Future Scanner Weekly Top 10

December 29 2008 / by memebox
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 1

The Future Scanner Weekly Top 10 highlights some of the best scans submitted to the Future Scanner during the previous 7 days.top_10.jpg

          Scanned by: Jeff Hilford

          Scanned by: Adam Cutsinger

          Scanned by: Marc Cobb

          Scanned by: John Heylin

          Scanned by: smarteconomy

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Why Twitority Is A Sign Of Things To Come

December 28 2008 / by Jeff Hilford
Category: The Web   Year: 2008   Rating: 5 Hot

There was a bit of hubbub in the socialmediasphere about Loic Le Meur's complaint that there twitority1.jpgwas no way to filter Twitter posts by authority, or the number of users suscribing to a particular person's feed.  Le Meur's beef was that he and other attendees of his conference had a problem - they couldn't sift through the deluge of Tweets about and from people attending their event to find the signal they were looking for.  While signal clarity and information overload is a problem (which I will save for a later post) - what I found most interesting is that less than a day after complaining about the problem, an ambitious group of programmers dug in and created a basic product that addressed this problem. 

This is something we will see much more frequently going forward. 

TechCrunch and other sites that are leaders in authority and Zeitgeist have the ability to drive conversation, memes and ultimately influence production itself.   And the collaborative tools that they make a living reporting on are empowering people to come together quickly and solve problems.  This compressed market process is likely to accelerate rapidly in an economy where there are a lot of free agents (read un or under-employed folks) with time, expertise and awareness of these platforms and painpoints.  By addressing a zeitgeist problem quickly you have the opportunity to garner a great deal of attention from the community, which can result in elevation of personal brands, team and give the solution you've created a chance to get quick adoption and possibly immediate financial backing.

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Top Energy Science Breakthroughs in 2008: Batteries, Fuel Cells and Capacitors

December 24 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy   Year: Beyond   Rating: 7 Hot

A123 Battery

 

Let's think beyond simply trying to find new ways to produce more energy, and focus on ways of storing energy.  Why?  Because this expands ways for us to produce more energy!  Confused? 

Solar and wind alone are a hard sell to utility providers because of intermittent production when the sun isn't shining or wind doesn't blow.  Add utility scale storage to solar and wind farms, and you have a more valuable proposition.

Battery powered cars sound great, but not if we have to plug in our vehicles every 50 or 100 miles. Or what about a new iPhone with a battery that cannot last the entire day. 

We have written dozens of posts on energy storage and believe it deserves much more attention from the media and policy leaders.   2009 could be a turning point for awareness around the importance of enabling next generation batteries, fuel cells and capacitors.

List of 20+ Energy Breakthroughs in Batteries, Fuel cells, and Capacitors

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2009: Prosumers Will Proliferate as Old Media Dies

December 26 2008 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: The Web   Year: 2009   Rating: 4

Biological history has much to teach us about our web economy.  In particular, we can glean a great deal from the well-established patterns of punctuated equilibrium (the idea that growth and death come in spurts, which is very similar to many technology and social diffusion cycles) and evo-devo biology (a new theory of life in which Darwinian evolution acts in concert with Prosumerstructured development to optimize organisms AND biological systems for survival).

Just as the sudden death of the dinosaurs permitted small warm-blooded mammals to vary and scale during the subsequent ice age, so too is the swift death of old media models creating the ideal conditions for nascent software and social media models.  Though this sort of cycle is nothing new, it is illuminating to apply it to the current economic situation in which printed newspapers are dying, open source IT is winning marketshare, and increasingly more people are sharing their information online.

When considering the near-term future and the year ahead, we can be reasonably certain that the dire economic conditions will serve as a breeding ground for new advantageous innovations.  It was no accident that we experienced a spurt of great literature during the Great Depression as brains were freed up and exposed to an extreme environment.  And now it's no accident that were vacillating from commercial enterpise to "programming subculture", as Kevin Kelleher at GigaOm puts it.

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Japan Launches First Partially Solar Powered Cargo Ship

December 24 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Energy   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

aurigaleader.jpgJapan's largest shipping company, Nippon Yusen, has unveiled a cargo ship outfitted with enough solar panels to produce 40 Kilowatts of power.  Named the Auriga Leader, the energy comes from 328 solar panels outfitted on top of the ship which set the company back about $1.7 million dollars.  While 40 Kilowatts is a huge sum house-wise, it really only produces enough energy to power about 7% of the lighting systems on board.  But when one considers the size of the ship (frickin' HUGE) it should save them quite bit down the road.  When combined with Nippon's gel-like paint, it promises to save them hundreds of thousands down the road with this ship alone.

Honestly, it's surprising this kind of tech has waited this long in this market.  Transportation eats up a huge amount of oil, especially things like ships, trains, tractor trailers and planes.  And to be honest, any help is much needed help for these behemoths.  Japan has its solar panels, China is working on solar sails for its cargo ships, and tons of people in America are calling for more efficient big rigs.  Now we just need to press innovation ahead faster.

via Crunch Gear

Space Program Reinvigorated with Expansive Space-based Solar Energy Policy

December 24 2008 / by Adam Cutsinger
Category: Technology   Year: Beyond   Rating: 4 Hot

c.jpg

Many people will say that pursuing a space-based solar power energy campaign is too ambitious, that there are more immediate solutions to get us through our economic/energy crisis until a time when spaced-aged, science fiction-inspired future tech can be safely explored further.  They might say that we already have a head start with nuclear, oil and coal, as well as other greener alternatives like wind, water and Earthbound solar.  They would be dead wrong.  The truth is...

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Polishing Teeth With Silica Nanoparticles Keeps The Dentist Away

December 23 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2012   Rating: 2

teeth.jpg

Researchers at Clarkson University have discovered a way to protect teeth from tooth decay by polishing the surface with silica nanoparticles.  The teeth are polished so smooth that harmful bacteria, the leading cause of tooth enamel decay, are unable to attach to the surface.  "Roughness left on the tooth after the polishing is just a few nanometers, which is one-billionth of a meter or about 100,000 times smaller than a grain of sand."  Even if bacteria manage to get a hold of the surface, a simple brushing will brush them off fairly quickly.  The polishing method is taken from the method developed to polish semiconductors.

Story via Science Daily, image via Gizmodo

Next generation Smart LED lighting

December 18 2008 / by smarteconomy
Category: Energy   Year: 2008   Rating: 3

When I was growing up, Dufferin Street in Toronto was lined with factories producing incandescent light bulbs by GE. Those factories are long abandoned or turned into lofts or condos. The city and the federal government should be looking at attracting the next wave of lighting manufacturers ie the ones that will be producing smart lighting with light emitting diodes (LED) and organic light emitting diode (OLED) systems. (Link)

Consumers are already getting their first taste of LED technology...those outdoor solar-powered Christmas lights

LEDs

The figure above compares the luminous efficacy (source efficacy) of conventional lighting technologies with the potential of light-emitting diode technology. (N.B. Log scale)

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Top Research Breakthroughs in 2008 for Bio energy

December 22 2008 / by Garry Golden
Category: Energy   Year: Beyond   Rating: 2

 

Ecoli

2008 was a big year for science breakthroughs on next generation bioenergy solutions.  And that is a good thing for the future of energy. 

The modern economy runs on ancient bioenergy. Coal is ancient biomass, oil is likely ancient microbes. 

So why not tap the power of biology to ‘grow energy’ resources.

Forget about corn ethanol, the future taps the power of microorganisms not plants.

Next generation solutions such as algae and bacteria ‘eat’ carbon to produce biofuels, or use sunlight to produce hydrogen.  Looking beyond 2015, we can imagine real breakthroughs in the field of Synthetic Biology that could change how we look at energy and carbon solutions. 

List of Bioenergy Science Breakthroughs in 2008

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The End of Money, Real-Time Pollen Forecasts & the Collective Power of PS3s

December 23 2008 / by memebox
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 1

The Future Scanner Daily Top 5 highlights several of the most though-provoking scans submitted to the Future Scanner over the previous 24 hours.  5.jpg

          Scanned by: Zora Styrian

          Scanned by: Alvis Brigis

          Scanned by: Garry Golden

          Scanned by: christinep

          Scanned by: Garry Golden

Check Out Some Augmented Reality On Your iPhone This X-Mas

December 17 2008 / by John Heylin
Category: Gadgets   Year: 2008   Rating: 2

Virtual_Santa_screenshot.jpg

Been wanting to tinker with Augmented Reality?  Now you can try it out with your iPhone.  Go to Metaio and try out their Augmented Reality iPhone App for free (and unlike the last AR gadget we linked you to, these instructions are in English).  You can determine his size, make him run around, even print it out on a holiday card so friends and family can see him.  Enjoy!

Future Scanner Weekly Top 10

December 22 2008 / by memebox
Category: Other   Year: General   Rating: 1

The Future Scanner Weekly Top 10 highlights some of the best scans submitted to the Future Scanner during the previous 7 days.

top_10.jpg

   Scanned by: chelss28

          Scanned by: Joe Meme

          Scanned by: Jeff Hilford

          Scanned by: Zora Styrian

          Scanned by: Garry Golden

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