tech e blog

Tesla SolarCity Island

Tesla's SolarCity is now powering the island of Ta'u in American Samoa, which is located 4,000-miles off the west coast of the United States. The microgrid offers 1.4-megawatts of solar generation capacity and 6-megawatt hours of battery storage from 60 Tesla Powerpacks. "I recall a time they weren't able to get the boat out here for two months. We rely on that boat for everything, including importing diesel for the generators for all of our electricity. Once diesel gets low, we try to save it by using it only for mornings and afternoons. Water systems here also use pumps, everyone in the village uses and depends on that. It's hard to live not knowing what's going to happen. I remember growing up using candlelight. And now, in 2016, we were still experiencing the same problems," said said Keith Ahsoon, a local resident whose family owns one of the food stores on the island. Continue reading for more interesting images from around the web.

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Best Buy Black Friday

Remember when a 33.6K modem could be picked up for $9.99, or a 200MHz AMD K6 computer package for $999.99? If not, this Black Friday Best Buy ad from 1999 should refresh your memory. Back then, the lines were even longer, since online shopping wasn't as prevalent yet, which meant local news stations lining right up with the customers to catch all of the madness on video. Continue reading for more fascinating images from around the web.

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UFO Capsule House

Living on a houseboat doesn't have to be without style, and Jet Capsule's UFO 2.0 shows why. This futuristic floating living space is composed of a central shell divided into three different levels: the main living area with a full kitchen, storage and bathroom; the sub-level that offers a sea-view bedroom and large bathroom, along with a 50-square-meter terrace as an upper deck/floor to control the vehicle. It can also be used for floating hotels, with each capsule being used for a different functions, such as a restaurant, gym, and more. Continue reading to see more interesting images from around the web. Click here for bonus images of the UFO 2.0 capsule house.

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Inside Redbox DVD

For those who prefer Redbox over Netflix, and have wondered just what the inside of a machine looks like, these pictures should provide a clue. Basically, the discs are all commercially-pressed discs placed in plastic sleeves, which are then loaded into a multi-tiered rotating carousel by a human operator. When a disc is selected, the carousel rotates to the right position, and a robot arm moves up or down to transport it to the dispensing slot. Just before the disc is pushed out the slot, the QR code is read to make sure it's the correct one. Continue reading for more interesting pictures from around the web.

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Mazda Furai Prototype

The Mazda Furai was a concept car first revealed back in December 2007, powered by a new generation 20B 3-rotor wankel engine that generated 450 brake horsepower, plenty for a vehicle weighing in at just 1,488-pounds. The engine was developed and built by renowned rotary tuner, Racing Beat, who also built the car's rotary-shaped muffler canister. Unfortunately, the vehicle caught on fire during a photography session at Bentwaters Parks on August 19, 2008, at 11:52 am. Driver Mark Ticehurst was piloting the Furai when the engine bay caught fire while cresting a hill on the backside of the track, but thankfully, managed to escape without injury. Continue reading for more fascinating images from around the web. Click here for bonus images of the Furai.

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Fractals in Nature

Photo credit: Prost68 via Bored Panda

Simply put, a fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. Approximate fractals found in nature display self-similarity over extended, but finite, scale ranges. The connection between fractals and leaves, for instance, is currently being used to determine how much carbon is contained in trees. These flowers above fall under this category, and are oddly satisfying to look at. Continue reading for more creative examples. Click here for a few bonus images.

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Osborne 1 First Laptop

Released in 1981, the Osborne 1 was touted as the first mass-produced, microprocessor-based portable computer, running the CP/M operating system. Despite being noticeably bulkier compared to today's laptops, with a tiny 5" CRT monitor, it had a near-revolutionary impact on business professionals, as they were able to take their computer and data with them just about anywhere. This, along with a few other "luggables" were inspired by what was probably the first portable computer, the Xerox NoteTaker. Size wise, the computer could be compared to a portable sewing machine, just portable enough to be carried onto commercial aircraft. Continue reading for eighteen more interesting pictures from around the web.

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The Beast Limo

The United States presidential state car, best known as "The Beast", is the official state car of the President of the United States. The current model is a unique Cadillac built upon a medium-duty truck platform, and equipped with many life-saving, offensive, and defensive measures, built to the United States Secret Service's standards. The doors of the presidential state car have no keyholes; the way to open the passenger doors on the limousine is a secret known only to the Secret Service. It has more 5-inch-thick bulletproof glass than the previous model, and only the driver's window opens (to pay tolls). It also has run-flat tires, and an interior that's 100% sealed to protect the occupants in the event of a chemical attack. The current presidential state car boasts rocket-propelled grenades, night vision optics, a tear gas cannon, on-board oxygen tanks, an armored fuel tank filled with foam to prevent explosion, pump-action shotguns, and 2 US pints of the president's blood type. Continue reading for more interesting photos from around the web.

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5MB Hard Drive 1950s

Here's something you don't see everyday, a 5MB hard drive being loaded onto a plane. The IBM 350 Disk File, invented by Reynold Johnson, was introduced in 1956 with the IBM 305 RAMAC computer. This drive had fifty 24-inch (0.6 m) platters, with a total capacity of five million 6-bit characters (3.75 megabytes). A single head assembly having two heads was used for access to all the platters, yielding an average access time of just under 1 second. Continue reading for more cool historical photos you may not have seen before.

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Panasonic Invisible TV

An organic light-emitting diode (OLED) is basically a light-emitting diode (LED) in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current. Panasonic has managed to embed an OLED display, developed from fine mesh, directly into the glass sliding doors of an entertainment center. When not in use, the display becomes transparent, and whatever is located behind it can be viewed normally again. Continue reading for more cool pictures from around the web.

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