It’s a big day for the electric car industry, and specifically, Tesla. Boss man Elon Musk will take the wraps off the long-anticipated “Model 3” tonight at 8:30 Pacific. What can we expect? How about a $35,000 base price – way cheaper than a Model S – and a 200 mile range, two name two knowns. Unknown? What it’s going to look like, for one.
So far, there are zero spy shots of the car, but guessing from what’s under a black cover in a mystery photo, it’s shorter and taller than the Model S. Speaking of electric cars, DT car guy Andrew Hard spent some quality time with Chevy’s Darin Gesse, who’s in charge of the Volt and Bolt ecars. Is cheap gas hurting sales of electric and hybrid cars? Gesse says not as much as you’d think.
Also, the new Tesla will compete directly with the new Bolt, but the Bolt, due out this year, will have some lead time on the new Tesla, which you will be able to reserve tonight but won’t roll out til next year. Is Gesse worried? Not really. But like you and everyone else, he’s curious about the Model 3, of course, so stay tuned.
Cyber security innovator and general “free spirit” John McAfee is claiming that the FBI’s motives in the Apple iPhone case were more about setting precedent than actually getting into the phone – which he also claims they could do all along. According to an article by Forbes, McAffee says the FBI has been able to crack an iPhone – or pretty much any phone for that matter – since 2013 using a device called a “Cellebrite UFED Touch.”
So why the Apple/FBI dustup? McAfee says the whole charade was just a play by the Feds to get a legit master key to Apple’s castle, and if it could that, they would use that precedent to get a master key to all Android phones. Having those keys would make it cheap and easy to read any phone, even in the field. Apparently, it’s pretty expensive to use the UFED Touch, which is made in Israel.
But when used, Forbes says the device can pretty much empty out every bit of data in a phone, from passwords to what’s stored and even what’s been deleted.
Finally, yet another drone in the news. Check out the impressive FreeBird One quadcopter, which is quickly gathering up dollars on Kickstarter.
Highlights? How about a 20-pound payload capacity, a 70-mile an hour top speed, and a unique 3D-printed airframe that embraces those protective bumpers rather than tacking them on. As such, the FreeBird can bang into stuff due to clumsy piloting and not shred itself to bits. But our favorite feature? It can be used to blow the leaves off your lawn – or the snow off the roof. Now THAT’S a drone feature we can get behind.
The FreeBird is big – it’s three feet across – and will cost four grand, but early birds can snap one up now for $1800 if you act fast. It’s scheduled to ship in August, just in time for fall…