Electric-jet hybrid could rekindle services to small cities.

first_imgZunum’s electric-jet hybrid could benefit from Boeing’s battery investment. Photo: Zunum Backers are betting big that a revolutionary new electric-jet aircraft now under development in surburban Seattle could bring back scheduled air connections to smaller cities abandoned in the recent waves of airline consolidation.With start-up support from both Boeing and JetBlue Technology Ventures, the goal is to begin re-seeding these communities by the early 2020s with a slew of new air services.“The shift of the [airline] industry to large aircraft and long ranges driven by gas turbine [engines] has concentrated almost all air traffic to just two percent of our airports,” says Zunum Aero founder and chief executive Ashish Kumar. In a prepared release from JetBlue Technology Ventures he says this has created a “massive transport gap over regional distances where there is no high-speed alternative. As a result, door-to-door times for most journeys are no better than they were 50 years ago.”He goes on to assert: “Hybrid propulsion is an industry-changing solution, enabling mid-size aircraft on regional routes to have better cost efficiencies than [larger, conventionally-powered] airliners.”Zunum contends the electric/jet hybrid could bring a quartet of advantages to the market:A 40 percent decrease in door-to-door travel times on busy corridors, and as much as an 80 percent decrease on more heavily-traveled ones;Much lower operating costs, enabling fares 40 percent to 80 percent below current prices;Eighty percent lower emissions, dropping to zero as battery life improves over time;A 75 percent drop in community noise. This could open up all-hours access to smaller airports, such as Long Beach, California.While he applauds any technology promising to lower costs and cut emissions, noted aviation consultant Mike Boyd questions the demand side of the aeronautical equation.“You want to look at everything here,” says the president of Boyd Group International, a major aviation-consulting firm that specializes in small city air service. “If anyone comes along with an idea [to field a newer, better aircraft] as far as the technology goes” that’s great.“As far as this being geared to bring air service back to Merced, California [and similar smaller cities] it’s a pipe dream,” he maintains. “There isn’t enough demand there to start with.“Another example: Topeka, Kansas. You can put all the flights you want to in there. People are still going to drive the hour to get to flights in Kansas City. It’s more than just airplanes. It’s consumers and alternative options.“I endorse heartily anybody who’s looking into new technology for airplanes. But if this is based…on there being a latent need for rural air service, they’re dreaming.”Still, some very serious people are more than dreaming just now.  They believe that the technology will work and they’re three-years deep in aircraft and engine development.In addition to backing by Boeing and JetBlue, Zunum maintains a long-term partnership with the Center for Power Optimization of Electro-Thermal Systems, a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center at the University of Illinois in the United Sates.They’re all engaged just now in an effort to drive U.S. Federal Aviation Administration standards for electric aircraft. Those standards could roll out by 2018, with the first batch of electric aircraft certified for flight by 2020.last_img read more

Art in the ctrl alt delete world

first_imgArun Pandit’s last show at the Visual Arts Gallery in Delhi was described as a milestone in the evolution of a sculptor who uses personal experience to create sculptures that speak in the rhythm of the human metaphor. Looking at Pandit’s works in this show he recalls the words of Harold Rosenberg – ‘A contemporary painting or sculpture is a species of centaur—half art  materials half words’-  as he creates images that are blurred in the light of the internet frustrations and experiences that happen when we are faced with the kinetic words, what he describes as – Error 404. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Arun explains his experience and his journey, ‘For me the internet experience is a kind of disorientation which is the beginning and end and in that way it’s like  a closed question, that operates  in a basic perceptual textbook in the human psyche, which also tells the  reader, “You see the image one way, and if you turn it in space then it becomes different experientially.” But in my work I also have a peculiar kind of  disorientation that comprises the entirely of the invitation  to the viewer because it  engenders in him or her a level of curiosity like never before.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPandit’s work is about analysis. He doesn’t want the sculptural pieces to be an act of analysis by themselves. He wants the pieces to be the collective conscious  clump that his art  is analyzing. Whether it be the couple reading the newspaper, or the mirrored bull he  wants all the aspects that he is juxtaposing  to be pushing against each other at once and as a unit. Pandit  says: ‘ I’m not interested in taking things apart, I’m interested in what happens when they stay together, when they are together.’The power of this show lies in its ability to draw the viewer into its maw. Pandit also draws our attention to  the image of art as a tool-because sculpture  is part of the larger question of what that tool of thought  is used for.last_img read more

Google cloud and GOJEKs announce Feast a new and open source feature

first_imgGoogle Cloud announced the release of Feast, a new open source feature store that helps organizations to better manage, store, and discover new features for their machine learning projects, last week. Feast, a collaboration project between Google Cloud and GO-JEK (an Indonesian tech startup) is an open, extensible, and a unified platform for feature storage. “Feast is an essential component in building end-to-end machine learning systems at GO-JEK. We’re very excited to release it to the open source community,” says Peter Richens, Senior Data Scientist at GO-JEK. It has been developed with an aim to find solutions for common challenges faced by Machine Learning Development teams. Some of these common challenges include: Machine Learning features not being reused (features representing similar business concepts get redeveloped many times when existing work from other teams could have been reused). Feature definitions vary (teams define features differently and many times there is no easy access to the documentation of a feature). Hard to serve up-to-date features (teams are hesitant in using real-time data). Inconsistency between training and serving (training requires historical data, whereas prediction models require the latest values. When data is broken down into various independent systems, it leads to inconsistencies as the systems then require separate tooling). Feast gets rid of these challenges by providing teams with a centralized platform that allows teams to easily reuse the features developed by another team across different projects. Also, as you add more features to the store, it becomes cheaper to build models Feast Apart from that, Feast manages the ingestion of data by unifying it from both batch and streaming sources (using Apache Beam) into the feature warehouse and feature serving stores. Users can then query features in the warehouse using the same set of feature identifiers. It also allows easy access to historical feature data for its users, which in turn, can be used to produce datasets for training models. Moreover,  Feast allows teams to capture documentation, metadata and metrics about features, allowing teams to communicate clearly about these features. Feast aims to be deployable on Kubeflow in the future and would get integrated seamlessly with other Kubeflow components such as a Python SDK for use with Kubeflow’s Jupyter notebooks, and Kubeflow Pipelines. This is because Kubeflow focuses on improving packaging, training, serving, orchestration, and evaluation of models. “We hope that Feast can act as a bridge between your data engineering and machine learning teams”, says the Feast team. For more information, check out the official Google Cloud announcement. Read Next Watson-CoreML : IBM and Apple’s new machine learning collaboration project Google researchers introduce JAX: A TensorFlow-like framework for generating high-performance code from Python and NumPy machine learning programs Dopamine: A Tensorflow-based framework for flexible and reproducible Reinforcement Learning research by Googlelast_img read more