April 17, 2010

Toyota will Have Lithium Ion Battery minivan Version of the Prius Hybrid

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In the picture is the Toyota Estima hybrid minivan that has been available only in Japan

Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) will launch competitively priced Prius hybrid minivans using lithium ion batteries early next year, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The new Prius minivan will offer a spacious interior and improved fuel economy, and will likely feature three rows of seats for carrying five to seven people, the paper said.

The company will initially manufacture lithium ion batteries at its Teiho factory in Aichi Prefecture, and later plans to produce them at Panasonic EV Energy Co, a battery joint venture with Panasonic Corp (6752.T), the Nikkei said.

A lithium-ion battery can pack more electricity than a nickel-metal hydride counterpart, enabling a hybrid car to run longer on a single charge

Proposed source of Dark Matter and Cosmic Background Radiation is Millimeter Blackholes

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Arxiv - Sources of cosmic microwave radiation and dark matter identified: millimeter black holes (m.b.h.) The proposed solution is enticing because it would be so simple and elegant if true.

The universe is filled with blackbody millimeter radiation (CMBR), temperature 2.7{\deg} Kelvin. Big-bang cosmology explains this by the initial thermalization of photons scattered by electrons. This explanation requires ad hoc previous existence of photons and thermal electrons. On the other hand most of the mass of the universe is unknown dark matter. It explains anomalous dynamical properties, like that of stars in galaxies. Alternatively the anomalies have been explained by adjusting and modifying well known laws ("Modified Newtonian dynamics"). Here we show that millimeter black holes (m.b.h.) explain both: the background radiation, by its partial "evaporation", and the dark matter. Black holes emit blackbody radiation (Hawking evaporation), and this is what is observed in the CMBR. Millimeter size black holes emit blackbody radiation at a temperature of 2.7{\deg} Kelvin, and this is the resulting CMBR. Partial evaporation of ~10^30 m.b.h. gives the observed background field of photons being emitted and absorbed at the same rate by the m.b.h. The number of photons is constant, as observed. Their temperature decreases with time because the mass of the m.b.h. (and therefore its size) increases with time (the mass-boom effect). The total mass of the m.b.h. is the dark matter. Hence dark matter is not so "dark" after all. Two important cosmological items are here identified by only one source: millimeter black holes

'Broad spectrum' antiviral Compound could be used against HIV-1, Nipah, Ebola and other deadly viruses

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UCLA researchers have identified an antiviral small molecule (LJ001) that is effective against numerous viruses, including HIV-1, influenza A, filoviruses, poxviruses, arenaviruses, bunyaviruses, paramyxoviruses and flaviviruses. These viruses cause some of the world's deadliest diseases, such as AIDS, Nipah virus encephalitis, Ebola, hemorrhagic fever and Rift Valley fever.

Even better, the compound — a rhodanine derivative that the researchers have dubbed LJ001 — could be effective against new, yet-to-be discovered enveloped viruses. "Since the government has changed its priorities to support development of broad spectrum therapeutics, more and more groups have been screening compound libraries for antivirals that are active against multiple viruses in a specific class," said Dr. Benhur Lee, associate professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the primary investigator of the four-year study.

Nuclear Winter and Fire and Reducing Fire Risks to Cities

I looked at nuclear winter and city firestorms a few months ago I will summarize the case I made then in the next section. there is significant additions based on my further research and email exchanges that I had with Prof Alan Robock and Brian Toon who wrote the nuclear winter research.

The Steps needed to prove nuclear winter:
1. Prove that enough cities will have firestorms or big enough fires (the claim here is that does not happen)
2. Prove that when enough cities in a suffient area have big fire that enough smoke and soot gets into the stratosphere (trouble with this claim because of the Kuwait fires)
3. Prove that condition persists and effects climate as per models (others have questioned that but this issue is not addressed here

The nuclear winter case is predictated on getting 150 million tons (150 teragram case) of soot, smoke into the stratosphere and having it stay there. The assumption seemed to be that the cities will be targeted and the cities will burn in massive firestorms. Alan Robock indicated that they only included a fire based on the radius of ignition from the atmospheric blasts. However, in the scientific american article and in their 2007 paper the stated assumptions are:
assuming each fire would burn the same area that actually did burn in Hiroshima and assuming an amount of burnable material per person based on various studies.

The implicit assumption is that all buildings react the way the buildings in Hiroshima reacted on that day.

Therefore, the results of Hiroshima are assumed in the Nuclear Winter models.
* 27 days without rain
* with breakfast burners that overturned in the blast and set fires
* mostly wood and paper buildings
* Hiroshima had a firestorm and burned five times more than Nagasaki. Nagasaki was not the best fire resistant city. Nagasaki had the same wood and paper buildings and high population density.

Recommendations Build only with non-combustible materials (cement and brick that is made fire resistant or specially treated wood). Make the roofs, floors and shingles non-combustible. Add fire retardants to any high volume material that could become fuel loading material. Look at city planning to ensure less fire risk for the city. Have a plan for putting out city wide fires (like controlled flood from dams which are already near cities.)

April 16, 2010

DARPA Plans Flying Hybrid Electric HumVee for 2015

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DARPA has 58 pages of specifications around what kind of flying car they want.
* flying/driving range of 250 miles
* measure no more than 30 feet long by 8.5' wide and 9' high
* perform vertical take-off and landing
* carry four people
* perform unmanned operations
* and be easy enough to control that anyone who can drive a Humvee can also pilot the vehicle.
* Capable of handling small arms fire
* Quick entry and exit

DARPA imagines that the vehicle could use
* hybrid electric drive
* adaptive wing structures
* ducted fan propulsion systems
* and lightweight heavy fuel engines.

The closest vehicle to meeting the DARPA specifications is the Terrafugia Transition. It is a roadable plane that can carry 430 pounds and seats two people and has a flying range of 460 miles and a driving range of 600 miles. The Terrafugia Transition requires a Sports Pilot license which takes 20 hours of training. The Terragugia Transition does not have unmanned capabilities and does not have vertical takeoff capabilities.

The Parajet Skycar is also a contender.

Robotic Flying and VTOL Are Key Hurdles to Enable Safe and Easy Flying Cars for the General Population
The UAV and VTOL aspects were discussed in my vision of UAV that carry passengers to revolution city commuting.

When fully deployed Robotic flying and a shift to commuting via air :
* This could eliminate 1.2 million fatalities each year in worldwide car fatalities
* This could increase economic productivity by enabling commuting to be ten times faster and have some safe productive work while in transit

DARPA robotic flying car success could save millions of lives and be worth trillions to the world economy.

The current state of hybrid planes was discussed here as well

Thorium One Seeks $23 million in Funding to Develop and Commericalize Thorium Plutonium MOX Fuel by 2020

Ad Support : Nano Technology   Netbook    Technology News &nbsp  Computer Software reports Thorium One, a Vancouver, Canada-based company is attempting to fund ($23 million) the development of a new fuel design—called Thorium Plutonium MOX—that it says can be used in existing infrastructure for nuclear reactors in the production of nuclear energy that does not create bomb-usable waste.

China Pours Concrete for Second Tiashan Nuclear Reactor and Germany Plans Shift from Coal to Nuclear Power

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1. The first concrete has been poured at the Taishan nuclear power plant in Guangdong province, China, marking the official start of construction for the site's second EPR (French nuclear reactor) unit.

Memristors for Faster Computers, Extending Moore's Law and Brain Emulation

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HPCwire covers unleashing the Memristor

EEtimes covers the Nanoletters paper on two memristors being used to emulate neural learning

HP claims memristor memory can handle up to 1,000,000 read/write cycles before degradation, compared to flash at 100,000 cycles. Memristors can be scaled down to single-digit nanometer geometries, memristors should leave NAND and NOR based flash memories in the dust.

HP also discovered that memristors can serve as logic circuits, so now there's talks of using the devices for computation. This could open the door to building processors with logic and very large memories integrated together on the same die. (The best we can do today is marry CPUs and relatively small caches.) In fact, memristor-based processors could be a dream come true for processor-in-memory (PIM) enthusiasts.

Berkeley Lab Creates Molecular Paper

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Two-dimensional, “sheet-like” nanostructures are commonly employed in biological systems such as cell membranes, and their unique properties have inspired interest in materials such as graphene. Now, Berkeley Lab scientists have made the largest two-dimensional polymer crystal self-assembled in water to date. This entirely new material mirrors the structural complexity of biological systems with the durable architecture needed for membranes or integration into functional devices.

April 15, 2010

Transhumanist Scenarios Need Historical View and One Technology at a Time Analysis

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Mike Treder had a piece about transhumanism and used a classic four box structure to analyze what might happen in the next 15-20 years If you can make the following substituation: new technology in place of transhumanism or science in place of transhumanism and have the meaning and insights in the article remain unchanged, then I would propose that there is not enough detail in the analysis for it to be more useful than a general musing on society and technology. Another checkpoint is to consider whether existing technology could cause or has already been causeing the same projected effects or reaction in society. This can reveal historical and current cases that can provide a more nuanced understanding and it can invalidate certain scenarios or require an explaination as to why something similar will have different results.

I look at transhumanism and consider transhumanism more than 99.9999% of the population. Transhumanism is like nanotechnology, a term that is applied loosely by everyone and where there has been different definitions applied. If there were a discussion about it between several people, the first hours would be clarifying what was being discussed.
Mike talks about strong or weak opposition. What is historically strong opposition ? What is strong opposition that was successful against something like transhumanism or technologies ? Luddites fought against factory mass production and automation, but that was mostly because of mass job displacement.
Mike talks about fast or slow emerging technology development. How is fast or slow defined and is it fast if many technologies emerge or is it the speed and level of change they cause in society ? I do not think it is a matter of numbers of emerging technologies but the level of change and impact on countries and cities. In particular the impact on things that people typically have fought over - jobs, abortion/procreation issues, environment and similar topics.

Summarizing from the Transhumanist FAQ

Transhuman is a relatively undefined intermediate between human and posthuman. Posthuman are possible future beings whose basic capacities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer unambiguously human by our current (year 2000) standards. Posthumans could be completely synthetic artificial intelligences, or they could be enhanced uploads or they could be the result of making many smaller but cumulatively profound augmentations to a biological human.

The Transhuman part in not clear. What would there be to oppose or agree with beyond a general philosophical debate ? Is there something in there to rally for or against to the level of say the recent Tea Parties ?
What has triggered mass protests or violent opposition ?
* anti-government protests
* anti-war protests
* massive job losses or shifts
* abortion and gender issues
* major race or religion issues
* nationalism
* conflict land and resources

If a technology effected one of the known things that can set a lot of people off then there could be organized oppositon to that technology

Microwires for Connecting Thousands of Nodes over Square Meter Surfaces

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Microwires and nodes are connected on a small grid but that surface and the wires are designed to be stretch up to 256 times larger area (16 times linearly). So what starts as a 8X8 centimeter square could become 1 meters by 1 meters of connected microwires. The technique is simple and will be applicable for microwires and nanowires.
Design of micro-scale highly expandable networks of polymer-based substrates for macro-scale applications (19 page pdf, Smart Material Structures Journal, Stanford Research)

An investigation was performed to design a network of nodes interconnected by conductive microwires in polymer-based substrates, which can be expanded to cover an area which is several orders of magnitude larger for macro-scale integration. The substrates can be potentially designed to host nano/micro-sensors/actuators and electronics to create a functional network for various applications. The major focus of the research is to develop a process to ensure that the network transition from a micro-scale fabrication to a macro-scale deployment is controllable, reliable and stable without failure. The key concept of the proposed design is to remove microscopically unnecessary materials from the substrate to create a network of infrastructures that can be stretched and expanded to a macro-scale size of several orders of magnitude. Material reduction is achieved by engineering a network of thousands of micronodes interconnected by extendable microwires, which are the key element to perform uniform expansions of the network in all directions, to allow precise location of the nodes, to maximize the polymer expansion per unit area and to allow translation only of the nodes. The number of nodes, the bidimensional stretching ratio of the network and the material reduction are linked to the processable substrate size, to the final area coverage upon full expansion and to the in-plane area of the nodes and wires. In this paper we demonstrate that an expandable network with 200 μm diameter nodes and 4 μm wide wires is characterized by a 99.7% material reduction and a 25600% bidimensional stretching ratio. A 5041 micronode network was built on a 100 mm diameter wafer and was expanded to a final area of 1 m2 at low strain levels. The expanded node network is integrated into materials of different rigidities and is proven to resist under bending and twisting of the hosting material. The proposed flexible, expandable polymer design is a cost-effective approach that has the potential to build a bridge between the engineering of the nano/microscopic devices and their exploitation on the macroscopic scale. In particular, this approach can be used for wired or wireless sensor network applications as well as for the realization of innovative materials.

Physorg has coverage on the applications

The highly expandable network can serve as a cost-effective way to integrate a high-density array of nano/micro-scale devices at the macro-scale level. While the primary application for this network may be for sensors that span large areas, the approach could also have applications in portable electronic equipment, paper-like displays, intelligent electronic textiles, and more.

“This work can certainly pave the way to space, civil, military, medical and biomedical applications as well as to the development of products which have the potential to enhance the comfort and quality of our lifestyle,” Lanzara said. “For instance, the expanded web can be used to realize smart textiles for clothing or for medical devices, to realize the morphing materials of the future, or multifunctional, exceptionally durable, reliable composites for safe and durable aircrafts as well as to realize the artificial skin of humanoid robots. Fabricating the network at the micro-scale and expanding it to the macro-scale in a single step allows for a drastic reduction of the integration costs into materials or structures, thus, the above mentioned applications can finally be practically realized.”

Wimax 2 Will Start Rolling Out mid-2011 from Samsung and 2012 from Intel

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The IEEE 802.16m standard is the core technology for the proposed Mobile WiMAX Release 2, which enables more efficient, faster, and more converged data communications The 802.16m system can support both 120 Mbit/s downlink and 60 Mbit/s uplink per site simultaneously and has a mximum speed of 300 Mbit/second downlink. It will be about twice as fast as Wimax. The goal for the long-term evolution of WiMAX is to achieve 100 Mbit/s mobile and 1 Gbit/s fixed-nomadic bandwidth as set by ITU for 4G NGMN. WiMAX 2 technology, according to Alvarion, Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Intel, Motorola, Samsung, Sequans, XRONet and ZTE, will provide 300-Mbits of throughput, with less latency and more bandwidth available for applications like VOIP calls.

The group will issue detailed milestones and delivery schedules within the next three to six months, with an eye toward certifying the first commercial products in mid-2011. WiMAX's chief proponents have been Clearwire and Sprint, which have been busy covering major U.S. cities with the 802.16e wireless WiMAX technology. An important aspect is that Wimax companies do not cap usage. Head to head comparisons generally show faster downloads with WiMax versus 3G and LTE.

LTE Advanced promises faster speeds LTE Advanced is expected to be released in 2011.

USA Considers Reprocessing or Recycling Uranium and Namibia Could Increase Uranium Production to 26,000 Tons Per Year by 2015

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There have been moves in favour of reprocessing and recycling used nuclear fuel on three continents.

* current world volumes of annual unburned nuclear material would take up the area of a football pitch to a height of 10 metres, a policy of central storage followed by reprocessing would reduce this to take up just "one end zone" at the same height, according to GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy CEO Jack Fuller
* Fuller said the USA "ought to go to recycling." The industry chief said he would soon tell secretary of energy Stephen Chu, "Don't go to reprocessing, go straight to recycling." The difference being an intermediate step where separated plutonium is stored

April 14, 2010

Understanding the Greater Asian Love of Robots and Who Are Probably More Receptive to Life Extension

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The Japanese and to a lesser degree other asians seem to have a stronger openness and acceptance and eagerness to develop robots than those in western countries. Why is this the case ?

ACCJ Journal - Japan's Robot Boom

There are 295 of these mechanized workers for every 10,000 manufacturing Japanese – a robot density almost 10 times the world average, more than triple that of the U.S. (84) and nearly six times more than Europe (50).

* According to a prediction by the Japanese government, the domestic robot industry will be worth $67 billion in 2025. And no other country seems to be able to keep up. North America-based companies sold industrial robots worth $979.4 million in 2008, while the Japan Robot Association says the domestic market for those machines is currently sized at about $6.7 billion.

* Shintoism (japan's primary religion) has an acceptance that inanimate objects can have a spirit. This and similar attitudes in other Asian beliefs made asia and japan more culturally ready to be receptive of robots

* In the 1950s there were the success of Astro boy and other robot centric cartoons and movies. This provided a source of inspiration for scientists much like western scientists and engineered are inspired by Star Trek and making devices and inventions that they saw there

Automation Census - How Many Robots, Vending Machines, Self Service Kiosks, ATMs

There were 8.6 million robots at the end of 2008. There are probably about 11 million robots now (start of Q2 2010). Automation goes beyond robots and below I discuss vending machines, self service kiosks, ATMS and more.

The total worldwide stock of operational industrial robots at the end of 2008 was in the range of 1,036,000 and 1,300,000 units. The minimum figure above is based, as was discussed in chapter I, on the assumption that the average length of service life is 12 years. A UNECE/IFR pilot study has indicated that the average service life might in fact be as long as 15 years, which would then result in a worldwide stock of 1,300,000 units.
Projections for the period 2009-2012: about 11.6 million units of service robots for personal use to be sold

China Makes Sword Wielding Humanoid Robots

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The Beijing Institute of Technology, funded by CMST (Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology), have developed at least three versions of the BHR (Beijing Humanoid Robot). The researchers hope the humanoid robots will be able to tackle hazardous work environments in the future. While the first robot (BHR-1) wasn’t highly publicized, its successor BHR-2 (nicknamed Huitong) unveiled in 2005 is 158cm (5′1″) tall, weighs 76kg (167 lbs), and has 32 degrees of freedom.

NIST Detector Counts Photons With 99 Percent Efficiency and It Will Help Enable Practical Quantum Communication

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Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed the world’s most efficient single photon detector, which is able to count individual particles of light traveling through fiber optic cables with roughly 99 percent efficiency. The team’s efforts could bring improvements to secure electronic communication, advanced quantum computation and the measurement of optical power. The new detector design not only measures lower levels of light than have ever been possible, but does so with great accuracy (no false positives)

Other types of detectors have really high gain so they can measure a single photon, but their noise levels are such that occasionally a noise glitch is mistakenly identified as a photon. This causes an error in the measurement. Reducing these errors is really important for those who are doing calculations or communications.

Millimeter and microwave Wireless Will Soon Enable 10 Gigabit per Second Communication

Electrical engineers from UC San Diego are at the leading edge of efforts to merge silicon chip technologies with sophisticated wireless communications tools in the millimeter and microwave range —technologies that traditionally have been too expensive for all but defense and satellite applications.

Advanced radio-frequency CMOS chips from the Rebeiz lab, and a silicon-based millimeter wave amplifier that works at 60 to 120 GHz (the Cascaded Constructive Wave Amplifier) from the Buckwalter lab are just two examples. These kinds of projects are moving toward inexpensive, silicon-based wireless communications links in millimeter and microwave frequency range that can support data transfer rates as fast as 10 Gigabits per second over a kilometer.

The goal of millimeter and microwave wireless in the 60-300 Ghz and Terahertz range is being pursued in many countries (Taiwan, Australia, Japan, Europe and more) and around the United States.

Printed 3D Titanium Wet Folded Origami

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The tiny origami crane sitting on a penny in the picture from University of Illinois professor Jennifer Lewis’ lab heralds a new method for creating complex three-dimensional structures for biocompatible devices, microscaffolding and other microsystems. The penny-sized titanium bird began as a printed sheet of titanium hydride ink.

Genescient Received More Funding and Will Be Conducting a Test of a Health Enhancing Compound

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Genescient received $500,000 in additional funding in December, 2009

Genescient Corporation is a California evolutionary genomics company. Its technology is based on the genomics of model organisms (methuselah flies that live over four times longer than regular flies) selectively bred for health and longevity over 30 years. This genomic information is combined with whole-genome data, and massive clinical databases to identify, screen and develop benign therapeutic substances for the treatment of the chronic aging-associated diseases including cardiovascular disease, Type II diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Genescient will also provide its clients with genomic information services that address the genes responsible for the complex genomic trait “rate of aging”.

Sometime this year Genescient will be conducting a trial of a health enhancing compound. Genescient needs people aged 40-75 for the trial. Contact if you are in the age range and are interested in volunteering for the trial.

Genescient is now filtering through known safe (FDA approved for some purpose) drugs and non-drugs (like herbs and other natural substances that do not need approval) that can activate what they have identified as longevity genes.

April 13, 2010

More efficient wireless power delivery and Shrinking the Receiver Coil for Portable Devices

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A new wirless power transmission system uses receivers that are only about a foot across – moving closer to a size that could eventually be built into a PC or a television set. The transmitting coil could be built into a wall or ceiling, the researchers say, and the transfer of power has been shown to work over distances comparable to the size of an ordinary room.

Carnival of Space 149

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Carnival of Space 149 is at starry critters.

This site provided:

A spacecraft on a computer chip prototype should be launched this year. If this works it would open the door to cheap computer chip spacecraft that would act as sensors and monitors all over the solar system. If they worked collectively in swarms they could be very powerful telescopic arrays.

Wormhole research suggests that universes are nested like Russian Dolls. Our universe could be a wormhole in a blackhole of another universe.

Bad Astronomy reports new studies indicate Venus may have been volcanically active in the recent past, and may indeed still be active.

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics Looking Good for Validating Their Dense Plasma Focus Aneutronic Fusion Theories Late 2010 or in 2011

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New Energy and Fuel does an excellent job of explaining in simpler terms what the results for the focus fusion (dense plasma focus) project of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics mean

* the results are better than expected, because a little more energy is being generated than expected
* If the funding keeps coming we might well see the pB11 (aneutronic) fuel test later this year or next. As the experiments proceed in testing the theory working so well, the prospects for a pB11 fuel success seem quite good.

Sarah Palin and Al Gore are on Rapidly Becoming Billionaires and Billionaires Like Meg Whitman Vie to Become the Political Elite

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Wealth and Power always went hand in hand, but the path between the two has never been so short or easy as it is today with the internet and celebrity money machines. Examples are all around with Sarah Palin and Al Gore being the most prominent.

An interesting question is that if you follow the Al Gore model- you can become a billionaire ex-politician and have political control without having political office.

In less than one year, Sarah Palin has earned $12 million dollars since leaving Alaska Governor office in the summer of 2009 As governor, Sarah Palin made $120,000 per year.

By 2007, Al Gore had made well over $100 million

Al Gore is close to being a billionaire now.

If I were Al Gore or Sarah Palin, I would prefer to remain an outside political force, where there are no extra legal restrictions on the money that they can be make. Meanwhile, they have kingmaker political power by being able to fundraise and promote campaigning politicians. They are both leaders of politically active groups. Al Gore is a leader the climate change and environmental movements and Sarah Palin has strong influence over the Tea Party and part of the Republican party.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Will Skip 22 nanometer node and go Directly to 20 nanometer in 2013

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EEtimes reports, at the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing's technology conference, the world's largest silicon foundry provided details about its 20-nm strategy and its 20-nm CMOS process, which will be the company's main technology platform after the 28-nm node. TSMC will also not offer an 18-nm process

* the move to 20-nm creates a better gate density and chip performance to cost ratio than a 22-nm process technology
* TSMC is currently shipping its 40-nm process. Then, it will move to the 28-nm node.
* TSMC's high-performance 20-nm process is slated to move into risk production in the third quarter of 2012, with volume production scheduled for the first quarter of 2013. Two quarters after the high-performance technology, TSMC is slated to roll out its low-power process.

Larry Kudlow Predicts a Stronger than Expected US Economy for the Remainder of 2010

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Larry Kudlow is predicted that a V-shaped recovery of the United States economy is forming. Larry predicts that the next 6 to 9 months look pretty darn good on the economic front. Right now, the U.S. economy is outperforming everybody’s expectations.

Japan Nuclear Fission Reactors

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According to figures released by the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum (JAIF), the weighted average capacity factor of the country's fleet of 54 power reactors, with a combined capacity of 48,847 MWe, was 65.7% during the year to the end of March 2010.

This compares with an average capacity factor of 60% in the previous year. JAIF notes that, excluding Kashiwazaki Kariwa units 1 to 5 (shutdown by an earthquake, the average capacity factor for Japan's reactors in fiscal year 2009 would have been a more respectable 74.2%.

Interview of Noah Goodman of the Cognitive Science Group at MIT by Sander Olson

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Here is the Noah Goodman interview. Dr. Goodman is a research scientist at the Computational Cognitive Science Group at MIT. The Computational Cognitive Science Group examines the computational abilities of the human brain. Dr. Goodman believes that artificial general intelligence may be only twenty years away.

April 12, 2010

THAI and Other Technology To Revolutionize Oil Recovery in the Oilsands

Petrobank Energy and Resources' Toe to Heel Air Injection (THAI) process recently passed a significant hurdle, validating a technology its backers say will not only get out more oil, but also have a smaller environmental footprint. The mainstay technology now used for in-situ bitumen is Steam-Assisted Gravity Drainage — or SAGD — which uses steam to heat the bitumen so it flows downward into wells and can be pumped to the surface. The McDaniel & Associates evaluation of the Whitesands operation estimated that THAI will produce 259 million barrels, or 17 per cent, more oil than had SAGD been used.

China Car Sales Increase 25% to 17 million units in 2010

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1. China's auto sales are expected to grow by 25 percent this year (13.6 million in 2009), as the market continued its robust growth trend in the first quarter March sales of passenger vehicles, including cars, multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), sports-utility vehicles (SUVs) and minivans, jumped 63 percent from a year ago and 34 percent from February. First-quarter sales jumped 76 percent to 3.52 million units. The sales figures last month far surpassed expectations. The optimistic forecast that total auto sales will grow 25 percent to hit 17 million units this year.

New material mimics a magnetic monopole at Room Temperature

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Researchers from Imperial College London have created a structure that acts like a single pole of a magnet, a feat that has evaded scientists for decades. The researchers say their new Nature Physics study takes them a step closer to isolating a ’magnetic monopole.
Magnets have two magnetic poles, north and south. ‘Like’ poles, such as north and north, repel one another and ‘opposite’ poles, such as north and south, attract. Whichever way a magnet is cut, it will always have these two poles. Scientists have theorised for many years that it must be possible to isolate a ‘magnetic monopole’, either north or south on its own, but until recently researchers have been unable to show this in experiments. Researchers at Imperial have now enabled tiny nano-sized magnets to behave like magnetic monopoles, by arranging them in a honeycomb structure. In late 2009, various teams of scientists reported they had created monopole-like behaviour in a material called ‘spin ice’. In these materials, monopoles form only at extremely low temperatures of -270 degrees Celsius. The Imperial researchers’ structure contains magnetic monopoles at room temperature.

Robert Freitas Awarded Historic First Mechanosynthesis Patent

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Robert Freitas has been issued long-awaited diamond mechanosynthesis (DMS) patent (# 7,687,146), on 30 March 2010. This is the first diamond mechanosynthesis (DMS) patent but also, more broadly, it is unquestionably the first mechanosynthesis patent (in the DMS or MNT sense of the word "mechanosynthesis") that has ever been issued, anywhere in the world, as far as we are aware. Robert Freitas is the sole inventor on this patent, but it was assigned to Zyvex (a Nanofactory Collaboration participant) because the work was done while he was still a contractor for the company in 2004 when the provisional was filed.

SILEX laser enrichment technology Has Commercial Test Success While Some Fear SILEX capabilities

The initial phase of the test loop program for the SILEX laser enrichment technology has been successfully completed by Global Laser Enrichment (GLE).
The test loop facility is designed to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of the technology and is intended to advance the design of the equipment and processes for the proposed commercial production facility.

April 11, 2010

Talk Polywell Forum Received an Update on Lawrenceville Plasma Physics

Ad Support : Nano Technology   Netbook    Technology News &nbsp  Computer Software MSimon received an update from Lawrenceville Plasma Physics and published it at the Talk Polywell forum
Here's a brief rundown of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc.'s experimental program, which consists of 8 goals to be accomplished in late 2009 and 2010: 1. Assemble and test the machine, get a pinch. Done deal. The machine didn't blow up when it was plugged in, and it demonstrated its ability to "pinch"- transfer the magnetic energy into a magnetic bottle where fusion will happen. The pinch was expected after 20 shots, but was achieved on the second shot. 2. Produce 1 MA (million Amperes) at 25kV (thousand volts), and find the best fill gas pressure. 3. Test the critical theory of axial magnetic field. 4. Switch to Deuterium fill gas and reliably achieve 2MA at 45kV.