Some predict that Tesla's forthcoming Cybertruck will be a flop. But it's no sweat off CEO Elon Musk's back.
The futuristic truck is slated to be produced at the Tesla Gigafactory in Southeast Travis County. But Tim Healey, managing editor of The Truth About Cars blog, thinks it may be too futuristic.
"It looks like a one-off Hot Wheels toy come to life," he wrote in an opinion piece published on Thursday.
Tesla fans came to the enigmatic entrepreneur's defense. "It's just an opinion and it is most definitely wrong," Tesla Owners Online, which has more than 92,000 followers, tweeted in response.
Musk was more measured. "To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else," he tweeted in response. "I don't care. I love it so much even if others don't."
To be frank, there is always some chance that Cybertruck will flop, because it is so unlike anything else.
I don't care. I love it so much even if others don't.
Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 15, 2021
The Cybertruck is due to be released late this year, with volume production to start in 2022. The price ranges from $39,900 to $69,900, depending on the motor type, with a full self-driving add-on available for $10,000. It offers a slick center console, a 250-mile battery range, and 100 cubic feet of storage. Although its competitors feature some similar attributes, the Tesla truck stands alone in its design.
When Musk unveiled the Cybertruck last November at an event at the Tesla Design Center in Los Angeles, it prompted much commentary.
Despite the divided opinions and the fact that it has yet to hit the market, the truck is already a collectible, earning its own showcase at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
Healey conceded that the Cybertruck will find customers among die-hard Tesla fans, collectors and the more than 1 million people who have reserved one by putting down a $100 deposit. But he suspects the model will be outshined by forthcoming electric trucks like the Rivian R1T, Ford F-150 Lightning and GMC Hummer.
"I could be wrong," he wrote. "That said, I think the Cybertruck just won't sell well, and Tesla will soon find itself working on a more conventional pickup."
Musk, on the other hand, believes the Cybertruck's different look will be its main selling point. "Other trucks look like copies of the same thing, but Cybertruck looks like it was made by aliens from the future," he tweeted.
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Lately, the crypto market is looking shaky.
The price of bitcoin fell by more than half from its high, the digital currency luna crashed to $0 and a type of so-called stablecoin TerraUSD has been described as dead.
Reporting from the LA Times notes that experts seeing a correlation between traditional markets and the cryptocurrency market is high right now, with plunges in one being followed by a plunge in the other. On Wednesday, stocks had their worst day in more than two years with the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 1,164 points.
Crypto’s volatility has long been questioned, especially after SXSW this year was filled with Web3 enthusiasts and displays.
With 8% of Texans owning Bitcoin and many others involved in the local crypto and Web3 scene, what are they feeling amid the crash?
In a written comment to Austonia, ATX DAO said a positive with the downturn is that “most of the speculative moneygrab type projects get washed out of the market, and the quality projects that deliver real value remain and gather more attention.”
The group went on to say it could work to their advantage as they carry out their latest project: a mural at Native Hostel that will have an NFT version. They’ll use sales toward donations to HOPE Outdoor Gallery, a local nonprofit that supports artists and creatives.
Meanwhile, Yagub Rahimov, a founder of an Austin-based Web3 company explains that they aren’t really impacted by the crash.
Since the company known as Tested Web functions as a Web3 online reputation marketplace, it is utilizing blockchain technology without tokenizing.
“We are a share to earn marketplace. That means that any activity that users have on tested web.com, we will be rewarding,” Rahimov said. “Those rewards are coming in the form of rewards points. And every quarter they can opt in to receive either a gift card or a check. We are not issuing any cryptocurrency. That's one of the important elements that I believe we got it right that way.”
With recent developments at Tested Web, Rahimov says he “couldn’t be happier.” After struggling to find tech talent in early spring, he’s had a hiring spree in the last 10 days and received a $1 million grant and partnership with Silent Notary, a blockchain-powered validation provider.
But his recent business success aside, Rahimov is noticing what’s happening in the markets and predicts that the correlation between the crypto market and traditional one will be broken.
“The way Bitcoin was introduced back in 2009, it was as a reply or response to the 2008 market crash,” Rahimov said. “And it really feels like we are in 2007, 2008, actually, early, early days of the market crash. And if it becomes that way, very likely that the winner is going to be those of decentralized parties.”
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Barton Springs Pool is on a condensed schedule while the city tries to fill out its lifeguard roster.
The popular pool is currently closed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays while it navigates a lifeguard shortage. The city is offering bonuses to new applicants who can start by early June.
Austin Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Jodi Jay said there are 207 lifeguards ready to work and 100 incoming but the department needs 750 to be fully staffed.
Zoom out: The pandemic has had a lasting impact on hiring—in 2019, the city was able to hire 850 lifeguards. The Aquatic Department has been unable to match those numbers since it reopened training classes in spring of 2021.
Why it matters: The city needs at least 400 lifeguards, plus 30 with open water certification, to open pools on a modified schedule by June 4. Without hitting that mark, some facilities could limit hours or close.
The job pays between $16-19 an hour, anyone over 15 can get certified and there are bonuses on the table:
- $500 bonus if you get certified and start working by June 6.
- $500 bonus if you work through August 14.
- $250 bonus if you get advanced certification.