Tesla Reaches Deal for Shanghai Facility, WSJ Reports

Tesla Inc . has reached an agreement with the Shanghai government to set up its own manufacturing facility in the city, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, quoting people briefed on the plan.

The Palo Alto, California-based carmaker is working with the local government on the timing and details of an announcement, the people told the newspaper. The bargain, which without a local partner likely won’t disprove China’s 25 percentage import tax, will still let Tesla to reduce its production costs drastically, according to the report.

Tesla in June confirmed it was working with the Shanghai government to explore local manufacturing in China after Bloomberg News reported that the carmaker was close to a preliminary agreement to make vehicles there for the first time. The electric-car manufacturer led by Elon Musk said at the time that it planned to define its plans more clearly by the end of the year.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that China was discussing a plan to allow foreign carmakers to set up wholly owned electric-vehicle businesses in its free-trade zones. The move would be a major revision of a fundamental principle governing the country’s auto industry policy since the 1990 s that proscribes car companies establishing operations in China without a local joint-venture partner.

A representative of Tesla declined to comment to Bloomberg News other than to refer back to the company’s statement from June. Spokespeople for the Shanghai government weren’t immediately available for comment when contacted outside normal working hours.

Doughnuts Are on a Global Rampage, and They Must Be Stopped

Donuts, you have gone too far.

Not long ago, we were your biggest champions. We cheered when you evolved into the scrumptious, flakey cronut, and when you multiplied up and down the West Coast through the Blue Star chain, which brought slick, beautiful rings from Portland, Ore., to Los Angeles. We welcomed such top tier bakeries as Dough in New York; Union Square Donuts in Boston; District Doughnuts in Washington; Curiosity Donuts in New Jersey; and Federal Donuts in Philadelphia. They were making versions of you that were airy, yet were rich, gorgeously glazed, and garnished.

A post shared by Eric Medsker (@ericmedsker) on Apr 13, 2017 at 8:29am PDT

It was a thrill this year when you appeared at Wylie Dufresne's Du Donuts and Coffee, in Brooklyn, N.Y., in superb cakey style, with flavors such as Creamsicle, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and even the shouldn’t-work-but-it-does "Peanut Butter and Yuzu." We were also ecstatic to see you take cruller form, coated in maple and cinnamon sugar, at Danny Meyer's Daily Provisions cafe.

But now, you've overreached. 

You tarted yourself up at Glam Donuts in Minneapolis, stepping out in a garish combination of Sriracha and peanut butter.

You debuted at Datz Dough in Tampa in the form of a $10 donut ice cream cone. The Nutella-lined "cone" is made of doughnuts filled with jelly-donut-flavored soft serve, topped with bacon caramel popcorn, whipped cream, and a cherry.

No, doughnuts.

Bad doughnuts.

The Corporate Shill

You officially jumped the shark when JPMorgan Chase Bank made its own doughnut. Mark Isreal of the Doughnut Plant, a perfectly respectable purveyor of fried dough, lost his mind and created the Ripple, three concentric doughnut rings the size of a large pizza. The visual effect, and flavors such as Thanksgiving (cranberry, sweet potato, and candied ginger), ensured it was a huge hit on social media. And then the whole thing was revealed to be a Chase small business promotion. We tried to eat one in the office, and it was a terrible user experience.

Once you became commercialized, it was all over. Anyone thought they could put something in a ring shape and call it a doughnut.

Ahem:

The spaghetti doughnut is the latest smash hit at Smorgasburg in Brooklyn. (It's always Brooklyn, isn't it, doughnuts?) Not a dessert-like snack, it's actually an entrée—flavored like cheesy, bacon-flecked bolognese—forced into doughnut clothing. People are lining up for it every weekend in New York, even though perfectly delicious spaghetti bolognese is available in literally every neighborhood of the five boroughs. 

And look what you've done to Instagram.

A post shared by Amber Owens (@amowns) on Feb 27, 2017 at 6:08pm PST

(All right, we will admit that we enjoyed a sushi doughnut.That ring of sticky sushi rice, draped with assorted fish slices and covered with seeds, was delicious and fun. An editor wanted us to call it a "sushbomination," but might we suggest we just rename it a "sushi ring" and move on?)

Savory Sandwiches 

Which brings us to the savory doughnut sandwich. For a while, it was a gimmick you’d find at the State Fair alongside the fried butter and funnel cake. No longer.

First, there were the Monte Cristo doughnut sandwiches at District Donuts in New Orleans. We could be persuaded.

But then we heard about what's going on at Gourdough in Austin. Their Dirty Bird sandwich—grilled chicken breast with pesto, mozzarella, and grilled peppers on a doughnut—is one of the shop's more conservative options. It offers  of Donut Burgers. And an entire section of Donut Entrees that includes the Boss Hog (pulled pork, potato salad, and BBQ sauce on a doughnut, depicted above). The culmination is the Drunken Hunk, which is a doughnut topped with a mound of bacon-wrapped , potato pancake, and candied jalapeños.

We would do anything for love, doughnuts. But we won't do that.

Aggression in Atlanta

We don’t know anyone at Gourdough. But we do know Ford Fry, the Atlanta-based restaurateur who recently introduced a doughnut brunch to his Beetlecat restaurant. We can make peace with his straightforward doughnuts, including one topped with Captain Crunch—and even the "Buford Highway," which pays tribute to Atlanta’s Asian restaurant neighborhood with a doughnut garnished with pork "floss" (essentially, barbecued pork that’s cooked way down to strand-like texture).

A post shared by Michael (@yukilovesfood) on Apr 22, 2017 at 12:23pm PDT

But like all these sugar-high chefs, even Ford goes too far. It's apparently a new rule that you're not allowed to gripe about any kind of fried chicken sandwich, even one that has an egg and the "bread" is actually two whole donuts. (Not even sliced!) But isn't it clear why the doughnut Benedict, which includes poached eggs, shaved ham, and red pepper hollandaise, should be outlawed?

Fry laughed when asked why in the world he had to go there with a doughnut Benedict sandwich. “In our Inman Park neighborhood, there were already a bunch of places doing straightforward brunch. We wanted to do something different,” he said. “We’re getting a good response on the doughnut Benedict.”

We're all going to crash from this sugar high. (And clogged arteries.)

Which will be terrible, because on its own, the doughnut is nearly a perfect thing. It's chewy with a hint of crisp on the exterior. It's sweet, but light enough not to be cloying. It is designed to be dipped, topped, dusted, and sprinkled. The innovation is built in! Why do we need to take it to grotesque extremes? At this point, we are just baiting Pizza Hut into making a doughnut-crust pizza. Taco Bell is almost assuredly already working on a doughnut chalupa. Do we really want that?

When this happens, and it inevitably will, don't come crying to us.

Read more: www.bloomberg.com

The end is here: The Dodge Viper dies on August 31

The end is nigh for an American sports car icon: The Dodge Viper will officially exit production on August 31, 2017, and the Connor assembly plant where all Vipers have been built will be closed for good. Previously, designer Ralph Gilles let the date slip during a speech at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show earlier this year, but this is the first time Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles has made the date official, according to ClickOnDetroit.

The Dodge Viper and its 8.4-liter V-10 engine have been hand-assembled at the facility since the car was launched in 1992, with the current team composed of 87 remaining employees. Fun fact: The short-lived Plymouth Prowler was also built in the assembly plant during its production span from 1999 to 2002. FCA says it anticipates every employee will be offered work at another assembly plant.

The Connor assembly plant’s Detroit zip code has also made the Viper the only American sports car actually built in “Motor City.” The Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro are built elsewhere in Michigan, while Chevy Corvette production now emerges from Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Challenger isn’t as American as you’d believe, either it’s assembled in Canada. So is the Ford GT.

The Viper has left an outsize imprint on the automotive industry for the past 25 years. Long known for its untamed nature, the coupe and convertible have always represented a raw piece of American performance, and they’ve taken on the world in the process.

The Connor assembly will finish building Viper orders specced through the One-of-One program until the plant’s closure. Those seeking one last chance to own a piece of history will then have to locate their Dodge Viper through a dealership.

Thanks for the memories, Viper.

This article originally appeared on Motor Authority. 

Read more: www.foxnews.com

Facebook and Twitter look to attract online talent with cold, hard cash

Internet personality Ricky Dillon takes a selfie with fans at the 2016 Billboard Music Awards at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Image: Frazer Harrison/ BBMA2 016/ Contributor/ Getty Images for dcp

Ricky Dillon is 24, but his spiked bleach-blond hair and multicolored metallic nail burnish that glistens on his right thumbs induce him appear younger. He has about 3 million followers on YouTube, where his specialty is reacting funny to things, as he sets it.

His light-hearted, lo-fi videos are labeled with such bright, bubble-lettered titles as3 BOYS, 26 POSITIONSwhich is not what it sounds like. Its Dillon and two friends contorting themselves into the shape of alphabet letters, and it has 1.2 million views.

Thats an audience that Twitter and Facebook want. But Dillon rarely posts on Facebook, and hes never used Facebook LiveFacebook’s weird, he saidand he hasn’t tried Twitter’s Periscope, either.

YouTube’s like my base, everything else basically promotes back to my YouTube, Dillon said. He started his channel in 2009.

Dillons more stable revenue source is YouTubes AdSense( he wouldn’tsay how much he makes ), the program Google started in 2007 that nowshares revenue with hundreds of millions of video makers.

He constructs the most fund from the videos he shoots for brands: Sponsored content. He doesn’t get checks from Twitter or Facebookbut he might soon.

SEE ALSO: Uber wins by losing in China

A few years ago, it was crazy to imagine social media companies paying anyone for being popular on their sites; the idea was for everyone to use them for free in exchange for giving up their data for ad targeting. But now Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are stimulating big, strategic moves into higher-quality video content and trying to pry fans away from YouTube, and they’ve been rethinking their business models.

They want to entice creatorsthe glowing word for people like Dillon who have made a careerout of beingoriginal on the internet. Facebook and Twitter are realizing that if they want to get the biggest, most engaged audiences, they need to have videos that describe the most spectators. That means offering the creators a cut of their ad revenue.

At the end of the day, content creators control engagement and control eyeballs, said Krishna Subramanian, whose company, Capitv8, connects influencers with brands. The more content they upload, the more engagement that happens on Facebook. And if they divided revenue with inventors, that will solve a huge problem creators have with the platform. People will start to post more.”

The goal is to have the most-watched videos, but also a good balance of inoffensive ads that they are able to stimulate everyone money. Facebook and Twitter want the Ricky Dillons of the world to post their original, unsponsored videos directly to their platforms, and for those, the question is where to cram in the commercials.

But they also have to contend with sponsored posts, where the platforms don’t insure a dime. Knowing they can’t put a stop to those, the social media companies are trying to persuadecreators to label them as ads; they’re alsotrying to persuade the brands behind the ads to pay to promote them. It’s a tricky line for social media companies to toe: Make the stars happy so they won’t run elsewhere, but maintain a tight control on sponsored content so the platforms can get those ad dollarsand not alienate users.

Twitter is starting to share revenue through a program called Amplify. Mike Park, Twitters head of content partnerships, said the company has been hiring experts from YouTube who already have relationships with inventors. His squad, as well as the person or persons at Vine, Twitters app for short videos, holdmeetings with their most popular superstars to understand how they want to build their brands.

Like YouTube, Twitter is starting to set ads ahead of itsvideos. The site will take only 30 percentage of the revenue from sales, leaving the rest to creatorsthe same deal it makes with such media companies asBuzzfeed and National Geographic, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Theyre reaching a connected audience and a live audience, said Park, who said the effort is still being tested out. The thing thats missing is the revenue possibility. Weve heard them loud and clear.

But at Facebook, executives are against pre-roll adsbecause all videos auto-play as people look through their feeds. A commercial delaying the main event is too riskyusers might scroll right by.

We only want to find a model thats going to be much more appropriate for our platform, said Fidji Simo, Facebook’s head of video. Like Park, she’s been aggressively courting creators.

Last month she was atVidcon, an online video meeting in Anaheim, Calif ., to persuadestars to bring their viral magic to the social network.Early June ordinarily determines her in the south of France at the year’s most important ad meeting, in Cannes, constructing the company’s relationship with such big spender asCoca-Cola and Walmart; this year she skipped it.

Chevys Bolt Creeps Along While Tesla Readies For a Sprint

Elon Musk’s perpetual joker grin is probably a little wider today. The Chevrolet Bolt, the proletariat machine that beat his nascent Model 3 to market by the better part of a year, is, well, not bolting at all.

Creeping would be a better word.

After six months on the market, only 6,529 Bolts have found their way out of dealerships and into the wild. That’s far less than sales of the all-electric Nissan Leaf and either of the existing Tesla models over the same period.

Meanwhile, the most esoteric beasts in the GM family are running circles around the runty Bolt. In the past six months, U.S. customers bought about three times as many Cadillac Escalades and double the number of Corvettes—both paragons of a niche vehicle. 

“I wouldn’t necessarily call it a slow rollout; it was a phased rollout,” said Chevrolet spokesman Jim Cain. “In terms of sales, I think we’re right on plan.”

When we visited Chevrolet’s electric-vehicle factory just outside Detroit in December, it was spitting out about 100 Bolts a day. The sales of the past few months, however, wouldn’t support that level of production. And thanks to GM, Chevrolet dealers will still be waiting on their first Bolts in July when Tesla promises to pull the cover off its similarly priced Model 3. 

Make no mistake, the Bolt isn’t a bad car. In fact, it’s quite good. In addition to its historic metrics on range and price, the Bolt handles well, accelerates easily, and offers plenty of space and amenities in its bubbly cockpit. It’s being held back though by cheap gas and SUV fever.

Holm Automotive Center in Abilene, Kansas, (pretty much the geographic center of the country) has had only one inquiry on the Bolt and doesn’t have any plans to stock the car. “We are a truck and SUV market,” said sales consultant Michelle Holt.

Chevrolet Bolt
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

However, the little electron whip is also being hamstrung by General Motors Co. The company is rolling the vehicle out at a snail’s pace. At the end of April, the Bolt was still only available in eight states—all on the coast. GM added another eight states in May and says the cars won’t be available nationwide until late summer.

“The term I would use is slow and steady,” said Marc Cannon, a spokesman for AutoNation, the country’s largest dealership group. “They’re making sure they meet the needs of early adopters and they’re taking their time doing it.”

To be sure, would-be customers venting on message boards about not being able to buy a Bolt isn’t a terrible PR problem; it’s far less damaging than passers by seeing legions of Bolts stacking up at dealerships like sad sedans in a Hertz lot. At this point, the Bolt is still an exercise in R&D and marketing. It has first-mover advantage and bragging rights over Musk despite the fact that there are far more Ferraris on U.S. roads at the moment. 

“If you look at our competitive set, it will be quite some time before any of them have a vehicle that comes close to this in terms of capabilities,” Chevy’s Cain contends. 

Capabilities aside, the Bolt is still a financial drain on GM. UBS AG analysts estimate that the automaker is losing about $7,500 on every one it sells, thanks to the machine’s $12,000 battery pack and another $580 worth of semiconductors—roughly 10 times the amount found in a traditional car car.

A post shared by EVeverything (@ev.everything) on Apr 23, 2017 at 5:48pm PDT

“Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen a single commercial for the Bolt,” said UBS analyst Colin Langan. “They have a great starting point, but I don’t think they’re pushing volume today.”

Over time, the economics will improve, as battery costs come down and GM realizes some scale efficiencies. In the meantime, the folks in Detroit who answer to investors—rather than regulators or hyper-milers—would rather sell you an Escalade. That profit dynamic isn’t drastically different at the dealership, either. 

It’s a classic innovator’s dilemma. GM has disrupted its legacy business, but only slightly. It’s still towing its business model around with a pick-up. 

Eventually, Langan said, the Bolt will be used as the platform for GM’s autonomous-driving program. What’s clear in the interim, however—and what should be a bit worrisome to GM—is that the Bolt launch has been pretty humdrum, and not just in terms of sales. The little car hasn’t captured any of Tesla’s Silicon Valley street-cred and it hasn’t whipped up any of the cultish following that still benefits the Toyota Prius. It isn’t a Hollywood accessory on the red-carpet circuit. 

The Bolt is a historic vehicle—a time-machine in a way—but it’s just the latest in a long line of them. In five years, streets will be full of cars like the Bolt; whether they are made by Chevrolet remains to be seen.

Read more: www.bloomberg.com

16 Events From 2016 That Should Give You Hope For The Future

This past year might have been a trying one, but amongthe negative news stories were plenty of bright spots.

For every celebrity death, there was a scientific breakthrough. For every bit of political nonsense( well, maybe not every bit of nonsense) there were leaps forward in clean energy.

In case you’re feeling down about 2016, here’s a reminder that, in a lot of ways, the world really is getting better.

1. Populations of tigers, pandas, and manatees all started growing for the first time in years .

Julie Larsen Maher WCS

Source

2. All of Portugal operated on solar energy for four days straight-out .

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3. Scientists detected gravitational waves for the first time ever, furthering our understanding of the origins of the universe .

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4. Fund raised by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from 2014 led to the discovery of a significant gene responsible for the disease .

Elise Amendola/ AP

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5. Sri Lanka was proclaimed malaria-free by the World Health Organization .

David Gray/ Reuters

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6. Researcher discovered a special kind of strobe light that temporarily reverses Alzheimer’s damage in mice .

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7. Facebook announced a partnership with five fact-checking organizations to prevent fake news from appearing on users’ News Feeds .

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8. Chevy debuted the first mass-market electric vehicle, the Bolt, which expenses less than $30,000 and can travel further on a single charge than Tesla’s vehicles .

Chevrolet

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9. SpaceX landed a rocket smoothly on a ship, a world first that showed how expensive rockets could be flown more than once .

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10. Dozens more stores, including the entire Mall of America, stayed closed on Thanksgiving Day to give employees day with their families .

AP

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11. Pakistan passed a law outlawing ‘honor killings’ murders of relatives pardoned by other family members .

Fayyaz Hussain/ Reuters

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12. Harriet Tubman was announced as the successor to Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill .

Women on 20 s

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13. A solar-powered airplane, the Solar Impulse 2, completed its year-long journey around the world, taking off and touching down in Abu Dhabi .

REUTERS/ Eugene Tanner/ Pool

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14. New York City became the first US city to hand out free tampons in schools, prisons, and homeless shelters .

LOLA

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15. Over 800 captives held by Boko Haram were rescued by the Nigerian army .

Reuters/ Afolabi Sotunde

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16. India planted 50 million trees in one day, defining a new world record .

Jayanta Dey/ Reuters

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Read the original article on Tech Insider. Copyright 2016.

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