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Archive for April, 2008

BANGALORE, India (AFP) — An Indian rocket launched a record 10 satellites into orbit in a single mission Monday, underlining the nation’s emergence as a major competitor in the multi-billion-dollar space market.

Cartosat-2A, the main satellite launched Monday to an altitude of 630 kilometres (391 miles) above earth, also has a domestic economic dimension and can be used for intelligence gathering as well, officials say.

After a gap of 100 seconds, all the babies on board were sequentially dropped off one by one, with a gap of 20 seconds each with the mission ending almost 20 minutes after lift-off.

The launch vehicle took off from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and has launched 10 satellites – a feat which has created a world record.

The high-resolution mapping satellite CARTOSAT 2-A, which, while placed at a height of over 600 kilometres, can identify objects as small as a car.

Source: NDTV, AFP

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Shai Agassi [above pic]

What can be made free? A better question is what can’t be? My friend Shai Agassi, who until recently ran technology at SAP, got a load of press this week about his new venture, which aims to create the largest electric car company in the world. Details won’t be announced until December, but the basic concept is that you’ll pay for the electricity, not the car. Think razors and blades, or companies giving away free cellphones to lock you into a monthly contract of minutes.

He’s got a blog, cheekily called The Long Tailpipe, and here’s one mind-blowing fact from his most recent post on the effect of current oil prices:

The cost of the average used car in Europe is now cheaper than the cost of gasoline to drive it for a year.

That’s why “free” cars make sense: because the purchase price is now a small fraction of their lifetime costs. Shai’s company is taking a bigger view of the business they’re in–rather than selling cars, they’re selling personal transportation, and charging a rate proportional to use. When fuel seemed nearly free compared to price of the car, companies sold cars. Now cars seem nearly free compared to the cost of the fuel. Thus an opportunity for a car company that thinks different.

(Picture taken by me on a tour Shai and I [Chris Anderson] took earlier this year of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District electricity control center, part of our ongoing effort to understand the economics of electricity better.)

Above Article is from the author, Chris Anderson, of famous Book The Long Tail.

Why Electric?. The following pic will depict better.

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[Click on the image for better view]

Source

Three Deutsche Bank analysts took a hard look at Project Better Place’s business plan for an electric-car recharging grid in Israel and Denmark, and they drew this unexpected conclusion:

The electric car scheme is viable in America, too. The assumption that it would make a cost-effective investment only in tiny nations with sky-high taxes and outrageous prices at the pump is dead wrong. Continue [Source]

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