37. Airbus Hydrogen Pod Plane, Amazon & Apple in the Auto Industry, The KFConsole
37. Airbus Hydrogen Pod Plane, Amazon & Apple in the Auto Industry, The KFConsole
Recorded on Dec. 27th 2020
Alien Hunters Discover Mysterious Signal from Proxima Centauri | Scientific American (02:38)
- A narrowband signal coming from the closest star system to us, Proxima Centauri (4.2 light-years away), has been detected by a $100 million project called Breakthrough Listen. The whole goal of the project when started up in 2015 was to buy observing time on radio telescopes around the world to search the skies for evidence of technological civilizations.
- A team had been using the Parkes radio telescope in Australia to study Proxima Centauri for signs of flares coming from the red dwarf star when they detected this narrowband signal. The band occupies the 982 megahertz spectrum, which is a region typical of human-made satellites and spacecraft.
- Currently from our understanding of the Proxima system, it holds at least two worlds. Proxima-B & Proxima-C.
- B: In the habitable zone, with an 11 day orbit (that’s a quick year!)
- C: 7x Earth Size, and has a 5.2 year orbit. Seems like it would be very cold!
- Because a lot of data is collected by this project, it was not sifted through until 6 months after the data was received. Additionally, the task was given to an Intern of the team!
- What is interesting about this discovery is that the telescope does something called “nodding,” which means it will direct its focus away from the target ever so often and then return to the target. This is to ensure the signal is coming from the target. While reviewing the data, the researchers saw that the signal would return every time the telescope focused back on the target.
- More research needs to be done to determine if it was not an Earth-based signal causing interference in the detection process. Or determine if it is a natural explanation of the process, such as an unknown plasma physics trait.
- “[F]or the moment, the only source that we know of is technological,” according to the researchers. However, every member of the project consistently insists that this signal is most likely Earth-based interference.
- “And when I say most likely, it’s like 99.9 [percent],” stated Pete Worden, executive director of the Breakthrough Initiatives. (So you’re saying there’s a chance!)
Airbus reveals hydrogen ‘plane pods’ concept | Euractive (10:16)
- In September, Airbus said it aimed to develop a commercial airliner by 2035 that can be fuelled by hydrogen, potentially unlocking the prospect of zero-emission air travel
- On Thursday, Dec. 17th, Airbus “released three concepts: a propeller-driven regional aircraft, a short-to-medium-haul airliner and a radical ‘blended-wing’ aircraft.”
- They will decide on which concept to focus on by 2025.
- In the presentation given, they provided more detail on the propeller concept of the plane where it would be “powered by three ‘pods’ on each wing. Those self-contained units would include all of the liquid hydrogen, fuel cells, propeller blades and electronics needed to lift the aircraft.”
- Airbus aims to design the pods so that they can be assembled, installed, removed and disassembled in record time. Which would make it easier for refueling since right now aircraft infrastructure is not equipped yet for the hydrogen refueling process.
- Hydrogen-flight is basically a completely new technology for aviation, which is going to make the development costs substantial.
- A patent application for the pod concept will be filed this month and Airbus said in a statement that the idea has been in the works since 2018, suggesting that its attempts to build hydrogen aircraft is more than a PR exercise.
- Question I have, if you replace all carbon emitted planes with water vapor planes would that have an effect on the environment?
- According to an EU study on the non-CO2 impacts of aviation, non-CO2 emissions from planes such as oxides of nitrogen (NOx), soot particles, sulphate aerosols, and water vapour at high altitude together drive significant global heating.
- In an article published by NASA back in 2008, water vapor has a heat-amplifying effect and is potent enough to double the climate warming once in the atmosphere.
- Airbus has suggested that it will be able to collect the H2O produced by fuel cells as part of its airframe designs.
Amazon Zoox unveils self-driving robotaxi | CNBC (17:05)
- Amazon’s Zoox unveiled its self-driving robotaxi on Dec 14th.
- It’s a ‘carriage-style car, which means that passengers face each other like in some train cars, and there will be no driver/passenger seat due to the fact that there is no steering wheel.
- How does this differ from all the other self-driving cars competing in this market place?
- The car is bidirectional, meaning it can change directions without having to reverse and turn. This thing will be amazing in small spaces!
- Plethora of cameras & sensors mounted on the 4 corners of the car. Providing a 270-degree view and eliminating the normal blind-spots that accompany a car.
- The car can travel up to 75 miles per hour and can run up to 16 hours on a single charge. According to the company, it is “the first in the industry to showcase a driving, purpose-built robotaxi capable of operating up to 75 miles per hour”
- Zoox is currently testing in 3 different areas: Las Vegas, Nevada; Foster City, California; and San Francisco, California.
- “While our vehicle is not ready for commercial use yet, this marks a key milestone towards our vision of building an autonomous robotaxi fleet and ride-hailing service,” the company told CNBC in a statement.
Exclusive: Apple targets car production by 2024 and eyes ‘next level’ battery technology – sources | Reuters (22:03)
- People “familiar with the matter” told Reuters.
- Project Titan, Apple’s automotive R&D effort, started back in 2014 with what seemed like a dead end for the project causing Apple to reassess the their goals
- Since a series of layoffs in 2019, the project has progressed enough that Apple feels confident enough that it is aiming to build a vehicle for consumers.
- According to “two people familiar with the effort”
- Apple’s new battery design is central to their operations, since it could dramatically reduce the cost of battery and boost the vehicle’s range.
- According to “a third person who has seen Apple’s battery design.”
- Making a new car brand entirely would be a heavy supply chain endeavor. It took Tesla roughly 17 years to turn a profit on their cars.
- Apple could reduce the scope of the project to a more car integrated autonomous driving system rather than producing and selling their own branded cars.
- Twitter response by @GregLBean which made me crack up: “Slight issue: apparently will only work on Apple roads, need Apple electricity, can only be serviced at Apple stations. Otherwise, a great product.”
KFC has created a console that’s more powerful than the PS5 and has a built-in ‘chicken chamber’ to keep your meal warm | Business Insider (26:55)
- The fast food chain KFC, created a new high-end gaming console that comes with a built-in “chicken chamber”, which will keep your chicken warm.
- Finger Licking Good Gaming!
- First the Bud Light Console (Episode 32), and now this! What a crazy year!
- KFC teamed up with Cooler Master, a computer hardware manufacturer based in Taiwan, to create the “KFConsole”
- Essentially just a high-end gaming PC with parts made by Intel, Asus, and Seagate.
- According to KFC it is a powerful console stating that it can run games at 4K resolution at 240 frames per second.
- Something the PS5 & Xbox Series X can’t manage
- According to the console’s website, it can run VR games, and has two 1TB SSDs.
- The main feature, the chicken chamber:
- Cooling system transfers heat produced by the console to the chamber, which keeps the hardware cool and the chicken warm.
- The cost and release date of the KFConsole haven’t yet been announced.
- In a little fun jab, Mark Cheevers, the public-relations and social-media lead at KFC UK and Ireland stated, “If Sony or Microsoft want any tips on how to engineer a chicken chamber for their efforts next time, they’d be welcome to get in touch.”
- Twitter user @lookingfortheto had a funny point in response to the KFConsole announcement: “I could see it work. Make a console that overheats…use the heat to cook stuff. You can even promote overheating as a feature instead of a bug. Big brain.”
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