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The Future of Military Technology is Intense

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Railguns sound like they’re straight out of a Schwarzenegger action movie.

Well, they are – but the reality is that railguns, along with other high-tech weapons such as lasers or hypersonic weapons, are already here.

The U.S. military has actually been testing lasers and railguns for some time, and has now started to mount 30-kW infrared solid-state laser systems on aircraft and gunships. Lockheed has also signed a $147 million contract to build hypersonic weapons that will fire at Mach 20, intercepting targets in under an hour using pure kinetic force.

Visualizing the Future of Military Technology

Today’s infographic comes from Futurism, showing the technological advancements we can expect to materialize in the battlefield over the coming decades.

The Future of Military Technology is Intense

The future of military technology is here, and it seems to borrow ideas right out of well-known movies such as Star Trek or Eraser.

Here’s the scoop on the advanced weapons systems of tomorrow:

Lasers: The military refers to these as directed-energy weapons (DEWs), and they are exactly what they sound like – lasers that emit highly focused energy to damage or incapacitate a target. In development for 20 roughly years, the circumstances seem to be more promising than ever for DEWs. The need is there, as targets such as groups of small drones could become common in the future. Meanwhile, the technology has finally caught up to the concept – using fiber instead of chemicals means military lasers can be smaller and more powerful.

Railguns: Electromagnetic railguns can fire projectiles at a speed of 4,600 mph (Mach 6). These projectiles use no explosive warheads or payloads, relying solely on extreme kinetic force to damage a target. Current ships, such as the Zumwalt-class destroyers are being designed to accommodate these weapons, and they could also be potentially scaled down for use in tanks.

Hypersonic weapons: Launched from land, sea, or air, hypersonic weapons are intended to be used for first strike applications, hitting targets in under an hour. Using Tactical Boost Glide (TBG) technology, hypersonic weapons are boosted to very high altitudes, where they are then accelerated to speeds of 21,000 mph (Mach 20). It should be noted that China and Russia are both also testing similar weapons systems.

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Amazon

The Impressive Stats Behind Amazon’s Dominance of the Cloud

Do you watch Netflix or use Facebook? If so, then you are indirectly leveraging Amazon’s incredible scale and dominance of the cloud.

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To the average person, cloud computing must seem quite magical.

All at once, the cloud provides instant access to all of your data, photos, music, and applications, without you having to store any of that data locally. In fact, users can access the cloud from practically anywhere in the world, and across multiple devices and platforms.

Yet, this all happens without you actually seeing any visible infrastructure. With data now being created at record speeds, where the heck is all this information being physically stored?

The Rise of AWS

Even though you can’t see the vast infrastructure that runs the cloud, it does exist somewhere.

As today’s infographic from RapidValue shows, much of this infrastructure is owned and operated by Amazon, through its extremely profitable subsidiary of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Here are the key stats on this dominant service that powers much of the internet today:

The Impressive Stats Behind Amazon's Dominance of the Cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS) quietly launched in 2002, and in a short time has been able to scale into the largest single player in cloud computing (IaaS, PaaS).

While it is a well-known name to software developers, AWS emerged on a more mainstream basis once its financials were separated from those of parent Amazon.com.

Even in 2018, AWS delivered most of Amazon’s operating income.

AWS By the Numbers

To understand the true scale of AWS, you need to look at the numbers.

  • AWS has over 1 million active users in 190 countries
  • AWS has 5x more deployed cloud infrastructure as their next 14 competitors combined
  • Each day, AWS adds as much infrastructure as they used to run in total 7 years back
  • Amazon S3 is designed to deliver 99.999999999% durability and scale past trillions of objects worldwide
  • AWS partner, Netflix, accounts for up to one-third of Internet traffic during peak usage times
  • AWS accounts for 41.5% of the public cloud market, bigger than Microsoft, Google, Rackspace, and IBM combined

Through incredible economies of scale, AWS has decreased its prices at least as many as 60 times since its launch – and despite this, AWS generated a whopping $26 billion in revenue for parent Amazon in 2018.

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Chart of the Week

Tech Founders Predict the Next Wave of Startup Growth

Which U.S. startups are best poised for growth and spin-off success? This chart shares insights from over 500 tech founders about the state of startups.

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Tech Founders Predict the Next Wave of Startup Growth

Today’s tech founders have unique insights into the evolving arena of innovation and are keenly aware of why some companies succeed more than others. Many have worked with multiple startups and have gone on to invest in successful tech unicorns.

This week’s chart comes from First Round’s State of Startups 2018 survey, in which 529 founders shared their predictions on the tech startups best poised for growth and spin-off success.

Tech Startup Valuations

Stripe, the payments startup darling, has already grown from $1.8 billion in valuation in 2013 to over $22 billion today. According to the tech founders surveyed, 19% see Stripe continuing on this path in the years to come.

Q: Which U.S.-based tech startup’s value will increase the most in the next 10 years?

RankStartup% of respondents
#1Stripe19.0%
#2SpaceX12.7%
#3Coinbase12.1%
#4Slack11.3%
#5Airbnb9.8%
#6Palantir6.8%
#7WeWork6.3%
#8Uber5.3%
#9Lyft4.7%
#10Pinterest1.6%
Other10.3%

It’s worth noting that this list includes some startups that have already IPO’d since the survey was released in December 2018.

In fact, in the first half of 2019, we’ve already seen Pinterest, Lyft, Uber, and Slack hit the market. Slack’s public offering was the most notable, as they chose to go the direct listing route. The share price still jumped 48.5% less than 24 hours after they went public.

The Next PayPal Mafia?

The PayPal Mafia is a legendary group of billionaire investor-entrepreneurs that have had far-reaching influence in the tech world since they parted ways with PayPal.

Not only did members of this group go on to start many major unicorns, including YouTube, SpaceX, LinkedIn, and Palantir, but some members have invested in over 100 startups each. This “giving back” has had a monumental impact on the Silicon Valley ecosystem, planting the seeds that would emerge as many of today’s star companies.

Q: Which U.S.-based company is most likely to spin out the next generation of notable founders over the next five years?

RankStartup% of respondents
#1Uber22.5%
#2Slack15.7%
#3Stripe15.2%
#4Airbnb13.9%
#5Coinbase10.6%
#6Palantir9.1%
#7SpaceX4.2%
#8Lyft1.8%
#9WeWork1.8%
#10Amazon1.1%
Other4.2%

Current tech founders predict that the companies listed in this survey will be perfect launching points for many of the world’s future tech founders.

Of all U.S.-based tech startups, Uber is predicted to be a top contender for producing the next generation of startup talent by 2023.

Other Survey Findings

Interestingly, over 60% of founders believe that the world is in a technology bubble, with evenly split reviews on whether it’s either nowhere close or very close to popping.

While 57% of founders believe the U.S. will continue to dominate the tech world, 39% predict China’s growth will become the world’s hub for tech innovation by 2028.

Only time will tell, as tensions between the U.S. and China continue to heat up, and the global recruitment of tech talent becomes increasingly competitive.

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