Blogs

Open or Closed Source Software

Raised eyebrows are the norm when people realize that I have developed a Closed Source Software (CSS) application by integrating a number of Open Source Software (OSS) systems. Before we explore the Symscape business model, keep in mind that everyone needs shelter, food, and health-care, i.e., even software developers need to be paid.

Caedium: State-of-the-art 'plumbing'Caedium: State-of-the-art 'plumbing'

British Steam Car with a Need for Speed

What is it with Brits and their Need for Speed? I've covered Greenbird, the record-breaking land yacht, Quicksilver, a contender for the world water-speed record, and Bloodhound SSC, the concept design for another world land-speed car from the team that holds the current record. What do they all have in common? You guessed it, they are all British-based teams. Well, we can add another team to the list - that of 'The British Steam Car,' who recently broke the world land-speed record for a steam-powered car.

Future Tech: Cheap and Simple

The idea that price and capability are intimately linked goes without question, but when a disruptive technology or business model introduces a step change in that relationship, then you have a revolution - or if you are the incumbent, you have a dilemma. Cheap and simple is coming, ready or not.

Riblets: 400 Million Years in the Making

Sharks have been around for over 400 million years, pre-dating the dinosaurs by some 200 million years. 400 million years is quite a time to perfect the swift swimming skills that make sharks one of the most efficient predators on the Earth. But it's not only technique that makes sharks fast. Their slippery streamlined shape helps to minimizes pressure drag, and a specialized skin layer (dermal denticles) minimizes skin friction drag and serves as the inspiration for riblets.

Visualization Award Secrets

As part of the recent "Scientific Discovery through Advanced Computing" (SciDAC) conference, an evening was devoted to choosing the top 10 scientific visualizations of the year. This year Wired ran an article on the most recent award winners, which raised the awards' profile to the visualization world's equivalent of the Oscars. So what does it take to win visualization awards? Read on for my 'simple' 5-step plan.

WWII Stealthy Flying Wing

The Northrop Grumman B-2 is the epitome of a stealthy flying wing. However, a recent study has shown that the Horton Ho 229, a World War II (WWII) flying-wing prototype, also shared a number of characteristics with the B-2, including stealth - 45 years prior to the first flight of the B-2.

Science Museum: Formula 1

It's rare to find a recent Formula 1 (F1) car in a public museum, even rarer is to see an F1 car hanging upside down from the ceiling, yet you'll find both at the London Science Museum. Finally I'm at the end of my Science Museum grand tour - though it only took an afternoon in real time, it has spawned weeks worth of blog posts and covered a century of innovation - spanning computing, rockets, VTOL, British WWII Airplanes, wind tunnel models and now F1.

Science Museum: World War II Airplanes

On my recent visit to the London Science Museum, amongst computing, rockets and VTOL exhibits, I also came across some historic British airplanes in the Flight Gallery. In this post I'll focus on the World War II era airplanes that played a pivotal role in defending the skies above Britain.

Swimsuits Banned as 'Technology Doping'

FINA, the governing body of swimming, has banned the full-coverage, low-drag swimsuits that are credited with aiding swimmers in breaking nearly all the world swimming records in the last year or so. I discussed drag reduction and its application to swimming in the lead up to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, where the Speedo LZR Racer swimsuit was the garment of choice for all would-be champions. In Beijing all but a couple of the existing Olympic records survived the LZR clad swimmer onslaught. Records were not only broken - they were smashed by huge margins instead of following a relatively steady historical progression.

Science Museum: Wind Tunnel Models

In the days prior to Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), wind tunnel testing was the primary method for assessing the performance of airplanes prior to actually building them. On my visit to the London Science Museum I noticed a number of wind tunnel models of historic significance that I'll share with you here.

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