If any one thing launched Tesla’s meteoric rise from a small Silicon Valley startup to one of the world's most famous and exciting companies, it's Elon Musk. Every scrap of news about the company now makes headlines, as its outspoken, tweeting CEO struggles to turn a profit. But, whew, even by his standards, this week was a biggie for Musk … again. After a questionable announcement via Twitter that he's considering taking Tesla private, the Securities and Exchange Commission is reportedly investigating him. Investors have filed four lawsuits, so far. Rapper Azealia Banks is somehow involved, and furious.
None of that, though, stopped Musk's Boring Company from announcing plans to build a tunnel to LA’s Dodger Stadium. And amid the noise, Google sister company Sidewalk Labs revealed more details about its scheme for building the city of the future, starting with Toronto. It was a doozy of a week, and not just for Elon. Let's get you caught up.
Stories you might have missed from WIRED this week
The fate of Tesla seems inextricably tied to that of Musk, who has admitted that he's starting to fray around the edges. But if Musk is broken, did we play a role? Alex ponders what’s up with Elon.
Musk's mood can’t be helped by the news that the SEC has subpoenaed Tesla over his August tweet, when he sent market traders scrambling by saying he wanted to take Tesla private. Aarian looks at how much trouble he, and the company, could be in.
Musk says the funding for taking his automaker private would come from a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund. An electric car company might seem an unlikely investment for an oil-dependent economy, but as I discovered, Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify.
Away from the Tesla craziness, the Boring Company announced its working to dig from East Los Angeles to Dodger Stadium, and transport people who are presumably fans of baseball, and Musk.
Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs is inching ahead with its plans to reinvent a section of Toronto. Aarian breaks down its latest proposal: shapeshifting streets.
Not a whole lot, but more than anybody expected at the start of this week. Until the rapper began recounting a very strange weekend in Elon Musk's mansion, waiting to record a song with Musk's girlfriend, the musician Grimes. The Times breaks down a very strange saga.
News from elsewhere on the internet
Remember when Uber dominated the headlines? It may have lost its place as media favorite to Tesla, but it’s still working to refresh its image with new hires, as Reuters reports, and actually make a profit ahead of a public offering, due next year.
Residents and tourists in Santa Monica had a taste of life in the olden “pre-scooter” days on Tuesday, when Bird and Lime deactivated their services in protest at city plans to prefer Jump for an official pilot program. (Jump is owned by Uber.) “Don't let a #LifeWithoutScooters be the future.” Lime tweeted.
Los Angeles became the first US city to install body scanners on its subway this week. The portable devices are designed to catch weapons and explosives.
Is Elon Musk crazy? No, according to Kara Swisher's latest in The New York Times. He is just an “impulsive and driven boss who runs a very hot and messy kitchen and does not spend a lot of time apologizing for it.”