Russell Westbrook Is The Greatest TripleDouble Machine In Recorded History

D. Green2016GSW99.619.213.310.4 G. Hill1997DET84.530.913.010.5 D. Cousins201595.435.518.75.215.2 C. Paul200987.832.47.915.715.9 M. Johnson199194.126.69.617.216.4 R. Westbrook201696.834.011.314.917.9 L. Bird1985101.634.312.67.915.1 Data through April 6, 2016.Source: basketball-reference.com L. James2009CLE88.740.810.910.4 J. Kidd2008NJN91.516.011.414.7 O. Robertson1962124.926.710.89.914.2 J. Kidd2006NJN89.819.110.412.1 M. Johnson1982LAL103.122.511.711.6 L. James201291.238.111.18.815.5 M. Johnson1987101.631.18.215.915.9 M. Johnson1983LAL103.821.110.913.2 R. Westbrook2015OKC95.741.110.612.5 L. James201190.936.410.29.615.2 G. McGinnis1975105.133.716.17.115.7 But Westbrook’s triple-double splurge — and the league’s as a whole — is way more impressive than it appears on the surface. That’s because Magic’s “Showtime” Lakers teams from the ’80s played at a much faster pace, giving players more possessions per game to score, assist and rebound. Ditto for Oscar Robertson: The Big O played in the early 1960s, a time of breakneck back-and-forth play that allowed him to pick up a mountain of box score stats.Adjusting for pace shows that Westbrook is in rarefied territory in averaging a triple-double per 100 possessions; and he did it last year, too. It’s an exclusive group: Only eight players have ever done so for a season, and just four of them — Westbrook, LeBron James, Jason Kidd and Magic Johnson — have done it for multiple seasons. Also on this list: Draymond Green this season. What are the greatest points/rebounds/assists seasons? M. Johnson1989100.128.710.116.416.8 PER 100 POSSESIONS Where is Oscar, though? While the Big O’s 1961-62 season remains the only time a player managed to average a triple-double per game for an entire season, he’s not included in this list. His Cincinnati Royals played at an incredible pace: nearly 125 possessions per 48 minutes. And because of that, Robertson fell just short of averaging a pace-adjusted triple-double that vaunted season — his stat line was 26.7 points, 10.8 rebounds and 9.9 assists per 100 possessions. That said, Robertson averaged a ridiculous 30-10-10 per game over his first six seasons.Not all triple-doubles are created equal, though. Westbrook isn’t just barely notching triple-doubles, he’s getting them by huge margins. To better capture a player’s excellence in all three categories — scoring, rebounding and assisting — we can calculate an “impressiveness” score, by taking the geometric mean of the pace-adjusted averages.2In this case, the geometric mean is the cube root of the product of the three categories, per 100 possessions.This way of looking at seasons penalizes players who perform really well in a few categories but poorly in others. So a scoring- and rebounding-heavy forward who doesn’t rack up many assists won’t rank highly. By calculating impressiveness scores for all players, we capture the occasional season — like Michael Jordan’s in 1988-89, for example — that fall short of the arbitrary triple-double threshold but are astounding nonetheless. (Note to the young ’uns: That Jordan season was an absurd 40 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.9 assists per 100 possessions.)The table belows shows the top 20 player seasons by impressiveness in all three categories, as indicated in the “Weighted Score” column. Also included, for comparison, is the best year for Wilt Chamberlain (his 1963-64 season ranks 47th overall in impressiveness) and Oscar Robertson (his famed triple-double season is 86th). No offense to those all-time greats, but their triple-double abilities aren’t as impressive when pace is factored in. — at least for points-rebounds-assists triple-doubles. Chamberlain was a prolific shot blocker, but we don’t have the stats from that time to track triple-doubles with blocks. L. Bird198798.633.611.09.215.0 PLAYERSEASONPACEPTS.REBOUNDSASSISTSWEIGHTED SCORE PER 100 POSSESSIONS Players who have averaged a pace-adjusted triple-double Russell Westbrook is a force of nature. Westbrook has wreaked havoc on opposing NBA teams, piling up 17 triple-doubles so far this season, which ties Magic Johnson’s 1988-89 season for the most in the last 33 years.1According www.basketball-reference.com, which tracks triple-doubles going back only to the 1983-84 season.Westbrook sucks opposing defenses into the paint before dishing to Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka or a Thunder shooter waiting in the corner. Or he can just score it himself. Westbrook was last season’s scoring leader and is this season’s No. 2 in assists. While averaging 24 and 10, he’s also having one of the greatest rebounding seasons ever for a guard — without the aid of deferential bigs on the team.Westbrook is not alone, though. The NBA is in the middle of a triple-double boom. The 73 triple-doubles posted this year are five shy of the leaguewide regular-season record since 1984. But the league has expanded since then, offering more games and therefore more potential triple-doubles. The rate of triple-doubles per 100 league games is 6.2 this year, the third-highest over that span. Besides Westbrook, Draymond Green has 13 and Rajon Rondo — collecting his stats in a considerably less aboveboard manner than Russ and Dray — has a half-dozen, one shy of his single-season best. L. Bird198897.937.611.67.715.0 M. Johnson199096.330.08.915.416.0 L. James201091.440.09.811.516.5 R. Westbrook201595.741.110.612.517.6 But hot damn, look at Westbrook! His last two seasons are the most impressive scoring-rebounding-assisting seasons in history, when all three are weighed equally. Despite his team’s playing at a slower pace, Westbrook’s last two seasons have managed to surpass Oscar Robertson, Jason Kidd, Magic Johnson — you name it. Russell Westbrook is the greatest triple-double machine on record.Neil Paine contributed research assistance.Check out our latest NBA predictions.CORRECTION (April 11, 5:45 p.m.): An earlier version of the chart in this story had mislabeled y-axis tick marks. The chart has been fixed. R. Westbrook201495.435.79.411.415.6 J. Kidd2005NJN89.121.010.812.1 L. James201390.737.511.210.116.2 K. Garnett200589.131.419.18.016.9 PLAYERSEASONTEAMPACEPOINTSREBOUNDSASSISTS K. Garnett200489.033.219.06.816.3 D. Walker1990WSB99.412.912.010.9 M. Johnson1981LAL102.727.210.910.8 L. James201693.336.110.89.815.6 K. Garnett200391.929.617.37.815.9 K. Love201497.335.517.06.015.4 K. Malone199790.040.014.46.515.6 R. Westbrook2016OKC96.834.011.314.9 L. James200890.239.610.49.515.7 M. Jordan198997.040.09.99.915.8 J. Kidd2007NJN91.418.611.713.2 D. Robinson199490.139.214.16.315.1 G. Hill199784.530.913.010.516.2 M. Johnson1989LAL100.128.710.116.4 L. James200988.740.810.910.416.6 T. Boerwinkle1975CHI99.713.815.611.1 L. James2013MIA90.737.511.210.1 J. Kidd2002NJN91.820.710.213.8 Weighted score is the geometric mean of points, rebounds and assists (per 100 possessions). Data through April 6, 2016.Source: basketball-reference.com W. Chamberlin1964115.133.320.24.614.5 read more

BP to Lay Off Hundreds of Workers to Cut Costs and Cope

first_imgBritish oil company BP Plc will reportedly be cutting several hundred jobs to scale back on mounting costs and cope with plunging oil prices.BP is expected to make the announcement on Wednesday. The cuts will probably affect employees working at its London, Aberdeen and Sunbury offices. Most of the cuts are expected in the communications, procurement and legal departments.Sources told The Guardian that employees working at the company’s headquarters at St. James Square and offices at Sunbury in Berkshire would all be affected. The exploration base at Aberdeen is also expected to see major layoffs.More than 15,000 employees work in BP’s UK offices but with crude oil prices falling 40 percent since June, the company is taking major strategic decisions to manage rising costs related to the Deepwater Horizon Spill and plummeting oil prices.BP doesn’t need the back-office jobs now because it has 50 percent lesser offshore fields, lesser pipelines and 30 percent fewer wells after it sold $40 billion worth of assets to compensate for the oil spill accident in the Gulf of Mexico.”The fall in oil prices has added to the importance of making the organisation more efficient and the right size for the smaller portfolio we now have,” a BP spokesman told the BBC.BP could also freeze some projects and fire some middle managers in its attempts to shore up finances.”What you’ll see with this simplification plan is that headcounts are starting to come down across all of our activities in upstream, downstream and in the corporate centres — essentially the layers above operations,” Brian Givalry, the finance director of BP told The Sun Times.Also, with most of the back-end jobs being outsourced to India and other regions, BP’s U.K. headcount will probably dwindle in the coming months. The global headcount at BP is 84,000 including the U.K. workforce.  The oil market is currently in a frenzy with prices falling sharply in the past few months. Brent Crude is trading at $68 per barrel and experts say that it could slide further down in the coming few months.”Without OPEC intervention, markets risk becoming unbalanced, with peak oversupply likely in the second quarter of 2015,” Morgan Stanley wrote in a report, according to Reuters.”With OPEC on the sidelines, oil prices face their greatest threat since 2009, but we expect a volatile 2015 rather than a one-way trade,” Morgan Stanley added.Barclays said that the oil market is faltering and needs to find a balance, which won’t be possible if demand for oil does not improve.last_img read more

University girl jumps off moving bus to escape rape attempt

first_img.A female student of a university escaped rape attempt by jumping off a moving bus at Dampara Wasa More in Chittagong city on Saturday, according to UNB.The bus driver and two of his assistants attempted to sexually assault the girl, a first year student of the city’s Premier University, after all the passengers of the bus got down at the place around 1:00pm, witnesses said.At one stage of their scuffle, the girl managed to jump off the bus pushing back one of the assaulters to escape the wicked bid and shouted seeking help.Hearing the screams of the girl, locals rescued her and nabbed the driver and one of the associates.Later they were handed over to police after giving them a good beating, said sub-inspector Abu Saleh of Chakbazar police station.The culprits were identified as bus driver Rasel, 34, and helper Hanif, 26.”We are looking into the matter,” said the police officer.last_img read more

Political Roundup Remembering Pres Bush And Other Political Developments

first_img Share Eulogies at the funeral for Pres. George H.W. Bush in Washington, D.C. this morning served as another reminder about how politics has changed since Bush was in the White House.In this week’s political roundup, our local experts remember the former president and discuss the latest political stories with an eye for how they might affect Houston and Texas.Joining host Craig Cohen for this week’s discussion are Elizabeth Simas from the University of Houston and Jay Aiyer from Texas Southern University and co-host of Houston Public Media’s Party Politics podcast.last_img read more

The vision of an enlightened soul

first_imgShunyata translated in English means emptiness. Based on the philosophy of Shakyamuni Gautam Buddha, Buddhism conceptualises Shunyata as the principle concept of nothingness. To essay this philosophy of Gautam Buddha on the stage, Kathak danseuse Shovana Narayan, teamed up with the Grammy Award winners – the Buddhist monks of the Sherabling Monastic Seat to present the music and dance production, Shunyata. The two-hour show was staged in the Capital at Kamani Auditorium, on 30 September.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The event was graced by the presence of Murli Manohar Joshi, MP of Kanpur, Meira Kumar, ?Former Speaker of? LS,? Salman Khurshid, Cabinet Minister of MEA and many other dignitaries. Shunyata was an amalgation of dance traditions of Kathak and the ritual arts of Vajrayana Buddhism. Interlaced with meditation and abhiyana, the entire cast of the show essayed some of the chapters of Lord Buddha’s life in four different parts. It reflected Lord Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment and how he revised life of millions of his followers. The life-changing experiences of King Ashoka and other disciples of Buddha – Kisa and Sujata were demonstrated in the performances.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe act took through the experiences of King Ashoka after the war of Kalinga. How Ashoka slowly removes the veils of arrogance standing amidst a sea of corpses was beautifully depicted in the act. The next episode told the story of Kisa, who did not accept the death of her child and becomes a demented woman. The final episode was of Sujata, who had fed kheer to Buddha and became his first disciple. Each of these experiences essayed the time immemorial quest and fears that each person goes through and for which answers have to be found by each within him or herself. The programme also featured a recitation of poetry on Prayer Flag by Sudeep Sen.last_img read more

Police unearth skeleton from house in Nadia

first_imgKolkata: Tension gripped Palashipara in Nadia after police recovered a human skeleton from a house. The officers have been sent it for a forensic test. According to local residents, Priyobroto Mondal used to live alone at a house beside the Sahebnagar bus stand in Palashipara.Three years ago he remarried after his first wife died. His two son — Subhankar and Dipankar — lived separately. Subhankar lives in Pune while Dipankar lives with his maternal uncle close to Palashipara. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BosePriyobroto got into depression as his two sons and wife did not live with him. Recently, he had lost his ability to walk after an accident. Dipankar used to provide him food daily from his maternal uncle’s home. But Priyobroto refused to accept it. On several occasions Priyobroto misbehaved with Dipankar and therefore stopped going to his father. On Sunday night, Subhankar returned home and knocked on the door. Despite repeated knocks, he received no response. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSubhankar informed the neighbours who got in touch with the police. Later, police personnel broke opened the door. But before they could enter the house, they sensed a foul smell emanating from the house. Soon the police discovered the skeleton on the floor of the house. It is suspected that Priyobroto had died long ago but nobody knew anything as Dipankar had stopped visiting his father. Also as the doors and windows of the house remained closed, the smell could not spread outside. It is yet to be confirmed that the skeleton is of Priyobroto. Police are waiting for forensic report which would confirm the skeleton ‘s identity and cause of death. Sleuths are questioning Dipankar why he had stopped visiting his father.last_img read more

Virtualization Thrives In Smaller Companies

first_img 10 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global When Stephen Bakerman joined Owen Bird Law Corp., in Vancouver, British Columbia, nearly nine years ago, the IT infrastructure was a “mishmash of everything.”To clean things up, Bakerman — Owen Bird’s information technology manager and one-man IT department — has taken the 88-employee law firm virtual. He is currently running 17 hardware servers and recently purchased four more to be dedicated to virtualization. His intention is to run 17 virtual servers on five hardware boxes.But exactly what does it mean to have a virtual server? Basically, virtualizationis all about a server being a logical entity, not a physical one, and running one or more of these logical (or “virtual”) servers on a single physical computer.As Bakerman explains it: “To virtualize a physical server, you take another server that is normally used for another app; load on a virtualization program, then [load] a program like Virtual Iron that allows you to emulate little compartments on the physical server. You take the simulated computer and load your OS on it, and it runs in its own world independent of the other OSes that are also running on that box. Think of virtualization as creating little compartments on the physical server: One might run Windows, another may run Linux. If one compartment gets corrupted, nothing else is affected.”Even better, the configurations can be dynamic, automatically adjusting to changing loads and the availability of physical resources. Put it together and you’ve got an easy way to optimize your company’s use of expensive hardware.Owen Bird, a full-service, midsize law firm, uses virtualization technology from Virtual Iron, and it’s made a big difference to Bakerman. “The infrastructure for me was key, and I worked at changing the servers that were problematic,” says Bakerman.DON’T MISS: 5 Simple Rules For Going VirtualWhile all IT professionals seek ways to save time and money, for those at small and medium-sized businesses the quest can be even more critical. Small staffs are pressured to put out fires all day and still find the time to perform time-consuming yet mundane maintenance tasks. They also need reliable systems in place to protect their data and applications.Bakerman is already enjoying virtualization’s benefits. “It’s easier than I thought it was going to be,” he says. “One of the great things about virtualization is the live migration and live capacity. I can update the server during the day instead of at 3 a.m. For me, I will have less work in the middle of the night as part of an upgrade.” Just as important, he adds, “through the use of virtualization, if we need to build a new server we can clone it, and it takes anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours instead of a whole day. And that time is completely seamless to the user.”Overall, though, smaller companies are just beginning to experience the benefits of virtualization. According to the Yankee Group, virtualization deployments among small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are expected to double during the next two years. Of course, it’s not just smaller firms that are attracted to virtualization. IDCpredicts that more than 15% of all new hardware server shipments will be equipped with virtualization software in 2010, up from 5% in 2005. This is occurring as virtualization software vendors forge OEM deals with leading hardware server vendors.The Evolution of Virtualization One reason for that growth is an amazing evolution in virtualization technology. At first it was primarily a development tool engineers used to test applications and operating systems. Then VMware, the virtualization software developer founded in Palo Alto, Calif., in 1998, leveraged the tool for x86 serversin the data center. Server consolidation was born; many companies adopted virtualization for consolidation and to help ease application migrations.In the traditional physical server world, a business might have 20 hardware servers, with each server using about 20% of the machine’s storage or processing capacity. But a hardware server running multiple virtual servers can use up to 80% of the available capacity. The increased efficiency means your systems can do a lot more work without having to add new hardware.As physical servers age, companies can save money by putting the data they hold on virtual servers instead of paying to maintain the old machines or going out and buying new hardware. Another benefit: simplified server management, since IT folks can deal with virtual servers remotely instead of having to actually touch the physical servers.DON’T MISS: 5 Simple Rules For Going VirtualToday, though, “the biggest drivers for virtualization have become business continuity and data recovery,” says Mark Bowker, an analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group(ESG). According to a recent survey of 706 IT decision makers that ESG conducted, more than half of respondents said they plan to deploy virtualization for business continuity and disaster recoveryreasons.Not surprisingly, the growing market for server, desktop, and application virtualization has attracted significant interest from hardware and software makers. (IDC predicts it will be worth more than $3.4 billion by 2011.)Virtualization Is Hot In August 2007, EMCspin-off VMware went public. When VMware filed its first quarterly earnings report in October, it tripled net income to $65 million on a whopping $358 million in revenue. Last year, as part of EMC, VMware reported earnings of just $19.2 million on $189 million revenue in the same period.VMware recently announced products specifically for the SMB market. The Infrastructure (VI) Acceleration Kits offer features such as disaster recovery, high availability, simplified IT management, and reduced energy costs, according to the company.”VMware is no longer [just] a server virtualization product; rather, it has become a rich ecosystem of product vendors, service providers, IT professionals and software developers,” ESG’s Bowker says.To keep up, rival Citrix Systems, a leader in application virtualization, unveiled in October a virtualization technology strategythat includes two new product lines (Citrix XenServer for server virtualization and Citrix XenDesktop for desktop virtualization). This announcement came on the heels of Citrix’s $500 million acquisition of XenSource, a leader in enterprise-grade virtual infrastructure solutions and maker of the Xen hypervisor.The free Microsoft Virtual Serverwill give way to Microsoft’s next product, code-named Viridian. Also known as Windows Server Virtualization, Viridian will be a hypervisortechnology add-on for Windows Server 2008.DON’T MISS: 5 Simple Rules For Going VirtualRelative newcomer (founded in 2003) Virtual Iron, a leading hypervisor provider as well as virtualization management software provider, is a direct competitor to VMware and Citrix’s XenSource. The company’s three-pronged platformis aimed directly at the SMB market, says Tim Walsh, director of corporate marketing. “We want to provide a solution that’s easy to install. The software should be less than the cost of a server,” he says, “otherwise it doesn’t make sense.”Finding The Right Virtualization Fit As with any new technology, organizations have varying expectations of virtualization. Administrative savings — not hardware savings — were the goal for John Dolan, principal consultant at Viant Solutions, when he began implementing VMware for his client, Georgia’s Perimeter Church, two years ago.The church, with 250 employees, was a pure Microsoft Windows shop without a development environment. “If we wanted to try out a new solution, we didn’t have an environment to test that out; we would have to provision a server. Development didn’t happen because it would be prohibitively expensive,” Dolan recalls.Dolan also saw that many of the church’s 15 hardware servers were vastly underused. As user requests for services increased, Dolan thought virtualization would save the six-person IT staff hours a day on time-consuming tasks such as server setup and maintenance, freeing them to meet user demands.Two years later they have 25 virtual servers running on three physical servers, as well as some additional physical servers that are not hosting any virtual machines. Retired physical boxes are not replaced by new physical machines, but by virtual servers, which do not require the purchase of additional hardware, he says.Dolan says the goal was to recoup the cost of the church’s $15,000 to $20,000 investment in VMware in a year or two, and it did so in one year. His time savings predictions also turned out to be correct: Dolan can provision a new virtual server in less than an hour instead of the two weeks it took with a physical server. And the church now has a valuable development environment.DON’T MISS: 5 Simple Rules For Going Virtual”To be able to test a patch or solution before it rolls out provides Perimeter with an exceptional cost savings — although they can be hard to quantify,” Dolan says. “With Vmotion, [a VMware tool that lets users move running virtual machines from one physical server to another with no impact to end users] if we need to add memory to a server we can do it at 5 p.m.; we don’t have to wait for the server to be down. Being able to work on boxes during regular office hours is huge. [Before], if our print server was acting up and we needed to bring it down, we’d have to have our printer server down for five minutes. Now it’s only down for 30 seconds and no one notices.”Reaping Virtualization’s Benefits — Incrementally Ron Whitling, senior systems engineer for E-chx, a payroll outsourcing company in Rochester, N.Y., ran several production projects on VMware starting in late 2004. But like Dolan, Whitling was careful to add new servers to the environment incrementally.Whitling put Microsoft Exchange on a virtual server to “see how well this will run on a virtual server in a production environment. It worked pretty well,” he recalls. “After that, in the last year we have really geared up and we [now] have a ‘default policy.’ When a server comes in, by default it has to be virtual. The only two things we don’t put on VMware are Citrix and databases,” Whitling says.E-chx stores 90% of its product data on a pair of PS series storage arraysfrom EqualLogic, which is being acquired by Dell. Today, Whitling has 50 total severs running on 32 hardware boxes. In this environment, 29 of the boxes are standard physical servers, while four virtualized boxes host 21 VMware virtual servers.Having as little downtime as possible is critical for E-chx, not only because the company is processing payrolls but also because its clients are on both U.S. coasts. “We have to be up from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. I don’t think there’s an hour in the day we aren’t processing payroll,” Whitling says. “All the VMware images are on the storage area network [SAN]. If there’s a problem, we can just pull the images from the SAN to a different VMware host and get right back up.”DON’T MISS: 5 Simple Rules For Going VirtualWhitling says he’s already getting a return on his investment. He estimates E-chx has saved at least $7,000 using virtual servers instead of purchasing new hardware. Even more important, he adds, “my development team needs to have a staging area” or they’d be troubleshooting in production. “We need four servers for development and four for staging,” he estimates. “We couldn’t do that with physical servers because the cost would be prohibitive. With virtualization, we were able to do it all with one physical server running VMware.”Like Whitling, many IT professionals at small and midsize businesses have discovered the benefits of virtualization. With server consolidation the initial draw, IT departments have quickly realized that virtualization also offers significant benefits in terms of easy server migration and maintenance as well as backup and disaster recovery. The servers may be virtual, but the savings are real.Debra Bulkeleyis a technology writer based in Boston, Mass. Register Now » Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. December 11, 2007last_img read more

Game of Drones As US Dithers on Regulations Rivals Get a Head

first_imgMarch 9, 2015 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » This story originally appeared on Reuters Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), are a hot ticket in Silicon Valley, but U.S. government dithering over regulations has given overseas companies a head-start in figuring out how best to exploit them.Global spending on drones could add up to close to $100 billion over the next decade, with commercial uses – from farming and filming to pipelines and parcels – accounting for around an eighth of that market, according to BI Intelligence.But for years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the authority largely responsible for regulation in the United States, has dragged its feet, only last month issuing draft rules on who can fly drones, how and where. It’s likely to be a year or more before the regulations are in place – good news for companies operating outside the U.S. and looking to build a business around drones.Sky-Futures, a British company that dominates the use of drones to collect and analyze inspection data for oil and gas companies, says its business soared 700 percent last year as the normally conservative energy industry embraced the new technology. Co-founder and operations director Chris Blackford said the company is coupling drones with software and a better understanding of what works in the field, giving Sky-Futures “a head-start over the U.S because we understand pretty intimately the problems facing the oil and gas market, and how we can solve them with technology.”Looser regulations outside the U.S. have created pockets of innovation attracting ideas, money and momentum, says Patrick Thevoz, co-founder and CEO of Swiss-based Flyability, which builds drones inside a spherical cage that allows them to bump through doors, tunnels and forests without losing balance.Another British company, BioCarbon Engineering, hopes to speed up reforestation by using drones to plant germinated seeds, and shares in New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft trebled in the first few days after listing in Australia last month, on investor hopes for the personalized aircraft maker which is developing a UAV that could be used by the military, oil and gas, mining and farming industries.In Japan, the government is looking to fast track industry-friendly regulation to give its drone business an edge.But the real work, say those in the industry, is in building out the drone ecosystem: the payload, software, operator and end user, and making sense of the data. That can only come by connecting to potential customers.”As long as you don’t have the end user because they can’t use it, you’re basically missing a lot of the ecosystem,” says Thevoz.In Singapore, Garuda Robotics is already moving beyond just being a drone operator. “The drones are a means to get the data out of the sky,” says co-founder and CEO Mark Yong, “but if you can’t process it you’ve not created any value for the customer.”While the company has been helping map the boundaries of palm oil plantations in Malaysia, it has added the ability to calibrate the drones’ cameras to measure moisture levels in individual trees. It’s now working with agronomists to figure out how to make sense of that thermal data to judge the health of trees and their likely yield.Other projects include assembling real-time 3D maps of building sites to help construction schedules, monitoring and reducing algae blooms and keeping tabs on packs of stray dogs using infrared cameras.All of this would be hard, if not impossible, under FAA regulations that limit drones flying out of sight of the operator, or at night.While regulation typically lags technology, no one’s betting against Silicon Valley dominating the industry in the long run. Last year, more than $100 million flowed into U.S. drone start-ups, according to CB Insights, double 2013 levels.”Let’s not kid ourselves,” said Philip Von Meyenburg, who runs a drone operating company out of Singapore. “They know what they’re doing in the U.S.”And China, too, is in the game as hardware prices fall rapidly. China’s DJI sells consumer grade drones for $500, making it hard for companies producing lower volumes to justify their higher prices.”The challenge for all drone manufacturers now is that we’re in a market that is constantly updating,” said Flyability’s Thevoz.(Editing by Ian Geoghegan) Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more