Tesla Adds Dog Mode – Because Twitter Asked

Tesla has announced that a “dog mode” will be added to its cars as soon as this week. The reason? Someone asked Elon Musk for it on Twitter.

The latest mode is just the latest in a long line of updates and improvements that Tesla has rolled out across its cars, with some being recommendations tweeted directly at Musk, then quickly adopted.

It’s a far cry from the way other car manufacturers deal with customer feedback. But, while the customer is king, what does it mean for the state of product development at Tesla?

What New Modes are Being Added to Tesla Cars?

The beauty of the Tesla car approach is that cars can receive over-the-air updates, just like your phone or computer. This means their functions can be updated and tweaked by the manufacturer from afar, introducing new features.

According to Musk, two of these updates are about to drop. First, there’s dog mode, which is a feature dedicated to pooch owners who want to leave their fluffy pals in the car unattended.

It might seem trivial, but leaving a dog in a hot car for just a few minutes can prove lethal. According to research by the American Medical Veterinary Foundation, the inside temperature of a car can rise by over 30 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to the outside temperature, within half an hour. That’s bad news for dogs, and it can prompt members of the public or authorities to smash the windows of unattended cars to rescue animals.

While Tesla hasn’t revealed the full details of its dog mode yet, we do know that its main function will be to regulate the temperature inside the car to keep the atmosphere cool for our canine buddies. There have also been hints that it may display a message for passersby, assuring them that the dog is fine.

Also coming soon is “Sentry Mode”, a security feature that aims to tackle break ins. It does this by recording suspicious activity with the 360 degree dashboard camera. Musk has also stated on Twitter that it will play Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, which, if you’re unfamiliar with, is a piece of classical musical that is played in pretty much every cheesy vampire flick.

In the announcement on Twitter, Musk also stated that the feature would “keep Summer safe”, a reference lost on anyone who doesn’t keep up with animated series Rick and Morty. In an episode, the character Summer stays inside a car while it protects her from assailants, including using lasers to dice one wannabe attacker into tiny meat cubes.

We think the actual Tesla features will be slightly less controversial than that.

How Did these New Modes Get Added?

If you watched the news at all in 2018, you’ll know that Musk is active on Twitter. Very active. When he’s not accusing cave rescuers of being pedophiles. or asking for the internet’s “dankest memes”, he’s busy chatting Tesla with his 24.7 million followers.

This gives him an immense wealth of customer feedback. While not all of his followers are Tesla owners, a quick look at the tweets directed towards him seem to imply that owners do have a very high level of engagement with Musk. In November 2018 he tweeted asking for suggestions to improve Tesla, and received over 26,000 comments.

Please lmk what you’d most like improved/fixed about your Tesla. Thanks!

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 9, 2018

It’s this level of accessibility that makes Tesla unique as a brand. Not only can you tweet at the CEO, but there’s a good chance he might actually reply, or even implement your suggestion. That’s exactly the reason that dog mode is coming this week – because somebody asked for it on Twitter four months ago:


— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 20, 2018

Done. Just like that.

What Impact Does this Have on Tesla?

All car manufacturers dedicate a lot of resources to customer satisfaction, and are happy to accept feedback. But, there aren’t many brands who will agree to customer suggestions on the spot. The sort of improvements that Musk makes to the Tesla design, at any other company, would go through weeks of internal discussions and cost analysis, with many stakeholders getting to have their say.

Musk turns those traditional processes on their head with a simple one word reply to a customer.

While this level of customer satisfaction is novel, behind the scenes, it can cause problems.

When Wired did a deep-dive on Musk’s management style in December 2018, it quoted an anonymous Tesla employee:

“Some customer would tweet some random complaint, and then we would be ordered to drop everything and spend a week on some problem affecting one loudmouth in Pasadena, rather than all the work we’re supposed to do to support the thousands of customers who didn’t tweet that day.”

Like any modern company worth its salt, Tesla is disruptive. But, it seems in some cases, the CEO is disrupting it himself, from the inside.

While this is great news for consumers, the jury is out on the effect it has on company harmony and confidence in Musk’s leadership.

Both dog mode and sentry mode are expected to launch this week.

The post Tesla Adds Dog Mode – Because Twitter Asked appeared first on TechCo.

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Ask These 7 Questions Before You Merge Finances With Your Partner

It’s not easy to talk about money, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t—especially if you’re looking to take the next step with your partner.Some couples choose to merge finances after moving in together or getting engaged. Before you do so, however, it’s important to get your money matters out into the open. After all, financial […]

The post Ask These 7 Questions Before You Merge Finances With Your Partner appeared first on Student Loan Hero.

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Planet-friendly, plant-based home cooking

Originally Posted Here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/planet-friendly-plant-based-home-cooking-2019021215990

With all the news about the health and environmental advantages of eating less meat, many people are trying to eat more plant-based meals. But where do you begin?

Instead of trying to cook an entire vegetarian meal from scratch, start with one small step and build from there, says Dr. Rani Polak, founding director of the Culinary Healthcare Education Fundamentals (CHEF) coaching program at Harvard’s Institute of Lifestyle Medicine. “For example, buy some canned beans. You can then make a simple bean salad with a little olive oil and lemon juice. Or if you have a favorite recipe for beef stew, try swapping in beans for some of the meat,” he says.

A trained chef, Dr. Polak is committed to encouraging people to cook at home rather than relying on restaurant or processed food. “With home-cooked meals, people tend to eat smaller portions, fewer calories, and less fat, salt, and sugar,” he says. And people who eat more home-cooked meals tend to weigh less and have healthier cholesterol and blood sugar values compared with people who eat out frequently. Following are Dr. Polak’s suggestions for buying and preparing the building blocks of a plant-based diet: legumes, whole grains, and vegetables.


Botanically speaking, legumes are the edible seeds from pods you can split in half. Familiar examples include the wide array of beans — black, fava, garbanzo, kidney, and pinto, to name just a few. Lentils, peas, and peanuts are also legumes.

Nutrition-wise, legumes are hard to beat. They’re a good source of protein, starch, fiber, and other nutrients, including iron, zinc, and folate. They don’t contain any unhealthy saturated fat. Plus, they’re inexpensive and widely available, they can be stored for long periods, and they are easy to prepare.

If you use canned beans, choose salt-free versions when possible, or rinse them before using, which can remove about a third of the added sodium. Cooking dried beans is simple. Just soak several cups of beans in cold water overnight. The next day, drain, cover with water, and boil until tender. Do this once or twice a week to have a convenient source of plant-based protein around which you can build a meal. “If you come home at 6 p.m., tired from a busy day, it’s good to have a ready-to-use source of protein such as beans available,” says Dr. Polak.

Whole grains

Whole grains are seeds or kernels that contain key nutrients such as protein, B vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and unsaturated fats. All whole grains — such as barley, rye, and wheat — are also excellent sources of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and control blood sugar. Some popular examples you’re likely to find in supermarkets include cracked wheat (bulgur), brown rice, and steel-cut oats or oatmeal. Some stores also sell more exotic whole grains, such as amaranth, farro, and millet.

As with legumes, whole grains are easy to cook, especially bulgur, another of Dr. Polak’s favorites. Just add equal parts boiling water and medium-coarse bulgur to a bowl, stir, and cover with a plate for five minutes. For brown rice and other grains that take longer to cook, use the batch cooking method.


Few Americans eat the recommended 2 to 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day. The reasons for that shortfall likely vary, but shopping-related issues are often to blame. Even if you pick up plenty of produce at the store, sometimes it spoils before you get around to using it. Try these tips:

If you shop weekly, use tender produce such as salad greens and spinach early in the week; save harder vegetables such as broccoli and carrots for later. Buy frozen vegetables, which are just as nutritious as fresh. Choose pre-cut vegetables, such as butternut squash, to save time and effort. Putting it all together

Dr. Polak’s simple formula for a filling, nutrient-packed main dish is to combine a legume, a cooked whole grain, and chopped vegetables, which can be raw, steamed, sautéed, or roasted. There are endless variations, including warm or cold versions, to which you can also add dried or fresh fruit, spices, and fresh herbs. For recipe ideas, see the American College of Preventive Medicine’s recipes and instructional videos.

The post Planet-friendly, plant-based home cooking appeared first on Harvard Health Blog.

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