Here’s a few of the articles that stretched my understanding of this amazing world we live in. The open frontiers of space and technology. Just brief comments from me.
7/14 – Daily Bulletin – SpaceX makes another successful launch, putting 6 communication satellites into space.
A Falcon 9 was not successfully recovered. Article reminds us SpaceX has contracts for commercial satellite launches and a $1.6B contract to resupply ISS. They are aiming for shuttling astronauts to space and getting in on the military satellite launches. Reason for high cost of military launches is the government wants very high reliability, which means costs are higher.
7/22 – SpaceX – SpaceX soft lands Falcon 9 rocket first stage – The rocket made a soft landing in the Atlantic. Why the huge deal? They fired the engine twice, extended the legs, and were in control at slow speed when they intentionally flipped it on its side. If SpaceX can soft land on water, they can soft land on its launching pad, the desert, or a floating pad. That is a very big deal in the capacity to ferry humans back to earth.
7/8 – Six examples of how 3-D printing is changing our world – Two examples, one emotional and one exquisitely practical. Printing a prosthetic arm in war-torn Sudan. Instead of carrying a large volume of spare parts, a 3-D printer on a Maersk tanker could download the plan for a just-broken part and print it. Very few parts would need to be carried.
7/10 – Schneier on Security – How Google Glass Snoops Steal Your Passcode – Algorithm from researchers can record your entering a passcode and calculate the code even if the screen can’t be used. Based on relative finger motion compared to where the keypad is calculated to be.
7/12 – Seth’s Blog – The self-driving reset of just about everything in our cities. I hadn’t thought through the impact of self-driving cars. Combine the issue with Uber. Your car goes away to a cheap parking lot and returns when you tell it. If you want, put cameras in your car, add some pre-registration, and your car can go about the day making money for you as a cab substitute. Mr. Godin thinks it as big a shift as the smart phone. Wow.
8/3 – Carpe Diem – The ‘good old day’ are today: Today’s home appliances are cheaper, better, and more energy efficient than ever before – The 2,500 BTU window air conditioner in 1956 that cost $299.95, at average wage of factory worker of $1.83 would cost 164 hours of labor. The 8,000 BTU window unit in 2014, at average factory worker wage of $19.64 would cost 11 hours of labor today. A drop from 164 hours (over a month) to 11 hours (day and a half). The wonders of technology and efficiency.