Technolgies useful for Indian problems

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Sanjay M
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SkySite

Postby Sanjay M » 07 Feb 2006 11:13

The SkySite network uses small weather balloons to act as relay platforms:

http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/004079.html

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Self-Cleaning Bathroom Surfaces

Postby Sanjay M » 08 Feb 2006 13:39

TiO2 may help bathroom surfaces to clean themselves:

http://www.bestsyndication.com/Articles ... throom.htm

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Nanotube UltraCapacitors

Postby Sanjay M » 09 Feb 2006 07:54

Read this one:

http://www.physorg.com/news10641.html

Nanotubes, with their small and uniform dimensions, may offer improvements in energy storage efficiency compared to other nano-structural arrangements.

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Postby ramana » 09 Feb 2006 23:24

Dr. Kalam is on a roll in ASEAN. Read his speeches and presentations. Awesome.

linK: MEA site

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Postby bala » 10 Feb 2006 06:22

Xethanol

Since 2003, Xethanol has operated two Iowa plants that can cheaply distill a gasoline additive called ethanol from bizarre sources such as stale butterscotch candy. When technicians mix the sweets with a special form of yeast, fermentation results, producing ethanol. This year it plans to introduce a process that will make it possible to turn all kinds of things--including cornstalks, grass clippings, and old newspapers--into ethanol. If all goes as planned, 59-year-old CEO and founder Christopher d'Arnaud-Taylor projects revenues of $15 million this year, up from $2.5 million in 2005--and the first-ever profit for Xethanol (www.xethanol.com), which he started in 2000 and took public last February. "Where there's muck, there's money," he quips.

Xethanol will use a recently discovered form of yeast to ferment various types of garbage into ethanol. It has obtained rights to the process from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where a scientist discovered that a yeast in the intestines of a type of beetle can convert plant-based waste product into ethanol. http://www.xethanol.com

Sanjay M
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Rooftop Windpower

Postby Sanjay M » 11 Feb 2006 14:52

New entrants into the rooftop windpower market:

http://news.com.com/Micro+wind+turbines ... ag=nl.e703

This is what rural India needs. Indian entrepreneurs need to get this stuff out to the far-flung villages.

Sanjay M
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Open-source Micro-finance

Postby Sanjay M » 12 Feb 2006 05:48

Open-source micro-finance/micro-credit software tools being marketed from Tamil Nadu:

http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/004095.html

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Postby vijayk » 13 Feb 2006 09:12

http://www.boston.com/business/articles ... on?mode=PF

Bugs could be key to kicking oil addiction

By Paul Elias, AP Biotechnology Writer | February 12, 2006

SAN FRANCISCO --The key to kicking what President Bush calls the nation's oil addiction could very well lie in termite guts, canvas-eating jungle bugs and other microbes genetically engineered to spew enzymes that turn waste into fuel.

It may seem hard to believe that microscopic bugs usually viewed as destructive pests can be so productive. But scientists and several companies are working with the creatures to convert wood, corn stalks and other plant waste into sugars that are easily brewed into ethanol -- essentially 199-proof moonshine that can be used to power automobiles.

Thanks to biotechnology breakthroughs, supporters of alternative energy sources say that after decades of unfulfilled promise and billions in government corn subsidies, energy companies may be able to produce ethanol easily and inexpensively.

"The process is like making grain alcohol, or brewing beer, but on a much bigger scale," said Nathanael Greene, an analyst with the environmental nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council. "The technologies are out there to do this, but we need to convince the public this is real and not just a science project."

Using microbes may even solve a growing dilemma over the current ethanol manufacturing process, which relies almost exclusively on corn kernels and yielded only 4 billion gallons of ethanol last year (compared to the 140 billion gallons of gasoline used in the U.S.). There's growing concern throughout the Midwestern corn belt that the 95 U.S. ethanol plants are increasingly poaching corn meant for the dinner table or livestock feed.

The idea mentioned by Bush during his State of the Union speech -- called "cellulosic ethanol" -- skirts that problem because it makes fuel from farm waste such as straw, corn stalks and other inedible agricultural leftovers. Cellulose is the woody stuff found in branches and stems that makes plants hard.

Breaking cellulose into sugar to spin straw into ethanol has been studied for at least 50 years. But the technological hurdles and costs have been so daunting that most ethanol producers have relied on heavy government subsidies to squeeze fuel from corn.

Researchers are now exploring various ways to exploit microbes, the one-cell creatures that serve as the first link of life's food chain. One company uses the microbe itself to make ethanol. Others are taking the genes that make the waste-to-fuel enzymes and splicing them into common bacteria. What's more, a new breed of "synthetic biologists" are trying to produce the necessary enzymes by creating entirely new life forms through DNA.

Bush's endorsement of the waste-to-energy technology has renewed interest in actually supplanting fossil fuels as a dominant energy source -- a goal long dismissed as pipe dream.

"We have been at this for 25 years and we had hoped to be in commercial production by now," said Jeff Passmore, an executive vice president at ethanol-maker Iogen Inc. "What the president has done is -- perhaps -- put some wind in the sails."

Ottawa-based Iogen is already producing ethanol by exploiting the destructive nature of the fungus Trichoderma reesei, which caused the "jungle rot" of tents and uniforms in the Pacific theater during World War II.

Through a genetic modification known as directed evolution, Iogen has souped up fungus microbes so they spew copious amounts of digestive enzymes to break down straw into sugars. From there, a simple fermentation -- which brewers have been doing for centuries -- turns sugar into alcohol.

Iogen opened a small, $40 million factory in 2004 to show it can produce cellulosic ethanol in commercial quantities. In the last two years, it has produced 65,000 gallons of ethanol that is blended with 85 percent gasoline to fuel about three dozen company and Canadian government vehicles. Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC has invested $40 million for a 30 percent ownership stake in Iogen; Petro-Canada and the Canadian government are also investors.

Now the company is ready to build a $350 million, commercial-scale factory in Canada or Idaho Falls, Idaho, next year if it can secure financing -- long one of the biggest stumbling blocks to bringing the stuff to gas pumps.

While conventional lenders are wary of investing in a new technology, the company is banking on winning a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy. Even under a best-case scenario, Passmore said Iogen won't be producing commercial quantities until 2009.

Other significant hurdles include how to widely distribute the fuel; getting auto manufacturers to make engines that will use it; and persuading gas stations to install ethanol pumps. There's hope that funding shortfalls and the remaining technological problems such as how to ship large amounts of ethanol will be overcome in the next few years.

Despite the challenges, Bush's endorsement and advancements in the field have re-energized alternative energy types.

While no commercial interest has advanced as far as Iogen, other biotech companies are engineering bacteria to spit out similar sugar-converting enzymes, and academics are pursuing more far-out sources.

At the California Institute of Technology, Jared Leadbetter is mining the guts of termites for possible tools to turn wood chips into ethanol. Leadbetter said there are some 200 microbes that live in termite bellies that help the household pest convert wood to energy.

Those microbes or their genetic material can be used to produce ethanol-making enzymes. So scientists at the Energy Department's Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, Calif., are now sequencing the microbe genes in hopes of finding a key to ethanol production.

"We have this idea that microbes are pests," said Leadbetter, who has been studying termite guts for 15 years. "But most microbes are beneficial."

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Postby SaiK » 14 Feb 2006 23:25

Spray-On Solar-Power Cells Are True Breakthrough

Plastic solar cells are not new. But existing materials are only able to harness the sun's visible light. While half of the sun's power lies in the visible spectrum, the other half lies in the infrared spectrum.

The new material is the first plastic composite that is able to harness the infrared portion.

The biggest hurdle facing solar power is cost-effectiveness. But that could change with the new material.

Sanjay M
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adaptive armour

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Feb 2006 05:44

materials which stiffen in response to sudden shock:

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8721

useful for protection against IEDs, etc?

Sanjay M
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MRAM Chip

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Feb 2006 07:53


Sanjay M
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Solar tech

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Feb 2006 11:54


Sanjay M
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clean energy

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Feb 2006 12:07

Clean Coal Energy,
Solar-Mechanical Water-splitting Device

http://www.sandia.gov/LabNews/060203.html

Sanjay M
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Computer-Customized Footwear

Postby Sanjay M » 15 Feb 2006 18:06

Hmm, from E-chaupal to E-chappals??

http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns? ... 925386.200

Sanjay M
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new lithium battery formulation

Postby Sanjay M » 17 Feb 2006 12:35

a new lithium-ion battery formulation has been found, making it safer for heavy-duty applications:

http://www.innovations-report.com/html/ ... 55384.html

lithium nickel manganese oxide

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Postby ankurv » 18 Feb 2006 02:48

Segway creator unveils his next act
Inventor Dean Kamen wants to put entrepreneurs to work bringing water and electricity to the world's poor.

http://money.cnn.com/2006/02/16/technol ... /index.htm

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Postby Alok_N » 20 Feb 2006 03:33

Sanjay M,

Several folks have asked you before to learn how to post short links ... is that too much? ... you have single-handedly destroyed just about every thread with long links ...

Since this is the "helpful technologies" thread ... check this out: http://tinyurl.com/

Div
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Postby Div » 20 Feb 2006 06:40

Its much easier to just use the 'url' tag.

Sanjay M
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Microsoft: Free Wireless VoIP!

Postby Sanjay M » 21 Feb 2006 08:25

Microsoft has just announced a free wireless Voice-Over-IP service that may pull the rug out from under Vonage and many other new VoIP-based carriers:

REad this article

What a severe blow to the competition! What a boon to the consumer!

Hmm, free anything means abuse of it. People are already coining new acronyms like SPIT, which means SPam over Internet Telephony. Maybe before placing a phonecall in the future, we'll have to listen to an audio phrase and then type it out on the phone keypad, to verify that one is a human being before being allowed to place the call.

Sanjay M
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Quantum Dot Network?

Postby Sanjay M » 22 Feb 2006 07:47

Are quantum dots naturally able to optically network?

http://www.physorg.com/news11062.html

Could quantum dots be arranged into a self-supporting optical network, and fashioned into a quantum computer?

Sanjay M
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Explosives-eating Fungus?

Postby Sanjay M » 22 Feb 2006 07:51

Could fungus be used to eat up or decompose explosives?

http://www.newscientist.com/channel/mec ... n8755.html

Could this have applications in de-mining, or even sabotage?

Sanjay M
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hydrogen from algae

Postby Sanjay M » 24 Feb 2006 10:50

And here's algae that could be used to make energy:

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0, ... =rss.index

Sanjay M
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Hybrid Mod Kits Released

Postby Sanjay M » 24 Feb 2006 11:10

Hymotion has released mod kits to make gas-electric hybrids more electric, allowing them to be charged from the electrical outlet:

http://www.gizmag.com/go/5252/

Sanjay M
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superhydrophobic plastic

Postby Sanjay M » 24 Feb 2006 11:35

superhydrophobic plastic may have various uses:

http://www.techreview.com/BizTech-R&D/w ... 95,p1.html

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Postby SaiK » 01 Mar 2006 00:51

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID ... 414B7F0000 Bacteria Turns Styrofoam into Biodegradable Plastic

Sanjay M
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E-beam

Postby Sanjay M » 06 Mar 2006 02:10

Electron Beam Melting is a new way to rapidly prototype and fabricate parts out of metal, such as titanium:

http://www.gizmag.com/go/5312/

Go to the vendor's website listed in the article, and see some of the amazing pictures and video of the process.

Sanjay M
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M1 battery

Postby Sanjay M » 07 Mar 2006 09:15


Sanjay M
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Plant Glows When Thirsty

Postby Sanjay M » 08 Mar 2006 17:18


Sanjay M
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Postby Sanjay M » 08 Mar 2006 17:32

Wood stove has higher efficiency due to electric fan:

http://www.freshtechnology.net/gadgets-stove.php

The stove can also generate a little electricity to power electric gadgets.

Sanjay M
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Cheap Hydrogen from GE

Postby Sanjay M » 09 Mar 2006 18:28

General Electric has developed a low-cost electrolysis apparatus to bring down the cost of hydrogen:

http://www.techreview.com/BizTech-R&D/w ... 95,p1.html

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Postby vijayk » 09 Mar 2006 21:13

If Thermal Depolymerization works, as expected, it will clean up waste and generate new sources of power. Its supporters contend it could also reduce global warming. According to global warming theory, as carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, accumulates in the atmosphere, it traps solar radiation, which warms the atmosphere, and some say disrupts the planet's ecosystems. If the shift to global Thermal Depolymerization takes place, any carbon in the earth would stay there. The trappings of the civilized world — plants, domestic animals, artificial objects, buildings — would then be regarded as temporary carbon basins. Says Paul Baski, inventor of the Thermal Depolymerization process, "We would be honoring the balance of nature."

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/ ... ntor_x.htm

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/897232/posts/

http://www.changingworldtech.com/

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Postby Div » 13 Mar 2006 06:14

A cheaper version of Microsoft's Origami Project could be useful as a portable computing device. It could be something between the Simputer and conventional laptops.

Sanjay M
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Fit

Postby Sanjay M » 13 Mar 2006 11:09

A potent gas-miser will soon be hitting the streets:

Honda's new Fit hybrid

Sanjay M
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Nickel-Titanium Muscles

Postby Sanjay M » 17 Mar 2006 08:07

I want my super robo-Kshatriya of the future to have Nickel-Titanium muscles so that he can snap more jihadi necks more quickly using less energy (Moore's Law and all that)

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Postby uddu » 17 Mar 2006 08:42

India thinks big about nanotechnology
http://in.rediff.com/money/2006/mar/17nano.htm

Technology will marry business interests at the first World Nano-Economic Congress India.

The dwarf (Greek for 'nano') decides to become Goliath. Despite 'nano' being only one billionth of a metre in length, nanotechnology is finding its way into a myriad of industrial applications -- most of which, however, are struggling to get past the laboratory stage.

India now understands the potential of nanotechnology, and sensing a business opportunity, domestic player YashNanotech, a part of the listed company Yash Management, and the UK-based Cientifica, a leading nanotech research and advisory firm, have joined hands to bring the World Nano-Economic Congress to India.

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biodegradable

Postby Sanjay M » 21 Mar 2006 14:08

Biodegradable Containers are helping to keep garbage from piling up in landfills.

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Postby abhushan » 22 Mar 2006 10:25

Div wrote:A cheaper version of Microsoft's Origami Project could be useful as a portable computing device. It could be something between the Simputer and conventional laptops.


Such projects are already in pipeline, albeit, on non-Microsoft platform.

- look for "100 $ laptop" on google

http://laptop.org/

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/artic ... 23,00.html


- China is trying its own version,
http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2006 ... 537932.htm

Sanjay M
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Nanotube Bike Frame

Postby Sanjay M » 23 Mar 2006 15:15

Bicycle Frame Made from Carbon Nanotubes Weighs Just Over 2 Pounds!

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=3870

BMC says the new SLC01 frame weighs in at 960 grams (2.11 lbs), and that, my non-conversion savvy friends, is almost 2/3 of a pound lighter (that’s 10 whole fat ounces!) than the SLT01.



Now that would be useful to our 2-wheeler economy.

Sanjay M
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Artificial Gravity Created for First Time

Postby Sanjay M » 25 Mar 2006 06:41

I absolutely had to post this one:

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/GSP/SEM0L6OVGJE_0.html

Apparently, artificial gravity may have been created for the first time ever. Fine, fine, the effect is very weak -- but the implications on fundamental science are enormous.

As per Einstein, we associate gravity with curvature of space, and have as of yet not been able to further break down its nature, which remains a mystery to us.

And yet now, for the first time ever, some kind of gravitational anomaly has been artificially created and detected, by spinning a superconductive mass gyroscopically.

If this observation is eventually confirmed and validated, then these people could win the Nobel Prize. How humbling to think that something as awesome and fundamental as gravity could be engineered/manipulated by Man, even if only in a miniscule, marginal way.

Now that's real power over Nature.

Sanjay M
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controlling gravity

Postby Sanjay M » 25 Mar 2006 18:03

And here's
More on the gravity experiment

And for a little context, here's something on RPM

Consider that nano-mechanical devices are able to displace or rotate at far higher speeds than macroscopic objects. Imagine a bulk material composed of nano-mechanical objects each rotating at extremely high RPM. Whatever each nano-object lacked in static gravitational mass, it could more than make up for with high speed of rotation, to generate gravitomagnetic effect.

It's interesting to imagine the idea of a "gravitational field coil", analogous to an electromagnetic field coil. While it's easy to get charge to travel in a helical trajectory by way of a conductor, it's hard to imagine how to get mass to move in the same way, without high frictional losses. Perhaps tiny nanotubes?

Anyway, the whole idea of artificial gravity disproportionate to actual mass is groundbreaking.


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