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October 16, 2010

Solar is now the fastest growing energy industry in the U.S


http://www.gizmag.com/us-solar-production-to-hit-10gw-by-2015/16655/" target=blank>The Solar Energy Association (SEIA), solar is now the fastest growing energy industry in the U.S 

Tablet Computer Sales to hit 208 million in 2014 according to Gartner

A Brain Boost for information overload

mChip enables tricorder.

Called mChip, the handheld device uses a microchip to perform intricate medical tests for illnesses such as sexually transmitted diseases or prostate cancer. It needs just a drop of blood to diagnose a patient, and results come back in 12 to 15 minutes. This lab-on-a-chip method miniaturizes and simplifies the once time-consuming system of analyzing diagnostic tests results.


Army evals Dick Tracy watches

DTV shredder article - offroad segway variant

nanofoams can provide double the insulation performance

Steel, Aluminum and Carbon Fiber

World Steel projected 5.3 per cent growth in steel demand to 1.34 billion tonnes for 2011. China’s apparent steel use in 2010 is expected to increase only 6.7 per cent to 579 million tonnes, after the strong increase of 24.8 per cent in 2009. China will account for about 45 per cent of world apparent steel use in 2011. Over the past quarter, iron ore prices have dropped by $6-10 a tonne to $145, while coking coal prices for the quarter have been at $205 a tonne, down by $10 quarter-on-quarter.



Aluminum prices rose to $2130 per ton in the first half of 2010 (versus $1422 ton in 2009). Aluminium production is about 42 million tons in 2010 and is expected to be 46 million tons in 2011. Aluminum demand is expected to be 62 million tons in 2015.

World magnesium production is at about 800,000 tons per year.

There is only about 70,000 tons per year of carbon fiber.

Here is a detailed view of carbon fiber and lighter weight material for cars and other applications. There will be about 70 million cars produced in 2010. There are 1 billion cars in the world now and will likely be 2 billion cars by 2020.



October 15, 2010

IBM announces TurnKey Cloud Platform - from cpu to billing

carnival of nuclear energy 23

World Water Statistics and Water and Sanitation Improvement

Today is blog action day and the topic is water

Research Gaps and Barriers for Providing Sustainable Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Services (2009)

Recent studies found that 30 percent of homes with indoor plumbing in Uzbekistan had no residual chlorine levels. The addition of home chlorination subsequently led to a 62 percent reduction in diarrheal disease. This finding challenges the idea that piped water is generally safe and indicates that in some settings home treatment may be necessary in addition to improved water sources.

From 1990 to 2000, the total annual investment in sanitation in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean was $3.1 billion in comparison to a $12.5 billion annual investment in water during the same period


World water statistics from the world water week


* Of all water on earth, 97 % is salt water, and of the remaining 3 % fresh water, some 70% is frozen in the polar icecaps. The other 30% is mostly present as soil moisture or lies in underground aquifers.
* Less than 1% of the world's fresh water is readily accessible for direct human uses.
* Global water use: Agriculture 70 %, Industry 20 %, Domestic use 10 %.
* A child born in the developed world consumes 30 to 50 times as much water as one in the developing world.
* With rapid population growth, water withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years.
* An estimated 90% of the 3 billion people who are expected to be added to the population by 2050 will be in developing countries, many in regions already in water stress where the current population does not have sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.
* The 10 largest water users (in volume) are India, China, the United States, Pakistan, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Mexico and the Russian Federation.

October 13, 2010

October 12, 2010

Chitin–Silica Nanocomposites by Self-Assembly

Angewandte Chemie International Edition - Chitin–Silica Nanocomposites by Self-Assembly

A new family of chitin–silica nanocomposites has been synthesized by using a versatile colloid-based combination of self-assembly and sol–gel chemistry. Various textures and morphologies can be obtained by adjusting the evaporation-based processes or by applying external fields. After calcination, textures and birefringence are preserved in the resulting mesoporous silicas.

Supporting Info

China has overtaken the US as the biggest consumer of energy.

What did you learn about the singularity today?

Nerve-cell regeneration quest is fast tracked

First Human Tests of Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Underway

Social Carnaval of Space

Cheaper Plastic Solar Cells

India Increases Nuclear Power Generation

Virgin Galactic Flies Free

Current Inventions and future innovation in India

The EETimes reports on inventions from India and efforts to develop an innovation economy in India



India’s best chances to make its mark on innovation may be in cleantech and other disruptive technologies that can improve the quality of life for the world’s poor while enriching their inventors and investors. One such invention along that vein, a low-cost, durable, prosthesis known as the Jaipur foot, has restored function to amputees the world over and is probably the best-known Indian innovation to have found a global market.

Other recent inventions that hold similar promise include:
• A hybrid electric/kerosene stove that saves 70 percent on fuel costs compared with conventional stoves that burn liquefied petroleum gas. The stove uses a 6-V coil to heat kerosene for cooking. One liter of kerosene lasts for eight hours, and the stove consumes one unit of electrical power for every 20 hours of use.

• Mitti Cool, the so-called village fridge. Invented by a potter, Mitti Cool is made from special clay (mitti) and uses evaporation to cool three or more storage chambers for water, fruits and vegetables.

October 11, 2010

Scientists and supercomputers prove theory which could compress laser pusles for 300 times greater intensity

A team of scientists from the Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisbon, Imperial College London, and the Universities of St Andrews, Lancaster and Strathclyde as well as STFC’s Central Laser Facility staff have demonstrated the feasibility of a groundbreaking method called Raman amplification which can take long laser pulses and compress them to 1000 times shorter, but with intensities 300 times greater. This means that current very expensive and complex laser set-ups could eventually be replaced with smaller and more cost-effective systems. This would make many technologies, including methods used to develop x-rays which rely on lasers, far more accessible and easier to mass-produce. The next step is to apply the theoretical study on an actual high power laser and fine tune the method through rigorous experimental testing.

October 10, 2010

Ocean Floor Mining Equipment


Nautilus Minerals is preparing the equipment to start ocean floor mining in 2013

The Offshore Production System comprises three main components:

* Seafloor Production Tools;
* Riser and Lifting System; and
* Production Support Vessel.

Seafloor Production Tools (SPTs)



Rock is disaggregated on the seafloor by two large robotic machines that excavate material by a continuous cutting process, not unlike coal or other bulk continuous mining machines on land. The Auxiliary Cutter ("AC") is a preparatory machine that deals with rough terrain and creates benches for the other machines to work. It will operate on tracks with spud assistance and has a boom mounted cutting head for flexibility. The second machine, the Bulk Cutter ("BC"), has higher cutting capacity but will be limited to working benches created by the AC. Both machines leave cut material on the seafloor for collection by the Collecting Machine ("CM"). The CM, also a large robotic vehicle, will collect the cut material (sand, gravel, silt) by drawing it in as seawater slurry with internal pumps and pushing it through a flexible pipe to the Riser and Lifting System.



Peter Thiel says Technology equals Salvation

Peter Thiel discusses technology at the Wall Street Journal

People don't want to believe that technology is broken. . . . Pharmaceuticals, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology—all these areas where the progress has been a lot more limited than people think. And the question is why

The future we once portrayed for ourselves in "The Jetsons." We don't have flying cars. Space exploration is stalled. There are no undersea cities. Household robots do not cater to our needs. Nuclear power "we should be building like crazy," he says, but we're sitting on our hands. Or look at today's science fiction compared to the optimistic vision of the original "Star Trek": Contemporary science fiction has become uniformly "dystopian," he says. "It's about technology that doesn't work or that is bad."

The great exception is information technology, whose rapid advance is no fluke: "So far computers and the Internet have been the one sector immune from excessive regulation."

United States and other countries proposing foreign reserve and account surplus constraints on China

The U.S. and other industrialized countries are pushing to create a broad set of economic targets that would hold key countries - notably China - more directly accountable for their currency and other policies. Countries would commit to meet other, related targets and guidelines - such as avoiding excessive accumulation of foreign reserves or running an outsize current account surplus. The IMF could reprimand a country when it thinks it is accumulating excess foreign reserves or running a current account surplus or deficit that threatens the stability of the world economy

Robotic cars for cities and transforming transportation

Here is a link to a New York Times video of the Google self driving robotic car.

This site has previously proposed an incremental path to cities with only robotic cars.

This is a plan to enable the safe early deployment of robotic cars, trucks and buses. The robotic car only zones can start off smaller with 10-100 cars covering 10X10 blocks or so and then expanding as the system is proven. Public transportation would be cheaper and better and enable the start of complete shift to completely robotic driven cars which would be safer than current human driven cars and a reorganization of transportation to be cleaner, cheaper and safer without sacrificing time or convenience. 45,000 people per year in the United States die from traffic accidents and 1.2 million people in the world die from traffic accidents. The effective global implementation of a revamped robotic car system would save all those lives and would not need to cost time or convenience. Time can be saved and the system can be more convenient than the current system of human driven cars.

Brad Templeton provides his positive impressions of the Google Robotic car



Masdar City is delaying completion to 2020 to 2025 and reducing green goals

Plans originally called for Masdar City to become a self-contained "carbon-neutral" community of 40,000 residents and even more commuters. Cars would be banned. Waste and water would be recycled. 2016 was the targeted completion date of the $22 billion project.

* the project now won't be completed until at least 2020 — four years after the original deadline — and that work could stretch until 2025.

* original plans to power the city solely on power produced on site. Now renewable power will also be brought over from other locations.