Currently browsing category

Technology / Science

Super-light materials / Ideas at Davos

    Hierarchical Design & Solar Panels: A World Economic Forum Discussion –  in this 3-min video clip Caltech materials scientist Julia Greer explains how hierarchical design can help create very light-weight materials – “up to 99% air, but that yet retain the high stiffness and high strength of their …

Most unusual data centers

  Infographic: Nine most unusual data centers in the world –  take a graphic tour of data centers that are out of the ordinary because of siting (an abandoned nuclear bunker, a WWII anti-aircraft platform, inside a mountain), portability (using shipping containers), cooling methods (one uses the entire lower floor …

Piranha etching, nanowire solar cells, and the photovoltaic holy grail

  “Piranha Etching” Could Push Nanowire Solar Cells Way Past Theoretical Limits – research in Holland is showing how to dramatically increase the efficiency of nanowire solar cells using ‘piranha etching’, a method of chemically cleaning the surface of the wires.  The large surface area of nanowire tends to have …

2013 R&D 100 Award Winners

  R&D Magazine 2013 R&D 100 Winners – list of the 100 “most technologically significant products introduced into the marketplace over the past year.”  (see the accompanying press release)  Winners are in alphabetical order by primary developer company or research institution.   The R&D 100 Awards recognize excellence across a …

Big data, technology, and the management of urban space

  How Will Smart Cities Transform the Future? – post about Cisco Systems Smart+Connected Communities initiative.  It combines data, technology, city services, and infrastructure into a network they say offers unprecedented opportunities (a “potential value of $14.4 trillion over the next decade“) for economic, social, and environmental sustainability.   This is …

New passive cooling material for buildings

          New Cooling Technology for Buildings Works In the Full Heat of a Sunny Day – electrical engineers at Stanford have discovered a “metal-dielectric photonic structure” that acts like a mirror to solar light reflecting the Sun’s energy, emits what it reflects within a specific range of …

‘Philanthropic’ future car technology

  Daimler envisions the future of car technology – car-maker Daimler recently sponsored a Future Talk event  to imagine the “evolving role of vehicles in the future.”   All of the ideas for using vehicles to make our lives safer and easier reuse some already-existing aspect of cars (GPS, waste heat) and apply them …

Digital Public Library of America

The Digital Public Library of America is launching on April 18-19 in Boston.  This huge and long-awaited project is a cooperative non-profit venture undertaken by libraries, museums and other institutions from across the country, aggregating access to digitized content and making it all easily searchable and accessible.  Their Elements page …

Cool roofs – Blue roofs

    Cool Blue Roofs May Be The Secret To Energy Savings – on the amount of energy savings that could be realized if more buildings had ‘cool’ roofs, roofs that reflect rather than absorb sunlight. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heat Island Group says a national campaign could save …

Tech boom – Watson in Africa

  Information technology in Africa: The next frontier (The Economist) – IBM, along with other tech firms, is setting up shop in Africa, last year opening one of its twelve global research labs in Nairobi. Africa’s chief attraction is that it has been growing while richer regions have stalled …. Its …

Visual & optical phenomena

102 Visual Phenomena  & Visual Illusions – website of Michael Bach, a German professor of ophthalmology.  Each illusion or phenomenon is explained, includes references, and an interactive way to convince yourself of what’s really happening.  Absorbing and fascinating, especially for anyone involved with design, color, signage and wayfinding.  Shown here …

SHoP designs Africa’s Silicon Valley

    SHoP Breaks Ground on Africa’s Silicon Valley – “state-of-the-art business and technology hub” just outside Nairobi, Konza Techno City is expected to be complete in 20 years. It will include a university campus (with many universities and affiliated research labs), a technology and life sciences district, and a government …

Visualizing future trends

Take a peek at the next 150 years – post on Urban Times about predictions of our future.   One of the featured infographics is from BBC Future called Tomorrow’s World, looking at computing and robotics, politics and business, science and nature, society, and technology it puts them all on a …

Most trusted industries

                  Technology Ranks World’s Most Trusted Industry in 2013 – according to the 2013 annual Edelman Trust Barometer. The 13th annual Edelman Trust Barometer is our largest exploration of trust, to date, and the largest survey of its kind. For 2013, we surveyed …

Library check – Landscape Architecture Magazine

A number of architecture and design magazines make their content accessible online only to subscribers, so the best way for a nonsubscriber to see this material is to visit a local library.  Here’s what caught my eye during my latest library visit. Landscape Architecture Magazine (Jan 2013 issue) i-Tree article (p 22) …

Open access search from Springer

A Network of Open Access Search Platforms from Springer – great overview on the Intellogist of online platforms created by science publisher Springer for free access to journal articles. These open-access Springer portals can provide valuable non-patent literature (NPL) prior art for patent searchers and may serve as a useful supplement to searches …