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2010.07.19 10:31:08 AM
Re: Google綠能投資 首購風力發電廠
Timed Morning Bowel Movements
You may be wondering what this glass-alarm has to do with your morning bowel routine. First off, a warm glass of water as soon as you wake up is the perfect way to start your day. It helps in detoxing your body and gets your bowels moving. So there! now to establish relation with the “Revive Glass”…it’s an alarm clock that holds a glass of water. Half hour before your alarm is to go off, the base starts warming up the water, so that you drink it warm enough. The alarm shuts off only when you pick up the glass of water. I totally dig the time being read thru water! Looks awesome!
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2010.07.19 11:04:47 AM
Re: Google綠能投資 首購風力發電廠
Unmanned solar plane smashes records
London, England (CNN) -- An unmanned solar aircraft has smashed the world record for continuous flight.
The "Zephyr" plane, developed by UK defense technology company, QinetiQ, took off from the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona on July 9. Seven days on, it was still flying high.
Zephyr program director, Jon Saltmarsh told CNN: "It's extremely exciting. What we now have is an eternal plane. It has the same amount of fuel at the start of one day as it does at the start of another."
The aircraft has already doubled its own unofficial record of over 82 hours and smashed the previous world record for unmanned flight of 30 hours and 24 minutes, set in 2001 by U.S. aerospace company, Northrop Grumman's RQ-4A Global I.
The Zephyr project was conceived in 2001 and secured funding from the UK's Ministry of Defense (MOD) three years later. After several prototypes, Saltmarsh believes QinetiQ has now created an aircraft that demonstrates genuine military utility.
"It has the persistence to stay up there for long periods of time and it carries payloads that are doing things that the military will find useful."
Saltmarsh says its key role will be in aiding communications.
"Sitting at 60,000 feet it's ideal for getting a line of sight between two people in different valleys," Saltmarsh said. "But it could also carry surveillance payloads."
QinetiQ also says it will save the military money, performing many of the tasks currently carried out by manned aircraft.
Weighing just 53 kilograms (117 pounds), the plane has a wingspan of 22.5 meters (74 feet) and a wing area of around 30 square meters (323 square feet), the top side of which is covered in solar panels thinner than a sheet of paper.
The panels are rigged up to lithium-sulphur batteries which power the plane at night.
QinetiQ began building the latest Zephyr model 18 months ago and hope to start full scale military trials a year from now.
The company says that Zephyr will also find a civilian use helping communications in disaster relief situations, as well as forest fire monitoring.
"You can sit above a fire, with heat sensor technology and identify hotspots very quickly," Saltmarsh said.
Zephyr shows no sign of running out of power anytime soon, and Saltmarsh is hopeful it will stay in the air for another seven days, when the plane will finally return to Earth.
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2010.07.19 11:41:52 AM
Re: Google綠能投資 首購風力發電廠
Scientists Crack Mona Lisa's Secret By X-Raying Her
Apparently, everyone has long been baffled by how Leonardo da Vinci created such subtle shadows and light on the Mona Lisa. So much so that scientists X-rayed the painting to discover his technique.
Scientists have discovered that da Vinci used a well known renaissance painting technique known as sfumato. For the non art historians among us, Sfumato is the mixing of thin layers of pigment, glaze, and oil to create lifelike shadows. The difference with Da Vinci was just how intricate his layers were. Apparently, Da Vinci used 30 layers of paint that amazingly only added 40 micromemters of paint—that's half the width of a human hair.
The X-ray fluorescence spectrometry used was noninvasive and allowed scientists to see each layer of paint. It's a tool that's so precise that it can determine the mix of pigments used by an artist. Philippe Walter, the man who X-rayed Mona Lisa:
In the case of "Mona Lisa", Leonardo da Vinci used a mixture of maybe oil and resins, a binder with a very low amount of pigments. And with this mixture it was possible to create a very impressive aspect of the painting - a realistic, like a 3-D painting."
But even with that fancy x-ray, scientists still say that finding brushstrokes on the Mona Lisa is impossible. No word on how hard it is to find hidden messages though. [CNN]
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2010.07.19 11:43:09 AM
Re: Google綠能投資 首購風力發電廠
Minority Report Intelligent Digital Billboards Are Real
You remember those billboards in Minority Report, the ones that personalize what they display depending on who stands in front of it. Tokyo is rolling out digital billboards that do the same thing.
In Minority Report, the billboards worked like this:
In Tokyo, the billboards are outfitted with cameras that can determine the gender and age group of any passerby who takes a look at them. Even if you just glance at them, the digital billboards only need a second to figure out if you're a young girl who would like Hello Kitty or an old man who would want a young girl. They promise they're not recording anyone but they are collecting data to better target those old, so 2009 print billboards.
Welcome to the future where advertisement is disguised as technology. [SmartPlanet]
The resourceful Dutch want to turn the Pacific Garbage Patch into a tropical destination. The idea is to recycle the plastic waste floating in our oceans into building materials for an habitable, self-sustaining island.
Recycled Island would be about the size of Hawaii's biggest island and would be located in between Hawaii and San Francisco. The lofty project's main goals are to recycle the plastic floating in the ocean, establish a stable and seaworthy island and make the island self-sufficient with its own sustainable foods and energy sources. So we're talking houses made from plastic, fertilizable soil made from seaweed and human manure, and electricity coming from solar, wave, and wind power.
The concept of Recycled Island is admittedly far-fetched but any time you put together recycled plastics and human manure on an island, I'm interested. Plus, the Pacific Garbage Patch isn't going to disappear on its own; maybe this concept will drive skeptics to figure out a more practical solution. [Recycled Island via PopSci]
When the island of Manhattan became too crowded, architects responded by building skyscrapers. The increasing density of components on "flat" computer chips is encouraging similar ideas, building upwards to create three-dimensional chips. But moving from flat interconnecting wires to 3D ones to link up different "storeys" has proved a tricky business – until now.
Instead of soldering prefabricated wires in place, as is traditionally done to connect two parts of a chip, Min-Feng Yu and Jie Hu at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a technique to grow tiny 3D wires in situ which are tailor-made for their location.
Yu and Hu's technique is a modified form of electroplating, in which an electric current is used to coat a conductive surface with a thin layer of metal, deposited from a liquid electrolyte. Such a technique theoretically offers a way to directly "write" metal wires onto a surface.
But using such electrodeposition to build tiny wires, rather than indiscriminately plating an entire surface, is challenging. One option is to hold the electrolyte in a pipette that's then brought near to the conductive surface. Then, when an electrical potential is applied between the two, a thin "liquid bridge" is established. Copper or platinum particles in the electrolyte are attracted to the surface, creating a small metallic blob.
Yu and Hu realised that because the metallic blob continues to grow away from the surface and along the liquid bridge as long as the electrical potential is applied, the method offers a way to grow 3D wires that extend above the surface instead of just "two-dimensional" ones that run along it.
The trick is to carefully synchronise the speed with which the micropipette is withdrawn from the surface so that it matches the growth rate of the metal blob. When done correctly, the micropipette leaves a solid, 3D metallic structure in its wake. By moving the pipette parallel to the surface, instead of just vertically away from it, it is possible to create intricate 3D structures (see image). Such metallic bridges could link different parts of a conductive surface, or link two conductive surfaces or components at different heights on a 3D chip.
With a small enough pipette, the researchers have grown freestanding interconnects more than 80 micrometres long but just 100 nanometres wide. "That's one order of magnitude smaller in diameter than is possible in current practice," says Yu.
Take the heat
These interconnects can withstand current densities a million times higher than those that will burn out a traditionally soldered interconnect, because the electrodeposited metal forms a much stronger bond with the surface than a soldered joint.
The work provides an "elegant solution" to the problem of growing intricately shaped 3D wires in chip manufacture, says Peter Searson of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. "It is likely to be an important new tool for the fabrication of three dimensional architectures at the micron scale."
Yu and Hu now hope to shrink the diameter of their wires by yet another order of magnitude, while also scaling up the technique to create a quick, industrially compatible process. "Instead of fabricating wires one by one, we will try to find a way to fabricate them in an array fashion," says Yu.
Silicon chip speed record broken on a lead-coated track
A "RACETRACK" capable of shuttling electrons around at high speed has set a new record for silicon chips, the cornerstone of computing.
Electrical resistance imposes a strict speed limit on electrons travelling through silicon. To break this limit, computer scientists are considering replacing silicon with carbon, as atom-thick sheets of carbon, or graphene, conduct electricity better than any other substance at room temperature.
Graphene owes this property to an unusual interaction between its hexagonal lattice structure and the electronic structure of its atoms. This effectively brings the mass of its free electrons down to zero. That apparent weightlessness allows them to zip across graphene like photons, reaching speeds of up to 0.003 of the speed of light in a vacuum.
The snag is that graphene is difficult to make in bulk. Now Han Woong Yeom and his team at the Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea believe they can mimic its conductivity in silicon. They have clocked electrons travelling 20 times faster than usual in their silicon chips.
Yeom's team added an atom-thick layer of lead to the surface of a silicon block. Because the lead layer is so thin, the arrangement of its atoms is influenced by the silicon atoms underneath. The team suspected that the lead's electrons would, in turn, influence the electronic structure of the silicon at the interface.
To investigate, they fired high-energy photons at the material to knock electrons out of it, and measured their momentum and energy. By subtracting the energy the photons contributed to the displaced electrons, they calculated that some of the electrons at the silicon-lead interface had an apparent mass 1/20th of that of the electrons in typical silicon chips (Physical Review Letters, DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.246803). "This indicates the possibility of 20-times-faster electrons," says Yeom.
Adding a thin layer of lead to a silicon semiconductor could speed up the chip by 20 times
That's still just one-third of the speed of electrons in graphene, but in principle the electron mass can be further reduced - and their speed increased - if different metals are used to coat the silicon, he adds.
"It's fantastic progress," says Zahid Hasan of Princeton University. Speedy silicon could easily outrace graphene to the shelves as the manufacturing infrastructure is already in place, Hasan says.
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2010.07.20 10:35:35 AM
Re: Google綠能投資 首購風力發電廠
Washing Machine Goes Wall Mount
As promised, I’m here with the details on the Dismount Washer. It’s a concept that looks at space saving and hygiene at one go. The way it works is like this, you have your own personal tub for your laundry that can be mounted on an “energy stick”. Using high-pressure steam as its source for cleaning, the washers does its job, and gives a fresh batch of washed clothes. A touchscreen display is integrated for easy navigation and menus. Ideal setup for those who prefer using Laundromats or don’t have space for a washing machine at home.