The Army’s looking for a new helo to replace the venerable Blackhawk.
Bell Helicopter is submitting its V-280 Valor tilt-rotor.
Sikorsky And Boeing have their SB-1 Defiant.
Personally, I think the Defiant would fill the Blackhawk role better because of its smaller rotor-print. I can see a Defiant getting into the places troops need helos. I could see a tilt-rotor taking the heavy-lift role, such as the Chinook and the Sea Stallion.
The Army is also looking for a new scout bird. War Is Boring has a look at one of the proposals. The pick kind of looks like a Russian take on the old RAH-66 Commanchero prototype.
The future is funny sometimes. We use Echoes in the house. Yes, I know the security issues and I’ve judged the risk acceptable at this time. What amuses me is some of the “human” failings of the robots.
Today’s example – We have three Echoes, which with our small house often means two will pick up the verbal command. This morning, my wife orders the bedroom Echo to turn the lights on. No problem. The living room Echo, because of sound changing as it bounces out of the bedroom misheard and proceeds to tell me that there are no alarms set.
The future is weird.
“You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn’t” The headline from the Register is outragey, and it’s only deep in the article the real story starts coming out.
And it’s not fair to single out just Apple either: pretty much every provider of digital content has the same rules. Amazon got in hot water a few years ago when its deal with Disney expired and customers discovered that their expensive movie purchases vanished over night. In 2009 thee was a similar ruckus when it pulled George Orwell’s classic 1984 from Kindles without notice.
In reality of course, these huge companies go to great lengths to ensure that their licensing deals with the main content companies are retained so the situation happens only occasionally. And such deals are usually worth so much to both sides that they are continually renewed.
With digital media, there’s been a long-running skirmish surrounding who truly owns their media. I don’t think it’s going to be solved anytime soon. What I do know is that if you own any digital media, it needs to be free of Digital Rights Management (DRM) code and it should be on your hard drives. Or you need physical copies.
Or just take the risk.
Reason put out this article earlier this week on the dangers of Silicon Valley’s burgeoning ideological conformity. Let’s look at the first couple of paragraphs:
quote When it comes to software, Silicon Valley understands the threat of monocultures. If 100 percent of computers run the same code and malware authors discover an exploit, 100 percent of computers will be vulnerable to the same attack. Fortunately, the way to reduce such risks is straightforward: Increase diversity.
quote Alas, this insight seems limited to software. Technology executives have yet to fully recognize the risks posed by the potent political monocultures forming inside their own companies.
The problem is that so many who push “diversity” fail to understand what they need to diversify. For these tech companies – and other places pushing diversity for diversity (cough, universities, cough, literary circles) – they are mistaking the biological for the mental. In essence, they are saying because they have both golden labradors and chocolate labradors, they are diverse – and they don’t see the problem when large numbers of their dogs die off. For tech companies, the biggest threat from this failure to recognize they are not really diverse is going out of business because they’ve alienated enough customers.
However, the same issue is impacting the RKBA. I keep hearing how we do we get more women, POCs, young people, etc. involved in the gun rights battle. Too many times, I see the RKBA making the same mistake of substituting outward diversity with inward diversity. You can’t invite people with one breath, and with the next demand they immediately conform to every thing you believe outside of RKBA – such as God, abortion, economics, and/or the current issues of the day.
We’re not breeding stronger livestock, so we shouldn’t be looking for biological diversity. We’re trying to breed stronger ideas, so we need ideological diversity.
At the grocery store this week, The Brother and I saw a Tesla 3 in the wild for the first time. The Brother wants a Tesla for his next car, and to be honest, they tempt me as well. I wish there was a version of the Chevy Volt’s electric with gasoline backup system that was built into an SUV. Both The Brother and I believe that electric vehicles will phase out the internal combustion vehicles, but that’s going to require time for the infrastructure to be built up.
I’ve also been a fan of Tesla in its history of disrupting the market. Tesla has done a lot to “mainstream” the electric vehicle – much in the same way Apple mainstreamed the smartphone. For me, I’ve enjoyed them working to fight back against the franchise car dealership system.
Which makes this analysis of Tesla’s cash crisis from the Economist disappointing. My read is Tesla is burning through cash because there is a corporate culture of chaos and letting the better get in the way of the good.
Tesla received four hundred thousand $1,000 deposits for the Tesla 3’s. That’s an initial investment of $400 million. I can’t see any of the big car firms not being able to set up a new line for that sort of initial capital.
I’m really hoping Tesla manages to push through, but I have a suspicion that it will revert to a boutique manufacturer of innovative EVs while the big firms bring the electric car revolution to the masses.
Borepatch helpfully linked to this article regarding to the pedestrian killed by an autonomous Uber vehicle in Arizona. According to the cops, who reviewed the Uber car’s dash cam, it’s unlikely a human driver would have been able to avoid the pedestrian.
I understand why Borepatch distrusts them, but I still believe that the self-driving car will be as revolutionary as the car itself was. Yes, it will destroy some industries. If history is any teacher, the technology will also lead to the rise of brand new industries.
And maybe finally kill the stupid passenger/commuter rail proponents.
Thirty years ago, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its flight. Seven were killed.
This is perhaps the first memory where I remember where I was when I heard the news. I was in sixth grade, coming back from PE, when a teacher burst into the hall to tell us what happened. We watched the coverage for pretty much the rest of the day. A friend of mine was in Nature’s Classroom and actually saw the Y-shaped cloud.
Image is from CBS news.
The atomic bomb made the prospect of future war unendurable. It has led us up those last few steps to the mountain pass; and beyond there is a different country.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the Manhattan Project
For the last Friday Quote of the year, I give you a quote of hope for the future:
It is now feasible to take care of everyone on Earth at a higher standard of living than have ever known. It no longer has to be you or me. Selfishness is unnecessary. War is obsolete. It is a matter of converting high technology from weaponry to livingry.
R. Buckminster Fuller
I don’t think we, as a species, have quite reached this point. Still, I have hope that one day humanity will reach it.