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DT Daily: Tesla pauses Model 3 production to untangle robot assembly lines

Modern Times

Tesla is under pressure to get Model 3 production numbers up – way way up – so they’re tackling the problem in the best possible way: By totally stopping Model 3 production. After Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently lamented his, perhaps, over-reliance on automation (or, as we call them: robots) to build his cars, the company has paused the Model 3 assembly lines to, of course, re-jigger the automated facets of production.

Obviously, the production pause is just that – a pause – and Musk says that once the production system gets out of “production hell” as he calls it, the Fremont plant should be able to make their goal of snapping together 5,000 of the cars a week. That’s 29 cars an hour, if the plant runs 24/7, or one Model 3 every two minutes  – which is a whole lot more than the zero per hour currently being produced.

And while Musk has a terrible record of meeting deadlines and production goals, he also has a pretty good track record at making amazing stuff, from those five-star electric cars to solar-power roofs to rockets that come back for a perfect landing. Is the Tesla Model 3 going to be worth the, likely long wait for the half a million people that have pre-ordered it? Check out our full review of the car to find out.

Apple News news

In case you missed it, one of Apple’s fastest growing revenue streams isn’t the iPhone or another gadget, it’s content, from apps to Apple Music to Apple TV content. Now, it looks like Cupertino is going to get into the news business in a big, or at least a much bigger way, than it already does.

Yes, Apple had “News Stand” and Apple News apps that were fairly underwhelming, but following their recent acquisition of magazine app Texture, Bloomberg says it looks like a new “premium subscription” news service is in the works, likely based on the Texture model, which offered content from 200 different publications for $10 a month. Bloomberg says Apple’s success with the still-growing Apple Music subscription model has spurred more investment in similar pay-every-month ventures.

So far, there’s no name, timetable or other solid details about the new Apple news service, so stay tuned, we’ll update you when we hear more about it.

Tip: Actual blocks and chains are not involved

Think what you will about the vagaries of bitcoin, there’s no denying it has brought us one of the most important new technologies of recent times: the blockchain. It’s one of the buzziest of tech buzzwords these days, but most people don’t know what it is, what it does, or how it works.

Blockchain technology, in a nutshell, is a not-so-complicated internet-based bookkeeping scheme that uses data encryption, so it can be securely used to protect data about pretty much anything, not just securing bitcoins and other crypto currencies. The encryption system is so tough, it can be used across an almost unlimited number of applications, from medical records to DMV records, to voting booths, to gaming to supply lines for manufacturing. DT staffers have talked to blockchain experts about what it can do to serve humanity, and, of course, how it all works, so if you’re sick of hearing the term “blockchain”, check out our multi-part series and become a blockchain expert. Might was well, because we’re all going to be talking about it for years to come, trust us.

We’ve got more news on our Facebook page and YouTube channel, and be sure to tune in to this week’s DT podcasts: Trends with Benefits (general tech shenanigans)  on Thursdays, and Between the Streams (movie and TV topics) every Friday.

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Bill Roberson
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