July 10th, 2018


Why I don't talk about batteries much

One of the annoying things about reading tech news is that so much of it is recycled press releases and those press releases are frequently either years in advance or complete bluster designed to raise money from investors. And it's nearly impossible for me to tell which.

So I've now stopped reporting battery news, for instance, because there's a new "breakthrough" every three days, which will revolutionise absolutely everything, except that so far it only works inside their computer simulation/in their lab and no you can't see their full data/if it's specially handcrafted/kept under -200degrees/if it is kept inside a mouse.

Except that when they start announcing that a product will appear _this year_ that makes it more interesting. And Solid State Batteries now seem to be moving into the "This is actually a product" category. Hopefully. Maybe. Toyota are saying 2022, Hyundai have said that they have a small production line underway, and Volkswagen are saying 2025.

Nissan, on the other hand, is saying that the tech needs multiple breakthroughs before it's anywhere near ready.

And then there's this where semi-solid batteries will be on the market, for very small devices, by the end of the year.

Except that, having bought things on Kickstarter a fair few times, "On the market by the end of the year" can mean "We've only got a couple of minor issues to work through, how hard can it be?"

So, yeah, Solid State Batteries looks _amazing_ as a technology, but I think I'm going to go back to not reporting on battery technology until someone announces a shipping product.

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Brexit and Theresa May: A ray of hope

Interesting thread here. Interesting tweet here.

The thrust of which is that Theresa May has cleared out the major architects of Brexit, by saying "Right, how do we do this?" at Chequers, making it clear that the Hard Brexit types don't have either the concrete plans or the backing to actually pull of Brexit, and then letting them resign rather than sacking them.

This actually strikes me as much more sensible that sacking Boris (which he's been trying to engineer since Brexit), as it means it's his decision to go, and she can't be held responsible for not having the Brexit wing in the cabinet. He was, basically, unsackable, but now she's free to act in a more sensible manner.

As Theresa May was a Remain supporter this is almost certainly a good thing. We're probably still going to have _some_ kind of Brexit, because she always (from my reading) carries out a job, even if she disagrees with it personally. But she'll presumably aim for the smallest Brexit she can manage. Which would have public support, I suspect, as the polls are currently showing a 7% lead for "Brexit was a stupid idea" (47% vs 40% in favour of Brexit).

(I await the announcement, fifteen minutes after I post this, that we're leaving immediately, on No Deal.)

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Interesting Links for 10-07-2018