Tag Archives: 2010

Jet travels more than 13,000 mph (Mach 20) thanks to sleek aerodynamic systems

It’s amazing that this Hypersonic jet was able to travel more than 13,000 mph with heats of over 3,500 degrees.

During flight it experienced shockwaves, 100 times more powerful than expected, which caused it to spin. It then righted itself and flew for twice as long before technicians finally aborted the mission.

The full story:

In August the Pentagon’s research arm, known as DARPA, carried out a test flight of an experimental aircraft capable of traveling at 20 times the speed of sound.

The arrowhead-shaped unmanned aircraft, dubbed Falcon Hypersonic Technology Vehicle 2, blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara, into the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere…then glided above the Pacific at 20 times the speed of sound, or Mach 20.

The plan was for the Falcon to speed westward for about 30 minutes before plunging into the ocean near Kwajalein Atoll, about 4,000 miles from Vandenberg.

But it was ended about nine minutes into flight for unknown reasons. The launch had received worldwide attention and much fanfare, but officials didn’t provide much information on why the launch failed.

via LA Times

 

Then last week, DARPA said in a statement:

The flight successfully demonstrated stable aerodynamically-controlled flight at speeds up to Mach 20 for nearly three minutes. Approximately nine minutes into the test flight, the vehicle experienced a series of shocks culminating in an anomaly, which prompted the autonomous flight safety system to use the vehicle’s aerodynamic systems to make a controlled descent and splashdown into the ocean.

“The initial shockwave disturbances experienced during second flight, from which the vehicle was able to recover and continue controlled flight, exceeded by more than 100 times what the vehicle was designed to withstand,” said DARPA Acting Director, Kaigham J. Gabriel. “That’s a major validation that we’re advancing our understanding of aerodynamic control for hypersonic flight.”

…larger than anticipated portions of the vehicle’s skin peeled from the aerostructure. The resulting gaps created strong, impulsive shock waves around the vehicle as it travelled nearly 13,000 miles per hour, causing the vehicle to roll abruptly. Based on knowledge gained from the first flight in 2010 and incorporated into the second flight, the vehicle’s aerodynamic stability allowed it to right itself successfully after several shockwave-induced rolls. Eventually, however, the severity of the continued disturbances finally exceeded the vehicle’s ability to recover.

via DARPA

Hypersonic Technology Vehicle (HTV-2)

 

Hulu participates in TV’s upfronts – internet television has finally arrived

Just a few years ago Hulu, the online television site, was something of a novelty. A lot of people knew about it and watched it, but it was just another website. That all changes this week as Hulu participates in “upfronts”.

Hulu is in this position because of some staggering numbers:

  • Revenue of $420 million in 2011 (compared to $263 million in 2010)
  • 38 million visitors/month
  • 1.5 billion video ads shown to viewers in February
  • 2 million subscribers for their $8/month service

This all adds up to a gamechanger for the industry. The studio heads who originally created Hulu want to kill it, or at least sell it. They know that it’s taking away viewers from traditional television and offering better advertising:

“On a one-to-one basis, advertising placed on Hulu for our clients was more effective than advertising placed on television for the same programming,” said Steven J. Farella, chief executive at TargetCast TCM.

Additionally, Hulu collects vastly more data on viewers and can offer ads specifically targeted to them.

“Stoking envy among traditional television executives, the Web site collects a trove of data on its users’ preferences in programming and ads.”

At this point, it’s too late for the studios sell or kill it, though they did try all last year. Instead, they are inviting it to the table to see if it can compete on its own. Which means participating in the full cycle of television from pilot episodes, to full series, and selling all that to advertisers.

The most critical point being the “upfronts”:

At a presentation on Thursday in New York, Hulu, will pitch advertisers on original programming in an annual ritual known as upfronts that are typically reserved for cable channels and network broadcasters.

Hulu executives are expected to take the stage to sell advertisers on new series. The executives will also promote the service’s desirable demographic of young viewers who turn to Hulu for popular network sitcoms like “New Girl” and “Family Guy,” available only after they are broadcast on Fox.

So, like Netflix, Hulu is making a push into original series. It has also licensed 13 television shows that will appear exclusively online.

Traditional television is still the dominant game in town, but Hulu and Netflix are at the table now, and they have the internet on their side. With offerings like on-demand, full series at once, mobility, fewer commercials, and lower prices, you can expect all of this to quickly change the balance of power.

 

read more about upfronts at the NY Times

Gas prices have peaked – $3.70+ is the new normal

This year’s surge in gasoline prices appears over, falling short of the record highs some had feared heading into peak summer driving season.

Prices have held at a national average of $3.92 a gallon the past week, below 2011′s $3.99 high and July 2008′s record $4.11.

“By the behavior of the market, things are just running out of steam,” said Patrick DeHaan, senior analyst for price tracker gasbuddy.com. “Barring any major event — refinery problems, Iran — I think prices have peaked.”

DeHaan said the national average could dip to $3.70 a gallon by early May.

via USA Today

 

High in national average each year.

Over 100 coal plants have closed in U.S. – since last year

Two utilities announced the planned closure of nine coal plants in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, bringing total retirements (executed and planned) since January 2010 past the 100 mark to 106.

A combination of high domestic coal prices, low natural gas prices, new air quality regulations, coordinated activist pressure, and cost-competitive renewables are making coal an increasingly bad choice for many power plant operators. Along with the 106 announced closures, 166 new plants have been defeated since 2002.

More information – Clean Technica

Don't forget last year – 2010 – top YouTube videos

As we ring in the new year don’t forget about the best videos of last year, 2010.

YouTube’s Top 10 of 2010

  1. BED INTRUDER SONG!!!
  2. TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke – Key of Awe$ome #13
  3. Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi
  4. Annoying Orange Wazzup
  5. Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
  6. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
  7. OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine version
  8. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE – Trailer
  9. Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan
  10. Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome

Don’t forget last year – 2010 – top YouTube videos

As we ring in the new year don’t forget about the best videos of last year, 2010.

YouTube’s Top 10 of 2010

  1. BED INTRUDER SONG!!!
  2. TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke – Key of Awe$ome #13
  3. Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi
  4. Annoying Orange Wazzup
  5. Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
  6. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
  7. OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine version
  8. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE – Trailer
  9. Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan
  10. Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome

U.S. Population Growth at 9% – Economists Need An Ego Check

Despite the slowest decade of population growth since the Great Depression, the USA remains the world’s fastest-growing industrialized nation and the globe’s third-most populous country at a time when some are actually shrinking.

The United States reached 308.7 million in 2010, up 9.7% since 2000 — a slight slowdown that many experts say was caused by the recession and less immigration.

Even so, U.S. growth is the envy of most developed nations.

USA Today are you kidding me? Sometimes being the odd duck out is great but in this case I’m calling B.S.

Before I get to that it’s interesting to note that we are now up 309 million people, that’s a lot. It represents a burgeoning population way beyond what Yvon Chouinard calls ideal cities. These are places where the population is 250,000 to 350,000, “large enough to have all the culture and amenities of a city and still be governable – like Santa Barbara, Auckland, and Florence”.

I’m tempted to agree with him since I grew up in a place of that size. Sometimes the discussion needs to go beyond monetary policy and focus on quality of life. Taking into account food supply, health factors, and environmental concerns.

It’s an interesting line of thinking but let’s get back to the so-called ‘envy’.

It stands to point out that economic theory on GDP growth is grossly over represented in our cultural consciousness. Just look at our latest recession and tell me where all our economists were on that one. They are notorious for promoting ideologies in the face of massive bubbles and even letting themselves become the politicians, city planners, and business people who know everything. It used to be that economists would caveat and asterisk everything they say, now they will read your palm and tell you how to run your household.

I see the same happening in this article from the USA Today. The topic is population growth and how that affects social services. Somehow they are arguing that our growth is the key to fixing our insolvent social services programs like social security and medicare. Like piling on taxpayers will magically cure decades old problems. Even more vexing they claim other countries are envious of us.

Tell that to my grandpa who lives on social services. There is no envy lost on him. The truth is that our society is maturing (albeit very slowly) into the right mixture of government vs personal. All the Tea Party and Libertarians exist for a reason and I think it is because our government programs are off balance. We don’t need the government telling us how to get married or who to love, but we do need the government keeping prisoners and the insane of the street.

When it comes to the elderly I think we have it all wrong. Pushing them out of our society and into ‘homes’ does a double damage to our society. It costs us money and it hurts our communities. If there is one thing our ailing communities need it is more elderly roaming the blocks, raising children, and talking to neighbors. There is so much that they bring to families and neighborhoods it is hard to undervalue, but with our current social services we lock them away like prisoners.

The goods news is that all those ‘envious’ countries in the article will soon be dealing with this “problem of the elderly”. I bet many will miss the boat and make poor choices (like California letting out prisoners) rather than the right ones (like developing cultural programs to promote elderly care).

In the end, we may find that population growth isn’t at all related to social services. That it is a community topic and should be discussed by family leaders, church leaders, and other local members. At the very least I would hope we can keep the economists performing economic judgments and not letting them determine society’s ills through GDP forecasts.

I Love Lists! The Top YouTube Videos of 2010

Weird. I woke up this morning and made a list. Something reminded me of the World Cup and how much fun that was. I couldn’t resist whipping out my phone to write down my favorite memories of 2010.

Well, it appears the world agrees with me and the Year in Review is officially here. Every major site is releasing theirs and that term (“year in review”) is the new meme for them. Here are the search lists from google, yahoo, and bing (thanks Don Reisinger). Twitter also released a top trends of 2010 with an awesome infograph (and some analysis on “promoted trends”).

iStrategyLabs has the Mobile Year in Review.

All interesting if you love data, but if you want pure unadulterated awesomeness then check out YouTube’s top videos of 2010. These are more than data points they are funny-ass commercials, amateur silliness, ridiculous emotional outbursts, and more. They feel like the real culture of America and if you don’t watch them Sarah Palin will make fun of you.

Top 10 Viral Videos

  1. BED INTRUDER SONG!!!
  2. TIK TOK KESHA Parody: Glitter Puke – Key of Awe$ome #13
  3. Greyson Chance Singing Paparazzi
  4. Annoying Orange Wazzup
  5. Old Spice | The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
  6. Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10
  7. OK Go – This Too Shall Pass – Rube Goldberg Machine version
  8. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE – Trailer
  9. Jimmy Surprises Bieber Fan
  10. Ken Block’s Gymkhana THREE, Part 2; Ultimate Playground; l’Autodrome

I highly recommend you watch them all and then let me know what your favorite one is!

Awesome Compilation Video



Even More Top Videos By Month!