New and Emerging Technology News part 107 ~ NEW GEN TECH LIFE : new generation technology news

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

New and Emerging Technology News part 107

Eindhoven University researcher Bart Gysen and a test car fitted with the new suspension s...
Last December at the Future of Electric Vehicles conference in San Jose, a representative from The Netherlands’ Eindhoven University of Technology presented research that his institution had been doing into a novel type of electromagnetic vehicle suspension. Now that a test car equipped with the suspension is about to appear at the AutoRAI exhibition in Amsterdam, the university has released some more details about the technology. For starters, it is claimed to improve the overall ride quality of cars by 60 percent.  Read More
The Lensbaby Composer Pro - drop in an optic and tilt away to your creative heart's conten...
Lensbaby is an odd company making distinctly analogue products to suit modern digital SLR cameras. The Composer Pro is a lens body that features a tilting head which bends light and distorts the focal plane of whatever lens optic you drop into it, giving you a bunch of ways to creatively mess with your photography in-camera for some pretty striking and evocative effects. It feels like a strange thing to do, putting such low-fi and distorted lenses on your ultra-sharp DSLR – but then again, hey, if it feels good, do it! Click through to see some example photos.  Read More
Tobii has announced the released of a stand-alone eye control device for Windows PCs calle...
Sweden's eye tracking and control innovator Tobii has announced the release of a stand-alone eye control device called PCEye. Like the laptop-based prototype system demonstrated at CeBIT last month, the device tracks eye movement and translates it into mouse cursor action onscreen. Positioned in front of a PC monitor and connected via USB, the company says that the technology is compatible with a wide range of software and has been primarily designed to improve computer interactivity for users with impaired motor skills, such as stroke victims.  Read More
Korg monotribe front panel
When Korg's US trademark for "monotribe" was discovered in the lead up to Musikmesse, it was pretty obvious that we were about to meet a device that incorporated elements of the wonderful monotron analog synthesizer and the Electribe range - but that doesn't make these leaked shots any less exciting.  Read More
BMW M5 Concept showcases next generation performance sedan
The 25th Auto Shanghai kicks off a fortnight from now, and in its capacity as one of the world's most important automotive showcases in the world's largest auto market, we'll be seeing quite a few important model introductions. Near the top of that list is a new twin turbo V8 BMW Concept M5. As with all previous M5s, it's a high-performance sports car that masquerades as a premium class business sedan. Also on show will be the new BMW 6 Series Coupe.  Read More
The D5100 is the latest addition to Nikon's entry-level D-SLR lineup
Nikon has announced the latest addition to its entry-level D-SLR lineup in the form of the new D5100. The D5100 boasts the same 23.3 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor, 16.2-megpixel resolution and ISO range of 100–6400 (expandable to 25,600) as Nikon's D7000, plus a new Night Vision mode that can shoot up to a staggering 102,400 ISO. The D5100 also sports a new 3-inch, swing out style Vari-angle LCD screen with 1000:1 contrast ratio and 921,000-dot resolution that has the ability to rotate 180 degrees horizontally and vertically.  Read More
Evan A. Suma improved upon Google's Gmail Motion effort using his team's FAAST software
Last week, Google announced Gmail Motion, a system which promised motion control for the company's free webmail service using a computer's built-in webcam and some nifty spatial tracking technology. Using Gmail Motion users would be able to not only control Gmail actions but also compose emails using gestures that would be translated into common phrases. It was of course an April Fool's Day joke, but Evan A. Suma, a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Southern California's (USC) Institute for Creative Technologies, immediately set to work in demonstrating that the technology to run such a system already exists.  Read More
An experimental new direct solar steam generation power plant generates electricity by usi...
When most of us think of sunlight being used to generate power, we likely picture photovoltaic cells. Concentrated solar power plants however, use lenses or mirrors to heat fluid – such as synthetic oil – which in turn is used to generate high-pressure steam to drive a conventional turbine. A new experimental solar steam generation power plant that opened last week in southern Spain is aiming to improve on the efficiency of existing systems by using water as the direct working fluid and incorporating novel methods for storing the energy, so it can be dispensed even on cloudy days or at night.  Read More
The Global Observer before its maiden flight in August 2010
In a setback for AeroVironment's four-year demonstrator program, the first Global Observer unmanned aircraft system has crashed during flight-testing. AeroVironment has confirmed the "mishap" occurred at 2:30 am PDT on April 1st, approximately 18 hours into its ninth test flight at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California.  Read More
A Japanese scientist has created an almost painless hypodermic needle, inspired by the mos...
Mosquitoes are perhaps useful for something after all, besides feeding frogs. Along with his colleagues at Osaka’s Kansai University, mechanical engineer Seiji Aoyagi has created an almost pain-free hypodermic needle that is based on a mosquito’s proboscis. Perhaps surprisingly, the needle’s patient-friendliness comes from the fact that its outer surface is jagged, not smooth.  Read More

Leaf beetles use three shapes of adhesive hair in a specific pattern to allow for greater ...
Few things are as disconcerting, or as curious, as the sight of a gecko or spider skittering effortlessly upside down along the ceiling. This ability is known to be facilitated by microscopic hairs or "setae" on the footpads of insects and mammals and a better understanding of their function could lead to advances in synthetic adhesives, wall climbing robots and yes, even the the holy-grail of the spiderman suit. Now for the first time, scientists studying leaf beetles have been able to measure the adhesive force from single setae in a live animal and in the process expand our knowledge of the role they play in clinging to diverse surfaces.  Read More
Platypus
The French-designed Platypus is a new and immensely practical two-person electric underwater exploration concept designed to travel for eight hours above the water at 10-12 knots (18.5-22.2 km/h), or below the water at 3-4 knots (5.5-7.5 km/h). Most importantly, it offers a safe and stable below-water platform that requires no operating equipment to be worn by the pilot or passenger other than masks because the pontoons contain an integrated compressor which supplies air via hoses. The Platypus requires no license, produces no local emissions, is completely silent and offers plenty of storage space and a stable platform for many applications including diving, photography, bird watching and eco tourism.  Read More
Fujifilm's new FinePix Z900EXR has been given a brand new sensor, can shoot full high defi...
Fujifilm has announced the upcoming release of a new 16 megapixel compact with a multi-touch display, a new sensor and the ability to shoot full high definition video. Taking over from the FinePix Z800EXR, features include more dynamic range, improved battery life and full resolution continuous shooting of three frames per second.  Read More
Toshiba's new flagship 55ZL1 HDTV powered by a new CEVO-ENGINE
Toshiba has announced details and a release date for its new flagship 55ZL1 HDTV. The new model will be the first to be powered by a new CEVO-ENGINE, which replaces the company's Cell-powered models. The CEVO-ENGINE is essentially a stack of Cell multicore processors in the form of a seven-core processing unit that provides the processing grunt for such features as 2D to 3D conversion, 3D depth control, HDD video recording, Auto Calibration, and a face recognition feature that will switch to your personal settings after identifying you using the 55ZL1's integrated camera.  Read More
Adzookie will pay the home-owner's mortgage for the time that the house remains painted (I...
Adzookie's "Paint my house" scheme is an innovative – if unsubtle – approach to advertising that brings new meaning to the notion of having loud neighbors. In return for painting an entire US home with a billboard-sized advert, Adzookie will pay the home-owner's mortgage for the three-month period the house is contracted to remain painted, with the option to extend the contract for up to a year. The entire exterior is painted excepting the roof, and if the contract is canceled by Adzookie or the home-owner during the contract period they will paint the house back to its original colors.  Read More
Illustration from the patent application for Apple's new USB 3.0 and DisplayPort/Thunderbo...
Many have decried the lack of USB 3.0 connectivity in Apple’s latest MacBook Pro lineup, with the company instead opting for the new Thunderbolt I/O interface. Despite the lack of USB 3.0 connectivity in Apple’s current laptops, the unearthing of a patent granted to the company for a hybrid DisplayPort/USB 3.0 high speed dock connector suggests support for the high speed connection may be making its way into the next generation of Apple’s iOS devices. And with Thunderbolt using the Mini DisplayPort connector, Apple may finally be answering the call for greater connectivity options for its mobile devices.  Read More
HandStand for iPad fits to a hand like a catcher's mitt
Apple's iPad tablet has become an extension of the arm for many people. Despite being designed for portability – and the iPad 2 being 15 percent lighter than the first iPad – using either version of the device for any longer than a few minutes without some kind of support can lead to arm and hand strain. Hub International's HandStand case makes things much more comfortable by letting you attach an iPad to your hand like a catcher's mitt.  Read More
The uniquely shaped and textured Michelin Protek Max bicycle inner tube is said to compres...
Bicycle inner tubes that contain a small-puncture-sealing slimy liquid may not be a new development in and of themselves, but Michelin has released a product that takes the concept a step further. The company's Protek Max tube not only contains a sealant, but is designed to compress when punctured to assist the self-sealing process.  Read More
The Infant Warmer is a sleeping bag-like device that uses a phase-change material to keep ...
According to the medical journal The Lancet, approximately 20 million low birth-weight and premature babies are born around the world every year. Of those, about 4 million die within four weeks. Many of those deaths take place because the infants can’t maintain a high enough body temperature on their own, and succumb to hypothermia. Incubators are designed to address this problem, but many hospitals in developing nations can’t afford them, nor can they provide the uninterrupted power supply that the machines require. The San Francisco non-profit group Embrace, however, is developing what could be an effective and affordable alternative – the Infant Warmer.  Read More
Sony has dipped into DAB  for the first time with the launch of a new retro-styled portabl...
When I tuned into my first DAB broadcast a few years ago and was treated to crackle-and-hiss-free CD quality digital audio, I must admit to being impressed. Now an enhanced version of the standard is being rolled out across Europe which uses a more efficient audio codec and offers listeners even more access to digital services, and Sony has launched two new products to greet it. Heading for UK bedrooms will be the XDR-C706DBP DAB+ radio alarm clock, while living rooms can enjoy the natural wood finish and retro-styling of the XDR-S16DBP.  Read More
 
X-ray showing the BCI implanted on the surface of a patient's brain
It is a commonly held myth that much of the effectiveness of communication is determined by nonverbal cues, but try telling that to someone who has lost the power of speech due to brain injury or damage to their vocal cords or airway. In a move that could help restore communication for in this situation, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have successfully used regions of the brain that control speech to “talk” to a computer through the implantation of a temporary surgical implant. The patients were able to manipulate a cursor on a computer screen simply by saying or thinking of a particular sound.  Read More
Faber-Castell 250th Anniversary Limited Edition Wood Case set
Fast cars, shiny shoes, monster flat screen TVs ... all these things play a role as status symbols in our adult lives, but cast yourself back to your early school days when nothing said cool as much as a crackingly good pencil case. What I would have given to have one of these beauties in tow instead of my brothers' graffiti-ridden hand-me-down! Faber-Castell is the world’s oldest and largest manufacturer of wood-cased pencils and the company is marking its 250th Anniversary with this Limited Edition Wood Case set.  Read More
Auto Shanghai debut for Mercedes Concept A-Class
Due to be shown for the first time at Auto Shanghai later this month is the Mercedes-Benz Concept A-Class, no doubt a very strong indication of the next A-Class due for production in 2012. Following the styling cues first seen in the F800, the front-wheel-drive concept is powered by a 210 bhp, direct injection, turbocharged, transverse 2.0 liter four-cylinder BlueEFFICIENCY engine from the new M270 series. The A-Class Concept sports a world first for the compact class in the form of a radar-based collision warning system with adaptive Brake Assist and lightning shifts will be possible with a dual clutch transmission. The spectacular driver information display with integrated smartphone is another highlight of a car you’ll probably be able to buy within 12 months.  Read More
SteadyCam Pro provides real-time image stabilization for videos captured with an iPhone 4
The video capture capabilities found in today's mobile phones has made it easier than ever to record those priceless memories whenever and wherever they may occur. However, one of the downsides to cramming a video camera into such a small device is the lack of stability that often results in videos that look like they were shot the morning after a big night. With a full-blown steadycam rig probably not the best solution for smoothing out things on the go, Midnox has created an app that provides real-time image stabilization for the iPhone 4.  Read More
RigWheels
DSLR cameras have brought high-def video capture into the hands of vast numbers of people like myself – people who have now had a glimpse at the possibility of making pro-standard video but who don't have the cash for all the pricey accessories that you need to move to the next level. So a bunch of businesses are taking creative approaches to bring down the cost of moviemaking – and here's a neat example. RigWheels are a simple and compact way to build yourself a cheap camera dolly to liven up your footage with sliding shots – the visual effect is similar to what we got with a slightly more expensive Glidetrack-type slider rig on our recent Zero Electric Supermoto review video.  Read More
Wake Forest University researchers say a new solar thermal device could deliver up to 40 p...
Researchers at Wake Forest University have developed a new type of polymer solar-thermal device that combines photovoltaics with a system that captures the Sun's infrared radiation to generate heating. By taking advantage of both heat and light, researchers say the device could deliver up to 40 percent savings on the cost of heating, as well as helping reduce power bills by producing electricity.  Read More
The Falcon Heavy rocket is planned to launch in late 2013 or 2014 (Image SpaceX)
SpaceX, the American space transport company founded by PayPal and Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk that is responsible for the Dragon space capsule and Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets, has announced a late 2013 or 2014 launch date for the world’s most powerful rocket, the Falcon Heavy. Overshadowed by only the Saturn V moon rocket that was decommissioned after the Apollo program, the Falcon Heavy will be able to carry payloads of 53 metric tons (117,000 pounds or 53,070 kg) into orbit, which is more than the maximum take-off weight of a Boeing 737-200 loaded with 136 passengers, luggage and fuel.  Read More
Vestas has revealed plans to build the largest dedicated offshore wind turbine in the worl...
Offshore wind power specialist Vestas has revealed plans to build the largest dedicated offshore wind turbine in the world. The proposed V164 would have a 7.0 MW capacity, twice that of its predecessor, the 3.0 MW V112. The awesome 164 meter (538 ft) diameter rotor would eclipse the size of the current titleholder, the prototype G10X installed by Gamesa in Spain in 2009 which has a diameter of 128 m (420 ft).  Read More
Hyundai's Blue2 fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) concept at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show
Hyundai unveiled its new mid-size hydrogen powered fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) concept this week at the 2011 Seoul Motor Show. Powered by a 90 kW (120 hp) electric motor that delivers fuel economy of 34.9 km/L (82.1 mpg), the Blue2 (pronounced "Blue square") is intended as a "blue" print for the automaker's future sedans.  Read More
The CO2 collecting smokestack with Michigan Tech chemical engineering PhD student Brett Sp...
Students at Michigan Technological University have designed and constructed their own mini-smokestack to showcase a new method for scrubbing carbon dioxide from emissions. The approach is similar to SkyMine technology, but instead of producing sodium bicarbonate as a byproduct, it turns captured carbon into a solid material that could have applications as a construction material.  Read More

BLAZE Induction Charger for the Nintendo Wii Mote
The arrival of viable wireless charging solutions has given us the opportunity to pull the plug on devices like mobile phones and personal media players (with televisions and electric vehicles next in line). Game controllers are another obvious candidate for this technology and BLAZE's latest offering joins the ranks of wireless-charging solutions for the Nintendo Wii remote.  Read More
Microscopic image of the biodiesel emulsion fuel created by researchers
Nanoparticles have added yet another string to their microscopic bows with a new study showing that the addition of alumina nanoparticles can improve the performance and combustion of biodiesel, while producing fewer emissions. In the study, a team at India’s National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirappalli used nanoparticles with an average diameter of 51 billionths of a meter. The high surface-to-volume ratio of the nanoparticles means they have more reactive surfaces, which allows them to act as more efficient chemical catalysts and results in increased fuel combustion.  Read More
ONR successfully disables a small target vessel using a solid-state, high-energy laser (US...
Solid-state laser weapons are a step closer to operational capability with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) reporting that it has successfully disabled a small target boat during testing off the Californian coast. Stemming from the Defense Department's Joint High Power Solid State Laser (JHPSSL) program, the Northrop Grumman developed Maritime Laser Demonstrator (MLD) was installed on the deck of the Navy's test ship the USS Paul Foster for the demonstration, making it the first time such a system has been integrated with a ship's radar and navigation system and the first time a high-energy laser has been fired at sea from a moving platform.  Read More
The Angle Mose tracks the cursor's angle of movement to know when the cursor is nearing th...
For many people with motor disabilities, the task of precisely moving a mouse cursor around a screen can be incredibly frustrating. While controlling a mouse cursor with the power of thought looks likely to be possible in the not too distant future, researchers at the University of Washington's (UW) AIM Research Group have created two mouse cursors designed to make homing in on onscreen targets much easier. Neither requires additional computer hardware and all the researchers are hoping for in return for the freely downloadable software is some user feedback.  Read More
Korg has announced a compact, portable version of it popular Wavedrum percussion synth, wh...
At the Winter NAMM show in Anaheim recently, Korg unveiled a new oriental version of its famous Wavedrum percussion synthesizer, designed specifically for Middle Eastern music. For Musikmesse 2011 in Frankfurt, the company has announced that its Wavedrum technology has been reduced down into a compact, portable, playable pad with a built-in speaker and effects. The Wavedrum Mini also features a clip sensor which is said to allow users to transform finger taps and hand slaps made on just about any surface into synthesized, amplified percussive sounds.  Read More
The MuCell technology inspired by the Aero bar will first appear in Ford vehicle engine co...
We’ve seen the world’s first Formula 3 car running on a fuel derived from waste chocolate, and now engineers at Ford have turned to the tasty treat for inspiration to produce lighter plastic parts for Ford’s vehicles. Plastic parts have traditionally been a difficult area to save weight without sacrificing strength and durability, but by looking to the Aero chocolate bar they have produced a lighter plastic by introducing gas bubbles into the plastic as it is molded. The result is a microscopic honeycomb structure that Ford says saves weight by reducing the amount of plastic used without compromising the integrity of the part.  Read More
The Keyport consolidates six keys or a mix of keys and USB flash drive, mini-torch and bot...
With most households yet to make the move to biometric lock systems, most of us are still carrying around jangly keychains. And with keychains also attracting non-key items such as USB flash drives, mini-torches and the all-important bottle opener, they can quickly reach pocket bulging, Kramer-esque proportions. The Keyport is a pocket friendly, Swiss Army knife-like solution that can consolidate all these aforementioned items in one streamlined device and provides access to them with a flick of a thumb.  Read More
Mercedes-Benz F-Cell roadshow hits continent number three
Having crossed Europe and North America, the Mercedes-Benz F-Cell roadshow is now in Australia where the green-painted B-Class F-CELL cars are making the long trek from Sydney to Perth. Surrounding the small fleet is an entourage of more than a dozen vehicles including SUVs, Sprinter vans set up as mobile workshops and refuel stations and a semi-trailer laden with striking red full-length cylinders of hydrogen.  Read More
The Logitech Keyboard Case for iPad 2, aka the ZAGGmate
Logitech has entered the seemingly insatiable iPad accessory market with a case that should appeal to those looking to use their new iPad 2 for something a bit more productive than playing Fruit Ninja. The Logitech Keyboard Case for the iPad 2 is made from aircraft-grade aluminum to match Apple's tablet, features a built-in wireless keyboard and is lined with high-density padding to keep the tablet safe and secure and prevent the keyboard from touching the screen, even if dropped.  Read More
The Z-Kart has a range of around 20 miles (32 km), and a top speed of 40 mph (64 kph)
As major automobile manufacturers around the world pour countless dollars and man hours into the research and development of electric vehicles, George Fortin has quietly gone about making one of his own. While it is true that his Z-Kart is just a one-seater with a range of 20 miles and a top speed of 40 mph that lacks pretty much any safety features or cargo capacity, it is nonetheless a well-engineered little buggy that looks like it would be a blast to drive. Not bad at all, for something that was made and designed and built by a real estate broker.  Read More

April 12 marks the 50th anniversary of the first man in space (Photo: NASA)
A remarkable milestone in human history took place exactly 50 years ago today when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. During the flight of Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961, Gagarin, then 27, completed a single orbit of Earth in approximately 108 minutes. His flight begun at Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan and ended with his safe arrival by parachute in the Saratov region of central Russia, where he was famously welcomed back to our planet with a hospitable offer of bread and milk by Anna Takhtarova and her four-year-old granddaughter Margarita.  Read More
Professors Cor Koning (left) and Paul van der Schoot (right), with their new transparent c...
With its two chief properties of excellent electrical conductivity and optical transparency, indium tin oxide (ITO) can be found in transparent conductive coatings for displays found in all kinds of products, such as TVs, mobile phones and laptops, and is also used as a transparent electrode in thin-film solar cells. Unfortunately indium is a rare metal and available supplies could run out in as little as ten years. This has prompted researchers to search for alternatives with some success already reported using carbon nanotubes and copper nanowires. The latest ITO replacement material also uses carbon nanotubes, as well as other commonly available materials, and is environmentally friendly.  Read More
MIT researchers have developed an advanced composite material which could have big implica...
A combination of light weight AND strength makes advanced composite materials very useful when building something that's designed to go fast while being subjected to physical stress ... like an aircraft. On the downside, bulky equipment is required when it comes to inspecting these aircraft for damage – a problem that is MIT researchers hope to solve with the development of a new type of composite material that incorporates carbon nanotubes.  Read More
Virgin Oceanic's ambitious plans to explore Earth's last frontier
Seventy percent of Mother Earth’s surface is covered in water, yet we know more about the moon than we do about our deepest oceans. In yet another ground-breaking initiative under Virgin’s multi-faceted “Branded Venture Capitalism”, Richard Branson intends to change all that with the Virgin Oceanic Five Dives project. The project is a series of ocean expeditions to the bottom of the five deepest trenches in the world, beginning with an attempt on the world record 35,911 foot dive to the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench – the deepest point on earth.  Read More
The 'sponsored screensavers' on the Kindle with Special Offers
If an advertiser offered you a one-off US$25 payment in return for being exposed to advertising, would you take it? That’s essentially the deal being offered by Amazon with its new ad-supported Kindle. The device is the same as Amazon’s third-generation, Wi-Fi only Kindle but retails for $25 less and comes with “special offers” and, apparently not wanting to scare people off with that dirty word advertising, “sponsored screensavers.” Ads won’t interrupt your reading, but will act as the device’s full screen screensaver and will also appear along the bottom of the home screen.  Read More
This tiny microfluidic device uses carbon nanotubes 30 microns in diameter to separate can...
A cross-discipline project that brings together biomedicine and nano-engineering has led to the development of a dime-sized microfluidic device that can rapidly detect cancer cells in a blood sample. The new device is based on a cancer cell-detector created four years ago by Mehmet Toner, professor of biomedical engineering at Harvard Medical School. In its latest incarnation, carbon nanotubes have been introduced into the design resulting in an eight-fold improvement in the collection of cells.  Read More
The Zacuto Z-Finder EVF
HDSLR cameras are taking off in a big way as cheap video rigs with quality interchangeable glass – but the more you get into SLR filmmaking, the more obstacles you find yourself working around. One of those obstacles is that you can't stick your eye to a viewfinder – you have to watch an LCD screen. And in harsh sunlight or wide aperture conditions, that makes it very difficult to get a tight focus on the action. And that's exactly why Zacuto's Z-Finder EVF was built; it's an alternative plug-in LCD screen for your DSLR that can be mounted on a frame or held separate to the camera. It's got higher resolution than your camera's screen, it's got a rubber eyepiece to block out ambient light, and a bunch of other pro video-friendly features that help move your DSLR closer to a proper video camera form factor.  Read More
Einstein's theory of special relativity is the basis for the Einstein's Pedometer iPhone a...
Among other things, Einstein’s theory of special relativity says that as an object’s velocity increases, time as experienced by the object will slow down when compared to another object traveling at a lower velocity. This means that a 'relatively' short round trip on a space ship traveling at close to the speed of light would see you arrive home having aged less than those back on Earth. While the greater the velocities involved, the greater the effect, the theory applies to all relative movement. Now there’s an iPhone app that will let you know just how many extra nanoseconds you’ve gained by getting moving as opposed to sitting on your rear end.  Read More
The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform ...
The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform Europe's transport infrastructure by 2050. The roadmap for a Single European Transport Area includes forty initiatives for road, rail and air travel that aim to increase mobility, reduce reliance on oil imports, cut emissions by 60% and combat congestion by halving the use of "conventionally fueled" cars in urban transport by 2030 with a view to phasing them out in cities by 2050.  Read More
The WaterShed is the University of Maryland's entry in the 2011 Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy's 2011 Solar Decathlon competition is set to kick off at the National Mall's West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., in September. The event challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive and in the lead up, the University of Maryland Solar Decathlon team has unveiled its entry called the WaterShed – a structure designed to capture more than just energy from the sun.  Read More

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