Friday, August 22, 2008

Wireless electricity

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Intel on Thursday showed off a wireless electric power system that analysts say could revolutionize modern life by freeing devices from transformers and wall outlets.

Intel chief technology officer Justin Rattner demonstrated a Wireless Energy Resonant Link as he spoke at the California firm's annual developers forum in San Francisco.

Electricity was sent wirelessly to a lamp on stage, lighting a 60 watt bulb that uses more power than a typical laptop computer.

Most importantly, the electricity was transmitted without zapping anything or anyone that got between the sending and receiving units.

"The trick with wireless power is not can you do it; it's can you do it safely and efficiently," Intel researcher Josh Smith said in an online video explaining the breakthrough.

"It turns out the human body is not affected by magnetic fields; it is affected by elective fields. So what we are doing is transmitting energy using the magnetic field not the electric field."

Examples of potential applications include airports, offices or other buildings that could be rigged to supply power to laptops, mobile telephones or other devices toted into them.

The technology could also be built into plugged in computer components, such as monitors, to enable them to broadcast power to devices left on desks or carried into rooms, according to Smith.

"Initially it eliminates chargers and eventually it eliminates batteries all together," analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said of Intel's wireless power system.

"That is potentially a world changing event. This is the closest we've had to something being commercially available in this class."

Previous wireless power systems consisted basically of firing lightning bolts from sending to receiving units.

Smith says Intel's wireless power system is still in an early stage of development and much research remains before it can be brought to market.

Rattner spoke of technological transformations he expects by the year 2050.

"You'd like to cut the last cord," Smith said.

"It's great that we have wireless email and wireless internet and stuff like that but at the end of the day it would be nice to have wireless recharge as well."

Feeling Low Up High: The Lonely Astronaut

In 1982, Soviet cosmonaut Valentin Lebedev spent 211 days aboard the Salyut 7 space station, and the diary he kept became a cautionary tale. Psychologists who read it say it was clear he was suffering from depression. 5 months of flight," he wrote one day. "We don't feel time anymore. It's getting more difficult now.

read more | digg story

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Student Invents £20 wind turbine from scrap for 3rd World

Max Robson, 22, constructed a prototype using rubbish collected from skips, tips and bins including an old bike frame and wheel bearings, the magneto from a Vespa, a battery from a Ford Fiesta and bits of wood.It is so simple, he says, it can be built by unskilled workers in less than a day anywhere in the world.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Google Investing Over $10 Million in Geothermal Energy

Geothermal energy has finally hit the big time., the philanthropic arm of Google, announced today that it is investing $10.25 million in an energy technology called Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS). The funding will also go towards geothermal resource mapping, information tools, and a geothermal energy policy agenda.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Newly Detected Air Pollutants

A previously unrecognized group of air pollutants could have effects remarkably similar to harmful substances found in tobacco smoke

read more | digg story

Monday, August 18, 2008

Re-use charity brings computers to Guatemala

Non-profit re-use organization NextStep Recycling (Eugene, Oregon) is shipping over 300 computer systems to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, as part of a program established with Guatemalan authorities in 2002 to help increase computer literacy in remote regions of the country. About 30 percent of the computers refurbished by NextStep are donated internationally, with these particular machines being loaded with over $250 ($US) worth of software, including Spanish language and Mayan culture educational programs.
NextStep just established a similar service to send used computers to Ethiopia. Known as the Computer Laboratory Project, the project serves both Guatemala and Ethiopia. Since the program’s inception, over 25 computer labs have been established in rural school in Guatemala. NextStep Recycling is a 501 (c) (3) public non-profit organization.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

13 Medal-Worthy Olympic Stories

To become an Olympic hero in our book, it takes more than athleticism. Whether they were cross-dressing their way to the podium or somersaulting with one leg, these athletes deserve infinite points for style. Some of them lost big-time, but all of them won our twisted little hearts.

read more | digg story

HVAC boot cleared of Asbestos in Los Angeles