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ENTERTAINMENT
October 21, 2011 | By Mindy Farabee
In 2006, when director Chris Paine released "Who Killed the Electric Car?" the story of GM's short-lived, battery-powered EV-1, the villains were many, but consumer apathy played its role. With "Revenge of the Electric Car," Paine's entertaining follow-up, top GM exec Bob Lutz gives much credit for the company's 180 to consumer outrage. Wall Street might want to take notice of how quickly tides can change. "Revenge" follows the three-way race between GM, Nissan and Silicon Valley rogues Tesla Motors to bring an electric model successfully to market by centering on the three biggest personalities involved: Lutz, Nissan head Carlos Ghosn and Elon Musk, the PayPal mogul behind Tesla who goosed GM into action with his sexy gas-free sports car. Invited "behind enemy lines" as narrator Tim Robbins intones, by GM themselves in 2007, the filmmakers gained access across the board by promising not to release the film until the cars hit showrooms in 2011.
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AUTOS
August 21, 2013 | By Brian Thevenot
Now that Tesla Motors has turned a profit , and its Model S electric car has scored the top federal safety rating and the top Consumer Reports rating , what's left for the upstart Palo Alto automaker? Plenty. What Tesla has accomplished is remarkable, and it appears on track to become the first successful automotive start-up in a century. Investors certainly think so, having pushed the stock up 323% this year. Top 10 cheapest cars that get 35 mpg But whether the bullish bet pays off in the long term will depend on whether Tesla can break out of its niche of selling government-supported cars to rich people.
BUSINESS
April 10, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Private space companies, such as SpaceX in Hawthorne, would get a local property tax break on launch vehicles, fuel, satellites and other gear under a bill approved overwhelmingly Thursday by the state Senate. The proposal, AB 777 by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), would create the exemption from local property taxes for a 10-year period that would end Jan. 1, 2024. Legislation is needed to modernize the state's tax code to encourage companies such as billionaire Elon Musk's SpaceX to build their rockets and spacecraft in California, Muratsuchi said.
BUSINESS
July 15, 2013 | By Salvador Rodriguez and Andrea Chang
Monday tech news kicked off with a significant price cut to the Microsoft Surface RT tablet and a report that a woman in China was electrocuted while using her iPhone. Microsoft cuts price of Surface RT by $150 Microsoft reduced the price of its Surface RT tablets this weekend by $150. It's cheapest model now starts at $349, but there are plenty of other great tablets that start around that price. Chinese woman electrocuted using iPhone A 23-year-old woman in China was reportedly killed when she answered a call on her iPhone 5 while it was plugged into the wall for recharging.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2013 | By Martha Groves, Los Angeles Times
Elon Musk quips that it's easier getting rockets into orbit than navigating his commute between home in Bel-Air and his Space Exploration Technologies factory in Hawthorne. "The 405 … varies from bad to horrendous," said Musk, who also co-founded PayPal and Tesla Motors. "It just seems people in Los Angeles are being tortured by this. … I don't know why they aren't marching in the streets. " The massive project to widen the 405 Freeway is not only causing traffic nightmares for motorists like Musk but has also been plagued by cost overruns and delays.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan
At a launch pad in Cape Canaveral atop a towering 18-story rocket sits a spaceship that NASA officials hope will be the first privately built craft to dock with the International Space Station. The gumdrop-shaped space capsule was slated to begin its historic mission earlier this year. But Hawthorne rocket venture Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the company that manufactures the spacecraft, said more engineering work was needed before blast off. The company, better known as SpaceX, posted a photo Wednesday on its Twitter account of the Dragon capsule and its Falcon 9 rocket sitting vertical at its launch complex.
BUSINESS
December 5, 2012 | Bloomberg News
The U.S. Defense Department plans to open more than a dozen rocket launches to competition, moving to end a monopoly held by a Lockheed Martin Corp.-Boeing Co. joint venture. The Air Force is authorized to buy as many as 14 booster cores over the next five years from potential competitors such as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., the Hawthorne company known as SpaceX and headed by billionaire Elon Musk, and Orbital Sciences Corp. of Dulles, Va., wrote Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, in a Nov. 27 memo obtained by Bloomberg News.
AUTOS
April 1, 2013 | By Ronald D. White, This post has been updated. Please see below for details.
Tesla sales of its Model S electric sedan have exceeded the target that the Palo Alto-based automaker set in February, giving it enough of a boost to claim its first quarterly profit. Tesla has sold 4,750 Model S cars or about 250 more than the February target. The better than expected sales allowed Tesla to predict "full profitability" in an amendment to its guidance for first-quarter performance. After Tesla had reported a loss of $75 million in the fourth quarter, observers had expressed concerns about the automaker's ability to quickly churn out enough electric vehicles to sustain it in the long term.
BUSINESS
May 22, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket roared to life before dawn at Cape Canaveral, Fla., today and blasted into space on a column of fire that lit the night sky for miles around. The nine-engine rocket lifted off at 3:44 a.m. EDT carrying a cone-shaped space capsule that's set to berth with the International Space Station later this week. SpaceX, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is the first private company to embark on such a mission. Up until now, sending a spacecraft to the space station has been a feat that has only been accomplished by four of the world's wealthiest and most technologically advanced governments: the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Union . The launch marked a major milestone in efforts to shift spacecraft development -- long dominated by governments and large, entrenched aerospace firms -- to privately funded firms such as SpaceX that so far have been funding their ventures largely on their own. About 10 minutes into the spaceflight, SpaceX confirmed that its gleaming, white Falcon 9 rocket had lifted the unmanned Dragon space capsule into orbit.
BUSINESS
April 24, 2012 | By W.J. Hennigan
The first launch of a private spaceship to the International Space Station has been delayed more than a week so engineers can test hardware and software, as well as review data. Space Exploration Technologies Corp., better known as SpaceX, was slated to blast off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Monday in a demonstration flight for NASA. The launch date, which has been pushed back several times already, is now set for May 7. "After reviewing our recent progress, it was clear that we needed more time to finish hardware-in-the-loop testing and properly review and follow up on all data," SpaceX spokeswoman Kirstin Brost Grantham said in statement.
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