This is a cute little post I wrote about the science behind Santa’s Enchantment. There are fictional interviews with three of the world’s leading experts on Christmas Magic.
Ah, the Cybertruck! Elon Musk’s newest offering in the vast untapped market of electric vehicles. Someday, not too long from now, we will all be driving EV cars. Telsa, Inc. is a true market disruptor when they introduced their first fully electric vehicle on the automotive market the Tesla Roadster in 2008, soon followed by their Model S, Model X, Model 3, and there more recent Model Y—with prices ranging from a whopping $135K+ for an original Roadster, down to a more affordable $35K for the Model 3. Tesla delivered a whopping ~500K units in 2020 according to Statista. It may have taken a little over a decade but now a good deal of the major automobile manufacturers are either rolling out or planning to roll out their own EVs. However, it is the $39K+ Cybertruck that we’re looking at here. Telsa is trying to disrupt the market again with the Cybertruck, as it did with the Roadster. This is an all electric battery-powered light commercial vehicle with an estimated range of 250-500 miles on a single charge, and a purportedly 300K lb towing capacity. It will come in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants. The Cybertruck’s most notable feature is its unique oddly-shaped unibody design made from the same stainless steel material as Musk’s SpaceX is using for its interplanetry vehicle, Starship. However, what’s really got the media buzzing is the spectacle that Musk put on last month announcing the Cybertruck. It included a demonstration of its armor-plated body withstanding blows from a sledgehammer. However, Tesla had a little mishap when they tested how “bulletproof” the Cybertruck’s windows were. However, the Cybertruck’s unveiling was still a huge success with Tesla taking over 200,000 initial pre-orders! And now on to the real challenge for the Cybertruck… The Cybertruck’s chief competitor is...
Google recently announced that it was going to strip cookies from its Chrome web-browser. This is a big deal for a lot of people, namely advertisers. In case you weren’t aware of what a cookie is (not the yummy kind you eat), let Digital Batman tell you. A cookie is a bit of third-party data that gets stored on your system when you access a website. This data is used to track your online activities such as product browsing history, location, etc. Advertisers can then use this data to target ads specifically to what they think you’re interested in. And furthermore, advertisers can “retarget” ads after you as you browse around the Internet from site to site. Ever wonder how a random website you visit seems to know that you were looking at plushy chairs on Amazon? Well, that’s retargeting and that’s powered by cookies. Which leads to a lot of privacy issues that have been debated for as long as the Internet has been around. Therefore, Google is trying to assuage users’ concerns about privacy by eliminating cookies. What will advertisers do? Well, they’ll probably have to come up with more transparent ways to gather your information, with your permission. Now I mention this because it reminds me about how things have both changed and remained the same over the last 25+ years of browsing the Internet. Back in the heyday of the World Wide Web (mid-to-late 1990s), we had a whole battlefield of web browsers all vying for dominance in The Browser Wars! It all started with Netscape Navigator (technically Mosaic in its initial form), invented by Marc Andreessen founder of Netscape. [Digital Batman had done a previous Progressive Pioneers profile on Andreessen back in July.] Navigator was initially released in December of 1994. It sported a simple interface with a few oversized navigation buttons (like Back, Home, and...