The random number generator in the chips my employer makes consists of around 125 free-running ring oscillators fed into a 512-bit sha-1 engine with a feedback loop. There's a way for software to disable the ring oscillator input to test the deterministic operation of it for FIPS compliance testing. Each chip also has a unique number that is programmed in to seed it even if the ring oscillators are not input. The FIPS testing is fairly extensive from what I heard. They took many days worth of samples looking for any patterns.
I think part of the problem has to do with charging standards. There is a standard for USB charging. The problem is Apple doesn't follow it and has their own standard. I can't count the number of adapters I have bought where my phone won't charge properly because they follow the Apple "standard" rather than the USB standard. I have had a hell of a time finding a car charger that follows the USB standard. Almost all of them follow the Apple standard. My phone has actually gone dead plugged in to these chargers. I have to open them up and modify them to follow the USB standard. This basically involves shorting the two data pins together and removing a couple resistors. About the only thing Apple has in common with USB charging is the connector since they do not follow the USB charging standard.
No, Tesla wants to open a showroom in New Jersey to show the cars. All Tesla cars are sold through their web site. I should know, I went through the process. The people at the showrooms do not make commissions. Their job is to show the car and answer questions. The only things they sell are things like accessories, shirts, hats, jackets, that sort of thing. They do arrange test drives however.
I suspect the meeting with Apple may have more to do with the Gigafactory since Apple is a huge consumer of batteries. I don't see Tesla moving to iOS for the car, though they might be able to add better integration with it. They already have a very good responsive UI based on Qt and Linux and I'm sure they have a lot of processes running under Linux. It would be a big job to port from Linux to iOS and probably not worth it.
As for the maps from two different vendors I have never had a problem. I'm not sure how they do it but they always seem to agree. You don't want to rely exclusively on Google since what happens when you don't have 3G connectivity?
I'm glad my car uses a combination of Google and Garmin for the GPS. On the main screen (Tesla Model S) it shows a satellite view of the map, with pinch-zoom and rotation support via the touch screen whereas next to the speedometer it shows a more traditional 3-D GPS view which I understand is supplied by Garmin (I could be wrong though). For voice recognition it uses Google's service. The next major update due out soon improves the time estimates in real-time using the live traffic information that is overlayed over the Google map. The main screen map caches data along the route (except satellite data) for when the 3G signal is lost and the other display relies entirely on in-car maps.
My car also runs Linux for the main screen using the Qt toolkit for the UI. The only complaints I have heard are that the radio doesn't handle the proprietary Apple audio files but it handles MP3, Ogg and Flac just fine (with my USB drive formatted EXT4). Now if only Waze were integrated.
I have to agree. My local grocery store actually carries many of the products that Whole Foods across the street does. The difference is that the prices are significantly lower at the grocery store (Raley's). While I do buy some organic food it's not for health reasons. It's more because I find it appealing to avoid using pesticides and inorganic fertilizerswhich often end up in our waterways or antibiotics (which promots antibiotic resistant bacteria). I won't pay significantly more for organic though. I don't believe that most organic food is healthier or safer than the alternatives. Hell, I would love to find irradiated salad since there is less chance of getting infected with salmanilla which often gets into salad no matter how much you wash it (after all, birds do fly over fields). I also like the idea of a lot of GMO crops since they often require less water, fertilizer or safer or reduced pesticides/herbacides. I DON'T like how companies like Monsanto operate however. If Whole Foods had good produce for a decent price I would shop there, but their prices are much higher than my grocery store so I don't shop there.
The thing is that there are more charging spots than gas stations. The car is quite good at telling you how much range is left. What happened to the NY Times reporter was due to his own stupidity. He charged the car for fewer miles than his destination. The car went 20 miles further than it said it could and he blamed the car for the fact that the car said it didn't have enough miles when he started.
In a pinch the Tesla can be charged any place there's an outlet, including all of the RV hookups which are typically NEMA 14-50 outlets or TT-30 outlets. I have adapters for virtually all 110 and 220 outlets including a 20A 110 adapter.
I have never once run out of gas in my 26 years of driving and none of the gas cars I've had told me the number of miles to empty. Only one time have I had to stop somewhere unexpectedly to charge. I knew well ahead of time I would have to do so and ended up having to stop in Monterey for an hour to charge for an hour.
Some trucks are starting to carry generators to charge electric cars in my area.
First of all, it doesn't take multiple hours of downtime for charging. Generally stops at the Superchargers are only around 30-40 minutes. In the next few months it will only take 90 seconds when battery swapping is added. The Superchargers are also free and guaranteed to be free forever. Battery swapping will cost about the same as filling up a similar luxury car. Besides, usually it doesn't matter how long charging takes. I always wake up each morning to a full tank (or in my case usually 60% charge to help extend the battery life), so to speak. It takes me 5 seconds to plug in at night and 5 seconds to unplug in the morning. In a typical week I spend far less time waiting for my car to charge than I do waiting to fill up my gas car, which I've sold since I drive it so rarely now. In the cross country trip Tesla spent 80% of their time driving and 20% charging while driving through some fairly nasty weather. If you stop for the night, as most drivers do, then you wake up in the morning with a full tank. Tesla's sales have been anything but a flop. They can't make them fast enough. They're outselling the gasoline cars in their class by a fair amount and they're making a decent profit from each one sold (over 25% margins).
Add to that that there's not much that can keep up with it, gasoline or electric. Most electric cars aren't selling all that well because they have poor range, poor battery life, or are just plain ugly. They're econoboxes that can't go 100 miles. For example the battery in the Leaf is only warrantied for 5 years and people are seeing significant degradation after only two years in hot climates.
The model S does not have any of these compromises. The car handles beautifully and is very responsive with quality materials and it looks great, not like a frog, even though it has one of the lowest coefficients of drag of any car out there. It has tons of room since the battery is a flat skateboard under the car with an electric motor the size of a watermelon that delivers 445 ft/lbs of torque, 416HP with minimal transmission losses. The climate control works well as does the user interface which is extremely responsive (it's based on Qt and runs on Linux on a Tegra 3). Driving it is a blast, especially with 0-60 in 4.2 seconds (3.9 according to Car & Driver). While the range is typically around 240 miles of real-world driving that's not that different than many ICE cars I've driven. The response is instantaneous. There is no lag. There's very little maintenance required other than rotating the tires and replacing the cabin air filter and wiper blades. The brakes should last nearly forever due to regenerative braking. The one-pedal driving of the car is quite addictive. It lets you configure how it behaves as well, like if you want strong regeneration or not if you let off of the gas or if you want it to creep forward when you let off the brake.
The Superchargers are usually at locations where there's places to eat and stretch ones legs. On my last trip to Lake Tahoe I stopped in Folsom to charge. By the time I was done with my burger my car was charged and ready to go and there was plenty of range left when I got to my destination at 7200 feet near the summit of Kingsbury Grade.
In the next three months Tesla will have battery swapping between the Bay Area and LA. By the end of the year 80% of the country will be covered by charging. Already the West coast is pretty well covered as is much of the East coast. I can drive from San Diego to Vancouver without spending a dime on fuel and spend at least 75% of my time driving.
The car has a ton of space in it, far more than my Prius ever did. I have far more luggage space, not even counting the frunk, which I find quite useful.
Tesla's goal was to create the best car, not the best electric car. In many ways they succeeded. They've also done away with a lot of things that suck about buying a car like the dealerships and dealing with dealership service. Their warranty covers everything except the wheels and tires and I do mean everything. Brake pads, wiper blades and other consumables are covered. Their goal is to not make a profit on service. They'll even come to you no matter where you are in the country for $100. If you like your loaner car, which is typically a high-end P85, you can keep it and pay the difference in value. They're actually having a problem keeping enough loaner cars in stock. The last time I needed service they were out so they dropped me off at work and delivered my car to where I work when they were done (or they would have provided a rental on their dime).
On top of that it's one of the safest cars. Nobody has had a serious injury in a Model S despite a number of bad accidents. It broke the machine doing the crush test and they could not make the car flip without going to extraordinary lengths. In the side pole test it outperformed a Volvo by a significant margin with far less passenger intrusion.
They also regularly add new features and capabilities with over the air software updates. Some of these were a surprise. For example, they announced battery swapping after I bought my car. None of us were aware that this was possible with our existing cars but it is. Others like having the Google maps automatically rotate were not in the original software, and they are fairly quick about addressing bugs in the software. For example, when I first got my car if I had the wipers on when I got into the car they would start up immediately before the drivers door was closed, resulting in getting wet. The next update fixed that. Or when that fire happened in a house whose wiring was not up to code within two days Tesla pushed out an over-the-air software update to detect substandard wiring and automatically reduce the current draw to prevent future occurrences, presumably by using the data logged by the car. Any other car would have taken weeks to months to get a software update and you would have to bring it to the dealership to get it fixed.
When you consider that this is their first car built in their own factory with almost nothing in common with their Roadster it is pretty amazing. The worst thing I have had with my car in the year I've owned it was some rattles which Tesla addressed on my car and already rolled the fixes into their production line.
Notice I haven't said anything about being green. I know plenty of owners who are fairly conservative, it's not a liberal vs conservative thing.
I actually sold my other car. In 8 months I had only driven my other car once. I have no regrets. It just wasn't worth the hassle of having my other car constantly in my driveway and paying the registration on it. Since I sold it to a relative I can always borrow it if I need to.
At least here on the west coast in the next few months battery swapping will be an option. It will take only 90 seconds if you want to pay for it (about the cost of filling up a tank of gas) whereas the Superchargers are free for life.
Owners are reporting losing about 1 mile of range after 30,000 miles of driving. The Tesla batteries are warrantied for 8 years or 100,000 miles but will likely last a lot longer. Everything is covered by the warranty except the tires and wheels. It covers brake pads, wiper blades, everything. For when I did need to pay for repairs due to self inflicted damage, the repair cost was far less than if it had been say a Prius, let alone another luxury car. Tesla has stated that their goal is to not make a profit on service.
The extended warranty for 8 years, 100K miles was not that expensive.
And I could have bought a pre-paid battery replacement after 8 years for $12K. As an alternative I bought 8K worth of Tesla stock at $35. It's hovering around $250 right now. Tesla's battery replacement gives back $1K per year you wait past 8 years. I figure that by then the cost of the battery will have dropped significantly especially if they get their Gigafactory online.
Try recharging for 20-30 minutes at a Supercharger or in a few months spend 90 seconds to swap batteries. Every morning my battery is at 60% because I spent 5 seconds plugging in at night and 5 seconds unplugging in the morning. I could just as easily have charged to 100% but the battery will last longer if I keep it between 40-60%. When I drove up to Lake Tahoe I stopped in Folsom to charge for free. I spent the money I would have spent on gas getting lunch. By the time I was done with lunch at a nearby burger place (Burgerocity, awesome burgers) my car was ready to go. I had no problem whatsoever reaching my destination above Lake Tahoe near the summit of Kingsbury Grade at around 7200 feet. As more and more Superchargers are built, road trips become easier. I can already drive from San Diego to Vancouver or across the country and along much of the East coast. By the end of the year 80% of the country will be covered. With Tesla's cross country trip charging consumed around 20% of the time and they were driving through some pretty nasty weather. I don't really mind a half hour break after a few hours of driving. I'll be less tired and sore when I get to my destination. For most of my driving I spend far less time waiting for charging than I did filling up my hybrid at the gas station.
The Leaf has piss-poor battery management. Tesla actually does this and uses excess heat from the battery and electric motor to help heat the cabin. There's a coolant loop that goes through the battery and it will use excess heat from the motor and inverter to heat the battery as well if needed. The Leaf just has an air cooled battery. That's part of the reason why people in Arizona are losing 40% of their capacity after two years. My Prius had a resistive heating element but it was rather weak compared to the engine.
The Leaf uses a resistive heating element for heating which is rather inefficient, especially when it isn't all that cold outside.
My Model S uses both a resistive element and a heat pump and works quite well. Additionally it has heated seats. There is a range mode where the heating is weaker, but at least there are seat heaters to help compensate. As I type this I just turned on the heat remotely to warm up my car before I drive home. Also, since there is a much larger battery and quite a bit more range the impact of heating and cooling is much less.
Those won't be out until 2017 at the earliest. 2015 is when Tesla ramps up their SUV, the Model X. It all depends on how fast they can build and ramp up their gigafactory.
Being aerodynamic doesn't mean that the car has to be ugly. The Tesla Model S is quite aerodynamic, more so than the Leaf yet it doesn't look like a fugly econobox. The biggest problem is the Leaf's headlights.