The Game Cube can be hit with a sledgehammer and work just fine. The Nintendo DS was specifically designed to be able to survive a 1.5 meter (five foot) drop onto solid concrete without breaking, and one of the company’s bigwigs wouldn’t let it go past the design phase until the design team could guarantee it could survive the drop at least 10 times. In fact, Nintendo products have such a reputation for being impossible to break through normal means that they spawned the term “Nintendium”—an all-purpose phrase given to pieces of technology that survive extreme punishment. For example, take the Gulf War Game Boy, an original Game Boy console that survived having a freaking bomb dropped on it.
Nintendo never advertises their products as being durable, they don’t brag about their Game Boys being bomb-proof or their consoles being tough enough to survive being hit by a car. They just expect their customers to be human and include features to prepare for that humanity. While other companies decide that they’re nice by including a cover to protect the screen of the $600 phone you just bought in case you drop it, Nintendo just builds a device that can survive being dropped in the first place and doesn’t make a big deal about it. Because that’s how a real company does business.
Noting that the global auto market is approaching 100 million vehicles annually and that, “It is impossible for Tesla to build electric cars fast enough to address the carbon crisis,” CEO Elon Musk announced today that the automaker is making all of its patents freely available on a good-faith basis. In a blog post on Tesla’s website, the company said it originally feared others would copy its technology, so it was aggressive in protecting intellectual property. But the way things have played out, automakers are making barely any zero-emission vehicles at all, typically less than 1% of their total production. Tesla hopes this move will begin to change that.
Musk held a conference call to discuss the move in more detail, and he clarified the company’s intentions: Tesla doesn’t believe this will change things overnight. And he’s right. Automakers take years to get new vehicles to market and longer still to ramp up production. Nissan’s Leaf, the leading EV in the world, which costs a fraction of the Tesla Model S only recently cracked the 100,000 sold mark after more than 3 years. Outside of Tesla, no pure zero-emission vehicle has achieved anywhere near those sales. But in a world with 2 billion vehicles, it’s a drop in the bucket.
People ask me, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is of no use.’
There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behaviour of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation.
But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron…
If you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go.
What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to live.