DT Live: Super Bowl hangover, crypto disaster, and an electric plane

Amid flurries of snow, hosts Greg Nibler and Drew Prindle convened for episode 58 of Digital Trends Live, DT’s live morning show, to discuss the biggest stories from the world of tech.

For most people who watched the Super Bowl on Sunday, the game was a bit of a snooze — the game inched along to a pitifully low 13-3 Patriots victory — but the commercials this year gave tech enthusiasts a lot to chew on. Artificial intelligence and robots were a common theme running throughout the day’s ads, and while it’s not too surprising that tech-focused companies like Amazon and Simplisafe cracked jokes about the hazards of A.I. dominating every aspect of life, even companies like Pringles and Michelob poked fun at the future of robotics — alas, poor tin man, who will never know the thin body or empty flavor of a Michelob Ultra!

Buying cryptocurrency is one of the buzziest ways to make a quick buck these days; it’s also one of the buzziest ways to lose it, and not just because the market value can drop out of the blue. The users of the crypto exchange QuadrigaCX have apparently found themselves locked out of $190 million in cryptocurrency after the company’s founder, Gerald Cotten, died without leaving information on how to access the exchange’s cold storage, where most of those digital tokens are stored.

Later in the show, our hosts talked to Chip Yates, founder of Yates Electrospace Corporation. Although Elon Musk often gets compared to Marvel’s billionaire inventor/superhero Tony Stark, Yates might have a better claim to being the real-life Iron Man. Learning to assemble motorcycles as a teenager, Yates grew up to be a businessman, engineer, and even a competitive motorcycle racer.

Yates set records on an electric motorcycle that he built with some volunteers, and after retiring it, next turned his eye to the skies, building a remarkable electric airplane.

One of the most striking aspects of Yates’ electric plane is its ability to recharge in midair, a capability developed with help from the U.S. Navy.

“We developed it with the U.S. Navy; we caught them spying on us,” Yates explains. “So, we’re out there in the desert, north of the Mojave desert, north of Los Angeles — where you can pretty much get away with anything — and we’re developing this electric airplane, and I’m test-flying it, and one of the flights we did, I’m flying 200 miles an hour straight toward the U.S. Navy’s restricted airspace, and little beknownst to me there was even a restricted airspace, but also that they were tracking us. And so I land — and that was one flight where I didn’t have an emergency landing, so we were celebrating and there’s champagne — and these black cars pull up …”

Digital Trends Live airs Monday through Friday at 9 a.m. PT, with highlights available on demand after the stream ends. For more information, check out the DT Live homepage, and be sure to watch live for the chance to win occasional prizes.

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