Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017 - inside the science of the rare event

Scientists are able to observe layers of the Sun's atmosphere during a solar eclipse that they cannot image otherwise.The corona,the outermost layer of the Sun,is a halo of gas streaming out from the Sun's surface in plumes and loops.Eclipse observing will help to solve the question of why the corona is hotter than the Sun's surface.Remember that it is cooler the farther away you get from a stove;that is not the case with the Sun,where the opposite is occurring.The photosphere surface of the Sun that emits sunlight is an average of 5500 degrees Centigrade;but the corona above it is up to millions of degrees C.Studying the corona during an eclipse and measuring how quickly the coronal gas oscillates can help distinguish between the general classes of ideas about this problem or perhaps ascertain that both processes are occurring:
1.The nanoflame hypothesis is a model that suggests that millions of tiny explosions could combine to heat up the corona.Millions of the flares going off per second ,each with a billionth as much energy as a large flare,would keep the corona broiling hot.
2.Magnetic or Alfven waves propagate through coronal loops,interacting with one another and dissipating some of their energy,either in the lower ends of the loop or throughout the corona.*
Rapid readouts with Charge-Coupled Devices,or CCDs,on ground-based telescopes will capture images several times per second-much faster than space telescopes can.*
NASA is funding 11 proposals:six for coronal studies and five for the response of Earth's atmosphere to dramatic eclipse cooling.A variety of observations from ground and space will provide the most comprehensive study ever made of the infrared corona,its spectrum and its polarisation.*
Combining ground-based observations with those from satellites in the visible,UV,X-ray and radio parts of the spectrum will provide the most complete view of the solar atmosphere ever obtained.*
A small group of scientists will use the small pixels and precise calibration of CCD detectors to test Einstein's theory of relativity by looking for evidence that the Sun's mass is bending the light of distant stars behind it,an effect caused by the relativistic warping of space-time.
First,the telescopes will be calibrated by measuring several nighttime star images.Because of the ESA's newly-released catalog of star positions,we know their positions with very high precision,so we can look for any deflections caused by the Sun more easily,with fewer calibrations of the telescopes.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Indirect Investing in Cryptocurrencies - a path for cautious investors

There are a number of companies who have included cryptocurrencies,aka digital currencies,such as Bitcoin and Ether in their operations in one way or another.Buying stocks of these companies,therefore,is a way for more conservative investors to participate in the cryptocurrency sector as a part of their portfolios.After all,cryptocurrencies are only one aspect of these businesses,and by no means the only thing they have going for them.*
First of all,companies such as Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia are manufacturing graphics cards,or GPUs,that speculators need for discovering currency mining algorithms.These are especially powerful cards,not the general GPUs.*
Online video gaming firm Zynga was an early adopter of Bitcoin transactions.The company had a good Q1 2017 and its stock price had appreciated 44% year to date as of late June.The fact that Zynga accepts Bitcoin makes it an attractive place to play games for the growing crowd of digital currency owners.*
Paypal has formed partnerships with three Bitcoin-based service providers.More and more people want to transact in Bitcoin,so Paypal has positioned itself to help them do just that.*
ARK Web X.O ETF invests primarily in innovative technology firms.The Bitcoin Investment Trust is its largest holding,at 8.8% of its portfolio as of March 2017.Other holdings in the etf include such firms as AthenaHealth,Amazon,Tesla,Netflix,Alphabet (Google) and Facebook.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD),ARK Web X.O ETF (NYSEArca:ARKW),Nvidia Inc (NVID),Paypal Holdings Inc (PYPL),Zynga Inc (ZNGA)

Here's Why A BitcoinIRA Is Enticing Some To Risk Their Savings | CNBC

Companies Across The Board Benefit From Cryptocurrency | CNBC

Monday, July 3, 2017

GM's Super Cruise Technology Coming This Autumn

This fall,General Motors is introducing its Super Cruise (TM) technology on the Cadillac G6.It will only be available on the G6.The company has no comment on future plans for the system.*
The point of Super Cruise is to allow you to safely relax or lightly multitask as long as you keep your eyes on the road.The car's sensors and navigation system will keep you in your chosen lane and prevent you from striking other cars.
The technology is for highway use only.You cannot sleep,watch videos and so on.It isn't perfect,but is intended as a good first mass market step in this technology,which is believed to be the next big thing in the auto industry.
With Super Cruise,you could eat,adjust your audio system,rear view mirror,etc.As long as you don't look away for too long in relation to your speed,the car will keep running.
If you look away for too long,the vehicle will warn you with a red light on the steering wheel and then a seat vibration.If you still don't respond,it will safely get the vehicle off the road and bring it to a stop.*
General Motors (GM)

Cadillac Super Cruise™

General Motors Launching 'Super Cruise Control' Technology For Hands-Fre...

Monday, June 12, 2017

Part 2 of the BBC Music Magazine Recording of the Year - Tchaikovsky - Symphony No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 17 "Little Russian": II. Andantino marzia...

GE Chief Jeff Immelt Resigns - major investor sought sea change

Jeff Immelt,who led General Electric through some tumultuous years after the celebrated Jack Welch retired,has turned over the reigns of the multinational conglomerate to John Flannery,President and CEO of the GE Health Care subsidiary.Mr.Immelt was faulted by investors for the company's lackluster share price;indeed,it was down about 12% on the year as of close of trading on Friday.
Mr.Flannery said:
I am privileged to have spent the last 16 years at the company working for Jeff,one of the greatest business leaders of our time.*
Mr.Flannery,who takes over on 1 August,also promised to assess the company's condition.He was credited with the turnaround of GE Health Care,increasing organic revenue by five percent in 2016.*
Mr.Immelt was well-liked by his fellow CEOs,including Jamie Dimon of Chase;Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs;and Jack Welch,his predecessor.As for GE itself,it stated that:
Immelt's vision has positioned GE for the future and greatly strengthened the GE culture.
Lead independent director Jack Brennan added that:
During this time of dynamic global markets and relentless focus on technical and operational excellence,there is no better person to lead GE than John Flannery.He brings unique experience and a broad skill set to the job.*
Jeff Immelt,who took charge immediately before the 9-11 attacks,saw the company through the years of the Afghan and Iraq Wars,as well as the Financial Crisis.He slimmed GE Finance down and jettisoned GE Appliances;while at the same time purchasing France's Alstom Power and establishing GE Software.This wasn't quite enough for one of the firm's biggest investors,billionaire Nelson Pelz,whose Trian Capital bought a one percent stake in GE in 2015.Trian pushed GE to reduce costs and boost profitability.*
The company's shares rose 3.67% to 28.97 as of 12:36 pm.*
General Electric (GE)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

US Air Force CSAR Pave Hawk Successor Reaches Critical Design Review - Rotor & Wing

US Air Force CSAR Pave Hawk Successor Reaches Critical Design Review - Rotor & Wing: Sikorsky’s HH-60W can now prepare for assembly, test and evaluation, Lockheed Martin said. The U.S. Air Force Combat Rescue Helicopter (CRH) project has successfully reached air vehicle critical design review. “This milestone is an important achievement and demonstrates Sikorsky and the Air Force are well aligned on the technical requirements of the HH-60W,” said Tim …

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Restless Ford Motor Picks New Leader

Ford Motor Company,prodded by anxious shareholders,who have seen rival Tesla Motors overtake Ford in market cap recently,has chosen insider Jim Hackett to replace longtime Ford executive Mark Fields.Ford's executive chairman,Bill Ford,great grandson of company founder Henry Ford,denied that Fields had been fired.They simply sat down together and decided it was time for new leadership,Mr.Ford said.
Mr.Fields had replaced the retiring Alan Mulally,who was credited with shepherding Ford through the Financial Crisis.*
Mr.Hackett,a Ford board member,had been serving as Chairman of Ford Smart Mobility,the unit charged with crafting Ford's response to a changing transportation sector rapidly altered by firms such as Uber,Lyft and Google.Mr.Fields had been CEO for only three years and kept the company profitable,although its core auto manufacturing business has shown lackluster results as of late.*
In a previous position as CEO of office furniture maker Steelcase,Mr.Hackett shifted the company from cubicles to the rising open office format.From 2014-2016,he was interim athletic director at the University of Michigan,bringing on NFL coach Jim Harbaugh and hence restoring Michigan football to competitiveness.Bill Ford noted that:
These are really unprecedented times,and it really requires transformational leadership during these times.*
Ford's first electric SUV won't be ready till 2020.*
Ford Motor Company (F)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Alaska's New Treasure Trove - massive oil reserves

Alaska residents get a percentage of each year's oil revenue in the form of an annual check from the state government,so those checks could be noticeably larger in the years ahead,in light of recent energy discoveries in the 50th state.For one,the Caelus field,off Alaska's North coast,was declared in October 2016 by Caelus Energy Alaska to have the potential of providing 200,000 bbl a day for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline,which has seen a 37% decrease over the past decade.What is more,it is a light sweet crude reserve.This type of oil is in high demand because it is easier to pump and extract-and it makes up only 30% of the world's reserves.*
Oil and gas comprise 90% of Alaska's revenue,but the Trans-Alaska Pipeline is three-quarters empty,said Alaska Governor Bill Walker.This should be remedied by such finds as that by Spanish firm Repsol and its partner Armstrong Energy.Their onshore Nanushuk play could hold up to 3.76 billon bbl,according to an independent assessment.Repsol gives a conservative 1.2 billion barrel estimate for the entire complex.Geologists say it is in a long-overlooked,shallow formation.Senator Dan Sullivan,R-Alaska,said:
This announcement,with the state working together as a partner with Congress;the new administration;and the private sector,could usher in a new renaissance of economic growth and job creation in Alaska.*
Indeed,ConocoPhillips has also made a discovery in the same National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska that could yield up to 100,000 bbl a day.*
ConocoPhillips Inc (COP),Repsol SA (ADR):(REPYY)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Renewables Momentum:Duke Energy Augments California Solar Holdings

Judging by Duke Energy Corporation's recent actions in California,the time for solar is definitely now.In late December,the company purchased three more projects totaling 55 megawatts from SunPower Corp in Kern County:the 20 megawatt Rio Bravo I;the20 megawatt Rio Bravo II;and the 15 megawatt Wildwood II solar farms.All are in service now under 20-year contracts with Southern California Edison.*
As we continue to grow our footprint in the state,said Duke Energy Renewables and Distributed Energy Technology's president,Rob Caldwell,we're pleased to provide cost-efficient,sustainable power systems that contribute to California's leadership in renewable energy.*
Duke has 55 solar power plants in nine states.It also owns and operates wind farms,coal-fired,natural gas,oil,hydroelectric and nuclear power plants and is developing its interest in a biomass plant.*
Duke Energy Corp (DUK)