Tesla Birth Watch 12: Autoblog's Calcanis Passes the Kool-Aid
After listening to TWiT (This Week in Technology) co-host John Dvorak nearly choke to death on a cashew, for two minutes, I persevered to hear Jason Calcanis (founder of Autoblog) say that he's done his part for the world by ordering a Tesla Roadster. To his eternal credit, Dvorak interrupts Calcanis mid-mantra to ask "When are you going to get delivery?" "I think ahhhhh they're going to start in the second quarter." Claiming he's got the "inside dope," Calcanis says the production delay's down to Tesla's desire to get the "best possible transmission." "They went through three possible transmissions. The first one would have been good enough; they're just being kind of obsessive about it." The Corvette-owning internet entrepreneur goes on to say the Tesla "costs nothing" to run "because you're doing it off electrical." More credibly, he's going to put some solar panels on his garage and maybe even buy a thirty grand windmill so he can be "100 percent off the grid." Calcanis was a bit late to the party– only putting down a $5k deposit– but he's told Tesla's he's ready to jump in with the full whack if and when one of the first 100 proto-customers drops out. Oh, and the free market will solve global warming in ten years, because everyone wants to drive an electric car. You can't buy publicity like that. Nor should you. [thanks to whippersnapper for the link]
"Moore’s law is fairly constant. I might be off by 1-2x but probably not more than that. In fact we could easily bring solar and wind to every home in America *if* we had the will" Moore's law is the observation that the number of transistors per unit area of integrated circuit increases at a rate of about 2x per 2 years. I made my career as a production engineer in semiconductors, so this is something I know a lot about. When exactly Moore's law will bottom out is the subject of great debate, but physics tells us the trend will not go on forever. But more to the point, Moore's law says absolutely nothing about the cost-per-watt of making solar electricity or wind power. Solar cells have been in production for about as long as microprocessors have, but have not enjoyed anything like the same cost and performance increases. This isn't because of government inaction either. There are a whole lot more subsidies for solar power than for computers. In fact, today's explosion of integrated circuit powered gizmos is responsible for a huge increase in demand for electricity to power the devices, drive the energy hogging semiconductor factories and cool the heat resulting from all this stuff. The consequences of Moore's law have in fact been an environmental disaster so far. "I think part of the issue here is that the folks on TTAC are from the automotive industry which typically moves slow and fracks stuff up, and I’m from the technology industry where we typically move faster and with massive innovation." Ah yes, Silicon Valley Hubris. It gets people in trouble all the time, but at least here in the Valley nobody will remind you in five years about your last frack-up.