Tesla Battery Day Update; Amazon Fire Stick Lite & Prime Day; iPad Pro Going to Mini-LED Screen; Microsoft Teams- Virtual Commutes & Headspace Meditation

Tesla held their delayed Battery Day event yesterday. Some of what Elon Musk unveiled included the so-called ‘biscuit tin’ battery, which has a larger cell canister and losses the tabs that act as positive and negative connection points between the anode and cathode and the battery casing. Cnet.com reports that Tesla claims the new design will give a 16% boost in range due to a 5 times increase in energy. They also say the new batteries are cheaper to make. The Model S Plaid was also touted, and Musk claims it will have a grange of one 520 miles, and do zero to 60 in under 2 seconds. You can configure and order one now, but first deliveries won’t be until late 2021.

The Cybertruck now has 600,000 preorders, according to Tesla. That sounds impressive, but since it only takes a $100, refundable deposit, it’s possible that some are vapor. The e-truck will be built in Austin, TX in the new plant that is being built right now. Elon Musk also claimed a private beta will be available in the next few months for the Full Self-Driving option. This feature has never actually been real self-driving with no driver involvement, but some upgrades are coming, including use of what they call 3D video.

Musk also touted a future $25,000 electric car, although he only spoke of it in the long term…possibly the next 3 years. The stock took a pretty good beating after hours with the news that it might be 3 years away if that. It’s still off 8% this morning as this is written.

Amazon has a big Alexa hardware event tomorrow, and ahead of that, a new Fire TV stick Lite has leaked. According to engadget.com, it might be a replacement for the $30 model of 2019…OR, could be an even cheaper Stick Lite. Amazon is also expected to reveal more about the new Eero WiFi 6 routers. In another Amazon leak, Prime Day is said to begin on October 13th this year. Amazon will likely reveal the date for sure on September 27th. Amazon helpfully noted that you can tell Alexa to keep you updated on Prime Day!

The ink isn’t yet dry, and pixels dimmed on Apple’s September event, where they showed off new iPads, and now comes word that a new iPad Pro series will be coming in 2021, but possibly late 2020. Macrumors.com says noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo says the next iPad Pros will go to a mini-LED display. Kuo says that Apple has at least 6 iPad and Mac products in the pipeline with mini-LED displays by the end of 2021. The mini-LED has the advantage of being less power hungry and brighter than present displays. They also have darker blacks and richer colors. The only fly in the ointment is that they cost more…until the economies of scale kick in. Kuo says that is what Apple and its suppliers are working on right now.

Microsoft has unveiled a number of Teams features. Some are available right away, and others will be rolled out later this year. According to venturebeat.com, headline features are ‘virtual commutes’ and meditation breaks. The virtual commute is actually designed as a way to “Think about what we were going into in the day and think about clearing up what we are coming out of in a day. And so this virtual commute experience allows you to take a step back, again going into and coming out of your day to just organize your thoughts and to make sure you’re really processing, doing some pre- and post-processing of your work. It turns out the research shows us that can be very helpful.” Microsoft has also partnered with Headspace to bring a curated set of mindfulness experiences and science-backed meditations to Teams. They claim use can reduce burnout by 14%.


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