What’s that spell? WHAT’S THAT SPELL?.
No, it does not spell SEX. It spells SXE. Dyslexics UNTIE!
That said, we do a bit of a walkaround of our new Tesla Model S this week and talk about their very high crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, their execution to date, and the future of their charger power connector and fast charge stations in general. We also note their application for trademark for “Model E”. Aside from the actual defensibility of a trademark for the word “Model” and an alpha character, we did find it interesting that in China, somebody over there trademarked TESLA and the Tesla Logo, and Tesla had to go to battle for their own trademark in order to sell cars in China under their own name. And could this mean introduction of the Model E by Tesla BEFORE the Model X? I hope not. I think I can get in and out of the Model X with gullwing doors.
Meanwhile, Tesla’s stock hit $173 and the price of oil has risen to over $108 as Obama postures and blusters over Syria and all he’s going to do to “fix it.” Ron Paul Shane….come back…..
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You may note a big variance between the YouTube version of this weeks show and the one presented here. We think this one is better, but it was two versions LATER as well.
It would appear that sometime during EVCCON, someone relieved us of the burdening responsibility of further care of almost ALL of our video cameras. As we are also about $40k in the red basically holding a party for our FRIENDS, I should be terribly discouraged at the perfidy of humanity. I’m not. There are always a few weenies but by large the majority are good and decent people hampered by all the Satanic restrictions on their freedoms caused by the few who never actually seem to prosper from all that anyway.
In any event, entrepreneurs are a bit obliged to reinvent themselves daily and so we bought NEW cameras with later technology for better video. There’s always a pony in that manure pile. Unfortunately, new cameras come with new learning curves and we do struggle.
So we have a new Canon AX20 AND a new BlackMagic Designs Cinema Camera.
The BlackMagic Cinema is posing a lot of challenges. It is a marvelous piece of work at a very attractive price $1995 for the bare camera. It uses Canon EF lenses of which I have a lot anyway as we use them on our still cameras. It stores video in a 2500 pixel raw format, or a raw Apple ProRes 422 format that we use in Final Cut Pro X as an editing format anyway. Better, it uses a sold state hard drive that we can simply remove from the camera and plug into a USB base that plugs into the PC and looks like a hard drive. The files are .MOV files – no conversion or anything. We can suck em right in. But they are RAW and so we do have to do some color work on them, which I’m currently not only not very good at, but looking real orange these days on set.
It’s all an acquirable skill. In the end, I plan this will all up our video quality a bit. As soon as the world settles out on HTML5 and HLS, we plan on working that out where mobile downloads make a little more sense and it all goes a little easier and more automagically for our viewers. We are on a dual track here at EVTV. EV development of course, but also learning to shoot, produce, edit, host, and monetize video of the future. It is nontrivial but I’m convinced hugely rewarding going forward.
I kind of did this with Boardwatch Magazine. Yes, we covered the emergence of electronic bulletin boards and later the Internet with intensity. But along the way we learned to produce magazines at one 1/hundredth of the cost of Ziff Davis or Meckler Media. You have to be a LOT better at producing and publishing magazines when your costs are 100x that of a guy in his basement. They weren’t good enough.
Similarly video. We will learn to produce feature length high definition videos and distribute them globally for 1/100, or maybe 1/1000 of the costs faced by Discovery Channel for example. They will be more polished perhaps, but they need to bring their A game and a sack lunch with that kind of cost disadvantage if they want to wrestle me for the future. I kind of know how this is going to come out. That’s what technological disruption is all about. Scorched earth policy. And no, there is nothing I can do with the crippled and burned survivors of the holocaust. They are just culturally untrainable and unemployable. They are already all over the Internet preening and posing about the differentiation between “real video professionals” and the great masses of unwashed videographers out their shooting the world with their cell phones. As it gives them ease on the way to the gas chamber, I won’t twist their chain. As their still photography brethren learned bitterly, it is humiliating to be delegated to weddings as your last bastion of “will take photographs for food.”
Or as one ex-photographer put it – “One more trollop in a white dress duping some poor hapless yuck out of his house and 20 years of ‘child support’ and I was gonna hurl.”
In any event, this is a rapidly emerging field, and it was actually time to upgrade our equipment anyway. It is a complex technology still in its infancy with even basic formats very much in flux between Flash, HTML5, and now HML. I just this week learned to work Amazon’s new video transcoder.
Speaking of which, I recently asked you all to be a bit more creative with your entreprenurial urges and instead of trying to start an automobile company or conversion shop, do something for the coming hoards of custom electric car builders or the many buying OEM cars. I suggested there was more to be made from bobblehead dolls for the rear window and cupholders than from blowing $2 billion on the chance that you might duplicate Tesla rather than Fisker.
Enter a huge Boardwatch fan from the past, Warren Royal. Warren was then an ISP and did very well thank you, but continued to reinvent and remake himself through a couple of further entreprenurial careers. Today, he is the largest maker of Bobble Head dolls on the Internet. I called him and we did an hour revisiting the past. We have commissioned him to make one for us, and no, it is NOT Elon Musk but rather our own maintenance guy CHARLIE PRIEST. If he’s not very good at this art thing and it winds up more resembling Elon Musk, I wouldnt’ be the slightest bit surprised or alarmed. It’s an inexact art. But I’m telling you now, it’s supposed to be an exact image of CHARLIE PRIEST.
Jehu Garcia is emerging as absolutely one of my favorite people in EV space. This guy knows NOTHING about electric vehicles and in fact makes ALL the wrong choices essentially every time. He arrived with his SAMBA bus with one wheel literally falling off as the wheel nuts were never tightened, the adapter hub for the VW flywheel literally on BACKWARDS kind of hampering his forward motion. He has since assembled one of Valery Mitzikov’s 12kw chargers which now does nothing, is wrestling with the very appealing EV instrumentation from the same company, which doesn’t quite work (all as previously reviewed at EVTV) and has found a GREAT deal on some Balqon THundersky batteries at 80 cents an AH with a fresh date on them of 121107 marked right on them indicating they were just made LAST NOVEMBER. Or maybe Jehu needs to work on European date formats a bit on these 2007 cells.
But he attacks EVERYTHING with such energy and enthusiasm and self deprecating good humor, I just adore the guy. He did our show one week and in this episode already had a 90 second commercial completed for EVCCON 2014. It was SO good we announced dates for it on the spot (after checking with AC Blase Arena of course). We’re holding it August 12-17th next year, 2014. Hold those dates. I’ve got an entire segment from him already on hand for this coming week’s show. He is FEARLESS and pretty much proves that ANYONE can make an electric car roll. He is not in awe of accepted wisdom. If those batteries needed restraint, they would have come with some now wouldn’t they?
We also received the latest update on the Generalized Electric Vehicle Control Unit (GEVCU). We launched this open source project siz months ago and originally envisioned a Macchina with CAN bus ports and some software. The vision has grown and the project has taken on several very talented individuals who have kind of taken the bit in teeth and moved off into a very enhanced realm in both software and hardware. We are basically rolling the THING now with the Siemens 1PV5135 motor and DMOC645 controller. But with the new hardware, I think it is going to become very interesting very quickly.
We have gone to a 35 pin ampseal connector that is integrated into the circuit board – eliminating the assembly errors we would inevitably incur soldering little wires to 35 pins with heat shrink etc. This provides four isolated differential analog inputs, four isolated digital inputs, four isolated MOSFET digital outputs, and two CAN channels. The more I look at this hardware, the more I see that it could do quite beyond GEVCU.
With a few changes to the analog board, this kind of becomes the basis for an EVTV BMS pretty easily. Etc. Etc.
Anne and Celso team up on the Delta Flyer. This project goes back to a long running desire I have had for a “Speedster of the Water”. That is a small, fairly light boat that could be davitted as a yacht skiff, allowing a couple of people to zip to shore, eat at a restaurant, and zip back out to the boat at anchor when no dockside tie ups are available. Or zip into town for groceries. An otherwise fun little Speedster for zipping around the harbor at speeds up to 45 mph. I think such a device would have serious appeal to large sailing vessels and the “green” cred on the skiff is about on par with rowing and a lot more fun. My sense is the cost of the electric drive components quickly disappears in that market.
There is actually an electric boat conference planned for October in Nice France. We’re not promising we’ll show up. But it’s made our radar screen. And we’re paddling as hard as we can.
I also expect to be able to make a UK announcement soon. And the concept of a European EVCCON is a not entirely ridiculous notion. We have been aimed at global dominance from the beginning, as you know Pinky. So it should come as no surprise that our daily mission with Pinky and the Brain is to TRY TO TAKE OVER THE WORLD in the true sense of Steven Spielbergs vision.