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Post Intelligence says it can make your tweets better

Post Intelligence says it can make your tweets better

Social media can be hard.

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Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi on the future of two-wheeled EV’s

Electric cars and buses have already begun to take over the world, as evidenced by daily sightings of EV brands like Tesla, Prius, Bolt and Proterra on US roads. But two-wheeled EV’s are still a rare sight. The motorcycle industry has been much slower to put out all-electric and hybrid models relative to peers in automotive.

Big brands like Harley, Honda and Ducati don’t have EV motorcycles on the market today, though customers have indicated interest when they’ve teased electric concepts. And a few startups have failed to make electric bikes that could give combustion engine models a run for their money.

Mission Motors went bankrupt . Brammo put its Empulse EV motorcycles out there to some fanfare, but the small Oregon-based startup sold its bike business to Polaris. The parent company of Victory Motorcycles, Polaris eventually killed off  the Empulse. And Brammo now sells power systems to other vehicle and equipment makers.

Survivors and newcomers are still churning out EV motorcycles, though. They include  Zero Motorcycles , Lightning Motorcycle and Alta Motors in the US, Energica Motor in Italy, and China’s Evoke Motorcycles . All are helping to awaken market demand. According to forecasts from ID Tech Ex, the market for smaller electric vehicles, including motorcycles, will comprise about 5% of overall EV sales, generating some $35 billion annually by 2027.

Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi on the future of two-wheeled EV’s

Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi.

TechCrunch recently caught up with Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi, who has been in the motorcycle industry for about two decades, to get his take on what could make electric motorcycles the first choice for riders.

Askenazi said right now, a lot of Zero Motorcycles customers buy the company’s EV bikes alongside market leading V-twins and V-4s. To him, that indicates Zero’s bikes perform at the same or better levels as riders’ long-held favorites.

Besides that, he said, electric bikes are quiet, so riders can hear what’s happening around them, and won’t disturb the peace, which their neighbors appreciate. That quietude is one reason police departments buy Zero Motorcycles for their fleets. They can ride at any hour, and approach suspects stealthily if they drive electric.

Of course, electricity costs less than gas most of the world over. That’s appealing to a certain set of riders. So is the ability to power your bike with solar or wind-generated electricity for those most eco-minded motorcycle enthusiasts.

Zero Motorcycles CTO Abe Askenazi on the future of two-wheeled EV’s

Zero Motorcycle’s dual-sport electric, the Zero DS.

Zero’s today makes everything from lightweight “hot rods” to sporty off-road models that cost from $8,495 to $15,995. Appreciated for their acceleration, speed, control and easy-to-read instruments, in the past the bikes drew complaints around range. The company has worked hard to improve its battery tech, however, and some bikes in Zero’s 2017 lineup promise 200 miles per charge. That compares to e-motorcycles with a 40-mile range made by Zero just a few years ago.

“Optimization of chemistry has gotten us here. The beautiful thing is that batteries are plug-and-play. When that battery comes that will give you 1,000 miles, we’ll be able to use it,” the CTO said. “Where the industry is going though is not so much

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Alaska Airlines is killing off Virgin America and Richard Branson says it’s OK to cry

Alaska Airlines is killing off Virgin America and Richard Branson says it’s OK to cry

Alaska Airlines has

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Senators reintroduce a bill to improve cybersecurity in cars

Senators reintroduce a bill to improve cybersecurity in cars

Senators Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have reintroduced the

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The FCC is talking about everything but the imminent repeal of its internet privacy rules

The FCC is talking about everything but the imminent repeal of its internet privacy rules

It was a productive meeting at the FCC: Chairman Pai talked about putting pressure on phone scammers, preventing phone smuggling in prisons, and improving mobile service. But one thing he didn’t want to talk about was the vote taking place in the Senate that very moment that would overturn privacy rules bigger and more important than anything on the agenda.

First, the Commission announced that it would be considering a proposed rule and inquiry into using technical means to prevent robocalls. Certain methods of spoofing phone numbers make it so they only connect one way, which makes spamming people a risk-free proposition. The FCC has already looked into banning this and is taking steps to move forward.

That’s great, of course, but if you don’t like unsolicited advertising, you probably also don’t like the prospect of ISPs building a profile of your household or even members of it by monitoring your search history. That’s what they were voting on down the block.

Next up was the growing problem of contraband phones at jails and prisons. Systems are being put in place that block the transmissions of these devices, but they require FCC approval. That’s probably a good thing, but we also have to make sure inmates are provided with adequate and affordable communications options, as they are often at the mercy of unscrupulous private services.

ISPs would be aware that you have a friend or family member in jail, of course, if you created an account at one of the services that provides phone cards and connectivity to correctional facilities. The privacy rules the Senate voted to repeal would have required ISPs to ask before collecting that data.

The FCC next announced some improvements to the indispensable video relay services, which connects people with vision and hearing disabilities to interpreters so they can make calls to people and companies that may not be so accommodating. Improvements include finding interpreters with relevant technical, medical, or legal knowledge, improving comparisons between services, and providing numbers for direct video calls to ASL interpreters.

Services like VRS are the ones that quietly help lots of people and which those of us fortunate enough to have no disabilities probably don’t even know are out there. I’ll freely admit I had no idea about this one until now, and as soon as I read about it, it struck me as an obvious and critical thing to offer. Protections like those in the privacy rule are also low-visibility, and unless someone were to bring the problems prevented to your attention, you might not know that they existed at all.

Improvements were proposed to the requirements and regulations surrounding the 800 Mhz band, in use for a long time now and seemingly in need of an update. Relaxing unnecessary restrictions from years back and bringing others up to date will allow band 10, as it’s called, to be used more effectively in the modern mobile marketplace.

It’s funny that here old regulations are being given a new coat

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