The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step — or in Elon Musk’s case, a single tunnel.
The Tesla and SpaceX CEO has just received approval from a Southern California city to start building a two-mile underground tunnel for his “side project,” The Boring Company — which is aiming to alleviate traffic through a network of subterranean shuttles and tunnels.
The City Council of Hawthorne — the SoCal headquarters for SpaceX and Boring Co. — voted four-to-one in favor of letting Musk dig a test tunnel 44-feet below ground, according to The Verge. Until now, The Boring Company was only able to dig directly under SpaceX HQ. It’ll now be able to extend its tunnel beyond the company’s private property.
“This is groundbreaking, this is establishing a precedent, and I think we all agree that we want to make sure that this goes off without a hitch,” said Hawthorne’s Mayor Alex Vargas after the vote.
Musk has been building anticipation for The Boring Company’s solution to Los Angeles traffic for much of the summer. He teased the futuristic buses that’ll shuttle people through the tunnels, along with cars being able to lock-in to sleds above ground and shoot through below-the-surface tracks.
This isn’t some slow subway car, either. The Boring Company will dart people at up to 125 mph — which Musk shared a video sneak peak of, as well.
Last month, the serial entrepreneur tweeted he’d received “verbal government approval” to start building an East Coast version of his plan — zipping commuters from New York City to Washington, DC in just 29 minutes. Hawthorne’s green light might not be as colossal a project, but it’s a start.
6 Tech Giants Shaking Up News, From Jeff Bezos to Laurene Powell Jobs (Photos)
Tech leaders are increasingly intertwined with the news business. While some want to support old properties, one set out to destroy a new one. Here they are.
Jeff Bezos – Washington Post
The Amazon founder purchased the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million in cash. President Trump has called the paper the “Amazon Washington Post.”
The Facebook co-founder purchased The New Republic in 2012, becoming executive chairman and publisher. However, he sold the venerable political magazine to Win McCormack in 2016, saying he "underestimated the difficulty of transitioning an old and traditional institution into a digital media company in today’s quickly evolving climate."
The eBay founder is a well-known philanthropist who created First Look Media, a journalism venture behind The Intercept. Inspired by Edward Snowden's leaks. Omidyar teamed up with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Jeremy Scahill and Laura Poitras to launch the website “dedicated to the kind of reporting those disclosures required: fearless, adversarial journalism.”
The PayPal co-founder doesn’t own a news organization, but he makes this list because he essentially ended one -- Gawker -- proving once again the power of an angry billionaire. Thiel secretly bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s sex-tape lawsuit against Gawker Media because he was upset that the website once outed him as gay. Hogan won the defamation lawsuit against the site that sent its parent company into bankruptcy, and Gawker.com is no longer operating.
OK, so Facebook isn’t technically a news organization… yet. However, the company is preparing to launch its much-anticipated lineup of original content later this summer, and there are also signs that it's on the verge of becoming an even bigger media platform.
Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships at Facebook, confirmed last week it’s developing a subscription service for publishers willing to post articles directly to Facebook Instant Articles, rather than their native websites.