May 4, 2009

Technology, good or bad for the economy

In today’s economy, can new technology provide the answer to a struggling economy? I think the question of what will save the economy should be asked, but what went wrong and how can we fix it with a long lasting solution should be asked.
With a housing market down the drain, credit from bank no longer accessible, and the dollar weakening by lucrative government stimulus spending, people especially Americans need to be content with less. In our society advertisement from consumer products tell us we need things to fit in our make our life more enjoyable, but actually this idea of buying things we can’t afford on credit is what first allowed banks to make huge profits on interest, instead of analyzing how much they could afford to lend they just keep lending more money out. This allowed for a quick buck, but in the end lead to banks becoming bankrupt when too many people could not pay back their money. A similar thing happened with the housing market when people took out mortgages to buy housing they had been suckered in to believe they could afford.
So, I ask what caused all this trouble leading into the worst recession since the 1980’s, people trying to buy more than they could afford. And what is our government doing now to solve the problem? Both the bush era and the Obama era have and now are trying to stimulate the economy with money they do not have nor can we as Americans afford.
Let me tell you that an uneducated society leads to corrupt times because of the exploitation of uneducated people. So why are public schools the first to take huge blows of reduced funding? I think the best way to solving the issue public schools is to move towards privatization. I know it sounds scary, but look, our country was built on the belief of a capitalist society where competition would fight for lowering cost and people with teaching talent would be able to be paid what they are worth.
In looking over my ideas I think what this economy needs most is not new get rich quick schemes through some new technology, nor is government spending to try and pull us out trouble, but for Americans to take responsibility for ill guided investment actions and to learn from these mistakes.

April 20, 2009

New technology in Solar Power

Once again nano technology is helping fight our goal to find new energy resources. A very recent public release in April 2009, top Engineers at Oregon State University have found a way to use diatoms, single celled marine life at the nano scale, to help in creating electricity in solar cell technology.
This process works not by conventional methods which consisted of using silicon for semiconductor material, when light strikes the cell, a certain portion of it is absorbed within the semiconductor material. The energy knocks electrons loose, allowing them to flow freely. This flow of electrons i¬s a current, and by placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the photovoltaic or solar cell, we can draw that current off to use externally. This highly used form only has an efficiency of high teens to low twenty percent.
In the redefined process of dye sensitized technology for solar energy, "dye-sensitized" solar cells have photons bounce around after light strikes producing electricity. Dye sensitized technology already exists, but the redefined design at Oregon calls for using diatoms (nano sized algae) on a special transparent conductive glass to create a thin film for the photons to bounce off of to create electricity, this difference in material is the key and has already proved to have tripled the electric output in studied cases. Also because of the use of natural biological systems instead of expensive man made material, this greatly cuts down on the expense of the material. This work is supported by the National Science Foundation and this public release can be read at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-04/osu-adl040809.php
Because now solar power can be thought of has efficient as wind or even hydro electric, this could greatly solve problems in fighting our high energy demands. Also because this is very recent, the chances of it being implemented in every day use is still off in the future, There still needs to be a lot of research done in the physics behind this process, because scientists are not sure fully why this is able to work so well.
This new form of creating energy is great to see and offers hope that our future can be secure and we do not have to worry about energy problems.

April 8, 2009

Robot future for humanity

Have you ever wanted to not vacuum your apartment or house? Thanks to some companies, the idea of having a robot vacuum your house is possible and available for consumers. The military is also taking advantage of this idea of using robots in place of humans to conquer many obstacles that put humans previously in potential danger. Currently right now we have robots disarming bombs flying planes equipped with missiles and high tech cameras sending this information in real time, and now replacing tanks so vehicles are like literally remote control cars to the soldier using them, so where is all this going, are we coming to the point where robots will fight wars for us? Will this new look of destruction lose the meaning of war, meaning more wars are possible because no person will get hurt. This new age of robots fighting robots, although has not come, is a little frightening to think about. Our US Government is looking to make your entire army out of robots and other countries are thinking the same. For one, once robot’s programming is accomplished, manufacturing thousands of chips is relatively inexpensive and a armor can be light to cut down on cost. Where problems lie is when this technology is in the hands of people who use this to go places that normally humans would not. What I mean by this is you don’t have to convince a robot to go anywhere and blow its self up. A great website to hear this perceptive of seeing the good and bad and the future of robots in our society is http://www.botjunkie.com/ and the video to select is under the heading Video Monday: P.W. Singer On Robots And The Future Of War. There are also some very cool robot videos of robots able to have insect movements and walking up walls like insects. What it comes down to is we as humans are trying to create life we can control. Will this attempt end like terror robot movies in Hollywood or will this actually solve our problems. I am not sure of the answer but with the way we are heading, it won’t be long until we have our answer.

March 22, 2009

Hydrogen, now the new oil source!

Electrolysis, as defined by Webster is the decomposition of an electrolyte by the action of an electric current passing through it. The method of splitting molecules to get single elements has been known for almost two hundred years. By this process we have been able to obtain elements like aluminum, lithium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. This process has also been used to split the water molecule H2O and receive pure oxygen and hydrogen. Up until recent years, meaning 2008, the process of obtaining hydrogen and oxygen from water has been not efficient enough to mass produce.
Water as every one knows is the most abundant resource we have on this planet, next to a dwindling resource as oil, if only we could get our energy needs from this resource, but we can, the only problem is so far it not has been cost effective. This will all change very quickly, for an economic society struggling to hold its self up and personally my opinion the government, pulling the chair from underneath us with its proposed ideas of lucrative spending, we need a change that brings America to relying on itself, supplying all of its citizens needs from products produced here on its own soil, by creating new lasting jobs from American citizens, this can all now be seen and answered with the production of hydrogen by the process of electrolysis using renewable wind, solar, and hydro energy here on American soil.
Our needs of electricity production can be shifted from using coal, oil, which pollute our environment with it byproducts, to now using hydrogen. Our transportation energy source of oil can be completely transformed to the point of eliminating the use of oil altogether and using hydrogen to power cars with little to any modifications to the current automobile engine. Because hydrogen can be produced at a steady rate the price will not likely fluctuate because of the source used to produce it is water.
So how can all of this be made possible? There must be some catch? There is no perceived catch so far, researchers from QuantumSphere Inc release a press release August, 2008 that they are using nano-sized catalysts to vastly improve the production of hydrogen through water electrolysis, vastly improving the efficiency process to 85 percent. This new rate of efficiency now holds the key to start to mass producing hydrogen for fuel for homes and transportation use. Researchers have nano-sized the elements cobalt and palladium to give the metals a larger surface area, this will replace the once thought best metal platinum as the catalyst in the electrolysis process. This change in material will greatly reduce cost and also increase efficiency of creating hydrogen.
Now that this process of creating hydrogen is complete, we need the best way to generate electricity, this comes by using renewable source like Midwest wind and south east sun, these two main sources of energy have been calculated by scientist as enough when combined with off coast hydro tide plants will be enough to supply all the US’s needs.
This is wonderful news for all, finally an invention with practicality and not just another want fulfilled but a need perfected.

March 1, 2009

New Technology in Wireless Power

If you are like me, you find it frustrating when you are sitting in a room and your laptop is on the verge of automatically shutting down due to battery lost and the nearest outlet is across the room, or when your expecting an important call on your cell phone and it is about to die and you can not find your very unique phone charger. Other instances equally annoying are that cloud of wires hanging behind your computer desk or the insane amount of wires coming from your TV entertainment center powering your needed equipment. Man kind was able to find a way to send information through the air eliminating the internet cord on most electronic devices, is it too much to ask for just eliminating the ugly and cumbersome power cord but yet allowing devices to have access to wireless power. In the past due to no scientific breakthroughs this wireless power idea was too much to ask for. Now with recent discoveries and new tests this world of wireless power may be closer than people think.
Due to a recent study from MIT, a group of graduate students have been fascinated with the idea of creating wireless power for devices. In the past small forms of this technology only laid in concepts of the electric toothbrush where electricity was passed from wall to brush through electric magnetic induction. Science tried to expand on this idea with furthering the distance between electric object but soon realized the impossibility of controlling or focusing magnetic fields farther than a foot were it could generate electricity household devices. We need another method of transporting energy. So like information sent for wireless internet or Bluetooth devices an electric pulse creates a radio wave with information sent through the air. The MIT researchers have recently had a successful test with powering a small electric device over seven feet away. They did this by sending a electromagnetic wave at a certain resonance frequency set for the same as the receiver on the device.
They got this idea from observing how a trumpet vibrates when a nearby trumpet sounds at the same resonance frequency. By noticing how the nearby trumpet vibrates, they applied this idea to a coiled u shape transmitter and receiver that vibrates at the same resonance frequency. Although this test proved successful, they are still working on sending enough power to power devices we use in every day lives and making the receiver’s small enough to fit on devices.
Although this sounds like a major breakthrough, which it is, there are plenty of complications to make this technology be consumer ready in a minimum of ten years.

February 16, 2009

New technology for 3D viewing of images

You have all seen and heard the new hype about 3D movies out in movie theaters across the country, but is it really 3D and what about wearing those funky read and blue glasses. Is this civilization not at the point where we can see 3D holographic images like on Star Trek or Star Wars episodes? This wait for a futuristic viewing machine may be in closer view than we think.
At the 2009 consumer electronic showcase held in Las Vegas this year, this show unveiled some new and interesting consumer technology. Panasonic showcased their newest invention, a 40 inch 3D television without any 3D glasses required. First, this is done by using a huge and expensive special lens on the TV.
There are two different ways to produce a three dimension object with-out the use of glasses for the TV. One way is to use a projection TV and project two slightly different moving objects at very fast speeds. These two images are projected on the screen and sent to our eyes.
Another way is to use a very sophisticated lens screen and focuses light images in only one direction and another in at a slightly different angle. These two images are then seen by our eye and converted in our mind to 3D objects. This last technology is the more popular and gives the better realistic 3D images.
With this new technology already starting to be available for the public the only question is if it will catch on with consumers. Is it really a need that must be filled or is it just an unnecessary item that will fade? These topics have been talked about and studies taken by large consumer electronic industries have predicted it will be the new hot and ingeniously design like the transition from black and white to color TV.
Although for a consumer point of view this two different ways of creating a 3D virtual environment and with companies not thinking together or setting any standards, could end up like the messy situation with competition with blue ray versus high definition and with a large audience sitting on the losing end with obsolete equipment. I think the best thing for any consumer would be to wait and see and don’t just buy something because it’s new and fancy. The futuristic technology is coming for everyone someday, but new breakthroughs in technology every year make that dream come sooner than we think.

January 31, 2009

New technology for the battery that could change our lives

Have you ever been somewhere expecting a phone call or an important message, its at the end of the day and your battery on your cell phone gives out and shuts down on you. This can not only be annoying but costly depending on the message being received. It's been more than 30 years since the first cell phone was invented and we still can not obtain a cell phone that can last more than a day of use until it dies on us. If you are in the same boat as many Americans are with the need and wanting of a longer lasting cell phone battery then listen up, our future may hold the answer that will solve all our problems with a revolutionary design complimenting the battery called a super capacitor.
Battery evolution has had its significant breakthroughs over the past years. Starting back in the early 50's when electronics were starting to be a popular and available community, but with this new emerging technology came the burden of supplying these inventions with power. However technology has come a long way with the battery so has the devices it powers. Not only do new devices need more power for longer use, today’s gadgets require consumers to use them more often with daily functions. In the beginning the cell phone was just used for calling now is more used to check your email, visit your favorite website, play games, and listen to your favorite music. All these functions drain a battery very fast to the point where most cell phones only last one day.
One way to make the battery last longer would cut out its functions that require a lot of power for only a short amount of time. This would include operations like the cell phone camera, checking email using the internet and listening to music. Since most consumers have to require these operations we need a power supply that can handle these short bursts of large power consumption. This is were new technology like the concept of super capacitors will come into effect. The basic understanding of a capacitor is a device that holds a charge and releases it when asked to. With new breakthrough technology in the material of the capacitor, it now can hold up to 10 to 100 times its charge then previously before. This concept however useful will never be able to one hundred percent replace the battery, but what it can do since super capacitor are very small in size comparable to the size of a quarter, it can work with the battery supplying power to devices that require larger amounts of power in short intervals were the battery is not rated for that. Researchers and companies are predicting the use of super capacitors in conjunction with latest batteries will allow the battery to last 2 to 3 times longer. This might mean a cell phone could last days with hard use until its next charge. One company that is leading the way with super capacitor implementation is Cap-xx an international company that is doing research with implementing super capacitors in a nokia 6680 cell phone.
Although there is much needed research for integrating super capacitors with batteries, one day in the near future of 2 to 5 years most small electronic devices will house a battery and a super capacitor.