Category Archives: Technology and Society

In-Air WiFi

Looks like it’s finally coming. I’m not sure that this is the ultimate technical solution, though. 1.5 Mbs won’t go very far with a plane full of browsing passengers, and it won’t work for international flights over the oceans. Ultimately, they’ll have to find a satellite solution, with more bandwidth.

Electric Roadster

Tesla Motors, the electric high-end sports car maker brought to you by SpaceX rocket man, Elon Musk, is sold out for one year. They are calling their August 2008 deliveries still the 2008 model year Roadster, but they have customers who have put $30,000 down instead of the usual $50,000 for the $100,000 car for deliveries through 4Q08. That’s somewhere between 25% and 50% of their academic year 08-09 production.

I wanted to buy one except for
1) “No, we don’t take trade-ins at this time”
2) No financing on the down payment until delivery (although it is refundable until about 3 months before delivery)
3) The Lotus Elise frame won’t really accommodate someone who’s 6’1″ without taking off the roof to get through the door. Maybe if I lose a second 20 pounds, I’ll try again.

I look forward to their next offering and I hope it has a slightly bigger cockpit. Other than to support Elon Musk, I want one because they are novel. That I’ll be burning cheap coal as opposed to expensive oil is a nice way to subsidize my taste for novelty.

Continue reading Electric Roadster

Continue forward

Some of us think of space heroes as only those who strap themselves into a rocketship. But people like these, who give their sweat and lives to build those ships, who take their families out to live in the desert and work incredible hours on tedious tasks to make those rockets fly, and who do so because they share the dream of an open frontier in space, they too are true heroes.

Rick Tumlinson in Space Frontier Foundation press release