July 02, 2011

Paypal President predicts the end of the wallet by 2015 in the United States

PayPal President Scott Thompson has made a prediction: By 2015, the wallet will become a thing of the past. The implication is that the prediction is for the United States.

PayPal now has more than 100 million active accounts.

We believe that by 2015 digital currency will be accepted everywhere in the U.S. – from your local corner store to Walmart. We will no longer need to carry a wallet.

McKinsey on how to Increase Economic Growth in the United States

McKinsey Global Institute - Growth and Renewal in the United States - Retooling America's Economic Engine (78 pages, Feb, 2011)

* adopt best practices systematically across industries
* adopt the next wave of innovation (life RFID for end to end supply chain)
* adopt practices for faster response to customer needs

Seven major US imperatives:
1. Drive productivity gains in public and regulated sectors (20% of the economy and 5-15% productivity gap with private sector)

2. Reinvigorate innovation economy (data driven business decisions, cloud computer, application of advances in biology and life sciences.)

3. Develop the US talent pool to match the economy of the future and harness full capabilities of US population

July 01, 2011

China’s aircraft carrier to begin sea trials next month

China’s first aircraft carrier, the reconditioned Soviet-era Varyag, will begin sea trials on Friday, according to military sources, and will be officially launched around October next year.

Another report indicates there will be a delay of the launch to August because of mechanical problems

The Hong Kong Commercial Daily quoted unnamed military sources as saying the carrier would commence sea trials on July 1, which is much sooner than expected. The US Office of Naval Intelligence had estimated the vessel would be launched as a training platform by 2012 and be fully operational after 2015.

Integral challenges physics beyond Einstein

Gamma-ray burst

(European Space Agency) ESA’s Integral gamma-ray observatory has provided results that will dramatically affect the search for physics beyond Einstein. It has shown that any underlying quantum ‘graininess’ of space must be at much smaller scales than previously predicted.
Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity describes the properties of gravity and assumes that space is a smooth, continuous fabric. Yet quantum theory suggests that space should be grainy at the smallest scales, like sand on a beach.

GRB 041219A took place on 19 December 2004 and was immediately recognised as being in the top 1% of GRBs for brightness. It was so bright that Integral was able to measure the polarisation of its gamma rays accurately.

Dr Laurent and colleagues searched for differences in the polarisation at different energies, but found none to the accuracy limits of the data.

Some theories suggest that the quantum nature of space should manifest itself at the ‘Planck scale’: the minuscule 10-35 of a metre, where a millimetre is 10-3 m.

However, Integral’s observations are about 10 000 times more accurate than any previous and show that any quantum graininess must be at a level of 10-48 m or smaller.

“This is a very important result in fundamental physics and will rule out some string theories and quantum loop gravity theories,” says Dr Laurent.

Arxiv - Constraints on Lorentz Invariance Violation using INTEGRAL/IBIS observations of GRB041219A

One of the experimental tests of Lorentz invariance violation is to measure the helicity dependence of the propagation velocity of photons originating in distant cosmological obejcts. Using a recent determination of the distance of the Gamma-Ray Burst GRB 041219A, for which a high degree of polarization is observed in the prompt emission, we are able to improve by 4 orders of magnitude the existing constraint on Lorentz invariance violation, arising from the phenomenon of vacuum birefringence.

Single-cell biological lasers

Nature Photonics - Single-cell biological lasers

Since their invention some 50 years ago, lasers have made a tremendous impact on modern science and technology. Nevertheless, lasing has so far relied on artificial or engineered optical gain materials, such as doped crystals, semiconductors, synthetic dyes and purified gases. Here, we show that fluorescent proteins in cells are a viable gain medium for optical amplification, and report the first successful realization of biological cell lasers based on green fluorescent protein (GFP). We demonstrate in vitro protein lasers using recombinant GFP solutions and introduce a laser based on single live cells expressing GFP. On optical pumping with nanojoule/nanosecond pulses, individual cells in a high-Q microcavity produce bright, directional and narrowband laser emission, with characteristic longitudinal and transverse modes. Lasing cells remained alive even after prolonged lasing action. Light amplification and lasing from and within biological systems pave the way to new forms of intracellular sensing, cytometry and imaging.

HTC Eternity with 4.7 inch screen and HDMI output and ASUS quadcore tablet

HTC Inside reports on the HTC Eternity

Eternity HTC will be a high-end Windows Mobile 7 smartphone. The HTC Eternity launch in the early autumn, 2011 with Windows Mobile 7.1 "Mango".
- 4.7-inch LCD screen
- Qualcomm Single-Core 1.5 GHz processor
- 8 megapixel camera is used.
- HDMI output and supports additional DLNA.
- unibody aluminum case.

The screen will also be as large as the 5 inch Dell Streak.

Asus is expected to introduce its Eee Pad Slider in July ($650-$800), and its 7-inch Eee Pad MeMO 3D in Q4 2011 along with the Padfone, which runs Ice Cream Sandwich and features an Nvidia quad core Tegra 3 chip. 

Germany will use more coal, gas and energy imports instead of nuclear power

1. Germany is set to turn back to coal, gas and imports to fill the energy chasm left by its fast-track exit of nuclear power.

Germany produced 140.6 terawatt hours (TWh) of nuclear power in 2010.

Germany produced 102 TWh from renewable energy in 2010, and they are targeted to add 115 TWh by 2020. Even 9 years from now Germany will still not have replaced all nuclear power with renewables.

Superelastic Effect in Polycrystalline Ferrous Alloys

Journal Science - Superelastic Effect in Polycrystalline Ferrous Alloys

In superelastic alloys, large deformation can revert to a memorized shape after removing the stress. However, the stress increases with increasing temperature, which limits the practical use over a wide temperature range. Polycrystalline Fe-Mn-Al-Ni shape memory alloys show a small temperature dependence of the superelastic stress because of a small transformation entropy change brought about by a magnetic contribution to the Gibbs energies. For one alloy composition, the superelastic stress varies by 0.53 megapascal/°C over a temperature range from –196 to 240°C.

Prior to this discovery, alloys were only able to revert to their original form in the much narrower range of -20 to 80 degrees Celsius.

Superelastic alloys are used in many applications such as eyeglasses, antennas, and medical tools and equipment. Omori, says he hopes that this new alloy, because of its ability to revert in virtually any real world temperature conditions, can be used in buildings to protect against earthquake damage, or in other applications where things get hot under stress, such as in cars, airplanes and spacecraft.

Automated Embryonic stem cell bioprinting for uniform and controlled size embryoid body formation

Biomicrofluidics - Embryonic stem cell bioprinting for uniform and controlled size embryoid body formation

Two main goals of bio-inkjet printers is to grow new body parts for organ transplants or tissues for making regenerative medicine repairs. Making body parts, organs or tissues begin with a printed mass of embryonic stem cells.

Getting the embroid body formed correctly and without mechanical trauma is key to preserving the stem cells' astounding ability to develop into any desired tissue. A new automated bioprinting approach appears to do this better than manual pipetting in the "hang-drop" method traditionally used.

Three key advances -

* Enhanced uniformity of size and ability to control droplet size. These are key variables because they determine how the embroid bodies will grow.

* Achieving a scalable system that can print one cell or tens of thousands per droplet—a level of precise manipulation not previously available.

* Faster droplet formation. The new system delivers 160 droplets/seconds, versus 10 minutes for the hang-drop method.

Heim Theory Falsified

Heim theory is a physics theory, initially proposed by a German physicist, the late Burkhard Heim, that attempts to develop a theory of everything. Heim theory's six dimensional model was later extended to eight and twelve dimensions, in collaboration with W. Dröscher. Walter Dröscher and Jochem Häuser have attempted to apply it to nonconventional space propulsion and faster than light concepts, as well as the origin of dark matter.

John Reed has posted to Physforum in 2011 that Heim theory was cooked

Since I posted that I have done a lot of work with Heim Theory. First I tried to come up with the mass of the Tau lepton. Since I had the equations in a state that should give me this mass if I entered the correct quantum numbers for the Tau, I tried that. This experiment failed. The equations blew up. I noticed that the discovery date for the Tau was later than the other particles Heim had masses for. It was discovered in 1975. The latest discovery date for a particle that Heim's equations give a correct mass for is the K meson, discovered in 1947. Of course, there is the well known discrepancy of the neutral electron, and many more new particles not in Heim's results. It's almost as if Heim's theory is like a snapshot of particle data taken before 1975.

So, I decided to go back to Heim's books and translate them. This took a long time but I finally got to the end of Volume I, chapter II. Before starting on chapter III I decided to take a look at Heim's gravitation theory which starts in section 4 of chapter II, Gravitational Space Structure and its Extrema. I was hoping to come up with an answer to the problem of "dark energy" since Heim claimed to be able to show that gravitation becomes repulsive as distance becomes greater than a certain distance due to the mass of the gravitational field. When I looked at the equations given in the book, the starting equation for the gravitational potential is given on page 77. This is supposed to be the Laplacian, expressed in spherical coordinates. But this equation is WRONG. I looked in my copy of "Methods of Theoretical Physics" by Morse and Feshbach where the equation is given correctly to confirm this. In order to get his incorrect equation to work, Heim had to assume that the azimuthal angle is fixed. Why should this be necessary when spherical symmetry is involved? Heim should have seen this error and corrected it. Any undergrad physics student has seen this equation and should be able to write it correctly. Heim made two errors but finally came out with the equation he wanted. I did some more research and found the articles by Anton Mueller and Borje Mansson I mentioned in my earlier posting.

I think I have some idea of what Heim did now. There is much talk in his book about "empirical data". He took the particle mass data and cooked up his equations to make them correct. It certainly was a lot of work for him, but I don't think it has much to do with physics. I'm sorry to say I wasted a lot of time on this but I hope I can save someone else some work.

Geoffrey Landis on Heim Theory He explains why it was interesting.

One of these new theories of physics that looked like it had some promise is the so-called "Heim" theory. According to the story, Burkhard Heim was a reclusive, disabled German scientist who worked entirely outside the usual framework of physics, and between 1952 and 1959 developed a new theory of elementary particles and gravity. Unfortunately, his main publication was a self-published book, available only in German, plus a few articles (also in German) written in a journal about aerodynamics. As a result of the inaccessibility of his papers in English, his use of nonstandard mathematical notation that he invented himself, and the fact that he was very secretive about details of his work, his work was almost unknown in the community of physics.

In short, he was a maverick physicist, working entirely outside the mainstream of physics and publishing entirely outside the peer-reviewed journals. The few physicists who attempted to decipher his densely mathematical papers written in German found it was nearly incomprehensible.

This changed in 2002, shortly after Heim's death, when Walter Dröscher, and Jochem Häuser began to publish papers based on Heim's work, claiming that his alternate theory of gravity allowed for the possibility of antigravity and faster than light propulsion. In addition, they claimed that Heim's theory was experimentally verified! To be specific, they claimed that by using the parameters derived by Heim in a computer program, they could derive the mass of all of the major elementary particles, and these theoretical derivations of masses matched the measured mass; in some cases with accuracy up to nine significant figures. It is hard to emphasize how astounding this is. Modern physics does not have a way to derive the mass of elementary particles from first principles. If Heim's theory could be used to do this, it seems like it must have some validity.

Magnetic memory and logic could achieve ultimate energy efficiency

In magnetic contrast images (top) taken by the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the bright spots are nanomagnets with their north ends pointing down (represented by red bar below) and the dark spots are north-up nanomagnets (blue). The six nanomagnets form a majority logic gate transistor, where the output on the right of the center bar is determined by the majority of three inputs on the top, left and bottom. Horizontal neighboring magnets tend to point in alternate directions, while vertical neighbors prefer to point in the same direction.

Today’s silicon-based microprocessor chips rely on electric currents, or moving electrons, that generate a lot of waste heat. But microprocessors employing nanometer-sized bar magnets – like tiny refrigerator magnets – for memory, logic and switching operations theoretically would require no moving electrons.

Such chips would dissipate only 18 millielectron volts of energy per operation at room temperature, the minimum allowed by the second law of thermodynamics and called the Landauer limit. That’s 1 million times less energy per operation than consumed by today’s computers.

DARPA wants Living foundries for mass produced Synthetic Biology

DARPA is providing $30 million towards the goal of living foundries

Through an engineering-driven approach to biology, Living Foundries aims to create a rapid, reliable manufacturing capability where multiple cellular functions can be fabricated, mixed and matched on demand and the whole system controlled by integrated circuitry, opening up the full space of biologically produced materials and systems. Key to success will be the democratization of the biological design and manufacturing process, breaking open the field to those outside the biological sciences.

India Economic Forecasts to 2016

Economy Watch has a forecast for the Indian economy to 2016. Economywatch has a projections from 2010 to 2015 based on OECD, IMF, UN, World Bank and CIA data.

Instead of a 100 year plan for interstellar space there should be a 50 year plan

NASA and DARPA have a project called the 100 year Starship study.

The 100 Year Starship™ Study is an effort seeded by DARPA to develop a viable and sustainable model for persistent, long-term, private-sector investment into the myriad of disciplines needed to make long-distance space travel practicable and feasible.

The Icarus project has projected dates when 1% of GDP could afford to pay for interstellar projects of various costs. Compounding the Global GDP at 4% returns a date of 2099 for when construction of the ‘Budget Daedalus’ represents only 1% of the planets GDP.

The keys to how soon we can send a major interstellar effort is how rapidly we can develop the economy of earth and the solar system. We need to grow energy, resources, technology and wealth.

More aggressive economic growth would look like this.

Increasing growth every 20 years
Year    flat 6% 6-11%   6-18%
2015    100     100     100    (trillions of dollars, World GDP PPP)
2020    134     134     134  
2030    241     241     241    2.5 times energy
                               30K per cap  
2040    431     474     571    3-4 times energy
                               50-70K per cap 
2050    770     940    1390    5-10 times
                               80K-140K per cap 
2060    1380   2000    4300    10-20 times energy
                               140K-430K per cap
2070    2500   4500   13700    15-40 times energy
                               250k-1.37 Million per cap

Spray on Quantum-dot cells designed with two layers

Solar dots: Each of these 16 dots is a solar cell made up of nanoscopic particles called quantum dots. Credit: Ted Sargent

Technology Review - A research team at the University of Toronto has created the first two-layer solar cell made up of light-absorbing nanoparticles called quantum dots. Quantum dots, which can be tuned to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum by varying their size, have been seen as a promising route to low-cost solar cells because the particles can be sprayed onto surfaces much like paint. But cells based on this technology have been too inefficient to be practical. By discovering a way to combine two different types of quantum dots in a solar cell, the researchers could open the way to making such cells much more efficient.

Nature Photonics - Tandem colloidal quantum dot solar cells employing a graded recombination layer

June 30, 2011

Interventional anti-aging

Melanie Swan covered the 40th annual meeting of the American Aging Association held June 3-6, 2011 in Raleigh NC USA. They covered emerging concepts in the mechanisms of aging.

Many usual topics in aging were covered such as dietary restriction (DR), inflammation, stress resistance, homeostasis and proteasome activity, sarcopenia, and neural degeneration.

Newer methods like microRNAs and genome sequencing were employed to investigate gene expression variance with aging and genetic signatures of longevity.

Melanie has a full 13 page report

Moore's law will not hit the wall at exaflop supercomputers

Some academics have written an 8 page paper about exascale computing and the end of Moore's law.

Marc Snir et al try to make the case that

* We will hit the end of Moore's law in mid-2020 with 7 nanometer lithography chips.
* spintronics may not be ready in time

they call for

* reducing the amount of communication used by computations.
* smarter use of CMOS circuitry
* inventory new device technology to determine which can be deployed in 10-15 years

I disagree on several aspects

1. I disagree that we will hit the wall at exaflop supercomputers. We can have an exaflop supercomputer by 2015. (NSA supercomputer).

2. Intel should have 7 nanometer process chips by 2017

T-shirt Antenna

NPL (National Physical Laboratory) worked with BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre, to measure the pattern and efficiency of radiation emitted from next generation wearable antennas embedded in T-shirts.

Wearable antennas could be the future of wireless technology and have important applications in communications, security and healthcare, but as they are worn on the body it is particularly important to understand their performance. The human body absorbs electromagnetic signals and so there are concerns that the emitted signal from the antenna could suffer from power losses if worn too close.

Genetically altered pig tissue may allow for human transplantation without rejection

Chinese researchers have shown taht altering or overexpressing the human programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) molecule in the endothelial cells of pig arteries reduces the conditions that lead to rejection. This strongly suggests that humans could receive altered porcine organs with fewer complications.

Journal of Leukocyte Biology - Human PD-L1-overexpressing porcine vascular endothelial cells induce functionally suppressive human CD4+CD25hiFoxp3+ Treg cells

LTE Advanced: mobile broadband up to 10 times faster than LTE

Ericsson demonstrated LTE Advanced with speeds more than 10 times faster than those currently experienced by LTE consumers in Sweden.

The system, based on commercial hardware, was operating on a test frequency provided by the PTS. This enabled Ericsson to demonstrate LTE Advanced functionality such as carrier aggregation of 3 x 20MHz (60MHz aggregated) over the air in a mobile environment for the first time. The first stages of LTE Advanced are expected to be in commercial operation in 2013.

Commercial Myostatin modulator endorsed by Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky, the greatest hockey player ever, is joining the Atlas Therapeutics marketing team and to promote MYO-T12 (Myostatin modulator which has clinical testresults) Gretzky will begin his work with the company effective 6/23/11, and ads featuring Gretzky will first appear in mid-July.

Myo-T12 is a myostatin modulator clinically validated to reduce average serum myostatin levels in only 12 to 18 hours with just a single serving. Johns Hopkins University in a 2001 published study that a 20% reduction in serum myostatin will have the result of a significant increase in muscle mass.

I think they are being precise about "validation" tests but not having full blown clinical trials. They are effecting the myostatin levels but have not confirmed muscle growth or disease treatment. Achieving the desired physical effect of myostatin levels is what is being sold. Body buildings are going from there to prove for themselves if they can get the performance and muscle building results.

Other scientific studies have shown that reducing myostatin levels increases muscle growth and size in animals. There are rare individuals who have genetics where myostatin is inhibited and those individuals have larger muscles and are more easily able to increase strength and muscle.

MIT Work to make e-beam lithography mass-production technique at 9 nanometers

Researchers at MIT’s Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) present a way to get the resolution of high-speed e-beam lithography down to just nine nanometers. Combined with other emerging technologies, it could point the way toward making e-beam lithography practical as a mass-production technique.

The main difference between e-beam lithography and photolithography is the exposure phase. In photolithography, light shines through a patterned stencil called a mask, striking the whole surface of the chip at once. With e-beam lithography, on the other hand, a beam of electrons scans across the surface of the resist, row by row, a more time-consuming operation.

One way to improve the efficiency of e-beam lithography is to use multiple electron beams at once, but there’s still the problem of how long a beam has to remain trained on each spot on the surface of the resist. That’s the problem the MIT researchers address

South Korea SK Teleconm and LG Uplus are rolling out faster LTE wireless networks tomorrow

1. Korea Times - SK Telecom (No. 1 mobile carrier in South Korea) is launching LTE service in South Korea. SK Telecom LTE will provide a maximum downlink speed of 75 Mbps, which is five times faster than that of the 3G WCDMA network, and 1.9 times faster than WiBro. SK Telecom plans to launch a high-quality video call service on LTE smartphones that offers images eight times clearer and twice clear voice clarity, as its LTE network enhances the speed of a video call from 64 Kbps to over 500 Kbps. SK Telecom promised to offer a high-quality LTE-based voice service and widen coverage as it has 1,720 base stations in Seoul, which is far higher than around 500 of Uplus in Seoul and three other major cities. SK Telecom also plans to release two LTE tablets in October. The company expects the number of its LTE subscribers to soar to 10 million by 2015 from an estimated 300,000 this year.

``The migration toward LTE doesn’t mean that SK would drop WiBro networks. We are using WiBro as back-up networks. LG Electronics will introduce LTE-WiBro handsets and models supporting both WCDMA and WiBro will also be released,’’ said Bae.

2. SK Telecom will expand for coverage nationwide by 2013. SK plans to invest more than 2 trillion won ($1.9 billion) on LTE by 2014.

Efficiently solving Rubik Cubes of any size

Erik Demaine, an associate professor of computer science and engineering at MIT; his father, Martin Demaine, a visiting scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; graduate student Sarah Eisenstat; Anna Lubiw, who was Demaine’s PhD thesis adviser at the University of Waterloo; and Tufts graduate student Andrew Winslow showed that the maximum number of moves required to solve a Rubik’s cube with N squares per row is proportional to N2/log N. “That that’s the answer, and not N2, is a surprising thing,” Demaine says.

IBM making more reliable phase change memory

Long-term memory: Each cell in this 200,000-cell phase-change memory chip can store multiple bits of data reliably over a period of several months. Credit: IBM

MIT Technology Review - IBM encoding phase-change memory for greater reliability

IBM researchers have developed a programming trick that makes it possible to more reliably store large amounts of data using a promising new technology called phase-change memory. The company hopes to start integrating this storage technology into commercial products, such as servers that process data for the cloud, in about five years.

Meeting all of the earth's energy needs with tethered platforms

A tethered platform hovering at an altitude of 20 kilometers would operate in the stratosphere, above most clouds and weather. At that altitude, a platform covered with photovoltaic cells would be able to collect considerably more sunlight than a ground-based solar collector. A company called stratosolar has developed a proposal to use either concentrated solar collectors or straight photovoltaic cells to generate electricity. Such schemes could potentially bring the cost of solar power down to 1 cent per kilowatt-hour. In an interview with Sander Olson, StratoSolar President Edmund Kelly describes what will be needed to make this concept a reality.

Previous coverage on Stratosolar at nextbigfuture

Edmund Kelly

June 29, 2011

Current and Future Superconducting Wire Markets to 2017

Development of 2G HTS Wire for Demanding Electric Power Applications (30 pages, by Superpower Inc) Superpower Inc is improving the cost performance of its superconducting wire and is expecting major market gains over the next few years.

2G HTS Wire for High Magnetic Field Applications

2G HTS Wire for High Magnetic Field Applications (37 pages, May 27, 2011)
10-fold improvement by combination of higher self-field critical current and improved retention of in-field performance through technical innovations.

Even at 4.2 K, 15 T, 2G HTS wire is comparable now with Nb3 Sn wire. Opportunity to improve to be 10X better than Nb3 Sn

Laser enabled megawatt class fusion propulsion

IEEE Spectrum - John J. Chapman, a NASA engineer, is proposing nuclear fusion propulsion for space satellites and space probes. He made a presentation at the IEEE Symposium on Fusion Engineering in Chicago.

In Chapman’s aneutronic fusion reactor scheme, a commercially available benchtop laser starts the reaction. A beam with energy on the order of 2 x 10^18 watts per square centimeter, pulse frequencies up to 75 megahertz, and wavelengths between 1 and 10 micrometers is aimed at a two-layer, 20-centimeter-diameter target.

Advanced Fusion Reactors for Space Propulsion and Power Systems
J. J. Chapman, Engineering Division, NASA, Hampton, VA, United States

Report #2 - Energy Catalyzer: Scientific Communication and Ethics Issues

Entire By Steven B. Krivit, Senior Editor, New Energy Times article

[This article is Copyleft 2011 New Energy Times. Permission is granted to reproduce this article in English only so long as the article, this notice and the publication information are included in their entirety and no changes are made to this article.]

[This is the second in a series of reports based on my interviews with Andrea Rossi, creator of a device he calls the Energy Catalyzer, or E-Cat, Sergio Focardi, professor emeritus at the University of Bologna, and Giuseppe Levi, a professor in the university’s Department of Physics, and based on my investigation of their claims of a low-energy nuclear reaction device that produces commercially useful levels of excess heat. The complete list of New Energy Times reports on this topic is here.

General Review
This series of reports is about an Italian man and his associates who claim to have discovered and invented an incredible breakthrough in the field of low-energy nuclear reactions. A brief introduction to LENR is available in Chapter 41 of the Wiley Nuclear Energy Encyclopedia.

LENR is a new, evolving energy science that promises great hope for clean energy but has many remaining uncertainties. To the field's credit, a broad collection of strong experimental evidence and a potentially viable theory have been reported in peer-reviewed journals and international conferences in the last 22 years.

Current Status, Technical Feasibility and Economics of Small Nuclear Reactors

Current Status, Technical Feasibility and Economics of Small Nuclear Reactors (OECD, June 2011, 177 pages)

Small and modular reactors should be competitive with non-nuclear technologies for generating electricity in cases where large nuclear power plants cannot compete for whatever reason.

Google Plus is the latest attempt by Google at Social Networking

Google Plus is currently only usable by selected users on a field trial basis. During this invite-only stage, Google+ has four components: +Circles, +Hangouts, +Mobile and +Sparks.

This is different from the +1 button that was introduced in March, 2011.

Vic Gundotra, Google senior vice president of Engineering, introduced Google Plus

+Circles: share what matters, with the people who matter most

Not all relationships are created equal. So in life we share one thing with college buddies, another with parents, and almost nothing with our boss.

Google is trying to provide more privacy control.

+Hangouts- multi-user video chat system

+Mobile- Always-on geotagging and instant cloud uploading and caching to content sent from your mobile device

New world record for magnetic fields with 91.4 teslas

The capacitor bank of the Dresden High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf set a new world record for magnetic fields with 91.4 teslas. To reach this record, Sergei Zherlitsyn and his colleagues at the High Magnetic Field Laboratory Dresden (HLD) developed a coil weighing about 200 kilograms in which electric current create the giant magnetic field – for a period of a few milliseconds. The coil survived the experiment unscathed.

June 28, 2011

China High Speed rail will have complete run north south and significant east west segments by end of 2012 and for 2013 corrected

Dark red lines show the high speed rail that should be done at the end of 2012

China will be starting up the Beijing to Shanghai high speed rail line on Thursday.

There is 17,000 km (11,000 mi) of high-speed lines are now under construction in China. The entire HSR network will reach 13,073 km (8,123 mi) by the end of 2011 and 25,000 km (16,000 mi) by the end of 2015.

There is 8300 km of high speed rail now and there will be 9600 km of high speed rail on Thursday.

Inkjet printing could change the face of solar energy industry

Solar cell - This scanning electron microscope, cross-sectional image shows the various compounds of a new chalcopyrite solar cell only a few microns thick, which can be created much less expensively with inkjet printing. (Image courtesy of Oregon State University)

Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way for the first time to create successful “CIGS” solar devices with inkjet printing, in work that reduces raw material waste by 90 percent and will significantly lower the cost of producing solar energy cells with some very promising compounds.

High performing, rapidly produced, ultra-low cost, thin film solar electronics should be possible, scientists said.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s New Gene Therapy Proves Effective in Treating Severe Heart Failure

Mount Sinai researchers have developed a way to stimulate production of an enzyme that enables failing hearts to pump more effectively.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have developed a new gene therapy that is safe and effective in reversing advanced heart failure. SERCA2a (produced as MYDICAR®) is a gene therapy designed to stimulate production of an enzyme that enables the failing heart to pump more effectively. In a Phase II study, SERCA2a injection through a routine minimally invasive cardiac catheterization was safe and showed clinical benefit in treating this patient population and decreasing the severity of heart failure. The data were presented this week at the Heart Failure Congress of the European Society of Cardiology in Berlin.

Patients in the high-dose SERCA2a group demonstrated improvement and/or stabilization in symptoms, overall heart function, biomarker activity, and ventricular mechanics and function. They also saw a dramatic reduction in cardiovascular hospitalizations, averaging 0.4 days versus 4.5 days in the placebo group.

Genome Editing Improves Blood Clotting in Mice with Hemophilia B

Scientists have used a gene therapy tool that acts like intelligent molecular scissors to correct the key gene defect in mice with hemophilia B, a disease that can lead to uncontrolled bleeding. The intervention improved the animals’ blood clotting enough that their severe disease was reduced to a mild form.

Hemophilia B affects about 3,000 men and boys in the United States. People with hemophilia can experience uncontrolled bleeding, including spontaneous and life-threatening bleeding into the joints or the central nervous system. In severe cases, patients must undergo a lifetime of clotting factor infusions to control bleeding.

International Team Demonstrates Subatomic Quantum Memory in Diamond

Structure and manipulation: A NV (nitrogen vacancy) centre in the diamond lattice including the electronic spin (red) and the nuclear spin (blue). b, Electron–nuclear spin level diagram for the NV centre in the vicinity of the avoided level crossing.

UCSB Physicists were able to coax the fragile quantum information contained within a single electron in diamond to move into an adjacent single nitrogen nucleus, and then back again using on-chip wiring.

"This ability is potentially useful to create an atomic-scale memory element in a quantum computer based on diamond, since the subatomic nuclear states are more isolated from destructive interactions with the outside world," said David Awschalom, senior author. Awschalom is director of UCSB's Center for Spintronics and Quantum Computation, professor of physics, electrical and computer engineering, and the Peter J. Clarke director of the California NanoSystems Institute.

Nature Physics - A quantum memory intrinsic to single nitrogen–vacancy centres in diamond

Acoustic cloak, now you can make a working cone of silence and sonar invisible submarines

The cloaking shell is made of easily-manufactured sheets of plastic with holes through them

The cone of Silence would enshroud its users within a transparent sound-proof shield. (Comedy gag from Get Smart)

The real life acoustic cloak uses simple plastic sheets with arrays of holes, and could be put to use in making ships invisible to sonar or in acoustic design of concert halls.

Physics Review Letters - Experimental Acoustic Ground Cloak in Air

Brillouin Energy energy pulse process and respectable advisors

New Energy and Fuel has some additional information about Brillouin Energy Corp.

I covered Brillouin Energy a few days ago

Brillouin Energy is in Berkeley California has another Low Energy Nuclear Reaction (LENR) method in the development and proving stage. The new method comes at fusion from a different path than the Rossi E-Cat.

Brillouin technique uses electromagnetic pulses on hydrogen or H1. The pulses push some of the hydrogen into dihydrogen or H2 and on to H3 and H4. Finally some hydrogen molecules reach the stage of helium. The method generates heat – more heat energy than electrical energy used to run the pulse.

Two- or three-tier graphene films can be produced at commercial scale and create band gap for electronic devices

When compounds of bromine or chlorine (represented in blue) are introduced into a block of graphite (shown in green), the atoms find their way into the structure in between every third sheet, thus increasing the spacing between those sheets and making it easier to split them apart. Image: Chih-Jen Shih/Christine Daniloff

A team of MIT scientists has found a way to produce graphene in significant quantities in a two- or three-layer form. When the layers are arranged just right, these structures give graphene the much-desired band gap — an energy range that falls between the bands, or energy levels, where electrons can exist in a given material.

The new method, however, can be carried out at a scale that opens up the possibility of real, practical applications, Strano says, and makes it possible to produce the precise arrangement of the layers — called A-B stacked, with the atoms in one layer centered over the spaces between atoms in the next — that yields desirable electronic properties.

Nature Nanotechnology - Bi- and trilayer graphene solutions

Defkalion press conference videos and translated description of the event

Xanthipress - The first official presentation of Defkalion Green Technologies in Xanthi, was held Thursday afternoon in the auditorium of Town Hall Paleo Faliro, Greece. Defkalion is trying to produce energy from the fusion of hydrogen-nickel using the Energy Catalyzer invention of Focardi-Rossi.

The presentation was made by the company president Alekos Xanthoulis, accompanied by the inventor - Andrea Rossi and former Ambassador, also professor at Bologna, Chris Stremmeno while the event was attended by Deputy Development Minister Socrates Xynidis.

Industrial production from the first factory will start in the Fall of 2011, where the core-reactor device (the "secret") will be produced. A second new plant will start operation within the next year in Xanthi, where they will manufacture complete e-cat devices.

A third plant unit will be operational in 2013 (in Xanthi) and will deal with the production of industrial units. The total investment cost estimated at over 200 million euros.

June 27, 2011

Moon Express talk by Barney Pell

Moon Express, Inc. (MoonEx) is targeting mining the moon.

Major Moon Markets

* Mining for Space and Terrestrial Markets
* Generating space-based solar power
* space-based manufacturing, research and development
* space tourism and entertainment

Mining the moon
* water. at least 1 billion tons in the poles
* precious metals (platinum, other platinum grade metals)
* Lithium, gallium
* Helium-3
* Silicon 28 (400% higher heat dissipation, although silicon 28 is 92% of the earth silicon, so maybe the wrong isotope number)
* Industrial metals (aluminum), cheaper than bringing from the earth for space based industry

Foresight 2011 - Mesoporous Sensors: From Explosives to Cancer

Mesoporous Sensors: From Explosives to Cancer
Robert Meagley, PhD, CEO/CTO of ONE-Nanotechnologies LLC

One-nanotechnologies website - We create faster, more accurate, and more cost-effective tools for biomarker analysis, making more efficient and precise human health diagnostics possible. Our patent-pending technology measures proteins and other disease and cancer biomarkers through the use of precisely printed photonic nanodevices.

Early disease detection uses biochemical processes to find biomarkers. These biochemicals add complexity, variability and error to the results. Specificity and simplicity are better! Our technology provides both specificity and simplicity without use of antibodies. Our chips are optimized for the detection of particular breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer, as well as heart disease biomarkers. These five diseases are responsible for the majority of non-accident death in Europe and North America.

Extending our thin films technology into the realm of chemical threat detection, our approach has been shown to be an effective discrimination system for biochemical and energetic materials. Nerve agent surrogates and RDX have been identified as trace constituents in air and water. Electronic discrimination of chemical and biochemical threats addresses key issues in environmental health and safety as well as food security and military applications.

* fault tolerant systems
* using plasma processing to spray thin coatings
* plasma cleaning
* vacuum plasma spray
* 350 watts plasma enhanced CVD (chemical vapor deposition)

* embedded sensor technology for chemical detection and food safety
* lower cost systems

Carnival of Space 203

Carnival of space 203 is up at

Discovery News - In 2010, scientists confirmed the enigmatic Saturnian moon Enceladus possesses a sub-surface ocean of liquid water. This groundbreaking discovery was made by NASA's Cassini spacecraft currently in orbit around Saturn. Today, mission scientists have further analyzed Cassini data from various Enceladus flybys to find that it's not only a liquid water ocean; it could be salty too.

Weirdwarp also had coverage of the Salt ocean on Enceladus. The picture of the tiger stripes on Enceledus is from Weirdwarp.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao describes a fully democratic future China

Xinhua News - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao describes a democratic and technology future vision for China.

"Tomorrow's China will be a country that fully achieves democracy, the rule of law, fairness and justice," the Chinese premier noted.

He pointed out that the best way to resolve the existing problems in China is "to firmly advance the political reform and build socialist democracy under the rule of law."

Wen also said that in the future, China will be a more open, inclusive, culturally advanced and harmonious country, and will be a country committed to peaceful development and ready to shoulder its responsibilities.

China should not only continue to open up in economic, scientific and technological fields, but also promote cultural progress and social management through boldly learning from others, he said.

China should create a better political environment and a freer academic atmosphere, he said.

Wen Jiabao has made pro-democracy statements within China in 2010 but then Wu Bangguo, officially number two in the Politburo pecking order behind President Hu Jintao, warned that any move to adopt Western-style democracy risked undermining China's economic achievements and plunging the country into chaos. Wu Bangguo said that China will never embrace multiparty democracy or have an independent judiciary (March, 2011).

Helion Energy and General Fusion in the mainstream media

Popular Mechanics featured Helion Energy (Field reversed configuration fusion with colliding plasmoids)

General Fusion gets covered by CNN

General fusion is working on a precision controlled piston that hammers giant shock waves into a magnetized sphere -- slamming atoms together hard enough to fuse and create energy. The idea triggered investments in Laberge's young company, first from family and friends, then from venture capitalists including founder Jeff Bezos. So far, funding has totaled $32.5 million.

Carnival of Nuclear Energy 58

1. TVA's basis for building Bellefonte - The New York Times cites critics calling it a "salvage heap," but ignores the utility's success in completion and restart of Browns Ferry in 2007. What gets TVA in the game is that it has something no other nuclear utility planning to build will get for a long time. What it has on its hands is a 1,200 MW reactor pressure vessel. That's right, there's no waiting for years for Japan Steel Works to make one. It's right there in Alabama, right now, which is what gets TVA in the game. The NYT seems to have overlooked that fact.

2. Associated Press nukes the NRC - A national wire story, the first of two, alleges the Nuclear Regulatory Agency has undermined safety at aging reactors. Is it true? A nuclear engineer with impeccable credentials says not so fast. John Bickel, who holds a PhD in nuclear engineering, says, "I had hoped for more insight from a prestigious organization such as AP. Their article entitled: "US nuke regulators weaken safety rules" is pretty sloppy and indicative of the fact AP failed to research much of what they have written about."

Brain-like computing a step closer to reality using phase change materials

Computers currently deal with processing and memory separately, resulting in a speed and power ‘bottleneck’ caused by the need to continually move data around. This is totally unlike anything in biology, for example in human brains, where no real distinction is made between memory and computation. To perform these two functions simultaneously the University of Exeter research team used phase-change materials, a kind of semi-conductor that exhibits remarkable properties. They have created synaptic-like functionality via the ‘memflector’, an optical analogue of the memristor.

Their study demonstrates conclusively that phase-change materials can store and process information simultaneously. It also shows experimentally for the first time that they can perform general-purpose computing operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. More strikingly perhaps it shows that phase-change materials can be used to make artificial neurons and synapses. This means that an artificial system made entirely from phase-change devices could potentially learn and process information in a similar way to our own brains.

Advanced Materials - Arithmetic and Biologically-Inspired Computing Using Phase-Change Materials

This weekend nextbigfuture had covered Thomas N Theis, Program Manager, New Devices and Architectures for Computing IBM Watson Research Center He indicated that IBM is spending a lot of research effort and resources and within a few years of products for : New logic devices, new phase change memory and new silicon photonics for exaflop and zettaflop computers.

The Exeter University phase change logic devices and brain emulation systems would fit in with the IBM work for the next technological paradigm for computer technology.

45-Mile "Wi-Fi" Could Connect at 120 kilobits per second access point with a 20 year battery life

Technology Review - San Diego startup On-Ramp Wireless uses the wifi frequency, but less power, to send data signals 45 miles, thanks to algorithms that make the signals very resistant to noise.

On Ramp Wireless website

Ultra-Link Processing, transfers data at a very low rate compared with a home broadband connection. But On-Ramp intends to offer it as a way to enable "smart energy" grids, in which simple sensors installed in home energy meters, for example, report local activity back to utilities, allowing them to manage power generation and distribution more intelligently. They are targeting devices that use less than 50 bits per second.

This looks like a technology that could deliver super-cheap open spectrum short message/twitter communication devices and networks. One SMS/tweet every three seconds and replace your battery every 20 years. It would also be a useful system for communication that could be made robust against disasters.

These are the key system highlights, which set this technology apart:

* Greater than 40 miles (65 km) line-of-sight range, and up to 10 miles (16 km) to underground locations.
* RPMA, a unique multiple access method with order of magnitude capacity improvements, and demodulation of up to a thousand incoming signals, below the noise floor, every frame.
* Receive sensitivity of -142 dBm.
* Each Access Point supports up to 64,000 endpoints.
* Access Point aggregate throughput of 120 kbps (10 Mb/day).
* Each ULP Gateway can support hundreds of Access Points.
* Ultra low power consumption, allowing up to a 20-year battery-life for water meter applications.
chips and units have been produced for pilot systems

EU semi-automated driving system - the volkswagen Temporary Autopilot by 2016 for production vehicles

The EU "Highly Automated Vehicles for Intelligent Transport" project (HAVEIt), which was launched in 2008 to investigate automated driving solutions, has produced a semi-automated driving system German automaker Volkswagen has unveiled a "temporary auto pilot" function which can drive its vehicles semi-automatically and could be a feature of production vehicles within the next five years. Temporary Autopilot (TAP) can handle the cars at speeds of up to 130 km/h on the highway, Volkswagen said, keeping the car on the correct course and at the right distance from the vehicle ahead.

It uses systems commonly found on modern cars, such as lane departure sensors, collision radars and cruise control, to provide what Volkswagen describes as a "link between today’s assistance systems and the vision of fully automatic driving."

By computing information fed to it from a variety of sensors, including radar, camera and ultrasound sensors, as well as laser scanners, a vehicle on "Pilot Mode" can drive at a driver-selected speed, slowing for vehicles ahead, reducing speed before a bend and maintaining the car's central position on the road.

However, Volkswagen stresses that the driver remains in absolute control and must continue to monitor their journey, keeping focused and able to intervene if a safety-critical situation were to arise.

June 26, 2011

Liveblogging Foresight 2011 - Paul Saffo futurist

25 years ago speculations on what nano would deliver
First science discipline that focused on the impacts of what would happen with what was being built
Thought about the consequences
Futurist – hearing the inflection point coming

Overestimate early (before infection) and then underestimate later (after inflection)

Liveblogging Foresight 2011 - Beyond Silicon – Nanoscale Science and Technology at IBM

Beyond Silicon – Nanoscale Science and Technology at IBM
Thomas N Theis
Program Manager, New Devices and Architectures for Computing
IBM Watson Research Center

IBM and ETH opened the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotech Center (May 2011)
Vibration isolation and temp control

Three other facilities

Research on new materials, processes, instrumentation, theory and computational modeling aimed at new devices for logic (new switch) , memory (MRAM, PCM, SCM), communication (nanophotonics)

Smarter planet (stuff not the core business)

Liveblogging Foresight 2011 - Highlight on Nanotech enabled Sustainable Development Efforts in Asia

Managing Director of Zyvex Asia

Lerwin Liu

Asia nano Forum


Nanotech National Initiatives

Atom Technology Plan Japan $250 million (10 year)

China 10th 5 year plan
Japan 2nd Basic Plan
Korea: KNI Phase 1 (2001-2005)

Taiwan and Korea mimic NNI but has long term plans

China $100 million per year
12th 5 year plan Nanopolic Suzhou

Commercialization strategies in Asia