Daily Archives: March 19, 2012

NASA technology (3)


                                                                                                                                          
Man and Machine
NASA – While Robonaut 2 has been busy testing its technology in microgravity aboard the International Space Station, NASA and General Motors have been working together on the ground to find new ways those technologies can be used.

The two groups began working together in 2007 on Robonaut 2, or R2, which in 2011 became the first humanoid robot in space. NASA and GM now are developing a robotic glove that auto workers and astronauts can wear to perform their respective jobs, while reducing the risk of repetitive stress injuries. Officially, it’s called the Human Grasp Assist device, but generally it’s called the K-Glove or Robo-Glove.

In this image, Robonaut and a spacesuit-gloved hand are extended toward each other to demonstrate the collaboration between robots and humans in space.

Obama’s evolution: Behind the failed ‘grand bargain’ on the debt


By Peter Wallsten, Lori Montgomery and Scott Wilson – To the outside world, it looked like a do-nothing summer Sunday, a disturbingly quiet reminder of government dysfunction. The prevailing theme on the weekly political talk shows was things falling apart. In two weeks, the government would be unable to pay its bills. No meetings were taking place at the White House that day, one network host said.

The reality was quite different. Around 11 a.m. July 17, John A. Boehner, the House speaker, and Eric Cantor, the majority leader, had slipped through a side entrance, out of view from the bank of television cameras stationed near the front gate off Pennsylvania Avenue. The on-and-off secret negotiations were on again.

The actions of Obama and his staff during that period in the summer reflect the grand ambitions and the shortcomings of the president’s first term.

A president who promised to bring the country together, who confidently presented himself as the transformational figure able to make that happen, now had his chance. But, like earlier policy battles, the debt ceiling negotiations revealed a divided figure, a man who remained aloof from a Congress where he once served and that he now needed. He was caught between his own aspirations for historical significance and his inherent political caution. more> http://tinyurl.com/75rnl6p

What caused the financial crisis?


By Jonathan Schonsheck – Despite the good efforts of government commissions and individual experts, the proverbial “root cause” of the crisis has yet to be unearthed.

In my judgment, the root cause is actually a synergism between two distinguishable elements. The first element is the devotion of many individuals — in government, in business and in the academy — to Rational Market Theory. The second element is the pursuit of policies and legislation that made it impossible for the markets to operate as imagined within Rational Market Theory.

The place to begin is in the mythological “state of nature,” the world before governments. more> http://tinyurl.com/6u45pdv

Wanted – Social Business Architects


By Braden Kelley – The world is changing and needs Social Business Architects. Gone is the epoch of the passive consumer, now customers want a say. At the same time, the quest for survival and growth is causing companies to stop looking at suppliers as someone to squeeze on price and instead as partners in innovation.

Social Business Architects use social media, digital communications, value analysis, and other collaborative tools to help organizations attract and engage customers, partners and employees to help the organization achieve its commercial goals. more> http://tinyurl.com/8xo87jg

Watch Bernanke’s ‘Little’ Inflation Capsize U.S.


By Amity Shlaes – A little is all right. That’s the message Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke has been giving out recently when asked about the evidence of inflation in the U.S. recovery.

Sometimes Bernanke doesn’t even go that far. He simply says he doesn’t see inflation. The Fed chairman recently described the prospects for price increases across the board as “subdued.”

“Sudden” is more like it. The thing about inflation is that it comes out of nowhere and hits you. Monetary policy is like sailing. You’re gliding along, passing the peninsula, and you come about. Nothing. Then the wind fills the sail so fast it knocks you into the sea. Right now, the U.S. is a sailboat that has just made open water, and has already come about. That wind is coming. The sailor just doesn’t know it. more> http://tinyurl.com/78kqtvp