Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Powercast and Microchip fire up interest at a distance with wireless power development kit

Powercast and Microchip fire up interest at a distance with wireless power development kit

We're sure if you asked Powercast nicely it'd tell you a whale of a tale, about how the "more than 100 companies" who allegedly signed up to develop products that seemingly pull energy from the ether materialized into this light-up Christmas tree. Still, we'd be happy to forgive and forget if meaningful products emerged instead, and that's why we're moderately happy the company's announced a nice big development kit. $1,250 buys your firm or deep-pocketed hobbyist the spread pictured above, with a wireless transmitter to throw three watts and a pair of receiver boards to catch them from over 40 feet away, plus a low-power development board from Microchip equipped with that company's proprietary short-range wireless protocols and ZigBee functionality. We can't wait to see what people build, but we won't be snapping one up ourselves -- we're still holding out for the firm to go open-source and build an Arduino version. PR after the break.

Continue reading Powercast and Microchip fire up interest at a distance with wireless power development kit

Powercast and Microchip fire up interest at a distance with wireless power development kit originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 27 Oct 2010 09:39:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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23-Year-Old's Solar Powered Fridge Earns Her Award From Nobel Prize Winners [Inventions]

23-Year-Old's Solar Powered Fridge Earns Her Award From Nobel Prize Winners23-year-old Emily Cummins started her career as an inventor as a young girl tinkering in her grandfather's shed. Now, thanks to a solar-powered fridge that's already in use across Africa, Nobel winners are handing her awards.

Cummins had the idea for the refrigerator last year when she was a student at Leeds University. A metal cylinder is placed inside a larger cylinder made of wood or cardboard. The space in-between the two is filled with a material that can be soaked in water, like soil or cloth, and as the sun heats that material and the water evaporates, it pulls the heat off the inner cylinder. Perishables can be kept at a cool 6 degrees C with no power needed whatsoever. It's already being used in Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
23-Year-Old's Solar Powered Fridge Earns Her Award From Nobel Prize Winners
Cummins was selected as a Oslo Business for Peace Honouree in Norway last week, a prestigious award established last year for ethical businesspeople which is overseen by a panel of Nobel prize winners. Not many people have talked to a Nobel prize winner, much less been bestowed with an award by one. Next month, in Japan, the Junior Chamber International will name her one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World for this year. And it's all because of a clever idea she had for a refrigerator.
"Hopefully these awards will inspire other young people to think about how they can contribute to our global community in a positive way," said Cummins. I have a feeling we'll be hearing about her own contributions again in the future. [DailyMail]

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Nissan Leaf launches in Europe, takes us for a drive

Nissan Leaf launches in Europe, takes us for a drive

26,000 people can't be wrong, right? That's the current tally of Leaf pre-orders that Nissan has collected from US and Japanese drivers excited by its all-electric hatchback. Yesterday, the car that's built to plug into the same wall outlet as your toaster held its official pan-European launch party -- with the UK, Ireland, Netherlands, and Portugal getting the first deliveries in early 2011 -- and we were on site to grab a few closeup pictures and some precious time in the driver's seat. American drivers should look out for a new set of keys in their mailbox this December, so there's probably no better time than now to give them a preview of what they're getting themselves into. Jump past the break for more on the Nissan Leaf.

Continue reading Nissan Leaf launches in Europe, takes us for a drive

Nissan Leaf launches in Europe, takes us for a drive originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 26 Oct 2010 07:00:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Artificial Clouds That Could Stop Climate Change Receive Investment From Bill Gates

SOURCE: http://gizmodo.com/5536139/artificial-clouds-that-could-stop-climate-change-receive-investment-from-bill-gates


Artificial Clouds That Could Stop Climate Change Receive Investment From Bill GatesRather than plunge money in a couple of girlfriends his daughter's age, Bill Gates' retirement money sure is being put to good use, with his most recent investment being in machines that turn seawater into climate-changing artificial clouds.

His $300,000 will hopefully go a long way in Silver Lining's project, potentially knockingclimate change on its head if the machines can actually produce these artificial clouds. The machines work by sucking up seawater in vast quantities (ten tons a second), turning the water into minute particles that are then flown through the air some 3,000 feet high. High enough to increase cloud density, Silver Lining is hoping.

The project will begin with just 10 ships covering 3,800 square miles of sea, and if it's successful Silver Lining will have to start hitting up more tech company founders as it'd take 1,900 ships and a further $7 billion to actually stop climate change for good.

How about that Steve Jobs, Silver Lining? He's worth a few bob, isn't he? [The Times viaInhabitat via Slashdot]

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