|Aerogel starts as a silica dioxide gel, similar to the gelatine dessert you might make at home. Then the liquid in the gel is removed without collapsing the gel.
Tony Boon, Aerogel
Aerogel has gotten some amazing press. According to the U.K. Times Online:
It is expected to rank alongside wonder products from previous generations such as Bakelite in the 1930s, carbon fibre in the 1980s and silicone in the 1990s.
LapLogic, Inc. announced the release of a new line of LapDesks featuring Aerogel Insulation. This is the part of the press release that caught my eye. “Most laptop users are only able to work for an hour or so until the bottom of their laptops become too hot to hold comfortably. Many will place a pillow under the laptop, blocking the cooling fans, and decreasing the life of the system.”
There’s nothing like curling up on a cold snowy evening with a warm laptop, I always say. You can buy the aerogel lap pad at Amazon. I’ve got no interest in the company.
|[I’m thankful for] ringback tones. I’ve never actually spent money for them, and there’s always the risk I’ll have to suffer through some awful tune by The Pussycat Dolls when I call a mobile number. But hearing what my friends and colleagues are listening to almost always makes me smile.
Colin Gibbs, A time to be thankful: Mobile content is rarely dull
|“Middle-aged men are supposed to blow money on cars and alimony, not rebuilding a relic application from the glory days of PC software.”
Michael Fitzgerald, Buzzword Brings Beauty, Flash to Word Processing for Adobe
Lots of chatter this week about Adobe Buzzword. The general consensus seems to be that Buzzword is the first Web-based contender to pose a serious threat to Microsoft Word. You can try it out for yourself here.
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Sachi and Lee LeFever are excellent trainers, explaining complex concepts in plain English, hitting several learning styles at once in a deceptively simple format. Bravo!
The Commoncraft Paperwork video above explains RSS.
|Hod Lipson has developed a 3D fabrication-on-demand printer that can be built from a $3,000 kit. How cool is that?|
Fabbers build 3D objects by carefuly depositing materials drop by drop, layer by layer. Slowly but surely, with the right set of materials and a geometric blueprint, you can fabricate complex objects that would normally take special resources, tools and skills if produced using conventional manufacturing techniques.
Lose a chess piece? Need a new pair of flip flops? Make it yourself with a 3-D printer. You may have seen similar technology used on American Choppers, but now you can afford to bring it on home. This rapid kind of prototyping takes a CAD design, transforms into horizontal cross-sections and then creates each cross-section in physical space, one after the next until the model is finished.
|“Let’s face it, we’re skunk drunk and it’s because of money. It’s almost like we all need to enter Betty Ford Clinic 2.0 together. This time, it’s not stock market money but private equity, M&A, VCs and to some degree the reckless abandonment of logic by some advertisers who are perpetuating what is sure to end badly when the economy turns.”
Steve Rubel, The Web 2.0 World is Skunk Drunk on Its Own Kool-Aid
Finally, somebody is saying it out loud. Thanks Mr. Steve Rubel!
|“Sun and a consortium of other businesses are going to lower Blackbox self-contained computing facilities into a Japanese coal mine to set up an underground datacentre, using up to 50 percent less power than a ground-level datacentre.”
Chris Mellor, Sun to set up datacentre in coal mine
Sun Microsystems promoted their “datacenter in a box” concept earlier this year. The datacenters are basically 20-foot shipping containers with racks of pre-configured servers and storage. The idea is that you’d be able to build a datacenter as big as you need because the Blackboxes are modular units — and because they’re self-contained shipping containers, you could ship them just about anywhere — including outer space.
When I first read about Project Blackbox, I was thinking military. But I hadn’t thought about using caves and abandoned mines for commercial use. Genius.
In the Japan project, the coolant is going to be ground water — a little controversial, but they’re working on getting away from water altogether. Since the cave’s temperature is a constant 59 degrees F, the cost of running the underground center is expected to be $9 million less than if it were above ground.
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|The Los Angeles Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol will be the first two beta testers for the StarChase Fixed/Mobile Asset Tracking System.|
More cop technology designed to make car chases obsolete. The StarChase system, which is fairly low tech compared to other schemes like HPEMS, lets police shoot a GPS tracking bullet from the front bumper of the police car and tag the back of the vehicle they’re pursuing. The goal? To allow police to follow the bad guys at a more leisurely pace.
On a similar note, General Motors plans to equip 1.7 million of its 2009-model vehicles with an OnStar system that will allow a police officer to remotely slow the engine of a stolen vehicle to idle speed.