|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, August 09, 2004
Scientists formulate intelligent glass that blocks heat not light: "Reporting in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, researchers reveal they have developed an intelligent window coating that ..reflects the sun's heat ..
While conventional tints block both heat and light the coating, which is made from a derivative of vanadium dioxide, allows visible wavelengths of light through at all times but reflects infrared light when temperature rise over 29 degrees Celsius. Wavelengths of light in this region of the spectrum cause heating so blocking infrared reduces unwanted rays from the sun. The coating's ability to switch between absorbing and reflecting light means occupants benefit from the sun's heat in cooler conditions but when temperatures soar room heating is reduced by up to 50 per cent. ..
"Another consideration, is the colour of the coating. At present it's yellow/green, which really isn't attractive for windows. So we're now looking into colour suppression as a way round this." "
Besides space heating and cooling, I wonder if it would help for photovoltaic concentrating solar collectors, which use Fresnel lenses, mirror systems, or mirror troughs, to reduce the heat stress on the PV components. 11:57:21 PM
Foreign Affairs - The Neglected Home Front:
Comprehensive review of what has not been done on homeland security, including tracking biomaterials, cleaning up nuclear materials, improving cargo inspection, securing infrastructure, equiping first responders. Examples: "Although the CIA has concluded that the most likely way weapons of mass destruction (WMD) would enter the United States is by sea, the federal government is spending more every three days to finance the war in Iraq than it has provided over the past three years to prop up the security of all 361 U.S. commercial seaports. This myopic focus on conventional military forces at the expense of domestic security even extends to making the physical security at U.S. military bases a higher budget priority than protecting the nation's most critical infrastructure. In fiscal year 2005, Congress will give the Pentagon $7.6 billion to improve security at military bases. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security will receive just $2.6 billion to protect all the vital systems throughout the country that sustain a modern society." 11:35:00 PM
e-business and development:
Information about several efforts in developing countries to use online catalogs and orders, information and travel services, and money transfers. Includes links to appropriate technology suppliers in this area. 2:58:10 PM
U.S. rapped for blowing spy's cover
: Condi Rice told reporters Khan's name and role, and blew the cover on a HUMINT resource. "A captured Al Qaeda computer whiz was E-mailing his comrades as part of a sting operation to nab other top terrorists when U.S. officials blew his cover, sources said yesterday. Within hours of Muhammad Naeem Noor Khan's name being publicized Monday, British police launched lightning raids that netted a dozen suspected Al Qaeda terrorists, including one who was nabbed after a high-speed car chase. ..
Now British and Pakistani intelligence officials are furious with the Americans for unmasking their super spy - apparently to justify the orange alert - and for naming the other captured terrorist suspects. Pakistani Interior Minister Faisal Saleh Hayyat expressed dismay the trap they had hoped would lead to the capture of other top Al Qaeda leaders, possibly even Osama Bin Laden, was sprung too soon. "The network is still not finished," Hayyat said. It "remains a potent threat to Pakistan, and to civilized humanity." "It makes our job harder," a British security source said. British officials denied press reports yesterday that several suspects were able to escape the net."
Juan Cole and others cite stories of 5 suspects who were not apprehended, and provides details of how Rice was identified as the source. Senator Charles Schumer "has asked the White House to explain why the name was leaked to the press, saying it may have hurt the war on terror, according to a letter obtained by Reuters on Monday. " Reuters quotes Tim Ripley, a security expert who writes for Jane's Defence publications, "The whole thing smacks of either incompetence or worse." 2:43:05 PM
The FIVIMS Programme
: "Poverty Mapping
is a joint initiative by FAO, UNEP and the CGIAR consisting of a network of institutions dedicated to: analyse and map the spatial distribution of poverty, produce and promote the use of poverty maps and shows linkages between poverty and food insecurity, the environment and development and to promote the use of poverty maps in policy making and targeting assistance. The initative has been funded as a thee-year project throught he Government of Norway, closing by the end of 2004. The poverty mapping initative is performed within FIVIMS
, an Inter-agency initiative to promote information and mapping systems on food insecurity and vulnerability." 9:41:47 AM
Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall: A brilliant blog during this political season. A few choice bits:
- On Bush's endorsement of the 911 Commission recommendations, followed by his proposal of a weak Director of Intelligence:" this is such a pattern for this White House that you'd think the Kerry campaign, and the Dems on the Hill, would get hold of this as a pretty manageable critique of this administration: That is, you just can't trust them. What this White House says it's doing and what it's actually doing seldom turn out to be the same thing. "
- Press failures covering WMD: "Do not miss this very important article that not only covers the exceptionally good reportage of Knight-Ridder reporters Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay on the WMD claims, but also the costs of aggressively bucking the administration line. "
- On GOP ridicule (which I recall as devastatingly effective against Gore in 2000), "aimed at mocking John Kerry as a undistinguished and risible figure. According to the Times, this will culminate at the GOP convention where Kerry will be portrayed as "an object of humor and calculated derision." .. Republicans are very good at this. And it can be a tool that is deceptively difficult to respond to or combat. Effective mockery is 'sticky', hard to shake off, hard to parry. And it appeals to people's appetite for fun and humor. Indeed, it's not just contemporary Republicans who have a knack for this. There seems to be something intrinsic to the reactionary or right-leaning mentality that gravitates toward this method of political combat. Think of the Tory pamphleteers and essayists of the 18th century in Great Britain or others of a more recent vintage in the US. This is potent stuff. And Democrats would do well not only to be on their guard but consider applying this approach to the current president, who is more than a bit ripe for such treatment."