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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Ken Novak's Weblog

daily link  Saturday, October 28, 2006

Russia Led Arms Sales to Developing World in 2005:  "The Russian sales in 2005 included 29 of the SA-15 Gauntlet surface-to-air missile systems for Iran; Russia also signed deals to upgrade Iran’s Su-24 bombers and MIG-29 fighter aircraft, as well as its T-72 battle tanks. “For a period of time, in the mid-1990s, the Russian government agreed not to make new advanced weapons sales to the Iran government,” wrote Richard F. Grimmett, author of the study by the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress. “That agreement has since been rescinded by Russia." ..

In 2005, the United States led in total arms transfer agreements, when deals to both developed and developing nations are combined. The total was $12.8 billion, down from $13.2 billion in 2004. France ranked second in total sales, with $7.9 billion, up from $2.2 billion in 2004. Russia was third when sales to developing and developed nations were combined, with $7.4 billion, up from $5.6 billion in 2004. ..

Russia’s arms agreements with the developing world totaled $7 billion in 2005, an increase from its $5.4 billion in sales in 2004. That figure surpassed the United States’ annual sales agreements to the developing world for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  France ranked second in arms transfer agreements to developing nations, with $6.3 billion, and the United States was third, with $6.2 billion. The leading buyer in the developing world in 2005 was India, with $5.4 billion in weapons purchases, followed by Saudi Arabia with $3.4 billion and China with $2.8 billion.  The total value of all arms sales deals worldwide, when counting both developing and developed nations, in 2005 was $44.2 billion."
  11:45:18 PM  permalink  

daily link  Thursday, October 26, 2006

Build A Virtual Machine Template: Making a template for XP, including sysprep and disk compression steps.
  8:59:11 PM  permalink  

Linksys pocket wireless extender WTR54GS:  Geek heaven: this linksys pocket device looks handy for travellers.  Converts wired hotel access to wireless, for example, or could extend home network.  [Thanks, Scott!]
  10:09:57 AM  permalink  

daily link  Wednesday, October 25, 2006

California Geothermal Resources 2006:  A report on the potentials and issues surrounding a very large and predictable renewable power supply.  There are many potential geothermal sites in California, but few are being actively explored and only one significantly exploited.  For example, the Salton Sea area alone is estimated to capable of to 820,000 MW-Years of electricity.  Even without exploration, estimates of today's economic capacity stand at around 10 GW of electric supply, with potentials estimated upwards of 40 GW.  But  "we have a built-in feedback loop that effectively stalemates geothermal development:  without leases, industry will not spend the millions of dollars needed to do basic exploration to understand and help characterize the resource better. And, without better resource characterization, the agencies had little incentive to propose or process new leases, which would cost large sums of money and have very uncertain returns. ..

The Nevada approach is something California may wish to consider: establishing a government-industry collaborative effort to define resources sites and accelerate development, setting goals for geothermal development tied to the state’s RPS goals, and recognizing the need to accelerate research and development efforts. ..  [There is a precedent:] less than a year after being initiated by Governor Schwarzenegger, the state’s Biomass Collaborative spearheaded a multi-agency effort to produce a statewide biomass development plan."
  9:37:26 AM  permalink  

daily link  Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Algae to convert CO2 to biofuel: Two companies pursue commercialization of algal processing of CO2 emissions. "Fed a generous helping of CO2-laden emissions [from a] power plant's exhaust stack, the algae grow quickly even in the wan rays of a New England sun. The cleansed exhaust bubbles skyward, but with 40 percent less CO2 (a larger cut than the Kyoto treaty mandates) and another bonus: 86 percent less nitrous oxide. [The] algae is harvested daily. From that harvest, a combustible vegetable oil is squeezed out: biodiesel for automobiles. [The] dried remnant can be further reprocessed to create ethanol, also used for transportation. ..

GreenFuel Technologies, in Cambridge, Mass.has garnered $11 million in venture capital funding and is conducting a field trial at a 1,000 megawatt power plant owned by a major southwestern power company. Next year, GreenFuel expects two to seven more such demo projects scaling up to a full production system by 2009. ..

One key is selecting an algae with a high oil density - about 50 percent of its weight. Because this kind of algae also grows so fast, it can produce 15,000 gallons of biodiesel per acre. Just 60 gallons are produced from soybeans, which along with corn are the major biodiesel crops today.

[In Dec 2005] Greenshift Corporation, a Mount Arlington, N.J., technology incubator company, licensed CO2-gobbling algae technology that uses a screen-like algal filter. It was developed by David Bayless, a researcher at Ohio University. A prototype is capable of handling 140 cubic meters of flue gas per minute, an amount equal to the exhaust from 50 cars or a 3-megawatt power plant, Greenshift said in a statement"

  9:18:41 AM  permalink  

GE Delivers Prototype Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) to US DOE: "GE today announced it has successfully developed and delivered a 6 kW prototype of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).. .. The prototype achieved an efficiency of 49%, which is well above the minimum requirement of 35% set forth in the program. The development of this prototype is part of a 10-year, three-phase program with DOE/NETL ..  This system has the potential to achieve dramatically reduced emissions and close to 50% efficiency from coal. This would far surpass the 35% efficiency that can be achieved in a typical conventional pulverized coal-fired power plant today.

Because SOFCs provide a continuous flow of power, operate at high temperatures and have multi-fuel capabilities, they can greatly enhance energy efficiency in power generation. And since fuel cells are a virtually combustion- and NOx-free power source, they also can vastly improve environmental performance."  Many SOFC's can process a mix of coal and biomass.  They may also produce a purified CO2 stream that is much cheaper to sequester than that produced by combustion.  SRI has a similar approach with its direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) technology (with MP3 radio interview).
  8:35:35 AM  permalink  

European Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund:  "The European Commission today proposed the creation of a Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (GEEREF), which will accelerate the transfer, development and deployment of environmentally sound technologies. ..  It will contribute to bringing clean, secure and affordable energy supplies to the 1.6 billion people around the world who have no access to electricity. ..

The need for risk capital in developing countries and transition economies is estimated at over €9 billion, far above current levels... GEEREF [will provide] new risk-sharing and co-financing options .. Priority will be given to deploying environmentally sound technologies with a proven technical track record. GEEREF will stimulate the creation of regional sub-funds tailored to regional needs and conditions, rather than investing in projects directly. Sub-funds are envisaged for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region, North Africa, non-EU Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia. The focus will be on investments below €10 million as these are mostly ignored by commercial investors and international finance institutions. Corporate finance will be offered to support small and medium-sized enterprises as well as project finance

These projects will also combat climate change and air pollution. The Commission intends to kick-start the fund with a contribution of up to €80 million over the next four years, and expects that financing from other public and private sources will take funding to at least €100 million. This means that it will contribute to the financing of investment projects of a value up to 1 billion euro. "
  8:22:14 AM  permalink  

daily link  Thursday, October 12, 2006

Amazon S3 vs DreamHost:  Good comparison of cheap generic hosting versus Amazon's robust storage service.  The reader comments make many excellent points.
  9:08:41 AM  permalink  

daily link  Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Foresight for UK venture capital investment funding for sustainability:  "Foresight Sustainable Development [fund] is aimed at very High Net Worth investors and their advisers looking to invest in excess of £100,000 in unquoted growth situations in sustainable markets. This will be structured as a Limited Partnership to avoid the constraints of a VCT. It will exploit opportunities in renewable energy, energy efficiency, the recycling of materials and energy security. It will invest across project finance, new technologies and service businesses. 

Matt Taylor, partner at Foresight, explains:  “In the clean fuels arena, many investors seem to be driving up the valuations of “blue sky” technologies. Our approach is different: we are concentrating on infrastructure projects and the exploitation of proven technologies. Sustainable development is an investment cycle for the long-term and we will invest only when the balance of risk and reward is right. This is going to be a small, tightly-focussed fund which should be fully invested over 12-18 months.”  It launches in early October 06.
  12:26:07 AM  permalink  

Floating Wind Turbines the Wave of the Future?
  "Among three designs for floating giant wind turbines in the deep ocean, MIT research is focusing on the tension leg platform (center), a system that oil companies use for deep-water rigs. .. According to their analyses, the floater-mounted turbines could work in water depths ranging from 30 to 200 meters. In the Northeast, for example, they could be 50 to 150 kilometers from shore. And the turbine atop each platform could be big -- an economic advantage in the wind-farm business. The MIT-NREL design assumes a 5-megawatt (MW) experimental turbine now being developed by industry. (Onshore units are 1.5 MW, conventional offshore units, 3.6 MW.) ..

Sclavounos estimates that building and installing his floating support system should cost a third as much as constructing the type of truss tower now planned for deep-water installations. Because of the strong offshore winds, the floating turbines should produce up to twice as much electricity per year (per installed megawatt) as wind turbines now in operation. And since the wind turbines are not permanently attached to the ocean floor, they are a movable asset."
  12:18:35 AM  permalink  

daily link  Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Web Applications 1.0:  A framework for rich applications enabled by javascript in the browser.  I'm told it's backed by Google, Apple, Mozilla, and Opera, among others.
  9:20:40 AM  permalink  

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