Why is Elon Musk the real life Tony Stark ( Iron Man )?


Elon Musk founded PayPal. And Tesla Motors. And SpaceX. And a bunch of other companies.

He is a brilliant engineer and entrepreneur. When he was 10, he bought a computer, and by age 12 programmed a game and sold it for 500 USD. Later ( in 1995) , he went to Stanford ( for a second degree ), which is what a kid like him would do.

He dropped out after 2 days to start a company called Zip2, which he sold to AltaVista for ~ 341 million $ in cash and stock, in 1999. He got $22 million off the deal. At this point, anybody would stop and start swimming in cash. But his biggest three ventures are yet to come.

He then founded X.com, which after a merger became PayPal.com, the world’s first online payment system. PayPal was sold to E-Bay for 1.5 billion $ in 2002. He made 170 million $ from this. PayPal’s co-founder decided to fund other startups in the silicon valley. But Elon Musk? He had to be inventing.

What would you do if you had sold one of the world’s largest Internet companies and made a millions of dollars. Or, what would Iron Man do? Well, he would start a new company that makes rockets. Which is exactly what he did. And being the hardcore entrepreneur that he is, he went all in and bet all of his money on his ideas. Because they were worth pursuing. SpaceX, the company he founded in 2002, got a contract from NASA 6 years later for 1.6 billion $. This is why he thinks space technology is important –

An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: An engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Humankind evolved over millions of years, but in the last sixty years atomic weaponry created the potential to extinguish ourselves. Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball—or go extinct.

He aims to bring down the cost of space flights by a factor of 100. And then retire on Mars.

SpaceX recently launched Dragon, which is the first private spaceflight to go to International Space Station.

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He also founded Tesla Motors, where he is the head of product design. Tesla is an electric car company, which recently announced that their car Model S will be available soon.

And then he founded SolarCity, which is the largest provider of solar-powered systems in the US.

He founded Tesla and Solar City to help save the environment. Tesla is a publicly traded company and he plans to take SpaceX and SolarCity public, soon. He is currently worth ~ 2 billion $.

And if this is not enough to prove that he is the real life Tony Stark, then there is more proof that he is. The proof being that the Tony Stark most people know, the movie character in the Iron Man and Avengers, played by Robert Downey Jr., is based on Elon Musk himself.

The director Jon Favreau and Robert Downey Jr. were developing the character, when RDJ suggested that they meet Elon Musk, as he was the closest to what came to the comic book millionaire-inventor. Favreau said –

Elon Musk makes no sense — and that’s the reason I know him. When I was trying to bring the character of genius billionaire Tony Stark to the big screen in Iron Man, I had no idea how to make him seem real. Robert Downey Jr. said, ‘We need to sit down with Elon Musk.

After meeting him, RDJ and Favreau decided to borrow some of Elon Musk’ characteristics in to the portrayal of Tony Stark on screen.

This basically proves that Elon Musk is, in fact, the Tony Stark of real life. If only he had a suit, he could be Iron Man too!

Fun Fact – Elon actually has a cameo in the Iron Man 2 movie. Watch here –

Tony refers to the Merlin engines that SpaceX actually made, saying they are fantastic. That Elon goes on to say that he has an idea for an electric jet engine (which sadly is a joke because you need thrust to move in air, for which you need to burn fuel).

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UPDATE: This article was originally written in 2012, and since then Musk has done even more Iron Man things, like 3-D printing rocket parts.

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Have a look at Musk’s version of Stark’s lab:

You can follow Elon Musk on twitter.


ᴵᵐᵃᵍᵉ ᵛᶦᵃ ᶠᵒʳᵇᵉˢ

Coming soon : the internet of things, and a lot of data

What is the internet of things?

According to Wikipedia, The Internet of Things refers to uniquely identifiable objects (things) and their virtual representations in an Internet-like structure.

Today, the internet is basically a network of computers, and mobile devices. But, we are now at a tipping point. Soon, there will be more devices connecting to the Internet than there are humans on earth. Everything from your appliances at home to your car will be connected to the Internet, uploading different kinds of data. There will be more and more sensors in everything, recording your movements, and uploading it to the cloud. Then, the software in the cloud will crunch the data to make meaning from the large amount of data collected, and will make something happen as a result. Say, your car will heat up in the winters, before you get there. And the car will know when you woke up, and when you will be in the car. In the meanwhile, your bath water will be optimally heated et cetera. This upcoming wave of data is the reason Big Data startups are hot right now. Because, there is an enormous need to crunch this data, to mine valuable information from it.

If you have been wondering what ever happened to IBM, and what is with their ads on TV, talking about streams of data, this is what they are exactly preparing themselves for. This video should help you understand more –

Soon, there are going to be a lot of hardware companies getting into home automation, warehouse automation, and many other areas where automation can save large amounts of energy. Today, home automation services that turn off your lights as you leave a room, or let you control everything via your mobile are considered a luxury. But soon, they will be a necessity. All of this information processing will not be necessarily centralised though. It will not be a magical realm that connects everything with each other, like in Pandora in James Cameron’s Avatar. It will be distributed, but you could connect it to a central service, such as Facebook.

That sounds cool. I want this now!

Try IFTTT. It’s a tool that lets you define actions based on different sensors like your phone, or anything else. You can set up IFTTT such that you receive a message every time you get an email, and also hook up actual hardware with it.

And if you need more, try WOVYN. They sell sensors that you can program to trigger different actions. They have a lot of these, including, water, temperature, and presence, So you can program your lights to turn off, when nobody’s home.

What are your thought on the future of Internet? Let us know in the comments. Also, the future of tech gets you excited, and you want to write similar articles, drop a line at [email protected].


When will India stop being retarded about the Internet?

So, you have probably heard about the spoof PMO accounts on twitter being banned. If not, then you have now.

To begin with, there is absolutely nothing wrong with spoof accounts, especially when they mention in their bio that they are spoof accounts. In fact, these spoof accounts almost always make more sense than real politicians. But then again, a lamp-post in the street makes more sense than most of our politicians. Well, except one, Rajeev Chandrashekar. I don’t know how this guy came into existence, and became an MP. And I am not making this up, but this is what he thinks about internet freedom –

Any attempt to expand the government’s power over the internet – however incremental, seemingly innocuous or pretending to advance democracy – should be turned back

This is from his editorial piece in the Times Of India.

He finally got the government to review his suggestion,and talk to the public before taking a decision. He tweeted –

The Govt has accepted my repeated position to review it’s May 2012 position & is now finally initiating my suggestion for an open public consultation on the subject ! PM supports my position !

Apart from the obvious problem of him not knowing his its from it’s, he seems, overall, pretty awesome, just because of his stance on the Internet. But he can easily get outvoted by a number of idiots MPs.

Which brings us back to reality. So, the retards, masked as the Indian government, got the ISPs to block a few twitter accounts, including @PM0India. The account is now accessible, but all the previous tweets have been deleted.

Other retarded stuff that happened in the past week on the Internet involved real people, and not only politicians. The result was SMSes being limited to 5 per day, and a number of sites being blocked, in order to curb the non-existent violence against north-east Indians. I might not be qualified enough to comment on this, but I think imagining a full-blown religious riot are symptoms of serious schizophrenia. Which means that most Indians with access to social media networks or mobile phones are schizophrenics. Or just fond of sharing shit. The only thing being shared in my feeds was content made to help de-bunk the rumor, not feed into it. Which makes me happy as that means that all of the filtering I did in my Facebook feed ( subscribing / unsubscribing ) was not in vain. BTW, most of the sites blocked, reportedly had nothing to do with the event. But who cares? Something had to be done, right? Read the detailed analysis of Prakash Prasanna, a programme manager at CIS ( Centre for Internet and Societ ), which explains what all was blocked and did it make sense ( short answer : no ).

As you can see, it’s not only the government that’s retarded, it’s also we, the people. And it’s not only about the Internet. It’s about us. Maybe we just are a bunch of retarded monkeys, frustrated with our mediocre lifestyles, looking for some kind of amusement. Maybe we are all just pieces of a mob waiting to happen, waiting to wreak havoc, as soon as the gears are set in motion.

Or, maybe, there’s hope.

Why Apple products get a late or no launch in India?

Not much is known about Steve Jobs and his “India connection”. What brought him to India , no facts listed , is it karmic connection many people come India for? We know very little about that. A college dropout who earned money by returning empty Coke bottles and had his weekly free meal at a local Hare Krishna Temple.

We don’t know whether the free meals or the karmic connect was the factor bringing him to Local krishna temple. He shaved his head , got Indian clothes and lived in India , and after this his every action was a path breaking success. Leaving behind the world’s most valuable tech firm , his Indian love could not get iPhones in India early and cheap, though he loved India but not as a “business market”. Maybe he was good to let Indian mobile companies grab 10-12% share. We always were late to get iPad and iPhones, even after the fact that he actually loved India.

Here is a timeline for few Apple products

It took almost 360 days for Apple iPad to reach India after launch for iPad 2. U.S. got the Ipad version 1 on April 3, 2010. On May 28, UK, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, Japan and Switzerland got their hands on it and China got it in September 2010. Wait, where is the world’s 2nd largest mobile device market (which is virtually inexistent for apple)? India
Official debut in India on January 28, 2011.

And do they still love India?

Single branded smartphones -they have a huge market. samsung sells loads of phone models. Apple keeps it simple, one phone and one tablet. Only storage space and connectivity ( wifi/3g/4g ) matters, and not any other specs.

After Steve Jobs death, a new CEO, Tim Cook, comes and here is what he says in a Apple confrence –

I love India, …

Hey, don’t get excited wait there is a “but”

… but I believe Apple has some higher potential in the intermediate term in some other countries.
This doesn’t mean we’re not putting emphasis in India. We have a business there and it’s growing but my own perspective is that in the intermediate term there will be larger opportunities outside (the country)

Now before you get angry lets analyze the reason before we call them sick americans who just consider India a third world nation of call centers and serpents and all, just like Oprah Winfrey, who comes to India like a boss, enjoys it all , praises India and its culture and then in her show she “experiences India” as if it is an alien mystery land. Let’s move on to topic, get into the business shit, an area Apple is famous for actually, making 12 Bn$ as profit in 3 months , which Tatas and Ambanis don’t make combined.

I hope you remeber Indian media covering the iPad and iPhones at the stores with long lines, do you? ( If not, you are not at right place, you are not tech savvy, stop reading TechIRIS. Just kidding. But seriously. )

And you do know , those are apple stores and long lines are of fans who come 10 hours before the stores open.

Now do you see such stores in India? NO!

You will ask why?

Reason #1

The manufacturers compete with others in India for a market which has small margins but is volume driven. The reason why Apple, which prefers to own and control its supply chain is not more successful here, and I will tell you why, because Indian government rules on single brand FDI are strict. 51-49% should be held by an Indian player. Who will not want a 49% share of Apple India? Everyone would , but which Indian company deserves 49% of the would be Apple India? Lava, or the new Karbon? Micromax?

None. Also distribution channels in India suck. He added

The multi-layered distribution (In India) really adds to the cost of getting products to market.

Now is the time to get angry. He compares us to China and rates them as an opportunity and India as an intermediate skip.
A confident Cook said

We’ve been very focused on China, because we see it as an enormous opportunity for us.

Thanks to the Indian govt. we won’t get Indian apple stores , with glass stairs and the huge apple on the front.

Reaon #2

How does Apple drive profit and volume in other areas? It sells Apple products for 200$ i.e. 12,000 INR, which is an amount many will spend happily. Now the thing is, it has a two year contract , with locked to AT&T network (many in US hate it)
so , for two years Apple earns on every MB you use , every minute you call ( US has billing per minute not per second like in India) and every SMS you send.

FYI: AT&T also has no unlimited usage plans.

So this is part 2 for apple , India, a nation with per second billing , very less 3G usage or any data usage for that matter, and so many network operators like Airtel, Idea, Vodafone in tariff wars with each other, and hence with low earnings ( not to forget the 3G auctions, 2 billion$ loans on reliance and airtel ) are not something that excites Apple. How will they share revenue with apple , they cannot give subsidised devices and hope to make money later. So, no bulk sales and no profits. In other words they lose the bulk volume of India.


Reason #3

Apple earns by selling apps , games and songs. Who in India actually buys apps! Honestly, it will be not more than an optimistic 2-3% (according to hungama.com). Everyone will just get them jailbreaked. Frankly, who has never used a cracked version of Windows, PhotoShop or MS Office?

Conclusion – No revenue from content.

So here is the equation for Apple, in India –

No volume
No control/apple stores
No revenue sharing
No content revenue

This leaves Apple with no other option but “bye, India see you later”. Don’t know what we can work on to improve, but we need to blame it on something for a conclusion! We respect software sharing and freeware and are against 200$ software. Let’s blame it on government and networks. Bring FDI thing govt of India, and networks share your profit , you will get more volume for sure , apple fans exist and grow in India exponentially if it’s not priced at a whopping 43,000 INR.

Things do change and Aircel just changed it. iPhone 3GS available for free (*on a contract) in US, so by cost of ownership Aircel is offering probably the cheapest iPhone 3GS anywhere in the world.

Aircel is offering the black 8GB iPhone 3GS for an upfront payment of 9,999 INR in India (US $180) and an “advance rental” of Rs. 3,000 (US $55). This advance rental gets you 2GB of 3G data per month for an year or 1000 minutes and 2500 text messages per month for 6 months. BTW the phone is unlocked, so you can put any SIM.

In US you can pick-up an iPhone 3GS 8GB for free but with a two-year $39.99 a month contract. That’s a whooping $960 over the 24 months, and the device is locked to AT&T ( a network that sucks!) for 2 years. Or an unlocked iPhone for an up-front $375 in the US, £319.00 ($498) in the UK, HKD 2,888 ( 372USD ) in Hong Kong, A$449 (465 USD ) in Australia or Euro 349 ($424) in Spain.

Hurray! Aircel iPhone 3GS is the cheapest by a wide-margin – $137 or around Rs. 7,500. So let’s be optimistic and hope for a change!

Let us know your thought about this is the comments below. Looking forward to a lively discussion!

The Higgs boson explained in 9 minutes

Minute Physics did a three video series to explain about the Higgs Boson, any why it matters. And in case you don’t know about Minute Physics already, and are a geek, you should visit the Minute Physics YouTube channel, and subscribe to it immediately. The channel has several videos explaining complex physics theories, in a very simple manner, in around a minute. These videos were all around 3 minutes though.

Part 1. What is the Higgs Boson?

Part 2. What is mass?

Part 3. How to Discover a Particle

Did watching these make you understand the Higgs boson better?

Being Iron Man is more than twice as expensive as being Batman

MoneySuperMarket.com has released two info-graphics, which calculate how much would it cost someone, if they wanted to be either Batman or Ironman.

Being Batman costs 682 million $

whereas, being Ironman costs 1.6 billion $.

And this is the very problem with superheroes. The one’s that you can be, are very rich, and that one’s that you can’t be, well, what’s the point in talking about those.

Which was your favorite superhero movie, this summer?

A map of the internet!

Some random dude named Ruslan Enikeev, took 350,000 websites on the internet, and arranged them in a vast map, organised by visits and location. One websites proximity to another also depends on where people normally go from a site. If more people go to Facebook, than Wikipedia, from Google, than, Facebook will be closer. The exact algorithm used to arrange these sites is not available, but there’s some useful ingo in the about section.

Check out the map of the internet here.

Has Google crossed the line in promoting Google+?

Have you been seeing a lot of Google+ lately? I see it everywhere on the Internet, including places like GMail, Google Search and YouTube. And I think that Google has crossed the neutrality line.

Google+ in Gmail

You can also load hidden comments to the post –

Meaning that there is AJAX involved. The comments also get posted via AJAX, from within the email, so you don’t have to leave GMail.


All this functionality is cool, apart from one major flaw. Email clients including GMail don’t support JavaScript, apparently due to security issues. If that is the case, then why does Google+ get special treatment, Saying that they only trust themselves with JavaScript is exactly like Microsoft saying they only trust internet with IE. Verifying browsers for security is a lot easier than verifying a lot of emails. But they can at least allow other top social networks to use the feature. Top meaning every network, that is more frequented than Google+. Which includes

Google+ in search results

Hover over a result, to see the share link. Sharing links in search results are good, because they let you share content in your preferred network.

Which sadly is not the case here. This one only lets you share with your two friends on Google+.


It’s like Internet Explorer and Microsoft in the 1998 era. Google clearly has a monopoly of content distribution, as the two most visited search engines are both owned by Google ( Google search and YouTube ), and they are clearly misusing their position by allowing people to share easily to Google+, but not on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn. It can easily be argued that you can still take a link and manually share it on other networks, but you could also install Netscape manually, on your copy of Windows. The only problem was that IE did not go away. Neither does the Google+ share button.

What do you think? Has Google really crossed a line, or promoting their own product is fair game?

Learn how to behave on the Internet, before you start living there

I have been wanting to say this for a long long time. Ever since I have been on Facebook. One simple thing. Learn the rules of the Internet before you get on it.

I finally decided to make my first account on a social networking website in 2010, on Facebook ( I never went to that shitty place Orkut, which was cool because I did not have to waste my time on that horrendous UI, and crappy content. )

And since then, I have been appalled by how stupidly people use these sites. They use it like they were just talking to their group of friends, in real life. Which is not the case. No matter how much you wish for an Internet experience that just replicates your real life, online, the truth remains that this is a different place. This is the Internet. And like before visiting a foreign country, you need to learn the rules of the internet land, before stepping in. Google+ was a step in that direction, a social network that replicates real life, but that is the exact reason people don’t use it. People want the “serendipity” that Facebook offers. Being able to see what your friend’s friends are doing, and hence finding new friends. Which is completely awesome, given that you are not behaving like an idiot.

I have been collecting screen shots like this, for the past six months –

This one shows how people, unsuspectingly, make a lot of their friend’s numbers public,  by making a public event, and asking them to post their numbers, cause they lost their phone. Now take a breath, and think about the numbers of times your friend lost his contacts, and asked everybody to give him their numbers. It’s not wrong that you post your number publicly, but what I am saying is that you should know that your information is public. My number/address can be easily obtained if one was so inclined, but I know that. Most people live under the false pretense of security, not understanding how social networks work. Even if you don’t share something with the “public” setting, you are sharing with people who have two degrees of separation from you. Which could be anybody. Anyone could friend your friend, and get access to your info. The thing is, there is no “private” information sharing on the Internet. This is one of the reasons I like Twitter, because by default, your tweets are public, so you know that if  you tweet something out, everybody can read it. It’s a sad thing that people don’t even get that.

So, what’s so wrong if my information leaks out?

Well, I had a lot more samples like the FB event, and would explain how all the can be dangerous, but then I came across this brilliant talk by Tom Scott.

Oh crap! Is there a solution to this?

Kind of. Switch your Facebook account to public. I kid you not, do it. Your posts can be found by someone one way or the another, if someone is so inclined to do it. So if you start posting publicly, you would at least be well aware that this data is for everyone’s eyes, and you just might restrain yourself from putting stuff on the Internet which shouldn’t be on the Internet. There are other ways, like becoming a Facebook’s privacy settings ninja, and locking down your profile more and more. But know that, some info will always leak out. Also, I think that having to tinker with the setting to use a product is a design flaw, but that’s another issue.

BTW, none of this is Facebook’s fault. It’s the users fault. We don’t really understand the Internet, but just hop on it, cause it’s cool.

As one wise man once said “What’s cool, is not always safe”. OK, nobody said that. But, you get my point. Understand that the Internet is public, and when you are ready for the repercussions, you can move, and start living on the ”Internet. You can start posting your vacation photos to tell the world where you went. You can start publicly checking into restaurants, to tell the world where you are. And you can start posting your plans, to tell the world where you will be. And other over the line freaky stuff like live video streaming of you taking a dump, and tweeting the percentages of constituents of your pee, et cetera.

How does Solaris, India’s solar car team from DelTech, make eco friendly cars.

DelTech is known for its mechanical engineering. Cars, robots, unmanned flying things, you get the idea, cool stuff. We sat down with Rohit Gupta of Solaris, India’s only solar car team to have participated in more than one race.

What does Solaris mean to you? Why did you choose this name?

Solaris was the name of the team before we joined it. A better question will be what do the name of the cars mean, because that’s interesting.


the car that we took to Australia for World Solar Challenge 2011 was christened Avenir which means the Future we perceive that the future to the Automobile Industry mobility sector in general is Electric Mobility Solutions which we aim to make more efficient accessible and cheaper

As a start-up, one of the biggest challenges is getting noticed by many people. Do you feel people in college are actually aware about it completely?

the problem is a necessity for our project


Because the scale at which we work is large..the project cost varies to about 20 lakhs to the vehicle itself. We work very hard to make the technology as indigenous as possible to reduce costs which needs the local players in the market to help us

What challenges do u face ? are they more on economical front or on the technical front?

Thank fully Mobility sector in India touches a lot of people in India so whenever something new comes up in this area..a lot of people know about it via news or our public displays. Challenges are more on economic fronts than on technical terms people lack faith in such research projects they are more open to support some fest that support such initiatives

Is everything done by you or do you outsource parts of the process? Is anything assembled by other companies?

We design everything. We build most of it ourselves, like the mechanical parts and all other things like making custom parts for the A arms in the steering assembly are all done by the team at their workshop which we rent when we are to make a car the electronics are dont ourselves except the cell encapsulation all things are done in-house the cells are encapsulated by our sponsors based on the guidelines we give them this time we are working on an In-house encapsulator too.

What has been your inspiration in the development of this project? How has the university helped you in your ambition?

The inspiration was the sheer sense of human`s basic need after food,shelter and clothing – Mobility. With the price of fuel going towards the sky the need is for us-the “To-Be” engineers to work on much more better technologies that shall be the stone turners in the way man used to move and the way man shall move electric vehicles are already there but the range limitation is a problem that reduces their sales in the reliability based indian auto sector The college has been very kind to us they have helped us in times we needed it the most. I would like to thank our VC Prof. P.B. Sharma for his support.

How many team members and their roles?

There are 15 team members. As I told you that we need a lot of funding to build our car so we need a big, bright and dynamic Corporate team.

The team is broadly composed of 3 main departments

1) Electrical

  • Solar Array optimization
  • Auxillary System
  • Telemetry and Communication Support System
  • Drive Train Design
  • Battery and Power Control

2) Mechanical

  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Drive Coupling and Installation
  • Vehicle Dynamics
  • Design and Simulation
  • Body Fabrication

3) Corpo

  • Corporate relations


You can visit these guys at their website ( beware of cool background music ), or their Facebook page.