A simple opinion based on personal observations having passed via EE, Math and CS degrees and heaving thought core CS (math) subjects. CS degree is not something I would recommend for someone to get/invest into. It is some kind of morph between (extreamly soft) EE and (soft) Math degrees. If people are interested in ether EE,Physics or Math they should go for it, for the sake of loving the subject and experienencing the hard problems they model from the real world. If for the sake of carier safety they need to learn the CRAFT of coding, so be it, for It is highly likely that at the end 50% - 60% of these people will work in software development field anyway, But their experience and aquired knowledge of solving problems will be more valuable in the software development field when NOT coming form, what is considered, CS background.
That Musk is working on more fundamental problems is more than clear for anyone who has some core understanding of engineering and the underlying challenges when dealing with physical reality vs software based ones. Jobs was a consumer oriented/marketing/product visionary person, in contrast, Musk is looking in the future and is trying to put GROWTH in the direction of solving some of the underlying fundamental civilization problems, and this is highly admirable. Regrettably, as of lately, it seems that "Tesla" company ( and this implies Musk vision) is moving towards making their cars as difficult to modify as possible and in such is trying to undermined the growth of the only market that can compete with the NEW electric car vehicles one and that is the internal combustion engine (ICE) -to-electric conversion market. In the world there are over 700 million ICE card and everyone of them can be converted to electric, this is a huge market for the electro/mechanical shops, that will eat a big byte of the market for new electric cars. For that ICE-to-electric to grow it needs commodity parts that are easily swappable/interface-able between different brand components, this is what the electric vehicles car maker are realizing and are trying to undermine and curtail. Of course, Musk is working through the corporate structure of the business and not as an independent entrepreneur/visionary ( as he would like to be perceived), and such he has to make sure that the shareholders get their part, and this, regrettably, leads to undermining any market competition even, if in the light of it, the world, in no doubt, will be moving in the same direction (and even A LOT FASTER) as in Musk's vision, and will be a better place even without THE HIGH COST inherently present in the selling of NEW electric vehicles.
Markus Krajewski points out something that has been known for a long time in restricted circles or inqusitive intersted in energy efficiency entusiasts. As amazing as this "news" can be, it would be highly interesting, for the inquisivitve and interested in these energy efficiency matters person, to investigate the qutestion about the efficiency of the standard electrical motor and rotorry electrical motor with pulsating current and recovery of BEMF (Back EMF) or IK ( Inductive Kick ) as some people name it. There are many other examples around that are simply astonishing to note, ones one understand the levels of energy inefficiency our machinary indulges. Just for a kick start, simply 90% of the energy used the the refrigerator in a household can be saved, if only people change the habit of storring their food from upright refrigerator to a horizontal based refrigerator (such are not sold but easily converted to refrigeratros via a terperature controller, from a what is commonly known as chest freezer). In upright refigerator ones, opened the colld air mimidately starts going downstream OUT, while in a chest (horizontal) freezer converted to refrigerator the cold air, has nowhere to go so it stays whithin the walls of the refrigerator. As a refrigerator is usually about 20-25% of house hold energy usage, on everage 20% percent of the houseold energy can be immediately saved just by chaning symply our habbits and demanding (or simply creating our) energy efficiency.
It is nice to porject numbers, but it is quite different how it will play out. With the advancment of the supercaps (in any shape and form, even as the entire car frame and the internal parts of a car) the need for baterries will be going sharply down. Why one needs to store energy in (a lot of) additional weight, if one can use the car construct as an energy storage itself.
Everyone who has experimented with High Voltage 30-40KV+ will tell you that there is a thrust effect, observed. Clearly, this is due to the push against the dielectric particles of air, here on earth, but the same is true for the interplanetary space, just there the particle are fewer but of course the speeds they accelerate to a lot higher. If one reads Tesla's publications in "The Electrical Engineer" from June 10, 1892 ( and several others form the same train of publications), (s)he will realize the concepts and see that this is naturally possible phenomena, just requites clear understanding without common misconceptions.
The problem is not the law of physics, it is the technology implementation. Try using any of your electronic devices to a HV rapidly pulsating (2-3K cycles will suffice) in air (basic dielectric(, electrostatic field and you will get the idea. And lets not go to the "laws" of physics for Nature does not recognize our human defined laws about it, for ALL of them (our laws) brake, under more or less extremes conditions. And a point here it is good to go back in the pioneers of the electrical physics and engineering (Maxwell, Heaviside, Tesla, Lord Kelvin, Steinmetz, C. A. Bjerknes and several others fellows) in order to understand the present inefficiencies.
the problem is not in the solar storms, as they have been happening for billions of years, and will happen for another billions after our "civili"zation is long gone. Note that on the statistical based our observational material for the power of these storms is absolutely insignificant. The problem is our technology, or more the way it has evolved since the beginning of 20th century. Tesla had gone in totally opposite direction, looking and evolving natural way of power distribution and efficient power usage and protection and was solely designing and working with HV systems. Every appliance can be designed to work with HV and high frequency, the natural way of energy distribution, but this was not how the rest of the engineering world looked at the problem, so they and the industry when in totally the other way. Under a such storm virtually all of the Tesla's inventions will just give more power for they were naturally designed to transform such power surges. So the educated reader can go and research, and at least try to build some of these appliances, and educate other people around him/her. The more they know about Tesla and his systems the more humans have chance to face/change the problems that procrastinate our contemporary "civili"zation and as a bonus not to worry about cosmic event of a such type.
Since the beginning of the 80, when the current unsustainable debt system started, the growth of all of the so called services and on some level IT jobs have been fueled by the constantly mounting of new debt. If this were not the case, the growth would not have been so rapid, and the others part of the less efficient/not needed economy would have been fast annihilated and not allowed to exist as in the current system. These jobs tend to be concentrated in or around the cities and here it stands very basic relation, between the reason most of the collage graduates are going to these places. In most recent time, the current bubble-debt based system was not allowed to re-balance naturally in 2008, but was fueled by cheap money by the FED. This continuation and inflammation, on it's own, tends to accelerate the movement human resources to these cities, by allowing these regions to mount more and more debt. At some time in the near future, this bubble, and the current debt base system, will deflate rapidly, via inflation (very disruptive for the common people) or any other means, not excluding some kind of sever social disruption/revolution. When this happens these places of concentration will be the hardest hit due to inability of the masses to sustain themselves, without the system allowing debt base/resources extraction to the cities.
Enjoying some 300-400KV sparks at home usually costs me several electronic measuring devices, this is why over time I have migrated to the old ( and lovely beautiful ) VT. With their robustness they can withstand most of the high voltage spikes one can get, unless of course it burns it by going over it power ratings. This is not to say for the poor digital controls they will "smoke", if not extremely well shielded, even under simple HV pulse in the ambient environment. Note, the dielectric impulse will find its way in the most supplement one to ones electronic controls. This is why it is an interesting , and amazing, read about one of Tesla's ingenious experiments: http://uncletaz.com/library/sc... Regrettably, our technology evolved in the most unnatural way of processing information: low voltage and (comparatively) high current versus high voltage and (comparatively) low current, which is the natural way to move energy/information in nature.
Actually it was invented about 20 years before that, by a little known inventor with the name of Thomas Henry Morey. The solid state valve (build with Germanium), as it was known, and patented by the way, was invented connection with Dr. Morey's energy device that was pulling power from the charged dielectric around us ( a fancy name for the air close to the earth surface ).