Page 4 of 18

Re: downwind

Posted: 27 Dec 2005 11:15
by AJay
Alok_N wrote:
Sanjay M wrote: Anyone care to comment on this?

so glad you asked ...

You kidder you :rotfl:

Posted: 27 Dec 2005 21:59
by Ramanujan
SanjayM wrote:
Hmm, I dunno that one should arbitrarily throw in nanotechnology, and I'm not sure how radar cross-section would be useful near the ground.

Nothing arbitrary about it and you can be very sure about the utility of radar to track bees. They have been tracked very reliably by multiple groups using harmonic radar. It requires an attachment of a tiny transponder on the bee. The smallest transponder in use right now is about 2cms in length that stays upright on the bee's dorsal surface. The nanotech or tinytech approaches are currently trying to reduce the size of the transponder to about 4-5 mm in length. The core problem has been solved...technical evolution is inevitable and will make it into a reality within a decade. The only question is how robust is the ability of the bees to detect the explosives. At this point we have to give the scientists involved, the benefit of doubt. Others will repeat the experiments and we will know for sure. Even the ability of bees to "chemosense" can be enhanced by increasing the expression of odorant receptors by what most people refer to as "genetic engineering".

portable phased array

Posted: 29 Dec 2005 08:56
by Sanjay M
Now this would be useful for picking up INSAT4A broadcasts:

A portable phased-array antenna, which could be embedded into a car roof.

Powered Cable Climber

Posted: 02 Jan 2006 09:05
by Sanjay M
Not sure if I posted this one before, but I liked it way back when I read about it: ... 725146.500

It's a powered portable cable-climber, designed for Special Ops under DARPA grant. ... 520730B252

Their home site has a demo video:


Posted: 04 Jan 2006 01:14
by Vick
More muscle for CSIR likely[/url]

“By mid-2006, we plan to install a one-million litre per day plant for conversion of sea water into drinking water off the coast of Tamil Nadu. We also intend to install a 10-million litre per day plant to provide clean drinking water along the Indian coast by the end of this year.”

Fabulous Prefab!

Posted: 05 Jan 2006 10:06
by Sanjay M
I really liked this idea, and think it will be very big in the not-too-distant future. Please read the whole article:

Unfortunately, it may be China which comes to dominate this market, given its labour cost advantages. But just as with automotive parts, India could make a good showing through low-cost but innovative engineering and design.

India has had a govt prefabricated housing unit since the 1950s, but as a public sector unit it seems to have stagnated in the typical way.

Given that the political support and momentum for economic reforms is dependent upon trickle-down effects to the masses, the need for private sector to strongly attack basic needs like housing, which have fundamental impact on quality of life, is then a high priority. Mazlow's hierarchy of needs.

But even in the context of immediate profitability, there are plenty of returning NRI's flocking to gated communities which have mushroomed overnight, and ultra-modern looking prefabricated housing could be ideal to meet this upper-niche market demand.

Sea Solar Power

Posted: 05 Jan 2006 11:30
by Sanjay M
Vick wrote:[url=]
More muscle for CSIR likely[/url]

“By mid-2006, we plan to install a one-million litre per day plant for conversion of sea water into drinking water off the coast of Tamil Nadu. We also intend to install a 10-million litre per day plant to provide clean drinking water along the Indian coast by the end of this year.”

Hey man, have you read about this one?

Not only could it produce large amounts of power at competitive cost, but it would also produce fresh water as a byproduct.

Multi-Electron Photoelectric Effect

Posted: 06 Jan 2006 08:24
by Sanjay M
I'm sure you all may remember the classic photoelectric effect. However, nano-scale physics has now enabled a new and improved version of this fundamental physical phenomenon:

The multi-electron photoelectric effect is made possible by photoelectric interaction within the confines of a nano-scale particle, resulting in multi-electron interaction and multiple photo-ionizations from the same single photon. This results in a doubling or tripling of photoelectric current generated from the same amount of light.

Until recently, the phenomenon has only been observed in select materials, however now it's been discovered that it can occur in any photoelectric semiconductor, with consideration only to particle size. It's the nano-scaling that makes it possible. All that has to be done is to find the exact appropriate size.

Posted: 09 Jan 2006 03:29
by SaiK

Posted: 10 Jan 2006 15:03
by Sanjay M
Ultra-WideBand, or Spread Spectrum technology offers the highest possible bandwidth:, ... =rss.index

It's typically only meant for short-range use, like Bluetooth, but still it's another way to bpyass infrastructure bottlenecks. For example, streaming hi-def video in a building not wired up for such transmission.

Posted: 11 Jan 2006 14:33
by Tapasvi
Top 10 tech trends for India

Check out the happening infotech, communications and entertainment trends of 2006.

....main points...

1. Blu-Ray of hope

2. Digital ticket

3. Games people play

4. Movies on Demand

5. Plug into the IP Phone

6. Robots, robots everywhere

7. Tag on to RFID

8. The new intelligent vehicle

9. Where the Podcast's headed

10. Wi-Fi on steroids

I used to hear from elders... "sooner we adapt latest technologies, better it is."
Now I think time has come when we tell this to our coming generations... "sooner we create latest technologies, better it is"

there are a few Indian contribution in the link mentioned above... good signs! :D

miles to go before I sleep

algae treatment

Posted: 12 Jan 2006 04:17
by Sanjay M
treatment of powerplant effluent by algae can remove carbon emissions, as well as producing biomass fuel in the process: ... ants_x.htm

Meanwhile, Indians deciding to create diaspora knowledge network, to promote research in technologies more critical to Indian needs:

Posted: 12 Jan 2006 06:31
by Alok_N
cross-posting ... this post is in context of re-casting astrology in modern times

AJay wrote:
Alok_N wrote:the point is that the cosmic rays seen by a body born today is the same as that seen by a body born on any other day ... how would cosmic rays lead to a predictive algorithm such as astrology? ...

unless of course there is an algorithm that assigns body chemistry based on date of birth ...

This is waaaay too much into the realm of speculation but under one school of thought which says that given the current state of a system, the rules of state transition, and the input(s), the evolution of the system is totally predictable. For people who subscribe to this school, everything about this world is predictable - a machinist view that I believe has been subscribed to by Mark Twain among others. That fits well into a world view of a Computer Scienitst/Mathematician/Engineer in that the entire universe is a giant TM.

Simple organisms which have one single cell probably can be modelled deterministically using such a simplistic model. Even self-reprodcution can perhaps be explained because there is a 27 state cellular automata (CA and the minimal self-reproducing state machine have been invented by von Neumann when he was on sabbathical at UIUC for one year) that can reproduce itself.

But the real problem - this is a decidedly naive explanation - is that the above doesn't explain how one stem cell gives rise to myriad functionally different cell types. Surprisingly, Turing himself wrote a seminal paper on it just two years before his death at an attempt in explaining how this "symmetry" is broken. This paper by no means is the final word but a way to move forward.

The question really boils down to whether the "symmetry" breaking is a chance happening without any external agent acting on the system. One also has to answer the question of what is inside and outside the system etc.

Any way all waay OT. So, I will leave it at this.

Astrology and cosmic rays...

Posted: 12 Jan 2006 11:09
by AJay
Alok_N wrote:cross-posting ... this post is in context of re-casting astrology in modern times

Alok ji

First let me put in a disclaimer. I don't have any intentions of either re-casting or explaining astrology. There are two things that prevent me from doing that - firstly, I don't have enough interest in astrology and secondly and more importantly I don't know enough about it (which stems from the lack of interest in the first place). This is what my dad - a hindi prof. - used to say about astrologers. There are apparently random (psuedo?) events in nature like movements of planets, appearence of comets, eclipses etc. which were unpredictable with the technology our ancients had. The long term future of an individual is also fairly random (the short time future. i.e. what a person is going to do the next second, next minute or even next hour can be predicted quite well given the current state, the state transition rules that are simply the common sense observations like a person who is walking will continue to walk till say she comes to a fork in the road etc.) and are not predictable with any amount of certainty. In the old times, all that the astrologers were doing was to map one set of random events to another set of random events.

Then there is this empirical observation that given any set of predictions, about 20% of them wil turn out to be true. The hit ratio could be even higher given the fact that the astrologers themselves are good observers of the tell tale signs of the mental status of the person coming to them. These 20% success is all that gets publicized due to the fact that the people for whom the predictions came true would obviously want to show off their ROI. The other 80% whose predictions did not come true would fall back on the "clauses in small print" like "if you had only done that before rahu kAlam" or "I was standing in the line to get my lottery ticket on the right day but the line was so long that by the time I came to the head of the line, the shubha lagnam has already passed" or some such fall back and would keep quiet.

If we take the above thought process and extend it to the current times, the atrsologer needs a new apparently random natural event to replace the planetary motions that can be predicted with great accuracy. Cosmic rays or chaos are the modern day "planetary motions" and "eclipses".

Posted: 12 Jan 2006 12:51
by SaiK

Posted: 12 Jan 2006 14:17
by Tapasvi
Indian's smart way to smell stale stuff

Kanupriya Vashisht

Phoenix, January 12, 2006 ... 060016.htm

American consumers might soon stop turning food products up and down at a Wal-Mart, trying to check for that ever-evasive expiry date on milk, yoghurt or cereal.

Vivek Subramanian, a leading researcher in polysilicon technology and organic electronics at the University of California, Berkeley, is developing a technique that will disregard doubtful dates and track food's freshness scientifically.

Subramanian's research group is developing a host of innovative smart sensors like the food expiry detector.

The sensors will keep track of bacteria levels independently and detect gas emissions within a closed environment, such as a milk bottle, letting consumers accurately know when food is no longer consumable - and possibly dangerous to ingest.

The research focuses on the physics and technology of organic semiconductors and their applications in displays, low-cost electronics, sensors, and actuators.

"The basic concept," the Berkley website says, "is trying to use gas or fluid sensing to detect bacterial activity."

To realise such a widely deployed technology, Subramanian and his students have researched for material systems that could be developed into a low cost technology.

The Subramanian group is working on a multi-disciplinary project spread across chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering.

The result is an extraordinary inkjet printer and a family of electronic inks that enable circuits to be patterned onto paper, plastic, or cloth without damaging the material.

Composed of carbon and hydrogen as opposed to silicon, the circuits are soluble and inexpensive.

Food processing is not the only thing that has caught this researcher's fancy. He'd like to compute clothes to by dispersing sensors throughout the apparel, sensors that can detect what's going on in the world around you.

Some might detect toxic gases or radiation, others could monitor your body temperature and blood pressure, and still others might even track where you are through the Global Positioning System.

Subramanian envisions his woven transistors as switches that route signals through the fabric of the smart clothes.

Like the full-fledged routers on the Internet, the little chips direct the course of the signals through the fabric, helping the clothing-based network deal with rips and tears that might otherwise disconnect circuits.

The lab prototypes of smart clothing using Subramanian's fabrics are still five years off. And it could be another five years before the fabric can be turned into commercial products.

In addition to smart sensors, the Subramanian group is developing organic electronics for inexpensive plastic screens that can be rolled up and stuffed in a consumer's pocket.

These high-performance disposable transistors promise an unprecedented deployment of portable electronic technologies, ushering in a revolution in the field of disposable electronics and wireless.

After a PhD at Stanford University, Vivek Subramanian co-founded Matrix Semiconductor in 1998, creating three-dimensional integrated circuits with standard manufacturing techniques and materials.

Matrix's first product, a non-volatile 3-D memory chip attracted many customers due to its size and tremendous cost benefits.

Dr Subramanian has held numerous consulting and advisor positions for leading semiconductor companies.

He currently sits on the Technology Advisory Board for ITU Ventures and continues to advise Matrix on process and device technology development.

bring it here as well...

Posted: 14 Jan 2006 17:16
by Sanjay M
Here's one I liked. Distributed Power Grid Management:

Heh, the 'Ethernet' of Power Distribution. Also read about the distributed microturbine network that is also mentioned.

Posted: 15 Jan 2006 07:40
by Sanjay M
This is a good list -- 15 key technologies for 2006: ... 76876.html

Hehe, "SPIT" -- that's a cute name.

Re: Astrology and cosmic rays...

Posted: 15 Jan 2006 09:02
by Alok_N
AJay wrote:First let me put in a disclaimer. I don't have any intentions of either re-casting or explaining astrology.

my apologies for misrepresenting your intent ... I remain an agnostic in these matters ... I have seen enough to be enticed and question enough to be skeptical ...

If we take the above thought process and extend it to the current times, the atrsologer needs a new apparently random natural event to replace the planetary motions that can be predicted with great accuracy. Cosmic rays or chaos are the modern day "planetary motions" and "eclipses".

the list of candidate theories is far larger ... physics today should be humbled because of its own recognition of its ignorance ... modern day physics has now admitted that it only understands about 4% of the energy density of the universe ... about 28% is in the form of dark matter that we "see" indirectly but have no clue about its nature ... another 68% is in the form of dark energy that we "infer" even more indirectly ...

in these times of confusion, far be it for me or anyone else to rule out mechanisms that are in play in the universe ...

in terms of astrology, what we need is a "phase term", i.e., some physical variable that depends acutely on the position of the earth with respect to the sun and, more importantly, a coupling of said variable to the human body's functions ...

I have no clue as to what that could be ... at the same time I would be naive to rule it out ... Cheers.

Posted: 15 Jan 2006 18:35
by Sanjay M
Here's some odor-reducing bacteria-eating powder:

Flu Monitoring

Posted: 16 Jan 2006 10:48
by Sanjay M
FLIR Systems has a device that will monitor body temp of airport arrivals, to scan for flu: ... finder.htm

Could be a useful way to intercept an epidemic

Posted: 16 Jan 2006 23:11
by Amarko
This discussion reminds me of a quote read many years ago:

"With the progress of science we do not become more certain, but we become certain of more."


Posted: 18 Jan 2006 17:30
by Amit Patel
Personal Cell Phone Charger

Here's one that might be useful not only for India, Indian Army, but with a broader appeal.

Nanotube Sheets

Posted: 19 Jan 2006 06:49
by Sanjay M
Now this is a useful example of a military application for nanotechnology: ...


Posted: 22 Jan 2006 02:06
by Sanjay M
Adaptive Cruise Control technology could radically reduce traffic jams:

Even if just 10-20% adopt it, the benefits could be enormous. Just hope it can contend with bullock carts. ;P

Posted: 24 Jan 2006 01:58
by SaiK

Posted: 24 Jan 2006 02:20
by milindj
I recently bought a crank handle powered flashlight in the US - no batteries, just turn the crank handle for 90 seconds, for half an hour of light. It also has a inbuilt cell phone charger - cranking for 5 minutes generates enough power for 2 minutes of talk time... not very efficient, but useful in an emergency... Thats the sort of technology we need to promote in India, where power failures are common...

Amit Patel wrote:Personal Cell Phone Charger

Here's one that might be useful not only for India, Indian Army, but with a broader appeal.

Posted: 24 Jan 2006 04:31
by SaiK

Poor Man's Refrigerator

Posted: 24 Jan 2006 08:40
by Sanjay M
Here is an interesting idea for a refrigerator for the poor: ... 03,p1.html

It uses fire to generate a cooling effect.

Perhaps we could consider it a sort of Stirling Refrigerator?

Solar Ink

Posted: 01 Feb 2006 05:52
by Sanjay M
Literally, a "quantum dot solution" -- a liquid solution in which quantum dots are suspended -- can be applied through inkjet manufacturing: ... _deve.html

Wow, inkjet printing is doing so much these days. Besides rapid prototyping through inkjet printing of polymers, or organ-printing using stem cells, now we have inkjet printing of quantum dots into solar panels.

I wonder if the rapid prototyping using printing of polymers could be combined with this quantum dot printing, to make solar-powered consumer electronics. Could already-cheap solar calculators be made even more cheaply and thinly using these methods?

What about printing of large-scale solar panels?

Improved Single Photon Detector

Posted: 01 Feb 2006 08:42
by Sanjay M
An improved single-photon detector could allow for high-bandwidth communication at low power across a distance: ... 03,p1.html

Elastomeric Piston

Posted: 02 Feb 2006 11:56
by Sanjay M
Here's another interesting one:

An elastomeric piston chamber having high efficiency, since all the combustion is trapped inside the chamber walls. I'd mused about something like this myself, in regards to a piston behaving like the heart in the body.

I'm wondering if this type of elastomeric piston might be quieter, and even more easily manufactured through some kind of plastic moulding process (eg. injection moulding, blow moulding)
Easier manufacturing would lower cost and also make the component more replacable, even if has a shorter lifespan.

If you click on the patent link, note that the patent filing is quite recent (May19,2005)

New advances in nanomaterials might increase the life of the piston's elastomeric walls.

xG Does xMax

Posted: 03 Feb 2006 01:34
by Sanjay M
xMax by xG has gotten FCC approval: ... =178600902 ... ewsLang=en ... ESS-XG.XML

Somebody previously commented that stuff like WiMax may not be so reliable because it's not operating on a reserved/purchased frequency block.

xG points out that its xMax is so low in power that it shouldn't interfere with other systems operating in that frequency block.

I think this could be good to get rural India online. Comments?

Electro-plate your teeth

Posted: 03 Feb 2006 06:07
by Sanjay M
Electro-plate your teeth, to make them last longer: ... 6tech.aspx

Hmm, I wonder how often you'd have to do it? 3 times per day?

Posted: 03 Feb 2006 06:17
by SaiK
it says 5 years.


Posted: 03 Feb 2006 08:08
by Sanjay M
Bush mentioned Switchgrass in his State of the Union address: ... Id=5183608 ... 4-282.html ... ofile.html

Apparently, the stuff has the best ethanol yield relative to cost, significantly better than the nearest competitor crops. The claim is that for every unit of energy put in to grow and harvest the crop, four units of fuel energy are yielded back.

I still wonder whether crops can't be engineered to do even better.

Posted: 04 Feb 2006 07:27
by Kakkaji
BP to bring cooking stoves to market ... t_id=87248

NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 3: Petro giant British Petroleum (BP) is entering the Indian rural market with a dual-fuel chullah (cooking stove). It will run on both LPG and biomass in two different burners, offering flexibility to the consumers.

This hybrid application has been designed by Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and is now in the protototype testing stage. Apart from using zero-emission LPG, it aims to increase the efficiency of biomass burning by a factor of five.

The company is hoping to bring it to the markets in 4the next six months.

Already present in India with their lubricant Castrol, this is their foray into a different segment of the market. Their target is 20 million chullahs by 2020.

Fluid Lens

Posted: 05 Feb 2006 09:53
by Sanjay M
A new type of variable-focus fluid lens, a bit different than the developed by Phillips, which was based on electro-wetting:

Posted: 07 Feb 2006 03:14
by SaiK
Marvel... Hitachi Ltd, displays its new smallest IC chips (black), placed next to salt for comparison. The company announced that engineers at its research centre have developed what it claims to be the world’s tiniest IC chip, measuring only 0.15 millimeters (0.0059 inches) by 0.15 millimeters (0.0059 inches). The company also said the new chip can be placed in valuable documents like currency and securities certificates, to prevent counterfeiting.

very much needed for us!!

intel wireless

Posted: 07 Feb 2006 05:30
by Sanjay M
Intel's faster, cheaper wireless chipset