Tag Archives: peter elkind

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…

How Bloomberg Stayed Involved with His Company While Still Being Mayor

“Officially the company was Doctoroff’s to run. Mike agreed with a city ethics board that he’d have no involvement in Bloomberg’s day-to-day operations, limiting his input to major decisions that ‘significantly’ affect his ownership stake. ‘I’ve recused myself from anything to do with the company,’ Mike said at a press conference in November.

“In truth, Mike was considerably more involved than that statement would suggest. He monitored the business from his Bloomberg terminal at City Hall and, as noted, spoke to Doctoroff every week. On occasion—including twice in one week as New York grappled with a blizzard dubbed ‘snowpocalypse’ in February 2010—Mike turned up at Bloomberg headquarters after-hours for meetings. (One of those sessions, during the blizzard week, concerned a redesign of Bloomberg’s website.) In other cases, he was briefed down at City Hall. Mike stayed on top of what was happening at his company, but he didn’t want to act as the decider after he left. And so a series of internal struggles played out, with Bloomberg playing only an occasional, oblique role.”

Peter Elkind, in Fortune Magazine (subscription required), on the internal company battles over the future of Bloomberg News. Read more on Bloomberg.


Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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