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Archive for the ‘business’ category

Apr 2, 2020

Real-Life Laser Rifle: Army Goal

Posted by in categories: business, energy, military

The Army is looking at its Plasma Acoustic Shield System as a checkpoint defender, for now. But the original idea – and the long-term goal of the project – is to have it be the first baby step towards a portable, lethal laser weapon.

Pelt2The effort, by the U.S. Army’s Advanced Energy Armaments Systems Division and Stellar Photonics, has a lot in common with another military laser project: the Pulsed Energy Projectile being developed by Mission Systems for the Marines. But there are three key differences. The current PEP is a big (450 lb) chemical laser with a limited number of shots, whereas PASS is a small solid-state laser that just needs electricity. The PEP creates plasma by vaporising the outer layer surface it hits (such as your shirt), whereas PASS can create plasma in mid-air by focusing to a point. And PEP fires a single pulse, whereas PASS uses a double pulse which Stellar claim is far more efficient at creating a shockwave.

You can get some idea from the Small Business Initiative Proposal the company submitted in ‘04 for a “Man-portable Integrated Laser Assault Rifle”:

Apr 1, 2020

D-Wave Opens Quantum-Computing Resources to Coronavirus Research

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, quantum physics, robotics/AI, supercomputing

Quantum-computing vendor D-Wave Systems Inc. said Tuesday it is giving researchers and companies studying the novel coronavirus free access to its early-stage, experimental machines over the cloud.

Canadian firm D-Wave is among several technology companies providing free advanced computing resources to researchers working to combat the global pandemic. International Business Machines Corp., for example, in March started offering free remote access to two of the world’s most powerful supercomputers.

D-Wave has assembled a team of experts from about a dozen universities and companies including Volkswagen AG, Denso Corp. and startup Menten AI who are familiar with its quantum-computing services to help interested researchers program the computers.

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Mar 31, 2020

OneWeb goes bankrupt, lays off staff, will sell satellite-broadband business

Posted by in category: business

OneWeb says pandemic ended chance of getting enough funding for full launch.

Mar 31, 2020

Tracking Covid-19 ‘super spreader’: From J&K to Tablighi event in Delhi and back via UP

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business

A Srinagar-based businessman who attended the Tablighi Jamaat congregation in Nizamuddin travelled by air, train and road to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and back to Jammu and Kashmir before he died of Covid-19, raising fears he may have infected many others along the way, officials said on Tuesday. Among his possible victims is a doctor battling for life in a Jammu hospital.

The businessman died on March 26 in a Srinagar hospital, 19 days after he set off for the national capital.

He could have infected scores of people during his travels and about 300 people have been put under quarantine because of him, officials said.

Continue reading “Tracking Covid-19 ‘super spreader’: From J&K to Tablighi event in Delhi and back via UP” »

Mar 30, 2020

Why a business case for Mars settlement is not required

Posted by in categories: business, economics, Elon Musk, government, space travel

Some people have claimed that a “business case” for profitable interplanetary trade with a Mars settlement, or at least the identification a saleable product for trade, is required before such a settlement can be established or supported by business or government. But there is no reasonable prospect for trade in any significant mass of physical material from a Mars settlement back to Earth in the near future due to the high transport costs. In his recent article in the National Review, “Elon Musk’s Plan to Settle Mars,” Robert Zubrin makes exactly the same point: a business case based on physical trade is not necessary and makes little sense. Later trade and commerce via non-physical goods such as software is probable once a settlement is fully operational. More significant and interesting economic situations will occur on Mars.

A good model for the expenditures needed to found colonies is the Greek and Phoenician expansion all across the Mediterranean and Black Sea areas in the period early in Greek history (before about 600 BC), leading to the founding of one of the greatest trading cities in history, Carthage. The cities who founded each colony did not expect immediate profit, but wanted good places for an expanding population and knew that, once the new cities were established, trade would also become established. Most of the cost was probably in building more ships. When European colonies were first established in the New World by Spain and Portugal, the emphasis was initially on a search for treasure, not production of products. English and Dutch colonies later led the way to commerce across the Atlantic, with tobacco, sugar, and cotton suddenly becoming a major part of world trade.

A look at some of the steps required to create a Mars settlement will help us understand at least a little about Mars settlement economics. For a Mars settlement, motivation and economics are interwoven. It is possible for at least a partial business case to be made for the transport of settlers and the materials they will need to initiate some phase of Mars settlement. This includes the current effort to create a large number of reliable, low cost, and reusable super-heavy boosters and spacecraft, able to take payloads of 100 tons or more of cargo and passengers to Mars and land them at the right location. Part of this development and construction cost will be defrayed by commercial and government uses of the same vehicles, such as placing very heavy payloads in LEO and taking equipment and passengers to and around the Moon.

Mar 29, 2020

Nuclear Proliferation Treaty Troubles Remain Unaddressed Amid a Global Pandemic

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business, geopolitics, health, military, treaties

It is vital that would-be bombmakers be disabused of any notion that they could evade tough international sanctions. We need a country-neutral, reasonably predictable, more-or-less automatic sanction regime that puts all countries on notice, even friends of the powerful.

By Victor Gilinsky Henry Sokolski

Just as we’ve had to discard business-as-usual thinking to deal with the current worldwide health emergency; it’s time to get serious about the spread of nuclear weapons. It doesn’t have the immediacy of the coronavirus, but it will last a lot longer and is no less threatening. In particular, we need to fortify the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), which is fifty years old this year and badly needs fixing. The April 2020 Review Conference will likely be postponed, which provides time to develop something more than the usual charade of incremental proposals that nibble at the problem.

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Mar 28, 2020

Sen. Richard Burr Told Private GOP Audience Three Weeks Ago That Coronavirus Would Be Dire: Secret Recording

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business

At the same time Trump was telling the public coronavirus would disappear, the chairman of the Senate Intel Committee was giving NC business execs a much different story.

Mar 26, 2020

How AI Can Realize The Promise Of Adaptive Education

Posted by in categories: business, education, robotics/AI

Derek Haoyang Li, the founder of Squirrel AI Learning, is a serial entrepreneur who co-founded two publicly listed companies, and one of the companies has a market cap of $200 million. Squirrel AI Learning is the leading AI + education innovator and unicorn at the forefront of the K12 AI revolution. Within three years of its product release, Squirrel AI Learning has established more than 2,600+ learning centers in China and hosted the first series of human-vs-AI competitions in the Asia-Pacific region that proved the AI’s success. Squirrel AI Learning is recognized by Deloitte as one of the top 10 global AI enterprises with high growth. Squirrel AI Learning was also included in MIT Technology Review’s TR50 Smartest Companies in China list. Stanford Graduate School of Business has also published a case study on Squirrel AI Learning.

Mar 26, 2020

More than 3 million Americans filed for unemployment claims last week

Posted by in categories: business, economics, employment, government

The rescue package contains specific measures to address the spike in unemployment claims.

“It is reasonable to expect that some, perhaps many, but not all, of these jobs will come back once we venture back into public,” Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, said. “One of the goals of the legislation now moving through Congress is to help many businesses survive and retain workers.”

“It’s beyond anything we have ever seen. It’s the speed that is so painful,” Swonk said.

Continue reading “More than 3 million Americans filed for unemployment claims last week” »

Mar 24, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions About Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, business

1. Why Amazon will last longer than most businesses during the Covid-19 epidemic.

2. The challenges Amazon must overcome during the Covid-19 epidemic.

3. Ideas as to how they can overcome the challenge Amazon faces.

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