Hidden Figures, Space Pioneers and FCC Appointment

On Episode 339 of The Waves of Tech, we dive into air flight, space flight, space legacy, and the new FCC Chairman.  We kick off the show by reporting the news of why United Airlines had domestic stateside flights grounded for two hours.  In the bulk of the podcast, we discuss the legacy left behind by three extraordinary African-American women working for NASA in the 1960s featured in the recent box office hit Hidden Figures.  It’s an amazing story of the battle for racial equality and the transition of human computing to electronic computing.  We then look at President Obama’s legacy with the space budget, which sent rovers to Mars and commercialized space flight.  Finally, we highlight the new FCC Chairman that is not a proponent of net neutrality regulations.  Enjoy the podcast and continue to ride…the waves of tech.


United flights experienced delays on domestic United States flights after an “IT issue” was reported by the popular airline company.  The report was confirmed by the FAA as well.

  • Angered travelers took to social media to voice their discomfort
  • FAA officials told USA Today that low bandwidth may have caused the issue
  • Flights were grounded for nearly two hours, international flights not affected
  • United is not planning on providing further details of the IT issue

If you have the chance, check out the movie Hidden Figures.  It’s an extraordinary story of three African-American women who broke through gender and race lines to send John Glenn into orbit in the 1960s.  These three women were instrumental in the success NASA saw in that time.

  • The launch introduced the IBM 7090, which spawned to move to electronic computing
  • Technology and computing was already replacing human computing nearly 60 years ago
  • The story launched the NASA careers of pioneers such as John Glenn and Gene Cernan
  • The transition of human to electronic computing was not smooth, plenty of bumps

With the end of President Obama’s 8-year run, we take a look at his space legacy and his overall contribution to science, education, space exploration, and space travel.  With the end of Space Shuttle flights in 2011, where has NASA taken us and where are we going.

  • We landed Curiosity rover on Mars and finally experience the Red Planet up close
  • Civilian flights to suborbital space is on the horizon, with SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and Orbital ATK leading the charge
  • Private companies with government backing are supplying the International Space Station with supplies and goods, at least through 2024
  • Estimated $8.8 billion of earth and planetary science funding in travel and education

On Episode 331, we laid out how a President Trump administration may impact the technology industry.  With the transition in place, we are now seeing those impacts.  The new FCC chairman is not a proponent of net neutrality.

  • Ajit Pai sees net neutrality as an unnecessary regulation, harming the telecom industry
  • He is quoted as saying, “this Order imposes intrusive government regulations that won’t work to solve a problem that doesn’t exist using legal authority the FCC doesn’t have.”
  • He has ignored previous meeting requests by former FCC Chairman Tom Warren
  • This appointment may have drastic effects on the manner in which we get our content
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