Posted on October 15, 2013 by lewisshepherd
I recall, one year ago this week, sitting at home on the edge of my seat, intently watching on my wallscreen the live countdown to Felix Baumgartner‘s stunning Red Bull Stratos mission to “transcend human limits” by calmly stepping off an ultra-high-altitude balloon capsule. On the way down he would go supersonic and set numerous records, most significantly the highest-altitude human jump (128,100 feet).
To mark the anniversary, the Stratos folks have just released a well-done information-visualization of his feat, featuring for the first time Felix’s own actual view of the jump – a nicely arranged combination of synchronized views as he hurtled to earth captured by three cameras mounted on Felix’s space-suit, including his helmet cam. You’ll also see gauges noting his Altitude, Airspeed, G-Force, and “Biomed” (heart rate, breath rate).
A couple of datapoints which stood out for me: After his ledge salute and headfirst dive, Felix goes from zero to 100 mph in 4.4 seconds, hitting Mach 1 (or 689 mph) in just 33.2 seconds. It’s also fascinating to watch his heart rate, which (exemplifying his astronaut coolness under pressure) actually decreases from 181 bpm at jump to around 163 bpm as he quickly adjusts; it then rises and falls as he encounters and then controls a severe spin.
His chute deploys about halfway into this nine-minute video, but watching to the end is worth it as he masterfully glides to earth, landing in a suave trot on his feet. Enjoy this look back at a universal Superman.
Filed under: innovation, Technology | Tagged: altitude, awesome, Felix Baumgartner, infoviz, jump, Red Bull, space, Stratos | 5 Comments »
Posted on April 30, 2009 by lewisshepherd
When I was nine years old, I spent the early summer of 1969 doing two amateurish things: playing baseball with neighborhood pals on a red-clay diamond set among the tobacco fields of western North Carolina, and building a 1:100 scale three-foot-tall model of the Saturn 5 rocket topped by the Apollo capsule. I was pretty excited that I finished the model before the July Apollo XI mission took place, and I watched with a knowing eye as Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins sat atop the rocket and “lit the candle.”
Filed under: innovation, Technology | Tagged: Apollo XI, astronauts, hobbies, hobby, lunar, Maryland, moon, NASA, North Carolina, Popular Mechanics, rocket, rocketry, rockets, Saturn 5, space, Steve Eves | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 7, 2008 by lewisshepherd
Fact: Gartner is taking the same approach they often critique with their normally-solid “Hype Cycle” reports – arguing that “a little cloud hype” is beneficial if it “captures the imaginations of a broader audience of decision makers.”
Analysis: With their annual “Hype Cycle” reports, Gartner usually does a solid job of tracking over-optimistic assessments of the “latest and greatest” in technology and calling out overly hyped “hot new tech” and providing realistic assessments of the projected future of trends in software, hardware, and business processes.
Sometimes, Gartner slips up, and falls prey to the error they ascribe to others. That’s the only interpretation I can make on a curious blog posting on an official Gartner blog designed to promote their new book “Mastering the Hype Cycle: Choosing the Right Innovation at the Right Time.” Mark Raskino, the book’s co-author with longtime analyst Jackie Fenn, argues that “We have to simplify the business proposition behind this ‘big shift’, explain it well and socialize it deeply to convince non-tech business leaders to buy-in.”
Mr. Raskino makes clear that he wants to babytalk these business-side executives into believing “a little cloud hype” because, in his words, IT leaders and CIOs “need help explaining the fundamental change.”
Filed under: Technology | Tagged: analysis, analysts, astronaut, aviation, book, books, business processes, buzz, Charles Simonyi, cloud, cloud computing, computer programming, computer programs, computers, consultant, consultants, consulting, cosmonaut, gartner, hardware, Harvard Business Press, hype, hype cycle, innovation, Jackie Fenn, Mark Raskino, marketing, Martha Stewart, Microsoft, PARC, PR, programmers, programming, software, space, space tourism, tech, Technology, Xerox, Xerox PARC | 4 Comments »
Posted on September 9, 2008 by lewisshepherd
Just a quick note between conflicting conference sessions in different locations around the DC Beltway, to note that WIRED’s premier national-security blogger Noah Schactman may have just cracked the code – or at least “a” code – on where the ongoing dispute over “control of cyber” is heading in national security circles, in his latest DangerRoom post (“Air Force Cyber Command Could Return, with Nukes“).
The dispute has been reported lightly, in places like the NextGov blog (“The Cyber Command Power Play?”), and usually boils down to a perceived battle between the U.S. Air Force and the nation’s Intelligence Community, over control of the increasingly central issue of cyber offense and cyber defense.
Filed under: Technology | Tagged: Air Force, Alien, blog, blogging, CTO, cyber, cyber defense, DangerRoom, Defense Department, DoD, IC, Intelligence, Intelligence Community, James Cartwright, Jason Bacheler, JCS, LinkedIn, Marines, media, military, news, NextGov, Noah Schactman, Pentagon, Popular Mechanics, space, STRATCOM, Strategic Command, Twitter, USAF, USMC, Wired | 2 Comments »