Friday, April 21, 2006

Get to Work

Online Generators 1

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Launch Your Experiment Into Space for $99

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 18 — For $99 anyone can now send a payload into space through a new suborbital space launch service. Masten Space Systems’ new “CanSats To Space” payload program will carry 350 gram, “soda can” sized payloads into space and back.
Typical payloads include science experiments such as amateur space telescopes, surveys of cellular mitosis in microgravity, and multi-spectral earth imaging missions for environmental science experiments. Experiments that until recently were only available to scientists with million dollar budgets.

The company’s XA 1.0 suborbital launch vehicle will carry the CanSats into space (at least 100 kilometers) where they will experience several minutes of microgravity and can be exposed to the vacuum of space. The vehicle will then gently return to its take-off point where the CanSats are removed and shipped back to their owners. The vehicle itself provides power and data communications for each CanSat which allows the customer to focus on their particular application.

I'm still thinking about what I need to send up into space. Any ideas?

Buy the CanSat hardware at Pratt Hobbies

Masten Space Systems blog

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

UN Promoting Camel Milk

This is not a joke. Next thing you know, we'll be completely dependent on camel milk imports....

19 April 2006 – Developing camel dairy products such as milk can not only provide more food to people in arid and semi-arid areas but also give nomadic herders a rich source of income, with a $10 billion world market entirely within the realm of possibility, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“The potential is massive. Milk is money,” FAO’s Dairy and Meat expert Anthony Bennett said in a review of camel milk potential, noting that the agency is hoping donors and investors will come forward to develop the sector not only at the local level but helping it move into lucrative markets in the Middle East and the West.

From the Western Sahara to Mongolia demand is booming for camel milk, but there just isn’t enough to go round. State-of-the art camel rearing is rudimentary, and much of the 5.4 million tonnes of milk currently produced every year by the world population of some 20 million camels is guzzled by young camels themselves.

To devotees, camel milk is pure nectar. While slightly saltier than cows’ milk, it is three times as rich in Vitamin C as its bovine equivalent. But tapping the market involves surmounting a series of humps in production, manufacturing and marketing.

But the main challenge stems from the fact that the producers involved are, overwhelmingly, nomads, a situation similar to a tomato cannery depending on suppliers who regularly disappear, taking their tomatoes with them.

Another problem is that nomad camel herders are often reluctant to sell their spare milk, which tradition reserves for honoured guests and the poor. It has been noted, however, that such reluctance can be dispelled by the offer of a good price.

Jumping on the camel train, Vienna-based chocolatier Johann Georg Hochleitner intends to launch this autumn a low-fat, camel milk chocolate with funding from the Abu Dhabi royal family, making it in Austria from powdered milk produced at Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, then shipping 50 tons back to the Gulf each month.

By surmounting a few production humps, camel milk could bring in billions – UN

Sunday, April 16, 2006

What's the Mood of the Internet?

MoodViews is a collection of tools for tracking the stream of mood-annotated text made available by LiveJournal.

MoodViews consists of three components, each offering a different view of global mood levels, the aggregate across all postings of the various moods:

* Moodgrapher tracks the global mood levels,
* Moodteller predicts them, and
* Moodsignals helps in understanding the underlying reasons for mood changes.

MoodViews — MoodViews

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Tiny Batteries Built By Viruses

MIT scientists have harnessed the construction talents of tiny viruses to build ultra-small "nanowire" structures for use in very thin lithium-ion batteries.

The goal of the work, led by MIT Professors Angela Belcher, Paula Hammond and Yet-Ming Chiang, is to create batteries that cram as much electrical energy into as small or lightweight a package as possible.
By manipulating a few genes inside these viruses, the team was able to coax the organisms to grow and self-assemble into a functional electronic device.

The batteries they hope to build could range from the size of a grain of rice up to the size of existing hearing aid batteries.

They manipulated the genes in a laboratory strain of a common virus, making the microbes collect exotic materials -- cobalt oxide and gold. And because these viruses are negatively charged, they can be layered between oppositely charged polymers to form thin, flexible sheets.

The result? A dense, virus-loaded film that serves as an anode.

Researchers build tiny batteries with viruses - MIT News Office

Varibel, Hearing Aid Glasses

Engineers at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have developed glasses that include microphones for amplifying sound.
The glasses use a group of four microphones on the sides of the glasses to focus the sound reception to where the user is looking.

The eyeglass hearing device has two distinct improvements over traditional hearing aids. First, there is no apparent apparatus. The amplifiers are completely contained in the glasses frame. Second, the multiple microphones and processing allow the most amplification for sounds where the person is looking while reducing the surrounding noise. This greatly improves the ability to communicate with others.

TU Delft - New Dutch invention: Varibel, the glasses that hear