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September 14, 2009

What if we paved the roads with solar panels?

Solar roadways | Blog | Futurismic
One of those brilliant ideas that I wish I had thought of first: paving roadways with electricity-generating solar cells. Idaho-based startup Solar Roadways have been awarded $100 000 to develop their road-based solar panel technology: The 12- x 12-foot panels, which each cost $6,900, are designed to be embedded into roads. When shined upon, each panel generates an estimated 7.6 kilowatt hours of power each day. If this electricity could be pumped into the grid, the company predicts that a four-lane, one-mile stretch of road with panels could generate enough power for 500 homes. Although it would be expensive, covering the entire US interstate highway system with the panels could theoretically fulfill the country’s total energy needs.

The writing tool of the future: the color-picker pen

TechEBlog -- Color Picker Pen Basically, it's just a portable scanner, stuffed inside a pen-like case, with RGB ink cartridges.

The unspoken truth about managing geeks

This article does an excellent job of explaining the geek. Opinion: The unspoken truth about managing geeks
Few people notice this, but for IT groups respect is the currency of the realm. IT pros do not squander this currency. Those whom they do not believe are worthy of their respect might instead be treated to professional courtesy, a friendly demeanor or the acceptance of authority. Gaining respect is not a matter of being the boss and has nothing to do with being likeable or sociable; whether you talk, eat or smell right; or any measure that isn't directly related to the work. The amount of respect an IT pro pays someone is a measure of how tolerable that person is when it comes to getting things done, including the elegance and practicality of his solutions and suggestions. IT pros always and without fail, quietly self-organize around those who make the work easier, while shunning those who make the work harder, independent of the organizational chart. ... While everyone would like to work for a nice person who is always right, IT pros will prefer a jerk who is always right over a nice person who is always wrong. Wrong creates unnecessary work, impossible situations and major failures. Wrong is evil, and it must be defeated. Capacity for technical reasoning trumps all other professional factors, period.

IEEE Approves 802.11n Wi-Fi Standard After 7 Years

At Last: IEEE Approves 802.11n Wi-Fi Standard After 7 Years - BusinessWeek
People who criticize companies like Microsoft and Apple for pursuing their own de facto standards instead of working through formal standards bodies might consider the long, strange history of Wi-Fi. The IEEE has finally ratified the latest longer range, higher speed version of the wireless standard. The move came seven years after the process began and more than two years after an all-but-final draft was approved and companies started deploying 802.11n gear. In fact, Wi-Fi has succeeded, and has improved steadily, only because hardware and software companies have regularly given up of the pokey IEEE standards-setting process and have forged ahead on their own. There have been occasional issues of incompatibility, but it has been better than the alternative of waiting forever.

Turns out Activision was able to disgrace the memory of Kurt Cobain with Courtney Love's consent and cooperation

Grohl, Novoselic Didn’t Approve Cobain’s “Guitar Hero” Avatar : Rolling Stone : Rock and Roll Daily
Love’s recent “comments” on Twitter seem to negate everything Activision’s Tim Riley told RS when we talked to him about the Cobain avatar on GH5. “Courtney supplied us with photos and videos and knew exactly what she wanted Kurt to look like,” Riley told RS. “She picked the wardrobe and hair style, which turned out to be the ‘Teen Spirit’ look, then we went back and forth over changes — some subtle, some not so subtle… She was actually great to work with. She got back with comments pretty quickly.” So it appears that, regardless of what Love has Twittered in the past 48 hours, she did sign off on the Cobain avatar and either 1) forgot she did, 2) is reacting defensively to the current backlash or 3) as Love insinuates, her ever-growing parade of lawyers and financial wizards signed off without her knowing. Either way, if you have two hours to kill, you might want to read the last two days of Courtney Love’s Twitter for a bewildering, stream-of-conscious look at the Hole singer.
Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl: Blameless and appalled.

September 12, 2009

Time Makes Worm's Meat of Us All

YouTube - Rabbit decomposition (time-lapse video) (FYI, the one below...

Continue reading "Time Makes Worm's Meat of Us All" »

September 11, 2009

German scientists invent steel velcro

grinding.be -- Steel Velcro
. . . steel velcro? Well, that stuff can support up to 35 tons of pressure. Developed by German engineers, this new version of Velcro is dubbed Metaklett, and it can support 35 tons at temperatures up to 1472 degrees. It’s made from “perforated steel strips 0.2 millimetres thick, one kind bristling with springy steel brushes and the other sporting jagged spikes.”