|Ken Novak's Weblog
Purpose of this blog: to retain annotated bookmarks for my future reference, and to offer others my filter technology and other news. Note that this blog is categorized. Use the category links to find items that match your interests.
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Monday, November 11, 2002
Solar Power used to extend internet access to Native American learning centers
: San Diego's High-Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) has installed systems in remote areas of southern California, with solar panels giving "peak power of 320 watts, which is able to continuously power a device consuming around 32 watts. [It] can support up to four 2.4 GHz radios, has five days of back-up power should the panels fail. " 11:29:30 PM
ZAP! Lepton Scooter
: Nifty $3000 scooter, Made in Italy, Top Speed: 25 mph, Range: Up to 20 miles, Recharge time: 6 hours. 11:25:20 PM
Shell Solar restructures due to industry overcapacity:
"Industry-wide there is substantial overcapacity in PV manufacturing around the world, which has affected all companies in the sector, including Shell Solar. This follows a downturn in demand for the whole industry after four years of growth of over 30 per cent per year when global production capacity increased significantly, going from 400MWp in 2001 to 760MWp in 2002. " Shell will cut 170 jobs. 11:22:03 PM
ZAP! Electric Vehicles
offers to buy Ford's Think: "The offer of up to $10 million in cash, stock, and/or warrants would be for all of Ford's EV assets including the Think City electric car. This offer initiated by ZAP shareholders follows news reports that Ford has shut down the Ford Think electric vehicle project after spending $123 million... The car meets all necessary safety regulations and contains only 370 parts to build.
The body is constructed of polyethylene with an ABS plastic roof.
The lightweight design utilizes a space frame and the doors are molded over aluminum. The City is one of the only freeway-capable vehicles designed specifically to be an electric in production.
" 11:18:08 PM
AIST creates 7.45% efficient dye sensitized solar cell
: "The Photoreaction Control Research Center of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) has successfully achieved a solar energy conversion rate of 7.45% with a dye-sensitized solar cell. The center, in collaboration with Hayashibara Biochemical Laboratories, has developed a coumarin dye-sensitized oxide semiconductor photoelectrode which absorbs light in a broad spectrum of 350nm to 820nm, covering ultraviolet, through visible, to infrared light. Using this patent-pending technology, which uses inexpensive resources, the partners have developed a titanium solar cell with a 7.45% conversion efficiency, about the same as that of next-generation solar cells which often use ruthenium complex dyes as a photosensitizer. The new dye-sensitized solar cell also demonstrates almost the same performance as conventional amorphous silicon solar cells. " 11:07:17 PM
Grameen Shakti reaches 10,000 installations in Bangladesh
: "Grameen Shakti (GS) has installed 10,000 solar home systems with a capacity of 5,00,000 watts (0.50 MW) with a view to promoting and popularising renewable energy technologies in the country since its inception in 1996. The GS has also established 50 units of offices at different locations of the country including six islands. .. The GS has launched village Internet and video conferencing through Internet between one offshore island (Maheshkahli) and Cox’s Bazar (Tourist City) for the first time in the country. .. The GS has also established 10 solar power computer education center in the rural and remote areas including three islands. It is also making the people of the areas acquainted with computer technology. " 11:02:58 PM
Sri Lanka World Bank Renewable Project Procurement Notice (Nov 11, 2002)
: "The Government of Sri Lanka has received a credit in the amount of US$75 million equivalent from the International Development Association (IDA) to finance the Renewable Energy for Rural Economic Development (RERED) Project, and it intends to apply the credit proceeds to payments for goods, works, related services and consulting services to be procured under this project. " Specific procurement notices are forthcoming from the Bank or RERED. 10:58:16 PM
Joel on Software - The Law of Leaky Abstractions
: Nice observations about high-level programming (and probably any field with abstractions): "paradoxically, even as we have higher and higher level programming tools with better and better abstractions, becoming a proficient programmer is getting harder and harder." 10:17:19 PM
Tyler Cowen has an interesting article in the Wilson Quarterly Autumn 2002. on cultural diversity and globalization called "The Fate of Culture." It's from his book Creative Destruction. I found a synopsys from a talk he gave at the World Bank: "A good starting point in this discussion is to recognize that cultural diversity itself is of several types. The following types could be distinguished:
- Cultural diversity within societies, i.e. the richness of the menu of choices available to people in a country.
- Diversity across societies. The concern that societies are becoming more alike is a principal focus of anti-globalist critics. Cowen's argument, however, is that trade of cultural products and influences will increase cultural diversity within societies, even while it may reduce it across them ..
- Diversity across time. Most cultures are in constant change, but critics are commonly opposed to this diversity in time, displaying a preference for stasis.
- Operative or practical diversity, which refers to how far you can take practical advantage of the objective diversity that exists in the world. There was much diversity in the world in 1450, but Aztec and Chinese culture had no access to each other, so operative diversity was low. Modern trade and communications provide societies with vastly more effective access to objective diversity.
A common thread in Cowen's analysis is his argument that growth and trade will tend to foster both homogenization and greater niche diversity at the same time, more copious production of both 'high brow' and 'low brow' culture .." 8:48:56 AM
Amy Chua has a very interesting and very readable article the Wilson Quarterly Autumn 2002 on the often explosive collision of free markets, democracy and ethnicity during globalization. It is taken from her forthcoming book "World on Fire." I also found an academic treatment of the topic in the google cache (which may not be there for long): "the Paradox of Free Market Democracy [occurs] with democracy pitting an "indigenous" majority against an economically dominant "outsider" minority. This dynamic is not a mere theoretical possibility in the developing world. It is a persistent, lethal reality, as recent events in Indonesia have once again illustrated. .. For all these reasons, it is irresponsible to promote markets and democracy in the developing world in the absence of institutions capable of mediating the conflict between them. " 8:33:27 AM