Daily Archives: May 6, 2013

Views from the Solar System (127)

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Smartphone Photos From Orbit
NASA – These images of Earth were reconstructed from photos taken by three smartphones in orbit, or “PhoneSats.” The trio of PhoneSats launched on April 21, 2013, aboard the Antares rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility and ended a successful mission on April 27. The ultimate goal of the PhoneSat mission was to determine whether a consumer-grade smartphone can be used as the main flight avionics for a satellite in space.

During their time in orbit, the three miniature satellites used their smartphone cameras to take pictures of Earth and transmitted these “image-data packets” to multiple ground stations. Every packet held a small piece of the big picture. As the data became available, the PhoneSat Team and multiple amateur radio operators around the world collaborated to piece together photographs from the tiny data packets.

The PhoneSat project is a technology demonstration mission funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters and the Engineering Directorate at NASA Ames Research Center. The project started in summer 2009 as a student-led collaborative project between Ames and the International Space University, Strasbourg.

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Images Credit: NASA Ames

JPMorgan And The Death Of Corporate Reputation

BOOK REVIEW

The Death of Corporate Reputation: How Integrity Has Been Destroyed on Wall Street, Author: Jonathan Macey.

By Steve Denning – All the big financial firms like Goldman Sachs [GS], UBS [UBS], Citibank [C], Bank of America [BAC], and JPMorgan Chase, have settled cases involving not just shady practices like price gouging, gaming the system, toll collecting, zero-sum trading and excessive compensation but also illegal practices such price fixing of LIBOR, abuses in foreclosure, money laundering of drug dealers and terrorists, assisting tax evasion and misleading clients with worthless securities. The cases were settled for what is chump change to the banks, without admitting or denying wrongdoing.

Fixing the financial sector will always appear to be an impossible task if we frame it as one of regulators trying to control and contain the nefarious activities of the banks and the hedge funds. If the issues are seen in a broader context, and the activities of the banks are viewed as one aspect of the way in which the shareholder value notion has been devastating many sectors, then we could get to the root cause of the financial sector’s problem and figure out what would be involved in fixing it. more> http://tinyurl.com/clor8le

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Firms rush to relocate in low-tax Britain

By Kamal Ahmed and James Quinn – Steve Varley, the UK chairman of Ernst & Young, revealed that the accountancy firm knew of the significant number of firms seeking to relocate from countries such as the USA, as well as from the Netherlands, Switzerland and Ireland.

“There are numerous reasons for this, including real progress on the British ambition to become one of the most competitive corporate tax regimes in the G20.” more> http://tinyurl.com/dx6gto7

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Simple Economics

By Jon McDonald – For systems with very large numbers of units the NRE cost can become insignificant relative to the overall cost of the end device. If we think about an iPhone with more than 100 million units shipped last year, an SoC development cost of $25 million to $50 million becomes a relatively minor component of the overall cost of the unit. In this context it becomes incredibly important to invest in careful design processes that ensure the complexity in the hardware is thoroughly understood.

One way of improving the understanding of complex systems is to create abstract models of the system, which allow us to capture the important externally visible attributes of the elements without dealing with the internal complexity. more> http://tinyurl.com/bpq4few

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Verizon says will not pay a premium for Vodafone stake

Reuters – In a note to clients, analyst Philip Cusick said Verizon boss Lowell McAdam had said he did not believe a premium would be required to buy Vodafone‘s 45 percent stake in the highly successful Verizon Wireless business, because Verizon already had control through its 55 percent holding.

Lowell McAdam also indicated to the JP Morgan team that the two owners could face a “lean” year in terms of the dividend they receive from the Verizon Wireless asset, a move which could increase tensions between them. more> http://tinyurl.com/bwkzpd8

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