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08/30/08 - What You Need to Know Before Installing Solar Panels
KeelyNet A typical installation involves the panels, which are constructed of many individual silicon-based photovoltaic cells and their support structures, along with an inverter, electrical conduit piping and AC/DC disconnect switches. For less demanding applications, such as for heating water for your home or swimming pool, a much simpler (and less expensive) solar thermal system might be all you need. A basic hot water system usually consists of a solar collector—basically a small metal box with a glass or plastic cover and a black copper or aluminum absorber plate inside—tied into the building’s plumbing and electrical works. According to the industry tracker website Solarbuzz, such solar collectors are usually mounted on rooftops. Professional installers can get your home up and running with a solar thermal system for less than $4,000 in most cases. While the savings in your electric bill may be small, homeowners in it for the long haul will definitely save over time, all the while enjoying the fact that you have lowered your family’s carbon footprint significantly. Homeowners looking to find out more about residential solar systems should be sure to check out the RealGoods Solar Living Sourcebook, a 600+ page renewable energy “bible” now in its 30th edition. The book features the latest nuts-and-bolts information on how to harvest renewable energy in a variety of ways depending on need. And RealGoods also sells much if not all of the equipment needed. Another reason to consider going solar in one fashion or another is tax incentives. - Source

08/30/08 - New Rehabilitation Device Created
KeelyNet Russian medics developed a device, allowing patients, who lost ability to walk due to ischemic stroke or head and brain injury, to recover faster. The device is a plantar simulator of a bearing load, called “PION”, which imitates walking or “bearing reactions”, as medics say, for bed patients. “PION” works simple – small round “pads” are fixed on patient’s feet. Said “pads” are pneumatic cells, which pulse with air and press patient’s feet, thus mechanically stimulating calcaneal and metatarsal zones. The whole process is commanded via a controller, which can change “walking regimes” according patient’s requirements and doctor’s prescriptions. Being exercised, muscles send signals to brain, which in its turn tells muscles either to contract, or to relax. This way new neural connections are formed, or old ones, lost via stroke or injury, restore. - Source

08/30/08 - Solar powered ice maker
KeelyNet Producing ice without electricity just got a lot easier thanks to these engineering students from San Jose State University. Their system uses solar heat to facilitate evaporation of a coolant. When the sun goes down and the coolant turns back to liquid, its temperature drops drastically due to extreme pressure differences. The unit can produce 14 pounds of ice per day with zero carbon footprint. It has no moving parts and an entirely sealed system, this should mean that the only maintenance necessary would be keeping the unit clean. - Source

08/30/08 - Paint your home for power
The invention is applied in layers to steel cladding, and converts a gentle 5% of inbound solar energy to electricity. Sounds like not much, until you multiply it up over the surface area of a building. It seems like a great eco-friendly idea, especially when you consider project leader Dave Worsley's figures: if just one manufacturer made all their steel cladding energy-producing, it would have the same generator capacity as 50 wind farms. Admittedly it's more "paint your warehouse" than "paint your home", since few of us have steel walls or roofs on our abode, but it's still pretty nifty. The technology in the Swansea Solar Paint project is apparently easily scalable. - Source

08/30/08 - Sun-powered trike a real solar wower
KeelyNet Teacher Ben Vander Heiden's latest project is a solar-powered tricycle he invented in his home shop. He built it out of bike scraps he's stowed away for years and two solar panels that were donated by the Bay Area-based Solar Institute. "Because solar panels were donated to me, ... the whole project cost under $500 to make," he said. Vander Heiden fabricated the three-wheeler's frame, which is built to hold 20-inch wheels and gears he had lying around his shop. The solar panels sit atop four posts behind the vehicle's driver, covering a wooden basket that can hold two grocery bags. The basket sits above three marine deep-cycle batteries that power a 600-watt motor. "It has gears and can be powered with the pedals if a battery shorts out or something," Vander Heiden said. The idea came to Vander Heiden while he was teaching his students about solar energy two years ago. At full throttle, Renee Vander Heiden can reach speeds up to 17 mph on the tricycle, she said. - Source

08/30/08 - Cascading Solar Cells - More Energy for the World
KeelyNet Russian physicists developed new type of cascade solar cells, which provide efficiency of over 35% with 1000-time concentration of solar radiation. These cells together with cheap echelon lenses are the basis for concentrator solar modules and solar power units, which are promising as energy providers for autonomous users. Said developments are the basis for commercial production of terrestrial solar modules with radiation concentrators with overall production of 75 MWt per year. The project is expected to be financed by well-known Russian banks and companies. The plant for the power units will be built in St. Petersburg. - Source

08/30/08 - Skepticism is the mother of invention
Skepticism about the Pilgrim nuclear plant will lead to new discoveries. The critics will search for improved sources of power. Through their persistence, the power of the future will be developed. Wind energy, solar power and fuel cells are all technologies being developed to ease the minds of skeptics, and they will hopefully result in a safer, more efficient future. The community is already noticing the results of skeptical reinvention. Sacred Heart High School in Kingston recently converted its Student Activity Center to run on solar power. If the system proves to be efficient, the entire school may convert to solar electricity, and many other schools in the area may follow. This is the first step toward powering a better future. - Source

08/30/08 - Embley Floating Wave Energy Coverter Patent Ruled Invalid
KeelyNet The UK Intellectual Property Office ("UKIPO", formerly The Patent Office) has recently issued an opinion regarding the validity of Embley Energy Limited's patent for a control system for a wave energy device. While the patent remains in force, the UKIPO has stated that it considers the majority of its patent claims to be invalid. Bristol based Embley Energy Limited obtained a patent (GB 2,424,042) in 2007 around its SPERBOY" floating wave energy converter. The device relies on the oscillating water column principle and consists of a partially submerged buoy with a central enclosed column. Waves drive water oscillations within the column, displacing the air above. This movement of air in turn drives turbines at the top of the column. The Embley patent concerned the control of the turbines so as to improve the efficiency of the wave powered device. In particular, the speed of the turbine rotor is optimised based on the velocity of the airflow through it, with means for inputting energy into the rotor from an external source. This could be done based on either a prediction or a calculation of the airflow velocity. - Source

08/30/08 - Alternative power source launched
Engineer Noro Camomot invented the NJ-6 Sea Wave Electric Power Generator, which could produce a maximum of 15 kilowatt electricity and could light an entire village. The generator would rely on sea waves to produce renewable energy. “Waves is the driving power to move the rotating mechanism to generate electricity,” Camomot said. The generator only has to be anchored at least 10 meters away from the shoreline. Yesterday, the Visayan Inventors Association launched a three meter wide by three meter long floating platform, the actual size of the NJ-6 that could supply power to 50 lampposts, at the waters off the South Road Properties. Camomot said he invented the NJ-6 to provide electricity to Filipinos who do not have access to electricity. - Source

08/30/08 - Hail Cannons - A Growing Industry
KeelyNet While the history of hail cannons date back into the 18th century, the modern hail cannon has been developed extensively over the last 30 years with most development in the last 10 years. The protected area for an individual machine is said to be approximately a 500 meter radius with a lower level of effectiveness as distance from the device increases. The huge, cone-shaped machines click on automatically when a Doppler radar signal senses a storm is on the horizon. Within seconds, they emit a deafening, electronic blast, repeated every six seconds. As the sound waves rise from the cannon and ripple into the sky, they disrupt airborne water droplets poised to become hail stones, and instead cause the water to fall as rain or slush, the cannon’s manufacturers say. At $50,000 to $70,000 each, the cannons aren’t a cheap fix. But losses from hail storms can be even more costly. Hail storms don’t kill the fruit itself, but they take an economic toll. Blemished fruit usually fetches about 60% of an unmarked crop’s value, farmers said, and sometimes, pockmarked fruit cannot be sold at all. - Source

08/30/08 - Skype me a wake up call
Have you ever wanted to get woken up by a wake up call like at a hotel? Don't use those wake up call services where you have to pay $1-3 per call. With this really easy and 100% free "hack" you can set Skype to call you. You can use this to call anyone at any scheduled time... Difficulty: Easy, Time to set up: 5 minutes, Requirements: Computer Windows (XP; not sure about others), Internet Connection, US Home or Cell number. - Source

08/30/08 - Copy a Single File to Avoid Re-Activating Windows XP
The Online Tech Tips site offers up a great tip for anyone reinstalling XP off something other than their original CD—such as a slipstreamed and automated installation—or lacking a net connection to run the activation. Before wiping your system clean, grab a file named WPA.DBL from the System32 directory and save it to a thumb drive or other external media. When you load up your new system, skip registration, enter "Safe Mode" from the boot menu, and drop it back into that System32 folder. Now you're re-activated and free of nagging. - Source

08/30/08 - Solid state refrigeration-II
KeelyNet Current thermoelectric materials operate at roughly 10 percent of Carnot efficiency, the theoretical maximum allowed by the laws of thermodynamics, compared with about 30 percent for an average household refrigerator. The theory behind thermoelectric devices has been around for more than 40 years, but current materials don't rival the efficiency of compressor-based devices. Such thermoelectric devices already exist in consumer products like plug-in auto beverage coolers, where energy efficiency is less important than portability and low weight. The challenge facing researchers is to find new materials that could bring the technology to the next level in which the efficiency would rival that of conventional coolants in air conditioners as well as refrigerators. Thermoacoustic hot air engines (Sonic heat pump and refrigeration or thermoacoustic heat pump and refrigeration) of which nearly all are thermoacoustic stirling engines is a technology that uses high-amplitude sound waves in a pressurized gas to pump heat from one place to another - or uses a heat temperature difference to induce sound, which can be converted to electricity with high efficiency, with a (piezoelectric) loudspeaker. Working of a thermo-acoustic refrigerator is that first, customized loudspeakers are attached to cylindrical chambers filled with inert, pressurized gases such as xenon and helium. At the opposite end of the tubes are tightly wound "jelly rolls" made of plastic film glued to ordinary fishing line. When the loudspeakers blast sound at 180 decibels, an acoustic wave resonates in the chambers. As gas molecules begin dancing frantically in response to the sound, they are compressed and heated, with temperatures reaching a peak at the thickest point of the acoustic wave. That's where the superhot gas molecules crash into the plastic rolls. After transferring their heat to the stack, the sound wave causes the molecules to expand and cool. Each one of these oscillating molecules acts as a member of a 'bucket brigade,' carrying heat toward the source of the sound. Inside the so called "bucket brigade" a gas parcel is compressed and heated by the sound wave and deposits some of its heat to the stack. The sound wave then expands and cools the gas parcel so that the gas can absorb heat from the stack and cool it. The parcels absorb heat from the cold exchanger and pass it along the stack. The most efficient thermoacoustic devices built to date have a relative Carnot efficiency approaching 40%, which is comparable with low end domestic vapor compression systems today (high end compressors have efficiencies up to 65%) and heat engines are in most cases superior to automotive internal combustion engines. Someday, household refrigerators and air conditioners might be powered by loudspeakers blasting sound thousands of times more intense than the sound in concerts. - Source

08/30/08 - 10 Reasons Sarah Palin Freaks Out Democrats
1. Smoking hot. Sweet Lord, babe in a biscuit hot. 2. Knows how to bait a lure -- Hello Wal-Mart voters! 3. Knows how to shoot a moose -- Hello Wal-Mart voters! 4. Knows how to shop for 5 kids -- Hello Wal-Mart! (Goodbye Whole Foods & arugula) 5. Although 2 years as governor of Alaska ain't much, compare it to 143 days actually served in the Senate. I'm just sayin'... 6. Chose to keep a baby she knew would be special needs. It seems to me that's REALLY pro-choice. 7. Would kill Joe Biden in a snowmobile race. Speed, ice, and hair plugs don't mix 8. She and her husband are union members - Goodbye Wal-Mart! 9. Mayor of a small town, but not bitter or clinging. Maybe clinging...see #3 10. Will cause millions of previously reticent Republicans to now donate and enthusiastically vote. Did I mention smoking hot? - Source

08/30/08 - MSG linked to increased body weight: study
Consumption of the flavour enhancer monosodium glutamate (MSG) may increase the risk of gaining weight, regardless of energy intake, suggests a new study. - Source

08/30/08 - TheWB.com - It's TV Online
The WB.com features full episodes of programs such as Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, Everwood, Friends, and The O.C. Episodes of classic Warner Bros. shows will be updated every Monday, and a good deal of content has been made immediately available. Twenty-one episodes of the Babylon 5 season 1 have been posted in their entirety, and 22 episodes of Mad TV series 12 are available. / (Rats! This is blocked outside the US!!! So I can't get it in MeJico. - JWD) - Source

08/30/08 - Now Hear This: Don't Remove Earwax
The gooey, golden stuff that builds up inside your ears should stay there, according to national guidelines on earwax removal released today. "[Earwax] is not intrinsically evil stuff, and consequently does not have to be removed merely because it's present," said Peter Roland, an ear, nose and throat doctor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. "In fact, it serves a function and so if you don't need to take it out, you should just leave it alone." About 12 million people a year in the United States seek medical care for impacted or excessive earwax. Impaction, they say, can cause pain, pressure, itching, foul odor, ringing of the ears, ear discharge and, in extreme cases, hearing loss. So there's a reason for the goo. Earwax is a self-cleaning agent, with protective, lubricating and antibacterial properties, doctors say. That's why tiny glands in the outer ear canal constantly pump out a watery substance, which gets mixed with bits of dead hair and skin and together is called earwax or cerumen. - Source

08/30/08 - 12 Sly Web Tricks That Put You in Control
Turn a Wi-Fi thief's world upside down. Send an e-mail that self-destructs. And ensure that your boss thinks you're always hard at work. These tweaks and tools let you gain the upper hand. f you have a computer or cell phone on hand, you're more than ready to beef up your weapons and spy kit with these 12 sly tricks. We'll teach you why and how (and with what) to do them, and tell you how well you can expect them to work. And you will forget where you heard this information... - Source

08/30/08 - Immaterial display allows viewers to handle 3D images in air
KeelyNet In the future of immersive entertainment, people may not only walk through floating 3D images, but also manipulate the images in thin air. Taking a step toward this reality, researchers have built a prototype of a room-sized 3D immaterial display, demonstrating the possibility of using the technology for a variety of entertainment purposes. The depth-fused 3D (DFD) display uses up to two FogScreens and projectors, along with a user-tracking system, to achieve a 3D effect. In recent years, 2D FogScreens have gained popularity at entertainment venues. Desktop-sized and handheld DFD displays also exist, although users are restricted to a single viewpoint. In a room-size DFD display, users could stand anywhere, and wouldn’t need to wear 3D glasses, to view 3D images. DFD displays contain one or more FogScreens that project a thin sheet of fog, while light is projected onto the fog from behind. The fog scatters the light to create an image that literally floats in thin air. To achieve the 3D effect, the same image is rendered on two overlapping screens at different depths. Users’ head positions are tracked since the 2D images on each screen depend on the user’s viewing direction. The system computes the image alignment in real time, and users see a single, fused 3D image where the screens overlap. But a room-sized DFD still presents technical challenges for researchers. For instance, the fog from two FogScreens can bleed through and disrupt each other, air conditioners and open doors can cause turbulence that interferes with the image quality, and alignment and tracking errors can occur because people view the 3D images with two separate eyes. In their experiments, the UCSB researchers compared three different FogScreen set-ups to determine which gave the clearest images: two screens parallel to each other (2 meters apart), two screens perpendicular to each other, and one screen parallel to a wall (4 meters apart). - Source

08/30/08 - Purdue reprimands fusion scientist for misconduct
Rusi Taleyarkhan made headlines in 2002 when he published a paper in the journal Science claiming that he had produced nuclear fusion, long sought as an energy source by scientists, by making tiny bubbles collapse in a liquid. A university panel did not investigate the Science paper, which was published when Taleyarkhan was a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, but said he misled the scientific community by claiming his "bubble fusion" findings had been independently replicated. Taleyarkhan also falsified the research record by arranging for one of his students to appear as co-author of a paper to create the appearance that the student had witnessed the experiment, the panel said. Taleyarkhan was denied an appeal and stripped of his named professorship by a university committee. - Source

08/30/08 - Hurricane Gustav live tracking map
KeelyNet Really cool page to track Gustav and its imminent collisions. - Source and this interesting tidbit about what is most important there - Guns and Gustav - “I just left a sporting goods store and you would think that the number-one selling item would be plywood or potable water or gasoline right now,” he said. “Apparently it is AR-15s and .223 ammo. I watched at least 20 people buy AR-15s and cases of .223.” - Source

08/30/08 - Wind energy bumps into power grid's limits
When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing. That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore’s hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands. The dirty secret of clean energy is that while generating it is getting easier, moving it to market is not. The grid today, according to experts, is a system conceived 100 years ago to let utilities prop each other up, reducing blackouts and sharing power in small regions. It resembles a network of streets, avenues and country roads. “We still have a third-world grid,” Mr. Richardson said, repeating a comment he has made several times. “With the federal government not investing, not setting good regulatory mechanisms, and basically taking a back seat on everything except drilling and fossil fuels, the grid has not been modernized, especially for wind energy.” - Source

08/30/08 - Car accidents leading cause of dropped cell phone calls
Study results released by The Department of Transportation this week indicate car accidents often result in the additional misfortune of dropped cell phone calls. Other regrettable aftermaths seen as direct results of car accidents include spilled coffee and smudged make-up. In one particularly unfortunate case a driver cleaning his handgun was killed when the weapon discharged due to a head on collision. To prevent such unfortunate outcomes government officials urge drivers to avoid car accidents. - Source

08/30/08 - Rising seas, disappearing islands to cause environmental refugees
The Carteret Islands are almost invisible on a map of the South Pacific, but the horseshoe scattering of atolls is on the front-line of climate change, as rising sea levels and storm surges eat away at their existence. For 20 years, the 2,000 islanders have fought a losing battle against the ocean, building sea walls and trying to plant mangroves. Each year, the waves surge in, destroying vegetable gardens, washing away homes and poisoning freshwater supplies. Rising sea levels will not only displace human populations -- coral reefs are expected to be impacted by changes in ocean levels and temperatures. The communities that depend upon these marine resources will be affected as well. Papua New Guinea's Carteret islanders are destined to become some of the world's first climate change refugees. Their islands are becoming uninhabitable, and may disappear below the waves. - Source

08/30/08 - French surgeons destroy brain tumour on conscious patient in world first
The team from Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris drilled a 3mm hole into the skull of a patient under local anaesthetic, inserting a tiny fibre-optic cable armed with a laser. The doctors were then able to "see" the metastatic tumour and steer the cable thanks to a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan, which uses magnetic and radio waves. Once inside the skull, they carried out a computer simulation of the treatment. Then they activated the laser, which heated and killed the tumour tissue for up to two minutes. The MRI scan allowed them to modify the exact energy output needed from the laser. The patient remained wide awake throughout and was said to have felt nothing. Once all the cancer cells were dead, the cable was removed and the patient allowed to return home the same day. - Source

08/28/08 - Man touts gas-saving device
KeelyNet Some satisfied customers claim their gas mileage has doubled with the contraption attached to their fuel system. Others say they didn't get a significant boost in mileage, but got an instant uptick in horsepower. Robinson says the invention has been around for a long time, but began attracting attention in the mid- to late-1990s when a fellow named Stanley Meyers began putting hydrogen generators on Hummers for the U.S. military. Robinson says the generators are easy to build and assemble, and claims the only part that is unique to his generators is the metal coil. He says he won't divulge the actual metallic composition of the coil for fear that it will come into common use and become scarce and, therefore, expensive. The heart of the contraption is a decades-old technology in which an electrical current from a battery is passed through water to release hydrogen atoms. Robinson's adaptation of the technology uses distilled water and baking soda and a stainless steel coil. Susan Cloud says her six-cylinder engine drank gas at the rate of about 14 miles per gallon. With the hydrogen generator installed, she now gets as much as 27 miles per gallon. Cloud proudly displays a version of the device in her beauty salon, where she says she uses it to treat water which she drinks and uses to water her plants. Robinson sells that version of the electrolyzer for $75. The automotive version costs $150 per unit plus installation. "Big rigs can take as many as six of them," Robinson said. Truckers are the ones who need them. It can cost them $1,500 to fill a diesel tank. The HHO can save them at least a couple of hundred dollars every time they refuel." Robinson's business card reads "H20-to-Go Hydrogen on Demand from Water " and he touts a Web site at www.watersmartpower.com. - Source

08/28/08 - Antimatter Bounces off of Matter
Science fiction has often relied on matter and antimatter annihilating each other as a power source. With current technology, producing anti-matter is prohibitively expensive, and most view this as the biggest hurdle for these types of power plants. Basic physics may provide another significant hurdle, however. Physical Review Focus reports that upon reanalyzing data from 12 years ago, an Italian team discovered that - contrary to popular belief - antimatter and matter may bounce off each other before they're annihilated (Original paper, subscription required). The key to this discovery was the annihilation events in their data were clustered into two groups: The first group occurred when the antiprotons interacted with the helium in their apparatus, and the second set of events (up to 25% of the total number) occurred at a later time. They determined this second set occurred because the antiprotons were reflected off of the back wall of their device to be later annihilated by the helium atmosphere, instead of either annihilating the aluminum in the walls or passing through entirely. This effect is called Rutherford scattering, and at the speeds they were working with (1 - 10 keV, or 0.14 - 0.46% of c) the antiprotons are more likely to find themselves scattered by the aluminum nuclei than they are to annihilate the nuclei. At lower speeds (500 eV, or 0.10% of c), this effect may peak with 50% of the antiprotons that make it to the back wall being reflected by it - Source

08/28/08 - Major Chaos at India’s Tata Nano Plant
KeelyNet An Indian factory that will make the world’s cheapest cars has been besieged by 30,000 protesters, who say it was built on land taken illegally from farmers. Is the October launch date for the $2,500 car in jeopardy? Some 4,000 riot police with water cannons were on standby in case of violence. For rival automakers, Tata’s latest difficulties with the Nano, which come at the same time the company has struggled with rising prices for steel and other raw materials, will be of great interest. While still small in comparison with China, India is of growing importance to global automakers and many are rapidly expanding production in the country. On Aug. 22, Tata Chairman Ratan Tata suggested the company may move Nano production to another factory in India. “I’ve made a major investment here.…To move will be at a great cost to Tata Motors and to shareholders,” Tata told reporters in Kolkata. But “we can’t operate the plant with police protection.” - Source

08/28/08 - Human waste as fertilizer and irrigation in developing regions
According to a new report, 200 million farmers use human shit as fertilizer for 49 million acres of land. The study, published by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), details how ten percent of the population, mostly in developing nations, eat grains and vegetables harvested from fields irrigated and fertilized with raw sewage. Traditional fertilizer and clean water is too expensive or simply unavailable in many places. From National Geographic: The report focused on poor urban areas, where farms in or near cities supply relatively inexpensive food. Most of these operations draw irrigation water from local rivers or lakes. Unlike developed cities, however, these areas lack advanced water-treatment facilities, and rivers effectively become sewers. When this water is used for agricultural irrigation, farmers risk absorbing disease-causing bacteria, as do consumers who eat the produce raw and unwashed. Nearly 2.2 million people die each year because of diarrhea-related diseases, including cholera, according to WHO statistics. More than 80 percent of those cases can be attributed to contact with contaminated water and a lack of proper sanitation. But Pay Drechsel, an IWMI environmental scientist, argues that the social and economic benefits of using untreated human waste to grow food outweigh the health risks.... In most cases, the excrement is used on cereal or grain crops, which are eventually cooked, minimizing the risk of transmitting water-borne pathogens and diseases, IWMI's Drechsel noted. - Source

08/28/08 - Million person Pyramid City
KeelyNet The concept for The Ziggurat Project will be unveiled in full at the upcomig Cityspace Dubai, a business real estate convention. Being called a "sustainable city of the future", the 2.3 sq km structure is designed to house a million people. The staggered step structure allows for many units to be built on a minimal amount of land. And the plan is green, according to Managing Director of Timelinks, Ridas Matonis: Ziggurat communities can be almost totally self-sufficient energy-wise. Apart from using steam power in the building we will also employ wind turbine technology to harness natural energy resources. Other features built into the Ziggurat include biometric, facial recognition system for security and an integrated transport system, running both horizontally and vertically, which would eliminate the need for cars to get around the "city". - Source

08/28/08 - Windmills from Assam spin success
Two Muslim brothers from Assam are sharing their successful invention of a lowcost windmill to lift groundwater with Gujarat farmers. Mohammed Mehtar Hussain (38) and Mushtaq Ahmad (28), residents of Darrang in Assam, have invented a low-cost alternative to pump water in fields - a simple windmill made of bamboo and tin sheets. They were invited by Grass - roots Innovation Augmentation Network (GIAN) to set up their windmill in Little Rann of Kutch. "We have installed two windmills in Boda village to lift groundwater for salt pans. The experiment has been quite successful . The windmill draws 3,000 litres of water an hour at wind speed of 15 km/hr. If we get an average wind speed for at least 15 hours a day, we would get about 45,000 litres of water," says Mahesh Patel, coordinator of GIAN. The bamboo version has been modified to a metallic one that will change direction with changes in wind direction. A simple mechanism has been used to make the windmill multi-directional. Blades have been given the appropriate angle so that higher wind power can be harnessed and water can be pumped from greater depth. Aluminium blades have been reinforced with wires. The cost of manufacturing a static model made of bamboo/eucalyptus is around Rs 15,000 while the multi-direction model will cost Rs 25,000, which is half the cost of a conventional windmill. - Source

08/28/08 - Ceramic Fuel Cells
The first product to be powered by CFCL fuel cells will be combined heat and power (mCHP) units for homes. The product will replace a standard home heating system, using the existing natural gas network to provide high efficiency and low emission power and heat, as well as exporting excess power to the electricity network. In early July the Company presented its latest technical advances at the 8th annual European Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Forum, including: · a 50% increase in cell power density from June 2007 to June 2008; · an increase in fuel cell stack lifetime. Degradation has reduced by 35%, from 1.53% / 1000 hours reported in February 2008 to less than 1% / 1000 hours, when operating a 1kW stack in a test station at 750 o C on natural gas. These results have been achieved through advances made in cells, glass technology, interconnect metals, protective coatings on metals and contact technology. In July 2008 the Company was granted a further patent in Europe, for a way of reforming fuels for a fuel cell system. The patent is for an advanced fuel cell pre-reforming system. This system allows CFCL to control the proportion of methane and remove all higher hydrocarbons from the fuel used for the fuel cell. This invention allows CFCL to use a wide variety of fuels for its fuel cells, including liquid hydrocarbon fuels and bio-fuels, and also maintain a very high system efficiency. - Source

08/28/08 - Magic of the Tsotso Stove
KeelyNet The tsotso stove, which is inspired by the traditional hearth fire, is a specially designed open clay pot with openings at its sides where you put little sticks of wood to make a fire. The tsotso stove helps to reduce firewood consumption than normal traditional open hearth fires. It is stable and portable; it uses small pieces of wood and saves fuel. In Shona language, tsotso literally means little sticks of firewood, and it is these little sticks that the tsotso stove employs to make a fire that can cook a meal to feed a whole family. The tsotso stove uses much less wood and has an insulated combustion chamber which helps reduce smoke while increasing the heat output and burning efficiency. The sticks, usually from thorn trees, come in a bundle and cost very little. A bundle of the sticks can potentially cook approximately six to ten meals, saving energy and labour in the process. The tsotso stove is so convenient because it can be carried from one place to the other, and can therefore be used if when it is raining. In addition, it utilizes minimal amounts of wood which does not jeopardize the environment. All in all, the tsotso stove is highly desirable because it is fast cooking, produces less smoke and is environmentally friendly and requires very small amounts of wood fuel. - Source

08/28/08 - Venture capitalists today look far and wide for start-ups
Tapping into the wealth of technology talent and research in the region surrounding the Sandia and Los Alamos federal research labs, Flywheel Ventures has invested $34 million in 19 companies in solar, biofuel and other sectors. Most of the start-ups were "born global," Loy says, with U.S. and overseas offices, employees and customers. Some venture capitalists believe that their traditional industry model needs shaking up. Over the decades, U.S. venture firms have poured hundreds of billions of dollars into thousands of young tech firms. Most died or failed to grow, while others — Intel, Apple, Amazon.com, Google — grew into business giants. Since the dot-com boom and its 2001 bust, venture investment returns in the USA have dwindled. Too many venture firms and too much capital are chasing too few prized start-ups, many say. Venture investors focus narrowly on short-term investments and what they believe to be the Next Big Thing, contends Tom Simpson, founder of Northwest Venture Associates in Seattle. Instead, they should seek steady, long-run growth in young companies. Starbucks is a prime example of a former start-up that resisted the early temptation to sell its stock until the company enjoyed steady profits and growth, says Simpson, whose firm manages $170 million in venture investments. As the economic slump drags on, venture firms are more closely scrutinizing their investments, funding only meaner-and-leaner start-ups. During the IPO frenzy of the dot-com era, tiny start-ups with barely a few million dollars in sales typically rushed to market to sell their stock. Today, though, young companies must boast seasoned management teams, strong products and tens of millions of dollars in sales. They prudently manage their cash, not recklessly burning through it. Venrock illustrates VC's shifting focus. Founded as the venture arm of the Rockefeller family to invest in aviation before World War II, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based firm has since poured $2.2 billion into 400 companies. Now Venrock is prowling overseas for clean-energy, technology and health care companies. Venrock and a syndicate of venture firms recently invested $24 million in British start-up Orecon, which makes a buoy-like wave-energy device that generates electricity for 1,000 homes. - Source

08/28/08 - Wind Power Boosted by Utility, Storage Invention
Michael Nakhamkin, an inventor whose system is used at the only North American power plant that stores energy underground in the form of pressurized air. When electricity demand rises, the trapped air is released to turn a power turbine. The technology, which works like a battery, might widen use of renewable-energy plants because they could bank surplus power made when sunlight or wind is exceptionally strong. The venture, Energy Storage & Power LLC, will improve compressed-air technology to make low-polluting generation more efficient. PSEG will market and license the technology using patents held by Nakhamkin, who is chief technical officer of the new venture and works in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The systems can be used to generate from 15 to 450 megawatts of power, Nakhamkin said in an interview yesterday. One megawatt is enough to power about 900 average U.S. homes. - Source

08/28/08 - Wind turbines make bat lungs explode
A new study shows that the moving blades cause a drop in pressure that makes the delicate lungs of bats suddenly expand, bursting the tissue's blood vessels. This is known as a barotrauma, and is well-known to scuba divers. "While searching for bat carcasses under wind turbines, we noticed that many of the carcasses had no external injuries or no visible cause of death," says Erin Baerwald of the University of Calgary in Canada. 90% of the bats had signs of internal haemorrhaging, but only half showed any signs of direct contact with the windmill blades. Only 8% had signs of external injuries but no internal injuries. The movement of wind-turbine blades creates a vortex of lower air pressure around the blade tips similar to the vortex at the tip of aeroplane wings. Others have suggested that this could be lethal to bats, but until now no-one had carried out necropsies to verify the theory. Baerwald and her colleagues believe that birds do not suffer the same fate as bats - the majority of birds are killed by direct contact with the blades - because their lungs are more rigid than those of bats and therefore more resistant to sudden changes in pressure. - Source

08/28/08 - T. Boone Pickens wants your water
Texas oil billionaire T. Boone Pickens is about to make a killing by selling water he doesn’t own. As he does it, it will be praised as a planet-friendly wind project. After he pulls it off, the media will deride it as craven capitalism. In truth, it is one the most audacious examples of politics for profit, showing how big government helps the biggest business steal from the rest of us. The plotline behind Pickens’ water-and-wind scheme is almost too rich to believe. The basic story amounts to this: Pickens, thanks to favors from state lawmakers whose campaigns he funded, has created a new government whose only voters are two of his employers; this has empowered Pickens to more cheaply pump water from an aquifer and, by use of eminent domain, seize land across 11 counties in order to pipe the water to Dallas. To win environmentalist approval of this hardly “sustainable” practice, he has piggybacked this water project onto a windmill project pitched as an alternative to oil. Pickens’ scheme is a perfect demonstration of why it’s worth asking cui bono — who benefits — from regulatory and environmental initiatives. - Source

08/28/08 - PickTheBrain
The first article was published to PickTheBrain.com on November 22, 2006. Since then it has become one of the fastest growing self improvement sites on the web. PickTheBrain.com diverges from traditional “self-help” by taking a broader approach. Rather than sticking to a small set of topics, the site covers anything related to self improvement. Any information that people can use to live more prosperous, satisfying lives is a potential article. - Source

08/28/08 - 25 Must-Have Thumb Drive Apps for Geeks
With traveling and use of many different computers, many geeks (and geek girls) often find a need to have a uniform set of tools handy wherever we may be. I've put together a list of 25 invaluable portable apps that can be installed on an Ipod or Thumb Drive. These are really cool! / Portable Firefox – Leaves no personal information behind on the machine - you can take along your browser/extensions/bookmarks anywhere / WS FTP32 – ftp client / # Text2Html – a text to HTML converter – converts text files into HTML format / Portable Apps Suite – this is the mac-daddy of them all – it includes Firefox, Thunderbird(email), Sunbird(calendar),ClamWin (antivirus), Pidgin(see above), Sumatra PDF Readable, KeePass Password Safe, OpenOffice, CoolPlayer (audio Player) and even a couple of games / RockXP – allows you to recover windows passwords or keys, change keys, display system password, and more – sneaky! / Infra Recorder Portable – cd and dvd burning. - Source

08/28/08 - Why Do We Get Baggy Eyes?
As we age, our eyes inevitably take on a baggy look. Now scientists think they know why. Fat in the eye socket expands. "However, our study showed there is actually an increase in fat with age, and it is more likely that the fat increase causes the baggy eyelids rather than a weakened ligament," Dr. Sean Darcy said. "There have been no studies to show that the orbital septum weakens." The researchers looked at detailed MRI images of 40 subjects (17 males and 23 females) between the ages of 12 and 80. The findings showed that the lower eyelid tissue increased with age and that the largest contributor to this size increase was fat increase. - Source

08/28/08 - Bubble Wrap Could Power the Future
KeelyNet The thin transparent material, called ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene), is segmented into 3,000 air-filled cushions that let in light but hold in heat. ETFE was developed in the 1970s for wire insulation, but it has become an important architectural element in the past two decades. The material, which is similar to Teflon, is stretched out into a large sheet, or foil, less than 250 microns thick, and then folded over and sealed to form an air-filled cushion. "What you end up with is a very thick wall that is mostly made of air," LeCuyer said. "It acts like a duvet blanket." Other plastic foils are also used for walls and roofs, but ETFE has the advantage of both being transparent and fire-safe (it won't shatter like glass or drip down onto people's heads like other polymers). Because it is non-stick, rain will wash away dirt and dust that collects on the outside. The cushions are strong enough to support the weight of a car, and if punctured, they can be repaired relatively easily. Still, an intruder could simply cut through them with a knife, so architects do not typically use them at ground level. Future projects using ETFE foil include sports stadiums, leisure parks and a giant indoor Amazonian rainforest being built in Iowa. But use in private homes is not likely. - Source

08/28/08 - The FDIC may run out of money
The FDIC covers up to $100,000 per depositor when a bank fails. Which, of course, means that the government may have to bail out the insurer that bails out people who didn't bail out of their bank ahead of the crash. "I would be quite surprised if we didn't reach triple digits," he said. "Most of them are going to be relatively small institutions, but they will add up." "I fully expect the FDIC insurance fund to be depleted," Ryan added. "The FDIC is going to be one of what is going to be an increasing string of government bailouts." If that happens, ultimately taxpayers will be on the hook. The FDIC borrows money with a line of credit from the U.S. Treasury, which essentially is taxpayer money. - Source

08/28/08 - Wind Energy Bumps Into Power Grid's Limits
When the builders of the Maple Ridge Wind farm spent $320 million to put nearly 200 wind turbines in upstate New York, the idea was to get paid for producing electricity. But at times, regional electric lines have been so congested that Maple Ridge has been forced to shut down even with a brisk wind blowing. That is a symptom of a broad national problem. Expansive dreams about renewable energy, like Al Gore’s hope of replacing all fossil fuels in a decade, are bumping up against the reality of a power grid that cannot handle the new demands. The basic problem is that many transmission lines, and the connections between them, are simply too small for the amount of power companies would like to squeeze through them. The difficulty is most acute for long-distance transmission, but shows up at times even over distances of a few hundred miles. - Source

08/28/08 - Could $100 Oil Turn Dumps Into Plastic Mines?
Prices for high quality plastics such as high-density polyethelenes (HDP) have more than doubled to between 200 and 300 pounds ($370-560) per tonne, from just above 100 pounds a year ago, according to experts in the waste industry. Leaders of the world's waste management industry are planning to come together in London in October for what is being billed as the first "global landfill mining" conference. "Once plastic is in a landfill site, it pretty much sits there doing nothing -- and the beauty of that is that you're able to go back and recapture it in the future," said Peter Mills, a director of waste and recycling company New Earth Solutions, who is scheduled to speak at the conference. Closed Loop London is one of only six similar plants around the world in Austria, Germany, Mexico, Switzerland and the United States and processes polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, used for water and drinks bottles, and high-density polyethylene (HDP). It has the capacity to recycle 35,000 tonnes each year. - Source

08/28/08 - The 2,000 mile per tank 200mph sports car
KeelyNet This sleek machine is being hailed as the future of high-performance, eco-friendly motoring. With an engine that runs on pure biodiesel, the Trident Iceni can do 2,000 miles on one tank of fuel - enough for a return trip to Venice from London. Capable of topping 200mph, the car has been designed and manufactured by Phil Bevan, of Norwich-based firm Trident Performance Vehicles. Just 500 go on sale from next year, priced at £75,000, after the firm spent £2.3million in development. It uses a technology called 'torque multiplication' which helps keeps the revs low and thus uses less fuel and gives out less emissions. The chassis is made from stainless steel which won’t corrode and the body is built of composite which will never rust or degrade. - Source

08/26/08 - Windsor inventor says new motor will solve fuel crisis
A former Chrysler Canada worker has designed and patented what he says is the "perfect solution" to the gasoline crisis -- an electromagnetic piston motor that will eliminate our dependence on oil and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Michael Axford, who holds a Mexican patent on the invention and is in the process of acquiring another in Canada, said his invention eliminates gas tanks, fuel lines and a vehicle's exhaust system, while retaining all the remaining service parts. "You just turn the key and away you go," said Axford. "A centre spool in the cylinder head is wrapped with copper coils. When a driver turns the key, the battery sends voltage to the coil -- which then becomes an electromagnet -- instead of to the spark plugs and the magnet drives the pistons." Axford acknowledges there are similar products in various stages of development, but says only his uses magnets of identical polarity so that the pistons are driven down into the cylinders with a pulse of magnetic energy. The pistons travel just 31/2 inches and Axford said the electromotive force is sufficient to drive them all the way through the cylinder. "And mine just uses a repelling motion to drive the pistons rather than a combination of repelling and attraction," which often causes problems in the delivery of power, said Axford. "Electromagnets are strong enough to pull trains, so there's no issue with them being strong enough to drive the pistons," said Axford, who has been working on his project since he took a buyout from Chrysler 15 months ago. Axford said "it should perform identically to existing engines. It will idle at 500 r.p.m. so once the gear is engaged, you'll have immediate roll. It won't react with a delay and a jerky motion like a golf cart. "All the blocks used in this engine will be aluminum so they're not magnetic and the cylinder head and the electromagnets will have a protective cover so they don't affect the vehicle's electronic systems," said Axford. "And because the system pulses just like a sparkplug, there's no constant drain on the battery." Axford now plans to retro-fit a motor from a Saturn once he takes delivery of some magnetic discs from a manufacturer in China. When the retrofitted prototype is complete, Axford said he'll be in a position to stage demonstrations and plans to drive the vehicle across Canada to prove its reliability. - Source

08/26/08 - Former fisherman takes on world’s energy woes
KeelyNet Preston Verret has built two prototypes of a machine that he claims uses a simple system to self-generate electricity without a fossil-fuel engine. A regular car battery fires up a small electric boat winch – a motor about the size of a cell phone – which is attached to a bicycle chain that runs to a tire. The motor spins the tire, which turns a car alternator set above the wheel. The alternator, in turn, recharges the battery that set the whole process in motion. Verret said. “You don’t have to drill for oil and gas to make power. It’s so simple.” Another prototype is rigged up to a two-seat go-kart outside the shed. Verret pulls off a piece of plastic that protects the engine from the elements and connects the battery. The winch whines to life, and Verret flips the go-kart’s transmission through four gears, demonstrating the variable speeds. The go-kart’s wheels, elevated above the ground by a bottle jack, turn faster as Verret shifts. He has yet to put the machine to a road test and doesn’t let the tiny electric winch run too long because it might burn out. But he insists the potential for powering a vehicle using the same concept is immense, especially if hydraulic pumps are attached to the wheels to generate additional electricity by taking advantage of the motion of the wheels. Verret has set up a limited liability company to manage his invention and is in the midst of talks with engineers and scientists at LSU. - Source

08/26/08 - On the verge of Greatness
Alternative fuel is all the rage at the Democratic National Convention, where a goody bag offered to reporters included a wind turbine lapel pin. But the real future of energy may not play out in Denver this week. The real future of energy may be playing out in Colorado Springs, and that future may be coal. Bob Neumann's invention, five years in the making, uses a secret chemical formula to clean up sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulates. Other inventions to clean up coal emissions have been too bulky and expensive to catch on. Neumann's invention is less than a tenth the size of competing equipment and it costs two-thirds less. City officials say early results have exceeded all expectations, and the device has outperformed anything else on the market. Congratulations to Neumann, and to the Colorado Springs Utilities for working together in an invention that could change the world. It costs the city virtually nothing to lend its plant to the project, and the utility was so confident that it invested $1 million in the project - an investment that will almost certainly pay off many times over in coming years. - Source

08/26/08 - Man submits patent for energy-saving device to Ford Motor Co.
If you’re driving down the road one day with a fan on the roof of your car, you may have Ed Deets to thank for inventing the energy-saving device. Two weeks ago, Deets submitted a patent for a wind-driven generator for powered vehicles to Ford Motor Co., where the company’s engineers will hopefully review the plans and make a prototype model. In today’s hybrid electric vehicles like the Toyota Prius, a gasoline motor powers the battery that runs the electric motor of the vehicle. Deets’ invention uses a fan to harness wind power and charge the battery, eliminating the need for a engine that runs on gasoline and regular visits to filling stations. “I’m hoping to go to Florida without even stopping,” Deets said. In 2002, he bought a Toyota Prius, which runs on an electric motor and uses a small gas motor to charge the battery, with the hopes of again trying out his design. Deets eventually decided it would be easier to have someone else manufacture the generator rather than make it himself, he said, since he works full-time at his business. He registered the patent for the wind-powered generator in fall 2006, and sent it off to the Ford Motor Co. two weeks ago. Now he will wait for the company’s engineers to review the plans. - Source

08/26/08 - Betting on a hot market for syngas
Take a rusting, hulking pile of scrap metal, add a few tons of construction debris, and what do you get? In the case of Ze-gen Inc., a new source of energy. Borrowing technology from the steel industry, the company turns scrap metal into a 2,800-degree metal bath and injects construction debris deep into the bubbling cauldron. The process produces a clean-burning synthesis gas, or syngas, that can replace natural gas or fuel oil. Ze-gen has been proving its technology and the quality of syngas over the past year, operating a demonstration plant here that digests about a ton of debris an hour. The company is now considering several sites, primarily in the Northeast, to develop a commercial facility that could eventually process as much as 30 tons an hour and produce enough gas to fuel a plant that could power 20,000 homes. "We're solving two problems," said Bill Davis, Ze-gen's chief executive. "We're eliminating wastes that would end up in a landfill and reducing fossil fuels." Davis said more than 300 million tons of waste end up in US landfills every year, about 15 percent of it wood waste from construction. Ze-gen's idea: Tap the waste's energy potential. The company's engineers determined that channel induction furnaces used in the steel industry provided an energy-efficient way to turn construction debris into a high-quality, clean syngas. The electricity used for the furnace offsets about 15 percent of the energy produced by the syngas, Davis said. The construction debris is first ground up, then injected deep into the molten metal with ceramic cylinders, much like dipping forks into a fondue pot. The intense heat converts the debris to gas. Heavy metals, such as lead from paint, settle to the bottom of the bath while other contaminants are trapped in crust of silica, known as slag, that forms on top. - Source

08/26/08 - Air Storage Is Explored for Energy
A New Jersey company plans to announce on Tuesday that it is working on a solution to this perennial problem with wind power: using wind turbines to produce compressed air that can be stored underground or in tanks and released later to power generators during peak hours. The new company, Energy Storage and Power, will promote the use of compressed air storage technology to utilities and other power producers. More favorable locations include upstate New York, where there are depleted salt mines as well as wind farms. Old coal mines and tapped-out natural gas fields can also be converted into underground reservoirs. Roy Daniel, the chief executive of Energy Storage and Power, said that an underground reservoir the size of Giants Stadium could hold enough compressed air to power three 300-megawatt plants. (One megawatt hour can power a large hospital for an hour.) The reservoirs, which are typically more than 1,500 feet below ground, could take eight hours to fill at night. The compressed air would be released to run generators for eight hours during the day. - Source

08/26/08 - The Claim: Manipulating Your Neck Could Lead to a Stroke
KeelyNet Years ago neurologists noticed a strange pattern of people suffering strokes shortly after seeing chiropractors, specifically for neck adjustments. Their hypothesis was that a chiropractic technique called cervical spinal manipulation, involving a forceful twisting of the neck, could damage two major arteries that lead through the neck to the back of the brain. Strokes in people under age 45 are relatively rare, but these cervical arterial dissections are a leading cause of them. Studies that followed suggested a link. But other studies have cast doubt. One published this year examined 818 cases of stroke linked to arterial dissections at the back of the neck. Before their strokes, younger patients who saw chiropractors were more likely to have complained beforehand of head and neck pain — symptoms often preceding a stroke — suggesting they had undiagnosed dissections and had sought out chiropractors for relief, not realizing a stroke was imminent. - Source

08/26/08 - Solar Cells - Made in a Pizza Oven
"The winner of several Eureka Science Awards in Australia is a crafty chick who devised a way to create solar cells cheaply using a pizza oven, nail polish and an inkjet printer. This was developed to address the high cost of cells and in particular for the world's poorest regions. She wanted to give the ~2 billion people around the world who don't have electricity the gift of light and cheap energy. This could have profound (and a good profound) implications for education and health in those in the poorest regions in the world. And it all started with her parents giving her a solar energy kit when she was 10..." / Ms Kuepper realised a new approach would be needed if affordable cells were to be made on site in poorer countries: "What started off as a brainstorming session has resulted in the iJET cell concept that uses low-cost and low-temperature processes, such as ink-jet printing and pizza ovens, to manufacture solar cells." While it could take five years to commercialise the patented technology, providing renewable energy to homes in some of the least developed countries would enable people to "read at night, keep informed about the world through radio and television and refrigerate life-saving vaccines". And it would also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. - Source

08/26/08 - Mylar or Resonance to save Earth from asteroid attack
Mary D'Souza's proposal involves using enhanced solar radiation pressure to move the threatening asteroid off its path to Earth by wrapping it with Mylar film. Mylar is sometimes used to generically refer to polyester film or plastic sheet. However, it is actually a registered trademark owned by Dupont Tejjin Films for a specific family of plastic sheet products made from the resin Polyethylene Terephthalate. The same solar reflecting material is already used on satellites. "I'm using a satellite that's orbiting the asteroid and the rotation of the asteroid itself to wrap this ribbon," Ms D'Souza explained to the AAP. Mylar film covering just half of the asteroid would change its surface from dull to reflective. "What happens then is light from the sun shines on the body [of the asteroid] so more of it is reflected ... and it actually acts to move it away from the sun and the earth." Second place was awarded to Andrew Bacon of the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Bath for his paper entitled The Use of Electromechanical Resonators for the Mitigation of Earth Threatening Asteroids and Comets. Bacon’s concept involves the use of electromechanical resonators to build up waves within an asteroid or comet that would break it up. He will also present his plan at the International Astronautical Congress. - Source

08/26/08 - US judge says University can ignore Christian course credits
A federal judge has told the University of California that when considering applicants, it has the constitutional right to ignore high school course work grounded in the notion that the Bible is infallible. On Friday, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, Judge James Otero denied claims from a group of Christian high schools and Christian high school students that the 10-campus University had suppressed free speech and discriminated against religious views in rejecting such course credits. One high school course was rejected because its primary text, the Bob Jones University-published United States History for Christian Schools, "failed to adequately teach critical thinking and modern historical analytic methods." According to one professor on the UC course review committee, the text "instructs that the Bible is the unerring source for analysis of historical events, attributes historical events to divine providence rather than analyzing human action, evaluates historical figures and their contributions based on their religious motivations or lack thereof and contains inadequate treatment of several major ethnic groups, women, and non-Christian religious groups." - Source

08/26/08 - Stationary bike designed to create electricity
KeelyNet David Butcher designed his ingeniously simple pedal generator for maximum comfort and efficiency: As the rider pedals, a wooden flywheel drives an electric motor, which generates an electric current that flows into a bank of salvaged lead-acid batteries for storage. A buried cable connects the batteries to a set of conspicuous orange outlets (denoting the off-the-grid energy source) in Butcher's home office, where he works as a Web project manager. The orange outlets power several devices, including a computer monitor (but not the computer), cell phone chargers, a high-efficiency area light and a small Roomba robotic vacuum. Butcher's prototype bicycle was chain-driven and featured a welded steel frame. Today's version, with its simplified drivetrain and bolted frame, can be assembled with basic hand tools. When he took up his pedaling regimen two years ago, Butcher tipped the scales at 180 pounds. Today, at age 53, he weighs a lean 150 and possesses a pair of legs that wouldn't look out of place on the Olympic cycling squad. Butcher's pedaling has become so efficient that he has pretty much abandoned his car (electric, incidentally) in favor of bicycling, reducing his carbon footprint still further. Whenever people ask why he doesn't sell the pedal generator plans to gyms, Butcher's answer reflects his simple philosophy: "If you want to save energy, don't drive to the gym." The combination of these positive impacts inspired Butcher to market the plans for his invention, and to date he's sold more than 300 sets of blueprints around the world. Wires connect the motors (inexpensive units used in electric scooters) to an ultracapacitor, which modulates the electrical current. A digital meter displays the energy statistics of each workout. An inverter changes the current from DC to AC, relaying it to several electrical outlets. To see the pedal generator in action and chat with David Butcher, go to links.sfgate.com/ZEPA between 8 and 8:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday. -- To learn more about the pedal generator or to order a set of plans so you can build your own, go to links.sfgate.com/ZEPB. The site also features a resource page for teachers: links.sfgate.com/ZEPC. - Source

08/26/08 - Cows have Animal Magnetism
German scientists using satellite images posted online by the Google Earth software program have observed something that has escaped the notice of farmers, herders and hunters for thousands of years: Cattle grazing or at rest tend to orient their bodies in a north-south direction just like a compass needle. Studying photographs of 8,510 cattle in 308 herds from around the world, zoologists Sabine Begall and Hynek Burda of the University of Duisburg-Essen and their colleagues found that two out of every three animals in the pictures were oriented in a direction roughly pointing to magnetic north. The resolution of the images was not sufficient to tell which ends of the cows were pointing north, however. Cows are known to align their bodies facing uphill, facing into a strong wind to minimize heat loss or broadside to the sun on cold mornings to absorb heat, but the fact that the pictures were taken at many locations, at different times of day and in generally calm weather minimized the impact of environmental factors, the researchers said. Researchers have long known that certain bacteria, birds, fish, whales and even rodents have minute organs in their brains containing particles of magnetite that can act like a compass. But the new results are the first hint that larger land-based mammals may also have such organs, said biologist Kenneth J. Lohmann of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who was not involved in the research. - Source

08/26/08 - Video - Solar plane makes record flight
KeelyNet A UK-built solar-powered plane has set an unofficial world endurance record for a flight by an unmanned aircraft. The Zephyr-6, as it is known, stayed aloft for more than three days, running through the night on batteries it had recharged in sunlight. The flight was a demonstration for the US military, which is looking for new types of technology to support its troops on the ground. Craft like Zephyr might make ideal platforms for reconnaissance. They could also be used to relay battlefield communications. Chris Kelleher, from UK defence and research firm QinetiQ, said Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) offer advantages over traditional aircraft and even satellites. "The principal advantage is persistence - that you would be there all the time," he told BBC News. "A satellite goes over the same part of the Earth twice a day - and one of those is at night - so it's only really getting a snapshot of activity. Zephyr would be watching all day." - Source

08/26/08 - Who Owns the Moon?
Within the next 10 years, the U.S., China, Israel, and a host of private companies plan to set up camp on the moon. So if and when they plant a flag, does that give them property rights? A NASA working group hosted a discussion this week to ask: who owns the moon? The answer, of course, is no one. The Outer Space Treaty, the international law signed by more than 100 countries, states that the moon and other celestial bodies are the province of all mankind. Steve Durst' group has calculated that there are about 10 billion acres on the moon, not counting crater slopes. Given that there are about 6.7 billion people on Earth, it aligns nicely with the idea of "I want my acre," he said. "It's much easier to solve this problem by thinking it through and thinking through what would most benefit the best interest of humanity...rather than doing it once it's a mess," William Marshall said. So, he said, it comes down to assigning rights in the best interest of humanity, including ensuring no monopolies and no military installations. Entities can apply for space in geostational orbit and receive a slot on a first come, first serve basis, according to Marshall. That's an interesting model, he said, because it does that without granting ownership and allows access by less prosperous nations. - Source

08/26/08 - Lawsuit on grounds Obama not constitutionally eligible for Presidency
Prominent Philadelphia attorney and Hillary Clinton supporter Phillip Berg filed suit yesterday afternoon in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and the Federal Election Commission. The action seeks an injunction preventing the senator from continuing his candidacy and a court order enjoining the DNC from nominating him next week, all on grounds that Sen. Obama is constitutionally ineligible to run for and hold the office of President of the United States. Even if Sen. Obama can prove his U.S. citizenship, Berg stated, citing the senator's use of a birth certificate from the state of Hawaii verified as a forgery by three independent document forensic experts, the issue of "multi-citizenship with responsibilities owed to and allegiance to other countries" remains on the table. In the lawsuit, Berg states that Sen. Obama was born in Kenya, and not in Hawaii as the senator maintains. Before giving birth, according to the lawsuit, Obama's mother traveled to Kenya with his father but was prevented from flying back to Hawaii because of the late stage of her pregnancy, "apparently a normal restriction to avoid births during a flight." As Sen. Obama's own paternal grandmother, half-brother and half-sister have also claimed, Berg maintains that Stanley Ann Dunham--Obama's mother--gave birth to little Barack in Kenya and subsequently flew to Hawaii to register the birth. - Source

08/26/08 - Video - Under the Light… Nothing Seems Scary
This great Thai commercial just goes to show that even something as boring as light bulbs can be made into an awesome and funny advertisement. - Source

08/26/08 - Chevrolet Equinox Fuel Cell
KeelyNet The Equinox is essentially an electric car that runs on a hydrogen fuel cell, which is basically a reverse battery that makes its own electricity. You can go about 170 miles on a full tank, I’ve found, versus 225 in a gas car. With 170 miles I can go anywhere I want to go and if I come back home I’m never more than 15 miles from a hydrogen station so it’s not bad. I don’t find myself planning – but I wouldn’t drive it to San Francisco. A fill-up from empty takes about 25 to 30 minutes. But that’s not the car’s fault. That’s the infrastructure’s fault. As soon as tanks are in place that can fill the cell to a pressure of 10,000psi quicker, that time will drop. The chassis, I think, is purpose-built. I don’t think it’s adapted from anything. These cars are something like $800,000 apiece because they’re prototypes. - Source

08/26/08 - Wind turbine brings chaos to Leeds sports centre
RUGBY players may be forced to pull training at a Leeds sports ground after a giant wind turbine put the wind in their sails. Hunslet Hawks Rugby League Club say they are "finished" as the aerodynamics created by the giant structure will cause problems with training and matches. "It affects the aerodynamics by creating an artificial force within the stadium so kicking a rugby ball, going for goal kicks, the ball will be out of play. We are finished. We won't be able to play rugby at the stadium." - Source

08/24/08 - Thai Hydrogen Reactor Powers Car with Water
Thai engineers yesterday launched their latest invention, the "Reactor 1" device, which extracts hydrogen from water to power a car, as the fruit of 30 years of study and labour that could be an alternative energy idea. The conference did not reveal the cost of invention or its commercial use. Sumit said the reactor - a 12inch wide and 10inch high metal box installed inside the car's trunk - used electricity to extract two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen from water. It needed direct current (DC) from a 12voltage battery to extract hydrogen for the car engine's combustion, he said. This device extracted hydrogen for each use without having to store the gas in a tank, Sumit said. He said the "Reactor 1" could also control the heat produced from the hydrogen extraction to a safe level. The result was clean energy. Sumit said he continued to improve on the safety of the "Reactor 2" model by designing an electrical circuit to detect any abnormality in the whole system. The circuit would work with a "Micro Controller" to control the reactor and the engine to save the battery and have just the right amount of hydrogen produced for the car's engine usage. - Source

08/24/08 - the Zeitgeist Pharmacy
KeelyNet The doctrine of signatures is an ancient European philosophy that held that plants bearing parts that resembled human body parts, animals, or other objects, had useful relevancy to those parts, animals or objects. And... It's been said that God first separated the salt water from the fresh, made dry land, planted a garden, made animals and fish. all before making a human. He made and provided what we'd need before we were born. A few examples: * A Sliced Carrot looks like the human eye. The pupil, iris and radiating lines look just like the human eye...and science shows that carrots greatly enhance blood flow to and function of the eyes. * A Walnut looks like a little brain, a left and right hemisphere, upper cerebrums and lower cerebellums. Even the wrinkles or folds are on the nut just like the neo-cortex. We now know that walnuts help develop over 3 dozen neuron-transmitters for brain function. * Celery, Bok Choy, Rhubarb and more look just like bones. These foods specifically target bone strength. - Source. And this one for more connections Eat Well - Kidney Beans actually heal and help maintain kidney function and yes, they look exactly like the Human kidneys. A Tomato has four chambers and is red. The heart is red and has four Chambers. All of the research shows tomatoes are indeed pure heart and blood food. Sweet Potatoes look like the pancreas and actually balance the glycemic index of diabetics. Grapefruits, Oranges, and other Citrus fruits look just like the mammary glands of the female and actually assist the health of the breasts and the movement of lymph in and out of the breasts.

08/24/08 - Will US Solar Businesses Weather the Coming Storm?
With just over 120 days left before federal incentives expire, solar businesses in the U.S. are taking action to protect their core business. Layoffs, announced and unannounced, have started. Construction projects are being canceled or postponed and new sales have dropped dramatically. Uncertainty is forcing our solar businesses into difficult decisions -- not if, but when to cut and, how deep to cut. The coming loss of talented people and companies should be viewed as a loss of our country's intellectual property -- and a national tragedy. Solar distributors will be hard hit as many of the under-capitalized small and medium solar installation companies they serve will disappear overnight. If they are unable to sell the PV modules they have committed to, those modules will be sent to other countries, severely impacting revenues. The worse case, the idea that we will have to take a giant step backwards and then rebuild, is coming true. Our people have worked tirelessly to move our fledgling industry ahead and gain momentum against enormous inertia and countless barriers. It is beyond my comprehension how 535 people in congress and 1 in the White House could let partisanship rule at a time when the right decision for the country is so obvious. - Source

08/24/08 - Sex and the Olympic city
KeelyNet I am often asked if the Olympic village - the vast restaurant and housing conglomeration that hosts the world's top athletes for the duration of the Games - is the sex-fest it is cracked up to be. My answer is always the same: too right it is. I played my first Games in Barcelona in 1992 and got laid more often in those two and a half weeks than in the rest of my life up to that point. That is to say twice, which may not sound a lot, but for a 21-year-old undergraduate with crooked teeth, it was a minor miracle. Barcelona was, for many of us Olympic virgins, as much about sex as it was about sport. There were the gorgeous hostesses - there to assist the athletes - in their bright yellow shirts and black skirts; there were the indigenous lovelies who came to watch the competitions. And then there were the female athletes - literally thousands of them - strutting, shimmying, sashaying and jogging around the village, clad in Lycra and exposing yard upon yard of shiny, toned, rippling and unimaginably exotic flesh. Women from all the countries of the world: muscular, virile, athletic and oozing oestrogen. I spent so much time in a state of lust that I could have passed out. Indeed, for all I knew I did pass out - in a place like that how was one to tell the difference between dreamland and reality? But, once we were eliminated from our respective competitions, we lunged at each other like suicidal fencers. There may have been a fair amount of gay sex going on, too - but given the notorious homophobia in sport it was rather more covert. The old “what goes on tour stays on tour” mantra is still alive and kicking, not just in sport but beyond. There is something deepseated in humanity that leads us to play by different rules whenever we leave town, a phenomenon that has caused instances of terrible inhumanity. When it comes to sex, it simply means that those in relationships no longer recognise, or at least ignore, the boundaries of fidelity and honesty that underpin human monogamy. - Source

08/24/08 - Green Cars Are Too Quiet
For anyone who has ridden in a hybrid, there's something a little weird about the first time you sit idling at a stop light. The sound of silence when the engine turns itself off in lieu of the electric motors can be disconcerting. There is a hidden danger to the handicapped, however - specifically the blind. Without the sound of an engine, the blind apparently step out into traffic believing the coast to be clear, whereupon they endure a green mauling. The problem has occurred enough that California, America's leading state of car oppression, is introducing a bill mandating cars create a minimum level of noise so the visually impaired will know they are present. - Source

08/24/08 - Save Money And Stay Cooler with a Whole-House Fan
KeelyNet A whole-house fan is a large fan you install in the ceiling of the uppermost floor of your home. When turned on the fan draws a enormous amount of air up and out of your home. In short, a whole-house fan is the super-charged version of opening the windows at night to let the cold air in and closing them in the morning to trap the colder night air inside. A whole house fan is also extremely energy efficient compared to an air conditioning unit. Dulley writes: Depending upon its size, a whole-house fan uses only 10% to 20% as much electricity as a central air conditioner. Also, it uses significantly less electricity than a window air conditioner, yet it keeps the entire house more comfortable, not just one room. Installing one generally provides a good payback on the investment. - Source

08/24/08 - Sloshing Inside Earth Changes Protective Magnetic Field
Something beneath the surface is changing Earth's protective magnetic field, which may leave satellites and other space assets vulnerable to high-energy radiation. The gradual weakening of the overall magnetic field can take hundreds and even thousands of years. But smaller, more rapid fluctuations within months may leave satellites unprotected and catch scientists off guard, new research finds. A new model uses satellite data from the past nine years to show how sudden fluid motions within the Earth's core can alter the magnetic envelope around our planet. The Earth's magnetic field extends about 36,000 miles (58,000 km) into space, generated from the spinning effect of the electrically-conductive core that acts something like a giant electromagnet. The field creates a tear-drop shaped bubble that has constantly shielded life on Earth against much of the high-energy radiation flowing from the sun. The last major change in the field took place some 780,000 years ago during a magnetic reversal, although such reversals seem to occur more often on average. A flip in the north and south poles typically involves a weakening in the magnetic field, followed by a period of rapid recovery and reorganization of opposite polarity. The rapid weakening of the magnetic field in the South Atlantic Anomaly region could signal future troubles for such satellites. Radiation storms from the sun could fry electronic equipment on satellites that suddenly lacked the protective cover of a rapidly changing magnetic field. "For satellites, this could be a problem," Mandea told SPACE.com. "If there are magnetic storms and high-energy particles coming from the sun, the satellites could be affected and their connections could be lost." - Source

08/24/08 - FixYourOwnPrinter.com Offers Hacks and Fixes from Fellow Printer Owners
One of the few guarantees the computer world offers is that, at some point, your printer will report that it's out of ink when it isn't, mangle pages because of a small break in a plastic part, or otherwise make even the geekiest of users pull their hair out. FixYourOwnPrinter.com hosts an active forum of users who share their tips on managing the money-grubbing machines, with tips like placing black electrical tape over the ink sensor to make a Brother printer finish out its toner (as one Slate writer found) and button combinations that can reset a unit's wayward sensors. A little smart Googling, of course, can net you some DIY fix-it schemes, but FixYourOwnPrinter.com's search is a good place to start and explore, and the site itself might just have the part you're looking for. - Source

08/24/08 - Solar Concentrator Is A Flying Power Plant
KeelyNet The concentrators weigh just 20 pounds and, tethered to lightweight aluminum towers, seem to float 20 feet off the ground gathering solar energy. Able to withstand winds up to 125 mph, the 8-foot-wide Mylar balloons are reflective on one side, and each one has its own lightweight tether. Ultimately, the company would like to get the cost down to $1 per watt, and with each balloon generating up to 500 watts, more than enough to run your 50-inch plasma TV. The average home uses between 1 and 2 kilowatts keeping your beer cold, your water hot and your Guitar Hero performances lukewarm, so if you had a big enough backyard and forgiving neighbors, you could run your home off just a few balloons. - Source

08/24/08 - Parents beware of "digital drugs"
We all know that music can alter your mood. Sad songs can make you cry. Upbeat songs may give you an energy boost. But can music create the same effects as illegal drugs? This seems like a ridiculous question. But websites are targeting your children with so-called digital drugs. These are audio files designed to induce drug-like effects. All your child needs is a music player and headphones. For binaural beats to work, you must use headphones. Different sounds are played in each ear. The sounds combine in your brain to create a new frequency. This frequency corresponds to brain wave frequencies. There are different brain wave frequencies. These frequencies are related to different states like relaxation and alertness. Digital drugs supposedly synchronize your brain waves with the sound. Hence, they allegedly alter your mental state. Many are skeptical about the effects of digital drugs. Few scientific studies have been conducted on binaural beats. However, a Duke University study suggests that they can affect mood and motor performance. Dr. Nicholas Theodore, a brain surgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, said there is no real evidence that idosers work. But he noted that musical preference is indicative of emotional vulnerability. Trying idosers could indicate a willingness to experiment with drugs and other dangerous behavior. (via hackaday.com) - Source

08/24/08 - Nanomagnet Cancer Treatment
KeelyNet In nanomagnetic cancer treatment, blue fluid with therapeutic nanomagnets targets tumor cells (right). But the nanomagnets leave healthy cells (left) alone. In “Nanoparticles that cancer cells can’t resist,” the magazine writes that the basic idea is to use magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles encased in a biocompatible material. When these nanoparticles are injected in the body, they gather around cancer cells, turning them into minuscule magnets that are easily captured by other magnets encased in the tips of biopsy needles. Here is how New Scientist summarizes the concept. “The idea is to use magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles encased in a biocompatible material. These in turn can be coated with antibodies that bind to chemicals found only in cancerous cells. When injected into the body, thousands of the particles stick to cancer cells, turning them into miniature magnets. The cells can then be drawn towards magnets encased in the tip of a biopsy needle.” But will it work? “A mathematical model of the system confirmed that significant numbers of cancer cells, laden with nanoparticles, could be attracted to a needle within two or three minutes. In the lab, the researchers showed that a magnetised needle could attract leukaemia cells surrounded by nanoparticles and suspended in blood or other synthetic materials designed to mimic bodily fluids. Nanoparticles have been used before to destroy diseased cells but this is the first time they have actually retrieved cells.” - Source

08/24/08 - Sky Serpents for More Wind Power
Massive, city-sized wind farms produce immense power, but the materials and energy required to produce and transport 30-story-tall monster blades can be costly and tricky. But one California inventor believes the answer lies in thinking smaller. Doug Selsam suggests that putting several (anywhere from two to dozens) smaller rotors on the same shaft linked to the same generator could produce the same amount of power with fewer raw materials. But the physics behind the invention - called The Sky Serpent - is no cake walk. To increase efficiency, each rotor needs to catch its own wind flow, not just the wind kicked out from the next rotor up the line. To do this, Selsam needed to figure out the precision angling of the shaft in relation to the other rotors plus the optimal spacing between each rotor. If that sounds confusing and complicated, that’s because it is. In 2003, the California Energy Commission awarded him a $75,000 grant to develop a 3000-watt turbine. Turns out “lucky seven” isn’t just a superstition – it’s the magic number of blades needed to provide that amount of wattage. According to his statistics, Selsam’s invention uses just one-tenth of the blade material required to produce today’s enormous turbines. He’s even moving into the residential market; Selsam has built and sold more than 20 dual-rotor turbines to homeowners. In the not-too-distant future, Selsam envisions strings of wind rotors stretching across the sky. “The wind-turbine designs out there are a thousand years old,” he told Popular Science (who honored his invention as one of 2007’s best). “More rotors equals more power.” - Source

08/24/08 - Wind Power car attempts to smash landspeed record
KeelyNet Stroud-based Eco-businessman Dale Vince OBE and engineer Richard Jenkins hope to smash the current record of 116.7mph on their wind-powered craft The Greenbird out on the salt flats of Australia's Lake Lefroy. The duo describe The Greenbird as "a highly-evolved vehicle" that uses a combination of technology found on aircraft and Formula 1 cars to achieve "staggering" speeds without engine power. The chosen name is a nod to Donald Campbell's Bluebird, a fuel-powered car which achieved record speeds in the 60s. The vehicle arrived at Lake LeFroy for testing on Friday. The team will go on record standby towards the end of this month and start of next month. The current world wind powered speed record of 116.7mph was achieved on March 20 1999 in Prim, Nevada, USA, by Bob Schumacher in Iron Duck. - Source

08/24/08 - The fall and rise of America’s small-town business model
At every transformation, more energy was needed. In the narrow Mohawk Valley, it’s still possible to see a barge pulled by two horses carrying 200 tons at four miles an hour, burning calories from hay, with the oil-guzzling truck traffic speeding by on the interstate. But the move from water to road also meant that port towns with compact downtowns, main streets and walkable neighbourhoods were succeeded by strip malls and car-dependent sprawl. This was the price of creative destruction – “the transformation that accompanies radical innovation.” When an omelette gets made, eggs get cracked. Whole communities get written off, and their assets, once built for the ages, are surpassed by the next wave of invention. What was once a world centre of invention and intellectual ferment was beaten down and often abandoned. Business and opportunity moved literally down the road to the sunny states of the south, where the young and ambitious have migrated. The way of life that is coming to end isn’t that created by the Erie Canal. Rather, it’s the life dependent on the high consumption of cheap energy and cheap money. The life along the interstates. While it’s inconceivable that these concrete and asphalt corridors will ever decay in ways that the canal and its communities have, I’m sure that’s what those who built the canal thought. More optimistically, there are signs of regeneration. - Source

08/24/08 - Cedar Fish
KeelyNet For the past two weeks I've been cooking fish about every other day on my gas BBQ using a cedar plank to smoke the fish. (See my previous post: Homemade Smoked Salmon.) You heat up the BBQ, place the plank on the grill, give it 5 minutes to heat up, put the fish on the plank, turn the heat down a bit and keep the cover closed for 15 minutes. It cooks the fish perfectly every time, the best fish I've ever had. - Source

08/24/08 - TheReligionofPeace
This list, of over 10,000 terrorist attacks committed by Muslims since 9/11/01 (a rate of about three or four a day), is incomplete because only a small percentage of attacks were picked up by international news sources, even those resulting in multiple loss of life. These are not incidents involving nominal Muslims killing for money or personal pride. We include attacks that can reasonably be determined to have been committed by Muslims out of religious duty - as interpreted by the perpetrator. We usually list only attacks that result in loss of life (with a handful of exceptions). In several cases, the victims are undercounted because deaths from trauma caused by the Islamists may occur in later days, despite the best efforts of medical personnel to keep the victims alive. Unfortunately, this list of Muslim terrorist attacks barely scratches the surface of atrocities committed in the name of Islam that occur world-wide each day. For that reason, we don't tally up the dead and dismembered, except on a weekly and monthly basis. - Source

08/24/08 - Air-purifying church windows used early nanotechnology
KeelyNet Stained glass windows that are painted with gold purify the air when they are lit up by sunlight, a team of Queensland University of Technology experts have discovered. Associate Professor Zhu Huai Yong, from QUT's School of Physical and Chemical Sciences said that glaziers in medieval forges were the first nanotechnologists who produced colours with gold nanoparticles of different sizes. In modern language, photocatalytic air purifier with nanostructured gold catalyst," Professor Zhu said. He said tiny particles of gold, energised by the sun, were able to destroy air-borne pollutants like volatile organic chemical (VOCs), which may often come from new furniture, carpets and paint in good condition. "These VOCs create that 'new' smell as they are slowly released from walls and furniture, but they, along with methanol and carbon monoxide, are not good for your health, even in small amounts," he said. "Gold, when in very small particles, becomes very active under sunlight. "The electromagnetic field of the sunlight can couple with the oscillations of the electrons in the gold particles and creates a resonance. "The magnetic field on the surface of the gold nanoparticles can be enhanced by up to hundred times, which breaks apart the pollutant molecules in the air." Professor Zhu said the by-product was carbon dioxide, which was comparatively safe, particularly in the small amounts that would be created through this process. He said the use of gold nanoparticles to drive chemical reactions opened up exciting possibilities for scientific research. "This technology is solar-powered, and is very energy efficient, because only the particles of gold heat up," he said. - Source

08/24/08 - Amethyst Initiative: Rethink the drinking age
Launched in July 2008, the Amethyst Initiative is made up of chancellors and presidents of universities and colleges across the United States. These higher education leaders have signed their names to a public statement that the 21 year-old drinking age is not working, and, specifically, that it has created a culture of dangerous binge drinking on their campuses. The Amethyst Initiative supports informed and unimpeded debate on the 21 year-old drinking age. Amethyst Initiative presidents and chancellors call upon elected officials to weigh all the consequences of current alcohol policies and to invite new ideas on how best to prepare young adults to make responsible decisions about alcohol use. - Source

08/24/08 - Dinosaurs Helping to build Pyramids, right...
KeelyNet Far from becoming extinct 65 million years ago, the dinosaurs actually co-existed with early humans, and even helped in the construction of the pyramids. This is the word of Vince Fenech, Evangelist pastor and director of a fully licensed, State-approved Creationist institution which admits children aged between four and 18. “Of course the ‘dinoceros’ existed (as Fenech pronounces the word). It is mentioned in the Book of Job. They were used to help build the pyramids,” he says, adding that this latter observation is only “his personal belief”, and that it does not form part of the school’s curriculum. But the curriculum of the Accelerated Christian Academy in Mosta is not exactly free of such fanciful reinventions of history. Fenech reiterates the basic Evangelist tenet that the entire universe was created in 4004 BC… and this time, he also supplies “proof”. - Source

08/24/08 - As of October, FBI To Allow Warrantless Investigations
KeelyNet "Attorney General Michael Mukasey has agreed to allow Congressional hearings, but not to delay, the implementation of new FBI regulations that would allow them to spy on American citizens who are not suspected of any crime. As an editorial in the New York Times points out, this is a power that has a history of abuse. In times past, it was used to wiretap Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to spy on other civil rights and anti-war protesters." As Dekortage points out, "Several senators have formally complained that citizens could be investigated 'without any basis for suspicion,' which the Justice Department denies." - Source

08/24/08 - How RFID Tags Could Be Used to Track Unsuspecting People
* Radio-frequency identi­fication (RFID) tags are embedded in a growing number of personal items and identity documents. * Because the tags were designed to be powerful tracking devices and they typically incorporate little security, people wearing or carrying them are vulnerable to surreptitious surveillance and profiling. * Worldwide, legislators have done little to address those risks to citizens. If you live in a state bordering Canada or Mexico, you may soon be given an opportunity to carry a very high tech item: a remotely readable driver’s license. Designed to identify U.S. citizens as they approach the nation’s borders, the cards are being promoted by the Department of Homeland Security as a way to save time and simplify border crossings. But if you care about your safety and privacy as much as convenience, you might want to think twice before signing up. - Source

08/24/08 - Human Tracking Chip Created By Xega
KeelyNet The Xega Company has created an injectable chip, which is the size and shape of a rice kernel. It can be injected into the client’s body using a syringe. The chip sends out signals from the person’s body and one could locate and pinpoint the location of someone in distress. The chip costs about $4000 and comes with an annual fee of $2,200. This may mean we won’t see any more kidnappings and persons going missing. - Source

08/21/08 - Interesting Cleanup tip for Painters
KeelyNet I was having drinks with a fellow North American and a Mexican friend. We were also talking with a couple of painters at the bar who had plenty of paint on their hands and arms. They said it was common here to use turpentine to remove paint but it left the skin chapped and sore. My Mexican friend told them to use VASELINE. Rub it in and leave it alone for about a minute and the paint will just wipe off the skin, leaving it soft, undamaged and clean. Hadn't heard that before but it is a neat tip to pass along. When I worked at 3 factories, we used GoJo gel to clean grease and such off our hands but had never thought of plain old vaseline. So tell your painter friends and make their lives easier! - Source - Bar gossip

08/21/08 - Fuel Saving Device Can Change the Way We Use Fuel Driving Our Car
KeelyNet Using the momentum of your car will reduce your fuel consumption; The U.S. Patent Office issued a Patent for Moment-O-Meter. GREEN TECHNOLOGY MFG manufactures the long awaited Moment-O-Meter, a consumer friendly device that helps to reduce fuel consumption (patent # 7,411,140). It takes only a few seconds to stick Moment-O-Meter to your windshield and plug it in your cigarette lighter to upgrade your car to a fuel efficient car. "Moment-O-Meter was developed and tested during the last three years, and we now manufacture it in Clearwater, Florida," added Delor, a retired ex-aeronautical engineer who co-invented this device to help his school teacher daughter to save gas. "It all started with my daughter and I'm always looking for a good reason to spend some time in my workshop," added Delor. As Speed-O-Meter indicates the speed of a vehicle, Moment-O-Meter indicates its inherent momentum allowing users to coast by, moving their car effortlessly by force of the inertial mass generated. Green light indicates you can coast, red light indicates you need to use fuel to maintain the car's speed. It's like a personal trainer telling you what to do. "Every driver can take advantage of their car's momentum to drastically increase their fuel efficiency if they are shown how," the inventor said. "You will save 20% to 50% gas the very first time you use it. To make it work for everyone, it had to be simple and visual. Moment-O-Meter is very simple; just react to the device's lights to save gas. I personally save 50% but my wife saves only 32% ... It still depends on the driver's skills, but improvement is expected as driving efficiently will become second nature," concluded Delor. - Source

08/21/08 - How To Fix The World
KeelyNet A popular comic book series called HowToons, designed to help kids think like inventors and, with Massachusetts Institute of Technology pal Eric Wilhelm, a Web site called Instructables, created to spur collaborative invention among adults. For inventor Saul Griffith, these are civilization-saving projects. The more people realize they can create and maintain their own objects around them, he believes, the less likely they will be to squander increasingly scarce resources on cheap and transient goods. "There are 2 million people in America who work on their cars every weekend," says Griffith. "That could be the greatest R&D ever for the electric car." The Instructables Web site, with 350,000 registered users and 860,000 unique visitors a month, according to ComScore, attempts to build a collaborative community where people share and learn how to complete fanciful and pragmatic inventions. Recent examples include a concrete light bulb wall hook, a wind turbine made from a potato chip can and a mini-robot. The site was originally intended to become a place where various inventors could create projects together and improve on one another's work, much the way the open-source software movement has created a wealth of free computer programs. But it has instead become an explosion of DIY showmanship. HowToons has sold 20,000 copies since its publication last October and also appears in father-in-law Tim O'Reilly's Make magazine (see "Making Future Headlines"). One popular cartoon teaches the kids to make a marshmallow blowgun from plastic pipe. Griffith will go almost anywhere to talk up the HowToons make-anything ethos to kids at science fairs and museums. "Get them then, and you get them for life," he says. Adults? "Sorry, but for most of them it is too late." Web sites like Instructables and kids' books like HowToons are "about 1%" of what's needed. Too many inventors, he says, hope they'll get rich by single-handedly patenting a great idea. "Usually invention is a group effort, but they don't see that," he says. The real payoff comes from notoriety. When you get known as a great tinkerer and craftsman, "it's how you get your next great job." - Source

08/21/08 - Vanadium Boride Fuel Cell Battery energy beats petroleum
KeelyNet Previously batteries have only been used in small-scale applications and even modern lithium-ion batteries cannot boast the energy storage capacity of diesel and petroleum. However, scientists from the University of Massachusetts may soon change all that with a combination of half a battery and half a chemical fuel cell. According to The Green Optimistic, the battery’s negative electrode, or cathode, is made from vanadium boride. This effectively serves double duty as fuel too - unlike the flowing fuel of a fuel cell, material is held internally much like the anode material of a battery. The vanadium boride reacts with oxygen bringing in a supply of air from the outside. A chemical reaction occurs and the cell has a theoretical energy capacity of 27kWh per litre, compared to 9.7kWh per litre of petroleum. However, both figures are limited by practicalities to smaller figures - yet the new system should have a usable energy capacity of around 5kWh, which is still almost double that of petroleum. Other designs may yield even higher energy densities than the vanadium boride system: a lithium-air cell should give twice the energy density of a vanadium boride-air cell. - Source

08/21/08 - Cambridge Formula 1 secret out of the bag
KeelyNet For years, the mysterious "J-Damper", a vehicle suspension device described as the F1 technical innovation of the year, was carefully codenamed and concealed to prevent it from being copied by rivals. The term "J-Damper" itself was merely a codename to keep the technology secret from potential competitors for as long as possible. Its proper name is an inerter. Although they are currently being used to improve mechanical grip, inerters have a wide range of potential advantages, many of which are still being explored. Broadly, they offer greater flexibility in a vehicle's suspension system. Standard suspension systems are based around two components - springs and shock absorbers (dampers). Together, these contribute to the car's ride and handling: they keep vehicle occupants comfortable even though the vehicle is traversing an uneven road surface and is subjected to acceleration and cornering. The inerter looks superficially like a conventional shock absorber, with an attachment point at each end. For example, one end may be attached to the car body and the other to the wheel assembly. A plunger slides in and out of the main body of the inerter as the car moves up and down. This causes the rotation of a flywheel inside the device in proportion to the relative displacement between the attachment points. The result is that the flywheel stores rotational energy as it spins. In combination with the springs and dampers, the inerter reduces the effect of the oscillations and thus helps the car to retain a better grip on the road. - Source

08/21/08 - Tax Incentive Program Funds Six Oregon State Research Projects
Launched in October, 2007, the University Venture Development Fund University Venture Development Fund , or UVDF, offers Oregon residents a 60 percent state tax credit for gifts to the fund, with the goal of helping move university research to the marketplace. As part of the project, the state legislature authorized eight Oregon universities to receive a total of $14 million in tax credit-eligible gifts. • A small-scale water pasteurization system • "Hua Cat,” a new organic compound to improve drug production • Wood-adhesive from all renewable materials • Inkjet printed Thin-film solar cells • The "Ping Meter" is a handheld tool equipped with GPS that can easily, instantly and non-destructively determine the chlorophyll, nitrogen and water content of plant leaves, and show the results in a color-coded map. • A major advance in mass spectrometry. - Source

08/21/08 - Safer and Cheaper nuclear power plants
KeelyNet Intellectual Ventures, founded by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, has begun to reveal details of what Myhrvold calls the firm’s “most ambitious project” — a new type of safer and cheaper nuclear reactor. Intellectual Ventures’ reactor model would need a small amount of enriched uranium at startup, but could then run on natural, unenriched uranium or depleted uranium, the waste product of enrichment, meaning it could draw on a much more abundant and potentially cheaper supply of fuel. The firm is also investigating thorium as a reactor fuel source. Thorium, a radioactive metal, has the advantage of being more plentiful than uranium. By reducing the need for uranium processing and transport, this reactor technology would, in theory, lower the risk of nuclear accidents and weapons proliferation. Enriched uranium for atomic weapons can be made in the very same kinds of facilities that produce enriched uranium for nuclear power plant fuel. - Source

08/21/08 - Bigfoot Hoaxers Still On the Lam
Matthew Whitton and Rick Dyer, the Georgia men who claimed to have found a Bigfoot body, were being sought by Tom Biscardi, whose money they absconded with once the frozen "corpse" was revealed to be a hoax. "We have a contract with these people," Biscardi, a former Las Vegas promoter now based in Menlo Park, Calif., told Fox News Wednesday morning. "We paid them the money the night before [the press conference.]" Asked to confirm rumors that he'd given Dyer and Whitton a $50,000 advance on future earnings from the bogus Bigfoot, Biscardi would say only that "it was a substantial amount of money" numbering in the thousands which came from unnamed "investors." Biscardi told Fox's Megyn Kelly, who'd previously been invited to view the specimen herself, that the rubber Halloween suit had been stuffed full of, well, organic material. "It was the most macabre thing you've ever seen in your life," he said. "There's body parts of other animals in there — bones, eyes, tongues, cheeks. It's just incredible." Asked how he could have been fooled, Biscardi argued that it was hard to tell when the thing was encased in a block of ice. - Source

08/21/08 - Top 10 YouTube Hacks
7. Download audio from videos. There are a lot of great live performances lurking around YouTube, many of which have never seen the light of day in the recorded audio realm. To jump those jams into your playlist, use a web-based converter like VidToMP3, or follow one intrepid LH reader's guide to recording and converting YouTube vids into MP3. It may take a few more steps, but Matt's guide will still work, while many web-based hacks end up on the pile of dead-end links. / 1. Make videos easy to download. If you want to stash a YouTube clip away for editing or watching without the net, you've definitely got options. Internet Explorer users might appreciate YouTube File Hack, which grabs FLV files for you. The Better YouTube Firefox extension, crafted by our own site editor, adds a simple "Download this video" link to any YouTube page, and the All-In-One Video Bookmarklet is a nice cross-browser conversion tool. If you're away from your own setup, Vixy.net and Viddownloader are your go-to sites for downloading clips. As for watching FLV files, we like and use the cross-platform VLC player. - Source

08/21/08 - Australian "hot rocks" offer 26,000 yrs of power
To produce power from geothermal energy, water is pumped below ground where it is heated and the heat energy used to generate power. Geoscience Australia has mapped the nation's geothermal energy, using temperature recordings from decades of drilling by energy and exploration firms, sometimes to a depth of five kms (three miles). A total of 5,722 petroleum and mineral boreholes across Australia were used to generate the map. Geoscience's Anthony Budd said "hot rocks" needed to be 150 degrees Celsius to produce electricity, which was achievable at a depth of one to five kms, noting temperature rose deeper into the earth's crust. - Source

08/21/08 - FTC Bans Prerecorded Telemarketing Drivel
"In the ongoing battle to let us eat dinner in peace without being interrupted by amazingly annoying telemarketer blather, and in this case the even more infuriating recorded telemarketing drivel, the Federal Trade Commission today basically outlawed recorded telemarketing calls. Specifically, the FTC changed its venerable Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) to prohibit, as of Sept. 2009, telemarketing calls that deliver prerecorded messages, unless a consumer has agreed to accept such calls from a given caller/seller. Between now and 2009, telemarketers must provide an obvious, easy and quick way for consumers to opt-out of any call, the FTC said. Such an opt-out mechanism needs to be in place by December 1, 2008." - Source

08/21/08 - Bloomberg wants wind turbines on NYC bridges, skyscrapers
KeelyNet In a plan that would drastically remake New York City's skyline and shores, the report said Bloomberg said he would ask private companies and investors to study how windmills can be built across the city. The aim is weaning the city off the nation's overtaxed power grid, which has produced several crippling blackouts during the past decade. The report said Bloomberg did not specify which skyscrapers and bridges would be candidates for windmills. He said city officials would work with property owners to identify the buildings that would best be able to hold the equipment. - Source

08/21/08 - Low-Cost Non-noble Metal Catalyst for Hydrogen Production from Biofuels
Researchers at Ohio State University (OSU) have developed a new cobalt-based catalyst for the steam reforming of bio-derived liquids into hydrogen with 90% yield, at 350°C (660°F), and without the use of precious metals such as platinum or rhodium. Umit Ozkan, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at OSU, and her colleagues presented the research today at the American Chemical Society meeting in Philadelphia. Ozkan said that their catalyst costs around $9/kg ($0.25/ounce), while rhodium costs around $9,000/ounce ($317,466/kg). The catalyst is made from cerium oxide and calcium, covered with small particles of cobalt. To produce power from geothermal energy, water is pumped below ground where it is heated and the heat energy used to generate power. Geoscience Australia has mapped the nation's geothermal energy, using temperature recordings from decades of drilling by energy and exploration firms, sometimes to a depth of five kms (three miles). A total of 5,722 petroleum and mineral boreholes across Australia were used to generate the map. - Source

08/21/08 - The Smell of Cancer
KeelyNet Skin-cancer tumors give off a characteristic odor profile that could be used for early detection. "We found two chemicals in particular that were significantly different when you compared a cancer patient with a healthy subject," Michelle Gallagher says. Both compounds were present in the healthy volunteers, but one compound was at a higher concentration and the other at a lower concentration above the tumors in the cancer patients. - Source

08/21/08 - Video - Lifelike animation heralds new era for computer games
Emily - the woman in the above animation - was produced using a new modelling technology that enables the most minute details of a facial expression to be captured and recreated. She is considered to be one of the first animations to have overleapt a long-standing barrier known as 'uncanny valley' - which refers to the perception that animation looks less realistic as it approaches human likeness. Researchers at a Californian company which makes computer-generated imagery for Hollywood films started with a video of an employee talking. They then broke down down the facial movements down into dozens of smaller movements, each of which was given a 'control system'. The team at Image Metrics - which produced the animation for the Grand Theft Auto computer game - then recreated the gestures, movement by movement, in a model. The aim was to overcome the traditional difficulties of animating a human face, for instance that the skin looks too shiny, or that the movements are too symmetrical. - Source

08/21/08 - Scientists stop the Aging Process
KeelyNet Scientists have stopped the ageing process in an entire organ for the first time, a study released today says. Published in today's online edition of Nature Medicine, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in New York City also say the older organs function as well as they did when the host animal was younger. The researchers, led by Associate Professor Ana Maria Cuervo, blocked the ageing process in mice livers by stopping the build-up of harmful proteins inside the organ's cells. As people age their cells become less efficient at getting rid of damaged protein resulting in a build-up of toxic material that is especially pronounced in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative disorders. The researchers say the findings suggest that therapies for boosting protein clearance might help stave off some of the declines in function that accompanies old age. In experiments, livers in genetically modified mice 22 to 26 months old, the equivalent of octogenarians in human years, cleaned blood as efficiently as those in animals a quarter their age. By contrast, the livers of normal mice in a control group began to fail. The benefits of restoring the cleaning mechanisms found inside all cells could extend far beyond a single organ, says Cuervo. (Thanks to Paul Carlson for the headsup. - JWD) - Source

08/21/08 - Coming Soon: A Post-American World
In cased you missed that - within the next 50 years China's economy will double the size of the United States' economy. So where will that leave the United States? Are we slipping? Are we reaching some inevitable tipping point that will change the world as we know it? Is the golden age of America coming to an end? Fareed Zakaria, editor of Newsweek International, said, "What's happening right now is, the world is moving beyond America. The future is, in many ways, being shaped in distant places by foreign people." "That's a big shift from a world in which America was at the center economically, financially, culturally, militarily, politically, to a world in which there are more centers and many forces, from India to China to Brazil to South Africa that have to be taken into account," Zakaria said. The meltdown in the U.S. economy at the moment isn't helping: The price of gas, the mortgage crisis, the weak dollar, the cost (both monetary and political) of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But the shift, according to Zakaria, is more fundamental. "This is not happening because America is failing or declining," Zakaria said. "It's happening because the rest are rising, and it's happening because the natives have gotten good at capitalism." - Source

08/21/08 - Stem cells can be used to create limitless blood supplies
Scientists from a US firm claim to have created a large number of red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells, opening up the prospect of having a limitless supply of blood for transfusions. "Embryonic stem cells represent a new source of cells that can be propagated and expanded indefinitely, providing a potentially inexhaustible source of red blood cells for human therapy. "We can currently generate 10 to 100 billion red blood cells from a single six-well plate of stem cells," he said in a paper published online in the Blood journal. - Source

08/21/08 - Official Insists on speeding Ticket to prove Hydrogen car speed
Local offical pulled over for speeding. Cop offers to let him off because he is driving a hydrogen car. Official insists on getting a ticket to illustrate the speed of the hydrogen car. - Source

08/21/08 - Scientists 'Listen' to plants to find Water Pollution
By shining a laser beam on the tiny pieces of algae floating in the water, the researchers said they hear sound waves that tell them the type and amount of contamination in the water. "It is a red light, telling us that something is beginning to go wrong with the quality of water," said Zvy Dubinsky, an aquatic biologist at Israel's Bar Ilan University. "Algae is the first thing to be affected by a change in water quality." As water sources deteriorate worldwide, the testing of algae could be used to monitor water quality faster, more cheaply and more accurately than techniques now in use, Dubinsky said. The secret, he said, is to measure the rate of photosynthesis in the algae, meaning the plant's ability to transform light into energy. During photosynthesis, plants also release oxygen into the air. Dubinsky's technique is easy to perform because of the over-abundance of algae in the planet's water. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere comes from algae. A prototytpe tester, that occupies about one square metre of a laboratory desktop, shoots a laser beam at water samples to stimulate photosyntesis in the algae. But not all of the laser's heat is used. With a special underwater microphone, researchers are able to analyse the strength of the sound waves and determine the health of the algae and the condition of the surrounding water. "Algae suffering from lead poisoning, like waste discharged from battery and paint manufacturing plants, will produce a different sound than those suffering from lack of iron or exposure to other toxins," said researcher Yulia Pinchasov. (Thanks to Paul Carlson for the headsup. - JWD) - Source

08/17/08 - Floating to Space
Floating to Space, describes a less than typical application of a well-known technology. Using the concept of dynamic climbing, he believes and shows that airships are the better method to putting people and material into space. John Powell is fine tuning this concept for travelling into orbit and plans to soon elevate appreciable payloads to above 400 kilometres. And, as we all know, at that height, space travel becomes quite achievable. Though not as flashy as rockets, airships provide similar capabilities. Both loft massive payloads up above the atmosphere. - Source

08/17/08 - What Oil Crisis?
KeelyNet 1. Ever heard of the Bakken Formation? GOOGLE it or follow this link. It will blow your mind. http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911 The U.S. Geological Service issued a report in April ('08) that only scientists and oilmen knew was coming, but man was it big. It was a revised report (hadn't been updated since '95) on how much oil was in th is area of the western 2/3 of North Dakota; western South Dakota; and extreme eastern Montana ... check THIS out: The Bakken is the largest domestic oil discovery since Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, and has the potential to eliminate all American dependence on foreign oil. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates it at 503 billion barrels. Even if just 10% of the oil is recoverable... at $107 a barrel, we're looking at a resource base worth more than $5.3 trillion. 'When I first briefed legislators on this, you could practically see their jaws hit the floor. They had no idea, says Terry Johnson, the Montana Legislature's financial analyst. 'This sizable find is now the highest-producing onshore oil field found in the past 56 years,' reports The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. It's a formation known as the Williston Basin, but is more commonly referred to as the 'Bakken.' And it stretches from Northern Montana, through North Dakota and into Canada. For years, U. S. oil exploration has been considered a dead end. Even the 'Big Oil' companies gave up searching for major oil wells decades ago. However, a recent technological breakthrough has opened up the Bakken's massive reserves... and we now have access of up to 500 billion barrels. And because this is light, sweet oil, those billions of barrels will cost Americans just $16 PER BARREL! That's enough crude to fully fuel the American economy for 41 years straight. 2. And if THAT didn't throw you on the floor, then this next one should - because it's from TWO YEARS AGO, people! U.S.Oil Discovery- Largest Reserve in the World! Stansberry Report Online - 4/20/2006 Hidden 1,000 feet beneath the surface of the Rocky Mountains lies the largest untapped oil reserve in the world is more than 2 TRILLION barrels. On August 8, 2005 President Bush mandated its extraction. They reported this stunning news: We have more oil inside our borders, than all the other proven reserves on earth. Here are the official estimates: -8-times as much oil as Saudi Arabia / -18-times as much oil a s Iraq / -21-times as much oil as Kuwait / -22-times as much oil as Iran / -500-times as much oil as Yemen- and it's all right here in the Western United States. (Thanks to Ron West for this headsup. - JWD) - Source

08/17/08 - The solar land rush
From California to Arizona, demand for sites for solar power projects has ignited a land grab. A solar land rush is rolling across the desert Southwest. Goldman Sachs, utilities PG&E and FPL, Silicon Valley startups, Israeli and German solar firms, Chevron, speculators - all are scrambling to lock up hundreds of thousands of acres of long-worthless land now coveted as sites for solar power plants. The race has barely begun - finished plants are years away - but it’s blazing fastest in the Mojave, where the federal government controls immense stretches of some of the world’s best solar real estate right next to the nation’s biggest electricity markets. Just 20 months ago only five applications for solar sites had been filed with the BLM in the California Mojave. Today 104 claims have been received for nearly a million acres of land, representing a theoretical 60 gigawatts of electricity. (The entire state of California currently consumes 33 gigawatts annually.) It’s not just a federal-land grab either. Buyers are also vying for private property. Some are paying upwards of $10,000 an acre for desert dirt that a few years ago would have sold for $500. - Source

08/17/08 - Expensive Honey claims to boost immunity to cancer?
A "new hope" for cancer sufferers or a jar of exorbitantly expensive honey? How the makers of Life Mel prey on the fear and desperation of patients. This press release from the creators of Life Mel honey is an object lesson in that despicable dark art. Their target is cancer patients struggling to deal with the horrible side-effects of their treatment: Chemotherapy is often terminated by patients wishing to live their final weeks or months without the harsh side effects of the treatment, but Life Mel offers new hope with less side effects. What is this miraculous "new hope"? The release tells us more: Life Mel is a unique food product made by honey bees fed on a unique diet including selected herbs such as Siberian ginseng, echinacea and Uncaria tomentosa based on over 30 years research. It is proven to boost immunity before, during [and] after chemotherapy, dramatically reducing the side effects of treatment so patients can live a more normal life. The so-called "proof" that it boosts immunity does not, in fact, come from 30 years of research but is based on one small study conducted by Israeli researchers in 2006. What does Life Mel do? The honey - which is produced by Holywell Health - supposedly targets neutropenia, a side-effect of chemotherapy in which the level of a particular class of white blood cells drops, leaving the patient open to infection. But this dangerous side-effect of chemotherapy could disappear, the company claims, if you purchase a pot of special honey - a bargain at £37.50. - Source

08/17/08 - Sovereignty and the UFO
That argument boils down to a claim that UFO research has never achieved legitimacy because the very possibility of visitation by extraterrestrials poses too many problems for the implicit metaphysics of the nation-state. Contemporary ideas about national sovereignty are quite thoroughly anthropocentric. That was not always the case. In the age of kings who ruled by divine right, the ultimate sovereign authority was embedded in God Himself. And if you lived in a community where shamans communicate regularly with bears or fish or the spirit of the mountain, then you would tend to think of nature itself as having, in effect, the franchise. The modern sense of the nation-state rests on the assumption that politics is a strictly human process. Sovereignty – the ultimate authority to make decisions within a territory – is embodied in human agents. Furthermore, a nation-state tends to develop mechanisms for keeping track of its own population – a series of institutions and bodies of knowledge devoted to monitoring the people who live within its borders, create its wealth, and obey its laws. (Or don’t, as the case may be.) The result is a grid of power and expertise sometimes designated by the rather unwieldy expression “governmentality,” coined by Michel Foucault. - Source

08/17/08 - Hacking Memory to Break Drug Addiction
Using a chemical that blocks the creation of memories, scientists have prevented rats from using cocaine after they had become addicted to the drug. The hope is that doctors will one day be able to give humans some version of the chemical and stop cocaine addiction in its tracks. Scientists say that suggests that by disrupting the recollection of a drug-associated memory—a person one abuses drugs with, a place that one uses drugs at, for example—a therapeutic may be able to break the connection between cues in the environment and the need for drugs. Sometimes these cues can be quite close to home—a family member or loved one. - Source

08/17/08 - reCAPTCHAs to transcribe books more accurately
Millions of computer users collectively transcribe the equivalent of 160 books each day with better than 99 percent accuracy, despite the fact that few spend more than a few seconds on the task and that most do not realize they are doing valuable work, Carnegie Mellon University researchers reported today in Science Express. They can work so prodigiously because Carnegie Mellon computer scientists led by Luis von Ahn have taken a widely used Web site security measure, called a CAPTCHA, and given it a second purpose - digitizing books produced prior to the computer age. When Web visitors solve one of the distorted-letter puzzles so they can register for email or post a comment on a blog, they simultaneously help turn the printed word into machine-readable text. More than a year after implementing their version, called reCAPTCHA, http://recaptcha.net/ on thousands of Web sites worldwide, the researchers conclude that their word deciphering process achieves the industry standard for human transcription services - better than 99 percent accuracy. Their report, published online today, will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Science. Furthermore, the amount of work that can be accomplished is herculean. More than 100 million CAPTCHAs are solved every day and, though each puzzle takes only a few seconds to solve, the aggregate amount of time translates into hundreds of thousands of hours of human effort that can potentially be tapped. During the reCAPTCHA system's first year of operation, more than 1.2 billion reCAPTCHAs have been solved and more than 440 million words have been deciphered. That's the equivalent of manually transcribing more than 17,600 books. - Source

08/17/08 - Man invents windmill to save diesel
KeelyNet One man has taken a low cost wind turbine and helped 100s of farmers in Gujarat cut down on diesel. Electricity supply in many farms in parts of Saurastra is erratic and most farmers have taken to these soot spewing machines to draw water for their feilds - that is, all farmers but Thadubhai. Thadubhai has installed a wind turbine. "Earlier farmers havested one crop. Now, since I got the pawan chakki two months ago, I hope to harvest for three per season," says he. Patel says, "Salt farmers in Gujarat spend Rs 75,000 on diesel expenses to pull water. This is a big social hurdle. For them, this windmill is perfect. It comes without any recurring cost and cuts down on expenditure." The pawan chakki costs only Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 ($350 - $468US) and it can be dismantled and transferred to another well or handpump in a matter of hours. "In the next six months, 100 mills in the region will have the windmill. We are targeting 250 mills in Gujarat," says Patel. - Source

08/17/08 - Mother Hen Eats Dye, Chicks Hatch Out Freakish Colors (Jan, 1933)
THE chickens seen in the photo at the left may look just like any brood of infant barnyard fowl but that is because Modern Mechanix couldn’t print them in colors. In the flesh, however, they are a deep pink in hue with bills and toe nails a resplendent rose color. The chicks were produced during experiments in which the mother was fed red dye. Further experiments are under way with other dyes and soon purple and green hens may be as common as white and brown ones now. The chickens otherwise are normal in every respect. - Source

08/17/08 - Kostovic / Tesla Electric Engine
KeelyNet Kostovic/Tesla Electric Engine will produce electricity as independent unit through electrical and chemical processes. These electrical and chemical processes will not cause any pollution in atmosphere. K/T Electric Engine is independent unit, unique and more effective than any other. The electrical devices in the system supply and charge each other with electricity from Part II, generators and batteries. The generators, batteries, induction motor or any other electromotor are additionally supplied by wire with alternating current converted from eco electric fuel. For example: two generators deliver 5000 Watts, 50 Amperes at 120-220 Voltages and they are connected in the system of K/T Electric Engine. The generators will obtain production of eco electric fuel in the Part II, at approximately 100 000 Watts in power. It can increase thousands of Voltages through PP1 - PP2 and PP3 - Electrical increase power mechanical apparatuses. Kostovic/Tesla Electric Engine is powerful and durable independent unit - new mobile electric power station. There is no limit in production of different types of these K/T electrical engines. - Source

08/17/08 - Top Healer Reveals Revolutionary Disease-Curing Secrets
For years, alternative healer Nick Kostovic’s practice in Beverly Hills has been a place of pilgrimage for those seeking revolutionary alternative medical treatments. Now, Kostovic is sharing the secrets behind many of his remarkable medical and scientific discoveries in “Universe God’s Jewel,” a fascinating new book just published by Outskirts Press. The Bio Technological Health Center has managed to improve the lives of terminally sick patients¾people with diseases such as cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and more, many of whose stories and remarkable transformations are detailed in-depth. The breakthrough involves equipment developed by Kostovic enabling him strengthen the energy field for the complex attraction of elementary biochemical charges to the central nervous system. The applied power emanates from the elementary field of sun’s rays, which he conducts through the body of the patient. End result? When properly applied to the diseased human body, this energy, through a machine called the Biotechnological Energizer, slows down the aging process and actually cures terminal degenerative diseases, giving hope to those who have been written off by the traditional medical establishment. - Source

08/17/08 - How to Magnify and Multiply your Wealth
The first way is to leverage on intellectual property. Your intellectual asset, Coming up with an idea, a patent, an invention, you can license it to someone and each time that product is sold, you get paid again and again and again. Let me give you an example here. There was this gentleman that came up with this idea. It all started with a problem. He bought a bunch of batteries. And he was frustrated because he didn't know whether the battery was flat or was because his tape recorder didn't work. So what he did was he took a metal device to put it at the ends of the battery, to test the energy of the battery. And he found that he the batteries still had energy. And he said, wouldn't it be cool if every single battery that was sold came with this battery tester? It was not a difficult invention. It was a matter of putting these 2 diodes together to measure the electricity. So he approached, Duracell and said, you know guys, I got this fantastic invention. It's a small piece of metal that allows people to test the power of the battery when they buy and use the battery. And you know what? I am not going to sell you this invention. I am going to rent it to you. If you use my invention, just pay me 3 cents for every battery you sell. Now 3 cents may not be worth a lot but imagine if Duracell sells millions of batteries a year worldwide. And this guy gets 3 cents for every battery. This guy gets millions of dollars a year in royalties again and again and again. What could be your idea? - Source

08/17/08 - Scamorama: book explains how to get into scambaiting as a hobby
You know those ridiculous fraud emails you get from deposed princes, corrupt bankers, desperate widows (and so on), with weird capitalization and punctuation, asking you to advance them some money so that they can liberate a giant, multibillion-dollar sum and give you ten percent for your trouble? These "419" letters originate from all over the world, but Nigeria's perfect storm of connectivity, corruption, lawlessness and poverty meant that the "Lads" of Lagos have elevated ripoff letters to a high art. And for every Lad, there's a scambaiter. Scambaiting is a vibrant internet sport that involves turning the tables on 419 scammers, getting them to undertake ridiculous rituals, expend money and energy, humiliate and debase themselves as they seek to ruin their "victims'" lives through fraud. Scamorama is a popular website for scambaiting, and its creator, Eve Edelson, has put a lot of thought into the nature of the 419 con and those who seek to disrupt i - Source

08/17/08 - Solar Energy Nanoantennas Are Created
U.S. scientists say they have created flexible plastic sheets containing billions of nanoantenna arrays to collect heat from the sun and other sources. The scientists noted the nanoantennas also have the potential to act as cooling devices that draw waste heat from electronics without using electricity. "Every process in our industrial world creates waste heat," said physicist Steven Novack, who led the research. "It's energy that we just throw away." The nanoantennas' ability to absorb infrared radiation also makes them promising cooling devices, Novack said. Since objects give off heat as infrared rays, the nanoantennas could collect those rays and re-emit the energy at harmless wavelengths. The researchers said such a system could cool buildings and computers without the external power source required by air conditioners and fans. - Source

08/17/08 - Self-Growing Material Opens Chip, Storage Advances
"In the ever-growing desire to produce smaller, less costly, yet more powerful and faster computers and storage devices, researchers today said they are looking at a way to use self-growing fabrics that will let manufacturers build nano-sized high resolution semiconductors and arrays to answer that craving. Researchers at the Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC) at the University of Wisconsin — Madison have come up with a method that uses existing technology to combine the lithography techniques traditionally used to pattern microelectronics with novel self-assembling materials known as block copolymers, researchers said. When combined with a lithographically patterned surface, the block copolymers' long molecular chains spontaneously assemble into the designated arrangements." - Source

08/17/08 - Do Subatomic Particles Have Free Will?
"Human free will might seem like the squishiest of philosophical subjects, way beyond the realm of mathematical demonstration. But two highly regarded Princeton mathematicians, John Conway and Simon Kochen, claim to have proven that if humans have even the tiniest amount of free will, then atoms themselves must also behave unpredictably." The article quotes Conway: "We can really prove that there's no algorithm, no way that the particle can give an answer that is unique and can be specified ahead of time. I'm still amazed that we can actually manage to prove that." - Source

08/17/08 - China's lunar satellite faces eclipse challenge
China's first lunar satellite, which has been turning around the moon for nearly nine months, will be stripped of its solar energy supply Sunday when the earth eclipses the sun, state media said Friday. In a second challenge for Chang'e 1, a lunar orbiter launched last year, it will run on battery power for over three hours Sunday morning when it will be deprived of solar rays, the official Xinhua news agency said. The satellite successfully ran on battery power for two hours during a full eclipse in February, Xinhua said. Chang'e 1 is part of China's three-stage moon mission, which is expected to include a landing on the moon and the launch of a rover vehicle which will return to Earth with soil and stone samples around 2017. - Source

08/17/08 - Frugal beginners guide to going green
In this guide, you'll find out how to spend less than $1,200 to save over $8,000 over the course of five years. Here are suggestions of free or low-cost things you can do to help you go green and save green. - Source

08/17/08 - Rate My Cop dot com
It is the hope of the site’s founders that citizens and departments alike will use this powerful tool as a way of monitoring police performance. Officers who do their job well will receive the public attention they deserve. So will the dishonorable few who try to hide misconduct behind the power of their badge. - Source

08/17/08 - Meddling in the Markets: Foreign Manipulation
No bombs need fall from the sky. Yet damage can be inflicted on the United States through market manipulation that would be as costly to recover from as any conventional attack. The threat of financial and commodity market manipulation is not new. What is new is the ability of a foreign government to use manipulation in a way that would cause a swift and systemic economic crisis in the United States. Such actions could be taken without ever clashing with the American military—offering those without the military capability to penetrate America’s defenses an asymmetric tactic for direct attack. That a foreign government could do so should be a major concern for all of America’s political and military strategists. Many economists harbor doubts whether such an incident could ever occur. They discount the idea that any country would attempt large-scale market manipulation against another, because the harmful effects of any such effort would inevitably rebound on the perpetrator, given the complex inter-relationships among national economies. Since rational leaders would not take any action that would ultimately harm their own interests, no legitimate government would seriously consider such a strategy. Yet, in August 2007, two members linked to the Chinese government and economic research institutes did just that. In a speech, one commented that “Beijing’s foreign reserves should be used as a ‘bargaining chip’ in talks with the United States.” - Source

08/17/08 - Two Solar Plants = 1 Coal Plant for California Energy
Companies will build two solar power plants in California that together will put out more than 12 times as much electricity as the largest such plant today, the latest indication that solar energy is starting to achieve significant scale. The plants will generate about 800 megawatts of power on sunny days--that's as much as a large coal-burning plant, says the NYT. But I have to admit my favorite part of the article is the correction from the original: "Its panels pivot from east to west to follow the sun over the course of a day — not west to east," as originally reported. - Source

08/13/08 - New Way To Capture The Sun’s Energy
KeelyNet Actually, it works like this. The dish follows the sun throughout the day like a sunflower. Its mirrors concentrate the sunlight. That beam of light heats helium contained in a small engine. And that drives a piston. Presto! Energy! These are prototypes. But Brehm says Infinia’s dishes will be easier to make and more efficient than solar panels. And the invention has gotten the attention of venture capitalists. Senator Patty Murray: "Either we develop it here or we watch Germany or China or Japan develop it and create the jobs there. So it’s very important that the federal government partner with companies like this to make sure we are on the cutting edge." So far the only solar customers Infinia has are in Spain. The company is preparing to build 10 solar farms there in the next year. - Source

08/13/08 - Promethean Power Building Solar-Powered Fridge
KeelyNet Promethean Power Systems is working on a solar-powered refrigerator for use in rural areas where electricity is scarce or unreliable, so perishables like dairy and medicines can be safely stored. The invention sounds pretty neat - solar panels on the roof of the refrigeration shed will gather the energy needed to convert electricity into cold air via thermoelectric modules. Should the project be a success, and commercialization possible, this could be a huge relief for rural areas. One may be wondering how on earth a poor area could get an expensive machine such as this. Promethean Power is eyeballing businesses like food distributors and processors in India that want a better method than diesel generators to keep their products cooled. This will enable them to further save money by reducing the transportation costs involved in collecting products from farmers several times a day - they can make the trips just once. - Source

08/13/08 - Every investor needs to have China investment strategy
An old Wall Street adage holds that "the trend is your friend," a precept that we wholeheartedly subscribe to. Indeed, as we’ve often told readers, the very best profit plays you’ll find will emanate from such powerful global market trends as globalization, the soaring demand for food-and-energy-related commodities, and the emergence of such new markets as Brazil, Russia, India and China. And right now, some of the biggest global trends are being fueled by China’s white-hot economy, which is expected to advance at a double-digit clip this year - despite a global financial crisis that’s threatened to throw the U.S. economy into reverse. By avoiding China, investors are ignoring the facts - including the undeniable truth that China has become the world’s second-most-important country, and a reluctant superpower. The proof is evident: - In 2007, China contributed more to global growth than the United States - becoming the first country to do so since the Great-Depression-ridden 1930s. - China last year took over the top spot as the world’s largest consumer, pushing past the United States as the biggest user of four of the five most basic energy, food, and industrial commodities, Newsweek reported. - China ’s manufacturing sector is now bigger than its U.S. counterpart, with an output value that eclipses the $2.7 trillion in annual production generated by U.S. factories - a capability that could ultimately also enable the Asian Grand Dragon to position itself as a military superpower. - And China is now the world’s No. 2 market for automobiles and the No. 1 producer of ocean-going merchant ships. - Source

08/13/08 - $860,000 hybrid vehicle one of Cleveland's public transit’s revivals
KeelyNet The sleek 63-foot machine appears part bus and part train. It elegantly bends in the middle, its backside returning in line as it completes the turn... The $860,000 hybrid vehicle, and 20 others like it, serve as the centerpiece of the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s new bus rapid transit project, a nearly $170 million undertaking expected to generate a hefty $4.3 billion worth of downtown economic development and demonstrate the city’s commitment to public transportation. As many of the nation’s urban centers continue to experience resurgence, and as Americans choose to drive less in the face of increasing gas prices, cities across the country are re-examining how people move from place to place, gauging the demand for new forms of public transportation including light rail and rubber-wheel systems. “Transit systems are behind the times and inadequate,” said Douglas Kelbaugh, dean of the University of Michigan school of architecture and urban planning. “This country is so invested in the automobile and the road, we’re not going to be able to instantly provide transit.” Bus rapid transit retains rubber tires but sheds the more cumbersome aspects of traditional bus travel. The specialized vehicles have eliminated steps and widened doors for easy platform loading. Fare collection is prior to boarding and load times are reduced. The buses run on dedicated lanes. The silvery rapid transit vehicle in Cleveland, tattooed with logos of the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, stretches 23 feet longer than a traditional bus and features rear wheels partially covered by the vehicle’s frame. It runs on an electric motor powered by ultra-low-sulfur diesel that in the future may be enhanced with hydrogen. A small electronic display inside flashes the next stop in bright red accompanied by a similar reminder from the driver over an intercom. “Light rail is good because it’s permanent,” said John Norquist. “People say with buses they’re good because they’re flexible, but they could disappear at any moment.” Light rail - the term applied to streetcar systems such as trolleys - is nothing new. The Richmond Union Passenger Railway came online as the first large electric street railway system in 1888, displacing horse drawn buggies. Many cities, including Toledo, decommissioned their streetcar systems in the 1950s as the country began its migration to the suburbs and the automobile industry flourished. “What makes urban rail work is when you create transit routes that have clusters of neighborhoods on them,” said Mr. Seney, the former mayor of Sylvania. “You should design [routes] based on your existing neighborhoods and tie that into the growth of downtown businesses, rather than trying to capture a larger area.” Though Mr. Seney said new tracks would be needed if Toledo decided to move forward with a rail plan, he admitted “the old guys logistically were correct.” The push toward rail is being seen in other U.S. cities. - Source and this, (one of several) article about the conspiracy to destory public transport in favor of gas guzzling automobiles Driven to Destruction: The Streetcar Conspiracy - For 100 years, commercials from auto and oil companies have helped create a national ethos in which the automobile is king. But clever advertising is far from being the only culprit. Our love affair with our cars has also been fueled by the devious actions of a few major corporations - most notably General Motors. And this empire was created for one reason - to absorb as much of the streetcar industry as possible, and then to shut it down. How can we keep corporate interests from dominating the energy policy of the 21st century? The first step is just to talk about the alternatives -to let people know that we don’t have to be limited to our “free” ways and our cars, and to remind them that there was a time when there was something else that got us from point A to point B in a way that was more efficient, more environmentally sound, and that didn’t drive us to fight disastrous overseas wars.

08/13/08 - China uses manure to generate power and heat
KeelyNet A large chicken farm north of Beijing is taking advantage of this fact by using its chicken manure to generate power and heat. And this isn’t just a small-time farm-the 3 million chickens on the farm produce 220 tons of manure and 170 tons of wastewater each day. The Deqingyuan Chicken Farm Waste Utilization Plant, which is replacing a coal-fired plant, will reduce CO2 emissions by 95,000 tons a year. The project is expected to provide 14,600 megawatt hours of electricity a year and help reduce electricity shortages in the region. The biogas is taking the place of coal-fired power, and the project is also helping to control dust levels and reduce odors. The plant will feature an anaerobic digester to treat waste material, which will produce biogas that will then power 2 GE Jenbacher gas engines. Heat generated from the process will be used in the waste fermentation process and to warm the farm in the winter. But the project won’t just benefit the farm-it will also help reduce electricity shortages in the region. While any facility containing 3 million chickens probably doesn’t treat its animal residents very well, at least this one sets an example for other farms looking to become more self-sufficient-and energy self-sufficiency should always be welcome in a growing country like China, cleantechnica.com reports. - Source

08/13/08 - Always cycling with the wind behind you
KeelyNet You still need to peddle but the battery helps. The electric bike is all the rage on Dutch cycle paths this summer, and enthusiasts have nothing but praise for it. "This invention deserves a Nobel prize." There's a revolution going on in the world of the bicycle. The new electric bikes, or e-bikes, are a hit in the Netherlands with everyone from pensioners to school kids. The demand is so great, the manufacturers can't keep up, and you can wait up to six months for one. At first glance, there's little unusual about the demonstration model, a luxury Gazelle. But a closer look reveals a motor housed in the wide rear wheel, with a battery underneath the baggage rack. The image-conscious teenager with a long ride to school over dykes and viaducts would have little to feel ashamed of. "This bike clearly isn't just for the elderly," says the sales assistant. "Young people would be happy to ride one." "A full battery will give you an extra push for 50 kilometres, and cost three to five cents. And it's so pleasant to ride that you'll leave your car more often." An e-bike doesn't come cheap. A standard model starts at around 1300 euros, while one at the top of the range, with puncture-proof tyres, electrically adjustable suspension and a lightweight frame will set you back a good 2000 euros. However, the price is expected to drop. Mr Van Vliet again: "Divide the price by the number of kilometres you ride. You're left with hardly anything. A modern electric bike will keep going forever." - Source

08/13/08 - Sexual libido mirrors psychological and physical state of human health
Scientists proved several years ago that people’s sexual desires are programmed in human genes. Some inherit a high libido from their ancestors, which makes them burn with desire every day. Some need sex only once a week, whereas others do not feel the need in sex at all and can be happy with Platonic love. Libido may vary depending on circumstances. A lot of people acknowledge that they want to have sex every day when they go on holidays. In general, however, libido is a consistent phenomenon. If it suddenly changes for the worse, it may be a signal of health alarm, physical health, first and foremost. US scientists with Professor Peter Gray at the head determined another factor which affects men’s sexual appetite. They examined about 200 cattle farmers in north Kenya and measured their level of testosterone. The research revealed that that the more legal wives a man had, the lower level of testosterone he had. Bachelors proved to have the highest level of the hormone, of course. A certain amount of testosterone in blood is not enough - the brain needs to react to the hormone accordingly. Needless to say that a person staying in a state of depression will not be able to enjoy the required reaction. Insomnia, poor diet, illnesses, psychological and physical fatigue may easily bring the sexual desire to nothing. A person may not have any sexual desire at all even if he or she does not have problems with health and testosterone level. The desire of intimacy largely depends on a personal attitude to sex and relations between the partners. Libido can also diminish because of habituation and comparison. - Source

08/13/08 - Pioneering SRAM Technology
KeelyNet The SRAM is an emerging core technology for an entirely new generation of engine-driven pumps, compressors, generators, and any other device for which current power systems deploy multiple components (as in a crankshaft engine and a swash plate hydraulic pump) to transfer power. "SED's SRAM technology can successfully replace the crankshaft or swash plate in engines, pumps, motors, and compressors with a mechanism that converts linear to rotary, rotary to linear or linear to linear (replacing a combination of a crankshaft engine and swash plate pump)," explains Frost & Sullivan Energy & Power Principal Consultant Sara Bradford. "In addition, the SRAM's variable displacement hydraulic pumps technology scales to sizes not currently available by large crankshaft pumps, enabling new wind, wave and hydro-power applications." Sanderson Engine The SRAM almost completely eliminates friction, offering higher efficiency over a broad speed range (an energy savings result), as compared to existing technologies. It allows the piston stroke to be varied from maximum to zero, and this can easily be controlled on the run. As a result, the compression ratio can be varied as needed by a combustion engine or the flow to be varied in a pump or motor. Another unique feature is that the mechanism provides for a near-perfect balance, enabling very low vibration and noise, which is essential for many applications that are used indoors or in close proximity to consumers. A truly disruptive advantage is that the pistons can be double-ended, allowing one side to function as a combustion cylinder, while the other cylinder in line can be a hydraulic pump. The result is a very high transfer of power efficiency. The opposing cylinder can also be configured as a supercharger for the engine, providing higher power to weight and efficiency. For instance, SED's SRAM technology can be used to improve efficiency and create less costly wind turbines by relocating the generator from the top of the turbine to its base, either at ground/sea level or below. It can also replace the existing complex multi-stage gearboxes with a simple low reduction gearbox to provide reliability, low cost and high power density aspects to wind energy operations. SED's technology can be utilized in hydraulic hybrid power train designs to eliminate the need for expensive electric generators/motors for electric hybrid vehicles. SRAM technology used with hydraulic hybrid power train designs can dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of many types of material handling, farm, lawn/garden, and other equipment. In short, with an integral supercharger and hydraulic pump, SRAM engines can more than double the horsepower in the same space as compared to the combination of a crankshaft engine, supercharger and hydraulic pump. - Source

08/13/08 - Mangrove Seedlings for animal food thrive with experimental Method
KeelyNet Last October, Baldwin became the first person in Lee County to have mangroves planted in her canal with a method funded by a micro-grant from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program. The four red mangroves are thriving thanks to the slender, 5-foot-long translucent PVC plastic tubes that support and protect them. A former NASA consultant developed the patent-pending tube and planting technique, officially known as Riley Encased Methodology. Baldwin's home is one of five Lee properties with the tubes, called encasements. They include a North Fort Myers home and three city sites on Sanibel. Other property owners can grow mangroves in their canals with that option, too. Mangrove.org, founded by encasement inventor Bob Riley of Melbourne Beach, is teaming up with the estuary program to offer free mangrove plantings. "All they have to do is contact us," Riley said. Trained volunteers file the paperwork with the estuary program, and the micro-grants pay for their travel expenses and materials. "We come out, survey the site, install the encasements, plant the trees. It's just a matter of the homeowner monitoring it." "The encasements allow the seedling to be started at a much deeper depth than they can naturally. ... They need that depth, plus there's a lot of energy around sea walls," and the encasements shelter them. Trained volunteers push the encasements down into the canal soil about 2 feet, then pour another foot of canal soil into the tubes. They place each propagule into a tube; the propagule floats because of a lateral slit in the tube, then takes root. It grows up and out of the tube, extending prop roots into the sediment around the tube. As the mangrove grows, it pops the encasement thanks to the slit and grooves along its length that allow it to break apart for easy removal. "We planted over a million trees in Eritrea," in Africa, he said. "We've done some projects in Puerto Rico; we have a project in Colombia now. We're getting ready to start a project in Mauritania. "There are large areas of the world where you have populations where you have no economic base. You have lots of sand and desert and sea water. You can't plant oats, but you can plant mangroves. You can take the leaves from trees and feed your animals." "There are so many reasons to plant mangroves in front of sea walls," Beever said. They improve water quality and clarity by removing excess nutrients and suspended solids, she said. "They help protect sea wall from erosion, provide nursery habitats for fish and invertebrates, provide habitat for birds. ... They are very important to reducing the effects of climate change. - Source

08/13/08 - Top 5 well-paid but unwanted jobs
Here are certain jobs that nobody dreams of doing when they grow up. “Somebody’s gotta do it”, but that doesn’t stop people from praying that “someone” won’t be them. What’s surprising, however, is how much money some of these stigmatized jobs actually pay people who man up and do them. So if you’re on the fence about where your financial future is headed, stop and consider any of the shockingly lucrative jobs that follow. 1. Crab fisherman - $50,000 in an 8 week period / 2. Gastroenterologist - $269,500 per year / 3 . Podiatrist - $149,527 per year / 4. Accountant - $200,000 per year / 5. Commissioned salesperson - $100,000 or more per year. - Source

08/13/08 - App to track one a day sites like woot, etc.
Brings a bunch of "one day only" sites like Woot.com, Steep and Cheap, Amazon GoldBox, etc. together in one place. (When I found this site, I checked it out and bought two 2GB MP3/voice recorders from Shnoop.com for $14.99 each! - JWD) - Source

08/13/08 - Corporate taxes? We don't need no stinkin corporate taxes!
Two-thirds of U.S. corporations paid no federal income taxes between 1998 and 2005, according to a new report from Congress. The study by the Government Accountability Office, expected to be released Tuesday, said about 68 percent of foreign companies doing business in the U.S. avoided corporate taxes over the same period. - Source

08/13/08 - Humans cause climate change, US body accepts
AS THE Bush administration enters its final months, the US Climate Change Science Program has issued a report concluding that computer models do effectively simulate climate. It also accepts that the models show human activity was responsible for the rapid warming of the 20th century. - Source

08/13/08 - Meltdown In The Arctic Is Speeding Up
KeelyNet Scientists warn that the North Pole could be free of ice in just five years’ time instead of 60. Ice at the North Pole melted at an unprecedented rate last week, with leading scientists warning that the Arctic could be ice-free in summer by 2013. Satellite images show that ice caps started to disintegrate dramatically several days ago as storms over Alaska’s Beaufort Sea began sucking streams of warm air into the Arctic. As a result, scientists say that the disappearance of sea ice at the North Pole could exceed last year’s record loss. More than a million square kilometres melted over the summer of 2007 as global warming tightened its grip on the Arctic. But such destruction could now be matched, or even topped, this year. - Source

08/13/08 - Colo. Springs to consider 'green burials'
The burials would consist of bodies being put in bags, wicker baskets or egg-carton boxes and city officials say the approach would be less expensive than traditional burials. According to the proposal, the city would also cut its costs because such burials would require no watering or sprinkler systems for the plots and minimal mowing. - Source

08/13/08 - Xcel plans green switch
Step 1: Get utility customers to reduce energy consumption. Step 2. Charge customers more for "green". Step 3: Profit (via fark.com) - Source

08/13/08 - On a planet 4C hotter, all we can prepare for is extinction
We need to get prepared for four degrees of global warming, Bob Watson told the Guardian last week. At first sight this looks like wise counsel from the climate science adviser to Defra. But the idea that we could adapt to a 4C rise is absurd and dangerous. Global warming on this scale would be a catastrophe that would mean, in the immortal words that Chief Seattle probably never spoke, "the end of living and the beginning of survival" for humankind. Or perhaps the beginning of our extinction. The collapse of the polar ice caps would become inevitable, bringing long-term sea level rises of 70-80 metres. All the world's coastal plains would be lost, complete with ports, cities, transport and industrial infrastructure, and much of the world's most productive farmland. The world's geography would be transformed much as it was at the end of the last ice age, when sea levels rose by about 120 metres to create the Channel, the North Sea and Cardigan Bay out of dry land. Weather would become extreme and unpredictable, with more frequent and severe droughts, floods and hurricanes. The Earth's carrying capacity would be hugely reduced. Billions would undoubtedly die. The answer? Scrap national allocations and place a single global cap on greenhouse gas emissions, applied "upstream" - for instance, at the oil refinery, coal-washing station and cement factory. Sell permits up to that cap in a global auction, and use the proceeds to finance solutions to climate change - accelerating the use of renewable energy, raising energy efficiency, protecting forests, promoting climate-friendly farming, and researching geoengineering technologies. And commit hundreds of billions of dollars per year to finance adaptation to climate change, especially in poor countries. Such a package of measures would allow us to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and long-term stabilisation at 350 parts per million of CO2 equivalent. - Source

08/11/08 - 106 mpg 'air car' creates buzz, questions
KeelyNet The technology has been the focus of MDI, a European company founded in 1991 by a French inventor and former race car engineer. New York-based Zero Pollution Motors is the first firm to obtain a license from MDI to produce the cars in the United States, pledging to deliver the first models in 2010 at a price tag of less than $18,000. The concept is similar to how a locomotive works, except compressed air -- not steam -- moves the engine's pistons, said Shiva Vencat, vice president of MDI and CEO of Zero Pollution Motors. The six-seater planned for the U.S. market would be able to reach speeds of more than 90 mph and have a range of more than 800 miles thanks to a dual energy engine, Vencat said. The design calls for one or more tanks of compressed air under the car's floor, as well as a tank holding at least 8 gallons of fuel. Whether the engine uses just air or both air and fuel would depend on how fast the car is going. It would run purely on compressed air at speeds less than 35 mph, Vencat said. Since the car could only go a short distance when using just air, fuel is needed to get the full range, he explained. "Above 35 mph, there is an external combustion system, which is basically a heater that uses a little bit of gasoline or biofuel or ethanol or vegetable oil that will heat the air," Vencat said. "Heating the air increases its volume, and by increasing its volume, it increases [the car's] range. That's why with one gallon of gasoline or its equivalent we are able to make over 100 mpg." - Source

08/11/08 - Volt buzz electrifies environmentalists
KeelyNet Current hybrids like the Prius use a small electric motor for low speed driving and a regular gas engine for faster speeds. The Volt will run only on its battery-powered electric motor, with a small gas engine acting only as a generator to keep the battery charged. The Volt can drive at least 40 miles on the electricity stored up from charging overnight. After that, the gas engine kicks in to generate electricity, for an overall range of about 400 miles on six to seven gallons of gas. "It's a 30-mile round trip from my house in Flint to go cross-country skiing in Holly. I could make that trip in a Volt and never use any gas at all," said Keeler. "That's fantastic. If it can hold my cross-country skis and I can strap a bike to the back, that's the car I'm looking for." According to GM, the Volt would save the typical driver 500 gallons of fuel a year while adding about $300 to the annual home electric bill. It would also cut the 4.4 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions produced by a traditional car in a year. More crucial, Hoff said, is the Volt's potential to free us from dependence on foreign oil. - Source

08/11/08 - A World Split Apart
On Thursday, June 8, 1978 the Russian writer and dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970, delivered the following address to a Harvard graduation. The split in today's world is perceptible even to a hasty glance. Any of our contemporaries readily identifies two world powers, each of them already capable of entirely destroying the other. However, understanding of the split often is limited to this political conception, to the illusion that danger may be abolished through successful diplomatic negotiations or by achieving a balance of armed forces. The truth is that the split is a much profounder and a more alienating one, that the rifts are more than one can see at first glance. This deep manifold split bears the danger of manifold disaster for all of us, in accordance with the ancient truth that a Kingdom -- in this case, our Earth -- divided against itself, cannot stand. When the modern Western States were created, the following principle was proclaimed: governments are meant to serve man and man lives to be free to pursue happiness. (See, for example, the American Declaration). Now at last during past decades, technical and social progress has permitted the realization of such aspirations: the welfare state. Every citizen has been granted the desired freedom and material goods in such quantity and of such quality as to guarantee in theory the achievement of happiness, in the morally inferior sense which has come into being during those same decades. In the process, however, one psychological detail has been overlooked: the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to obtain them imprints many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to conceal such feelings. Active and tense competition permeates all human thoughts without opening a way to free spiritual development. - Source

08/11/08 - Clean water, generate electricity with Slingshot machine
KeelyNet This one has been making the rounds for a little while now (including a recent appearance on The Colbert Report, viewable after the break), but it hasn't received anything near Segway-like coverage, which is all the more curious given that it's potentially a far more important device. Dubbed the Slingshot, Dean Kamen's latest creation promises to do nothing short of producing clean water from virtually any liquid source (without filters) and generate enough electricity to power about 70 energy efficient light bulbs. What's more, Kamen estimates that the machines would cost between $1,000 and $2,000... - Source

08/11/08 - A three-pronged approach to getting off oil for transportation
Oil is not "evil," it's an undervalued resource that has been squandered on tasks that could be much more efficiently achieved through the use of electric drive transport. Electricity can be generated via a number of different methods, some of which are sustainable and have low or zero emissions. Electrified rail and roadways. Plug-in hybrids / extended range electric vehicles. Battery electric vehicles/battery exchange and quick charge infrastructure. - Source

08/11/08 - Mental Mysteries (May, 1938)
KeelyNet Why do Diving Rods, Psychic Motors, Ouija Boards, Gold Finding Bobs, Sex Detectors and similar pieces of apparatus function with remarkable results in the hands of some operatives, yet science has proven that these things are fakes? FOR hundreds of years, people have purchased all sorts of mystic devices for the purpose of foretelling their futures, or jim-cracks intended for the location of oil, water and precious metals. A common form of mystic locating device is a forked witch-hazel twig, commonly called a devining rod which, in the hands of an operator generally called a “bowser,” has been used for centuries for the location of water. In later years its operatives encompassed wider fields and used the divining rod for locating oil, precious minerals, lost articles, lost airplanes, and even the bodies of people drowned in lakes. The divining rod makes an interesting parlor game and creates as much thrill and excitement as the Ouija board. Everyone is familiar with the mystic board which spells out words, sentences, foretells the future and explains the past. The usual form of this board is illustrated in Fig. 1. Upon it will be found the letters of the alphabet and the numbers from one to zero, also the two words “yes” and “no.” Generally, the board is placed on the . laps of two sitters. A small triangular or heart-shaped wooden piece mounted on three legs is the indicating device. The fingers are lightly touched to this small table, a question is asked and if the operatives believe in its virtue the small table darts across the surface of the board stopping at various letters and spelling out the answer to the question. - Source

08/11/08 - Space could be filled with Bacteria
This once-controversial notion holds that the universe is filled with the ingredients of microbial life, and that earthly life first came from the skies as comet dust or meteorites salted with hardy bacteria. "Studies have shown that microbes can survive the shock levels of being launched into space," said Charles Cockell, a microbiologist at the Open University. "And as more and more organisms are discovered under extreme conditions, it's become more plausible that things could survive in space for the time it takes to go from one planet to another." Not long ago, Cockell's claims would have been greeted with scientific derision. But as scientists learn more about Earth and space, the theory, which goes by the grandiose name of "galactic panspermia," seems less far-fetched. Bacteria, recent discoveries have shown, thrive in Earth's most extreme locales, from Antarctic ice to the interiors of volcanoes and nuclear reactors, and have even survived in space. Meanwhile, astronomers seem to find Earth-like planets wherever they train their telescopes; comets have proven unexpectedly rich in organic material... - Source

08/11/08 - Solar GPS Cow Hats Let Cowboys Stay Indoors
KeelyNet The U.S. Department of Agriculture and MIT are co-developing special cow hats that enable cowboys to stay indoors and track and HERD COWS USING A PC. The headsets power themselves with solar panels, and built in GPS units and communications electronics track and relay each cow's location back to a central server. If cows wander beyond a pre-determined area, sounds played by speakers in the device coaxes them back. If that doesn't work, electric shocks do. Mouse-wielding cow-pokes can also manually control herds by pointing and clicking. The first trials of the system will happen later this month. - Source

08/11/08 - DK Finder Does Lightning Fast Desktop Search
Windows only: Free utility DK Finder is a resource-light desktop search application that indexes your hard drive for fast searching. Obviously there are plenty of desktop search applications out there, most notably Google Desktop, but DK Finder sets itself apart with a tiny footprint (around 3MB running, 1MB in the system tray), advanced filtering options, and file operations (like batch copying and moving files). Like any desktop search app, the initial index will take some time. Once DK Finder finishes indexing your drive, it provides nearly instantaneous results. DK Finder is a free download for Windows only. - Source

08/11/08 - Medical Consultations With Webcams Extremely Successful
"Doctors are far from being early adopters, so they have just gotten around to publishing a report that webcams help immensely with making the right decision when someone shows up to a rural emergency room suffering from a stroke. Using clot-destroying medications like alteplase is really risky, and it should only be given in acute cases. In a study of 222 patients, rural ER doctors consulted with faraway stroke specialists. They made the right decision 98 percent of the time when the expert examined the patient with a webcam, and only 82 percent of the time when they just talked to each other on the phone. Perhaps this report will finally convince the medical community that telemedicine is important." - Source

08/11/08 - Why Microsoft and Intel tried to kill the XO $100 laptop
KeelyNet Nicholas Negroponte had a vision: to build a $100 laptop and give away millions to educate the world’s poorest children. And then the fat-cat multinationals got scared and broke it... Microsoft, makers of most of the computer software in the world, tried to kill it with words, and Intel, maker of most computer chips, tried to kill it with dirty tricks. Of course, they don’t admit to being attempted murderers. Yet, 3½ years later, the laptop is clinging on to life. It costs around $190 rather than $100 and it is called the XO. It is no longer like a tent, but it can still be solar-powered. It is a technological triumph. But only 370,000 are in use and another 250,000 ordered. One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), the company formed to run the project, is still driven by the same old idealism, geekery and technical brilliance. But Negroponte and his young staff are older and wiser. They were stunned by the savagery of the competition they faced - competition plainly intended to destroy a philanthropic idea. “I had wildly underestimated,” says Negroponte, “the degree to which commercial entities will go to disrupt a humanitarian project.” - (Thanks to Infolink for this link. - JWD) - Source

08/11/08 - Researchers Pave Way For Compressor-Free Refrigeration
Penn State have developed a new method for heat-transfer that may replace the common compressor-based system used in household appliances. Quoting: "Zhang's approach uses the change from disorganized to organized that occurs in some polarpolymers when placed in an electric field. The natural state of these materials is disorganized with the various molecules randomly positioned. When electricity is applied, the molecules become highly ordered and the material gives off heat and becomes colder. When the electricity is turned off, the material reverts to its disordered state and absorbs heat. The researchers report a change in temperature for the material of about 22.6 degrees Fahrenheit... Repeated randomizing and ordering of the material combined with an appropriate heat exchanger could provide a wide range of heating and cooling temperatures." - Source

08/11/08 - Researchers Crack Medeco Locks With Plastic Keys
Life takes Visa, says the credit card company's catchy and ubiquitous TV ads. And now, according to a group of security researchers speaking at the DefCon hacker conference Friday in Las Vegas, Medeco high-security locks take Visa, too. As well as MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards. To be more precise, the researchers say that plastic used in all of these credit cards can be easily fashioned into simulated keys that open three kinds of M3 high-security locks made by the Virginia-based Medeco Security Locks company -- locks that are used to secure sensitive facilities in places such as the White House, the Pentagon, embassies and other buildings. "Virtually all conventional pin-tumbler locks are vulnerable to this method of attack, and frankly nobody has really considered it or looked at it before," says Marc Weber Tobias, one of the researchers. - Source and Shrinky Dinks As a Threat To National Security - "What do Shrinky Dinks, credit cards and paperclips have in common? They can all be used to duplicate the keys to Medeco 'high-security' locks that protect the White House, the Pentagon, embassies, and many other sensitive locations. The attack was demonstrated at Defcon by Marc Weber Tobias and involves getting a picture of the key, then printing it out and cutting plastic to match - both credit cards and Shrinky Dinks plastic are recommended. The paperclip then pushes aside a slider deep in the keyway, while the plastic cut-out lifts the pins. They were able to open an example lock in about six seconds. The only solution seems to be to ensure that your security systems are layered, so that attackers are stopped by other means even if they manage to duplicate your keys." - Source

08/11/08 - How should I go about saving the child of my atheist neighbor?
KeelyNet He is 12 years old and DOES NOT BELIEVE IN JESUS! I have tried inviting him to church but he makes excuses as to why he can't go. I think his atheist parents are coercing him to stay away from God... (Read the Comments!) - Source

08/11/08 - The mollusc that knows when you are about to become ill
The piddock is a two-inch clam-like creature that lives around the British coast and burrows into soft rock. It glows in the dark when it comes in contact with chemicals produced by human white blood cells. These cells protect the body against disease and raised levels indicate the body is primed for action. Dr Robert Knight and his wife Dr Jan are farming the molluscs in Plymouth and extracting the protein that causes the bluey-green glow. When the protein is mixed with blood the white blood cell activity can be measured by how much light is produced. 'We can tell if people are training too hard, because their white cells get hectic," Dr Robert said. - Source

08/09/08 - Perpetual Power with self-regenerating Hydrogen Reactor
KeelyNet Scott Mitchell and Terry Cavender are trying to cut the ties to oil and coal by turning to hydrogen. "Scientists will say it can't be done and yet they are the same people to tell you to think outside the box," says Mitchell, who e-mailed Tampa Bay's 10 about an invention that uses a low voltage charge to separate hydrogen from water. Once that process starts, he says the hydrogen will continue to power the electricity, thus creating a continuum. Scientist Sesha Srinivasan at the University of South Florida says one of the major problems with harnessing hydrogen has been storage. Mitchell and Cavender say their invention uses the hydrogen as it produces it. "It can be done, because it doesn't break any laws. Right off the bat the skeptics are going to say 'you can't get something for nothing,' but you're not. You are using one to create another to create the other and back and forth," said Mitchell. The inventors say it will take more time and money to develop their device. "The time is now to do something about our environment while we still can," said Cavender. "We need a clean source of energy and this is certainly a way of going about it." - Source

08/09/08 - Electric cars offer glimpse of different automotive future
KeelyNet Pihsiang Machinery Manufacturing Co., Ltd.--one of the world's three largest manufacturers of mobility scooters and power wheelchairs--appears set to change all that. In an announcement June 24, PMMC said it would release a pure battery-powered electric car onto the European market by the end of this year. Developed in association with two European partners (who PMMC declined to name for reasons of commercial confidentiality), the company's Greenrunner electric vehicle is powered by a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery--which uses lithium iron phosphate as a cathode material--made by subsidiary Pihsiang Energy Technology Co., Ltd. According to PMMC, its EV models will use a standard 120 amp-hour battery, although a range of batteries with different capacities will be available. The EV's standard battery can be charged in 4.5 hours by plugging it into a standard 110-volt outlet. By using a 230-volt outlet, this is reduced to 1.5 hours. The four-passenger EV, which will be demonstrated at major global auto shows later this year, has a range of between 100 kilometers and 220 kilometers, depending on which battery is fitted. Road tests carried out by PMMC indicate that with power supplied by the higher capacity battery, the electric car can travel up to 152 kilometers at a speed of 80 kilometers per hour. The company said the new car would be priced reasonably so as to appeal to a wider segment of the market. Nevertheless, the new batteries do have some drawbacks. "The capacity and size ratio of the battery is somewhat lower than that of a lithium battery. For example, if a lithium-ion cell produces a voltage of 3.6 volts, one of the new batteries of a comparable voltage will only generate up to 3.2 volts," the manager explained. "That means while 100 lithium batteries can power an electric scooter, 110 of the new versions are needed to drive the same vehicle," Lin added. Countering concerns that the company's EV could come to a sudden stop on the road if its batteries malfunctioned, Wu said the vehicle employs a tolerance safety pack that ensures the system will never shut down. - Source

08/09/08 - Replacing Gasoline with Hydrogen from Water as the only Fuel
KeelyNet Sri Lanka’s Sinhala language newspaper, The Divaina, said Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka invited to his office the inventor who claimed that a miracle hydrogen generator making use of water he made is capable of running an internal combustion engine replacing gasoline. The newspaper published a photograph that showed the young inventor Thushara Edirisinghe showing the new apparatus that he claimed having the capability of producing hydrogen from water that could be installed into a car to convert the vehicle from a gasoline run car to a water run car. Earlier newspaper reports said how the inventor ran cars with water after borrowing cars from others since he did not have his own car to convert and test drive. The reports said how the owners always wanted him to return their vehicles. Thushara Edirisinghe, reportedly told the Prime Minister that his converter could run a car for 80 kilometers (49.7 miles) from one liter of water. (4 liters is 1.056 gallons, so using his method would let you drive almost 200 miles per gallon of water. - JWD) If Thushara Edirisinghe’s invention is true, that could also provide a solution for another problem, the global warming created by burning fossil fuels like petroleum , which are hydrocarbons made from ancient animals died in a catastrophe. - Source

08/09/08 - $240,000 Funding for Éocycle Generator
KeelyNet A manufacturer of direct drive generators that convert the mechanical energy produced by wind turbines into electrical energy, Éocycle Technologies Inc. also designs power electronics converters that transform electricity into energy adapted to everyday needs. The firm's invention is based on the innovative adaptation of a transverse flux configuration and the use of permanent magnets in the generator assembly. This patented technology's very high low-speed torque eliminates the need for a gearbox on the wind turbine. The Transverse Flux Permanent Magnet (TFPM) generator developed by Éocycle Technologies Inc. is lightweight, maintenance free and stands up to even the most extreme climates. Historically, wind turbines have relied on an assembly composed of a gearbox and a high-speed induction generator to convert the mechanical energy from the low-speed wind turbine rotor into electrical energy. The gearbox is constantly under high stress and its failure is often at the origin of wind turbine breakdown. Éocycle’s answer to the gearbox problem is the combination of a high-torque permanent magnet and a power electronics converter. Its line of generators uses an innovative adaptation of a transverse flux configuration. A specially designed power electronics converter is matched to the generator to benefit from the superior efficiency of variable speed wind turbines. - Source

08/09/08 - Driving Farther on Water
KeelyNet All Mike Schattenkerk needs to increase a car’s gas mileage is simple chemistry. And electrodes, distilled water, a sturdy container and some wiring to deliver it. The device itself is basic enough. Inside a hard plastic one-quart container filled with distilled water, Schattenkerk inserts two steel electrodes. Wiring connects the electrodes to a ground on the car’s frame and a positive charge within the fuse box, which activates only when the ignition is turned on. The positively charged electrode sends water molecules into a frenzy. The electrolysis separates hydrogen and oxygen from each other in a vacuum and they return to gas, which is then sucked into the fuel mixture via plastic tubing and the engine’s intake manifold. The hydrogen works as a fuel additive, Schattenkerk says. When it is burned both the hydrogen and the oxygen return to water. However, water production is minimal - no more than what the engine may produce on a humid day - and stainless steel valves are not necessary, he added. A pinch of baking soda works as a catalyst for the electrolysis. But too much can blow a fuse. When Schattenkerk first hooked the hydrogen generator to his wife’s 1998 Saturn, the mid-size car improved its mileage from 28 miles per gallon to 35. As for maintenance, he said the device should be checked once about every 1,000 miles and water added as needed. It’s important that it’s distilled water since regular tap water holds minerals and other impurities that can cause corrosion. When the water turns brick red, Schattenkerk says it’s time to rinse out the container and add new water. - Source

08/09/08 - MIT turns to photosynthesis for unlimited solar power
KeelyNet Daniel Nocera and Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow in Nocera's lab developed a process that will allow the sun's energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases, which later may be recombined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power houses or electric cars, day or night. The key component in the process is a catalyst - cobalt metal, phosphate and an electrode, placed in water - that produces oxygen gas from water (pictured), while another catalyst produces hydrogen gas. When electricity - whether from a photovoltaic cell, a wind turbine or any other source - runs through the electrode, the cobalt and phosphate form a thin film on the electrode, and oxygen gas is produced, the researchers explained. Combined with another catalyst, such as platinum, that can produce hydrogen gas from water, the system can duplicate the water splitting reaction that occurs during photosynthesis. The new catalyst works at room temperature, in neutral pH water, and is easy to set up, Nocera said. "That's why I know this is going to work. It's so easy to implement," he said. - Source

08/09/08 - Inly student wins third straight state science far
Inly School student Ricky Housley created a means by which text messages can turn on and off electrical outlets. And he won the science fair prize for the third time in three years. Housley’s invention, a cell phone connected through a computer to a set of four 120-volt electrical outlets, would give a user the ability to turn on and off an appliance even while not at home. Homeowners could turn on the air conditioner, or a crock pot, with a text message on the way home from the office. It could be used by someone who normally keeps an air conditioning unit on all day to instead turn the unit on just before coming home. Housley also noted that the technology could be used to turn off outlets attached to items that often appear to be turned off but are actually burning energy on standby, such as phone chargers, cable boxes and Xboxes. - Source

08/09/08 - Plug and Fly: The Battery-Powered Plane Makes Its Debut
KeelyNet The plane, which received its airworthiness certificate in April, features a 5.6 kWh lithium battery with a projected life cycle (the number of times it can be depleted and recharged) of 1,000 cycles. The battery has a max weight of 78 pounds and can be custom-built to fit the available space in an airplane. It provides juice for a motor driving a 45-inch superlight PowerFin propeller made of a foam core surrounded by an outer shell of carbon fiber and glass fabric. Once in the air, the ElectraFlyer C cruises at 70 miles per hour. Top speed is 90 mph and the stall speed is 45. The plane can fly for 90 to 120 minutes before the battery needs recharging. When the battery winds down, just plug it into a 110V outlet -- your house is full of them -- and you're good to go in just more than six hours. Bump the voltage to 220 and you're flying again in two hours. The motor is nearly silent, which means no earplugs for pilots, and brings the potential for flying into new sites. And then there's the a dramatic improvement in what the company calls "neighbor relations" -- no droning engines to drive them nuts. Electric motors don't produce a lot of soot or pollution, and overhauls are a snap. And by combining this motor with the ElectraFlyer's slow turning propeller, you've got a flight that is practically vibration free. But the most compelling sell is an economic one: The company estimates that "refueling" the plane with a full charge of the battery will cost, on average, a whopping sixty cents. - Source

08/09/08 - Sleep on It: How Snoozing Makes You Smarter
In 1865 Friedrich August Kekulé woke up from a strange dream: he imagined a snake forming a circle and biting its own tail. Like many organic chemists of the time, Kekulé had been working feverishly to describe the true chemical structure of benzene, a problem that continually eluded understanding. But Kekulé’s dream of a snake swallowing its tail, so the story goes, helped him to accurately realize that benzene’s structure formed a ring. This insight paved the way for a new understanding of organic chemistry and earned Kekulé a title of nobility in Germany. Although most of us have not been ennobled, there is something undeniably familiar about Kekulé’s problem-solving method. Whether deciding to go to a particular college, accept a challenging job offer or propose to a future spouse, “sleeping on it” seems to provide the clarity we need to piece together life’s puzzles. But how does slumber present us with answers? - Source

08/09/08 - Dutch town tests 'air-purifying' concrete
A road in the small Dutch town of Hengelo is to be paved with air-purifying concrete in a trial that could lead to a breakthrough in the fight against rising pollution, scientists said Wednesday. Experts from the University of Twente developed and tested the concrete paving stones which contain a titanium dioxide-based additive. - Source

08/09/08 - RSS feed translates into 24 Languages
KeelyNet Mloovi is a tool which will translate RSS newsfeeds into 24 languages using Google Translate. How good are the translations? They are certainly not perfect like you would get from a professional translator but in our testing we have found that most of the time it is possible to understand what the posts are about. Remember, you are reading a blog not some legal document that is going to change your life (at least I hope you're not, don't do it, get a proper translator!) - Source

08/09/08 - Cloud seeding clears the air
Scientists have long wanted to manipulate the weather. The most common idea is that clouds can be "seeded" to produce rain in areas of drought, but an equally important goal is to clear fog around airports and other areas where visibility is impaired. - Source

08/09/08 - 100 Free Security Tools That Will Save Your Online Privacy
The Internet can be an easy place to shop for gifts, pay your bills, keep in touch with family and manage your bank accounts. Of course, with this convenience also comes risk with transmitting so much personal information over the net where those with nefarious intentions can be waiting to steal your credit card numbers or personal details. You can make the net a friendlier place, however, by employing a suite of security tools that will protect you and ensure your computer stays secure. Here are 100 such tools that won’t cost you a thing to try out. - Source

08/09/08 - Teacher finds new cosmic object
KeelyNet Hanny Van Arkel, 25, came across the strange gaseous blob while using the Galaxy Zoo website to help classify galaxies in telescope images. Astronomers subsequently confirmed that the object was one-of-a-kind. Researchers think this green blob got its energy from light emitted by a quasar (a powerful radiation source powered by a supermassive black hole) that has since gone dim. They think the quasar was hosted in a nearby spiral galaxy called IC 2497. It was so bright that, if the quasar was still active, it would be visible from Earth with binoculars. - Source

08/09/08 - Contagious cancer
Tasmanian devils in captivity were known to be quite susceptible to cancer, at least in some circumstances, possibly involving exposure to carcinogens. But the idea that the cancer itself was contagious seemed beyond the realm of possibility. And yet, during the following year, Menna Jones charted the spread of the problem across northern Tasmania. Nick Mooney, meanwhile, had done some further trapping himself. At a site in the northern midlands, he captured twenty-three devils, seven of which had horrible tumors. Shocked and puzzled, he remembered the Baars photos from years earlier. Further trapping (more than a hundred animals, of which 15 percent were infected) showed Mooney what Jones had also seen: that the tumors were consistently localized on faces, filling eye sockets, distending cheeks, making it difficult for the animals to see or to eat. Why faces? Maybe because devils suffer many facial and mouth injuries-from chewing on brittle bones, from fighting with one another over food and breeding rights, from the rough interactions between male and female when they mate. The bigger tumors were crumbly, like feta cheese. Could it be that tumor cells, broken off one animal, fell into the wounds of another, took hold there, and grew? This prospect seemed outlandish, but the evidence was leading inexorably to a strange and frightening new hypothesis: the cancer itself had somehow become contagious... - Source

08/09/08 - Phisher credit card info and a new DNS cache poisoning trick
Nitesh Dhanjani and Billy Rios (the speakers) showed us how phishers create sites, share info and code, and basically are lazy. I will definitely be blogging on this subject in more detail in the coming days but the highlights were that Phishers are storing their stolen data (credit card numbers, SSNs, ATM cards with Pins, etc) on websites that they have hacked into or on sites like guestbooks. And even worse they are not protecting their stolen data at all from access. No passwords, no encryption, no hardening of the compromised server they are using to store this on, Nothing! This means that all one need do to find this info for themselves is reverse engineer a real phisher’s website, look at their php script, and find out where they are storing the data. Then simply go there and grab the stolen data. Anyone can find an active phishing site by visiting http://www.phishtank.com, a well known site that hosts info on known bad phishing sites, similar to a URL blacklist site. To sell things like credit cards, they showed a site called vipdump where you can buy a stolen US credit card number for $20 each. Vipdump is just one of hundreds of such sites, all of which use some form of anonymous payment system like egold or WU... - Source

08/09/08 - We Can Cut Fuel Consumption 50 Percent in 25 Years
The United States consumes 390 million gallons of gasoline a day. Even if you believe climate change is the greatest hoax since Orson Wells convinced the country it was under Martian attack, we can't sustain that kind of consumption because the supply of oil is dwindling and what remains can't be pumped much faster. By embracing small, lightweight cars with hyper-efficient engines, alternative fuels and hybrids we can cut our fuel consumption 30 to 50 percent by 2035, say researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Critics argue the auto industry is dragging its heels and we need these cars tomorrow. But if super-efficient vehicles appeared in every showroom tomorrow, it still would take two decades or more for them to have a significant impact. Cars have a lifespan of about 15 years, and "fleet fuel use responds with a lag time of some 10 years to changes in the new vehicle market," the researchers say. - Source

08/06/08 - Energy Invention: Keeping an Open Mind
Solar, wind, ocean, geothermal energy: All good stuff, but it’s likely that there are still more clean energy possibilities out there yet to be discovered and even further from being commercialized. We have to keep an open mind on those possibilities, not close it up. The human race is not done inventing quite yet. The 65kW HelioFocus Solar Concentrator technology focuses enough solar energy to provide an equivalent amount of combustion heat as a gaseous or liquid fuel to drive the microturbine. Hyperion Power Generation thinks a new solution to nuclear power is to build small nuclear powerplants - really small, about the size of a hot tub - and bury them underground for power in remote locations. The Hyperion Power Module (HPM), which was conceived at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and licensed to New Mexico-based Hyperion, would be powerful enough to energize a good-sized community. Each module would be under 24/7 armed guard for security, and when the uranium fuel is spent the module would be dug up, sent back to the company for its fuel to be recycled. Each unit would generate 70 megawatts of thermal (heat) energy, or 27 megawatts of electricity via steam turbine providing enough energy for 20,000 average American-style homes. Cost would be $20 - 30 million each. Philip Hardcastle, a geophysicist and electrical engineer from Australia has one. He thinks a prototype Rotating Thermionic Generator (RTG) should be built using government funds with the resulting technology freely dispersed for the good of the world. Common theory in thermionics says that two metals must be used, one very hot, one cold for electric current to flow. Hardcastle offers a different twist to the science, however. He thinks that high temperature heat and a temperature differential aren’t needed to induce electrons to depart from a metal surface to make a flow of current. With his hypothesis electrons will fling off a disk spinning in a vacuum. In this concept centrifugal force causes electrons from the outer rim of a metal doughnut-shaped spinning disk to be flung off, then be sucked back into the hollow center core. Once back in the disk the electrons move back through it to replace those spun off. One of the more useful properties of metals is the loose atomic bonding of electrons. If they can be flung off easily by centrifugal force with less energy than needed to supply that force, then he’s on to something. Hardcastle says they can a Rotating Thermionic Generator would make more useful energy than it would take to run it, but it is not a perpetual motion machine. Key to the operation of the RTG is a continuing flow of low level heat; ambient room temperature heat would be enough. Ambient energy is free, of course; we get it from the Sun all day long. - Source

08/06/08 - New Homes are Earth-friendly - and affordable
KeelyNet More than 50 residents and local officials braved Saturday's 95-degree heat to see the Brentwood neighborhood's latest addition: seven Earth-friendly houses that boast monthly electric bills of around $35. At Saturday's open house ceremony, initiative chief executive officer Abdul Sm Rasheed said the seven houses, which cost between $95,000 and $104,000, are for people who want the best for themselves. The frames of the houses are made of recycled steel called Enviro-Steel - much of which was produced by Carolina Steel in Durham. Each new house in the Brentwood neighborhood contains about six cars' worth of the material. Builder Kim Godon, president of Godon Construction in Sanford, said steel frames mean a stronger house that can withstand winds of more than 140 miles per hour - a definite perk in areas prone to hurricanes. They also mean no corrosion, termites or mold. And if the house is ever torn down, the steel can be melted down and reused again. While those in attendance felt the sweat-triggering wrath of the Saturday afternoon heat, the new houses were busy absorbing solar energy to use once the temperature dropped. Vast windows- nearly as large as a whole side of the house - face southward to attract afternoon rays that are stored by bricks inside the house and released at night, when the air is cooler. The entire house is cloaked in thermal wrap to retain interior temperatures - and it works. One structure's thermostat said it was 72 degrees inside despite being set to 76. Windows are designed to open against the wind currents specific to the region, thus making the most air circulation possible inside the building. - Source

08/06/08 - Free Oil and Clean Water
KeelyNet Peak Oil is real and it’s not in the future, it was actually in May of 2005 but you won’t hear much about it in the MSM. If we had truth in reporting laws, the Main Stream Media would have to be renamed the Main Stream Propaganda; it bears no resemblance to news or truth. Alas, we passed world peak oil production over three years ago. Production was less in 2006, even lower in 2007 and still lower in 2008. Prices are high because demand exceeds supply. When you pump oil from the ground, most of the time you are also pumping 4-20 barrels of water as well. The water is contaminated with both oil and solids (basically sand). The oilfield operator needs to do two things. He wants to recover as much oil as possible and he wants to get rid of the water the easiest and cheapest way. The water remediation unit produced and patented by Wescorp is simple in theory. You feed ultra tiny bubbles of natural gas or nitrogen through a tank of contaminated water. I think the 2000 bpd unit I saw had a green 12-foot upright tank. I was told the bubbles are so tiny that they take 28 minutes to travel from the bottom of the tank to the top. Oil is lighter than water so they collect the now free oil at the top of the tank and the solids from the bottom of the tank. New fluids are constantly fed into the tank so a 220-liter tank can process 2000 bpd of fluids. It’s very important to understand that the contaminated water cannot simply be fed back into the existing well. It is contaminated with sands and solids and would soon clog up the entire reservoir so no oil would be produced. So every field has exhausted wells where contaminated water can be pumped. Wescorp has the best water remediation unit by an order of magnitude. I was told that up to 3% more oil could be produced from the tar sands just recovering the oil from the contaminated water. That’s giant. The magic for investors isn’t just in this being such an environmentally friendly process. It’s going to make a lot of money for Wescorp. I saw the first unit put into production in April and I was very impressed. All the numbers worked. For $1400 a day, the operator was saving $4,000-$6,000 per day in expenses for filters, trucking and contaminating wells. - Source

08/06/08 - Fishtail Drive PROPELS BOATS and MODEL PLANES (Oct, 1939)
KeelyNet FOR ten years, Arthur D. Hill, Jr., a California commercial fisherman, has been observing and studying how the vibrating tails of fish enable them to dart through the water at great speeds. He also noted that birds, with their flapping wings, were still more efficient in flight than the most modern of airplanes with fixed wings. Puzzling out the principles involved, Hill determined to combine the methods of bird and fish, and he has finally developed an odd fishtail drive for Propelling model airplanes, and boats ranging from toy craft up to vessels thirty-five feet in length. On tiny boats having a single rudder, Hill’s fishtail mechanism is vibrated back and forth by means of an ordinary door-bell buzzer, powered by two dry-cell batteries. By reversing the rudder, the flutterings cause the craft to move backward. Dry-cell batteries also power the vibrating wings of Hill’s model airplane, shown in the photograph above. When suspended from the ceiling on a string, the little ship whirls around a circular course, its wings whirring so rapidly that they become invisible. For rowboat and canoe use, the inventor connects his fishtail propellers to handles, which the operator pumps up and down. This is said to drive the boat forward three feet for every foot the power device moves. On small toy boats and planes, such as shown in the accompanying illustrations, the fishtail drives are made of wood and silk, while for the larger craft airplane linen covered with creosote is used. - Source

08/06/08 - DPX Drive Systems use Rechargeable Power Tools w/many Videos
KeelyNet Specializing in developing power assisted drive units that are adaptable to numerous cordless rechargeable power tools. A revolutionary product that is changing the face of the cordless power tool industry. Not all of the products shown are for sale. Only the ones that show "Sale Item" or have a price listed are for sale. Others are examples of Prototypes or other products tested, but not yet for sale. - Source

08/06/08 - Virtual Personal Assistants w/video
At Tasks Everyday, we understand the importance of your time, that is why our Virtual Assistants executes your non-core activities and free up your time to concentrate on higher value tasks, and this results in better efficiency and higher personal gains for you! We have a team of 250+ staff and we can do all that you can ever think of outsourcing! Contact us for Instant Help....Where else will you get a dedicated and Exclusive Virtual Assistant for $558 per month? - Source

08/06/08 - Make a Note - Don't miss October Esquire
KeelyNet In celebration of there 75th year, Esquire magazine's October issue will feature an e-paper cover. The display will be about 3mm thick flexible paper with four shades of gray and some animated text and images. The backside will also have a display featuring a Ford ad for the new Flex. The Ford ad is essentially subsidizing this whole production. The cover isn't finalized yet, but Boing Boing Gadgets was able to get a few more details about it from deputy editor [Peter Griffin]. The battery isn't anything exotic and they fully expect people to break the device open and do what they want with it. It will unfortunately still require you building your own controller, but at least you get two revolutionary displays to play with for the cost of a magazine. - Source

08/06/08 - Effective Optical Disc Repair?
KeelyNet "I have an extensive music collection on original CD media. While most of it is in impeccable condition, I have a few discs that have suffered extensive scratching through listening to the disc either via a portable disc player, or in a car CD stacker. I've long since learned the error of my old ways and don't listen to discs in those devices any more, but those discs are irreplaceable in many cases. I would very much like to be able to repair them or have them repaired to original condition, or at least well enough that I can pull the tracks off once and archive the track data. I have heard really uncomplimentary things about devices like the Skip Doctor; ranging from it not helping to it making things worse. I've heard great things about JFJ devices that are seen on the counters of most Hollywood and BlockBuster video stores, but even their consumer devices start at $250. I would appreciate any other suggestions for devices that people have had personal experience with that won't break the bank." (check link for many useful comments and answers) - Source

08/06/08 - Top 5 Plants that Inspire New Technology
There’s a lot of hype out there about new technologies that will “change everything”. Sometimes it’s nice to sit back and “smell the roses”. In that spirit, here are five plants with surprising super powers - they have provided a boost to technological innovation or invention, often with a green lining. Algae and Biofuel / Guayule and Latex / Corn and Plastic / Cockleburs and Velcro and Lotus Plant and Nanotechnology. - Source

08/06/08 - DIY kidney machine saves girl
KeelyNet When the tool you need doesn't exist, you must make one. That's exactly what [Dr. Malcolm Coulthard] and kidney nurse [Jean Crosier] from Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary did two years ago. When a baby too small for the regular dialysis machine (similar to the one pictured above) needed help after her kidneys failed, the kind doctor designed and built a smaller version of the machine in his garage, then used it to save six-pound baby Millie Kelly's life. Since then the machine has continued to be used in similar emergency situations. - Source

08/06/08 - Better Batteries Charge Up
A Texas startup says that it has taken a big step toward high-volume production of an ultracapacitor-based energy-storage system that, if claims hold true, would far outperform the best lithium-ion batteries on the market. EEStor claims that its system, called an electrical energy storage unit (EESU), will have more than three times the energy density of the top lithium-ion batteries today. The company also says that the solid-state device will be safer and longer lasting, and will have the ability to recharge in less than five minutes. Toronto-based ZENN Motor, an EEStor investor and customer, says that it's developing an EESU-powered car with a top speed of 80 miles per hour and a 250-mile range. It hopes to launch the vehicle, which the company says will be inexpensive, in the fall of 2009. But skepticism in the research community is high. At the EESU's core is a ceramic material consisting of a barium titanate powder that is coated with aluminum oxide and a type of glass material. - Source

08/06/08 - Knights Templar heirs in legal battle with the Pope
KeelyNet The Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ, whose members claim to be descended from the legendary crusaders, have filed a lawsuit against Benedict XVI calling for him to recognise the seizure of assets worth 100 billion euros (£79 billion). They claim that when the order was dissolved by his predecessor Pope Clement V in 1307, more than 9,000 properties as well as countless pastures, mills and other commercial ventures belonging to the knights were appropriated by the church. They amassed enormous wealth and helped to finance wars waged by European monarchs, but spectacularly fell from grace after the Muslims reconquered the Holy Land in 1244 and rumours surfaced of their heretic practices. The Knights were accused of denying Jesus, worshipping icons of the devil in secret initiation ceremonies, and practising sodomy. Over the centuries, various groups have claimed to be descended from the Templars and legend abounds over hidden treasures, secret rituals, and their rumoured guardianship of the Holy Grail. - Source

08/06/08 - RepairPal.com - Car Repair Price Estimates
RepairPal gives you independent and unbiased repair estimates, user ratings and reviews, plus advice you can't get anywhere else. - Source

08/06/08 - Get the location of car or dog by sending SMS
KeelyNet The Zoombak is a GPS locator for tracking your car, dog or just about anything via an online map. Today the company rolled out a new service called Mobile Location Request, which lets you send a text message from your cell phone, and get back the location of the Zoombak. The Zoombak comes in three versions, with associated monthly service fees: Car & Family Locator, Dog Locator and Universal Locator. The Car & Family version costs $249.99, plus a monthly service fee of between $9.99 and $34.89. The other two versions cost $199.99 each, plus the same range of monthly service fees. The Zoombak system combines GPS and cell phone electronics for respective location and communication purposes. - Source

08/06/08 - Houston doctors say they may have found a way to destroy HIV w/video
“We have found an innovative way to kill the virus by finding this small region of HIV that is unchangeable,” Dr. Sudhir Paul of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston said. Dr. Paul and Dr. Miguel Escobar aren’t talking about just suppressing HIV - they’re talking about destroying it permanently by arming the immune system with a new weapon lab tests have shown to be effective. Paul and his team have zeroed in on a section of a key protein in HIV’s structure that does not mutate. “The virus needs at least one constant region, and that is the essence of calling it the Achilles heel,” Paul said. Basically, their idea could be used to control the disease for people who already have it and prevent infection for those at risk. The theory has held up in lab and animal testing. The next step is human trials. - Source

08/06/08 - Video Demo - Online Animation Creator > GoAnimate
KeelyNet GoAnimate can do loads of stuff! While we do our best to make it easy to use, it is always hard to pack so many features onto a computer screen and make it easy for say a chiwawa (sic) with its legs attached behind its back to use. Whether you have trouble creating animations or you want to learn about the more advanced features of the application, this page is the place to be! - Source

08/06/08 - Nissan ECO pedal promises to push back against aggressive drivers
While Nissan hasn't quite cut drivers out of the equation all together, it is making some considerable progress in controlling just how they drive, including preventing folks from driving drunk and, now with its new ECO pedal, preventing people from driving inefficiently. To do that, the pedal simply pushes back against the driver's foot when it detects wasteful acceleration, which Nissan says could improve fuel efficiency by as much as five to ten percent. Of course, the system can be switched off, and it likely won't be making an appearance in all Nissan vehicles right off the bat, although the company says it'll be showing up in at least some of them as early as next year. - Source

08/06/08 - Magnetic Card Spoofer w/video
KeelyNet After building a USB magnetic stripe reader, [David Cranor] has found a way to fool a magnetic stripe reader using a hand-wound electromagnet and an iPod. The data on a card is read and stored on a computer, then encoded as a WAV file using a C++ program. The iPod plays the WAV file with the data through a single-stage opamp amplifier connected to the headphone jack. The amplifier is used to drive the electromagnet. Video embedded after the jump. By no means is this a new idea. There have been a lot of magnetic stripe projects and software. This project in particular references the 1992 Phrack article "A Day in the Life of a Flux reversal" by [Count Zero]. Don't get your hopes up just yet on strolling through high security installations using this little device. It can only replay the data from a card that has been recorded. If you don't have a known working card, it won't get you very far. - Source

08/06/08 - Prostate Cancer for Men over 75
New advice that men over 75 should not be screened for prostate cancer won't quell the long-standing controversy over the usefulness of the blood test for the disease, cancer experts said Tuesday. The task force found that screening can detect some cases of prostate cancer, but the benefits of treatment in men over 75 "are small to none." Treatment often causes "moderate-to-substantial harms," including impotence and bladder control and bowel problems, the task force said, without evidence it saves the lives of these elderly men. The panel did not recommend for or against prostate screening of men under 75 but suggested that doctors discuss the potential benefits and harms of the test with their patients. - Source

08/04/08 - New Gearing for 40kmph Bicycle
KeelyNet An innovation by a senior administrator at IIT-Kharagpur is helping him ride the humble bicycle at 40 km an hour and pedalling past motor vehicles on busy roads without much effort. And you could be next - cycle manufacturers are planning to launch these hot wheels commercially, very soon. Manoj Mondal is the inventor of the crank pedal-he successfully tweaked the pedal of a bicycle to an extent that it generates almost double the torque (force multiplied by the distance from the centre) than in normal circumstances . In other words, the speed of the bicycle increases from, say, 20 km/hr to 40 km/hr. There’s more. “Tweaking the pedal to generate more torque can create 700 watts of electricity per unit,” says Mondal. Now that’s enough to light up 10 neons. Next, he’s working on a prototype where pedalling on a stationary cycle has the potential to dig a bore deep enough to make a drain. Mondal’s invention is slated to benefit rickshaw-pullers as the Centre for Rural Development has shown keenness to convert 10,000 rickshaws into the crank pedal mode this year. Though power companies haven’t lined up yet, bicycle makers seem to have grasped the next wave. “I’m awaiting the final prototype (from Mondal) and then intend to take it to the dealers en route the market,” says R K Kapur, chief general manager of technology at Atlas Cycles. As for Mondal, he’s onto his 10th prototype and exudes rock-solid confidence about doubling the torque. Though 14 patents exist on claims of increasing the torque, Mondal’s pedal cranks up a whole new business proposition for marketers. Up to speed, the soft-spoken professor from IIT now lets the torque do the talking. - Source

08/04/08 - Is Aging an Accident of Evolution?
Prevailing theory of aging challenged by Stanford University Medical School researchers. Their discovery contradicts the prevailing theory that aging is a buildup of tissue damage similar to rust. The Stanford findings suggest specific genetic instructions drive the process. If they are right, science might one day find ways of switching the signals off and halting or even reversing aging. "We were really surprised," said Stuart Kim, who is the senior author of the research. "Everyone has assumed we age by rust. But how do you explain animals that don't age? Some tortoises lay eggs at the age of 100, there are whales that live to be 200 and clams that make it past 400 years." The question of what causes aging has spawned competing schools, with one side claiming that inborn genetic programs make organisms grow old. This theory has had trouble gaining traction because it implies that aging evolved, that natural selection pushed older organisms down a path of deterioration. However, natural selection works by favoring genes that help organisms produce lots of offspring. After reproduction ends, genes are beyond natural selection’s reach, so scientists argued that aging couldn’t be genetically programmed. The alternate, competing theory holds that aging is an inevitable consequence of accumulated wear and tear: toxins, free-radical molecules, DNA-damaging radiation, disease and stress ravage the body to the point it can’t rebound. So far, this theory has dominated aging research. - Source

08/04/08 - Top 10 Quirkiest Early Flying Machines
KeelyNet This topic is a dream for lovers of lists because there are so many hilarious and quirky attempts at flight that have been documented through history. After wading through hundreds of choices I have picked the 10 quirkiest - you are sure to love them! #6 - Charles Ritchel's Flying Machine - Charles Ritchel’s flying machine was first demonstrated publicly during May and June of 1878. The framework was constructed of brass tubing and it held a gas bag of rubberized fabric. Mabel Harrington was the first to fly this hand-cranked machine though Mark Quinlan is believed to have made the majority of the future demonstration flights, including two lasting over one hour each. Eventually Ritchel would go on to build and sell five of these machines. Ritchel had plans for a trans-contentinental airline comprising aircraft hand-cranked by 11 men each. This was not to eventuate. Not satisfied with just aviation, Ritchel was actually a prolific inventor - with his most famous invention being the funhouse mirror. He also invented a mechanical money box in which a coin is placed in a monkey’s hand which then tilts the coin back in to a hole in its stomach. Some people attribute the invention of roller skates to Ritchel. Ritchel died in poverty. - Source

08/04/08 - Local inventor sees answer to U.S. energy problem in ocean
When Tom Windle and his wife took their 25th wedding anniversary trip to Hawaii nearly 30 years ago, the powerful beach waves caught his eyes. In the rising and falling of the ocean swells, Windle saw the potential to generate electricity as well as provide inexpensive hydrogen. “I knew that the bigger the waves, the more powerful they get. And they never stop. There are always waves,” says Windle. Determined to turn his ideas into action, Windle sketched out a hydrogen fuel pump model that would produce wave energy while still on his island vacation. When he returned home to Bartlesville, he used the sketch as a model to create a floating platform that he tested at several area lakes. He explains that the floating platform works like a large car engine. When the ocean rises and falls, it pushes pistons that pump water through a turbine-generator, resulting in electricity. By the mid-1980s, Windle was experimenting with his model on the Texas coastal shore lines, often working closely with oceanography professors at Texas A&M. “We were making electricity at Galveston in ’87. It was a pretty big thing back then. But it didn’t really catch on because energy was still cheap, especially compared to today’s standards,” he says. Windle also points out that salt water is more conductive to electricity, which in turn is quite favorable to making hydrogen. As part of his answer to the energy crisis, he believes that an efficient way to produce hydrogen is through utilizing existing offshore oil and gas platforms. “By using the platforms that are already there, it’s making use of resources that are already there,” he says. “It’s a simple solution and very cost-effective.” - Source

08/04/08 - There's water in dem dar clouds! w/video
KeelyNet With seawater covering seventy-one per cent of the Earth’s surface, at an average depth of four kilometers, and another 1,000,000,000,000,000 liters of water in the first kilometer alone of the earth' atmosphere, water could hardly be described as a rare element. Its more a case of 'water water everywhere and not a drop to drink'. Perth Australia has now established one of the largest desalination plants outside of the Middle East and set up a wind farm to power it. Electricity for the desalination plant, which has an overall 24MW requirement, comes from the new 80MW Emu Downs Wind Farm, located 30km east of the town of Cervantes. Speaking of windmills, another Australian, Max Whisson, an energetic septuagenarian inventor, believes he can solve the current water crisis with his Water Windmill invention, a unique technology to extract moisture from the atmosphere. The concept is to use windmills to cool air and extract water directly from the air and was partly inspired from an African beetle, Stenocara, who manages to be completely water sufficient by standing on his head in the desert and using cooling plates on his body to extract water vapor from the air. Another technology being developed by the New Mexico State University uses low grade heat and a vacuum to run a distillation process. The system can convert saltwater to pure drinking water on a round-the-clock basis - and its energy needs are so low it could be powered by the waste heat of an air conditioning system. At the risk of losing you, here’s the 101 of how it works. The system consists of two 30-foot vertical tubes - one rising from a tank of saline water and the other from a tank of pure water - which are connected by a horizontal tube. The natural effect of gravity creates a vacuum in the air space above the water column. The lower pressure in the headspace causes water to evaporate at a lower temperature, (this is why water boils at lower temperatures on top of a mountain). Then they use waste heat, for example from an air conditioning system, to heat up the saline water (e.g. seawater or brackish groundwater) to 10 -150 C more than the freshwater. Water vapor from the salt water column travels across the horizontal bridge and condenses in the freshwater column. - Source

08/04/08 - ET Briefing at White House
The White House has been alerted by NASA about plans to make an announcement soon on major new Phoenix lander discoveries concerning the "potential for life" on Mars, scientists tell Aviation Week & Space Technology. Sources say the new data do not indicate the discovery of existing or past life on Mars. Rather the data relate to habitability--the "potential" for Mars to support life--at the Phoenix arctic landing site, sources say. The data are much more complex than results related NASA's July 31 announcement that Phoenix has confirmed the presence of water ice at the site. International news media trumpeted the water ice confirmation, which was not a surprise to any of the Phoenix researchers. "They have discovered water on Mars for the third or fourth time," one senior Mars scientists joked about the hubbub around the water ice announcement. The other data not discussed openly yet are far more "provocative," Phoenix officials say. - Source

08/04/08 - Scotty Lost but not in Space
KeelyNet Unfortunately for Space X, the loss of another rocket was the third unsuccessful attempt with the Falcon 1, a liquid fueled (oxygen and kerosene) two-stage launch vehicle that will form the basis of its model line up. Space X hasn't just lost a rocket, though. The flight was carrying a trio of small satellites belonging to NASA and the DoD. Perhaps less seriously, but probably more newsworthy, the ashes of over 200 people were also on board, including a pair of rather well known astronauts, one actual, one fictional. They were Gordon Cooper, one of the original Mercury 7, and "Scotty" himself, James Doohan. Falcon 1 flight 3 was lost during the attempted separation of the second stage. The previous attempts were stymied by a fuel leak (flight 1) and a loss of control following second stage separation (flight 2). - Source

08/04/08 - Inflation and the Human Spirit
The attached letter was sent to an Australian online newspaper (Crikey.com) by a correspondent living in Harare. I have nothing significant to say about it. At first I thought it was a joke, but now I am afraid that it is all too true. This was the African country with the best farmland and prospects for a high standard of living - before the colonial masters were forced out. Independence is a wonderful thing. We stopped hearing about Zimbabwe after the failed election, but life goes on. I just wanted to share it because it shows how lucky we are in the USA, even though many of us are in dispair about our economy and our government. I wonder how many of us could cope as well as they seem to be doing. - Dear Friends, ''We have survived the worst week yet -- no water since 12th of this month & still no water, power came on briefly on Sunday and then again yesterday morning, after being off for seven days. Associated with power-out is the lack of telephone. Now also total lack of food and money. We are allowed to draw only 100 billion dollars per day from our bank accounts. This is currently worth less than 20 UK pence or 40 US cents or two South African Rand. It is a criminally cruel policy which is causing extreme suffering and costing huge unnecessary transport costs to get to the bank daily & then stand in the queue for hours... - Source

08/04/08 - A Cool Fuel Cell
A new electrolyte for solid-oxide fuel cells, made by researchers in Spain, operates at temperatures hundreds of degrees lower than those of conventional electrolytes, which could help make such fuel cells more practical. The electrolyte used in the fuel cell is a solid material--typically only conducting ions at high temperatures. Santamaria, drawing on earlier work by other researchers, found that the ionic conductivity at low temperatures could be greatly improved by combining layers of the standard electrolyte materials with 10-nanometer-thick layers of strontium titanate. He found that, because of the differences in the crystal structures of the materials, a large number of oxygen vacancies--places within the crystalline structures of the materials that would ordinarily host an oxygen atom--formed where these two materials meet. These vacancies form pathways that allow the oxygen ions to move through the material, improving the conductivity of the materials at room temperature by a factor of 100 million. The material is still some way from being incorporated into commercial fuel cells. - Source

08/04/08 - "Mobile Plate Hunter" Cameras Raise Questions
KeelyNet The Washington Post has a story on "Minority Report"-style license-plate scanners that mount on police cars. They are the size of softballs, cost $25K, and can scan and run thousands of plates a day through the local Motor Vehicle Administration database. The easy mission creep these devices encourage is summarized in the article: "Initially purchased to find stolen cars, a handful of so-called tag readers are in use across the Washington region to catch not just car thieves, but also drivers who neglected or failed their emissions inspections or let their insurance policies lapse. The District and Prince George's County use them to enforce parking rules... 'I just think it makes us a lot more effective and a lot more efficient in how our time is being used,' [a senior detective] said." The article doesn't mention what happens to the data on legal plates. Suppose the DHS decides it wants a permanent archive of who was where, when? - Source

08/04/08 - Experts clash over viability of biofuels, alternative energy
Depending on who you listen to, it will either take food for 36 billion people just to make enough ethanol for all of America's cars, or plants growing on just 1% of the earth's surface can supply the entire world. - Source

08/04/08 - Video - How to Pick a Lock with a Bump Key
KeelyNet From the "use this for good, not evil" files comes a fascinating instructional video on how to pick a lock with a "bump key"-a key modified to fit and open any lock. Like the instructor in the video says, thieves have been using this technique for a long time now-so it's interesting (in the "knowledge is power" kind of way) to see how it's done. Before you start making evil plans, keep in mind that most states in the U.S. consider a bump key a burglary tool so don't go getting yourself arrested. / (I have locked myself out of my house on several occasions and here there is only one locksmith so it is hard to track him down. This is something I've got to try or else just leave spare keys hidden somewhere outside. - JWD) - Source

08/04/08 - Oxygen Bar - Oxygen Facts of Interest
How much oxygen is in the air we normally breathe? About 19%-21% / Medical oxygen is 100% pure oxygen and you must have a license to dispense and a prescription to receive. An oxygen bar dispenses industrial oxygen, which is between 87% to 95% pure oxygen. / FACTS - Less than 200 years ago the earth's atmosphere comprised of 40% oxygen; today we breathe only 21%. - Lack of oxygen in our universe is due to pollution, burning of fossil fuels and overall destruction of the ozone layer. - Everyday we breathe 20,000 times. - Research has demonstrated that our vital lung capacity decreases 5% with every decade of life. This lung elasticity means less oxygen. - Blood is the liquid carrier of oxygen that fuels all systems, stimulates chemical reactions and cleans itself of waste and toxins. - By mass, oxygen makes up 90% of the water molecule; water makes up 65%-75% of the human body. - The brain, which makes up 2% of our total mass, and requires 20% of the body's oxygen needs. - Almost all cancerous beginnings are due to lack of cell oxygenation. - Cancer attacks every organ in our body, except the heart because of its abnormal supply of oxygen. / Benefits - Heightens concentration, alertness and memory - Oxygen gives you energy! 90% of our energy comes from oxygen, and only 10% from food and water - Oxygen is vital to your immune system, memory, thinking and sight - Promotes healing and counters aging - Strengthens your heart, reducing the risk of heart attacks. - Source

08/04/08 - Introducing the Media Chair for Geeks
KeelyNet It features a 19? flat screen, 2.1 speaker system, integrated cables for computer and an ergonomic wireless keyboard and mouse so you can play games, check your e-mail, relax or watch a movie all while comfortably reclining on this ergonomic chair with knee-top board and a grain-filled cushion bottom that forms to the shape of your knees as accessory. You can order one for you from the BeeB web-shop. The price is available on order. - Source

08/02/08 - MIT develops way to bank solar energy at home
KeelyNet A U.S. scientist has developed a new way of powering fuel cells that could make it practical for home owners to store solar energy and produce electricity to run lights and appliances at night. A new catalyst produces the oxygen and hydrogen that fuel cells use to generate electricity, while using far less energy than current methods. Nocera's catalyst is made from cobalt, phosphate and an electrode that produces oxygen from water by using 90 percent less electricity than current methods, which use the costly metal platinum. The system still relies on platinum to produce hydrogen -- the other element that makes up water. "On the hydrogen side, platinum works well," Nocera said. "On the oxygen side ... it doesn't work well and you have to put way more energy in than needed to get the (oxygen) out." "It's cheap, it's efficient, it's highly manufacturable, it's incredibly tolerant of impurity and it's from earth-abundant stuff," Nocera explained. (Thanks to Ken H. for this headsup. - JWD) - Source

08/02/08 - 24 Pounds of Coal for 1 Gallon of Gas (Feb. 1934)
KeelyNet British motorists may now enjoy the novelty of buying gasoline made from coal, which has just been placed on public sale. The event marks the beginning of a great chemical industry by which England hopes to put 65,000 men to work and to end her dependence upon imported petroleum. A monster plant now rising at Billingham-on-Tees will transform 1,000 tons of coal daily into the synthetic fuel, using a process already in successful operation in a smaller experimental plant at the same site. In this process, known as hydrogenation, powdered coal is mixed with heavy oil and the resulting paste is fed, with hydrogen gas, to a converter. The mixture undergoes a chemical transformation under tremendous heat and pressure, yielding a mixture of hydrocarbons from which pure gasoline is recovered by distillation. Another of the products is Diesel oil, which may also be changed into gasoline by an additional conversion treatment with hydrogen. Both the hydrogen and heavy oil used in the process are obtained in the course of producing the gasoline, leaving coal as the chief raw material required. Results of production indicate that approximately a gallon of gasoline may be obtained from twenty-four pounds of coal, and the large-scale plant under construction should show an output of 80,000 gallons of gasoline a day. - Source

08/02/08 - Capture Anything with Snagit - July 27th, 2008
SnagIt is a Windows program that lets you capture anything you see on the computer screen, including video clips, even if they have been protected against copying. The program comes with some of the best teaching videos we’ve seen. (Just click “help” and go to “tour.”) The videos walk you through everything, step by step. After a while you get the hang of it. If you are used to using graphics programs, nearly all the commands, like grouping objects, will be familiar. Among the new features is the ability to work with multiple images at once, laying them out like scenes in a film strip. So you don’t lose track of what you’ve captured, screens can be given tag words, so that later they can be brought together into one folder. You can drop and drag them the separate captures onto a main screen to lay out the kind of presentation you want. When you get the look and sound you like you can click on the “send” tab to email the result or post it to the web or send to another program, like Photoshop Elements, for special effects or masking. An old feature that is made more visible in the current version is “hot spot.” You can designate any point in any captured screen as a hot spot that will bring up another image, text, or even a whole sequence. You’ve seen this effect many times in programs and web sites: when your mouse pointer hovers over a point, another image or instruction pops up. Profiles make it easy. SnagIt comes with eleven preset buttons that make screen capture a cinch! Capture a region of your screen, text from a window, the contents of a tall page that scrolls, all the images on a Web page, (active window for video), you get the idea. Using SnagIt, you can do this too. SnagIt 9 is $50 from SnagIt.com and there’s a 30-day trial version for free. There is a free, much-lighter version of SnagIt for PCs and Macs at JingProject.com. - Source

08/02/08 - Video - The Story of the Sign
KeelyNet With a stroke of the pen, a stranger transforms the afternoon for another man in this emotionally stirring short film by Alonso Alvarez. / (Not normally something I'd post on KeelyNet, but it's a feel good thing for the weekend. Thanks to Ken H. for sharing it. - JWD) - Source

08/02/08 - Big Bee-hive Gets Water From Air (Jul, 1934)
KeelyNet AN ODD “drinking water fountain” in Europe acts as a giant artificial spring, condensing the moisture of the air. The thick brick walls keep the inside of the stone structure at a lower temperature than the outside, so that moisture condenses on the thousands of stone slates. - Source and the modern version Atmospheric water generator - An AWG operates in a manner very similar to that of a refrigerated dehumidifier: air is passed through a cooled coil, causing water to condense. The amount of water that can be produced depends on the humidity, the volume of air passing through the coils, and the size of the machine. The device is very useful for locations where pure drinking water is difficult to obtain, such as in areas with heavy ground pollution, and the air is humid.

08/02/08 - Top 10 Command Line Tools
When you need something done quickly, efficiently, and without any software overhead, the command line is where it's at. It was the first way humans told computers what to do, but as graphics became increasingly important, the command line, or terminal, became an insiders' secret weapon. But with the right commands and a little bit of know-how, anyone can get things done from a text-only interface. Let's take a look at 10 commands and tricks that make the terminal more accessible, and more powerful, on any system. - Source

08/02/08 - Homemade Biodiesel Explosion
KeelyNet A Northamptonshire man destroyed his garage and badly injured himself at the weekend while attempting to make biodiesel from used cooking oil. A devastating explosion levelled the makeshift reprocessing plant on Saturday afternoon, when sparks from an electric drill being used to mix ingredients ignited explosive vapours. Firemen hastened to deal with the smoking wreckage, in Middleton Cheney, and the unnamed thrifty motorist was airlifted to hospital with 20 per cent burns. The injured biodiesel fancier reportedly made motor fuel from used cooking oil obtained from his local Chinese takeaway. Such oil can often be used in diesel vehicles without preparation, but this will typically knacker the engine in short order. It is normal to treat the oil with alcohol and other ingredients before use, and this process was apparently underway when the mishap occurred. The explosion would most probably have been caused initially by alcohol fumes building up in the garage, a process likely enhanced by the hot weather this weekend. Open-air - or at least better-ventilated - biodiesel manufacture might have been wiser. - Source

08/02/08 - 3D Printing For Everyone
"Technology Review has up an article about Shapeways, a new online rapid-prototyping service that allows users to upload digital designs which are then printed on 3-D printers and shipped back. A spinoff from Philips Research, the service gives small businesses, designers, artists, and hobbyists access to prototyping tools that were once available only to the largest corporations. The fee for a typical printed object is $50-$150. Their video shows the steps behind the process." - Source

08/02/08 - Solar Bath Apparatus Helps Cure Diseases of the Head (Jan, 1933)
KeelyNet NO, THE peculiar looking device in the photo at left is not a camera, nor even a telescope, although partially resembling both. It is a new solar bath apparatus for the head and has made a great hit with the medical fraternity of Germany. The main purpose of the device is to cure sicknesses of the head, like catarrh of the nose and throat or of the ears. It reposes on a stationary upright and has an opening in under side for a patient’s head. Affected person sits in a chair while taking treatments. An ultra-violet ray machine within throws artificial sunlight upon all parts of the head. Eventually, when fully tested and improved, it is expected to cure many of the illnesses of the head. - Source

08/02/08 - A Photo That Can Steal Your Online Credentials?
"InfoWorld reports on a new potential ploy for stealing Web user's private information: Researcher has found that by placing a new type of hybrid file on Web sites that let users upload their own images, they can circumvent security systems and take over Web surfers' accounts. 'They call this type of file a GIFAR, a contraction of GIF (graphics interchange format) and JAR (Java Archive), the two file-types that are mixed. At Black Hat, researchers will show attendees how to create the GIFAR while omitting a few key details to prevent it from being used immediately in any widespread attack.'" - Source

08/02/08 - China's Gas Guzzlers
Less than 4 percent of the country's 1.3 billion people have already bought one. That's where the United States was in 1915. But... Car ownership in China is exploding, and it's not only cars but also sport-utility vehicles, pickup trucks and other gas-guzzling rides. Elsewhere in the world, the popularity of these vehicles has tumbled as the cost of oil has soared. But in China, the number of SUVs sold rose 43 percent in May compared with the previous year, and full-size sedans were up 15 percent. Indeed, China's demand for gas is much of the reason for the dramatic run-up in global oil prices. - Source

08/02/08 - Panel on Electric Vehicles Draws Huge Crowd At AirVenture
The development of electrically powered aircraft will happen", said Craig Willen, "and will change the way we move through the environment. It could be the greatest challenge in aviation history." EAA's Craig Willen announced a significant advocacy measure by EAA, a request to the FAA for regulatory exemptions that would allow the use of electric motors in ultralight and light-sport aircraft. "Our goal", said Craig, "is to engage as many EAA members [as possible] in workshops and competitions. The ultimate goal described as having tens of thousands of electrically powered aircraft..." David Palombo was asked about the state of the art in an electric aircraft power plant and described what was essentially a very simple 40HP engine that weighed an impressively light 18 pounds and had essentially 1 moving part. In his (and other panelists') estimation, electric engines are three-times more efficient than an internal combustion engine. "The bigger challenge, said Palombo, "is having to rethink the aircraft structure and essentially design the airframe around the engine." John Monnett of Sonex, commented that "the integration of the electrical system was realistically years away". He estimated that to power an LSA, an electric motor in excess of 55KW would need to be developed. "There are currently 12 electrically powered aircraft", said Dr. Martin Grosser, "so it is possible that in less than 5 years the industry will have a scalable model, using the technology that already exists today." - Source

08/02/08 - Freebies
If you go to PCWorld.com and type “Freebies” in the search field, you can look at their annual lists of “101 Fantastic Freebies.” These are free downloads you can get either from the magazine’s own web site or by clicking on a link. Many are both interesting and useful. For example, you can go to 4Shared.com and get five gigabytes of free storage for files which can be kept private or shared with anyone you want. You can download a number of programs for sending instant messages combined with voice and video. You’ll find the excellent “Spybot Search and Destroy” here and the free version of AVG AntiVirus... - Source

08/02/08 - U.S. agents can seize travelers' laptops
U.S. federal agents have been given new powers to seize travelers' laptops and other electronic devices at the border and hold them for unspecified periods the Washington Post reported on Friday. Agents are empowered to share the contents of seized computers with other agencies and private entities for data decryption and other reasons, the newspaper said. DHS officials said the policies applied to anyone entering the country, including U.S. citizens, and were needed to prevent terrorism. The policies cover hard drives, flash drives, cell phones, iPods, pagers, beepers, and video and audio tapes -- as well as books, pamphlets and other written materials, the report said. - Source and from lifehacker.com, check out Avoid Laptop Seizure - CNET recommends encrypting your data before you leave the house, but we're not so sure. Wouldn't that make your laptop appear more suspect? Wouldn't they just have you just unlock the drive by typing in your password anyway? We're not lawyers, so we won't even touch on the legality of this, but here's our recommendation. Do what you can to leave your laptop home. That's what I wished I'd done after my trip to Thailand. Instead, load up a thumb drive with the apps and files you need-and encrypt it, if you'd like-and you'll travel lighter, worry less about your notebook, and avoid the possibility of having your entire hard drive scanned by Customs. If it's a business trip, make your files accessible remotely, and grab 'em at your destination instead of bringing them with you through airport security.

08/02/08 - 15 Incredible Do-It-Yourself Gadgets You Wish You Made
KeelyNet For those of you who are DIY fans out there, we’ve got a special treat for you this week! Ordered from least to most difficult projects to undertake, this list of hot DIY gadgets is going to blow your mind! The most notable is the Vertipod DIY One-Man Hoverflyer and most resourceful is the Laser Listening device. The coolest and most retro one is the Plasma Arc Speakers that have been around since the 80s. / The Vertipod resembles an inverted, one-man helicopter. With a propeller at its base and a platform with back support built on top. The user controls it via a stick at waist level. It’s moderately sized 440cc engine runs on gasoline or ethanol and is activated like a lawn mower - by pull-start. The flying machine is capable of flying 5 to 15 feet above ground at up to 40 mph. It will be sold in kit form for $10,000 with an assembly time of just a weekend. - Source

08/02/08 - Couch Mouse to Mr. Mighty by Pills Alone
Can you enjoy the benefits of exercise without the pain of exertion? The answer may one day be yes - just take a pill that tricks the muscles into thinking they have been working out furiously. Researchers at the Salk Institute report they have found two drugs that do wonders for the athletic endurance of couch potato mice. One drug, known as Aicar, increased the mice’s endurance on a treadmill by 44 percent after just four weeks of treatment. A second drug, GW1516, supercharged the mice to a 75 percent increase in endurance but had to be combined with exercise to have any effect. - Source

08/02/08 - Liberate the Skeeters!
KeelyNet The odd-looking, multicolored contraptions the Fairfax County Health Department sets each summer to lure mosquitoes have recently attracted other nuisances: vandals and thieves. Since the mosquito-monitoring program began in May, the county has found dozens of damaged traps, with water tubs tipped, ammonia-laden lures ripped off, ropes cut and batteries smashed or stolen. One trap appeared to have been blown up with a cherry bomb. "There have been other instances where people open the holding container to liberate the mosquitoes," Mike Andrews, a Health Department spokesman, said yesterday. "It's like the 'Free Willy' movie, you know -- liberate the mosquitoes." - Source

08/02/08 - Video - Seeing is Believing? - 9/11 video tampering in 1963
KeelyNet Most people assume the famous "Zapruder film" showing the moment John F. Kennedy was shot is an accurate portrayal of what happened. What many don't know is that even before digital video it was possible to alter moving picture images. And the Zapruder films shows extensive signs of having been doctored. Manipulation of moving pictures is another similarity between the Kennedy assassination and the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. Raises many questions when Secret Service stops the car for a clear shot, yet the video has the stop cut out. (Thanks to Ken H. for this, we can't believe anything we see as proof. - JWD) - Source

08/02/08 - NYPD calls on citizens for amateur video evidence
New Yorkers can soon take a bite out of city crime by uploading video or photo evidence directly to the New York Police Department, in a move welcomed on Thursday by civil rights groups. Soon citizen sleuths can transmit evidence of criminal activity directly to the police and 911, including evidence of police misconduct, such as the recent video of a police officer shoving a bicyclist to the ground in Times Square. - Source

$5 Alt Science MP3s to listen while working/driving/jogging
KeelyNetNo time to sit back and watch videos? Here are 15 interesting presentations you can download for just $5 each and listen to while driving, working, jogging, etc. An easy way to learn some fascinating new things that you will find of use. Easy, cheap and simple, better than eBooks or Videos. Roughly 50MB per MP3. - Source

15 New Alternative Science DVDs & 15 MP3s
An assortment of alternative science videos that provide many insights and inside information from various experimenters. Also MP3s extracted from these DVDs that you can listen to while working or driving. Reference links for these lectures and workshops by Bill Beaty of Amateur Science on the Dark Side of Amateur Science, Peter Lindemann on the World of Free Energy, Norman Wootan on the History of the EV Gray motor, Dan Davidson on Shape Power and Gravity Wave Phenomena, Lee Crock on a Method for Stimulating Energy, Doug Konzen on the Konzen Pulse Motor, George Wiseman on the Water Torch and Jerry Decker on Aether, ZPE and Dielectric Nano Arrays. Your purchase of these products helps support KeelyNet, thanks! - Source to Buy

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