Mary Lou Jepsen encourages Google X attitude in hardware engineering - SlashGear
This week at a fireside chat during Google I/O 2013, Mary Lou Jepsen – currently the head of the Display Division at Google X – let it be known that “there’s no more silicon in Silicon Valley – it’s all iPhone apps.” She quickly added – “or Android apps, I should say.” An overarching theme from her set of words in the extended chat made it clear: she’s not satisfied with the current atmosphere for hardware innovation, particularly when it comes to startup funding.
Jepsen was joined by serial entrepreneurs Julia Hartz, co-founder and president of Eventbrite, Slava Rubin, CEO and co-founder of Indegogo, and Caterina Fake, founder and CEO of Findery and co-founder of Flickr. It was on this panel that Jepsen made the case for not just a broken device hardware startup model, but for new entrants into this startup world to be aiming for the moon. It was from within Google X, after all, that Google Glass originated.
So we have a lot of followers on here and you guys ask a lot of questions. There are only a few of us that run this in our spare time, so we can’t answer always answer your questions about classes, homework, etc. We definitely would like to, but there just isn’t the time, so I recommend heading over to this subreddit and give your questions a shot. There are lot of redditors that could help you with your questions.
Scientists investigate that which already is; engineers create that which has never been.
Consider what just happened…
Last night, I watched a live feed from a command center in Pasadena, California, piped through the Internet 1800 miles to me in St. Louis, Missouri. I heard telemetry and ‘heart-beat’ confirmation tones from a 2.5 billion dollar Mini Cooper sized science lab (the largest ever for a mission) launched 253 days ago, from 353 million miles away, above the surface of another planet. That science lab hit the Martian atmosphere at 13,200 miles per hour. It burned through the atmosphere, and expended a 15 foot diameter heat shield (the largest ever for a mission) that had withstood temperatures of 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit (hot enough to melt every metal you can think of). It rode down on a 51 foot diameter parachute (the largest ever for a mission) designed to withstand speeds of 1450 miles per hour (there was no backup chute). Then the chute was abandoned, and the craft went into free fall for a few seconds. A rocket pack was activated to allow the car sized object to hover over the surface, while a skycrane lowered the entire thing gently to the rocky soil. It landed within a 12 mile by 4 mile ellipse, or around 38 square miles (the size of Barcelona, Spain*), within planetary spitting distance of a 3.5 mile high mountain.
All with zero command input from any human being watching, running on less computing power than the phone in your pocket.
*So take a sheet of paper, fold it in half longways. Now walk about 5,600 miles away. Now hit it with a bullet the width of a strand of DNA (~4 nanometers). That’s what it’s like to land the rover in such a small area from such a long distance.
I know this is a little late to the game but this is the best description of the Curiosity Rover success that I have read.