After a flurry of luxury vehicles, German automaker Volkswagen has popped up an eco-smart bicycle without the pedals at Auto China 2010 that fold quickly down into a flat disc to fit into the spare tire compartment. Combining unique form with function, the battery-powered bike can reach the top speed of 20 km/h (12.5 mph) with a range of 20 kilometers (12.5 miles). Ideal for short distance rides, the new VW bik.e is essentially a supplement to your car. You may refill the batteries of the bik.e with both your car’s DC current and a typical AC plug. Check out the video after the jump.
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Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has approved the Cape Wind offshore wind farm project! In additon to giving the go-ahead, Salazar outlined a few tweaks to incorporate the concerns of those who have opposed the project.
- The project will be reduced in scope from the original 170 turbines planned to 130.
- Additonal marine surveys will be required before construction to make sure the archaeological heritage of the site can be preserved.
- Other measures will need be incorporated to minimize the “visual impact” of the wind farm.
It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since the first announcement of the project in the Nantucket Sound. Some residents of the surrounding area, including Wampanoag indian tribes and the late Sen. Kennedy, have opposed the project because they believe it would obstruct their views (and disrupt spriritual rituals and ancient burial sites of the indians).
But environmentalists around the country and five East Coast governors all rallied for its approval, and in the end, the U.S. is finally getting its first offshore wind farm. The wind farm will have a capacity of 420 MW — enough to meet 75 percent of Cape Cod and the Islands’ electricity needs.
The U.S. leads the world in wind energy capacity, but we’ve lagged behind other countries, especially in Europe, that have forged ahead with offshore wind.
Why is this a big deal? Because offshore wind is stronger, more consistent and near coastal population centers, meaning more power generation, less gaps in electricity and no need for huge transmission networks (like those needed to distribute wind energy generated in the middle of the country).
via Boston Globe
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John Stewart on The Daily Show rips Apple a new one for going Big Brother on Gizmodo:
“Apple – you guys were the rebels, man, the underdogs. People believed in you. But now, are you becoming the man? Remember back in 1984, [...]
The “TAP3” from design and musical duo Dadahack is a cool-looking MP3 playing cassette that can be used as either a personal music player by connecting to your headphones or as a cassette when played in a standard tape deck. Presenting the inkjet printed outer case made in 100% recycled polypropylene with a yellow stripe, the custom-made music player can be loaded with extra music through a mini USB. The ?25 limited edition MP3 player comes with the Dadahack album preloaded on a custom 2 GB SD-card. In short, the TAP3 presents a unique combination of conventional design and modern technology to boost your acoustic experience. Check out the video after the jump.
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Indonesia’s 17,000 islands are home to hundreds of volcanoes and approximately 40 percent of the earth’s geothermal energy potential and the nation’s government is ready to harness that hot, clean energy.
The country has set a goal of bringing online 4GW of geothermal capacity by 2014, which will almost quadruple the current capacity of 1,189 MW. If you think that sounds ambitious, you’re right. It generally takes three to five years just to complete field exploration and then another three years to actually build a geothermal plant.
And then there’s the cost of the project — $12 billion to be exact. The country is looking to the World Bank, private investors and developed countries like Japan and the U.S. for help raising the money. But once the plants are up and running, they’re basically tapping into endless, clean energy with little overhead required.
Plus, this plan will go a long way towards reaching the Indonesian president’s goals of cutting emissions to 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and adding 10GW of clean energy capacity by 2014.
Apple sits on the steering committee of the special police task force investigating iPhonegate, Yahoo News reports, raising the possibility that the company may have had a hand in the raid of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen’s house.
Friday’s police raid on Chen’s apartment was ordered by Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) task force, which is [...]
Portable notebooks or tablets may let you access internet on the go, but working on their smaller, cramped keyboards is not as easy as on a standard keyboard. Providing a solution, Japanese gadget manufacturer Thanko has come up with a full-scale USB keyboard that into four connected quarter segments to fit your pocket for easy storage. Measuring 350 x 129 x 10mm (when open) to offer regular 19mm key pitch, it folds into a pocket-size 91 x 129 x 20mm rectangular accessory to slip in your pocket with ease. Compatible with standard Windows and Mac operating systems, the foldable keyboard just weighs over 8 ounces, allowing easy transportation. Go past the break to see how the keyboard folds in the promo video.
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Plans are being considered to turn the famous Dutch dikes into tidal power generators. Although originally built to protect the people and land of the Netherlands, now a committee of various government representatives has issued a recent report including some suggestions to revise the operation of the dikes to create a more pleasant and more natural land behind the dikes, and to provide a source of power. Openings in the series of dikes would provide ideal locations for tidal power plants.
The Netherlands have had protective ocean dikes to guard the coastline since the disaster in 1953 when more than 1800 people were killed and over half a million acres of land was flooded by the North Sea. After this tragedy, the extensive Delta Works were constructed over the next four decades, and the last parts of the project were finally completed in 1997.
Energy, however, is not the primary motivator for this. Instead, it is an interest in restoring the natural condition to estuaries and tidal flats whose character has significantly degraded over the years since the dikes were installed. “Opening water locks would allow the tide to return to now stagnant waters, the report stated. This would be a boon to nature, because certain plants and animals, which have all but disappeared since the estuaries were closed off, can return. Deeper into the delta lies a fresh water basin where smelly algae bloom in the summer. Allowing salt water to reach these outer stretches again could improve conditions for residents and holiday-makers.“
In the aftermath of a catastrophe, it is all to easy to focus solely on preventing that tragedy, no matter the cost. ‘With all the focus on safety after 1953, [committee director Joost] Schrijnen said, “other aspects were neglected.” He now wants to change that. “But without sacrificing safety,” he added.‘ Turning the dikes into a power generating solution, as well as improving environmental quality seems like a solution that will provide multiple benefits, in addition to protecting the land from the sea.
link: nrc handelsblad
If only we could have experienced the iPhone in all of its glory from the initial release. 3G has only recently been opened to multimedia streaming. Tethering is still not available though the iPhone is fully capable. Why are we not video chatting with our loved ones these almost perfect devices?
Jailbreaking that iPhone is currently [...]