Tesla dropped its electric Semi truck and a new Roadster at a recent event, but it apparently launched another product that didn’t get any stage time. The automaker has released, of all things, a $45 external battery pack (the Powerbank) with USB, microUSB and Apple Lightning connections that can charge your Android phone or iPhone on the go. Maybe that’s not as strange as it sounds, considering Tesla has a Gigafactory that pumps out batteries, including one for homes, called Powerwall. In fact, the Powerbank uses a single 18650 cell with 3,350mAh capacity that’s also found (in multiples!) in its Model S and X electric vehicles.
The Minecraft team had a bunch of news at their MineCon Earth convention, but the biggest news may be what’s not happening. Mojang and Microsoft have delayed the launches of both the Super Duper Graphics Pack and cross-platform Switch multiplayer to sometime in 2018.
Users have noticed that Lens, Google’s visual search feature, is now available inside Google Assistant on both original Pixel and Pixel 2 phones. Tap a camera button while using the AI helper and you can have it perform a search when you take a photo. It can identify what you’re looking at, scour the web and launch other apps. You can rate results, too, so you’ll hopefully refine Lens’ results over time. Results are currently a little hit-and-miss.
Tesla only just unveiled its Semi electric truck, but it’s already lining up honest-to-goodness customers. Canadian grocery chain Loblaws has pre-ordered 25 of the giant EVs to haul food to its stores across the country. That’s a larger purchase than Walmart (which ordered 15 for its test), and no small commitment when Tesla hasn’t even revealed the (likely high) price. It may seem odd for Tesla to score one of its most important orders beyond the US, but the chain recently committed to a 30 percent reduction in its overall carbon footprint by 2030, and it sees electric trucks playing an important role.
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