Elon Musk turns Tesla’s troubles into April Fools’ joke — but flamethrowers are real

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out a picture of himself seemingly “passed out against a Tesla Model 3, surrounded by ‘Teslaquilla’ bottles, the tracks of dried tears still visible on his cheeks.” (Elon Musk via Twitter) Between Model S recalls and Model 3 production snags, Tesla has been having a hard time lately — but not as hard as CEO Elon Musk made them out to be today in a hilarious series of April Fools’ tweets: Tesla Goes BankruptPalo Alto, California, April 1, 2018 — Despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter Eggs, we are sad to report that Tesla has gone completely and… Read More

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Bezos, Musk and more: Space billionaires take the spotlight in books and on TV

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (in hat and sunglasses) pops open a bottle of champagne after Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket landing in November 2015. (Credit: Blue Origin) Space is hard: That used to be the excuse for explaining why sending people into space would always be something only governments could do. Now it explains why even billionaires find the feat difficult. As SpaceX CEO Elon Musk told me back in 2010, even before he was officially recognized as a billionaire, rocket science is “super-frickin’ damn hard.” To persevere, even billionaires have to have a passion for spaceflight, most likely fostered at an early age, and an iron resolve to weather… Read More

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Startup Spotlight: Facebook and Microsoft vets build coding education marketplace Educative

Educative co-founders . (Photo via Educative) Unable to find a continuing education platform to learn new coding techniques, languages, and skills, Fahim ul Haq and Naeem ul Haq went out and built their own. Educative CEO Fahim ul-Haq. (Photo via Educative) The brothers left their jobs at Microsoft and Facebook to launch Educative, a 3-year-old marketplace for interactive software development courses. The original idea behind Educative was to publish interactive e-books for coding courses, but the founders couldn’t find the right tools to create interactive content. “That’s why we founded Educative — to provide a frictionless learning experience for programmers with a dynamic curriculum that adapts to each student’s skill… Read More

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Can you go paperless on an overseas trip? The Geek’s Guide to International Travel, 2018 Edition

Becoming part of the digital art inside Telefonica’s museum in Madrid. (Frank Catalano photo) It’s amazing the difference five years makes when traveling with tech. In April 2013, I felt as though I was living on the edge when I took a ten-day trip to France, doing my best to go paperless and grab whatever cheap internet connectivity I could. This year, over ten March days in Spain (via a quick stop in Germany), the digital connectivity and tricks worked even better. So it’s time for a nerdy “second edition” of my Geek’s Guide to International Travel, if you too are considering a European sojourn. First, two caveats: We research… Read More

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Week in Review: Most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of March 25, 2018

Get caught up on the latest technology and startup news from the past week. Here are the most popular stories on GeekWire for the week of March 25, 2018. Sign up to receive these updates every Sunday in your inbox by subscribing to our GeekWire Weekly email newsletter. Most popular stories on GeekWire Thanks, Trump: Amazon stock tumbles and Jeff Bezos loses $5.2B off his net worth in one day If you’re eyeballing the real-time list of the world’s billionaires, and holding out hope that you might someday catch Jeff Bezos, well, your chances got a little bit of a boost on Wednesday. … Read More Smartsheet files for IPO,… Read More

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The need for speed (and security): Cloudflare has developed a new DNS service for PCs and phones

Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince. (Photo Courtesy /Flickr user New America / cc2.0) Despite the timing, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince would like to emphasize that his company’s latest announcement is not an April Fool’s joke. The security services company is rolling out a new DNS resolver Sunday that it hopes will make the internet faster and more secure. The service, called 1.1.1.1 (four ones, or April 1), allows PC and mobile users to use a custom DNS setting that Cloudflare says is more secure than the default one issued by your ISP, which allows them to assemble a profile of your browsing history that marketers find very intriguing. “DNS is the… Read More

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When the Revolution Was Televised

Television loved Martin Luther King Jr. “The civil-rights revolution in the South began when a man and the eye of the television film camera came together, giving the camera a focal point for events breaking from state to state, and the man, Martin Luther King Jr., high exposure on television sets from coast to coast,” wrote the journalists Robert Donovan and Ray Scherer in their history of television news, Unsilent Revolution. Why did the TV news networks become “the chosen instrument of the revolution,” as NBC News’ Washington bureau chief, Bill Monroe, put it? In most popular discussions, the answer is cinematic and comforting: Brave white Northern journalists charged into… Read More

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Blockbuster’s last stand: Inside one of the iconic video rental chain’s final U.S. stores

(GeekWire Photo / Tom Krazit) BEND, Ore. — Perhaps the most striking thing about the last remaining Blockbuster Video store in the lower 48 United States is how instantly familiar it is, despite the decades of technological change that have nearly erased one of the most iconic brands of the 1990s and early 2000s. About three hours southeast of Portland, I found a piece of American history in this Central Oregon ski-and-beer town of around 90,000 people. I also found the answer to the question: Why would anybody shop at Blockbuster in the age of speedy broadband and streaming movies? I was inspired to make the trip after learning that… Read More

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Trump says Bezos-owned Washington Post should register as a lobbyist for pushing Amazon agenda

President Donald Trump. (BigStock Photo / palinchak) President Donald Trump continued to beat his anti-Amazon drum early Saturday morning. In two tweets, he once again accused the Seattle tech titan of exploiting the U.S. Postal Service and called for The Washington Post (which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns) to register as a lobbyist. While we are on the subject, it is reported that the U.S. Post Office will lose $1.50 on average for each package it delivers for Amazon. That amounts to Billions of Dollars. The Failing N.Y. Times reports that “the size of the company’s lobbying staff has ballooned,” and that… — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2018… Read More

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High-powered laser maker nLight files for IPO, looks to raise $86 million

nLight’s lasers are used in a variety of industries (Photo via nLight S-1) Another day, another IPO filing. Vancouver, Wash.-based nLight, a maker of high-powered lasers which are used in aerospace, defense and manufacturing, filed to go public on Friday. It is looking to raise $86 million, and plans to trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker “LASR.” “In the aerospace and defense market, high-power semiconductor and fiber lasers are currently used across a wide range of mission critical applications, such as defending aircraft against missiles, and are enabling next-generation defense systems,” the company wrote in its SEC filing. Founded in 2000, nLight employees over 1,000 people worldwide. It posted… Read More

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