DTNS 2227 – A mighty solar wind

Logo by Mustafa Anabtawi thepolarcat.comJonathan Strickland is on the show with an intriguing story about a way to combine solar AND wind to solve our energy woes. Plus Mozilla gets all creative with the net neutrality problem. Did they solve it?

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Show Notes
Today’s guest: Jon Strickland, host of FW:Thinking, co-host of Tech Stuff and writer for How Stuff Works ho

Headlines

The more things change … : CNET reports Apple and Samsung have finally reached the end of one of their patent battles. A jury handed down a verdict Friday in San Jose, California, ordering Samsung to pay Apple $119.6 million and ordering Apple to pay Samsung $158,400. Apple had asked for $2.2 billion and Samsung wanted $6.2 million. Apple’s lawyers disputed one of the damages figures, so the jury deliberated again Monday morning. The jury raised the award for one Samsung violation, but also lowered the award for another, leading to essentially the same $119.6 million decision. Some suspect that might not even cover Apple’s court costs.

Let the shopping begin! CNET reports Amazon and Twitter have teamed up to make it easier to shop. Starting today, Twitter users can link their account to an Amazon account. Once that’s done, products can be added to an Amazon shopping cart by responding to any Tweet with an Amazon link and using the hashtag #AmazonCart or in the UK, #AmazonBasket. No word on the terms of the deal, though Amazon did say Twitter is not getting a cut of each purchase.

The doctors are in: Reuters notes that over the past year, Apple has hired a half dozen promintent experts in biomedicine, the latest moving over to Apple two weeks ago. Apple is reportedly recruiting other medical professionals as well. Much of the hiring is apparently around sensor technology. Most people suspect it’s related to a wearable device. Apple has trademarked the name iWatch in Japan, though apparently Swatch is not too happy with that name being taken by Apple.

No violations here, move along: TechCrunch reports Oculus responded to allegations by ZeniMax that John Carmack violated his non-disclosure agreement after he left ZeniMax-owned iD software, which he founded, to go work for Oculus on VR technology. Oculus repeated Carmack’s claim that ZeniMax shelved their own VR projects which led to Carmack’s departure. Oculus stressed ZeniMax never contributed any IP or technology to Oculus products.

Mini(2)-Me: GigaOm reports EvLEaks has pictures of a smaller version of the HTC One M8 called the One Mini 2. The Mini 2 does not look to have the second sensor that measures depth during photo-taking. It also has only one LED flash. Otherwise, if the leaked picture is accurate, and EvLeaks has a good track record, the Mini 2 looks just like the M8 only smaller.

News From You

Our top story on the SubReddit was submitted by MikePKennedy. Engadget reports teams competing at Harvard, Cambridge and California found that pumping blood from young mice into older ones led to the elderly mice developing more blood vessels in the vein, demonstrating clearer thinking and faster running. Harvard researchers subsequently isolated a protein called GDF11, which helped both the operation of hearts and brains. Before your steal your younger friends and family’s blood, remember that you are not a mouse.

spsheridan posted the Next Web article about John McAfee launching a secure messaging app called Chadder.  Produced by McAfee’s Future Tense Private Systems, the app aims to be like Wickr and others encrypting messages so only the recipient can read them. Chadder is in beta but available for Android and Windows Phone. 

cincyhuffster pointed out the GigaOm report on Mozilla’s effort to help the FCC fix the Net Neutrality problem. One solution has been to reclassify ISPs as telecommomunications providers, often referred to as Title II classification. The idea is politically impossible. ISP’s were classified as Information providers in the early 200s partly because they host email and storage, or did in large numbers back then. Mozilla’s clever plan is to leave ISP’s as information providers when managing their own systems, but classify any inbound traffic from content providers as telecommunications. IN other words split it in two. Mozilla hopes to influence the Notice for Proposed Rulemaking the FCC will deliver on May 15th.

tekkyn00b and MrAnthrpology both submitted reports of Target’s CEO resigning in the wake of the Target data breach. The Verge reports Gregg Steinhafel will step down as CEO, President and Chairman of the company and give up his seat on the board of directors. Chief Financial Officer John Mulligan is expected to take over as president until a successor can be found. Target’s former head of technology, Beth Jacob, resigned in March.

Spsheridan submitted the GigaOm report on a blog post from Internet transit provider Level 3, accusing 5 US ISPs and one European one of using market powers to interfere with traffic flow. Level 3 says it has saturated ports with 12 of its 51 peers. Six of those peers are in the process of cooperating on upgrades to alleviate congestion. The other six are doing nothing and Level 3 says they are also networks with dominant or exclusive market share in their local market. 

Discussion Section Links: Solar Wind!

http://phys.org/news/2014-05-energy-tower-electricity-arizona.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-28/solar-wind-wins-approval-for-1-5-billion-power-tower.html

Pick of the Day:  Video DownloadHelper

Hey Tom, Fascinated Video Size Guy here. Got a pick for the show that will also solve the confusion for the YouTube video download. My pick is Video DownloadHelper. It’s a free add-on for Firefox and it gives you the ability to download any video on YouTube and other video sites. But wait there’s more!!!! YouTube always stores multiple versions of videos so YT and it’s users can adjust the quality to best match their connection speeds and needs. VDH adds a button that allows you to simply choose which version of the YT video you want to download. I’ve used VDH for many years and can recommend it highly to anyone looking to download YT videos, especially people who produce a daily tech news shows 🙂 Love the show, Fascinated Video Size Guy

Tuesday’s guest: Allison Sheridan, podfeet.com

4 thoughts on “DTNS 2227 – A mighty solar wind”

  1. I have to disagree with your discussion of the prospects regarding the Solar Wind Energy Tower.

    First, an element that isn’t often reported on is that the tower needs to be very tall, at least 1 kilometer (and they prefer 2 kilometers). This tower would be the tallest structure in North America by far. That would represent a greater challenge than most reports have considered.

    Second, the physics of their energy generation are somewhat questionable. Just like with the fallacy of the “instant freeze” downdrafts in the movie The Day After Tomorrow, the project forgets that as air descends, the pressure and temperature increases (see the ideal gas law).

    Lastly, there is another solar tower proposal that has actually been constructed in test implementation in Spain which was operated for 8 years. Unlike this tower, it works with the normal rising air.

    1. JR, I’m not sure what part of our discussion you disagree with. The company is building the tower. It will be 2,250 feet (685 KM). Pumping the water requires about 50% of the turbine’s output.

      The science has been vetted and peer-reviewed. It has never been tried. This is the first time. So you can disagree that it will work maybe. But it’s a plausible theoretical model that is about to be built.

      You are correct that solar updraft towers are also being explored as are many other forms of alternative energy.

      1. I can’t see how this could be a better alternative than something like airborne turbines. (See http://www.altaerosenergies.com/bat.html) Admittedly I haven’t dug really deeply into either but, at first glance, those would seem to be cheaper, more efficient and more widely deployable since they aren’t dependent on hot, dry conditions.

        Who knows? Couple them with Project Loon and maybe Google will pick up a bunch of the tab for them as well.

        $0.02,

        –Loren

  2. Tlacuache!

    That’s the spanish word for Opossum. We call it like that down here in Mexico but unfortunately they carry rabies and other diseases so we need to call pest control to take them away. Mostly like your crazy raccoons that are hiding on the roofs of the houses.

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