Turbotodd

Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for the ‘elon musk’ Category

To Mars and Augusta and Back

leave a comment »

SXSW Interactive kicked into high gear over the weekend here in Austin. I won’t be in attendance this year, but Elon Musk made some news over the weekend by suggesting that SpaceX is on track to send his Mars-intended rocket on short trips by 2019.

The target for a cargo mission was 2022.

In a report  from CNBC, Musk also elaborated about what was needed to get things going on the Red Planet: “Mars will need Glass domes, a power station, and an assortment of basic living fundamentals.”

One would presume those fundamentals include at least 2-3 Tesla Model 3s.

‘Cause, you know, you gotta tool around Mars in style.

Back here on planet Earth, a longtime unicorn may very well finally be going public. Dropbox filed an updated IPO prospectus indicating it planned to sell 36 million shares between $16 and $18 a share, according to a report from The New York Times. 

The company is expected to start trading on the Nasdaq next week under the ticker symbol “DBX.”

Finally, golf fans everywhere were treated to a real treat at this weekend’s Valspar Championship.

Tiger Woods was back in contention at a PGA Tour event. He hadn’t won a tournament since 2013, and he still hasn’t. 

But his play on the tough Innisbruck Copperhead Course, home of the golf snakebite, was in top form and he ended up tied for second. Englishman Paul Casey won the tournament, garnering only his second win on the PGA Tour and his first since 2009. Congrats!

So, there were cinderella redux stories all around, and The Masters is only a few weeks away. Might Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods be ready to set the pace once again at Augusta National?

A final round pairing of those two at The National?…well, a fella can always dream.

Written by turbotodd

March 12, 2018 at 9:42 am

Made on Earth by Humans

leave a comment »

How about that launch by SpaceX yesterday afternoon of the Falcon Heavy rocket?

If you didn’t see that Webcast, it’s well worth checking out.

According to SpaceX’s website, the Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful operational rocket in the world by a factor of two, with the ability to lift into orbit nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lbs!). That’s a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage, and fuel.

Furthermore, Falcon Heavy can lift more than twice the payload of the next closest operational vehicle, the Delta IV Heavy, at one-third the cost.

In space, your mileage may vary (especially flying Elon Musk’s personal Tesla, which was, in this case, the primary payload — that, and an endless loop of David Bowie’s "Life on Mars.")

It was also quite something to see the two side boosters re-enter the earth’s atmosphere, fire up their re-entry burn, then plop down and land safely back on their pads at Cape Canaveral, ready to be re-purposed for future use.

Elon Musk did a TV interview this AM, in which he explained his greatest fear yesterday was seeing a big explosion on the launchpad, only to then see a tire rolling down the road with the word "Tesla" on the side.

Those fears have been put to rest, at least for this inaugural launch.

As for the upper stage, it will (hopefully) move through the Van Allen belts and, if it continues to operate as planned, will do another engine burn before heading into deep space on a Mars orbit.

And just in case Falcon Heavy meets any extraterrestrials or Martians on the way, he put a simple message on a circuit board:

"Made on the earth by humans."

Some really smart and inspiring ones.

Written by turbotodd

February 7, 2018 at 8:24 am

Posted in 2018, elon musk, space

Tagged with , ,

A Stock Picking Machine

leave a comment »

If you’re looking for a little AI-related news, yesterday didn’t disappoint.

The New York Times reported that the largest fund company in the world, BlackRock, will be throwing a counterpunch against all those little pesky computer-driven funds that have sprouted up over the past several years.

Founder Laurence D. Fink, founder and CEO of BlackRock, “has cast his lot with the machines,” wrote the Times.

Meaning what, exactly?

BlackRock has laid out a plan to consolidate a large number of actively managed (read: by humans) mutual funds with peers that rely more on algorithms and models to pick stocks.

“The democratization of information has made it much harder for active management,” Mr. Fink said in an interview. “We have to change the ecosystem — that means relying more on big data, artificial intelligence, factors and models within quant and traditional investment strategies.”
– via www.nytimes.com

 

With Paul Bunyan, it was Man v. Machine…with the stock pickers, it’s the “quants” vs. the bots.

And oh, the sweet, sweet irony, to re-visit now last week’s comments from former Goldman Sachs banker and now Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, who, when asked about the arrival of impactful artificial intelligence, suggested it was 50 to 100 years out.

Uh, how about next week, Mr. Secretary??

Oh yeah, if you want a great read about the looming possibilities and threats of AI, look no further than Vanity Fair.

None other than Maureen Down goes deep into the AI Matrix with Elon Musk, Greg Brockman, and a host of other tech thought leaders to try and ascertain how far and how fast humanity should build out AI capabilities, and the consequences of going both too slow and too quickly.

A conundrum? Sure, but one the machines will be able to figure out in no time…if we let them.

Written by turbotodd

March 29, 2017 at 9:22 am

%d bloggers like this: