The promise of free energy is an enticing one — that’s free as in renewable source, not cost. (This is capitalism, after all, someone’s got to foot the bill.) Economic gripes aside, research outfits like M.I.T. are getting us one step closer to this cleaner fuel future with the creation of three dimensional photovoltaic cells. The team’s findings, recently published in the journal Energy and Environmental Science, demonstrate how these computer-modeled structures, rising upward in an unfolded accordion shape, have been proven to increase their energy yield over contemporary flat panels by up to 20 times in field and theoretical testing. This capacity gain, made possible by an efficient harvesting of sunlight during less optimal hours of the day, could be especially helpful in powering regions prone to overcast or wintry climates. The tech is still far from consumer friendly, though, with the actual price of the associated juice exceeding that of traditional solar tech. With continued improvements to the manufacturing process, however, residential and business customers could very well look forward to a future outfitted with solar towers only a Cubist could love.
MIT’s 3D solar cells take cubism to new energy efficient heights originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 28 Mar 2012 03:56:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Last year, a huge swath of senior British military officers and Defense Ministry officials became friends with who they thought was United States Navy admiral James Stavridis. While Stavridis is a real US Commander, sadly it now turns out that the man behind the Facebook profile wasn’t him; it was actually a Chinese spy.
In friending the spy, those British officials obviously leaked their own personal information reports ZDNet. That includes e-mail addresses, phone numbers, pictures, the names of family members, and possibly even the details of their movements.
Perhaps understandably, NATO is recultant to state exactly who was behind the attack, but The Telegraph reveals that it was almost certainly someone inviolved in Chinese intellgience. A spokesperson from NATO said in a statement:
“There have been several fake supreme allied commander pages. Facebook has cooperated in taking them down. We are not aware that they are Chinese. The most important thing is for Facebook to get rid of them. First and foremost we want to make sure that the public is not being misinformed. Social media played a crucial role in the Libya campaign last year. It reflected the groundswell of public opposition, but also we received a huge amount of information from social media in terms of locating Libyan regime forces. It was a real eye-opener. That is why it is important the public has trust in our social media.”
While it’s one thing ensuring that Facebook cooperates with these kinds of problems, I can’t help but think that a little more caution on the part of these Facebookin’ officials might help rather more.
When an earthquake ravaged Fukushima and terrified all of Japan, the entire country had one reaction: is everyone OK? And if you knew someone in an afflicted area, you might’ve been thinking, is my husband okay? Now Facebook will tell you.
Facebook’s new Disaster (currently in trial for Japan only) feature is so simple and could be so very useful: if you’re in an area hit by a natural disaster (or terrorist attack, I presume), you’ll have the option to flag yourself as safe with all the ease of clicking “Like.” Or, if you’ve managed to get in touch with someone you know in a danger area, you can flag their profile as safe for them. Either way, Facebook will become a go-to source for peace of mind. It’s the kind of tool you hope you’ll never have to use, but one we might be glad to have. And one that’ll rack up ad views for Facebook the next time a crisis hits. Click! [YokosoNews via NewScientist]
Trolls. They fill the internet with insults, dead-end arguments, and inanity the likes of which we’ve never seen. Or maybe we have. The Guardian’s David Mitchell notes that trolling comments aren’t all that different from graffiti, and should likewise carry no more weight.
More specifically, Mitchell is talking less about trolls as you and I know them and more about anonymous, often inaccurate online reviews. It’s not a bulletproof analogy by any means, but Mitchell’s idea does reframe the way you look at anonymous content in a compelling way:
When you read a bit of graffiti that says something like “Blair is a liar”, you don’t take it as fact. You may, independently, have concluded that it is fact. But you don’t think that the graffiti has provided that information. It is merely evidence that someone, when in possession of a spray can, wished to assert their belief in the millionaire former premier’s mendacity. It is unsubstantiated, anonymous opinion. We understand that instinctively. We need to start routinely applying those instincts to the web.
If you read a review, an opinion, a description or a fact and you don’t know who wrote it then it’s no more reliable than if it were sprayed on a railway bridge. We should always assume the worst so that all those who wish to convince… have an incentive to identify themselves.
The flip side of the coin, of course, is that anonymity is vital to the spread of information on the internet. The important tool to remember, as always, is your skepticism. Without it, you’re letting yourself get all worked up over graffiti. (And we’re not talking Banksy here—or even Hanksy.) Photo remixed from The Awl.
She announced the launch on her personal blog earlier today.
Enter the Internet of things, where you can choose to follow people, places or things. The notes you leave can be private, or you can share them with everything and everybody.
The possibilities seem endless.
For instance, Fake shared a note she wrote for her friend Lauren:
Perhaps this would be a more useful note when you’re roaming around town: “Find me a Nearby Toilet NOW.”
That seems to be coming soon: Fake wrote on her blog that she plans on building out a notification system so you can get pinged when someone you follow sends out a note.
As far as making money, Fake is betting on selling sponsored notes.
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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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