Tag Archives: gigaom

Why the World Is Betting on a Better Battery: A Reading List

Photo from the Henry Ford Collection, via Ford

Nick Leiber | Longreads | March 2015


The first battery, a pile of copper and zinc discs, was invented more than 200 years ago, ushering in the electric age. Subsequent versions led to portable electronics, mobile computing, and our current love affair with smartphones (1,000 of which are shipped every 22 seconds). Now batteries are powering electric cars and storing electricity produced by solar cells and windmills, but they don’t last long enough and are too expensive for either use to really go mainstream. To cut the cost, Tesla plans to double the world’s production capacity of the popular lithium-ion battery with its forthcoming $5 billion battery manufacturing plant in the Nevada desert. Tesla’s idea is to use economies of scale to lower prices. Meanwhile, other companies and many industrialized countries, including China and the U.S., are racing to develop batteries that are more advanced than Tesla’s. They’re betting billions that breakthrough battery technologies will help create new industries, juice existing ones, and wean us off fossil fuels because we’ll be able to use the sun and wind in their place. Here is a book, a documentary, and five stories on our battery-powered future. Read more…

One Question for Microsoft's Next CEO

OM: The challenge for Microsoft comes down to: you’ve got developers, you’ve got cloud, you’ve got the legacy, the enterprise relationships, those things you got right. You’ve got old legacy products which people like to use however there is a little bit of challenge when it comes to the new world. Look at the world where people are spending money on applications, devices, other way of thinking. We don’t have a Microsoft product in our company now, which is unimaginable five years ago and I think that’s the challenge you have.

SN: I thought you had an Xbox in your lounge?

Om Malik, in a conversation with Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, who’s now the reported frontrunner to become CEO. Read more on Microsoft in the Longreads Archive.


Photo: Flickr

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