Tesla Motors has not just revolutionized the electric car industry with it’s Model S, it has also shocked motor companies with it’s decision to open up free licensing for it’s supercharger technology. This charging format is meant to quickly charge electric vehicles, and Tesla hopes that opening up it’s patents would allow for the chargers to work across multiple car brands. Tesla Motors has a strong stake in the electric car industry, with a cross-country network of chargers that allow for Tesla owners to drive coast-to-coast relatively emissions free.
The world’s largest solar photovoltaic farm has gone online in California, expected to power over 160,ooo homes. This is a new milestone for the United States, who is catching up with the rest of the world in terms of energy generating capacity in renewables. This solar farm encompasses over 2 square miles, and is set to expand in the near future. Alongside the Tesla battery plant, the Topaz solar farm is a significant addition to the US’s renewable energy initiative.
NASA has made a great discovery with it’s Cassini mission to study the moons of Saturn. Hydrocarbon lakes have been discovered to exist in liquid form on the surface of the rocky moon. THere is also an atmosphere of hydrogen and methane, which scientists claim could be breathing material for life that functions quite differently than that of Earth. Life on the moon could breathe this different atmosphere, and probably exists in primitive microbial forms. New discoveries are expected as the Cassini satellite continues to take images of the moon’s surface.
A new up and coming pop artist named Misfit Dior has expressed interest in using the vacant Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center as a venue for a new music video. My good friend Jean-Claude who works for her explored the site, and upon sharing pictures he took at the site with Misfit Dior has decided to collaborate with her on contacting the owner of the site for possible permission to bring along her production crew and electrical equipment, as well as offering to clean up key locations at the site for her music video. The vacant property is infamous for it’s urban decay and history of crimes at the site. It is well-known for containing works by popular underground “taggers”, such as EVAK and MOMO, and is a popular site for urban explorers.
A few weeks ago I went to the Engadget Expand expo at the Javits Center and bought a DodoCase virtual reality headset from one of the stands. For $20 I couldn’t help myself, as I assembled the small curved lenses and cardboard cutouts into a pretty useful tool for getting new uses out of my smartphone. Virtual Reality headsets allow you to use special apps available on Google Play (and a few demos on iOS) to split-screen your phone and view a three-dimensional environment through specially curved glass lenses. Google came out with an amazing concept called Google Cardboard, which is basically a blueprint for the cutout design that the makers of the DodoCase used for their production model.
Other companies came out with their own renditions of Google Cardboard such as the NEJE ZB01 and Valencia Quality VR Viewers. Volvo, the car manufacturer, is taking it one step further and is using the platform to demo it’s new XC90 SUV. What’s more, the car maker developed it’s own version of Google Cardboard and is providing the viewer for FREE on it’s website! (You read that right, free!) All you have to do is enter your address and click the submit button, and the website automatically tells you if you won your chance at getting the headset. Chances are very high, with three of my friends winning their first time and me on my second try. The headset is exactly the same as the DodoCase VR headset I bought at the Engadget Expand convention, save for the black paint and Volvo Logo used on the cardboard. It even includes the same magnetic button as all Google Cardboard headsets which you use for simple navigation. Now that you can get one for free, are viewer manufacturers going to lower their prices? Now I regret paying $20 for a virtual reality headset. Who knew the day I could say that would come so soon?