Sci-fi past the science

There’s an interesting remark in the introductory portion of this article by Zeynep Tufekci (emphasis added): At its best, though, science fiction is a brilliant vehicle for exploring not the far future or the scientifically implausible but the interactions among science, technology and society. The what-if scenarios it poses can allow us to understand our own societiesContinue reading “Sci-fi past the science”

Starlink and astronomy

SpaceX’s Starlink constellation is currently a network of 120+ satellites and which, in the next decade, will expand to 10,000+ to provide low-cost internet from space around the world. Astronomers everywhere have been pissed off with these instruments because they physically interfere with observations of the night sky, especially those undertaken by survey telescopes withContinue reading “Starlink and astronomy”

Playing the devil’s advocate on Starlink

After SpaceX began to launch its Starlink satellite constellation to facilitate global internet coverage, astronomers began complaining that the satellites are likely to interfere with stargazing schemes, especially those of large, sensitive telescopes. Spaceflight stakeholders also began to worry, especially after SpaceX’s announcement that the Starlink constellation is in fact the precursor to a mega-constellationContinue reading “Playing the devil’s advocate on Starlink”

Solutions looking for problems

There’s been a glut of ‘science projects’ that seem to be divorced from their non-technical aspects even when the latter are equally, if not more, important – or maybe it is just a case of these problems always having been around but this author not being able to unsee it these days. An example thatContinue reading “Solutions looking for problems”

SpaceX rocket blows up but let's remember that #SpaceIsHard

The Wire June 30, 2015 “… it’s not all or nothing. We must get to orbit eventually, and we will. It might take us one, two or three more tries, but we will. We will make it work.” Elon Musk said this in a now-famous interview to Wired in 2008 when questioned about what theContinue reading “SpaceX rocket blows up but let's remember that #SpaceIsHard”

SpaceX rocket blows up but let’s remember that #SpaceIsHard

The Wire June 30, 2015 “… it’s not all or nothing. We must get to orbit eventually, and we will. It might take us one, two or three more tries, but we will. We will make it work.” Elon Musk said this in a now-famous interview to Wired in 2008 when questioned about what theContinue reading “SpaceX rocket blows up but let’s remember that #SpaceIsHard”

Desperate Toyota does a Tesla

Let go to take control. That’s what Elon Musk did with the patents on his Tesla brand of electric cars. That’s what Toyota has done now with its patents on fuel-cells, releasing 5,680 licenses for royalty-free use at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday. It said in a statement, “Toyota aims to goContinue reading “Desperate Toyota does a Tesla”

Elon Musk’s altruism powertrain is just good business

In 1907, the Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla sold all his patents to Westinghouse, Inc., for a heavily discounted $216,000, including one for alternating current. In 1943, he died penniless. In 2014, another Tesla has given away its patents but signs are that this one will be way more successful. Through a blog post on JuneContinue reading “Elon Musk’s altruism powertrain is just good business”