Tech News

Tesla Broke Consumer Reports, Polite Phone Usage… [Tech News Digest]

Justin Pot 28-08-2015

How Tesla ruined the grading curve for other car companies, people aren’t quite sure when it’s rude to use their phones, a billion people used Facebook on Monday, Instagram discovers rectangles, and Jon Oliver teaches Americans geography.


Tesla Too Awesome; Broke Consumer Reports

You know that kid who did so well in school that he messed up the curve for everyone else? That’s what auto manufacturers are going through right now, and electric car company Tesla is the overachiever.

The all-wheel drive version of the Tesla Model S accelerates twice as fast as other vehicles despite its staggering “fuel” efficiency. Bloomberg reports that this prompted Consumer Reports to adjust the numbers.

“This is a glimpse into what we can expect down the line, where we have cars with the performance of supercars and the comfort, convenience and safety features of a luxury car while still being extremely energy efficient. We haven’t seen all those things before.” -Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports

Efficiency, power and luxury. You can have it all, but it’s not cheap: the car sells for over $100,000.

Still, Elon Musk just might save us from fossil fuels Did Elon Musk Just Save Us From Fossil Fuels? Read More , assuming low gas prices don’t kill the electric car No, Low Gas Prices Are Not the End of the Electric Car Do falling gas prices spell the end for electric cars like the Tesla Model S? Not so fast. Gas prices aren't the whole story. Read More .

We Think It’s Rude to Use Phones in Public; Do So Anyway

When is it okay to use your phone? We’re still working this out, meaning many Americans hold contradicting viewpoints, as new Pew Research Center study clearly demonstrates.


For example: 82 percent of adult Americans think it “frequently or occasionally” hurts conversation to use your phone during group activities, yet 89 percent of cellphone owners say they used their phone during their last group outings. It’s just one of many ways in which we’re all trying to work out the rules of social interaction when it comes to phone use.

A few more examples, from Pew’s website:

Fully 77% of all adults think it is generally OK for people to use their cellphones while walking down the street and 75% believe it is OK for others to use phones on public transit. But only 38% think it is generally OK for others to use cellphones at restaurants and just 5% think it is generally OK to use a cellphone at a meeting.

Clearly there are a lot of rules we’re all working out. This inspired me, so I decided to carry out my own completely unscientific study and search Twitter for “phone public rude”. Here’s what I learned: use your phone on speaker in public and everyone will hate you:


I couldn’t find any data about being a prick with a selfie stick, but I’m sure it’s out there.


More Than a Billion People Used Facebook on Monday

Facebook reached a big milestone on Monday – for the first time, one billion users logged in on the same day.

One. Billion. People. That’s nearly 1/7th the entire planet. A single company reached all those people, on one day (and showed them advertisements).

Mark Zuckerberg, naturally, is pleased:


“A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values”. -Mark Zuckerberg

For context: FIFA claims the World Cup, one of the biggest sporting events on the planet, reaches 715.1 million people. That means FIFA’s own estimate of its total audience is 300 million people short of Facebook’s traffic…on Monday.

Even more context: earlier this year the Internet had 3 billion users for the first time 3 Billion People Use the Internet, Facebook Adds Restaurant Reviews, & More... [Tech News Digest] The Internet population hits 3 billion, Facebook adds restaurant reviews, Cortana comes to Android and iOS, thieves steal from the IRS, Periscope lands on Android, and watch someone watch someone watch Non-Stop Nyan Cat. Read More . That means 1 in 3 Internet users used Facebook Monday (though oddly many Facebook users don’t realize they’re using the Internet Millions Of People Think They Use Facebook, But Not The Internet Millions of people say they don't use the Internet, but talk enthusiastically about Facebook. How has this monopoly of the World Wide Web come about? And what wider implications does it have? Read More ).

Instagram Discovers Rectangles

Since time immemorial, Instagram has allowed images and videos in but one shape: the square. Until now.

Instagram users can now upload photos in landscape or portrait, in addition to the “traditional” square images pioneered by the company. What a time to be alive.

Jon Oliver Is Teaching Americans Geography

And finally, Jon Oliver is changing entertainment The John Oliver Effect: How Last Week Tonight is Changing Entertainment John has an inherent understanding of what makes the Internet tick. Read More , but he’s got another mission: teaching Americans geography. It’s possibly the best running joke on the show, and you need to experience it.

If this doesn’t encourage you to look at a map and Change how you see the world, nothing will.

Your Views On Today’s News

So, what do you think? Did Tesla cheat? When is it rude to use your phone? Did any sites you run get a billion hits today? If so, is your server on fire? What shapes should Instagram add next? Let’s talk bout all this and so, so much more in the comments below.

Related topics: Facebook, Instagram, Tesla.

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