ENTRIES TAGGED "energy"

Four short links: 24 April 2013

Four short links: 24 April 2013

Solar Numbers, Process Managers, BitTorrent Sync, and Motherfrickin' Snakes in Your Motherfrickin' Browser

  1. Solar Energy: This is What a Disruptive Technology Looks Like (Brian McConnell) — In 1977, solar cells cost upwards of $70 per Watt of capacity. In 2013, that cost has dropped to $0.74 per Watt, a 100:1 improvement (source: The Economist). On average, solar power improves 14% per year in terms of energy production per dollar invested.
  2. Process Managers — overview of the tools that keep your software running.
  3. Bittorrent Sync — Dropbox-like features, BitTorrent under the hood.
  4. Brython — Python interpreter written in Javascript, suitable for embedding in webpages. (via Nelson Minar)
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Industrial Internet links: smart cities return, pilotless commercial aircraft, and more

Small-scale smart city projects; the industrial Internet as part of big data; a platform for smart buildings

Mining the urban data (The Economist) — The “smart city” hype cycle has moved beyond ambitious top-down projects and has started to produce useful results: real-time transit data in London, smart meters in Amsterdam. The next step, if Singapore has its way, may be real-time optimization of things like transit systems.

This is your ground pilot speaking (The Economist) — Testing is underway to bring drone-style remotely-piloted aircraft into broader civilian use. One challenge: building in enough on-board intelligence to operate the plane safely if radio links go down.

How GE’s over $100 billion investment in ‘industrial internet’ will add $15 trillion to world GDP (Economic Times) — A broad look at what the industrial Internet means in the context of big data, including interviews with Tim O’Reilly, DJ Patil and Kenn Cukier. (Full disclosure: GE and O’Reilly are collaborating on an industrial Internet series.)

Defining a Digital Network for Building-to-Cloud Efficiency (GreentechEnterprise) — “Eventually, the building will become an IT platform for managing energy a bit like we manage data today. But to get there, you don’t just have to make fans, chillers, lights, backup generators, smart load control circuits and the rest of a building’s hardware smart enough to act as IT assets. A platform — software that ties these disparate devices into the multiple, overlapping technical and economic models that help humans decide how to manage their building — is also required.” Read more…

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Four short links: 20 June 2012

Four short links: 20 June 2012

Talkative Virus Writer, QR Codes, Digital Reconstruction, and Renewable Energy

  1. Researcher Chats To Hacker Who Created The Virus He’s ResearchingChicken: I didn’t know you can see my screen. Hacker: I would like to see your face, but what a pity you don’t have a camera.
  2. Economist on QR CodesThree-quarters of American online retailers surveyed by Forrester, a research firm, use them. In April nearly 20% of smartphone users in America scanned one, up from 14% in May last year.
  3. Reconstructing the Ruins of Warsaw — what an amazing accomplishment!
  4. The Great German Energy Experiment (Technology Review) — political will: the risk and the successes. Certainly a huge gulf between Germany and America in where they are, and political will to be more renewable.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 15 September 2011

Four short links: 15 September 2011

DOSBox in Javascript, Augmenting Humans, Energy-efficient Computation, and Searchable Text

  1. Javascript DOSBox — first cut at a DOS emulator in Javascript, capable of running Doom. As the author said in email to me, The ability to run arbitrary x86 code across platforms without a plugin is kinda cool.
  2. Blending Machines and Humans to Get Very High Accuracy (Greg Linden) — use experts to train the models, provide tools for experts to correct mistakes in the classifiers, and constantly evaluate all aspects of the system. This augmentation of human ability with computers lets us tackle problems that can’t be solved by computers alone.
  3. Electrical Efficiency of Computation (The Atlantic) — If a MacBook Air were as efficient as a 1991 computer, the battery would last 2.5 seconds. Cites research concluding that computations per kWh have doubled every 1.6 years since the 1940s. (via Hacker News)
  4. recoll — open source tool to make searchable the text buried in your computer (whether in zip files, mail attachments, whatever). (via One Thing Well)
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Four short links: 3 August 2011

Four short links: 3 August 2011

Library Licensing, Mac Graphics, Coal Computing, and Human Augmentation

  1. Just Say No To Freegal — an interesting view from the inside, speaking out against a music licensing system called Freegal which is selling to libraries. Libraries typically buy one copy of something, and then lend it out to multiple users sequentially, in order to get a good return on investment. Participating in a product like Freegal means that we’re not lending anymore, we’re buying content for users to own permanently so they don’t have to pay the vendor directly themselves. This puts us in direct competition with the vendor’s sales directly to consumers, and the vendors will never make more money off of libraries than they will off of direct consumer sales. What that does is put libraries in a position of being economic victims of our own success. I would think that libraries would remember this lesson from our difficulties with the FirstSearch pay-per-use model that most of us found to be unsustainable.
  2. Radia Mac app that can produce pretty much any kind of visual content for the web. Images, animations, vector graphics, video clips, realtime visual effects, JavaScript programming…. (via Hacker News)
  3. Cost of Computing in Coal (Benjamin Mako Hill) — back-of-the-envelope estimation of the carbon costs of running an overnight multicore Amazon number-crunching job. Thinking about the environmental costs of your crappy coding might change the way you code, much as punched cards encouraged you to model and test the program by hand before you ran it. How many tons of coal are burnt to support laziness or a lack of optimization in my software?
  4. Friction in Computer Human Symbiosis (Palantir blog) — Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process. (via Tim O’Reilly)
Comment: 1
Can we capture all the world's carbon emissions?

Can we capture all the world's carbon emissions?

Carbon capture tech would require huge scale, but could give the world needed time.

Capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has major challenges, but it can be done at a price that would not destroy our economy. Doing so would give us more time to find ways to switch to inherently zero-carbon methods of powering our civilization.

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The Moore's Law of solar energy

The Moore's Law of solar energy

Solar cost per watt is dropping on an exponential curve, and will drop below coal by 2020.

If humanity could capture one tenth of one percent of the solar energy striking the Earth, we would have access to 6X as much energy as we consume in all forms today, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions.

Comments: 19
Four short links: 5 August 2009

Four short links: 5 August 2009

Rebooting Britain, Revealing Errors, Reproducing Generators, Netflix Culture

  1. Reboot Britain Video Archive — video from the talks at Reboot Britain are online. The event also produced a essay set (PDF), CC-licensed. (via Paul Reynolds)
  2. Revealing Errors — Benjamin Mako Hill blog using computer errors as starting points for understanding how computers control the world around us. (via Dan Meyer)
  3. New Microbe Strain Makes More Electricity, Faster — University of Amherst researchers made current-generating bacteria work harder to live, and in five months had a strain that made an 8x larger current.
  4. Netflix Culture — readable slide deck which talks about the Netflix company culture. It’s hard to read it and not nod in full agreement. (via joshua on Delicious)
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Four short links: 29 July 2009

Four short links: 29 July 2009

  1. Bioweathermap — crowdsourcing the gathering of environmental samples for DNA sequencing to study the changing distribution of microbial life. Another George Church project. (via timoreilly at Twitter)
  2. We Are All African Now — a great article about our genetic history and the computational genomics that makes it possible. (via Tim Bray)
  3. Standing Out In The Crowd — OSCON keynote by Kirrily Robert on women in open source. Excellent.
  4. Energy Harvesting Powers Printed LED — an interesting combination of two emerging technologies. Like an RFID, the circuit has a current induced by the presence of a changing RF field. The EL display and the RFID circuit are printed in organic compounds, whereas the power control is built with traditional circuit fabrication techniques. (via Freaklabs)
Comments: 3
Four short links: 9 July 2009

Four short links: 9 July 2009

  1. Ten Rules That Govern Groups — valuable lessons for all who would create or use social software, each backed up with pointers to the social science study about that lesson. Groups breed competition: While co-operation within group members is generally not so much of a problem, co-operation between groups can be hellish. People may be individually co-operative, but once put in a ‘them-and-us’ situation, rapidly become remarkably adversarial. (via Mind Hacks)
  2. Yahoo! TrafficServer Proposal — Yahoo! want to open source their TrafficServer product, an HTTP/1.1 caching proxy server. Alpha geeks who worked with it are excited at the prospect. It has a plugin architecture that means it can cache NNTP, RTSP, and other non-HTTP protocols.
  3. App Engine ConclusionsI’ve reluctantly concluded that I don’t like it. I want to like it, since it’s a great poster child for Python. And there are some bright spots, like the dirt-simple integration with google accounts. But it’s so very very primitive in so many ways. Not just the missing features, or the “you can use any web framework you like, as long as it’s django” attitude, but primarily a lot of the existing API is just so very primitive.
  4. Microsoft HohmSign up with Hohm and we’ll provide you with a home energy report and energy-saving recommendations tailored to your home. Wesabe for power at the moment, with interesting possibilities ahead should Microsoft partner with smartmetering utility companies the way Google Powermeter does. This is notable because this is a web app launched by Microsoft, with no connection to Windows or other Microsoft properties beyond requiring a “Live ID” to login. For commentary, see Microsoft Hohm Gets Green Light for Launch and PC Mag. (via Freaklabs)
Comment: 1