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June 18, 2010

iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo 4G vs Leaked Droid 2 and Droid X Specifications

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Here is a summary of the iPhone 4 compared to the leaked Droid 2 and Droid X specifications. Motorola Droid X and Droid 2 specifications are being reported from different Droid-life, Gizmodo and Engadget. The Droid X is not officially released until June 2319, 2010. Verizon 4G LTE will be launched for modems and USB by the end of 2010 but cellphones are not expected until the second quarter of 2011. Some cellphones and tablets available before the official Verizon 4G phone may be upgradable to 4G.

UPDATE: Motorola has released the Droid X

Phone   Apple iPhone 4   HTC Evo 4G    Droid 2  Droid X  
Price    16GB $199,       $199.99       unknown         $299
         32GB $299      with 2 year   Verizon           $199 after rebate
         /w two yr ATT                                  Verizon 

OS        iOS4            Android 2.1   Android 2.2     Android 2.1 

Data     Edge 2.5G       1x RTT          1x RTT           1x RTT
         HSPA 7.2        EVDO Rev A (3G) EVDO Rev A (3G)  EVDO Rev A (3G)
                         Wimax 4G

Best Coverage
Real World 1.3-1.8 Mbps  2.9 Mbps        1Mbps           1Mbps
Download

Best coverage
Real World  386kbps      500 kbps        500kbps         500kbs
Upload

Network  ATT             Sprint        Verizon           Verizon

Screen   3.5 inch        4.3 inch      3.7 inch          4.3 inch
         900X640         480X800       480X800 ?         480X854

Rear     5.0MP, LED flash,   8 MP        5 MP             8 MP
Camera   720p HD, 30 fs   1280X720(20fs) vid ??           720p  

Front      VGA              1.3 MP         ??              no
Camera

Micro SD    no              up to 32GB up to 32GB       up to 32GB

FM Radio    no              yes             ?           no

Wifi hotspot no             yes             ?           yes

Weight       4.8 ounces    6 ounces     ? ounces        5.47 ounces

Processors   A4 Processor   1Ghz, 8650   1Ghz,           1Ghz, 
                            Snapdragon                   ARMV7 rev2

Keyboard    Touchscreen     Touchscreen   Physical       Touchscreen

Some more droid x specs are at droid-life.

All have aGPS, wifi, bluetooth,

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 6 - the Real World and Arithmetic Confounds Nuclear Skeptics

The Sixth carnival of nuclear energy is up at NEI Nuclear Notes site

This site provided the article which used energy statistics for OECD countries over time which show that solar and wind have been built far slower than nuclear energy. This shows that Mark Jacobson is wrong in his misleading looking at pieces of a renewable energy installation.

Brave New Climate lays out the big picture of the nuclear renaissance.

... in the rapidly developing Asian countries that current real-world costs can be most reliably established. The two leading reactor designs now being built in China are the indigenous CPR-1000 and the Westinghouse AP-1000. Reported capital costs are in the range of $1,296 to $1,790/kW. Korea has focused attention on its APR-1400 design, with domestic overnight costs of $2,333/kW. A recent contract for $20.4 billion has been signed with Korean consortium KEPCO to build four APR-1400 reactors in the United Arab Emirates, at a turnkey cost of $3,643/kW. This price is notable considering that it is offered under near-FOAK (first of a kind) conditions, because these will be the UAE’s first nuclear plants.


LTE Soft Modems Now, Verizon LTE Cellphones and the Near Future of 4G Long Term Evolution

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1. Fiercewireless reports that Verizon Wireless is just months away from launching their LTE (Long term evolution) 4G wireless network

There are lots of unknowns about how early LTE deployments will perform in real-world scenarios and how quickly the LTE device ecosystem beyond USB dongles and aircards will develop. AT&T is lagging in deploying any 4G or upgraded 3G network, so AT&T is trying to trash any of the early devices and systems.

Verizon has recorded throughput in the 8 Mbps to 12 Mbps range, and that he expects commercial LTE speeds will be better than 7 Mbps. He added that the company is working with several technology firms to explore compression techniques that could improve video over LTE. The LTE communication should be 3 to 7 times faster than 3G phones and as fast or faster than Sprints Wimax phones and network that have availability now.

Verizon Wireless is planning to offer a slew of devices, including tablet computers and three to five phones, that could run on its new LTE high-speed wireless network by May 2011 The devices will be shown at the January, 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.

Motorola, HTC, LG and Research In Motion could also be among the first in 2011 with phones for the Long Term Evolution (LTE) high-speed wireless network that Verizon plans to switch on later in 2010.

IEA 2050 Energy Roadmap and US Nuclear Uprate Status

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Annual power sector carbon dioxide emnission reductions in the BLUE Map scenario in 2050 compared to the Badeline scenario, by technology area. Nuclear is the only major contributor that need no technical breakthrough (Source: IEA)
1. Nuclear power could become the world's single biggest source of electricity by 2050 according the IEA roadmap.

Given correct action to promote a stable policy regime and an adequate industrial base by 2020, nuclear power could grow by 320% to 1200 MWe before 2050. Achieving this would mean completing about 20 large reactors each year, meaning "the rate of construction starts of new nuclear plants will need to roughly double from its present level by 2020, and continue to increase more slowly after that date." This clearly achievable rate of work is enough to replace every single reactor operating now and grow nuclear power's contribution to 24% of global electricity supplies even while energy demand doubles.

A high nuclear scenario, which the roadmap did not examine in detail, places nuclear power at 38% of power supplies with a total generating capacity of about 1900 MWe. This level of nuclear would bring even greater emissions savings - as well as an 11% cut in power prices.


June 17, 2010

Chatroulette plans genital image recognition software to block perverts

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Chatroulette is where users can "meet" and chat with random people with a click of a mouse. Popular Science reports that in order to reduce the parade of penises, the service is planning to add image-recognition software that will filter out shots of male genitalia.

Most futurists from 2005 or earlier probably might not have predicted the need for this artificial intelligence project. Less predictable might have been the exact fad of Chatroulette. Although porn blocking software is common, so any video or picture communication with certain anonymity is showing the need for porn filters.

So something to look forward to when there are 3d holographic communication systems and holodecks will be the exhibitionism and porn and the need for porn filters.

There are videos online from the Daily Show and South Park which feature Chatroulette.

China - Taiwan Free Trade Deal on Track for Signing This Month

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On June 13, China and Taiwan successfully wrapped up a fourth round of negotiations in Beijing on the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement, aimed at lifting tariffs on either side of the Taiwan Strait. The deal, which Taiwanese President Ma's administration has said may be signed this month, would lower tariffs on more than 200 items, including car parts, petrochemicals, and machinery heading from China to Taiwan—and on about 500 items going the opposite way.

There are moves to slightly expand the items included in the trade deal.

When the trade deal is signed, some believe there could be a rally in Taiwan and China stocks.



Stem Cells from Fat Will be used to Heal Bones Faster and Other New Medical Technology

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1. Dr. Kent Leach will use stem cells derived from human adipose tissue (fat) to stimulate the formation of microvascular networks (neovascularization) within developing bone. Bone regeneration depends upon the formation of these networks to deliver oxygen and other nutrients necessary for healing. Most current clinical approaches inject pure stem cells systemically or locally, yet bone formation is hit or miss.

Dr. Leach’s project will embed the stem cells in a special gel to implant them directly in the injured site. This “composite hydrogel” contains a mixture of different polymers that controls the rate at which the gel degrades. Materials that degrade too slowly impede tissue formation, while gels that degrade too quickly will not hold stem cells in place. Scientists mix stem cells and other chemicals into the gel, and inject it, in liquid form, into the bone fracture or defect. The gel congeals, entrapping stem cells at the defect site to promote bone repair. Leach’s team has already developed a composite hydrogel and used it to deliver stem cells derived from bone marrow to injured horses.

This approach has two advantages over current approaches. First, stem cells from the patient’s own body have a better chance of succeeding than donor cells. The process of extracting bone marrow to obtain stem cells is excruciatingly painful, requires several days of recovery time, and is not feasible for severely injured or weakened patients. Doctors can obtain stem cells from fat with minimal invasiveness
.

Site Popularity and Authority

The most recent feedburner count has over 12,000 10,000 (the 12,000 was a feedburner error) subscribers via email or newsreaders to Nextbigfuture. This is over double the same point in 2009.

Technorati ranks Nextbigfuture at about the 800th (as of Jan 2011, 480th) most authoritative blog overall. When the Technorati tracking by topic is not broken, Nextbigfuture has regularly ranked in the top 10 in Science authority and top 20 in Green authority.

Ground Based Telescopes with Adaptive Optics Will Soon have Ten Times the Image Sharpness of Hubble and There Will Be Cheap Mercury Scopes with Adaptive Optics

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A picture of the movable secondary mirror during its installation in the Arcetri lab. The image shows the 672 tiny magnets spread over the back of the mirror.

1. The next generation of adaptive optics has arrived at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona, providing astronomers with three times the image sharpness of the Hubble Space Telescope from just one of the Ground based Telescopes. When both of the Large Binocular Telescopes have the new adaptive optics they will have ten times the image sharpness of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Toshiba Launches 128 Gigabyte Embedded NAND Flash Memory Modules

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Toshiba Corporation today announced the launch of a 128-gigabyte (GB) embedded NAND flash memory module, the highest capacity yet achieved in the industry. The module is fully compliant with the latest e •MMCTM standard, and is designed for application in a wide range of digital consumer products, including smartphones, tablet PCs and digital video cameras. Samples will be available from September, and mass production will start in the fourth quarter (October to December) of 2010.

Tri-Alpha Energy Nuclear Fusion Patent Describes PB11 Field Reversed Configuration System

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There is a patent (7180242) issued in 2007 for Tri-Alpha Energy's field reversed configuration nuclear fusion.

(H/T to Torulf2 at Talk Polywell)

There is another 31 page patent application US20100002823. (Controlled Fusion is a Field Reversed Configuration and Direct Energy Conversion.) Filed in 2009.
Formation of a field reversed configuration for magnetic and electrostatic confinement of plasma

A system and method for containing plasma and forming a Field Reversed Configuration (FRC) magnetic topology are described in which plasma ions are contained magnetically in stable, non-adiabatic orbits in the FRC. Further, the electrons are contained electrostatically in a deep energy well, created by tuning an externally applied magnetic field. The simultaneous electrostatic confinement of electrons and magnetic confinement of ions avoids anomalous transport and facilitates classical containment of both electrons and ions. In this configuration, ions and electrons may have adequate density and temperature so that upon collisions they are fused together by nuclear force, thus releasing fusion energy. Moreover, the fusion fuel plasmas that can be used with the present confinement system and method are not limited to neutronic fuels only, but also advantageously include advanced fuels.


Forrester Predicts that Tablets Will Finish Killing the Desktop PC

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Techcrunch reports a Forrester projection that Tablet form factors will push the Desktop PC towards fourth place behind laptops, tablets and netbooks.

Laptops and netbooks will hold their marketshare, but tablets will grow and take marketshare from PCs.

The Forrester analysis does not include the increasing displacement of traditional desktop PC functions by smartphones, ereaders and gaming platforms (like XBox, Wii and Sony Playstation.)

By 2015, the cumulative number of people using tablets is predicted to be 59 million.

June 16, 2010

Organic nanoelectronics a step closer

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Researchers use metal crystal to organize organic materials, overcoming key stumbling block to organic nanoelectronics. By using molecular materials instead of silicon semiconductor, we could one day build transistors that are ten times smaller than what currently exists.

EETimes has coverage.
They demonstrated perfectly ordered arrays of one of the most important organic conducting polymer, PEDOT [polyethylenedioxythiophene]. The researchers attained five nanometer resolution for lines of PEDOT by copying the already perfect crystalline structure of thin-film copper, using a simple low-temperature deposition technique whereby "monomers" self-assembled into polymers atop the inorganic material.


Spacex Signs Largest Single Commercial Launch Contract of $492 Million with Iridium

The successful launch of the Spaces Falcon 9 rocket is opening a flood gate of commercial and government launch contracts.

Iridium Communications Inc. (Nasdaq:IRDM) and Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) are pleased to announce that the Falcon 9 will be a major provider of launch services for Iridium NEXT, Iridium’s next-generation satellite constellation. The $492 million contract, while being the largest single commercial launch deal ever signed, nonetheless represents a new benchmark in cost-effective satellite delivery to space.

Iridium operates the world’s largest commercial satellite constellation, and is the only communications company to offer mobile voice and data services across the entire globe. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch vehicle will carry multiple Iridium NEXT satellites per vehicle, inserting the satellites into a low-earth orbit (LEO) as Iridium replaces its current satellite constellation. The Iridium NEXT satellites are set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB) in California between 2015 and 2017.

The contract stipulates that SpaceX will provide launch services to Iridium over a two-year period starting in early 2015. Iridium is also in discussions with, and expects to contract with, at least one additional launch services provider. Launch services are included in the total estimated cost of $2.9 billion for Iridium NEXT.

iPhone 4 vs HTC Evo 4G vs HTC Droid Incredible vs Droid X and Some Other Smartphones

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Here is a summary of the iPhone 4 compared to the Motorola Droid X specs that are being reported from different sites. Verizon LTE will not be launched with phone service until Q2 2011.
UPDATE: The Droid X was officially released.

Phone   Apple iPhone 4   HTC Evo 4G    Droid Incredible  Droid X  
Price    16GB $199,       $199.99       $199 with 2 yr    $299
           32GB $299      with 2 year                     $199 with rebate
         /w two yr ATT                                    Verizon

OS        iOS4            Android 2.1   Android 2.1     Android 2.1 

Data     Edge 2.5G       1x RTT          1x RTT           1x RTT
         HSPA 7.2        EVDO Rev A (3G) EVDO Rev A (3G)  EVDO Rev A (3G)
                         Wimax 4G

Best Coverage
Real World 1.3-1.8 Mbps  2.9 Mbps        1Mbps           1Mbps
Download

Best coverage
Real World  386kbps      500 kbps        500kbps         500kbs
Upload

Network  ATT             Sprint        Verizon           Verizon

Screen   3.5 inch        4.3 inch      3.7 inch          4.3 inch
         900X640         480X800       480X800           480X854

Rear     5.0MP, LED flash,   8 MP        8 MP             8 MP
Camera   720p HD, 30 fs   1280X720(20fs) 800X480 vid      720p  

Front      VGA              1.3 MP         no              no
Camera

Micro SD    no              up to 32GB up to 32GB       up to 32GB

FM Radio    no              yes        yes              no

Wifi hotspot no             yes        no               yes

Weight       4.8 ounces    6 ounces     4.6 ounces      5.47 ounces

Processors   A4 Processor   1Ghz, 8650   1Ghz, 8650    1Ghz, 
                            Snapdragon   Snapdragon    ARMV7 rev2

Some more droid x specs are at droid-life.

All have aGPS, wifi, bluetooth,

World’s First Diamond Nanoprobe Tips Demonstrate Success in Nanomanufacturing

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“Wear‐resistant Diamond Nanoprobe Tips with Integrated Silicon Heater for Tip‐Based Nanomanufacturing,” demonstrates the ability of UNCD® tips integrated with doped silicon atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilevers for use in nanomanufacturing. The initial ultrananocrystalline diamond (UNCD) tip radius can be as small as 15 nm, and retains its shape when scanned for more than a meter at high temperatures and under high loading forces. Silicon tips, frequently used in prototype nanomanufacturing demonstrations, are quickly destroyed under similar conditions. Additionally, silicon tips easily foul, or pick up undesirable material from the scanned surface, while the low stiction properties of diamond avoid fouling.

Next, the researchers will be building and using arrays of these probe tips. “The longevity of these probes allow them to be implemented in massively parallel arrays that could scan over long distances and at high speed,” said Dr. King. “We can now think about using nanoprobe tip arrays to address many square centimeters of surface area. Eventually we’ll go to nanoprobe scans on meter scale.”

ACS Nano - Wear-Resistant Diamond Nanoprobe Tips with Integrated Silicon Heater for Tip-Based Nanomanufacturing

Evidence found for Five Types of Higgs Particles

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A discovery of CP violation in Bs−¯Bs mixing at the Tevatron might invalidate the Standard model and out the SM differentiate between various models of new physics. Evidence is hinting at five types of Higgs particles.

The Fermi Lab DZEro experiment web page is here
the Winter 2010 results page.

A physicist explains the news here.

There is evidence that the asymmetry is about 100x larger than expected or 3.2 sigma (or 3.2 standard deviations). Now that’s not enough away from the predicted value to claim discovery just yet (need 5 sigma to be really sure). But it’s a very interesting result.


The DZero experiment set up and observed collisions protons and anti-protons and was designed to examine the reason why the world is composed of normal matter rather than its opposite: anti-matter. They found the collisions resulted in pairs of muons one percent more often than anti-muon particles. The asymmetry could explain why matter has come to dominate over anti-matter, rather than the two annihilating each other.

This effect, called CP violation, had been seen before but not to the same degree as seen in DZero, and the degree of asymmetry found in the latest results is greater than can be accounted for by the Standard Model. The researchers said the results could be explained by the existence of five Higgs boson particles with similar masses, with one having a negative electric charge, one negative and three neutral. The theory is called the two-Higgs doublet model.


Arxiv - CP violation in Bs mixing from heavy Higgs exchange

Project for 65% Efficient Nanowire Solar Cells with 50 cents per Watt Cost

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1. Researchers have gotten a 1.2 million euro grant to develop nanowire solar cells with 65% efficiency.

Nanowire solar cells in combination with the use of concentrated solar through mirror systems, has the potential to lead to the world’s most efficient solar cell system with a cost price lower than 50 cent per Watt peak. In comparison: for the present generation of solar cells that cost price is 1.50 euro per Watt peak. Researchers expect that in ten years their nano-structured solar cells can attain an efficiency of more than 65 percent

Nanowires make it possible to stack a number of subcells (junctions). In this process each subcell converts one color of sunlight optimally to electricity. The highest yield reported until now in a nanowire solar cell is 8.4 percent. Haverkort: "We expect that a protective shell around the nanowires is the critical step towards attaining the same efficiency with nanowire solar cells as with thin-film cells." Haverkort thinks that at 5 to 10 junctions he will arrive at an efficiency of 65 percent.

Kazatomprom Plans to Increase Uranium Production to 25,000 tons/year and BHP Olympic Dam Expansion Unlikely Because of Australian Tax

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Kazakhstan's uranium deposit map.

1. Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan’s national uranium company, plans to raise future production to 25-26,000 tons of uranium a year, the company’s vice president Nurlan Ryspanov said on Friday.

Kazatomprom produced 14,000 of uranium in 2009, making Kazakhstan the largest uranium producer in the world. The company plans to produce 18,000 tons in 2010. Kazatomprom reserves and production facilities allow a production level of 25-26,000 tons, But this will depend on market conditions and demand from the nuclear industry.

Carnval of Space 158 - the business of space based solar power

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The Carnival of Space 158 is up at Astroswanny.

This site provided coverage of the Japanese IKAROS solar sail deployment (including video)

Aastscope covered the Hayabusa return to Earth with samples from Asteroid Itokawa.

Stefan Schaal Interviewed by Sander Olson on Robotics and the Future of Robots

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Here is the Stefan Schaal interview, attached. Dr. Schaal is a roboticist at the University of Southern California who runs the USC Computational Learning and Motor Control Lab. Dr. Schaal has researched many aspects of robotics, including statistical learning, motor control, computational neuroscience, and biomimetic and humanoid robots.

http://www-clmc.usc.edu/~sschaal/pub/ld3.mp4


Question: Your lab at the University of Southern California has done research into supervised and reinforcement learning methods for robots. How does this work?
Answer: In reinforcement learning, the robot receives "rewas" for doing tasks properly, or at least for moving in the right direction. Supervised learning provides precise error measurements. So a supervised learning system might inform a robot that their movement was 3 degrees to the left of the object, whereas reinforcement learning would tell a robot that they are getting warmer as they get closer to completing the task.

June 15, 2010

Nuclear and Renewables Debate - Building Renewables Fast Enough ?

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In a debate between Stewart Brand (pro-nuclear) and Marc Jacobson (anti-nuclear), Mark Jacobson tries to make the case that we can generate all of the energy that we need without nuclear power (and without fossil fuels). The video of the debate is below. There is also the other stupidity about nuclear weapons and war counting against the carbon footprint of nuclear power which this site has addressed before. This article will focus on how fast are solar and wind being built.

In the nuclear debate between Stewart Brand and Mark Jacobson, one of Jacobson's main distortions is that nuclear power is slower to develop than solar and wind. Yet Germany and Spain and other countries have applied massive feed in tariff and other subsidies for over a decade to achieve more solar and wind power. Plus there was other spending by the builders of the factories and installers of solar and wind. Wind turbines developed supply chain problems with their generators for larger units. In spite of this effort, the OECD only has 286 TWH of solar, wind and geothermal. The United States added that much new nuclear power all by itself since 1987 even though almost no new nuclear plants were built. This was achieved through higher operating efficiency and some power uprates. Now the restart of build lag is past and this year some new nuclear reactors are coming online. From 2011 onwards there should be additions of 60-120 TWH in nuclear power (mostly outside the OECD in China, India, and Russia. But also in Japan, Korea and other places.

The International Energy Agency tracks electricity generation of the developed countries of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)
The chart above shows that for the United States, Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia combined the solar, wind and geothermal add up to 286 TWH. There could be 330 TWH in 2010 for all of those places combined. Nuclear power is 7 times higher and the total energy need is 33 times higher.
Germany has 47 TWH of solar, wind and geothermal. This is after spending $5 billion/year on feed in tariffs for over a decade.


DARPA Continues Micro-Gyroscope Project

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Northrop Grumman Corporation has been selected to continue development of a miniature navigation grade gyro for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) that will provide precision navigation for size and power constrained applications.

The company will develop the final configuration for a stand-alone micro-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Gyro (micro-NMRG) for DARPA's Micro-Technology for Positioning, Navigation and Timing (Micro-PNT) program.

Northrop Grumman's micro-NMRG technology uses the spins of atomic nuclei to detect the rotation of the gyro and will provide comparable performance to a navigation grade fiber-optic gyro in a small size, low power package. The technology could be used in any application requiring small size and low power precision navigation, including personal and unmanned vehicle navigation in GPS-denied or GPS-challenged locations.


Here is word document research paper from 2007 on micro-Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Gyro.

George Church Interviewed by SmartPlanet and Says Genome Sequencing Costs $1000 But the Price now is $10,000

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George Church is a leading geneticist who has a Harvard University Lab and is involved with several Genetics companies.

The price of a genome is a little less than $10,000. The cost is $1,000. There is a gap between the price and the cost. The gap is shrinking and the costs are still dropping.

Analyst Indicates EEstor has Been Making Progress But Cuts Zenn Stock Target on the Delays

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Paradigm Capital is a research driven investment dealer with offices in Calgary and Toronto.

"We understand that EEStor has been making rapid and numerous strides toward delivering a pre-production ESU to Zenn and that the unit delivered will be consistent with Zenn's specifications," Paradigm analyst Marvin Wolff said in a note.

"Zenn management remains confident that EEStor will deliver a pre-production ESU to Zenn in 'the not-too-distant future'."

Citing the delays, Wolff cut his one-year target price to C$5.45 from C$10.90. Zenn stock traded as high as C$6.89 in early 2008, the stock was worth C$2.30 on the TSX Venture Exchange on Friday, up 22 Canadian cents.


US Bakken Oil Forecast to be 579,000 Barrels of Oil Per day in 2020

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GlobalData’s new report “Bakken Shale in the US - Oil Shale Market Analysis and Forecasts to 2020 forecasts 211.4 million barrels in 2020 from the US Bakken, at an AAGR of 9.9%.

This would be 579,000 barrel of oil per day.

April had 284348 barrels of oil per day in North Dakota (about 180,000 barrels of oil from the Bakken.) 62% of the oil in North Dakota was from the Bakken in 2009

China On Track to Starting Ling Ao 2 Nuclear Reactor in October and Japan Progressing to Implement New Energy Plan

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1. China Ling Ao 2 reactor has achieved criticality and is on track for October, 2010 commercial operation.

The reactor is the third CPR-1000 to be built, representing a development from a French 900 MWe design imported in the 1990s: The CPR-1000 can deliver 1080 MWe and has a design life of 60 years. Four CPR-1000s are under construction at Hongyanhe, due to start up between 2012 and 2014.

Toshiba reports 16-nm Silicon nanowire transistor

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Toshiba Corp. has developed technology for a nanowire transistor, a major candidate for system LSI in the 16-nm generation and beyond.

The company said it has achieved 1-mA per micron on-current, the world's highest level for a nanowire transistor, by reducing parasitic resistance and improving the on-current level by 75 percent.

June 14, 2010

Writing Circuits on Graphene

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Using a heated atomic force microscope tip, researchers have drawn nanoscale conductive patterns on insulating graphene oxide. This simple trick to control graphene oxide's conductivity could pave the way for etching electronic circuits into the carbon material, an important advance toward high-speed, low-power, and potentially cheaper computer processors. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory instead "write" such nanoribbons on a surface rather than cutting graphene.

Tranexamic acid Could reduce Bleeding deaths by 15% or 100,000 lives per year

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Up to 100,000 lives could be saved every year if a known drug (tranexamic acid TXA), were given to seriously bleeding trauma patients.
In countries like India and China it could save about 12,000 lives each year. The Lancet shows that tranexamic acid (TXA), which helps blood to clot, could lower the risk of dying by 15%. TXA costs about US$4.50 per gram; it is easily administered and does not need to be refrigerated.

Each year 600,000 injured patients bleed to death worldwide. World Health Organisation figures show that nearly six million people die each year from injuries, which accounts for 10% of the world's deaths.

Alternate Energy Holdings Start Joint Venture With Hyperion Power Generation

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Alternate Energy Holdings, Inc. (OTCQB: AEHI) - today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with New Mexico-based Hyperion Power Generation, Inc. The MOU is the beginning of a joint venture between the two companies to license, build and market Hyperion's refrigerator-sized modular nuclear reactors on a world-wide basis.

Alternate Energy Holdings has a market capitalization of $121 million.
AEHI is an interesting investment if they can get the regulatory approval for their planned South Korean APR 1400 reactors and now Hyperion Power Generation reactors.
Entergy and Exelon are retreating from new nuclear reactor build in the near term. With likely increases in the nuclear loan program, its seems fairly likely that AEHI would get government loan guarantees if they get the regulatory clearances. Dan Yurman has been covering the AEHI effort and feels they are dreaming if they think they can get the NRC to certify the APR 1400 and then get the licenses by 2014.

Saltwork Technologies Desalination and Efficiency of Other New Desalination Approaches

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Saltworks Technology describes their ionic desalination technology.

Saltworks Technologies reported that they can produce 1 cubic meter of fresh water using just 1kWh compared to 3.7kWh per cubic meter achievable using reverse osmosis.

Saltworks' patent pending technology employs an innovative Thermo-Ionic™ energy conversion system that uses up to 80 per cent less electrical/mechanical energy relative to leading desalination technologies. The energy reduction is achieved by harnessing low temperature heat and atmospheric dryness to overcome the desalination energy barrier. Saltwater is evaporated to produce a concentrated solution. This solution, which has concentration gradient energy, is fed into Saltworks' proprietary desalting device to desalinate either seawater or brackish water. Some electrical energy is used to circulate fluids at a low pressure, yet the bulk of the energy input is obtained through the evaporation of saltwater.

Summarizing the Current Views on China's Nearterm Currency Plans

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Predictions about China's near term currency plans are summarized at Reuters.
The expectations are for the Chinese currency to move from the current exchange rate of 6.83 against the US dollar to about 6.66 to 6.5 by the end of 2010 and then most have 6.5 at the end of 2011.

Goldman Sachs (June 10)

"We keep our 3, 6 and 12-month USD/CNY forecasts at 6.74, 6.66 and 6.49, respectively. While we had never built in any meaningful up-front revaluation, the chance now is even more remote

Morgan Stanley

We maintain our long-standing call for a renminbi depeg from, and revaluation against, the USD during the summer

New Estimate of Water Inside the Moon One hundred Times Higher and Mars Used to Have Oceans Covering One Third of the Planet

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Universe Today reports that a look at Moon rocks from the Apollo missions, along with a lunar meteorite show a much higher water content in the Moon's interior than previously thought.

Using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) which can detect elements in the parts per million range, scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory found the minimum water content ranged from 64 parts per billion to 5 parts per million—at least two orders of magnitude greater than previous results

The moon is 7.349 X 10^19 tons. So the 5 parts per million all the way through would mean 3.6* 10^13 tons of water and the lower estimate of 64 parts per billion would mean about 4 * 10^11 tons of water.

But the water ratio may not be constant all the way through and the estimate provided is the minimum water content. The previous estimates of 600 million tons of water ice on the moon would be water that is closer to the surface and more usable for colonies or moon missions.

Afghanistan Could be the Saudi Arabia of Lithium

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Previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world.
Most of the mineral resources have been known since the 1970's. The issue has been mining and getting them to ports to ship out. Here is an article with a list of political reactions to the Afghanistan mineral report

The vast scale of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists (USGS 2007 study that only recently was released).

The USGS press release (Significant Potential for Undiscovered Resources in Afghanistan) is here

Estimate of Trillion Dollars in Minerals

Iron      $421 Billion
Copper     274 billion
Nobium      81 billion
Cobalt      51 billion
Gold        25 billion
Molybdenum  24 billion
Rare Earth   7 billion 
Other       26 billion

Rewritten Description of the Status and Prospects for Breakeven Nuclear Fusion with Lawrenceville Plasma Physics

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Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) has a mid-term goal of generating 30,000 joules (30 kJ of NET power) with each nuclear fusion pulse. An output of 30 kJ of elecricity would be "NET output power".

If 100 kJ of capacitively stored energy is required for each test pulse, then the total output power needs to be ((100,000 + 30,000) divided by conversion efficiency). An efficiency of 67% would convert 200 kJ of reaction power to 130 kJ of electrical power, of which 100 kJ would feed back to the capacitors, leving 30 kJ as "NET output power".

Brookhaven National Lab Creates Nano-Patterned Superconducting Thin Films

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A fragment of a superconducting thin film patterned with nano-loops measuring 150 nanometers on a side (small) and 500 nanometers on a side (large), where the nano wires making up each loop have a diameter of 25 nanometers.
Brookhaven National Laboratory has fabricated thin films patterned with large arrays of nanowires and loops that are superconducting — able to carry electric current with no resistance — when cooled below about 30 kelvin (-243 degrees Celsius). Even more interesting, the scientists showed they could change the material’s electrical resistance in an unexpected way by placing the material in an external magnetic field. Superconducting nanowires and nano-loops might eventually be useful for new electronic devices

Nature Nanotechnology - Large oscillations of the magnetoresistance in nanopatterned high-temperature superconducting films


More Energy Efficient Desalination

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A start-up from Vancouver, Canada called Saltworks Technologies has a new desalination process called “thermo-ionic desalination.”

* most of the world’s desalination plants today separate salt by distilling seawater, but this requires an immense amount of energy
* Newer desalination plants typically use a process called reverse osmosis. This is when the seawater is forced against a membrane that filters out the salt and other minerals. The approach is less energy-intensive than distillation, but the big pumps that push the water through the membrane still require lots of electricity.
Saltworks thermoionic process can cut the energy demands of a desalination plant by more than half, and in some cases by as much as 80 per cent.
Saltworks has a small pilot plant is already operating in Vancouver that can process 1 cubic metre of ocean water a day.
There are many companies working on nanomembranes and modification of reverse osmosis for greater energy efficiency.

BP Plans to Capture all of the Oil Leak by the End of June if 53,000 barrels per day or less or Mid-July if 80,000 barrels per day

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BP has provided the outline of a plan to capture all of the oil by the end of June.

In a letter sent Sunday to U.S. Coast Guard Rear Admiral James Watson, BP said it expects to have the capacity to capture between 40,000 and 53,000 barrels of oil a day by the end of June. That compares with 15,000 barrels a day now, out of a flow of 20,000 to 40,000 barrels scientists estimate are coming from the well. The collection capacity will go as high as 80,000 barrels a day by mid-July if needed (if the high estimates of the leak size are correct.

SeaMicro Reveals 512 Intel Atom Chip Supercomputer

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SeaMicro, a startup, announced today it has created a server with 512 Intel Atom chips that gets supercomputer performance but uses 75 percent less power and space than current servers.
The power comparison is against regular Intel and AMD chips, but there are computers running Nvidia GPGPUs and Tilera 64-core chips and cell processors and FPGAs and Tensilica chips that also achieve high performance with more energy efficiency.

Samples of SeaMicro’s SM10000 servers are available today and they will be broadly available on July 30 for $139,000 each. These machines have 512 Intel Atom processors, — all in a server that is just 17.5 inches high, or about a quarter of the space of a typical server rack. It requires no custom software and works in “plug and play” manner with any x86 (Intel-compatible) server data center. You can use x86 or other architecture chips as well, such as ARM

June 13, 2010

Underwater Sound Generation Using Carbon Nanotube Projectors

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NanoLetters - Underwater Sound Generation Using Carbon Nanotube Projectors
Water's high heat capacity and low thermal expansion would normally absorb any temperature fluctuations. But the nanotubes' hydrophobic properties result in an air pocket around the sheet which expands and contracts as the sheet heats and cools, pushing the surrounding water in and out as a piston would. The sheets can generate a wide range of frequencies, including those below 4 kilohertz, which are used for long-range sonar and are traditionally generated using heavy sound projectors. There is a high demand for lighter sonar devices
The application of solid-state fabricated carbon nanotube sheets as thermoacoustic projectors is extended from air to underwater applications, thereby providing surprising results. While the acoustic generation efficiency of a liquid immersed nanotube sheet is profoundly degraded by nanotube wetting, the hydrophobicity of the nanotube sheets in water results in an air envelope about the nanotubes that increases pressure generation efficiency a hundred-fold over that obtained by immersion in wetting alcohols. Due to nonresonant sound generation, the emission spectrum of a liquid-immersed nanotube sheet varies smoothly over a wide frequency range, 1−105 Hz. The sound projection efficiency of nanotube sheets substantially exceeds that of much heavier and thicker ferroelectric acoustic projectors in the important region below about 4 kHz, and this performance advantage increases with decreasing frequency. While increasing thickness by stacking sheets eventually degrades performance due to decreased ability to rapidly transform thermal energy to acoustic pulses, use of tandem stacking of separated nanotube sheets (that are addressed with phase delay) eliminates this problem. Encapsulating the nanotube sheet projectors in argon provided attractive performance at needed low frequencies, as well as a realized energy conversion efficiency in air of 0.2%, which can be enhanced by increasing the modulation of temperature.

Patent Nonsense - some problems with the current Patent Copyright and IP system

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Hi, this is your occasional correspondent, Joseph Friedlander writing for Next Big Future on Professor Bolonkin’s ideas (and some of my own) on patent reform. Key insight: the massive lion’s share of the benefits of invention—if any (most inventions are unsuccessful)—should go to encourage inventors, not the patent law establishment or their hangers on---

Professor Bolonkin’s Patent Suggestion Letter.

Professor Bolonkin has written his representative in Congress as well as his senator with the following letter:

I write you as a man born in 1933, who has both witnessed and taken part in some of the greatest scientific undertakings of our age, including jet age, nuclear age and space age scientific inventions. You well know the importance of American superiority in technical progress as the foundation and lodestone of our society's strength, our military's power, and our people's well being.Our very health depends on innovation in many, not just a few scientific areas, and our future lifespan may well be lengthened-- or, sadly, shortened-- depending on events occurring now in the United States Patent Office.

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics High Yield Pulses to Megawatt Generators

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Lawrenceville Plasma Physics (LPP) has a goal of generating 30,000 joules with each nuclear fusion pulse. This would be net energy with conversion to elecricity. So if 100,000 joules was put in from the capacitors then they would need say 200,000 joules back and convert that to 130,000 joules. 100,000 joules for the next shot and 30,000 as excess energy. they are currently only around the 1 joule level. In April it was 0.1 joule, but in May the current increased to 1 megaamp which suggests about 1 joule output.

LPP plans to then increase the pulse rate to 60 pulses per seconds. It would be producing 1.8 million joules per second.

A one megawatt generator produces one million joules per second. (a watt is a joule/ second)

LPP was also trying to get up to 100,000 joules in each pulse. 60 such pulses would be 6 million joules per second, which if converted at with only about 20% loss would be equal to a 5 megawatt generator.

31.536 million seconds per year * 30,000 joules * 60 pulses per second / 3600 seconds =
8760 hours * 60 * 30,000 watt hours = 15.768 million Kilowatt hours

Scientists have created working liver grafts on a Path to growing working livers

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US scientists have created working liver grafts in the lab, and say the research could one day allow the growth of livers for transplant.

A team from Massachusetts General Hospital, created successful grafts using rat cells.

North Dakota Oil Production Hits a New High in April of 284,348 barrels of oil per day

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North Dakota latest monthly oil production is another new record at 284,348 barrels per day in April. This is almost double the production two years ago in March, 2008.