June 04, 2011
Canadian Crude Oil Production Forecast* (million b/d) 2010 Actual 2011 2015 2020 2025 Oil Sands 1.5 1.6 2.2 3.0 3.7 Conventional 0.9 1.0 1.0 0.9 0.7 Pentanes/Condensate 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 Offshore 0.3 0.3 0.2 0.2 0.1 Total Canadian Crude Oil Production 2.8 2.9 3.5 4.2 4.7
iPhone 5 is rumored to use curved glass like the iPod nano and the Samsung Nexus S The iPhone 5 is also rumored to have an 8 megapixel camera.
Apple announced in a press release that they will present iOS 5, the new software platform that will support mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software - Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.
* a 10.2% net vehicle price increase can enable fleetwide 41.7 mpg
* a 22.3% net vehicle price increase at 60.1 mpg
Risks in Perspective by BernardL.Cohen,Ph.D. 2003. the Journal of Physicians and Surgeons (H/T Al Fin) Perhaps the most meaningful way of putting risks into perspective is to consider the loss of life expectancy (LLE) that they cause. The chart is mostly for US cities. World poverty and air pollution have larger impacts on populations outside the United States.
One of the greatest risks to an individual is living in poverty: LLE is 9 years for 19 large U.S. cities and for Montreal. In Britain, the difference in life expectancy between professional people and unskilled laborers is 7.2 years, and in Finland it is also 7.2 years. When Canadian men are ranked by income, those in the 90th percentile live 6 years longer than those in the 10th percentile. The latter have a higher mortality rate by 32 percent for heart disease and stroke, by 34 percent for cancer, and by 88 percent for accidents, poison, and violence. On an international scale, poverty plays a much bigger role – life expectancy is typically 30 years longer in affluent countries than in poor countries. For example, in 1990 it was 77 years in Japan, Sweden, and Canada compared with 38 years in Afghanistan and Gambia and 42 years in Ethiopia and Guinea; the world average was 61 years.
By 2030, over 6 billion of the total population of 8.5 billion will be considered middle class or wealthier ($10-100 per day or better) and those people will be urbanized as well. China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and many other countries could make massive economic progress if they get their policies right.
2. Music of the Spheres looks at the Skylon Spaceplane
June 03, 2011
Protecting coastlines and generating wave power by reflecting or absorbing 90 per cent of wave energy
Each hollow cylinder would be split vertically into quarter-circle arcs that fill up with water, and discharge it, depending on the water level surrounding them (see diagram). Although the cylinders are completely still, this constant filling and discharging is a form of oscillation and so is analogous to the electromagnetic oscillators that interfere with light waves in an invisibility cloak.
By adjusting the width of the vertical slits, the size of the cylinders, and their spacing, Hu calculates that the array could be tuned to water waves of a particular frequency so that it drains the peaks and then discharges to fill in the wave troughs - in effect dismantling those waves.
Using several arrays with different spacing and various sizes of cylinder, it might even be possible to block waves of several different frequencies - and perhaps even tsunamis, Hu claims. The result should be a huge reduction in waves within the array, and as a result, protection for any coastline or shore behind it, he says.
Physical Review Letters - Negative effective gravity in water waves by periodic resonator arrays
Keith Henson has an update of his plan for space based solar power up at the Oildrum.
Power satellites convert sunlight (via photovoltaic or thermal cycle) to electrical power and then turn the power into microwaves beamed to the ground and converted back to electrical power.
Critical to achieving costs of $100/kg or less to get material to geosynchronous orbit is to use spaceplanes that can fly frequently and a laser boosting system. This launch complexity would not be needed if there were simpler ways to achieve the cost target of $100/kg or less. However, Keith is putting together systems that have active development and some momentum towards actually being developed within the next 10-20 years.
Power satellites are a way of harvesting dilute solar energy with several advantages over the solar PV on the ground or rooftops:
* A system of power satellites scales to human civilization's needs (tens of TW).
* They don't need storage since their location (the 24 hour orbit, geosynchronous or GEO) is illuminated 99% of the time. (Satellite TV antennas point to a location on that orbit.)
* No day-night cycle and no clouds or air gives power satellites an average advantage of about nine times over the same area of solar collectors on the ground.
* Power satellites use relatively little material. Being in orbit (zero gravity), and no wind they can be much lighter per kW than collecting sunlight on the ground.
* They have a very short energy payback time.
They have some disadvantages, however:
* For optical reasons, they don't scale down to small sizes; 5 GW is about as small as you want to make one.
* At 50% loss electricity-in space to electricity-on-the-ground, the cost is doubled from one cent per kWh to two. On the other hand, that's 40 times less cost than transmitting the same power over wires for the same distance.
* They take a large investment to get the cost of transporting parts to GEO down to where they make economic sense.
Question: Tell us a little about the history of awarding prizes for technological innovations. How far does this concept go back?
The concept of rewarding technical innovations with high profile prizes goes back at least to the 17th century, when the British Government offered the Longitude prize. And the basic concept is even older than that. In fact, there were actually longitude prizes offered in the 16th and 167th centuries by the Spanish and Dutch Governments. As opposed to traditional programs of grants, contracts and patronage, prizes work particularly well when there is a problem for which there are multiple potential solutions, but the optimal solution isn't known.
Halophytes can be used to produce edible oils, medicines, vegetables, and cattle and fish feed. Halophytes can be found throughout the coastal areas of India.
Saline water plants can also be used to produce fine chemicals, biofuels and even building materials. Field studies conducted in the US and East Africa have suggested that halophytes such as sea asparagus can be grown as commercial crops.
June 02, 2011
A University of California, San Diego faculty-student team is about to demonstrate a first-of-its kind, phase-change memory solid state storage device that provides performance thousands of times faster than a conventional hard drive and up to seven times faster than "current state-of-the-art" solid-state drives (SSDs, flash memory). Micron has released new flash memory SSDs that have faster read and write speeds. “Moneta,” uses phase-change memory (PCM), an emerging data storage technology that stores data in the crystal structure of a metal alloy called a chalcogenide
The drugs used to treat AIDS may also stop its transmission. If that proves true, the drugs could achieve much of what a vaccine would. An extra 40% in spending for the next 5 to 10 years could stop the transmission AIDS and then enable the disease to be fought more cheaply than what is currently done.
Researchers extend the time a superconducting flux qubit can stay in superposition using microwave pulses
Researchers at MIT, MIT Lincoln Laboratory, Japan’s Institute of Physical and Chemical Research and NEC describe a new technique that extends the time a qubit can stay in superposition. The same technique can be used to measure the physical characteristics of qubits that knock them out of superposition in the first place, paving the way to better qubit designs. The previous published record for keeping a superconducting qubit in superposition was less than 10 microseconds and now it is 23 microseconds.
Dwave Systems uses superconducting flux qubits.
Nature Physics - Noise spectroscopy through dynamical decoupling with a superconducting flux qubit
Millionaire households worldwide represented just 0.9 percent of all households but owned 39 percent of global wealth, up from 37 percent in 2009. The number of millionaire households increased by 12.2 percent in 2010 to about 12.5 million.
The index relies on data from 13 top venture-capital firms, including Benchmark Capital, Sequoia Capital and Founders Fund and illustrates the rapid buildup of demand for talent in the region.
June 01, 2011
Standard Chartered’s initial report into the global super-cycle, published in November 2010, explained how the world economy is now experiencing its third super-cycle, a period of strong growth lasting a generation or more and aimed to put some context around the considerable uncertainties and risks facing the global economy. However, just as importantly, the report stressed the importance of recognising the upside opportunities now being witnessed by the shift in the balance of economic and financial power from the West to the East.
For India, the policy framework will be particularly important as it seeks to overcome its regulatory burden and address its infrastructure needs. The initial focus is on its hard infrastructure, such as its transport system but its soft infrastructure is also key, with the need to see continued improvement in education and skills. India’s population is rising. Over the next twenty years the working-age population should increase by over 200 million and with half of the total population under twenty-five, India has a demographic dividend, but only if it delivers the policies and economic growth needed
2. Hormosis - small damage and longevity
Fightaging - Hormesis is the process by which a little damage or stress to our biology can lead to a longer life span, as it wakes up the repair mechanisms and makes them do a better job than they otherwise would - a net gain in resiliency. This review aims to summarize published evidence that several longevity-promoting interventions may converge by causing an activation of mitochondrial oxygen consumption to promote increased formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). These serve as molecular signals to exert downstream effects to ultimately induce endogenous defense mechanisms culminating in increased stress resistance and longevity, an adaptive response more specifically named mitochondrial hormesis or mitohormesis.
Extending life span by increasing oxidative stress
The utility was told on 31 May that three reactors representing 3463 MWe of capacity would not be allowed to restart after a knee-jerk shutdown order in the early days of the Fukushima crisis.
In addition, the firm's remaining four units, worth 5405 MWe, will have to shut down earlier than proposed by legislation put through earlier this year. Isar 2 had been promised to operate until 2034, but 12 years were cut from that this week. Based on its lifetime capacity factor of over 89%, the 1400 MWe unit could have produced 132 billion kWh in that time - with a market value of over €16 billion ($23 billion) at today's prices.
Rossi Provides More Answers about the Energy Catalyzer and Nasa's Dennis Bushnell lists it as the number one energy solution
Focardi and Rossi have demonstrated a device that produces copper which they say is due to the fusion of atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen, the ingredients that feed their reactor. The 'Missing Mass' has been transformed into energy: it is in the order of a few kilowatts, two hundred times the energy that was the beginning of the reaction.
Beta decay has nothing to do with my process, Widom Larsen theory has nothing to do with my process.
Rossi has stated he now has an understanding of what exactly is taking place in his device, and that "Widom Larsen" theory does not explain it.
Rossi - 1 gram of matter (Nickel) produces 23 million kWh of power. Rossi is describing the energy that is generated as thermal/heat and at a low grade temperature. Converting to electricity would be at about 5% efficiency.
1 kg would produce 23 terawatt hours (heat)
100 kg would produce 2300 TWh
1 ton would produce 23,000 TWh
World production of electricity in 2008 was 20261 TWh.
In 2008, total worldwide energy consumption was 474 exajoules (474×10^18
Rossi - Should all the energy of the world be made with this system, only the 1% of the world production of Ni would be consumed.
World nickel production has been about 1.4 to 1.6 million tons per year
However, only 1% of Nickel is the Nickel 64 isotope, which is the reactive part.
Rossi did not reconcile and explain the two statements of power generation per gram and nickel production. I have provided the statistics and information about how the Rossi process is supposed to work to try to fill the gap.
Dwave Systems CTO Geordie Rose was interviewed by Alex Knapp at Forbes.
Applications for Dwave One -
D-Wave One is the first in a line of products that help people begin to incorporate quantum computing into the way that they solve problems. D-Wave’s systems are best at solving the types of problems found in the fields of optimization and machine learning. These problems can be broadly described as data analysis and pattern recognition problems.
The D-Wave One allows users to experiment with algorithms and APIs we have developed at D-Wave or to implement their own learning algorithms to explore ways to attack these tasks.Being quantum mechanical in nature, The D-Wave One machine is also excellent at simulating quantum mechanical systems of interest to materials scientists, physicists and chemists. As such they may also prove extremely useful as academic research tools.
May 31, 2011
The new system, called the D-Wave One, is not significantly more capable than a conventional computer. But it could be a step on the road to fuller implementations of quantum computing, which theoreticians have shown could easily solve problems that are impossible for other computers, such as defeating encryption systems by solving mathematical problems at incredible speed.
In a throwback to the days when computers were the size of rooms, the system bought by Lockheed, called the D-Wave One, occupies 100 square feet. Rather than acting as a stand-alone computer, it operates as a specialized helper to a conventional computer running software that learns from past data and makes predictions about future events. The defense company says it intends to use the new purchase to aid identification of bugs in products that are complex combinations of software and hardware. The goal is to reduce cost overruns caused by unforeseen technical problems with such systems, Lockheed spokesperson Thad Madden says. Such challenges were partly behind the recent news that the company's F-35 strike fighter is more than 20 percent over budget
Desertec is a proposal for terawatts of wind and solar to be located in Libya and Algeria and Saudi Arabia for European Power
The proposal is to repeat the political situation that exists with OPEC and oil with renewable solar and wind. Locate the power in the exact same area that has all of the political unrest and instability now.
The square labeled "TRANS-CSP Mix EUMENA 2050" indicates the surface needed for solar collectors to realize DESERTEC in EU-MENA (according to the TRANS-CSP scenario by German Aerospace Center DLR). This way the needs for seawater desalination and about two-thirds of the rising electricity consumption in the MENA region could be provided and about 17 percent of the European electricity consumption in 2050 (2,940 TWh/a, 120x120 km² in total).
The current proposal is to generate about 12% more power than is currently generated from nuclear power by developing solar and wind for 400 billion euros if it goes according the plan by 2050.
The detailed financial and technical proposal is due in 2012. So currently it is a back of napkin proposal and they hope to progress to vaporware in 2012, all for a bad idea for Europe to fund a solar and wind OPEC by 2050.
The drug, a type of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor being evaluated in numerous ongoing clinical trials, has been shown to reverse the harmful effects of autophagy in heart muscle cells of mice. Autophagy is a natural process by which cells eat their own proteins to provide needed resources in times of stress. The new study appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The creation of a new quasiparticle called the “hybrid plasmon polariton” may throw open the doors to integrated photonic circuits and optical computing for the 21st century. Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have demonstrated the first true nanoscale waveguides for next generation on-chip optical communication systems.
Nature Communications - Experimental Demonstration of Low-Loss Optical Waveguiding at Deep Sub-wavelength Scales.
Nvidia has a video that features a demo they created called “Glowball,” which draws its namesake from the feature character: a brilliant lit, bouncing ball. The ball serves as the light source. As it rolls, it casts its effect on different objects. This shows off the power of true dynamic lighting, rendered in real-time with physics (no canned animations here, folks). Thanks to Project Kal-El, Glowball’s true dynamic lighting brings more life and interactivity to a 3D environment. This marks the first time this type of lighting is feasible on a mobile device. Glowball also leverages the accelerometer inside the device, affecting real-time movements of drapes throughout the game. As the user tilts the device, the gravity in the scene changes and drapes respond accordingly.
Switzerland's decision to discontinue the country's nuclear-power plants comes as a shock to Swiss utilities. Leading power companies Axpo Holding AG and BKW FMB AG had planned to build two new plants, and pledged to invest some $10 billion. The companies had said new plants are needed if Switzerland wants to avoid being dependent on expensive energy imports. The companies also warned that Swiss industry would suffer from high energy costs.
Germany plans to avoid restarting the seven reactors shut during the moratorium and close the rest by 2022.
Germany plans to double the output of renewables by 2020 to reach 35% of generation, Germany also wants to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 40 compared to 1990 levels. However, fossil fuels remain untouched by the new policy, the purpose of it being purely to replace nuclear with renewables. Some 19 fossil (coal mainly) power plants are under construction in Germany to come online within a few years.
EETimes - Intel still lacks a design win in a top tier tablet. Intel is pushing down the power and size of notebook computers. Intel will describe Ultrabooks at the Computex conference in Taiwan.
The Ultrabook is a work in progress. Early versions will arrive in cases just 20mm thick and price points under $1,000 using versions of Intel 32nm Sandy Bridge processor later this year. AsusTek will be among the companies to ship the systems with its UX21 debuting before the end of the year.
ZDNet - The CEO of Asustek, Jonney Shih, came onstage to show one of the first ultrabooks. The Asus UX Series is an 11.6-inch laptop with an aluminum unibody design that measures only 0.67 inches at it thickest point but includes a second-generation Core processor.
Two new Intel features
1) Intel Smart Connect, lets your laptop receive system and application updates when it is in suspend. To do this, Smart Connect periodically wakes up your laptop, checks for updates and then puts it back to sleep.
2)Intel Rapid Start, uses a flash memory cache to store the system state so that it can recover from hibernation in about five to six seconds. This is useful because a system on standby only lasts about two to three days while one in hibernation has a battery life of 30 days,
May 30, 2011
Nuclear Green had coverage of the Third Thorium alliance conference
Edward Kee offered a talk titled, Global Nuclear Power Developments - Asia Leads The Way. Kee noted
Big stories here:
•China’s nuclear build programme is huge – has the potential to shape world nuclear industry for many decades
•Russia internal build of VVER designs will build credibility for export market
•India’s potential buy of imported LWR designs may change the competitive picture, if EPR, ESBWR, or ABWR (or all of these) get orders
•As new nuclear countries make selections, the aggregate world league table will be important
– countries will look for proven designs with real experience and low costs
– will seek a range of support from vendors (government vendors have edge)
Kee also noted that South Korea, China and India were all planning to sell reactors on the global market. Asian reactors cost less than European or American reactors with the Korean APR-1400 costing only 40% of the cost of the French EPR.
May 29, 2011
StarTram is a proposal for a maglev space launch system. The initial Generation 1 facility would be cargo only, launching from a mountain peak at 3 km to 7 km altitude with an evacuated tube staying at local surface level, raising about 150,000 tons to orbit annually. More advanced technology would be required for the Generation 2 system for passengers, with a longer track instead gradually curving up at its end to the thinner air at 22 km altitude, supported by magnetic levitation, reducing g-forces when each capsule transitions from the vacuum tube to the atmosphere. A SPESIF 2010 presentation stated that Gen-1 could be completed by the year 2020+ if funding began presently, Gen-2 by 2030+.