Tag: technology

Bezos sells $1 bn in Amazon stock yearly to pay for Blue Origin

Bezos sells $1 bn in Amazon stock yearly to pay for Blue Origin

Yesterday, Billionaire entrepreneur Jeff Bezos introduced the Blue Origin capsule to the press corps.

Speaking Wednesday at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Bezos vowed to lower the cost of space travel and start taking customers to space by next year. Jeff Bezos said he is selling $1 billion in stock of his retail giant Amazon each year to finance his rocket company, Blue Origin, which aims to carry tourists to space by 2018.

The entrepreneur did not say how much a ticket would cost, as he showed off the New Shepard rocket and a mock-up of the large-windowed capsule that tourists will one day ride to suborbital space — just past the Karman Line some 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth — and back.

Bezos did say that the next-generation New Glenn rocket, which would be powerful enough to reach orbit and is expected to start flying satellites by 2020, is expected to cost $2.5 billion to develop.

Bezos did say that the next-generation New Glenn rocket, which would be powerful enough to reach orbit and is expected to start flying satellites by 2020, is expected to cost $2.5 billion to develop.

“My business model right now for Blue Origin is that I sell about $1 billion a year of Amazon stock and I use it to invest in Blue Origin,” he said.

“It’s very important that Blue Origin stand on its own feet and be a profitable, sustainable enterprise. That’s how real progress gets made.”

Bezos, a lifelong space enthusiast, founded Blue Origin in 2000.

DCNS’s Scorpene Data Leak and Future of Indian Submarine Fleet

DCNS’s Scorpene Data Leak and Future of Indian Submarine Fleet

File photo of Malaysia’s first submarine, “KD Tunku Abdul Rahman”, a Scorpene-class diesel-electric submarine. © Bazuki Muhammad Sourced from WikiMedia

A massive leak of documents on India’s new military submarines from French shipbuilder DCNS is the result of a hack, the country’s defence minister said on Wednesday.

Manohar Parrikar claimed, according to local reports, that the entire designs of its Scorpene submarines hadn’t been disclosed. “First step is to identify if its related to us, and anyway its not all 100 percent leak,” he was quoted as saying.

A DCNS spokesperson told Ars: “DCNS has been made aware of articles published in the Australian press related to the leakage of sensitive data about Indian Scorpene. This serious matter is thoroughly investigated by the proper French national authorities for defence security. This investigation will determine the exact nature of the leaked documents, the potential damages to DCNS customers as well as the responsibilities for this leakage.”

French naval contractor DCNS said on Wednesday it may have been the victim of “economic warfare” after secrets about its Scorpene submarines being built in India were leaked.

India opened an investigation after The Australian newspaper published documents relating to the submarine’s combat capabilities, raising concerns over another major contract with Australia.

The leak contains more than 22,000 pages outlining the details of six submarines that DCNS has designed for the Indian Navy. This has been touted as Snowden-Sized, especially so as India, Malyasis, Chile, Norway, Poland and several other nations are either in the process of acquiring or final bids for the submarines.

Even as DCNS says it may have been a victim of an economic warfare, it had already spilled into the strategic warfare realm. The leak describes in detail vital features of six Scorpene-class submarines that the French state-owned shipbuilding company DCNS designed for the Indian Navy, according to the Australian – which published a number of redacted documents on its website.

It could become an intelligence gold mine for India’s rivals such as Pakistan or China, given the potential use of the data to detect, identify and destroy the French-built submarines in wartime.

With the Scorpene  planned to be the backbone of the Indian Submarine fleet, it is high-time Mr.Manohar Parrikar started concentrating on Defense of the nation rather than meddling with wannabe super stars and eCommerce companies for promulgating Hindutuva ideologies.

Also, at this juncture, India should just limit its exposure to 1-2 submarines that are undergoing production and terminate the reminder of the contract. This will give the much needed budget for buying/leasing some of Project 941 (NATO RN : Akula)  from Russia or even Dolphin Class subs from HDW Germany.




Organisers of Brazil Protest use Analytics to Measure Attendance

Organisers of Brazil Protest use Analytics to Measure Attendance

Organizers of yesterday’s massive demonstration in São Paulo against the Brazilian government have employed an analytics tool to get accurate attendance data.

Opposition group Movimento Brasil Livre (MBL) was offered the technology by Israeli startup StoreSmarts for free through its Brazilian distributor SmartLok in exchange for the marketing exposure linked to the anti-government demo.


The technology used in the protest is all readily available and is in use for atleast 3 years now. Its is a combination of portable router and an application that is usually employed by retailers to monitor, analyze and provide insights on shopper behavior by detecting WiFi signals from mobile devices in a designated area.

In order to estimate the amount of people in any given area, the system only takes smartphones into account while ignoring other WiFi signals from devices such as laptops or routers. The calculations are carried out in real-time, so the system can also provide insight on its web dashboard into the peak hours of the protests.

By calculating the device’s receiver signal strength indication (RSSI), the system can also tell how long the smartphone – and therefore its owner – spent in the area that is being mapped. However, the system does not track or store data on individual users.

Typically, protest organizers in Brazil or their comrades across the world have to rely on data provided by the local authorities and large media organisations to get accurate insights on attendance. These media organisations themselves rely on local bodies. Those numbers are often believed to be inaccurate for political reasons – the StoreSmarts system suggests that 1.4 million people attended yesterday’s demonstration, a number that matches what has been provided by the local police.

When asked why it is interesting to provide the technology free of charge, the startup founder says that his Brazilian partner has been piloting StoreSmarts’ analytics tool with some retailers in São Paulo – so getting the extra attention is helpful.

“We believe in taking data driven decisions, whether it’s politics or retail. The exposure we get by supporting such requests is very important for us and our partner, as we see Brazil as a very important market,” Eliyahu says.