Have Spaceship. Will travel.

Great news from the space development front. Independent Rocket company SpaceX have announced the development of the Falcon Heavy, their entry into the ‘heavy lifter’ category of launch vehicles.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Lift-off

The Falcon heavy will provide double the delivery capacity (a whopping 53 tonnes!) of  all existing systems, dwarfing both the Delta IV and the Space Shuttle. This means that the cost of delivering payload to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) will drop significantly – in fact the company estimates that the launcher would save the US $1 billion in launch services per year.

The impact of this system when it comes on stream will be huge, providing access to space at a fraction of the current cost (something that the badly flawed shuttle was supposed to do and never achieved) and allowing the delivery of systems (Imagine a space telescope 5 times as big as the Hubble!) of previously unachievable size.

The engineering of the SpaceX fleet shows real imagination and a determination to push back the boundaries of what is possible in rocketry. We should all feel proud of the achievements that they have made and undoubtedly will achieve in the future.

No doubt they will have their share of issues in the future; as their rival Scaled Composites unfortunately showed, the path to Space is not an easy one. Nevertheless, let us hope that they (and Scaled Composites) continue the push to take us truly into space.

Nothing of any value is achieved without a cost.

Do androids dream of electric revenue streams?

According to IT Business, Ontario’s Electric car infrastructure will use a “cell phone” business plan.

People will buy electric ‘miles’ at top up stations or swap batteries in a system combining subscription and pay-to-play models. This apparently is the best for everyone concerned. As the article says:

“Much like how your cell phone contract helps to subsidize the expensive handset you purchase with your plan, your electric car could also be subsidized with your subscription to using the electric infrastructure.”

Interesting. Now I obviously always completely misunderstood the motivation for this type of pricing model, as I always thought that the only reason for its existence was in order to guarantee a constant stream of revenue for overpriced services to the very wealthy phone companies.

I guess I must have got that wrong…

Now, let’s see. A high level phone costs around $400. A typical phone contract would be about $40 a month, with a three year commitment.

So Obscenely Rich Phone Company (TM) gets a guaranteed ($)12x40x3- $1440 for a $400 phone (which doesn’t even cost them $400 anyway!).

Oh and then they screw you for ‘air time’ too.

Sure, let’s apply this to electric cars too. I’m sure the electric car companies are all in favour of this ‘model’.

How about doing something for the consumers for a change, Mr. McGuinty?

Oops there goes another aerial porcine…

Pah! And I say again, Pah!!

So today I went to the “Sonystyle” website to order an electronic doodad. Filled in the order details, added the billing and shipping addresses, entered in my credit card details, double checked my cart contents, hit the ‘buy’ button…

and its now suspended, hanging in limbo at 38%… Contestent number three, do you:

  1. close it down and hope that they havent actually processed it and try again
  2. try to refresh and hope you don’t get double charged
  3. close it down and just not bother

So I thought I would throw the experience on here as a little five minute blog posting. Open up the site, set up the blog, set account for blogging with. Make a blog post with new account. Notice a couple of mistakes, try to edit…

No edit option… huh?

Log back in as administrator to check settings. Hang on, now I can edit? Log off, log back on to check bloc account cant edit and I’m not actually just insane. Log back out, Log back in as administrator. Oh screw it, I’ll just change the post as the administrator.

Log out completely to check post from user perspective. Hang on – it’s showing the post as being written by the administrator not the blog account. Log back in as administrator, check settings again. Nothing obviously wrong. Okay double screw it. I’ll just delete the account and do everything through the administrator account. Delete blog account and…

the blog post dissappears… even though it was “written by the administrator”

Give it up, come back to it this evening, recreate everything, the whole damn blog set up, re-write post click to change te bulleted list above to use letters instead of numbers…

pop-up blocker triggers, say yes, I really DO want to allow pop-ups on this site you moronic browser pile’o’shite and pooof…

browser refreshes losing the unposted post and I start again.. tears running from my tired red eyes… I wonder how much time is wasted on this kind of thing? How many hours do we collectively sacrifice to re-ordering, cancelling duplicate orders, re-doing the same task multiple times because the ‘system’ went wrong etc. Technology is truly glorious…