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Good morning,
It seems that many are back from vacation, and that's good news. I hope you will enjoy this week's Sunday AM and have a great day.

BUSINESS

When investing in technology, can it become too big to fail? And no, I am this time NOT writing about Landa. I am talking about the NASA SLS platform. SLS is short for Space Launch System and is the platform NASA develops in collaboration with, among others, Boeing. Initiated in 2011 with endless delays and with ever extended budgets, the program is almost becoming an embarrassment for NASA. Billions of Dollars have been spent on technology essentially built upon technology from the space shuttle program (initiated in the '50s). And now NASA has an Artemis 1 rocket and an Orion crew module on launchpad 39b in Cape Canaveral, which was supposed to fly its first TEST mission last week, canceled because of what seems to be a sensor failure.

Meanwhile, with Elon Musk, SpaceX is developing a larger, more versatile, cheaper rocket platform called StarShip. First, for private money; secondly, re-useable keeping operational costs down - the SLS needs to be rebuilt for every mission - third, built on the newest and latest technology and soon ready for its test flight.

Space business is big money, and the US space program is vast, with lots of almost weekly space launches since SpaceX delivered their Falcon workhorses. Before the Falcon was also certified for crewed missions, NASA had to buy launch capacity from Russia/Kazakhstan.

The question is. Is it worth keeping the SLS going with enormous cost when a private contractor like SpaceX will soon be able to deliver for a fraction of the cost? Has the SLS/Artemis/Orion return to moon program become so expensive that closing the program is too much of an embarrassment?

Well, what could have been a business decision probably becomes political. Will the politicians face the consequences when meeting the voters, when people realize HOW expensive SLS has become, and how much money it will cost to keep the program alive? Interesting!

TECHNOLOGY

This week, I discovered a new video editing software called runwayml.com, and I was quite amazed. I was surprised because it was an online browser-based editor, and as you may know, video takes a lot of storage and CPU power, so how could this work? You will need a fast internet connection since uploading gigabytes of data to any service needs speed. When a company like Runwayml starts offering a service like this, they have probably considered that many people in the segment they serve do have high-speed internet connections, but it's also inevitable that internet speed will only get faster and faster. So what makes Runwayml different? Basic editing works pretty much like any other video editing software. Still, Runwayml gets smart when it does "heavy lifting" like greenscreen, inpainting, beat recognition, and many more CPU-intensive tasks. You can run Runwayml from any laptop with a Chrome browser and a good internet connection, and you can collaborate with other editors. I am not writing about Runwayml to promote this particular software in any way, but I was surprised by how seamless it worked and how this is a look into the future - or should I say back to our computer origin? Remember, at least from TV and older films, how huge mainframes and dumb terminals were how the first computers were used? What, in the past, was named mainframes, we today call it cloud computing, but the idea is the same. Large computers with endless storage and CPU performance, and our home computers are connected like the terminals from the past. This will also open up new types of applications in the printing industry. 

CULTURE

In the past week, I was in Dresden, and I can't help but share my experience there. I was told that Dresden enjoys the warm central European summers and the cold Russian winters, so the houses need to protect you from both. The history of Dresden is vast, so if you are interested in history many things to follow up on. In the last months of the Second World War, the Brits heavily bombed Dresden and killed more than 25,000 people. The bombing has been widely discussed as some claim there were no fundamental military objectives. Regardless, the result of the bombing was a historical city center almost entirely evaporated from the surface of the earth! Dresden became part of DDR (Deutsche Democratische Republic), and only a few buildings were restored to their previous glory.

That changed after the two Germany were reunited. In the '90s, millions, if not billions, were spent on rebuilding the amazing Dresden Frauenkirche and the buildings surrounding the square. Today the square, the buildings around it, and by all means most of the city center of Dresden is amazingly beautiful and calm, and though the buildings are new, you experience an old city with all its charm, restaurants, and of course, street musicians - see my small video mix below :-)

Filmed with my iPhone

Politics

When President Putin threatened Finland and Sweden about becoming members of the defense alliance NATO, he probably miscalculated the consequences 100%. Only months after the thread was announced, both countries sent their membership application to General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg. What could have been a beautiful and swift process turned into an ugly process where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the membership applications to pressure the Swedish government, particularly for maybe more domestic reasons. As you may know, Turkey has a relatively large part of its population wanting independence. The Kurds have their own culture and language, and minority Kurds are in Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. It's estimated that between 30 and 45 million people in the area consider themselves Kurds, so many people have never been geo-politically recognized and supported. During the US-led coalition war in Iraq, the Kurds were actively supporting the coalition, and many Kurds had hoped it would give them advantages in the search for independence. But back to Erdogan, he wouldn't accept Sweden and Finland as NATO members unless they complied with some of his political demands - like having an acting minister in the Swedish parliament step down for supporting Kurds, extradition of Kurds living in Sweden, and further. A headache for Stoltenberg and not a very fine moment for Turkey, as Turkey, at the same, continues to collaborate with the Putin regime and allows Russians to fly to and from Turkey. What has happened behind the closed doors of diplomacy and ugly deals to make the Swedish and Finish memberships possible? Not many know! But it's an example that global politics stinks as much as local politics, and history will, fortunately, judge leaders who don't do the right things. I am not so sure that Erdogan will be on the good side in the history books, and his poles in the upcoming election seem to punish him for the first time in years!

TRENDS

The great thing about trends is that there is no single trend. There are many trends, and you can often twist your offerings to almost any trend you like. This is, of course, not true, but if you look at just ONE megatrend - sustainability, you can easily convince yourself that your company is well aligned. There is, however, very important learning if you believe your sustainability agenda is excellent. It must be transparent that the things you do are sustainable. This is a significant issue as Carbon Offset is becoming a no-go in marketing. Carbon Offsetting is one of the most complex ways to reduce your carbon footprint, and the problem is that sometimes dodgy companies offer "solutions" that are far from genuine. We will write about this in an upcoming physical magazine, and it will become a challenge for companies relying on Carbon Offset rather than having genuine solutions and transparency!

Have a wonderful Sunday, and see you soon!

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