Good morning! Today, we say hello to both Tesla’s Battery Day and Amazon’s new Prime Bike. Meanwhile, Microsoft is shelling out $7.5 billion for ZeniMax and, apparently, boarding flights to nowhere is a trend now.
Microsoft Secures Some of World’s Biggest Games by Buying ZeniMax
Money, money, money, must be funny in Microsoft’s world. Especially since the tech giant has agreed to acquire ZeniMax for a whopping $7.5 billion in cash.
FYI, ZeniMax is the parent company of multiple game developers including:
Bethesda Game Studios — develops The Elder Scrolls and the Fallout series
iD Software – develops Doom, Quake, and Rage series
Arkane Studios – develops Dishonored and Prey
MachineGames – develops the Wolfenstein series
Microsoft declined to comment on how many of the newly-acquired games would be exclusive to the Xbox. But, according to the company’s executive vice president of gaming, the games would be available to other consoles on a “case-by-case basis”.
What are the implications?
This acquisition means that Microsoft will have a comeback when users complain that it lags behind Sony in terms of the quality and quantity of games offered. The deal increased Microsoft’s internal studios to 23.
Plus, the timing of the acquisition is on-point considering that both Microsoft and Sony are weeks away from releasing a new generation of gaming consoles. This certainly makes Microsoft a more appealing option to many.
Tesla’s Battery Day Is Here
Elon Musk has hyped his brainchild Tesla’s potential battery breakthroughs for weeks and the day of the reveal is finally here — a.k.a Battery Day.
Give me the details already
On Tuesday, Musk claimed that the new generation of EV batteries will be more powerful, longer-lasting, and friendlier on the wallet than the company’s current cells by half.
Here’s the nitty-gritty on Tesla’s new larger cylindrical cells — which are called 4680:
They will provide five times more energy, six times more power, and 16% greater driving range.
Full production is about 3 years away.
To reduce cost, Tesla plans to recycle battery cells at its Nevada gigafactory and reduce cobalt — a huge part of the $$$ — to virtually zero.
Plus, it plans to manufacture its own battery cells at several highly-automated factories around the world.
Think of the shares, Elon!
Ahead of the event, Tesla’s shares went down 5.6% after Musk tempered expectations by tweeting that the battery improvement “will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022”. Shares then bounced up and down in after-hours trade.
Now Boarding: Flight to Nowhere
Closed borders? No overseas travel? Not a problem when you’re boarding flights that land in the same place as they depart from.
As the global airline industry struggles to stay afloat during the pandemic, airline companies have come up with a creative way to keep staff working: flights that take off and land in the same places.
Some airlines call these “scenic flights” while others are more direct about it and simply call them “flights to nowhere”. Either way, the tickets to these flights are, more often than not, completely sold out.
Who offers these flights?
More and more airline companies are joining this initiative and offering these flights to nowhere. Here are some of them:
Royal Brunei has had five of these flights since August.
Taiwanese airline EVA Air’s all 309 seats were sold out on its Hello Kitty-themed A330 Dream jet for Father’s Day.
300 people boarded Japan’s All Nippon Airways that ran a Hawaiian-resort-themed flight.
Qantas offers a flight to nowhere over Australia. The tickets were all gone in just 10 minutes. The airline is also bringing back its popular sightseeing flights to Antarctica — sans landing.
Meet the Prime Bike – Amazon’s $499 Peloton Knockoff
The race is on! Amazon is ready to take on Peloton with its new Prime-branded exercise bike. Prime Bike costs $499 — that’s about $1500 less than Peloton’s flagship bike.
While Amazon sells other stationary bikes, the Prime Bike is the eCommerce giant’s first-ever connected fitness product. With this rather in-your-face branding, it’s clear that Amazon is making its way into the booming at-home fitness.
I want to know more about the Prime Bike
Well, for starters, Amazon didn’t actually build the bike. Instead, it partnered with the fitness startup Echelon. The Prime Bike is essentially a cheaper sibling of Echelon’s existing bikes.
Its older (and more expensive) siblings cost between $1,000 and $2,000 — depending on the bike models’ features.
The Prime Bike works with an app that streams cycling classes and users will need a tablet or laptop nearby to use the app. Prime Bike buyers will get a 30-day free trial.
Coca-Cola is expanding beyond Coke. The company will enter the U.S. hard seltzer market in Q1 of 2021.
2035, we’re coming for you! Airbus unveils its plans for hydrogen-fuelled passenger planes and expects them to be in service by 2035.
Twitter is looking into racial bias in tweet image previews after users pointed out that the algorithm may be biased toward showing pictures of white people.
- Goodbye in-person financial services. Hello, fintech apps. The pandemic has pushed more people into using digital financial services.