(See my other Space related Blog posts) – I came across the article Three Chinese astronauts arrive at space station yesterday. The three, the second crew for the Tiangong-3 Space Station, are expected to remain aboard for six months. Their mission will be to complete the assembly and construction of the station. I am of two minds on this achievement.
On the one hand, establishing a second space station beyond the ISS is a step forward. Space is becoming the next frontier for humans to conquer. The zero gravity manufacturing techniques and abundant raw materials found in space offer substantial commercial opportunities. The use of space for terrestrial communications is already being harnessed. As is the use of space based platforms to provide rich data on the Earth’s ecosystem and geography. Likewise, it is the perfect place to observe distant star systems.
The Chinese have longer term plans to send manned missions to the Moon and to eventually establish a base there. These are steps towards spreading humanity out over more than a single vulnerable location.
On the other hand, I think too few realize that China has begun to catch up and could soon challenge the US. I suspect that if you polled average people on the street about Tiangong-3 few would have heard of it. The ISS is scheduled for retirement in 2024. There is currently no replacement. Tiangong-3 is expected to have at least a decade of life ahead. Given the political challenges that China has made, the US must at least maintain equivalence in space.
You would think from the name “Morning Brew” that I was talking about coffee again. Not so this time.
Morning Brew is a free service that provides you with a daily dose of news and information by email. Per their website Morning Brew is:
the most informative (and wittiest) daily business newsletter around.
Here’s how it works: We’ll send all the need-to-know and some of the fun-to-know business news straight to you every morning. We’ll learn, we’ll laugh, and we’ll do our best to keep up with Elon Musk.
What we’re all about: We’re here to convene the best and the brightest interested in business (that’s you…or it will be after a little time with us) and form a community—both online and off.
I have been a subscriber for a few days now and I have to say that I am enjoying their morning email. You only get the one message per day so it won’t be flooding your inbox. This is something that you might want to try. If you decide to subscribe, I would appreciate your using my referral link: morningbrew.com/emtech/?kid=21c1bb
The idea of hardware being secretly hijacked during the manufacturing process has been around for a while. This allegation, if true, is significant! On the other hand, Apple has denied finding altered hardware in their official statement “What Businessweek got wrong about Apple“.
Since this article was just published October 4, I think there will be a lot of fallout over the next few days, weeks and months. It could have a significant impact on the cost of electronic products as supply chains reconsider off-shore manufacturing.
Well, Hurricane Season (nominally defined as June 1 to November 30) is back. The first major storm of the season is Beryl. If you live in the US, particularly the eastern portion of the country or are traveling there or have family there, you will want to keep up with hurricanes.
A while back I published reviews on three good websites for keeping track of hurricanes. I thought it was a good time to bring them back to peoples attention. These are:
I finished putting together the June issue of the IEEE Central Texas Section newsletter, The Analog, earlier this week. It contains information of interest to engineers and those interested in technology in the Central Texas Area. Included are a list of the scheduled technical meetings to be held in the area. All of the IEEE technical meetings are open to the public.
I saw this article (“5D – 360 TERABYTES IN A DISK THE SIZE OF A COIN“) this morning and thought that the advance described was significant. Not only the storage capacity significant, but the predicted ‘shelf life’ of 13.8 billion years at room temperature certainly offers incredible archival storage ability. This advancement in data storage was made by scientists at the University of Southampton Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC).
The ORC developed what they call a 5D process that allows a femtosecond laser to read and write data. Data is written in three layers of nanostructure dots separated by only 5 micrometers. These nanostructures change the way light passes through the glass, modifying it’s polarization. The data can then be read by an optical sensor coupled with a polarizer.
Obviously this is not a device you are able to order today and connect up to your computer. This does speak to the growing need for backup of large data sets and to long term storage needs. ORC is currently seeking commercial partners to further develop this technology and bring products to market.
I think we have all seen footage from Star Wars VI: The Return of
the Jedi, where the Imperial Storm Troopers are riding their 74-Z
Speeder bikes through the forests of the moon Endor.
Hungarian engineers have taken a step towards giving us that same
experience with their prototype ‘Flike‘ – a flying bike personal transportation craft. The engineers are from Bay-Zoltan which is one of the leading applied research institutions in Hungary.
The video of the first flight didn’t last long, but then neither did the Wright brother’s first flight. Certainly the Flike with it’s Y6 layout and all electric drive has possibilities. The current design’s lithium polymer batteries sustain only 20 minutes of flight, but the concept is interesting. The engineers hope to spin this project off into a for-profit startup in the near future.
On Monday April 27, 2015 Apple added NBC Sports Live Extra to the lineup of channels on the Apple TV. Live sport events are streamed on this channel. Some programming is available without a subscription, but the live events will require a companion subscription on a cable network.
I am not much of a sports fan, so this addition is of little value to me, but I am glad to see that Apple continues to enhance the Apple TV product.
I came across Tweak and Tuneup by Systweak Software earlier today the thought I would give it a try. It is currently available for free download from the Mac App Store and has high review scores.
It installed fine, but I immediately ran into problems with the software. The first thing that it does is attempt to identify the user’s home directory, which fails on my system. Unfortunately the software is not smart enough to understand my system configuration. When I installed an SSD as the boot drive, I configured the system to use the original 500GB drive for user space through a symbolic link. I am guessing that the App is unable to identify my home directory because of this.
If you are willing to give the App a try (it has a 4.5/5 user rating in the App store) now is a good time. As I have mentioned in other articles, freeing your boot drive of clutter is key to keeping your Mac in good working order.