August 13, 2011

What are the optimal plans, technologies and governance to nearterm leapfrogging to a super advances city

Modern cities like Rome of old were not built in a day. Until we get molecular nanotechnology fully developed a goal like Rome in a day will probably be beyond the possible. However, we can get far closer to far more rapid development and redevelopment.

One big shift would be power and communication that could be factory built in shipping container sizes and made usable with minimal onsite additional infrastructure.

Nuclear fission or fusion that could fit in a shipping container and could safely and effectively transmit wireless power to devices or produce charge portable energy storage or make liquid fuel for local use. If those things come together regions that are underdeveloped because of power constraints would be able rapidly build up.

Open Discussion Thread Below

In the disqus thread below you can suggest articles and topics that you want covered or open discussion on any other topical

August 11, 2011

Material makes hydrogen gas 10 times faster than natural enzyme, uses inexpensive metals

Looking to nature for their muse, researchers have used a common protein to guide the design of a material that can make energy-storing hydrogen gas. The synthetic material works 10 times faster than the original protein found in water-dwelling microbes, the researchers report in the August 12 issue of the journal Science, clocking in at 100,000 molecules of hydrogen gas every second.

A Synthetic Nickel Electrocatalyst with a Turnover Frequency Above 100,000 s−1 for H2 Production

3D cloak for microwave invisibility is first to work in free space

Physicists in the US claim to have created the first 3D invisibility cloak that can operate alone in free space. The cloak, based on a "plasmonic" shell, can hide a cigar-sized cylinder from microwaves – although it currently only operates for one microwave polarization.

Arxiv - Experimental 3D Plasmonic Cloaking in Free Space

We report the first experimental verification of a metamaterial cloak for a 3D object in free space. We apply the plasmonic cloaking technique, based on scattering cancellation, to suppress microwave scattering from a finite dielectric cylinder. We verify that scattering suppression is obtained all around the object and for different incidence angles, validating our measurements with analytical results and full-wave simulations. Our experiment confirms that realistic and robust plasmonic metamaterial cloaks may be realized for elongated 3D objects at microwave frequencies.

IEA monthly Energy Statistics through May, 2011

The International Energy Agency has released energy statistics for the OECD through May 2011.

Nuclear generation was off 7.7% versus May 2010. (13 TWH less)
The pace of nuclear power generation is 1% below 2010 for January through May.

The United States was 15.8% below nuclear generation for May 2010.
Japan was down 35%.

Stanford economist predicts 'large, short-run recession

Associate Professor Nicholas Bloom studied 19 previous uncertainty shocks – events like 9/11, the Cuban missile crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy – and the only certain thing about these is that they lead to large short-run recessions. When people are uncertain about the future they wait and do nothing.

Based on my research, I predict another short, sharp contraction in late 2011 of about 1 percent, with a rebound in spring 2012. This research looks at the average impact of the previous 19 uncertainty shocks to predict the impact of future shocks. Typically, these lead to reductions of growth of about 2 percent immediately after the shock, with a recovery about six months later once uncertainty subsides.

Social Media, Privacy, Mass Surveillance, London Riots and the Arab Uprising

London had several days of rioting which were initial triggered by the shooting a gang member and then spread into rioting related to looting/shopping.

The first day after London started burning, I spoke to Claire Fox, radical leftwinger and resident of Wood Green. On Sunday morning, apparently, people had been not just looting H&M, but trying things on first. By Monday night, Debenhams in Clapham Junction was empty, and in a cheeky touch, the streets were thronging with people carrying Debenhams bags. Four hours before, I had still thought this was just a north London thing. Fox said the riots seemed nihilistic, they didn't seem to be politically motivated, nor did they have any sense of community or social solidarity. This was inarguable. As one brave woman in Hackney put it: "We're not all gathering together for a cause, we're running down Foot Locker."

How do you start a riot? Today social media, combined with a catalyst of some sort, helps. These young agitators were able quickly amass themselves in new locations because they were spreading the word about attacks through Facebook, Twitter and (especially) the encrypted messaging system offered by BlackBerrys. One message, obtained by The Guardian, gave specific coordinates saying, “Everyone in edmonton enfield wood green everywhere in north link up at enfield town station at 4 o clock sharp!”

China yuan strengthens past 6.4 to the US dollar

Follow up leg muscle regeneration

Corporal Isaias Hernandez had his right leg mangled in 2004 in Iraq. He lost 70% of his thigh muscle. “The whole thing was gone,” Hernandez explained. “You could see the femur.”

Hernandez was one of the first to try a radical therapy to spark his body to regrow the lost tissue and function. Using what’s called extracellular matrix from a pig, his body recruited its own stem cells to regrow muscle, nerves and vessels.

“A few days after the surgery, there was some twitching, some spasming, some tingling that wasn’t there before,” he said. “And then in a few weeks, I started seeing better results in physical therapy.”

Regenerative medicine pioneer Dr. Stephen Badylak explained the biologic implant as the glue that holds the cells together, a scaffolding with a plan.

Past coverage of using pig bladder powder and extracellular matrices to regenerate muscle

Tissue Regeneration with Extracellular Matrices and BioDome Regenerative Sleeve

August 10, 2011

Defkalion claims they have an Energy Catalyzer that will commercialized as planned

Diamond's Quantum Memory paving the way to quantum computer chips

The Quantum Chip: In the center, there is the microwave resonator and the dark diamond.

Two completely different quantum systems were successfully joined at Vienna University of Technology (TU Vienna). This should pave the way to feasible quantum-computer microchips. Microwaves have now been coupled to the quantum states of a diamond.

Physical Review Letters - Cavity QED with Magnetically Coupled Collective Spin States

New drug could cure nearly any viral infection including the common cold, SARS and flu

a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.

Researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Lab have developed technology that may someday cure the common cold, influenza and other ailments. A team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.

The researchers tested their drug against 15 viruses, and found it was effective against all of them — including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever.

PLos ONE - Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Therapeutics

Will graphene replace silicon in computer chips? An interview with Bhagawan Sahu by Sander Olson

Exclusive interview with Bhagawan Sahu by Sander Olson for Nextbigfuture.

Due to its desirable mechanical and electronic properties, increasing numbers of scientists are researching the potential of graphene in integrated circuits. A simple graphene integrated circuit has been fabricated by IBM. Researchers have also demonstrated graphene analogue transistors operating at 155 GHz. At the microelectronics research center in Texas, Dr. Bhagawan Sahu is working on creating digital circuits made from graphene. In an interview with Sander Olson, Dr. Sahu discusses the fundamental advantages of using graphene in electronics, and the potential for creating the first commercially available graphene digital microprocessors by 2023.

Bhagawan Sahu
Question: The Microelectronics Research Center is working on digital logic and memory devices based on graphene. Is the center doing any work on silicon?

Ultrathin Zirconium Disulfide Nanodiscs

Journal of the American chemical society - Ultrathin Zirconium Disulfide Nanodiscs

We present a colloidal route for the synthesis of ultrathin ZrS2 (UT-ZrS2) nanodiscs that are 1.6 nm thick and consist of approximately two unit cells of S–Zr–S. The lateral size of the discs can be tuned to 20, 35, or 60 nm while their thickness is kept constant. Under the appropriate conditions, these individual discs can self-assemble into face-to-face-stacked structures containing multiple discs. Because the S–Zr–S layers within individual discs are held together by weak van der Waals interactions, each UT-ZrS2 disc provides spaces that can serve as host sites for intercalation. When we tested UT-ZrS2 discs as anodic materials for Li+ intercalation, they showed excellent nanoscale size effects, enhancing the discharge capacity by 230% and greatly improving the stability in comparison with bulk ZrS2. The nanoscale size effect was especially prominent for their performance in fast charging/discharging cycles, where an 88% average recovery of reversible capacity was observed for UT-ZrS2 discs with a lateral diameter of 20 nm. The nanoscale thickness and lateral size of UT-ZrS2 discs are critical for fast and reliable intercalation cycling because those dimensions both increase the surface area and provide open edges that enhance the diffusion kinetics for guest molecules.

Invisibility cloaking for the whole spectrum

A light trajectory is shown against the distribution of the εσ values. The light ray enters the device, completes a loop, bounces off the mirror twice and leaves the cloak with its original direction restored (A). Panel (B) gives a closer view of the vicinity of the inner branch of the cloak. Objects placed within the white region are invisible.

An undergraduate student has overcome a major hurdle in the development of invisibility cloaks by adding an optical device into their design that not only remains invisible itself, but also has the ability to slow down light.

The optical device, known as an 'invisible sphere', would slow down all of the light that approaches a potential cloak, meaning that the light rays would not need to be accelerated around the cloaked objects at great speeds ― a requirement that has limited invisibility cloaks to work only in a specified region of the visible spectrum.

This new research, published today, Tuesday 9 August, in the Institute of Physics and German Physical Society's New Journal of Physics, could open up the possibility for a potential invisibility cloak wearer to move around amongst ever-changing backgrounds of a variety of colours.

August 09, 2011

Researchers use human cells to engineer functional anal sphincters in lab

Researchers have built the first functional anal sphincters in the laboratory, suggesting a potential future treatment for both fecal and urinary incontinence. Made from muscle and nerve cells, the sphincters developed a blood supply and maintained function when implanted in mice. The results are reported in the medical journal Gastroenterology.

This work could also eventually lead to the replace of the colon and sphincter that gets removed during a Colectomy (usually to treat colon cancer).

"In essence, we have built a replacement sphincter that we hope can one day benefit human patients. This is the first bioengineered sphincter made with both muscle and nerve cells, making it 'pre-wired' for placement in the body," said senior author Khalil N. Bitar, Ph.D., a professor of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Bitar performed the work when he was on the University of Michigan faculty and it included a colleague from Emory University.

Sphincters are ring-like muscles that maintain constriction of a body passage. There are numerous sphincters in the human body, including those that control the release of urine and feces. There are actually two sphincters at the anus – one internal and one external. Fecal incontinence is the result of a weakened internal sphincter.

Wearable Performance Enhancement

Popsci - the NBA has officially banned Athletic Propulsion Labs's Concept 1 sneaker. The Concept 1 uses a spring-loaded system to allegedly improve a player's vertical leap by a few (but significant) inches

The Concept 1, has a sort of hard elastic rubber bit that runs from the heel to the forefoot, connecting with the "Load 'N Launch" device at the forefoot. The "Load 'N Launch" is basically a spring in between two pieces of plastic which theoretically uses the energy transferred from the heel to increase one's vertical leap.

Sports Illustrated tested the Concept 1 back in September, 2010 and found that they do actually work--at least sometimes. A two-footed leap seems to be the only way to feel any difference, and even then, only some testers noticed an improvement. But it did, when used in a specific way, by a specific player, sometimes result in an extra inch or three of air.

Intraday Apple was most valuable company in the world

Portable, super-high-resolution 3-D imaging for micrometer resolution using a soda can size sensor

Not only do the images produced by GelSight, a new, portable imaging system from researchers in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, have a resolution that previously required expensive laboratory equipment, but they're 3-D, too. Here, GelSight images particles of ink spelling the word 'ink' on a piece of paper. Image: Micah Kimo Johnson

A simple new imaging system could help manufacturers inspect their products, forensics experts identify weapons and doctors identify cancers.

By combining a clever physical interface with computer-vision algorithms, researchers in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences have created a simple, portable imaging system that can achieve resolutions previously possible only with large and expensive lab equipment. The device could provide manufacturers with a way to inspect products too large to fit under a microscope and could also have applications in medicine, forensics and biometrics.

The heart of the system, dubbed GelSight, is a slab of transparent, synthetic rubber, one of whose sides is coated with a paint containing tiny flecks of metal. When pressed against the surface of an object, the paint-coated side of the slab deforms. Cameras mounted on the other side of the slab photograph the results, and computer-vision algorithms analyze the images.

A silicon chip with integrated laser and optical grating offers new possibilities for telecommunications

An ark-shaped diffraction grating is used to selectively reflect light from a laser back into the device. The photo also shows the waveguides used to channel light back and forth. Copyright : A*STAR Research

Silicon is an ideal platform for integrated photonic circuits because the material is cheap and readily available. Silicon chips with an integrated laser source capable of emitting light at a specific wavelength are particularly useful in telecommunications. Unfortunately, silicon is a material with high optical loss, which often degrades the output power and performance of the laser source. Yongqiang Wei at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute and co-workers have now fabricated a silicon chip that integrates not only a laser, but also an optical grating that provides optical gain and ensures that the laser outputs light at wavelengths near 1,550 nm—the standard operating wavelength for telecommunications devices.

Optics Express - Silicon/III-V laser with super-compact diffraction grating for WDM applications in electronic-photonic integrated circuits

Nottingham scientists pioneer new method for nanoribbon production

Carbon nanotubes serve as containers and nanoreactors for molecules.

Researchers have demonstrated that carbon nanotubes can be used as nanoscale chemical reactors and chemical reactions involving carbon and sulphur atoms held within a nanotube lead to the formation of atomically thin strips of carbon, known as graphene nanoribbon, decorated with sulphur atoms around the edge.

Nature Materials - Self-assembly of a sulphur-terminated graphene nanoribbon within a single-walled carbon nanotube

Nanoscale Secret to Stronger Alloys

When aluminum is alloyed with the right proportions of scandium and lithium through a simple series of heat treatments, nanoparticle inclusions form in the aluminum matrix (dark background) whose cores, made of aluminum, scandium, and lithium (dark circles), vary in diameter and whose shells, made of aluminum and lithium (bright rings), vary in thickness. But their overall diameters are remarkably uniform.

Scientists at Berkeley Lab find nanoparticle size is readily controlled to make stronger aluminum alloys.

Scientists have now combined atomic-scale observations with the powerful TEAM microscope at Berkeley Lab’s National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) with atom-probe tomography and other experimental techniques, and with theoretical calculations, to reveal how nanoparticles consisting of cores rich in scandium and surrounded by lithium-rich shells can disperse in remarkably uniform sizes throughout a pure aluminum matrix.

Store CO2 Underground and Extract Electricity

This looks like a maze, but it's actually a schematic of a way to combine CO2 storage and geothermal energy production. Starting with CO2 on the left, follow the arrows to learn how the proposed pilot test will work.

A team led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) scientists hopes to become the first in the world to produce electricity from the Earth’s heat using CO2. They also want to permanently store some of the CO2 underground, where it can’t contribute to climate change.

About a year from now, two nondescript shipping containers will be installed in a field in Cranfield, Mississippi. They’ll house turbines designed to generate electricity in a way that’s never been done before. If initial tests go well, the technology could lead to a new source of clean, domestic energy and a new way to fight climate change

$1.5 billion Star Trek Theme Park funded for Aqaba, Jordan

Hotelier Middle East - US$1.5 billion of funding has been secured for a major tourism and theme park development in Jordan, featuring a Star-Trek inspired attraction.

Construction work on the 74-hectare Red Sea Astrarium project in Aqaba, which will include four hotels and 17 entertainment developments, is expected to start early 2012.

August 08, 2011

John Slough fusion space propulsion

John Slough has been working on Helion Energy fusion. He was funded for $100,000 for a phase 1 NIAC project for Nuclear Propulsion through Direct Conversion of Fusion Energy.

Helion Energy - Nuclear fusion by supersonic field reversed configuration plasmoids is adaptable for space propulsion

The ElectroMagnetic Plasmoid Thruster

The EMPT thruster, funded by NASA, is a 1 kW-class RMF thruster, operates on the same physics principles as the ELF thruster. This device, less than 4 inches in diameter, has proven that pulsed inductive technolgoies can be succesfully miniaturized. Indeed, this thruster has demonstrated operation from 0.5 to 5 Joules, as well as the first pulsed inductive steady state operation. The EMPT has demonstrated greater than 1E8 continuous plasma discharges.

In 2010, they had a $100,000 SBIR grant for a Low Mass Electromagnetic Plasmoid Thruster with Integrated PPU

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts funds 30 projects

NASA has selected 30 proposals for funding under the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts, or NIAC, program. The advanced concepts selected for study under NIAC were chosen based on their potential to transform our future space missions, enable new capabilities or significantly alter current approaches to launching, building and operating space systems.

Each proposal will receive approximately $100,000 for one year to advance the innovative space technology concept and help NASA meet operational and future mission requirements.

Proposals include a broad range of imaginative and creative ideas, such as: changing the course of dangerous orbital debris; a spacesuit that uses flywheels to stabilize and assist astronauts as they work in microgravity; the use of 3-D printing to create a planetary outpost; and multiple innovative propulsion and power concepts needed for future space mission operations.

Cosmic log has coverage and some links to related research for some of the projects

Argonne scientists design self-assembled "micro-robots"

Alexey Snezhko and Igor Aronson , physicists at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, have coaxed "micro-robots" to do their bidding. The robots, just half a millimeter wide, are composed of microparticles. Confined between two liquids, they assemble themselves into star shapes when an alternating magnetic field is applied. Photo courtesy of Argonne National Laboratory

Argonne National Laboratory has coaxed "micro-robots" to do their bidding. The robots, just half a millimeter wide, are composed of microparticles. Confined between two liquids, they assemble themselves into star shapes when an alternating magnetic field is applied. Snezhko and Aronson can control the robots' movement and even make them pick up, transport and put down other non-magnetic particles—potentially enabling fabrication of precisely designed functional materials in ways not currently possible.

Nature Materials - Magnetic manipulation of self-assembled colloidal asters

Tunable metallic-like conductivity in microbial nanowire networks

The discovery of a fundamental, previously unknown property of microbial nanowires in the bacterium Geobacter sulfurreducens that allows electron transport across long distances could revolutionize nanotechnology and bioelectronics This may one day lead to cheaper, nontoxic nanomaterials for biosensors and solid state electronics that interface with biological systems. Networks of bacterial filaments, known as microbial nanowires because they conduct electrons along their length, can move charges as efficiently as synthetic organic metallic nanostructures, and they do it over remarkable distances, thousands of times the bacterium’s length.

Nature Nanotechnology - Tunable metallic-like conductivity in microbial nanowire networks

Taiwan i2r ePaper can be rewritten 260 times

The rewritable e-paper only requires heat to store or transmit images on the flexible cholesteric liquid crystal panel. This e-paper can achieve 300dpi high resolution with memory function. It does not consume electricity. To change any content, you can simply put the paper into a thermal writing device to complete at once image removing and writing step. It is both eco-friendly and rewritable for multiple times.

Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute has created i2r ePaper. i2r ePaper is rewritable e-paper that only requires heat to store or transmit images on the flexible cholesteric liquid crystal panel. The paper can be thermally reprinted up to 260 times, and researchers hope to increase that number to 500 times over the next year or two. ITRI expects the technology to be used mostly for frequently-changing signs in stores and other public places. But they’ve also been testing it out in some other interesting applications. Researchers demonstrated e-wallpaper, an e-paper clock that electronically refreshed each second and e-tickets that can be recycled and reprinted for multiple events. This new e-paper doesn’t require back-lighting

This e-paper can achieve 300dpi high resolution with memory function. It does not consume electricity. To change any content, you can simply put the paper into a thermal writing device to complete at once image removing and writing step. It is both eco-friendly and rewritable for multiple times. At the same time, since the thermal writing head is small in size and consumes minimal electricity, it is unnecessary to carry out the image removing step. Production cost is low and easy to carry out mass production. Recently, the technology has completed industry science and technology program with 4 material manufacturers and 5 equipment operators, and also transferred technology to Changchun Chemical Engineering for trial mass production. In the future, the technology may be used for producing digital books and pictorials without restriction on length, electronic bulletin board, situational wall paper, large size digital bulletin board and other innovative applications. Predictably, it will create new business opportunities for advertising, architecture and the cultural creative industry.

Japan’s 2012 GDP Could Drop 5.6% If Reactors Remain Shut

A short-term energy outlook report released by Japan’s Institute of Energy Economics estimates that if the country’s nuclear plants do not begin to restart this fall after shutting down for periodic inspections, there will be a 7.8 percent shortage in the primary energy supply by next summer and a 5.6 percent, $98 billion drop in gross domestic product. Presently only 15 of Japan’s 54 reactors are generating electricity, all of which could be shut down for inspection by next summer.

An octave spanning chip-based optical ruler

Figure: Octave spanning frequency comb generation in a microresonator. Panel (a) shows the experiment with a glass nano-fiber and a silicon chip with optical resonators. A scanning electron microscope picture of a resonator is shown in panel (b). Panel (c) shows the optical spectrum of the frequency comb generated in such a microresonator seeded by a single frequency laser.

Max Planck In-stitute of Quantum Optics have developed octave-spanning frequency comb with a microresonator. This achievement brings a variety of applications into reach, such as optical telecommunications or the precise calibration of spectrographs in astrophysics.

A frequency comb is a light source containing – similar to a rainbow – a large spectrum of colours. However, the frequencies are not continuously distributed. Instead, up to a million spectral lines are spaced in exactly the same distance. The superposition of this “comb” with another laser beam results in a pattern from which the unknown laser frequency can be determined with very high accuracy. The frequency comb developed by Prof. Hänsch is based on a mode-locking process in short-pulse lasers. This set-up consists of many optical components, even though it is made today relatively compact and commercially available. Indeed, Menlo System a spin-off company established by MPQ which is meanwhile marketing the frequency comb technology worldwide.

Physical Review Letters - Octave Spanning Tunable Frequency Comb from a Microresonator

Qualcomm Quadcore Snapdragon S4 will be more powerful than Sony PS3 Gaming console

Qualcomm is claiming that its next generation of Snapdragon chips will bring greater power to phones than today's Sony PS3 gaming consoles.

The Snapdragon S4 'Krait' devices set to be launched at the end of 2011. Qualcomm has said that the S4 devices will include 28nm quad core processors. The Krait Snapdragon S4 chip, with upgraded Adreno 225 GPU - will be able to display more fluid and faster graphics on your phone than even a PS3.

Instead of spacetime there is a proposed phase space a curved momentum space

Arxiv - The principle of relative locality (12 pages)

* what is phase space? It is a curious eight-dimensional world that merges our familiar four dimensions of space and time and a four-dimensional world called momentum space.

* When you look at the world around you you don't ever observe space or time - instead you see energy and momentum. When you look at your watch, for example, photons bounce off a surface and land on your retina. By detecting the energy and momentum of the photons, your brain reconstructs events in space and time.

* For observers in a curved momentum space, however, even space-time is relative

Relative Locality - if you are 10 billion light years from a supernova and the energy of its light is about 10 gigaelectronvolts, then your measurement of its location in space-time would differ from a local observer's by a light second. That may not sound like much, but it amounts to 300,000 kilometres

We propose a deepening of the relativity principle according to which the invariant arena for non-quantum physics is a phase space rather than spacetime. Descriptions of particles propagating and interacting in spacetimes are constructed by observers, but different observers, separated from each other by translations, construct different spacetime projections from the invariant phase space. Nonetheless, all observers agree that interactions are local in the spacetime coordinates constructed by observers local to them. This framework, in which absolute locality is replaced by relative locality, results from deforming momentum space, just as the passage from absolute to relative simultaneity results from deforming the linear addition of velocities. Different aspects of momentum space geometry, such as its curvature, torsion and non-metricity, are reflected in different kinds of deformations of the energy-momentum conservation laws. These are in principle all measurable by appropriate experiments. We also discuss a natural set of physical hypotheses which singles out the cases of momentum space with a metric compatible connection and constant curvature

New Scientist has coverage

China starts 14th nuclear reactor and Canadian Uranium Producers Optimistic

1. The second unit at China's Ling Ao II nuclear power plant entered commercial operation on 7 August, China Guangdong Nuclear Power Co (CGNPC) announced. The 1080 MWe Chinese-designed CPR-1000 pressurised water reactor (PWR) achieved first criticality on 25 February and was connected to the grid on 3 May. CGNPC said that the unit entered into commercial operation following 168 hours of successful test operation. It becomes China's 14th operating nuclear power reactor.

17 other CPR-1000s already under construction. Work is planned to begin on at least five more during 2011.

August 07, 2011

Rossi and Focardi Energy Catalyzer - Defkalion Rossi Divorce

Andrea Rossi and Defkalion have terminated their contractual licensing agreement.

Bologna-Rome (Italy) August 4th 2011
EFA- Energia da Fonti Alternative srl, the Italian Company through which the rights for the production of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat were granted to Praxen Defkalion Green Technologies LTD, publicly announces that the License and Technology Transfer Agreement between the two companies has been recently terminated. All business relationships with Praxen , the Cyprus based company that owns the Greek company Defkalion Green Technologies S.A., have been cancelled and asof today neither Praxen nor Defkalion, nor any other Greek company whatsoever holds any rights for the production of the E-Cat or for any other exploitation of Andrea Rossi’s technology.

Kingdom Tower cheaper to build than Burj Khalifa

Aerial view of proposed Kingdom Tower. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Kingdom Tower, the planned 1km-high building backed by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed, will be cheaper to build than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.

The building that plans to steal the title of world’s tallest tower will cost $1.2bn [if there are no budget overruns] to build, the company said in a statement, a significant drop from the Burj Khalifa’s $1.5bn price tag

The last coverage here had several pictures and details on the building that has been funded for construction.

Global Mobile Statistics July 2011

Mobithinking -There are 5.3 billion mobile subscribers as of July 2011 (77 percent of the world population.

• China: 859 million mobile subscribers (64 percent of population) in Dec 2010, up 112 million from 2009. Of these 47 million were 3G mobile phone users (National Bureau of Statistics of China February 2011).

• India: 840.28 million subscribers (70 percent of population) in May 2011, up 223 million from May 2010 (TRAI, June 2010).

• USA: 302.9 million subscribers (96 percent of population) in Dec 2010 (CTIA).

* Half a billion people accessed mobile Internet worldwide in 2009. Usage is expected to double within five years as mobile overtakes the PC as the most popular way to get on the Web.

* Just in China there are 277 million mobile Web users.

* Many mobile Web users are mobile-only, i.e. they do not, or very rarely use a desktop, laptop or tablet to access the Web. Even in the US 25 percent of mobile Web users are mobile-only.

One Billion smartphone sales per year by 2016

Sales of smartphones will exceed 420 million devices in 2011, accounting for nearly 28 percent of the entire global handset market. With the introduction of more affordable “entry-level” smartphones, IMS Research predicts that annual sales will surpass one billion devices by the end of 2016, accounting for one of every two mobile handsets sold.

Cheaper Internet-ready phones and Facebook in India

Cheaper Internet-ready phones may make India Facebook Inc.'s biggest market after the U.S. next year with more than 50 million users. There are 729 million facebook users worldwide according to

The number of active accounts in India jumped 85% to 32 million this year, according to, which tracks user data at the Palo Alto, California-based company.

That's the world's third-biggest behind the 153 million in the US and 39.2 million in Indonesia. Mobile handset sales in the world's second-fastest growing major economy will surpass 206 million units annually in 2014 from 175.9 million last year, says Gartner.

Sparse Voxel Octree Graphics is Very Detailed but has Drawbacks

An Australian company Euclideon is claiming to be on the verge of a breakthrough in the way computer graphics are created which could increase the amount of detail in video games and other media by 100,000 times.

Euclideon website

Euclidion announced its Unlimited Detail technology in 2010 then disappeared without trace while the tech world called hoax, is back on the scene. The company says it will soon turn the whole world of computer graphics on its head with technology which uses 'little atoms' rather than the more traditional polygons currently used by game designers.

Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson says "They're hyping this as something new and revolutionary because they want funding. It's a scam. Don't get excited. Or, more correctly, get excited about voxels, but not about the snake oil salesmen."

They made a voxel renderer, probably based on sparse voxel octrees. That’s cool and all, but.. To quote the video, the island in the video is one km^2. Let’s assume a modest island height of just eight meters, and we end up with 0.008 km^3. At 64 atoms per cubic millimeter (four per millimeter), that is a total of 512 000 000 000 000 000 atoms. If each voxel is made up of one byte of data, that is a total of 512 petabytes of information, or about 170 000 three-terrabyte harddrives full of information. In reality, you will need way more than just one byte of data per voxel to do colors and lighting, and the island is probably way taller than just eight meters, so that estimate is very optimistic.

So obviously, it’s not made up of that many unique voxels.

It’s a very pretty and very impressive piece of technology, but they’re carefully avoiding to mention any of the drawbacks, and they’re pretending like what they’re doing is something new and impressive. In reality, it’s been done several times before

Others working on Voxel Engines
* Atomontage Engine
* Ken Silverman (the guy who wrote the Build engine, used in Duke Nukem 3D) has been working on a voxel engine called Voxlap, which is the basis for Voxelstein 3d

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