Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for March 4, 2019.

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1. A date with Tesla Model Y

Elon Musk has announced the Model Y SUV is coming on Thursday, Mar. 14, at an event at LA Design Studio (Twitter).

Tesla Model Y teaser

What we know:

  • From Musk’s tweets, the all-electric Model Y is 10 percent bigger than the Model 3, while being about 10 percent more expensive.
  • Accordingly, it will have slightly less driving range than the Model 3, as Musk explained, due to drag and friction.
  • It’s expected to have a higher ride-height and feature a hatchback, like a typical crossover.
  • If the tweets are accurate, and based on the Model 3 price drop to $35k, that may mean a sub-$40k SUV. By comparison, a BMW M3 starts at $41k.
  • We know from Tesla’s Q4 shareholder letter that it’s likely going to be properly on sale in late 2020: “… this year we will start tooling for Model Y to achieve volume production by the end of 2020, most likely at Gigafactory 1,” while Gigafactory 3 in China is also set to produce the Model Y.
  • It’s almost a given that Tesla will open pre-orders or reservations and try and seek large advance deposits, just as it did for the Model 3.
  • Not much else is known. Dual motor? 75kW battery standard? Other surprises? We’ll find out in a little under two weeks – the teaser image above was released in 2017.
  • PS. March 14 is 3/14, which is pi day, or π day. That doesn’t seem to be a coincidence, knowing ol’ Musky. But who knows if it would mean something with the car itself?

New Tesla supercharger 3.0, too:

  • Musk also tweeted that the new Tesla superchargers are to be unveiled this week: “First public Tesla V3.0 Supercharger Station goes live Wed 8pm.”
  • The charging rate of the supercharger hasn’t changed in about five years, and while Musk has (predictably) made exaggerated promises about charging rates, those in the know over at Electrek believe it will be around twice as fast as the current supercharger or around 200-250kW/h delivery.
  • Which vehicles will support this? It’s almost certain that at least the Model 3 battery chemistry will support the faster charge rates, but what about later editions of the X or S?
  • As always with Tesla, the proof will be in the actual details, not the tweets!

It’s a busy time for EVs:

  • Last week also saw the reveal of the Volvo Polestar 2, the first car with Android and Volvo’s first EV.
  • Mercedes-Benz and Audi are both expected to launch all-electric vehicles, in the same premium crossover segment, at the Geneva International Motor Show 2019, this week.
  • The BBC reports that the show will “be electrifying,” exploring the transition to EVs and plug-in hybrids.
  • Mercedes also just announced its first Formula E car: the EQ Silver Arrow 01 (The Verge).
  • We’ll keep you informed across the week for the big reveals.

2. OnePlus 7 leaks: Pop-up selfies, triple camera setup … and the crowd goes not-wild? (Android Authority).

3. On that note: the Samsung Galaxy S10 might just steal this OnePlus fan’s money (AA).

4. Facebook Messenger for Android gets dark mode: here’s how to enable it (AA).

5. There’s suddenly a new podcast game in town: Luminary, with $100m of funding and stars like Lena Dunham, Conan O’Brien, Malcolm Gladwell and Trevor Noah (NYTimes). Ad-free, and coming in June.

6. Facebook encouraged users to secure their account with a phone number for two-factor authentication. Now that phone number is associated with user profiles, and anyone can use numbers to look up someone. And Facebook doesn’t have an opt-out (TechCrunch).

7. The password “ji32k7au4a83” looks pretty safe and secure, right? So why does it keep coming up? (Answer and discussion via Twitter – if you want a spoiler I’ve written the answer in white, just highlight it with your cursor: it’s “我的密码” or literally “My Password”.)

8. Lyft is giving its most loyal drivers a cash bonus in its IPO. Drivers who made 10,000 trips on Lyft before Feb. 25, 2019 will receive a one-time $1,000 bonus. (TechCrunch – read the S-1 filing here.)

9. The Mars Curiosity Rover is back after it fell into ‘safe mode’ glitch (NASA).

10. A stunning takedown of a medical fraud by GizmodoFascinating read.

11.  I spoke to someone on the weekend involved with this “Ice911” project to save the Earth from warming: cover young Arctic ice with white silica “sand” to save the ice by reflecting more heat (Vimeo). NASA and Stanford scientists are involved!

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