Now blogging at diego's weblog. See you over there!

the russian space program wakes up

From CNN: Russia to build new spacecraft:

The new craft will be able to carry at least six cosmonauts and have a reusable crew section, Russian Aerospace Agency director Yuri Koptev said at a news conference. Soyuz carries three cosmonauts and isn't reusable.

The spacecraft, designed by the RKK Energiya company, will have a takeoff weight of 12-14 metric tons (13-15 tons) -- about twice as much as the Soyuz, which was developed in the late 1960s.

Energiya has also proposed developing a new booster rocket based on its Soyuz booster to carry the new spacecraft to orbit.

Koptev wouldn't say how long it could take to build the spacecraft or how much it would cost, but said that Energiya had done a lot of work on the new vehicle already.

I'll forget about the political implications for the moment (a new cold-war style space race?) and just be happy that things seem to be moving again in this area. I'll say one thing though: I'm sure that this and this had a little something to do with it. :)

Categories: science
Posted by diego on February 17, 2004 at 9:47 PM

not everything that shines is made of gold...

Mobitopia

Over the last few days an interesting story has developed in the US marketplace, namely Vodafone's bid for AT&T Wireless and then Cingular's counter-bid (Cingular won today). The economist has a couple of interesting articles on it (see Who's the real winner? and Vodafone's dilemma), noting that AT&T Wireless might be less of a prize than one might think at first sight. Problems are not only related to technology integration (AT&T Wireless runs two networks, on different technologies) but also to cost and the real potential of the US market.

The technology is moving so fast that business models are also very susceptible to shifts (e.g., is it content they're selling? Bandwidth? Hosted services? A platform? All of the above?), and so making it much more risky to potentially get stuck with old-to-new rather than new-to-next generation transitions. In my view, Vodafone might have actually been lucky in losing this bidding war. It's not just subscriber numbers that count.

Plus: some good comments on the topic over at Wi-Fi Networking News.

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 17, 2004 at 5:03 PM

tim's weblog

Meet Tim McAuley (or his blog rather), the newest member of the clevercactus team. :-) (He actually starts working with us next week). When I met him a few weeks ago he was (as he mentions in his post) a bit of a skeptic regarding weblogs. Okay, maybe more than a bit. You can imagine, however, that I babbled on about the benefits of weblogs, decentralized communities, and so on, for quite a while, enough for him to consider giving it a try. Very cool.

Tim, welcome to the cat squad! :-)

Categories: clevercactus
Posted by diego on February 17, 2004 at 4:24 PM

more on demo 2004

Lots of cool announcements for Demo 2004. Big focus on weblogs and decentralized communities (which I find to be intimately linked with weblogging, in spirit at least if not in practice). As a follow up to my previous post on WaveMarket's release of location-based moblogging tool (here's Russ's own entry on the topic). Doc has a good set of pointers to what went on, but here are a couple of other things that caught my attention:

  • Feedster showed their search technology and Feedster builder, which is very cool. Congrats to Scott Johnson and the Feedster team! What they're doing with Feedster shows IMO that if the oft-maligned semantic web ever arrives it will be in the form of the gathering of information formed by decentralized self-organizing communities who provide context to infer the semantics, rather than forcing people to enter them on their own. Yes. Like weblogs are.
  • SixApart demoed a new set of moblogging tools that work both with TypePad and MovableType. Kudos as well. I must get a decent mobile phone and start playing with this new cool stuff.
If weblogging, RSS, syndication (and related technologies) didn't come of age in 2003 (which I guess some would argue, though not me), then 2004 looks like a good bet, don't you think?

Categories: technology
Posted by diego on February 17, 2004 at 4:20 PM

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