March 27, 2017

Elon Musk has gone public with his Neurolace Brain Computer interface company called Neuralink

The Wall Street Journal reports that Elon Musk has revealed that he started a brain-computer interface company called Neuralink. The company has no public presence. It will creating devices that can be implanted in the human brain for mind computer interfaces.

Biggest Dinosaur footprint found in Australia

The largest dinosaur print ever recorded: a 5-foot-9-inch print from a sauropod, or long-necked dinosaur was found in Australia. The tracks provide the first evidence that spiky tailed stegosaurs lived in the land down under.

Paleontologists create a cast of the gigantic sauropod print. (University of Queensland)

An unprecedented 21 different types of dinosaur tracks have been identified on a 25-kilometre stretch of the Dampier Peninsula coastline dubbed “Australia’s Jurassic Park”.

A team of palaeontologists from The University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences and James Cook University’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences braved sharks, crocodiles, massive tides and the threat of development to unveil the most diverse assemblage of dinosaur tracks in the world in 127 to 140 million-year-old rocks in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia.

“There are thousands of tracks around Walmadany. Of these, 150 can confidently be assigned to 21 specific track types, representing four main groups of dinosaurs, ” Dr Salisbury said.

MIT wants to build an add-on 1 MW sub-critical molten salt reactor beside their 6MW light water reactor to avoid 10 years of regulatory approvals

MIT plans a one-megawatt demonstration molten salt reactor. It would be incapable of sustaining a fission reaction on its own, the researchers believe they could avoid building a standalone experimental prototype, which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission generally requires. That site selection and licensing process can take a decade or longer, so the hope is that this approach could cost hundreds of millions of dollars less and take half as much time to build.

The university lab operates a six-megawatt light-water-cooled research reactor on the northwest side of campus, housed within a powder-blue steel and concrete containment building. The proposed “subcritical facility” would be built adjacent to the hexagonal core, taking over a pair of medical irradiation rooms once used for experimental cancer treatments.

It would be about half the size of a typical demonstration reactor and would depend on neutrons generated by the main reactor to instigate the fission chain reaction in its fuel. That means the project would probably require only an amendment to the existing permit on MIT’s reactor, which went online in 1974, says Lin-wen Hu, the principal research scientist at the lab and the proposal’s developer.

Lin-wen Hu, the principal research scientist at the MIT Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, developed the proposal for the “subcritical facility."

Ultimate photon rocket - The Planck Photon Rocket

The Ultimate Limits of the Relativistic Rocket Equation - The Planck Photon Rocket (theoretical speculation)

If you can accelerate a particle close enough to lightspeed then it collapses into a Planck blackhole and that blackhole will almost instantly evaporate into gamma rays.

A paper looks at the ultimate limits of a photon propulsion rocket. The maximum velocity for a photon propulsion rocket is just below the speed of light and is a function of the reduced Compton wavelength of the heaviest subatomic particles in the rocket. We are basically combining the relativistic rocket equation with Haug’s new insight in the maximum velocity for anything with rest mass. An interesting new finding is that in order to accelerate any sub-atomic “fundamental” particle to its maximum velocity, the particle rocket basically needs two Planck masses of initial load. This might sound illogical until one understands that subatomic particles with different masses have different maximum velocities. This can be generalized to large rockets and gives us the maximum theoretical velocity of a fully efficient and ideal rocket. Further, no additional fuel is needed to accelerate a Planck mass particle to its maximum velocity; this also might sound absurd, but it has a very simple and logical solution that is explained in this paper.

The maximum amount of fuel needed for any fully-efficient particle rocket is equal to two Planck masses. This amount of fuel will bring any subatomic particle up to its maximum velocity. At this maximum velocity the subatomic particle will itself turn into a Planck mass particle and likely will explode into energy. Interestingly, we need no fuel to accelerate a fundamental particle that has a rest-mass equal to Planck mass up to its maximum velocity. This is because the maximum velocity of a Planck mass particle is zero as observed from any reference frame. However, the Planck mass particle can only be at rest for an instant. The Planck mass particle can be seen as the very turning point of two light particles; it exists when two light particles collide. Haug's newly-introduced maximum mass velocity equation seems to be fully consistent with application to the relativistic rocket equation and it gives an important new insight into the ultimate limit of fully-efficient particle rockets.

If Tesla Model 3 hits production targets it will outsell BMW 3 series and Mercedes C class within one year

After taking in about 400,000 deposits at $1,000 a piece, Musk ramped up production plans. And then he ramped them up some more. Now, three months from the official start of production, the billionaire Tesla CEO seems to think he can not only match the performance of those top luxury brands (BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C Class), but outsell them in the U.S., too—in just one year.

For Musk to hit all of his targets, Tesla would need to build about 430,000 Model 3s by the end of next year. That’s more than all of the all-electric cars sold planet-wide last year. The rollout will begin in California and move east, focusing on U.S. reservation holders. Even if half of the Model 3 inventory shipped to other countries, 2 U.S. sales under Musk’s targets would outpace the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C class—combined.

Features of the Model 3 are being stripped down. Musk said there will only be one display—the car’s 15-inch touchscreen—with no additional gauges or heads-up-display projected at the windshield.

Musk has been making the case for the last year that the Model 3 is designed for manufacturing efficiency. Steel is used for some of the body instead of being all-aluminum. The amount of wiring used has been cut in half, from 3 kilometers worth in the Model S to 1.5 kilometers in the Model 3. There’s one screen and one computer instead of two of each in the Model S. And there are no eccentric flourishes like self-presenting door handles or falcon-wing doors.

Musk has dropped a number of hints that those features will start being available around the launch of the Model 3. In January, I asked him at what point Full Self-Driving Capability will depart from Enhanced Autopilot features. His response, via Twitter: “3 months maybe, 6 months definitely.”

Spacex launch of private citizens on a lunar orbiting mission in 2018 will use new Falcon Heavy

Last week, SpaceX announced it has been approached to fly two private citizens on a trip around the moon in 2018. According to the company, the mission will use SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, a spacecraft designed deliver to large payloads to orbit inside a composite fairing.

SpaceX says the composite payload fairing protects satellites during delivery to destinations in low Earth orbit (LEO), geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO) and beyond. The company adds that the Falcon Heavy is largely inspired by its other composite-intensive rocket, the Falcon 9, which recently completed a successful launch from the original NASA liftoff pad that first sent astronauts to the moon.

For both rockets, the use of composites extends beyond just the payload. The Falcon 9’s interstage, which connects the upper and lower stages of the rockets, is a composite structure with an aluminum honeycomb core and carbon fiber face sheets.

However, unlike the Falcon 9, SpaceX hasn’t tested the Falcon Heavy yet. According to SpaceX, Falcon Heavy is due to launch its first test flight this summer and, once successful, will be the most powerful vehicle since NASA’s Saturn V moon rocket to reach orbit. At 5 million pounds of liftoff thrust, Falcon Heavy is two-thirds the thrust of Saturn V and more than double the thrust of the next largest launch vehicle currently flying.

After the test launch of Falcon Heavy, SpaceX also plans to launch its Dragon 2 spacecraft to the International Space Station. The Dragon 2 features titanium tanks wrapped in carbon fiber composites to hold the helium used to pressurize its engines.

“This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them,” SpaceX said.

And should the 2018 moon mission prove successful, there may be more to come.

Spacex scheduled relaunch of a recovered booster is scheduled for this Thursday

SpaceX is now targeting 6 p.m. Thursday for its first re-launch of a used Falcon 9 rocket booster, a mission that aims to loft a commercial communications satellite to orbit from Kennedy Space Center.

Launch teams on Monday aimed to fuel the two-stage rocket during a practice countdown culminating in a short test-firing of nine Merlin main engines at Launch Complex 39A.

Delays completing the test over the weekend pushed a planned Wednesday launch of the SES-10 satellite back a day.

There's a 70 percent chance of acceptable weather during the window, according to the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron. The odds drop slightly to 60 percent "go" on Friday, the mission's backup launch day.

'Flight proven' SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket poised for second launch

Meanwhile, United Launch Alliance continues to troubleshoot a hydraulic issue on an Atlas V rocket's main engine, an issue that has delayed its planned launch of an Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo craft to the International Space Station.

The mission won't fly from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station until after the Falcon 9's upcoming attempts.

The first stage of the Falcon rocket being tested today launched an ISS resupply mission nearly a year ago. SpaceX landed the booster on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean and has refurbished it for a second flight — the company's first attempt to launch a used, or "flight proven," booster.

Carnival of Space 502

March 26, 2017

ASEAN should have four countries with over a trillion dollar GDP by 2030

Four ASEAN Countries will become trillion dollar economies by 2030 Southeast Asia is expected to be one of the world’s fastest growing regions, with four ASEAN nations – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand – expected to join the ranks of Asia’s group of nations that have a GDP exceeding $1 trillion by 2030. “This will help to increase the geopolitical and economic importance of ASEAN as a political and economic grouping in international diplomacy and the global dialogue on trade, investment and international standards-setting,” Biswas said.

By 2030 the ASEAN economy is predicted to eclipse Japan’s, and be the fourth largest single market after the EU, US, and China. The Asia Development Bank (ADB) predicts the size of the middle class in South East Asia will rise from 24% of the population in 2010 to 65% in 2030.

Meanwhile the ASEAN frontier markets of Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos are forecast to continue to grow rapidly. Vietnam will to grow at a pace of around 6.5 percent per year over the medium term, with rapid growth in manufacturing exports of electronics and garments driving industrial development. The new EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and the planned TPP deal will significantly boost Vietnam’s market access to the EU and US for its manufacturing exports by reducing tariff barriers substantially.

Malaysia – Asia’s Next Advanced Economy

The Malaysian economy is forecast to achieve a per capita GDP of USD 20,000 by 2025, with total GDP exceeding $1 trillion by 2030. The structure of the Malaysian economy will continue to shift towards higher value-added manufacturing and services. Strategic growth industries in the services sector will include financial services, healthcare, education, commercial aviation, tourism and the IT-BPO industry, as Malaysia becomes an increasingly important services-exporting economy for Southeast Asia.

In 2030, the population of Malaysia will reach 36.0 million, an increase of 22.6% from 2012.

Philippines – Trillion-dollar Economy by 2030

The Philippines has also shown rapid GDP growth averaging around 6 percent per year over 2011-2015, with GDP growth of 5.8 percent per year forecast over 2016-2018. “The total size of the Philippines’s economy is projected to grow from $300 billion in 2016 to $700 billion by 2025, and a $1 trillion economy by 2030,” Biswas said. “This will make the Philippines one of the leading emerging markets in Asia”.

In 2030, the population of the Philippines will reach nearly 128 million, an increase of 32.1% from 2012.

Indonesia – Trillion-dollar Economy by 2020

The Indonesian economy is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is one of the world’s largest emerging markets. Indonesian GDP forecast to grow at 5 percent per year over 2016-2020, supported by strong growth in consumer demand and infrastructure investment. By 2020, Indonesia will have already become a nation with GDP size exceeding $1 trillion, and by 2030, Indonesian GDP is projected to exceed $3.7 trillion. “This will significantly increase Indonesia’s global geopolitical influence as a leading emerging market, shaping international policymaking in global forums such as the G-20 and United Nations,” Biswas said.

One Belt, One Road initiative – Long-term growth driver

“For the Asia Pacific region, a key long-term growth driver will be China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative,” Biswas said. “This will be catalyzed by new infrastructure financing for Asian emerging markets into sectors such as power generation and transmission, railroads, ports and highways from the recently launched Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Silk Road Fund, as well as a number of Chinese bilateral infrastructure financing commitments to a number of Asian countries.”

The initiative will help to accelerate the development of many inland Chinese provinces as well as accelerating the growth of the Greater Mekong Sub-region as a new global manufacturing hub, and will benefit many countries in Southeast and Central Asia.

Justice League Trailers actually look good

The DC movies have been underwhelming other than the Dark Knight Series and a few of the Batman movies before them and the first Superman movie.

The first Justice League movie looks ok based on the trailers.

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman's (Henry Cavill) selfless act, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists newfound ally Diana Prince to face an even greater threat. Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to recruit a team to stand against this newly awakened enemy. Despite the formation of an unprecedented league of heroes -- Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and the Flash -- it may be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

The release date is November 17, 2017.

Around ten million lives per year could be saved from Sepsis using $60 treatment of intravenous Vitamin C, Vitamin B and hydrocortisone

Patients in Norfolk with severe Sepsis were treated with intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine. In 47 patients with sepsis treated in Norfolk General’s ICU, four died in 2016, an 8 percent mortality rate. Of those four, none died of sepsis but rather the conditions that led to sepsis in the first place. The previous year, 19 of 47 septic patients died, a 40 percent mortality rate. They have written up the study in the Journal Chest.

Doctor Marik wants there to be a comprehensive study, and he said that Stanford University has expressed some interest. But he said it will be difficult to fund because it uses drugs that have been on the market for decades: “We are curing it for $60. No one will make any money off it.”

Sepsis occurs in more than 1 million people a year in this country, with 28 to 50 percent dying, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The condition can stem from a variety of different ailments and has an overwhelming immune response to infection. Natural chemicals released in the body trigger widespread inflammation, which leads to blood clots and leaky vessels. That slows blood flow, damaging the organs by depriving them of nutrients and oxygen.

In the worst cases, blood pressure drops, the heart weakens and the patient goes into septic shock.

The cost to treat sepsis in the United States has been estimated at $20 billion a year in 2011.

Just as Marik pulled Vitamin C out of his bag to save the woman in January 2016, he pulls out these facts to sell his sepsis treatment to others.

He believes lives could be saved before a larger study is complete. He’s been traveling the country trying to find audiences of critical-care doctors to peddle the idea – Philadelphia, Charlottesville, Long Island, New York and, earlier this week, Seattle.

He’s gotten significant pushback from doctors who say it’s unethical to try before larger studies are done. But he responds that the use is within the limits of what the Vitamin C pharmaceutical label recommends.

“Half think it’s cool and half think this is hooey nonsense. When something is too good to be true, people don’t want to believe it.”

Carlbom said since sepsis results from a lot of different conditions, it could be that the combo could help some more than others, and might even be detrimental to particular ailments.

Dr. Marik, who was born and educated in South Africa, is hardly a lightweight in the field. He has more than two decades of critical-care experience and has authored 400 medical journal articles and four books on critical care.

Lab work also confirms the result

Marik also took the step of having a researcher examine the idea in the lab. He reached out to John Catravas, who studies and teaches on the subject of bioelectrics at Old Dominion University.

Catravas has spent years researching lung function. Of special interest are the lung’s endothelial cells, which form the linings of the blood vessels: “When you have sepsis, the endothelial cells pull away from each other and allow fluid in the lungs.”

He looked at the effect of the Vitamin C, then the steroid, then the two in combination.

It wasn’t one or the other that was doing the trick, but both, almost as though one was holding the door open for the other to do its work in reducing inflammation.

It was a laboratory finding that supported what was happening in the clinical setting, which Marik included in the CHEST publication.

Journal Chest - Hydrocortisone, Vitamin C and Thiamine for the Treatment of Severe Sepsis and Septic Shock: A Retrospective Before-After Study


The global burden of sepsis is estimated as 15 to 19 million cases annually with a mortality rate approaching 60% in low income countries.


In this retrospective before-after clinical study, we compared the outcome and clinical course of consecutive septic patients treated with intravenous vitamin C, hydrocortisone and thiamine during a 7-month period (treatment group) compared to a control group treated in our ICU during the preceding 7 months. The primary outcome was hospital survival. A propensity score was generated to adjust the primary outcome.


There were 47 patients in both treatment and control groups with no significant differences in baseline characteristics between the two groups. The hospital mortality was 8.5% (4 of 47) in the treatment group compared to 40.4% (19 of 47) in the control group. The propensity adjusted odds of mortality in the patients treated with the vitamin C protocol was 0.13. The SOFA score decreased in all patients in the treatment group with none developing progressive organ failure. Vasopressors were weaned off all patients in the treatment group, a mean of 18.3 ± 9.8 hours after starting treatment with vitamin C protocol. The mean duration of vasopressor use was 54.9 ± 28.4 hours in the control group.


Our results suggest that the early use of intravenous vitamin C, together with corticosteroids and thiamine may prove to be effective in preventing progressive organ dysfunction including acute kidney injury and reducing the mortality of patients with severe sepsis and septic shock. Additional studies are required to confirm these preliminary findings.

Will Uber mirror Yahoo, If its China Rival Didi becomes globally dominant

Uber has taken $12 billion over 15 rounds of investment, and has a reported valuation of nearly $70 billion. There have been several different leaks of Uber's financial data over the years, covering income from 2012 through Q4 2016.

Uber incoe statement numbers were from Bloomberg, The Information, Valleywag, Gawker, AllThingsD, TechCrunch, The New York Times, and Naked Capitalism.

Published financial data shows that Uber is losing more money than any startup in history and that its ability to capture customers and drivers from incumbent operators is entirely due to $2 billion in annual investor subsidies.

Net revenues reached $1.7 billion in Q4 2016.
Gross bookings were $5.4 billion last year.
Uber's costs and expenses are much more than its revenues

The Atlantic thinks that if Uber fails that it will not set off a bubble-popping chain reaction.

Didi Chuxing is the world's largest ride-sharing company. It provided transportation services for close to 400 million users across over 400 cities in China. Its headquarters is located in Beijing. It provides services including, taxi hailing, private car hailing, Hitch (social ride-sharing), DiDi Chauffeur, DiDi Bus, DiDi Test Drive, DiDi Car Rental and DiDi Enterprise Solutions to users in China via a smartphone application. Formed from the merger of rival firms Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache (backed by the two largest Chinese Internet companies, Tencent and Alibaba respectively), it was valued (as of June 2016) at approximately US$28 billion. DiDi announced that it acquired Uber's China unit on August 1, 2016. Following this acquisition, Didi Chuxing is estimated to be worth US$35 billion and it is the only company to have all of China's three Internet giants—Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu—as its investors.

Didi Chuxing completed 1.4 billion rides milestone in just 2015 alone, as well as clocking over 200 million rides in December 2016 alone (one month), making it the most dominant ride-sharing company in the world. This far surpassed Uber which completed only 1 billion rides in 6 years' time since its founding in 2009.

In mid-2016, China’s largest ride-hailing company, Didi Chuxing Technology, said it was profitable in more than half of the 400 cities in which it operates.

In 2017, Didi made an investment in 99 (formerly 99Taxis), an Uber competitor in Brazil and self-proclaimed market leader in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Didi will provide guidance and support for 99, including in "technology, product development, operations and business planning." Didi said specifically that it will share "data-driven algorithmic capabilities" too.

Uber’s sale of its Chinese business included taking a 5.89 percent stake in Didi. Didi plans to expand its service beyond China for the first time in 2017, but Zhang wouldn’t reveal where they’re headed next specifically in terms of target markets. “It’s a secret,” he said, though any launch in another country could potentially bring it back into direct competition with Uber.

A partnership with Avis announced in November will give them some kind of international presence, but definitely doesn’t represent the full scope of their ambitions outside China.

Will Didi become globally dominant ? Didi appears to be financially stronger than Uber. Will there be other smaller ride sharing services with models similar to RideAustin ?

RideAustin is a non-profit ride sharing service. It charges $2 off the top, and the driver keeps the entire fare — including tip. This isn’t a model Uber can compete with, even though rides are competitively priced. The RideAusting approach would give municipalities all the control to operate a safe and efficient service, while minimizing financial incentive and providing drivers with a stable, and competitive, income. Cities also have the ability to run the program as they see fit, including regulating the number of drivers on the road, safety and licensing requirements for said drivers, and ensuring quality of service for all those that use it.

Meituan-Dianping is China's largest food delivery app service. In Jan 2016, they raised $3.3 billion and were valued at $18 billion. They began ridesharing services recently and are competing with Didi. Didi had to go to high end rides and cut its workforce in Shanghai and Beijing.

A combined food, retail delivery, package delivery and ride sharing service could end up being the most efficient and globally dominant model.

Uber suspends self driving car program after high impact accident here another car failed to yield to Uber car

Uber is suspending its self-driving car program after one of its autonomous vehicles was involved in a high-impact crash in Tempe, Arizona, the latest incident for a company reeling from multiple crises.

one of Uber’s Volvo self-driving SUVs is pictured on its side next to another car with dents and smashed windows. An Uber spokeswoman confirmed the incident, and the veracity of the photo, and added that the ride-hailing company is suspending its autonomous tests in Arizona until it completes its investigation and pausing its Pittsburgh operations.

The Uber vehicle was not responsible for the incident and there were no injuries, Tempe police information officer Josie Montenegro told Bloomberg News. Another car failed to yield for the Uber car, causing the autonomous vehicle to flip on its side, according to the police report.

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