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XchangE Provides A Glimpse Of A Future Where Cars Drive Us

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rinspeedWe’ve written about driverless cars before, but this burgeoning industry is already advancing by leaps and bounds, as evidenced by a new vehicle design by Swiss company Rinspeed. XchangE, which right now is only a concept car, fast-forwards 10-15 years in the future, when driverless cars are no longer a novelty, but the norm. Since people won’t have to drive anymore, they can be passengers, which means that they can stop eating and reading and primping at the wheel and just do all those things like they would on a train, plane, or even in their own living rooms. Of course, that means that the XchangE has to be all kinds of suped-up.

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Tesla Takes A Hit After One Of Their Cars Goes Up In Flames

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, Paypal, and the brains behind the potentially revolutionary Hyperloop transport system, has managed to achieve god-like status among science and tech geeks. Just when he seemed untouchable, an incident involving his Tesla Motor Company’s Model S electric car made headlines this week and caused the company’s stock to plummet.

On Wednesday, a Seattle-area driver got into an accident that caused the Model S to go up in flames. Apparently, a piece of metal fell off a semi, hitting the car, puncturing its armor plate, and damaging the battery pack. The blaze started in the lithium-ion battery compartment and, according to Musk, remained contained and safely away from the passenger compartment. An alarm system in the car prompted the driver to pull over, and he was apparently out of the car before the fire began. The fire department extinguished the flames, which restarted a short time later under the car. Oops. That might be because water wasn’t effective as an extinguisher—when firefighters used chemicals on the flames, they were able to put it out for good.

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George Clooney In Talks For Brad Bird’s Secret Sci-Fi Project, Codenamed 1952/Tesla

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After a long career that has included films such as The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, and Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, anything Brad Bird is doing earns an immediate spot near the top of my “must see” list. And when one of those is a secretive science fiction movie code-named 1952, you’d better believe that’s on my radar. (Even if it was co-written by Damon Lindelof.) Now word comes that George Clooney is in talks to join the top-secret project, and that, even more intriguingly, it was previously using the working title Tesla before switching back to 1952.

Variety reports that Clooney is in discussions to play the lead in 1952/Tesla, and that the film is said to be in the vein of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and will follow “a man who makes contact with aliens on Earth.” That makes a strange sort of sense. After all, Lindelof’s Lost buddy J.J. Abrams already made his version of E.T., so why not give us Lindelof’s version of Close Encounters? (“Because it will probably suck” is an acceptable answer to that question.)

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Web Comic Creator Wants To Make A Nikola Tesla Museum

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It’s not your fault if you don’t know who Nikola Tesla is, but you really should. Tesla was the creator of the alternating current generator and an all-around pioneer in the field of electrical engineering. Unfortunately, his importance and contributions to science are overshadowed by his contemporary/rival/former boss Thomas Edison. Now, the site of Tesla’s old lab in New York is up for sale and one web personality is doing his best to save it.

The original site of the lab in New York was home to one of Tesla’s more far-reaching projects that fell through due to lack of funding, Wardenclyffe Tower. The tower was Tesla’s effort to make a wireless electricity transmission system to power large areas and would have made our current system of power lines looked like a Stone Age relic, even if the excessive amounts of lightning bolts shooting off of it made it look more like a giant Cancer generator. Matt Inman, creator of The Oatmeal, found out about the sale of Nikola Tesla’s old property, which had most recently been used as a paper and film plant, and decided to save it for posterity. The property is for sale at $1.6 Million dollars. Inman got a grant from New York that would give him $850 thousand in matching funds to buy the site if he could raise the rest, so he has started a fund over at indiegogo.com to come up with $850K through crowd-funding with a project aptly named Operation Let’s Build A Goddamn Tesla Museum.