Archive for the ‘Life in the Future’ Category

Since it is Earth Day it is a good day to review a new website which helps show how green your neighborhood is (or is not). This new website UrbanEcoMap.com will have the ability to show the carbon levels in a given zip code. Currently the city of San Francisco is the only city supporting this project, but hopefully more cities will follow suit after this project goes live in 29 days.

Read More Here …
Or find out about more IT & Carbon Reduction projects Here …

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Suffering the same fate as many other technology projects during our economic slowdown it appears the CommerceGuard project has had it operations suspended by GE. The CommerceGuard project was responsible for development of the CommerceGuard Container Security Device System (CSD) whose purpose was to track and secure shipment containers. The system was developed to meet the needs set forth by the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) which called for

a sophisticated security system within the electronics industry that can detect unauthorized breaches on all six sides of a standard cargo container or an intrusion through the door while also monitor and relay conditions inside the container such as humidity temperature and oxygen levels.

Put simply.
A more effective and secure way to track and audit who is accessing cargo containers shipped before it hits our shorelines.

Still early February of this year began to signal the beginning of the end for the project when it appeared that GE was not interested in further testing the technology. This was done just prior to a critical round of testing by DHS. Perhaps the reason for the hesitation in further testing was because the solution uses RFID technology. A technology proven long ago to be susceptible to hijacking & hacking attempts. The company sited a variety of reasons from developmental costs, speed of updated data, to maintenance costs.

A bit more on the CSD technology concept.
It uses 2 devices to monitor when ever a cargo container is opened or closed. The internal wall sensor & the door sensor work in unison to monitor and make a note of the date, time, and location of containers as they are accessed. It will also audit the amount of times this information has been queried and by whom. This process is kicked off by the shipper as they seal and virtually “Lock” their container using a hand held mobile device. This information can be referenced by receiving ports and either inspected or cleared based partly on this type of access audit. It can also be exported to various standardized data formats.

EDIT: This post was edited to correct inaccuracies on some of the details provided. Apologies for the Error..

Similar to the functions of the new Kindle device. A new high tech document scanner with OCR functions built in will not only scan documents or books for you but also reads them back to you.

Now if only it could turn its own pages!

Plustek Reader

Strong as Diamond, Flexible as Rubber

Baughman and his colleagues have produced a formulation that’s stronger than steel, as light as air and more flexible than rubber — a truly 21st century muscle. It could be used to make artificial limbs, “smart” skins, shape-changing structures, ultra-strong robots and — in the immediate future — highly-efficient solar cells.

Ok.
So its not really liquid or hot but more of warm cloaking thing..
But it seems a team of scientist believe they have discovered a layer of plasma which is part of the Earth’s magnetosphere. Some of the interesting points are how it is believed to only cover 3/4 of the planet and actually rotates thruout the day to protect various parts of the planet.

Could this be a link in the puzzle of making other planets habitable? Only time can tell..

A team of scientists from the U.S. and China announced last week that, for the first time, they had found a means of selectively and safely erasing memories in mice, using the signaling molecule αCaMKII.

More Info…

This series of images show Phoenix’s telltale instrument waving in the Martian wind. Documenting the telltale’s movement helps mission scientists and engineers determine what the wind is like on Mars.

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First on the market with a mass production electric car Chevy finally unveiled the VOLT.
Here are some of the specs
Model:Chevrolet Volt Concept
Body style / driveline: 4-5-passenger sedan, unitized frame, electric propulsion, front wheel drive
Construction: body-frame-integral structure with composite exterior panels and roof
EPA vehicle class: compact car (four doors with rear liftgate)
6.5 Hour Charge = 40 Miles

“As the battery begins to run down as the car is in use, a small gasoline engine will turn on and generate enough electricity to drive the car about 300 miles”

The Volt should cost less than 2 cents per mile to drive on electricity.
What makes this a true electric car and not a Hybrid is the engine never directly powers the car’s drive train. It is only used to recharge the batteries that power the car’s drive.
Kudo’s to Chevy.. from this old Ford Guy
More Info…