Sunday, December 6, 2009

snow in Eureka!?...


Issued by The National Weather Service
Eureka, CA
3:59 am PST, Sun., Dec. 6, 2009

We will see...

in reference to:

"Issued by The National Weather ServiceEureka, CA 3:59 am PST, Sun., Dec. 6, 2009"
- Local Weather Alert for Eureka, CA - (view on Google Sidewiki)

Friday, December 4, 2009

People For a Human Rights Sanctuary?

People For a Human Rights Sanctuary?

We’re a group of very concerned, active, and local residents who have united to address consistently ignored issues of poverty, of certain chronic suffering, and oppression of homeless people- that requires greater focus by everyone. Each day harassed, and with another pending nightfall… the necessity to rest, to sleep… and with no sanctuary.

International Treaties, the U.S. Constitution, courts at every level in this country have established the obvious- that sleep is a human necessity. Also, they’ve established that depriving someone of sleep is cruelty. However, local police, judges, and the public continue to treat homeless people who must live and sleep in public as if they’re committing crimes. In the rare instance that a homeless person has support to challenge, in the local courts, “criminal charges” of sleeping, he or she wins or the case is dismissed.

The public’s belief that homeless people are living outside of the law hardens personal prejudice and adds more conflict to a people already facing painful and critical situations. Homelessness growing, no relief in sight, all of us facing deeper economic woes, lost jobs, state budget cuts, etc.

The illegality of local police and government practices against homeless people is never mentioned in the media nor talked about by officials. It is imperative that all of us who know the truth help bring it to others now, so that these practices of harassment, threatening arrest, physical abuse, and confiscating peoples’ personal property ceases. Such practices cause great stress and injury and allow prejudice to grow. Criminalizing of homeless people must stop.

We have plans to create a well organized and well maintained camp, a human rights sanctuary, with and for homeless people- a prototype for other sanctuaries that may follow. This will take skills and effort from people from all walks of life. We are also being advised by competent legal support. Communities in other cities are busy following this same course.

Tell everyone you know about the March on September 12th . We are open to and encouraged by more folks who would like to share ideas or get involved in any way.


Do your part in your town to help.
Support the efforts.


Robert Stretton
RBS Enterprises

Posted via email from rbse's posterous

Monday, November 30, 2009

COMMENTARY - Ten emerging technologies to watch in 2010...

COMMENTARY - Ten emerging technologies to watch in 2010

By Peter Clarke
EE Times (11/18/09, 11:40:00 AM EST)

LONDON — EE Times has compiled a list of emerging technologies that we think will be worth watching out for in 2010.

Recessions are the times of change when R&D investments get pushed to the fore. It is well known that when markets and prosperity return they never return in exactly the same form that they went away.

We have deliberately favored the hardware- and physically based side of the technology landscape, although software is also likely to increase its impact and importance in 2010.

There are also some technology trends that are so self-evident and long-term that we have not listed them. We would include amongst these the need to reduce power consumption and the need to pursue low-carbon and reduced materials content solutions. We see these as drivers for some of the more detailed technologies we list below. We don't claim to have a perfectly accurate piezoelectric crystal ball, but some technologies and some technology providers are going to change the landscape in 2010. The ten technologies listed below, in no particular order, might just be part of our changing times.

1. Biofeedback or thought-control of electronics

A number of companies and research institutions have shown how brain waves, captured using sensors on a skull cap or head-set, can be used to control computer systems. The applications are medical — giving communications and control of the environment to heavily disabled people — military and, increasingly, in consumer and computer games control interfaces. This may seem like science fiction but the thought-control human-computer interface is here now and is being promoted by companies such as Emotiv Systems Inc. (San Francisco, Calif.).

2. Printed electronics

The possibility of the rapid printing of multiple conductive, insulating and semiconductive layers to form electronic circuits holds out the prospect of much lower cost ICs than those prepared by conventional fabrication methods. Printing semiconductors usually implies the use of organic materials (although see below) with very different performance to silicon. It is also implies much larger minimum geometries than can be attained in silicon. But there are applications that can benefit from modest performance on flexible subtrates at low cost; the RFID tag is one and the active-matrix backplane for displays is another.

Kovio Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.), a privately-held pioneer in printed silicon electronics, has been plowing the printed electronics furrow since the company was founded in 2001, and in July 2009 announced that it had raised $20 million in Series E financing. Kovio said it planned to use the money to commence volume shipments of its Kovio RF barcodes.

3. Plastic memory

This is allied to printed electronics as it may well be produced using printing, it may well have modest performance compared to silicon, but it is expected to be low cost. One pioneer in this area is Thin Film Electronics ASA (Oslo, Norway) which has tried for a number of years to get the technology out the door and spent some time working with Intel.

The technology is based on polythiophenes, a family of polymers that display ferroelectric properties. The memories are rewritable, non-volatile, show more than ten years data retention and one million cycles, according to Thin Film Electronics. In September 2009 PolyIC GmbH & Co. KG (Fuerth, Germany) used the technology to make a 20-bit memory on a roll-to-roll line using polyethylene terephthalate (PET) as the substrate.

4. Maskless lithography

For many people the main question that hangs over semiconductor lithography is when will extreme ultra violet lithography take over from immersion lithography? But there is a dark horse in the race, maskless lithography based on an electron beam, which is being pioneered by Mapper Lithography BV (Delft, The Netherlands).

In July 2009 Mapper shipped a 300-mm electron-beam lithography platform to CEA-Leti in Grenoble, France, where it was set to be used for R&D by Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. TSMC is one of the key researchers of lithography and the company's interest in the Mapper technology is at the very least keeping the likes of ASML and Nikon working hard.

5. Parallel processing

This technology is already here in the form of the dual- and quad-core PC processors and the multicore heterogeneous processors used for embedded applications. However, there is as yet little formal understanding of how multiple processors will be programmed and used for the utmost computational and power efficiency.

This is one of the core problems in Information Technology that has faced the industry since the advent of the processor and we are still working away at it. Initiatives such as OpenCL and Cuda speak to that as do the prospect of using graphics processors as general purpose processors, as well as FPGAs and software programmable processor arrays. We expect a lot more activity in 2010.

6. Energy harvesting

Energy harvesting is not a new idea. We have had the motion-powered wristwatch for many years. But as electronic circuits move from consuming milliwatts to consuming microwatts an interesting thing happens. It becomes possible to contemplate drawing power for those circuits, not from the electricity grid or from a battery but from a variety of ambient phenomena. And this is expected to have far-reaching impact.

One of the early applications is to have vibration-powered, wireless sensors in place on machinery, in vehicles. The battery-less aspect of such sensors removes the need for maintenance. EnOcean GmbH (oberhaching, Germany) has pioneered the use of wireless, batteryless switches for use in building automation and is now helping to drive the EnOcean Alliance to form standards.

Nokia is looking at energy harvesting in the context of the mobile phone but has stressed it has no prototype as yet. But in 2010 all makers of mobile equipment have to be looking at energy harvesting to, at least, augment the battery life of their equipment.

7. Bio-electronics and wetware

This might be a bit more on the research side than the development side for 2010, but the coming together of the biological and the electronic is ripe for exploitation. We are used to the inclusion of hardware within animals in the form of under-the-skin tags for animals and heart pacemakers for human beings and the need to improve and reduce the cost of medical care is being felt acutely.

As the industry's capabilities in MEMS and organic electronics fabrication improves the scope for integration of tissues and electronic circuitry increases. Lab-on-a-chip is one manifestation of the technology, and here is an example from IBM disclosed recently, but it is also possible to grow biological cells on electronically addressable substrates. The opportunities for in-vitro diagnostics are clear. Information about the electrical behavior of individual cells and their reactions to drugs is a major focus for research in cardiac and neural ailments such as Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease.

So, in short, we expect a lot of research and the continued emergence of bio-electronics as a mainstream activity.

8. Resistive RAM or the memristor

The pursuit of the universal memory goes on. It needs to be simple like a DRAM, or preferably even simpler as those capacitors are a problem to scaling. It needs to be able to retain data for years with the power off and able to be used millions of times. It needs to be simple to make using conventional methods and with materials that are not out of place in conventional wafer fabs. And we still haven't found it yet.

Or have we?

In 2009 Unity Semiconductor Corp. emerged from seven years of stealthy research with its conductive metal oxide (CMOx) technology, although we are pleased to note that EE Times was reporting on Unity in April 2006. But 2009 has also seen the arrival on our radar screens of 4DS Inc., Qs Semiconductor Corp. and Adesto Technologies Inc.

We are also aware that many of the larger IDMs are active in RRAM. And the reference to the memristor is because two-terminal devices that display a memory-effect in their resistance characteristic are effectively the practical implementation of the theoretical work, championed by Hewlett-Packard Labs, on the memristor, often described as the fourth passive circuit element after resistors, capacitors and inductors.

9. The through-silicon via

The depth of the interconnect stack on top of the leading-edge silicon surface is deep and can vary markedly in minimum geometry. We have speculated that this could result in a splitting of front-end fab production into surface and local interconnect followed by higher stack connection, possibly in different wafer fabs.

The desire, for marketing as well as technical reasons, to mount multiple die in single packages is also driving a need for more sophisticated interconnect and the arrival of the through-silicon-via passing completely through a silicon wafer or die is clearly important in creating 3-D packages.

In May 2009 Austriamicrosystems started producing TSV parts on a foundry basis, targeting suppliers of devices for 3-D integration of CMOS ICs and sensor components. Expect more of the same in 2010.

10. Various battery technologies

We have become so used to Moore's law and the steady miniaturization of microelectronics it is easy to become frustrated with a technology that does not double in performance every two years. But battery technology is relatively mature and is not driven by the same forces as the integrated circuit. Indeed if energy storage becomes too dense it can become dangerous.

Nonetheless we all rely increasingly on batteries for energy storage and to power our various gadgets. Indeed it is arguable that without further breakthroughs in battery technology for electric vehicles the compatibility of the automobile and sustainable green transportation is in jeopardy. So the pressure is on.

Recent spins on nickel- and lithium-based battery chemistries, such as nickel oxyhydroxide, olivine-type lithium iron phosphate and nanowires, are gunning to displace the venerable but problematic alkaline-manganese dioxide formulations. ReVolt Technology, a developer of rechargeable zinc-air batteries, has selected Portland, Oregon as the location for its U.S. headquarters and manufacturing center. We expect similar developments to come on apace in 2010, and every smart battery is set to provide a power management IC opportunity.


2010 will be an interesting year.  I can't wait!  B-)


Robert Stretton
RBS Enterprises

Posted via email from rbse's posterous

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Voice object #2...

Compare this one to the other and tell me which one sounds better...???... B-)

Audio Intro...

This is a test of a voice object...

No sunspots: 96-year record will fall this week

No sunspots: 96-year record will fall this week

Posted using ShareThis

Friday, August 28, 2009

Wikipedia Testing New Method to Curb False Info...

(AP) -- Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia that has drawn some decidedly juvenile pranks, is looking to impose more discipline with new restrictions on the editing of articles.

The latest changes come as Wikipedia tries to balance a need for credibility and a desire for openness.

While anyone can still edit entries, the site is testing pages that won't register changes until they are approved by an experienced Wikipedia editor.

If the site's users respond well to the test run, the new restrictions will apply to all entries for living people in the next few weeks.

The idea is to block the kind of high-profile vandalism that has marred some pages.

In one of the most recent embarrassments, Democratic Sens. Robert Byrd and Edward Kennedy were prematurely declared dead by rogue editors.

Still, Wikipedia risks discouraging legitimate editing if restrictions on changes or additions become too burdensome, keeping articles from getting better or keeping up with events. That may be especially true on more obscure pages with fewer active volunteers to approve edits in a timely way.

Aware of the risks, Wikipedia has set the criteria for "experienced editor" status relatively low. Users who are registered for a few days can give changes the OK, said Jay Walsh, a spokesman for the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation, which runs the site.

A more uniform system for filtering changes on Wikipedia represents a step back from the site's original philosophy, which called for harnessing the collective knowledge of volunteer editors without any major restrictions.

But it is not the first time Wikipedia has attached some strings.

The same flagging process, for example, has been imposed on all entries in the German-language Wikipedia for more than a year.

On the English site, too, high-profile pages that are likely to be defaced, such as Michael Jackson's, have been tightly restricted.

Some observers believe Wikipedia must continue tightening editing policies if it wants to gain credibility.

"I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop," said Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at the Santa Clara University School of Law.

Goldman envisions a future Wikipedia curated by a relatively small group of dedicated editors. Under the current model, he said, there simply aren't enough volunteers to catch all errors.

"My hope is that Wikipedia still exists and is still considered a useful site," Goldman said. "But it will be at that point a very tightly controlled site. It won't have that veneer of a site that anyone can contribute to. They haven't closed the drawbridge. People can still get in. But it keeps going up and up and up."

Separately, the Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment group started by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, said Tuesday it is committing $2 million over two years to the Wikimedia Foundation. Omidyar Network's grant will support Wikimedia's goals of bringing free educational content to people around the world and supporting more people to help create that content.

It follows last week's announcement of a $500,000 grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to make Wikipedia's software more user friendly and to develop training materials to engage new potential volunteer editors.


I find Wikimedia to be very helpful for the most part.  I think some sort of policing is needed to protect the system from vandals though.



Posted via email from rbse's posterous

Friday, August 14, 2009

Twitter cofounder Isaac "Biz" Stone - watch the interview...

August 13, 2009

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone shares lessons learned from the site's recent crash, talks about the growing influence of the brand and speculates on the micro-blogging site's future.

Watch the interview:


After viewing this interview, I'm confident that is here to stay.  Tweets are a very powerful tool...


Posted via email from rbse's posterous

Thursday, August 13, 2009

1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake Aftershock Map...

Loma Prieta Aftershock Map

Powered by Socrata


It looks like a giant volcano to me...


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Why FaceBook really bought FriendFeed...

Why FaceBook really bought FriendFeed

August 11, 2009 | Jim Connolly | Comments 11

So, FaceBook has acquired FriendFeed. This immediately got people speculating as to why FaceBook, with all those hundreds of millions of happy users, would want to buy FriendFeedIn short - FaceBook didn’t want to buy FriendFeed!

FaceBook bought talent - Not a platform

facebook buys friendfeedFaceBook is huge and has no need to buy in the relatively tiny number of users that FriendFeed has.  So, this was not an acquisition of eyeballs.

The FriendFeed software is (as any geek will tell you) awesome; but that’s the problem. Geeks like us LOVE it, but it’s not usable enough for mainstream use.  Although far superior to Twitter technically, FriendFeed lacks the instant usability that sites like Twitter offer.

So, I don’t believe FaceBook bought FriendFeed for the platform either.

FriendFeed does have one extremely valuable asset though - Talent!

In buying FriendFeed, FaceBook has just acquired the services of four extremely smart people; Bret Taylor, Sanjeev Singh, Jim Norris and Paul Buchheit.  Before founding FriendFeed, these guys worked at Google and helped develop services like, Gmail, Google Maps and Google Groups.

Their market value is huge and that’s what I believe FaceBook is paying for.

In a press release accompanying the acquisition, FaceBook confirms the value it places on FriendFeed’s co-founders - saying they will; “hold senior roles on Facebook’s engineering and product teams.”  The remaining 12 FriendFeed staff members will also be joining FaceBook, as part of the deal.  At the time of writing this, there’s been no mention as to what FaceBook has paid for Friendfeed.


We shall see what Facebook has to offer with this acquisition.  I'm looking forward to the results...

Posted via email from rbse's posterous

Now posting to all my social networking sites with one email...

This message was sent to and is distributed to my 3 (currently) social network sites,  Twitter, Facebook, & Blogspot.  You can cut-n-paste to your email once and off it goes to all your social networking sites, it's that easy.  Setup is simple and extensive help is available if needed.  This is, by far, the easiest way to publish... Just email it!

Check out for yourself.


Robert Stretton
RBS Enterprises

Posted via email from rbse's posterous

Sunday, August 9, 2009

California Names: County, City, District, Etc. (1270 data points)

This dataset is derived from datasets. There are 1270 data points to this dataset that lists all the County, City, District, Region, Reservation, Etc., names. Get the names in your state from:

Here is the California dataset for your review:

California Names: County, City, District, Etc. (1270 data points)

Powered by Socrata


Just in case you were interested... B-)


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Find Your Car on the "Cash for Clunkers" data-set and get up to $4,500 from the government!!!:

Find Your Car on the "Cash for Clunkers" data-set and get up to $4,500 from the government!!!:

Cash for Clunkers Separated by Make


I hope this helps you get that money, good luck... B-)


Saturday, August 1, 2009

"Son of String Art"... Nice Webware... B-)

"Son of String Art" This project uses the pen to make String Art between the blue dots that you can drag around: B-)

Solar - Powering the future using Micro-inverters:

A relatively new option for optimizing solar system efficiency is to use a micro-inverter for each individual solar panel, instead of using a single inverter for the entire system. The chief benefit of the micro-inverter topology is that the system will continue to convert energy even when one inverter malfunctions. Each panel having its own micro-inverter has other important benefits as well, including the ability to adjust conversion parameters on each panel using a high resolution PWM (Pulse-Width Modulator).

Clouds, shadows and other environmental conditions can vary the output of individual panels. Equipping each panel with its own micro-inverter allows the system to accommodate its changing load, which provides optimal conversion efficiency for both the individual panels and the entire system.

Micro-inverter architectures also enable simpler wiring, which translates into lower installation costs. Panel and system monitoring is also improved. Large solar panel farms, in particular, require subsystems to communicate with each other to keep loads in balance and plan in advance how much power will be available and what to do with it.


With continual advancement and miniaturization, control systems can be put just about anywhere.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Should I Choose Reusable over Recyclable?

Addressing the skeptics about reusable vs. disposable water bottles

Collin Dunn

By Collin Dunn
Corvallis, OR, USA | Tue Jul 28 12:30:00 GMT 2009

reuse recycle plastic water bottles photo

Getty Images / Tsuneo Yamashita

Ever heard this one? "I don't need to carry my own reusable water bottle. I'll just recycle this disposable one later." It might sound like a reasonable compromise, but let's not delude ourselves here. Sure, recycling can have a green impact, but it's important to be able to triage one supposedly green action above another. For the skeptical among you, getting lulled into the recycling catch-all can seem like an easy way to be green -- or, in the case of skeptics among us, feel like you're being green. Add to that that it can be easy to confuse greener and green, and it can become quite problematic.

Recycling vs. reuse turns out to be a matter of perception, most of the time. When you think of recycling, you might think of a shiny, efficient factory where old plastic bottles are processed and turned into new bottles at the snap of a finger; old stuff goes in, new stuff comes out, but that's not the whole story; plastic's chemistry, and a couple of other factors, give the reusable water bottle (and other objects with similar lifecycle designs) a big edge. In short, there's a reason that it's Reduce, then Reuse, then Recycle.

How Plastic Recycling Works

Let's take a look at how plastic recycling works. First, we have to consider where the plastic bottle comes from to begin with. It should surprise no one that plastic is a petroleum product, a non-renewable resource; once the oil gets used to make that plastic, that's pretty much all it will ever be -- there's no going back. When it comes time to recycle it, and you drop it in the blue bin and forget about it, but that's just the beginning. Recycling involves essentially re-melting and re-casting the plastic. Though, according to the U.S. EPA, manufacturing new plastic from recycled plastic requires two-thirds of the energy used in virgin plastic manufacturing, recycled plastic isn't often used for the same products over and over again.

But, as any chef who has ever tried to re-heat a Hollondaise sauce will tell you, the quality isn't quite as good the second time around; the same goes for plastic. Plastic is made from a series of polymer chains -- you might remember the term from high school chemistry -- and those polymer chains (learn more about them from Wikipedia) often break during the heating and melting process of recycling. What does this mean to you? Plastic is often downcycled as it is recycled, leading to a lower and lower-grade product; eventually, all it's good for is as another space hog in the landfill. And that ain't green, no matter how you look at it.

How Reusing Plastic Bottles (and Other Stuff) Works

Contrast that with reusable water bottle model: You get one (if you prefer plastic, BPA-free, please) and haul it around with you. Enjoy bottle after bottle of fresh, clean, delicious tap water, while cosidering this number: Tap water has less than one percent of the environmental impact of bottled water. Recycling, and bottled water, and most everything else on the planet, does not exist in a vaccuum; that is to say, it is totally unreasonable to just compare the vessels and leave the contents (and everything else associated with them) out of the equation. There really are a million reasons to ditch bottled water; you can take my word for it or read all our coverage of the topic.

Back to the reusable scenario. Some of you might be saying, "Hey, come on, I reuse all my water bottles, and that's good, right?" It's not bad, but it comes down to a matter of design. Truly reusable water bottles -- Sigg, Nalgene, whatever you like -- are designed for reuse and will stand up to normal day-to-day wear and tear. Disposable water bottles are designed for just that -- disposability -- and, while that can be convenient, there's a big price to pay for the convenience. And I'll pit my two year-old Sigg against your 'reusable' disposable bottle any day.

Bottled water can be a little tricky to avoid entirely, but there's no reason to use it every day, and no reason to think that you can simply recycle your way out of disposability. All of our stuff has to go somewhere, so it's best to keep as much of it with you for as many cycles as possible.

More about plastic recycling and bottled water
Does Recycling Waste Precious Water?
Recycling is Bullshit; Make Nov. 15 Zero Waste Day, not America Recycles Day
Get to Know Your Recyclable Plastics by Number
How to Never Drink Bottled Water Again
Which is Healthier: Tap Water or Bottled Water?


There is a lot to read here but it sends home the thoughts that are needed to change the way we do things... Always: Reuse, Reduce, & Recycle, in that order...


Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Crude oil prices 1861 - 2008" Visualization Update...

Crude oil prices 1861-2008 data-set from:
Statistical Review of World Energy 2009
The Visualization!:

Visualization for: Crude Oil Prices 1861 to 2008 Visualization

Powered by Socrata

See the full version at the following URL:


Crude oil prices 1861 - 2008

"Crude oil prices 1861-2008" data-set from:
"Statistical Review of World Energy 2009"
Entire report available:


Sunday, July 26, 2009

VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibrations Aquatic Clean Energy)

VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibrations Aquatic Clean Energy)

A novel approach to extract energy from flowing water currents. It is unlike any other ocean energy or low-head hydropower concept. VIVACE is based on the extensively studied phenomenon of Vortex Induced Vibrations (VIV), which was first observed 500 years ago by Leonardo DaVinci in the form of “Aeolian Tones.” For decades, engineers have been trying to prevent VIV from damaging offshore equipment and structures. By maximizing and exploiting VIV rather than spoiling and preventing it, VIVACE takes this ‘problem’ and transforms it into a valuable resource for mankind.


This has a lot of potential. I look forward to this developement...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GE Targets Net Zero Energy Homes by 2015...

LOUISVILLE, KY – GE announced today that by 2015 it is developing a turn-key product portfolio that will empower consumers to build — both new home builders and existing homeowners — to efficiently consume, manage and generate electricity to enable an overall net zero annual energy. In addition to GE's current portfolio of energy-efficient lighting and appliances products and demand response technology that GE is currently developing, GE plans to develop residential power generation products like solar PV and residential wind products, well positioning GE to make the net zero energy home a reality.

"We have a long, trusted relationship with consumers, strong presence with home builders, demand response appliance technology and, the extremely critical, smart grid technology leadership of GE Energy that makes the GE net zero energy home an exciting prospect for our future growth." explained GE Consumer & Industrial President and CEO James Campbell.

GE Targets Net Zero Energy

The GE net zero energy home offerings will be comprised of three major groups within the product portfolio, energy efficient products, energy management products and energy generation/storage products.

Energy Efficiency Products: GE's portfolio of energy- efficient appliance and lighting products will help enable the net zero energy home by reducing energy consumption in the home.

In 2008, the number of GE ENERGY STAR® qualified appliance models totaled over 550 models. In fact, 54% of the GE appliance products are ENERGY STAR qualified. The number of ENERGY STAR qualified lighting models totaled over 271. The majority, 99.3%, of the 2008 GE Compact Fluorescent lamp sales were ENERGY STAR qualified models.
The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have awarded GE Consumer & Industrial the ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence award for the fourth straight year. Also, this marks the sixth year that GE has been acknowledged as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year.
Energy Management/Demand Response Appliances: GE demand response products will enable consumers to manage their costs and energy consumption while helping reduce utility demand peaks, thereby reducing the need for more power generation — depending on utility participation.

GE plans to be the first manufacturer to offer a full suite of demand response appliances that will work with utility smart meters to help shed load from the grid, while helping consumers save money during peak demand usage and pricing times. GE appliances and products will work with smart meters to delay or reduce energy use without major interruption to consumers' lifestyles by giving the consumer control over their energy use.
Residential housing consumes 37% of the electricity produced in the US. Appliances, Lighting and HVAC represent 82% of electricity consumed in the home. A recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report has identified that residential demand response programs represent the largest potential reduction in U.S. peak demand. The potential of residential demand reduction programs represents approximately a 7% reduction in total US peak demand, or 65 GW over the period 2009 -2019. This avoided demand is equivalent to the generation capacity of 108 coal plants, ( 600 MW typical coal plant)
As the second single largest energy users in the home, incorporating highly efficient water heaters into the net zero energy homes is critical. GE will offer the its innovative GE Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater with demand response technology in late 2009. The new GE Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater is designed to use about 2300 kWh per year, which is less than half of the energy of a 50-gallon tank water heater that uses approximately 4800 kWh per year. The energy savings of approximately 2500 kWh per year represents a savings of about $250 per year based on 10.65 cents per kWh. In addition to the highly efficient Hybrid, GE plans to develop additional innovative water heating options for the Net Zero Energy Home.

Example: There are about 60 Million U.S. homes with electric tank hot water heaters, if 10% installed a GE Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater, this would save 15 Billion kWh annually of energy. In addition, the demand response capabilities of the GE Hybrid during peak demand time could reduce the energy consumption associated with the 6 Million units by as much as 22.8 Gigawatts or the equivalent of reducing the generating capacity of 40 coal plants during peak demand time.

In 2010 GE will introduce the Home Energy Manager — the central nervous system for the net zero energy home that will work in conjunction with all the other enabling technologies in the home to help homeowners to optimize how they consume energy. In addition to the Home Energy Manger, GE will introduce a line of smart thermostats, also available in 2010. Together, the Home Energy Manager and smart thermostats will inform consumers when and how they are using energy and empower them to make decisions when they should use energy from the grid, use stored energy, and self generated energy or other sources since up to 31%of the homes energy use comes from HVAC, the smart thermostats can help consumers significantly save on their energy bills.

Example: Based on data from the Olympic Peninsula, Gridwise Test Bed demonstration project, consumer awareness created by Time of use pricing (TOU) & Real Time pricing (RTP) has shown significant consumer savings. Consumers under a TOU/RTP billing plan supported by enabling technologies, such as pricing communication, a home energy display, smart thermostats, and smart demand response appliances saved as much as 27%-30% of their monthly bill.

Brattle report— The power of Experimentation — New Evidence on residential demand response, May 11, 2008, Ahmad Faruqui, Sanem Sergici
Distributed Generation/Storage

Collaborating with GE Energy, products like solar PV, advanced energy storage, next generation thin film solar, small wind - and, in the coming years, incorporate other generation products being developed at Global Research Center will play an integral part in the Net Zero Energy Home.


It's nice to see some of my dreams come true. Ever since the 70's oil embargo...


. - Audi, partners ready e-car system concept - Audi, partners ready e-car system concept

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Here is a link to the answer: CO2-to-Fuel Technology

Here is a link to the answer:

CO2-to-Fuel Technology


A Breakthrough Technology to Transform CO2 into Fuel

The recent $700 billion bailout package has extended tax credits to wind and solar energy companies. However since mostly all renewable energy projects depend upon project financing, it is suspected that only large utilities will actually benefit from the tax credits. However, companies such as Carbon Sciences, Inc. (CABN) are proving otherwise.

Transforming CO2 to Fuel

Carbon Sciences, the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) into high value, earth-friendly products such as precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) is now developing a breakthrough technology to transform CO2 into the basic fuel building blocks required to produce gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other portable fuels.

We are very excited about this breakthrough,” stated Derek McLeish, the company’s CEO. “By innovating at the intersection of chemical engineering and bio-engineering disciplines, we are developing a highly scalable bio-catalytic process to meet the fuel needs of the world. With over 28 billion tons of CO2 emitted each year, there is an abundant supply of raw material available to produce renewable and sustainable fuels for global consumption.”

The Process of CO2-to-Fuel Technology

The fuels we use today, such as gasoline and jet fuel, are made up of chains of hydrogen and carbon atoms aptly called hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are naturally occurring in fuel sources such as petroleum and natural gas. To create fuel, hydrogen and carbon atoms must be bonded together to create hydrocarbon molecules. These molecules can then be used as basic building blocks to produce various gaseous and liquid fuels. Due to its high reactivity, carbon atoms do not usually exist in a pure form, but as parts of other molecules. CO2 is one of the most prevalent and basic sources of carbon atoms.

The company’s CO2-to-Fuel approach lies in a proprietary multi-step bio-catalytic process using inexpensive, renewable bio-molecules to catalyze certain chemical reactions required to transform CO2 into basic hydrocarbon building blocks.

Other alternative fuel technologies, such as fuel cells and hydrogen, require substantial infrastructure changes in order to meet the energy and climate challenge. However Carbon Sciences tackles the problem at its root by using CO2 as the basic raw material for clean energy.


HERE is the answer! I'm behind this one...



Total U.S. CO2 Emissions from energy use by sector

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Energy Use By Sector ( Updated March 2009)

===eof=== uses data-sets.
A great place to create and store your spreadsheets.
Or, use data-sets that others have created.
Embed them in your own blog.
Anything you can put on a list...


Friday, July 17, 2009 - Analyst: Solar approaching grid parity in U.S. - Analyst: Solar approaching grid parity in U.S.

Shared via AddThis

Oregon’s Stahlbush Island Farms Launches First-of-Its-Kind Biogas Plant

Oregon’s Stahlbush Island Farms Launches First-of-Its-Kind Biogas Plant

Oregon Family Farm Producing Electricity from Fruits and Vegetable By-Product

CORVALLIS, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stahlbush Island Farms, a national leader in sustainable agriculture and food production, has begun full operations of the first-of-its-kind Biogas Plant in North America. The power plant will provide enough electricity for approximately 1,100 homes, nearly twice what the farm and food processing plant uses in a year. The 10 million dollar project took fourteen months to complete and is operated by Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc.

The cutting edge Biogas plant supports Stahlbush Island Farms’ goal of minimizing its carbon footprint and gaining energy independence through the creation of a renewable, on-farm energy source. A recent innovation in the United States, and most commonly associated with dairy operations, anaerobic digesters have been creating green energy in Europe for decades. This is the first plant in North America, built with state-of-the-art engineering and design techniques for the purpose of creating biogas from fruit and vegetable by-product.

The technology for creating biogas from organic matter is well-proven. Simply put, organic material, (in this case, fruit and vegetable matter) when placed in anaerobic conditions in large mixed tanks, produces biogas. The methane-rich biogas is used to fuel a combined heat and power (CHP) system (a process also known as "co-generation").

This method of energy conversion has very little energy loss and is thus highly efficient. Thermal energy and electrical energy are produced at the same time — an ideal situation for food production, which requires both.

The Energy Trust of Oregon, and the Oregon State and Federal governments provided incentives for the project. Without this financial assistance, the project would not have been possible.

About Stahlbush Island Farms

Located in the heart of Oregon's lush Willamette Valley, Stahlbush Island Farms is an environmentally-friendly farm and food processor committed to sustainable agriculture. The farm currently grows vegetables and fruits on nearly 5,000 acres of land and has practiced sustainable farming and food processing for nearly 25 years.

The company's dedication to cleaner, greener practices is evidenced through its protection of river areas, efficient water use, low tillage methods, and many other efforts to create a better food system. One hundred percent of the Farms are "certified sustainable" by the Food Alliance. There are 1,500 acres USDA Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth, a non-profit research and education organization certifying organic farmers, processors, retailers and handlers throughout Oregon.

For more information visit


Stahlbush Island Farms
Tracy Miedema, 541-757-1497
Cell: 541-760-0358



We need a lot more of these. I hope this is the first of many to come. Self-sustainability is the name of the game...


(AP) The world's first piloted aircraft capable of taking to the air using only power from fuel cells took off in Germany Tuesday, producing zero carbon dioxide emissions, its makers said.

Antares DLR-H2

"We have improved the performance capabilities and efficiency of the fuel cell to such an extent that a piloted aircraft is now able to take off using it," said Johann-Dietrich Woerner from the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

"This enables us to demonstrate the true potential of this technology, also and perhaps specifically for applications in the aerospace sector," he said.

Developed by the DLR, Lange Aviation, BASF Fuel Cells and Denmark's Serenergy, the Antares DLR-H2 motor glider has a range of 750 kilometres (465 miles) and can fly for five hours.

The system uses hydrogen as its fuel, and this is converted into electrical energy in a direct, electrochemical reaction with oxygen in the ambient air, without any combustion occurring.

The only by-product is water, and if the hydrogen fuel is produced using renewable energy sources, then the motor glider is genuinely CO2-free, the DLR said.

"Although the fuel cell may still be a long way from becoming the primary energy source for the propulsion of commercial aircraft, it does already constitute an interesting and important alternative to existing energy systems as a form of reliable on-board power supply," the DLR said.


Anything to stop producing excess CO2...



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Retrofit kit said to transform cars into hybrids

Retrofit kit said to transform cars into hybrids

Courtesy of Automotive DesignLine

PORTLAND, Ore. — A former IBM electrical engineer has designed a retrofit kit that he claims can transform existing automobiles into hybrids by placing an electric motor inside each wheel, thereby doubling gas mileage.

Charles Perry, a former IBM product development researcher, recently received first prize for his invention at a green energy competition at the Tennessee Technology Development Corp. The patent pending Plug-in Hybrid Retrofit Kit will be developed into a commercial product by Palmer Labs LLC (Reston, Va.).

The hybrid retrofit kit is installed in the space between the brake mechanism and the hub

"What makes our approach different is we don't need to modify anything in existing vehicles to turn them into a hybrid," said Perry. "We install the motor in the space between the brake mechanism and the hub without any other modifications."

According to Perry, 80 percent of U.S. drivers make daily trips of less than 30 miles at 40 miles per hour or slower, all of which could be powered by his 10-15 horsepower electric motors to save as much as 120 million gallons of fuel per day in the U.S. alone, he claimed. The motors would be powered by extra batteries installed in the automobile's trunk.

To develop the retrofit kit into a commercial product, Perry has partnered with the Tennessee Technological University (Cookeville), which will will build a working prototype within a year with about $100,000 in existing funding. The next step will be to retrofit the kit on 30 state-owned vehicles for testing. If all goes as planned, Perry estimates that within three years the final kits will be manufactured by Palmer Labs in a new Tennessee facility that would employ about 2000 workers.

Perry said the kit will cost between $3,000 to $5,000.


I think this is a great idea! This means you will be able to upgrade your existing vehicle instead of buying a new one, not having the expense of recycling the old one. That saves energy and resources. Spread the word on this one...


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Skyscrapers Going Green

NEW YORK – When owners of the Empire State Building decided to blanket its towering facade this year with thousands of insulating windows, they were only partly interested in saving energy. They also needed tenants.

After 78 years, Manhattan's signature office building had lost its sheen as one of the city's most desirable places to work. To get it back, the owners did what an increasing number of property owners have done — they went green, shelling out $120 million on a variety of environmental improvements, a move would have been considered a huge gamble a few years ago.

Buildings that define city skylines across the country, some national icons, are catching up to the sleek, new structures designed with efficiency in mind, as property owners and managers become convinced that a greener building now makes financial sense.

That's because in recent years environmental retrofits have begun to pay off for owners and tenants alike. Higher-profile companies are seeking out more efficient office space, and new technology at older buildings has started to translate into higher property values, leases and occupancy rates.

"In a good market, we're going to get the best rents for the best tenants," said Anthony E. Malkin, who leads a real estate group that owns the Empire State Building. "In a bad market like we have now, we're going to get tenants when other buildings won't."

Renovation specialists around the country have been plugging porous walls in numerous old buildings, adding high tech water systems and using recycled material in carpets and tile.

One of them is the Christman Building in Lansing, Mich., an 81-year-old Elizabethan Revival office that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While repairing the limestone exterior and preserving unique details like the mica light fixtures, the building owners spent $8.5 million to add water-efficient plumbing and increased the amount of natural light. They also capped the building with a reflective "cool" roof.

Chicago's Sears Tower announced late last month that it will embark on a five-year, $350 million green renovation. The 110-story, staggered skyscraper, which turned 36 this year, will crown its rooftops with solar panels, wind turbines and up to 35,000 square feet of sunlight-absorbing gardens.

When complete, the improvements will cut the tower's annual electricity use by 80 percent and save 24 million gallons of water, property managers say.

Building owners trumpet their environmental commitment when extensive modifications are made, yet in many cases those changes are being pushed by tenants.

Many high-profile tenants won't even consider moving into a property without the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, said Allan Skodowski with Transwestern management group. They may not even know what the certification means, he said, but they demand it nonetheless.

"They say 'We want LEED,'" Skodowski said, "and that's it."

Nine of Transwestern's properties received certification this year. A combination of energy efficient light bulbs and other green equipment helped those buildings slash energy consumption. On average, they've seen a 2 percent drop in energy costs, even as electricity rates jumped between 10 percent and 40 percent, Skodowski said.

Leasing rates have not risen as a result of the changes, Skodowski said, yet at the same time occupancy rates have not fallen. That's a victory for an industry hit hard by the recession. Vacancy rates at office buildings nationwide have gone from 10.9 percent at the end of 2007 to 12.4 percent in the first quarter of this year.

"If one extra tenant comes and looks at the building, if the owner gets an extra penny or so a foot, then at the end of the day it's paying for itself," Skodowski said.

A recent analysis by real estate researcher CoStar Group, Inc. found that green-certified buildings had fewer vacancies than other buildings with similar age, size and location.

The CoStar study, which included about 3,000 green-certified offices, found that buildings with the council's certification enjoyed higher occupancy rates (90.3 percent) than their peers (84.7 percent) in the first three months of 2009.

Certified buildings have fetched higher lease rates for several years. The CoStar report said the buildings rented at an average of $38.86 per square foot in the first quarter of 2009 compared with $29.80 per square foot for their peers.

"This isn't just a 'We are doing the right thing' movement," said Marc Heisterkamp, U.S. Green Building Council's director of commercial real estate. "In the end, the numbers pencil out."

At the Empire State Building, Malkin proposed a top-to-bottom renovation that included a $13.2 million investment in new green technologies. The goal was to sufficiently reduce greenhouse gases without spending more than he could justify to his investors.

What the owners settled on was a series of upgrades that include retrofitting all 6,500 windows. Under every window, radiators will be padded with extra insulation. The building's lighting, cold water and ventilation systems also will be upgraded.

The renovation should take 18 months. Afterward, the owners expect an annual energy savings of $4.4 million, enough to pay off the new technologies in about three years.

Already, the renovation has lured upscale, energy-conscious companies like Swedish construction firm Skanska, said Ray Quartararo with Jones Lang Lasalle, which is managing the renovation.

Skanska wanted its U.S. headquarters to have a LEED "platinum" certification — reserved for only the most efficient of buildings — and it found a willing partner in the Empire State Building. Skanska officials said the building's management helped them install bike racks and add other energy-saving details on the 32nd floor.

"We had looked at several downtown spaces, but the Empire State Building made the most sense," a company spokeswoman said.

Jacques Catafago, an attorney who works 16 floors above Skanska's new office, is also happy with the changes. Catafago has fought the building management before on other fees, but he said he wouldn't mind paying more rent if it goes toward renovations that cut his electric bill.

Besides, Catafago said, he's already checked out the rent for similar buildings in the city and realizes he has a pretty good deal at the Empire State Building.

"We'd be paying twice as much" uptown, he said.


I'm glad to finally see that going "Green" is a profitable investment. This will create jobs by retrofitting old buildings in addition of the new "Green" construction.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Top Media Execs Wonder How Twitter Will Make Money...

SUN VALLEY, Idaho (AP) - It turns out the media elite aren't so different from a lot of less affluent folks: They think Twitter is a great communications tool, but can't figure out how the online messaging service is going to make money.

The recurring doubts about Twitter's moneymaking potential cropped up again Wednesday as an exclusive media summit hosted by investment banker Allen & Co. got under way at the posh Sun Valley resort.

One of the first sessions focused on how to capitalize on digital media. Twitter quickly became a focal point of the discussion because it has emerged as one of the Internet's fastest-growing services this year.

But Twitter hasn't attempted to profit from its popularity yet, leaving everyone guessing about how the 3-year-old startup intends to pay its bills after it exhausts its $55 million venture capital.

The participants on the panel moderated by media writer Ken Auletta of The New Yorker magazine predicted Twitter Inc. will face major challenges when the San Francisco-based company finally tries to generate revenue. Reporters were barred from the session — like all other meetings at the media summit — but Auletta confirmed the tenor of the Twitter talk afterward.

Two of the panel participants, veteran media executive Barry Diller and cable television magnate John Malone, reiterated their skepticism about Twitter's moneymaking potential in separate interviews.

"I think it's a great service. I just don't think it's a natural advertising medium," said Diller, who heads online conglomerate InterActiveCorp.

Malone, chairman of Liberty Media Corp., also believes Twitter will be hard-pressed to sell advertising on its messaging service without alienating users. Twitter's best bet, Malone said, probably is to simply get people so addicted to the service that they might eventually pay fees.

It's an idea that YouTube, the Internet's leading video service, might want to try. Malone said billionaire investor Warren Buffett confided that he enjoys watching YouTube so much that he would be willing to pay a $5 monthly subscription for access. Although YouTube is more popular than ever, it still isn't making money nearly three years after Google Inc. bought it for $1.76 billion.

Buffett declined an interview request Wednesday.

Twitter's co-founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, still haven't revealed their business model, but have indicated that advertising is low on their priority list. They have suggested they might impose fees on companies interested in mining the data about consumer preferences and peeves that pour into Twitter.

In an interview before Thursday's program began, Williams said he has been discussing possible deals with some of the conference's other guests. He declined to say with whom.

"It's always nice to have attention," Williams said. "I don't know that there has been that much attention on Twitter. I haven't noticed it. I am just here to learn and meet folks, actually. We are just trying to figure it all out."

Many media executives running long-established companies are wrestling with their own daunting problems as the Internet lures consumers and advertisers from them. Few of the executives attending the media summit wanted to talk about that trouble.

Some of the most best-known people on the guest list arrived Wednesday after the summit had begun. The late arrivals included Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, basketball star LeBron James and Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg — another Internet whiz still trying to prove that his service for online banter will mature into a profitable business.


I would be willing to have ads on my twitter, but not a subscription.
I'm always looking for freeware solutions...


Thursday, July 9, 2009

MIcrosoft Sends Out Alert on New Security Hole...

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Microsoft Corp. has taken the rare step of warning about a serious computer security vulnerability it hasn't fixed yet.

The vulnerability disclosed Monday affects Internet Explorer users whose computers run the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 operating software.

It can allow hackers to remotely take control of victims' machines. The victims don't need to do anything to get infected except visit a Web site that's been hacked.

Security experts say criminals have been attacking the vulnerability for nearly a week. Thousands of sites have been hacked to serve up malicious software that exploits the vulnerability. People are drawn to these sites by clicking a link in spam e-mail.

The so-called "zero day" vulnerability disclosed by Microsoft affects a part of its software used to play video. The problem arises from the way the software interacts with Internet Explorer, which opens a hole for hackers to tunnel into.

Microsoft urged vulnerable users to disable the problematic part of its software, which can be done from Microsoft's Web site, while the company works on a "patch" — or software fix — for the problem.

Microsoft rarely departs from its practice of issuing security updates the second Tuesday of each month. When the Redmond, Wash.-based company does issue security reminders at other times, it's because the vulnerabilities are very serious.

A recent example was the emergency patch Microsoft issued in October for a vulnerability that criminals exploited to infect millions of PCs with the Conficker worm. While initially feared as an all-powerful doomsday device, that network of infected machines was eventually used for mundane moneymaking schemes like sending spam and pushing fake antivirus software.


On the Net:

Microsoft support page:



Monday, July 6, 2009

China is ratcheting up renewable resources to 15 percent by 2020...

SAN JOSE, Calif. — China is ratcheting up the target of how much of its energy it obtains from renewable resources such as solar and wind to 15 percent by 2020, according to a report in today's China Daily.

China government planners said they could hit the 10 percent target by 2010. The China Daily quoted one vice minister who suggested the country might be able to hit a 20 percent target by 2020.

The new goal comes as China is also raising its projections for the amount of total annual energy it will generate by 2020 to 1,500 GigaWatts, a 50 percent increase from a target level set in 2007. China had installed capacity to generate 793 GW by the end of 2008, as much as two-thirds of that from coal, China Daily reported.

China's planners say the country will soon have the capacity to generate 1,000 GW, the amount of energy produced in the U.S. each year.

More than twenty percent of China's energy comes from hydroelectric plants. Only a small fraction comes from other sources such as nuclear (two percent). China had less than 100 MegaWatts of solar energy generators attached to its grid at the end of 2008, China Daily said.


With China now using as much power as we do, both countries need to stop the coal burning. Modify the coal, break it down, make it so there is no CO2 released into the atmosphere...
(Dream on!) It can be done now but it needs to be scaled up fast.


Friday, July 3, 2009

US to Invest $4 Billion in Broadband...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government will soon release $4 billion of loans and grants aimed at expanding broadband access to underserved areas across the United States, officials said on Wednesday.

The funds are part of a $7.2 billion program to build an affordable high-speed Internet structure in rural areas. The project is being pushed by President Barack Obama, in part, to shore up the U.S. economy with job creation in the telecommunications sector.

"This funding is a down payment on the president's commitment to bring the educational and economic benefits of the Internet to all communities," Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement.

The broadband program was tucked into a $787 billion fiscal stimulus package Obama signed into law in February.

Applications for loans and grants will be accepted starting on July 14 and will continue through August 14. Details of the funding process can be found at .

State and local governments as well as non- and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

The Commerce and Agriculture departments and the Federal Communications Commission are developing a national broadband program to reach those American households and small businesses lacking what many officials consider a necessary service.

Under the rules announced on Wednesday, the USDA and Commerce will review applications, announce a group of finalists on September 15 and start naming winners on November 7, senior administration officials said.

Some industry and public interest groups applauded the release of the guidelines. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which represents Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc and Cox, said it is reviewing the guidelines.

U.S. Telecom, a trade group that represents Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, did not comment on the guidelines and said it was reviewing them.


The Open Internet Coalition, which comprises public interest groups that support so-called net neutrality, said it strongly supports the guidelines. They favor preventing Internet service providers like Verizon and AT&T from giving preference to certain content.

The guidelines said: "This requirement ensures neutral traffic routing."

"The first major decision regarding broadband policy by the new administration sets a clear course in favor of the open Internet," said Markham Erickson, OIC executive director.

Of the $4 billion to be released soon, $1.6 billion of grants will be administered by Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration and $2.4 billion of grants and loans by the USDA's Rural Utilities Service.

The grants and loans will be released in three tranches, they said.

Under the rules the minimum Internet speed an applicant can provide is 768 kilobits per second (kbps) downstream, considered slow by some standards, and at least 200 kbps upstream to end users.

However, due to likely competition, officials said they expect applicants to offer higher speeds.


With the minimum Internet speed of 768 kilobits per second (kbps) downstream, a typical WiFi network would be enough to distribute wireless internet, at T1 speeds and greater, to many locations...


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Race is on to create a new world of energy

From The London Times
June 20, 2009
The race is on to create a new world of energy
Jeroen van der Veer

We stand at the early dawn of a new energy future. It will be powered by alternative energy and cleaner fossil fuels. If governments adopt the right rules and incentives, by the middle of this century renewable sources will provide nearly 30 per cent of the world’s energy. Society will be on the road toward sustainable mobility. The world’s highways will rumble and whir with vehicles powered by all manner of energy: petrol, diesel (yes, still there), electricity, biofuels, natural gas and hydrogen.

In the years ahead, conventional diesel and petrol cars will go increasingly far on every litre of fuel. Biofuels will account for up to 10 per cent of liquid transport fuel in the next few decades. Our Shell scenario-makers think that by 2020 up to 15 per cent of new cars worldwide could be hybrid electrics, such as Toyota’s Prius, some of them capable of plugging in to recharge their batteries. After 2030, fuel cell vehicles powered by hydrogen will be a small but growing part of the fleet. By 2050, more than a billion extra vehicles are expected on the world’s roads, more than double today’s total.

Greater variety of fuel choices will be a boon for consumers. Different fuels will be stronger in different regions. In South America, biofuels will likely predominate. In Brazil, ethanol from sugar cane already supplies more than 40 per cent of demand for petrol. China, meanwhile, plans to expand production and use of hybrid and electric vehicles, tapping its vast coal deposits to generate power.

As more vehicles go electric, the environmental footprint of the world’s power generators will become even more important. Wind, solar and hydropower will account for 30 per cent of electricity generation by 2030, up from about 18 per cent today. Many new coal-fired power plants are expected to capture CO2 emissions and store it safely underground, rather than pump it into the atmosphere. Plants increasingly will turn coal into a gas, rather than burn it. They will then burn the gas to generate power, or use it as raw material for a variety of chemical products, while CO2 will be captured and stored. Such integrated plants will begin to resemble refineries. Likewise, refineries can gasify heavy oils — and use the gas to produce hydrogen — and generate heat and electricity — while capturing and storing the CO2.

Indeed, fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas, will continue to provide more than half the world’s energy in 2050, building a long bridge to an era when alternatives can take over. A growing population and higher standards of living for billions of people in the developing world will mean that we need all available sources of energy to keep the world’s economies humming. So, while the world races to build up alternative fuels, it must also find new sources of fossil fuels, including unconventional ones, such as oil sands. And we must accelerate efforts to make fossil fuels cleaner, by reducing the CO2 emitted in their production and use.

None of this will be easy, or cheap. Industry and government regulations must change on a huge scale and at an unprecedented pace. According to the International Energy Agency, by 2030 we will need to invest $5.5 trillion merely in renewable energy. That’s like buying more than 18,000 Boeing 747 jumbo jets at $300 million apiece (only about 14,000 have been built since its introduction in 1970). Billions more must go into upgrading electricity transmission networks to handle increased demand and the on-and-off power generated by wind and solar.

Much of this money will come from private companies, but governments will need to continue using tax credits and other incentives to encourage the growth of renewables. They are still small relative to the world’s overall energy needs. Including hydropower, renewables account for about 7 per cent of global energy. Wind today supplies about 1 per cent, with approximately 70,000 turbines. Biofuels, thanks partly to billions of dollars in government subsidies, now also supply about 1 per cent.

To judge from society’s experience with nuclear power and other technologies, new energy sources take at least 25 years to reach significant scale. To illustrate the challenge, in the case of wind the world will need another 1-1.5 million turbines covering an area nearly the size of France in order to reach 10 per cent of the electricity generated by 2030. That means expanding today’s worldwide turbine production of about 15,000 a year to just under 100,000 a year by 2030.

Energy companies are already preparing for the future, increasing production of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, investing in renewables, such as sustainable biofuels, and researching ways to capture CO2 and store it safely underground. But the enormity of the challenge means that government should do its part to encourage society’s shift to a new energy system. For instance, new technologies with great promise to reduce CO2 emissions will require initial government support to achieve quickly the scale necessary to have real impact.

One critical step is to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions — doing so in all leading countries, not merely a few. I prefer a system that caps emissions and allows companies to trade emission allowances, as Europe’s already does. Cap-and-trade systems should encourage a relatively steady CO2 price, which will have the strongest influence on energy consumers’ behaviour and on the efficiency designed into factories, homes and offices. It will also harness the ingenuity of industry and channel investment to the most efficient emission reductions.

While energy policy can drive technology, it may ultimately raise costs and be politically unpopular. As society and political leaders face difficult choices, they should remember that failure to act now could force us into more painful choices down the road.

Influencing consumer behaviour may prove toughest of all. While technology will give society greater energy choices, it remains unclear whether people are willing to become better users of energy.

Despite the massive hurdles, the push to create a new energy system will benefit us all. It will reverse the rapid rise in the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming. It will provide new business opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs. It will create well-paid jobs in a thriving new industry. Competition among energy sources will drive innovation, keep energy affordable and increase global energy security. The race is on.

• Jeroen van der Veer is the departing chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell


We are upsetting the balance of nature. We are burning the candle at both ends! We produce more CO2 per person then nature can compensate for, and we are cutting down the rain-forests that nature uses to compensate with. Major changes are needed NOW!


CPU-Z: Detailed report about your computer

CPU-Z: Detailed report about your CPU, Motherboard, RAM, BIOS, Volts, Temperature and much more. This is a must have: ..B-)

( As seen on my tweet: )


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Eureka Solar Tower Tests Receiver in Andalusia

June 26, 2009

Abengoa Solar's first high-temperature power tower, Eureka, was unveiled June 19 by Martín Soler Márquez, director of Innovation, Science, and Enterprise for the Andalusian Regional Government. This power tower is intended to test, on an experimental basis, a new type of receiver that will achieve the higher temperatures needed for higher-efficiency thermodynamic power cycles. It is the only plant featuring these characteristics in operation in Andalusia and Europe. The aim of this new technology is to increase plant performance, thereby reducing both generating costs and the area of the solar field.

This experimental plant occupies a 16,000-square-foot portion of the Solúcar Platform and uses 35 heliostats and a 164-foot tower that houses the experimental superheating receiver. The power output capacity of the experimental plant is approximately 2 MW. The plant includes a thermal energy storage system supplying power supply to the grid for short periods when there is no sunlight.

According to Rafael Osuna, general manger of the company, "this marks the beginning of the next experimental phase for this high-potential solar power tower technology, which could lead to an important step forward in our goals of generating clean electricity at competitive prices. Our significant investment in research and development has made this groundbreaking concentrating solar power technology a reality."

Abengoa Solar now has three solar power towers in operation, two for commercial use and this experimental tower.

The new plant is part of the Solúcar Platform, a solar thermal and photovoltaic solar installation complex scheduled for completion in 2013. Thanks to its 300-megawatt power output, the plant will supply clean electricity to 153,000 households and eliminate the emission of 185,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, reaching a total of 4 million tons over the course of its useful life.

The Solúcar Platform also features a research and development area that is building several demonstration plants for new technologies. This makes the platform the only place in the world with installations employing practically every type of solar technology available, whether in commercial use or under demonstration.


Abengoa Solar's website is full of informative data. It is a must-see...