The US Air Force is willing to spend $738 million to solve one of America’s biggest rocket problems
For the last decade, Russian-made engines have been propelling US national security satellites into space. While this has proven to be a good approach in the past, the time has come for a new breed of rocket engine that's American-made. On Feb. 29, the US Air Force — who runs the national security launch missions — announced that it will invest up to $738 million to put an end to America's reliance on the Russian-made RD-180 rocket engines. RD-180 engines currently power the Atlas V rocket, which is owned and run by the United Launch Alliance (ULA) aerospace company. And over the last 10 years, the Atlas V has helped ferry expensive and sensitive national security payloads into space for the Air Force. But in recent years, as political tensions grew between the US and Russia, ULA's use of the RD-180 engines has come under fire. After the Crimean crisis in 2014, Congress called to permanently terminate the Air Force's reliance on Russian-made rocket engines by ..
Microsoft is trying to bring back the ’80s with its Windows 10 strategy (MSFT)
Probably the smartest choice Bill Gates ever made came in 1980, when he decided not to hand over the copyright for Microsoft's first-ever operating system to IBM. In 1980, IBM contracted a startup called Microsoft to deliver DOS, an operating system for its forthcoming IBM PC, on a tight deadline. The IBM PC came out in 1981, and soon became a smash hit, surpassing the leading Apple II. A horde of competitors rushed to build their own "IBM Compatible" clones that could run all of the same software and use all of the same hardware upgrades. But to build those IBM clones, they needed DOS. And if they wanted DOS, they needed to fork over cash to Microsoft. Microsoft kept the rights in lieu of royalties from IBM. DOS put Microsoft the very center of the PC revolution, even through the era of Windows, and even after IBM left the PC market, eventually selling off that business. 36 years later, it's been a long time since the IBM PC moment. And with the Apple iPhone and Google ..
The computer legend who invented email has died
Internet Hall of Famer Ray Tomlinson has died. Tomlinson was the man who basically invented email as we know it today, including making the choice to use the "@" sign in an email address. He was 74. Tomlinson invented email, a system where a user on one network could send a message to someone on another network, in 1971. He proceeded to win many awards over his lifetime for email. But he couldn't say what the first email ever sent actually said. When asked about it in an interview with The New York Times in 2009, Tomlinson explained, "I sent a number of test messages to myself from one machine to the other. The test messages were entirely forgettable and I have, therefore, forgotten them." On Saturday, the man widely recognized as the grandfather of the internet, Vint Cerf, tweeted the news that Tomlinson had passed away. Very sad news: Ray Tomlinson has passed away. https://t.co/Ghi8B2m3IX — vinton g cerf (@vgcerf) March 5, 2016 SEE ALSO: A famous IBM employee took he..
The 20 youngest self-made billionaires in the world
Some of the wealthiest, most successful entrepreneurs take decades to accumulate their fortunes — others strike gold very early on. A recent report from Hurun, a Shanghai firm that releases yearly rankings and research about the world's richest people, rounded up the latter group of entrepreneurs: self-made billionaires under age 35. Read on to see who made the list — and just how wealthy they are, as estimated by Hurun: SEE ALSO: How old 15 self-made billionaires were when they earned their first billion Evan Spiegel: 25 Residence: Los Angeles, California Estimated wealth: $1.8 billion At the ripe age of 25, the Snapchat CEO is the youngest billionaire in the world after launching the popular photo-sharing app with two of his former Stanford classmates. John Collison: 26 Residence: San Francisco, California Estimated wealth: $1 billion The Harvard dropout cofounded Stripe, an online payment company, with his brother Patrick in 2011. The Irish-born brothers now live in San..
This $14-billion machine is set to usher in a new era of nuclear fusion power
The first and largest machine of its kind is currently under construction at the French scientific research center called Cadarache, which specializes in nuclear power research. It's called ITER, Latin for "The Way," and is expected to usher in a new era of nuclear fusion-powered electricity — something scientists and engineers have been working toward for over 40 years. By fusing two forms of hydrogen, called deuterium and tritium, together, the machine would generate 500 megawatts of power. That's ten times more energy than it would require to operate. Once completed, ITER would measure 100 feet in diameter and height, representing a new breed of nuclear fusion device. If it reaches its energy output goals, it will be the first machine of its kind to bridge the gap from fusion research in the lab to readily available fusion power for cities. As of June 2015, construction costs for the machine exceeded $14 billion. But, in the end, experts say it will be worth it. After ..
Bubbles, chasms and ‘dreaming the dream’ ― a top tech investor reveals its unconventional approach to picking winners
Coatue Management, the $10 billion long/short equity hedge fund led by "Tiger Cub" Philippe Laffont, is one of the most prolific investors in technology companies. Speaking at the MIT Sloan Investment Conference on Friday, David Scully, a partner and the chief marketing officer of Coatue, shared some insights into how the fund thinks about making its tech investments. Both Scully and Laffont have taught a class at MIT on tech investing in the past. The fund's investment process isn't what you'd expect. In fact, it goes against some of the investing adages we're used to such as "buy low, sell high." "Perhaps the right way to think about this is not to buy low, but to buy high," Scully said. "Now I say that partly only tongue-in-cheek because it turns out that a great way to find new trends and potential winners is to look at stocks that are expensive. We like to call that 'dreaming the dream' and we believe this kind of optimism is essential, especial..