If you are living in California more than, oh, say 15 miles from the ocean, you likely wonder why the statistics saying the economy is going fantabulously well don’t seem to fit with what you see while looking around or what you hear after talking to people.
Two articles explaining why you might be feeling that disconnect, why something just seems off.
First, business activity including employment in the Inland Empire area of Southern California is only now, in early 2017, returning to the level when the recession started.
Second, it isn’t just your imagination that lots and lots of younger people are still living at home when it seems like they should be out on their own. We are talking people who have graduated and are employed.
Amazing new services and products arising from the technology revolution are a delight every day. We are all benefiting from astounding stuff. Tons of entertainment options on the ‘net. Astounding capabilities for our smartphones.
The downside is companies that can’t keep up are getting swept away. The people and space involved in old stuff can be reused in new services. That is creative destruction.
An accelerating number of folks are dumping cable and getting all their entertainment directly from the net. Seems like a person could get whatever entertainment desired from Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, specialized sports services, and dedicated on-line channels.
Space remains the final frontier. And it will be private sector entrepreneurs, not government bureaucrats, who will take us there.
Article gives a summary of the private sector companies, funded by filthy rich guys who choose to pour their wealth into space exploration, that have expanded our reach into space. According to the article, these companies have done more than NASA has in the last several decades.
It is astounding to ponder the news from the wide open frontier of space. I’m continually amazed by what is happening.
3/7/17 – Space News- NASA seeks information on commercial Mars payload service– NASA issued a Request For Information asking for plans to provide cargo runs to Mars. They are looking for outline of plans in terms of payload mass and weight, nature of vehicle, and timing for start of operations. The RFI indicates 2020 as a start date.
Two companies are described in the article as likely players in Mars cargo runs.
SpaceX would use their new lander Red Dragon as testbed for cargo vehicle. Launch was scheduled for 2018 but has slipped to 2020.
Mars One also has plans for a lander, as an intermediate step for crewed travel. First launch was planned from 2018 but that is now looking like 2022.
3/14 – Behind the Black – SpaceX wins another Air Force launch contract– Ticket price to launch a GPS satellite is $96.5M, up by $14M from the last launch by SpaceX for USAF. Post speculates SpaceX is trying to improve their margin by undercutting ULA less this time around.
The competition to be a commercially competitive space launch provider gets far more serious with SpaceX successfully launching a reused Falcon 9 booster to get SES-10 into a geosync orbit.
On the same day as SpaceX made such tremendous progress, two competitors dropped further behind.
Competition speeds up
I was so fortunate as to check my Twitter feed as SpaceX began its live coverage of the launch. It was such a joy to watch the successful launch and an even bigger thrill to see Main Engine Cutoff, which meant the reused booster did its job.
IS has posted videos of multiple uses of the drones to drop explosives. The frequency of offensive use of the drones is high enough that Iraqi troops must scan the scansky for drones and take cover when one is spotted.
Captured documents indicate IS is doing research to develop new drones and modify off-the-shelf versions.
This is a significant step up from my previous discussion of ISIS’ drone usage. On January 30, I mentioned:
Purpose of system is so European users won’t be vulnerable to accuracy degrades by the US, Russian, or Chinese GPS constellations, should any of those players wish to do so.
There will be 24 satellites in the system when fully deployed, plus a few extra for spares. Currently 18 are in orbit. One is close to complete failure for some other reason.
Now there is a problem with failing clocks.
Each satellite has four atomic clocks, two rubidium and two hydrogen maser. Those give accuracy to within one second per three million years. That level of accuracy is needed to get the most precise location data.
Nine of the hyper accurate clocks have failed in orbit. One sat has 2 failures. That means 8 sats have lost one or more clocks.
Several articles provide an in-depth view of the disruption taking place in several industries due to the IT revolution.
Hollywood is ripe for the same creative destruction we’ve seen in music, newspapers, and publishing.
New York Times is shrinking their physical space and staff size
Prime time TV still having a rough time
The question to ponder in the back of your mind is what are you going to do when this wave of disruption overturns your industry?
January 2017 – Vanity Fair – Why Hollywood As We Know It is Already Over– Looking for a good article on how technology is going to do to Hollywood what IT has already done to music and publishing? If so, this is what you’ve been looking for.
Check out the article to help understand the massive change surrounding us.
Disruption of music industry
First, music and newspapers. The author saw his first indication the music industry would collapse when he started downloading music. Instead of driving to a store somewhere and spending $20 to get one song he wanted, he could spend a buck and get the song immediately.
Author says the music industry has shrunk by half in the last decade. Remember that is after the first round of disruption hit.
Disruption of newspapers
Next were the newspapers. For a long time, the web part of the New York Times was physically separate from the headquarters. “Banished” is the word the author used. At the same time, startups like Instapundit (yeah Professor Reynolds!) and DailyKos were figuring out how to blog. Then WordPress and Tumblr allowed anyone on the planet to start blogging, and doing so for free.
Author says a lot of people didn’t want to wander over to a newsstand and buy a whole newspaper or magazine when instead they could read the single article they wanted, online, for free.
To illustrate the concept, I’ve never bought a copy of Vanity Fair and doubt I ever will. I certainly didn’t drive over to Barnes & Noble to buy the current edition so I could read this article. A blogger I read (see above!) mentioned it and I clicked over.
Drone technology marches forward, regardless of whether you or I think it is a good idea. A few recent article:
Incorporating drones into a home security system.
LA Sheriff starts to use drones
US Navy experimenting with swarms of drone ships
ISIS using off-the-shelf quadcopters to drop small bombs.
1/3 – Engadget.com – Your next home security system could deploy patrol drones – A company has developed a security system with a learning algorithm which ‘learns’ the normal routine at your home. When something happens outside the range of normal, the system can deploy drones to put several cameras on the situation.