Ever wonder why it always seems that your awesome smartphone or computer starts to fall apart right about the same time that the manufacturer announces a brand new model? If the answer is yes, then you are not alone. The New York Times’ Technology section attempts to tackle this mystery. It turns out there is a very fine line between making a quality product that everyone loves and “planned obsolescence”. Stray a bit too far either way and your bottom line will be taking a considerable hit.
It’s reassuring to know that I’m not losing my mind when I notice these things.
The US Navy’s newest destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, has made its way into the water finally. The Zumwalt, named for former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt Jr., is significantly larger than its predecessor but requires a much smaller crew. While technologically advanced, the design program met with considerable problems and cost a lot more than the original budget, much in the way the earlier Seawolf Class Fast Attack Submarines did. Also like Seawolf, the program was cut down to just three ships.
The Zumwalt boasts advanced radar systems, a new 155mm gun, an electric propulsion system, significant computer automation, and a stealth hull.
Popular Science finally answers a question I’ve always had about the Apollo missions. What happened to Apollo 2 and 3? We all know about the tragic fire on Apollo 1 and the investigation that followed, but what happened to the next two missions? As it turns out, they never happened. Each of the Saturn rockets to be used was assigned to a mission, and so Apollo 2 and 3’s rockets were never used, due to the massive redesigns following the fire. With the introduction of the new and improved Saturn rockets, the mission number was maintained and the next unmanned Apollo flight became Apollo 4.
Apollo 4, 5, and 6 were all unmanned test missions that were conducted prior to resuming manned missions with Apollo 7.