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Technology of the New Era



Tyger

Paranormal Adept
This plane will be able to fly anywhere in the world within 4 hours: The engine will be able to fly in outer space too.
FIONA MACDONALD
13 DEC 2014
LINK: This plane will be able to fly anywhere in the world within 4 hours - ScienceAlert

TEXT: "British aerospace firm Reaction Engines Limited is working on an engine system that will be able to take 300 passengers anywhere in the world in just four hours. Even more impressively, the engine will also be used to fly a plane in outer space, as Business Insider reports.

"The engine system is called SABRE, and it relies on a device called the precooler - technology that cools down the air entering the engineer system by more than 1,000 degrees Celsius in .01 seconds. That corresponds to an unheard-of cooling rate of 400 megawatts, and will allow the plane to “breathe” oxygen. This means that the engine system will be able to run at a much higher power than is currently possible

"According to Reaction Engines, SABRE will be used inside two upcoming plane models - LAPCAT A2, a commercial plane that will be able to transport passengers from Brussels to Sydney in "two to four hours", and also the ambitious SKYLON, an unpiloted and re-usable spaceplane that aims to provide cheaper access to space.

"As chief engineer Alan Bond explains in the video below, the LAPCAT A2 will be able to “pretty easily” fly around the world at an incredible Mach 5 - five times the speed of sound. The precooler system weighs around a tonne, and, as Business Insider explains, is made up of a swirl of thin pipes that are filled with condensed helium. These pipes suck heat from the air, cooling it down to -150 degrees Celsius before it enters the engine.

"The company is already testing the SABRE engine system, and is planning the first test flights for a tantalisingly close 2019. SKYLON, the plane that will take us into outer space, will be 82 metres long and, although it’ll fly like a rocket in the air, it takes off and lands horizontally like a normal plane, which will make it more versatile. The model is estimated to cost around US$1.1 billion each.

"Unfortunately, the plane won’t have any windows to look out of, but if new developments in aviation are anything to go by, that might not be such a bad thing - companies are now putting cameras on the outside of the planes and live streaming a 360 degree view on the inside walls or passengers.

"Imagine being able to see this while flying through outer space.

plane-interior_768.jpg


"In this video from 2012, chief engineer Alan Bond explains more about how the new plane will work.


Alan Bond Interview - (Reaction Engines Ltd)


TEXT: "Published on Jul 12, 2012
[Watch all our Reaction Engines/Skylon videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQqbM... ]
Alan Bond talks about the heat exchanger testing programme, and its impact on future of air and space travel."
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Researchers achieve electrical control of quantum bits, paving the way for quantum computers: For the first time ever, researchers have encoded quantum information using simple electrical pulses.
FIONA MACDONALD
11 APR 2015
LINK: Researchers achieve electrical control of quantum bits, paving the way for quantum computers - ScienceAlert

TEXT: "Researchers from UNSW in Australia are a big step closer to creating affordable, large quantum computers, after gaining electrical control of quantum bits, or qubits, for the first time.

"The team was able to store quantum information in silicon using only simple electrical pulses, instead of pulses of oscillating magnetic fields. This is the same way that the computers we use today encode data, and it means that we now have the ability to cheaply and easily control the quantum computers of the future. "We demonstrated that a highly coherent qubit, like the spin of a single phosphorus atom in isotopically enriched silicon, can be controlled using electric fields, instead of using pulses of oscillating magnetic fields," said lead author of the study, Arne Laucht from UNSW Engineering, in a press release.

"This is something that researchers have been attempting since 1998, and the results have now been published in the open-access journal Science Advances. The method works by distorting the shape of the electron cloud attached to the phosphorous atom, quantum engineer Andrea Morello, who also worked on the research, explained in the release. "This distortion at the atomic level has the effect of modifying the frequency at which the electron responds," he said. "Therefore, we can selectively choose which qubit to operate. It's a bit like selecting which radio station we tune to, by turning a simple knob. Here, the 'knob' is the voltage applied to a small electrode placed above the atom."

"The research suggests that it will be possible to locally control data in a large-scale quantum computers using only inexpensive voltage generators, as opposed to the pricey high-frequency microwave sources that quantum researchers have used to encode information in the past. It also means that these types of qubits can be manufactured using technology similar to the kind we currently use, which will greatly cut the cost of quantum computers.

"The key to the team's success was embedding the phosphorous atom in a thin layer of purified silicon that contains only the silicon-28 isotope, which is non-magnetic and doesn't disturb the qubit.

"The UNSW Engineering quantum group was the first in the world to demonstrate single-atom spin qubits in silicon back in 2012, and they also last year showed that they could control these qubits with 99 percent accuracy. Their overall goal is to build the world's first affordable, large-scale quantum computer, and we honestly can't wait."
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Super-efficient graphene lightbulbs will hit markets this year: Get ready for graphene to revolutionise lighting.
FIONA MACDONALD
31 MAR 2015
LINK: Super-efficient graphene lightbulbs will hit markets this year - ScienceAlert

TEXT: "A lightbulb made from wonder-material graphene will reportedly go on sale later this year, and it's promising to be brighter, cheaper, longer-lasting and use 10 percent less energy than even the best LEDs.

"The dimmable lightbulb contains a filament-shaped LED that's coated in graphene, a one-atom-thick material that's 200 times stronger than steel, super flexible and also extremely conductive. If all goes to plan, this will be the first commercial graphene product to hit the market.

"It's the conductive ability of graphene that makes the light bulbs so efficient, according to the developers at the University of Manchester in the UK, where the material was first discovered in 2004. The bulb is now being produced by Graphene Lighting, a spin-off company, and will be sold for less than US$20, The Financial Times report [paywall]. "This lightbulb shows that graphene products are becoming a reality, just a little more than a decade after it was first isolated - a very short time in scientific terms," said Colin Bailey, deputy president of the University of Manchester, in a press release. "This is just the start. Our partners are looking at a range of exciting applications, all of which started right here in Manchester."

"It's safe to say that Bailey is right. Cutting the energy we need to light our homes and businesses by 10 percent is an ambitious start, but there's plenty of potential commercial applications in the pipeline, ranging from doubling the efficiency of solar cells to making smaller transistors. Other applications won't be as quick to hit the market, but we're pretty excited about them nonetheless, like graphene's potential to create technology that can filter hydrogen fuel right out of thin air or produce a 'million-fold' increase in our hard drive storage. As scientists find ways to produce graphene in bulk, we're going to see the material revolutionizing even more industries."
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Graphene -
  • Graphene is a form of carbon that exists as a sheet, one atom thick
  • Atoms are arranged into a two-dimensional honeycomb structure
  • Discovery of graphene announced in 2004 by the journal Science
  • About 100 times stronger than steel; conducts electricity better than copper
  • Touted as possible replacement for silicon in electronics
  • About 1% of graphene mixed into plastics could make them conductive


Magnetised graphene could see a "million-fold" increase in hard drive storage: Think of all that beautiful data.

BEC CREW
17 MAR 2015
LINK: Magnetised graphene could see a "million-fold" increase in hard drive storage - ScienceAlert

TEXT: "Scientists in the US have figured out how to magnetise large areas of graphene, which they say could revolutionise our current technique for storing data.

"Graphene the wonder-material has got some pretty strange properties, but one of the most unexpected is magnetism. Over the past 10 years, researchers have been intensely investigating the various characteristics of this multi-purpose material - made from multiple stacks of 1-atom-thick carbon layers - and have only been able to explain its occasional magnetism though manufacturing defects or through the binding of certain chemical groups that give it this property.

"But making graphene reliably electromagnetic - and therefore usefully electromagnetic - has proven difficult. Until now, because a team from the US Naval Research Laboratory have just figured out how to achieve what they’re calling "a simple and robust means to magnetise graphene", over a large array of the material, and they do it using plain old hydrogen.

"The technique, which they’ve outlined in the journal Advanced Materials, involves sitting some graphene on a silicon wafer, which they will submerge in a pool of cryogenic ammonia and lithium for about a minute. They then add hydrogen atoms to the mix, which renders the graphene electromagnetic. "This method of hydrogenation gives us access to a much wider range of hydrogen coverage than previous methods allowed," one of the team, chemist Keith Whitener, said in a press release. "I was surprised that the partially hydrogenated graphene prepared by our method was so uniform in its magnetism and apparently didn't have any magnetic grain boundaries," his colleague, Paul Sheehan, added.

"The technique is also adjustable - you can turn the magnetic strength up and down using an electron beam that can shave off hydrogen atoms when there are too many in the mix. It does this by breaking the chemical bond between the graphene and the hydrogen, which renders the graphene no longer magnetic. What this also allows is for "magnetic patterns" - which means data - to be written into the graphene structure. "Since massive patterning with commercial electron beam lithography system is possible, we believe that our technique can be readily applicable for current microelectronics fabrication," lead researcher and materials research scientist Woo-Kyung Lee, said in the press release.

"The team says that if you integrate their magnetised graphene into a new type of storage medium, it will result in "a roughly greater than million-fold improvement over current hard drives". Can we come up with enough data to fill that kind of capacity? Challenge accepted!"
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Hemp fibres 'better than graphene'
By James MorganScience reporter, BBC News, San Francisco - 13 August 2014
LINK: Hemp fibres 'better than graphene' - BBC News

TEXT: "The waste fibres from hemp crops can be transformed into high-performance energy storage devices, scientists say. They "cooked" cannabis bark into carbon nanosheets and built supercapacitors "on a par with or better than graphene" - the industry gold standard. Electric cars and power tools could harness this hemp technology, the US researchers say.

"They presented their work at the American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco. "People ask me: why hemp? I say, why not?" said Dr David Mitlin of Clarkson University, New York, who describes his device in the journal ACS Nano. "We're making graphene-like materials for a thousandth of the price - and we're doing it with waste. "The hemp we use is perfectly legal to grow. It has no THC in it at all - so there's no overlap with any recreational activities."

"Secret sauce
"In countries including China, Canada and the UK, hemp can be grown industrially for clothing and building materials. But the leftover bast fibre - the inner bark - typically ends up as landfill. Dr Mitlin's team took these fibres and recycled them into supercapacitors - energy storage devices which are transforming the way electronics are powered.

"Conventional batteries store large reservoirs of energy and drip-feed it slowly, whereas supercapacitors can rapidly discharge their entire load. They are ideal in machines that rely on sharp bursts of power. In electric cars, for example, supercapacitors are used for regenerative braking. Releasing this torrent requires electrodes with high surface area - one of graphene's many phenomenal properties.

"Stronger than diamond, more conductive than copper and more flexible than rubber, the "miracle material" was the target of a £50m investment by UK Chancellor George Osborne. But while this carbon monolayer is the state-of-the-art material for commercial supercapacitors, it is prohibitively expensive to produce. Finding cheap, sustainable alternatives is the speciality of Dr Mitlin's former research group at the University of Alberta. They have experimented with all flavours of biowaste - from peat moss to eggs. Most recently, they turned banana peel into batteries.

"They have experimented with all flavours of biowaste - from peat moss to eggs. Most recently, they turned banana peel into batteries."You can do really interesting things with bio-waste. We've pretty much figured out the secret sauce of it," said Dr Mitlin. The trick is to tailor the right plant fibre to the right electrical device - according to their organic structure. "With banana peels, you can turn them into a dense block of carbon - we call it pseudo-graphite - and that's great for sodium ion batteries," he explained. "But if you look at hemp fibre its structure is the opposite - it makes sheets with high surface area - and that's very conducive to super capacitors." The first step, he explained, "is to cook it - almost like a pressure cooker. It's called hydrothermal synthesis. "Once you dissolve the lignin and the semicellulose, it leaves these carbon nanosheets - a pseudo-graphene structure."

"By fabricating these sheets into electrodes and adding an ionic liquid as the electrolyte, his team made supercapacitors which operate at a broad range of temperatures and a high energy density. Direct comparisons with rival devices are complicated by the variety of measures for performance. But Mitlin's peer-reviewed journal paper ranks the device "on par with or better than commercial graphene-based devices". "They work down to 0C and display some of the best power-energy combinations reported in the literature for any carbon. "For example, at a very high power density of 20 kW/kg (kilowatt per kilo) and temperatures of 20, 60, and 100C, the energy densities are 19, 34, and 40 Wh/kg (watt-hours per kilo) respectively." Fully assembled, their energy density is 12 Wh/kg, which can be achieved at a charge time less than six seconds.

Growth industry
"Obviously hemp can't do all the things graphene can," Dr Mitlin concedes. "But for energy storage, it works just as well. And it costs a fraction of the price -$500-1,000 a tonne." Having established a proof of principle, his start-up company Alta Supercaps is hoping to begin small-scale manufacturing. It plans to market devices to the oil and gas industries - where high-temperature operation is a valuable asset.

"His move to the US coincides with a change in regulatory attitudes - with signs that hemp could be making a comeback. In China the crop is widely cultivated, and in Canada, the industry for textiles is growing. "Fifty miles down the road from my house in Alberta there was an agricultural hemp processing facility. And all that bast fibre - it just sits in a high bay, and they don't know what to do with it," Dr Mitlin told BBC News. "It's a waste product looking for a value-added application. People are almost paying you to take it away." And if the technology really takes off - it could help economies, he argues. "It's a robust plant - you can even grow it in Alberta, Manitoba. "A lot of farmers would be thrilled to grow hemp."
 

Wade

FeralNormal master
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Kitchen gadgets of the future. ;) It's at times like these that I wish we had one of those old World's Fairs where all the visioning for the future gets put on stage. Those Fairs were fun - they were just happening too often. They probably should be held once every 25 years. That would do it.

Electrolux Design Lab 2010 on Financial Times 'How to Spend It' (Technopolis TV)
Electrolux Design Lab 2010 on Financial Times 'How to Spend It' (Technopolis TV). - YouTube

Electrolux Design Lab 2010 on Financial Times 'How to Spend It' (Technopolis TV). - YouTube
TEXT: "Uploaded on Nov 11, 2010: The 2010 Electrolux Design Lab concepts are reviewed by the Financial Times 'How to Spend It'. Lars Erikson, Design Director at Electrolux, guides Jonathan Margolis around a few of the finalist concepts in a feature that looks specifically at items we could see in the kitchen of the future."
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
New ‘Crowd-Control’ Drones Will Shoot Protesters With Pepper Spray - APRIL 11, 2015
LINK: New 'Crowd-Control' Drones Will Shoot Protesters With Pepper Spray |

TEXT: "Drones are beginning to take over. They have developed a drone to shoot protesters with pepper spray to keep the police force from having to do it. The first place to use these types of drones is India. If they are effective they will hit America soon enough. Governments are going to make sure people can’t protest and speak out against them. “We have purchased five drone cameras with capacity of lifting two kilogram weight. They can be used to shower pepper powder on an unruly mob in case of any trouble,” Yashasvi Yadav, of the Lucknow Police said.

The drones will cost roughly $1,000 per unit and will be ready for action sometime this month. A prototype of these drones were used by the Indian government earlier in the year, for Muharram and Republic day, and the government was so pleased with the technology that they decided to develop a full-time arsenal of these drones. “We had used drone cameras and they were so effective that we have decided to purchase them instead of hiring them,” Yadav said.

"Technology like this means only one thing, control of the citizens. When these hit America our free speech is going to be countered with these drones. This is the perfect tool for tyrants like Obama. He’s trying to make this country into a dictatorship, with the mandatory sign up on Obamacare and forcing the illegals on us. Well I could name numerous other things, but that would take all day. You better believe in his last year as our President he will make our lives miserable, more so than now."
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
I post this here because this as well is the future - the nature of the coming/happening war: aimless, without focus or purpose, random, war for the sake of war (a bit like internet trolling, in fact). As one poster states: "Henry Kissinger - 'Military men are nothing more than dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy' - that's what the government think of military personnel." War as a video game - without personal risk or involvement. War as an economic imperative to keep the wealth flowing - at any human cost (does not matter), even the loss of one's humanity.

U.S. Soldier Uses Heart Breaking Wikileaks Video To Make His Point
LINK: U.S. Soldier Uses Heart Breaking Wikileaks Video To Make His Point | Collective-Evolution


WikiLeaks' 'Collateral Murder': US Soldier Ethan McCord
TEXT: "Published on Jul 15, 2013: READ DESCRIPTION==== WIKILEAKS VIDEO
wwwcollateralmurdercom (dont forget the "DOTS")

"The military did not reveal how the Reuters staff were killed, and stated that they did not know how the children were injured. After demands by Reuters, the incident was investigated and the U.S. military concluded that the actions of the soldiers were in accordance with the law of armed conflict and its own "Rules of Engagement". Consequently, WikiLeaks has released the classified Rules of Engagement for 2006, 2007 and 2008, revealing these rules before, during, and after the killings.

"WikiLeaks has released both the original 38 minutes video and a shorter version with an initial analysis. Subtitles have been added to both versions from the radio transmissions.

"WikiLeaks obtained this video as well as supporting documents from a number of military whistleblowers. WikiLeaks goes to great lengths to verify the authenticity of the information it receives. We have analyzed the information about this incident from a variety of source material. We have spoken to witnesses and journalists directly involved in the incident.

"WikiLeaks wants to ensure that all the leaked information it receives gets the attention it deserves. In this particular case, some of the people killed were journalists that were simply doing their jobs: putting their lives at risk in order to report on war. Iraq is a very dangerous place for journalists: from 2003- 2009, 139 journalists were killed while doing their work."
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
There has to be a downside to this - insects turning into fungi? Could this spread to humans? :confused: Worst science fiction/horror scenario I can think of. :D

He Holds the Patent that Could Destroy Monsanto and Change the World

Posted on April 15, 2015 by Jason
LINK: He Holds the Patent that Could Destroy Monsanto and Change the World - Progressive Radio Network

TEXT: "[...] In 2006, a patent was granted to a man named Paul Stamets.[...] The mycologist has figured out how to use mother nature’s own creations to keep insects from destroying crops. It’s what is being called SMART pesticides. These pesticides provide safe & nearly permanent solution for controlling over 200,000 species of insects – and all thanks to the ‘magic’ of mushrooms. Paul does this by taking entomopathogenic Fungi (fungi that destroys insects) and morphs it so it does not produce spores. In turn, this actually attracts the insects who then eat and turn into fungi from the inside out! This patent has potential to revolutionize the way humans grow crops – if it can be allowed to reach mass exposure."
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Cityscape for testing driverless vehicles rises at U-M
TEXT: "Published on Jan 13, 2015: A 32-acre "mini-city" designed expressly for testing connected and automated vehicle systems, and other emerging 21st-century smart city technologies, is taking shape on the University of Michigan's North Campus."

CITYSCAPE FOR TESTING DRIVERLESS VEHICLES RISES AT U-M

LINK: Cityscape For Testing Driverless Vehicles Rises at U-M | DesignDaily

TEXT: "A 32-acre “mini-city” designed expressly for testing connected and automated vehicle systems, and other emerging 21st-century smart city technologies, is taking shape on the University of Michigan’s North Campus. Called M City, the one-of-a-kind facility will include a network of roads with up to five lanes, intersections, roundabouts, roadway markings, traffic signs and signals, sidewalks, bus facilities, benches, simulated buildings, streetlights, parked cars, pedestrians and obstacles like construction barriers.

“Connected and automated vehicle technology will usher in a revolution in the mobility of people and goods comparable to that sparked by the introduction of the automobile a century ago,” said Peter Sweatman, director of U-M’s Mobility Transformation Center. “M City will allow us to rigorously test new approaches in a safe, controlled and realistic environment before we implement them on actual streets.”

M City is being built under the auspices of the Mobility Transformation Center, a partnership with industry and government to lay the foundations for a commercially viable ecosystem of connected and automated mobility. A key goal of the U-M initiative, which involves researchers from a wide range of disciplines across campus, is to implement a connected and automated mobility system on the streets of southeastern Michigan by 2021.

The MTC is also developing on-roadway deployments of more than 20,000 cars, trucks and buses across southeastern Michigan to serve as testbeds for evaluating consumer behavior and exploring market opportunities. “Connected” means that vehicles talk to each other and to elements of the infrastructure, according to a nationally defined standard of quality and reliability.

Connected vehicles anonymously and securely exchange data—including location, speed and direction—with other vehicles and the surrounding infrastructure via wireless communication devices. This data can warn individual drivers of traffic tie-ups or emerging dangerous situations, such as a car slipping on ice around an upcoming curve, or a car that may be likely to run a red light ahead.

“Automated” vehicles are equipped with new systems of situation awareness and control that increasingly replace elements of human response and behavior. Such vehicles respond automatically to traffic situations by activating certain driving functions, such as acceleration, braking or steering. The highest level of automation allows for cars to be driverless.

The convergence of connected and automated technologies accelerates the transformational power, reliability and deployment of a new system of mobility services for people and freight. When implemented on a large scale, systems of connected and automated vehicles can dramatically improve safety, relieve traffic congestion, cut back on emissions, conserve energy and maximize transportation accessibility.

Designed and built in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation, M City’s roadway construction was completed in December. The facility will be operational in the spring and a formal opening is planned for July."
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Tremendous announcement - and Tesla will continue to open-source it's patents, available to all, to create the industry and competition.

Elon Musk Debuts the Tesla Powerwall

TEXT: "Published on May 1, 2015: Tesla Powerwall Keynote by Elon Musk "The Missing Piece" "
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
This is a game-changer. This is huge.

Why Tesla’s announcement is such a big deal: The coming revolution in energy storage
LINK: Why Tesla’s announcement is such a big deal: The coming revolution in energy storage - The Washington Post

TEXT: "Late Thursday, the glitzy electric car company Tesla Motors, run by billionaire Elon Musk, ceased to be just a car company. As was widely expected, Tesla announced that it is offering a home battery product, which people can use to store energy from their solar panels or to backstop their homes against blackouts, and also larger scale versions that could perform similar roles for companies or even parts of the grid.

"For homeowners, the Tesla Powerwall will have a power capacity of either 10 kilowatt hours or 7 kilowatt hours, at a cost of either $ 3,500 or $ 3,000. The company says these are the costs for suppliers and don’t include the cost of installation and a power inverter, so customers could pay considerably more than that.

"The battery, says Tesla, “increases the capacity for a household’s solar consumption, while also offering backup functionality during grid outages.” At the same time, the company said it will producing larger batteries for businesses and utility companies — listing projects with Texas-based Oncor and Southern California Edison.

[Powering your home with batteries is going to get cheaper and cheaper]

"The anticipation leading up to this announcement has been intense — words like “zeitgeist” are being used — which itself is one reason why the moment for “energy storage,” as energy wonks put it to describe batteries and other technologies that save energy for later use, may finally be arriving. Prices for batteries have already been dropping, but if Tesla adds a “coolness factor” to the equation, people might even be willing to stretch their finances to buy one.

"The truth, though, is Tesla isn’t the only company in the battery game, and whatever happens with Tesla, this market is expected to grow. A study by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association earlier this year found that while storage remains relatively niche — the market was sized at just $128 million in 2014 — it also grew 40 percent last year, and three times as many installations are expected this year.

" “The trend is more and more players being interested in the storage market,” says GTM Research’s Ravi Manghani. Tesla, he says, has two unique advantages — it is building a massive battery-making “gigafactory” which should drive down prices, and it is partnered with solar installer Solar City (Musk is Solar City’s chairman), which “gives Tesla access to a bigger pool of customers, both residential and commercial, who are looking to deploy storage with or without solar.”

" "The major upshot of more and cheaper batteries and much more widespread energy storage could, in the long term, be a true energy revolution — as well as a much greener planet. Here are just a few ways that storage can dramatically change — and green — the way we get power:

1. Helping to integrate more renewables onto the grid.

"Almost everybody focusing the Tesla story has homed in on home batteries – but in truth, the biggest impact of storage could occur at the level of the electricity grid as a whole. Indeed, GTM Research’s survey of the storage market found that 90 percent of deployments are currently at the utility scale, rather than in homes and businesses.

"That’s probably just the beginning: A late 2014 study by the Brattle Group, prepared for mega-Texas utility Oncor, found that energy storage “appears to be on the verge of becoming quite economically attractive” and that the benefits of deploying storage across Texas would “significantly exceed costs” thanks to improved energy grid reliability. Oncor has proposed spending as much as $ 5.2 billion on storage investments in the state. California, too, has directed state utilities to start developing storage capacity – for specifically environmental reasons.

"For more power storage doesn’t just hold out the promise of a more reliable grid — it means one that can rely less on fossil fuels and more on renewable energy sources like wind and, especially, solar, which vary based on the time of day or the weather. Or as a 2013 Department of Energy report put it, “storage can ‘smooth’ the delivery of power generated from wind and solar technologies, in effect, increasing the value of renewable power.”

" “Storage is a game changer,” said Tom Kimbis, vice president of executive affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association, in a statement. That’s for many reasons, according to Kimbis, but one of them is that “grid-tied storage helps system operators manage shifting peak loads, renewable integration, and grid operations.” (In fairness, the wind industry questions how much storage will be needed to add more wind onto the grid.)

"Consider how this might work using the example of California, a state that currently ramps up natural gas plants when power demand increases at peak times, explains Gavin Purchas, head of the Environmental Defense Fund’s California clean energy program.

"In California, “renewable energy creates a load of energy in the day, then it drops off in the evening, and that leaves you with a big gap that you need to fill,” says Purchas. “If you had a plenitude of storage devices, way down the road, then you essentially would be able to charge up those storage devices during the day, and then dispatch them during the night, when the sun goes down. Essentially it allows you to defer when the solar power is used.”

"This will be appealing to power companies, notes Purchas, because “gas is very quick to respond, but it’s not anywhere near as quick as battery, which can be done in seconds, as opposed to minutes with gas.” The consequences of adding large amounts of storage to the grid, then, could be not only a lot fewer greenhouse gas emissions, but also better performance.

2. Greening suburban homes and, maybe, their electric cars, too.

"Shifting away from the grid to the home, batteries or other forms of storage have an equally profound potential, especially when paired with rooftop solar panels. Currently, rooftop solar users are able to draw power during the day and, under net metering arrangements, return some of it to the grid and thus lower their bills. This has led to a great boom in individual solar installations, but there’s the same problem here as there is with the grid as a whole: Solar tapers off with the sun, but you still need a lot of power throughout the evening and overnight.

"But storing excess solar power with batteries, and then switching them on once the solar panels stop drawing from the sun, makes a dramatic difference. Homes could shift even further away from reliance on the grid, while also using much more green power.

"Moreover, they’d also be using it at a time of day when its environmental impact is greater. “If you think about solar, when it’s producing in the middle of the day, the environmental footprint is relatively modest,” explains Dartmouth College business professor Erin Mansur. That’s because at this time of day, Mansur explains, solar is more likely to be displacing electricity generated from less carbon intensive natural gas. “But if you can shift some of that to the evening … if you can save some to the middle of the night, it’s more likely to be displacing coal,” says Mansur.

"Some day, perhaps, some of the sun-sourced and power could even be widely used to recharge electric vehicles like Teslas — which would solve another problem. According to a much discussed 2012 paper by Mansur and two colleagues, electric vehicles can have a surprisingly high energy footprint despite their lack of tailpipe emissions because they are often charged over night, a time when the power provided to the grid (said to be “on the margin”) often comes from coal. But if electric vehicles could be charged overnight using stored power from the sun, that problem also goes away.

"All of which contributes to a larger vision outlined recently by a team of researchers at the University of California at Los Angeles’s Institute of the Environment and Sustainability in which suburban homeowners, who can install rooftop solar combined with batteries and drive electric vehicles, start to dramatically reduce their carbon footprints — which have long tended to be bigger in suburbia, due in part to the need for long commutes — and also their home energy bills.

"Granted, it’s still a vision right now, rather than a reality for the overwhelming number of suburbanites — but energy storage is a key part of that vision.

3. Helping adjust to smart energy pricing

There’s another factor to add into the equation, which shows how energy storage could further help homeowners save money. For a long time, economists have said that we need “smart” or “dynamic” electricity pricing — that people should be charged more for power at times of high energy demand, such as in the afternoon and early evening, when the actual electricity itself costs more on wholesale markets. This would lead to lower prices overall, but higher prices during peak periods. And slowly, such smart pricing schemes are being introduced to the grid (largely on a voluntary basis).

"But if you combine “smart” pricing with solar and energy storage, then homeowners have another potential benefit, explains Ravi Manghani of GTM Research. They could store excess power from their solar panels during the day, and then actually use it in the evening when prices for electricity go up — and avoid the higher cost. “There’s an economic case to store the excess solar generation and use it during evening hours,” explains Manghani by email. (For more explanation, see here.)

"Notably, if there are future reductions in how much money solar panel owners can make selling excess power back to the grid — and that’s one thing the current pushback against net metering wants to achieve — then energy storage comes in and gives panel owners a new way for using that power. “Storage increases the options,” explains Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association. “It’s an enabling technology for solar. It allows customers to meet more scenarios economically.”

"So in sum — cheaper, more easily available energy storage helps at the scale of the power grid, and also at the level of our homes, to further advantage cleaner, renewable energy. So if the economics of storage are finally starting to line up — and its business side to ramp up — that can only be good news for the planet."
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
This one is chilling - not decades, only years away......means war can be fought without human soldiers. :mad: What then becomes the check on war-mongering?

Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking Among Hundreds to Urge Ban on Military Robots
LINK: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/28/t...0150728&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=54852892&_r=0
TEXT: "July 27, 2015 - Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking, along with hundreds of artificial intelligence researchers and experts, are calling for a worldwide ban on so-called autonomous weapons, warning that they could set off a revolution in weaponry comparable to gunpowder and nuclear arms.

"In a letter unveiled as researchers gathered at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence in Buenos Aires on Monday, the signatories argued that the deployment of robots capable of killing while untethered to human operators is “feasible within years, not decades.” If development is not cut off, it is only a matter of time before the weapons end up in the hands of terrorists and warlords, they said.

"Unlike drones, which require a person to remotely pilot the craft and make targeting decisions, the autonomous weapons would search for and engage targets on their own. Unlike nuclear weapons, they could be made with raw materials that all significant military powers could afford and obtain, making them easier to mass-produce, the authors argued.

"The weapons could reduce military casualties by keeping human soldiers off battlefields, but they could also lower the threshold for going to battle, the letter said. “If any major military power pushes ahead with A.I. weapon development, a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow,” it said.

"Mr. Musk, the head of SpaceX, has raised warnings about artificial intelligence before, calling it probably humanity’s “biggest existential threat.” Mr. Hawking, the physicist, has written that while development of artificial intelligence could be the biggest event in human history, “Unfortunately, it might also be the last.”

"The letter said artificial intelligence “has great potential to benefit humanity in many ways.” Proponents have predicted applications in fighting disease, mitigating poverty and carrying out rescues. An association with weaponry, though, could set off a backlash that curtails its advancement, the authors said.

"Other notable signatories to the letter included Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple; Noam Chomsky, the linguist and political philosopher; and Demis Hassabis, the chief executive of the artificial intelligence company Google DeepMind."
 

Randall

J. Randall Murphy
If you're interested in immunotherapy cancer treatments there are a few videos here to check out. Most are already in the Science Minute Thread, but one is a Globe and Mail:

- A Science Minute | Page 2 | The Paracast Community Forums
- A Science Minute | Page 4 | The Paracast Community Forums
- A Science Minute | Page 4 | The Paracast Community Forums
- A Science Minute | Page 4 | The Paracast Community Forums
- A Science Minute | Page 4 | The Paracast Community Forums
- Video Library Player - Web/Mobile - IMA3


IMO Immunotherapy/Gene Therapy is the future of cancer treatment, if not a cure, and it can also be applied to other diseases as well. There are also some places already doing some fairly advanced immunotherapy, especially in Japan where they have been doing it for years. My exploration of the topic indicates that North America has been left out of the loop, favoring drugs and radiation because they are patentable and more lucrative.

One cannot patent a patients T-Cells because they're a natural part of everyone's body, so there hasn't been a monetary motivation to develop the treatment. But more recently patents have been filed for the equipment used to provide the treatments, and this is opening up doors in North America. Treatments abroad are in the $30,000 per treatment range. IMO it's not unlike the movie Elysium. If you've got the money you can get the cure.
 
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Tyger

Paranormal Adept
Revolutionary tidal fence is set to trap the sea’s power ~ UK-designed turbines aim to harness tidal energy to produce cheaper electricity − without endangering marine life - August 7, 2015
LINK: Revolutionary tidal fence is set to trap the sea’s power
TEXT: "A British company has announced plans for an array of unique marine turbines that can operate in shallower and slower-moving water than current designs. Kepler Energy, whose technology is being developed by Oxford University’s department of engineering science, says the turbines will in time produce electricity more cheaply than off-shore wind farms. It hopes to install its new design in what is called a tidal energy fence, one kilometre long, in the Bristol Channel − an estuary dividing South Wales from the west of England − at a cost of £143m.

"The fence is a string of linked turbines, each of which will start generating electricity as it is completed, until the whole array is producing power. The fence’s total output is 30 megawatts (MW), and 1MW can supply around 1,000 homes in the UK. Peter Dixon, Kepler’s chairman, told Reuters news agency: “If we can build up to, say, 10km worth, which is a very extended fence, you’re looking at power outputs of five or six hundred megawatts. And just to visualise that, it’s like one small nuclear reactor’s worth of electricity being generated from the tides in the Bristol Channel.”

[...article continues]
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
New Energy Technology is going to alter the future, what it looks like and how we live it.

Power Surge, Climate Change. | Full Documentary HD

TEXT: "Published on Apr 2, 2015: Can emerging technology defeat global warming? The United States has invested tens of billions of dollars in clean energy projects as our leaders try to save our crumbling economy and our poisoned planet in one bold, green stroke. Are we finally on the brink of a green-energy "power surge," or is it all a case of too little, too late?

"From solar panel factories in China to a carbon capture-and-storage facility in the Sahara desert to massive wind and solar installations in the United States, NOVA travels the globe to reveal the surprising technologies that just might turn back the clock on climate change. NOVA will focus on the latest and greatest innovations, including everything from artificial trees to green reboots of familiar technologies like coal and nuclear energy. Can our technology, which helped create this problem, now solve it?"
 

Tyger

Paranormal Adept
These Technologies Will Shift the Global Balance of Power in the Next 20 Years ~ Vivek Wadhwa 10/6/15
These Technologies Will Shift the Global Balance of Power in the Next 20 Years - Singularity HUB
TEXT: "Governments, businesses, and economists have all been caught off guard by the geopolitical shifts that happened with the crash of oil prices and the slowdown of China’s economy. Most believe that the price of oil will recover and that China will continue its rise. They are mistaken. Instead of worrying about the rise of China, we need to fear its fall; and while oil prices may oscillate over the next four or five years, the fossil-fuel industry is headed the way of the dinosaur. The global balance of power will shift as a result.

"LED light bulbs, improved heating and cooling systems, and software systems in automobiles have gradually been increasing fuel efficiency over the past decades. But the big shock to the energy industry came with fracking, a new set of techniques and technologies for extracting more hydrocarbons from the ground. Though there are concerns about environmental damage, these increased the outputs of oil and gas, caused the usurpation of old-line coal-fired power plants, and dramatically reduced America’s dependence on foreign oil.

"The next shock will come from clean energy. Solar and wind are now advancing on exponential curves. Every two years, for example, solar installation rates are doubling, and photovoltaic-module costs are falling by about 20 percent. Even without the subsidies that governments are phasing out, present costs of solar installations will, by 2022, halve, reducing returns on investments in homes, nationwide, to less than four years. By 2030, solar power will be able to provide 100 percent of today’s energy needs; by 2035, it will seem almost free — just as cell-phone calls are today.

"This seems hard to believe, given that solar production provides less than one percent of the Earth’s energy needs today. But this is how exponential technologies advance. They double in performance every year or two and their prices fall. Given that California already generates more than 5 percent of its electricity from utility-scale solar, it is not hard to fathom what the impact of another few doublings would be: the imminent extinction of the fossil-fuel industry. Exponential technologies are deceptive because they move very slowly at first, but one percent becomes two percent, which becomes four, eight, and sixteen; you get the idea. As futurist Ray Kurzweil says, when an exponential technology is at one percent, you are halfway to 100 percent, and that is where solar and wind energies are now.

"Anyone tracking the exponential growth of fracking and the gradual advances that were being made in conservation and fuel efficiency should have been able to predict, years ago, that by 2015, the price of oil would drop dramatically. It wasn’t surprising that relatively small changes in supply and demand caused massive disruptions to global oil prices; that is how markets work. They cause commodities futures and stock prices to fall dramatically when slowdowns occur. This is what is happening to China’s markets also. The growth of China’s largest industry, manufacturing, has stalled, causing ripple effects throughout China’s economy.

"For decades, manufacturing was flooding into China from the U.S. and Europe and fueling its growth. And then a combination of rising labor and shipping costs and automation began to change the economics of China manufacturing. Now, robots are about to tip the balance further.

"Foxconn had announced in August 2011 that it would replace one million workers with robots. Thisdidn’t occur, because the robots then couldn’t work alongside human workers to do sophisticated circuit board assembly. But a newer generation of robots such as ABB’s Yumi and Rethink Robotics’ Sawyer can do that. They are dextrous enough to thread a needle and cost as much as a car does.

"China is aware of the advances in robotics and plans to take the lead in replacing humans with robots. Guangdong province is constructing the world’s first “zero-labor factor,” with 1,000 robots which do the jobs of 2,000 humans. It sees this as a solution to increasing labor costs.

"The problem for China is that its robots are no more productive than their counterparts in the West are. They all work 24×7 without complaining or joining labor unions. They cost the same and consume the same amount of energy. Given the long shipping times and high transportation costs it no longer makes sense to send raw materials across the oceans to China to have them assembled into finished goods and shipped to the West. Manufacturing can once again become a local industry.

"It will take many years for Western companies to learn the intricacies of robotic manufacturing, build automated factories, train workers, and deal with the logistical challenges of supply chains being in China. But these are surmountable problems. What is now a trickle of manufacturing returning to the West will, within five to seven years, become a flood.

"After this, another technology revolution will begin: digital manufacturing.

"In conventional manufacturing, parts are produced by humans using power-driven machine tools, such as saws, lathes, milling machines, and drill presses, to physically remove material to obtain the shape desired. In digital manufacturing, parts are produced by melting successive layers of materials based on 3D models — adding materials rather than subtracting them. The “3D printers” that produce these use powered metal, droplets of plastic, and other materials — much like the toner cartridges that go into laser printers. 3D printers can already create physical mechanical devices, medical implants, jewelry, and even clothing. But these are slow, messy, and cumbersome — much like the first generations of inkjet printers were. This will change.

"In the early 2020s we will have elegant low-priced printers for our homes that can print toys and household goods. Businesses will use 3D printers to do small-scale production of previously labor-intensive crafts and goods. Late in the next decade, we will be 3D-printing buildings and electronics. These will eventually be as fast as today’s laser printers are. And don’t be surprised if by 2030, the industrial robots go on strike, waving placards saying “stop the 3D printers: they are taking our jobs away.”

"The geopolitical implications of these changes are exciting and worrisome. America will reinvent itself just as does every 30-40 years; it is, after all, leading the technology boom. And as we are already witnessing, Russia and China will stir up regional unrest to distract their restive populations; oil producers such as Venezuela will go bankrupt; the Middle East will become a cauldron of instability. Countries that have invested in educating their populations, built strong consumer economies, and have democratic institutions that can deal with social change will benefit — because their people will have had their basic needs met and can figure out how to take advantage of the advances in technology."
 

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