I’ve known Evan Geiselman was going to be a superstar for a long time now. Since he was 10 I’ve been claiming him as the the heir to the East Coast throne. If you spent your days down at the NSSA East Coast Championships at Sebastian Inlet in the early to mid 2000s, you knew. “You’re our only hope Evan, just so you know. No pressure.” The Golden Child, I called him. Still, as long as we’ve been friends, I never had the privilege to do a trip with him until two weeks ago when we went down to Costa Rica to finish his profile for SURFING Magazine.
I’m proud to tell you the kid has kept up with my lofty expectations. The rivalry that’s developing between him and Kolohe is one that’s going to keep American surfing on the radar for the next decade and beyond. The Slater vs Machado comparisons are real. Only neither of these kids are going to drift off into oblivion in their prime. They’ll be battling it out forever.
Here’s some of the better clips from Costa, stitched together by Michael Lopez. —Jimmicane
Erik de Laurens, a student from the Royal College of Art has come up with an alternative to petroleum for making plastic: fish scales. Through a process that involves nothing but heat, high pressure and natural dyes, Laurens developed a sturdy plastic that can be used in cups, eyewear and even decorative tiles.
Much like using the keratin from waste chicken feathers to make plastics, Laurens’ process makes use of waste fish scales from the fishing industry, giving new life to something that would otherwise end up in the garbage. And while the thought of waste fish scales is kind of gross, the resulting products are actually really good looking.
Titled Fish Feast, his project will be on exhibit during the London Design Festival. It has been shortlisted for the 2011 Sustain RCA Award, which honors graduate student work in sustainable design.
via Crisp Green
The White House, EPA, and NHTSA have announced new CAFE standards for cars and light trucks. CAFE is the Corporate Average Fuel Economy standard which governs the efficiency of new vehicles. The new standards begin to take effect in the 2017 model year, when the fleet average should be 35.5 MPG (from the previous standard, which covers the 2012-2016 model years). The new rule extends to 2025, when average fuel economy for cars and light-duty trucks is to be 54.5 miles per gallon.
The new guidelines will almost double automotive fuel efficiency standards from where they were when the administration began to press for higher efficiency. “EPA currently intends to propose standards that would be projected to achieve, on an average industry fleet wide basis, 163 grams/mile of CO2 in model year 2025 (this would be equivalent, on a mpg-equivalent basis, to 54.5 mpg if all of the CO2 emissions reductions were achieved with fuel economy technology.)”
Under these new guidelines, consumers should save $1.7 trillion in fuel costs, and average fuel savings are expected to be worth $8,000 pre vehicle by 2025. Furthermore, emissions should be cut by 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program, which is “more than the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States last year.”
image: U.S. National Archives
Of all the product tie-ins Apple never approved, getting an iPod for predicting a death has got to be the worst.
Cynical journos have long had newsroom betting pools on when public figures would meet their makers but website whenwillamywinehousedie.com brought that gallows recreation to the Internet public back in 2007.
The prize? An iPod Touch.
“Since we launched this site we’ve had hundreds of thousands of hits, 237 hate mails telling us we’re the devil in disguise and 96,026 people who left their predictions,” reads a note posted on the site two days after Winehouse’s death. “Out of all those entries only 4 were correct. The first person to do so did it on December 21st 2007 and we’ve called her the winner of the iPod Touch. We will be contacting her via email.”
The bare-bones site features pics of the singer at her most disheveled and out-of-sorts along with a form inciting readers to “use the form to guess Amy’s final breath and be crowned Mr. Or Mrs. Death.”
The thinking behind the macabre game?
According to the anonymous site makers: “We’ll all have a date with our maker someday, but Amy Winehouse just can’t seem to wait. She can write and sing a beautiful tune, but for some reason Amy has landed in a self-destruction derby…Guess her final breath and be crowned Mr. Or Mrs. Death. Winner will be rewarded with a iPod Touch.”
iPhone rolling shutter effect • by PixelCrumpler http://bit.ly/pEEDTe
If you’re a member of the Mile High Club, chances are that you own an iPhone.
A new report from AllThingsD says that two-thirds of Gogo in-flight WiFi users favor the iPhone as their browsing device of choice. 20% of mobile WiFi usage is attributed to the iPod touch, while Android only accounts for 12%.
RIM’s Blackberry accounts for only 6% of airline WiFi usage, while Windows Phone, webOS, and other platforms don’t even claim enough of a percentage to mention.
Gogo’s numbers don’t reflect the iPad, mainly because the device is considered a “computer” on commercial flights. The iPad still accounts for one-third of “large screens” using Gogo WiFi on flights. The Mac accounts for about 20% of computer usage.
Smartphone users pay a max of $7.95 for in-flight WiFi from Gogo, while Mac and and PC users pay an upwards of $12.95. Hopefully these rates will be lowered as in-flight WiFi becomes more of a commodity and less of a luxury.
We’ve all seen a ton of Apple knockoff computers, phones and iPods, but I did a double take the other day when I spotted these “tablet” and “touch” calculators meant to look like Apple’s iPad and iPad Touch at a drug store here in San Francisco.
Might make a good gag gift or stocking stuffer, but who uses standalone calculator anymore?
It’s been rumored that Apple will eventually introduce Near Fields Communications technology in an upcoming iPhone model, but speculation that such a technology will be implemented this year has been all but debunked.
If you’re itching for the ability to have NFC-like “wave and pay” capabilities on your iPhone 4, then it’s your lucky day. A simple hack has been discovered that turns your iPhone 4 into a NFC-capable device.
Smartphones like the Nexus S have NFC built-in, which enables the user to perform electronic cash transfers in the real world. More banks are beginning to support this new technology, and many banks will give customers a card for their account with implemented NFC technology. With NFC, you can quickly swipe and pay without the need to enter your PIN or signature. NFC payments are typically made for purchases under $20 to avoid the need for authentication.
Unplggd has figured out an easy way to let the iPhone 4 make NFC payments. All you need is a NFC-enabled card from your bank or credit company. These are typically called “Smart Cards” or “Tap and Pay” cards, and they have become pretty common.
The trick involves opening the back of the iPhone 4 and positioning the card between the battery and back casing. The card should be thin enough to let you close the iPhone 4 again without bulging or damaging its internals. To learn how to take the iPhone 4′s back off, we recommend following iFixit’s thorough tutorial.
We’re a little hesitant to open the iPhone and place anything right on the device’s battery, but nevertheless this is still a very cool hack.
Let us know if you try to equip your iPhone 4 with NFC tech. Did it work for you?
Remember how ugly Apple’s online Order Status page was? Well, Apple has finally cleaned up its online store web design to reflect the rest of its top notch aesthetic taste.
While this isn’t particularly huge news, it’s still worth mentioning. Now you can see the order status on that new MacBook Air you just bought on a prettier webpage.
“Gone are the archaic blue and white order status pages that identified purchased items by part numbers and a string of abridged specifications more commonly found on point of sale (POS) systems operated by staffers rather one of the world’s most popular online stores for consumers.
In their place, Apple has adorned the new order status pages with more of a Web 2.0 feel, including product images, graphical buttons for returning and pre-signing for shipments, and a drop-down menu tied to each item with quick-links for returning orders or re-printing invoices.”
An internal memo was distributed at Apple prior to this web redesign that said Apple is working to, “enhance the overall look, feel, and functionality for a better customer experience” in the US, Canada and Mexico.
Apple gave their support pages a similar facelift recently. It’s nice to see Cupertino cleaning out the closet over at apple.com.
Photos and captions by Jimmicane
Nights of lights.
BF and GF, Granger Larsen and Laura Enever.
BF and GF, Jesse Heilman and Lindsey Jacobellis.
Waves were a death sentence (literally, Dusty almost died) but the crowd still showed.
Encinitas future superstars Jake Marshall and Taylor Clark.
Laura Enever’s money-making smile.
Not sure who this dude is but he probably did the best turn in the #hurtin conditions.
Maui’s Kai Barger.
Granger hacking into darkness.
Dusty Payne contemplating just being run over by a PWC.
Sony made the announcement today that it has reduced its global CO2 emissions by 31 percent since 2000. The company also achieved a 54 percent reduction in waste generation and a 41 percent reduction in water use, both of which far exceeded its goals.
The company improved the efficiency of its offices and manufacturing sites and upped the efficiency of many of its products too. Its Bravia LCD TV now requires 30 percent less power than it did in 2008 and its Blu-ray disc recorder models require 50 percent less power.
The waste reduction was mainly achieved through an increase in recycling practices. The one target that Sony failed to meet was for volatile organic compound emissions — it was shy by 5 percent.
These improvements were all made under the tech giant’s Green Management 2010 plan. Now going forward, Sony has a more ambitious plan. The company announced its Road to Zero plan last year that includes a pledge to be zero carbon by 2050. The next phase in the plan sees the company making the following reductions by 2015 compared to 2008 levels.
- a 30 percent reduction in annual energy consumption
- a 10 percent reduction in product mass
- a 16 percent reduction in packaging waste
- a 14 percent reduction in transport CO2 emissions
Let’s hope Sony can exceed these targets as well.
MIT scientists have made new discoveries that could significantly increase the energy density of batteries several times beyond the current level of lithium-ion batteries. The advances are in lithium-air storage, which uses a porous carbon electrode in place of a heavy solid electrode in the battery. Oxygen from the air reacts with the lithium metal in the battery to store and discharge energy. The very open structure makes it possible to obtain such high levels of performance.
One of the biggest issues in battery development is the weight of the batteries. Whether for portable electronic devices or for hybrid and electric vehicles, the weight of the batteries is a factor that must be considered. Replacing the solid electrode with the lightweight carbon matrix has led to some of the highest levels of energy stored per pound of battery.
New methods of producing the carbon matrix for the battery creates a “carpet-like” material that is more than 90 percent open, which makes for a very lightweight battery. “These carpet-like arrays provide a highly conductive, low-density scaffold for energy storage,” according to one of the researchers.
As an additional benefit, the researchers have found that the very open and regular nature of the battery allows scrutiny of its internal workings with a scanning electron microscope. Not only does this allow more research on the particulars of this battery, but it may also help with general research and understanding of why batteries have limited numbers of charge-discharge cycles before they cease being useful.
via: MIT press release
Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratory have developed a new method for cooling microprocessors that is more effective and requires less energy than present air cooling methods. The Air Bearing Heat Exchanger technology, which has been dubbed the “Sandia Cooler,” offers a solution to the “thermal brick wall” which has been limiting microprocessor speed.
Cooling is usually limited by the heat exchange taking place through the stationary air film that is found on all materials. The Sandia Cooler improves works by rotating the cooling fins to achieve a ten-fold reduction in the boundary layer of motionless air on the surface of the heat sink which increases heat transfer. Instead of having stationary heat sink fans with air being blown across them with a fan, the heat sink itself spins, which leads to increased heat transfer efficiency.
While the Sandia Cooler is initially being investigated for computer cooling, if it is possible to effectively scale the technology, it could also have applications for building cooling and air conditioning. “If Air Bearing Heat Exchanger technology proves amenable to size scaling, it has the potential to decrease overall electrical power consumption in the U.S. by more than seven percent,” according to the inventor, Jeff Koplow.
link: A Fundamentally New Approach to Air-cooled Heat Exchangers (pdf)
via: EERE News and Solar Thermal Magazine
At EcoGeek, we are big fans of airships. A recent article at Txchnologist asks whether airships are poised to make a comeback in the commercial sector, but other recent articles question whether they truly make sense. Are airships a realistic possibility?
Writing a commentary about his own article, author John Rennie asks if airships really offer the benefits we like to think they do. Another recent Scientific American blog post is even more critical of the idea of airships for transport.
One of the eternal tradeoffs in transportation is the time versus energy cost consideration. On one hand, there is the cost of energy to move goods from point A to point B. Faster takes more energy, and is therefore more expensive. On the other hand, the time for a pilot or driver or other person to convey the goods has to be paid for, and a longer trip means more expense. The trick is to find the balance point between the two. This is, at least to some extent, what has driven the avaition industry away from propeller aircraft to the use of jets.
Trains are very efficient for moving heavy cargo, but train tracks don’t go everywhere. A hybrid train and airship network might be useful to extend the reach of the current rail network without the expensive and difficult process of laying lots of new track. Trucks serve as the spokes for these networks right now. They are more expensive at moving freight than trains, but also more flexible. Is there room for that in the current transportation network? That seems to be one of the crucial questions. And, for now, the premium for trucks is not so high that other options are being sought.
The Scientific American article particularly focuses on speed versus cost as a tradeoff, but those are not the only factors that are relevant in considering airship, so the many current military developments are overlooked. Most present military uses under development are for long duration missions, where the simple lift of the airship makes it far more economical to operate than having conventional fixed-wing aircraft.
It may be many years before old, used military airships begin to be adapted for civilian uses, but we remain optimistic that airships will become a useful contributor to part of the transportation infrastructure of the future.
The newly released REN21 Renewables 2011 Global Status Report shows that renewable energy hit a major milestone in 2010 by making up 25 percent of global energy capacity by the end of that year. Renewable sources supplied 20 percent of the energy consumed in 2010.
So far in 2011, renewable energy sources (solar, wind, water, biomass, biofuels, geothermal) have supplied 11.73 percent of energy consumed in the U.S., which is 5.65 percent more than nuclear power and not far away from the energy supplied from domestic crude oil.
The report states that 50 percent of renewable energy capacity is now in developing countries. The top five countries (in order) for non-hydro renewable energy capacity are the U.S., China, Germany, Spain and India. China ended 2010 with renewables accounting for 26 percent of installed energy capacity and 18 percent of the energy consumed.
In other encouraging news, the EU exceeded all of its targets for wind, solar PV, solar thermal and heating/heat pumps. In 2010, renewables made up 41 percent of new electricity capacity in the EU.
For more on the state of renewable energy in the world, including more country rankings by sector, you can check out the full report here (PDF).
via Sustainable Business
Sharefile's new iPad was delayed for violating Apple's rules on in-application purchases, even though the identical iPhone version sailed through.
Negotiating Apple’s in-app purchase rules stalled one app for two months, even though it was similar to the company’s iPhone app which made it through the approval gauntlet in just a week.
The app in question, ShareFile, is a file-sharing and backup platform app. Users pay anywhere from $29.99 to $499 a month for the service, but the app is offered gratis.
While the iPhone version was given the OK in a week, the iPad edition languished in approval limbo for weeks before getting rejected for not incorporating the in-app purchase rules which entitle Apple to a 30 percent cut of revenue.
CEO Jesse Lipson told Information Week in a detailed article recounting his app approval saga he was “blindsided” by the objection, since the company’s previous experience with Apple had been so fast and simple.
“It was a very big surprise to us. We were totally shocked,” Lipson said. “We were also disappointed that they took so long to get back to us.”
Lipson decided to appeal the decision. Fortunately for the 70-person startup, Apple decided that while it would rather ShareFile implement IAP, it could be in the store without it, as long as every link to sign up for a trial subscription on ShareFile’s site was removed.
In comparison, the ShareFile Android app took half an hour to make it to the store.
“It will certainly be nice if [Apple] starts having a little bit less power and a smaller market share, and they have to start falling in line with what the other guys are doing,” Lipson said.
Source: Information Week