April 30, 2012



(April 30, 2012)  Cochlear implants have restored basic hearing to some 220,000 deaf people, yet a microphone and related electronics must be worn outside the head, raising reliability issues, preventing patients from swimming and creating social stigma.

Now, a University of Utah engineer and colleagues in Ohio have developed a tiny prototype microphone that can be implanted in the middle ear to avoid such problems.

The proof-of-concept device has been successfully tested in the ear canals of four cadavers, the researchers report in a study just published online in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers journal Transactions on Biomedical Engineering.

The prototype – about the size of an eraser on a pencil – must be reduced in size and improved in its ability to detect quieter, low-pitched sounds, so tests in people are about three years away, says the study’s senior author, Darrin J. Young, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Utah and USTAR, the Utah Science Technology and Research initiative.

The study showed incoming sound is transmitted most efficiently to the microphone if surgeons first remove the incus or anvil – one of three, small, middle-ear bones. U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval would be needed for an implant requiring such surgery.


Image Share Project Gives Patients and Physicians Anytime, Anywhere Access to Medical Images

(April 30, 2012)  Patients can successfully pull their medical images from the “cloud” making it faster for them to distribute them to their physicians regardless of where those physicians might be, according to a preliminary report of an image share project that involves five different academic institutions.

The image share project includes the University of California, San Francisco, University of Chicago, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, the University of Maryland in Baltimore, and the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, NY.

“The patient can arrange with their radiologists’ office to have their images and the radiology reports exported into an Internet-based personal health record (PHR),” said David Mendelson, MD, principal investigator of the image share project. Once the information is in the personal health record, the patient has full control over distribution of the images and reports. Images can be viewed immediately online by signing into one’s PHR. In addition, e-mail links can be sent to physicians allowing them to view and download the images and reports as needed, said Dr. Mendelson.


Through a glass, clearly

MIT researchers find a way to make glass that’s anti-fogging, self-cleaning and free of glare.

(April 26, 2012)  One of the most instantly recognizable features of glass is the way it reflects light. But a new way of creating surface textures on glass, developed by researchers at MIT, virtually eliminates reflections, producing glass that is almost unrecognizable because of its absence of glare — and whose surface causes water droplets to bounce right off, like tiny rubber balls.

The new “multifunctional” glass, based on surface nanotextures that produce an array of conical features, is self-cleaning and resists fogging and glare, the researchers say. Ultimately, they hope it can be made using an inexpensive manufacturing process that could be applied to optical devices, the screens of smartphones and televisions, solar panels, car windshields and even windows in buildings.

The technology is described in a paper published in the journal ACS Nano, co-authored by mechanical engineering graduate students Kyoo-Chul Park and Hyungryul Choi, former postdoc Chih-Hao Chang SM ’04, PhD ’08 (now at North Carolina State University), chemical engineering professor Robert Cohen, and mechanical engineering professors Gareth McKinley and George Barbastathis.


(April 24, 2012)  iPavement, the Intelligent Pavement with WiFi and Bluetooth

*  VIA INTELIGENTE, pioneer in the manufacture of intelligent pavements, presents iPavement as a standard product that uses the street as a platform.
*  Its international presentation will take place in Dubai at The International Building & Construction Show, The Big 5.

iPavement™ will be manufactured in Spain by VIA INTELIGENTE from June 2012. It will be the new generation of intelligent pavement, with an operative system, Apps and sensors will provide the streets with functionalities and communications for the city’s inhabitants.

iPavement, through VIACITIES OS, integrates services such as plans of cities and public transport, leisure, virtual libraries, business promotions, in addition to access to the Internet and information about the main events in the city. This is possible by using WiFi wireless technology and Bluetooth to send messages directly to mobile phones and tablets, in accordance with the “Intelligent Environments Pavement Standard.”

It has two formats – Classic and Accessible, the latter of which fulfils the regulation of universal accessibility, and is foot-sensitive (grooved) for the blind or the visually impaired.

April 27, 2012


Key tests for Skylon spaceplane project

(April 27, 2012)  UK engineers have begun critical tests on a new engine technology designed to lift a spaceplane into orbit.

The proposed Skylon vehicle would operate like an airliner, taking off and landing at a conventional runway.

Its major innovation is the Sabre engine, which can breathe air like a jet at lower speeds but switch to a rocket mode in the high atmosphere.

Reaction Engines Limited (REL) believes the test campaign will prove the readiness of Sabre's key elements.

This being so, the firm would then approach investors to raise the £250m needed to take the project into the final design phase.

"We intend to go to the Farnborough International Air Show in July with a clear message," explained REL managing director Alan Bond.

"The message is that Britain has the next step beyond the jet engine; that we can reduce the world to four hours - the maximum time it would take to go anywhere. And that it also gives us aircraft that can go into space, replacing all the expendable rockets we use today."


(April 26, 2012) New Generation of Power Electronics by Continental Makes Electric Cars Even More Efficient

* 30 percent reduction in size and weight, more powerful semiconductors
* Modular and scalable design covers broad spectrum
* Already in series production in some electric cars and for Audi Q5 hybrid Quattro

Resenburg / Nuremberg / Vienna. Smaller, lighter, and more powerful – those are the attributes that characterize the latest generation of power electronics, developed by the international automotive supplier Continental for electric drive train applications. In figures, the highly integrated module has a continuous power of 20 kilowatts at a weight of only eight kilograms and just five liters of space. Mass and volume are about 33 percent less than in the previous generation. This was possible due to the integration of two modules: The inverter and the DC-DC converter are now assembled in a single housing. 


(April 26, 2012)  They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Fortunately, this is not always true. Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience (NIN-KNAW) have now discovered how the adult brain can adapt to new situations. The Dutch researchers’ findings are published on Wednesday in the prestigious journal 'Neuron'. Their study may be significant in the treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders such as epilepsy, autism and schizophrenia.

Ability to learn

Our brain processes information in complex networks of nerve cells. The cells communicate and excite one another through special connections, called synapses. Young brains are capable of forming many new synapses, and they are consequently better at learning new things. That is why we acquire vital skills – walking, talking, hearing and seeing – early on in life. The adult brain stabilises the synapses so that we can use what we have learned in childhood for the rest of our lives.


Research breakthrough for drugs via the skin

(April 26,  2012)  A research team at Karolinska Institutet has succeeded in describing the structure and function of the outermost layer of the skin - the stratum corneum - at a molecular level. This opens the way not only for the large-scale delivery of drugs via the skin, but also for a deeper understanding of skin diseases.

"You could say that we've solved the puzzle of the skin barrier, something that has great potential significance for dermatology," says principal investigator Lars Norlén, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet's Dermatology and Venereology Unit.


A new generation of ultra-small and high precision lasers emerges

Ultra fast, robust, stable, and high precision: these are some of the characteristics of a new laser developed by an international research team. This ultra-small laser paves the way for a new generation of highly powerful, ultra-stable integrated lasers. Professor Roberto Morandotti and his team at the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre played a leading role in the design of this versatile laser that recently made the front page of the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications.

“We advanced a new approach to develop a laser that boasts as yet unparalleled stability and precision, allowing us to conduct new experiments and open up new realms of research,” said Professor Morandotti, who was elected a fellow by the Optical Society of America and by the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). “Plus, a multitude of applications may be created in biology, medicine, materials processing, IT, high speed communications, and metrology.”


“Photoreactive Azido-Containing Silica Nanoparticle/Polycation Multilayers: Durable Superhydrophobic Coating on Cotton Fibers”

Scientists are reporting development and successful testing of a fabric coating that would give new meaning to the phrase “stain-resistant” — a coating that would take an active role in sloughing off grease, dirt, strong acids and other gunk. The report, which shows that the coating is even more water-repellent than car wax or Teflon, appears in ACS’ journal Langmuir.


Study on smokers' brains may mark dawn of a new age in advertising

(April 25, 2012)  Advertisers and public health officials may be able to access hidden wisdom in the brain to more effectively sell their products and promote health and safety, UCLA neuroscientists report in the first study to use brain data to predict how large populations will respond to advertisements.

Thirty smokers who were trying to quit watched television commercials from three advertising campaigns, which all ended by showing the phone number of the National Cancer Institute's smoking-cessation hotline. They were asked which commercials they thought would be most effective; they responded that advertising campaigns "A" and "B" would be the best and "C" would be the worst.

The UCLA researchers also consulted experts who work in the anti-smoking field and who have been involved in creating anti-smoking advertisements. These experts agreed that campaigns "A" and "B" were the best and "C" was the worst.

While the smokers watched the advertisements, they underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) brain scans at UCLA's Ahmanson–Lovelace Brain Mapping Center, and the neuroscientists focused on part of the medial prefrontal cortex — located in the front of the brain, between the eyebrows — a region that they have found to be especially important in previous persuasion studies.

The researchers found that activity in the medial prefrontal cortex increased much more during advertising campaign "C" than it did during campaign "A," and somewhat more than it did during campaign "B."


Berries Keep Your Brain Sharp

(April 26, 2012)  Berries are good for you, that’s no secret.  But can strawberries and blueberries actually keep your brain sharp in old age? A new study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) finds that a high intake of flavonoid rich berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, over time, can delay memory decline in older women by 2.5 years.  This study is published by Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, on April 26, 2012.

“What makes our study unique is the amount of data we analyzed over such a long period of time. No other berry study has been conducted on such a large scale,” explained Elizabeth Devore, a researcher in the Channing Laboratory at BWH, who is the lead author on this study. “Among women who consumed 2 or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week we saw a modest reduction in memory decline.  This effect appears to be attainable with relatively simple dietary modifications.”

April 25, 2012


Avatar becomes reality: Hi-tech head cap lets disabled man 'move' a robot slave 60 miles away using just his brain power

Disabled people could one day be waited on hand and foot by a robot servant - or even send out the robot into society in their place.
It sounds like the plot of James Cameron's sci-fi hit Avatar, but Swiss scientists showed off today how a partially paralyzed person can control a robot by thought alone.
Simply by thinking about lifting his fingers, a patient was able to 'move' a robot 100 miles away.

The scientists hope the technology will one day allow immobile people to interact with their surroundings through so-called avatars.



Koss Introduces STRIVA: World’s First Wi-Fi Headphone System To Receive Music Directly From the Internet

(April 25, 2012)  Koss Corporation, the U.S.-based creator of the world’s first SP3 Stereophone in 1958, has unveiled STRIVA, a revolutionary new headphone and in-ear monitor system with Wi-Fi technology that receives music directly from the internet without wires.

“54 years ago my father revolutionized personal listening with the first Koss SP3 stereophone,” Michael J. Koss, President and CEO said. “Today, thanks to the Internet, the revolution is in the air. Now all of your favorite music can be streamed directly from the Internet to our new headphones and in-ear monitors without wires using Koss STRIVA technology.”


Going Solar in Record Time with Plug-and-Play PV

(April 24, 2012)  A plug-and-play PV system is envisioned as a consumer friendly solar technology that uses an automatic detection system to initiate communication between the solar energy system and the utility when plugged into a PV-ready circuit.

If you have a home computer, you have probably used plug-and-play technology to install new hardware like printers or web cams. Many of today’s smart phones also incorporate this technology. You simply connect the new device to launch an automatic configuration process and, within minutes, your system is set up and ready to go.


We’re Adding Another EV To The Lineup!

We signed a contract signed today with Great Wall Motor Company to co-develop an electric vehicle for the global distribution. The first vehicle model will be decided in the near future, but we plan to make it the most affordable EV on the market (comparable to entry-level internal combustion engine vehicles).


IHI and WiTricity Sign Long-Term Collaboration Agreement for Wireless Charging

(April 25, 2012)  In response to growing market demand for wireless charging systems for electric vehicles and industrial systems, IHI Corp. of Tokyo, Japan has entered into a long-term collaboration and commercialization agreement with WiTricity Corporation of Watertown, Massachusetts.

As a result of this agreement, IHI is licensed by WiTricity to manufacture and supply wireless charging systems for automotive and industrial applications on a global basis. In addition, the companies will collaborate to accelerate the development of the technology, and to promote international standards for wireless charging systems.


MIT PROFESSOR: 10 Predictions About The World My Grandchildren Will Inherit

What will the world look like in 100 years?

(April 4, 2012)  Daron Acemoglu, an economist at MIT, pondered this question as he awaited the birth of his son. His new paper considers political, social and economic trends from the past hundred years and then makes projections for the future.

Acemoglu offers a dark vision of rising inequality and pollution, but he also sees positives like improving healthcare.


These Are The Most-Googled Luxury Brands In China

Chinese consumers are searching online for high-end car makers Audi and BMW more than any other luxury brands, according to a new report from Digital Luxury Group.
The report, which looks at more than 150 million consumer queries on the leading search engines in China, Baidu and Google, found that 18 of the top 50 brands were in the auto segment.
Local brands played particularly well in the jewelry segment, with Chinese jewelry company Chow Tai Fook far surpassing Cartier and Swarovski, the second and third-ranked brands, respectively.
Here's the full top 50:


Computing the best high-resolution 3-D tissue images

(April 25, 2012)  University of Illinois engineers developed a method to computationally correct aberrations in three-dimensional tissue microscopy.

From left, postdoctoral researcher Steven Adie, professor P. Scott Carney, graduate students Adeel Ahmad and Benedikt Graf, and professor Stephen Boppart.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Real-time, 3-D microscopic tissue imaging could be a revolution for medical fields such as cancer diagnosis, minimally invasive surgery and ophthalmology. University of Illinois researchers have developed a technique to computationally correct for aberrations in optical tomography, bringing the future of medical imaging into focus. 

The computational technique could provide faster, less expensive and higher resolution tissue imaging to a broader population of users. The group describes its technique this week in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

April 24, 2012


German scientists unveil 'intelligent' tyre for all weather

(April 24, 2012)  Are you fed up of having to change your summer tyres for winter tyres at the first sign of snow? Or of being caught out on a long car journey by sudden changes in the weather?

That may soon be a thing of the past, according to a group of researchers at Leipzig university, who are developing the world's first-ever "intelligent" tyre which automatically adapts itself to the prevailing weather conditions even while you are driving.

A team of researchers headed by Detlef Riemer at the University of Applied Sciences in Leipzig unveiled the "adaptive tyre" at this year's Hanover Fair, the world's biggest industrial fair taking place in the north German city this week.


China's Economy Dances Between Communism and Capitalism

China is a country of extremes. European cars swerve through traffic barely missing battered Soviet-era motorcycles laden with bounties of plastic and metal recyclables. College students carrying iPads walk past street vendors selling 15 cent eggs in various states of decomposition. While this clear dichotomy is understandable considering the rapid growth of modern China’s economy over a relatively short time period, it is no less startling. And nowhere is this coexistence of extremes more apparent than in China’s official economic policy: a “socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics.”


German scientists use fungi to clean soil, water

Fungi get a bad rap, but they can actually be quite useful. German researchers are developing new ways of using fungus to clean soil and water.

Fungi have earned their reputation as a homeowner's nightmare. Once they've settled into wood and been exposed to moisture, all that's left are brittle remains that turn into dust at the slightest touch.

Fungi get their destructive abilities from enzymes that break down lignin, a complex chemical compound that is largely responsible for holding wood together. Enzymes in fungi, including the so-called laccase enzyme, are among the few compounds capable of decomposing lignin.

B tapping into the power of these enzymes, German scientists are finding new ways to use fungi to break down toxins, including at sewage treatment plants.


We're Closer Than Ever To Printing Our Own Medications At Home

(April 23, 2012)  Researchers at Glasgow University say they've developed a way for people to print their own pills at home, reports Fast Co. Exist's Ariel Schwartz.

Using a printer specially designed to create "reactionware" – the capsules pharmacists stuff with medicine –  the researchers were able to program the chemicals used in the vessels directly into the machine

Read more >> 


New technique may help severely damaged nerves regrow and restore function

(April 24, 2012)  Engineers at the University of Sheffield have developed a method of assisting nerves damaged by traumatic accidents to repair naturally, which could improve the chances of restoring sensation and movement in injured limbs.

In a collaborative study with Laser Zentrum Hannover (Germany) published today (23 April 2012) in the journal Biofabrication, the team describes a new method for making medical devices called nerve guidance conduits or NGCs.

The method is based on laser direct writing, which enables the fabrication of complex structures from computer files via the use of CAD/CAM (computer aided design/manufacturing), and has allowed the research team to manufacture NGCs with designs that are far more advanced than previously possible.


DENZA / Company Profile

(April 24, 2012)  Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "the joint venture") is a joint venture established by BYD Auto, a leader in China’s EV industry, and Daimler AG, the world’s preeminent maker of premium vehicles. The joint venture is headquartered in Shenzhen, China.

The joint venture launched China’s first auto brand dedicated exclusively to electric cars: DENZA. It concentrates on the R&D in electric automotive technologies, specializes in producing high-quality, eco-friendly electric cars that are safe and convenient to use, and strives to be the most successful manufacturer, and promoter, of alternative-fuel vehicles in China.

April 23, 2012

Louis Vuitton Tambour Regate Automatic and Quartz Watches for America’s Cup

Louis Vuitton Tambour Regate Automatic and Quartz Watches for America’s Cup

(April 23, 2012)  Louis Vuitton watch-wear pushes two editions for the 2012 America’s Cup. The Tambour Regate Automatic and Quartz timepieces come in editions of 1851 and 750 units respectively. Each of the special editions features a stainless black PVD and rubber case sitting at around 44mm in size. Water resistant to 100 meters, the choice between the two comes down to your choice in movement: the quartz movement includes both countdown and alarm while the automatic ups the ante with a flyback complication and 42 hours of power reserve. The color hits look great on these from Louis Vuitton.


How much skepticism can the climate take?

(April 23, 2012)  Influential skeptics continue to challenge the scientific consensus that CO2 emissions are responsible for climate change. Have they got a point?

In January this year, 16 scientists wrote in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that they saw no scientific arguments supporting the need for urgent action to combat climate change. They included prominent climate skeptics like MIT Atmospheric Science professor Richard Lindzen as well as the scientists, and former ExxonMobil employees, Roger Cohen and William Happer.

Even in Germany, where climate skeptics have less political influence than countries like the USA, a book called "Die kalte Sonne" (The Cold Sun) has been making waves since its publication earlier this year. The authors Fritz Vahrenholt und Sebastian Lüning, employees of Germany's second-biggest energy company RWE, maintain that less than half the world's warming to date is human-made. They say solar activity, sunspots and magnetic fields, which change in cycles, are responsible.


Wind energy blowing away nuclear power

(April 23, 2012)  Wind energy supplies 3 percent of global electricity needs and will soon supply more electricity than nuclear power. In 2011, some 50 billion euros were invested in wind, leading some to say it's cheap and creates jobs.

Wind energy is booming and it is gaining in significance worldwide. It supplies some 20 percent of electricity in Spain and Denmark as well as about 10 percent in Germany. By 2020, the share of wind energy will have risen to between 20 percent and 25 percent in Germany, according to estimates.

April 22, 2012


History of Electric Vehicles

The Early Years, Electric Cars from 1830 to 1930

(April 22, 2012)  Who invented the very first EV is uncertain and several inventors have been given credit. In 1828, Hungarian, Ányos Jedlik invented a small-scale model car powered by an electric motor that he designed. Between 1832 and 1839 (the exact year is uncertain), Robert Anderson of Scotland invented a crude electric-powered carriage. In 1835, another small-scale electric car was designed by Professor Stratingh of Groningen, Holland, and built by his assistant Christopher Becker. In 1835, Thomas Davenport, a blacksmith from Brandon, Vermont, built a small-scale electric car. Davenport was also the inventor of the first of the first American-built DC electric motor.

image >>   


A century ago, more automobiles were powered by electricity than by gasoline.

(April 22, 2012)  But the need for longer travel ranges, the availability of a more affordable fuel source and a reliable power infrastructure soon turned internal combustion engines into the predominant means of motor transportation.

Now drivers are considering a move away from gasoline and back to electricity as an ideal source for automotive power, but big challenges remain. IBM and partners are working on solving one of the biggest barriers to widespread electric vehicle adoption: limited battery range.

April 21, 2012


Asia’s largest solar park opens in Gujarat today

What do you say to a state which is on a dream run? The state’s tourism is promoted by Amitabh Bachchan, its infrastructure for the automobile industry is geared towards making it the Detroit of Indiaand now the state has launched Asia’a largest solar park. Yes, we’re talking about Gujarat.

As a part of the Swarnim Gujarat celebrations, the Solar Park has been launched at Charanka village, Santalpur taluka in Patan district. This patch of desert was hitherto unutilized and completely barren has now been adorned with the solar park which will yield invaluable benefits to the state, the nations and the coming generations.


‘Super cruise’ technology could be ready by mid-decade

(April 21, 2012)  Cadillac is road testing a semi-autonomous technology it calls “Super Cruise” that is capable of fully automatic steering, braking and lane-centering in highway driving under certain optimal conditions. The system could be ready for production vehicles by mid-decade.

Super Cruise is designed to ease the driver’s workload on the freeway, in both bumper-to-bumper traffic and on long road trips by relying on a fusion of radar, ultrasonic sensors, cameras and GPS map data.

“Super Cruise has the potential to improve driver performance and enjoyment,” said Don Butler, vice president of Cadillac marketing. “Our goal with advanced technologies, like this and our CUE system, is to lead in delivering an intuitive user experience.”


(April 21, 2012)  Despite the lackluster sales of electric vehicles in China, the nation may still become a global leader in the electric vehicle industry if policymakers and manufacturers shift their focus from battery-electric vehicles toward a mid-term perspective concentrating on plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, said the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

The US company's prediction came in its report Recharging China's Electric Vehicle Aspirations released on Friday, which was based on interviews with more than 30 policymakers, industry leaders and experts.


(April 21, 2012)  Consumer tastes are changing at a greater rate than ever before. Not surprisingly, the purchasing habits of the youngest generation present the most dramatic shifts — a reflection of what they find important. 24/7 Wall St. has identified eight popular products that the “Facebook generation” is not buying.

Generation Y, generally defined as those born between 1980 and 1999, have lost interest in many of the services and products their parents found important. For example, younger Americans are less interested in cars. In 1998, 64.4% of potential drivers 19-years old and younger had drivers licenses. By 2008, that rate had dropped to 46.3%, according to the Federal Highway Administration.


New US Laser Technology Will Dominate Battlefields Within 10 Years

(April 21, 2012)  It's no secret American military might is cumbersome and expensive, but a new report out by a D.C. think-tank has the perfect solution: Lasers.

Chris Carroll at Stars and Stripes dug into the report and says "directed energy" or DE weapons with enough power to take out enemy threats should be in widespread use within 10 years.


Quantitative groundwater maps for Africa

(April 21, 2012)  Robust quantitative groundwater maps for Africa were developed to highlight areas more likely to be resilient to climate change and also where sufficient groundwater resources may be available to help adaptation.

The maps are the first produced for Africa and are underpinned by dedicated case studies and systematic data/literature reviews.

April 20, 2012


First DENZA concept car will be unveiled at the 2012, 12th Auto China in Beijing.

Time:April 23rd-May 2nd
Location:Pavilion E4


(April 20, 2012)  Hoping to take advantage of China’s potentially huge battery-car market, Daimler will launch the new Denza brand with its Chinese partner, BYD.

A concept car hinting at what’s to come from the 50/50 joint venture will make its appearance, later this month at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show.  Production is set to begin in 2013, the partners revealed, adding that the new Denza brand’s slogan will be “EV the Future.”

 “We have the ideal partner in Daimler. BYD provides experience in battery technology and e-drive systems, as well as bringing EVs into operation on the streets of China,” said BYD’s president, Wang Chuanfu. “In connection with Daimler’s design of premium autos, know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety, and more than 125 years of experience in automotive excellence, DENZA is on the right track to become the leader in the New Energy Vehicle market in China.”


QIN, the Second Generation BYD ELECTRIC CAR

(April 20, 2012)  BYD announced the QIN concept vehicle, an hybrid electric car, more responsive than F3DM, capable ot going from 0 - 100 Km/h in 6.9 seconds (F3DM did it in 10.5 seconds). It will be also more efficient on the electric energy consumption, as QIN will do 50 Km using only 10kWh. For comparison, F3DM did 60Km using 60Kwh. There is no date yet as of when this vastly improved hybrid car will go for sale, but the suggested price will be about U$S 30.000.


(April 20, 2012)  Berkshire Hathaway's David Sokol with BYD's Wang Chuanfu in Detroit (Reuters)Buffett on BoardBYD, the Chinese battery maker-turned-automaker that stunned the world with the first mass-market electric plug-in car late last year, remains something of a wild card. The car, the F3DM, goes 62 miles on a single charge -- farther than other electric vehicles -- and sells for around $22,000, less than the plug-in Prius and much-hyped Chevy Volt are expected to cost when they come out in late 2010. But a number of questions remain, like when the car will come to the US (if at all), and how safe are its batteries.


Hertz will offer Chinese Electric Vehicle maker BYD a boost in its attempts to penetrate the U.S. market with its E6 electric model. The BYD E6 EV was presented at Hertz’s booth at the 2012 New York auto show. BYD has already put in place its North American headquarters in downtown L.A and supplied a fleet of E6 EVs to the Los Angeles City Housing Authority.

April 19, 2012


The digitisation of manufacturing will transform the way goods are made—and change the politics of jobs too.

THE first industrial revolution began in Britain in the late 18th century, with the mechanisation of the textile industry. Tasks previously done laboriously by hand in hundreds of weavers’ cottages were brought together in a single cotton mill, and the factory was born. The second industrial revolution came in the early 20th century, when Henry Ford mastered the moving assembly line and ushered in the age of mass production. The first two industrial revolutions made people richer and more urban. Now a third revolution is under way. Manufacturing is going digital. As this week’s special report argues, this could change not just business, but much else besides.


Round the world in just six hours: Vacuum tubes could be used for super-fast public transport

(April 19, 2012)  Imagine hopping on the Tube in London on your way to work in the morning - and getting off near your office in New York City just three-quarters of an hour later.

If the designers of one revolutionary idea for the public transport of the future are right, that's just what we could be doing one day.

Evacuated Tube Transport (ETT) is an airless, frictionless form of transport which, its designers say, is safer, cheaper and quieter than trains or aeroplanes.

Using airless vacuum tubes, six-seat, 183kg passenger pods are designed to reach phenomenal speeds of up to 4,000mph (6,500kph), using far less energy than conventional transport methods.

April 18, 2012


(April 18, 2012)  The automaker says soon all its cars will be compatible with gas, electric, and hybrid drivetrains.

Ford is preparing for an era when choosing whether a new car is powered by gas, electricity, or both is as simple as choosing its color is.

All future models from the automaker will be designed so that they can be produced with gas, electric, or hybrid drivetrains, a strategy embodied by the Ford Focus Electric, made available for the first press test drives last week. While GM and Nissan designed their first all-electric mass production cars from scratch, Ford is essentially using a 2010 design with the gas guts switched for electric ones.


A German company borrows the materials and manufacturing process of OLED displays to make a new kind of solar panel.

(April 18, 2012)  A startup in Germany has developed a new kind of solar panel made of small, organic molecules deposited on polyester films. The technology is similar to what's used for OLED displays for phones and flat-screen TVs. The panels are flexible, and far lighter than conventional solar panels, yet in some locations—particularly where it's hot or cloudy—they can generate just as much electricity as a conventional solar panel.


Improved Loblolly Pines Better for the Environment, Study Finds

(April 18, 2012)  More than 50 years of genetics work to increase loblolly pine production in the Southeast has improved the trees’ ability to act as carbon sinks that mitigate climate change, according to a new study by North Carolina State University researchers.

“We’ve been working to create trees that grow faster and produce more wood, and what this research shows is that at the same time we’re enhancing environmental quality by scrubbing as much carbon out of the atmosphere as we possibly can,” says Dr. John King, an NC State forest ecologist and co-author of a paper published this month in the journal Forest Science.

April 17, 2012


(April 17, 2012)  Looking for an inexpensive and effective way to quickly improve the quality of your drinking water? According to a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, sunlight and a twist of lime might do the trick. Researchers found that adding lime juice to water that is treated with a solar disinfection method removed detectable levels of harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) significantly faster than solar disinfection alone. The results are featured in the April 2012 issue of American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.