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August 13, 2008

Why MPG is a Stupid Measurement

EcoGeek | Why MPG is a Stupid Measurement | Written by Hank Green
...measuring vehicle efficiency in miles per gallon is about as effective a city's population density in square miles per person. The reason is simple. What we want to know is how many gallons we'll save. But what we're getting is how many miles we can go. This might seem like a small difference, but displaying miles per gallon in gallons per mile immediately shows some huge flaws in our current system 15 mpg = 660 gallons per 10,000 miles 20 mpg = 500 gallons per 10,000 miles 30 mpg = 330 gallons per 10,000 miles 45 mpg = 220 gallons per 10,000 miles 60 mpg = 160 gallons per 10,000 miles Now, obviously, the most fuel efficient car here is still the 60 mpg car. And that's fantastic. But increasing the mileage of a 15 mpg car to 20 mpg, saves as much gasoline (and carbon) as doubling the mileage of a 30 mpg car to 60 mpg.

August 12, 2008

NASA: Next gen shuttle delayed to 2015

BBC | Nasa Moonship flight target slips
Nasa has pushed back by a year its internal target date for flying the successor to the shuttle. Agency officials say they are now aiming for September 2014 for the first crewed mission of the Orion ship. This is a year later than Nasa had hoped for, but still inside its March 2015 absolute deadline. The officials say the funds currently available to develop Orion and its Ares launch rocket mean the faster timeline is no longer tenable.

August 08, 2008

Olympics online - 2,200 hours of live streaming content

cnbc.com | Beijing Olympics: Will They Be A Media Game Changer?
But the Olympics are far more than just a boost for NBC Universal, they're also an unprecedented experiment with online content distribution, bound to transform the way media companies distribute their content. ... Perhaps most importantly in terms of the way the Olympics will change the media landscape, 2,200 hours will be streamed LIVE on the internet. Just two years ago the Olympics made just one hockey game available live online, so think about how far consumers have come in getting control over when, where, and what they watch. Here's what really surprises me: while all this content will be distributed online along with ads, potentially stealing eyeballs from TV broadcasts, it hasn't hurt advertising prices at all. TV commercial ad prices are continuing to rise consistently, with a 30 second spot going for $750,000 this year.

August 01, 2008

Glassdoor lets employees vent or priase anonymously

(Un)happy in Your Work? Tell It to Glassdoor

Glassdoor sets up a way for people to rate the companies they work for -- anonymously, of course. A Microsoft employee can respond to a survey of 16 questions about job satisfaction, enter information about his or her salary, reply to essay-style questions, and give CEO Steve Ballmer an approval rating. In exchange, the employee would get full access to the site -- a "give to get" formula intended to convince people to participate.

If it works -- if people enthusiastically jump in the way they do on TripAdvisor -- then Glassdoor could be profound. Barton and Glassdoor CEO Bob Hohman showed me a preview. Anyone trying to decide what company to work for could get a view of the company previously only available by word of mouth.

You could starkly see how happy engineers are at, say, Google vs. Yahoo. One page Hohman showed me compared engineer salaries at Yahoo, Google, Microsoft and Apple, showing that Apple pays far less than the other three -- but still woos engineers who believe in Apple's philosophy. Another page shows that Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang has a not-great approval rating while VMware CEO Diane Greene has one of the top approval ratings in the industry.

How to: Make your own D12 bag of holding

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories - DIY d12 Handbag (of Holding)

(via Alice's Wonderland)