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11/30/07 - Carbon Foam batteries cheaper, lighter, more power
The gestation was at Caterpillar in 2002, as part of its ongoing program of devoting research dollars to non-core technologies and supporting adventurous, early stage risk-taking R&D. Its chief material scientist, Kurt Kelley, devoted some of his efforts to battery chemistry, and he discovered that if he could remove the corrosive heavy lead grids of a conventional battery and replace them with carbon-graphite foam, he might end up with a lead acid battery that is far lighter, smaller and stronger, with two-thirds of the lead absent. Where to go first? Williams is targeting four key markets: lawn and garden power equipment, military vehicles, commercial trucks and hybrid autos. In all these applications, he says, the 3D technology provides important advantages, with battery life being No. 1. One of the first applications will be in military vehicles, he says, with prototypes being tested by the Army in early 2008. The 3D model will enable "silent watch," where Army surveillance/attack vehicles will operate on noiseless electric power, with gas engine turned off, and with a battery that has extended life in hot climates. Meanwhile, the Group 31 battery program will be an ideal and timely solution to help commercial truckers meet the tough new landmark California "anti-idling" rules effective next year. - Source

11/30/07 - Efficient AirBlade saves money on drying
The product, which has been on sale in England for the last six months for £599 ($A1,399) is expected to cost more than the direct currency translation due to specific approvals processes and potential changes made to the product for Australian market. The hand dryer, which features the familiar silver and yellow colour scheme of the first Dyson vacuum cleaner - the DC01 - acts like a squeegee for removing water from hands rather than evaporating the water by turning it into steam which is the traditional process of hand dryers in bathrooms. It is expected to be sold commercially for installations in buildings and public areas such as sports stadiums and airports. Dyson claims his product not only cuts down time, but also energy consumption. “The AirBlade takes about 8-10 seconds, while others take 40 seconds and have a heater and we don’t - and a heater uses a lot of electricity,” he said today. “We are using new technology to make something that doesn’t work, work properly in a pleasing manner - your hands feel good, not chapped and nasty, they are dry and you have done it quickly - in about a fifth of the time.” Inventor James Dyson claims the product has been built around the X20 digital motor developed by the company - a small, long-life, low-energy and brushless motor spinning at 1,666 revolutions per second. “We created the X20 digital motor for use in Japanese vacuum cleaners, and while playing around with what we call AirKnife technology which creates a very high pressure knife of air, we applied it to drying hands in an area where we saw there was a problem - existing hand dryers which is daft way to do it. It gave us the high speed pressure like turbo chargers in cars - and we are just doing the same thing with air flow.” - Source

11/30/07 - Inventor Loses Savings, Family Over Energy Efficiency Stove
KeelyNet Rene Nunez Suarez of San Salvador has spent years in a passionate, single-minded quest to provide the world's poor with a high-efficiency stove, in an effort to fight global warming and reduce deforestation. Now, the acclaimed inventor is left with praise, but no money and an estranged family, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. The device clearly has noble aims. It's a stainless-steel cooker that uses about 95% less fuel than conventional wood stoves, with minimal pollution. In El Salvador, millions still cook their daily meals with wood, and the countryside has long been denuded of so many of its invaluable trees. Worldwide, about half the planet cooks and heats with inefficient, polluting traditional fuels, according to the World Resources Institute. That means millions suffer from asthma, cancer and other problems associated with inhaling so much particle pollution. In fact, cooking fire pollution has been blamed for the deaths of an estimated 1.6 million people a year worldwide, mostly women and children. Plus, hours are often spent each day gathering and preparing firewood, dung and other fuels. That's time not spent in school or on other more economically productive activities. Nunez has secured a U.S. patent and a prestigious award from the Paris-based International Energy Agency for his Turbococina, or Turbostove. What Nunez has long sought is funding to get the stoves distributed to those who need them in the countryside. But so far he hasn't secured interest from investors he says he can trust or nonprofit organizations. Nunez's sad story isn't unfamiliar in a world fraught with inequality. Many observers have long complained that the technology may exist to provide better drugs for malaria, dysentery and possibly even AIDS, but that lack of the ability of those who need them most to pay means little incentive for capitalistic systems. Sometimes there seems like an orgy of R&D and marketing spending on the latest gadgets, hair-loss remedies or shiny, sexy toys, while a brilliant inventor with a relatively simple device to help save the world can't get any notice. - Source / DIY TurboStove - A turbo-stove uses gasification and combustion of the gases produced to achieve clean efficient use of a fuel such as wood. Essentially we have a chamber containing a smoky fire and a secondary flame which burns the smoke. Almost all natural fuels and many synthetic ones will burn very cleanly under the right conditions. A properly functioning turbo-stove burns wood and most other bio-fuels so cleanly that they can be used indoors without a chimney. They can be used for cooking in a similar manner to a gas flame. - Source

11/30/07 - New Heavy Oil Recovery System
Oil for transportation systems is becoming very expensive and our current development of alternative liquid fuels and/or electrically fueled vehicles is not currently moving ahead fast enough to have a significant impact on oil prices in the near future. There is much heavy oil in the Western Hemisphere other than Canada, including Venezuela and western parts of the US, the use of which would greatly reduce our dependence on oil from the Mideast and Africa. A new method developed in Britain over the past 17 years for extracting oil is now at the forefront of plans to exploit a massive heavy oilfield in Canada. Duvernay Petroleum is to use the revolutionary Toe-to-Heel Air Injection (THAI™) system developed at the University of Bath at its site at Peace River in Alberta, Canada. Although heavy oil extraction has steadily increased over the last ten years, the processes used are very energy intensive, especially of natural gas and water. But the THAI™ system is more efficient, and this, and the increasing cost of conventional light oil, could lead to the widespread exploitation of heavy oil. - Source

11/30/07 - Harvesting Solar Power from the Sahara Desert
KeelyNet Using a massive network of roughly 1,000 100-megawatt power plants, and thousands of miles of high-voltage d.c. transmission cables, a conglomeration of researchers, environmentalists and businessmen is attempting to sell Europe on the idea of harvesting solar power from the Sahara Desert. The green-energy idea includes a mix of renewable energies, from wind to geothermal to biomass power, and is dubbed DESERTEC. Not surprisingly, the issue isn't technological, but economic and nationalistic in nature. Some, for example, are concerned about the idea of relying on Africa for power. Others are worried about the US$595 billion price tag. Jon Gibbins, an energy engineer at Imperial College London, commented, "Unless it's extremely cheap, it won't stop people using easy-to-get fossil fuels. We didn't stop using coal in the last century because of oil." / The vision is ambitious: it would require roughly 1,000 100-megawatt power plants, using mirrors to concentrate energy from the Sun's rays, throughout the Middle East and North Africa to meet the region's projected energy needs. A high-efficiency electricity grid, yet to be built, would then ferry the power around and across the Mediterranean Sea and northern Europe. The vision of covering the Sahara with solar panels to generate electricity for Europe goes back to Frank Shuman, a Philadelphia-based inventor who built a prototype solar thermal plant in Egypt in 1913. But the idea never took off, and today solar power in the region comes from relatively small solar-cell installations on houses and other individual buildings. - Source

11/30/07 - More bad rap on Asian biofuels
European Union (EU) demand for Asian-produced biofuels, particularly palm oil, is coming at a high social and environmental cost, a report released on Tuesday by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) warns. "Expansion of cultivation of [oil palm] in East Asia has been associated with widespread deforestation and violation of human rights of indigenous people," said the report, entitled "Fighting climate change: Human solidarity in a divided world". "Since 1999, EU demand for palm oil, primarily from Malaysia and Indonesia, has more than doubled to 4.5 million tons, or almost one-fifth of world imports," added the 384-page report. "Opportunities for supplying an expanding European Union market have been reflected in a surge of investment in palm oil production in East Asia." The rapid growth of palm oil plantations has resulted in massive deforestation in Indonesia, which has led to large amounts of carbon dioxide trapped in the forests being emitted into the atmosphere, stated that report. "As a result of deforestation, some of which is for palm oil, Indonesia is the third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, after the USA and China," it said. "Deforestation to make way for large-scale mono-cropping of energy crops obliterates the 'green credentials' of the biofuel." - Source

11/30/07 - Your Robotic Personal Assistant
KeelyNet New software lets robots pick up objects they have never seen before--an important step toward creating multifunctional domestic helpers. Researchers at Stanford University have developed software that overcomes one of the biggest challenges: teaching a robot how to pick up an object it has never encountered before. The robot's software suggests that the best way to pick up something new is by determining the most grabable part of the object--the stem of a wineglass, the handle of a mug, or the edge of a book, for instance. Instead of using predetermined models of objects, some roboticists, including Edsinger and Ng, are building perception systems for robots that look for certain features on objects that are good for grasping. In a robot called STAIR (Stanford Artificial Intelligence Robot), the hardware consists of a mobile robotic arm with a microphone, a speaker, sensors, and cameras that help the arm retrieve objects. The robot's software has its foundation in machine-learning algorithms that can be trained to perform certain functions. The researchers trained the software using 2,500 pictures of objects, with graspable regions identified. - Source

11/30/07 - There's Oil in That Slime
Driven by renewed investment as oil prices push $100 a barrel, Ruan and scores of scientists around the world are racing to turn algae into a commercially viable energy source. Some varieties of algae are as much as 50 percent oil, and that oil can be converted into biodiesel or jet fuel. The biggest challenge is slashing the cost of production, which by one Defense Department estimate is running more than $20 a gallon. "If you can get algae oils down below $2 a gallon, then you'll be where you need to be. And there's a lot of people who think you can," said Jennifer Holmgren, director of the renewable fuels unit of UOP LLC, an energy subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc. Converting algae oil into biodiesel uses the same process that turns vegetable oils into biodiesel. But the cost of producing algae oil is hard to pin down because nobody's running the process start to finish other than in a laboratory, Douglas said. One Pentagon estimate puts it at more than $20 per gallon, but other experts say it's not clear cut. An acre of corn can produce about 20 gallons of oil per year, Ruan said, compared with a possible 15,000 gallons of oil per acre of algae. An algae farm could be located almost anywhere. It wouldn't require converting cropland from food production to energy production. It could use sea water. And algae can gobble up pollutants from sewage and power plants. Because sunlight doesn't penetrate more than a few inches into water that's thick with algae, it doesn't grow well in deep tanks or open ponds. So researchers are designing systems called "photobioreactors" to provide the right mix of light and nutrients while keeping out wild algae strains. Ruan's researchers grow their algae in sewage plant discharge because it contains phosphates and nitrates - chemicals that pollute rivers but can be fertilizer for algae farms. So Ruan envisions building algae farms next to treatment plants, where they could consume yet another pollutant, the carbon dioxide produced when sewage sludge is burned. - Source

11/30/07 - An Algorithm That Makes Voices Clearer
KeelyNet As people age, they lose the ability to hear in the higher frequencies. Turning up the volume on the TV set or stereo is a stopgap measure, but in the long run it only aggravates the problem. Able Planet, a company located near Denver, has developed analog circuitry that makes the high-frequency components of speech clearer without increasing their loudness. The technology is built into a line of headsets, telephones, and assistive listening devices aimed not only at the elderly but also at younger people who are worried about hearing damage, and even at video gamers who want to hear each other over the din of virtual battles. Able Planet's technology offers an alternative. Called Linx Audio, it works by enhancing the harmonics of the high-frequency sounds. A harmonic is a sound spontaneously generated at a multiple of the vibrational frequency that caused it. For example, a piano string vibrating 100 times per second (that is, creating a 100-hertz tone) will also spontaneously generate tones of 200 hertz, 300 hertz, and higher. These additional tones are the harmonics. Virtually all complex sounds, speech and music included, consist of an original tone--called the fundamental frequency--and its harmonics. Remarkably, the ear does not hear a fundamental frequency's harmonics as separate tones, even though they are detected in different parts of the cochlea. The cochlea adds them together, or synthesizes them, so that the brain hears a single unified pitch. This is the idea behind Linx Audio. By enhancing the harmonics of the high-frequency sounds, it stimulates more areas of the cochlea. - Source

11/30/07 - China to take lead in renewable energy
China will soon become the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases, outstripping even the U.S. Although the average Chinese produces fewer emissions per person than the average American, the sheer size of the population will push China ahead. That's bad news for our changing climate. China's growth in emissions is caused by the increasing use of non-renewable fuels. A growing urban population has increased from 375 million in 1999 to 577 million in 2006. More and more of these people are getting cars: 1,000 new cars are on the streets each day in Beijing. China uses nuclear energy, but even with new plants coming on stream, it is expected that nuclear will supply no more that five per cent of the country's electrical needs. According to a new book, Powering China's Development: The Role of Renewable Energy, published by the Worldwatch Institute (www.worldwatch.org), China will likely achieve or even exceed its target to obtain 15 per cent of its energy from renewables by 2020. It could hit 30 per cent by 2050. Renewable energy sources, like wind, solar and biomass are carbon neutral. China is expected to invest more than $10 billion in new renewables in 2007, second only to Germany, says Worldwatch. Wind and solar energy are expanding rapidly, with production of wind turbines and solar cells both doubling in 2006. China is poised to pass world solar and wind manufacturing leaders in Europe, Japan and North America in the next three years, and it already dominates the markets for solar hot water and small hydropower. - Source

11/30/07 - University Robot Project Copies Cheap Toy
Keelynet Massey University student Tom Yu Guan lashed a mobile-broadband-connected web cam to an off-the-shelf RC toy car, and called it the Smart Eyes robot for his honors engineering project. The project is basically the Spy Video Car from Wild Planet, which I told you about way back on March 29, 2006. The only difference is that Guan's project uses a cell phone, rather than an RC device, to control the car and watch the video. The best part: Guan flies a little Chinese flag on the car, a "gesture acknowledging Mr Guan’s homeland," but which doubles as a symbol for INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT. (via therawfeed.com) - Source

11/30/07 - Carnegie Mellon's Digital Library Exceeds 1.5 Million Books
"Most Slashdot readers are probably familiar with Google's book scanning project, a collaboration with several major universities to digitize works of literature, art, and science. But Google may have been beat to the punch this time -- about a decade ago, Carnegie Mellon University embarked on a project to scan books into digital format, to be made available online. Today, according to new reports, they now have a collection of 1.5 million books, the equivalent of a typical university library, available online." - Source

11/30/07 - Google Rolls Out Free Phone Location -- No GPS
KeelyNet A new beta of Google Maps Mobile provides GPS-LIKE LOCATION for any phone that runs Google Maps. Just press "0" and a blue dot shows where you are. (via therawfeed.com) - Source


11/30/07 - New Nerve Gas Antidotes
"Scientists from Korea and the Czech Republic have discovered new drugs that can counteract the chemical overload caused by nerve gas. All of the experimental medications belong to a family of chemicals called oximes. Those molecules reactivate the enzyme that is damaged by the chemical weapons. Last year, the FDA approved the first combined atropine and oxime auto-injector for use by emergency personnel. Israel has been providing them to their citizens since the first Gulf War." - Source

11/30/07 - France Building Taser- Armed Flying Saucers
KeelyNet Taser France is reportedly building a "mini-flying saucer like drone which could also FIRE TASER STUN ROUNDS on criminal suspects or rioting crowds." (via therawfeed.com) - Source


11/30/07 - Decrypt Your DVD's Copy Protection with DVD43
Windows only: Freeware application DVD43 decrypts DVDs and CDs, removing most copy protections schemes so you can interact with the media using whatever ripping or copying application you please (similar to the shareware alternative AnyDVD). DVD43 runs in your system tray, detects when you've inserted a new DVD, and automatically removes the encryption (the smiley face turns green when it succeeds). I've always had a lot of luck using DVD Shrink to rip and copy DVDs, but if you've ever run into problems working with encrypted DVDs on your PC, DVD43 is worth a try. DVD43 is freeware, Windows only. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

11/28/07 - Making Fuel from Leftovers
KeelyNet According to Penn State University (PSU) researchers, feeding table scraps to bacteria may be a clean and efficient way to produce hydrogen that can be used as fuel. Bruce Logan, Kappe professor of environmental engineering, and his colleagues at PSU have designed a tabletop reactor that uses bacteria to break down biodegradable organic material. Adding a small jolt of energy to the system causes hydrogen gas to bubble up to the surface. Logan says that this biological process--compared with today's existing techniques--may be a more sustainable and efficient alternative for generating hydrogen. The researchers grew bacteria in a specially designed, oxygen-free reactor: a bioelectrochemically assisted microbial reactor, which they dubbed BEAMR. The reactor comprises two compartments. The first houses a negatively charged anode, composed of granulated graphite, which Logan sprayed with ammonia gas to help bacteria stick better. The second compartment contains a positively charged cathode of carbon, with a platinum catalyst. An ion-exchange membrane sits between the compartments. Logan used a small wire to connect both electrodes to a small external power source. The researchers then fed the microbial reactor a varied diet of acetic acid and cellulose. They found that as bacteria fed, the reactor released protons and electrons. The electrons were immediately taken up by the anode, while the protons crossed the membrane to the cathode. The energy from the electrons (which amounted to 0.3 volts), coupled with a short jolt of external voltage (0.2 volts), passed into the cathode compartment, joining with the protons to produce hydrogen gas, which researchers captured and measured in a tube. - Source

11/28/07 - Google aims for renewable energy priced below coal
Google Inc said on Tuesday the Web services and online advertising group plans to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to help drive the cost of electricity derived from renewable energy below coal prices. The project, dubbed Renewable Energy Cheaper Than Coal, is hiring dozens of engineers and targeting investment financing at advanced solar thermal power, wind power, enhanced geothermal systems and other new technologies, Google said. Google plans to be one of the project's first customers, employing the power to run its massive computer data centers while selling back excess energy to the electricity grid. "Our goal is to produce one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity that is cheaper than coal. We are optimistic this can be done in years, not decades," Larry Page, Google's co-founder and president of products, said in a statement. A gigawatt can power a city the size of San Francisco. - Source

11/28/07 - Garlic to keep you Healthy
KeelyNet A diet rich in garlic can have a significant positive effect on your health, according to the New York Times. It seems that garlic increases the production of hydrogen sulfide in your blood, which-in the short term-relaxes your blood vessels and increases blood flow. In the long term: The power to boost hydrogen sulfide production may help explain why a garlic-rich diet appears to protect against various cancers, including breast, prostate, and colon cancer, say the study authors. Higher hydrogen sulfide might also protect the heart, according to other experts. - Source

11/28/07 - New Buchanan book declares 'End of America'
"America is coming apart, decomposing, and...the likelihood of her survival as one nation...is improbable -- and impossible if America continues on her current course," declares Pat Buchanan. "For we are on a path to national suicide." "America is in an existential crisis from which the nation may not survive." The U.S. Army is breaking and is too small to meet America’s global commitments. The dollar has sunk to historic lows and is being abandoned by foreign governments. U.S. manufacturing is being hollowed out. The greatest invasion in history, from the Third World, is swamping the ethno-cultural core of the country, leading to Balkanization and the loss of the Southwest to Mexico. The culture is collapsing and the nation is being deconstructed along the lines of race and class. A fiscal crisis looms as the unfunded mandates of Social Security and Medicare remain unaddressed. All these crises are hitting America at once -- a perfect storm of crises. Specifically, Buchanan contends: • Pax Americana, the era of U.S. global dominance, is over. A struggle for global hegemony has begun among the United States, China, a resurgent Russia and radical Islam. • Bush’s invasion of Iraq was a product of hubris and of ideology, a secular religion of “democratism,” to which Bush was converted in the days following 9/11. • Torn asunder by a culture war, America has now begun to break down along class, ethnic and racial lines. • The greatest threat to U.S. sovereignty and independence is the scheme of a global elite to erase America’s borders and merge the USA, Mexico and Canada into a North American Union. • Free trade is shipping jobs, factories and technology to China and plunging America into permanent dependency and unpayable debt. One of every six U.S. manufacturing jobs vanished under Bush. • “Sovereign Wealth Funds,” controlled by foreign regimes and stuffed with trillions of dollars from U.S. trade deficits, are buying up strategic corporate assets vital to America’s security. • As U.S. wages are stagnant, corporate CEOs are raking in rising pay and benefits 400 to 500 times that of their workers. • The Third World invasion through Mexico is a graver threat to our survival as one nation than anything happening in Afghanistan or Iraq. * European-Americans, 89% of the nation when JFK took the oath, are now 66% and sinking. Before 2050, America is a Third World nation. • By 2060, America will add 167 million people and 105 million immigrants will be here, triple the 37 million today. • Hispanics will be over 100 million in 2050 and concentrated in a Southwest most Mexicans believe belongs to them. - Source

11/28/07 - Natural disasters 'have quadrupled in two decades'...
KeelyNet More than four times the number of natural disasters are occurring now than did two decades ago, British charity Oxfam said in a study Sunday that largely blamed global warming. "Oxfam... says that rising green house gas emissions are the major cause of weather-related disasters and must be tackled," the organisation said, adding that the world's poorest people were being hit the hardest. The world suffered about 120 natural disasters per year in the early 1980s, which compared with the current figure of about 500 per year, according to the report. "This year we have seen floods in South Asia, across the breadth of Africa and Mexico that have affected more than 250 million people," noted Oxfam director Barbara Stocking. "This is no freak year. It follows a pattern of more frequent, more erratic, more unpredictable and more extreme weather events that are affecting more people." The number of people affected by extreme natural disasters, meanwhile, has surged by almost 70 percent, from 174 million a year between 1985 to 1994, to 254 million people a year between 1995 to 2004, Oxfam said. Floods and wind-storms have increased from 60 events in 1980 to 240 last year, with flooding itself up six-fold. But the number of geothermal events, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, has barely changed. - Source

11/28/07 - Australia's Howard says comply or LEAVE! America needs a leader like this!
CANBERRA AUSTRALIA: Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia, as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks. A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that australia was a secular state and its laws were made by parliament. "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you," he said on national television. "I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia, one the Australian law and another the Islamic law, that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to other country which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option," Costello said. Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off". "Basically, people who don't want to be Australians, and they don't want to live by Australian values and understand them, well then they can basically clear off," he said. Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. - Source

11/28/07 - Goodbye Batteries distribute front and rear lights for bicycles
KeelyNet The lights flash powerfully with twin LED’s using the power generated by magnets attached to the spokes of your bicycle. Why was it not invented before? There is no need for batteries or dangling wires - never, ever! The lights are easily fitted to any bike, and are a great safety device for you or your children. The lights are always on, day or night, constantly flashing. And just as important, there are no batteries to buy or to throw away when used. A recent independent study in Denmark showed a 20% reduction in accidents for bicycles fitted with these additional lights. Front light with two magnets, rear light with two magnets. £24.95 (24.95 GBP = 51.5767 USD) - Source

11/28/07 - Michigan Woman Says Online Activities Helped Her Shed 530 Pounds
KeelyNet 51 year old Nancy Makin, who weighed as much as 703 pounds, spent many years living reclusively in her one-bedroom Grand Rapids apartment. At one point, she had not been outside in more than three years. "I probably went out of the house eight times in 12 years," she told The Grand Rapids Press for an online story posted Monday. It wasn't until a relative hooked up Makin with a computer and Internet access that she started to slim down. While her weight made it difficult for her to interact with people in person, she discovered that she quickly made friends in online chat rooms. "Anonymity was key," she said. "They couldn't look at me and judge me based on how I looked." Makin said her online social life ended up working wonders on her figure as she stopped using food to bury her feelings of isolation. "I wasn't trying to lose weight," Makin said. "I was just reaching out." - Source

11/28/07 - Maglev On the Drawing Boards
Popular Mechanics has an article on the growing interest in magnetic levitation trains in the US. It's unclear how many will actually get built here, at $100 million per track mile. (In recent years we've discussed maglev projects in China and Germany.) The article has a map of many proposed transportation projects in the US, some of them maglev, and a video of a General Atomics maglev prototype in action. On a related note, an anonymous reader recommends this article on a proposed maglev wind-power turbine, said to offer the promise of replacing 1,000 conventional wind turbines. - Source

11/28/07 - MIT exercise bike charger
KeelyNet Taking a page out of the GZ PC-Sport and Power Stepper book, MIT students modified an exercise bike so it can power your laptop. This also begs the question: Does one have to pedal like a madman just to check your email? Not really, as these researchers discovered that only 30 watts are required to charge a notebook battery and the average person can generate up to 75 watts continuously. How the device works is the bicycle wheel is attached to a generator which charges a conventional car battery. A 12-volt cigarette-lighter adapter is then used to hook up with your laptop. This prevents overcharge and fluctuating current damaging your PC. - Source

11/28/07 - More recycled water could be on tap
About 500,000 acre-feet of wastewater is recycled each year in California, enough to flood more than half of San Joaquin County one foot deep. But there's potential to nearly quadruple the amount of recycled water by the year 2030, state officials report. That could ease water shortages and relieve pressure on the Delta, from which 25 million Californians get at least some of their water. Lathrop's wastewater is treated, of course, before being piped to parks and schoolyards. "It's very clean water. It comes pretty close to meeting drinking-water standards," said Cary Keaton, the city's director of public works. Recycled water can contain not only salt, but metals, pesticides and pharmaceuticals. These can pass through the water-treatment process, says the California Coastkeeper Alliance, a network of groups including San Francisco-based Baykeeper. "Recycling water is a great thing," Madison said. "There will for a long time still be customer perceptions (about using treated wastewater) that will have to be overcome." Delta water watchdog Bill Jennings is concerned about the contaminants that might exist even in treated wastewater, he said recycling when properly regulated would be a "crucial" ingredient in future water policy. "We're going to have to start using our water more wisely," he said. - Source

11/28/07 - SLR lenses on your digital video camera
KeelyNet Considering all the attention we give digital cameras, I wanted to find an interesting hack for those old school analog SLR cameras. (I spent a fair share of time behind one; I'm fond of the classic Canon AE-1) [Joshua] mated his Sony VX-2000e video camera with a Canon FD lens mount and created this monster. With the new lens mount, he's got a full selection of lenses without the huge investment of specialized lenses.(via hackaday.com) - Source

11/28/07 - Internet Bill of Rights kicks ass
The Internet Governance Forum in Rio has released an Internet Bill of Rights that enshrines a bunch of really kick-ass values, and it's already been endorsed by Italy and Brazil: Privacy, data protection, freedom of expression, universal accessibility, network neutrability, interoperability, use of format and open standards, free access to information and knowledge, right to innovation and a fair and competitive market and consumers safeguard. On these principles the Internet Bill of Rights will have to be set up, an idea produced by our country and supported by the Italian delegation, led by the Communications’ Undersecretary, Luigi Vimercati, during the UN internet Governance Forum concluded today in Rio de Janeiro. - Source

11/28/07 - DUIX gum to beat the Breathalyzer
KeelyNet The Alcohol Breathalyzer is definitely not in your favor and can cost you everything from your job, freedom, thousands of dollars or all of the above. Beat the odds! Prevent a tiny and unreliable machine to determine your fate. Our product is guaranteed to reduce the alcohol level on any breathalyzer test by up to 60%. If you are are put into a situation where you have to drive after consuming alcohol you have to prepare for what you will do if by chance you are pulled over and tested. 100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE IF NOT SATISFIED - Chew one tablet per hour during consumption of alcohol for best results to eliminate odor and decrease breathalyzer read out by up to 60%. - Source

11/28/07 - Having low expectations makes you happier
A short article in the New York Times reports that people in Denmark are happier than any other Western country. The reason? They don't expect good things to happen to them as much as people in other countries do, and when something good does happen, they're thrilled. "It’s a David and Goliath thing,” said the lead author, Kaare Christensen, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense. “If you’re a big guy, you expect to be on the top all the time and you’re disappointed when things don’t go well. But when you’re down at the bottom like us, you hang on, you don’t expect much, and once in a while you win, and it’s that much better.” - Source

11/26/07 - Zapping Trash with Electricity
KeelyNet In this case, the lightning is contained inside a reaction chamber, and the bolt never ends. This man-made lightning is so hot, most things put inside the chamber completely vaporize in seconds. The technology's called plasma gasification, and proponents say it could be the answer to our growing trash problem. Although it uses intense heat, developers say the process is not a new spin on incineration -- commonly used for waste disposal in the past, but discontinued because of emissions concerns. The process uses intense heat, but developers insist it's not incineration. The "not-in-my-backyard crowd" has complained for years about emissions from burning trash. Dan Cohn: It's a non-combustion process. The waste is not burned, it's converted. That's Dan Cohn of MIT. He was part of the team that developed the technology for the company Integrated Environmental Technologies. IET, in turn, has created a device that can reduce a ton of trash down to five cubic feet in less than a minute. The stainless-steel chamber where the lightning happens is about five feet long by three-and-a-half-feet wide. Before the sneaker can go inside the chamber, it has to be shredded. Critics say plasma technology uses too much energy and is too expensive. And Steve Boton with McDonough Braungart Design Chemistry says the technology could send the message that trash is OK -- kind of the opposite of reduce, reuse, recycle. Plasma gasification might be the best way to shrink our growing trash problem, with technology as elemental as lightning. - Source

11/26/07 - A Cool Way to Keep Food From Spoiling
KeelyNet A few degrees can make a big difference when it comes to food storage. Foods can go bad if they get too warm. But for many of the world's poor, finding a good way to keep food cool is difficult. Refrigerators are costly and they need electricity. Mohammed Bah Abba found a solution. He developed the "Pot-in-Pot Preservation/Cooling System." It uses two round containers made of clay. A smaller pot is placed inside a larger one. The space between the two pots is filled with wet sand. The inner pot can be filled with fruit, vegetables or drinks. A wet cloth covers the whole cooling system. Food stored in the smaller pot is kept from spoiling through a simple evaporation process. Water in the sand between the two pots evaporates through the surface of the larger pot, where drier outside air is moving. The evaporation process creates a drop in temperature of several degrees. This cools the inner pot and helps keep food safe from harmful bacteria. Some foods can be kept fresh this way for several weeks. - Source

11/26/07 - Hallowell's heat from cold system
KeelyNet Duane Hallowell, founder, CEO and President of the firm. He and his partners are engineers who stareted the company in 2005 without using V.C. backing. Their goal was to use existing hardware in the heat pump (and air conditioning) industry to build a system that would produce home heating even in sub-freezing weather. Though it uses existing hardware manufactured for the entire heat pump and air conditioning industry, Hallowell does assemble their unique system and have added a patented process that is crucial. They’ve patented a method for boosted compression. That allows their system to continue to draw heat from outside air even as it drops below O Fahrenheit. In the past this has been the fault point of air-to-air heat pumps in northern North America’s winter months. To prove its mettle, Hallowell’s Arcadia has been tested by independent utility co-ops, and not in Puerto Rico either. Cold places like northern Canada, Alaska and even Bangor, Maine. Now says Hallowell, the man, Hallowell the company can sell you a system that does not require back-up heating systems. It runs on electricity alone. Of course, that electricty can come from the utility gird, wind, solar, geothermal or five hundred loping gazelle in harness. Hallowell said it was necessary to build a system that uses standard components. The parts are sold all over North America. Though Hallowell asemble the system, it arrives at the building site with instructions and repair manuals that are widely-used in the HVAC industry. Not special installation training or ducting is needed. This is the hardware verison of open source tecnology. And Hallowell’s Arcadia does not use a single part that is unique or specially made. - Source

11/26/07 - Researchers find mirror fools phantom limb pain
KeelyNet Viewing the reflected image of an intact limb in a mirror can fool the mind into thinking that a lost leg or foot still exists, dramatically relieving phantom limb pain, researchers reported on Wednesday. At least 9 out of 10 amputees report feeling sometimes-severe pain in the missing limb, often the result of a sensation that the arm or leg is stuck in the wrong position. The sensation can be excruciating and pain drugs often do little to help. But some studies have suggested that using a mirror to trick the mind into thinking the lost limb is still there may help. Doctors do not understand why it works, but it appears to help a confused brain reconcile sensations coming from the severed nerves. With the mirror technique, patients saw a reflected image of their intact limb as they spent 15 minutes a day trying to move legs and feet. The setup gave the illusion that the missing limb was present and moving normally. Another group looked at a mirror covered by an opaque sheet as they tried to perform the same task. A third group was asked to close their eyes and spend 15 minutes imagining their limb moving normally. During the first four weeks of treatment, pain intensity dropped dramatically in the mirror group, going from an average score of 30 to about 7 on scale up to 100. Every person in that group reported less pain. - Source

11/26/07 - Gandhi's charkha power generator
KeelyNet The hand-cranked spinning wheel, popularised by the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi, has now been given an electronic tweak to transform it into a hi-tech gadget that not only produces yarn but also light a bulb on demand and is can even power a transistor radio. Called the 'e-charkha,' the invention by a Bangalore-based engineer is an ordinary charkha fitted with a battery and connected to a LED light. The energy produced by the charkha while it is being spun is used to charge the battery attached to the bottom of the spinning wheel and the power thus generated can power up a LED light used in home lamps. The maintenance-free lead battery fixed to the charkha functions as an inverter, and charges itself from the energy generated when the charkha is spun. "The big spinning wheel is connected to a generator and using the charkha for approximately two hours can generate enough power to light up an LED bulb, or to play a small transistor radio for around 6 to 7 hours," says Hiremath, an engineer who has patented the invention. - Source

11/26/07 - Energy Efficient
Despite newer technologies that detect energy loss and state programs that offer incentives for efficient upgrades, many people waste energy because they neglect fundamental, low-tech fixes. "The basics haven't changed," says Bob Walters, co-owner of the Energy Savers Store in New Rochelle, N.Y. "The technology has advanced as far as being able to test your house for energy efficiency, but in the end, you're still going back to your caulking gun and your insulation." Here are 10 of the most overlooked ideas for saving energy in winter, according to home energy auditors and heating experts: Check your insulation, Avoid fiberglass insulation, Cover attic fan and hatch, Seal duct joints and pipes, Plug the fireplace and close the flue, Remove or cover air conditioners, Seal windows and doors, Keep heaters clean and Get an energy audit. - Source

11/26/07 - Russia to build new Space Port
KeelyNet Vice PM Ivanov visited the enterprise to discuss the problem of building new space complexes in Russia. The official said that Russia had run out of the space potential created during the Soviet era. The home space industry has lost the ability to develop and produce the space equipment. As a result, Russia experiences problems with obtaining reconnaissance, navigation and meteorological information. “Russia must not become the country that offers only launching services. We can not be just a space carrier,” Sergei Ivanov said. Sergei Ivanov said that a new Russian space port would be built near the town of Uglegorsk, the previous disposition of a space troops division. On November 6, 2007 President Putin signed a decree about the building of a new space port in Russia. Construction and test works will take about two years. First launches will be possible to make in 2015, whereas the launches of manned spacecraft will begin in 2015. It is not ruled out that the new space port will replace Baikonur - the main launching pad of the Russian and Soviet space industry. - Source

11/26/07 - Honda Debuts FCX Clarity Fuel Cell Vehicle for 2008
KeelyNet At the 2007 auto show in Los Angeles, Honda introduced their new edition of the FCX. The vehicle is based upon a hydrogen fuel cell which results in emitting only H2O from the tailpipe. Honda expects to begin leasing the FCX vehicles in the United States beginning in 2008 for as little as $600 per month. Consumers can expect the FCX Clarity to perform with efficiency equal to a 68mpg engine, a driving range just shy of 300 miles and a top speed of 100mph along with a complete suite of creature comforts built into the cabin. / This thing is no concept, no prototype. It's a finished automobile (and a beautifully finished one at that) that'll be available for three-year leases in Southern California for $600 per month. The Clarity's fuel-cell stack is located under the driver's right arm, is 65 percent smaller by volume, packs 17 percent more power (100 kW or 136 horses), and it can start at temperatures as low as -22 degrees F (owed to its vertical, gravity-drain water path). Combined with its co-axial and compact motor/gearbox up front, lithium battery pack under the rear seat, and single, 5000psi storage tank behind the rear passenger area. - Source

11/26/07 - China to flood Russia with its low-quality cars over 5 years
KeelyNet Geely and its new-found Russian partner have agreed to try to sell an average of 30,000 cars in Russia per year starting Nov 2007, which Executive Director Lawrence Ang said would not present huge problems given that Chinese car makers had been selling within the country for years. Geely is one of China's few privately run auto companies -- and one of its most ambitious -- with no foreign partners locally. Selling some of China's cheapest cars under the Geely and Maple brands, Geely is planning to double capacity next year and set up assembly plants in North America and Europe, as it looks to expand beyond a fiercely competitive home market. Ang would not give an overseas sales target for next year, although Geely has said it hoped to sell 190,000 vehicles in 2007. Geely plans to double overseas sales to 20,000 cars this year, from about 10,000 in 2006. Vehicle exports from China, the world's third-biggest producer, may increase at least 46 percent this year as carmakers manufacture more sedans and trucks. Auto shipments will exceed 500,000 units in 2007, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its Web site yesterday, citing the minister, Bo Xilai, at a meeting with the nation's car exporters. Last year, overseas sales doubled to 342,400 units, customs data showed. China has more than tripled automobile output and sales since joining the World Trade Organization in 2001. Last year, it surpassed Germany as the world's third-largest vehicle maker. - Source

11/26/07 - The Electrical Vampire Effect
KeelyNet With the cost of electricity continuing to remain high, many people are doing what they can to save in different ways, such as switching to fluorescent light bulbs, drying clothes on a clothesline, or the much more involved methods of using wind or solar power. One thing that is often overlooked though, can be found in the so called "vampire power" used by consumer electronic products when they are in standby mode. Many stereos, TVs, cable boxes, and especially computers use a small amount of electrical energy even after the power switch is turned off, which can add up over a year's time. Though some of this power is critical to function for these items, it is estimated that 5% of all power used in the U.S. is for standby power with some European countries coming in at 10% and Japan at 12%. The state of California has even addressed this issue with a bill under the name of "Vampire Slayer Act of 2006." - Source

11/26/07 - Find The Priuses of the Stock Market
The market has fallen sharply, and Solar stocks have fallen even more following rumors that Congress will pass the Energy Bill without the Production Tax Credit or Investment Tax Credit. Given this volatility and Renewable Energy's reputation for profitless startups, now might seem like an excellent time for a risk adverse investor to abandon the sector altogether. Not so. Even if all tax credits and other incentives for Renewable Energy were to be removed, the underlying drivers of Alternative Energy remain firmly in place: Rising energy prices and decreasing reserves, the need to reduce our Greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst effects of Global Warming, and the likelihood of continued nationalizations, or the more subtle nationalization by taxation/royalty increases practiced in more developed countries. A diversified investor must make compromises. Those compromises can be made at the portfolio level by mixing some dirty stocks in with the clean ones, or they can be made within the companies themselves. Our choice is not between a diversified portfolio of green companies and a diversified portfolio of green-ish companies representing compromises of our green ideals. In reality, our choice is between a risky portfolio of highly volatile green stocks, and a much better diversified portfolio of companies working to help the environment in many way, but nevertheless embodying real-world compromises of green ideals. - Source

11/26/07 - How Do You Keep Your Digital Photographs Safe?
KeelyNet If you own a digital camera, you've certainly feared the worst: losing those precious memories on your memory card. The folks at T3 recommend ways to minimize the damage: don't rely on a single large memory card (instead, opt in for a few smaller ones), transfer images to a laptop or backup drive as soon as possible, burn the photos on optical media, and back up to an additional hard drive-just in case. If you already have a back up plan for your hard drive, it doesn't hurt to extend a disaster recovery plan to your digital snaps. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

11/26/07 - Methane-eating bacteria could halt warming
New Zealand scientists hope a newly discovered bacterium that eats methane could ultimately help counter a key global warming gas. The bacterium was discovered living about 30cm below the ground in the hot, acidic environment at Hells Gate in Rotorua, a geothermal area. Microbiologist Dr Matthew Stott, who was part of the team that made the discovery, said they had been puzzled as to why methane produced geothermally at Hells Gate did not reach the surface. - Source

11/26/07 - Ron Paul Blimp planned to draw attention
KeelyNet Imagine..the mainstream media is mesmerized as the image of the Ron Paul blimp is shown to tens of millions of Americans throughout the day (and throughout the month). Wolf Blizter, stunned and as if in a trance, repeats the words "Amazing, Amazing". As GPS co-ordinates stream to the website a map shows the Ron Paul blimp's location in real time. The local Television stations broadcast it's every move. The curious flock together and make a trip see history in the making. Emails with pictures are sent, then forwarded, then forwarded again. Youtube videos go viral and reach tens of millions of views. Ron Paul becomes the first presidential candidate in history to have his very own blimp. The PR stunt generates millions upon millions of dollars worth in free publicity, and captures the imagination of America. Please join us in our goal to raise $350,000 to make and fly the first ever Presidential Blimp in history. (What a BRILLIANT IDEA! - JWD) - Source / Media bias to EXCLUDE Ron Paul from the news. The Southern Avenger's response to the September 5, 2007 Fox News GOP Presidential debate and the often-asked question about Ron Paul's chances of getting the Republican nomination. But more importantly - why he should.KeelyNet Video - SA Radio - Does Ron Paul Have a Chance of Winning? - For those who claim the Ron Paul internet army skews votes by multiple texting of votes, this is a "Response to those who tried to vote multiple times during the Fox News texting poll that immediately followed the Sept. 5, 2007, Fox News sponsored Republican Presidential debate." You can ONLY VOTE ONCE as they record where the vote comes from and prevent additional votes from that address.

11/26/07 - Just Free Books - A search engine to find only free ebooks
JustFreeBooks search over 450 web sites, including gutenberg.org, wikibooks.org and archive.org, so that you can find the book you need. With this search engine you can find public domain texts, open books, free audio books, ad-supported books and more. Just type in the search box the book, author or theme you want to find. Searches can be further refined by language (english, spanish and french), format (pdf, html, audio books, MS reader, etc) and type. - Source

11/24/07 - Video - Bouncing bubbles could power microturbines
KeelyNet Researchers have hit upon an unusual way to spin tiny propellers - set them on top of tiny bouncing bubbles. Inspired by winged seed pods, they could find use for mixing tiny amounts of liquids, or strength-testing nanostructures, researchers say. Daniel Attinger, of Columbia University, New York, US, and colleagues hit upon the idea when investigating the way fluids move around vibrating bubbles. By heating water, the team made tiny bubbles around 40 micrometres across, the width of a few human cells, on a container's walls. Theoretical studies have suggested that bouncing creates a vortex around bubbles, so the researchers vibrated the container with a piezoelectric "buzzer" to achieve this. They then put small pieces of plastic into the flow around them to search for signs of the vortex effect. They found that flat pieces of plastic roughly the same width as the bubbles tended to stick to the top of them and spin around. Setting them spinning is a simple task. - Video Source. Just tossing thousands of the propellers into the container and vibrating it makes the propellers fall into position and start rotating. Shaking the container at the resonant frequency of the bubbles spins the propellers fastest - at nearly 700 revolutions per minute. The researchers can choose other rates of vibration to ramp the propellers' spin up and down. They suggest stringing several bubble rotors along a carbon nanotube, like pearls on a string, to act as a pump. / (This is pure Keely. Much like a bouncing magnet in coils to produce electricity. - JWD) - Source

11/24/07 - Making Clouds from Scratch
KeelyNet Rainmaking technology funded by the Australian government has already been given the thumbs down by international scientists, says an adviser to the World Meteorological Organization. But proponents of the technology say the criticism is unjust. The technology is being tested to see if it can make new rain clouds from blue skies by generating ions in the atmosphere. This is very different from existing rainmaking technology, which relies on seeding existing clouds, and has been carried out for decades in Tasmania and the Snowy Mountains. Some Australian experts have already publicly said they are sceptical of the new ionisation technology and Bruintjes agrees. Scientists involved in testing the Australian Rain Corporation technology, including Professor Jürg Keller of the University of Queensland, say the ionisation system uses a ground-based device to attract water molecules. These then condense, generating heat that, in turn, triggers an up-draft of the kind that occurs when clouds form naturally. Consultant Andrew Campbell, is advising the Australian Rain Corporation on the Queensland trials. He says it is prudent to investigate whether the technology works in Australian conditions, even if scientists don't understand how it works. "From a water policy perspective, the much more important question is whether or not this technology enhances rainfall," says Campbell, former chief executive officer of Land and Water Australia. "If it does we can analyse the mechanisms at our leisure. If it doesn't then that's a completely academic exercise." - Source

11/24/07 - Inflatable Moon Buildings
KeelyNet This approach involves the use of inflatable, expandable structures. While some Apollo era space architects suggested inflatable structures, the technology had yet to mature. Flash forward 40 years and structures - some of them exceptionally large (Denver's airport) are built with flexible fabrics. In the 1990s NASA embraced inflatable designs in a big way. Called "Transhab", NASA JSC put forth a design for a module that would hang off of the International Space Station and serve as a pathfinder for more advanced structures to be used on spacecraft and planetary surfaces. Alas, JSC was toying with human missions beyond low Earth orbit at a time when the White House forbid such notions. Transhab activity was shut down and the technology was put in a box. Eventually, millionaire Robert Bigelow bought much of the intellectual property associated with Transhab. Adding in some of his own technology Bigelow eventually launched two inflatable spacecraft - with plans for an inhabited, commercially operated, space station to follow. Without getting into a long engineering treatise, inflatable structures offer a lot of desirable characteristics - in space - and on a planet's surface. The one obvious advantage is ease of transport and set up. (via therawfeed.com) - Source

11/24/07 - Earth's Moon is a Rarity
"Scientists have concluded that moons like the Earth's are actually quite rare. Only 5-10% of planetary systems are likely to contain moons formed by planetary collisions. 'By the time the Earth's moon formed, when the Sun was 30 million years old, the planet formation process in our Solar System should have been approaching its end. In the latest study, Dr Gorlova's team looked at the heat signature of stars using the infrared. This allows astronomers to predict how much of that heat comes from the star itself and how much is re-emitted by dusty material encircling it.'" - Source

11/24/07 - Feds Have Access To Cellphone Tracking On Request
KeelyNet "According to a Washington Post article, federal officials are routinely asking and getting courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data on subscribers. The data is used to pinpoint the whereabouts of 'criminal suspects', according to judges and industry lawyers. In some cases, judges have granted the requests without even requiring the government to demonstrate probable cause that a crime is taking place or that the inquiry will yield evidence of a crime 'Privacy advocates fear such a practice may expose average Americans to a new level of government scrutiny of their daily lives. Such requests run counter to the Justice Department's internal recommendation that federal prosecutors seek warrants based on probable cause to obtain precise location data in private areas. The requests and orders are sealed at the government's request, so it is difficult to know how often the orders are issued or denied.'" - Source

11/24/07 - Robot controlled by moth brain
The moth is immobilize inside a plastic tube mounted atop the 6-inch-tall wheeled robot. To get the moth to imitate flight, [professor Charles M.] Higgins and his team placed the moth in its apparatus on a circular platform surrounded by a 14-inch-high revolving wall painted with vertical stripes. The moth's neuron reacts to the movement of the stripes and the process begins. The brain of a moth is about the size of a grain of rice. Although small, “its compact size and simplicity allows for an efficient way to do brain research,” Higgins said. - Source

11/24/07 - Logo Graveyard
KeelyNet Defunct logos. Logo R.I.P. is a commemoration of logos withdrawn from the ocular landscape. Many are considered icons of their time or international design classics, whilst others cost millions only to be replaced within a year or two. These logos disappeared, yet in contract to the ceremony and pomp that greeted their arrival, they often suffered an ignoble death. Now deemed defunct, they are consigned to the logo graveyard, no longer allowed to signify. - Source

11/24/07 - 'Trolls' targeted by controversial patent reforms
When Lawnie Taylor set out to develop a bleach that is kind to cotton, he had no inkling that the detergent industry had written off the idea as impossible. An inventor and former US Department of Energy physicist, he pressed ahead with experiments in the laundry room of his home in Germantown, Maryland. Eventually he arrived at a recipe that whitens cotton without destroying it. He was granted a US patent in 2005, and this month the James Austin Company is due to start selling the product under licence. It sounds like just the sort of enterprise that patent systems are designed to nurture, but for Taylor it's not working out that way. In 2006, Clorox of Oakland, California, the biggest manufacturer of bleach in the US, began selling a product that Taylor alleges is identical to his patented formula. With the support of his trade association, the Professional Inventors ... - Source

11/24/07 - Apocalyptic vision of a post-fossil fuel world
Richard Heinberg, one of the world's leading experts on oil reserves, warned that the lives of billions of people were threatened by a food crisis caused by our dependence on dwindling supplies of fossil fuels. Higher oil prices, the loss of farmland to biofuel crops, climate change and the loss of natural resources would combine with population growth to create an unprecedented food shortage, he claimed. The only way to avoid a world food crisis was a planned and rapid reduction of fossil fuel use - oil, coal and gas - and a switch to more organic methods in the growing and delivery of food. It would mean a return to living off the land not seen for 150 years. He said for thousands of years, until the 19th century and the onset of the Industrial Revolution, all food production had been local. In good years there was enough to eat and to store and in bad years there was starvation. The invention of the petrol engine increased the amount of arable land available to grow food, the size and efficiency of farm machinery improved, and better pesticides were developed - all of which contributed to a better food supply. As food became more plentiful and cheap, the threat of famine disappeared and obesity became more widespread than hunger. Food, grain, meat and vegetables began to be exported around the world and the world population increased six-fold. Heinberg said that, unfortunately, it was all unsustainable and the abundance of food depended on depleting, non-renewable fossil fuels whose burning produced climate-altering carbon dioxide. Heinberg said what was needed was a return to ecological organic farming methods which would require the transformation of societies. Heinberg added: "The transition to a fossil-fuel-free food system does not constitute a distant utopian proposal. It is an unavoidable, immediate, and immense challenge that will call for unprecedented levels of creativity at all levels of society. - Source

11/24/07 - Invention Could Prove Illuminating for American Drivers
KeelyNet The Astucia company has invented a SolarLite road stud, which could replace conventional reflective road studs. Where the current stud simply illuminates the road by bouncing back cars’ headlights, the SolarLite stores the sun’s energy during the day to provide illumination throughout the night via small light emitting diodes (LED). This can increase visibility from a typical 90 meters (sorry, the Brits were doing the measurements) to nearly 900 meters. To put this in terms of reaction time, that’s a difference of having to react in 3.2 seconds versus 30 seconds when driving 60 mph. The LED studs have been deployed along 120 stretches of road in the United Kingdom, and Astucia said local authorities have reported a 70% decrease in nighttime accidents. If the difference were even half that, the benefits of lining American roads with SolarLite studs would be well worth the cost. - Source

11/24/07 - Growing Organs in a Petri Dish
On Tuesday after researchers announced they were able to turn the clock back on skin cells and transform them into stem cells, the mutable building blocks of organs and tissues. "This is truly the Holy Grail: To be able to take a few cells from a patient - say a cheek swab or few skin cells - and turn them into stem cells in the laboratory," Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology said. "It’s bit like learning how to turn lead into gold." While the research is still in its infancy, the potential benefits are "tremendous" said Lanza, who has already found ways to cut the death rate following heart attacks in half, restore blood to limbs which would otherwise have to be amputated and construct a functioning kidney using stem cells. The use of skin cells will eventually allow doctors to create stem cells with a specific patient’s genetic code, eliminating the risk that the body would reject transplanted tissues or organs. "We can now envisage a time when a simple approach can be used to produce stem cells that are able to form any tissue from a small sample taken from any of us." One of the greatest advantages of the new technique is its simplicity: it takes just four genes to turn the skin cell back into a stem cell. This, unlike the complex and expensive process developed by Wilmut, can be done in a standard biological lab. And skin cells are much easier to harvest than embryos. The main hurdle to overcome is finding a safe way to transform the skin cells. The current method, developed by two teams of researchers in the US and Japan, raises the risk of cellular mutation because a retrovirus was used to deliver four genes to the cell. - Source

11/24/07 - Termites Provide New Dawn in the Field of Bio-Energy
KeelyNet "Termite guts are incredibly efficient," said Andreas Brune of the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany. "In theory, they could transform an A4-sized sheet of paper into two liters (1.8 pints) of hydrogen," he said. Present-generation biofuels are derived from corn, sugar and other crops, whose starch is converted into ethanol by enzymes, fermentation and distillation. One of the problems, though, is that this product entails converting food into fuel. Hefty US subsidies to promote bio-ethanol is having price repercussions across swathes of the global food market. Like cows, termites have a series of intestinal compartments that each nurture a distinct community of microbes. Each compartment does a different job in the process to convert woody polymers into the kind of sugars that can then be fermented into biofuel. The US team has now sequenced and analyzed the genetic code of some of these microbes in a key step towards -- hopefully -- reproducing the termite's miniature bioreactor on an industrial scale. - Source

11/24/07 - Blogs may impact future prospects
Internet blogs risk leaving a permanent electronic footprint which could be seen by future employers, a privacy watchdog has warned. Many young people post content on social networking sites and online blogs which could embarrass them at a later date, according to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The warning follows an ICO survey which found 60% of 14 to 21-year-olds did not realise their online details could be accessed years into the future. - Source

11/24/07 - Al Gore's 'nine Inconvenient Untruths'
KeelyNet Al Gore's environmental documentary An Inconvenient Truth contains nine key scientific errors, a High Court judge ruled yesterday. The judge declined to ban the Academy Award-winning film from British schools, but ruled that it can only be shown with guidance notes to prevent political indoctrination. In the documentary, directed by Davis Guggenheim, the former US vice president and environmental activist calls on people to fight global warming because "humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb". But Judge Michael Burton ruled yesterday that errors had arisen "in the context of alarmism and exaggeration" in order to support Mr Gore's thesis on global warming. - Source

11/22/07 - Pennsylvania State to test Kanzius Saltwater burning claims
Kanzius reached a joint working agreement Tuesday with Pennsylvania State University to develop uses for the device based on its ability to burn saltwater. "I think this device will yield a gold mine of scientific material," said Rustum Roy, Ph.D., director and founder of Penn State's Materials Research Laboratory and worldwide expert on the structure of water. "In science, we want to see something really new. This is most unexpected -- to everybody, to every scientist." Roy and his researchers will conduct experiments on the energy released from burning saltwater, the effectiveness of desalinating the water, and any other uses for the device other than treating cancer. Kanzius and Penn State will equally split the profit from any intellectual property gained from the device. Roy said he believes Kanzius' device uses radio waves to break the hydrogen-oxygen bond in saltwater using relatively little energy. He plans to study the energy released by breaking the bonds, and what is left when the bonds are broken. "In just the equivalent of two man-days of work, we learned enough to punch out two (scientific) manuscripts," Roy said. "I will present about John's device Tuesday at the Materials Research Society meeting in Boston." Now that an agreement between Kanzius and Penn State has been reached, Roy said the next step is to get research funding. "I think we will need a few million dollars for a few years of research," Roy said. "I'm confident we will get at least some funding. A major company was here, and I'm in contact with a half-dozen others." - Source

11/22/07 - Who Wants A Kindle?
KeelyNet Three years ago, we set out to design and build an entirely new class of device-a convenient, portable reading device with the ability to wirelessly download books, blogs, magazines, and newspapers. The result is Amazon Kindle. We designed Kindle to provide an exceptional reading experience. Thanks to electronic paper, a revolutionary new display technology, reading Kindle's screen is as sharp and natural as reading ink on paper-and nothing like the strain and glare of a computer screen. Kindle is also easy on the fingertips. It never becomes hot and is designed for ambidextrous use so both "lefties" and "righties" can read comfortably at any angle for long periods of time. We wanted Kindle to be completely mobile and simple to use for everyone, so we made it wireless. No PC and no syncing needed. Using the same 3G network as advanced cell phones, we deliver your content using our own wireless delivery system, Amazon Whispernet. Unlike WiFi, you'll never need to locate a hotspot. There are no confusing service plans, yearly contracts, or monthly wireless bills-we take care of the hassles so you can just read. - Source

11/22/07 - Basic Telekinesis
How to learn and use basic telekinesis. It's much easier than I thought: 1. Place your object your trying to move in front of you. 2. Place your thumb near the object, this will allow your aura to extend into its aura. 3. Visualize the object moving, just see it sliding over the table. Try adding some more feeling to it by adding sound to the visualization. 4. If you still cannot move it, try again. Tip: If your tired, stop with the session. Lie down for a bit, try later. - Source

11/22/07 - Who would the World Elect for President?
UNITED STATES Votes for: 27502 votes for Ron Paul 8568 votes for Barack Obama 4396 votes for Dennis Kucinich 1734 votes for Hillary Clinton 1371 votes for Mike Gravel 986 votes for John Edwards 871 votes for Fred Thompson 757 votes for Rudy Giuliani 560 votes for Mitt Romney 451 votes for John McCain 423 votes for Bill Richardson 311 votes for Mike Huckabee 297 votes for Joe Biden 197 votes for Duncan Hunter 165 votes for Tom Tancredo 117 votes for Chris Dodd 71 votes for Sam Brownback. (Bear in mind that Ron Pauls supporters are highly vocal and online, but he's my man. - JWD) - Source

11/22/07 - Nuclear desalination: Could nuclear power be the answer to fresh water?
New solutions to the ancient problem of maintaining a fresh water supply is discussed in a special issue of the Inderscience publication International Journal of Nuclear Desalination. With predictions that more than 3.5 billion people will live in areas facing severe water shortages by the year 2025, the challenge is to find an environmentally benign way to remove salt from seawater. Jain emphasizes that a sustainable, non-polluting solution to water shortages is essential. Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, and wave power, may be used in conjunction to generate electricity and to carry out desalination, which could have a significant impact on reducing potential increased greenhouse gas emissions. "Nuclear energy seawater desalination has a tremendous potential for the production of freshwater," Jain adds. The development of a floating nuclear plant is one of the more surprising solutions to the desalination problem. S.S. Verma of the Department of Physics at SLIET in Punjab, points out that small floating nuclear power plants represent a way to produce electrical energy with minimal environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Such plants could be sited offshore anywhere there is dense coastal population and not only provide cheap electricity but be used to power a desalination plant with their excess heat. - Source

11/22/07 - Climate Change Can Spark War
History may be bound to repeat itself as Earth’s climate continues to warm, with changing temperatures causing food shortages that lead to wars and population declines, according to a new study that builds on earlier work. The research does not represent direct cause-and-effect, but rather suggests a link between climate and conflict. To see whether changes in climate affected the number of wars fought in the past, the researchers examined the time period between 1400 and 1900, when global average temperatures reached extreme lows around 1450, 1640 and 1820, with slightly warmer periods in between. Using records reflected in tree rings and ice cores, the researchers compared temperature changes to a database of 4,500 wars worldwide that co-author Peter Brecke of Georgia Tech compiled with funding from the U.S. Institute of Peace. The results of the comparison showed a cyclic pattern of turbulent periods when temperatures were low, followed by more tranquil times when temperatures were higher. - Source

11/22/07 - The Most Dangerous Drug In The World
KeelyNet The drug is used almost primarily by criminals as a way of making victims so docile that they have been known to help thieves rob their own homes and empty their own bank accounts. Additionally, women have been drugged repeatedly and held as sex slaves, or have been convinced to willingly give up their own children. The most horrifying side effect of the drug is not is ability to make zombies of its victims, but the complete amnesia it causes. Scopolamine: Scopolamine is a colorless, tasteless, odorless drug. It is also known as hyoscine and is classified as a tropane alkaloid. The drug can be obtained from plants in the Solanacea (nightshade) family. Most scopolamine comes from jimsome weed, or as in Columbia, borrachero trees. The plants it can be derived from are many, and abundantly available. This makes its use widespread, and exceedingly dangerous. It is, surprisingly, one of the most feared substances in what is arguably the drug capital of the world, Columbia. In Columbia alone, there are over 50,000 reported cases of Scopolamine drugging, although rarely does this receive media attention, in Columbia or elsewhere. (via impactlab.com) - Source

11/22/07 - 6 Major Pre-Production Electric Vehicles Compared
"With all of the hype surrounding hybrid vehicles today, I thought I'd do some research and post my findings on the next generation of fully electric and plug-in hybrids. The fully-electric EV has had a bad name in the past, mostly due to insufficient battery technology, politics, lack of performance models and other factors. Starting this year with the Tesla Roadster, the EV is going to take on a new form in the eyes of John Q Public. Quiet, efficient EVs will start to become commonplace in the next few years as major manufacturers go into production with the newest generation of vehicle sporting more powerful motors, efficient generators and the latest battery technology." - Source

11/22/07 - Video - Build a Solar Heater on the Cheap
Create a cheap and green solar heater for less than $10. All you need is foam board, lots of pennies, black spray paint, and plexiglass. The assembled product should be placed next to a window and can increase the room temperature by a minimum of 10 degrees (according to the video), depending on the amount of sunlight that reaches the heater. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

11/22/07 - Ethanol Bust Makes Losers of Bush, Gates, D.E. Shaw
Ethanol is 2007's worst energy investment. The corn-based fuel tumbled 57 percent from last year's record of $4.33 a gallon and drove crop prices to a 10-year high [after] production in the U.S. tripled. Even worse for investors and the Bush administration, energy experts contend ethanol isn't reducing oil demand. Scientists at Cornell University say making the fuel uses more energy than it creates, while the National Research Council warns ethanol production threatens scarce water supplies. - Source

11/22/07 - It's the end of the world
Mayan apocalyptic theories suggest that the end of the world is imminent. The multi-calendar society of the Mayan Empire predicts that December 21, 2012 will be doomsday. On winter solstice, for the first time in 26,000 years, the sun will align with the center of the Milky Way and some people believe that this will cause a reversal in the magnetic fields of the sun, causing a chain reaction on Earth. Possible results range from the Earth's rotation change causing massive floods, to the magnetic poles' reversal on Earth, which could act as a catalyst for many natural disasters that could destroy the planet. Would you classify these doomsayers as utterly delusional? - Source

11/22/07 - U.N. to Cut Estimate Of AIDS Epidemic
The United Nations' top AIDS scientists plan to acknowledge this week that they have long overestimated both the size and the course of the epidemic, which they now believe has been slowing for nearly a decade, according to U.N. documents prepared for the announcement. The latest estimates, due to be released publicly Tuesday, put the number of annual new HIV infections at 2.5 million, a cut of more than 40 percent from last year's estimate, documents show. The worldwide total of people infected with HIV -- estimated a year ago at nearly 40 million and rising -- now will be reported as 33 million. "There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda," said Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS." "I hope these new numbers will help refocus the response in a more pragmatic way." - Source

11/22/07 - Man-sized sea scorpion claw found
KeelyNet The creature, which has been named Jaekelopterus rhenaniae, would have paddled in a river or swamp. The size of the beast suggests that spiders, insects, crabs and similar creatures were much larger in the past than previously thought, the team says. The claw itself measures 46cm - indicating its owner would have been longer even than the average-sized human. / "We have known for some time that the fossil record yields monster millipedes, super-sized scorpions, colossal cockroaches, and jumbo dragonflies. But we never realized until now just how big some of these ancient creepy-crawlies were," (paleontologist Simon Braddy) said... Braddy said the sea scorpions also were cannibals that fought and ate one other, so it helped to be as big as they could be. "The competition between this scorpion and its prey was probably like a nuclear standoff, an effort to have the biggest weapon," he said. "Hundreds of millions of years ago, these sea scorpions had the upper hand over vertebrates -- backboned animals like ourselves." - Source

11/22/07 - Are Aliens Among Us?
Thirty years ago the prevailing view among biologists was that life resulted from a chemical fluke so improbable it would be unlikely to have happened twice in the observable universe. That conservative position was exemplified by Nobel Prize-winning French biologist Jacques Monod, who wrote in 1970: “Man at last knows that he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the universe, out of which he emerged only by chance.” In recent years, however, the mood has shifted dramatically. In 1995 renowned Belgian biochemist Christian de Duve called life “a cosmic imperative” and declared “it is almost bound to arise” on any Earth-like planet. De Duve’s statement reinforced the belief among astrobiologists that the universe is teeming with life. Dubbed biological determinism by Robert Shapiro of New York University, this theory is sometimes expressed by saying that “life is written into the laws of nature.” How can scientists determine which view is correct? - Source

11/20/07 - Invention boosts horsepower using a water-and-methanol injection system
KeelyNet Matt Snow launched his business five years ago with $5,000 and his invention: a water-and-methanol injection system that boosts the horsepower of just about any vehicle. His Woodland Park home became the factory for Snow Performance Inc. In his spare time, Snow began playing around with an old concept that was used on fighter planes in World War II - cooling an engine to increase performance using a combination of water and methanol. By applying technology to the physics of combustion, Snow said he and a few fellow engineers were able to create the most advanced system on the market. The system injects on demand a fully atomized spray of water and methanol into the intake track. As the liquid evaporates, it absorbs heat, which allows more air into the combustion chamber and increases performance. Compact digital sensors read internal engine signals, such as revolutions per minute and air flow, and engage the system to deliver power when it’s needed. On a typical street-performance car, the Boost Cooler kit adds 50 to 100 horsepower and on race-car engines, up to 200 horsepower, Dunn said. The system also improves fuel economy by 10 to 15 percent, he said, and decreases emissions. KAZ MotorSports’ Kouba said it takes him about five hours to install a Boost Cooler kit. Snow offers about 20 kits that fit virtually every vehicle, and can be used on either gas or diesel engines. Kits cost $249 to $769, before installation. Snow plans to continue to gain more of the market and sees the business potential as limitless. He’s making a move into the commercial diesel market. - Source

11/20/07 - New exhaust system goes silent at the push of a button
German component supplier Eberspaecher has come up with a way of silencing the exhaust sound of a car at the press of a button. According to the company, a microphone in the exhaust pipe measures the noise level while an onboard chip calculates the amount of so-called "anti-sound" needed to reduce the exhaust note. In order to achieve this, a negative mirror-image of the undesired sound waves is played over a small loudspeaker installed in the silencer section of the exhaust system. The driver pushes a button on the dashboard to activate the device which sends out opposing sound waves to counteract the noise coming out of the exhaust pipe by up to 10 decibel points. The company says the invention also makes it possible to customize the engine noise produced by a typical four, six or eight-cylinder motor, making it sound very quiet, sporty or elegant as desired. - Source / A related item - The Vroom Box, a horribly complex little electronic device that's able to digitally recreate the sound of 15 different cars and fantasy vehicles and play them through speakers under your car (amplifier and speakers sold separately, of course). Now that three-cylinder Subaru Justy of yours can sound just a like a Shelby Mustang. - Source

11/20/07 - Food for thought: 10 off-the-wall projects
KeelyNet To help get your creative juices flowing, here we look at 10 do-it-yourself projects that fall somewhere between remarkable and ridiculous. MacGyver would be proud. 4) DIY Hoverboard - Then there’s “UK TV gadget maestro” Jason Bradbury, who, as recounted by the United Kingdom’s The Gadget Show on Five, used a gasoline-powered leaf-blower motor, a board, grommets, screws, piping and connectors, duct tape and heavy plastic sheeting (like pool lining) to create a hoverboard. Total cost: £150 (US$307). Total build time: about one hour (after you’ve "eventually figured out what the hell you're doing and fielded the questions from the [neighbors]”). 8) Inverted Pyramid for Water - Like energy, potable water is becoming a resource of greater concern for many people, especially those who live in arid areas. “WatAir” is an inverted pyramid array of panels that collects dew from the air and turns it into fresh water in almost any climate, producing at least 12 gallons per day, according to The Jerusalem Post (via Water Tech Online). According to one of its creators, WatAir can be incorporated into both rural and urban landscapes easily because it has a relatively small base. Its vertical and diagonal design utilizes gravity to increase the collection areas. The panels are flexible and easy to collapse when not in use, and provide shelter from rain and heat and play areas for children. - Source

11/20/07 - Sunbaking your Dinner for free
KeelyNet Steve Sawyer has made an outdoor solar powered oven from recycled materials sourced from the local tip. The oven can reach up to 140 degrees on a hot day and can bake a tray of biscuits in an hour and a half and roast chicken and vegetables in about three hours. Glass from a window pane keeps the heat in, while old fibre glass battes from a ceiling are used for insulation. The frame of the oven is made from ply wood and the base of the oven from an old desk. The most important material in the oven is the aluminium foil. Steve says the foil serves two purposes. "The foil reflects the sun's rays into the oven, creating the heat to cook the food. It also acts as insulation, keeping the heat inside." If you're looking at making your own solar powered oven but don't have access to all the materials, using that other great Aussie invention, the eskie, is probably your best bet. Simply cut a hole in the lid of the eskie and attach cardboard panels covered in foil to the lid of the eskie. The insulation of the eskie will keep the heat in, cooking your meal to perfection. - Source

11/20/07 - Public never warned about dangerous device
KeelyNet Twice a day at the Bio-Energy Services clinic, Campos held Antonio while the 260-pound machine pulsed powerful electromagnetic waves into the tumor bulging from his neck. The treatments failed, and Antonio died - the victim not only of his cancer, but of what one health official later called a "major national health fraud." The man behind that fraud is Panos Pappas, a math professor from Athens, Greece, who invented the PAP-IMI. He sold the machines to scores of practitioners in the United States who used them to exploit patients. They avoided detection by taking advantage of federal regulations that allow them to operate on an honor system in clinical studies. Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has linked Pappas' machine to patient injuries and death, it has never warned the public about the dangers. Pappas, meanwhile, continues to insist the machine "is absolutely safe," and that it "can cure cancer and AIDS." Pappas, 60, a Greek scientist, invented the Pap-Ion Magnetic Inductor, or the PAP-IMI, a medical device he describes as a rapid healing machine. It pulses the body with electromagnetic waves that he says repair damaged cells. Johnny Heurung, former general manager of Bio-Energy Services, became troubled by how the PAP-IMI was being marketed. "They would tell people on the phone or Internet or in the meeting it would cure," he said. " 'Cure' is a big word in life, and it's wrong. "When people are very ill, people will fall into the trap. They were coming into the clinic looking for a magic bullet or cure, but it wasn't." Employees lured people of all ages into the Los Angeles clinic. They offered gift certificates and discount packages, like 20 sessions for $880. The company touted the device's cures to support groups for people suffering from chronic fatigue, immune dysfunction and allergies. - Source

11/20/07 - Noah's Ark flood spurred European farming
KeelyNet Noah's flood may have been responsible for the birth of modern civilisation across Western Europe, according to research. A deluge 8,000 years ago in what are now the Balkans is believed by some to have given rise to the biblical story. It is being seen as a model for the social upheaval that may result from sea-level rises caused by climate change. The research, led by Chris Turney, a geologist at the University of Exeter, found that as early farmers from the Balkans travelled west because of the flooding, their culture replaced that of the hunter-gatherer tribes that they encountered. As they settled around Italy and France, they established farming communities, which eventually led to the growth of villages, towns and cities. - Source

11/20/07 - Three sprocket bike, half a turn for half a block
Chicago First Black Inventors Entrepreneurs now has 127 members in 21 states. The organization is black-run and based in Chicago, but Flowers said that should not deter inventors of all stripes from contacting them. “We target people with limited resources,” said Daniels, who is now secretary of the company. Inventors have been vocally responsive, often calling the organization a godsend. At any given time, they have 100 patents or patents pending that members would likely not have pursued if they had been working alone. Thomas Ross invented a bike with three sprockets, making one half-turn of the pedal sufficient to power the bike for a half a city block. - Source

11/20/07 - Buoys = Power?
KeelyNet Last year Ocean Power installed a 40-kilowatt version in 100 feet of water nearly a mile off the Hawaiian coast to provide supplemental power for the U.S. Navy. That project - a contract worth about $7 million - is still expanding. Five more buoys are to be installed, each progressively larger, in a field that will ultimately generate as much as one megawatt of electricity, or enough to power as many as 1,000 homes. The buoys used in the Reedsport, Ore., project will be Taylor's biggest yet - 30 feet wide, weighing 50 tons and capable of generating 150 kilowatts each. Each buoy houses a massive float that moves up and down like a piston as a wave passes. (As with an iceberg, most of the buoy remains below the water, with only about nine feet projecting above the surface.) The piston's motion drives a generator near the top of the buoy that creates an electric current, which is then piped back to shore via undersea cables. Remember, these guys are a mile to two offshore, not visible and they’ve already done studies that show no problems with the fishing or crabbing industry. Think about it for just a moment. Know anyplace else that has a coastline with waves? - Source

11/20/07 - SuperCooler air conditioner
Inventor Jack Mayhue decided to do his part in solving the problems the energy crisis and build an energy-efficient air conditioning unit that would make use of the waste water. The idea behind the super cooler is to catch the condensed water that usually drips from air conditioners and use that water to cool the system thus reducing normal operating temperature, pressures and electricity use. "The whole point of the Super Cooler system is to remove two times the humidity from the air in the area being cooled and then make use of the pure condensed water as a coolant that will remove heat from the condenser of the Super Cooler five times more efficiently than air," said Mayhue. In the 70's, it usually took years before an invention was given a patent, but due to the energy crisis President Carter expedited the process for energy efficient inventions. After one year and six days, and thousands of dollars in attorney fees, Mayhue's patent with 23 claims was approved. In 1976, the Florida Power Corporation did an evaluation and found that with an ambient temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit the Super Cooler used 14 percent less energy. - Source

11/20/07 - Cruising in our cities
KeelyNet As traffic flows account for about one-third of global energy consumption, better control systems for traffic lights could reduce harmful CO2 emissions. Now, German researchers have developed a self-organized control system for traffic lights that could improve vehicular traffic flow by up to 95 percent. They even patented their combination of two strategies leading to this better control system for traffic lights. “‘It turns out that the two strategies properly combined perform better than today’s traffic light controls at all traffic volumes. So the combination of two inferior strategies can perform much better - if we do it right,’ Professor Helbing says. Simulation tests show the combined strategies work well. With non-periodic - not cyclically repeated - traffic lights releasing long traffic queues, travel time even becomes more predictable. Flow is kept stable, fuel consumption and emissions are reduced. - Source

11/20/07 - Solar Powered Wheelchair
A research team at the Southern Taiwan University of Technology in Tainan County has invented a new type of solar powered wheelchair which integrates the functions of existing manual and electric wheelchairs and can be sold for a cheaper price, the university said yesterday. A conventional fully-powered electric wheelchair can go approximately 7km on a charge, but in contrast, a solar powered wheelchair can go 10km to 12km. The price of a traditional electric wheelchair stands between NT$30,000 to NT$50,000, while the price of a solar powered wheelchair is likely to be priced below NT$15,000 after going into mass production. - Source

11/20/07 - Scam that snares the desperately ill
KeelyNet In the late 1980s, an out-of-work math instructor in Colorado built an electronic device he claimed could diagnose and destroy disease - everything from allergies to cancer - by firing radio frequencies into the body. But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which regulates medical devices, ordered William Nelson to quit selling his machine and making false claims. Protected by barred gates, surveillance cameras and guards, he rakes in tens of millions of dollars selling a machine used to exploit the vulnerable and desperately ill. This device is called the EPFX. In the U.S. alone, Nelson has sold more than 10,000 of them. More have been sold in the Northwest than in any other region, company officials said. Nelson built his business by recruiting a sales force of physicians, chiropractors, nurses and thousands of unlicensed providers, from homemakers to retirees, drawn by the promise of easy money. From his restored, five-story building in downtown Budapest, Nelson operates the main EPFX business, Eclosion, and lives with his fifth wife and 8-year-old son. He has a personal staff of about a dozen, including a cook, hairdresser, nanny, security guards and chauffeurs. From his movie production studio, he has created films that portray him as the crusader of alternative medicine and the FDA as the corrupt villain. He said he has sold 17,000 EPFX devices worldwide. They now cost $19,900 each. Energy-device operators benefit from the placebo effect, a psychological phenomenon in which patients report improvement that cannot be linked scientifically to treatment, studies show. People feel better through the power of suggestion or because they believe they are expected to feel improvement, experts say. The EPFX is made up of circuit boards and other computer components that run software full of colorful graphics of the body. During a typical EPFX treatment, a patient may watch as a computer screen displays an animation of the interior of an artery blocked by white blobs, representing cholesterol. Then the blobs shrink and disappear. One of its strangest features is found on top of the EPFX: a 5-inch silver plate. Nelson claims the device can detect problems in the body by analyzing hair, saliva or blood placed on the plate. The device then fires healing frequencies to patients - even if they're hundreds of miles away. - Source

11/20/07 - In The US, Email Is Only For Old People
"Two years after Slashdot discussed the theory that Korean young people were rejecting email, an article at the Slate site written by Chad Lorenz comes to the same conclusion about the United States. 'Those of us older than 25 can't imagine a life without e-mail. For the Facebook generation, it's hard to imagine a life of only e-mail, much less a life before it. I can still remember the proud moment in 1996 when I sent my first e-mail from the college computer lab. It felt like sending a postcard from the future. I was getting a glimpse of how the Internet would change everything--nothing could be faster and easier than e-mail.'" - Source

11/18/07 - Surfer dude stuns physicists with theory of everything
KeelyNet Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt). His proposal is remarkable because, by the arcane standards of particle physics, it does not require highly complex mathematics. Even better, it does not require more than one dimension of time and three of space, when some rival theories need ten or even more spatial dimensions and other bizarre concepts. And it may even be possible to test his theory, which predicts a host of new particles, perhaps even using the new Large Hadron Collider atom smasher that will go into action near Geneva next year. The new theory reported today in New Scientist has been laid out in an online paper entitled "An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything" by Lisi, who completed his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1999 at the University of California, San Diego. He has high hopes that his new theory could provide what he says is a "radical new explanation" for the three decade old Standard Model, which weaves together three of the four fundamental forces of nature: the electromagnetic force; the strong force, which binds quarks together in atomic nuclei; and the weak force, which controls radioactive decay. The reason for the excitement is that Lisi's model also takes account of gravity, a force that has only successfully been included by a rival and highly fashionable idea called string theory, one that proposes particles are made up of minute strings, which is highly complex and elegant but has lacked predictions by which to do experiments to see if it works. Lisi's inspiration lies in the most elegant and intricate shape known to mathematics, called E8 - a complex, eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points first found in 1887, but only fully understood by mathematicians this year after workings, that, if written out in tiny print, would cover an area the size of Manhattan. - Source

11/18/07 - People Believe NASA Funded As Well As US Military
"An essay on the Space Review site is reporting that a just-completed study indicates the average citizen has no idea how much funding NASA gets. Respondents generally estimated NASA's allocation of the national budget to be approximately 24% (it's actually closer to 0.58%) and the Department of Defense budget to be approximately 33% (it's actually closer to 21%). In other words, respondents believed NASA's budget approaches that of the Department of Defense, which receives almost 38 times more money. Once informed of the actual allocations, they were almost uniformly surprised. One of the more vocal participants exclaimed, 'No wonder we haven't gone anywhere!'" - Source

11/18/07 - Canadian Soldiers May Get Blinding Laser Weapons
KeelyNet The Canadian military in Afghanistan may deploy laser weapons called dazzlers that TEMPORARILY BLIND whomever they're aimed at. It's like looking into the sun. The lasers will enable Canadians to protect themselves without shooting everyone who behaves suspiciously, which, in Afghanistan, is just about everyone. UPDATE 11.16.07: The Canadians aren't the only ones trying to get dazzlers. According to WIRED's Danger Room, The U.S. State Department wants Blackwater using them in Iraq, and U.S. Marines in Anbar Province in Iraq have issued an "urgent request" for dazzlers as well. (via therawfeed.com) - Source

11/18/07 - The Last DC Power Grid Shut Down in NYC
"Today the last section of the old Edison DC power grid will be shut down in Manhattan. 'The last snip of Con Ed's direct current system will take place at 10 East 40th Street, near the Mid-Manhattan Library. That building, like the thousands of other direct current users that have been transitioned over the last several years, now has a converter installed on the premises that can take alternating electricity from the Con Ed power grid and adapt it on premises.' I guess Tesla finally won the argument." - Source

11/18/07 - Hidden Camera Finder $350
KeelyNet Two high-power alternately pulsating "laser frequency" beams scan for camera lenses up to 50 incredible feet. away. Hidden cameras are easily and quickly detected and viewed as bright flashing red lights by simply looking into the 4X magnified, focus adjustable, optical glass view port. All "false" detections are virtually eliminated. Locates ALL kinds of cameras, including ultra mini pinhole and cameras hidden inside objects such as clock radios, smoke detectors, etc. A "must have" tool for police, private investigators, security professionials, or virtually anyone that wants privacy assurance. No special training required. This camera detector will find more hidden cameras with less false results and greater accuracy than any other product on the market today. - Source

11/18/07 - Start-up makes electric power from motion
The company's mission, in essence, is to apply the long-understood Faraday Principle--that putting a conductor near a magnetic field will produce voltage--to 21st century applications. Its initial target is to create a D-size battery for the military and then create batteries for consumer electronics. Later, it plans to make larger batteries for renewable energy Sources like wave power and wind turbines. Soldiers rely increasingly on D and AA-size batteries to power scopes, radios, and other mobile electronics. Batteries alone can be an additional 10- to 30-pound burden, and discarded batteries leave a trace of a mission's movements. The company intends to test out its batteries as part of a military research effort and, in parallel, design batteries for consumer devices. Initially, the company expects to make a battery charger for a cell phone or digital music player that would provide a backup charge to an existing device with a cable, said Regan Rowe, director of business development at M2E Power. Magnet and coil generators are typically too large for use in mobile electronics. The company's technologists have been able to generate enough electricity to power small devices by manipulating the electromagnetic field that is produced when a coil moves near a magnet, explained Rowe. It has patents in magnetics and coil structures. Its initial prototypes include a magnet attached to a spring, wire coils, circuitry, and a traditional battery to store electricity. Because it is self-charging, it allows designers to make batteries with less traditional storage material, which often contain heavy metals, Rowe said. Also, the charging algorithms will be less taxing on batteries, making them last twice as long, she said. - Source

11/18/07 - First Commercial Algae Facility Announced
KeelyNet Continuously harvesting algae from a pond or bioreactors appears to be the major technological step to be overcome before biodiesel production becomes feasible. Among the advantages of using algae to make biodiesel the three that stand out to me are 1) algae is a non-food feedstock 2) it can be produced on land that is not suitable for agriculture, such as in deserts 3) the amount of land required is much less than that for oilseed crops. If all the technical problems are resolved the remaining issue is whether biodiesel can be produced economically, without subsidies. Through the use of their reactors and presumably HAPS, GSPI may obtain low enough costs to be competitive. - Source

11/18/07 - Bush Death Watch: Countdown!
Here is my suggestion: Mark your calendars, set your watch, program a celebratory ringtone well in advance, because the countdown has officially begun. It is now less than one calendar year until the next presidential election. It is less than one year until the country finally takes a deep breath and flexes its atrophied muscles and opens its bloody, Cheney-punched mouth and lets it be known to the world, to the universe, to its own numb and dejected soul just exactly how unwell it has felt, how much pain has raked its heart, lo, these past seven (eight, by then) years, by ushering in an entirely new political era, as we all exhale a massive sigh of long overdue relief that - praise Jesus, Allah, Buddha and the devil all at once - the long national nightmare of George W. Bush is finally over. Ah, but perhaps you are one of the jaded ones, the non-believers, that certain type of political bitterball who says, oh please, what does it matter, they're all criminals and cretins and powermongers anyway, no matter which party or president they work for? Get rid of BushCo and a new slew of cronies and cretins take their place, and who can tell the difference? Truth is, it's just far too easy to let the ennui wash over and not give a damn, to lump all politics into a phlegmball of nasty negativity and be done with it, thus entirely disregarding the efficacious issues, the things that truly effect change and affect lives and improve or degrade the health of the planet. - Source

11/18/07 - Extend the Life of your Razor Blades
KeelyNet Sick of dropping cash on new, pricey razor blades every few weeks because you can only get a couple weeks of use from a new blade before it shaves about as well as sandpaper? The Chicago Tribune suggests that drying your razor after use can drastically increase the life of a razor blade-up to 122%, according to one study. And while there's no conclusive proof that dry blades will prolong your razor's life, several people interviewed swear by it, and since it's not costing you anything, drying your razor between uses is certainly worth a try. / (Years ago, when people involved in the pyramid craze were claiming to be able to sharpen razor blades, a fellow told me a Canadian had taken timelapse photos of a used razor blade through a window in a pyramid. The video camera had a microscope attachment that allowed you to see the blade edge. A new blade isn't a totally smooth line but has little dips like a photo of a mountain range. When the blade is used, the metallic crystals break off and produce a rough edge with deep valleys. The video from the experiment showed the rough edges slowly growing to fill in the depressons so that the blade was once again sharp. I have never seen this video, but it would be fascinating to watch. And note that pyramid experimenters claim the pyramid shape dries out anything put into it. Acting as an energy dessicant. - JWD) - Source

11/18/07 - The dollar's decline: from symbol of hegemony to shunned currency
After months of huge and sustained turmoil on the money markets, lack of confidence in the world's totemic currency has become so widespread that an increasing number of international traders are transferring their wealth to stronger currencies such as the euro, which recently hit its highest level against the dollar. "An American businessman over here who is given the choice would take anything but the dollar," David Buik of Cantor Index said yesterday. "I would want to be paid in yen, and if not yen then the euro or sterling." The collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market in the US, which is fuelling the dollar unrest, has already brought down one British bank, Northern Rock, and has forced others to declare vast losses. Yesterday, just as it appeared that the dollar might have finally reached its floor, there was another warning that the sub-prime crisis is going to get worse. The US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, warned an international business summit in South Africa: "The sub-prime market, parts of it will get worse before it gets better." Huge numbers of US homeowners are still cushioned by introductory interest rates set when they took out loans in 2005 or 2006, he said. When these introductory offers run out, their interest payments will increase, setting off another wave of defaulting and repossessions. And the dollar is enduring its rockiest spell in recent memory. China has stockpiled £700bn worth of foreign currency, and has only to decide to slow its accumulation of dollars to weaken the currency further. Last month, in a humiliating turn of events, the central bank in Iraq, four years after the United States invaded, stated that it wished to diversify reserves from a reliance on dollars. Korea's central bank has urged shipbuilders to issue invoices in the local currency and take precautions against the weakened dollar, and three of the world's big oil exporters, Iran, Venezuela, and Russia, are demanding payment in euros rather than dollars. Iran insisted that Japan should make all its payments for oil in yen, rather than dollars. - Source

11/18/07 - Left Brain Distinguishes Sounds From Cacophony
Ever wondered how we are able to conduct a conversation at a noisy party? Researchers from Japan, Canada and Germany have found that it is our left brain that picks out the desired sounds from a cacophony of loud, competing sounds. “In daily life, we are always exposed to several noises at the same time and we have to pick up important signals, for example, speech sounds, from the background noises,“ wrote researcher Ryusuke Kakigi from Japan’s National Institute for Physiological Sciences. “We found that the left hemisphere is generally dominant for auditory processing in noisy environments,“ he wrote in an email response to questions from Reuters. It is well known that speech signals are processed in the left brain. But this study, led by Hidehiko Okamoto and Christo Pantev at the University of Muenster in Germany, furthers our understanding of how the human brain is able to zero in on the specific sounds it wants and process them. In the latest issue of the online journal BMC Biology, the scientists said they used neuroimaging and observed neural mechanisms in volunteers who were exposed to different combinations of tests and background sounds. “Test sounds were played either to the left or to the right ear, while the competing noise was presented either to the same or to the opposite ear,“ they wrote. “By monitoring the brain’s response to these different sound combinations, the team observed that the left hemisphere was the site of most neural activity associated with processing sounds in a noisy environment.“ - Source

11/18/07 - Air-Ray Ballonet
KeelyNet Inspired by the Manta ray, the largest known specimen of the ray family, the German firm “Festo” created the “Air ray” - a remote-controlled ballonet filled with helium and constructed with a flapping-wing drive mechanism, which allows it to “swim” freely in the air, just like the Manta ray in the water. The ballonet is a gastight bladder of aluminium-vaporised “PET foil”, and it can be filled with up to 1.6 cbm of helium. Since 1 cbm of helium generates approximately 1 kg weight of buoyant force, Air ray’s overall mass must not exceed 1.6 kg. The researchers said that since the density of water is significantly greater than that of air, their invention required a particularly delicate and light construction. “It enables Air ray to almost hover in the air by means of the buoyant force of the helium ballonet, floating through a sea of air just as the Manta ray does in water”. The wing module of the flapping-wing mechanism can be moved up and down by a servo drive unit, which has a structure like that of the tail fins of many fish. The propulsion is affected by this mechanism, and is based on a concept named “Fin Ray Effect”, developed by Leif Kniese. The structure consists of two alternating pressure and tension flanks flexibly connected by ribs. When one flank is subjected to pressure, the geometrical structure automatically bends in the direction opposed to the force applied. In the “Air ray”, a servo drive unit pulls on the two flanks longitudinally in alternation, thus moving the wing module up and down. The scientists say they have succeeded in achieving a structure that closely approaches the biological model’s movements - “it can even execute birdlike light maneuvers” - they said. / Animation and Video. - Source

11/18/07 - How Many Bullets?
Q. In the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, how many U.S. bullets are fired for every insurgent killed? A. According to this 2005 article: 250,000 bullets. - Source

11/18/07 - Turn Superhuman with Pentagon's PowerSwim
KeelyNet Humans are terrible swimmers, converting roughly 3 percent of their kicks, strokes and general underwater exertions into forward motion. We can boost our efficiency to 10 percent by adding fins, but dolphins, by comparison, can turn 80 percent of their energy into thrust. Not to be outdone, the Pentagon’s research wing, DARPA, is developing a contraption that lets Navy SEALs and other combat divers swim faster, and with less effort. Instead of kicking, PowerSwim calls for a kind of undulation as its hinged foils pivot up and down. Similar to the way a dolphin or tortoise pumps its fins, this motion generates both lift and thrust. And while artificial fins operate within the swimmer’s own wake (they form a kind of expanding cone, starting at a swimmer’s shoulders), the PowerSwim’s lead foil-or propulsor foil-sweeps through the water just outside that wake. When used properly, the device allows swimmers to cover a given distance up to 150 percent faster than with fins, while using the same amount of energy. The seesaw movement of the foils creates rolling currents, called shed vortexes, that sweep back and around to push the foil forward. It’s a phenomenon exploited by various aquatic species, such as penguins and dolphins. - Source

11/18/07 - World-changing idea has banks wary of £2,000 loan
DESPITE winning a prestigious award from the Wall Street Journal last month, Red Button Design, a fledgling business set up by three Glasgow students, is facing a massive hurdle trying to raise finance to turn its groundbreaking idea into a reality. Over the last year, Amanda Jones, James Brown and Nicholas Pang, all 23, have created an innovative water purification system for use in developing countries. The idea behind their invention, which Jones says is a reverse osmosis sanitation system (ROSS), came after Pang had spent time living in India. With backgrounds in product design and engineering, they developed a sustainable interim water transport, sanitation and storage solution. The WSJ panel believe it could have a significant impact on one of the major obstacles to third world development, the provision of clean drinking water. The World Health Organisation estimates that more than a billion people do not have access to adequate supplies of safe drinking water. Jones expanded: "We began by entering competitions for product developments and big ideas and the end result is that our product purifies water. We know that it does remove salts, viruses such as e-coli and numerous other harmful impurities but to get us to mass manufacture, it could take anything up to £500,000. We will have to cover everything, from testing to durability, but we are confident it will work." The average individual living in sub-Saharan Africa has to walk 6 kilometres to find safe drinking water and can collect only what they can carry. The ROSS unit - a two-wheeled water bowser - would allow an individual to push home 50 litres, with the mechanical movement of the wheels driving a filter through the tank. The water dispensed is safe and can be stored safely in the unit for future use. - Source

11/18/07 - Could Flubber really happen?
KeelyNet Fred MacMurray, the scatter-brained chemist in Walt Disney's 1961 comedy classic "The Absent-Minded Professor," named his invention "Flubber," a fusion of "flying rubber." The putty-like substance gave wings to basketball players at fictitious Medfield College and stirred the imagination of a generation of potential gym rats who had never heard of Air Jordans, or even the Final Four. MacMurray's character, Prof. Ned Brainard, concocts a goop that generates its own energy and, thus, has anti-gravity properties. Medfield players bound like human pogo sticks up and down the court, through the rafter beams and so high above the rim, some have trouble coming "down" for dunks. But is Flubber, as applied to the science of basketball, possible? Nope, not even in theory, says Dr. Eric Schlegel, chairman of the physics department at UTSA. "The difference between Flubber-science and reality is that Flubber allows you to bounce higher than your starting 'drop,'" Schlegel says. That violates the principle of conservation of energy - one of the core principles of physics." / (Can you say 'sorbothane'? - JWD) - Source

11/18/07 - What’s green, cool, cheap and makes you thin?
I was not only too cheap to get a car (the AA Motoring Trust estimates a medium-sized car costs £2,600 a year before you put a drop of petrol in), I was too lazy. The amount of administration required for my tiny life already made me want to walk into the sea, I couldn’t bear to add MoTs, insurance, council permits and fines. And that is before you even get to parking. Modern hell must be circling your home in ever-widening loops, as your dinner cools and your baby weeps. So is there some kind of support group for us doomed, carless Prescottians? Turns out there is - it’s called a car club. When one sprung up in our area, we joined immediately: three cars, each parked within a five to ten-minute walk of our flat, bookable - often at very short notice - by text or phone. It cost us no membership fee, no deposit, and the £5 an hour includes petrol and insurance. The “smartcard” for the ignition is the coolest thing in my wallet. I got that astonished feeling when an organisation in Britain works well. We were saved. You can now have your cake, eat it and not get fat. You can drive a swish VW Golf, save money, the planet, and your waistline (research shows that car club users walk and use other kinds of transport more than before). That’s no mean feat in a society that was dubbed “obesogenic” in a report this week. Before we get carried away, let’s remember that, like us, not everyone sacrifices a car to join a club. Streetcar, the largest organisation with 20,000 members, says half of their customers give up their own cars, other research suggests it’s only about a third. But, with each car in the club getting 40 users, that’s still a dozen or so cars off the road. Car clubs are not for everyone - but the European example shows that the maximum is probably about one in six car users. Here’s a totally free initiative for politicians. Just talk about - or even use - the damn things. Car clubs should send the eco-windmills spinning... - Source

11/16/07 - Farmer Turns Waste Into Invention
KeelyNet About 250 cows at the Freund Farm in East Canaan produce milk. "Each cow makes approximately 9 gallons of a milk a day on a 365-day-a-year schedule," said dairy farmer Matt Freund. Freund is now using waste created by the cows for energy. "In today's environment, you are only allowed one cow per two acres of land. So we have to be very cognizant of how much manure we produce on our property," Freund said. The farm uses a digestor to take the methane gas from the manure to provide heat and hot water for Freund's home and office. The leftover liquids and solids are then split up and the liquids are spread on crows and the solids are dried out in a composter. Freund then uses the compost, or dried manure to make what he calls Cow Pots. Fruend said it took him eight years to develop the technique to create the pots and that he now receives requests from across the globe for the odor-free pots. "People are really hungry for a biodegradable pot that will grow a better plant," Freund said. - Cowpots - Source

11/16/07 - Hydrogen brewing gets an electrical boost
A new microbe-powered device can extract up to 99% of the available hydrogen from biological compounds that have stumped previous attempts to ferment fuel from plant waste. The secret is to give the bugs a helping hand with a kick of electric charge. Microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) enable microbes to break down organic materials completely, to just water, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen. The researchers were able to generate up to 1.23 cubic meters of hydrogen per day for every cubic meter of hydrogen fuel cell. This rate of hydrogen production is about 275 times faster than their earlier MEC. In tests, the system produced hydrogen that, if fed into a hydrogen fuel cell that was 50% efficient, could generate between 1.2 and 3.4 times as much electricity as was fed into the system. By comparison, hydrogen extracted from water can only pay back about 25 to 30% of the energy used to extract it. "It is surprising that such high hydrogen yields can so readily be obtained," says Patrick Hallenbeck of the University of Montreal in Canada. "The net energy yield appears much higher than what people are getting in other biofuel production processes - bioethanol, for example," he adds. But the process is still much too slow to be practical, Hallenbeck adds. Logan and colleagues are currently working on improving the speed. - Source

11/16/07 - Backing Up Your Brain
KeelyNet "Microsoft is now working on a system that will back up the contents of your brain. The pilot project lacks a direct brain interface, but "MyLifeBits" will provide a simulacrum of actual memories. No mention is made as to whether Microsoft will claim to own the digital rights to the content of your life, or what license fees you will have to pay to access your own memories." - Source

11/16/07 - How to Stop Restaurant Tip Fraud
If you pay your restaurant bills with with a credit card, there's a small chance a crooked waiter will jack up the tip by scribbling the amount you added. If you don't go over your receipts and compare them to your credit card statement each month, you'll never know if you've been a victim of this form of fraud. Punny Money has a way to help you catch tip fraud without having to compare your receipts to your statements (you do need to save your receipts, though). You use a checksum method. Adjust the pennies in your tip so the last digit to the right of the decimal point equals the sum of the digits to the left of the decimal point of the total bill. - Source

11/16/07 - Home Theater Watch
KeelyNet Imagine, if you will, having a complete home theater on your wrist! No need to imagine, it's available now: Home Theater Watch. At $119, it's about 1/50th of the price of an old-fashioned home theater. / With 2GB of built-in storage, you will be able to store a full-length feature film on your watch. In addition to being a video viewer, the Home Theater Watch plays MP1, MP2, or MP3 and WMA audio files, and allows you to view JPEG images. The screen is a stunningly LARGE 1.5 inches and features a brilliant 260K color display capability. Your videos and images will look just like they do on your PC. Connecting the Home Theater Watch to your PC is as simple as connecting any USB device. That's right! This is a USB device. Simply connect the Home Theater Watch to your PC with a USB cable, and load the included software on to your computer. Included is a software package that will convert your ASF, AVI, MPEG, WMV, DAT/VCD, and ASX files to the format required for the Home Theater Watch. You can even rotate the orientation of the video as well as any images you'd like to store on the device. - Source

11/16/07 - Revolutionary Solar Energy?
One of the largest inhibitors to cheap solar power has always been the high cost of solar panels (due to their thick glass, framing, and expensive silicon). San Jose-based Nanosolar, Inc. appears ready to eliminate these barriers with solar technology that utilizes thin sheets of non-silicon components that reduce the production costs by over 90% and decreases the thickness by 99% (the Nanosolar PowerSheets are thin enough to be rolled up). Unlike many other solar companies, Nanosolar, Inc. has already built a massive manufacturing plant and intends to deliver its first solar sheets to European customers in 2008 at a price that will put solar power at or below the per watt price of fossil fuel-based energy. The company claims that the technology is so versatile that they could be incorporated into roofing shingles or even rolled onto the top of cars or trucks. (via impactlab.com) - Source

11/16/07 - Gadgets to Spur Energy Conservation
KeelyNet When the box turns red, it's time to turn off the air conditioner and save electricity. The red glow of the Joule meter from ConsumerPowerline and Ambient Devices tells participants in an energy-conservation program that their local power grid is jammed and that their utility will pay them to power down. Data sent to the device over a satellite pager network includes regional power costs and consumption (indicated by the bars at the left and right) and the local weather and temperature. Energy suppliers respond to spikes in demand by gearing up extra production capacity. That can be so expensive that many utilities are willing to pay to promote conservation during periods of peak use. ConsumerPowerline pays apartment complexes, companies, and institutions to conserve on cue, then resells the resulting "negawatts"--reduction in demand--to utilities in New York, Massachusetts, and California. Currently, ConsumerPowerline requests negawatts from its participants by paging them or sending them faxes, e-mails, or voice mails. This month, however, the firm received its first shipment of digital gauges, each about the size of an air freshener, that download information over a low-bandwidth satellite pager network. In the coming weeks, the company will distribute the gauges to participants in its program and, in some cases, display them in public spaces. Humphrey Wong, ConsumerPowerline's manager of incentive innovations, hopes that the devices will lead to an additional 5 to 10 percent drop in power consumption among organizations that already deliver reductions of 15 percent or more. - Source

11/16/07 - We can Build You
Scientists said Wednesday they had created the world's first cloned embryo from a monkey, in work that could spur cloning of human cells for use in medical research. In a paper published online by the British journal Nature, a team in the US said they had created cloned embryos of rhesus macaques, using the same method that famously led to Dolly the Sheep and other genetically duplicated animals. It is the first time that this technique has been successfully used to create cloned primate embryos. - Source

11/16/07 - Maxtor drives contain password-stealing Trojans
KeelyNet Seagate Technology LLC has shipped Maxtor disk drives that contain Trojan horses that upload data to a pair of Chinese Web sites, the Taiwanese government's security service warned this weekend. The Investigation Bureau, a part of the Ministry of Justice that's responsible for both internal security and foreign threats, said it suspected mainland China's authorities were responsible for planting the malware on the drives at the factory. Seagate confirmed today that some Maxtor Basics 3200 drives were infected out of the box, but the company said it had no proof that the Chinese government was involved. "We discovered that a contract manufacturer had introduced a virus onto the drives during assembly," said Forrest Monroy, a Seagate spokesman, in an e-mail. "We have no indication, nor any reason to believe, that there is any government involvement in the virus issue." According to the newspaper, about 1,800 Seagate-made drives left a Thailand facility with a pair of Trojan horses preinstalled. The two Trojans, said the Investigation Bureau, "phone home" to a pair of Web sites hosted in Beijing and report all data recorded on the compromised drive. Seagate, however, countered that the only data captured by the on-disk Trojans and sent to the Chinese Web sites were game-related passwords. Internet records show that both sites -- www.nice8.org and www.we168.org -- were registered with XinNet.cn, one of China's largest domain registrars. Much of the registration information, however, including the contact name and mailing address, appears to be bogus. The Investigation Bureau identified the infected drives as 500GB models and has demanded that the Taiwanese distributor pull all units from shelves. Of the 1,800 drives reportedly malware-equipped, 1,500 have been removed from the sales channel. The remainder had already been sold. - Source

11/16/07 - China's green energy gap
By next autumn, a muddy construction site here in a rural part of eastern China will give way to a small power plant that burns corn stalks and cotton stalks to generate electricity for nearby villages and steam for a neighboring industrial complex. The plant would be ready sooner, but only four companies in China make the specialized precision boilers that the biomass plant requires. And all those companies are plagued by backed-up orders and delivery delays. Similar problems bedevil the wind turbine industry in China. The same big utility company building the green plant in Boxing, CLP, has just opened a coal-fired plant in southernmost China. On schedule and built for half what it would cost in the West, that plant will generate 1,200 megawatts of electricity - compared with 6 megawatts from the Boxing biomass plant. CLP is so impressed that it is bidding to build coal-fired plants in India with Chinese technology. These are the realities faced by companies seeking to make themselves more environmentally friendly in China, where coal is king. Coal-fired plants are quick and cheap to build and easy to run. - Source

11/16/07 - 14mhz to Burn Saltwater
KeelyNet How it works: 1. A generator emits 14-megahertz radio waves. 2. The waves bombard a solution of regular table salt and water. 3. Exactly what happens next remains a mystery, but one theory posits that the sodium chloride may weaken the bonds between the strong oxygen and hydrogen atoms in water. Radio waves break apart the bonds and liberate flammable hydrogen gas molecules. 4. A match ignites the hydrogen, generating an intense flame. 5. The resulting heat powers a simple engine. - Source

11/16/07 - Bush vetoes spending bill on health, education and jobs
President George W. Bush vetoed a major spending measure on Tuesday that would have funded education, health care and job training programs, saying it contained too many special projects,, even as he signed a $459 billion bill to increase the Pentagon's non-war funding. - Source

11/16/07 - Ron Paul Collecting Fans, Big Money
KeelyNet Those who dismissed Rep. Ron Paul as a joke in the Republican presidential primary campaign aren't laughing so hard these days. The Texas libertarian's rise in the polls and in fundraising proves that a small but passionate number of Americans can be drawn to an advocate of unorthodox proposals such as returning to the gold standard and abolishing the income tax, CIA and Federal Reserve. Paul remains a very long shot for the nomination. But as the only Republican candidate backing a prompt troop withdrawal from Iraq-and an airing of possible impeachment charges against Vice President Dick Cheney-he appeals to a mix of liberals and conservatives who feel alienated and deeply distrustful of the government. "Where the extreme left and the extreme right meet, you'll find Ron Paul," said Merle Black, an Emory University political scientist and co-author of the book "Divided America." Paul is Congress' most prominent advocate of returning to the gold standard, which the country abandoned in the 1930s. In its purest form it would mean that all paper currency in circulation could be redeemed for gold. Supporters say the gold standard would curb inflation and boost confidence in the economy. Paul would eliminate the Fed altogether as an impediment to free markets. Paul breezily talks of eliminating the personal income tax, saying it provides about 40 percent of federal revenues, which spending cuts could absorb. The government's funding level would approximate that of he says, although government statistics put the figure closer to 1995. Paul said the United States should leave the United Nations. "I don't like giving up our national sovereignty," he said. The government should gather intelligence, he said, but dismantle the CIA, which he accused of blunders and abuses of power. Presidential debate moderators typically pay scant attention to Paul and two other House members seen as fringe candidates. But he has triggered some crackling exchanges on the Iraq war, unusual for primary campaign debates in which most candidates hold similar views. At a mid-May debate in South Carolina, Paul infuriated Rudy Giuliani and others by saying U.S. troops' presence in Saudi Arabia contributed to al-Qaida's decision to attack the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. "If we think that we can do what we want around the world and not incite hatred, then we have a problem," Paul said. "They don't come here to attack us because we're rich and we're free. They come and they attack us because we're over there." - Source

11/16/07 - S.F. supervisors approve ID cards for residents
The Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to issue municipal identification cards to city residents - regardless of whether they are in the country legally - and to double the amount of public money available to candidates running for supervisor. The legislation would require companies holding city contracts to accept the municipal card as a legitimate form of identification - except in cases where other state and federal laws require other forms of proof of age, name and residence. Under San Francisco's sanctuary ordinance, it is city policy that no municipal government personnel or reSources be used to assist federal immigration officials in the arrest and deportation of illegal immigrants. Ammiano said banking institutions in San Francisco have signaled their willingness to accept the municipal ID card for the purpose of setting up accounts. He noted that people without bank accounts are frequently more vulnerable to theft and robbery. - Source

11/14/07 - Stopping Cars with Radiation
KeelyNet Researchers at Eureka Aerospace are turning a fictional concept from the movie 2 Fast 2 Furious into reality: they're creating an electromagnetic system that can quickly bring a vehicle to a stop. The system, which can be attached to an automobile or aircraft carrier, sends out pulses of microwave radiation to disable the microprocessors that control the central engine functions in a car. Such a device could be used by law enforcement to stop fleeing and noncooperative vehicles at security checkpoints, or as perimeter protection for military bases, communication centers, and oil platforms in the open seas. To bring an opposing vehicle to a halt, the 200-pound device is attached to the roof of a car. The car's alternator serves as the system's power Source, whose direct-current (DC) power feeds into a power supply. This generates a stream of 50-nanosecond-duration pulses of energy. These pulses are amplified to 640 kilovolts using a 16-stage Marx generator. The 640 kilovolts of DC power are then converted into microwaves using an oscillator that consists of a pair of coupled transmission lines and several spark-gap switches. Finally, a specially designed antenna beams the microwave energy toward an opposing vehicle through a part of the car, such as the windshield, window, grill, or spacing between the hood and main body, that is not made of metal. (Metal acts as a shield against microwave energy.) The radiated microwave energy will upset or damage the vehicle's electronic systems, particularly the microprocessors that control important engine functions, such as the ignition control, the fuel injector, and the fuel-pump control. However, electronic control modules were not built into most cars until 1972, hence the system will not work on automobiles made before that year. The device's peak power output is two gigawatts, although the average power emitted in a single shot is about 100 watts. Each radiated pulse lasts about 50 nanoseconds. All the test cars' engines were shut off using a single pulse at a distance of approximately 15 meters, making the total energy output 100 joules, says Tatoian. His company is currently developing a more compact high-power microwave pulse system with the goal of disabling engines at ranges from as far away as 200 meters. - Source

11/14/07 - Tire Recycling Could Be Big Breakthrough
KeelyNet A Berthold-area farmer and his crew are ready to take their invention into production. Their invention feeds discarded rubber tires into one end, and spits energy out the other end - in a process that the inventors say recovers almost every bit of energy expended to produce the tires. What's the big attraction? It seems Delta Energy has answered a question that scientists have been trying to answer for decades. What they've accomplished is a system to take one of the world's biggest pollution problems - discarded tires - some 300-million of them each year - and turn them into usable fuel. Alan Lee of Delta Energy say, "Each tire produces about 2.8, or the equivalent of 2.8 gallons of oil." Lee says 99 percent of the original tire is turned into something useful, from natural gas to diesel fuel to carbon that can be reused in the rubber and plastics industry. It's energy friendly because we're returning fuel." But it's not a process that was arrived at easily - this gadget - Lee says it doesn't really have a name - they call it "the reactor" - was five years in the making - with many bumps along the road. Lee and Erickson say they're very close to getting the major financial support from a big-name company they need to spread out this technology across the nation. It's a technology that was made possible by a secret chemical compound that unlocked the door that was keeping rubber recycling from being clean and profitable. Duane Erickson of Delta Energy says, "That's our magic powder." - Source

11/14/07 - Light Emitting Wallpaper
KeelyNet The new wallpaper allows for the creation of two-dimensional flat surfaces as light Sources instead of 3D lighting currently in use around the world. The wallpaper which can be turned on and off is made of light emitting diodes (LEDs) which consumes very low power and are relatively cheap. The patterns consist of embedded lights, and through controlling individual pixels (LEDs) the transition effects are achieved. One can turn off the lighting, making the wallpaper a standard wall ornament, or have it turned on and enjoy the transition of multiple patterns. The paper can be turned on and off: In the off position, the wallpaper is indistinguishable from any other wall covering surface, and in the on position it has a nice, luminous glow that can illuminate a small room, or added to other light Sources. Since LED technology consumes low power and its manufacturing is relatively cheap, many believe that this technology has the potential to be the next breakthrough in indoor lightning as was seen in exhebitions held thorught Europe this year. - Source

11/14/07 - Incredible new Feats of Concrete
KeelyNet Concrete is ubiquitous in the modern world, yet most people don't give it a passing thought. Why would they? It may be the most consumed substance on earth after water, but the stuff of pavements and parking garages is also a bit dull-or so most of us thought. Perhaps the most important innovation, self-consolidating concrete, got its start in Japan in the 1980s, when a shortage of skilled workers necessitated simplification of the construction process. Eliminating the need to vibrate poured concrete to get rid of air pockets not only cut noise output and energy use, but also costs for machinery and manpower. Other recent inventions include bulletproof concrete for military use and decorative concrete that can pass for wood, marble, or brick. Such breakthroughs are revolutionizing the use of the substance. Paris-based furniture designer Francesco Passaniti makes concrete bookshelves, bathtubs, and beds. The recipe for concrete sounds simple: just mix cement, water, sand, and aggregates such as gravel or crushed stone. The ancient Romans used the material to build the Colosseum in the 1st century A.D., and figured out that adding horse hair would prevent the mixture from cracking during hardening, and adding blood would make it more resistant to frost. But with the collapse of the Roman Empire the secrets of concrete-making were lost to civilization until 1756, when British engineer John Smeaton created a similar mixture using calcium hydroxide. In 1824, British inventor Joseph Aspdin patented Portland Cement, a high-performing mixture of limestone and clay ash, which led to the advent of modern concrete. "People are realizing what you can add to concrete to make it something special-crushed glass, for example," Elliott says. "It's just lumpy gray porridge at the end of the day. You can add to it anything you want." - Source

11/14/07 - Blue-blocking Glasses Improve Sleep And ADHD Symptoms
The special glasses block the blue rays that cause a delay in the start of the flow of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Normally, melatonin flow doesn't begin until after the individual goes into darkness. Studies indicate that promoting the earlier release of melatonin results in a marked decline of ADHD symptoms. Better Sleep/Disease Prevention/Depression Relief - Major uses of the blue-blocking glasses include: providing better sleep, avoiding postpartum depression, preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder and reducing the risk of cancer. An alternative to the glasses has also been developed in the form of night lights and light bulbs with coatings that block the blue light. Instead of wearing the glasses, an individual may simply turn off ordinary lights and, instead, turn on the ones with filters that remove the blue rays. The night light is a convenient "plug-in" device. The cost of the items ranges from approximately $5 for light bulbs and night lights to $40-$60 for glasses. - Source

11/14/07 - Robotic Suitcase Follows Owner Around Like R2D2
KeelyNet A Russian catelog called Robotronic.ru is already willing to take your money ($2,000) for a ROBOTIC SUITCASE named "Tony," the catelog claims will go on sale in 2009. According to the site, you carry a card in your pocket, which tells the suitcase where you are. It will then use its robotic brain, internal gyroscope, light detectors and both sound and infrared sensors to follow you around without bumping into you or anything else. It can detect stairs, and won't fall down. If someone steals it without also stealing the card in your pocket, an alarm sounds. (via therawfeed.com) - Source

11/14/07 - Buckley's vile, foul, miraculous cold-remedy
Jason sez, "This week, graphicology highlights an old campaign for Buckley's cough syrup. You have to hand it to the courageous marketing director who OK'd compairing it to the taste of trash bag leakage' in one radio spot, and to a 'public restroom puddle' in another TV commerical. Links to the creative is supplied." Buckley's is my secret weapon in my war against infirmity. I can't survive through a cold without shots of the vile, milky fluid that tastes like liquid mothballs and battery acid. When I moved from Canada to the US, I brought along a huge cache of the stuff, and then again when I moved to the UK. Now I hear you can get Buckley's at some US pharmacies, which is great news for anyone with a sore throat, phlegmy chest, hacking cough and runny nose. (via boingboing.net) - Source

11/14/07 - Microbes Churn Out Hydrogen at Record Rate
"By tweaking their design, improving conditions for the bacteria, and adding a small jolt of electricity, they increased the hydrogen yield to a new record for this type of system. 'We achieved the highest hydrogen yields ever obtained with this approach from different Sources of organic matter, such as yields of 91 percent using vinegar (acetic acid) and 68 percent using cellulose,' said Logan. In certain configurations, nearly all of the hydrogen contained in the molecules of Source material converted to usable hydrogen gas, an efficiency that could eventually open the door to bacterial hydrogen production on a larger scale." - Source

11/14/07 - Kill Runaway Processes from the Task Bar with Task Killer
KeelyNet Windows only: Freeware application Task Killer sits in your taskbar and displays all of your running processes-something like a streamlined version of Windows Task Manager. If you see a runaway process or a process you want to end, just click it and confirm that you want to unload that process. Hanging processes will appear in red so you can quickly hunt down and end that frozen process. Even if you don't want to kill a process, Task Killer provides a quick view of memory usage of your currently running processes. It's not as robust as the full-featured Process Explorer, but if you're looking for a quick way to examine and end processes, Task Killer is a handy, extremely lightweight (under 1MB memory) app. Task Killer is freeware, Windows only. - Source

11/14/07 - Facial Recognition Vending Machine Debuts
"Yesterday in Japan, a facial recognition vending machine went on sale that can tell the age of the buyer based on a range of features including number of wrinkles, bone structure and how the skin sits on the face. It was developed as a way to stop minors from buying cigarettes from vending machines. In Japan, cigarette vending machines are a common feature on the street and presently few safeguards exist to stop younger users from purchasing them. This new machine is seen as a positive step to reduce under age smoking. If the machine doesnt deem the buyer to be of suitable age, 20 years old, the buyer must provide further identification such as a drivers licence." - Source

11/14/07 - Standalone hard-disk eraser: Wiebetech eRazer
KeelyNet Wiebetech's Drive eRazer is a standalone drive-eraser that you can connect a variety of hard-drives to. It writes one (or more) passes of random junk to every block. 1. Single-Pass Mode (Standard and Pro Model) - A single data pattern is written one time across the whole disk, deleting blocks including partitions and Host Protected Areas. Verification is also done after a single pass. 2. Multi-Pass Mode (Pro Model only) - The Pro model offers the ability to perform multiple passes. Why? Some studies show that there may be ways of recovering bits of data even after completely overwriting everything on the drive. We believe the laboratory required to actually pull off such a feat would cost millions (if not billions) of dollars. However, if you must convince someone that there's no way data can be recovered, a pro model with the multi-pass feature is for you. - Source

11/14/07 - Rip Audio from a DVD to MP3 with Free DVD MP3 Ripper
Windows only: Freeware application Free DVD to MP3 Ripper does exactly what its name says: Rips DVD audio to your hard drive as MP3s. A while back when we asked readers how to rip a concert DVD to MP3, most of the solutions were either a touch on the complicated side or required shareware software. Free DVD MP3 Ripper does the job (and can also rip audio from MPEG files and VCD and SVCD movies) with relative ease, and best of all, it won't cost a dime. Free DVD MP3 Ripper is freeware, Windows only. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

11/14/07 - Read it Later - Firefox Extension
This Firefox extension allows you to save pages of interest to read later. It eliminates cluttering of bookmarks with sites that are merely of a one-time interest. - Source

11/14/07 - Engineering to Slow Climate Change
But what action should be taken, based on this knowledge? That was one of the knotty questions he and other experts wrestled with at a two-day conference that ended here on Friday. Dr. Keith, an organizer of the conference, said that at one time he thought scientists should not talk in public about “geoengineering” remedies for global warming - like injecting chemicals into the upper atmosphere to cool the poles, or blocking sunlight by making clouds more reflective or stationing mirrors in space. Like many other researchers, he explained, he worried that the potential for a climate fix, even an imperfect one, would only encourage people to continue the profligate burning of fossil fuels that got the planet into trouble in the first place. Developing artificial techniques to cool the earth “is going to dampen the fervor for mitigation to a certain extent for some people,” said Thomas Homer-Dixon of the University of Toronto, an expert on how societies adapt to economic and ecological change. - Source

11/14/07 - Video - Faux Robot Walker
Want to create a robot walking machine for yourself, but don't want to deal with all of the fussy gyro stabilization and gait-control issues? Here's how to fake it. (A shame this was found too late for Halloween but hey, it will get you started thinking about NEXT Halloween's costume.) - Source

11/14/07 - A “Natural Way of Burial”
In the typical modern burial, the body is pumped full of toxic embalming chemicals, sealed inside a metal casket that’s entombed within a concrete bunker and then covered over with a ton of dirt and grass kept preternaturally green with pest and weed killer. Above ground, the local cemetery may look bucolic and natural; below the surface, it serves as a de facto landfill of hazardous wastes and non-biodegradable materials. Some million-and-a-half Americans are given this standard, funeral home send-off every year. Outfitting each of them demands the extraction and consumption of vast amounts of reSources and leaves a trail of environmental damage in its wake. Over time, for example, a ten-acre swatch of cemetery ground will contain enough coffin wood to construct more than 40 homes, nearly a thousand tons of casket steel and another twenty thousand tons of concrete for vaults. Formaldehyde, the primary ingredient in embalming fluids and a potential carcinogen, is another concern. We bury a million gallons of the stuff every year, some of which eventually leaches from embalmed remains and runs into surrounding soil and groundwaters. The “natural cemeteries” springing up in this country offer burial in rural, usually wooded settings. Embalming, vaults, and non-biodegradable caskets are banned; minimal headstones, which lay flush to the ground, are permitted, though trees, shrubs and indigenous vegetation may serve as well. There are half a dozen of these green graveyards in the U.S. - the U.K. is home to some 200 - with a score of others in the planning stages. I count cremation as a natural alternative. - Source

11/14/07 - Cremation ashes at Disneyland
There's an epidemic of covert (human) ash-scattering at Disneyland, a practice that has spread from the Haunted Mansion to the Pirates of the Caribbean. The scatterers generally get away clean, and the human remains are subsequently cleaned away by special janitors who are charged with keeping the Park in compliance with health rules about containing particulate matter. Just this past Friday a Cast Member watching the security cameras noticed a woman in the back of a boat throwing a powdery substance into the lavishly decorated sets in the cavern scenes near the beginning of the ride. Even though Pirates is a 15 minute long ride, by the time the lady spreading the substance returned to the loading area Security had yet to arrive. Security and the police finally arrived, and the ride was shut down on a busy afternoon of a holiday weekend. The ash was identified by the Anaheim Police as cremated remains, and the custodial department found most of it all over the "Captain's Quarters" scene in the caverns. The woman had done a very thorough job of spreading the ash everywhere though, and after an hour of cleaning with the HEPA vacuums there was still work to be done. - Source

11/12/07 - SAFE, Inexpensive Hydrogen Fuel For Your Car?
KeelyNet Back in May I wrote an article for Green Options called “The Perfect Hydrogen Vacation,” and it was centered around a young Galesburg, IL college student by the name of James Hunt. His claim to fame is development of a hydrogen fuel generation system that would power internal combustion engines with hydrogen. To say the least, I got a few negative comments about Jim’s invention, mainly that it was nothing more than an attempt at a perpetual motion machine. Well, Jim, shown in the Register-Mail photo at the left with a fire engine he hopes to convert into a hydrogen fueled mobile power unit, has moved out of the lab at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg to his own plant in nearby Monmouth, IL with 15 employees. All that, he says, in a period of 9 months from concept to reality. The company’s name, by the way is Akvo Energy America, and the shop is full of engines undergoing conversion to his hydrogen fuel system. Part of his plan is to fuel power plants and desalinization facilities with hydrogen. He plans to use the fire engine as an emergency portable desalinization unit, something sorely needed in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina ravaged that city. His process extracts hydrogen from water via what he calls plasmatic induction, a form of electrolysis, using electricty to zap water in a small reservoir tank which releases hydrogen bubbles. The bubbles, of course, become the fuel, a never-ending Source as long as drinking water is in the small reserve tank. It’s a bit more complicated than that, he uses reserve batteries and solar cells along with non-radioactive carbon rods in the system. Hunt claims one fill-up of rods will power a vehicle for a year-and-a-half; the emissions, of course, are water vapor. - Source

11/12/07 - Climate Change Could Diminish Drinking Water More than Expected
As sea levels rise, coastal communities could lose up to 50 percent more of their fresh water supplies than previously thought, according to a new study. Hydrologists have simulated how saltwater will intrude into fresh water aquifers, given the sea level rise predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Scientists previously assumed that, as saltwater moved inland, it would penetrate underground only as far as it did above ground. But this new research shows that when saltwater and fresh water meet, they mix in complex ways, depending on the texture of the sand along the coastline. In some cases, a zone of mixed, or brackish, water can extend 50 percent further inland underground than it does above ground. Like saltwater, brackish water is not safe to drink because it causes dehydration. Water that contains less than 250 milligrams of salt per liter is considered fresh water and safe to drink. - Source

11/12/07 - SolarTherm to heat and cool your Home
KeelyNet Forty years ago, Harold Hay came up with a way to heat and cool homes using water and the sun. At 98, he's still trying to get the world to notice. Hay calls his invention the Skytherm system, and it was a wonder in the 1960s because it used the sun to heat and cool a home. The earliest version operated without any electricity, making it a purely passive solar technology. Skytherm was the first of what's known today as a roof-pond system. It includes a large mass of water, contained water-bed style in plastic bladders on top of a house. A steel liner subsitutes for regular roofing. The flat roof also holds an insulation panel that moves on rails to cover and uncover the water with the help of a motor, an upgrade from the original rope pulley. The concept relies on water's tremendous ability to absorb heat. During hot summer days, the water bags are covered by the panel, which deflects the heat of the sun while the bags draw warmth from the house, keeping the interior cool. At night, the panel moves aside and the bags release their heat into the night air. The process is reversed in the winter. Hay explains the basic theory by pointing out his bedroom window: "Take the black pavement out on the street. It gets extremely hot every day in the summertime -- much too hot to walk across barefooted. The next morning it's cold." - Source

11/12/07 - Researchers turn white blood cells into cancer killers
Researchers are turning white blood cells into cancer killers in a bid to prolong the lives of patients with advanced colon cancer, says a report. A vaccine treatment undergoing clinical trials activates the patient's immune system to fight the cancer. The trial, involving 20 patients, showed a significant 35 percent control of the disease, a marked improvement over the 11.2 percent response rate for current treatments, principal investigator Toh Han Chong said in remarks published in The Straits Times on Friday. The researchers drew blood samples from patients whose average age was 70. “From the blood, the white cells are separated and processed to create dendritic cells,” Toh was quoted as saying. Being immune cells, they can stimulate an immune response. Tumour lysate, a solution containing a breakdown of the cancer cells and proteins, is then introduced to the dendritic cells to create “a killer cocktail that stimulates the immune system and causes the cancer to shrink,” Toh said. The vaccine is injected under the patient's skin. Forty percent of the trial subjects survived more than one year after the treatment started. “These are patients with end-stage cancer who had been given six to nine months to live,” Toh said. - Source

11/12/07 - Scotland Reduces Bus Fares for Passengers Who Supply Cooking Oil
Passengers riding on certain buses in Scotland will soon be able to trade in their used cooking oil for reduced fares. The oil will be recycled to power a fleet of eight buses that run on 100-percent biodiesel as part of a trial initiative. All households on the Service 1 route, which runs from Stewarton to Darvel and carries some 15,500 passengers per week, will be given a container to collect their used cooking oil. Customers can then take the oil to a local recycling plant to receive vouchers for discounted bus travel. The used cooking oil and tallow will be converted to biodiesel for the buses, helping to avoid concerns about environmental damage and competition with food supplies that have arisen with other biodiesel feedstocks, such as palm oil, soybeans, and rapeseed. The "Bio-buses" have dual fuel tanks with a capacity for 184 liters of biodiesel and 40 liters of mineral (standard) diesel. To start up in the morning, the buses will run on mineral diesel for about 10 minutes until the engine reaches a normal operating temperature. After that time, the system automatically switches over to biodiesel. By running on alternative fuels, the vehicles will save 960 tons of carbon emissions per year, according to Stagecoach. - Source

11/12/07 - Urea 'climate solution' may backfire
Sydney-based company Ocean Nourishment Corporation (ONC) is looking at using nitrogen-rich urea to boost the growth of CO2-absorbing phytoplankton. The idea, says the company, is for this form of carbon sequestration to lock up carbon in the oceans for thousands of years. It says that encouraging the growth of more phytoplankton could also boost fish stocks. But a number of scientists and civil society groups are worried about the lack of independent oversight of such private exploration of 'ocean fertilisation', which they say could trigger environmental problems rather than solve them. ONC plans to develop this method of carbon sequestration to generate valuable carbon credits. And it's using the research of Adjunct Professor Ian Jones at the University of Sydney's civil engineering department to do so. Jones has conducted laboratory experiments to show that nitrogen is important in boosting the growth of phytoplankton in ocean samples. ONC has taken the research out of the lab. It has just completed an experiment involving 1 tonne of nitrogen in the Sulu Sea off the Philippines, says managing director John Ridley. The company is now discussing with the Philippines government plans to scale up the experiment to 1000 tonnes of nitrogen over the next year. Ridley says the company is also talking to the Moroccan government about similar experiments in the Atlantic Ocean. - Source

11/12/07 - NASA blasted for ignoring smaller asteroids
KeelyNet NASA is being slammed for sacrificing public safety by resisting calls to enlarge its search for potentially dangerous asteroids which might strike the Earth. NASA has failed to heed a directive Congress passed two years ago to plan and budget for a programme identifying threatening near-Earth objects as small as 140 metres, and to devise ways to avoid potential impacts, he said. Asteroids smaller than 1 km across are faint, and some 20,000 of them are thought to have orbits that could cross Earth's. But the hunt for smaller asteroids needs to start, said asteroid researcher Don Yeomans of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Finding them is the first priority. We can't mitigate, and we can't characterise them if we can't find them," he told the committee. - Source

11/12/07 - Copper in Body Leads to Alzheimer's
“Metals like aluminium have been suspected for years, but the mechanism through which metals might act has been unclear,” Deane said. “We’ve demonstrated one mechanism through which copper increases levels of amyloid beta in the brain, by damaging the molecule that gets rid of the substance,” he said. The study was done in mice as well as on cells from the brains of people who died from Alzheimer’s disease. In the study, the researchers compared mice that drank water containing trace amounts of water (.12 milligrams per litre, less than one-tenth the 1.3 mg/l level of copper allowed in drinking water by the Environmental Protection Agency), to mice that drank distilled water. The analysis of the study found that mice that drank water with trace levels of copper had about twice as much copper in the cells lining the blood vessels of the brain as the mice that did not. - Source

11/12/07 - Effects of Anger Last at Least a Week
New research shows that blood pressure increases during a bout of anger and that it still rises seven days later when the row is remembered. "Even after a week, there is no sign of any reduction of the effect,'' say researchers, who report their findings in the International Journal of Psychophysiology this week. Anger has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and other health problems. Research suggests that hardening of the arteries seems to advance faster in people who score high in anger and hostility tests. One theory is that stress hormones constrict blood vessels, raise blood pressure and speed up the heartbeat. It had been thought that these effects would disappear when the row was over. Researchers at the University of California and Columbia University looked at longer-term effects of anger triggered during a laboratory experiment with volunteers. "If cardiovascular responses are damaging to the cardiovascular system, then stressful events have the potential to continue to do harm long after they are ended." (via impactlab.com) - Source

11/12/07 - Are You in Diabetes Denial?
Denying you have type 2 diabetes won't make it go away. Here's how to accept your diagnosis, manage your disease, and get on with your life. People living with type 2 diabetes have blood sugar -- or glucose -- levels that are above normal because their bodies don't produce enough of the hormone, insulin, that converts sugar into energy. Instead, sugar just builds up in the blood, starving cells of energy and causing damage to nerves and blood vessels as time progresses. Early on, when these changes are happening in your cells, you might not notice the diabetes symptoms in your day-to-day life, which is one of the reasons why someone might ignore the subtle signs and hope they go away. "One of the reasons why people often deny having type 2 diabetes is because their symptoms are so minor," says Richard R. Rubin, PhD, professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University. "Maybe they don't have a lot of energy, or they get up frequently in the middle of the night to urinate ... they feel like they can live with these symptoms and get away with it." Symptoms of diabetes can include: * Increased urinary frequency * Feeling very thirsty * Fatigue * Unusual weight loss * Feeling very hungry * Blurry vision. Another reason people ignore type 2 diabetes is that acknowledging the disease means considering its possible consequences. - Source

11/11/07 - EcoWatts "free energy" device rebuffed, BBC falls for it
KeelyNet EcoWatts and its fake free energy gadget is back in the limelight again, with the BBC Breakfast Show falling hook, line, and sinker in an interview with the company's "CEO" Paul Calver. Calver stated that "we're still getting to the question of why it works," explaining to a BBC presenter his bewilderment at his very own creation. The response from the interviewer? "The point is it does." Unfortunately, the point is that it almost certainly doesn't. Ben Goldacre used his excellent Bad Science Guardian column this week to dig up some dirt on the dodgy company, and managed to find a scientist who gave his stamp of approval to a similar free energy gadget four years back: "Using the apparatus provided, it's true, this scientist could get incredible results: the meters would read zero, and yet water would boil in around five minutes. Because the meters provided weren't working." The company that provided this former gadget along with the "broken" meters? EcoWatts. (via zpenergy.com) / Guardian Excerpts -I contacted a working scientist who was previously reported - in the Telegraph in 2003 - to have independently validated a similar device from the same company. He wishes to remain anonymous, because he is bored with getting long conspiracy theory emails from free-energy cranks, but he is now a leading electrochemistry researcher at a Russell Group university. He was employed to do a single, very specific test, using measuring equipment provided by Ecowatts, and the conclusions in his report were very guarded: "Using the apparatus supplied by Gardner Watts and the procedures of analysis suggested by the company there appears [my italics] to be an energy gain in the system." Using the apparatus provided, it's true, this scientist could get incredible results: the meters would read zero, and yet water would boil in around five minutes. Because the meters provided weren't working. The problem stems from the difference between measuring alternating current and direct current. Stick with me, science is fun when you're making people look stupid. The meters he was given were to measure direct current: there was a diode in the circuit (this is a "one way street" for electricity), so theoretically the current could only flow one way, making it DC. Unfortunately, at high voltages the special, magic free energy cell went into "oscillation": that meant that the current was alternating at high frequencies that were beyond the threshold of the diode, so beyond its ability to control the electrons. Therefore the current could flow in both directions, therefore it was alternating current, and therefore the current measurement was invalid. I speculate that the "inventor" made the same mistake, and I can honestly say I find the little histories of these devices fascinating. Anyway, in these tests, the investigator saw the current steadily increase with applied voltage and then fall to almost zero as the system went in to oscillation. An "energy gain, breaking the laws of physics," was only recorded when the system was oscillating in such a way that the measurement of "energy going in" simply became invalid. So did our man try measuring the current properly? Yes, he did. He placed a magnetic choke on the system, which prevented the system going into oscillation and removed any energy gain, and also measured the (large) alternating current with his own meters in the circuit. No energy gain. - Source

11/11/07 - Circadian Rhythm Affected by High Fat Diet
Researchers have found eating more fat can actually affect the body's circadian rhythm, suggesting a "complex interplay" between the internal clock and metabolism. Previously, studies have found a disrupted circadian rhythm causes people to crave high fat food, and children who lack sleep have an increased risk of being overweight. The study was performed by monitoring the wheel-running schedule of a group of male mice fed a diet in which 45% of the calories were derived from fat, as compared to those fed a normal diet of only 16% fat. The daily cycles turned out to be 23.8 hours and 23.6 hours, respectively. In a human, it was posited, "this would mean the person would have increased difficulties going to bed at a reasonable time. That might result in insomnia or night-eating, which further boost the risk of obesity and diabetes." - Source

11/11/07 - New Brushless Generator Improves Wind Turbine Reliability
KeelyNet Wind Technologies Ltd, the result of a collaboration between Dr Richard McMahon at Cambridge University and Prof Peter Tavner at Durham University has developed the Brushless Doubly-Fed Generator (BDFG), a new maintenance-free generator which doubles the lifetime of generators in wind installations and significantly reduce maintenance costs and increase reliability. The BDFG system employs two 3-phase stator windings of different pole in a single frame in combination with a special form of ‘brushless’ rotor, which along with eliminating the need for brush replacement, also doubles the life time of the generator from 90,000 hours to 180,000 hours before failure, according to the managing director of Wind Technologies, Dr Ehsan Abdi. Typically one stator winding is connected to the mains or grid, and hence has a fixed frequency, and the other is supplied with variable voltage at variable frequency from a converter. In the majority (more than 90%) of newly-installed wind turbines in the world, generation is from a doubly-fed slip-ring induction generator (DFIG). There are drawbacks to the use of slip-ring generators, particularly the additional cost and bulk of a machine which incorporates slip-rings and the need to maintain brush-gears including replacement of the brushes on a regular basis. Studies have shown that problems with brush-gear are a significant issue in wind turbine operation and reliability, and that the problem will be more severe in machines deployed offshore where there are stronger winds and accessibility is impaired. - Source

11/11/07 - Outsourcing Pregnancy
KeelyNet Outsourcing to India has become all the rage. From customer service calls to tech support, even insurance claim processing has moved to the subcontinent. Now, however, Indian outsourcing has taken on a new dimension - pregnancy. Increasingly poor Indian women are making their wombs available to foreigners who otherwise cannot carry a pregnancy. Surrogate motherhood, a procedure that can cost literally tens of thousands of dollars in the U.S., can be accomplished in India for as little as $5,000. Currently, in just one district of the Indian state of Gujarat, over 50 women are acting as surrogate mothers. While critics claim these women are being exploited, Dr. Naina Patel of a fertility clinic in Gujarat, says they are simply providing a "global solution" to a "global problem." - Source

11/11/07 - Biofuels Can Match Oil Production
Even though some vested interests are trying to downplay the potential of biofuels, energy analysts and scientists know that their potential is truly vast - at least in theory. The director of Harvard University’s Center for International Development (John F. Kennedy School of Government), professor Ricardo Hausmann, joins those analysts and presents a well argued view on what would be needed for a sustainable bioenergy future to emerge. Writing in the Financial Times, he goes so far as to state that 'biofuels can match oil production'. / First, technology is bound to deliver a biofuel that will be competitive with fossil energy at something like current prices. It probably already has. Brazil has been exporting ethanol to the US at an average delivery price of $1.45 for an amount with the energy equivalence of a gallon of petrol. Second, the world is full of under-utilised land that can grow the biomass that the new technology will require. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the world has a bit less than 1.4bn hectares under cultivation. But using the Geographic Information System database, Rodrigo Wagner and I have estimated that there are some 95 countries that have more than 700m hectares of good quality land that is not being cultivated. Third, even if only partially used, this large potential biofuels supply will cap the price of oil because its supply is much more elastic than the supply of oil. - Source

11/11/07 - Unwinding wind energy
KeelyNet Wind energy has achieved a size and scale over the past decade that it may soon be a part of the mainstream energy matrix. It is probably the most successful of the non-conventional energy Sources being promoted as replacements for fossil fuels. About 81,000 MW of wind-power installations are currently functioning worldwide and they account for about 1% of the global energy usage. The industry is still at a nascent stage and is expected to grow at 25% for the next few years. Germany, Spain and the US are the leaders here. India has the fourth-largest base of wind energy installations or windmills - over 7,100 MW at the end of FY07. About 1,500-1,800 MW are added to India’s total, annually. China has also come up strongly in the past couple of years - underlying the emphasis that the country is placing on the sector. - Source

11/11/07 - Efforts on to take solar car for US contest
Students of Delhi College of Engineering who designed a solar car to take part in the “World Solar Challenge-2007” in October this year had to miss the event because of a shortage of funds. “Our car is sustainable on Indian roads as it runs on solar energy. It has a good battery backup for cloudy skies and nights. It is also equipped with regenerative braking in which five per cent of the energy dissipated during braking is fed back into the batteries. It can maintain a speed of 40-50 km per hour. Once charged, the batteries can drive up to 100 km,” explains Ankur. “The car can be reversed and performs all necessary functions. It has a dual braking system, zero running cost, and causes no noise. The car has a cockpit that allows the driver to have vision in all directions. We may expect solar cars to arrive on Indian roads in about 8-10 years and our car being the first, will be the mother of all such cars,” claims Ankur. The car uses a 672-watt solar panel specially manufactured by Central Electronics Limited. - Source

11/11/07 - If You Love Renewable Energy, It's Time to Freak Out
Pelosi and Reid are just about to do the stupidest thing imaginable: pull the rug out from underneath the blossoming renewable energy economy at the time when we need it most. As Adam Browning of Vote Solar put it "Thursday morning, Senator Reid and Speaker Pelosi decided to drop the renewable energy standard out of the energy bill and drop the tax title. No tax title means no extension of the investment tax credit for solar, and no extention of the production tax credit for wind. Let's see...nothing for solar, plus nothing for wind, hmmm, add no renewable energy standard, carry the zero...yep, that adds up to precisely nothing for renewable energy. Got that? Congressional leadership is moving an energy bill with nothing in it for renewable energy. Dropping the biggest pro-solar provision this country has ever seen, just when the industry is gaining momentum and making an impact." - Source

11/11/07 - Creating a 21st Century Grid
KeelyNet In 2007 - the age of the internet, personal digital media and distributed energy - the grid has failed to keep pace with the rapidly changing technological landscape. While most industries rely on technologies that have been invented or updated in the last few years, the electricity delivery industry uses technologies that have more or less stayed the same for 100 years. The current grid is a stiff arrangement of one-way transmission lines, centralized generation facilities and aging substations. The recent emergence of large amounts of renewable electricity in markets around the country are creating new challenges for both the transmission and distribution sectors. HVDC transmission is certainly not a new concept - but it's gaining ground in the U.S. as renewable electricity will have to be transported further distances with higher efficiency in the future. The other technology still in the research and development phase is the “armchair quantum wire,” made from tubes of carbon 100,000 times thinner than a human hair, called carbon nanotubes. When these nanotubes are made into a larger wire, they can conduct electricity far more efficiently and over far greater distances than the copper wires used today. A leading researcher of carbon nanotubes, Dr. Wade Adams of the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, says that these nanotube wires can theoretically conduct 100 million amps of current over thousands of miles without much loss in efficiency. Today's wires conduct around 2,000 amps of current over hundreds of miles, with about 6 to 8% of the electricity lost in the form of heat. According to Adams, these armchair quantum wires will also be one sixth the weight of current wires and so strong that they won't need support mechanisms. That means new transmission lines would be less conspicuous, and perhaps not as controversial to communities and interest groups concerned about their impact on the landscape. “That enables us to carry, say, electrical power from vast solar farms in the desert to the Northeast, or maybe from wind farms in Montana or North Dakota down to Florida - and in fact, even from continent to continent,” says Adams. Of course, transmission lines made from carbon nanotubes are about 10-15 years away from commercialization. But if brought to scale, these new lines could transform how the nation, and indeed the world, transmits large amounts of renewable electricity. - Source

11/11/07 - NASA Knows How To Party
"NASA spends between $400,000 and $1.3 million on a party at every shuttle launch, according to CBS. Select personnel are treated to 5 days at a 4 star hotel. This year alone, they've spent $4 million on parties. NASA asked for, and was given, $1 billion more from the Senate this year. NASA proponents argue it makes more sense to give money to talented, productive people in exchange for scientific knowledge, than spend in on unproductive people in the form of straight welfare." - Source

11/11/07 - Where Are the Flying Cars?
"Complaints of the non-existence of flying cars as expressions of disappointment in the failure of the present to measure up to the glory of past predictions have long been a staple of popular culture but all that is about to change when Terrafugia introduces their $148,000 "Transition," a 19-foot, two-seater that the company describes as a roadable light-sport aircraft. The problem is that the U.S. doesn't have the infrastructure in place to make landing in front of your house a viable alternative yet and a sky filled with people who don't have pilot's licenses could also be a problem. The idea is to take advantage of the 6,000 public airports in the U.S. so a pilot can fly into a small airport (video) and instead of getting a rental car, just fold up the wings on the aircraft and drive away. Terrafugia expects the first production model to be ready in 2009 and says they've already received advanced orders for 30 to 50 Transitions." - Source

11/11/07 - Arduino Electronics Prototyping page
Arduino is an open-Source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments. Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators. The microcontroller on the board is programmed using the Arduino programming language (based on Wiring) and the Arduino development environment (based on Processing). Arduino projects can be stand-alone or they can communicate with software on running on a computer (e.g. Flash, Processing, MaxMSP). - Source

11/09/07 - Exxon Sees Rising CO2 Emissions Despite More Renewable Fuels
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) , in a report released Monday looking at the future of its own industry through the year 2030, predicted energy demand worldwide will grow on average 1.3%, or roughly one-third again what is used today, to the equivalent of 325 million barrels of oil a day. The biggest surge in demand will be seen in developing nations, which Exxon predicts will hit an annual growth pace of 2%, or four times that of the rest of the world. Exxon's forecast sees hydrocarbons - oil, natural gas and coal - still answering about 80% of the world's energy demand in 2030. But it also predicts demand for renewable Sources of energy such as wind, solar, and biofuels will accelerate at a rapid clip of about 9% a year. But that is still a drop in the bucket. While alternative fuels currently account for about 0.5% of the world's energy demand, they will likely rise to only 2% by 2030, the oil company said. Meanwhile, the company sees carbon dioxide emissions rising at a rate of 2% a year, driven mainly by developing nations' heavy reliance on coal to fuel their expanding industrial economies. Overall, that will push up carbon dioxide emissions to about 37 billion metric tons a year from 27 billion tons in 2005. - Source

11/09/07 - Video - Ron Paul: A New Hope
KeelyNet RON PAUL - PRESIDENT 2008 - Congressman Ron Paul is the leading advocate for freedom in our nation's capital. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Dr. Paul tirelessly works for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies. He is known among his congressional colleagues and his constituents for his consistent voting record. Dr. Paul never votes for legislation unless the proposed measure is expressly authorized by the Constitution. In the words of former Treasury Secretary William Simon, Dr. Paul is the "one exception to the Gang of 535" on Capitol Hill. He makes it clear that his principles will never be compromised, and they never are." - Source

11/09/07 - Oil from Wood
Dutch biofuels startup Bioecon and Khosla Ventures have launched a joint venture called Kior, which will commercialize Bioecon's process for converting agricultural waste directly into "biocrude," a mixture of small hydrocarbon molecules that can be processed into fuels such as gasoline or diesel in existing oil refineries. The way to make cellulosic biofuels viable, says Bioecon's founder, Paul O'Connor, is to use catalysts to convert biomass into a hydrocarbon biocrude that can be processed into gasoline and diesel in existing petroleum refineries. After decades developing catalysts for the petroleum industry, O'Connor started Bioecon in early 2006 to develop methods for converting biomass directly into biofuels. His first success is a catalytic process that can convert cellulosic biomass into short-chain hydrocarbons about six to thirteen carbon atoms long. O'Connor says that while the Bioecon researchers are developing new catalysts, their "biomass cracking" process is the real breakthrough. Using proprietary methods, they have been able to insert a catalyst inside the structure of the biomass, improving the contact between the materials and increasing the efficiency of the process. - Source

11/09/07 - Consumers Starting To Realize Gadgets Can Be Fixed
"Consumers seem to be paying more attention to the possibility of fixing gadgets instead of sending them to the landfill. It may be because 10gb in your iPod is more than enough for any normal person, it may be a deep, abiding love for the environment or it may just be the price. A New York Times article explores how new sites like FixYa and old standbys like Macintouch can aid the average user in restoring their 'slightly used' gear. Practically every gadget has their own website devoted to helping owners help each other deal with problems that arise. I personally like AVS Forum for my living room needs. From the article: 'Most other gadgets come with batteries that are easy to replace without custom tools. Replacement batteries for cellphones are often marked up by the devices' manufacturers, while third-party replacements are often available for 60 percent to 80 percent less. Companies offering replacement batteries for iPods often offer better batteries with higher capacities and longer lifetimes. Ipodjuice.com, for instance, sells a 1,200-milliamp-hour battery that will replace the 600-milliamp-hour battery that shipped with a fourth-generation iPod -- an improvement that lets the Web site claim that the repaired iPod will "last 100 percent longer."'" - Source

11/09/07 - Google Sketchup for Dummies
KeelyNet SketchUp is Google's free 3D drawing program. It's easy to use, but it's even easier when you watch someone with a lot of SketchUp experience use the application and explain what they're doing. Aidan Chopra is an experienced SketchUp user. In fact, he wrote Google SketchUp for Dummies. (Here's PC World's generally glowing review of Chopra's book.) He also created several videos available on his YouTube page that will get you quickly up to speed on the way SketchUp works. - Source

11/09/07 - Overweight people have lower death rate
Linking, for the first time, causes of death to specific weights, they report that overweight people have a lower death rate because they are much less likely to die from a grab bag of diseases that includes Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, infections and lung disease. And that lower risk is not counteracted by increased risks of dying from any other disease, including cancer, diabetes or heart disease. - Source

11/09/07 - Video - WingSuit Flight Video
KeelyNet Here is a beautiful video of people jumping off cliffs and flying around the precipices. They're wearing wingsuits, aka birdman suits, which essentially act as airfoils to keep you aloft. - Source

11/09/07 - Coal/Tuberculosis link explored
Guy sez, "I am a cell and molecular biologist located in Montreal, and interested in the environment, history and disease-related issues--among other things. I published last summer, in the July issue of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD), a peer-reviewed international scientific journal, a paper about the impact of air pollution by coal on the emergence of tuberculosis during industrialization, and nowadays in China, entitled 'Historical Statistics Support a Hypothesis linking Tuberculosis and Air Pollution Caused by Coal.' The figure 4 of the paper is very striking in that it strongly suggests a direct correlation between overall coal consumption in China, and TB disease in the last 25 years. As you know, China is very big on coal consumption -- some analysts say that one coal plant opens per month in Asia." (via boingboing.net) - Source

11/09/07 - Video - Making a Star Trek phaser with blue diode laser
KeelyNet First time in the world a blu-ray laser from a Playstation 3 has been installed in a Star Trek Phaser! Build one yourself for around $100. I "Boldy go where no man has gone before"! Watch the video and then follow the Steps to build your own! / (There are several other Sources for the blue laser LED that can lower this price substantially. - JWD) - Source

11/09/07 - Webcam Hack for Motion Sensing Security Cam
Windows only: Got a webcam bundled with your last computer but don't know what to do with it? Turn it into a motion-sensing security camera with freeware application Yawcam. All you need is a webcam to get started, but after spending a little time in the Yawcam settings you can set automatic FTP uploading, emailing, or just saving captured images to your hard drive. You can even set a schedule for when Yawcam is enabled to capture images so your security camera isn't constantly snapping pics while you're sitting in front of your computer. We've seen similar motion detecting software, but Yawcam looks like an excellent and simple alternative. I don't have a webcam on my Windows PC, so if you give it a try, let's hear how it worked for you in the comments. Yawcam is freeware, Windows only. (via lifehacker.com) - Source

11/09/07 - How Brain Scans Could Invade Your Private Life
Researchers claim fMRI can probe the workings of the brain as never before-revealing everything from when you tell a lie (read: interrogations) to how you fall in love (read: divorce court)-while critics counter that reports of digital mind readers are premature, and we should think twice before using fMRI in our public and private lives. - Source

11/09/07 - 70,000 travel abroad to escape NHS
Record numbers of Britons are travelling abroad for medical treatment to escape the NHS - with 70,000 patients expected to fly out this year. And by the end of the decade 200,000 "health tourists" will fly as far as Malaysa and South Africa for major surgery to avoid long waiting lists and the rising threat of superbugs, according to a new report. The first survey of Britons opting for treatment overseas shows that fears of hospital infections and frustration of often waiting months for operations are fuelling the increasing trend. Patients needing major heart surgery, hip operations and cataracts are using the internet to book operations to be carried out thousands of miles away. India is the most popular destination for surgery, followed by Hungary, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, Poland and Spain. But dozens more countries are attracting health tourists. - Source

11/09/07 - Video - Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See
We've all seen future movies depicting how people try to survive after war, famine, climate or other global catastrophes. This well presented video is analogous to Mad Max' world on Steroids. (via zpenergy.com) - Source

11/09/07 - Project to Capture CO2 With Plankton Puts to Sea
Plankton blooms happen naturally when dust containing iron settles on ocean waters where a lack of iron otherwise prevents plankton from thriving. But efforts to replicate the process artificially have met with strong opposition from some environmental groups. These include the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which for years has confronted, and sometimes rammed, whaling and fishing vessels. It had also planned to try to block a fertilization effort by Planktos this summer near the Galapagos Islands, but the company delayed that project for a variety of reasons, officials said. Ocean fertilization is one strategy scientists are mulling to blunt the unrelenting growth in carbon dioxide emissions from smokestacks, tailpipes and deforestation. - Source

11/09/07 - An economist solves the mysteries of dating
When economists began broadly applying their theories of rational choice-making, love and marriage were among the first areas they colonized. Nobel Prize winner Gary Becker laid the foundations back in 1973 with his two-part article "A Theory of Marriage." Becker imagined society as an immense cocktail party with rational-minded daters searching for the most desirable partner who would have them. His analysis predicted a pattern of "positive assortative matching," where men and women of similar desirability would partner with one another. While models of dating have proliferated in the years since Becker's pioneering work, we have not progressed very much in testing his theories, or even answering the most basic dating question, for Becker or anyone else: What, exactly, makes someone desirable? - Source

11/07/07 - New technology improves the reliability of wind turbines
KeelyNet The research team, led by Dr Richard McMahon, have developed a new generator technology for the wind turbine industry to the point of commercial exploitation. This type of generator can be used in a wide spectrum of wind turbines ranging from multi-megawatt systems for wind farms down to micro turbines used for domestic power generation. A contemporary Brushless Doubly-Fed Machine (BDFM) is a single frame induction machine with two 3-phase stator windings of different pole numbers, and a special rotor design. Typically one stator winding is connected to the mains or grid, and hence has a fixed frequency, and the other is supplied with variable voltage at variable frequency from a converter. In the majority (more than 90%) of newly-installed wind turbines in the world, generation is from a slip-ring generator. There are drawbacks to the use of slip-ring generators, particularly the additional cost and bulk of a machine which incorporates slip-rings and the need to maintain brush-gears including replacement of the brushes on a regular basis. Studies have shown that problems with brush-gear are a significant issue in wind turbine operation and reliability, and that the problem will be more severe in machines deployed offshore where there are stronger winds and accessibility is impaired. - Source

11/07/07 - The Green Composer
The wire that once delivered electricity to Jerry Bartlett's house has a new purpose. He hangs laundry on it. To run his computer, his television, his refrigerator and the rest, Bartlett relies on a home-generating system he has cobbled together over the past few years. "Crazy Jerry" lives only 30 feet from the nearest utility pole, but his little house in St. Lawrence County, built in 1920 to run without electricity, is off the power grid once more -- and he says he can show anyone how to do it. Bartlett's setup is a testament to the pioneer spirit. He's hung 19 secondhand solar panels on the sides of three rusty vehicles -- a van, a bucket truck and a trailer -- that are parked in his yard in the rural town of Colton. His old racing bicycle stands in the front hallway, its rear wheel connected to a generator he made from a car alternator. Out near the pole barn, a homemade windmill spins atop a 46-foot aluminum tower. Rather than build a concrete pad, Bartlett bolted the tower to a big rock and secured it with guy wires connected to, among other objects, a junk car. The windmill contains a motor salvaged from an old NordicTrack treadmill Bartlett found at the Colton town dump. His system depends as much on homespun trial and error as it does on off-the-shelf technology, and Bartlett has endured his share of hard lessons. The exhaust pipe on his diesel generator, which he runs only in winter and keeps inside to take advantage of its heat, once dislodged and filled the house with smoke. During an experiment heating water with his wood stove to make baseboard heat, the water got so hot it melted the solder in his pipes, allowing liquid and steam to spurt all over the room. - Source

11/07/07 - China to mass produce maglev wind power generators
KeelyNet Construction began on the world's largest production base for magnetic levitation (maglev) wind power generators in central China on Monday. The base will produce a series of maglev wind power generators with capacities ranging from 400 to 5,000 watts in the first half of 2008, said a company statement. The maglev generator co-developed by the company and Guangzhou Energy Research Institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences is expected to create new opportunities for harnessing wind power in low-wind-speed areas, as it can utilize winds with starting speeds as low as 1.5 meters per second. The problem of the traditional wind turbines was that they require high wind speeds to start, because of the friction caused by their bearings, said Li Guokun, chief scientific developer of the new technology. The frictionless maglev generator would cut the operational expenses of wind farms by up to half, keeping the overall cost of wind power under 0.4 yuan per kilowatt-hour, said Li. - Source

11/07/07 - Seasons 'affect blood pressure'
A five-year study found people treated in the summer were on average 8% more likely to see their blood pressure come down to healthy levels. The US Department of Veterans Affairs team analysed data on 443,632 veterans treated for hypertension. The study, reported to the American Heart Association, suggests a more active summer lifestyle may be the key. Lead researcher Dr Ross Fletcher said: "People gain weight in the winter and lose weight in the summer. People tend to exercise more in the summer and less in the winter." The researchers said it was also possible that people might eat more salty foods in winter. Salt is strongly linked to raised blood pressure. The study analysed electronic health records from 15 VA hospitals in cities throughout the US. People with a blood pressure reading of more than 140 mm Hg systolic or more than 90 mm Hg diastolic on three separate days were identified as hypertensive. - Source

11/07/07 - The Crystal Bed Treatment
KeelyNet John of God is in Brazil, and he heals using a Crystal Bed. A crystal bed has 7 extremely clear and highly polished quartz crystals suspended approximately 12 inches above the client lying on a massage table. Each of the quarts crystals has been cut to a specific frequency. Each crystal is aligned above one of the seven human energy centers or chakras. Colored lights, chosen to match the chakra colors, radiate light and energy through the crystals to each respective chakra, and shine on and off in certain rhythms to cleanse, balance, and align your energies. The individual receiving the session rests face up with eyes closed, bathing in the energy. Can't make it to Brazil? No problem. He also offers Distance Treaments. So here is how it works: Email us your photo with your name, street address and country along with your prayer or intention. We will coordinate a time for you to receive your treatment which will last approximately 30 minutes. Your photo will then be placed on the Crystal Bed and the crystal lights will be turned on it. At that time you will rest or meditate with the intention of receiving your distant treatment. Make sure to drink water after your treatment and try to take time to integrate the healing you received after your treatment. We will notify you by email just before your treatment and then again after the treatment. Rates: $30.00 per distant Crystal Bed Healing. Packages also available. (via jwalkblog.com) - Source

11/07/07 - Texas plant uses dairy waste to make natural gas
The Huckabay Ridge project is located in the heart of the Erath (EE'-rath) County dairy land near Stephenville, about 65 miles southwest of Fort Worth. It's is expected produce enough energy to power 11,000 homes a year and is a high-profile example of the growing need for alternative energy. Huckabay Ridge gets manure from local dairy farms, processes it with grease and other restaurant waste, purifies it and turns it into natural gas -- the energy equivalent of 4.6 million gallons of oil a year. The Lower Colorado River Authority buys the gas and uses it to power homes in Central Texas. Next fall, San Francisco-based Pacific Gas & Electric will buy natural gas from Huckabay Ridge. - Source

11/07/07 - Champion Robot Car Declared
KeelyNet This weekend, Boss, a Chevrolet Tahoe fitted with sensors and computers by a team of engineers from Carnegie Mellon University, won the most famous of robotic races: the Urban Challenge. With no human assistance, the vehicles competing in the race had to safely and quickly navigate city streets while staying in their lanes and avoiding other moving and parked cars. With the win, the Carnegie Mellon team, called Tartan Racing, takes home a $2 million prize from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the organization that sponsored the race. The $1 million second-place prize went to Junior, Stanford University's robot; Odin, Virginia Tech's bot, came in third, winning $500,000. - Source

11/07/07 - Creating Video Ads
Aditall.com is an oddly named new Web site and service that lets you create video advertisements for a cost of around $300 to $700. It has lots of video sequences that can be captioned, edited and modified with voice-overs to create a professional-looking ad that can be used on a Web site. Creating such ads from scratch, which would involve hiring actors, setting up camera shoots, etc., could easily run $50,000 or more. The existing videos on aditall are quite professional. Some are funny, some serious, and they cover many categories, from agriculture to high-tech. The video clips average 12 seconds in length, but can be edited with additional AdItAll clips, static shots (such as product logos), voice, text and music. The video editing tools are of the type seen in most video editing programs. If you are unfamiliar with those, don't worry, they are fairly easy to learn and navigate. You can work this site two ways: The videos already present are quite professional and can be used to create clever and interesting ads. But you can also submit your own videos, and if they are accepted you will get royalty payments if the footage is used. The site will also post requests for certain types of footage. The videos presently up on the site are worth a look. - Source - November 2007 Week 2

11/07/07 - RFID Guardian, open hardware/software to firewall your RFID tags
KeelyNet The RFID Guardian project has released the hardware and software schematics for the latest version of its personal RFID firewall. The RFID Guardian is a device that detects all the RFID tags on your person (passport, transit pass, bank-card, toll-card, car keys, etc), and interdicts them so that they can't answer queries anymore. The Guardian can clone all of these tags, and emit their signal on demand, but unlike a dumb tag, the Guardian only emits when you tell it to, and gives you a central way to set and enforce policy about when you will be identified and by whom. The new version is completely open, and the relaunched RFID Guardian site includes a wiki, Source code repository and bug-tracker. - Source

11/07/07 - FBI will have anyone you call a terrorist detained
A man in Sweden didn't like the way his son-in-law was acting, so he sent a note to the FBI accusing the guy of being an Al Qaeda operative just before he took a trip to the USA. When he landed, the DHS held him in a cell for 11 hours, then deported him. Can't be too safe, dontcha know. - Source

11/07/07 - Energy Cocktails make you Shag Fuglies all night (satire)
KeelyNet MIXING alcohol with energy drinks stops you from falling asleep in discos and makes you shag all night like a rabbit, leading doctors warned last night. Researchers found that people who downed the hugely popular mixer cocktails were hugely more likely to have drunken sex that went on for hours than those who just stuck to alcohol alone and could only manage it once. According to Dr. McKay, mixing popular energy drinks like Red Bull with various forms of strong spirit produces a complex chemical reaction in the brain which ensures that even repulsive people still regularly end up in bed. He said: “Mixed together they trigger a number of receptors in the frontal lobes linked to desire and bad vision. So at the end of the night anyone still standing is guaranteed a leg-over, even the munters. Researchers quizzed thousands of university students on their drinking habits and found most had ended up in bed having sex for hours after consuming an energy alcohol mixture, but usually with someone revolting. Liam Halligan, 23, said: “I went home with Kylie, and woke up with something that looked like a pig in knickers. I’ll never touch the stuff again.” Mary Quinn, 22, said: “I woke up covered in pus because all his spots exploded when he went off. I'll never touch him again." - Source

11/07/07 - An Intel Approach to Medicine
During the time Andrew S. Grovespent at Intel, the computer chip company he co-founded, the number of transistors on a chip went from about 1,000 to almost 10 billion. Over that same period, the standard treatment for Parkinson's disease went from L-dopa to . . . L-dopa. Grove (who beat prostate cancer 12 years ago and now suffers from Parkinson's) thinks there is something deeply wrong with this picture, and he is letting the pharmaceutical industry, the National Institutes of Health and academic biomedicine have it. Like an increasing number of critics who are fed up with biomedical research that lets paralyzed rats (but not people) walk again, that cures mouse (but not human) cancer and that lifts the fog of the rodent version of Alzheimer's but not people's, he is taking aim at what more and more critics see as a broken system. - Source

11/07/07 - Who's the violator? Red Light Revenue
KeelyNet Dozens of cities across California still pay red-light camera vendors based on the revenue their tickets generate, even though such contracts have been outlawed by the Legislature and ruled illegal in Orange County court. The details are technical and still contested but the spirit of the law is clear: Camera vendors shouldn't have a financial incentive to target motorists unfairly. - Source

11/07/07 - Climate Change Bill promises 60% cuts
Critics point out that these targets are already regarded scientifically as out of date and under review (80 per cent carbon dioxide reductions are necessary because of the emission of other greenhouse gases such as methane). The Bill will allow the Government to extend carbon trading, which currently only applies to power generators and now airlines, to medium-sized organisations such as supermarkets and pubic bodies which are not covered by the EU carbon-trading scheme. In the longer term, it is believed the powers could be used to give every person or householder in the country a personal carbon allowance - which would take account of how much energy they used in the home, driving and flying to destinations in this country or abroad. Officials say the Government has no plans to introduce such an allowance at present. - Source

11/07/07 - Uri Geller and the Mysterious "11-11" Phenomenon
KeelyNet According to my call records, I spoke with Uri Geller, star of the new NBC TV series "Phenomenon," on the phone for the first time on Saturday, October 20th, 2007, for about eleven minutes. Uri called because he had heard about an article I had published with the American Chronicle about how the CIA planned to covertly study his mental powers in the early 1970s. That conversation appears to have triggered a small dose of strangeness, which is the subject of this article. Apparently my conversation with Uri Geller had unleashed the so-called "11-11" effect. Uri writes about 11-11 at his website, "I started experiencing this rather bizarre occurrence when I was forty years old, at first I thought they were coincidences, I would stand with my back to a digital clock and something made me turn around and I would notice that the time would be 11:11. These incidents intensified I would be checked into hotel rooms on floor 11 room 1111. I started noticing these digits on computers, microwave ovens, cars, documents, etc. I decided to write about it on my website. I was immediately inundated by hundreds of emails from all around the world. Individuals were telling me their own 11:11 stories, almost always saying 'I thought it only happened to me.' It is difficult for me to decipher what this is all about but my intuition tells me its positive." Uri advises, "I believe that people who have constant contact with the '11-11' phenomena have some type of a positive mission to accomplish. It is still a mystery to me what it is that we all have to do or why are we all being gathered and connected together, but it is very real and tangible, I feel that it is immensely positive, almost like there is a thinking entity sending us these physical and visual signs from the universe. - Source

11/07/07 - 'Criminal' Botnet Stumps for Ron Paul, Researchers Allege
KeelyNet If Texas congressman Ron Paul is elected president in 2008, he may be the first leader of the free world put into power with the help of a global network of hacked PCs spewing spam, according to computer-security researchers who've analyzed a recent flurry of e-mail supporting the long-shot Republican candidate. Ron Paul spokesman Jesse Benton says the campaign has no knowledge of the scam. Warner himself says that he has no reason to believe that the Paul campaign had anything to do with these messages. Some participants in the online political world have long suspected Paul's technically sophisticated fan base of manipulating online tools and polls to boost the appearance of a wide base of support. But the UAB analysis is the first to document any internet shenanigans. They were received by the lab following the latest televised Republican debate Sunday afternoon, and had 16 different subject lines, including "Ron Paul Wins GOP Debate! HMzjoqO" and "Ron Paul Exposes Federal Reserve! SBHBcSO." The random string of characters at the end is a common spammer's technique to circumvent bulk e-mail filtering. The spam went to "several hundred" e-mail addresses harvested for the university project, says Warner. The e-mails had phony names attached to real-looking e-mail addresses. When lab researchers examined the IP addresses of the computers from which the messages had been sent, it turned out that they were sprinkled around the globe in countries as far away from each other as South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, Nigeria and Brazil. "The interesting thing was that we had the same subject line from the same IP address, and it claimed to be from different users from within the United States," Warner says. One e-mail was designed to look as if it came from within a major Silicon Valley corporation, he notes. But when the researchers looked up the IP address, the computer from which the note was sent was actually in South Korea. Another e-mail that was designed to look as if it came from Houston was sent from Italy. That pattern led Warner to conclude that the messages had been laundered through a botnet -- also a standard spammer practice, though a decidedly illegal one. "If it is true, it could be done by a well-intentioned yet misguided supporter or someone with bad intentions trying to embarrass the campaign," Paul spokesman Jesse Benton wrote while ferrying his boss to tape an appearance on The Tonight Show. "Either way, this is independent work, and we have no connection." - Source / Ron Paul as Gandalf??? - I could not HELP but be reminded of an angry Gandalph from Lord of the Rings, SMITING the bad guys with TRUTH and JUSTICE! Don’t they look alike??? Outrageous Video - FOX News pundit-wannabe Chris Wallace, proving he is anything but a journalist, literally deprecated Rep. Ron Paul over an answer Paul gave on troop withdrawals from Iraq. Although put in the form of a question, Wallace said Paul would take his “marching orders from al-Qaeda” to get the U.S. “off the Arabian peninsula.”- Source

11/05/07 - Scientists rotate electron spin with electric field
Researchers at the Delft University of Technology’s Kavli Institute of Nanoscience and the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) have succeeded in controlling the spin of a single electron merely by using electric fields. This clears the way for a much simpler realization of the building blocks of a (future) super-fast quantum computer. Controlling the spin of a single electron is essential if this spin is to be used as the building block of a future quantum computer. An electron not only has a charge but, because of its spin, also behaves as a tiny magnet. In a magnetic field, the spin can point in the same direction as the field or in the opposite direction, but the laws of quantum mechanics also allow the spin to exist in both states simultaneously. As a result, the spin of an electron is a very promising building block for the yet-to-be-developed quantum computer; a computer that, for certain applications, is far more powerful than a conventional computer. At first glance it is surprising that the spin can be rotated by an electric field. However, we know from the Theory of Relativity that a moving electron can ‘feel’ an electric field as though it were a magnetic field. Researchers Katja Nowack and Dr. Frank Koppens therefore forced an electron to move through a rapidly-changing electric field. Working in collaboration with Prof. Yuli V. Nazarov, theoretical researcher at the Kavli Institute of Nanoscience Delft, they showed that it was indeed possible to turn the spin of the electron by doing so. - Source

11/05/07 - World's First Steam-Drive Airplane - July 1933
KeelyNet Three times, the blue plane blazed a steam trail into the air, taking off, landing, circling about, remaining aloft for five minutes at a time. The constant, wearing vibration of the gas engine was gone; the smooth push and pull of steam power had supplanted it. Each time, as the machine swooped down and the wheels touched, Besler pulled back a small lever at the side of the cockpit and the steam engine at the nose of the ship instantly raced in reverse, whirling the propeller backward to act as a powerful brake and reduce the landing run to a minimum. This method of slowing down, possible only with steam power plants, applies the braking effect above the center of gravity and thus prevents nosing over in a quick stop. When wheel brakes are jammed on suddenly, a plane noses over or somersaults in a ground crash. Coming in at fifty miles an hour, the Beslers told me, the new steam plane can sit down and come to a stop in a field hardly a hundred feet square. The engine is a two-cylinder, compound, double-acting, V-type power plant. Its high-pressure cylinder has a three-inch bore and a three-inch stroke; its low-pressure cylinder has five and a quarter-inch bore and a three-inch stroke. Just behind the engine, the inventors showed me the barrel-shaped metal boiler which, with its super-efficient burner, explains why they have succeeded where others have failed in attempting to drive planes with a steam engine. Using vaporized fuel oil, the patented burner releases as much as 3,000,000 British thermal units per cubic foot of firebox space. This, they told me, is far in excess of anything hitherto attained. An electric blower drives this tremendous heat down among the flat spirals of a single 500-foot pipe coiled within the boiler. Three-eighths of an inch thick, inside measurement, at the bottom, the pipe gradually increases in size until it has an inside diameter of five-eighths of an inch at the top. The water supply to the coiled pipe is thermostatically controlled to keep the temperature constant regardless of pressure. UNDER the fuselage nose is the condenser which looks like an ordinary radiator for a water-cooled motor and which is said to recover more than ninety percent of the water from the used steam. By using a steam-feed water-pump, the inventors employ the exhaust vapor to pre-heat the feed water entering the boiler and thus decrease the time required to build up pressure within the coils. The operation of the power plant, once it is started, is practically automatic. At the start of a flight, William Besler climbs into the cockpit and flips over a small switch. Instantly the electric blower goes into action, driving air mixed with oil spray through the burner. Here, an electric spark ignites the mixture and sends a blowtorch of flame roaring downward around the coils of pipe. A few minutes later, steam pressure is high enough for the take-off. All the pilot has to do, from then on, is to operate the throttle and reverse lever. At 800 degrees F., the steam pressure built up within the coils reaches 1,500 pounds. With a 1,200-pound pressure, the engine will deliver 150 horsepower, whirling the propeller at 1,625 revolutions a minute. Tests have shown that ten gallons of water is sufficient for a flight of 400 miles. By increasing the size and efficiency of the condenser, the experimenters told me, they believe they can make this amount of water last indefinitely. - Source

11/05/07 - Terabyte Storage for Cell Phones
A new type of memory technology could lead to thumb drives or digital-camera memory cards that store a terabyte of information--more than most hard drives hold today. The first examples of the new technology, which could also slash energy consumption by more than 99 percent, could be on the market within 18 months. The new type of memory, called programmable-metallization-cell (PMC) memory, or nano-ionic memory, has been under development at the University of Arizona and at companies such as Sony and IBM. It's one of a new generation of experimental technologies that are bidding to replace hard drives, the nonvolatile "flash" memory used in portable electronics, and the dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) in personal computers. The first ionic-memory prototypes were far too slow for practical use. But recently, researchers have demonstrated that materials structured at the nanoscale could yield ionic-memory devices that are much faster. Nano-ionic memory is significantly faster than flash memory, and the speed of some experimental cells has rivaled that of DRAM, which is orders of magnitude faster than flash. Ionic memory uses extremely low voltages, so it could consume as little as a thousandth as much energy as flash memory. In theory, it could also achieve much higher storage densities--bits of information per unit of surface area--than current technologies can. These attractions are largely the result of a new mechanism for storing information. Flash memory stores bits of information as electrical charge, but the smaller the memory cells that hold the bits, the less charge they can hold, and the less reliable they become. The new memory stores information by rearranging atoms to form stable, and potentially extremely small, memory cells. What's more, each cell could potentially store multiple bits of information, and the cells can be layered on top of each other, increasing the memory's storage density to the point that it might rival that of the densest form of memory today: hard drives. - Source

11/05/07 - Brain Imaging Seen Leading to More False Alarms
KeelyNet Improvements in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have led to increased detection of minor brain abnormalities that may worry the patient, but often will never cause any problems, according to study findings reported in The New England Journal of Medicine. The study involved 2,000 people, between 46 and 96 years of age, with no symptoms of brain disease who underwent MRI between 2005 and 2007. Dead brain tissue was the most common abnormality, seen in 7.2 percent of subjects. Other abnormalities included benign brain tumors and ballooned blood vessels, also known as aneurysms. The tumors were classified as benign based on typical characteristics, such as the location, shape and density, co-researcher Dr. Aad van der Lugt, Erasmus MC University Medical Center in Rotterdam, told Reuters Health. While incidental findings on MRI, sometimes referred to as "incidentalomas," may prompt further investigation they should never be used as the sole reason for receiving a particular medical or surgical treatment, van der Lugt emphasized. - Source

11/05/07 - Ultracapacitors Soon to Replace Many Batteries?
"According to an article in the IEEE Spectrun, the synergy between batteries and capacitors - two of the sturdiest and oldest components of electrical engineering - has been growing, to the point where ultracapacitors may soon be almost as indispensable to portable electricity as batteries are now. Some researchers expect to soon create capacitors capable of storing 50% as much energy as a lithium ion battery of the same size. Such capacitors could revolutionize many areas possibly from mobile computing (no worries about battery memory), electricity-powered vehicles, and more." - Source

11/05/07 - Digital Magnetic Map Goes Global
KeelyNet The first global map of magnetic peculiarities - or anomalies - on Earth has been assembled by an international team of researchers. Magnetic anomalies are caused by differences in the magnetisation of the rocks in the Earth's crust. Many years of negotiation were required to obtain confidential data from governments and institutes. Scientists hope to use the map to learn more about the geological composition of our planet. The World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map (WDMAM) is available through the Commission for the Geological Map of the World. The magnetic signature of the Earth's crust has been measured for many decades by a multitude of groups; but now, for the first time, the data has been combined to give a truly worldwide view of the phenomenon. A British company involved in the project is GETECH, a spin-off from Leeds University. The global map shows the variation in strength of the magnetic field after the Earth's dipole field has been removed (Earth's dipole field varies from 35,000 nanoTesla (nT) at the Equator to 70,000 nT at the poles). After removal of the dipole field, the remaining variations in the field (few hundreds of nT) are due to changes in the magnetic properties of the crustal rocks. Hot colours (reds) indicate high values; cold colours (blues) indicate low or negative values. As well as revealing ore deposits, magnetic anomalies can also show areas of ground water and sea weakness zones. It is a useful tool for geologists and geophysics, as well as a teaching resource. The information can be viewed as a flat, two-dimensional map or rendered in 3D on a virtual globe. - Source

11/05/07 - Working At a Desk Kills Productivity - Report
A performance consulting firm in the UK called HB Maynard found in a recent study (paid for by Plantronics) that forcing workers to sit at a desk all day KILLS PRODUCTIVITY, because it's unhealthy and depressing. The solution: mobile computing. - Source

11/05/07 - A Carbon-Free, Stackable Rental Car
KeelyNet The Smart Cities group at the MIT Media Lab is working on two low-cost electric vehicles that it hopes will revolutionize mass transit and help alleviate pollution. Next week, the group will unveil a prototype of its foldable electric scooter at the EICMA Motorcycle Show, in Milan. A prototype for the team's foldable electric car, called the City Car, is slated to follow next year. The MIT group sees the vehicles as the linchpin in a strategy that aims to mitigate pollution with electric power, expand limited public space by folding and stacking vehicles like shopping carts, and alleviate congestion by letting people rent and return the vehicles to racks located near transportation hubs, such as train stations, airports, and bus depots. At the heart of these vehicles is an omnidirectional robot wheel that the team has developed. The wheel encases an electric-drive motor, as well as suspension, steering, and braking systems. With no engine or mechanical parts between the wheels and the driver's controls, the system offers great flexibility in design. The driver can, in fact, fold the car up (see below image). Six to eight folded and stacked City Cars can fit into one conventional parking space. General Motors sponsored the development of the car. - Source

11/05/07 - Is a Domain Name an Automatic Trademark?
"I registered a descriptive domain name (something like "thesimpledog.com") and started a blog on it. About a month later I get a threatening letter from a link farmer who owns "simpledog.com" The owner of simpledog.com is claiming that he owns the trademark to the words simpledog even though he has no real business or rights by that name other than a static page with some text and Adsense slapped on it. There is no product, service or brand whatsoever. Does simply registering a two or three word domain give you instant trademark rights to those words even though you've never done anything with them? Should I give up my domain to a link farmer who is trying to bully me, or does he have a valid right to any phrase he registers that isn't already trademarked?" - Source

11/05/07 - A Book For Fundamentalist Christians
KeelyNet Many people would benefit from this book: Marlene Winell's Leaving the Fold. It will help them escape from the lunacy known as fundamental Christianity. Steve Allen describes it as: This book by psychologist Marlene Winell provides valuable insights into the dangers of religious indoctrination and outlines what therapists and victims can do to reclaim a healthier human spirit.... Both former believers searching for a new beginning and those just starting to subject their faith to the requirements of simple common sense, if not analytical reason, may find valuable assistance in these pages. - Source

11/05/07 - Get a Complete List of Drivers On Your Machine
List all the drivers you've installed on your Windows machine by typing driverquery from the command line (start->Run->cmd->OK). This works under Windows XP, 2003, and Vista systems; WindowsVistaPlace states that there is even more information to glean from this simple program: remote system direction, output, and information about signed drivers, - Source

11/05/07 - Dellschaus’ Flying Machines…
KeelyNet Many years ago, when I was heavily involved in UFO studies, every now and then I would hear about a mysterious group called the ‘Sonora Aero Club’. It was very difficult to find any information or details but I did gather they existed in Sonora California in the mid 1800s and were using some kind of flying machine of unknown design. In discussions with various other researchers, I came across the name Pete Navarro so I called in a couple of favors and found a guy named Jimmy Ward. We made contact and Jimmy kindly provided me with the name and phone number for Pete. Sad to say, Jimmy died a few years ago but he was a wealth of information and had many unusual experiences during his life. From my contact with Pete, between he and Jimmy, I gathered enough information for the Aero series on KeelyNet which dealt with the mysterious Dellschau manuscripts. These were posted on the KeelyNet BBS that ran from 1988 to 1996. See; Aero 1, Aero 2, Aero 3, Aero 4, Aero 5, Aero 6, Aero 7, Aero 8 and Aero 9. They are old txt files that I need to change to html. Dennis Crenshaw writes; “I am very pleased to announce that Pete Navarro and I have signed a contract with Anomalist Books (www.anomalistbooks.com ) to publish our MS concerning the acclaimed mysterious artist C.A.A. Dellschau and his strange drawings of futuristic flying machines. The title will be, “The Secrets of Dellschau: The Sonora Aero Club and the flying machines of the 1800s.” Along with the story of Pete’s many years spent breaking the code and then closely studying the secret story hidden by Dellschau in his drawings, the book will contain hundreds of Pete’s personal drawings and color photos taken during his 27 year quest..." - Source

11/05/07 - Strange but True: Snake Oil Salesmen Were on to Something
Snake oil really is a cure for what ails you, if that happens to be arthritis, heart disease or maybe even depression. Throughout the 19th century salesmen traveled the U.S. peddling solutions to all medical ills. As depicted in numerous Westerns and in Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn, the "doctor" was aided by a shill in the crowd who would, at the appropriate moment, call out that this medicament, ointment or tincture had solved his woes. Once the unsuspecting public had purchased the con artists' wares, both would quickly depart before the townspeople discovered the worthlessness of the claims. One of the most common cure-alls was snake oil, and its less than sterling efficacy soon lent its name as a generic to all such fraudulent hoaxes. For centuries snake oil has been a folk remedy in Chinese medicine, used primarily to treat joint pain such as arthritis and bursitis. Its introduction to the U.S. most likely occurred with the arrival of Chinese laborers who came to build the Transcontinental Railroad in the mid 1800s. They may have offered snake oil to fellow workers as relief for suffering long days of physical toil. Richard Kunin, a California psychiatrist with a background in neurophysiology research, became intrigued with the idea of snake oil in the 1980s. He had been following early research on the importance of omega-3 fatty acids for health and it dawned on him that the much maligned snake oil might be a particularly rich source. Omega-3's proliferate in cold-blooded creatures that live primarily in cooler environments because the fats don't harden in chilly water like omega-6 fatty acids do (hence, the high level of omega-3's in cold-water fish such as salmon). "Snakes and fish share one thing, they're both cold-blooded animals," Kunin says. - Source

11/05/07 - Devices Enforce Cellular Silence, Sweet but Illegal
KeelyNet As cellphone use has skyrocketed, making it hard to avoid hearing half a conversation in many public places, a small but growing band of rebels is turning to a blunt countermeasure: the cellphone jammer, a gadget that renders nearby mobile devices impotent. The technology is not new, but overseas exporters of jammers say demand is rising and they are sending hundreds of them a month into the United States - prompting scrutiny from federal regulators and new concern last week from the cellphone industry. The buyers include owners of cafes and hair salons, hoteliers, public speakers, theater operators, bus drivers and, increasingly, commuters on public transportation. The development is creating a battle for control of the airspace within earshot. And the damage is collateral. Insensitive talkers impose their racket on the defenseless, while jammers punish not just the offender, but also more discreet chatterers. The jamming technology works by sending out a radio signal so powerful that phones are overwhelmed and cannot communicate with cell towers. The range varies from several feet to several yards, and the devices cost from $50 to several hundred dollars. Larger models can be left on to create a no-call zone. Using the jammers is illegal in the United States. The radio frequencies used by cellphone carriers are protected, just like those used by television and radio broadcasters. The Federal Communication Commission says people who use cellphone jammers could be fined up to $11,000 for a first offense. Its enforcement bureau has prosecuted a handful of American companies for distributing the gadgets - and it also pursues their users. - Source

11/05/07 - Most Consumers Clueless About Online Tracking
"Consumers still think that [online] privacy policies are representing that the Web site will not sell or use data in specific ways," said Chris Hoofnagle, one of the authors of the report and a senior staff attorney at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology. But "there is a disconnect between the business practices and consumer expectations." - Source

11/03/07 - Video - Simple circuit to squeeze last drops of juice from batteries
KeelyNet The latest Weekend Projects video shows you how to build a "Joule Thief." Bre Pettis explains: Windell Oskay of Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories joins me to teach you how to make a super clever little circuit called the Joule Thief! The Joule Thief allows you to squeeze the life out of what most people think of as "dead" batteries! We were inspired by Big Clive to make this project and it's the perfect platform for a flashlight, book reading light, or really just something you should make to get more use out of your batteries! - Source / Make a Joule Thief - This circuit is a very small implementation of a typical transformer feedback single transistor invertor. The transformer was a standard ferrite bead with two windings wound on it and the circuit was using the high voltage pulse generated when the transistor turns off to light an LED from a single 1.5V battery. This page has two variations on the original design to use the simple circuit in a useful manner. The amazing thing about this circuit is that it will run right down to about 0.35V if left running continuously, and will often provide a week of continuous low level light from a battery that would normally be considered dead. The level of light is initially quite high but gradually reduces as the battery voltage goes lower. However, it can still be used for reading in a dark room, even when the battery is almost completely drained. - Source

11/03/07 - Computer Physical Rendering
Intel is trying to see if millions of tiny robots can work together to create a coffee cup, or a model of a truck. Intel's lab in Pittsburgh, affiliated with Carnegie Mellon University, is showing off a technology concept at the Intel Developer Forum here this week called Dynamic Physical Rendering, which could ultimately lead to a shape-shifting fabrics. Apply the right voltage and software program and the flat piece of fabric turns into a 3D model of a car. Change those parameters and it transforms into a cube. Dynamic Physical Rendering has grown out of the ongoing Claytronics project headed up by CMU professor Seth Goldstein. "Rather than look at a 3D model on a CAD (computer-aided design) program, a physical model would be manifested on your desk," said Babu Pillai, who, along with Jason Campbell, is heading up the project. "The material would change shape under software control." The trick is that the fabric would not be a continuous piece of material. Instead, it would be composed of millions of independent silicon spheres covered in electronic actuators--half-capacitors or electromagnets. By applying charges to different actuators, different points on the sphere would be repelled or attracted to similar points on other spheres. The coordinated movement of the spheres would then cause the fabric to assume a shape. The intelligent fabric doesn't exist yet, but the Air Force Research Laboratory has created prototypes of the components that make up intelligent fabric. The spheres measure about a millimeter in diameter. First, a piece of silicon cut into the shape of a star with many arms is produced. The stress of the material causes it to be rolled up into a ball. Intel uses these spheres in its prototypes. - Source

11/03/07 - New Mosquito trap to save lives
KeelyNet Dr. Tom Kollars says, "We saw patients and children with malaria and dengue fever," said Dr. Kollars. "About 40 percent of children die and there's no treatment or vaccine, there's no drug for dengue, while there's drug resistance to malaria." So he came up with what he calls a solution. It's called Provector. It looks like a flower, only it uses a chemical to attract the mosquito. "Female mosquitoes have to get food sources, blood meals and nectar and fruit juices used for energy to fly. They'll feed on nectar and sugar sources ten times more than blood because they need it for energy," said Dr. Kollars. Once mosquitoes take in the antiviral formula in the traps, it works with their system to block the development of the disease, killing it but not the mosquito. Dr Kollars says not only will his invention help save lives, but it will be cost effective. "Well for example, the average family in Kenya spends $110 treating their family with malaria. We're trying to make this device very cost effective at five to ten dollars, where someone can put this in their home," said Dr. Kollars. Through his research, Dr. Kollar's treatment has knocked down the number of infected mosquitoes to two percent. "We have a chance here to be involved with preventing hundreds of millions from dying and getting sick and it's a blessing," said Dr. Kollars. - Source

11/03/07 - The Phelps Crazies - Best thing that could happen to evangelicals?
There is a "church" in Kansas led by a "Rev. Phelps" who claims that the United States is falling apart as a result of homosexuality and he aims to solve it by, and this is the really weird part, showing up with a bunch of crazed zealots at the funerals of US soldiers to mock their deaths as being punishment from God. If it weren't so utterly evil it would almost be funny for it's complete insanity. (CNN Article). My always optimistic take on it is that this kind of idiot will help to discredit the religeous right in general, and in the long run make reasonable religeous Americans come to their senses. - Source

11/03/07 - New Catalyst May Be a Boost For Fuel Cells
"Andrew Smith, the author of Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth, recently published a polemic in the British newspaper The Guardian, entitled Plundering the Moon, that argued against the economic development of the Moon. Apparently the idea of mining Helium 3, an isotope found on the Moon but not on the Earth (at least in nature) disturbs Mr. Smith from an environmentalist standpoint. An examination of the issue makes one wonder why." - Source

11/03/07 - The Economic Development of the Moon
KeelyNet "Andrew Smith, the author of Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Fell to Earth, recently published a polemic in the British newspaper The Guardian, entitled Plundering the Moon, that argued against the economic development of the Moon. Apparently the idea of mining Helium 3, an isotope found on the Moon but not on the Earth (at least in nature) disturbs Mr. Smith from an environmentalist standpoint. An examination of the issue makes one wonder why." - Source / Plundering the Moon - The new space race isn't focused on science or discovery, but is about exploiting lunar minerals. Whether it turns out to be He-3, solar energy, or some as yet unknown technology that draws humanity back to the moon, there's an irony here. In 1968, Apollo 8 brought back the first shimmering image of an "Earthrise" as seen from the moon. Four years later, Apollo 17 came home with the famous whole Earth picture. These new views of our fragile, heartbreakingly isolated planet are often credited with having helped to kickstart the environmental movement - even with having changed the way we see ourselves as a species. At present, nations are forbidden under international treaty from making territorial claims to the moon, but the same has hitherto been true of Antarctica, of which the UK government is trying to claim a chunk. Earth's sister has played a role in teaching us to value our environment: how extraordinary to think that the next giant leap for the environmental movement might be a campaign to stop state-sponsored mining companies chomping her up in glorious privacy, a quarter of a million miles from our ravaged home. - Source

11/03/07 - Loss of tourism costs USA $100B, 200K jobs, $16B in tax revenue
The 17 percent decline in US tourism since September 11th, 2001 has had a devastating effect on the economy, costing nearly $100 billion (200,000 jobs, 16 billion in tax revenue). Visitors to the US from around the world rank the border procedures as among the worst on earth. "What affects travel and tourism affects our economy and our image around the world. Travel and tourism is the face of America, whether it's people coming here or Americans going elsewhere," he said. "It's the person coming from India to look at a company in America for parts, or a person from South America who can't get into the country for a conference because he can't get a visa," Dow said. - Source

11/03/07 - Make the Most of Your Dual Monitors
KeelyNet Now that you've added another monitor to your computer setup, you've got double the screen real estate to get things done-but are you putting all that space to good use? Whether you want to stretch your desktop wallpaper or taskbar across two monitors or perfectly snap all your windows into place every time, there are a few utilities that can help you make the most of every last pixel of your dual monitors. - Source

11/03/07 - Take Walmart's $199 PC Operating System for a Test Drive
If Wal-Mart's recently released $200 PC sounds like a potentially great deal but you're not sure about ditching your current operating system for the inexpensive, Linux-based Ubuntu box, head over to the developer's web site and download the bootable gOS LiveCD (or rather DVD, at 728MB). The gOS operating system sports an emphasis on web applications, with desktop shortcuts to tons of Google Apps, Facebook, Wikipedia, and other webapps built directly into the desktop. - Source

11/03/07 - Rust and Tumors - Put down the Bacon!
KeelyNet Here is more evidence than ever that a person who weighs too much is more likely to develop cancer, a landmark report said Wednesday. And forget eating bacon, sausage and lunchmeat. No amount is considered completely safe, according to the analysis from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund. An international panel of experts reviewed more than 7,000 large-scale studies and spent five years developing the report. - Source

11/03/07 - Alzheimer's cold sore virus link
Evidence is building that the cold sore virus may be linked to Alzheimer's disease, an expert says. In lab tests, Manchester University found brains infected with the herpes simplex virus, HSV-1, saw a rise in a protein linked to Alzheimer's. - Source

11/03/07 - Glassbooth.org: Matching you with your candidate
Glassbooth is a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower voters with easy and innovative access to political information. We operate under the following core principles: Integrity: All information used in the Glassbooth process is of the highest accuracy and integrity / Nonbias: All language and method used by Glassbooth is designed to insure nonbias / Nonpartisan: Glassbooth does not affiliate with any political party, political organization, or ideology / Transparency: All information used by Glassbooth will be available for the public to view and scrutinize / Insight: Glassbooth is constantly learning and adapting to how people are using media and interacting with information. - Source

11/03/07 - Gas may be to blame for extinction
KeelyNet A worldwide burp of volcanic gases caused the mass extinction that wiped out dinosaurs and other creatures 65 million years ago, says research reported this week. It's the latest argument from a group that has been trying for some time to discredit the leading theory - that a meteorite striking Mexico led to the mass die-offs. - Source

11/03/07 - Greenback Search
Greenback Search is powered by Google, so you'll get the same high quality results, but Greenback Search gives back to the environment by purchasing carbon offsets with the revenue it earns. Greenback Search is dedicated to the idea that giving back to the Earth should be simple and easy. We're starting with one of the easiest ideas in the world - using Greenback Search as your search engine. We make it easy to give back when you use Greenback Search by donating 50% of our revenues to organizations that are dedicated to making it easy and affordable to eliminate climate impact and hastening the move to a clean energy future. The benefits of your searches will go to CarbonFund.org. - Source

11/01/07 - Videos - Wow! Ron Paul on Leno 10/31/07, there IS HOPE!
KeelyNet Ron Paul modestly says, "There is...a risk I could win..." "Our greatest threat is to our civil liberties here at home..." "The message of Liberty is what America is all about..." - Source / Carlin, "We have no choice, we have owners! They want obedient workers. The owners count on willfully ignorant workers. You have to be asleep to believe the 'American Dream'." - Source

11/01/07 - Scientists treat cancer as an infectious disease
The Einstein researchers used a technique called radioimmunotherapy, in which radioisotopes are piggybacked onto antibodies. Once these precision-made molecules are injected into the body, the antibodies home in on a specific protein target…and the radioisotope “warhead” destroys the cell to which the protein is attached. In this research the targets were viral antigens: proteins expressed by virus-infected cells that can cause those cells to multiply out of control and become cancerous. Nearly 20 percent of human cancers worldwide are caused by preexisting virus infections. Prime examples are liver cancer (caused by hepatitis B and C viruses), cervical cancer (caused by human papillomaviruses) and certain lymphomas (caused by the Epstein-Barr virus). But while antigens on the surface of cells are susceptible to attack by antibodies, the viral antigens associated with cancers typically lurk inside infected cells, so scientists had assumed that antibodies couldn’t reach them. “We had a hunch that rapidly growing tumors can “outgrow” their blood supply, resulting in dead tumor cells that might spill their viral antigens amongst the living cancer cells,” says Dr. Arturo Casadevall, Forchheimer Professor and Chair of Microbiology & Immunology at Einstein and co-senior author of the study. “So we hoped that by injecting antibodies hitched to isotopes into the blood that they’d be carried deep into the tumor mass and would latch onto these now-exposed antigens. Then the blast of radiation emitted by the radioisotope would destroy the live tumor cells nearby.” For both types of cancer, the radioimmunotherapy resulted in significant slowing of tumor growth compared with tumors in untreated mice. For the cervical-cancer mice, the therapy not only stopped the growth of tumors but even caused them to regress. “Radioimmunotherapy not only worked against these cancers, but in addition the radioactivity was confined entirely to the tumor masses, leaving healthy tissues undamaged,”says Dr. Ekaterina Dadachova, Associate Professor of Nuclear Medicine and of Microbiology & Immunology at Einstein and the study’s other senior co-author. - Source

11/01/07 - Technology tunes into our emotions
KeelyNet Gordon McIntyre, a PhD student from the Research School of Information Services and Engineering, is working on a computer system that detects anxiety by analysing a person's speech and facial expressions. Changes in speech rhythm and pitch and any quavering in the voice are picked up by speech recognition software. While changes in facial expressions are tracked using artificial neural networks, which mimic how the brain processes information. In developing the project, McIntyre plotted 65 landscape points on the face that change during various emotional states, such as the eyebrows, lips and nose. The computer determines emotions by measuring changes in the location of these landscape points compared to an average or expression-free face. - Source

11/01/07 - Scientists discover new way to make water
In a familiar high-school chemistry demonstration, an instructor first uses electricity to split liquid water into its constituent gases, hydrogen and oxygen. Then, by combining the two gases and igniting them with a spark, the instructor changes the gases back into water with a loud pop. Scientists at the University of Illinois have discovered a new way to make water, and without the pop. Not only can they make water from unlikely starting materials, such as alcohols, their work could also lead to better catalysts and less expensive fuel cells. “We found that unconventional metal hydrides can be used for a chemical process called oxygen reduction, which is an essential part of the process of making water,” said Zachariah Heiden, a doctoral student and lead author of a paper accepted for publication in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. A water molecule (formally known as dihydrogen monoxide) is composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. But you can’t simply take two hydrogen atoms and stick them onto an oxygen atom. The actual reaction to make water is a bit more complicated: 2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + Energy. In English, the equation says: To produce two molecules of water (H2O), two molecules of diatomic hydrogen (H2) must be combined with one molecule of diatomic oxygen (O2). Energy will be released in the process. “This reaction (2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + Energy) has been known for two centuries, but until now no one has made it work in a homogeneous solution,” said Thomas Rauchfuss, a U. of I. professor of chemistry and the paper’s corresponding author. The well-known reaction also describes what happens inside a hydrogen fuel cell. In a typical fuel cell, the diatomic hydrogen gas enters one side of the cell, diatomic oxygen gas enters the other side. The hydrogen molecules lose their electrons and become positively charged through a process called oxidation, while the oxygen molecules gain four electrons and become negatively charged through a process called reduction. The negatively charged oxygen ions combine with positively charged hydrogen ions to form water and release electrical energy. - Source

11/01/07 - UV Light May Offer "Double Whammy" for Cancer
KeelyNet Using ultraviolet light may one day offer a "double whammy" to kill cancer cells by better focusing antibody-based drugs and triggering the body's own defenses to eliminate tumors, researchers said on Tuesday. In two studies with mice, a British team cloaked antibodies -- the immune system proteins that tag germs and cancer cells for elimination -- with an organic oil that blocked them from reacting until illuminated with ultraviolet light. The researchers used engineered immune system proteins called monoclonal antibodies. They are made to home in on proteins known to be overactive in tumor cells. When the light unblocked the organic coating, the antibodies switched on and attracted killer T-cells to attack the tumor, said Colin Self, a researcher at Newcastle University, who led the studies. The technique can help prevent damage to healthy tissue because the covered antibodies are dormant in the body unless lit up, Self said. "What happens in cancer is the body can't mount a response to cure cancer," he said. "This is a way of waking the system up. The antibodies will have their local effect but the hope in all of this is you are bringing in the whole immune system." The technique could work with any of these treatments to fight a whole range of cancers, so long as doctors are able to find a way to shine a light on a tumor, Self said. "You are getting a double whammy," he said. "A stronger effect and you can direct the antibody." - Source

11/01/07 - Chronic cough? You may need more iron
Instead of cough drops, some women may need to reach for an iron supplement to treat that pesky cough, Italian researchers say. The study, presented at the scientific meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in Chicago, suggests iron deficiency may help explain why some otherwise healthy, nonsmoking women have persistent coughs. Tests on women with chronic coughs and iron deficiency show that a simple iron supplement often clears up the cough, says Dr Caterina Bucca of the University of Turin and colleagues. Because iron helps regulate the production of proteins in the immune system that control inflammation, an iron deficiency might make the upper airway more prone to inflammation, leading to this chronic cough, Bucca reasons. Bucca says women are more likely than men to suffer from otherwise unexplained chronic coughs. Bucca and colleagues studied 16 women with a chronic cough whose lungs appeared normal, had no signs of asthma or other respiratory disease and no evidence of acid stomach reflux that could explain their coughing. They all had signs of swelling in the back of the mouth and red, inflamed mucous membranes. Their vocal cords were also very sensitive, making them cough and choke easily, such as after vigorous laughing. Bucca gave these women iron supplements to improve their iron stores. When the stores had normalised, after about two months, they were checked again. After iron supplementation, coughing and signs of inflammation in the mouth and vocal cords were improved or completely resolved. "I found the hypersensitivity was nearly gone or vastly improved in all of the women," Bucca says. - Source

11/01/07 - Space station solar panel rips while unfurling
KeelyNet Astronauts on the station stopped unfurling the panel when they spotted the damage, but said the glinting Sun had prevented them from seeing it sooner. "It looks like the damage appeared fairly suddenly," said Pamela Melroy, commander of the space shuttle Discovery, which is docked at the station. - Source

11/01/07 - Skilled Legal Immigrants Shafted By Washington
Highly skilled legal immigrants (mostly from India and China) who have followed all laws and "played by the rules" have been IGNORED in the immigration debate. While millions of unskilled illegal immigrants (mostly from Mexico and Central America) pour across the border unchecked, skilled workers who help make Silicon Valley the top engine of innovation in the world and create jobs, wealth and tax revenues, are harassed, ignored, bullied and abused. I have an idea: Let's put a "cap" on the number of unskilled immigrants, and dramatically streamline the process for highly skilled workers to get green cards and citizenship. Or would that make too much sense? - Source

11/01/07 - Invade Egypt!
"OK, so you won't hear that kind of talk coming from Vice President Oil's office, but think about this: Egypt has decided to build nuclear power plants to meet its growing energy needs. Why aren't we invading? Let me think, for a minute. What's the difference between Muslim Egypt going into the nuclear development business and Muslim Iran? A check of the CIA World Fact Book might offer a hint: Iraq holds 112,5 billion barrels of oil / Iran holds an even juicier 138.4 billion barrels / Egypt has a scanty 3.8 billion of reserves. So, why invade Egypt? No oil, so what's the point...let 'em have their nukes." - Source - George A. Ure

11/01/07 - Stop-Motion Photography on the Cheap
KeelyNet Claymation Studio is a $40 program that lets you link shots taken with any digital camera into an animated video. The results are surprising. Claymation has become kind of a catchword for stop-motion photography, but initially referred to using just figures made from clay. The characters and scenery are modeled from colored clay, and each movement requires either Wallace and Gromit repositioning the figures or changing their expression. Do enough of these and you can put together a short movie, frame by frame. The process is incredibly time-consuming, but the final effects are unlimited. Outstanding examples are the movies "Chicken Run" and "Wallace and Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit. You don't have to use clay figures. Claymation Studio lets you easily connect still pictures of just about anything into a continuous animation. We used a tripod-mounted camera taking single shots of a plastic duck and a banana, for example, and had the little critter appear to race toward the fruit and then jump up and dance on it. This is pretty stupid-sounding stuff, but it echoes what the teenage Ray Harryhausen did many years ago in stringing together single shots to make scenes that ultimately became major motion pictures. He used two toy plastic dinosaurs and by moving them slightly for each shot, made them appear to be fighting. He later was instrumental in creating the full-length movies "Mighty Joe Young," "The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad" and "Jason and the Argonauts." A single scene of five actors fighting a group of skeleton warriors in "Jason" took four months to complete. Actor Tom Hanks told Harryhausen he thought it was the greatest movie ever made. You can do a movie this way, and if you have the patience, it's fun. Claymation Studio is a good starting program and can take the ambitious producer a long way. Tech support is free, which is a good thing because the instructions are almost nonexistent. A more complete program is the more expensive StopMotionPro, which sells in versions from $70 to $595 at StopMotionPro.com. Claymation is from Honestech.com . - Source - November 2007 Week 1

11/01/07 - Top 10 Free Video Rippers, Encoders, and Converters
So many video file formats, so many handheld video players, so many online video sites, and so little time. To have your favorite clips how you want them-whether that's on your DVR, iPod, PSP or desktop-you need the right utility to convert 'em into the format that works for you. Commercial video converter software's aplenty, but there are several solid free utilities that can convert your video files on every operating system, or if you've just got a web browser and a quick clip. Put DVDs on your iPod, YouTube videos on DVD, or convert any video file with today's top 10 free video rippers, encoders and converters. - Source

11/01/07 - Speed Up a Slow My Computer with a Simple Tweak
If you're used to taking a coffee break because of long hangs every time you fire up Windows Explorer, the How-To Geek weblog suggests turning off network folder and printer searching in Explorer's folder options. Just open Explorer, go to Tools -> Folder Options and click on the View tab. At the top of the File and Folders list, uncheck "Automatically search for network folders and printers" and click OK. If the networking issue was your Explorer slow-down culprit, you should notice a significantly faster startup next time you open up My Computer. - Source

11/01/07 - NASA’s secrets about cities on the Moon and microbes on Mars
KeelyNet The former manager of the Data and Photo Control Department at NASA’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory during the manned Apollo Lunar Program, Ken Johnston, has released quite a number of sensational statements recently in the USA. The specialist said that U.S. astronauts found ancient ruins of artificial origin and a previously unknown technology to control gravitation when then landed on the Moon. Astronauts took pictures of the objects that they found, but NASA ordered Johnston to destroy the images. Johnston did not follow the order. He said that the U.S. government had been keeping this information a secret for 40 years. The low quality pictures included in his book depict ruins of buildings, huge dome-like objects made of glass, stone towers and castled hanging in the air. In December NASA announced plans to build an international base on one of the poles of the Moon. The base is to be finished by 2024. Russia’s booster rocket maker, Energia, has a more ambitious program: to build a permanent manned base on the Moon by 2015. Russia says the base will be built to develop the industrial production of helium-3. U.S. specialists prefer not to say anything specific on the matter. To crown it all, China launched its first satellite to the Moon on October 24. China also intends to launch a lunar base and an unmanned space probe to the Moon by 2010. Non-radioactive isotope of helium, helium-3, is a powerful fuel for the nuclear synthesis. Only six tons of this fuel would provide enough energy to power a large European country for one year. The qualities of the gas (pollution-free and very high output) make many countries treat the perspective as seriously as possible. Germany, India and China conduct a number of research works to develop methods of helium-3 extraction. - Source

11/01/07 - The Toxic House
Welcome to the Nature of Things Toxic House. This site is about the hazards of indoor pollution largely created by the synthetic and organic chemicals that are a part of our daily lives. It might sound like a place you want to stay away from, but really it's a place intended for you to make informed decisions about the places and spaces where you live.We can't live without chemicals and in many ways they help to improve our lives. However as Dr. Richard Corsi points out some chemicals are better than others and we can make educated choices about their risks and their benefits. - Source

11/01/07 - Brijit (news/content aggregator)
Simply, Brijit aggregates the world's best long-form content and abstracts it in 100 words or less, providing busy, omnivorous, and increasingly mobile readers with rich, qualitative summaries as well as better guideposts for what to read, watch or listen to now. We produce these abstracts in concert with our readers, as one community of readers, writers and editors. Think of us as your well-read friend who leads you to that can't miss article, video clip or product. We wish deep down that we were the kind of people who could read the Economist AND the New Yorker cover-to-cover every week, watch the Sunday morning political shows, and never miss an hour of This American Life. But we're not. And chances are, neither are you. Because who's got the time? And that's why we're building Brijit. Our mission is simple: make it easy for all of us to discover and access the world's best content, quickly, inexpensively and on our own terms. - 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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