|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Tuesday, February 17, 2004
Gapminder world statistics:
Interesting source of software, data, and documents on international development, including income distribution and historical trends. 3:41:58 PM
: "Apache Lenya is a Java-based Open-Source Content Management System. It is based on open standards such as XML and XSLT. One of its core components is Cocoon", an Apache web development framework. 2:04:32 PM
"is a highly specialized independent team of experts in wireless and internet technology, working with business customers as well as non-profit projects, e.g. community networks and ICT initiatives for the developing world. " They offer the autonokit
: "the idea of the autonokit is, to bring together affordable, available wireless and solar standard technology, (hardware and software) test and optimize it for usage under adverse mobile conditions in order to produce a kit for inexpensive and autonomous internet access. " 1:45:47 PM
Low power, low datarate: chip aims for medical implants: "The AMIS-52100 transceiver is the latest member of the low-datarate ASTRIC (application specific transmit and receive IC) product family from AMI Semiconductor. The new chip appeals to sub-500MHz-band wireless applications that require clock and data recovery, and is particularly suited to medical implantable devices. Targeting the FDA's Medical Implantable Communications Systems (MICS) standard and European standards for ultra-low-power active medical implants (ULP-AMIs), the device is optimised for operation in the 402-405MHz frequency band. The band outlines a specific radio frequency range for two-way communication between medical devices to retrieve important information about a patient's status with improved data transfer rates... The AMIS-52100 will be priced at $1.95 in quantities of 50 thousand units, assuming a 20-lead SSOP. Samples and evaluation kits will be available in March 2004. The product is immediately available for ASIC integration. "
Markets "for things like heart pacemarkers and defibrillators is $5.1 billion, growing 10% per year, while that for hearing aids is $2.6 billion. Some of the best solutions now available for grabbing a share of that market involve "low-power, low-data-rate wireless technology" based on "a stand-alone transceiver IC." 1:22:23 PM
Powerful machines are coming in small packages: "A new class of micro-gadgets – some no larger than a pencil eraser – are poised to make military and other equipment easier to power and carry. "
Example: a portable cooling suit that weighs just several pounds. "The final product would consist of an absorption heat pump, which would fit in a small backpack, connected to a vest threaded with water-filled microchannels. The water would be cooled in the pump then recirculated through the channels to keep the person wearing the vest from overheating. ..
These devices send large amounts of liquid or gas through thousands of microchannels that stand roughly as tall as a human hair. In each channel, heat transfer or chemical reactions happen more efficiently than they do in larger spaces, permitting better process control, shorter channel lengths and overall system miniaturization. .. [Applications] include micromachined gas-liquid contactor membranes for portable heat pumps, high-temperature microchannel arrays for increasing the efficiency of fuel reforming, and microfluidic integration for improving the shelf-life of tissue-based sensors.
"We're trying to take large amounts of fluids down through microchannels and then back out to affect the macroscale environment," [Oregon State's Brian] Paul said. "These technologies are expected to revolutionize the way we process mass and energy." [PNL's Ward] TeGrotenhuis, Paul, and their colleagues call their field "MECS," for "Microtechnology-based Energy and Chemical Systems." ..
[Another microsystem,] carbon-based arrays of MEMS microbatteries made by Marc Madou of UC Irvine, and his colleagues have thousands of anodes and cathodes very close together. Thus, the ions don't have to travel as far as they do in standard batteries. "It's like a traditional battery concept but multiplexed," said Madou, who calls each battery element a "baxel" (a riff on "pixels," also arranged in a matrix). " 1:09:52 PM
California Dreaming No More: "32% of the nearly 1.8 million Latinos who settled in California in the '80s were living in poverty in 1990, compared with 23% by 2000. Likewise, Latino immigrants from the '70s had a poverty rate of just 17% by 2000. Contrary to stereotypes, about 70% of Latino immigrant children in California graduate from high school, Myers said. And 55% of middle-aged California Latinos who immigrated at least 20 years ago own homes. That number increases to 68% after 30 years of residence."
Increasing numbers are selling California homes and moving to other, lower cost states. And more immigrants are arriving into other states. "census figures confirm the trend: Just 25% of newly arrived U.S. immigrants — about half of whom were Latino — settled in California in the 1990s, compared with nearly 38% the previous decade." 9:39:09 AM