More good stuff on the open frontiers – 9/11

Vinyl LPs going strong, Rams vs. Drones is lopsided game, downside of cell phone tracking.

Surge of US energy production and a collapse in Venezuela.

Just like the wild west in the late 1800s, the frontiers of private space exploration, energy and technology are wide open. A few articles to stretch your brain.

A decidedly low-tech countermeasure to surveillance drones:

9/2 – The Dish – Sheep Solved Drone Debate – From Buddhanz1. A ram is not amused with an intruding drone and takes it out. Is equally unamused by owner of said drone trying to make an escape with the recovered drone:




8/27 – TVGConsulting – The History of Business TechnologyHighly condensed 8 paragraph history of business technology.  Pioneers used plows. Early 1800s (mechanical innovations). Industrial revolution (electricity, telephone). First computers (much faster record keeping). Information technology (internet, online services).

8/30 – The Guardian – Nostalgia pays in Nashville as rocketing record sales make it the capital of vinylYes, vinyl. As in 33 1/3 rpm records. Demand for LPs is soaring. Existing companies are expanding production and running at 24 hours a day six days a week. Sales in 2014 through June are up 40% over prior year. In 2007, sales didn’t hit the 1 million level and in 2013 there were 6M unit sales.

8/29 – Popular Science – Google Already Testing Delivery Robots in Australia – Amazon has competition. First successful delivery by a Google drone completed. It’s a VTOL drone. Carries cargo in a little box that can be lowered to the ground, then released. Very cool. Picture delivering a key part to a farmer in a field with a broken tractor. Or an oil rig crew that had a key part break. Some people would pay a lot of money to get a critical component in an hour or less.

8/30 – The Economist – Pseudo-satellites – The west wind blows afresh – As an inexpensive alternative to a satellite, consider an ultra-light, propeller-driven, solar powered plane that can indefinitely orbit over one place at altitude of 70,000 feet during the day. At night it slowly spirals down to 50,000 feet until gathering sunlight the next day. Models in testing now can stay aloft for a couple of weeks. Concept it to stay aloft for months at a time.

9/8 – The Feed – The Robots Are Coming to the Developing World Too – Robots are starting to replace assembly line workers…in China. Tedious, dangerous assembly line jobs are moving to robotics. This transition will rough for everyone, but likely more difficult in developing countries. The end result will be great, but the transition will be painful.

Downside of technology

9/6 – The Economist – The two towers – Junk science is putting innocent people in jail – Cell phone calls don’t necessarily go to the nearest tower. Based on loads, signal strength, and other factors, any specific call could go to any tower within distance. The unsupported and invalid  assumption that every call will only go to the nearest tower is being used as evidence against innocent people.

9/9 – TechDirt – Turns Out Cell Phone Locations Data Is Not Even Close to Accurate, But Everyone Falls For It – Points to and comments on the Economist story above. Technology is wonderful and produces lots of cool data. The challenge is figuring out how in the world to interpret the data correctly. Severely wrong misinterpretation can put innocent people in jail.


8/20 – the Feed – Refracking Ready to Rejuvenate Shale Revolution – Energy companies are starting to refrack wells that were fracked early on in the shale revolution. Completion technologies have improved since the early days of 2007 and 2008. It is possible output will revive to initial levels by applying current techniques. Even Reuters is noticing, not just Million Dollar Way.

8/30 – Miami Herald – Venezuela: From oil power to oil importer and 9/6 – The Feed – Venezuela Set to Import Oil – Net oil output has dropped from 3.1M bopd in ’97 to 1.7M bopd in ’13. Production of light crude has dropped so severely that light crude will soon be imported from Algeria. The reason? The extra heavy oil needs to be mixed with light crude so the extra heavy stuff can be moved through pipelines. This is a case study in how authoritarian socialist governments can destroy their most lucrative and productive industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *