Updated: 5/16/2006; 12:31:42 PM.

Ken Novak's Weblog
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daily link  Monday, May 16, 2005


Water Filters Rely on Nanotech: Report from the October 2004 NanoWater conference. "A slow, methodical transformation of the $400-billion-a-year water-management industry is currently in progress, and nanotechnology appears to be leading the way. .. Two products incorporating nanotechnology are going to hit the market within the next year and are already being tested in developing nations. .. Matrikx water filters will be on store shelves within the next year after already having experienced success in 50 pilot programs throughout central Asia.  Argonide's president, Fred Tepper, is trying to get his product in the hands of consumers in the next 60 to 90 days, he said, having recently secured a distribution deal with a European company ..

Though these breakthroughs seem cutting-edge, the technology is not terribly new. Water-treatment plants have been using nanofiltration and ultrafiltration membranes to separate good water from bad for more than five years. And already the technology is becoming the industry standard. .. The same technology is allowing desalination -- the process of removing salts from fresh or sea water -- to occur at a much greater rate. The largest desalination plant in the world will begin operating in Ashkelon, Israel, in March 2005."

Argonide Nanomaterials has an interesting history of collaborations with US govt labs, Russian institutes active in nanotechnology, and others in Italy, Japan, and Singapore.

  12:29:13 PM  permalink  

Development Through Enterprise: New web site, NextBillion.Net, with multiple author blogs. "Our goal is to identify and discuss sustainable business models that address the needs of the world's poorest citizens."  High quality content, looks like a good model for collaborative blog/infohub.  12:11:50 PM  permalink  

Piracy is Good?  A long piece on a business model for BitTorrent "hyperdistribution" of video programming.  "Per capita, Australians are the most profligate downloaders of television programming in the entire world, followed closely by the British. While the Americans lag behind, they're still on the chart, in third place. The sea change has already taken place - undoubtedly sped along by the monopoly position of the commercial broadcasters, who, in many cases, act as barriers rather than conduits for television programs. If a commercial broadcaster doesn't show a program, or delays it for years, that's no longer of concern to television audiences: they'll just download it from the Internet. ..

As yet there are no viable economic models connecting the television producer directly to the audience. Industry pundits talk about audiovisual downloads through some system like Apple's iTunes Music Store, and perhaps we'll see something like this in the near future, but this works against the simple fact that people do not expect to pay for television programs. .. [Also, thanks to PVR's and fast forward,] 30-second ads are not a part of television's future. They're too easy to edit out of the viewing experience. ..

the "bug," the smallish, semi-transparent station ID which has become the constant on-screen companion to all television broadcasts [can carry an ad instead, as it does on some sports broadcasts today]. the technique is already in use, and advertisers understand its value. .. advertisers are ready for this. .. As the advertisement-as-interruption disappears, we will see a series of advertisements — perhaps running five minutes apiece — embedded into the programmme itself. This is easy to achieve technically, and will be palatable to most major advertisers.

if those advertisers are paying between $250,000 and $500,000 for thirty seconds of advertising (in the United States), just a handful of advertisements would cover hyperdistribution [BitTorrent] costs. It's a numbers game: if enough viewers watch a hyperdistributed television program, it is cheaper for advertisers to work with producers, and handle the distribution themselves. Furthermore, if the program is widely popular, it is far, far cheaper to do so. In other words, the higher your ratings, the cheaper the advertising. That's precisely the reverse of broadcast television, and one big reason that advertisers will find this model so appealing.

Although no formal surveys have been conducted, it's reasonable to assert that at least four percent of Australians, two percent of Britons, and one percent of Americans are already using broadband hyperdistribution to get some percentage of their TV programs. Based on my own research, I have found television downloading to be widespread among men 18 to 25 years old, precisely the demographic most coveted by advertisers."

  9:10:14 AM  permalink  

The Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager: Fabulous java app visualizing parents' name choices since 1900.   8:56:43 AM  permalink  

Microsoft Virtual Server Deployment Manager 1.3.0 (VSDM): "The Virtual Server Deployment Manager provides a streamlined way to manage and deploy Virtual Machines. Using this tool, regular users (not just administrators) will be able to create and manage their own machines, without impacting other users' machines... Based on the concept of templates, VSDM manages the virtual library (templates and ISO images) in a simple and productive way. A "must have" tool for Virtual Server customers that manage large number of machines or need to frequently recreate images based on a master image (template). .. This tool does not have PSS support. It is provided AS IS." 

Available for download.  More info: "The original Virtual Server administration is very powerful, yet very complex to use. Along with all the power it provides, it is complicated to manage to a regular user (not acquainted with administration processes) and therefore suitable to mistakes. One of the most critical mistakes this infra-structure provides support to avoid is when a user inadvertently modifies or damages other user’s machines..  The system also includes a client-side system service which runs inside the Virtual Machine. It is used to pass information from VSDM to the Virtual Machine and perform maintenance tasks, like renaming the machine. This a very important task because if you create Virtual Machines based from some image and they startup, Windows network will crash because another name already exists on the network. The VSDM Client prevents that by keeping the virtual machine name in sync with the VSDM database, avoiding network name collisions"

  8:26:07 AM  permalink  

Soros funds mesh nets: "The Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the Open Society Institute, funded by the Soros Foundation, to develop wireless technology to be used around the globe, with a focus on developing nations. The result will be the most advanced community wireless technology in the world. "  OJC Technologies is doing the implementation under contract.  CUWIN has released an open source beta: "Imagine a free wireless networking system that any municipality, company, or group of neighbors could easily set up themselves. Over the past half-decade, the Champaign-Urbana Community Wireless Network (CUWiN) has been developing an open source, turnkey wireless networking solution that exceeds the functionality of many proprietary systems. CUWiN's vision is ubiquitous, extremely high-speed, low-cost networking for every community and constituency."  More background: "To set up a CUWiN network, you burn a CD with the 0.5.5 software later this week and use it to boot a computer with a supported wireless card. The system finds nearby nodes, creates tables, and establishes itself as part of the network. The software is free and open source. "  8:21:32 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 12:31:42 PM.