Technology, Travel

Kia EV6 smashes Tesla’s world record

Kia EV6

Recently, the Kia EV6 was also taken on a coast-to-coast road trip from New York to Los Angeles and set another new world record in the process.

During the seven-day trip, the Kia EV6 was charged for a total of seven hours, 10 minutes, and one second. That was fast enough for it to set a new Guinness World Record for shortest charging time to cross the United States in an electric vehicle. Impressively, it shattered the previous record set by Tesla by more than five and a half hours. For reference, the Tesla needed to be charged for a total of 12 hours, 48 minutes, and 19 seconds.

CarBuzz

That’s huge for Kia. And the car is gorgeous. I really welcome the competition here. EV by 2035!

Stocks, Technology

Lime raises $500M and public plans

Lime raises over $500 million, confirms plans to take its electric scooter company public.

Now, Lime says that its most recent funding round was oversubscribed, with $418 million in debt financing led by Abu Dhabi Growth Fund, Fidelity Management & Research, Uber, and certain funds managed by Highbridge Capital Management. The company also received a $105 million senior secured term loan facility from a private equity group at UBS O’Connor. (These bank loans are typically made to companies that have below investment-grade credit ratings.)

Going public would certainly help raise cash in the near term, but it also carries big risks. Lime’s main rival, Bird, recently went public via a SPAC merger that valued the Santa Monica-based company at $2.3 billion. That deal just closed, and as soon as they were publicly listed, shares in the newly merged company fell sharply.

But while Bird relies on its business model of sending fleets of scooters to small operators to handle deployment and charging, Lime will likely rely on its scale and global status to attract investor interest. The company claims to be the top scooter operator in the US and Europe. It hit 250 million rides over the summer (recall it was at 200 million a year ago) and recently rolled out the fourth-generation version of its electric scooter.

The Verge

I am a Lime user and I can’t wait to see them go public. We are still not seeing financial filings to judge whether they have a sound business model.

Technology

Uber partners with Hertz to offer 50,000 Tesla

Uber Technologies Inc on Wednesday said it is launching a new partnership with rental car company Hertz to offer 50,000 Tesla Inc vehicles as a rental option for its ride-hail drivers by 2023.

The announcement comes after Hertz on Monday said it would order 100,000 Tesla vehicles by the end of 2022, meaning that half of the rental company’s Tesla fleet would be reserved exclusively for Uber drivers.

For Uber drivers, Tesla rentals will start out at $334 a week, including insurance and maintenance, and consist mostly of the company’s Model 3 sedan. Uber said the rental cost would drop to $299 per week or lower as the program expands in the coming year.

Yahoo

I think this is a right step to electrification in automobiles. Also great news for Hertz being relevant again with electric cars. And of course, sweet win for Tesla.

This is also related to Newsom’s executive order to have California state to require that, by 2035, all new cars and passenger trucks sold in California be zero-emission vehicles.

Following the order, the California Air Resources Board will develop regulations to mandate that 100 percent of in-state sales of new passenger cars and trucks are zero-emission by 2035 – a target which would achieve more than a 35 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and an 80 percent improvement in oxides of nitrogen emissions from cars statewide. In addition, the Air Resources Board will develop regulations to mandate that all operations of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles shall be 100 percent zero emission by 2045 where feasible, with the mandate going into effect by 2035 for drayage trucks.

California gov
Technology

Intel readies 12th-gen Alder Lake chips

Intel’s 12th Gen Alder Lake chips have finally arrived, ushering in a new era of the company’s chips, lead by the flagship Core i9-12900K CPU, which Intel promises is the “world’s best gaming processor.”

Intel is also heavily pushing Windows 11 as a key part of its Alder Lake lineup, noting that it’s worked with Microsoft to optimize its Intel Thread Director software to better manage tasks across threads when using the new OS. We’ll have to do some testing ourselves to see whether Windows 11 offers a notable boost in performance, however, along with how well the new chips stack up against competition from AMD and Apple.

Preorders for the new Intel 12th Gen chips start today, with the chips available on November 4th.

The Verge

Intel needs this success badly.

Technology

France protects book industry from Amazon

As much as I like bookstores, this feels to me like too much protectionism.

Sophie Fornairon’s independent bookshop has survived the rise of Amazon thanks to a French law that prohibits price discounting on new books, but she says the e-commerce giant’s ability to undercut on shipping still skews the market against stores like hers.

Fornairon, who owns the Canal Bookstore in central Paris, now hopes that new legislation that would set a minimum price for book deliveries will even the contest further in the battle of neighbourhood stores against Amazon (AMZN.O).

French law prohibits free book deliveries but Amazon has circumvented this by charging a single centime (cent). Local book stores typically charge about 5-7 euros ($5.82-8.15) for shipping a book.

Amazon had lobbied hard against the legislation, worried the French move might set a precedent, the senator said.

Reuters

Amazon has used its scale to get ahead of independent bookstores in France. This is seen as unfair to the bookstores in France however Amazon also made a good argument that they advanced consumer welfare by having lower prices and convenience.

Technology

Uber starts 15-minute delivery in Paris

The U.S. ride-hailing and food delivery company said it has expanded a partnership with French supermarket chain Carrefour to debut the service, which is called Carrefour Sprint. It will be available on the Uber Eats app from Tuesday. Rather than sending couriers to Carrefour stores, Uber is relying on a network of so-called dark stores — small warehouses where pickers and packers prepare orders for delivery — operated by French start-up Cajoo.

The service, Carrefour Sprint, relies on so-called dark stores — small warehouses — operated by French start-up Cajoo.

CNBC

Dark stores sounds just like Amazon fulfillment centers to me. It’s overall a good move if it addresses the needs of the busy people in Paris. Personally, I don’t see a need for 15-minute delivery.

Stocks, Technology

Facebook Q3 earnings: profit beats estimates

Surprise surprise, Facebook beats profit estimates. I was skeptical in this round considering Apple’s effort on privacy and I was wrong Looks like ads are still doing pretty well.

Facebook reported mixed third quarter earnings on Monday, slightly missing revenue estimates but continuing to grow its user base in the face of multiple controversies that have sparked widespread criticism and calls for tighter regulation.

Here are the most important numbers from the report compared to analysts’ expectations, as compiled by Bloomberg:

Revenue: $29.01 billion versus $29.45 billion expected

Earnings per share: $3.22 versus $3.17 expected

Family daily active users: 2.81 billion versus 2.76 billion expected

Family monthly active users: 3.58 billion versus 3.51 billion expected

Yahoo Finance

And Mark Zuckerberg had to mention the metaverse again.

“We made good progress this quarter and our community continues to grow. I’m excited about our roadmap, especially around creators, commerce, and helping to build the metaverse.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO

Apple is announcing Q4 2021 earnings release on October 28.

Stocks, Technology

PayPal is exploring Pinterest acquisition

San Jose, California-based PayPal has recently approached Pinterest about a potential deal, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. The companies have discussed a potential price of around $70 a share, the people said.

Bloomberg

Pinterest suffered user decline in the last year and I don’t think their management knows how to fix the problem. I highly doubt PayPal would much to help on Pinterest user decline. To me, Pinterest users are a niche market of designers and collectors. I thought it would be easy for Pinterest to create a vibrant marketplace with the user personas they have. I guess it’s just too niched.

Pinterest stocks jumped about 14% today.

Stocks, Technology

WHO hired company to copy Moderna

The World Health Organization has hired the company, called Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, as part of a $100 million plan to figure out how to make an mRNA vaccine against COVID that is as close as possible to the version produced by Moderna.

As to why WHO has chosen to try to copy Moderna rather than the other mRNA COVID vaccine, which is made by Pfizer BioNTech, Friede says the choice was practical.

“Moderna has reiterated on several occasions that they will not enforce their intellectual property during the pandemic,” says Friede. In other words, a manufacturer probably won’t face a lawsuit for producing a vaccine that’s virtually identical to Moderna’s.

But Afrigen’s Petro Treblanche says there are still a lot of unknowns. Take Moderna’s patent.

“It’s written very carefully and cleverly to not disclose absolutely everything,” says Treblanche.

So while Afrigen has been able to determine most of the equipment and specialized ingredients that are needed, “what we don’t know is the exact concentrations,” says Treblanche. “And we don’t know some of the mixing times — some of the conditions of mixing and formulating.”

NPR

The fact that we are in a pandemic situation and we have Moderna not sharing the COVID-19 vaccine recipe makes me uncomfortable. On one hand, I think innovation should be protected and rewarded. In this case, trade is protected for 20 years for the technology that Moderna invented. The question is whether this is ethical to have a company guard their profits at the cost of potential human live losses. Moderna also promises not to enforce their intellectual property during a pandemic which seems kinda reasonable. Moderna also released the genetic sequence but not give the exact procedure to manufacture it.