This car runs on the ultimate emissions-free fuel: air.
In 2007, Mumbai, India-based Tata Motors signed a licensing deal with Motor Development International, a French design firm. The idea was to build a car that could run on compressed air. Now Tata says it has tested two cars with the engines. The next step is setting up the manufacturing plants to actually build them.
Compressed air engines aren’t a new idea. The first models were proposed more than a century ago, and they were used in the mining industry for decades before electric motors became commonplace. Even now, compressed air powers all kinds of tools, notably the pneumatic impact wrenches in auto body shops.
A compressed air car engine works in a way similar to the internal combustion version: Fuel forces pistons to turn a crankshaft and power the car. The difference is that in a compressed air engine, the pistons are moved by air and not gasoline. Researchers in Sweden have experimented with single-cylinder engines of this type.
The only problem is power. Air compression alone only gets a car moving to about 30 to 35 miles per hour. So to supplement that, the car could take in more air as it moves faster, using an onboard air compressor. The air compressor could be electric or, more likely, gasoline-powered. But even that would reduce emissions a lot, since the gasoline engine wouldn’t be running at lower speeds.
Tata seems to be the only manufacturer that has committed to actually building an air-powered car. Honda unveiled an air-powered concept car in 2010, and a company called Zero Pollution Motors had promised to deliver one to the United States — but that was two years ago. (The company’s website domain is no longer in use.) If Tata is successful, it will go
“In many ways, Facebook’s story is the most modern example of the American dream gone right. Some would argue that those who have gotten rich from the company should pay some dues back into the system that enabled that success. As billionaire Mark Cuban has written on his blog, the ‘most patriotic thing you can do’ is ‘bust your ass and get rich. Make a boatload of money. Pay your taxes.’”—Just In Time For A Facebook IPO Tax Break, Eduardo Saverin Renounces U.S. Citizenship (via courtenaybird)
It’s now accepted-going-on-cliché to say things like ‘software is eating the world’, which is an aggressive way of assuming that every company now has to be at least a bit of a technology company, and those that want to grow rapidly even more so. Many new companies targeting industries as diverse as eyeglasses and baby food are, at the outset, leveraging technology for everything they do: supply chain management, marketing, recruiting, internal communication, product development, and so on. This makes these businesses look like technology companies, if you squint. But, of course, they aren’t. They’re eyeglasses and baby food companies.
…‘Tech company’ and ‘tech startup’ are over-applied labels that have outlived their usefulness. Calling practically all growing contemporary businesses ‘technology companies’ is about as useful as calling the enterprises of the industrial era ‘factory companies’; it accurately describes an aspect of what they are (or were), but it doesn’t really capture the totality of their operation. It certainly doesn’t tell you anything substantive about how they’ll behave in the market over the long term, which is probably the most useful reason to label a business at all.
There isn’t even an official standard for DDR4, the next generation of computer memory technology. But memory manufacturers are already shipping samples of the first DDR4 memory units, and preparing to produce them en masse. On May 7, Micron joined the field, announcing it had released its first fully functioning DDR4 memory product for testing.
Micron says its product, a 4-gigabit x8 DDR4 memory unit developed in partnership with its Taiwanese partner Nanya, will ship on a variety of memory module configurations by the end of the year. Micron’s competitors in the space are also preparing to ship their own DDR4 modules in that time. That means that memory modules based on the faster, more power efficient memory technology could start shipping on servers (where its benefits are in the greatest demand) by 2013—if there are any CPUs ready to handle them.
The Joint Electron Devices Engineering Council (JEDEC) is expected to sign off on a final DDR4 standard this summer. But a draft of the spec and its key attributes were issued last August. Those preliminary specs call for DDR4 memory to draw a maximum of 1.2 volts (20 percent less than current DDR3 memory) and achieve data transfer rates of 3.2 billion transfers per second (double that of the top-end speed of DDR3’s memory bus).
Micron’s initial memory DDR4 units will handle transfer speeds of 2.4 billion memory transfers per second, with later versions ramping up to the 3.2 gigatransfers per second top-end rate defined by JEDEC. Theoretically, since Micron’s initial memory units are “x8” (having 8-bit storage areas), the memory will have a throughput of 2.4 gigabits per second. Samsung has advertised a throughput of 2.113 gigabits per second for its DDR4. Micron announced that it is also developing x16 and x32 DDR4 memory components, which would result in even higher memory throughput rates.
1. Children are mysterious, and childhood can be dark.
When I worked at a daycare, I watched High School Musical to see what the kids were so excited about. After seeing that the conflict was basically that the stars were good at too many extracurricular activities, I was disappointed….
Kids learned to use e-readers quickly even though 43 percent of them had never used a computer before. Also, not surprisingly, they were quick to discover “the multimedia aspects of the e-reader, such as music and Internet features.”
Near-zero theft. Only two e-readers (out of 600) were lost in the whole study, partly because “community involvement was encouraged through e-reader pledges, community outreach programs, and support from community leaders.”
Kids got access to way more books. Before the study, primary-school students had access to an average of 3.6 books at home. Junior-high students had access to an average of 8.6 books at home and high-school students access to an average of 11 books. With the e-reader program, kids had access to an average of 107 book.
Primary school students’ test scores improved, but effects on older kids were less clear. The reading scores of primary-school students who received e-readers increased from 12.9 percent to 15.7 percent. But results for older kids were mixed.
Students sought out access to international news. “Amazon data revealed that students were downloading The New York Times, USA Today, and El País etc., demonstrating that students want to access a wide range of reading materials that were previously inaccessible.”
Kindles break too easily. Worldreader had not predicted how many Kindles would break: 243 out of 600, or 40.5 percent.
The program appears cost-effective. Worldreader estimates that “for the years 2014-2018, using a calculation focused strictly on the provisioning of textbooks, the e-reader system would cost only $8.93-$11.40 more per student over a 4 year period [$0.19 to $0.24 per month] than the traditional paper book system.”
Remember how graphene, the single-atom thick layer of carbon was so slick it was
going to change everything? Well it looks like silicene is here to steal the spotlight. Researchers have just made the first sheet of single-atom thick silicon.
Silicene has been a work in progress for years, but they think they’ve finally got it down now, and it represents a tremendous breakthrough. Graphene is awesome, but it’s proven a bit tricky to work it into components. Because silicene is made of silicon, which most chips are already made of, the integration process could be much simpler.
Patrick Vogt of Berlin’s Technical University in Germany, along side researchers at Aix-Marseille University in France managed to create silicene by condensing silicon vapor onto a silver plate to form a single layer of atoms. They then tested the sheet and found that it closely matched the properties silicene was theorized to exhibit. The next (challenging) step will be to grow silicene on insulating substrates so that it can be fully tested and evaluated for potential future uses in electronics. Looking forward to see what they do with this stuff. [New Scientist]
Maybe you are going out on a night on the town with a small dress and no pockets, where do you put your iPhone? Or for that matter, how about lipstick or your ID and credit card? Two students thought about this and got tired of lugging around a purse for a night out, so they created the JoeyBra.
Popular social networking site Facebook just added a organ donor status option for your Facebook Timeline »
Today, Facebook unveiled an organ donor status option for your Timeline, a move meant to help more than 114,000 people in the U.S. and millions more around the world who are awaiting a potentially life-saving heart, kidney, or liver transplant. […] To become an official organ donor, you must sign up with the appropriate state organ donor registry. Most people do this when they first get their driver’s license. If you haven’t already done so, however, Facebook is providing a link to those registries next to the Organ Donor menu on your profile.