Connect with us


Elon Musk’s battle to reopen Tesla’s Fremont plant may shape his legacy



Elon Musk intends to make himself immortal by inserting himself into history books as best he can: electric cars will do, but so will a private mission to Mars. At times, it seems that he is the last subscriber to the “Great Man” theory of history.

The problem is that history tends to be written by the survivors — a heel turn late in life, for instance, will obliterate any contemporary admiration. In Los Angeles, this is most clearly borne out by William Mullholland. Mulholland — an obsessed engineer whose dream was to supply Los Angeles with enough water for generations of growth — performed an examination on the St. Francis Dam hours before it collapsed, killing hundreds in one of the worst disasters in California’s history. Brilliant and witty as Mullholland was, he is now known primarily for that disaster and his abysmal behavior in the Owens Valley water conflict, which inspired the movie Chinatown.

Well, none of us have control over our own obituaries, assuming we are lucky enough to get an obituary at all. But it is certainly curious to see a man with such an obvious interest in his legacy make moves that may destroy it. This brings us to the reopening of the Tesla Fremont plant in apparent violation of an Alameda County health order prohibiting the factory from operating.

Last week, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that some manufacturing in the state would be allowed to resume on May 8; but if the state and the county disagree, the more restrictive order is the one that matters. And although some counties may go slower than the state in reopening business, no one may go faster, according to Sonia Angell, the head of the state’s department of public health.

The immediate action began with tweets: Musk railed against the Alameda County order to continue sheltering in place and threatened to leave California. He also filed suit against Alameda County. Tesla began making cars again at its Fremont, California factory last weekend, The Verge’s Sean O’Kane reported. Workers who had been placed on furlough were called back. On Monday, Musk tweeted confirmation of that reporting and said, “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.” Shortly after that, Nevada Gigafactory workers received an email calling them back to work as well, O’Kane reported.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump tweeted his support for Musk: “California should let Tesla & @elonmusk open the plant, NOW. It can be done Fast & Safely!” Later that evening, Alameda County announced it had received Tesla’s safety plan for Fremont and that “Tesla can begin to augment their minimum business operations this week in preparation for possible reopening as soon as next week.” On Wednesday, an internal email sent from Tesla said that the company is ramping up its production this week to get to full capacity, Bloomberg News reported.

Fremont is located in one of the six counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area, which was the first in the country to issue shelter-in-place orders and close non-essential businesses — a move that Musk resisted at the time, causing a county health official to remark Musk had created a public health risk. But the Bay Area’s quick action — along with a little bit of luck — ensured that the cities in it were spared the full horror of the outbreak, at least so far. Though the first community-transmission cases were detected here, only about 350 deaths from COVID-19 had been confirmed as of the beginning of May; University of California San Francisco epidemiologist George Rutherford estimated that the Bay Area’s action had saved more than 1,000 lives.

“California has been progressive and forward-thinking in how they’ve handled COVID-19, and that shows in their numbers,” John Brownstein, who leads the Computational Epidemiology Lab at Boston Children’s Hospital, tells The Verge.

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the country, major outbreaks have occurred at meat packing plants. One report from a Chinese restaurant showed that a single person’s breathing infected 10 people from three families, two of which were sitting at separate tables, over the course of an hour and a half. Another report, of an outbreak in a South Korean call center, showed that one infected employee in the call center resulted in 94 cases — though how much of that is attributable to touching shared objects and how much was airflow remains unknown. A choir rehearsal with a single sick person resulted in 45 cases. At one Staten Island Amazon warehouse, there have been at least 35 cases; across 125 Amazon warehouse facilities, workers have recorded at least 606 cases. At least one Amazon warehouse worker has died of COVID-19.

There are still things we don’t know about how the virus spreads, but we do have some clues from these reports: closed environments where people spend a lot of time in proximity seem to be risks, says Brownstein, who is also a professor at Harvard Medical School. Brownstein thinks there are ways to mitigate risk from these environments, but those decisions will vary by location and should be made by local and state governments.

“The biggest thing that offended me about what’s being proposed here is the civil disobedience aspect,” says Mark Cullen, director of the Center for Population Health Sciences at Stanford, in an interview. “Any time you take what turns out to be brilliant planning on the part of our six counties — and to snub the value of that very publicly, make this ‘fuck you’ libertarian statement, and say ‘if you don’t do what I want, I’ll move to another state’ — highlights what’s wrong with public health thinking and policy. It’s outrageous.”

There’s another unknown: what happens if businesses that are reopening must shut down again, says Liliana Tenney, a senior instructor at the Colorado School of Public Health. Until there’s legislation to protect these workers, we should respect local, state, and federal restrictions — and err on the side of caution, Tenney says. That protects all citizens, but particularly workers who face the choice of either working at places like Tesla or unemployment.

“What we’ve seen through our experience is that most employers are very nervous about this return to work and the return to operations,” Tenney tells The Verge. “And they are doing everything in their power to enact safety measures but also to pause and take it slowly.”

All of the experts I spoke to agreed there are ways to make workplaces like Tesla safer. One is to group workers into cohorts, so if one person in the group gets sick, the number of people who are exposed is smaller. Screening people for coronavirus on a daily or weekly basis will also make it less likely a disastrous outbreak will occur, particularly if it’s paired with contact tracing. Personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves, may make workers safer, too. Managing the facility — spacing people out, increasing ventilation, and disinfecting surfaces more frequently — will also lower risks to the workforce.

A “return to work” playbook from Tesla incorporates these ideas, which the company says were inspired by measures implemented at the Chinese Gigafactory. Measures include increased cleaning, providing hand sanitizer, enforcing social distancing, temperature checks at the entry of the factory, adjusting work shifts, reducing the number of people allowed on company shuttles, and providing personal protective equipment. One of the assembly lines is, famously, a tent in a parking lot, which may also provide better ventilation than indoor lines.

Production lines are moving more slowly than usual, according to internal Tesla correspondence seen by CNBC. Three Fremont employees told the outlet that their temperatures were taken at the factory entrance, dispensers for hand sanitizer had been placed, and they’d been given surgical masks. Scheduled break times were meant to reduce contact in bathrooms and dining areas.

Still, several employees feel they are being pressured to return to work, NBC News reported. One worker said that her supervisor told her that if she didn’t return to work as directed, she was in danger of being fired. Internal Tesla emails viewed by NBC said that employees who didn’t return to work would no longer receive unemployment insurance, and would have to take unpaid leave. A worker told NBC that staying away from people in the plant was difficult. “It’s hard to stay six feet from people,” the anonymous employee told the outlet. “It’s a production line. There’s a lot of people.” Another worker told The New York Times that the production line hadn’t changed much, making it difficult to avoid other workers.

That was echoed in comments to Joseph Geha, a reporter for the Bay Area News Group: “The work that we do requires us to constantly be in close proximity to people,” the worker said. (The negative views are not uniformly held: a worker told Geha that they were fine with the factory reopening.) Another worker told The San Jose Mercury News that tools used on the production line are shared and aren’t being cleaned or sanitized between uses.

On one level, the kerfuffle is bewildering. Musk has spent years presenting himself as an enthusiastic acolyte of science. What’s more, in an interview with The New York Times on May 9th, an Alameda county official said that the county and Tesla had been close to an agreement to reopen the plant on May 18.

“We were working on a lot of policies and procedures to help operate that plant and quite frankly, I think Tesla did a pretty good job, and that’s why I had it to the point where on May 18, Tesla would have opened,” said Scott Haggerty, the county supervisor for the district where the Fremont plant operates, according to The New York Times. “I know Elon knew that. But he wanted it this week.”

The May 18 restart would have put Tesla squarely in line with other automakers’ efforts to reopen their plants. Mercedes-Benz fired up its Alabama facility on April 27. BMW’s South Carolina plant started up on May 4; GM began production on May 11, as did Honda, Subaru, and Volvo. Toyota planned to restart its US production this week. Fiat Chrysler will resume on May 18, as will Ford. Volkswagen has postponed starting up its plants indefinitely.

What’s more, car sales cratered in March. In April, though, they seemed to slightly recover, though sales were still down 50 percent compared with April 2019. So why start the fight with Alameda at all?

Just before the coronavirus-related health orders closed plants, Tesla was launching its Model Y SUV. SUVs, along with pickup trucks, were among the few bright spots in the market these last few months, says Jessica Caldwell, an analyst for Edmunds. Dealers have also been offering remarkable incentives, such as zero percent interest loans for as long as seven years. Different areas in the world are recovering at different speeds, Caldwell points out. So Musk might want his factories up and running for when markets — in the US or elsewhere — recover. And Tesla makes cars at just two places: Shanghai and Fremont.

“If they’re not producing at either factory they have no global production,” Caldwell says. “And as the world comes back online, Tesla will be competing against other automakers who are literally throwing out all the stops.”

The Model Y is particularly important, says Karl Brauer, the executive publisher at Autotrader and Kelly Blue Book. “He’s got enough demand in the US and globally that he can probably sell most — if not every — Model Y about as fast as he can build them.”

There’s another factor, and it’s political. Before starting his standoff with Alameda County, Musk was already agitating to open Fremont on a private call with President Donald Trump and some other CEOs. Musk told Trump that he did not view returning to work as a significant risk, and the president agreed, The Washington Post reported. SpaceX, Musk’s commercial space company, is heavily reliant on government contracts; if Musk were trying to curry favor with Trump, it wouldn’t be the first time.

There’s also Musk’s image to consider, says Brauer. “Elon rightfully feels that taking a non-conventional approach has served him relatively well for the last 15 years that he’s been at Tesla,” Brauer says. “So if it’s unconventional to break a government mandate if he doesn’t think it’s a necessary level of caution, it plays into his image and his customer base, which likes his unconventional approach.”

But the question may be if Musk loses more than he gains by aligning himself with Trump and others who have persistently tried to convince Americans that stay-home orders aren’t necessary, Brauer says. He might gain new customers — people who ordinarily might not care about electric vehicles but want to support Musk for pushing back against government overreach. Longtime Tesla customers, though, might feel alienated, particularly those who are more collectively-minded.

Cullen, the epidemiologist, is among that group. “I drive a fucking Tesla,” Cullen tells The Verge. “When the cheap ones came out, I bought one. I love the car. I don’t love Musk.”

If Musk reopens Tesla successfully, and without sickening his workers, we should all expect an “I told you so!” tweetstorm. But if Fremont workers get sick and bring COVID-19 with them into the places where they live, seeding outbreaks like we’ve seen with meatpacking plants and other close-quarters facilities, Musk stands to lose a tremendous amount of confidence the public has placed in him. Historically, Musk has been a connoisseur of risk — but now he’s gambling with his legacy.

If Alameda County’s COVID-19 case counts spike two or three weeks from now, Musk’s role in seeding an epidemic will likely be the first line in his obituary. Under the Great Man theory of history, the man in question takes all the blame.


Borderlands 3 PS5 and Xbox Series X versions announced for free



Borderlands 3 PS5

Borderlands 3 PS5 and Xbox Series X are coming with free next-gen upgrade !!

Isn’t it great? Yes, you heard right!!

Borderlands 3 is all set to take a huge jump as Gearbox Software also confirmed the news that Borderlands 3 will be available for PS5 and Xbox Series X very soon as it is under development right now.

Not only this, but there will also be an upgrade that will be freely available for all the gaming-enthusiasts who are on PS4 right now.

So there is no need to create panic PS4 gamers !!

Borderlands 3 PS5: When it Will Make Bang on Entry

  • Right now, it will be quite early to comment on its release date. But one thing that you can be stay assured about is that it will not be very late.
  • We can expect it anytime by the end of 2020 or at the beginning of the new year of which many are deliberately waiting as people have high hopes that 2021 will bring some positivity with it as 2020’s global pandemic has exhausted everyone.

What will happen to existing Borderlands 3 players?

There is a piece of good news for existing Borderlands 3 players, as existing Borderlands 3 players will be able to transfer their saves over to the enhanced PS5 and Xbox Series X versions at no extra cost.

Features of Borderlands 3 PS5 and Xbox X

Borderlands 3 PS5

  • Borderlands 3 runs at 60 frames per second and in 4K resolution on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 in single-player mode.
  • Not only this but also Borderlands 3 is coming with 2 exciting features like Four-player split-screen, and the option to do vertical split-screen in two-player co-op.
  • You can divide your screen both horizontally as well as vertically in a two-player co-op.

Gearbox said Borderlands 3 PS5 players can expect more add-on content later in 2020.

These features mentioned above, especially the vertical split-screen, have been requested by the gamers for so long, It is now fulfilled by the makers of the game.

And goodies are not over yet !!

As it’s not just locked to the Borderlands PS5 and Xbox Series X versions. They will be added to current-gen versions in a patch at some point as well.

New DLC is Coming ???

Yes, there is another good news regarding Borderlands 3 PS5 and Xbox X series, New DLC is ready to come out very soon.

Borderlands 3 PS5: PAX Online presentation

The gearbox is all set to amaze its players with a complete set of new surprises. This new DLC isn’t part of the season pass but comes to a new game mode and the added bonus of a brand new skill tree for every single Vault Hunter.

  • It will be introduced with FL4K’s new skill tree.
  • Recently a teaser was released showcasing a new crowd-control based action skill called Gravity Snare, and a brand new companion- a Hyperion Loaderbot which made gamers elated to a great extent.
  • In case you don’t know then let us let you know that right now Borderlands is available for PC, PS4, Stadia, and Xbox One
  • And in the coming times, it will be available for PS5 and Xbox Series X versions as they are under the development phase right now.




Continue Reading


Only best India betting on well-tried 1xBet



The current football season offers its fans an ongoing intrigue that continues up to now. This makes it possible to place best India betting on well-tried, which generate a considerable income for football fans. Thus, fans of the English Premier League were recently shocked by the news that the disqualification of Manchester city had been cancelled, which automatically excludes those who on the 5th line of the standings from the Champions League.

Now, to qualify for the group stage of the most popular European tournament, teams have to finish the season within the TOP 4 of the standings. Unlike Liverpool and Man City that have already secured qualification for the Champions League, other challengers keep fighting actively. Even despite the fact that London Chelsea is currently ranked 3rd and Leicester 4th, the Red Devils are a potential challenger of these places. Solskjaer’s team still have plenty of time to overcome their opponents, which is strongly backed by the following factors:

  1. Acquisition of B. Fernandes. With this player, the Manchurians’ starting lineup has gained enough strength. From now on, the flank attacks have become more frequent, thus creating dangerous moments at the opponent’s goal.
  2. Decent performance of Rashford and Martial. In the second half of the season, these two strikers managed to demonstrate their skills to the maximum and score goals in almost every game.
  3. Motivation. Solskjaer has motivated the team so that they would return their name and prestige to the large arena of the Champions League.

Best betting on the upcoming games of the English Premier League is available to all residents of India on the well-tried website 1xBet.

You can make money on the game of Manchester United within the eSports direction as well due to well-tried bets on FIFA 20 cyber league on 1xBet. Only the highest coefficients are available here.

The best attested live casino from 1xBet

The well-known brand offers to give your gambling skills a try as well. In the corresponding section, you will find a wide range of casino games that are common for a real gambling parlour. The company has attested live casino from 1xBet, which is suitable for any category of players. If you want, you can place all entertainment right into your pocket using a special mobile app. Thus, you will be able to play at the live casino from attested company 1xBet almost anywhere where there is Internet access. All new players receive a welcome bonus of up to 100% of the first deposit — such a present will significantly increase your income!

Continue Reading


Smarty SIM only deals & Plans August 2020



Do you use Smarty SIM? Are you planning to buy a Smarty SIM? or do you want to know Smarty SIM-only deals & Plans August 2020? If yes, go through the article below and read all about Smart SIM.

Smarty is UK’s one of the finest brands for SIM purchase brands that provides incredible offers to its customers. Get all the data you need for less. SIM-only deals are rapidly gaining popularity. One of the choicest things about Smarty is that it does not tie users into a long term contract by offering handsets or very long-term plans. Rather, it offers a good collection of  SIM-only plans, all of which bundled with unlimited texts and calls.

Google has added many travel features to its platform for the convenience of travelers: Google is adding a new ‘free cancellation’ filter to only see hotels that offer this incentive.

Why Smart SIM only?

There are various reasons that force users to use SMART SIM only. it offers something different that you would not get on other telecommunications.

Heavy Discount on unused Data

This offer is just wow! Getting something you haven’t used! This is a “buys back” deal. Users get money at the rate of  £1 /GB of data for unused data of the previous month in the following month. So, if you have left with 5 GB of data in the month of June, you would get a discount of £5 on the billing of July.

Flexible Plans

Smarty SIM plans last for a month. So, users can change their plans every month according to their needs. Sometimes we need more data and sometimes less, so Smarty SIM provides flexibility to manage great deals for them.

Referring Scheme

Referring schemes exist with most of the apps and so does with Smarty SIM. When you signup on the website, you would be given a special link called “Refer a Freind” link. You can send invites to your friends by sharing the link. When your friend signup using the same link you would get a free month. The referred friend also gets a free month and a £10 Amazon voucher. Send as many invites as you want to. Remember, you get when your friend signup using the same link.

Data-ad ons

Run out of data sometimes? Do not worry! With Smarty SIM you can take data addons very easily at the cost of £1.25 per GB of data. moreover, Data ad-ons are for a lifetime, they do not have an expiry date.

Unlimited Calls

These days almost every firm offering unlimited call packs. but Smarty is providing unlimited texts and unlimited UK standard calls with all plans and this isn’t easy.

Use SIM on other devices

Smarty SIMs can be used in your existing phone, a new handset, tablets, dongles, laptops, wifi routers, and game consoles.

Smarty SIM only deals & Plans August 2020

1) Smarty Unlimited

  • Unlimited Data
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £20 per month

2) Smarty 30 GB

  • 30 GB data
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £10 per month

3) Smarty 1GB

  • 1 GB data
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £6 per month

4) Smarty 2 GB

  • 2 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £7 per month

5) Smarty 3GB

  • 3 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £8 per month

6) Smarty 4 GB

  • 1 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £9 per month

7) Smarty 50 GB

  • 50 GB data
  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £15 per month

8) Cheap SIM plan

This is for Lebara SIM only.

  • 2GB data
  • 1000 minutes and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £5 per month

9) 5GB + data SIM

This is for iD Mobile

  • 10GB data
  • 1000 minutes and texts
  • Time Duration: 1 month
  • Price: £8 per month

10) Cheapest SIM only deal for Unlimited data

This is for Three SIM.

  • Time: 12-month contract
  • All-you-can-eat data
  • Unlimited calls and texts
  • Price: £18 per month

TRAI expresses concern over the use of Chinese equipment: No decision yet on Huawei and ZTE ban!!

Final Words

Well, readers, It’s all about Smarty SIM-only deals & Plans August 2020. I hope now you are out of confusion and can take a firm decision on which SIM to use. Time-to-time Smarty SIM offers the best deals to its users.

So, how do you like the article???

Share your feedback. Thank you!

Continue Reading