Aug 15

Lexus Creates Hoverboard

That’s right, a hoverboard. Marty McFly’s “future 2015” has been fulfilled. Lexus’ new hoverboard may not look like the one in Back to the Future, but it still does its job. Elizabeth Palermo, the author of this article on livescience, explains how the board works, and why the board is important. The picture that she presents of the board explains a lot to her audience. It depicts the board levitating with the liquid nitrogen’s “fog” to match its persona. She explains how the board works by using correct terms and not too much scientific jargon. Any reader could easily follow along if he/she knew what a magnet was.


She states that the board works by using magnetic levitation and a little bit of liquid nitrogen. She compares and contrasts the board to other magnetic devices, such as electromagnetic trains in Japan. She portrays a good view of the how/what/why without coming off like a know-it-all. The reader will notice a bold statement in this article, which is Palermo’s claim that the board only works at a certain skatepark in Barcelona. The video that Lexus released seems a little too dramatic, so what Palermo states sounds reasonable. She supports her claim with evidence from experts that visited the park and scientific reasoning. Palermo presents a good argument and provides her readers with a reason to not get too excited, “makes Lexus’ latest tech toy a bit useless to anyone who doesn’t have access to a specially magnetized skatepark.” Despite Lexus’ awesome toy, we won’t be seeing Marty McFly pass us on the sidewalk anytime soon.




link to hoverboard video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwSwZ2Y0Ops

source: http://www.livescience.com/51708-lexus-hoverboard-magnetic-levitation.html

Aug 15

Greek Stock Market Opens with Restrictions

On Monday, August 3rd, the Greek stock market is set to reopen after a long financial crisis. After the crisis hit Greece, authorities were forced to suspend all trading and limit bank withdrawals. The customers were limited to withdrawal of 60 Euros per day. This was done to stop capital from being withdrawn too quickly. There were even concerns that with cash flooding too quickly, Greece could have had to abandon the Euro. These controls were imposed on June 29th. A new restriction of the stock market is trading exclusively with cash. Greeks will not be able to trade shares using their bank accounts. Banks were reopened on July 20th, but remained constricted to 60 Euros per day for withdrawals. The European Central Bank approved the opening of the exchange, and the new bailout could be worth around 86 billion Euros. Greece is going to have some repaying to do, since Europe already gave Greece 7 billion Euros for crucial payments.

Chris Liakos, the writer for this article, effectively informs his audience of the reconstruction of the Greek financial system. He portrays an unbiased approach and states simply facts. He also adds a picture of the Hellenic Exchanges, which adds a sympathy for Greece for most readers. The picture includes the lettering outside the building and a European Union flag, which presents itself as a symbol of reconstruction. Liakos provides quality information while excluding personal opinion and presents pathos and logos.



source: CNN Money


Jul 15

Hackers attacking the Jeep Cherokee

With the abundance of technology in today’s society, hackers present a serious issue. Just imagine driving your car while someone else across the country is controlling your vehicle- all controlled by a laptop. Andy Greenberg, a writer for WIRED, explains his experiences of this happening to him in a controlled test. He writes about a test conducted by two hackers who are currently friends of his. Andy drove the Jeep Cherokee on a highway in St. Louis, and his friendly hackers simultaneously took control of his vehicle. They had close to full control of the car, and there wasn’t anything that Greenberg could do to stop it. He describes his experience using pathos, and also uses ominous possibilities to scare the reader. The description of how everything happened captures the reader’s attention using a scare tactic; this one actually works. Greenberg uses his experience with an 18-wheeler to capture the true mood of the situation.

Greenberg also uses past experiences in the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape to announce that Fiat Chrysler isn’t the only one with this fault. After taking notice of this dangerous fault in its car, Fiat Chrysler recalled Jeep Cherokees. Not something you want to see if you own one.  Greenberg also adds more pathos by adding a quote from one of the hackers, Charlie Miller, “If consumers don’t realize this is an issue, they should, and they should start complaining to carmakers. This might be the kind of software bug most likely to kill someone” (WIRED). In the presence of advanced vehicle technology, we need to be wary of our car’s technological safety.

source: http://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/

Jul 15

Tesla Prepares To Launch A New Roadster In Four Years

Everyone’s favorite electric vehicle company will release a new electric roadster in 2019. That’s right. Tesla will harness its power to create a neck-snapping roadster. The first car that Tesla produced was a modified Lotus Elise (orange car pictured below) back in 2006, and now fans are hoping that an even faster roadster will be built. Considering the Elise’s lightweight chassis and nimble handling, it would be the perfect base car to model the new Tesla roadster on. However, CEO Elon Musk stated that it would be a different car. Ever since the release of the Tesla Model S, everyone seemed to push the old roadster aside.



Chris Ziegler, the writer for this article on The Verge, displays a bright orange picture of the Elise to show the audience that Tesla can be fast and exciting. This pathos affects the reader because the orange color represents freedom and youth. Ziegler uses the bright orange to overpower the expectation of a dull and slow electric vehicle. He also adds logos with the addition of acceleration numbers. By doing this, Ziegler effectively persuades his audience to believe that the hype of Tesla’s new vehicle will certainly match the final product.

Now with the release of the Tesla P85D (pictured below), fans hope that Musk & co. will continue the famous “Insane Mode”  in the new roadster. Possibly adding the even newer “Ludicrous Mode”. These special settings allow the sedan for a heart-pounding 0-60mph in 3 seconds or less. Attracting even more appeal, these models will beat a stock supercar in a drag race. Tesla vehicles will now attract almost all audiences, from the soccer moms to speed freaks. Tesla’s fan base is certainly growing, and so are its power output and speed numbers. I believe that Tesla will exponentially grow when electric vehicles start to take over gasoline vehicles. If Tesla can create an affordable sedan for the typical American family, its worth and potential will shoot through the roof.


source: http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/17/8994649/new-tesla-roadster-four-years

Jul 15

The Reddit Issue: Pao leaves

If you’ve checked Reddit recently, you would’ve seen big topics and even subreddits such as /r/Ellen_pao_hate and Ellen Pao fan club.  This topic took Reddit by storm in early July due to Pao’s resignation from Reddit. She was forced to resign due to the hateful comments from redditors all over the world. The NY Times article attached opens up more into this controversial topic and its history.

Ellen Pao was the intermediate CEO of Reddit, and was almost immediately attacked by redditors due to her past decisions. The reason why Pao is a hate target of Reddit is because of her gender discrimination lawsuit against her previous employer Kleiner Perkins Claufield & Byers. She was also to blame for a dismissal of a popular Reddit employee, which enraged the members of reddit.

The Times article also uses a ethos appeal, quoting Pao and other employees of Reddit. The article also uses the number 213,000- the number of redditors who signed a petition for her dismissal. I’m truly surprised that there weren’t more petitioners, since Reddit hosts around 160 million users.



Mike Isaac and David Streitfeld, co-writers of this article from The New York Times, use images of Reddit’s office space in order to stay unbiased. The writers use mostly ethos to bring an unbiased approach to Pao’s reputation. There are several quotes from Pao and her former coworkers that show exactly what happened during the whole process. Isaac and Streitfeld do a great job staying impartial throughout the article.

We all know that the internet is a somewhat hateful place, and this event truly brings out the hatred that sometimes happens for no reason. One could argue that the redditors were just having some fun, but the vulgar comments on reddit show otherwise. Ellen Pao even went as far as apologizing to users and employees, claiming “the mods [moderators] and the community have lost trust in me and in us, the administrators of reddit”.

As a fellow redditor, I’m somewhat upset with how the event was handled. I believe that the administrators should’ve been more strict on subreddits by shutting down the hate at the source.



source: NY Times


Jul 15

Microsoft Finally Closes Nokia Deal

Microsoft announced that it was buying Nokia’s phone and tablet business, a big pickup for the tech giant. Microsoft will take Nokia’s phone group and create its own group for mobile devices, called The Devices Group. Microsoft initially announced that it was purchasing Nokia back in September 2014.

The colossal tech group stated it was buying Nokia for around 160 million Nokia 3310’s (the old “brick” phone pictured), or $7.2 billion. Stephen Elop, Nokia’s former CEO, will lead the new division as its executive VP. I believe The Devices Group will add some much needed strength to Microsoft, considering other companies who tried making phones with Windows software (such as Samsung and HTC) didn’t do so well. Perhaps the tablet division could come up with a new brick- strength tablet, basing its strength on Ye Olde Nokia 3310. Those things were notorious for their strength, and everyone knows that tablets need a little more strength than their  flimsy plastic casing.


When it comes to the phone and tablet market, the Windows phone has a remarkably smaller share than its big brothers Apple and Android. The Windows phone holds under 10% of the market. Nevertheless, the new phone and tablet division should raise those numbers due to the extra manpower and new executive VP. Microsoft has also been showing a bit of growth on its own in the last few months with the introduction of Windows 8.1 on phones and tablets like the Surface Pro 3. Also with the addition of the new digital assistant Cortana, Microsoft’s giving Siri a run for her money. The future bodes well for Bill Gates & co.

The writer for this article, Steve Kovach, uses pathos to influence the audience’s view of the two tech companies. Kovach shows a picture of Microsoft’s CEO and Nokia’s CEO in order to create an image of unity. Kovach also adds a humorous appeal by adding his assumption of the correct pronunciation of Nokia. The article consists of mostly ethos and logos, including statistics of Nokia and the reputations of each company.

source: Business Insider

url: http://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-closes-nokia-acquisition-2014-4


Jul 15

Hello World!

Welcome to Silicon Valley Insider. This fine website shares all of the latest news from famous tech land in California. Posts will include, but not limited to: IPOs, new product launches, startups, mergers, and company updates. Coverage will update weekly. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

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