At long last, the long-delayed A380 has finally made its first commercial flight—over 18 months behind schedule but still early enough to meet the conditions of our PPX proposition. A380FLIES has been delisted and paid out at POP$100 per share.
Personally I was skeptical, but the market was leaning toward success all along, with the proposition trading above $80 for the last few months. It closed at POP$99.75—doesn't get much more certain than that!
Above is a video of the historic touchdown in Sydney, courtesy of the UK's Telegraph. —John Mahoney
Among the friends we've been making over in the PopSci booth at Maker Faire include the guys from Octoparts—an aggregate search engine for electronic components. If you've ever tried to buy resistors, capacitors, or any other component on the Web, you know how obscure and confusing some of these ordering sites can be—if you don't know your part number, you're often out of luck. With Octoparts, just type in what you're looking for and find the best price. In the works is an online app to save and share your parts list for your project. Now that Radio Shack has almost entirely moved out of the components trade in their stores, Octoparts is a new tinkerer's dream. —John Mahoney
The PopSci booth is hopping here at Maker Faire Austin. Here's Gray Matter columnist Theo Gray doing a version of his "dry ice cream"—this time by simply pouring liquid nitrogen into a pot of cream and sugar. Who needs an ice cream maker? Mmm mmm good.
Extend your range with some old-fashioned cookware
By John MahoneyPosted 10.12.2007 at 4:18 pm 2 Comments
Here we have yours truly demonstrating a quick and easy way to greatly enhance your computer's ability to detect and connect to Wi-Fi networks both near and far with a piece of Asian parabolic cookware.
Here's hoping that today will go down as a watershed date in the music industry—the day that a mass-market band finally got it right. I'm talking about the English rockers Radiohead and their innovative distribution model for their new album, In Rainbows, which was released for digital download today.
Rather than wait for it to be leaked online well before its physical release, the band decided to publish the recently completed album to the Web themselves, forgoing the many months of promotion and planning that usually come between an album's completion and its arrival in stores. Better yet, the band allowed each downloader to pay whatever they wanted for the DRM-free record—anything from two cents to, well, hundreds of dollars if you were so inclined.
The beauty of this is that nearly every music fan I know (most of whom havent paid for music in years) was excited to buy this album. Excited because they could pay a very small amount of money, sure, but also because they knew it was going straight to the band they admired and not to a record company. They were also excited to play it however they wanted, on an unlimited number of MP3-capable devices or CDs, without DRM restrictions.
Radiohead discovered something important today: Once customers are not theoretically required to put up money for an album that they were going to download for free anyway, they instantly become more excited about actually paying money for it. It certainly also helps if the album is fantastic, which In Rainbows is. Let's hope other major bands and labels follow suit. The future is now! —John Mahoney
Buy it here - inrainbows.com
As we've reported before, it's often possible to fight planned obsolescence and resurrect your dead or dying iPod without bowing to the man by simply buying a new one. Putting a more morbid twist on the issue is the iPod Death Clock—enter in your serial number, answer a few quick questions, and get an estimate on how much time's left until your iPod's funeral, ticking down before your eyes! They'll also give you a link to add your funeral date to Google Calendar, an estimate on your battery's current capacity, and of course some handy links to purchase some replacement parts from their well-appointed shop.
As you can see, PopSci web assistant Abby's relatively new 5G 'pod only has a little over a year left to live. O mortality, does nothing escape your ever-present gaze? —John MahoneyiPod Death Clock [via Lifehacker]
Today on PPX we have halted not one, not two, no, not even three, but FOUR propositions—all of them paying out at POP$0. No surprises here—all of the stocks in question had been trading below $10 for several weeks.
In summary, Digg.com was not shut down, no NASA bigwigs were fired, the iPhone was not recalled, and Facebook.com did not go public:
DIGGRIP: halted at POP$0.50
PNKSLP: halted at POP$2.50
FACEBOOK: halted at POP$5.25
IPRECAL: halted at POP$0.25
As always, happy trading! —John Mahoney
Today, the deep-space asteroid-studying spaceprobe Dawn was successfully launched on schedule, satisfying the requirements of DAWNOK. After a few false starts, NASA's mission to study the origins of the solar system is now officially under way, headed forthe main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The unmanned
spacecraft will begin its exploration of Vesta in 2011, and Ceres in
2015. By comparing the two asteroids, scientists hope to learn more
about how the solar system formed and why Vesta and Ceres failed to become full-size planets.
Back on this planet, our stock was halted at a price of POP$78.75, and will pay out at POP$100 immediately. Onward and upward! —John Mahoney and Dawn Stover
Just read about a great-looking recent book in one of my favorite regular columns, Patrick Smith's weekly "Ask the Pilot." Jeffrey Milstein takes the large-scale, portrait-style photos of aircraft seen here and in the book "AirCraft: The Jet as Art" released a few months back. It's basically a catalog of his recent touring gallery show, one I'm sad to have missed.
A pilot himself, Milstein photographs approaching planes near one of LAX's inbound runways with a large-format Contax digital camera. He then strips the background to white in Photoshop, giving his images the stark, scientific tone which allows the unique beauty and power of their subjects to come through.
Anyway, for the aviation nerd in your life, you can't find a better coffee-table tome. I gotta get one myself. —John Mahoney
I just wanted to thank everyone who entered our "Go Green" contest over on Instructables—and everyone else who submitted great greening ideas to the original post's comment thread. We're thrilled with the great response we've gotten, and it'll be a tough job judging all the entries. Stay tuned here for the winner's announcement and several of our favorite projects. —John Mahoney