Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Elon Musk, an Industrialist For the 21st Century

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the awesome-that's-the-century-i-live-in dept.

Space 89

pacopico writes "Elon Musk has just come off a pretty amazing run. SpaceX docked with the ISS. Tesla has started selling its all-electric luxury sedan, and SolarCity just filed to go public. Bloomberg Businessweek spent a few days with Musk and got a look inside his insane factories in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. It's like Willy Wonka time for geeks. Among the other proclamations in the story is Musk saying that he intends to die on Mars. 'Just not on impact.' Musk then goes on to describe a fifth mode of transportation he's calling the Hyperloop."

cancel ×

89 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Grammar (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | about 2 years ago | (#41337135)

Bloomberg Businessweek spent a few days with Musk and got a look inside his insane factories in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

They're manufacturing insanity in America now? That explains a lot.

It's the free market (2)

MRe_nl (306212) | about 2 years ago | (#41337395)

Insanity is cheaper than consent.

Re:It's the free market (1)

bwcbwc (601780) | about 2 years ago | (#41338767)

True "fact": He also invented the Musk Ox.

Re:It's the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338985)

... and has his own fragrance, of course.

Re:It's the free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41346017)

This comment is way funnier than the score suggests.

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337403)

They're manufacturing insanity in America now? That explains a lot.

They've practiced for decades, with some weird side products, but only now they perfected it.

Re:Grammar (1)

Orga (1720130) | about 2 years ago | (#41337683)

They're manufacturing insanity in America now? That explains a lot.

AKA. QE3

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337857)

Where did you get your economics degree from, again? Because last time I checked, the vast majority of renowned economists agree that the correct play for the Federal Reserve is monetary expansion. Even Milton Friedman said that--at least, wrt to the Great Depression.

If you want to see your preferred policy in action, read The Lords of Finance. You'll find your kindred souls in the 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, along with their failed policies.

Re:Grammar (4, Funny)

Orga (1720130) | about 2 years ago | (#41338015)

Cornell

Re:Grammar (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338307)

For those watching at home... that was a conversation stopper. ;)

Re:Grammar (1)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about 2 years ago | (#41339003)

Yeah well, AC stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Re:Grammar (1)

bored_engineer (951004) | about 2 years ago | (#41338495)

That was awesome.

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339069)

AC is correct. I hope you didn't go into debt for that degree. I'ts not worth much if you pretend it justifies that opinion.

Re:Grammar (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339539)

I should've saw that one coming.

I studied international economics at George Washington, and have a law degree. But that doesn't mean I should be the head of the WTO or sit on the Supreme Court. And good monetary policy is something that's fairly well understood. Sucks for Cornell if this is the quality of people they're putting out.

Anonymous coward has a law degree? (1)

js_sebastian (946118) | about 2 years ago | (#41340009)

I should've saw that one coming.

I studied international economics at George Washington, and have a law degree.

Didn't see that one coming...

Re:Grammar (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#41337725)

Bloomberg Businessweek spent a few days with Musk and got a look inside his insane factories in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.

They're manufacturing insanity in America now? That explains a lot.

AND we're exporting it. Get ready, world!

Re:Grammar (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337779)

What? You've only just realized that? I think McCain expressed as much pretty clearly through his VP pick.

Re:Grammar (1)

zill (1690130) | about 2 years ago | (#41337905)

Not for long though. I hear it's being off-shored to China already.

Re:Grammar (1)

Sectoid_Dev (232963) | about 2 years ago | (#41338729)

There's plenty of insanity being produced by other countries, available for import to the United States. But will the American consumer develop a taste for exotic insanity or prefer the home grown domestic stuff?

Re:Grammar (0)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41338785)

But will the American consumer develop a taste for exotic insanity or prefer the home grown domestic stuff?

Anime

A great lad (4, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | about 2 years ago | (#41337227)

Fair play to him for building the factories in the USA and not the People's Republic of Communist China.

Re:A great lad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338289)

It's just too bad nobody is buying Teslas (losing money hand over fist), while them commies can't stop guys like you from throwing money at them ;-)

Re:A great lad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340671)

Are they really losing money when Toyota is licensing their tech?

Re:A great lad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41342263)

Losing one billion dollars despite having Toyota on board (which you seem to be only person who knows about the deal) makes me understand why the two wives bailed.

Re:A great lad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41350307)

It was Akio Toyoda [wikipedia.org] himself was involved with the transaction.

As for who else knew of this deal, I'd suggest you look at the various [wsj.com] newspaper [sfgate.com] articles that discussed [autoblog.com] the investment by Toyota into Tesla.

In fact the Governator himself was at the ground breaking with Mr. Toyoda and Elon Musk, as can be seen in the photo with this article:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/37358614/ns/business-us_business/t/tesla-toyota-give-jolt-nummi-plant/#.UFVoi1GaVRQ [msn.com]

I can't help it if you've been living under a rock, and neither could the GP poster.

Re:A great lad (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#41340739)

It's not fair play - it's required by the government whose teat he's sucking at.

Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337293)

Cool but I don't think it's fair to call him an industrialist.

So far, none of his ventures have made money.

Re:Cool but... (3, Informative)

Kenja (541830) | about 2 years ago | (#41337343)

Paypal made a lot of money, which he has spent in interesting ways.

Re:Cool but... (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#41337759)

Paypal made a lot of money, which he has spent in interesting ways.

OK, so none of his enviable ventures have made money... I think PayPal could be one of the most universally loathed name in the tech community. Probably why it didn't show up in the summary, a good bit of /. would be trolling for "he's building rockets with money he stole from me" quips.

Re:Cool but... (3, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 2 years ago | (#41337897)

Well I'd rather have my stolen money be made into rockets than car elevators for his home.

Re:Cool but... (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | about 2 years ago | (#41337939)

Has it always been? I quite liked it when it first started up. It was a decent way to pay for things online, knowing fairly well you wouldn't get completely screwed either way. The issue with them is really their more recent actions.

Re:Cool but... (3, Informative)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 2 years ago | (#41338201)

Has it always been? I quite liked it when it first started up. It was a decent way to pay for things online, knowing fairly well you wouldn't get completely screwed either way. The issue with them is really their more recent actions.

Paypal is a company that wants to act like a bank (handling deposits, exchanges, etc) but doesn't want to be regulated like a bank (in all the bad ways). This has been controversial from pretty much the start, but yes things have been escalating since Ebay bought the company from Musk and Thiel. One particularly contentious issue has always been their somewhat capricious handling of fraud (or what they constitute as fraud) and their refusal to allow appeals or arbitration, effectively setting their own rules on when they can decide to perpetually keep money that has been deposited to them.

Re:Cool but... (2)

Dzimas (547818) | about 2 years ago | (#41337411)

PayPal is highly profitable. Even though Musk is no longer involved in the company, it helped to bankroll his future endeavors. SpaceX has the potential to be highly profitable, although its fortunes (at least initially) will be tied closely to the whims and political meanderings of NASA's budget.

Re:Cool but... (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about 2 years ago | (#41337985)

Not entirely dependent on NASA. Check their launch manifest.

Re:Cool but... (1)

DarkSabreLord (1067044) | about 2 years ago | (#41338207)

Not entirely tied to NASA - many private entities (Google Lunar X-Prize teams, for one) are aiming to launch using the SpaceX rockets as well

Re:Cool but... (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | about 2 years ago | (#41339779)

PayPal is highly profitable. Even though Musk is no longer involved in the company, it helped to bankroll his future endeavors. SpaceX has the potential to be highly profitable, although its fortunes (at least initially) will be tied closely to the whims and political meanderings of NASA's budget.

According to TFA, SpaceX is _already_ profitable, with a backlog of orders.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41342141)

"As of May 2012, SpaceX has operated on total funding of approximately one billion dollars in its first ten years of operation. Of this, private equity has provided about $200M, with Musk investing approximately $100M and other investors having put in about $100M (Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, ...) [22]. The remainder has come from progress payments on long-term launch contracts and development contracts. NASA has put in about $400-500M of this amount, with most of that as progress payments on launch contracts."

Sure, if you count starting with a billion dollars, half of which were from the evil, evil government. I can do that too, you know.

Re:Cool but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41343249)

Wait, wait, wait...So let me get this straight.
So SpaceX has launched a grand total of 6 rockets, first three failed. And only the last two were paying customers, and they are already profitable?
So two paying customers covered their entire development and operating costs and profit on top? And where can I get in on this high payback scam, sorry I mean business?

And Richard Branson needs to be taking notes seeing that the first two customers of his suborbital flight stint will turn it into instant money tree.

Re:Cool but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41350347)

Wait, wait, wait...So let me get this straight.
So SpaceX has launched a grand total of 6 rockets, first three failed. And only the last two were paying customers, and they are already profitable?

They are profitable according to rules that the IRS has given to any business that engages in similar kinds of contracts. Money has been paid as a deposit for many of those flights, and hardware has been built for a great many of those rockets. That those rockets haven't flown yet is sort of a risk that those who are booking these flights are taking, but the recent successes that SpaceX has demonstrated seems to have paid off handsomely.

If SpaceX is just a fraud trying to jilt these customers, it won't stay in business much longer.... or is that what you are implying?

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41344049)

I don't understand your point.

90% of Lockheed Martin's income is from government contracts, yet we don't hesitate to call this company profitable. And United Space Alliance isn't getting called out for spending government money. Are you against smaller more efficient businesses taking money from the pockets of the MIC giants, or are you simply an anarchist?

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41344865)

I'm simply a realist. Call a spade a spade. If you are a psychopath and have no qualms taking government money, SAY SO. Don't pretend you're some sort of financial genius because you lucked your way into Paypal and then indulged your childish side with rocketry with government money. And for the love of fuck, you geeks need to wake the hell up. Elon Musk won't rocket your frail ass across the galaxy either.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41360135)

Current news disagree with you...

Re:Cool but... (5, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 2 years ago | (#41337441)

Cool but I don't think it's fair to call him an industrialist.

So far, none of his ventures have made money.

I'll accept that critisism as soon as you can explain to me what is so worthwhile about gaining increasingly more value and wealth? He's already rich. Does it matter if he is turning a profit if he is able to continue doing many great things?

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337505)

Cool but I don't think it's fair to call him an industrialist.

So far, none of his ventures have made money.

I'll accept that critisism as soon as you can explain to me what is so worthwhile about gaining increasingly more value and wealth? He's already rich. Does it matter if he is turning a profit if he is able to continue doing many great things?

Making money is pretty central to being an industrialist, so while making more money may not matter to an already rich and happy man... IT IS INCORRECT TO CALL HIM AN INDUSTRIALIST.

Re:Cool but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337709)

No, building industries is central to being an industrialist. Making money is a whole other thing.

Re:Cool but... (3, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | about 2 years ago | (#41338161)

No, it is 100% correct to call him an industrialist. he IS building industries.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339781)

Also...

PayPal did quite well.

SolarCity is the largest provider of solar power systems in the country.

Tesla is growing rapidly, adding service centers and new models of vehicles, selling out all preorder options, and on track for profitability in 2013.

SpaceX is sitting on contracts well in excess of their original funding, collecting progress payments in a timely manner, and winning new ones all the time.

In so far as anyone could say there's a modern day industrialist in the entire world right now, he is it. And by most outward indicators, the man doesn't even know how to fail.

Re:Cool but... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41344085)

No, you don't understand the Tea Party position.

HIS BUSINESS ISN'T PROFITABLE WHILE SETTING UP A MULTI HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR PRODUCTION LINE THEREFORE ITS A FAILURE AND SHOULD BE IMMEDIATELY SHUT DOWN SO DEMOCRATS LOOK BAD AND GOVERNMENT MONEY IS WASTED. SHUT IT DOWN. OBAMA A MUSLIM. DESTROY. CRUSH. ECONOMY MUST BURN SO ROMNEY IS PRESIDENT.

Filter error: Don't use so many caps.Filter error: Don't use so many caps.Filter error: Don't use so many caps.Filter error: Don't use so many caps.Filter error: Don't use so many caps.Filter error: Don't use so many caps.Filter error: Don't use so many caps.Filter error: Don't use so many caps.

Re:Cool but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41351927)

And by most outward indicators, the man doesn't even know how to fail.

Elon Musk came pretty damn close to folding up shop completely and needing to pull the plug on all of his companies. At one point he had no liquid assets of any kind and was technically bankrupt (about two years ago). If the article is to be believed mentioned in the original post, Elon invested in a Silicon Valley startup called Everdream (I've never heard of it, but Elon Musk was a major shareholder and initial investor) and that gave Elon Musk the liquid capital to float Tesla Motors past the initial start up problems, got the Roadster out to all of the customers that had paid deposits, and was able to help finance the flight of the Falcon 1 flight 4 which was necessary to convince their next customer that it could actually fly.

I'd call that a sort of rabbit hat trick and damn good luck, but Elon Musk certainly pushed the envelope of risk there. I'd say it also increased Elon Musk's net worth several fold. How many people can say that they own a major stake in an American automobile manufacturing company and a rocket launching company?

Re:Cool but... (1)

tibman (623933) | about 2 years ago | (#41338485)

I'd say they must be two different things because a lot of money is made by disassembling industries.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337509)

Why shouldn't he, he worked hard, and he is being rewarded. He had the foresight, and the dedication and connections and initiative and intelligence and creativity, and those should be rewarded. You're simply jelous because neither you nor your next of kin will ever achieve his level... Garbage like you is pathetic.

Re:Cool but... (1)

zill (1690130) | about 2 years ago | (#41337947)

If he's making money he's an industrialist.

If he's not then he's a philanthropist.

I think GP is merely arguing the word choice that's all.

Re:Cool but... (4, Insightful)

N0Man74 (1620447) | about 2 years ago | (#41338165)

If he's making money he's an industrialist.

If he's not then he's a philanthropist.

I think GP is merely arguing the word choice that's all.

These two aren't antonyms, nor even mutually exclusive. I would agree that profit-seeking is a nearly ubiquitous goal of industrialists, but that is not the defining characteristic. Being involved in industry is.

Being an "industrialist" doesn't require seeking a profit anymore than a "business" requires profit. There are certainly "non-profit businesses", and the phrase "non-profit industry" should be familiar to most here.

Industrialists don't have to be robber barons in order to be industrialists.

Re:Cool but... (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41340545)

you could say that all of them are speculative

they would like to make money, musk would like to make money, the railroad robber barons of old, the iconic image that pops to mind when i think industrialist, they would have liked to make money when they started a business venture

but they frequently lost their shirt. you wouldn't call them philanthropists because they spent a fortune to build a railroad line that promptly went bankrupt

likewise, if musk makes no money, he's not a philanthropist. he just started a business that failed, which happens most of the time

the difference is the scale and the machine-oriented subject of the venture. he is an industrialist, doing what they always do: take a giant risk with a fortune on a gamble involving a complicated outlay on tons of machinery and the long-term effort of a huge cast of engineers

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41341695)

If he's making money he's an industrialist.

If he's not then he's a philanthropist.

I think GP is merely arguing the word choice that's all.

These two aren't antonyms, nor even mutually exclusive. I would agree that profit-seeking is a nearly ubiquitous goal of industrialists, but that is not the defining characteristic. Being involved in industry is.

Being an "industrialist" doesn't require seeking a profit anymore than a "business" requires profit. There are certainly "non-profit businesses", and the phrase "non-profit industry" should be familiar to most here.

Industrialists don't have to be robber barons in order to be industrialists.

I agree. Otherwise the heads of GM are not industrialists. Well, they actually made more money from car loans when they made money, but you know what I mean.

On the other hand, if you are involved in an industry not because you want to build X, but because you want to prove X can be built, is that an industrialist?

Musk is not interested in money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338137)

Musk wants to build THINGS. He wants to change society for the better (and to HIS vision of it). What makes that possible is money. To ppl like Musk, money is not an end-all, but the ability to do things.

Sadly, here in America, we have ran these ppl out. Instead, we have CONgress that writes tax breaks to send jobs overseas.

Basically, you have a corrupt set of neo-cons, along with an inept set of dems that just hate America, all the while wrapping themselves in our flags.

OTOH, we need to get more ppl like Musk going here.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338349)

I'll accept that critisism as soon as you can explain to me what is so worthwhile about gaining increasingly more value and wealth?

Because companies need to be break even or turn a profit to survive.

Re:Cool but... (1)

Animats (122034) | about 2 years ago | (#41338373)

So far, none of his ventures have made money.

PayPal is profitable. Space-X is profitable. Tesla just needs to get their production volume up.

(Why is the factory being described as "insane"? It looks like a modern auto factory, although on the small side. The Space-X factory is interesting, because it doesn't look like a NASA operation. It looks like an aircraft factory. Space-X boosters can be set on their side and don't need a clean room for the whole booster. They made a decision to have a little more weight to get a more rugged item, and it seems to be working out well. Very Russian, actually.)

Re:Cool but... (1, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 2 years ago | (#41338761)

what is so worthwhile about gaining increasingly more value and wealth

- OK, ask yourself a question: is it worthwhile building industries that are self-sustainable or just running welfare projects, personal pet projects that can only last due to subsidies and are not sustainable on their own?

Is it really hard to understand that a business that makes profits and not losses is the business that is going to survive? Is it better to build a business that survives by investing into it or is it better to build a temporary play ground that only misallocates scarce resources to something that is not market oriented and so cannot be sustained in the long run?

If you cannot answer this question, then you won't understand the problem with yours.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337647)

Cool but I don't think it's fair to call him an industrialist.

So far, none of his ventures have made money.

Both Tesla Motors and SpaceX are profitable now.

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337895)

[citation needed]

Here are few about Tesla Motors.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-04-12/tesla-motors-cuts-factory-cost-to-try-to-generate-profit.html
http://www.rttnews.com/1821466/tesla-motors-q4-loss-widens-expects-profit-in-2013.aspx

Re:Cool but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41344111)

Firstly, could you fuck right off back to wikipedia you obnoxious troll.

Secondly, Tesla Motors will be profitable in the 1st financial quarter of 2013. The reason they are not profitable now is because they are investing in half a billion dollars in setup costs for their factory. Outside of the lunatic republican fringe this is considered normal for a new business. When deliveries ramp in the last quarter of this year and customers begin paying for cars they should start posting some positive results.

Re:Cool but... (1)

Orga (1720130) | about 2 years ago | (#41337761)

Neither did the John Galt Line

Re:Cool but... (1)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | about 2 years ago | (#41338173)

According to the article, SpaceX is turning a profit.

Re:Cool but... (1)

NalosLayor (958307) | about 2 years ago | (#41338651)

SpaceX has been profitable for several years AFAIK.

How to become a millionaire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337377)

Start as a billionaire. Musk is an idiot. A lucky idiot.

Re:How to become a millionaire (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338053)

he has gotten his money's worth in achievement and fame. I can't think of a better way to spend money.

What did you do with your billions, or millions, or aerospace company or electric car company?

Oh yeah, you have none of those things, idiot.

Re:How to become a millionaire (1)

tibman (623933) | about 2 years ago | (#41338535)

That idiot is going to die on Mars.

Re:How to become a millionaire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41340005)

No, he won't. No one will, ever. Get it through your delusional head. And how is "dying on Mars" proof he's not an idiot?

Re:How to become a millionaire (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338703)

But an idiot who sends rockets to the space station!

Re:How to become a millionaire (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41339159)

Considering he was a self made billionaire and didn't inherit what he lost I would have to say he is pretty damn smart and you might want to rethink how your life has gone so far.

An Industrialist For the 21st Century (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 2 years ago | (#41337545)

Well, with a Star Wars name, he'd hardly go for a 19th century industrialist. For that, he'd have to call himself George Stirling-Krupp or something like that.

Re:An Industrialist For the 21st Century (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41338351)

He has a Star Trek face to boot.

He looks just like Chekov! Take a look for yourself:

http://www.airspacemag.com/space-exploration/Visionary-Launchers-Employees.html [airspacemag.com]

Re:An Industrialist For the 21st Century (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41338855)

I was thinking closer to Data.

No Pictures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337569)

Too bad Businessweek didn't care to share their look with the rest of us.

Video of the factory (5, Interesting)

mbaGeek (1219224) | about 2 years ago | (#41337621)

you have to wait until 2:15 but here is an interview with Elon Musk/walk-thru of the Tesla factory [foxbusiness.com]

Re:Video of the factory (1)

addie (470476) | about 2 years ago | (#41340567)

I had read the Businessweek article before I watched that video - I did not at all expect him to be so... odd. He's compelling, but he's clearly not comfortable or experienced with media.

I'd venture that the Howard Hughes portion of his personality is not insignificant. Fascinating guy!

Hyperloop -- for those who don't RTFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337719)

The "hyperloop" is not a launch loop, as I at first suspected. He describes it as

some sort of tube capable of taking someone from downtown San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes.

, so some sort of high-speed-rail-killer. First thought -- a brachistochrone-like evacuated tunnel?

Of course a cycloid, the true brachistochrone, would be too deep (~350 miles distance, so it'd be about 100 miles deep), possibly too much acceleration for comfort, and rather faster... It's a well-known proof (a classic example problem in typical 1st-year graduate maths or physics, if not undergraduate) that a frictionless straight-line tunnel connecting any two points through the Earth takes 42 minutes, and is suboptimal (aside from the antipodal case, where it coincides with the brachistochrone solution), so a 30-minute travel would be curved somewhat, but rather less than the true cycloid.

Re:Hyperloop -- for those who don't RTFA (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 2 years ago | (#41338579)

it leaves when you arrive.

It's a futurama tube / asimov moving platform / personal elevator combo.

Re:Hyperloop -- for those who don't RTFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339427)

OK, it leaves when you arrive -- and then does what?

700 mph for the half-hour mentioned in the article, so transonic at least. Elsewhere, Musk said "it goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do.", so we're talking decidedly supersonic, if it's exposed to the atmosphere.

And he says energy consumption is low enough you can solar-power it (with no batteries to run at night -- some sort of potential or kinetic energy storage). Does that sound like the power requirements of any sort of supersonic monorail, supersonic rolling roadways, supersonic flow dragging one-man capsules through a tube, etc.? You gonna fill those futurama tubes with helium to get those speeds subsonically? Drag's still a killer...

Hyperloop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41337727)

I hope it isn't Mr. Garrison's "It" vehicle.

Elon Musk == Saxifrage Russell (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338185)

One has to wonder who will be Arkady Bogdanov or the Coyote.

Queue financial scandal... 4.3.2.1.0... (0)

divisionbyzero (300681) | about 2 years ago | (#41338203)

I hope not but it seems like every time someone becomes a poster boy for something it turns out to be a fraud.

Elon Musk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41338445)

Why does he drive a Hummer?

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=12250+Castlegate+Dr+Los+Angeles,+CA+90049-2306&ll=34.072462,-118.479363&spn=0.007243,0.009645&sll=34.072994,-118.480008&layer=c&cbp=13,107.05,,0,0.15&cbll=34.073112,-118.480479&gl=us&hnear=12250+Castlegate+Dr,+Los+Angeles,+California+90049&t=m&z=17&panoid=vh2hMmeDiiR77hMovQUwXA

Re:Elon Musk (2)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41338959)

Considering the only evidence of that is a google street view picture of a hummer parked on the street next to his place, but not parked behind the gate on the actual property, you may be reading too much into things.

This was actually an interesting article... (3, Interesting)

olau (314197) | about 2 years ago | (#41338653)

... despite the "let's interview a billionaire" theme. The guy has clearly helped a long a lot of interesting stuff, and he's not done yet.

If they can ramp up production of the Tesla S without burning through all their cash, it would be an instant winner here in Denmark, if nothing else then because of our special tax rules for cars.

Re:This was actually an interesting article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41339543)

There's nothing wrong with billionaires. This guy was not chosen just because he had a billion dollars - there are plenty of Goldman Sachs people with lots of those - he was chosen because he is doing interesting things that seriously have the potential to change the world. Making a profit is not evil.

That used to be normal (2)

Casandro (751346) | about 2 years ago | (#41343819)

Such high innovation high risk activities used to be way more common till the 1980s. Look around you, Home Computers were made long before anybody believed there was a market for them, yet in the 1970s many companies just made and sold them. They did sell and a new industry was born.

Unfortunately that is a lot rarer now. Company only develop and build devices which are already proven to have a market. That's why there are virtually no new devices out there. The mobile device market, for example, is now more boring than it ever was. Virtually all the devices are precisely the same.

The PayPal Guy? (1)

tapspace (2368622) | about 2 years ago | (#41345875)

So, this is the wanker who created paypal and now we're all grinding on his loins? No thanks.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>