If you plan to celebrate Earth Day by picking up a four-pack of compact fluorescent light bulbs, consider turning off your PC before heading out the door. Even when sitting idle, your PC or laptop consumes a considerable amount of electricity. An compact fluorescent light bulb is more energy efficient than an incandescent bulb, turning more of the energy it uses into light and losing less in wasted heat output. A 14-watt CFL bulb has the same light output as a 60-watt incandescent bulb, for example. Replace four 60W incandescents in your home with four 14W CFLs, and (assuming you … Read more
Three solar-thermal companies have raised money in the past week in a sector that's showing life, despite a choppy investment environment.
The company uses a dish to concentrate sunlight onto a Stirling engine, which makes electricity. It intends to sell its 3-kilowatt devices to small-scale utility plants.
With all the development of alternative energy today, it was bound to come to this: Introducing solar-powered brainwaves.
Well, not exactly. But this "electroencephalogram device" does use sunlight as well as body heat as a power source for a variety of functions, which researchers hope will include everything from playing video games to monitoring hospital patients, according to Dvice. The lightweight headset, developed by Belgian scientists at the Interuniversity Microelectronics Center, tracks electrical impulses generated by thought or action.
Solar power start-up eSolar has raised $130 million in funding, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
The Journal says one of eSolar's investors is Google, which announced last November that it would begin investing in alternative energy companies in an effort called RE
Pasadena, Calif.-based eSolar has plans to build large solar-thermal plants using the heliostat design, which utilizes an array of flat mirrors that direct sunlight onto a water tower, turning the water inside to steam, which then turns a turbine to make electricity.
Now, the company says, it has come up … Read more
Robotic snake surgeon tinkers with your heart via your mouth http://dvice.com/archives/2008/04/robotic_snake_s.php
Power Shirt charges gadgets as you walk http://dvice.com/archives/2008/04/power_shirt_cha.php
Ergoskin: Underwear that makes you sit up straight http://dvice.com/archives/2008/04/ergoskin_underw.php
Remember Ring (Thanks, David!) http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2008/04/remember-ring-s.html… Read more
Most of the expert advice on extending the life of your notebook computer's battery boils down to common sense: turn off devices you don't need (CD drive, wireless adapter, Bluetooth, etc.); don't run AutoCAD and other graphics-intensive apps; don't run more apps than you need; turn down the brightness of your display (most laptops do this automatically); and set your system to hibernate after a shorter period of inactivity.
Quick aside: Lately whenever my notebook goes into hibernate mode I lose my wireless-network connection. I often have to restart the machine to get it to recognize … Read more
On a traipse through Chinatown Singapore recently, my attention was riveted by a man behind a plate glass, eye loupe pinched to one eye like a cyclops. Peering myopically at watch components so tiny they were almost invisible, I held my breath as he cleaned each bitty part with supreme care. Those of his ilk may soon be a vanishing trade if Urwerk's air-powered watch becomes the next new standard.
It's likely the world's first timepiece to use this method of regulating the winding system. Given that it employs a three-position selector switch that controls the level … Read more
A few weeks ago, I brought you news that Indiana's Governor had signed into law HB 1197, a data breach and encryption bill that I worked on.
What I have not revealed, up until now is the coercion and arm-twisting that accompanied the passage of this bill. While the details may not surprise jaded readers, it certainly gave me a reason to dislike the entire process, as well one particular power-tripping legislator. Now that the bill, albeit a significantly slimmer version, has become law, I'm free to tell the story.
As regular readers of this blog know, I … Read more
Mariah Power said on Wednesday that it has raised additional funding to bring its small wind turbine to market.
The company said it has secured $500,000 in funding from venture capital firm Big Sky Partners. As part of the investment, Michael Schwab of Big Sky Partners will join Mariah Power's board.
Mariah Power, based in Reno, Nev., makes a ground-mounted vertical-axis wind turbine that is designed for people's homes or businesses. It's expected to be available later this month for about $4,000.
Best intentions aside, even the greenest of us can forget to conserve energy once in awhile, especially if we have other priorities. Watt Stopper understands this, which is why it came up with the "Isole IDP-3050."
No ordinary power strip, the Isole controls six outlets with a sensor that detects whether a person is in the vicinity. If no one seems to be within 300 square feet, its "passive infrared technology" cuts off power when the plugged-in gadgets aren't in use from a programmable 30 seconds to 30 minutes.
There's just one problem: Only … Read more