John Paczkowski

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Elon Musk to Unveil Plans for Hyperloop Really Rapid Transit System Next Month (Video)

Jetsons_tunnelTesla Motors founder Elon Musk has conceived of a “fifth” form of transportation that he claims can ferry passengers from San Francisco to Los Angeles in just 30 minutes. And next month he plans to explain exactly what it is.

In a Monday morning tweet, Musk said he will unveil designs for his hyperloop system by Aug. 12. What the hell’s a Hyperloop? Speaking at D11, Musk described it as a “cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air-hockey table.” Beyond that, details are slim, but Musk is on record touting the system as far superior to California’s bullet-train project in speed, safety, cost and pretty much every other aspect you can think of.

“This system I have in mind — how would you like something that can never crash, is immune to weather, it goes three or four times faster than the bullet train,” Musk said back in 2012. “It goes an average speed of twice what an aircraft would do. You would go from downtown L.A. to downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes. It would cost you much less than an air ticket, than any other mode of transport. I think we could actually make it self-powering if you put solar panels on it; you generate more power than you would consume in the system. There’s a way to store the power so it would run 24/7 without using batteries.”

Is such a thing even possible? Said Musk: “Absolutely.”

Musk’s comments on Hyperloop from D11, below:

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald