Samsung will sell a refurbished version of the Note 7 to address environmental concerns
 The final chapter of Samsung’s lengthy Note 7 saga apparently has yet to be written. Following pressure from environmental groups that culminated with a on-site protester at the company’s Mobile World Congress press event, Samsung has confirmed its intentions to re-release the Note 7 back into the wild in refurbished form. After announcing last year that it would simply… Read More ...
Faraday Future cancels plans to build an assembly factory in California
 Faraday Future, the would-be Tesla rival facing well-documented challenges in terms of capitalization and efforts to bring its first production vehicle to market, has scrapped plans to construct an assembly facility and “experience center” (read: showroom) in Vallejo, California on Mare Island. The car maker had already secured a negotiating agreement with the Vallejo city… Read More ...
Arable raises $4.25 million to demystify farming with sensors and data
 Arable has raised $4.25 million for solar-powered sensors and software to help farmers produce more food with fewer resources, and more accurately predict their yields. Middleland Capital and S2G Ventures led the Series A investment in Arable joined by Chasefield, Spark Labs and Cantos VC. Believe it or not, farmers in the US have faced a labor shortage for years. US citizens aren’t drawn… Read More ...
Japanese authorities decry ongoing robot failures at Fukushima
 Six years ago, a massive earthquake, consequent tsunami and nuclear crisis struck Japan. International organizations rushed to help the country’s devastated residents, and to figure out how to clean up Fukushima Daiichi, the wrecked nuclear power plant. Robots offered a ray of hope amid unfathomable loss. At least they did, until recently. As the Asahi Shimbun reported yesterday, members… Read More ...
Tesla Model 3 is ‘just a smaller, more affordable’ Model S, says Elon Musk
 The Tesla Model 3 is not a product iteration along the lines of successive iPhones, Elon Musk clarified on Twitter on Friday. Instead, it’s a “smaller model affordable versions of Model S” with less range, less power and fewer features, according to the Tesla CEO. The Model S is still going to be the leader in terms of it technological capabilities – so think more iPhone… Read More ...
Causes of the global water crisis and 12 companies trying to solve it
 It’s World Water Day. Time to wake up and take shorter showers. That is, if we’re fortunate enough to have them. Water scarcity and pollution are persistent global problems. According to End Water Poverty, some 663 million people around the world have absolutely no reliable access to clean, safe water year-round. And two-thirds of the world population faces water scarcity for… Read More ...
Wright Electric unveils its commercial electric plane business
 Gas is the biggest cost for airlines. The easiest way to reduce these costs? Don’t use gas at all. That was the pitch from Wright Electric, a startup building an commercial passenger plane that runs on batteries and can handle flights under 300 miles. These short-haul trips make up 30 percent of all flights and a $26 billion market. Today Wright Electric gave its first preview to the… Read More ...
Vinsight gives grape and almond growers a high-tech crystal ball
 Farmers know how hard it is to predict yield accurately. High-value crops like grapes or almonds prove particularly challenging. Farmers expect, and settle for, twenty to forty percent uncertainty with these crops. Vinsight founder and CEO, Megan Nunes, who grew up in the farming business, found that unacceptable. After almost a decade-long career in the satellite industry, she turned her… Read More ...
An eBay for grain-trading, FarmLead, raises $6.5 million Series A
 Farmers work to feed the world. Yet somehow, corn, wheat and rice sales are still happening at a local level through antiquated paperwork and phone negotiations. Now, an Ottawa-based startup called FarmLead has raised $6.5 million in venture funding to connect grain producers and buyers automatically online, and help farmers get fair prices for what they grow. The platform is something like… Read More ...
Santa Fe enlists Rubicon Global to curb waste and ramp up recycling
 Humans, especially Americans, are kind of slobs. We mess up the Earth by throwing out about 4.5 pounds of garbage per person on average every day. Two-thirds of that waste could be composted, but isn’t. And half of the rest of it could be recycled, according to research from the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment, corroborated by studies from the Global Footprint Network and… Read More ...
Tesla’s Kauai solar facility will offset 1.6M gallons of fuel use per year
 Tesla’s Kauai solar power facility is officially open for business as of Friday, with a 13 MW SolarCity solar farm installation providing power to a Powerpack storage facility with 52 MWh of total capacity. The beauty of the new facility, in terms of the specific needs of the sun-soaked island in the Pacific, is that it can capture energy from the sun during peak daytime productiondf… Read More ...
John Deere partners with Kespry to bring drones and aerial data to construction and forestry
 Heavy equipment makers Deere & Co., better known as John Deere, have forged a strategic alliance with drone-tech startup Kespry, the companies announced Tuesday in Las Vegas at CONEXPO, an international trade show for the construction industry. The deal could prove a boon for sales of Kespry’s drones and data analytics software. It could help John Deere tap into a new, high-tech means… Read More ...
Amazon begins large-scale rooftop solar installation across its warehouses
 Amazon is looking to improve its renewable energy track record, with a new project that will see it install large solar energy gathering arrays on the rooftops of many of its global fulfillment and sortation facilities. The plan is to start with 15 system installations in the U.S. by the end of this year, with a longer-term plan of putting them on about 50 buildings by 2020. The initial 15… Read More ...
Volkswagen’s e-Golf gets a range boost to 125 miles for 2017
 The e-Golf, Volkswagen’s electric version of its popular compact car, officially gets around 50 percent more range this year than it did in the previous model. That means it now has an EPA rating of 125 miles on a single charge (via Autoblog), compared to 83 miles before. The 125-mile range is still a far cry from the Chevy Bolt’s industry-leading EV range, but the e-Golf is not… Read More ...
Ornithologists are using drones to eavesdrop on songbirds
 When conservationists put drones to work in field research, they typically function as flying eyes that gather imagery of the habitat and wildlife below. Now, ornithologists from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania are using drones as flying ears to monitor songbirds in the Appalachian Mountains. Results of their drone study were published in the peer-reviewed journal The Auk:… Read More ...
Uncorking innovation with Treasury Wine Estates in Napa
 The ancient craft of wine making conjures romantic notions of hand picked vines, and bare feet crushing grapes. However, wine production today is a thoroughly high-tech affair. Degree programs in viticulture and oenology, from Cornell University to UC Davis, reflect advances in the industry. Professors and courses there now focus on topics like “environmental control, and modified… Read More ...
Tesla answers claims of poor factory working conditions and unionization efforts
 Jose Moran, a person claiming to be Tesla employee working at the company’s Fremont, California assembly facility, took to Medium on Thursday to detail working conditions at the company, and to detail efforts on behalf of factory employees to unionize, an initiative which is in the beginning stages of being supported by the United Autoworkers Union, the largest U.S. organized labor… Read More ...
Chevrolet ends production of the Spark EV now that the Bolt EV is out
 Chevrolet is putting its electrified bets on the Bolt EV, as the company announced today that it’s ending production of the Spark EV, the compact car with a relatively meager 82 miles of electric range. The decision to end production of the car likely has a lot to do with the Bolt EV’s much more attractive options, which include 238 miles of EPA rated range. The price delta… Read More ...
Kreisel’s fully electric Mercedes G-Class is the Terminator’s off-road vehicle of choice
 Electric vehicles tend to be designed with a certain customer in mind, and typically this imagined buyer is probably bookish, possibly vegan and mostly concerned with getting around in maximum efficiency. Tesla shook up this stereotype a bit with its speedy sports cars, but the new Kreisel customized Mercedes G 350 d with a fully electric drive train adds another dimension to the image of… Read More ...
Energy is the new new internet
 If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on in energy, you should. We’ve seen this movie before. Spoiler alert: There’s massive economic opportunity ahead. How massive? Imagine standing in 1992, knowing that Google, Akamai, Netflix, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, BuzzFeed and Uber lay ahead. This time it’s the “Enernet,” not the internet, that will… Read More ...