heat

‘If We Published Patents, It Would Be Farcical’

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-patents-2012-11

elon musk

The patent system has been getting a lot of heat lately, especially with the high-profile fight between Apple and Samsung.

Superhero entrepreneur Elon Musk just avoids patents altogether with his high-tech space venture SpaceX

You would think you’d want to protect your intellectual property when you’re building complicated things like spaceships and innovating new technologies daily.

But Musk’s decision actually makes total sense. Why is that? Musk explains in a recent interview with Chris Anderson at Wired:

We have essentially no patents in SpaceX. Our primary long-term competition is in China,” said Musk in the interview. “If we published patents, it would be farcical, because the Chinese would just use them as a recipe book.”

There are plenty of big holes in patent law — especially international patent law. And in some cases, they’re totally bypassed anyway.

Thus, Musk’s only option is to go with the trade secret route. That should end up working for a company like SpaceX, but as patent fights ramp up, something has to be done.

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Friday, November 9th, 2012 news No Comments

Ten Ways We Can Help Keep NYC From Drowning Under Water

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/clean-energy-sources-to-reduce-effects-of-climate-change-2012-10

Manhattan Future

The best scientific evidence shows that global climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas), which emit carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

These greenhouse gases act like a bubble around the Earth, trapping heat in, and in turn, causing temperatures to rise on the planet’s surface. This phenomenon can be observed through shrinking glaciers, thawing of permafrost, rising sea levels and, yes stronger storms

See how we can beat climate change >

Superstorm Sandy brought unprecedented levels of flooding to areas across the Eastern seaboard. New York City and the Jersey Shore were particularly hard hit. In Manhattan, a record-breaking storm surge reached 14 feet, shuttering one of the largest transit systems in the world.

Although climate change did not cause the storm, a growing number of researchers say that climate change increases the severity of hurricanes, including stronger storm surges like the one in Manhattan. This on top of rising sea levels, which will leave many cities, including New York, partially underwater, means just one thing: To save our cities, we need to slow climate change. 

To moderate the effects of climate change we must start by lowering greenhouse gas emissions, which involves investing in clean and renewable energies.    

Renewable energy is energy that comes from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides and geothermal heat. Unlike oil, these energy sources won’t run out (although some are highly unpredictable) and carbon-neutral, so they d! on’t con tribute to climate change.

We aren’t just talking wind turbines and solar panels, though. People around the world are developing innovative and sometimes strange ways to decrease their dependence on oil and gas.

Wave Snakes 
use the natural up-and-down motion of waves to generate electricity.

Location: Portugal

The 460-foot long, British-made floating tubes represent the world’s first commercial-scale wave-power stations.

The snake-like power farms, which were first launched off the northern coast of Portugal in 2008 from the town of Aguçadoura, are an original concept in clean energy design.

Using the natural up-and-down motion of waves, the stations are able to convert enough electricity to power more than 1,000 homes.

The Wind Blimp is equipped with spinning blades to catch wind and generate energy.

Magenn Power Inc. developed its first wind blimp prototype in 2008. The MARS (Magenn Air Rotor System) is essentially an extremely lightweight wind turbine that is anchored to the ground by a tether. Helium is used to lift the blimp, which is equipped with spinning blades to catch wind, generating energy. The electricity is then transferred by the tether to either a power grid or batteries.

MARS has several advantages over other wind systems due to its size, weight, and the ability to operate in very light wind speeds. The blimp is transportable, easily deployed, and well-suited for off-site or rem! ote loca tions. The floating wind turbine also has the potential to produce electricity at under $.20 per kWh versus $.50 cents to $.99 cents per kWh for diesel.

Archimede is the first solar power plant to use molten salts as a heat transfer fluid to store energy from the sun.

Location: Syracuse, Sicily.

On July 14, 2010, Italian utility Enel unveiled “Archimede,” the world’s first solar power plant to use molten salts as a heat transfer fluid. The system contains 30,000 square meters (320,000 square feet) of parabolic mirrors that concentrate solar rays onto 5,400 meters of high heat-resistant pipes that carry the fluid molten salt. The fluid is then collected in special tanks and used to produce steam, which eventually contributes to electricity generation.

The salts — a mixture of sodium and potassium nitrate — are an extremely efficient heat transfer mechanism. Unlike synthetic oils used in traditional concentrating solar plants, molten salt can work at much higher temperatures (up to 550°C instead of 390°C). The salts store enough energy to keep the plant generating power at night or on cloudy days, which is a common limitation of many renewable energy sources.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 news No Comments

Strategy Analytics claims Android reached 41 percent of tablets in Q3, iPad may have felt the heat

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/25/strategy-analytics-claims-android-reached-41-percent-of-tablets/

Strategy Analytics claims Android is up to 41 percent of tablets in Q3, iPad may feel the heat

Three months can make all the difference, at least if you’re drafting estimates at Strategy Analytics. Now that we know 14 million iPads shipped in the third quarter, the analyst group believes that Apple’s tablet market share dropped from 68.3 percent in the spring to 56.7 percent in the summer. All of the shift is attributed to Android — researchers think that shipments of Google-based tablets surged from 7.3 million to 10.2 million, handing the platform 41 percent of an increasingly crowded space. It’s the “collective weight” of so many Android-reliant companies leaping into the market rather than any one of them pulling ahead, Strategy Analytics says. We wouldn’t be shocked if a few Kindle Fire HD sales played a part.

More than a few wildcards still surround the figures and their long-term impact. First is that these are estimates, not concrete results: companies like Amazon steadfastly refuse to provide shipment numbers and leave most of the final tally beyond Apple to educated guesswork. It’s also an understatement to say that the market will change dramatically before 2012 is over. Between Windows 8‘s launch, possible Nexus 7 upgrades and two new iPads, there are a lot of pieces moving on the chessboard.

Continue reading Strategy Analytics claims Android reached 41 percent of tablets in Q3, iPad may have felt the heat

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Strategy Analytics claims Android reached 41 percent of tablets in Q3, iPad may have felt the heat originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 25 Oct 2012 20:38:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, October 26th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5946148/a-water+cooled-chip-that-concentrates-the-sun-to-desalinate-water

A Water-Cooled Chip That Concentrates the Sun to Desalinate WaterAnyone who’s dropped a cellphone in the bath knows that water and microelectronics don’t usually mix well. But at IBM’s Swiss lab in Zurich, marrying the two is becoming almost commonplace: microprocessors with water coursing through microchannels carved deep inside them are already crunching data in SuperMUC, an IBM supercomputer – with the heat that the water carries away used to warm nearby buildings.

And last week, on an unseasonally sunny Zurich rooftop, IBM went public before begoggled journalists with a demo of the technology’s newest application: a solar energy-generating microchip array whose waste heat might one day drive desalination systems in arid areas like the Sahara. The firm has long promised this system, and it’s still a work in progress, but it has now reached a form that can be demonstrated.

The trick with a concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system like IBM’s is to place a high-performance electricity-generating solar cell array at the focal point of a dish that collects sunlight (unlike a solar concentrator, which focuses a field of sun-tracking mirrors onto a steam generator that drives a turbine). In IBM’s CPV system, water gushes through the base of the solar cells, cooling them to a temperature where they convert sunlight to electricity most efficiently. This beats regular solar power in two ways: it guarantees optimum efficiency and creates hot water that can be used for any purpose – with a multi-effect boiling desalination process being IBM’s choice.

On IBM’s rooftop, I donned ultra-dark goggles to watch Stephen Paredes, Bruno Michel and colleagues demonstrate their dazzling concept. A 1.5-metre mirrored dish concentrated the sun’s energy by 150 times onto their prototype CPV chip, which has been engineered to maximise thermal contact with a water-cooled layer. It’s fascinating to see their control rig: half of it is electronic but the rest, frankly, is plumbing – an interesting mix of disciplines indeed. Paredes’s laptop showed the concentrator dish conversion efficiency to be about 18 per cent – respectable for a prototype, he says.

Their research aim now is to move towards 40 per cent efficiency or more with better-cooled CPV arrays that can cope with solar radiation 5000 times the sun’s normal intensity. “We know how to engineer these cooling packages for computers so we’re confident we can make this contribution to solar energy,” says Michel.


A Water-Cooled Chip That Concentrates the Sun to Desalinate WaterNew Scientist reports, explores and interprets the results of human endeavour set in the context of society and culture, providing comprehensive coverage of science and technology news.

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Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5946148/a-water+cooled-chip-that-concentrates-the-sun-to-desalinate-water

A Water-Cooled Chip That Concentrates the Sun to Desalinate WaterAnyone who’s dropped a cellphone in the bath knows that water and microelectronics don’t usually mix well. But at IBM’s Swiss lab in Zurich, marrying the two is becoming almost commonplace: microprocessors with water coursing through microchannels carved deep inside them are already crunching data in SuperMUC, an IBM supercomputer – with the heat that the water carries away used to warm nearby buildings.

And last week, on an unseasonally sunny Zurich rooftop, IBM went public before begoggled journalists with a demo of the technology’s newest application: a solar energy-generating microchip array whose waste heat might one day drive desalination systems in arid areas like the Sahara. The firm has long promised this system, and it’s still a work in progress, but it has now reached a form that can be demonstrated.

The trick with a concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) system like IBM’s is to place a high-performance electricity-generating solar cell array at the focal point of a dish that collects sunlight (unlike a solar concentrator, which focuses a field of sun-tracking mirrors onto a steam generator that drives a turbine). In IBM’s CPV system, water gushes through the base of the solar cells, cooling them to a temperature where they convert sunlight to electricity most efficiently. This beats regular solar power in two ways: it guarantees optimum efficiency and creates hot water that can be used for any purpose – with a multi-effect boiling desalination process being IBM’s choice.

On IBM’s rooftop, I donned ultra-dark goggles to watch Stephen Paredes, Bruno Michel and colleagues demonstrate their dazzling concept. A 1.5-metre mirrored dish concentrated the sun’s energy by 150 times onto their prototype CPV chip, which has been engineered to maximise thermal contact with a water-cooled layer. It’s fascinating to see their control rig: half of it is electronic but the rest, frankly, is plumbing – an interesting mix of disciplines indeed. Paredes’s laptop showed the concentrator dish conversion efficiency to be about 18 per cent – respectable for a prototype, he says.

Their research aim now is to move towards 40 per cent efficiency or more with better-cooled CPV arrays that can cope with solar radiation 5000 times the sun’s normal intensity. “We know how to engineer these cooling packages for computers so we’re confident we can make this contribution to solar energy,” says Michel.


A Water-Cooled Chip That Concentrates the Sun to Desalinate WaterNew Scientist reports, explores and interprets the results of human endeavour set in the context of society and culture, providing comprehensive coverage of science and technology news.

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Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

NBC Spoiled Missy Franklin’s Tape-Delayed Gold Medal Race Just Moments Before Airing The Race

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/video-nbc-spoiled-missy-franklins-tape-delayed-gold-medal-2012-7

NBC has received plenty of heat and criticism for their decisions to tape-delay a number of the more popular Olympic events. But they aren’t helping their own case when they spoil their own coverage with a promo for another show.

That’s what happened tonight when NBC was getting set to show the women’s 100 meter backstroke, an event Franklin won (will win?). The network went to commercial with a view of Franklin in the pool and the teaser “coming up, how good can Missy Franklin be tonight? The finals of the 100-back coming up.”

And from the “can’t make it up department,” NBC then showed a promo for “The Today Show” centered around Franklin celebrating her gold medal with her parents. The promo even included a shot of Franklin on the medal stand with her medal.

Gee, I wonder if she is going to win?!? Here’s the video…

 

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Monday, July 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Top Most Shared Category on Pinterest is … Food and Drink

Using our “Bit.ly Heat” overlay we can see which links/categories are most shared and most clicked.  We can also see, interestingly, that people are looking for high end gifts on Pinterest.com too.  Check out which links are #sharedmost on any webpage by using http://www.sharedmost.com

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Tuesday, February 14th, 2012 news 1 Comment

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882542/new-york-citys-energy-consumption-mapped-out-building+by+building

New York City's Energy Consumption Mapped Out, Building-by-BuildingConvinced you’re more environmentally aware than your neighbors? Now you can find out: scientists have mapped the entire energy use of New York City, building by building.

The interactive map, created by Bianca Howard, a PhD student in mechanical engineering at Columbia University, uses publicly available data to work out which buildings are using the most energy and how they are using it. Then, it displays the energy use on a color-map. Howard’s PhD supervisors, Professor Modi, explains:

“While discussions frequently focus on electricity use, homes in New York City, whether a townhouse or a large apartment building, use far more energy in form of heat rather than electricity. Nearly all of this heat is obtained from heating oil or natural gas. In addition, current electricity distribution infrastructure in many urban areas relies on large amounts of electricity brought in from outside the city, making it difficult to support increased future use without requiring significant investment of resources and funds. We are looking at ways we can address both these issues-reducing our heating bills and increasing local electricity generation capacity.”

The resulting interactive map is great fun to play around with, allowing you to see how energy use is split down between electricity, space heating and cooling, and water heating. The best bit is that, as mentioned, its detail lets you study energy use down to the scale of individual buildings. You can play around with the map here. Every city needs something like this. [Columbia Engineering via Boing Boing]

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Free Shipping On The Web Isn’t So ‘Free’ Anymore

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/free-shipping-isnt-so-free-anymore-2011-11


shipping, trade, container

It’s no surprise why online shopping is so popular.

“You get the item quickly, you don’t pay for shipping, you often receive better prices, and you don’t have to leave your house,” said Andrew Schrage, founder of Money Crashers.

Perhaps in response to shoppers like Schrage, businesses have been giving away free shipping with a vengeance.

Some 93 percent of stores will offer at least one free shipping deal this year, which means a six percent increase from last year. Meanwhile 30 percent of store sites will offer free shipping on Cyber Monday, according to the National Retail Federation.

Experts like Kit Yarrow, a professor of psychology and marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco, Calif., told Smart Money that free shipping has become an expectation. However, things don’t always don’t always pan out for consumers.

Retailers may raise the price of their products to make up for shipping costs or bar consumers from using coupons. She also warns shoppers to consider the overall package, including whether or not you can combine discounts.

Besides analyzing the overall deal, Schrage advises shoppers to stick to Web-based companies when shopping online.

“Online sites like Amazon almost ALWAYS have as cheap, and usually cheaper, prices than these retailers who also provide free shipping,” he said.

He points out that companies like Amazon even offer two-day shipping for free, and maintain great return policies that prove to be better than those of bricks-and-mortar stores.

From time to time Schrage admits you will seen an online site offer a higher retail price with free shipping. But stay away—you can score a better deal.

Check out 10 FREE Black Friday apps to help you survive the mall >

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Sunday, November 27th, 2011 news No Comments

Occasions and Holidays Drive Movie Box Office Sales, Not Advertising

Taking the top box office results for each of 52 weekends from the past 10 complete years (1998 – 2008; Source: IMDB.com) we see consistently that occasions like Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving show increased movie going activity. People have more time during these holidays to go to the movies and Valentines is a date+movie occasion. Also, during the summer, many people go to the movie theatre to escape the heat so there is an overall hump every year during the summer months — from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

movie-box-office-2


People go out during Valentines, Memorial Day, July 4th, and Thanksgiving. And they still spend what they planned to spend — 2 tickets for movie — they didn’t buy 2 more tickets and see a second movie on the same date or holiday weekend.  If they had several good movies to choose from (often, they don’t), they would choose to spend the finite dollars on the one movie they really wanted to see. The overall movie spending “pie” did not increase much, if any, year over year.

1998 $4,055,194,733 n/a

1999 $4,253,601,768 5%

2000 $4,496,554,005 6%

2001 $5,003,433,737 11%

2002 $5,489,974,199 10%

2003 $5,581,797,720 2%

2004 $ 5,697,299,530 2%

2005 $ 5,524,566,579 -3%

2006 $ 5,660,826,625 +2%

2007 $ 5,968,027,963 +5%

2008 $ 5,887,193,490 -1%

The chart below shows a red line which is the average of all 10 years. The 10 thin blue lines are the annual lines from1998 – 2008, inclusive and these are plotted as actual dollars. They come out right on top of each other.

movie-box-office-2-overlay

Movie advertising, which runs into the hundreds of millions of dollars a year, has failed to noticeably increase the overall spending year-round or even during specific times. The chart below shows the differentials (difference between an annual line and the 10-yr average line). These all hover closely in the +$50M and -$50M band. The amplitude of the 10-yr average (red line) is larger than $50M in the summer hump — implying that the average change in movie ticket sales due to normal seasonality is larger than the change in amplitude caused by ALL movie advertising combined.

movie-box-2-differentials

And the summer “hump” is due to actual demand (people going out to movie theatres, some to escape the heat) not due to advertising. The only effect of advertising is to share-shift from one movie to another — the total spending remains consistent and even seasonal variations are consistent — a “zero-sum game.”


All-Time USA Box office

Source: IMDB.com

Rank Title USA Box Office
1. Titanic (1997) $600,779,824
2. The Dark Knight (2008) $533,316,061
3. Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665
4. Shrek 2 (2004) $436,471,036
5. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459
6. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace(1999) $431,065,444
7. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $423,032,628
8. Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375
9. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) $380,262,555
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King(2003) $377,019,252
11. Spider-Man 2 (2004) $373,377,893
12. The Passion of the Christ (2004) $370,270,943
13. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) $367,614,540
14. Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000
15. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $340,478,898
16. Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367
17. Spider-Man 3 (2007) $336,530,303
18. Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196
19. The Lion King (1994) $328,423,001
20. Shrek the Third (2007) $320,706,665
21. Transformers (2007) $318,759,914
22. Iron Man (2008) $318,298,180
23. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) $317,557,891
24. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008) $317,011,114
25. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring(2001) $313,837,577

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Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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