All content on this blog from Tim McGhee has moved to the Tim McGhee Substack, and soon, Lord willing, will be found only on that Substack.

Friday, October 26, 2018

News of Interest

Scientists discover oldest intact shipwreck in Black Sea
They found a Greek trading vessel whose design had previously been seen only on ancient pottery. The group says the vessel has been carbon dated to more than 2,400 years ago. Farr said the trading vessel has remained in good condition because the water is anoxic, meaning it's free of oxygen.

China opens world’s longest sea bridge and tunnel to connect Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland
The 34.2-mile bridge and tunnel that have been almost a decade in the making for the first time connect the semi-autonomous cities of Hong Kong and Macau to the mainland Chinese city of Zhuhai by road. The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge spans the mouth of the Pearl River and significantly cuts the commuting time between the three cities. The previously four-hour drive between Zhuhai and Hong Kong will now take 45 minutes. One section of the crossing dives underwater into a 4.2 mile tunnel that creates a channel above for large cargo ship containers to pass through.

Hubble Telescope’s Broken Gyroscope Seemingly Fixed After Engineers Try Turning It Off and On Again

North and South Korea agree to scrap 22 guard posts at border next month
It follows a military pact at a summit last month in the North Korean capital that called for a halt to “all hostile acts,” a no-fly zone near the border and the gradual removal of guard posts, firearms and landmines from the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. As an initial step, the neighbors agreed to demolish 11 guard posts within 1 km (0.6 mile) of each side of the border and withdraw equipment and personnel stationed there by the end of November, the ministry said.

1 Month to Mars! NASA's InSight Lander Nearing Red Planet Touchdown
One month from today, Mars will welcome a new robotic resident that seeks to probe the planet's innards. NASA's InSight lander is scheduled to touch down just north of the Martian equator on the afternoon of Nov. 26, bringing a nearly seven-month space trek to an end. InSight launched, along with the two tiny Mars Cube One (MarCO) cubesats, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base on May 5. The lander totes a burrowing heat probe and a suite of superprecise seismometers; observations by both instruments should reveal a great deal about the Red Planet's internal structure and composition, mission team members have said. In addition, InSight (whose name is short for "Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport") will perform a radio-science experiment using its communications gear. This work will track the tiny wobbles of Mars' rotational axis, revealing details about the size and composition of the planet's core.

Twitter is now consistently profitable
It took more than a decade, but Twitter just turned a profit for the fourth quarter in a row.

The deal, which according to some reports is worth a combined $11 billion, would include a fleet of F-15IA (IA is an acronym for Israel Advanced) fighter jets, Chinook transport helicopters along with V-22 tilt-rotor aircraft as well as the KC-46 aerial refueling tankers. “Israel is a critically important market for Boeing and is a key source for state-of-the-art technology,” said Gene Cunningham, vice president, Global Sales for Defense, Space and Security, at Boeing International.

You can ascribe no value to Tesla’s current businesses. You can think of the company as a self-funding AI lab, with vehicle sales just a convenient way to get robots on the road. 

I suspect a large part of the blame comes down to Microsoft's overreliance on one of the greatest management principles of the last half-century or so: "What gets measured gets done." That's certainly a good guiding principle for any organization, but it also leads to a trap for any manager who doesn't also consider what's not being measured.

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