Virgin Hyperloop completes world's first human test

How many hurdles stand in the way of hyperloops becoming a commercial reality?

Credit: Sarah Lawson (Virgin Hyperloop)
  • Hyperloops are a new type of transportation technology that involves vacuum tubes and passenger pods traveling at ultra-fast speeds.
  • Although no commercial hyperloops exist yet, a handful of companies around the world are building test tracks, some in partnerships with national governments.
  • Hyperloops could prove to be a faster and more environmentally sustainable form of transportation than flying and high-speed rail, though many obstacles remain.
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Elon Musk promises $25,000 electric car at Tesla's 'Battery Day'

The electric car manufacturer says updates to its battery design and manufacturing process will help lower production costs.

Tesla
  • The high cost of batteries is the main reason why electric vehicles cost more than gas-powered cars.
  • At the company's 'Battery Day' event on Tuesday, Tesla announced a new battery design that will give its cars more power and a longer range.
  • The success of Tesla's plan depends on its ability to scale up production.
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Elon Musk's Neuralink successfully implanted chips in pig brains

"It's kind of like a Fitbit in your skill with tiny wires," Musk said.

Credit: Neuralink
  • Neuralink is Elon Musk's company that's building brain-machine interfaces.
  • The company's ultimate goal is to build an interface that connects human brains directly to computers.
  • At a demonstration on Friday, Musk unveiled the company's latest progress, including that it had successfully installed its interface in the skulls of multiple pigs.
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Mars colony: Humanity's greatest quest

Just how close are we to setting up camp on another planet? It's complicated.

  • We are closer than ever to actually putting human beings on Mars, but exactly how close is very much still up for debate. Getting there is one thing, and we eventually may not have a choice, but there are a number of problems that need to be solved before our species can call the Red Planet home.
  • In this video, former NASA astronaut Leland Melvin, educator Bill Nye, science journalist Stephen Petranek, astronomer Michelle Thaller, and theoretical physicist Michio Kaku consider mankind's fascination with Mars and explain why the planet may be the most viable option for colonization. They also share difficult truths about what it will take for this expensive dream to become a reality.
  • From finding a way to protect against radiation and adjusting to the difference in atmospheric pressure, to mining for ice and transporting food, to significantly lowering the cost of space travel, it certainly won't be easy. But that doesn't mean that it's not worth doing. As Leland Melvin says, the spirit of exploration and curiosity is in our DNA.

Is AI a species-level threat to humanity?

Some of the world's top minds weigh in on one of the most divisive questions in tech.

  • When it comes to the question of whether AI is an existential threat to the human species, you have Elon Musk in one corner, Steven Pinker in another, and a host of incredible minds somewhere in between.
  • In this video, a handful of those great minds—Elon Musk, Steven Pinker, Michio Kaku, Max Tegmark, Luis Perez-Breva, Joscha Bach and Sophia the Robot herself—weigh in on the many nuances of the debate and the degree to which AI is a threat to humanity; if it's not a species-level threat, it will still upend our world as we know it.
  • What's your take on this debate? Let us know in the comments!
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