parislemon:

Elon Musk on the ruling that you cannot buy a car directly from a manufacturer in the state of New Jersey:

It is worth examining the history of these laws to understand why they exist, as the auto dealer franchise laws were originally put in place for a just cause and are now being twisted to an unjust purpose. Many decades ago, the incumbent auto manufacturers sold franchises to generate capital and gain a salesforce. The franchisees then further invested a lot of their money and time in building up the dealerships. That’s a fair deal and it should not be broken. However, some of the big auto companies later engaged in pressure tactics to get the franchisees to sell their dealerships back at a low price. The franchisees rightly sought protection from their state legislatures, which resulted in the laws on the books today throughout the United States (these laws are not present anywhere else in the world).

The intent was simply to prevent a fair and longstanding deal between an existing auto company and its dealers from being broken, not to prevent a new company that has no franchisees from selling directly to consumers. In most states, the laws are reasonable and clear. In a handful of states, the laws were written in an overzealous or ambiguous manner. When all auto companies sold through franchises, this didn’t really matter. However, when Tesla came along as a new company with no existing franchisees, the auto dealers, who possess vastly more resources and influence than Tesla, nonetheless sought to force us to sell through them.

The reason that we did not choose to do this is that the auto dealers have a fundamental conflict of interest between promoting gasoline cars, which constitute virtually all of their revenue, and electric cars, which constitute virtually none. Moreover, it is much harder to sell a new technology car from a new company when people are so used to the old. Inevitably, they revert to selling what’s easy and it is game over for the new company.

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: an outdated law being twisted to impede progress and maintain the status quo. Even better:

An even bigger conflict of interest with auto dealers is that they make most of their profit from service, but electric cars require much less service than gasoline cars. There are no oil, spark plug or fuel filter changes, no tune-ups and no smog checks needed for an electric car. Also, all Tesla Model S vehicles are capable of over-the-air updates to upgrade the software, just like your phone or computer, so no visit to the service center is required for that either.

This is so clearly the future of the automotive industry, so this is ultimately just delaying the inevitable. But consumers have every right to be outraged and New Jersey should be ashamed of itself.

This is another example of a larger theme I see playing out.  Whereas the history of Silicon Valley was a partnership to produce technology for the Cold War—tech companies working with Government—more and more, tech companies like Uber, Airbnb, Tesla and others are having to work against government to establish or expand their businesses.

Their height of irony is that the states banning direct sales of Tesla only do so from Tesla. You can go on eBay right now and find individuals who are selling their Telsa vehicles (god knows why) and you could buy those vehicles even if you live in the states that ban direct sales.

#utternonsense

2020:

malformalady:
Australian scientists have developed a pair of anti-shark wetsuits that make divers appear invisible by camouflaging their bodies in the sea and trick sharks into thinking surfers are poisonous. A team of researchers from the University of Western Australia joined forces with designers from  Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) to create the suits. The blue pattern of the Elude suit can’t be seen by the shark because the fish are colour blind. While the stripes on the Diverter suit mimic the colours of poisonous fish to warn the sharks off.

2020:

malformalady:

Australian scientists have developed a pair of anti-shark wetsuits that make divers appear invisible by camouflaging their bodies in the sea and trick sharks into thinking surfers are poisonous. A team of researchers from the University of Western Australia joined forces with designers from  Shark Attack Mitigation Systems (SAMS) to create the suits. The blue pattern of the Elude suit can’t be seen by the shark because the fish are colour blind. While the stripes on the Diverter suit mimic the colours of poisonous fish to warn the sharks off.

Incumbents Asleep At The Wheel

parislemon:

The numbers, as reported by JP Mangalindan for Fortune, are staggering:

The San Francisco Cab Drivers Association (SFCDA), an association for registered taxi drivers that promotes fair working conditions and business practice, reports that one-third of the 8,500 or so taxi drivers in San Francisco – over 2,800 – have ditched driving a registered cab in the last 12 months to drive for a private transportation startup like Uber, Lyft or Sidecar instead.

Read that again. One-third. Twelve months. We tend to throw around the term “disruption” way too often these days, basically stripping it of all meaning. But this is actual disruption. And it’s disruption in such a short amount of time that it can truly be felt by all.

Read More

trendd:

Rawlemon is a solar ball that is up to 70% more efficient than a typical solar panel. Pretty impressive (and cool looking to boot). 
"This perfectly spherical glass ball is the work of a German architect named André Broessel, who began working on it three years ago with the aim of making solar power more efficient and less expensive, a technology available to everyone, everywhere.”
(via These Beautiful Solar Orbs Are So Efficient They Even Harvest Moonlight)

Frickin’ cool as hell

trendd:

Rawlemon is a solar ball that is up to 70% more efficient than a typical solar panel. Pretty impressive (and cool looking to boot).

"This perfectly spherical glass ball is the work of a German architect named André Broessel, who began working on it three years ago with the aim of making solar power more efficient and less expensive, a technology available to everyone, everywhere.”

(via These Beautiful Solar Orbs Are So Efficient They Even Harvest Moonlight)

Frickin’ cool as hell

New industries are created by entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily have subject matter expertise when they get started, yet they are still responsible for most of the innovation we see in society. We should celebrate these entrepreneurs, not pillory them for fighting entrenched incumbent industries that have political influence and money.

Vinod Khosla, Founder of Khosla Ventures and Sun Microsystems

In response to 60-minutes feature on state of cleantech