background preloader

Invention and Innovation

Facebook Twitter

Solar FREAKIN' Roadways! Google balloons, “cell towers in the sky,” can serve 4G to a whole state. Google’s plan to deliver Internet service from balloons in the stratosphere has come a long way since being unveiled in June 2013. A single “Project Loon” balloon can now remain in the air for more than six months and provide 4G LTE cellular service to an area the size of Rhode Island, according to Google. Company officials have taken to calling Loon balloons “cell towers in the sky.” While there’s no announced date for a widespread service launch, Google has provided Internet to a school in Brazil and is partnering with cellular operators Vodafone New Zealand, Telstra in Australia, and Telefónica in Latin America. The US probably won’t be the first place Loon powers a commercial service. Google is aiming to get more people in developing countries on the Internet (and that’s good for Google’s business, since a lot of those people will use Google services).

“The main cost gain comes from the fact that you can cover a much bigger region with existing infrastructure,” Google told Ars. Japan space scientists make wireless energy breakthrough. © Provided by AFP Electricity gained from solar panels in space could one day be beamed to earth. Japanese scientists have succeeded in transmitting energy wirelessly, in a key step that could one day make solar power generation in space a possibility, an official said Thursday. Researchers used microwaves to deliver 1.8 kilowatts of power -- enough to run an electric kettle -- through the air with pinpoint accuracy to a receiver 55 metres (170 feet) away.

While the distance was not huge, the technology could pave the way for mankind to eventually tap the vast amount of solar energy available in space and use it here on Earth, a spokesman for The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said. "This was the first time anyone has managed to send a high output of nearly two kilowatts of electric power via microwaves to a small target, using a delicate directivity control device," he said. JAXA has been working on devising Space Solar Power Systems for years, the spokesman said. Britain's first 'poo bus' hits the streets. War of Currents. In the War of Currents era (sometimes, War of the Currents or Battle of Currents) in the late 1880s, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison became adversaries due to Edison's promotion of direct current (DC) for electric power distribution over alternating current (AC). Thomas Edison, American inventor and businessman, known as "The Wizard of Menlo Park", pushed for the development of a DC power network.

George Westinghouse, American entrepreneur and engineer, financially backed the development of a practical AC power network. Edison's direct-current system generated and distributed electric power at the same voltage as used by the customer's lamps and motors. This meant that the current in transmission was relatively large, and so heavy conductors were required and transmission distances were limited, to about a mile (kilometre); otherwise transmission losses would make the system uneconomical.

The "War of Currents" is often personified as Westinghouse vs. DC[edit] AC[edit] In search for renewable energy sources, could trash be king? Now Playing Forget solar: New push for waste as renewable energy source With the massive "People's Climate March" and the meeting of world leaders at the U.N. Climate Summit in New York Tuesday, the debate over renewable resources is heating up. But one potential solution is often left out with the garbage. Steve Russell, vice president of the Plastics Division at the American Chemistry Council, spoke to FoxNews.com about the push to make waste-to-energy technologies go mainstream.

"The processes now exist to turn municipal solid waste, the garbage we take to the curbside every week, and turn that into energy," Russell said. A recent American Chemistry Council study conducted with Columbia University showed that the municipal solid waste landfilled in 2011 could generate enough electricity to power nearly 14 million homes.

"There's plenty of waste that's not being converted into energy right now, so there's tremendous potential," Russell said. With the U.N. Bioprinting. Cadillac to offer nearly autonomous car by 2017. By Paul Eisenstein of The Detroit Bureau Hoping to steal a march on its competition, General Motors CEO Mary Barra has announced plans to produce an all but fully autonomous Cadillac model in 2017, while also introducing new features that will allow Caddy vehicles to "talk" to other cars and to a highway infrastructure system. While Barra did not specifically name which vehicle will get the new Super Cruise system, it is expected to appear in the all-new flagship sedan Cadillac is planning to launch for 2017. It would not only allow a driver to take their foot off the gas — as with the most advanced active cruise control systems now on the road — but also take their hands off the wheel.

And Super Cruise could position GM as one of the leaders in the fast-emerging field of autonomous driving. View Slideshow: Most improved cars of last 10 years GM plans to use Cadillac as its lead in bringing the technology to market. View Slideshow: Top 15 most American cars. Super Human Reality: Lockheed's Bionic Exoskeleton: Video. 7 young technologies changing the world.

Kudos to USARogue, the poster I modified this from: The Federal Reserve: 1) Is A Privately Owned Banking Cartel 2) Is A Perpetual Debt Machine 3) Has Destroyed More Than 96% Of The Value Of The U.S. Dollar 4) Can Bail Out Whoever It Wants To Without Accountability 5) Uses Member Banks To Selectively Lend To Hold Us In Suppression 6) Creates Artificial Economic Bubbles To Compromise Economies 7) Is Dominated By The Big Wall Street Banks and Corrupt Banksters 8) System & Personal Income Tax Both Came To Be In 1913 without our vote. 9) Chairman, Ben Bernanke Has A Nightmarish Track Record Of Incompetence 10) Defies Democracy By Its Very Existence. The War on Terror was fought on the wrong shore. Recall the troops and redeploy them to end the suppression of Americans through Financial Tyranny, control and manipulation. A reminder that if there was no Federal Reserve, yesterday's Dow losses would have paralyzed controllers and manipulators to some extent. Highspeedrail. Peugeot Citroen will market hybrid car that runs on air.

THE END OF SMARTPHONES: Here's A Computer Screen On A Contact Lens. Over in Belgium, scientists have finally taken a crucial step toward building screens into contact lenses. Jelle De Smet and a team of researchers at Ghent University built an LCD screen in a curved contact lens. To do it, they had to come up with new kinds of "conductive polymers" – and mold them into "a very thin, spherically-curved substrate [surface] with active layers. " The Ghent contact lense is a primitive prototype of what's to come. All the Ghent lense does is flash a dollar sign – a joke about what happens to the eyes of cartoon characters when they think of a money-making scheme.

Ghent researchers imagine that in the near future, lenses like they one they've built will be able to change the color of the wearer's eye, work as sunglasses, or serve a medical purpose like protecting a damaged iris from bright light. Farther out in time, De Smet and his team believe the lenses could function as a head-up display, "superimposing an image onto the user’s normal view. " They won't. Nanotechnology Takes Off. What's 100,000 times thinner than a strand of hair? A nanometer. Discover the nanotech boom in Berkeley, where researchers are working to unlock the potential of nanoscience to battle global warming, and disease. Related Explore: kqed, lawrence berkeley lab, nanotechnology, pbs, QUEST, UC Berkeley Category: Chemistry, Physics, Television About the Author (Author Archive) Josh Rosen was the TV Series Producer for QUEST from 2007-2009.

Tesla opens free fast-charge stations plans for electric 'cross-country travel' For prospective electric car owners, Tesla's free fast-charge stations sound too good to be true. And they are -- unless you're a new owner of the company's spiffy Model S sedan. On Friday, Tesla opened six stations in California that claim to recharge a Model S to nearly full in just 30 minutes. "For the average traveler, you're looking at a 30-minute charge," spokeswoman Shanna Hendriks told MSN. "That's enough time to stop, grab a bite to eat, take a quick pee break, walk the dog, and then you're on your way again. " Tesla's six stations, called "Superchargers," accommodate just two to four cars at a time, although the company says that's plenty to support road trips between Los Angeles and San Francisco (a 382-mile drive) or Los Angeles to Las Vegas (265 miles).

Even a separate detour to Lake Tahoe and back is possible, the company says. While everything is completely free, Tesla's stations can't recharge any other electric vehicle. Tesla has always disliked waiting.