I know exactly what you mean, Ann. I remember way back in the early days of my career about 15 years ago I would complain that companies had a hard time putting basic information like location and contact info in an obvious spot on the website. And it seems they still even do that today, when websites and ready access to information are so ubiquitous. The mind boggles. I bet the people designing these sites are being paid a lot more than me, too! ;)
That's not only one of my pet peeves as a journalist, it's among the top 3. Unfortunately, there is no industry-wide "institutional memory" about media relations (as there was for a time in electronics & semiconductors) for each new company to learn from. And even startups in Silicon Valley repeat the same mistakes anew.
That is one of my top pet peeves as a journalist, Ann. Companies and projects today still dont' seem to know how to engage properly with a press audience. You think by now they would know even how to communicate the basic information people need. But I still find myself baffled by websites and their lack of ease of use sometimes.
The website may be fun for a casual viewer to get lost in, or someone who only wants the latest news, but for a reporter or anyone else trying to get info like a timeline or details of specific events, it's quite frustrating.
You're right, I have seen lots of coverage. I guess they don't need a good website if everyone else is giving them a good media presence. It is a really interesting project and definitely worthy of all the attention.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise tekochip. I knew about oxygen masks, but not that small planes like a Cessna can be pressurized. Considering the weight penalties you cite, I'd guess SI 2 must be using masks.
Here in The States, the FAA requires supplemental oxygen above 12,500 for more than 30 minutes, or at any time above 14,000. If the cabin is pressurized you need to have an emergency supply available but I won't quote the all of the FARs here.
Bottled oxygen, masks and cannulas are sold at pilot shops and many General Aviation airports can refill bottles on site. A 50 cubic foot cylinder will last a little over 40 hours. I don't know about the Solar Impulse, but even something as small as the Cessna 210 is available pressurized. For the average General Aviation owner, a pressurized aircraft adds a great deal of extra cost and complexity, while losing performance.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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