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Tesla Announces Electric Pick-Up Truck That Will Cost Under $50,000

Billionaire genius Elon Musk has caught the world’s attention yet again, with a new announcement from Tesla. The electric car company will soon be releasing an electric pickup truck. Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke about the forthcoming truck in a recent appearance for the “Ride the Lightning” Podcast.

“Will be a better truck than an F-150 in terms of truck-like functionality, and be a better sports car than a standard [Porsche] 911. That’s the aspiration,” Musk said.

The price is also far lower than what most people would expect from Tesla. Musk says that the starting price for the vehicle will be less than $50,000. The vehicle might even end up being cheaper than some F-150 models, considering that they can range anywhere from $28,000 to over $67,000.

Tesla’s new pick up truck will also be cheaper than the other electric truck that is set to appear on the market soon, the $69,000 pick up that is being released by Rivian next year.

“It just can’t be unaffordable,” Musk says.

According to Tesla, the new pickup truck will be similar to the Ford F-150, which is the country’s top rated truck and one of the best selling vehicles in the country for decades. As usual, Musk’s critics believe that he is trying to accomplish the impossible, and even supporters of Tesla are still skeptical.

Brett Smith, the director of propulsion technologies and energy infrastructure at the Center for Automotive Research, told CNBC that it “will be very challenging,” for Musk to meet all of his goals in this project.

“I have no doubt that they can build a pickup truck that has much better handling than the current F-150,” Smith says. However, he also cautions that “You’re never going to get a vehicle that can do everything well.”

Smith and other experts fear that the truck may fall short in its ability to handle off road driving and heavy cargo hauls as well as a traditional pick up truck would, especially with the high performance sports car capabilities of a Porsche 911.

“The physics don’t work there… But can it be a really great-performing, road-driving vehicle? Sure,” Smith said.

Tesla Announces Electric Pick-Up Truck That Will Cost Under $50,000 1

A rendering of the forthcoming Tesla pick up truck, which will reportedly cost less than $50,000. Photo Credit: Tesla

“Tesla has proven time and time again that they can do some really great things with products, and they’ve proven again that it can be hard to deliver on some things. So, I think what he said was a good benchmark to shoot for, [but] the reality is probably going to be much different,” he added.

Tesla also has a semi-truck on the way as well. The company expects that the truck will have a 500 mile (805 km) range on a full charge. These vehicles are expected to have a price range of anywhere between $150,000 and $180,000.

On March 7, 2018, Musk announced that the Semi was being tested with real cargo, hauling battery packs from Nevada to California.

The first pre-orders came in the day of the press conference and in the Tesla earnings call for the first quarter of 2018, Musk said that there were about 2,000 total pre-orders of the Semi.

Tesla Announces Electric Pick-Up Truck That Will Cost Under $50,000 2

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the unveiling of the new Tesla Model Y in Hawthorne, California on March 14, 2019. Photo Credit: Frederic J. Brown, AFP, Getty Images

As with the recent pick up truck reveal, critics of the semi truck argued that it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible for an electric vehicle to handle the kind of long haling of heavy materials that traditional semi trucks can. However, Musk has surprised his critics before, and it seems like these products are very close to reaching the market.

Numerous other companies are also developing electric trucks that will be competing with Tesla for market share. These companies include BYD Company, Cummins, Daimler AG, Einride, Kenworth, Nikola Motor, Proterra, Inc., Xos Trucks, VDL, Daf trucks, Toyota, Uber, and Volkswagen.

Last year, Musk posted a series of Tweets pointing out how media organizations have an obvious incentive to give bad press to electric cars and alternative energy in general.

Musk was unforgiving towards the mainstream media in his epic Twitter rant, calling them hypocrites and saying that the public no longer trusts them. He said that he doesn’t advertise for Tesla, his electric car company, which means that he contributes no money to the media, who depend on advertising dollars to stay in business.

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Science & Technology

We Have a Cure for the Deadliest Form of Tuberculosis

The Food and Drug Administration just approved the third and final part of a new drug regimen shown to cure the deadliest strain of tuberculosis.

The regimen involves taking five pills every day for six months straight, but that’s nothing compared to the existing treatment, which requires 40 daily pills for two years, according to The New York Times. And in a small clinical trial, the new treatment was shown to cure the rare, deadly XDR strain of tuberculosis in 90 percent of people, suggesting that the disease could soon become much more manageable.

Tuberculosis is still a major problem in a large chunk of the world. The disease is the most common infectious cause of death on Earth, the NYT writes, and the XDR strain had already built up a resistance to all four types of antibiotics that doctors currently use to treat it.

Ten million people catch XDR tuberculosis every year. Three-quarters of those people die before they get any treatment, per the NYT, and existing cures only worked on just over a third of the remainders.

The new treatment requires three separate drugs, the newest of which just got FDA approval. Gerald Friedland, one of the scientists who discovered the XDR strain told the NYT that he thought the recent experiment was “a wonderful trial.”

“If this works as well as it seems to,” he said, “we need to do this now.”

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New Virus Takes Screenshots of Users Online Porn Searches

‘Sextortion’ in the making…

via sputniknews:

A new harmful virus is going after naughty victims searching for porn online, or using any other sex-related website in the most unexpected, low-blow way.

Slovakia-based IT security company ESET has warned French users about a new virus, dubbed Varenyky that allegedly records their device screens when it detects key words used to search for porn (i.e. XXX, pornhub, sex).

When these words appear, the malware could record the screen using an FFmpeg executable and then upload the video to the command-and-control (C&C) server using a downloaded Tor client.

As soon as the Spambot Trojan, which was first detected in May in France, makes its way onto people’s computers, it can get access to their passwords and emails, and potentially send the X-rated snaps to a victim’s family or friends – or even use them for blackmail.

The malware, which is still being developed by unknown hackers, also sends spam emails pretending to be invoices or bills, and once people open an attachment, it is able to extract usernames and passwords.

“Researchers observed a spike in ESET telemetry data regarding malware targeting France. After further investigations, we identified malware that distributes various types of spam. One of them is leading to a survey that redirects to a dodgy smartphone promotion while the other is a sextortion campaign. The spam targets the users of Orange SA, a French ISP. We notified them before the release of this publication”, ESET said in a report.

Even though the Varenyky malware is able to spy on victims’ screens, at this point ESET is not aware of any kind of sextortion activity.

sputniknews

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Not for the Faint of Heart: How the Human Body Decays

Researchers at the Anthropological Research Facility at the University of Tennessee (the Body Farm) are charged with studying how the process of decay on human bodies takes place.

There, donated cadavers are observed and examined outdoors under various conditions to determine just what happens at specific times to a body in the process of decaying.

Among other uses this information is invaluable in helping law enforcement officials accurately determine time of death in criminal cases. While the process is not for the squeamish it provides a interesting glimpse into how our bodies are reclaimed by the earth.

Death and Rigor Mortis

The moment a person dies their body begins to cool at the rate of about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit per hour. This cooling process continues until the cadaver reaches the same temperature as the air around it.

Rigor mortis, the stiffening of the bodies muscles due to a lack of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), begins within 2 to 4 hours after death at the head and neck. The process proceeds down the entire length of the body until finally disappearing within 10 to 48 hours.

Flies and other insects quickly arrive at a cadaver and lay larvae at bodily orifices where the maggots can most easily gain entry to the body’s interior. These entry points include the eyes, mouth, genitalia, and any open sores. The goal for the insect larvae is the fat that lies just under the skin which they can then feed and grow on.

Autolysis, The Body Eats Itself

In a living human body enzymes within cells metabolize various substances which are then used to fuel the body. When a person dies the cells no longer have the ability to control these enzymes and they begin to break down the cell walls with the interior fluid leaking out.

The liquid from the eyes is one of the first things to go in a cadaver, spilling out of the eye sockets. “Skin slip”, or “gloving”, occurs as this cellular fluid leaks between layers of skin and loosens them. Entire sections of skin can then slough off a cadaver.

Autolysis is the process of self-digestion that occurs within a cadaver as all this leaking fluid provides food for bacteria located throughout the body; in the lungs, the intestines, and on the skin for example.

Feasting on all this food, bacteria migrate throughout the body causing it to bloat as it fills with gasses that the bacteria expel as waste. A living human being expels this gas on their own, but with no working digestive system a cadaver just fills up with gas.

The most bloating takes place where the largest colonies of bacteria live, typically in the stomach, the mouth (making the lips and tongue bloat), and the genitals.

Bloating continues for about a week until some part of the cadaver gives way, usually the intestines or the torso itself splitting open releasing the pent-up gas. During all this autolysis and bloating the insects have been busy feeding with larvae continually growing larger and more numerous.

Putrefaction and Decay

Putrefaction is the dissolving of the body’s organs that takes place as bacteria continue to eat fluids that have leaked out of the cells. Because of their high concentrations of bacteria, the lungs and digestive organs liquefy first. The brain goes quickly also, as the bacteria in the mouth work through the soft upper palate, feeding on the organ from below.

Eventually the organs in the torso have all dissolved into an unrecognizable, soupy mixture. Meat-eating insects along with bacteria will also attack the muscles for food.

Depending on the environment and weather conditions the skin may or may not be consumed. With this the process is nearly complete and the body has quietly returned back to the earth from where it came.

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