domingo, 26 de fevereiro de 2017

Here's how the F-35 stacks up to Russia and China's 5th-generation aircraft


Alex Lockie

Russian PAK FA T-50Wikipedia Commons

As the US starts to forward-deploy more of its F-35 Lightning, China and Russia have been putting the finishing touches on their own batches of fifth-generation aircraft — and they all express vastly different ideas about what the future of air combat will look like.

For the US, stealth and sophisticated networks define its vision for the future of air combat with the F-22 and F-35.

For China, the plan is to use range to take out high-value targets with the J-20.

For Russia, the PAK-FA shows that it seems to think dogfighting isn't dead.

Here's how the F-35 stacks up to the competition.

The F-35 Lightning II

An F-35B begins its short takeoff from the USS America with an external weapons load.Lockheed Martin

The US's F-35 isn't an airplane — it's three airplanes.

And it isn't a fighter — it's "flying sensor-shooters that have the ability to act as information nodes in a combat cloud universe made up of platforms, not just airborne, but also operating at sea and on land that can be networked together," retired US Air Force Lt. Gen. David Deptula told Defense & Aerospace Report in November.

In a discussion with four F-35 pilots that was also produced by Defense & Aerospace Report, a clear consensus emerged: The difference between an F-35 and an F-15 is like the difference between an iPhone and a corded wall phone. Phones of the past might have had crystal-clear call quality and the ability to conference call, but the iPhone brought with it unprecedented networking and computing capability that has changed life as we know it.

Lt. Col. David "Chip" Berke, a former F-35 squadron commander, told Business Insider that "we don't even know 50-80% of what this airplane can do," as it's awaiting final software upgrades and pilots are finding new ways to use the data link and fused sensors.

That said, the F-35 doesn't offer any significant upgrades in range, weapons payload, or dogfighting ability over legacy aircraft, while its competition does.

The Chengdu J-20

The Chengdu J-20, still mostly seen on the ground.CDD

China's Chengdu J-20 has one thing in common with the F-35 — it's not a fighter.

Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, told Business Insider that the J-20 is "not a fighter, but an interceptor and a strike aircraft" that doesn't seek to contend with US jets in air-to-air battles.

Instead, "the Chinese are recognizing they can attack critical airborne support systems like AWACS" — airborne early-warning and control systems — "and refueling planes so they can't do their job," Davis said. "If you can force the tankers back, then the F-35s and other platforms aren't sufficient because they can't reach their target."

While the Chinese certainly engaged in espionage to steal some of the US's stealth technology, they haven't quite cracked stealth integration, which US companies have been developing for 60 years.

On the J-20's stealth, a senior US low-observable-aircraft design engineer working in the industry told Business Insider that "the J-20 has many features copied from US fifth-gen aircraft; however, it's apparent from looking at many pictures of the aircraft that the designers don't fully understand all the concepts of LO" — low-observable, or stealth — "design."

The real danger of China's J-20 lies not with its ability to fight against US fighters, but with its laserlike focus on destroying the slower, unarmed planes that support US fighters with its long range and long-range missiles, thereby keeping them out of fighting range.

The J-31

China's J-31 looks a lot like the F-35, and one Chinese national has pleaded guilty to stealing confidential information about the F-35 program.

That said, the J-31 suffers from China's inferior composite-materials technology and its inability to build planes in the precise way a stealth airplane needs to be built. Additionally, there's reason to suspect the avionics in the Chinese programs significantly lag the F-35.

But the J-31, like the J-20, still poses a significant threat because China has developed long-range missiles, which combined with their ground-based radars and radar sites in the South China Sea could potentially pick off US stealth aircraft before the F-35s and F-22s could fire back.

Davis told Business Insider that the J-31 doesn't just seek to compete with the US militarily, but that the J-31 "very clearly is an F-35 competitor in a commercial sense." Nations that weren't invited to participate in the F-35 program may seek to buy China's cheaper and somewhat comparable J-31.

A fleet of J-31s in the hands of Iran, for example, could pose a serious threat to US interests abroad.

The PAK-FA/T-50

Russia's PAK-FA, also known as the T-50, has been criticized as being fifth-generation "in name only," but as Russia proves time and time again, it doesn't need the best and most expensive technology to pose a real threat to US aircraft.

The PAK-FA's greatest failure is in the stealth arena. While the PAK-FA has some stealth from the front angle, "it's a dirty aircraft," said a person who helps build stealth aircraft, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the classified nature of the work.

But stealth represents just one aspect of air combat, and the Russians have considerable counterstealth technologies. So while the PAK-FA fails to deliver the stealth or total networking capacity of the F-35, it is a fighter — and a damn good one.

The US's F-22 has 2D thrust-vectoring nozzles at the engines and is the most agile plane the US has ever built. The PAK-FA has 3D thrust-vectoring nozzles and is even more agile.

Additionally, the PAK-FA can be armed to the teeth with infrared missiles that focus on heat and ignore the US's stealth. So while the US's fifth generation hinges on controlling the battle from range and at the jump-off point, Russia's PAK-FA seems to focus on close-up fights, which the designers of the F-35 didn't concentrate on.


The first F-35 to arrive at the 33rd Fighter Wing was on display during the aircraft's official rollout ceremony on August 26 at Eglin Air Force Base.Samuel King Jr./US Air Force

China and Russia have both shown the world something new in their fifth-generation aircraft. No longer will these rising powers look to advance the capabilities they currently have — they will actively seek to enter new areas of aerial combat.

Both Russian and Chinese entries seem to focus on key weak points in the US's force structure by using specialized aircraft.

But the US doesn't specialize. The F-35 does everything well and seeks the informational high ground with massive computing power, all-aspect stealth, and the ability to network with almost every set of eyes and ears in the US military.

The F-35 has limited range and ability for close combat, but unlike the Chinese and Russian fifth-gens that try to score kills on their own, the F-35 plays like a quarterback, sending targeting information to any platform available.

As the F-35 software develops, pilots will be free to take on more demanding missions, but China's and Russia's fifth-gens will still be confined to relatively narrow ones.

sábado, 25 de fevereiro de 2017

25 Quotes From Deepak Chopra That Will Crack Your Idea of Reality Wide Open




Ideapod blog

by The Power of Ideas

Deepak Chopra is an American author, public speaker and highly prominent figure in the new age movement.

Chopra speaks and writes regularly about metaphysics, including the study of consciousness and Vedanta philosophy. He believes that consciousness is a fundamental feature of the universe.

It is consciousness, he writes, that creates reality; we are not “physical machines that have somehow learned to think…[but] thoughts that have learned to create a physical machine.”

Below are some of his most mind-bending quotes. Even if you don’t agree with them, they will still make you consider a different perspective about life.

Check them out below and let us know your favorite in the comments!


On the present moment

“Whatever relationships you have attracted in your life at this moment, are precisely the ones you need in your life at this moment. There is a hidden meaning behind all events, and this hidden meaning is serving your own evolution.”

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.”


On reaching enlightenment

“According to Vedanta, there are only two symptoms of enlightenment, just two indications that a transformation is taking place within you toward a higher consciousness. The first symptom is that you stop worrying. Things don’t bother you anymore. You become light-hearted and full of joy. The second symptom is that you encounter more and more meaningful coincidences in your life, more and more synchronicities. And this accelerates to the point where you actually experience the miraculous.”


On the real you

“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.”

“The Ego, however, is not who you really are. The ego is your self-image; it is your social mask; it is the role you are playing. Your social mask thrives on approval. It wants control, and it is sustained by power, because it lives in fear.”

“If you’re really spiritual, then you should be totally independent of the good and the bad opinions of the world…you should have faith in yourself.”

“The most creative act you will ever undertake is the act of creating yourself.”

“The ego relies on the familiar. It is reluctant to experience the unknown, which is they very essence of life.”

“Each of us is here to discover our true selves; that essentially we
are spiritual beings who have taken manifestation in physical form;
that we’re not human beings that have occasional spiritual experiences,
that we’re spiritual beings that have occasional human experiences”

On relationships

“When you struggle with your partner, you are struggling with yourself. Every fault you see in them touches a denied weakness in yourself.”

“Walk with those seeking truth… RUN FROM THOSE WHO THINK THEY’VE FOUND IT. ”

“Love doesn’t need reason. It speaks from the irrational wisdom of the heart.”

“Sex is always about emotions. Good sex is about free emotions; bad sex is about blocked emotions.”

“The secret of attraction is to love yourself. Attractive people judge neither themselves nor others. They are open to gestures of love. They think about love, and express their love in every action. They know that love is not a mere sentiment, but the ultimate truth at the heart of the universe.”


On letting go

“Holding on to anything is like holding on to your breath. You will suffocate. The only way to get anything in the physical universe is by letting go of it. Let go & it will be yours forever.”

“Nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance.”


On making decisions

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.

If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”

“To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.”

“Silence is the great teacher and to learn its lessons you must pay attention to it. There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge, and stability that come from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence.”


On success

“There are many aspects to success; material wealth is only one component. …But success also includes good health, energy and enthusiasm for life, fulfilling relationships, creative freedom, emotional and psychological stability, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind.”

“If you focus on success, you’ll have stress. But if you pursue excellence, success will be guaranteed.”

“To acquire true self power you have to feel beneath no one, be immune to criticism and be fearless.”

“The worst curse to befall anyone is stagnation, a banal existence, the quiet desperation that comes out of a need for conformity. ”


On laws of the universe

“Mathematics expresses values that reflect the cosmos, including orderliness, balance, harmony, logic, and abstract beauty.”


We all have a purpose

“Each of us is a unique strand in the intricate web of life and here to make a contribution.”

Review: Microsoft Surface Studio


recommends 2017

Not long after Satya Nadella took over Microsoft, he laid out his plan for the company. “We want to move from people needing Windows, to choosing Windows, to loving Windows,” he said.


As good-looking a desktop as you'll find. Everything about this screen is excellent---the drawing, the movie-watching, everything. The super-flexible hinge is basically magic.


You're paying a lot of money for middle-of-the-road specs, with no way to upgrade. This isn't quite a gaming rig, and it should be. The Dial needs more to do before it's worth $100.

How We Rate
  • 1/10A complete failure in every way
  • 2/10Sad, really
  • 3/10Serious flaws; proceed with caution
  • 4/10Downsides outweigh upsides
  • 5/10Recommended with reservations
  • 6/10Solid with some issues
  • 7/10Very good, but not quite great
  • 8/10Excellent, with room to kvetch
  • 9/10Nearly flawless
  • 10/10Metaphysical perfection

Microsoft is competing against its decades-old reputation as the company that makes stuff you hate but need, next to Apple as the creator of lustworthy hardware that inspires cult-like devotion. That’s hard to reverse in one device, especially when that device costs three grand.

But a funny thing kept happening in the weeks I spent with a Surface Studio, Microsoft’s love letter to creative types. People would walk over to my desk, sit down, and play with the convertible desktop PC for a few minutes. They’d draw with the pen, tug and pull on the 28-inch screen, play a YouTube video. As they walked away, everyone said almost the same thing: I love this thing. Then, after a big, existential pause: I can’t believe I love a Windows computer.

The Surface Studio is a complicated, complex spin on a desktop computer. It’s not perfect, and it’s probably not for you. It’s not for me, either. I love it anyway.

The Ups and Downs

I suspect it’s no accident that the Surface Studio fits nicely in a row of iMacs and MacBooks in an open-plan office with cold brew on tap. The glossy aluminum, the brushed metal, the gentle curves and slim profile—it’s all so Apple-y. I found the Studio’s slick austerity stunning.

2017-0221-MicrosoftSurface-550-FINAL-web.jpgMaria Lokke/WIRED

But all you’ll really notice is the screen. People halfway across town will notice the screen. Microsoft made it 28.125 inches, 4,500 pixels tall and 3,000 pixels wide, absurdly bright and preposterously crisp. (The 3:2 aspect ratio makes it a little more square than your average display, closer to a sheet of paper than a television.) It’s an excellent touchscreen, a nice surface for pen input, and high-res enough for fine-point drawing. It’s also one of the more accurate displays you’ll find so long as you don’t accidentally press a button that’s too easy to accidentally press and change the color profile. A few Windows apps remain unprepared for this high-res world, but whatever you’re doing looks great on this screen.

Microsoft stuffed all of the Studio’s computery bits into the base of the 21-pound machine, rather than behind the display like an iMac. That brings aesthetic consequences—the base consumes about 9 inches on your desk, but gives the Studio that svelte profile. Microsoft clearly did this to keep the screen light, and thus easy to move around. The whole reason you’d buy a Surface Studio is to move the screen around.

It appears the solution to the gorilla-arm problem wasn’t to get rid of touch, but to move the screen.

With the screen at 90 degrees, the Surface Studio looks like any other desktop. But grab the bottom of the display and pull it, or push the top edge, and like magic the screen gives. It goes all the way down to a 20-degree angle, and holds steady at any point in between. (Microsoft did some serious hinge engineering, folks.) Fully reclined, the Surface Studio feels more like a drafting table than an all-in-one. It’s ideal for drawing, working with two hands in a modeling app, or doing anything with a pen or fingers instead of a mouse and keyboard. Microsoft spent a long time developing this, and it shows. Palm recognition is fantastic, and while it doesn’t feel as good as paper it’s closer than any touchscreen I’ve tried.

The $100 Surface Dial accessory adds yet another dimension. The Dial doesn’t come with the Studio, but the two were made for each other. In certain apps, you can plonk the Dial right on the screen and spin its knob to change brush sizes, choose paint colors, or tweak settings without taking your pen off the screen or even looking up. Or you can leave it on your desk and use it to control the volume in Spotify, which is fine too, I guess. Not nearly enough apps support the Dial, and even the ones that do are too basic right now, but I love that Microsoft is thinking through all the ways it can support lots of inputs at once.


Maria Lokke/WIRED

Microsoft’s vision for the future of computing focuses on transitions, devices that do many different things many different ways depending on what works to you. The Surface Studio is a perfect example. Remember when Steve Jobs called reaching out to touch your computer screen, ET-style, a bad idea? “Touch surfaces don’t want to be vertical,” he said. He was half-right. I almost never use the Studio’s touchscreen when it’s upright. But when you can grab the screen and put it under you like a sheet of paper, touch feels exactly right. It appears the solution to the gorilla-arm problem wasn’t to eliminate touch, but to move the screen.

For a week or so, I left the Surface Studio at a desk among the folks in WIRED’s art, photography, and video departments. People would sit down, grab the pen magnetically attached to the side of the screen, and start playing around. No instructions or warnings necessary. They found some bugs, like one in Illustrator where the box judders before settling into place whenever you try to resize something while maintaining the aspect ratio. But nearly everyone who tried the Studio enjoyed it. They found something almost irresistible about the direct input, the position under your hands, and the sheer volume of space available on a 28-inch screen. I can’t draw to save my life, but I want to learn just to enjoy more ways of using the Studio.

The Sum of Its Parts

I almost wish Microsoft would sell the Surface Studio as a super-versatile (and probably equally expensive) monitor. The screen looks fantastic and the design feels considered and correct. But as a computer—processors and memory, circuit boards and USB ports—I can only call the Surface Studio pretty ordinary.

The Surface Studio’s base price of $3,000 isn’t necessarily crazy: you’d spend far more on a Wacom Cintiq tablet and a MacBook Pro, which are standard tools in many creative trades. What’s frustrating is that money buys you a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a one-terabyte “hybrid drive” that is part solid-state storage and part spinning hard drive. Those are thousand-dollar laptop parts, perfectly adequate for most things and most people, but hardly what you’d expect for three grand. The only universal advice I give people buying new computers is to get solid-state storage, which will keep your computer fast for years. Even if you spec the Studio all the way up to $4,200, with 32 gigs of RAM and a Core i7, you’re still stuck with the hybrid drive.

And here’s the worst part: no matter what you buy, you’re getting a last-generation graphics card. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX cards can handle your Photoshopping and 4K YouTube-ing, but won’t give you an awesome VR experience. They can’t even handle heavy games at high resolutions. I could play at 1080p and medium settings on my top-spec Surface. Ratchet up the fidelity and I found myself playing a stop-motion version of Overwatch. I can’t help but worry I’d want to upgrade in a couple years—for another $4,000. Maybe I’ll just wait.

surface-keyboards-FINAL.jpgMaria Lokke/WIRED

I hope Microsoft sticks with the Surface Studio long enough to make it a little more powerful and a lot less expensive. More likely, other companies will take up that mantle, and you’ll be buying a Dell Canvas or something like it instead. (Wonder if Dell was inspired by the Studio? I mean, come on, the name alone!) The original Surface spawned a thousand copycats, and I expect the Studio to do the same. Think of the Surface Studio as a brilliant concept car: impractical, expensive, less concerned with cupholders and gas mileage than mind-blowing new gizmos. Give it a year or two, and you find yourself driving something just like it. Until then, deep longing and wallet-throwing are perfectly acceptable.

sexta-feira, 24 de fevereiro de 2017

Dmitri Mendeleev Was A Russian Scientist Best Known For?


Answer: Formulating Periodic Law

Dmitri Mendeleev was a brilliant Russian chemist, active in the mid-to-late 19th century, whose greatest contribution to the field of chemistry was the formulation of Periodic Law and the creation of the first predictive periodic table of elements.

While other scientists were wrestling with the idea of chemical periodicity (that chemical elements could be grouped by some intrinsic atom-level qualities) and making gains in the process, Mendeleev had a breakthrough that changed the entire discipline. In 1869, he presented his ideas to the Russian Chemical Society outlining key (and now familiar) ideas like: elements arranged according to their mass exhibit periodicity of properties, elements with similar chemical properties have similar atomic weights, and, most importantly, his theories, and the table he created using them, allowed not only for correction of existing errors in chemistry, but the prediction of then-unknown elements like aluminum and silicon.

Although his early version of the periodic table was imperfect—it could not be used to predict noble gases and there was no concrete way to place hydrogen, which could be placed in more than one location on the table—it significantly advanced the field of chemistry and our modern periodic table can trace its roots back to Mendeleev’s breakthroughs.

NASA Kicks Off Study to Add Crew to First Flight of Orion, SLS



NASA is assessing the feasibility of adding a crew to the first integrated flight of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). NASA is building new deep space capabilities to take humans farther into the solar system than we have ever traveled, and ultimately to Mars.

Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot announced Feb. 15 that he had asked William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington, to conduct the study, and it is now underway. NASA expects it to be completed in early spring.

The assessment will review the technical feasibility, risks, benefits, additional work required, resources needed and any associated schedule impacts to add crew to the first mission.

“Our priority is to ensure the safe and effective execution of all our planned exploration missions with the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket,” said Gerstenmaier. “This is an assessment and not a decision as the primary mission for EM-1 remains an uncrewed flight test.”

The assessment is evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of this concept with regards to short- and long-term goals of achieving deep space exploration capabilities for the nation. It will assume launching two crew members in mid-2019, and consider adjustments to the current EM-1 mission profile.

During the first mission of SLS and Orion, NASA plans to send the spacecraft into a distant lunar retrograde orbit, which will require additional propulsion moves, a flyby of the moon and return trajectory burns. The mission is planned as a challenging trajectory to test maneuvers and the environment of space expected on future missions to deep space. If the agency decides to put crew on the first flight, the mission profile for Exploration Mission-2 would likely replace it, which is an approximately eight-day mission with a multi-translunar injection with a free return trajectory.

If a crewed mission is moved up, NASA would maintain the current configuration of SLS for the first mission, which includes the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage. This will be in the stage that provides Orion propulsion in space. The agency may also consider moving up an ascent abort test for Orion before the mission.

Regardless of the outcome for the study, the feasibility assessment does not conflict with NASA’s ongoing work schedules for the first two missions. Hardware for the first flight has already started arriving at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the missions will launch from the agency’s historic Pad 39B.

NASA recently completed the installation of the final topmost level in the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy, completing the 10 levels of work platforms, 20 platform halves altogether, that will surround the rocket and the Orion spacecraft and allow access during processing for missions. In the last month, major construction was completed on the largest new SLS structural test stand, and engineers are now installing equipment needed to test the rocket’s biggest fuel tank. The stand is critical for ensuring SLS’s liquid hydrogen tank can withstand the extreme forces of launch and ascent on its first flight. In a lab at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, engineers simulated conditions that astronauts in spacesuits would experience when the Orion spacecraft is vibrating during launch on its way to deep space destinations to assess how well the crew can interact with the displays and controls they will use to monitor Orion’s systems and operate the spacecraft when necessary.

NASA is leveraging the very best the country has to offer on its deep space exploration plans, and it’s advancing the national economy. The SLS and Orion missions, coupled with record levels of private investment in space, will help put the agency and America in a position to unlock the mysteries of space and to ensure this nation’s world preeminence in exploring the cosmos.

Last Updated: Feb. 24, 2017

Editor: Cheryl Warner

Your next smartphone could use a controversial new kind of LTE — here's what it means for you


Jeff Dunn

ajit pai FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday announced that it has authorized the first hardware that will let wireless carriers send mobile internet over unlicensed airwaves.

On its face, that sounds pretty boring. But the new tech, known as LTE-U (the U standing for “unlicensed”), aims to give carriers more network capacity, which may in turn result in smoother mobile internet for your next phone.

Sure enough, minutes after the FCC’s announcement, T-Mobile said that it was now deploying LTE-U tech into its LTE network. Verizon, which helped lead the push for the tech’s adoption, also applauded the move, saying in a statement that LTE-U would give its customers “more data at faster speeds where they live, work, and play.”

LTE-U won’t expand a given carrier’s coverage, but it aims to improve LTE service in crowded areas like offices, stadiums, and denser city environments. T-Mobile said tapping into the newly available spectrum will help it deliver faster “gigabit LTE” to more people, too.

john legere t-mobile T-Mobile US CEO John Legere. John Moore/Getty Images

You'll likely need a new phone to see the benefits, though. While the LTE modems built into today’s highest-end smartphone chipsets can theoretically support LTE-U, T-Mobile said most devices compatible with the tech will start rolling out “this spring.”

Recently appointed FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been no stranger to controversy in his first few weeks on the job, however, and the decision to authorize LTE-U isn’t entirely different.

Carriers have been aiming to use common, unlicensed spectrum — specifically, the 5GHz wireless band — with their private networks for years, in part because it allows them to potentially improve their increasingly in-demand service without making significant investments in new infrastructure.

But the concept had previously raised concerns from WiFi-dependent firms like Google and cable companies that sell in-home WiFi service. Letting LTE operate on WiFi and Bluetooth’s usual turf, the thinking goes, could lead to overcrowding and slow down other connected devices.

Verizon Lowell McAdam REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The industry has since worked to lessen those concerns. The WiFi Alliance, a trade group that certifies WiFi equipment, ultimately released a “Coexistence Test Plan” in September that sought to ensure LTE-U devices wouldn’t interfere with WiFi out in the wild. The idea is to let mobile networks sense when WiFi and Bluetooth aren’t using a particular channel, then apply LTE-U when a carrier's licensed network is congested.

The FCC’s notice on Wednesday said the newly authorized devices (from network equipment makers Ericsson and Nokia) did comply with the coexistence plan, but that doing so isn’t a requirement.

In a statement, the WiFi Alliance said it was encouraged that all sides involved have developed a way to coexist, but urged carriers to continue holding up their end of the deal.

“It is critical that stakeholders continue to follow through on their commitments by ensuring equipment deployments operate as tested to ensure LTE-U services coexist fairly in the real world,” the group said.

Google itself declined to comment on the matter, but pointed to a statement from WiFiForward — a coalition that includes Google, Microsoft, Comcast, and other cable and internet companies — which praised the FCC for letting the industry work to the WiFi Alliance's test plan, and expressed support for said plan.

Verizon, for what it’s worth, says all of its LTE-U vendors will comply with the plan from now on. T-Mobile did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

THE IoT 101 REPORT: Your essential guide to the Internet of Things


Andrew Meola

  • Jan. 12, 2017


You’ve likely heard the phrase Internet of Things, or IoT, at some point if you have been following any tech news in the last several years.

But at the same time, you might be scratching your head figuring out what it is or what it means past a flashy buzzword.

Simply put, the IoT refers to the connection of devices (other than typical fare such as computers and smartphones) to the Internet. Cars, refrigerators, juicers, wine racks, heart monitors, ovens, watches, and more are all candidates for connection.

A new report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, called IoT 101: The Essential Guide to the Internet of Things, outlines the basics of the IoT and what this next wave of technology means to the everyday individual. The report dives into key IoT terms, predictions and trends for the IoT in the next five years, the industries that the IoT will affect the most, and the biggest challenges facing the IoT.

Here are the key takeaways from the report:

  • The IoT will surge into the mainstream by the end of this decade to include 24 billion devices. This would mean that approximately four IoT connected devices would exist for every human being on the planet.
  • Governments and companies will invest billions of dollars into IoT devices in the next few years. And that investment will pay off by generating trillions of dollars by 2025.
  • The IoT will profoundly transform daily life for governments, consumers, and businesses. These changes will occur in transportation, agriculture, utilities, smart cities, and more.
  • There are dozens of companies with their hands in the IoT space, and more will soon join them. The list includes Apple, Cisco, Microsoft, Fitbit, IBM, Google, Amazon, and more.


Offshore wind push




Credit: Jeffrey Chase/University of Delaware

Injecting large amounts of offshore wind power into the U.S. electrical grid is manageable, will cut electricity costs, and will reduce pollution compared to current fossil fuel sources, according to researchers from the University of Delaware and Princeton University who have completed a first-of-its-kind simulation with the electric power industry.

The researchers consulted with PJM Interconnection — a grid operator supplying electricity to more than 60 million people in 14 states — to develop a computer model that simulates how the electric grid would respond to injections of wind power from offshore wind farms along the East Coast at five build-out levels, between 7 and 70 gigawatts of installed capacity. The two-part study is published in the journal Renewable Energy.

One hurdle grid operators face is how to integrate increasing amounts of naturally fluctuating offshore wind into a network that has to deliver reliable power to customers, 24-7. The UD and Princeton team showed conservatively that, with some upgrades to transmission lines but without any need for added storage, the PJM grid can handle over 35 gigawatts of offshore wind–that's 35 billion watts–enough to power an estimated 10 million homes. They also found that the PJM grid could in the future handle twice that amount, up to 70 gigawatts, as wind forecasting improves, allowing the power operator to better predict and harness more wind.

"Our goal was to replicate this very human-made energy system under all kinds of scenarios," said Cristina Archer, associate professor of physical ocean science and engineering at the University of Delaware. "What would you do as a grid operator if you thought it was going to be windy today and it isn't, or if the wind storm arrives earlier than expected? We simulated the entire PJM grid, with each power plant and each wind farm in it, old and new, every five minutes. As far as we know, this is the first model that does this."

From her office in UD's Harker Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory, Archer led the team's efforts to generate realistic offshore wind forecasts based on real wind farm data from land-based systems, which colleagues at Princeton then incorporated into their model of the PJM electric power system. The team used stochastic modeling, running hundreds of forecasts with various tweaks in conditions, to realistically represent the fluctuating and sometimes unpredictable behavior of wind.

The model of PJM, called Smart-ISO, created at Princeton, is designed to handle both the variability and uncertainty of growing inputs of offshore wind energy, simulating what happens over an extensive power grid with more than 60,000 miles of transmission lines.

"The uncertainty of wind will require that we develop strategies to minimize the need for spinning reserve," said Warren Powell, professor and lead researcher at Princeton in charge of the SMART-ISO model, referring to electric generators that need to keep "spinning" and be ready for any electricity shortage. "Although we found that reserves were needed — 21 percent of the 70 gigawatt wind capacity — there are a number of strategies that could be investigated to better handle the variability as wind grows in the future."

The first U.S. offshore wind farm, consisting of five wind turbines at Block Island, Rhode Island, with a generating capacity of 30 megawatts, had not been built yet when the researchers began their study five years ago. The 70 gigawatts offshore modeled in this study would be almost equal to the total U.S. wind power capacity installed on land through the end of 2016.

Archer says that adding more offshore wind farms would lower consumers' electricity costs and reduce pollution by replacing coal and natural gas power plants.

"We saw up to a 50 percent reduction in carbon and sulfur dioxide and up to a 40 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides emissions at the highest build-out level, a 70-gigawatt set of wind farms. Plus, the costs of electricity would go down every month except in July when air conditioning is at a peak," Archer said. "Wind power is a very good idea — for people's health and their wallets."


The research was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The two-part study is published in Renewable Energy. Part I, "The Challenge of Integrating Offshore Wind Power in the U.S. Electric Grid: Wind Forecast Error," was written by Cristina Archer, H. P. Simao, Willett Kempton, Warren Powell and M. J. Dvorak. Part II, "The Challenge of Integrating Offshore Wind Power in the U.S. Electric Grid: Simulation of Electricity Market Operations," was written by H.P. Simao, Warren Powell, Cristina Archer and Willett Kempton.

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Peter Bothum

Nature Conservancy | The Biggest Environmental Challenges of 2017


The environmental challenges the world faces have never been greater or more complex. And never before have we lived in such an uncertain political climate.

Recent world events, such as the U.S. presidential election and Brexit, indicate that global action on climate change and other environmental issues could face stronger political headwinds in the years ahead.

But now is no time to back down. Now is the time to step up and forge ahead.

Soon more than 9 billion people will share our planet. Increasing demands for food, water, energy and infrastructure are pushing nature to its limits. And the impacts of climate change are touching down everywhere we look.

Against this backdrop, our scientists recently took a hard look at whether we really can have it all—a future where people get the food, energy and economic growth they need without sacrificing nature.

The answer is “yes”—but only if we do things right.

What emerged from our analysis was a set of key challenges facing people and nature that we must address to achieve that vision. First, we need to address climate change once and for all. Second, we need to increase food production while freezing agricultural expansion and keeping global fisheries healthy. And third, we need to focus on cities—helping them grow sustainably while maintaining healthy lands and waters.

During the year ahead we plan to sharpen our focus on these areas. At The Nature Conservancy, we believe nature-based solutions can play an important role in addressing these big challenges. The road ahead won’t be easy, but by investing in nature, we think we can find common-ground solutions that are good for biodiversity, good for the economy and good for people.

"We all need to engage as citizens, get in the game, and help our leaders find the will to do the right thing."

- Mark Tercek, President and CEO, The Nature Conservancy

Ensuring a low-carbon future

Making the transition to a low-carbon future and reducing the impacts of energy sprawl

Fossil fuels account for roughly 75 percent of the global emissions causing climate change. To limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, we must drive changes in energy policy that accelerate our transition to a clean energy future – while avoiding the impacts of energy sprawl. Maintaining the momentum of ambitious commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as the Paris Agreement, will be key to accelerating the transition to clean energy solutions worldwide. And as high-emitting nations, such as the United States, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico, continue innovating toward a low-carbon future, it will be important to do so in a way that creates both sustainable power generation and biodiversity conservation.


Maximizing natural climate solutions

Maximizing the role nature can play in absorbing and avoiding greenhouse gas emissions and addressing the impacts of climate change on people and nature

Nature is the sleeping giant in solving climate change. Increased investment in nature-based solutions such as avoiding forest loss, reforestation, investing in soil health and coastal ecosystem restoration gives us the best opportunity to prevent catastrophic warming and increase our resilience to climate impacts. Though clean energy technology and policy to regulate emissions are essential, they alone cannot work fast enough. Nature-based solutions are readily available, can be deployed now and could contribute more than a third of the reduction in carbon emissions needed by 2030. These solutions also provide critical value to people and nature beyond carbon mitigation—including more secure drinking water, improved food production, stronger community protection from storms and floods and refuge for some of the world’s most endangered species.

Improving management of the world’s fisheries

Helping create sustainable fisheries around the world

Fisheries represent a $130 billion industry that spans – and feeds – the entire world. But 57 percent of fish stocks are fully exploited and another 30 percent are over-exploited, depleted or recovering. The price tag for the world is $50 billion lost each year to overfishing and poor management. Unfortunately, most countries do not have the information or tools it will take to fix these problems. The good news is that fishermen are willing to lead the way to a more sustainable future, and there is strong consumer demand for sustainable seafood. Solutions lie in engaging directly with fishermen to pilot and replicate worldwide new practices and technologies for better understanding fish stocks and sustainable management methods, while at the same time working with world-leading fishery scientists, multinational companies and arbiters of certification labels to scale up solutions in the global seafood marketplace.


Expanding sustainable agricultural practices

Helping producers increase food production while halting forest loss, balancing water for people and nature, and limiting pollutants to our rivers and seas

Humans have already cleared or converted nearly 40 percent of Earth’s ice-free surface for agriculture. Additionally, agriculture is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally – after fossil fuels. Encouraging more productive agricultural activities will be essential to meeting the growing demand for food and securing water, all while ensuring nature continues to thrive. By convening diverse partners – small-share ranchers and farmers, large agri-businesses, governments, indigenous communities and funders – we can build new business models that align conservation, food production and social agendas. Experiences in places like Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States can provide a model for connecting more producers with low-carbon practices that increase food supplies and promote economic growth while reducing agriculture’s impact on our lands and waters.


Creating a green urban future

Supporting sustainable growth of the world's cities

By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. Humans have already made tremendous investments in the buildings and transportation, water and energy systems that sustain cities, but the sheer demand for the additional infrastructure necessary to support growing cities is straining both natural resources and public finances. The combination of urbanization and climate change could make cities deeply unlivable places, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Expanding investments in nature-based solutions to address urban challenges like storm water run-off and air pollution is a cost-effective way to improve the health, safety, productivity and well-being of people living in cities and to conserve biodiversity.


The Biggest Environmental Challenges of 2017

Perspectives from our global and regional leaders on the most pressing issues facing people and the planet.