Four short links: 9 June 2009

Biological Radio, Laggy Smart Grids, API Moneys, and Pubsub Server

  1. Drawing Inspiration From Nature To Build A Better Radio — based on the design of the cochlear, this MIT-built RF chip is faster than others out there, and consumes 1/100th the power. Biomimicry and UWB radio are on our radar.
  2. Why the Smart Grid Won’t Have the Innovations of the Internet Any Time SoonWhile it’s significant that utilities are starting to build out smart grid infrastructure, utilities are largely opting for networks that provide connections that are far from real time, and this could stifle the desired innovation. […] smart meter data that is pushed to Google’s PowerMeter energy tool has to make its way back to the utility before it can be sent to Google. That means that even for Google’s energy tool, there can be both a significant delay before information reaches consumers, and significant gaps in energy data details. These delays and gaps can undercut the premise of how smart meter technologies will empower consumers to make decisions about their energy use based on real-time costs. Smart grids (houses and devices able to take use of instantaneous pricing changes) have the potential to help us with our energy obesity problem, but the architecture must be right.
  3. API Value Creation, Not MonetizationOn the side of the unexpected but interesting outcomes, Kevin said they have seen a flurry of internally developed business applications. In the past many valuable, internal-facing projects were turned down because the programs had to meet strict top line to bottom line ratios. With the availability to data and services, many teams within the company now have access to things they didn’t in the past, and project costs have been minimized. Throughout the company, consumers of the API have been able to launch successful projects that have created additional revenue and have reduced the overall development costs for new projects. Some solid numbers and names to help convince businesses to offer APIs, though the battle is still much harder than it should be.
  4. Watercoolr — a pubsub server for your apps. A channel is a list of URLs to be notified whenever a message is posted to that channel. Clever little piece of infrastructure for web apps, embodying the Unix philosophy of small tools that each do one thing very well. (via straup on Delicious)
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