33,500 employees, not 3,500, still amazing productivity.
31 posts • joined 7 Jul 2010
Re: Call me sceptical
If you mean 'lost their way' by deploying an innovation strategy which has significantly increased profits, company liquidity, market share and created a significant number of jobs, then I completely agree. Its terrible to see them using a well recognized brand to excellent commercial ends with significant improvement in the company long term perspectives, they should have just stuck to making LWB off-roaders for the agricultural community. Or perhaps not.
Companies need to adapt or die, JLR is a poster child for how to do that right (both nearly dying and then adapting)
"Antares is scheduled for eight ISS resupply missions during 2013 under a $1.9 billion contract."
Mmmmm, that seems a bit quick, I don't think they have anything else scheduled to go up this year do they? Its a multi-year deal. Dragon goes again in November but that's it for COTS this year.
I'm 50/50 on wanting Orbital to succeed personally, SpaceX do need some competition to emerge in a few years, but this isn't really a true competitor, more a fail-safe. Still, its all moving in the right direction.
Re: Commercial power generation potential?
The reason this system works well as a propulsion system IN SPACE is that you are dumping everything out the back of the drive in order to go forward, by-products and all. This means you need very little shielding on your system components as the magnetic field effectively directs the whole lot away from the squishies up front, think of it as big exhaust, that's it.
The difference when trying to use this technique as a power generation process is you have to handle not just the energy from the fusion reaction (to get your power) but the neutrons and waste as well, this means tons of shielding which needs to be replaced very frequently and is highly radioactive. Theoretically you could attempt magnetic confinement but that's the same engineering challenge as ITER etc. Confinement is a drastically different prospect that simply directing the whole lot in one direction into nothingness.
There are promising fusion power generation techniques emerging, including several aneutronic solutions, my bets would be the guys at LPPX or Polywell (EMC2), but tri-alpha looks pretty close as well. As Bussard said, the challenge is not the physics, the challenge is the politics.
What exactly are they trying to do?
It seems a very specific piece of legislation. Its not going to stop people who wish to perform an illegal act anyway (unauthorised surveillance) from performing that act, they are already determined to break 1 law, what's another one?
More sensibly, how about mandating that all remotely operating devices with cameras carry a flashing orange light clearly visible from both the air and ground, this would seem to resolve the hidden surveillance problem whilst also covering a multitude of other potential problems as well, but not limiting legitimate users from enjoying the capability that camera mounted flying toys can bring.
Getting really fed up of the slight of hand distraction politicking lately.
Lets try and get the masses up in arms that the big fat central pot of pay-thrice broadband pork barrel won't be available to subsidize network build out by former-state owned national monopolies who should be doing it anyway!
At least they won't be talking about where the remaining money is actually being spent, for example funding 56,000 bureaucrats on fat expat private school high pension deals.
Capture opportunity in 2029?
What would it take to tag and bag this thing in 2029, or at least fiddle with it enough that the subsequent approach places it in a relatively harmless orbit? Delta V would be huge 2029 for sure but it may be worth exploring what force would need to be applied to not leave the next pass to chance, as well as secure it for future use.
Lots of grumbling about the cost of sending meat bags to asteroids, would be a bit silly to pass up an opportunity to grab a juicy one when it comes so close. Exploring an asteroid in NEO would be significantly simpler.
Is this thing big enough to act as an anchor for a nanotube tether?
Its a fair bet its off to pick up whatever North Korea launched yesterday
big IF North Korea actually got anything into LEO....
Testing in-orbit intercept and capture seems like a prime opportunity. Bring whatever they launched back down, wrap it up in Christmas paper and fed-ex it back with a 'We think you might have lost this...' card. Beautiful display of the vast, vast capability gap that the US has over everyone else on earth in space.
The one advantage that physical retail has..immediate availability
Last time I went into my local Comet retail store I was shopping for a slimline dishwasher, being the impatient arse that I am, I wanted it to take away. They had 3 in stock TOTAL, and the 3 were all the budget brand. the display range was about 25 models+.
One of the last competitive advantages for physical stores is instant availability, take away now, yet Comet failed to capitalize on this single advantage. If the customer walks in, selects a model, then gets told it will be 8-10 days for delivery, of course they will go home and order it from someone who can deliver it next day. Having a very small selection of take home today items is pretty much useless unless you are very crafty with model selection, which in my case they clearly were not.
Having a shop isn't a bad thing in today's world, but you need to build your model to capitalize on its unique selling points, not try to out-compete the on-line environment by being an advice/selection centre with piss-poor fulfilment.
Horribly complicated and over engineered
Checking back for geographic lists? How very 80s. Some degree of exclusion is necessary, but 100m granularity? LOL.
Surely we are at the point where the device can determine its own white space and configure accordingly? Software radio capability is way beyond checking back against a database, move with the times.
Might be good for the viewing experience, but what does it do to the business model?
Programs need to be funded, revenue generation is essential to the creation process, so....the consumer wants ad-free viewing which is fair enough. Dish are simply serving that need, but what they are not doing is partnering to build an alternative model which is mutually satisfactory between content producer, provider and consumer.
Dish works well due to its subscription model (ironic for Murdoch), but you get charged twice, you pay your subs to Dish, the content networks get a proportion of this, then they also monetize your viewing choice by advert revenue.
One alternative may be to provide add-free channels at a premium over the regular, inserted add model. the other would be move invasion of the product into the program (overlays, placements etc). Another may be to shift the advertising to DISH vs. the network channel, but this marginalizes them further.
What you can't do, and expect it not to have consequences, is just strip away a revenue generator without reconsidering the whole model. I think everyone agrees that the current system isn't ideal, maybe something like nominal subscription fee then micro-transaction per episode may emerge soon (I don't mean iTunes gouging), clearly the consumer wants an add-free model, the real question is how you fund it.
Actually a genius idea
Given that the high quality pirated versions generally get circulated as the discs get near repo (1-2 weeks before retail availability), this 4 week lead time above physical media could potentially lead more people to buy the legitimate version vs. take the torrent then not buy the disk.
Of course, they have to get the pricing attractive, but none the less this is a solid strategy.
UV is by far and away the least contained approach to DRM usage, its built around how MOST people will actually want to consume/use the media. UV in combination with accelerated release time could be a winner.
Since when was ARM open source? Talk about mixing your terminology.
Intel is one of the the biggest contributors to Linux as well as one of the biggest supports of standard and open source, both of which lead to interoperable open ecosystems.
X86 designs totally suck for Mobile? Back that up a little with some facts please. If you mean traditional x86 cores didn't have the power/performance envelope to work in a modern mobile phone you are spot on, that's been the case right up until Medfield. Things are changing quickly though, and that's what the article describes.
Success in the mobile arena is about hardware, software and telco combinations, its very different from other markets.
Power consumption and Thermals?
Yes there will be price pressure, but unless the spinning disks can get the power drain down as well you will have both battery and thermal challenges in what are mostly fan-less designs.
Arguably cheaper SSDs are the way forward, not hybrids, let the market get the price down vs. compromising on the tech.
Resource sub-surface extraction and refining nearing 90%, time they came to collect
Its about time our overlords came to wipe us out anyway, we've nearly done extracting all the usable heavy elements from the crust and refining them into usable grade metals/alloys. Much simpler to upskill a bunch of monkeys and let them dig them out for a few years than get their own hands dirty.
Job nearly done! We've nearly finished the terraforming phase for our CO2 breathing masters as well, what good underlings we are!
But what does it actually bring to the table that is 'new'?
Apple are off their heads if they think the content producers didn't observe what iTunes did for album sales, unbundling single shows in a way which as as convenient for the consumer as sitting down to a full subscriptions 'warts and all' package? Not likely.
Television channel subscriptions are propped up on an 80/20 model, you only really want the 20% that's in your viewing interest, the rest of the channel content is subbed from the premium shows. This is how the business model works, now, if you do give people the ability to easily only pick the 20% from a few channels without paying the 100% sub cost you will drive the business model revenues into the floor overnight.
Bypass the network and go straight to the content producers? Oh wait, they are so intimately linked (via the rear entrance) they are effectively the same companies. TV show production, pick-up and syndication is a vastly different ballgame to movies, they only person who is interested in taking a slice of the revenue pie here is Apple, what's in it for the incumbents?
Look at what happened to Google TV, if Google couldn't get a toe in, what the hell makes people think Apple can?
So what are you left with, hardware differentiation? well guess what, TVs arn't actually that broke that they need fixing, yes you can do voice or gesture, but that's about it, margins are razor thin, innovation pathways are already patented to death and shifting the market is hideously expensive and has a lead time of 5 years.
Will some people pay 3x the price for a white Apple TV that does practically the same as a Samsung set? Unfortunately yes, will it bring revolutionary content, experience, usability? Highly unlikely.
Its a brilliant device
Had mine for a week or so, its just great, very very fast phone, you can browse and read PDFs etc without having to scroll around. It goes in your jeans pocket OK, yes its big, but its not outrageously big. Battery life on normal use is 2-3 days for me.
No complaints except for the UK pricing, get it from Germany from amazon.
Samsung are onto a real winner here, this form factor is pretty much perfect for a portable consumption device.
Rossi's ECat? Bwahhahahahahaha. Its got scam written all over it, 0 verified experimental results, he dodges even the most basic questions on his device functionality. Its snake oil.
These demonstrations just keep being promised, don't they....link from NASA please verifying the testing which is currently occurring.
Really? One white elephant to the next...
Big Fusion isn't the answer, and although promising NIF won't really solve any energy problems. Given the sheer size and complexity of the method, the volatility of components etc, the ability to build and maintain enough laser based NIF-like plants is incomprehensible and incomparable with the product demand. Its another ITER in the making.
There are much more promising small fusion ideas coming to fruition at a quicker pace, LPPX Focus Fusion, for example, where the plant will be about the size of a garage and burning boron, which provide a much more viable energy production method which is compatible with the highly distributed consumption model. Big plants dumping significant % of power through transmission loss just isnt the way forward, you need small in-situ automated generation capability, especially if we end up driving electric cars in the near future as default.
Bussard's Polywell also seems to be progressing well, although under Navy funding, again with the ability to make viable drop in generation capability in place of today's smaller power stations and even sub-station sized installations. Tri-Alpha has some significant backing also and provides a hybrid approach which is attracting some serious investment.
Positioning NIF as 'better' than ITER is dubious at best, its still a contest of whose the fattest fat person, no real winner in either.
Load something else on your phone if you want Gingerbread, I can't say I miss the Sense UI. Since i loaded Oxygen ROM and flashed the radio i get considerably more battery life, much improved responsiveness and a generally better functioning phone.
Yes its a somewhat hassle process but nothing the average user couldn't do easily. If you want Gingerbread and Sense, buy a more recent phone.
ITER is more a political activity rather than a scientific endeavor, its also one of the least promising approaches to fusion currently being researched. an awful lot of scientific careers are attached to ITER and its incredibly embarrassing that fundamental technical issues such as confinement still remain unsolved. Its a turkey.
Bussard's take on the Fusor, Polywell, is looking exceedingly promising and is being funded by the US Navy, next year for the next set of results. EMC2 are looking towards commercializing the technology and seeking funding to do so. Its a more promising approach on a quicker path than ITER with a considerably lower cost.