I was catching up on the KC-46 Pegasus program when I read this story and this story, among others, discussing further delays and issues with the USAF’s long awaited new tanker. All this reminded me of a question I have asked for so long: Why has it become so hard for the USAF to develop and procure a new tanker? Then And Now The 1950s saw the first jet tanker built by Boeing and fielded by the USAF. This aircraft was the KC-135 Stratotanker, and 60 years and some new engines later it remains the backbone of America’s tanker force. How on earth could we have gotten the tanker concept that right on the first try, way back then, in a time of drafting tables and slide rules, yet we have so much trouble fielding a suitable replacement 60 years later in an age of iPhones and computer aided drafting? Especially considering these replacements are based on airliners that have been flying for decades, the Boeing 767 and the Airbus A330. The truth is that the Manhattan Project took … [Read more...] about Broken Booms: Why Is It So Hard To Develop & Procure A New USAF Tanker?
Broken rear window
When Moonlight pulled a big upset and won the Best Picture Oscar a year ago, it felt like a monumental occasion—and not just because of the snafu that resulted in a different film briefly enjoying the honor. Yes, the Academy bestowed best-movie-of-the-year status on an actual, legitimate contender for the best movie of the year. That hasn’t happened too often over the 90 years the organization has been handing out awards. In fact, the Oscars often don’t just whiff on what deserves to win; they also frequently fail to even nominate the best movies, leaving some essential classic in the making out of the running entirely. With this year’s ceremony just days away, The A.V. Club has singled out 90 important, terrific, even canonical movies that weren’t nominated—one for every Best Picture lineup going back to the beginning. We’ve followed the Academy’s rules about what qualifies, which mainly means only selecting movies that opened in the … [Read more...] about Do the wrong thing: 90 years, 90 movies that should have been nominated for Best Picture
One of the reasons Windows 8 is a big deal is the promise of newfangled devices that span laptop and tablet design. Here are some the hottest appearing at Computex in Taipei so far. Asus more than any single PC maker is pointing the way toward this brave new device world with the Taichi, a dual-screen Windows 8 ultrabook sporting an extra tablet-mode display on the back of the display panel. And that screen is no ordinary display: it boasts a resolution of 1,920x1,080: that's a lot of pixels for an 11.6-inch tablet screen. And there's a mirror function that synchronizes the front 13.3-inch display and rear display, according to Asus (see video below). Taichi comes with the standard ultrabook ports, including two USB 3.0, a micro-HDMI, and a Mini DisplayPort connector. And, yes, this is an ultrabook. Windows 7 ultrabooks haven't broken a lot of new ground: they're thinner and lighter but still laptops. Touch-centric Windows 8 and Windows RT allow device makers to move beyond … [Read more...] about Computex: Roundup of hottest Windows 8 devices
The research firm of IDC has predicted that Windows Phone 7 could beat the iPhone by 2015. I'm not sure if they predicted it to get a lot of attention for IDC or if they are serious. The whole idea stems from the Nokia deal and patterns of buying behavior. There is not enough data—none, in fact—on the pick-up sales created by the Microsoft-Nokia deal, so this prediction is completely off-the-wall and seems based more on current Symbian numbers than actual sales. There is one conceivable underlying assertion, and that's that Phone 7 is better, by far, than Symbian, and if Symbian is still hanging in there (it is), then Phone 7 should do as well or better. So logically, this is not a real stretch. The way IDC sees all this is as follows (all predicted for 2015): Android will be number one with 45.4 percent market share, next will be Windows Phone 7 and Windows Mobile with 20.9 percent, and will be followed by Apple's iPhone with 15.3 percent.. Taking up the rear will be … [Read more...] about Could Windows Phone 7 Beat the iPhone?
Uber has battled its way into many U.S. and international cities, but even a long-term spat with New York City officials never escalated to the level of violence seen in France this morning. First reported by French blog Rude Baguette, an Uber taxi carrying Eventbrite CTO Renaud Visage and Five by Five co-founder Kat Borlongan was attacked en route to Paris. The incident appears to be a result of protests by French taxi drivers who are currently on strike near the capital city's airport. Cabbies are opposed to what they believe is unfair competition from new tourism-vehicle services—like Uber. According to TechCrunch, the aggressors slashed one tire, threw paint, and spit on the car before attempting to enter the vehicle. Visage tweeted a photo of a broken rear window, writing that the car was "attacked by Parisian taxis this morning." An Uber spokesman confirmed the attacks, saying in a statement that "We strongly condemn this severe violence with which Uber riders and partners … [Read more...] about Protesting French Cabbies Attack Uber Car