Op-Ed: Two years ago, while editing a non-ECN technology newsletter, I stumbled onto this headline: "CRM School: A ray of hope for mentally retarded children." I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be offended because it sounded so strange. The hyperlink went to an Indian domain, which gave it credibility, but was this a joke, or a tale of some slimy corporation, or what?
Productive Product: It’s tough to say exactly what the word “Zonbu” implies. Is it: A., the name of a millionaire’s estate, B. an unpopular central-African republic, C. some kind of vegetarian dessert, or D., just a made-up word because all the good names for a high-tech company are taken?
Op-Ed: Apple Inc. co-founder and legendary hacker Steve Wozniak recently found a new passion in energy-efficient housing. Last month he told PC World magazine, "I have a long dream to build my own house in a very energy-efficient approach," and here at ECN we thought you'd like to know more. So we interviewed Woz by email. Here is a transcript
Productive Product: What happens when you combine carbon nanotubes and electrolytes, embedded in paper? You create a flexible battery which can be molded into any shape and even cut with scissors, according to faculty and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Biotechnology.
Op-Ed: Last week I wrote about energy harvesting; here is a new example. MIT researchers are studying ways to power anything from subway trains to rock concerts by capturing the power of simple movements -- in these two cases it's the movement of human feet -- and to borrow
Op-Ed: If the world’s industrial and information cultures are going Earth-friendly, then we’ll need a new generation of trained technical professionals to be leaders. Universities are catching on to this demand by offering a variety of courses devoted to clean technology. Here in ECN’s home state of New Jersey, three top-flight schools exemplify the trend – the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University, and Stevens Institute of Technology.
Energy News: Massachusetts history is rich in technology, not just colonial times. Now its local companies are making new history in the clean-tech field -- it's the fastest growing job market, surveyors found. "Of the current 14,400 jobs attributed to the sector, 6,258 are in energy efficiency
Productive Product: What if physics research into levitation could lead to frictionless electromechanics? Levitation is cool, but think of all the power you'd save in new product designs. It may soon be possible because scientists at the University of St. Andrews figured
Energy News: Tomorrow's data centers may not need any help with air conditioning, due to new R&D in server and appliance cooling techniques, and that process may yeild tax breaks, eWeek magazine reports. For cooling, the major hardware companies are working on
Energy News: The number of construction consultants calling themselves "green" experts is skyrocketing. They have varied backgrounds, such as in business, engineering, or general contracting, and there may be some without real qualifications at all.
Op-Ed: I keep seeing articles about energy harvesting, which is the concept of generating electricity from life's daily movements. The latest reference is in this Associated Press story about environmentally friendly nightclubs -- a non-profit group called Enviu is working on a dance floor that captures
Energy News: The U.S. Department of Defense's ARPA -- Advanced Research Projects Agency -- is a hugely successful organization, most famous in academic and civilian circles for funding the original Internet research (no, it wasn't made by Al Gore.) Now Congress hopes to copy that
Energy News: Researchers found bacteria that can transform light into chemical energy -- a method of photosynthesis still not completely understood by science, but which could become an energy windfall if it's duplicatable by industry. The discovery happened at the famed Yellowstone National Park. The bacterium has "light-harvesting antennae known as chlorosomes
Energy News: Said the fictional Nick Sundin: "These 'eco' products are amazing -- they've totally changed my life Now, I just toss my used Seventh Generation-brand paper plates out the car window, knowing they'll soon be absorbed into the earth."
Productive Product: The city of Sacramento will soon test a system for regenerative braking on its light-rail trains. The idea is to capture the heat energy that exits trains when they're braking, and redirect that energy back into the grid. Similar technology is already used in hybrid cars, so this isn't too experimental, and therefore the prospects look good for taking it into production.