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  • Jack Lau

Random Thoughts This Week


What a week! Rather than going for a lengthy single subject this week, let's talk about a few things just recently happened, and gauge their significance, for fun….

1. Tesla Completes $2.35 Billion Stock and Bond Sale

<https://www.wsj.com/articles/tesla-seeks-raise-as-much-as-2-7-billion-up-from-2-3-billion-11556886130>

Despite a rather disastrous production delay (where is our US$30,000 Tesla ???), and a CEO who got into trouble with the SEC, Tesla gets a much-needed boost in capital.

But, one must wonder, what is Tesla's future? Almost all major car companies are catching up with electric car. Nissan, Hyundai, General Motor….. All offering pretty cool and budget electric cars….

Or is it the self-driving vehicle?…. But, a confession here. We do play with a Tesla and have tried the auto-parking feature. At least in Hong Kong, frankly it has never succeeded in our parking lot. Maybe the parking space in Hong Kong is too tight. But, if auto-parking, which is much simpler than self-driving, does not work well, then what are the chances of complete self-driving? Maybe we will need to create special road for that to happen… Don't know enough about that…

2. Microsoft hit a Trillion dollar market capitalization

https://www.theverge.com/2019/4/25/18515623/microsoft-worth-1-trillion-dollars-stock-price-value 5 years ago if you have bought a share of Microsoft, it would have appreciated nearly 3 times. That is an annual growth of 25%! Incredible! Sometimes, we wonder, why are we paying so much overhead to our retirement fund manager. Hmm…. 3. Nokia 9 PureView Phone: 5 cameras with Zeiss optics

Nokia, a brand we have nearly forgotten (so sad).... But this new phone is pretty interesting.

So much has been talked about the camera capabilities of the smart phone over the past year. We are not saying that this phone is the best or anything like that. Rather, we are merely stating that given that the Nokia 9 PureView is a mid-price phone, it demonstrates a tremendous photo taking capability. With 5 cameras and nice optics, it can do a number of photo taking features previously not possible.

Photo from Nokia website

Just a short note, when you take a picture with this new Nokia phone, all 5 cameras take a picture (so 5 shots per picture). Some of the cameras are monochrome, while some are color. (Monochrome allows more light in.) And, then there are a number of possibilities with clever digital processing to create much better photos.

Check this review out to get a feel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k0bPEyLDA4

While some argue that this is like what happen in the disposable razor business in which manufacturer just keep adding more blades, phones with more cameras do make sense.

5 blades razor... Hmm... They all do the same thing, don't they? But 5 cameras all do somewhat different functions.

We get a feeling that this has to be the trend. Who does not want to brag about the photos they take on their phones? Many of us are not even taking ANY cameras other than that of a phone when we go on a trip now….

P.S. We have even seen a 16 camera version! Yes, no kidding. And, if the trend is right, the big chunky lens camera may face a completely different kind of competition. Check out this 16 lens camera. (The company which provides this is a startup called Light. https://light.co/camera)

Photo from Light website

https://www.wsj.com/video/this-16-lens-camera-is-a-threat-to-dslrs/0EC8E5E7-7706-4CDB-B4EC-5E8FBECA2CC5.html

4. UV-C for germ killing Ultra-violet light C band (UV-C) is more obscure and probably not talked about by most folks. Yet, it probably has a pretty relevant application to almost all of us. Given that Hong Kong has gone through SARS not so many years ago, and today, naturally technologies which help us live in a safe environment should be of interest. Some years ago, we came across the use of ultra-violet light to kill virus. Some hospitals actually have big machines to help disinfect a room. At certain wavelength of the Ultra-violet light, it breaks down a bacteria cell and literally kills it. Usage of this for disinfecting drinking water is great. Imagine in the future a simple home robot that helps you disinfect the whole house while you are gone. The problem with UV-C light, though is that, it may hurt your eyes, and cause serious skin problem. Not only that the machine to make true and effective UV-C light is bulky.

That is why people want to figure out a way to generate UV-C with just LED. LED for the longest time cannot do a good job in emitting UV-C light. (For my engineering friend, it is about 220 nm wavelength).

Not only that apparently at a slightly modified wavelength, it is not hurtful to human as well, according to some studies done at Columbia University.

Good News!

Not only that, apparently, people are succeeding in making UV-C light now with LED light. A number of companies from Japan, Korea and Taiwan have made headways in lowering the cost of UV-C light. That will be a major game changer. Take a look at some of the companies in the link below. https://technews.tw/2019/04/29/uv-c-led-ultraviolet-light/ Someone with a flu at home? No problem, flip a switch in the room and it will be disinfected! Schools, hospitals…… Hmmm. Interesting, urh…


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