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By Ather Fawaz
Virgin Hyperloop: The first human passengers have traveled safely through a hyperloop
by Ather Fawaz
Image via The Verge On Sunday, November 8, two passengers safely traveled on the Virgin Hyperloop north of Las Vegas, in the desert of Nevada. The test marks the first time in history that the famed hyperloop technology, which promises rapid transportation of people and cargo at speeds close to and above 600 mph, was put to the test with humans onboard.
Image via Virgin Hyperloop Trial passengers Sara Luchian and Josh Giegel, both company employees at Virgin Hyperloop, were ensconced in molded seats covered in white vegan leather, housed inside the all-white carbon fiber clad Pegasus pod (XP-2). Once strapped in, they were sped up to 107mph (172km/h) in 6.25s, in the 500m long Devloop. While this is certainly slow by the lofty figures that hyperloops promise, company officials decided to limit the speed for safety measures.
Image via The Verge Weighing 2.5 tons and measuring 15-18 feet long, the Pegasus XP-2 pod that housed Giegel and Luchian, represents a scaled-down version of the full-sized pod that will be carrying up to 23 passengers, reaching speeds of up to 671mph (1080km/h). While the company says it has conducted over 400 tests on the DevLoop, they'd never done it before with human passengers. CEO of Virgin Hyperloop, Jay Walder commented on the bold initiative, stating that:
Image via Virgin Hyperloop After the test ran its course, Josh Giegel, one of the passengers onboard likened the experience to that in a sports car, and remarked that “The No. 1 question I get from investors is, ‘Is it safe enough to ride? We’re everyday people, we’re not astronauts. This shows that it’s safe, and observers can take this back to their investors and interested municipalities.” Sara Luchian, the other passenger onboard corroborated this statement, describing the ride as "much smoother than [she] expected." And that unlike an airplane, there were no lateral forces that would have caused the pod to sway.
Image via The Verge Envisaged back in 2012 by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, the raison d'être of hyperloops is to cut down on travel time. Two years later in 2014, Virgin Hyperloop was founded on the same principles and with the same premise. Should the company's advertised speeds become a reality, a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco could take less than an hour.
Virgin Hyperloop has doubled its workforce to 300 over the last couple of years and raised over $400 million in funding. Corroborating the statement above, The New York Times reports that several projects are already in the planning stages: a route between Pune and Mumbai in India; another between Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; and one connecting Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh.
Elon Musk's SpaceX has also started building a spaceport of its own near the Boca Chica in Brownsville, teasing hypersonic commute for both humans and cargo through hyperloops. Though testing for that is still a fair way away, one thing is for sure: with Virgin Hyperloop's successful test run, we may very well be on the cusp of realizing rapid land travel.
Court rules in favour of Elon Musk in “pedo guy” defamation case
by Paul Hill
On Tuesday this week, Vernon Unsworth took Elon Musk to court seeking $190 million in damages because Musk called him “pedo guy” publicly on Twitter. The jury, based in Los Angeles, decided that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO was not guilty of causes damages. The jurors were able to reach a unanimous decision in less than one hour following the four-day trial.
Commenting on the jury’s decision, Unsworth said:
Meanwhile, Elon Musk just said that his “faith in humanity is restored.”
Musk’s defence was based around something his legal team called “JDART” which simply means a Joke was badly received, it was Deleted, and Apology was given, and then Responsive Tweets were issued to move on from the matter. According to his lawyer, Alex Spiro, the fact that Musk back-peddled on the Tweet shows he wasn’t being serious.
Commenting on the matter in court, Vernon Unsworth said that he felt humiliated by the comments and that it was like receiving “a life sentence without parole”; those at the trial said he was on the verge of tears while addressing the court.
According to the BBC, the whole concept of JDART will likely be applied in further cases where social media behaviour is under examination.
Source: BBC News
By Rich Woods
Sprint's 5G is now live in New York City, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.
by Rich Woods
At an event in New York City today, Sprint announced that it's expanding its 5G network to four new cities. Naturally, New York is one of them, along with Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C. That makes the 5G service from Sprint available in nine cities, including Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Kansas City, and most recently, Chicago.
The carrier says that its average download speed on 5G is 203.8Mbps, six times faster than its average 4G speed, 35.2Mbps. Between all nine cities, 5G covers a spread of around 2,100 square miles with 11 million people in the coverage areas.
"We’re proud to give Sprint customers their first truly mobile 5G experience in some of the biggest cities in the U.S.," said Sprint CEO Michel Combes. "With our initial nine market launches complete, it is just the start of what we can achieve with T-Mobile, together building a better, faster, nationwide mobile 5G network that benefits all U.S. businesses and consumers."
As usual, it's not the whole cities that are lit up. In New York, it's various parts from Central Park to the southern tip of Manhattan. It works in Times Square, Chelsea Piers, Rockefeller Center, around the Jacob Javits Center, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal. There are also parts of Queens where it works, such as by JFK and LaGuardia airports. In NYC, it should cover 1.7 million people.
The Los Angeles 5G network will cover 1.2 million people at launch, from Marina del Ray to downtown Los Angeles, along with West Hollywood to Culver City. Sprint says it will cover USC, UCLA, West L.A., midtown, and downtown Los Angeles.
Over in Phoenix, 5G is opening up to 740,000 people in the greater Phoenix metro area, along with parts of Tempe, Scottsdale, and Glendale. Finally, 520,000 people will get access to 5G in Washington, D.C., with service around the Capitol, White House, National Mall, and many more notable landmarks.
Uber Eats announces expansion of Starbucks deliveries in the U.S. and London
by Paul Hill
Uber has announced that its Uber Eats service will now deliver Starbucks orders to more places in the United States and London, UK. Uber Eats customers in San Francisco can start making orders from today, and in the following weeks, customers in New York City, Washington DC, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles will also be able to make orders.
The expansion follows a pilot scheme carried out by Uber Eats which allowed customers in Miami to place orders with Starbucks. The delivery firm said that coffee has become one of the most searched drinks with orders for the beverage increasing more than 255% in the last year.
Discussing the expansion, Starbucks said:
It went on to mention that the two firms will begin serving customers in London, UK too:
So, if you’re in San Francisco, be sure to update or download the Uber Eats app in order to begin placing orders with Starbucks. If you’re in any of the other cities, be sure to be on the lookout for the service launching in those areas too.
The Boring Company's “Dugout Loop” should be ready by 2020
by Paul Hill
Fans going to see the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball (MLB) team at the Dodger Stadium from 2020 should be able to travel to the stadium via the so-called Dugout Loop, built by The Boring Company, in order to beat the city’s notoriously bad traffic. The tunnel will be one of the first tunnels built by The Boring Company that gets put to use by the public.
Speaking to CNBC, Dodgers’ CFO, Tucker Kain, said that the club should get approvals early next year so work can begin, he then said they hope to have it open by the end of 2019 in time for the 2020 season. The vehicles that run through the tunnels are designed to carry eight to 16 passengers and reach speeds between 125 to 150 miles per hour. Once it’s built, it should carry around 1,400 fans per game and cost $1 to ride. The trip will take four minutes.
It seems like The Boring Company wants to use this tunnel to showcase what the infrastructure is capable of because the firm will apparently be fully funding the project. Kain told CNBC:
The Dodger Stadium holds 56,000 people at capacity and is one of the highest-attended sports venues in world. The club hopes that with the tunnel, some of the congestion in Los Angeles will be alleviated. Overall, this project will be very interesting to watch to see whether the deadline can be met.