Updated: 5/16/2006; 12:38:21 PM.

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daily link  Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Calcars inspires EDrive for PHEVs: In May 2005, EnergyCS and Clean-Tech unveiled EDrive, LLC, their new company for Prius retrofits.  They aim for sales of aftermarket conversion kits for Prius with higher capacity lithium batteries with up to 35 miles of drive time, for early 2006.  This article gives the history of how Calcars helped inspire their formation, and what may happen next.  Useful articles:

  10:51:39 PM  permalink  

More attention to flexible-fuel PHEV:  Even George P. Shultz and R. James Woolsey are on the bandwagon.  (June 2005): "We propose in this paper that the government vigorously encourage and support at least six technologies: two types of alternative fuels that are beginning to come into the market (cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel derived from a wide range of waste streams), two types of fuel efficient vehicles that are now being sold to the public in some volume (hybrid gasoline-electric and modern clean diesels), and one vehicle construction technique, the use of manufactured carbon-carbon composites, that is now being used for aircraft and racing cars and is quite promising as a way of reducing vehicle weight and fuel requirements while improving safety.

The sixth technology, battery improvement to permit "plug-in" hybrid vehicles, will require some development — although nothing like the years that will be required for hydrogen fuel cells. It holds, however, remarkable promise. Improving batteries to permit them to be given an added charge when a hybrid is garaged, ordinarily at night, can substantially improve mileage, because it can permit hybrids to use battery power alone for the first 10-30 miles. Since a great many trips fall within this range this can improve the mileage of a hybrid vehicle from, say, 50 mpg to over 100 mpg (of oil products). Also, since the average residential electricity cost is 8.5 cents/kwh (and in many areas, off-peak nighttime cost is 2-4 cents/kwh) this means that much of a plug-in hybrid's travel would be on the equivalent of 50 cent/gallon gasoline (or, off-peak, on the equivalent of 12-25 cent/gallon gasoline).

A plug-in hybrid averaging 125 mpg, if its fuel tank contains 85 per cent cellulosic ethanol, would be obtaining about 500 mpg. If it were constructed from carbon composites the mileage could double, and, if it were a diesel and powered by biodiesel derived from waste, it would be using no oil products at all. .. What are we waiting for?"

  10:24:22 PM  permalink  

The Suicide Solution: Christopher Dickey compares epidemics of suicide in different cultures, applied to today's terrorists.  "In “Dying to Win,” Pape concludes that  “suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation.” Whether the people blowing themselves up are Palestinians, Chechens, Kashmiris, Tamil Tigers, or for that matter Japanese kamikazes, they are part of nationalist struggles, he says, and “they see themselves as sacrificing their lives for the nation’s good”..” Pape is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, and he holds on to this essentially political explanation even when it has to be stretched a bit. Did the problem of occupation loom large in the lives of the young British-raised Pakistanis and East Africans who attacked public transport in London last July? Where did occupation figure in the minds of the highly educated men from Egypt, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia who carried out the 9/11 attacks against the United States?  ..  Al Qaeda propaganda tells them that the ummah,  the global nation of all Muslims, is under attack. ..  But that perception is not new—and suicide bombings on this scale are. ..

“Once a specific form of suicide takes place, it becomes part of the thinking and, if you will, the repertoire of people who can identify with that person who killed himself,” says the Dutch researcher René Diekstra, now at Holland’s Roosevelt Academy. “We know that what we call ‘suicide contagion’ is particularly prevalent in the late teens and early adult age. There is a search for identity, and for heroism.” These are exactly the themes the suicide organizers exploit. ..

Over the long run, Diekstra argues, Muslim societies will have to change. Islam will have to reaffirm its traditional values to resist the romance of martyrdom that more and more young people find attractive. New role models for young Muslims will have to be found, publicized, and revered. But the first step in any such process, as Pape argues, is to end foreign occupations wherever possible..

In the 1980s you had some six million Palestinians and Lebanese under Israeli occupation. Now some 20 million Iraqis (especially the 5 million Sunni Arabs) feel themselves under U.S. occupation—plus 18 million Saudis and some 2 million Kuwaitis who may see themselves as threatened by foreign troops in their neighborhood. “If we ever decide to invade Iran,” says Pape, “we’re going to discover that 70 million people can provide a lot more suicide bombers.” To stop the spread of the suicide disease, in other words, we have to stop the spread of the occupation disease."

  9:38:49 AM  permalink  

IBM open source rHype:  Back in Feb 05, IBM released an open source (GPL) virtualization engine called rHype, for 'research hypervisor'. (Updates are posted through July 05).   It is a paravirtualizer, so most O/S need modification before running.  It runs on several hardware platforms (Power, Sony Cell, x86), and has emulators for others (Mambo, QEMU).  "In addition to the rHype project, IBM has a commercial hypervisor running on machines that use its Power processors. Because rHype uses the same interfaces as the commercial hypervisor, Linux doesn't have to be modified to run on an rHype-Power foundation. With rHype on x86 chips, Linux must be modified to work. "  rHype is expected to help Xen authors advance their platform.  Charles King, principal analyst of Pund-IT Research, notes a trend I'm watching:  "Juggling numerous tasks has long been a useful ability for corporate computing centers. Now such abilities are increasingly useful at home as computer networks get more complex and useful, King said.   "It's fascinating to me that something that's been seen as a benefit for enterprise data centers is percolating its way down into the set-top box," King said. "  8:48:23 AM  permalink  

 

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Last update: 5/16/2006; 12:38:21 PM.