Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the category “Technology”

C-17 takeoff.

Photo by James Ulvog.

While we were in San Diego recently, we stopped at Shelter Island on the far west side of San Diego Bay to enjoy the scenery.

While relaxing there, we got to see a USAF C-17 Globemaster III take off from North Coronado Naval Air Station.

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Surveillance society, peaceful ocean view edition.

Photo by James Ulvog.

Does that photo seem like it is just a peaceful view of the scenic California coast off Point Loma in California with some cool pelicans gliding by?

Well, that it may be, but there is more to it.

Anytime you are in public, you are probably on camera.

Another view of those pelicans:

Photo by James Ulvog.

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SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites into orbit, successfully recovers Dragon booster.

Starlink Mission on 3/18/20 by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Missed the live broadcast so watched the archived copy. SpaceX put another 60 Starlink sats into their constellation which will provide worldwide internet access. Link to video of the launch is at the end of this post.

Previous missions lifted 362 satellites, so adding these 60 makes 422 by my count.

This is the fourth flight for the booster and the second flight for one of the fairings.

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Costs of some big projects.

Artist rendering of a B-21 Raider concept in a hangar at Whiteman, Air Force Base, Missouri, one of the future bases to host the new airframe. (Courtesy photo by Northrop Grumman) (also courtesy of U.S. Air Force). Cost $550M each.

For a few indicators of the cost for some big projects and thus some reference points for big numbers, take a look at the Nuclear Notebook – United States nuclear forces, 2020, published by The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

Some projects with their specific costs mentioned in the article:

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SpaceX launches another 60 Starlink satellites.

SpaceX boosted another 60 satellites into orbit this morning. These will be part of its Starlink system providing high speed internet access to any point on the planet.

Video link to replay of launch is at end of this post.

This is the fourth launch for the Starlink project and increases the sat count to 182. The first launch was a test with only 2 satellites. The other three launches, including the one today, each carried 60.

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SpaceX launches 60 more satellites for their Starlink system

Starlink Mission on 11/11/19 by Official SpaceX Photos is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

SpaceX is one of the companies working to get a constellation of sattelites in low-earth orbit which can provide high speed internet access across the planet. Tonight they launched 60 more sats into orbit, bringing their total to about 180.

The video on the launch was incredible. Amazing view from the ground, all the way to main engine cutoff at 50 kilometers altitude.

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In October 2019 North Dakota continues record setting level of oil production after one month break

Oil pad with four wells; one with pumpjack and three without. Looks like there is room for another six or more wells eventually. Photo by James Ulvog.

Crude oil production hit yet another record level in October at 1,517,796 barrels of oil per day (BOPD) (preliminary). September was not a record at 1,443,980 BOPD (revised). September was only the third highest production.

During 2019, record level of production was hit in October, August, July, June, and January. Record was broken in 2018 during December, October, September, August, July, and May.

Huge amount of room on that site for additional wells. Already have two rows of wells. Photo by James Ulvog.

What does the average daily production trend look like? Check it out:

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A sixth branch of the United States military?

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

We are about to get a sixth branch of the U.S. military. There are currently five branches:

  • Army
  • Navy
  • Marine Corps
  • Air Force

And most people forget to include the:

  • Coast Guard

The soon to be approved sixth branch?

  • United States Space Force

Yes, the Congress is just about to approve moving space missions out of the Air Force and into a new branch.

10/10/19 – Behind the Black – Congress approves establishment of Space Force Read more…

Where are they now? Minor updates to status and location of Silk Road players.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Just checked on the status of the players in the Silk Road dark web bazaar.

Updated previous post for the location and release date for Andrew Michael Jones. Release date and location for Gary Davis is now listed. Release date for Carl Mark Force has been shorted one month.

I won’t repost all the details. Check out the status at:

Deepfake – manipulating video to create a fabricated story.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

How’s this sound for another down side of technology?

Applying cutting edge technology to a video, changing the words said, altering the mouth movement to conform to the fabricated words, changing facial expressions, and thus fabricating a new video telling a story that doesn’t exist.

That is called deepfake.

Currently, the technology is at a level where a human watching a deepfake can tell it is fake. Inconsistencies in facial movement or lighting or pixelation will give away the fabrication. Several articles say the technology is advancing so fast that soon humans will not be able to detect a fake just by watching.

Special computer programs can detect the alterations.

A few articles for more background:

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Just another routine space launch and recovery of the booster. What a delight to ponder recollections of the Apollo 11 mission along with another SpaceX mission.

Falcon 9 and Dragon capsule lift off on CRS-18 mission. Credit Flickr. Courtesy of SpaceX who has placed their photos in the public domain.

Just a few days ago we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon. What an astounding accomplishment and what a joy to remember. Take a look at the grainy views of the launch and walk on the moon mentioned in immediately previous post.

Check out the SpaceX Commercial Resupply Mission yesterday, 7/25/19. CRS-18 carried about 5,000 pounds of supplies and experiments to the International Space Station. In four weeks about 3,300 pounds of cargo will be returned to earth.

The mission press release says this is the third time this Dragon capsule has flown, which is a new record for reuse.  This is the second time this particular Falcon 9 booster has flown. The booster was successfully recovered.

The announcer on the broadcast said this is the 44th successfully recovery of a booster.

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Friendly tip to people planning a felony: don’t do it. And if you still want to, you might want to avoid planning your escapade with the internet or your phone.

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

If you are planning to do something that our society says is a felony, or even thinking about it, please don’t.

Please change your plans. You won’t like the result.

If you are still pondering something that our society says is a felony, or even thinking about it, you might want to avoid using electronic devices that record your planning. Definitely don’t use your phone in commission of the actual crime.

Here are a few examples of what not to do, for amusement of people who are inclined to read my blog.  People likely to go ahead with felonious plans probably are not in my audience.

 

Tip #1

Don’t take along your location recording fitness device while conducting reconnaissance to plan an assassination and definitely don’t take it along for the ‘hit’:  Runners World -1/17/19 – This Runner is a Hitman. His GPS Watch Tied Him to a Mob Boss Murder

A competitive distance runner who moon lighted as a contract hit man took along his fitbit watch as he conducted recon and planning runs for two different assassinations. Also wore it for one of the actual hits. Police looked at the recorded location information on the watch which showed him making recon runs and placed him at the scene of the hit.

Result: Life in prison.

 

Tip #2

Don’t conduct an internet search with questions of whether your plans are illegal: Cleveland.com – 10/19/18 – Brooklyn Woman falsely accused Parma Heights police chief of rape, investigators say.

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Cost and time to cross the Atlantic has dropped by more than 90% in the last 500 years.

Columbus’ Ships. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Transatlantic travel time has dropped radically in the last 500 years.  Time to transit the Atlantic has dropped about 99% and cost has dropped about 95% by my calculations.

Let’s look at several data points for cost and time, then calculate one indicator of improved quality of life.

Human Progress provides fun data points on August 2, 2018 in their post, A Reminder of How Far Transatlantic Travel Has Come.

Update: An earlier post on November 27, 2015 discussed Time to cross the Atlantic – 500 year history.

Update: Added in travel time of Concorde at end of the post.

Columbus’ first trip

The 1492 trip by Christopher Columbus took two years of lobbying before the king and queen of Spain approved 2 million Spanish maravedis to fund the trip. A professor has calculated that would be comparable to about US$1,000,000 today.

The cost seems low to me. I’ll look at that more later.

Crew size was 87 according to this article. The accountant in me is driven to calculate the cost per crewman.  That would give an average cost of $11,494. I’ll round that to $11,500 and ignore any adjustment for several crew members who died on the trip.

His trip took two months, nine days, which I calculate at 70 days (30+31+9).

Mayflower

Mayflower. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

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Update on Chinese space vehicles

Saturn V rocket, loaded for the moon. China is developing the Long March 9 which will have comparable lift capacity. Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

A few fun articles on the Chinese space program.

10/15/17 – Behind the Black – China’s first test space station, Tiangong-1, is out-of-control – The Chinese space agency said they have lost control over the “Heavenly Palace” space station. Its orbit is decaying and it will likely reenter the atmosphere and burn up in the next several months. Most of the station will burn, but there will likely be chunks as large as 200 pounds hit the ground.

(Hat tip to Behind the Black for the next two articles.)

10/18/17 – GB Times – China’s Tiangong-1 space lab will soon reenter the atmosphere, but there’s no need to panic – Disclosed reason for the “Heavenly Place” space lab not being able to maintain orbit is a battery charger failed, thus meaning the batteries couldn’t be charged.

Current guess is perhaps the last half of January for reentry into atmosphere, where most of the 8.4 ton spaceship will burn up.

10/17/17 – GB Times – China progressing with work on new medium, heavy, and super-heavy Long March launch vehicles – Articles says China is working on several new rocket designs.

New models include the Long March 8 and Long March 9.  Some stats:

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More tidbits from the technology revolution

Image courtesy of Adobe Stock.

Fun articles on technology change that caught my interest over the last few months:

  • Yes, your color printer may very well be marking every printed page as belonging to you
  • Not only are land lines disappearing, growing number of people won’t answer the doorbell unless you text first
  • Dropping oil prices are a worry for central bankers, even as that saves consumers bunches of money
  • Amazon is developing its own delivery system
  • IBM has fewer employees in the US than in India
  • Google drew a multi-billion dollar fine from the EU

6/7/17 – BBC – Why printers add secret tracking dots – A large portion of color laser printers add tiny yellow dots to the page in order to allow tracking of which specific printer was used to print a specific page.

This is handy for criminal or espionage investigations. A particular leaking case is in the news, with the perpetrator having been found using microdots.

Might be handy for tracking down whistle blowers.

The espionage angle isn’t of interest to anyone reading my blog.

If you every want to keep something you print really private, you might want to pay attention.

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