network, “Project Fi” will use data and signals from T-Mobile and Sprint, switching users to whichever 4G signal is stronger. It will also automatically connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots and allow users to make regular voice calls over Wi-Fi. For now, Project Fi will only be available to Nexus 6 smartphone users. It will cost $20 per month plus $10 for every additional gigabyte of data used, but customers will only be billed for data used, instead of paying for a set monthly data amount. It remains to be seen if the network will be successful, but experts say that if Google can work out the kinks, their service could pressure wireless providers to lower prices and adapt better to different devices ... Discuss
Google is now offering free virtual tours of the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London. The music studio is where some of pop-culture’s most famous recordings were made—from the Star Wars and Harry Potter soundtracks, to songs from the likes of the Beatles, Jay-Z, Pink Floyd and Adele. In addition to being able to get an inside look at the facility, the site also lets users tinker with virtual mixing boards and studio gear. Say goodbye to at least an hour of your afternoon ... Discuss
Finally, a way to reply to important text messages, random Facebook posts and Instagram updates while trying to carry on with the burden of actual, face-to-face conversations. Introducing, “Texting Hat”! After watching this short, compelling video, you’ll definitely want to go to TextingHat.com to make your own ... Discuss