Trending February 2024 # Bitcoin Is Off The Grid! Altcoins Season Is Back This November # Suggested March 2024 # Top 10 Popular

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November has indicated a strong altcoins season that could take investors further into 2023

Microsoft took 44 years to reach US$1 trillion market capitalization. Apple took 42 years while both Amazon and Google took just 24 years. But the scenario is completely different for

Ethereum

After following bitcoin’s footprint since its inception, ethereum managed to show its potential in October. Whenever BTC price goes up or down, it has a direct influence on ethereum and a few other altcoins also. But this time even when bitcoin touched a record high of US$68,000 and fell back to trade at US$58,000 to US$63,000, ethereum managed to touch its all-time high without BTC’s support. It indicated the first major win for ether. Even on a general scale, ethereum’s growth has outperformed bitcoin this year as it recorded a 600% increase while bitcoin saw a 127% rise. Upgrades in ethereum with the introduction of Ethereum 2.0 and its ability to sportfully house smart contracts can further increase the value of the digital token. Besides, the recent burn-off feature in the network is anticipated to combat the inflammation challenges that ether has been facing so far. According to an analysis, ethereum’s recent graph indicates the same spike it went through between June and September.  

Dogecoin

Dogecoin is another altcoin plus meme coin combo that has the potential to outperform bitcoin in the far future. Born out of online jokes and memes in 2013, dogecoin maintained a low profile for over seven years before hitting the mainstream investment portfolio. Since 2023, all is well for the meme token. With big names like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban as the biggest backers, dogecoin has no other way but to move forward. But the recent dogecoin price surge was solely because of the tough fight for meme coins dominance. Its archrival, Shiba Inu, suddenly grew to prominence, pushing DOGE from its long-occupied top meme coin position. However, unlike other currencies, dogecoin has a large set of honest followers who are willing to do anything to pump up its value. DOGE investors geared up their game and got back the ninth position it lost. Although dogecoin is maintaining a moderate value now, it has the potential to be the altcoin of the month.  

Litecoin

Microsoft took 44 years to reach US$1 trillion market capitalization. Apple took 42 years while both Amazon and Google took just 24 years. But the scenario is completely different for bitcoin . The foremost cryptocurrency took just 12 years to reach the US$1 trillion mark. Besides, it also triggered the whole digital token market to touch US$3 trillion this year. Despite its ability to stay dominant for over a decade now, other altcoins are eyeing to take down bitcoin whenever possible. Although even the gap between bitcoin and its closest rival, ethereum , is extremely void, altcoins are experiencing massive growth compared to the native currency. This November, altcoins are expected to be more dominant. Bitcoin always gets the lion’s share in the cryptocurrency market with more people trying their hand on the digital token. Since its inception in 2009, bitcoin has experienced massive growth and introduced the revolutionary decentralized finance model to the world. Besides its own growth, BTC has also paved the way for many top-performing altcoins that followed its footsteps and came all the way till 2023. After holding the top position for a very long time, maybe it is time for bitcoin to give away its position to altcoins. The newer players are also burgeoning with eye-watering promises of cheaper transactions, less energy consumption, and speed. This comes at a time when bitcoin is all set for the new upgrade called ‘Taproot.’ The biggest upgrade after Segregated Witness (SegWit) in 2023 will help bitcoin transactions become more private, efficient, and cost-effective. However, the changes didn’t directly influence the price of BTC like it usually does. Therefore, this November has indicated a strong altcoins season that could take investors further into 2023.After following bitcoin’s footprint since its inception, ethereum managed to show its potential in October. Whenever BTC price goes up or down, it has a direct influence on ethereum and a few other altcoins also. But this time even when bitcoin touched a record high of US$68,000 and fell back to trade at US$58,000 to US$63,000, ethereum managed to touch its all-time high without BTC’s support. It indicated the first major win for ether. Even on a general scale, ethereum’s growth has outperformed bitcoin this year as it recorded a 600% increase while bitcoin saw a 127% rise. Upgrades in ethereum with the introduction of Ethereum 2.0 and its ability to sportfully house smart contracts can further increase the value of the digital token. Besides, the recent burn-off feature in the network is anticipated to combat the inflammation challenges that ether has been facing so far. According to an analysis, ethereum’s recent graph indicates the same spike it went through between June and September.Dogecoin is another altcoin plus meme coin combo that has the potential to outperform bitcoin in the far future. Born out of online jokes and memes in 2013, dogecoin maintained a low profile for over seven years before hitting the mainstream investment portfolio. Since 2023, all is well for the meme token. With big names like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban as the biggest backers, dogecoin has no other way but to move forward. But the recent dogecoin price surge was solely because of the tough fight for meme coins dominance. Its archrival, Shiba Inu, suddenly grew to prominence, pushing DOGE from its long-occupied top meme coin position. However, unlike other currencies, dogecoin has a large set of honest followers who are willing to do anything to pump up its value. DOGE investors geared up their game and got back the ninth position it lost. Although dogecoin is maintaining a moderate value now, it has the potential to be the altcoin of the month.Despite the emergence of new cryptocurrencies in the market, Litecoin has managed to remain resilient to all the big blows. Recently, litecoin experienced a rally for 48-hours on the 8th and 9th of November. Over this short bull run, the coin gained over 30% in value, breaching the US$260 barrier. The price rally was because of the mainstream rally in which bitcoin and other cryptos gained value and new investors tried their hand on litecoin. With this said, Litecoin is all set to be one of the altcoins of November.

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Bitcoin Tactics Investors Use To Sustain This Volatile Season

Crypto investors should opt for bitcoin tactics to shield against massive uincertainity

The cryptocurrency market has gained much traction in the past decade with bitcoin leading the race.  

Bitcoin Chart and Prediction

The next big thing in bitcoin price is to reach US$100,000. Although many cryptocurrency enthusiasts have so far suggested that reaching this milestone would be a matter of time and there are possibilities it could happen before the end of 2023 seems quite impossible. But before reaching this long-term goal, bitcoin must first bump into its mid-range resistance of US$86,000 in the price chart. Still, institutional investors are the biggest expectations in the bitcoin market. Once institutional investors and bitcoin ETFs go mainstream and gain more adoption, bitcoin will have a far longer path than to reach US$100,000.  

An Important Note for Investors

Although bitcoin is expected to reach record high prices in the coming days, crypto investors should always keep a low key when it comes to BTC investments. Remember that the cryptocurrency market as a whole is extremely volatile and bitcoin is no different. Everytime the bitcoin price made a new milestone, it was hit by a slump that pushed the digital token’s price to start its growth path from mid-way. Therefore, experts suggest crypto investors keep their crypto investment at less than 5% of their total portfolio.  

Bitcoin Tactics for Crypto Investors

Bitcoin ETF’s Open the Backdoor for Investors: Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded funds) is not a new story. But its debut in the US exchange made a huge difference in the market. Bitcoin ETFs were available in Canada and European countries even before they entered the US. However, their US debut is significant because the country has been reluctant to allow Bitcoin ETFs and blocked them with regulatory measures for a long time. Such bitcoin ETFs are better source compared to direct bitcoin investments. Investors can track bitcoin’s spot price indirectly through the use of contracts overseen in Bitcoin ETFs. Begin from a Small Amount: The cryptocurrency market is young compared to other investment models we have today. With just 10 years of history, it is very uncertain to make every prediction very accurate. The same goes for bitcoin as well. Therefore, always begin your investment by infusing a minimum amount. Gradually increase the potential investment overtime on fixed intervals.

The cryptocurrency market has gained much traction in the past decade with bitcoin leading the race. Bitcoin price has been setting new records by touching all-time highs and hyping the investment model as a whole. In a recent move to its development, bitcoin price has reached US$67,000 in October, increasing the expectations of crypto investors in the digital token. However, after reaching the record high price, bitcoin has backed off to its old position and is being traded at US$58,000 to US$63,000 since then. Although long-term investors are less concerned about the surmounting volatility, it is important to look for ways to have less impact on their potential bitcoin investment while the market is unstable. That is why they should use certain bitcoin tactics to keep up in the race. With US$2.71 trillion market capitalization, the cryptocurrency market is heading to the moon recently. Fortunately, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu that gained dominance over the past month have introduced more new investors to the crypto circle. Although bitcoin price has reached another all-time high recently, it is currently on a massive bull run. However, despite the sudden surge that was followed by rational plummets, bitcoin daily and the weekly average price is remaining above the US$60,000 mark. The new record high came at the backdrop of Bitcoin ETF debuting at the New Tork Stock Exchange. Before reaching this milestone, bitcoin suffered big time for the past six months. Since reaching a record high in mid-April, bitcoin was haunted by many circumstantial changes and government actions. First Elon Musk, the major supporter and trend setter in the crypto market, denied to accept bitcoin payment in his company due to its high energy consumption. Later, China implemented a blanket ban on cryptocurrencies to stop bitcoin mining in the country. These made bitcoin price reach as low as US$35,000 in the recent past. However, bitcoin managed to bounce back with normal enthusiasm. But despite its growth, crypto investors should always have a backup plan to support their potential investment in case things go wrong. Therefore, we give you an outlook on some bitcoin tactics that can be used to secure your investment in the cryptocurrency chúng tôi next big thing in bitcoin price is to reach US$100,000. Although many cryptocurrency enthusiasts have so far suggested that reaching this milestone would be a matter of time and there are possibilities it could happen before the end of 2023 seems quite impossible. But before reaching this long-term goal, bitcoin must first bump into its mid-range resistance of US$86,000 in the price chart. Still, institutional investors are the biggest expectations in the bitcoin market. Once institutional investors and bitcoin ETFs go mainstream and gain more adoption, bitcoin will have a far longer path than to reach US$100,000.Although bitcoin is expected to reach record high prices in the coming days, crypto investors should always keep a low key when it comes to BTC investments. Remember that the cryptocurrency market as a whole is extremely volatile and bitcoin is no different. Everytime the bitcoin price made a new milestone, it was hit by a slump that pushed the digital token’s price to start its growth path from mid-way. Therefore, experts suggest crypto investors keep their crypto investment at less than 5% of their total portfolio.Bitcoin ETF (exchange-traded funds) is not a new story. But its debut in the US exchange made a huge difference in the market. Bitcoin ETFs were available in Canada and European countries even before they entered the US. However, their US debut is significant because the country has been reluctant to allow Bitcoin ETFs and blocked them with regulatory measures for a long time. Such bitcoin ETFs are better source compared to direct bitcoin investments. Investors can track bitcoin’s spot price indirectly through the use of contracts overseen in Bitcoin chúng tôi cryptocurrency market is young compared to other investment models we have today. With just 10 years of history, it is very uncertain to make every prediction very accurate. The same goes for bitcoin as well. Therefore, always begin your investment by infusing a minimum amount. Gradually increase the potential investment overtime on fixed chúng tôi next big thing in bitcoin market is the invasion of institutional investors. Yes, more and more corporate companies are infusing funds on bitcoin and building a crypto portfolio for themselves. New investors can take this as an opportunity to indirectly invest on bitcoin by buying the institutional investors’ stocks. For people who are new to cryptocurrency, this investment model will help big time.

This Is The 2023 Mercedes

This is the 2023 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

This is the car Mercedes-Benz believes will make you forget the BMW 5 Series and ignore the Audi A6. Making its debut at the NAIAS, the 2023 E-Class is a complete redesign for the 10th-generation, scaling up the on-road presence while boosting safety and luxury, and raiding the self-driving technologies previously only found on Mercedes’ flagship.

On the outside, there are clear hints of S-Class to the 2023 E-Class’ design. The bigger sedan has donated its smooth curves and dominating presence, helped by an increase in size over the outgoing car.

Overall length is up 1.7-inches, but more importantly the wheelbase has increased 2.6-inches, meaning more interior space. Two versions – Luxury and Sport – will be offered, the most noticeable aesthetic change being the traditional grille and hood-mounted Mercedes star on the Luxury, and a grille-mounted logo and more sporting vents on the Sport.

Inside, as we previewed last year, the new E-Class raises its game in fit, finish, and technology. Leather sits alongside aluminum and natural-grain ash wood, and there’s a 64-color ambient LED lighting system.

The seats can be optionally specified with a Warmth and Comfort package, which stretches the heating elements to include the door armrests and center console, along with the steering wheel. In the back, the bench splits 40/20/40, and there’s an optional tablet holder.

Two Burmester sound systems are available, both as options, with the top-spec model getting 23 speakers and 3D sound.

So far, Mercedes has only detailed the initial launch engine, and unusually it’s not a V6. The next-gen E-Class will have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, in fact, mustering 241 HP and 273 lb-ft of torque and paired with a 9G-TRONIC nine-speed auto transmission. Further down the line, other engine options will be offered.

The biggest donations from the S-Class, however, might be the driver-assistance technologies. The 2023 E-Class will have a deep bag of the stuff installed as standard, ranging from the familiar – like active brake assist, attention assist, and crosswind assist – through to more unusual fare, like PRE-SAFE Sound which promises to trigger an instinctive corrective reflex with a cabin sound if a collision risk is detected.

Options include Drive Pilot, which can follow traffic autonomously at speeds of up to 130 mph, helping with steering through corners, and automatically changing lanes.

Like the Summon feature added to Tesla’s Model S and Model X over the weekend, the E-Class will eventually be available with Remote Parking Pilot, allowing the car to be moved in and out of garages and parking spaces via a smartphone. Car-to-X communication will be able to feed and receive road details like accidents, inclement weather, black ice, or other dangers to fellow E-Class cars, meanwhile, though not on US cars at launch.

NOW READ: 2023 E-Class interior hands-on

In short, it’s much of what made the S-Class special, but distilled down for a far larger audience.

Mercedes-Benz hasn’t confirmed US pricing at this stage, but it’ll be a fair degree more affordable than the uber-sedan, despite featuring the high-tech safety and automated driving abilities.

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This Is The New Htc One M8

This is the new HTC One M8

HTC has been teasing the new HTC One for some weeks now, and the curtain has finally been lifted on the 2014 flagship. Refining the unibody design of the original One, and maintaining HTC’s offbeat approach to photography tech, the new One adds Duo Camera to the mix as well, in addition to throwing in not only unlocked and developer versions, but a Google Play Edition too. Read on for the highlights.

First things first: the name. HTC actually touched on the idea of the “One” branding being a persistent thing, much in the same way that we’ve had multiple iPhones, back at the launch of the first version, but even with a “New” prefix it was likely to get confusing. To fix that, the M8 product code is going to be more broadly used, unlike the M7 code of the original One which was only really intended for internal use.

Three color options are on the table – gunmetal grey, which will be the “hero” finish, along with glacial silver and amber gold – all hewn from a single block of aluminum. HTC uses its CNC machine to cut the basic shape, then injects the few remaining slits and gaps with plastic, finally returning to the cutting machine to finish things off. There’s a whole lot less plastic involved this time around, too: the new HTC One is 90-percent metal, versus the 70-percent of its predecessor.

That adds up to a phone that both looks and feels great in the hand. It’s a little longer and wider than before, not to mention a little heavier, accommodating a larger, 5-inch display in the process, but the brushed finish and satin edges nestle into the hand beautifully. We’re yet to see whether the carriers will mar the design with over-zealous badging, but HTC has kept things relatively simple with a small logo on the lower front and an inset badge across the back.

Notably it has the same screen size as the Nokia Lumia Icon on Verizon, though is longer than the Windows Phone. It’s also slimmer, however, with more comfortable edges for extended gripping. Samsung’s Galaxy S5 is yet to hit shelves, but the arguments between those who prefer plastic handsets and those who like metal are likely to be just as vocal as they were in 2013 around the first HTC One and the Galaxy S4.

HTC One M8 vs HTC One M7:

Sense is now in its sixth major iteration, and looks all the better for it, HTC redesigning things like BlinkFeed to make the UI even more discrete. There’s a better use of motion and gesture recognition, too: pick up the new One and hold it horizontally, for instance, and when you tap the volume rocker the camera app opens. Lifting the phone to your ear while it’s ringing automatically answers the call.

The twin camera design, which HTC calls Duo Camera, measures depth in a similar way to how the human eyes work. That allows for selective refocusing, much as we’ve seen done with Lytro cameras, as well as various effects like bokeh. There’s even a semi-3D mode which tilts the frame around as you move the One M8, allowing you to peek around the sides of objects.

HTC’s UltraPixel tech is carried over, with an effective 4-megapixel resolution but using larger individual pixels to maximize the light that’s captured. This time round, though, there’s not such an obsessional focus on low-light performance, with the camera DSP reworked so that the new One does better across a broader range of settings.

Excited? Check out our full review of the new HTC One M8 for all the details!

This Is The Htc 10: First Impressions

This is the HTC 10: First Impressions

HTC had stopped listening, but it learned its lesson with the new HTC 10. Back in 2013 HTC unveiled the flagship One M7, and was widely praised for its unibody design, purposefully different approach to phone photography, and overall user-experience. In trying to keep up with the ever-present threat of Apple’s iPhone and the increasingly polished – and heavily promoted – Samsung Galaxy line, though, HTC lost its way.

The One M8 and last year’s One M9 saw HTC trying desperately to recapture some of that One M7 charm, but never really succeeding. Yes, they were metal-bodied and handsome, but where the M7 could make a case for its more unusual features, its successors felt more gimmicky.

The good news, then, is that 2024’s HTC 10 feels as close to the ethos of the M7 as we’ve seen.

Its unibody design is unmistakably HTC from the rear, now featuring deeply chamfered edges that better highlight the dual-finish matte and polish the company has been using for several generations. It’s cleaner than the M9 and nowhere near as iPhone-y as the One A9.

From the front, you first notice how relatively compact it looks, compared to previous One-series devices. That’s because the front-facing BoomSound speakers have been removed in the name of trimming the bezels.

Instead, you get a clean sheet of toughened glass with 2.5D curved edges; subtle, but catching the light nicely when the HTC 10 is on the table next to you. A fingerprint sensor is built into the home button – HTC says it should unlock in 0.2 seconds, and you get support for authorizing Android Pay payments as well as locking individual apps – while the back and task-switcher controls are now capacitive keys that light up either-side. HTC claims that’s to maximize the display real-estate.

The screen itself is a marked improvement over last year’s flagship. A 5.2-inch, 2K panel, it comes in at 564 ppi and covers 92-percent of the NTSC color gamut. Iably more importantly, though, HTC has paid specific attention to touchscreen responsiveness, and it’s not afraid of naming its primary target.

“It means that somehow, as you’re using the HTC 10, it feels like an iPhone,” Darren Sng, vice president of product marketing, says of the company’s refinements. HTC recorded the display with high-speed cameras to make sure it was the fastest in the Android segment: a 120ms response time, versus 163ms for the Galaxy S7, 206ms for Sony’s Z5, and 213ms for the Galaxy Note 5.

It’s not just been an axe indiscriminately falling on the handiwork of HTC’s own software engineers, however. According to Sng, its been a fight based on usefulness and value: does HTC’s app add more than the stock Google version?

NOW READ: The HTC 10 wants to save us from fragmentation

So, the HTC Camera app makes the cut, because it’s more flexible than Android’s alternative, but Google Photos is the default gallery app since it now supports RAW images (it didn’t when HTC launched the One A9, so that device got the company’s own software). In the process, HTC has worked closely with Google to better integrate the apps which made the cut, and ensuring that its own software keeps to the Material Design guidelines.

You might find you need that memory card, too, given the focus HTC has put on photography, and that involves bringing back the UltraPixel concept which had been sidelined to the front camera in the M8 and M9.

For the HTC 10, it’s UltraPixel 2 in fact. As with the original version, it’s all about bigger pixels for more light: not quite as large this time around, at 1.55 microns versus the 2.0 microns of the One M7’s sensor, but three times as many, at 12-megapixels.

In addition to the 12-megapixel stills, the HTC 10 will capture 4K video with 24-bit, 96 kHz Hi-Res stereo audio. Some clever microphone fettling means the phone should be able to handle audio twice as loud as other devices without distorting, useful if you’re trying to record a Taylor Swift concert.

All in all, it’s enough for DXOMark to grade the HTC 10 with a score of 88, conveniently matching that of the Galaxy S7. I’ll need to spend some time with it out in the wild to see if that pans out for everyday use, mind, though the camera definitely loaded quickly in my relatively brief play with it, and seemed to lock focus with no issues.

There’s a surprise for the front of the HTC 10, however. Dumping the old BoomSound design meant there was room for a better sensor there, too, and so you get HTC’s first UltraSelfie camera.

Yes, it’s a terrible name, but the shots should salve any cringworthiness. Not only does its 5-megapixel sensor have 1.34 micron pixels, an 86-degree, wide-angle f/1.8 lens, and the ability to repurpose the display as a flash, but there’s optical image stabilization too, a first for a smartphone camera. The OIS works both for selfies and video recording – at up to 1080p resolution – and could very well make the HTC 10 the phone-of-choice for keen Periscope and Facebook Live users.

So what of the audio? The HTC 10 introduces BoomSound HiFi Edition, pushing the tweeter to the top of the phone and the woofer to the bottom, and giving each a dedicated amp. As a result, HTC claims, there’s a wider frequency response, but since the woofer doesn’t care about the direction it faces, you don’t miss out on low-end grunt even without the driver pointing straight at you.

I’m more excited, though, at the new 24-bit Hi-Res audio support for headphones. There’s a 24-bit HiFi DAC and twice the power from the headphone amp, along with support for upscaling 16-bit to 24-bit audio. Maximum output is 1V with a -104 dB THD+N signal to noise ratio, and -120 dBV noise level at 33 ohm load.

Confused? HTC figured some would be, and so rather than an EQ app – you can download a third-party example from the Play store if you prefer – there’s a Personal Audio Profile which, after asking a series of questions about what types of music you listen to and playing you samples, automatically tweaks the frequencies for what it believes will be the most rewarding sound.

NOW READ: AirPlay is just the start for HTC

That might not be the most impressive audio feature, however. The HTC 10 is the first Android device to support Apple AirPlay out of the box: it’s part of HTC Connect, still triggered with a three-finger swipe and streaming across Qualcomm AllPlay, Miracast, Backfire, and DLNA, in addition to Apple’s hitherto-closed standard.

It’s not to say HTC is only relying on others for its phones’ abilities. The HTC 10 introduces Freestyle Layout for its customizable home screen, for instance, which does away with the traditional grid and allows users to instead position icons and stickers – each of which can launch apps or actions – anywhere on the screen. Eight Freestyle themes will be available to download at launch, HTC says, though of course users will be able to create and share their own.

Meanwhile, the old Dot View case has had a higher-res makeover, and is now the HTC Ice View case. Instead of lots of little perforations, the cover is now frosted plastic, through which a special neon-like lock screen glows through. The date/time/weather, app notifications, phone calls, and messages all show up, and you can interact with them even with the case closed.

Best, though, is that you can double-swipe to get to the camera and see the preview through the Ice View cover.

How long does all this new tech last? HTC claims that the HTC 10 will last for two days on a full 3,000 mAh charge – that breaks down to up to 13hrs of video, up to 73hrs of music, 13hrs of browsing, or 27hrs of 3G talktime.

Courtesy of Quick Charge 3.0, meanwhile, thirty minutes plugged in should get you from dead to 50-percent. HTC has learned from past mistakes and will include a Quick Charge 3.0 compatible fast-charger in the box as standard, too, along with the USB-C cable needed for the HTC 10’s new port.

Does the HTC 10 stand a chance? Certainly all of the hardware and software pieces fall together nicely, and if the camera holds up to HTC’s promises then Samsung may have a headache in the pipeline. It’s hard to argue with the company’s strategy when it comes to avoiding Android bloat yet without sacrificing every single tweak and modification that could improve overall user-experience.

All the same, HTC’s problems in recent years have never been solely about product. A marketing budget a fraction of the size of those its key rivals wielded meant getting the One message out never quite carried the required volume.

There is a wildcard for 2024, though, and the HTC 10 may benefit from an unexpected corner. HTC Vive, the company’s virtual reality collaboration with Valve, is grabbing headlines and gaining HTC kudos among a whole new segment. If it can figure out a way to cash in on that novel mindshare, that’s a whole extra chunk of attention that Apple, Samsung, and LG simply don’t have.

Right now, though, there’s no sign of any such integration, but there’s not long to wait before we see how the HTC 10 holds up in practice. Sales kick off this month in a choice of Carbon Grey, Glacier Silver, Topaz Gold, and Camellia Red (which has a black front and a red back, and will initially only be offered in Japan on carrier KDDI), on Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and others in the US, with carriers announcing their own pricing.

HTC, meanwhile, will offer an unlocked, AT&T and T-Mobile compatible HTC 10 direct, in Carbon Grey and Glacier Silver, for $699. It’s available to preorder from today, and will ship in early May.

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This Is Elon Musk’s Hyperloop

SpaceX/Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk has unveiled details on the Hyperloop, his proposed (and until now mostly mysterious) plan for a railway system that could shoot passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in a mere 30 minutes.

It’s actually surprisingly close to what some early predictions forecasted: an elevated, low-friction, high-speed track based on pods, which would ferry people, and even cars, long distances at more than 700 miles per hour.

There are at least a few differences, though. The system was expected to run on a Maglev system (similar to that used in bullet trains) but it actually works through air bearings, a system that’s similar to the low-friction environment created on a hockey table. (On a conference call, Musk described it as falling somewhere between a completely sealed vacuum and a gigantic version of one of those pneumatic-tube systems mail was sent through in the ol’ days.) Musk told Bloomberg BusinessWeek:

The pods will ride on air bearings. The pod produces air, and it’s pumped out of little holes on these skis. This is something that is used quite a bit in industry. You can move huge, heavy objects with very low friction, using air bearings. In the consumer sense, people would be familiar with air hockey tables, except in this case the air bearings are being generated by the pod itself, as opposed to the tube.

You don’t want the tube to be expensive. Because the tube is so long, you want the expensive stuff to be in the pod.

Hyperloop Pod Sketch

Here are more details:

The system would work for places about 900 miles apart or less–any more and supersonic air travel, Musk argues, would be a cheaper solution.

Musk specifically uses a L.A.-to-San Francisco route as the proposed system. The Hyperloop would more or less follow along the I-5.

In Musk’s plan, the Hyperloop could carry 840 passengers per hour, with 70 pods leaving every 30 seconds

“[F]or trip comfort and safety, it would be best to travel at high subsonic speeds for a 350 mile journey.” Uhh, yes, seems like “high subsonic” (700-plus mph) would be sufficient.

Hard to say what construction would be like for this. Presumably, Musk would have to fork over a lot of money to secure building rights along the I-5, which is dominated by farmland. Musk told BusinessWeek that, because the rail system would be elevated, there would be fewer land-rights issues. But that’s not going to solve everything, and could considerably increase the price tag.

About every 70 miles, an electric motor would provide a boost to the individual pods, shooting them farther along the track. The same system could slow down the pods as they approach their destination, and the energy taken from that could be rerouted to power the next batch of pods.

Musk said on the call that it “would feel a lot like being on an airplane”–“like riding on a cushion of air.” How? It doesn’t accelerate normally, but by banking along the tube, which would mean about a half-g of force.

As for risk of crashing, Musk said on the call that shock-absorbing pylons could absorb any earthquakes that could be reasonably anticipated.

This is still expensive. Six billion dollars for a system that could carry people and $10 billion for one that could carry cars. (Context: Musk points out that price tag is more than his companies Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity spend combined, but a lot less than the proposed California High Speed Rail, which would theoretically be much slower.)

Who’s going to make this thing, then? Well, Musk has said previously that he would release the plans as an open-source system, and let anyone have at them. On the conference call, he backed away from that slightly, saying he would be likely to build a prototype if no one else steps up. (That’s a surprise; he came off pretty firmly against the idea of building this thing himself recently.)

On how long it would take: Musk says if a prototype were his top priority, he could get it done in one or two years–but since it won’t be (the guy has got a few other companies to run), the prototype could be more like three or four years. Musk estimates it will take seven to 10 years to make the full project a reality. Might be a little early (literally, it’s been, like, an hour since the plans were released) to be making estimates that far in the future.

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