Iron-Chromium Flow Battery Aims to Replace Gas Plants

in science on (#3NB)
story imageThe last major problem of renewable power is energy storage for off-production times. The sun may go down at night, but our electricity demand continues. Towards solving this problem, EnerVault has created a 250-kilowatt iron-chromium redox flow battery at a demonstration storage project in California's Central Valley.
One of the advantages of a flow battery is that the energy capacity can be expanded by installing larger tanks of the active material. Also, flow batteries are relatively inexpensive per kilowatt-hour compared to lithium-ion batteries and can provide power for multiple hours.
At less than $250 per kilowatt hour, redox flow batteries are cost comparable with gas-fired peaking power plants and are logical companions to renewable power generation.

Stargate Reboot Trilogy

in movies on (#3N9)
story imageMGM and Warner Bros are bringing the popular science fiction series Stargate out of retirement with three new feature films . Details are still slim, but the writer (Roland Emmerich) and director (Dean Devlin) of the 1994 Stargate film are both onboard.

Google's Self Driving Electric Car Prototype

in google on (#3N7)
story imageWhile Google's previous self-driving vehicles have been either a converted Toyota Prius or a Lexus SUV, their new prototype uses a new self-manufactured design that looks like a golf cart.
Unlike previous models, these cars won't have human drivers monitoring them at all times. Google said the cars can detect objects up to 200 yards away in all directions and adjust their speed, turns and braking accordingly.
Highlights include:
  • No steering wheel or pedals
  • Emergency stop button
  • Top speed of 25 MPH (40 KPH)
  • 2 seats
  • Electric drive

SandForce Sold Again

in storage on (#3N6)
The corporate overlords of SandForce SSD controllers have changed hands again. Seagate, who was missing an SSD controller of its own, will become the new home. The following list gives a brief history of the numerous mergers involved:
  • 1999 - HP's non-computing products division spun out as Agilent
  • August 2005 - Agilent semiconductor products group spun out as Avago
  • January 2012 - SandForce sold to LSI ($370 million)
  • 2014 - LSI sold to Avago ($6.6 billion)
  • May 2014 - Avago SSD division sold to Seagate ($450 million)
Because of easy licensing and not being tied to a particular NAND manufacturer, SandForce SSD controllers are very popular and have found their way into many product lines , including:
  • Intel 520, 530, 535, 330, 335
  • Kingston HyperX, HyperX 3K, SSDNow E100, SSDNow KC100, SSDNow V+200, SSDNow V300
  • Corsair Force Series
  • OCZ Vertex 3, Agility 3, RevoDrive
  • And many others...

Intel's 3D Printed Robot

in robotics on (#3N5)
story imageIntel plans to offer a consumer grade 3D printed robot for $1600 later this year. Jimmy, a desktop robot , will include an Intel chip and be programmable using open source tools.
The hardware designs will be freely available online, allowing anyone with access to a 3-D printer to generate and assemble the basic parts.

The grand vision is to lower the barrier of entry to robotics.

Trust your doctor, not Wikipedia, say scientists

in science on (#3N4)
story imageConcerns over errors in health articles on Wikipedia have caused some scientists to warn against using the free encyclopedia to self diagnose medical conditions.
Most Wikipedia articles representing the 10 most costly medical conditions in the United States contain many errors when checked against standard peer-reviewed sources. Caution should be used when using Wikipedia to answer questions regarding patient care.

Apple Acquires Beats Music for 3 Billion

in apple on (#3N3)
story imageAfter several rumors this month, Apple and Beats Music officially confirm a buyout of the streaming music service for 3 billion.
Despite rumors that Apple was only interested in Beats Music in an effort to boost a decline in iTunes numbers, the deal includes both the hardware and the streaming software sectors of Dr. Dre's business. And it's Apple's largest purchase ever.
For a monthly subscription of $9.99, users of the service can stream music from a library of over 20 million songs.

Appeals Court Halts Copyright Abuse Case

in legal on (#3N2)
story imageA federal appeals court yesterday held that copyright holders may not abuse the legal process to obtain the identities of thousands of Internet users.
The plaintiff in this case, AF Holdings, sought the identities of more than 1,000 Internet users that it claims are linked to the illegal downloading of a copyrighted pornographic film.
The EFF , American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of the Nation's Capital, Public Citizen, and Public Knowledge all came to the defense and won a crushing blow against the copyright holder.

S & P sets Tesla's credit rating to B-

in hardware on (#3N1)
The upcoming car manufacturer received an unsolicited B- credit rating from Standard & Poor due to "considerable uncertainty" about its long-term prospects. The rating, six levels below investment grade, was derived independently of Tesla and comes after over $2.3 billion was successfully raised by the company in March to fund a new battery factory.

Shares in Tesla have risen 41 percent this year.

Preorders start for the Firefox OS Phone

in mobile on (#3N0)
story imageThe Firefox OS reference device, the Flame is now available for pre-order for $170.
To standardize the design, development, and testing of Firefox OS, Mozilla has partnered with a company called T2Mobile to manufacture, distribute, and update a Firefox OS reference phone called the Flame. Until now, there has been no "reference device" and the options for getting something through retail were limited.

The Flame will also be a great development and testing environment for third party app developers targeting Firefox OS and HTML5.
  • 1.2 Ghz Dual core processor (Qualcomm MSM8210 Snapdragon)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 4.5" screen (854i-480)
  • 5 MP rear camera, 2 MP front camera
  • 8 GB storage, MicroSD slot
  • GPS, NFC
  • WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, Micro USB