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Trump supporters chant ‘Four more years!’ at Washington rally as he pushes false election claims

U.S. President Donald Trump’s supporters began gathering in Washington on Saturday for a protest to back his unsubstantiated claims of election fraud as he pushes ahead with a flurry of long-shot legal challenges to overturn president-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump has made little headway in the courts with his lawsuits. He began to sound doubtful about his prospects for the first time on Friday, telling reporters “time will tell” who occupies the White House from Jan. 20.

There have been other pro-Trump protests around the country since Biden was projected the winner on Nov. 7, but they have been small and unfolded with few incidents.

The pro-Trump demonstrations in Washington and other cities will feature a mix of the president’s backers, including far-right personalities and members of the Oath Keepers militia and Proud Boys group in a public display of support for his effort to stay in power.

Trump’s motorcade drove by some of the protesters in downtown Washington on Saturday morning on his way to his golf course in nearby Sterling, Va. Flag-waving supporters chanted “USA!” and “Four more years!” as the cars rolled by. Outside the course, anti-Trump demonstrators waved signs including, “We voted — You’re Fired.”

Trump supporters participate in what some labelled as a ‘Stop the Steal’ protest in Washington after the U.S. presidential election was called for Democratic candidate Joe Biden. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

Organizers have given the rallies various names, including the Million MAGA March, the March for Trump and Stop the Steal. MAGA is an acronym for the Trump campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” Trump has tweeted his support.

Protesting against the marches, opponents on social media sought to create confusion by flooding the hashtags #MillionMAGAMarch and #MarchforTrump with photographs of pancakes.

Some left-wing groups planned counter-demonstrations in Washington and other cities.

Biden further solidified his victory on Friday as results from Edison Research showed him winning Georgia, giving him a final tally of 306 electoral college votes, far more than the 270 needed to be elected president and above Trump’s 232.

Members of the far-right group Proud Boys march in Washington to support Donald Trump in his fight against the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

The 306 votes was equal to Trump’s tally in his 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton, which at the time he called a “landslide.”

Trump briefly appeared close to acknowledging the likelihood he will be leaving the White House in January during remarks about the coronavirus response at a White House event on Friday.

“This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, uh, whatever happens in the future — who knows which administration it will be? I guess time will tell,” Trump said in his first public remarks since Biden was projected as the election’s winner.

A fight breaks out as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump and counter-protesters rally on Saturday in Washington, D.C. (Julio Cortez/The Associated Press)

With the election outcome becoming clearer, Trump has discussed with advisers possible media ventures and appearances that would keep him in the spotlight ahead of a possible 2024 White House bid, aides said.

He is considering starting a television channel or social media company to compete with those he felt betrayed him and stifled his ability to communicate directly with Americans, according to several advisers.

In the near term, Trump is expected to campaign for Republican candidates in Georgia ahead of two Jan. 5 runoff elections that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

Failing in court

Trump has refused to concede to Biden and claims without evidence that he was cheated by widespread election fraud. State election officials report no serious irregularities, and several of his legal challenges have failed in court.

WATCH | Trump campaign continues to challenge election results:

The Trump campaign has launched a lawsuit challenging election results in Michigan, while the White House continues to keep president-elect Joe Biden’s transition team in limbo. 1:50

A Michigan state court on Friday rejected a request by Trump’s supporters to block the certification of votes in Detroit, which went heavily in favour of Biden. And lawyers for Trump’s campaign dropped a lawsuit in Arizona after the final vote count there rendered it moot.

Federal election security officials have found no evidence that any voting system deleted, lost or changed votes, “or was in any way compromised,” two security groups said in a statement released on Thursday by the lead U.S. cyber-security agency.

Deadline to certify elections

To win a second term, Trump would need to overturn Biden’s lead in at least three states, but he has so far failed to produce evidence that he could do so in any of them.

States face a Dec. 8 deadline to certify their elections and choose electors for the electoral college, which will officially select the new president on Dec. 14.

Trump’s refusal to accept defeat has stalled the official transition. The federal agency that releases funding to an incoming president-elect, the General Services Administration, has yet to recognize Biden’s victory, denying him access to federal office space and resources.

But Biden, who will meet with advisers about the transition on Saturday in his home state of Delaware, has pressed ahead with the process, identifying legislative priorities, reviewing federal agency policies and preparing to fill thousands of jobs in the new administration.

“We’re charging ahead with the transition,” Jen Psaki, a senior adviser to Biden’s transition team, told reporters on Friday, while stressing Biden still needs “real-time information” from the Trump administration to deal with the resurgent coronavirus pandemic and national security threats.

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Nvidia Pushes RTX 3070 Launch Back 2 Weeks to Avoid Bot Debacle

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Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 sales were the worst examples yet of how badly online bots are damaging product launches, and the company wants to prevent a similar event from happening when it launches the RTX 3070. To that end, Nvidia will delay the RTX 3070 debut by two weeks, from October 15 to October 29, in order to build inventory and ensure an adequate supply of cards.


This is going to be an interesting stress test of the bot armies, OEM manufacturing, and retailer attempts to identify real orders versus scalpers. I’m not terribly optimistic about the outcome. As I wrote earlier this week, Nvidia has every reason to crack down on bots and scalpers, but other companies in the distribution chain don’t necessarily see things that way.

According to Rob Fahey at GamesIndustry.biz, Amazon apparently took no action to prevent people from buying pre-order stocks before immediately re-listing those exact same products for sale at a substantial markup compared with previous listings. Companies like eBay have no reason to attempt to block preorder scams and scalping, given that they literally make their money from online auctions and will earn more from an inflated sales price than a normal one.

Fahey writes:

Up front, we have to acknowledge that the first come, first served paradigm is a disaster; it’s meaningless in the age of the Internet, when even a tech company with the prowess of Amazon can’t build store pages that keep up with the speed of traffic at a popular launch. The result is confusing, contradictory and frustrating for consumers who add the product to their cart only to see it disappear a screen later, or go out of stock while they’re choosing a delivery address, or flicker in and out of availability as they refresh browser pages. Using this kind of hare-brained system only gives the advantage to the scalpers, who can afford to set up bots and web crawlers to secure stock for themselves.

Fahey suggests the use of lotteries as one method to create a more fair distribution system. I’ve suggested either validated pre-orders or a return to retail distribution as a means of fighting scalping, though the latter obviously depends on the degree to which your state is open for business and how comfortable you feel shopping in it.

Image credit: Twitter

After the RTX 3080 debut/debacle, screenshots surfaced of individuals successfully ordering 18 to 42 GPUs for themselves. We don’t know if Nvidia or any other reseller successfully caught these orders and terminated them. If they did, then waiting an extra two weeks to build inventory might be sufficient to keep the market fed for longer than 2-5 minutes, which is how long Ampere stocks lasted in some online stores. If, on the other hand, the bot detection methods were less successful than previously believed, no reasonable amount of additional stock is going to solve the problem.

If the customer who bought 42 GPUs was an outlier, Nvidia is fine. If he represents the median bot purchase — or is even within one standard deviation of it — then we’re talking about bots sucking down 1-2 dozen cards apiece. If 1,000 to 2,000 bots can account for 12,000 to 48,000 video cards, it’s going to be much harder to overwhelm the collective credit limits and resources of the botters. Some scammers might take whatever profits they earned from the first wave of RTX 3080 and 3090 order abuse, then pour those profits into buying more RTX 3070s in the hopes of pulling the same trick again.

I’m glad to see Nvidia taking the situation seriously and I hope retailers and manufacturers do the same in order to make certain hardware gets into the hands of customers attempting to buy it as opposed to flipping it for profit, but the bots have definitely won Round 1 of our metaphorical match-up. Here’s hoping better detection methods and more inventory can hand a win to the good guys in Round 2. Nvidia has claimed the $ 500 RTX 3070 will outperform the $ 1,200 RTX 2080 Ti, and that’s going to have a lot of people eyeing the RTX 3070 as a potential upgrade.

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Microsoft Pushes Publishers to Offer Next-Gen Game Upgrades for Free

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Microsoft is reportedly urging developers and publishers to adopt its Smart Delivery system and to offer current console owners a free upgrade to the Xbox Series X version of a game. The company has reportedly told publishers that they are not allowed to charge players to upgrade an Xbox One game to the Xbox Series X as an alternative to delivering that upgrade for free via Smart Delivery.

Here’s what this means in practice: If a developer wants to sell you two different versions of the same game, one for each console, that’s fine. 2K is taking this path with NBA 2K21. What 2K isn’t allowed to do is charge new XSX owners who previously owned the game on Xbox One an extra $ 20 to unlock the XSX’s graphics and performance enhancements.

Publishers are not required to use Smart Delivery. EA has its own system, dubbed Dual Entitlement, which appears to work in the same manner. Thus far, FIFA 21, Cyberpunk 2077, Destiny 2, and Assassin’s Creed Valhalla have been announced as games you’ll only have to buy once, and all first-party MS games will use Smart Delivery.

The SoC inside the Xbox Series X. The CPU performance improvement from Jaguar to Zen will be significant.

Thus far, it looks like Microsoft’s plan for the Xbox Series X is to make it as much like a PC as possible in certain respects. Backwards compatibility — heretofore a distinct advantage for the PC — will be robust and implemented at launch, not patched in afterwards. If MS can convince more developers to use Smart Delivery or an equivalent free-upgrade system, day-one buyers will be guaranteed better performance and visuals in games they already know they like. Xbox One X games that don’t receive visual upgrades should still run better on the XSX, given its superior GPU and CPU horsepower.

Is it the same as the PC’s backwards compatibility? No. But the ability to play Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One games on the Xbox Series X represents an effective game library stretching back close to two decades. I can see why PC gamers might not find it equivalent, but it’s impossible to deny that Microsoft has implemented the feature in its own ecosystem.

Smart Delivery is, I think, an exceedingly smart move. Microsoft is playing catch-up to Sony in a major way this generation. By emphasizing backwards compatibility, they’ve created a long-term value proposition for the long-term Xbox customer that Sony doesn’t match. It’s a subtle strength, but it plays well as a customer-friendly move.

It’ll be interesting to see if the free upgrade path tends to yield better or worse results compared to the updated graphics if you buy the same game twice. Microsoft seems to be making a lot of the right moves this console generation. I’m curious to see how it all plays out. Hat-tip to Hot Hardware for surfacing the story.

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COVID-19 Pushes Steam to Record Number of Active Users

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The continued spread of coronavirus has prompted many people to spend more time indoors, and what can one do while locked away from the world? If you said “play video games,” a lot of people agree with you. Steam reports this past weekend broke the record for active users at just a bit over 20 million. 

Steam regularly breaks its own player records — every few months or once a year the service’s peak usage will inch upward just a bit more. Although, there’s usually something happening in the gaming world to precipitate the new milestone like a new game or one of Steam’s major sale events. This time, nothing like that was happening on Steam’s end. 

According to Steam, the 24-hour peak over the weekend set a record with 20,313,451 active users on the afternoon of March 15th. There were also nearly 6.4 million people playing a game at that time. So, the larger of those numbers doesn’t include people in a game — they could be chatting, browsing the store, or installing games. That number is lower than the record active players from January 1, 2018, when 7.2 million people were gaming. The higher number of non-gaming active users might have been thanks to people hunting for something to pass the time over the coming weeks. 

Steam’s active user count naturally rises and falls, but it rose a little higher than it ever has before over the weekend.

Unsurprisingly, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was the most popular title on the service, hitting 1,024,845 concurrent players. Shooter PUBG managed 515,050 players, and Dota 2 maxed out at 701,632. This might just be the start. Schools around the country are beginning to close, with many states predicting they won’t open again until the fall. That could mean lots of kids spending time on Fortnite during the day. Epic might start gloating about its player numbers any day now. 

It’s quite likely that the jump in gaming happened because everyone had to bail on their weekend plans. Health authorities have taken to promoting “social distancing” in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. As the epidemic has continued to unfold, we’re learning that many younger people can become infected with the virus and not know it. When they go into public spaces, they can spread the infection to vulnerable populations like the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.

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Byton Pushes M-Byte EV as First Smart Device on Wheels

LAS VEGAS – Byton kicked off the automotive part of CES 2020 with a reintroduction of its M-Byte electric SUV, providing details on production and sales plans, news of a developer program (you know, like it’s a $ 50,000 phone), and the names of partners who will provide streaming video and minute-by-minute weather updates.

CEO Daniel Kirchert said Byton has already produced several dozen M-Byte pre-production models at its Nanjing, China, factory. The company is on track to go into mass production by the middle of this year, Kirchert said, with deliveries to China this year, the US in 2021, and then Europe. Previously, Byton had forecast mass production by late 2019. That’s a slippage of two, maybe three quarters, but barely a hiccup compared with the legendary delays in Tesla-land.

Byton used CES 2018 to first introduce the M-Byte. This is the vehicle known for its 48-inch LCD strip across the width of the dashboard – yes, it’s going to be on the production vehicles, not just the concept vehicles – and there’s the possibility of multiple infotainment screens including the back seat. Sunday at CES, Kirchert said prices will range from mid-forties into the seventies for the “first smart device on wheels.” A half-dozen Byton executives extolled Byton’s ability to entertain driver and passengers, including a content-sourcing agreement with ViacomCBS. There’s one little catch: The cornucopia of video entertainment won’t happen in the front seat unless the car is parked. Sorry.

Byton’s 48-inch wall-to-wall screen. Here showing partner ViacomCBS’s content. Which disappears the minute you put the car in Drive. (It’s still available in the back seat.)

Branded Content Providers, App Dev Program

Byton wants to make the in-car experience the automaker’s difference-maker. (Yes, they all say that, but Byton wants to be the company that walks the walk.) Byton believes the time spent in the car could be a richer experience for passengers now, for drivers in the next decade as fuller autonomy arrives circa 2030. Sunday, it announced seven partners.

The big name is ViacomCBS plus Twine Access (which handles distributing infotainment to the front and rear displays as well as in-car connected devices) for the in-car theater experience, as Byton says. Occupants will be able to view, over 4G or 5G connections, curated content from the entertainment giant. It was amusing to see video snippets of 55-year-old David Spade (SNL, Police Academy 4) and even-older Tom Brady, but the video no doubt went together before the New England Patriots were taken down by the Tennessee Titans Saturday.

There’s also AccuWeather with real-time weather updates, possibly minute-by-minute reports on conditions ahead. Aiqudo provides voice control of apps. CloudCar provides “a cloud-based infrastructure.” Road.Travel allows for online trip booking. Xperi provides digital HD radio.

According to Ray Hopkins, president of US networks distribution for ViacomCBS, “The future of in-vehicle infotainment is an exciting opportunity to strengthen and extend our connection to our audiences within today’s fragmented media environment.” It remains to be seen how much car owners want to pay for access to some entertainment but not all that’s available, unless it’s easier to find, and targets the demographics of the adults, teens, and children in the car. In other words, if the automaker gives you a high-speed connection (M-Byte will have 4G then 5G cellular data), what more do you need, beyond perhaps better voice search that works well in the car? Byton notes that CloudCar delivers a range of apps.

Byton wants even more developers writing apps for the car, or porting them over. Sunday, Byton said it has released UX (user experience) design documentation along with app-development guidelines for partners and developers. It’s looking for offerings in the areas of entertainment, health, productivity, and e-commerce.

Being in a Byton, the company says, “make[s] spending time between journeys every bit as engaging as time spent on the road.” That is, the car is a home entertainment room when it’s parked. The big display is a single 48-inch diagonal panel. Panels do exist that twist the visual orientation so the viewer to the left sees one image and the viewer on the right sees a different image. Sharp invented the technology and Mercedes-Benz has offered it on higher-end vehicles. It is more costly and each image has half the resolution, since one viewer sees pixel 1, 3, 5, 7, etcetera, while the passenger sees pixels 2, 4, 6, 8 and so forth. The other option is the old-fashioned one: The front passenger connects his or her iPad to the car’s internet connection.

The cellular data connection will provide infotainment over-the-air updates, which may consist of engine/drivetrain updates and possibly greater self-driving capabilities, at least those possible with smarter software applied to the onboard cameras, sonar, lidar and radar hardware that ships initially. Byton’s will be delivered with a minimum of Level 2 autonomy, meaning a combination of lane centering on highways and full-range adaptive cruise control.

Electrify America will provide coast-to-coast charging services in the US.

Charging Partner, Home Energy Storage

Tesla has a mega-advantage with its nationwide Supercharger network and the off-and-on free-charging campaigns. Byton has chosen to partner with Electrify America, the biggest DC Fast Charging network in the US. By the time the first Byton arrives in the US, there will be 800 charging stations and 3,500 chargers. EA will also provide access to other charge sites via a single billing arrangement. Some of the Byton charging will be comped, but buyers should expect to foot the bill for much of their away-from-home charging.

Separately, Byton plans to offer its car batteries as home backup power. The batteries lose total capacity (and range) over several years. When they reach, say two-thirds to half of their original capacity, the car owner may not want the battery, but a bank of them can be put into a home wall of power (as Tesla does with Powerwall) and provide a day or two of backup power – not as much as a home generator, but enough to get through most blackouts.

Team Byton, a truly multinational group, on stage at the end of Sunday’s press conference.

Lots of EVs at CES (Who’s Going to Buy Them?)

Byton is not alone in choosing CES 2020 to make a big splash. The Car/Electronics Show, or so it seems, is awash in electric vehicles. Their optimism of their makers is good news. But a big question remains for these CES showcase companies and vehicles …

  • BMW i3 Urban Suite
  • Byton M-Byte
  • Fiat Concept Centoventi
  • Fisker Ocean
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • Mercedes-Benz ECQ
  • Nissan Ariya (likely Nissan Leaf successor), possibly the most important CES EV announcement
  • Rivian R1S (SUV) and R1T (pickup)

… and the question is: When will the US public shift over from combustion-engine vehicles to pure EVs? Final 2019 EV sales numbers are still coming in but, in the US, in 2018, total sales of non-Tesla battery electric vehicles (pure EVs) were just 50,000 units. In the first three weeks of January, Ford’s F-Series pickups outsold a full year of everybody-but-Tesla EVs.

With its 48-inch display, a team of executives from the US, Europe, and Asia, and solid funding, Byton may well be one of the EV makers with staying power. But it’s an uphill climb for everyone.

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Baby boomer bulge pushes percentage of seniors in B.C. higher, report says

The annual report from the office of the B.C seniors advocate says the percentage of the population of people age 65 and over continues to expand, up from 14 per cent in 2018 to 18 per cent in 2019.

The growth represents the bulge of the baby boomers moving into the seniors demographic, but B.C. Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie says the proportion of seniors is not evenly distributed throughout the province.

“Vancouver Island does have the highest percentage of people over the age of 65 — 24 per cent … compared to the north where only 13 per cent of the population is over the age of 65. So, we might want to pay more attention here on the island,” Mackenzie told CBC’s On the Island host Gregor Craigie.

According to Mackenzie, the health-care system won’t feel the full impact of the aging baby boomers for another few years.

According to the report, the number of seniors’ subsidized housing units continued to shrink for a fifth straight year, with the waiting lists for such units increasing in tandem.

“That’s a troublesome trend,” said Mackenzie. “We’re certainly going to be having some discussions with B.C. Housing about why we’re seeing that.”

Staffing shortages and other problems

Mackenzie said a report coming in January will look at the whether care providers are actually providing the care they are being funded for. 

“As we review a great amount of the data and reports back from care facilities to the funders, we find that, first of all, not everybody is delivering the hours of care they’re funded to deliver,” said Mackenzie. “And two, they’re not spending all of the money we’ve provided to them on delivering those hours of care.”

Earlier this year, complaints forced Island Health to take over the administration of senior care facilities in Courtenay and Nanaimo after they were found to be chronically understaffed and non-compliant with the Community Care and Assisted Living Act.

The facilities in question are part of a group of 23 seniors homes that were bought by China’s Anbang Insurance Group in 2017 in a federally approved sale.

The Chinese government took control of Anbang in 2018 when the company’s founder was convicted of fraud in China

Seventy per cent of all the long-term care beds in the province are contracted out, receiving $ 1.4 billion in public money annually.

Mackenzie said there needs to be better tools to keep care providers in compliance.

“I’d like us to start talking about whether we can levy financial penalties for infractions far earlier in the process,” she said. Right now, there’s no incentive for a care home provider to be better than the next care home or to be excellent from a financial perspective. They get paid the same.”

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U.K. PM pushes for Brexit deal vote after being forced to seek delay

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will again try to put his Brexit deal to a vote in the U.K. Parliament on Monday after he was forced by his opponents to send a letter seeking a delay from the European Union.

With the U.K. due to leave the EU on Oct. 31, the divorce is again in disarray as Britain’s political class argue over whether to leave with a deal, exit without a deal or hold another referendum.

Although Johnson hammered out a deal in gruelling talks with EU officials last week, it was not certain the Speaker of the House of Commons would allow a vote on the deal on Monday.

Johnson was ambushed by opponents in Parliament on Saturday who demanded a change to the sequencing of the ratification of the deal, exposing the prime minister to a law which demanded he request a delay until Jan. 31.

In a twist that illustrates the extent to which Brexit has strained the norms of statecraft, Johnson sent the note to the EU unsigned — and added another signed letter arguing against what he cast as a deeply corrosive delay.

“A further extension would damage the interests of the U.K. and our EU partners, and the relationship between us,” Johnson said his own letter, signed “Boris Johnson.”

The government insisted on Sunday the country will leave the EU on Oct. 31, and plans to put the deal to a vote in Parliament later on Monday though it is unclear if the House of Commons speaker will allow such a vote.

The EU has not yet given a clear response.

The U.K. government has proposed a debate on the deal, according to the House of Commons order paper that says Speaker John Bercow will make a statement on the proceedings shortly after Parliament opens.

Bercow is thought to be unlikely to allow it on the grounds that this would repeat Saturday’s debate, but has not yet given his formal decision.

If Bercow, who said on Saturday he was blindsided by the government’s debate proposal, does not allow it, the government will have to try to push on with the legislation needed for ratification of Johnson’s deal.

But that path exposes Johnson to attempts by opponents to wreck the agreement.

House Speaker John Bercow, shown on Saturday in Parliament, is thought to be unlikely to allow another debate on Johnson’s Brexit deal. (UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor/Handout via Reuters)

Tortuous Brexit crisis

The EU, which has grappled with the tortuous Brexit crisis since Britons voted 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave in a 2016 referendum, was clearly bewildered by the contradictory signals from London.

With Brexit up in the air, the bloc’s ambassadors decided on Sunday to play for time rather than rush to decide on Johnson’s request.

From the EU’s point of view, extension options range from just an additional month until the end of November to half a year or longer.

“We’re looking for more clarity towards the end of the week, hoping that by that time we will also see how things develop in London,” one senior EU diplomat said.

It was unlikely that the EU’s 27 remaining member states would refuse the U.K.’s request to delay once again its departure, given the impact on all parties of a no-deal Brexit.

In London, Johnson’s ministers said they were confident they had the numbers to push a deal through Parliament where opponents were plotting to derail the deal he had assured the EU that he could ratify.

The opposition Labour Party was planning changes to the deal that would make it unacceptable to swathes of Johnson’s own party including a proposals for another referendum.

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Tesla Pushes Pickup Truck Unveiling to November

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Tesla has made incredible headway when it comes to selling electric sedans and sports cars, and the company is going to launch its first hatchback next year. However, Tesla’s next major vehicle will be a tougher sell. The company was expected to show off its upcoming pickup truck this summer, but now the company is looking at a November reveal at the earliest. 

Tesla launched its first electric vehicles in 2008, but things didn’t accelerate for the company until the Model S hit the roads in 2012. While the Model S is no budget offering, it was the first electric vehicle that offered solid performance and a price tag that consumers could justify in significant numbers. The Model 3 launch in 2017 has Tesla on the verge of mainstream acceptance — it has even run through its government tax credit allotment. 

CEO Elon Musk has long teased the company’s all-electric pickup truck, and Tesla even showed an early concept when it revealed the Tesla semi a while back. The vehicle, seen above, has a definite sci-fi vibe. It looks like the most significant departure from the “traditional” vehicle designs of anything Tesla has yet made. The final design could be entirely different, though.

Musk is an unusual CEO in a number of ways. He talks about financing deals that never happen, goes on podcasts to smoke marijuana, and always, always offers unrealistic timelines. That said, Tesla and SpaceX routinely come through on their promises. They just don’t do it as quickly as Musk’s exuberance would lead us to think. In the case of the Tesla pickup truck, Musk now says November is the new target. 

Sadly, that’s all the information Musk is willing to provide at this time, and that came as a reply on Twitter. Come to think of it, that’s another thing that makes Elon Musk a not-so-typical CEO; he loves to announce product news five replies deep on Twitter. In a previous teaser (yes, on Twitter), Musk said the pickup will have a “cyberpunk” vibe. In an interview last year, he said the design “stops [his] heart.”

Whenever the cardiac effects of the Tesla pickup truck might be, the company is running out of time to make good on its promises. Ford is spinning up plans to launch an electric version of its industry-leading F-150 pickup. That vehicle could hit dealers as soon as 2021. While Tesla will probably start taking reservations for the pickup as soon as it’s announced, it’ll probably be at least a few months before any of them are delivered.

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SpaceX Pushes Crewed Dragon Test Back to March 2

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NASA kicked off the Commercial Crew Development Program in 2010 to support the development of new crewed spacecraft. Here we are, almost a decade into the program and on the verge of a manned launch. It’s taken a long time to get here, and it may be a little longer still. SpaceX has announced yet another delay in its Dragon 2 test flight, which was supposed to take place this month.

The precise date has slipped numerous times, and this is after ample delays in earlier phases of the program. We’re in the home stretch now, so each change in the schedule is that much more frustrating. SpaceX initially wanted to conduct the first test launch of its crewed Dragon capsule in 2017. Then the timeline slipped to 2018, and then it was late 2018. More recently, SpaceX promised a January 2019 launch… and then it decided February was more likely. You can probably blame the government shutdown for that one. Now, we’re looking at March 2, according to SpaceX.

The mission profile remains unchanged. While this is the crewed version of the Dragon capsule, it won’t have any humans aboard for this first test flight. The craft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket and will travel autonomously to the International Space Station (ISS). Upon docking, the capsule will be inspected by the ISS crew. NASA plans to leave the spacecraft docked for two weeks before sending it back to Earth.

SpaceX and Boeing are the primary contractors for the Commercial Crew Development Program. A fuel leak pushed back Boeing’s plans, and it currently aims for an uncrewed flight in April.

We’ve learned time and time again that space is hard, and there’s a lot that can go wrong when you willingly strap yourself to a tube filled with explosive fuel. People have given their lives to further humanity’s understanding of the universe, and NASA is doing everything it can to make sure the Dragon 2 and Starliner are as safe as they can be.

At the same time, there is some urgency on NASA’s end. The agency has been buying seats on Russian Soyuz capsules to get astronauts to and from the ISS ever since the Shuttle’s retirement. NASA doesn’t have seats booked for 2020, so at least one of these vessels needs to be operational if we’re to keep sending people into space.

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Nathan Chen pushes past mistakes to top short program at Grand Prix Final

Japanese figure skater Shoma Uno wasn't happy with his performance at the Grand Prix Finals on Thursday.

The 20-year-old sat in second after the men's short program with 91.67 points, but said he wasn't able to execute anything he's been working on in training.

"It really was not a great performance today," he said through a translator.

"I wish I could say there was a reason for that but there isn't any. I just couldn't do my jumps properly."

Uno is one of the favourites in the competition, after his teammate and reigning Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu dropped out with an ankle injury.

American Nathan Chen was first after the short program, finishing with 92.99 points.

The current world champion made a mistake on his quad toe loop-triple toe loop combo, which cost him some points, but was ready to move past the error and focus on his next skate.

Watch Nathan Chen's winning short program:

The American scored 92.99 and holds a small lead over Shoma Uno heading into the free skate. 3:46

"The free is the most important thing now," Chen said. "What I did in the past just stays in the past. I can't change what I did. So I just have to use what I did and evolve it into the long program."

At least one of the men skating on Thursday was happy with his performance.

Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic is back in the finals for the first time in seven years and sat in third after the short with 89.21 points.

"I think with the performance that I showed today, even though it wasn't perfect, I think I proved that it wasn't just a mistake that I made it," he said.

Getting back to the top of the skating world has been a long road full of hard work for the 28-year-old.

Nearly three years ago, he moved to Los Angeles to train with coach Rafael Arutunian, who also works with Chen.

Canada's Messing struggles

Brezina said the coaching change has pushed him and reignited his motivation on the ice.

"It's a little bit different, mainly because of the way he approaches practice," he said. "There's never one day that we will practice the same thing. He always comes up with new ways to make your day miserable. But it works."

Canadian skater Keegan Messing finished last in the short program with 79.56 points.

The 26-year-old touched down on his triple axel and said he felt off on every jump.

Watch Messing compete in the short program:

The Canadian scored 79.56 in Vancouver on Thursday. 3:50

"I just had to tuck and pray a little bit. I stayed on my feet and I can leave happy with that," said Messing, who's the only senior Canadian skater in the competition.

"I fought for every little element out there."

Kihira outduels Zagitova 

Japan's breakout star Rika Kihira dominated the women's short program on Friday, finishing first with 82.51 points.

"I was able to perform very calmly. Obviously I was very happy with the score," the 16-year-old said through a translator.

Watch Kihira's dominant performance:

Japanese figure skater leads after scoring 82.51 points. 3:18

Her closest competition was reigning Olympic champion Alina Zagitova from Russia, who finished in second with 77.93 points.

"Today I felt a little tense," Zagitova said through a translator. "But I'm glad I was able to pull myself together."

The tension came from nerves, she added.

"It all comes from the head," the 16-year-old said. "But you just have to go out and do it."

Watch the men's and women's short programs:

ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final from Vancouver. 2:11:17

Zagitova's teammate Elizaveta Tuktamysheva rounded out the women's top three after the short, posting a score of 70.65.

The finals competition continues Friday with the men's free skate, and the pairs and ice dancers short programs.

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