Back to 5

First of all, thank you to everyone who wrote in with their thoughts about the newsletter. The respon
M.G. Siegler
Back to 5
By M.G. Siegler • Issue #86
First of all, thank you to everyone who wrote in with their thoughts about the newsletter. The responses ranged from very kind to extremely helpful – and some were both! And both kinds have fired me up to keep going with the experiment.
To that end, I’m going to be trying a few things here over the next few weeks – give or take some time when I’m actually on vacation – so pardon the dust and/or format confusion. The core content – the links! – should (hopefully) remain useful, even if things are moving around a bit.
Step 1: making “5ish Links” actually 5-ish links (instead of say, 10).
More to come, but thanks again for all the feedback. 

The Model 3 Is Here. On time. On point.
I Drove a Tesla Model 3. Here’s What You Need to Know.
Jack Stewart:
This car feels like an automotive tipping point, a sign that electric vehicles (and hopefully, their infrastructure that supports them) have finally come into their own. Time will tell whether Musk & Co. can hit their deadlines and keep production lines humming. (Elon Musk revealed Friday that over half a million people have now plonked down $1,000 to reserve their own.) For now, it looks real nice.
Initially, Tesla is building just two configurations of the car, to keep things as simple on the production line. The base will be the $35,000 version, with a range of 220 miles and acceleration from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds. The “long range” version will go a claimed 310 miles between charges, and do the 0-60 sprint in 5.1 seconds—but it’ll set you back $44,000. Both models come with just one electric motor driving the back wheels. The twin motor, the all-wheel-drive option, will follow in a few months. (In a break from tradition, Tesla won’t talk kilowatt-hour battery sizes, saying that customers understand range in miles better.)
Half a million people reserved one. 310 mile range (for the pricier model).
It’s why the inside is dominated by the giant touchscreen; in fact, there’s nothing else. No buttons or switches, no gauges in front of the driver, not even a speed readout. It’s all on the screen, which is also the main control panel. Want to turn down the heat? Tap the screen. Change the radio station? Look at a map? Switch on the headlights? Same deal. Two click-y scroll wheels on either side of the steering wheel help out too. You can use them to change the volume on your radio, but also to adjust the mirrors.
This seems like one of the more controversial things about the car – everything controlled via touchscreen. The uproar kind of reminds me of “no ports?!” – which did have some merit, of course.
The Model 3 isn’t the first electric car on the market, not by a long shot. The Chevrolet Bolt and BMW i3 look like competitors. But there’s a reason hundreds of thousands of people shouted “Take my money!” at Tesla, and not at any other automaker. Tyler the Creator bought one. A Model S makes a cameo in Fifty Shades of Grey. Elon Musk is a media genius, and his magic makes Teslas objects of desire. Drivers want these cars—and now, drivers might be able to purchase them, too. “If you’re trying to make a difference in the world, you have to make cars that people can afford,“ says Musk.
Now Tesla has to actually build these cars. "We’re going to go through six months of manufacturing hell” to manage expectations, Musk says. He still believes the company will pump out 500,000 vehicles next year from its Fremont factory in California.
The challenge ahead – to scale such operations – is immense. But the dismissals that this really isn’t any different than the Bolt or the i3 – and those guys were here first – are ridiculous. In that way, Tesla is like Apple.
Tesla Model 3 first drive: this is the car that Elon Musk promised
Another take on the Model 3 from Tamara Warren:
I felt like I was driving in an Eames chair. That was my first impression as I climbed into the driver’s seat of the Tesla Model 3 at the Fremont Factory on Friday afternoon. It took a moment to orient myself — no gauges, no speedometer, no airplane cockpit cues. Instead, one continuous smooth line between myself and the road ahead, offset by natural, unfinished wood. The premium model of the Model 3 caught me off guard. After hearing so much hype about this car, I was surprised that my first reaction was a profound sense of delight. It wasn’t bland, nor sterile, nor cheap feeling. Here was something different. Here was an exercise in minimalism. Here was the car Elon Musk promised to make 14 years ago.
What a killer first line. Again, instinct says this is a watershed moment.
Giphy Break
OG Telsa -- well, not the OG...
OG Telsa -- well, not the OG...
The Titans of Print
Laurene Powell Jobs is buying The Atlantic
Edmund Lee:
Jobs, in a statement, called the Atlantic “one of the country’s most important and enduring journalistic institutions,” and cited the links between her organization, the Emerson Collective, and the Atlantic’s founder, Ralph Waldo Emerson, who “created a magazine whose mission was to bring about equality for all people.”
First of all, I had no idea Ralph Waldo Emerson was The Atlantic’s original founder – that’s some great synergies in story (with Emerson Collective) right there. Second, I understand why people worry about billionaires buying up old journalistic institutions, but this isn’t anything new. The people are just more wealthy from different sectors. And in some cases, that seems to be paying dividends (figuratively, if not yet literally). 
Speaking of Jeff Bezos...
Forget Bezos, Putin Is World's Richest Man
Damien Sharkov:
Browder was once a a shareholder at Gazprom, Surgutneftegas and other state-run enterprises in the 1990s, and he says that Putin’s wealth hinges on a deal with Russian businessmen around this time that made Putin the “richest man in the world.”
“One by one by one after Mikhail Khodorkovsky was convicted these other oligarchs went to Vladimir Putin and said, ‘What do we have to do to not sit in that cage?’ He said very straightforward—'50 percent.’ Not 50 percent for the Russian government or 50 percent for the presidential administration of Russia, 50 percent for Vladimir Putin,” Browder told Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.  
So how much does Browder think Putin is worth? “I believe he is worth $200 billion.”
Secrets of Hollywood’s Highest-Paid Directors
Hint: it’s perhaps not as much as you think (relative to the actors), unless they’re smart enough to cut back-end deals (which they often are these days). And the money fluctuates quite a bit depending on how “hot” they are at the moment. [via REDEF]
500ish Words
The iPod Shuffles Into the Sunset
RIP iPod nano and especially shuffle…  •  Share
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M.G. Siegler
Links to stories around the internet that M.G. Siegler has thoughts on. Thoughts longer than 140 characters, otherwise he'll tweet them. Thoughts less than 500ish words, otherwise he'll write them.
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