My wife Betty recently showed me an interesting article about a proposal to turn parts of the original Los Alamos Laboratory property into a national park. The proposal would include 17 buildings in six industrial sites within the lab’s boundaries.

The Pajarito site and some buildings in downtown Los Alamos are also a part of the proposed park, as is the V-site, where the Trinity device (the “Gadget”) was assembled and the Fat Man device was tested before being dropped on Nagasaki. It has been some time since I have been to Los Alamos, but I would enjoy seeing some of the historic areas of the labs turned into a national park or museum.

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I am sure by now you have seen the video of Amazon’s proposed Prime Air delivery system, which uses drones to deliver items to customers within 30 minutes after an order is placed. I am impressed with this idea — it is an ingenious use of something originally built for military purposes.

This is similar to what happened with the Internet, which was originally developed by the Department of Defense, and was eventually transitioned to commercial use — in great part by Network Solutions when it was a part of SAIC. According to Jeff Bezos, there are a number of hurdles to get over before Amazon will be able to roll out this new service, but they are regulatory in nature, not technical.

* * *

We had a good Thanksgiving at the Beach and Tennis Club. It was a beautiful day at the beach. In addition to Betty and the kids, we were joined by Joe Pasquale and Paul Kouris. The dogs had to stay home this year.

— Bob

2 Responses to “Los Alamos, Prime Air, and Thanksgiving”

  1. 1 jonathan kitzen

    In regard to the Alamos amusement park I think more “museum and educational based attraction” is the operative idea than the water slide into the reactor pool kind of thing. Then again who knows?

    As for Amazon prime I don’t see this as happening for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that the current drone systems are not very reliable. Most (99.99%) are not leveraging existing technologies such as ARM processors. Further, while they look harmless those electric motors are putting out 8hp or more each, when combined with a carbon fiber prop they are flying sausage makers waiting for a victim. A 10lb payload is not something you want falling out of the sky nor the 10 kilo machine that is holding it. Moreover the actual “use” of these machines has been greatly overlooked. Just as the internet brought anonymity to thoughts and created a rise in hate speech, the drone will bring the same to actions as they offer an untraceable human interface. Look for their use to completely change security and for example drug trafficking within the next 2 years. I could go on, but don’t count on Amazon flying to your home anytime soon. The drone business is the PC business in the air, its a race to the bottom – doing more for less and they are already at a price point to make them available to all. From what I have seen people don’t understand the technical side nor the business/personal side of the technology. The world as we think of it is about to undergo a huge change – not better, not worse, just change.

    Happy thanksgiving

  2. 2 Dr. Beyster

    Jonathan: I’m a big fan of drones, and I personally believe the problems you pointed out will be solved. Again, the problems aren’t with the technology, they are with the regulators. — Bob

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