Wednesday, 19 July 2017

iTunes cards on sale (Australia) – update

Credit: Apple

Woolworths has 15% off $30, $50 & $100 iTunes cards until 25 July.

Officeworks has the same deal – as usual, no end date available, but plan on the same date as Woolworths.

More gift card bargains at Gift Cards On Sale:
/ iTunes app store application iPhone iPod iPad mini cards card iOS Apple credit account sale save cheap bargain save saving savings discount reduction percent Gift Cards On Sale /

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Will established auto manufacturers' complacency deliver a monopoly to Tesla?

Tesla's first Model 3 rolled off the production line just days ago.
Credit: Tesla/Warranty Direct/Twitter

“Yes,” says Alexander Haissl of Germany's Berenberg Bank.

My take: established manufacturers will be happy to continue to make a minimal effort while Tesla works out how to make it happen. E.g. General Motors developed a T-shaped battery for the EV1 & Volt. Tesla showed them that flat, under the floor was the way to go, & they adopted that for the Bolt (along with other manufacturers).

When all of the problems are solved & what the market wants becomes clearer, established manufactures expect to be able to scale development &/or token production to take back the market. Nissan is an exception.1

Strength of this strategy is largely obvious – leverage Tesla's huge R&D effort & the the fact that Elon Musk is smarter than any of the competition’s engineers or management. (“He is by far the single smartest person that I have ever worked with … period.”)2

Perhaps their best hope is that Tesla will continue to share its technology.3,4

1 Nissan has been an exception – CEO Ghosn has been committed to EVs & developing them in-house since at least 2008:

GM-Volt (2008): ‘Nissan CEO Ghosn: “I Don’t Want a Range Extender”’,

2 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “How Elon Musk taught himself rocket science”,

3 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Why Tesla gave up on patents”,

4 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Will Tesla share its technology with other automakers?”,

/ Tesla win big race to sell electric cars to the world German analyst competition from traditional manufacturers complacent Elon Musk California upstart near monopoly of the market Tesla out investing the competition hampers itself save money building on legacy engineering developing new focused technology report analyst Alexander Haissl Hamburg Germany-based Berenberg Bank readiness Tesla’s competition Daimler’s Mercedes best prepared Volkswagen BMW dithering GM General Motors Chevrolet Bolt Ford FCA strong ratings manufacturer complacency electric vehicle EV electric car technology developing EVs mass-market adoption lack of real action strategic commitments underlying convictionno clear pathway to high-volume EV production Haissl Tesla near-monopolistic opportunity gain market share outcompete incumbent automotive industry /

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

iTunes cards on sale (Australia)

Credit: Apple

Looks like you missed out on the Coles sale, but check:

Coles has 15% off $30, $50 & $100 iTunes cards until 18 July.

Officeworks has the same deal – as usual, no end date available, but plan on the same date as Coles.

More gift card bargains at Gift Cards On Sale:
/ iTunes app store application iPhone iPod iPad mini cards card iOS Apple credit account sale save cheap bargain save saving savings discount reduction percent Gift Cards On Sale /

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Your digestive tract has as many brain cells as a cat

Smart as a cat
Credit: Instituto Medico Laser

“There are over 100 million brain cells in your gut – as many as there are in the head of a cat.”

BBC News – ‘The second brain in our stomachs’

Scientific American – ‘Think Twice: How the Gut's “Second Brain” Influences Mood & Well-Being’

Scientific American – ‘Gut Feelings–the “Second Brain” in Our Gastrointestinal Systems’
/ stomach dark mystery most of us new research revealing surprising ways our guts exert control over our mood and appetite stomach digestion in action London's Science Museum watched live pictures from my own stomach porridge eaten for breakfast churned broken up exposed to acid pushed out small intestine creamy mush called chyme swallowed miniature camera pill travelling through my digestive system projecting images onto a giant screen stomach complex work control the little brain network of neurons line stomach and your gut 100 million cells in your gut many as there are in the head of a cat little brain complex thinking essential daily grind digesting food mixing contracting absorbing break down food begin extracting nutrients vitamins we need neurons neuron lining our digestive system keep in close contact brain in your skull vagus nerves influence our emotional state experience butterflies in the stomach brain in the stomach talking to the brain in your head get nervous or fearful blood diverted from our gut to our muscles stomach's way of protesting hunger hormones accommodate big meal stomach has to expand size of a fist around 2 litres 40-fold increase stretch receptors stomach told the brain stomach was full time to stop eating hunger signals produced by your stomach far more sophisticated doctors treat grown to 20 stone heart attack lose weight gastric bypass operation reducing size of the stomach smaller the stomach the less you eat surgeon Mr Ahmed Ahmed London's Charing Cross Hospital surgery you're producing changes in various hormones chemical messengers affect hunger levels fullness levels cause the weight loss gastric bypass surgery isolated part stomach produces most ghrelin hormone play a key role in making you feel hungry permanent fall in production of ghrelin new shrunken stomach attached further down his small intestine ileum secretes a different gut hormone PYY responsible for making you feel full normally takes 20 minutes for food to get from the stomach to the ileum causing release of PYY message to the brain I'm full better to eat slowly give stomach chance tell the brain you have had enough before you overeat ileum stomach brain already lost three stone eat a small amount of food and I feel full lose more weight gastric bypass available extreme cases intense interest developing drugs mimic actions PYY brain rules our decision-making process operations our guts very profound effect how we behave big meal third of your blood supply diverted to your guts digest guts human stomach /

Thursday, 15 June 2017

KaWoof – let your dog throw its own damn ball!

Looks like a bunch of fun to share with your dog – which begs the question, why not just throw the ball & leave out the device? Perhaps KaWoof would be useful if the dog owner has a shoulder injury, or some other disability, that makes throwing impractical. Or is the purpose of KaWoof to let the dog play fetch without a human present?

It would be interesting to see how long (or even if) a dog (or dogs) would continue to use KaWoof with no human present.

KaWoof is a Kickstarter project – funding ends in 27 days.

Kickstarter – “KaWoof - Natural ball launcher for your dog”
/ KaWoof ecological ecologically produced ball launcher dogs runs completely without electricity dog toys made out of plastic non natural toxic materials dog toys we wanted to make a difference making dog toys training gadgets invented natural ball launcher KaWoof KaWoof regrowing material wood designed work big and small dogs four strength settings adjust to your dog’s needs dog should at least weigh weight 5kg use KaWoof developed throwing arm use different ball sizes no expensive balls needed golfball sized ball tennis ball all sizes work KaWoof developing analyzing KaWoof 3D software optimize our product Kai Hillebrand inventor developer KaWoof ball catapult built Christmas present his mother Christa Hillebrand dogs his mother had so much fun first prototype further developed KaWoof Christa Hillebrand dog trainer hairy four-legged friends many years of experience dogs KaWoof prototype mature in design and function organization materials optimization production process next challenge small family business design KaWoof designed partial automation CNC milling machine produce required quantities high quality support project /

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Australia’s National Broadband Network – a cautionary tale

Credit: Northrop

The government-led push to modernize its telecommunications system was unprecedented, experts say – & provides a cautionary tale for others who might like to try something similar.

“Australia was the first country where a totally national plan to cover every house or business was considered,” said Rod Tucker, a University of Melbourne professor & a member of the expert panel that advised on the effort. “The fact it was a government plan didn’t necessarily make it doomed. In Australia, we have changes of governments every three years, which really works against the ability to undertake long-term planning, & the long-term rollouts of networks like this.”

The New York Times – “How Australia Bungled Its $36 Billion High-Speed Internet Rollout”
/ modernize modernise how Australia bungled Its $36 billion high-speed internet rollout Brisbane Australia internet speeds trail developed world Morgan Jaffit more reliable data transfer postal system downloaded Hand of Fate action video game studio Brisbane Defiant Development audio designer Melbourne quicker send hard drive by road than to upload the files big file sizes kill us release update small bug kill us by three or four days Australia wealthy nation widely envied quality of life lags in one essential area of modern life internet speed country began unprecedented broadband modernization effort cost at least 49 billion Australian dollars $36 billion average internet speed lags United States Western Europe Japan South Korea most recent ranking internet speeds Akamai networking company Australia embarrassing No. 51 trailing developing economies Thailand Kenya slow broadband connection frustration Instagram video buffer buffering delay problem sluggish Netflix stream slurred Skype call businesses complain slow speeds hobble effectiveness add to costs Australia risks being left behind countries China India start-up cultures match succss Silicon Valley keep their economies on the cutting edge start up startup poor broadband speeds hold back Australia competitive advantage John O’Mahony economist Deloitte Access Economics 2015 report Deloitte valued nation’s digital economy $58 billion worth 50 percent more by 2020 speed growth at risk broadband to support it Australia’s costly internet bungle hazards mingling telecommunication infrastructure impatience modern politics Internet modernization plan hobbled by cost overruns partisan maneuvering major technical compromise 19th-century technology country’s 21st-century digital backbone homes and businesses government-led push modernize telecommunications system unprecedented experts cautionary tale Australia first country totally national plan cover every house or business Rod Tucker University of Melbourne professor government plan doomed Australia changes of governments every three years works against ability undertake long-term planning long-term rollout networks Australia natural connectivity challenges oceans away from other countries network connect far-flung cities separated sparsely populated interior Australia high hopes ambitious internet project started 2009 initiative National Broadband Network NBN advanced fiber-optic technology every home business estimated cost 43 billion Australian dollars government private sector failed policy Australia broadband backwater Kevin Rudd then prime minister leader Labor Party government share costs quickly climbed taxpayers responsible for all of it technology slow roll out negotiations Telstra Australia big telecommunications provider installing fiber Telstra spokesman talks delays government-funded effort government funded drew fire Liberal Party opposition the private sector Liberal-led coalition elected 2013 contain costs speed up rollout focused telecommunications industry the last mile wires connect home business broader network National Broadband Network envisioned high-speed fiber connecting homes businesses directly network Liberal conservative compromised connecting existing copper wire same technology earliest days of the telephone critics slow speeds did not stop rising costs Australia had aggressive, forward-looking visionary government project build fiber network Mike Quigley chief executive project until 2013 opportunity lost bad judgments ideologically politically driven spokeswoman Liberal Party connecting new users Labor Party party fixing the internet campaign platforms national elections how difficult the problem will be to solve average speeds have more than doubled since 2013 Akamai other countries are connecting their populations faster Australia’s lag with the rest of the world has grown big businesses can opt to pay for fast connections, but the cost can be considerable GO1 education technology company near Brisbane spent $22,000 speed upgrade September 2015 pays $1,000 per month high-speed 100 megabit connection software company two main costs internet and staff Andrew Barnes chief executive co-founder lower more to spend on building the team employees Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam far fewer issues joining the company’s weekly webinars Vietnam telephone wires are just a mess despite obvious infrastructure problems Internet much much better video game industry pushed for better speeds dirt roads Ben Britten chief technology officer Mighty Games Group Senate hearing his industry’s future trying to push huge semi trucks down dirt roads need to have some highways look for ways around the barriers old-fashioned radio Nick Lorenzi Cairns northeastern Queensland frustrated with copper wire speeds just a few miles away much faster fiber connection information technology worker bandwidth from two transmitter dishes that cost $440 total Internet was rubbish up really high on a hill take advantage of that copper based connection speed just rubbish Internet just pathetic, really /

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Fastest road legal car around the Nürburgring is electric

EP9 from NIO
Credit: Twitter

With just 7 built to-date, & 10 more planned, NIO’s EP9 is not a good fit for the description, “production car”, which some are prepared to give it. But it is road legal. From the look of it, make that, “barely road legal racer”.

One of the more interesting things about the EP9 is that, driven at competition speeds on the Nürburgring, a Tesla Model S drops into reduced power mode due to increasing battery temperature.1 A time of 6:45.90,2 suggests that the EP9 has the battery heating problem under control. Equally, a build price of $1.2 million3 (notice that’s, “build price”, not, “retail price”), suggests, “cost is no object”, is part of NIO’s solution.

Electrek – “NIO’s EP9 EV beats every production car ever with a Nürburgring lap record of 6:45.90”,

EP9 is also the fastest autonomous car at the Circuit of the Americas

Jalopnik – “The 'World's Fastest Electric Car' Just Set Two Incredible Lap Records”

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla Model S racing series”,

2 To put 6:45.90 in perspective, a Lamborghini Aventador LP 750-4 SV just scrapes under 7 minutes

Road & Track: “Ten of the Fastest Production Cars to Ever Lap the Nürburgring”,

Auto Express: “Fastest Nurburgring lap times 2017: quickest cars & lap records”,

3 Road|Show: “Electricity has never been more exciting”,

/ Tesla Model S racing series Electric GT World Series grid modified Model S zero-emissions GT road car based racing championships begin 2017 car grid Tesla Model S P85+ new championship Electric GT World Series seven-race season 2017 races Europe America Asia organisers tracks used Barcelona Spain Donington UK Mugello Italy Estoril Portugal 10 teams team two modified Tesla Model S P85+ road cars power unit control software unchanged standard road car 416hp horsepower 601Nm torque changes aerodynamics suspension brakes more suitable for racing car's weight reduced tearing out unneeded upholstery battery's cooling system improved drivers foot on the throttle longer Agustin Paya professional racing driver promoter Electric GT World Series P85+ rear-wheel-drive newer P90D all-wheel-drive chosen more suitable for racing easier to fix in a pinch drivers prefer RWD track future Formula E plan Electric GT World Series allow range different cars grid Tesla Model S one of the best cars ever made best 100 percent electric cars luxurious super tourer made for racing weight distribution low centre of gravity considerable mass more than two tons allows unbelievable cornering speed unending torque add up great racing car testing Barcelona Catalunya F1 Circuit Madrid Jarama circuit Model S GT champion Electric GT pull in the punters Formula E engine noise Model S much larger battery Formula E cars car-switching battery back swapping races last more than 100 or 150 miles Tesla racing exciting techies Teslaphiles tune in favourite car electric race car racing car lithium ion LiIon battery charge recharge range Electric vehicle EV decimating records internal combustion engine vehicles ICE vehicle NIO NextEV $1.48 million electric supercar NIO EP9 set a new lap record one of the world’s most famous and grueling racetracks Nurburgring Nordschleife electric car time of 6:45.90 fastest lap ever set by an electric vehicle around the track faster than any production vehicle electric beating Lamborghini Huracan Performante over 6 seconds fastest lap ever done by any production vehicle EP9 production vehicle NIO built seven EP9 plans another production run of ten more cars small number of units smaller production runs high prices McLaren F1 XP5 prototype production vehicles EP9 Nordschleife famously difficult track benchmark overall vehicle performance length and grueling nature track over 12 miles long German countryside includes high and low speed turns varied road surfaces lots of bumps and hills NIO EP9 lap of 7:05.12 suboptimal conditions cold and slightly moist track surface electric vehicle record beating handful street-legal gasoline-powered vehicles Huracan Aventador Porsche 918 big deal EV company with no racing heritage not even any automaking heritage beat cars from companies century of racing experience toughest track in the world incredibly impressive new lap NIO video video EV-record-setting lap /

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Modern day book burning, but still glimmers of hope

EPA – information on climate change deleted
Credit: Kris Tripplaar/Sipa USA/Newscom/Daily Signal

Although the new US administration is implementing a modern day book burning,1 it’s not time to give up hope just yet – material on climate change recently deleted by the EPA, has been reposted by The City of Chicago:

The City of Chicago – “Climate Change”

Thanks Chicago!

Good news elsewhere too:

HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech – “Coders just rescued NASA’s Earth science data”,

HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech – “Not all of the news from the United States is bad” – California state Governor, Jerry Brown, on California’s plans to continue to act against climate change –

1 The Huffington Post: “EPA Purges Pages That Highlight Climate Change From Its Website”,

/ coders rescued NASA’s Earth science data coders took action to make NASA’s climate data safe UC Berkeley’s campus 200 adults Doe Library rescue federal climate data groups more than 20 cities believe Trump administration might want to disappear this data down a memory hole hackers scientists students collecting save outside government servers groups like DataRefuge Environmental Data and Governance Initiative organized Berkeley hackathon collect data from NASA’s earth sciences programs Department of Energy doing more than archiving diehard coders building robust systems monitor ongoing changes to government websites keeping track of what’s been removed learn exactly when the pruning began Tag It Bag It data collection is methodical group immediately sets web crawlers easily-copied government pages sending text Internet Archive digital library hundreds billions snapshots webpages tag more data-intensive projects pages lots links databases interactive graphics for the other group called baggers coders write custom scripts scrape complicated data sets sprawling patched together federal websites systems written piecemeal over 30 years no coherent philosophy providing data websites Daniel Roesler chief technology officer UtilityAPI volunteer guides Berkeley bagger group coder who goes by Tek download multi-satellite precipitation data NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center starting August access Goddard Earth Science Data required login totally legal digging around site DataRefuge prohibits hacking Tek found buried link old FTP server clicked started downloading data all of 2016 some 2015 non-coders hit dead-ends too 404 Page not found errors NASA’s Earth Observing System website empty databases Global Change Data Center reports archive NASA’s atmospheric CO2 datasets real problem when or why data disappeared backed it up scientists understand it better DataRefuge EDGI monitoring changes and deletions building software that can do it automatically Future Farming most advanced software builders tools they’ll need filters separate mundane updates major shake-ups explored blockchain-like systems build auditable ledgers of alterations engineers call version control how do you know if something has changed How do you know if you have the latest How do you keep track of the old stuff writing code volunteers signed build tools DataRefuge EDGI organizers movement vast decentralized network from all 50 states and Canada volunteers code tracking software archive a little bit every day group had collectively loaded 8,404 NASA DOE webpages web pages Internet Archive covering the entirety of NASA’s earth science efforts built backdoors download 25 gigabytes from 101 public datasets scripts larger datasets finished running mood was somber still so much work to do climate change data just the tip of the iceberg Eric Kansa anthropologist manages archaeological data archiving non-profit group Open Context huge number of other datasets being threatened with cultural historical sociological information National Parks Service huge data portal contains park visitation stats GIS boundaries inventories of species computer ran scripts pull out a list everything in the portal working his way through each quirky dataset /

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Tesla founders on electric cars, lithium, hydrogen, energy & climate change (video)

Tesla Roadster
Credit: Tesla/The Morning Bulletin

Martin Eberhard & Marc Tarpenning, were the founders of the Tesla electric car company. Elon Musk came along later as an investor, flush with Paypal money.

In October 2016, the Tesla founders, spoke at Stanford University on a range of topics, including electric cars, lithium, hydrogen, energy, car-to-grid & climate change.

● Solving problems from first principles (01:42)

“Somewhere along the way, I started thinking that maybe this global warming thing was not a hoax & that maybe that the wars we were having in the Middle East were at least somehow involved in oil & decided that we needed to do something different. I did not start off as an electric car enthusiast, my interest was just simply using less energy. So I spent some time doing a real careful well to wheel energy analysis for every kind of technology I could find & built a spreadsheet that calculated the actual energy footprint & carbon footprint of every pathway I could find … & it was to both of our surprise, that the electric car pathway was not just better than the other choices that were out there, that included hydrogen & every form of petroleum & natural gas & so on, it wasn’t just better, it was dramatically better. So much better that it was stunning to us that no one else was doing it.” – Martin Eberhard

Elon Musk has spoken about the importance of approaching problems from first principles.1 In the quote above, Martin Eberhard, seems to be describing doing just that. Which begs the question: Did Elon Musk learn the importance of approaching problems from first principles from the Tesla founders?

● Tesla – naming the company (03:44)

● Why was the first product a small sports car? (30:00)

● How did they decide that Lotus would be the best source of a rolling chassis? (06:00)

● Lithium – sources, use in batteries, & recycling (16:25)

● Hydrogen fuel cells (22:00)

“Hydrogen is not a fuel … to make elemental hydrogen, to make H2, you have to put energy in. … the efficiency of that, if I’m using the very best technology available today, is in the order of 20-22% efficient. Compare that to a lithium battery which runs in the order of 95% efficient. It’s just not worth it. The hydrogen fuel cell car will require ... 3 to 4 times as much of whatever your source fuel is …”2,3,4

● Vehicle-to-grid (40:50)

“There’s this whole concept of vehicle to grid storage. The idea is the vehicle could draw off the grid & put energy back on the grid. … There’s two troubles with that: one is that every cycle through your battery has some cost – it’s not zero. ... Second thing is that when you’re putting energy on to the grid, (as for example, does the inverter on your solar panel), it puts some pretty heavy-duty regulatory burden on the design ... of the car – it adds some non-trivial cost to the cost of the car.”

“But, there’s another thing to think about: & that is that you can get about 90% of that value, not by allowing the vehicle to put energy onto the grid, but rather, just allowing the grid to have precise control over the charging of the vehicle. So that it can say stop & start or stop & start at this level in real time, OK? And what happens then if you have a large number of vehicles that are plugged in just statistically speaking is that all these electric cars can be used as grid regulation, & they can allow the power company to have a much much smaller amount of what’s called spinning reserve. That’s to say, generating capability that’s not being used. ... So that for example, when a big cloud passes over the giant solar panel array in the Mojave Desert, the grid then tells a whole lot of cars to, ‘Hey stop now,’ & they get off the grid, & when the wind starts honking on Altamont Pass, they can tell a bunch of cars to, ‘Hey start charging now.’ And you get about something like 90% of the value of the vehicle to grid idea, without actually taking energy out of the vehicles.”

● Electric cars will become cheaper than internal combustion engine cars (46:12)

“I’ve been looking closely at the cost of batteries recently, & it’s my belief that the cost of making an electric car will match the cost of making an equivalent gasoline powered car, probably in 2020 or 2022 – it’s coming up pretty fast.”

● Battery swapping (52:19)

“The reason that you would want to do that is because the batteries don’t have enough range, & the reason they don’t have enough range, is basically because they’re too expensive. … And so what you’re doing in a world of battery swapping is you’re taking the most expensive part of the car & you’re making it more expensive because I’ve got to have to have 20-30% more batteries around than I have cars, so I can swap them in.”

● Adapting to climate change (1:09:50)

“Quote from ... some science fiction writer: ‘The future is here now, it’s just not evenly distributed.’ … that is in many ways true, like we know how to do this. We know how to have a really advanced society that is carbon neutral. It’s just hard & it’s only in a few places … it is possible. So, I figure ... we’re gonna have to adapt to the climate change – that train has left – the CO2 is there.”

EV Annex – “Tesla founders Mark Eberhard & Marc Tarpenning talk electric vehicles”

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla cell size comes from the first principles of physics & economics”,

2 HichHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Can fuel cells compete with batteries?”,

3 HichHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Battery electric vehicles outperform hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – even Toyota has noticed”,

4 HichHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Honda Clarity – all the shortcomings fundamental to fuel cell cars”, / Tesla Roadster Martin Eberhard Marc Tarpenning founders Tesla electric car company Elon Musk investor Paypal money October 2016 Tesla founders spoke Stanford University electric cars lithium hydrogen energy car-to-grid climate change solving problems from first principles global warming not a hoax wars in the Middle East involved in oil electric car enthusiast using less energy well to wheel energy analysis technology spreadsheet calculated energy footprint carbon footprint electric car pathway better than the other choices hydrogen petroleum natural gas dramatically better stunning to us that no one else was doing it Martin Eberhard Elon Musk importance of approaching problems from first principles Elon Musk learn importance of approaching problems from first principles Tesla founders Tesla naming the company first product a small sports car Lotus best source of a rolling chassis lithium sources batteries recycling hydrogen fuel cells hydrogen is not a fuel elemental hydrogen molecular hydrogen H2 you have to put energy in efficiency very best technology available today in the order of 20-22% efficient lithium battery 95% efficient hydrogen fuel cell car will require 3 to 4 times as much of whatever your source fuel is vehicle-to-grid vehicle to grid vehicle to grid storage vehicle put energy back on the grid every cycle through your battery has some cost not zero putting energy on to the grid inverter on your solar panel heavy-duty regulatory burden on the design car it adds some non-trivial cost to the cost of the car allowing the vehicle to put energy onto the grid grid to have precise control over the charging of the vehicle electric cars can be used as grid regulation power company much much smaller amount of spinning reserve generating capability that’s not being used big cloud passes over the giant solar panel array in the Mojave Desert Altamont Pass vehicle to grid load shedding sheddable shedable load electric cars will become cheaper than internal combustion engine cars cost of batteries cost of making an electric car will match the cost of making an equivalent gasoline powered car, probably in 2020 or 2022 it’s coming up pretty fast battery swapping batteries don’t have enough range too expensive most expensive part of the car making it more expensive swap them in adapting to climate change science fiction writer we know how to have a really advanced society that is carbon neutral we’re gonna have to adapt to the climate change HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech Tesla cell size comes from the first principles of physics & economics fuel cells batteries Battery electric vehicles outperform hydrogen fuel cell vehicles Honda Clarity all the shortcomings fundamental to fuel cell cars Tesla founders Martin Eberhard Marc Tarpenning electric vehicles start-ups Stanford University talk Tesla founders Martin Eberhard Marc Tarpenning controversial departure from Tesla partner early days of Tesla electric vehicles two engineer entrepreneurs shared interest fast cars environment starting companies lithium-ion lithium ion batteries what oil does to a local economy where our treasure ends up going pernicious effects of our fossil fuel addiction Middle East reducing fossil fuel usage Tesla was all about moving beyond gasoline this concept predates the involvement of Elon Musk initially came on board as an investor Elon Musk started as the company's biggest investor in the early days of the Roadster using less energy real careful well-to-wheels energy analysis dramatically better founding of Tesla /

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Elon Musk – why Tesla is Boring, SpaceX, Mars, autonomy, Semi (video)

Teaser image of the forthcoming Tesla semi-truck
Credit: Tesla/TED/Tech Republic

Recently, Elon Musk appeared on TED Talks – a few highlights:

● Add one more problem to the list of shortcomings of the internal combustion engine (ICE) – it makes tunnels more expensive – cost of tunnelling is proportional to the cross sectional area of the tunnel – tunnels need to be 26-28 feet (7.9-8.5 metres) to allow (amongst other things) for ventilation to cope with the poisonous gasses ICEs emit.

● Semi – load-capacity, range, torque (19:48)

“So this is a heavy duty, long range, semi-truck. So it’s like the highest weight capability & with long range ... out-torque any diesel semi & if you had a tug-of-war competition, the Tesla semi will tug the diesel semi uphill.”

● Semi – driving experience (21:40)

“I mean it’s quite bizarre test driving. You know, when I was driving the test prototype for the first truck, it’s really weird because you’re driving around & you’re just you’re so nimble & you’re in this giant truck.” – no doubt, at least in part, due to the low centre of gravity which electric drive makes possible

● Interplanetary Transport System (32:00)

“This configuration is about four times the thrust of the Saturn V moon rocket ... This thing can take a fully loaded 747 with maximum fuel, maximum passengers, maximum cargo on the 747. This can take it as cargo.”

Elektrek – “Elon Musk on Boring Company, Semi-Truck, Mars – TED Talk
/ boring tunnel tunnelling bore elevator car skate entrance exit parking space 200 kph 130 mph Westwood to LAX 6 minutes toll road traffic soul destroying fully loaded 747 maximum fuel maximum passengers maximum cargo 747 take it as cargo /

Monday, 1 May 2017

Last post for now

Credit: HitchHiker's Guide 2 Tech

HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech has been published for a little over 6 years (first, 16 March 2011). Since that date, at least one item has been published every day – holidays, weekends, significant family & life events. In total, over 8,000 posts have attracted over 115,000 page views – even deducting a generous allowance of 56,000 page views to account for spamming from known sources.

At the moment I have a major project in train which has to be completed in a little over 60 days. As you may imagine, HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech consumes a substantial amount of time, which is interfering with the completion of the major project. Thus, it is with some reluctance that I will be ceasing publication on these pages with this post.

After completion of the project, time may become available again.

In the interim, I may find time to make occasional posts which will consist simply of a heading & a link to a particularly interesting article.

If you wish to see such posts, or wish to be notified if/when publication of hhg2tech begins again in the current format, 2 options are available:

● follow @hhg2Tech on twitter

● subscribe to the mail list by sending an email with the subject line, “Subscribe”, to

Thanks to all who have enjoyed my posts. Among those 8,000 plus posts there is still much of interest to read.

For now ...
/ HitchHiker's Guide 2 Tech hhg2tech blog blogger post publish publication publishing spam /

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Wolffepack orbital backpack for easy access & improved security

Wolffepack Metro backpack
Credit: Wolffepack/Tabi Labo

Two difficulties with managing a backpack are access & security. Wolffepack backpacks allow the container to be swung to the front for quick access, or more secure carry without removing the shoulder &/or hip strap.

Handy for sitting on public transport too.

Wolffepack has several models, including the Summit

Gizmodo – “This Retractable Backpack Brings Your Camera To You”

Manufacturer’s web site
/ Metro travel city shoulder strap waist strap hip strap pelvis pelvic Escape Summit everyday action snow sports outdoors Capture photography travel /

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Model 3 – how Tesla will control costs

467 robots are being installed at the Tesla Fremont factory prior to the start of Model 3 production.
Credit: Electrek/Google+

Tesla’s Model S is a luxury sporting sedan – the Model 3 is a, “mass market”, car. To appeal to a mass market, the price has to come down – “$35,000 before incentives”,1,2 has been promised repeatedly, for the US market.

Make it smaller, make it out of steel

● Most obviously, reduce cost by decreasing size by 20% compared to the Model S.3

● Extensive use of steel, rather than the more expensive aluminium widely used in the Model S.4

Reduce battery pack cost
An electric motor is simpler & cheaper than an a comparable internal combustion engine – electric cars are more expensive largley because of battery cost. A $35,000 Model 3 will require a substantial reduction in battery pack cost. This will be achieved by:

● Battery costs have been coming down world-wide for some time – including 80% in six years.5

● Price will be driven down further by increased volume – i.e. Gigafactory.6

● Reduce cell count – Tesla has historically used commodity 28650 size lithium ion cells. Individual cells in the Model 3, will be 47% larger in volume, with a similar effect on storage capacity, for negligible increase in cell cost.7

● Each cell stores more power, so fewer are needed for a given pack capacity.7

● Assembling fewer cells to make a pack is faster & cheaper.7

● Smaller battery pack – two options, the larger of which will be, at most, the same size as the smallest currently available in the Model S – “The shorter wheelbase only allows for a 75 kWh pack in Model 3 at current cell/module energy densities.” – Elon Musk, Twitter8,9

Automate the production line

● 467 robots are being installed at the Tesla Fremont factory prior to the start of Model 3 production.10

● Level of automation will increase over time, with no people on the production line itself, “in a few more years”.10

● Increased automation is planned to ultimately yield a 20 times increase in production line speed, further reducing production cost.10

Simplify the production line initially

● Initially, the production line will be simplified by producing only rear wheel drive cars. First 4WD, “probably in 6 to 9 months.”9

Streamline the delivery process

● “We need to deliver three or four times as many cars. But we don’t want to have three or four times as many delivery centers.” – Elon Musk11

● “Less paperwork, less bureaucracy.”11

● Shorten the hand-over to customers: “... get people ready ahead of time with really well-produced instruction videos.”11


1 Jalopnik: “​Elon Musk Says Tesla Model 3 Will Cost $35,000 Before Incentives”,

2Tesla: Model 3 Will Be $35,000 Pre-Incentives, Taking Orders In March”,

3 Autoblog: “Elon Musk: Tesla Model E will be 20 percent smaller than Model S”,

4 Wikipedia: “Tesla Model 3”,

5 Electrek: “Electric vehicle battery cost dropped 80% in 6 years down to $227/kWh – Tesla claims to be below $190/kWh”,

6 Tesla: “Tesla Gigafactory”,

7 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla cell size comes from the first principles of physics & economics”,

8 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla Model 3 event (video)”,

9 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Tesla Model 3 – 4WD option, performance, battery size (video)”,

10 Electrek: “Tesla receives massive shipment of robots for Model 3 production line – first pictures”,

11 Electrek: “Tesla Model 3: Elon Musk details the 5 minute delivery process, paperwork & instruction videos to be sent ahead of time”,

/ less paperwork less bureaucracy Tesla Motors Elon Musk LiIon lithium ion lithium iron phosphate LiFeO4 charge recharge battery Model S Model 3 range capacity kilo Watt hour Supercharger 4WD 4 wheel drive 2 wheel drive rear wheel drive RWD LiIon battery pack cell battery electric vehicle EV battery lithium ion LiIon charge battery electric vehicle BEV Elon Musk released very first images very first Tesla Model 3 release candidate Tesla started production release candidate Model 3 vehicles cars made almost entirely production machines test production process vehicles themselves video of the Model 3 no visible changes we can see the cameras for the Autopilot sensor suite see the camera in the Tesla badge front fender pillar on the side slight adjustments front fascia headlights video is very low-res Model 3 another color than silver red matte black spot other changes release candidate definitely significant difference front end Model 3 release candidate live streaming Tesla Model 3 unveil event on beginning at 8.30pm PDT March 31st reservations Model 3 worldwide two ways to make a reservation queue visit your local Tesla make a reservation online live unveil Tesla model 3 electric car mass market car electric vehicle EV steel aluminium twenty percent smaller 20% smaller automation automate robot production line 75 kWh kiloWatt hour /

Friday, 28 April 2017

First you could buy them faded ...

... then you could buy them worn, then ripped, now ...

caked with mud!

Credit: Nordstrom/The Gadgeteer

1% mud

& only $US425

None of the above is a typo, nor, as far as I can tell, a joke.

Credit: Nordstrom/The Gadgeteer

Adds a whole new dimension to the occasional advice seen on clothing, “Wash before wearing.”

The Gadgeteer – “First you could buy them faded, then ripped, & now covered in mud. Wait, what?!”

This is where they are sold
/ bluejeans blue jeans denim straight leg distressed faded ripped true to size comfortable through the seat and thigh classic straight cut from knee to ankle details care heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans comfortable straight-leg fit embody rugged Americana workwear that's seen some hard-working action crackled caked-on muddy coating shows you're not afraid to get down and dirty 34 1/2" inseam 17" leg opening 8 1/4" front rise button fly closure five-pocket style 100% cotton machine wash cold line dry made in Portugal PRPS Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans who cares right no ordinary jeans jeans are covered in mud price tag of $425 a pair Nordstrom Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty degraded into a society that has to pay for dirty clothes to give us the appearance of being hard workers traditionally styled 5 pocket jeans made of 100% cotton machine washable buy a pair of muddy jeans for $425 you can wash them this can’t be for real I fear that we’re doomed as a species distressed about this /

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Hoverboard a no-show, but Uber has promised a flying car for 2020

Credit: EHang/Twitter

Hoverboard was a no-show in Back to the Future year.1 We’ve been waiting even longer for the flying car, but Uber has promised them for 2020.

As you’ve no doubt noticed, the problem is that the technology doesn’t exist. Uber’s way around this is something like an X-prize – competitive development of a device to carry out a defined task – in this case, a flying car. And the prize? Access to Uber’s world-wide client-base. Though, at this point only Dallas-Fort Worth & Dubai have indicated an interest.

Uber has signed deals with five companies – if they don’t deliver, an obvious contender would be the Lilium jet electric aircraft.2

Wired: “Uber Really Seriously Promises Flying Cars by 2020”,

CW33: “Uber SERIOUSLY promises flying cars by 2020 in DFW!”,

“Flying car”? Anything that might be developed to provide the functionality required, is closer to a light aircraft. New term required:

The Verge – “Stop calling them flying cars”

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Back to the Future year – hoverboard a no-show – self lacing sneakers …”,

2 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “Lilium jet electric aircraft”,

/ Uber promises flying cars by 2020 Uber fly taking ridesharing to the air roll out network flying cars Dallas-Fort Worth Dubai by 2020 ambitious aircraft Uber shuttling customers through the air electric vertical takeoff and landing capability VTOL flying 100 miles in just 40 minutes infrastructure support FAA Federal Aviation Administration agency speed aircraft federal safety regulations fit into complex air traffic control system Uber catalyst spurring manufacturers build aircraft FAA regulations cities company CEO Travis Kalanick reward Xprize X prize X-prize Uber’s 55 million monthly active riders 600 cities worldwide 2020 realistic vehicle replacing an airplane replacing a car Richard Pat Anderson director Flight Research Center Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University purely electric aircraft serial hybrid setup aircraft carries fuel-burning turbine Chevrolet Volt Uber Elevate summit partnerships real estate companies Hillwood Properties Texas Dubai Holding UAE United Arab Emirates identify locations vertiports built Chargepoint electric vehicle charging spots North America Australia design develop deploy infrastructure keep the aircraft going white paper Uber Uber developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft Pentagon-backed Aurora Flight Sciences electric plane maker Pipistrel Bell Helicopter Embraer small plane maker Mooney Germany’s Lilium funky electric aircraft can fly China’s eHang launch people-carrying drones Dubai Google founder Larry Page revealed flying car prototype Skymall cities city Dubai flying cars Fort Worth Elevate pilot Mayor Betsy Price FAA air traffic control Uber pilot FAA certifying new technologies consensus-based standards system private market rules FAA accelerate three years is optimistic flying cars will need to negotiate already congested airspace build novel aircraft paying passengers flying car /

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Kitty Hawk Flyer is a flying electric recreational vehicle

Kitty Hawk Flyer
Credit: Kitty Hawk/YouTube/GeekWire

Some details of the, “flying car”, backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, have finally surfaced.

Available specs are thin on the ground:
● weighs 220 lbs (100 kg)
● single passenger
● altitude 15 feet (4.6 metres)
● 8 electric motors drive downward-facing propellers

Kitty Hawk claims that it is possible to learn to pilot the Flyer in minutes, & that it qualifies as an ultra light, so that no licence is required.

Consumer version is promised for the end of 2017.

Trusted Reviews – “Forget self-driving cars, the Kitty Hawk Flyer is officially off the ground”

The Verge – “This is the first footage of Larry Page’s ‘flying car’”

If the name rings a bell, Wright Flyer was the name of the first heavier-than-air machine flown by the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk in 1903.1

Orville Wright, Wilbur Wright, Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, 17 December 1903
Credit: Wikipedia

1 Wikipedia: “Wright Flyer”,
/ flying car backed Google co-founder cofounder Larry Page available specs 220 lbs 100 kg single passenger altitude 15 feet 4.6 metres 8 electric motors drive downward-facing propellers Kitty Hawk to learn to pilot Flyer minutes qualifies ultra light FAA regulations no licence required consumer version end of 2017 self-driving cars Kitty Hawk Flyer Larry Page’s flying car Wright Flyer first heavier-than-air machine flown Wright Brothers Kitty Hawk 1903 Kitty Hawk flying car company financially backed Google founder Larry Page published first video prototype aircraft Kitty Hawk Flyer all-electric aircraft designed to operate over water doesn’t require pilot’s license to fly Kitty Hawk learn to fly in minutes consumer version available end of this year test flight footage Flyer aerospace engineer operating the craft Kitty Hawk what the Flyer is for price retail version enticing eager pilots priority placement waiting list company-branded gear exclusive access flight simulator company events members $2,000 discount retail price Flyer ultralight aircraft FAA regulations no pilot’s license required Kitty Hawk light aircraft Kitty Hawk Zee.Aero industry giants Airbus flying car startups Zee.Aero Uber flying car Kitty Hawk Zee.Aero flying car Larry Page invested Kitty Hawk /

Monday, 24 April 2017

Lilium jet electric aircraft – update

Credit: Lilium/Wired

Although the Lilium aircraft is called, a “jet”, it would be more usual to describe its propulsion as, “ducted fan”.1

Advantages of ducted fans compared to conventional propellers1

● more, shorter blades allow higher speed of rotation & more thrust, without the problems caused by the tips of the blades approaching the speed of sound

● reduced noise – especially when driven by an almost-silent electric motor
● surrounding shroud makes ducted fan safer
● occupies less space

In urban environments, where Lilium sees many of it's aircraft operating, these advantages are particularly valuable.

Conventional aircraft generate lift by using relatively few engines to produce thrust (jet &/or propeller) to drive the aircraft forward. Forward speed produces lift due to the motion of the wings through the air.2

A small number of engines is a limitation imposed by internal combustion engines. In an electric aircraft, many small motors can be used.2 Illustrations show the Lilium with 36. Many motors allow lift to be generated at low aircraft speed (even zero) because they can drive air over the wings at a speed independent of the aircraft’s forward motion.

Update – Other advantages of multiple engines include:2

● shorter (front-to-back & side-to-side) wing is lighter & generates less drag

● wings can be optimised for cruise, rather than take off & landing, improving overall efficiency

In an aircraft with few engines, the most difficult & dangerous parts of a flight are taking off & landing, due to the direct dependance of lift on speed. Wings are optimised for these purposes.

Multiple motors, by disconnecting lift & speed, increase safety at take off & landing. Wings can be optimised for cruise, increasing overall efficiency – wings are shorter & narrower & so lighter, with less drag. Check the image above & the video.

Such a configuration will have disastrous glide characteristics. Electric motors are very reliable, & 36 of them provide plenty of redundancy, but battery failure is a problem which does not appear to have been addressed. This is not surprising in a prototype with only one unmanned test flight to its credit. Two solutions which spring to mind are battery redundancy (which may already have been allowed for in the existing battery configuration) or a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System.3

Lilium has its ducted fans pivoted vertically, to direct thrust at a range of angles, including straight down, for vertical take off.

Multiple motors can be run at different speeds to turn the aircraft, eliminating the drag created by a vertical tail.

Drag is further reduced by a lifting body design4 – the body of the aircraft is shaped to produce lift – thus the wings can be smaller & lighter for the same total lift.

Lilium has backing from the European Space Agency.

Engadget – “Lilium's electric personal jet manages a vertical takeoff”

Futurism – “A Real Life, All-Electric Flying Car Just Took Off”

Manufacturer’s web site

1 Just to complicate things, almost all current jets are of the turbofan type, which is a ducted fan, where the fan is driven by a gas turbine – that is to say, a jet engine.

Wikipedia: “Ducted fan”,
“The most common ducted fan arrangement used in full-sized aircraft is a turbofan engine, where the power to turn the fan is provided by a gas turbine. Turbofan engines are used on nearly all airliners, fighters, & bombers.”

2 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “LEAPTech — many more propellers for better performance”,

3 Picture this: complete blackout conditions at 5,000 feet – engine fails – it is not possible see the ground, let alone look for a landing site – pilot survives – video at the link is definitely worth a look

Cirrus Aircraft: “Cirrus Airframe Parachute System”,

4 Wikipedia: “Lifting body”,

/ Lilium electric personal jet vertical takeoff all electric flying car took off Lilium jet concept futuristic aircraft fly couldn't be further from the truth completed series of flight tests Munich Germany the first all-electric vertical take off and landing vertical takeoff and landing VTOL jet capable taking to the skies released a video Lilium's maiden flight plans to conduct manned flights future first series of tests remotely controlled two-seater prototype from the ground release five-seater version fit whole families groups of friends Lilium potential become great personal jet flying car VTOL doesn't need a runway take off and land like helicopter within the city range 186 miles speeds up to 186 mph German startup pre-orders Lilium five-seater variant years of testing successful test flights \backing from the European Space Agency production version make its way to market /

Sunday, 23 April 2017

What to do with your old phone

Your old phone has many potential uses
Credit: Macworld UK

Bright, shiny new mobile phone – but what to do with the old one? Some people have a drawer full of them. Two of the more popular options are: sell it, or pass it on to a family member or friend. These are obviously good options, depending on your circumstances, but there are others.

Keep it as a spare – that bright, shiny new phone, may suffer a misadventure – drop, or other physical damage, internal failure, loss or theft. In any of these circumstances, another phone to swap the SIM into, or a new SIM, depending on the misadventure, could be very useful.

Second phone – many have abandoned their fixed phone. A second phone with its own account can become a home phone. Some mobile phone providers have pay-as-you-go accounts, with no cost while the phone remains unused. I used such an account with an old phone, for several years, to contact family members at home, at no cost.

Use it as a mobile router – free public WiFi, is not always available when you need it, & is not secure1 – your own mobile data is a more flexible & secure choice. You can use the hotspot function of your mobile phone, or, if your data allocation is insufficient, an additional, data only account. Rather than buying a purpose-built mobile router,2 use your old phone at no cost.

Other possibilities include:
● add it to a multi-camera video shoot
● baby monitor
● video doorbell
● GoPro replacement
● dedicated VR headset
● white noise generator

7 ways to repurpose an old Android phone

8 ways to repurpose an old iPhone

1 HitchHiker’s Guide 2 Tech: “VPN Internet security for mobile use”,

2 Many mobile routers are available, such as: Huawei's Mobile Wifi Pro,

Google, “mobile router”, to see many more.

/ what to do with your old phone your old phone has many potential uses bright shiny new mobile phone what to do with the old one some people have a drawer full of them two of the more popular options are sell it pass it on to a family member or friend other options spare bright shiny new phone drop or other physical damage internal failure loss or theft another phone to swap the SIM in new SIM useful second phone fixed phone second phone with its own account home phone mobile phone providers pay-as-you-go accounts no cost while phone remains unused old phone contact family members at home at no cost mobile router free public WiFi not always available when you need it not secure your own mobile data more flexible and secure choice use the hotspot function your mobile phone your data allocation is insufficient additional data only account purpose-built mobile router your old phone backup phone dedicated camcorder add it to a multi-camera video shoot baby monitor video doorbell GoPro dedicated VR headset Amazon Echo nightstand repurpose an old Android phone repurpose an old iPhone VPN Internet security for mobile use mobile router mobile router smartphones smartphone upgraded upgrade upgrade your old phone sell it defray the cost of the upgrade option repurposing that old phone favorite uses for a discarded Android smartphone iPhone phones lost stolen broken phone my old standby access to my calendar contacts email they're all synced daily-use apps Facebook Spotify Twitter password manager no better short-term rescue option new phone pop the SIM card out old phone restoring voice and data repair repairs old phone in a drawer low-cost second line no-cost second line unlocked GSM phone model SIM card Freedompop sign up Basic plan 200 voice minutes 500 text messages 200MB 4G data per month at no charge how to set up a backup phone dedicated camcorder recording wedding kid's soccer game music video indie movie multiple cameras edit mix footage different angles positions create much more interesting video your old Android great second camera older lower-end phones capture at least 1,920x1,080-pixel video 30 frames per second as much storage as possible new footage baby monitor video Android phone baby-monitor duty exceed standalone products app like Dormi audio and video monitoring app offers two-way audio crying baby audio video audio/video feeds Android phone connected via Wi-Fi Dormi app supports multiple parent devices phone that's doing the monitoring app is free unlock lifetime monitoring video doorbell door duty outdoor Wi-Fi webcam smart doorbell phone full-time video monitor Canary Flex versatile security-minded webcam video doorbells August Doorbell Cam DoorBird Video Door Station Ring Video Doorbell SkyBell Video Doorbell GoPro video option turn your old phone into a GoPro solid camera in there mount it for action-video duty Velocity Clip phone mounts bike chest head strapped to your head cheaper than buying a separate GoPro mount option cheap Bluetooth camera-shutter button start and stop video recording dedicated VR headset old Android phone iPhone virtual reality smartphone virtual reality VR experiences headset and some apps headset universally compatible VR goggles adjust focal width adjust focal length accommodate users less-than-perfect vision Bluetooth gamepad control games and access menus apps Google Play Store search for VR Google Cardboard Android and VR headset iPhone iOS App Store nightstand old phone nightstand lamp serve countless purposes alarm clock alarm Voice Snooze Alarm iPhone iOS App Store alarm clock snooze customizable vocal command clock radio TuneIn Radio alarm sleep-timer features dedicated e-reader iBooks Kindle Nook OverDrive iPhone iOS App Store app meditation player Calm spare Roku remote latest update white-noise machine white noise machine /

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Giant iceberg in Iceberg Alley

Iceberg Alley is an area stretching from the coast of Labrador to the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland. Every spring, icebergs from the massive glaciers on the west coast of Greenland appear there.

In the past week, many more icebergs than usual have appeared, including this monster:

Ferryland, Newfoundland, Canada
Credit: Greg Locke/Reuters/Huffington Post

More, larger glaciers, appearing earlier in the season is consistent with climate change.

Wired: “An Enormous Hunk of Ice Gets Stuck in Iceberg Alley”,
/ giant iceberg in Iceberg Alley Iceberg Alley coast of Labrador to the northeast coast island Newfoundland every spring icebergs massive glaciers west coast Greenland more icebergs than usual many more icebergs consistent with climate change accelerating chunks Greenland ice sheet break off & float away enormous hunk of ice stuck Iceberg Alley enormous 150-foot tall iceberg near Ferrlyand Newfoundland Canada earliest icebergs break free and drift down Iceberg Alley Newfoundland famed Iceberg Alley passing icebergs each spring chunk of ice double take especially big one ran aground near the village of Ferryland iceberg towers 150 feet above dark blue water North Atlantic unusually large Ferryland beautiful iceberg start of iceberg season along the Northern Atlantic coastline each April icebergs Arctic float away carried south by the current past Labrador and Newfoundland open sea season started early this year March storm broke up more sea ice than usual Ferryland a popular tourist destination /

Friday, 21 April 2017

Kentucky coal investing in solar

Credit: Electrek

Kentucky is a US state famed, perhaps most of all, for its bluegrass (the pasture plant & the music), & for its coal mines. It’s making progress towards note for its solar energy output too – & coal interests may be the drivers:

● Kentucky’s Berkeley Energy Group & EDF Renewable Energy are considering a solar farm with a peak capacity of 100 megaWatts:

Renew Economy – "Kentucky coal company to build state’s largest solar farm on old coal mine"

Insurance Journal – “Coal Mining Company Proposes Turning Kentucky Mine Into Solar Farm”

● In the small town of Benham (population 5001), the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum, owned by Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College, is investing in solar panels. Budget cuts have necessitated cost saving measures:

WYMT – “Kentucky Coal Mining Museum converts to solar power”

Huffington Post – “A Coal Museum In Kentucky Went Solar This Month. The Backstory Is Even Better.”

New York Times: “Coal Museum Sees the Future; Trump Doesn’t”


1 Wikipedia: “Benham, Kentucky”,,_Kentucky

/ coal mining company turning Kentucky mine into solar farm former strip mine converted into solar farm under proposal Appalachian coal company hundreds of thousands of panels Kentucky mountains Berkeley Energy Group EDF Renewable Energy former Democratic state Auditor Adam Edelen mountaintop removal site Pikeville Kentucky coal country diversify energy output nation’s third-largest coal producing state economic impact declining coal industry state legislature voted decades long moratorium nuclear energy Kentucky Coal Museum installed solar panels on its roof build solar on the foundation of coal Kentucky energy producer powered the entire country adopt an all of the above energy strategy Kentucky more than 80 percent of its electricity from coal-fired power plants percentage dropping steadily coal plants replaced natural gas largest solar farm Kentucky Louisville Gas & Electric’s E.W. Brown Plant Mercer County 10-megawatt array solar panels 50 acres produces enough electricity power 1,500 homes Berkeley Energy Group Development Executive Ryan Johns proposed solar farm generate between 50 100 megawatts electricity sold to power companies along East Coast project cost tens of millions of dollars include hundreds of thousands of solar panels strip mines thousands of acres engineering and cost studies coal mined using mountaintop removal surface coal mining technique blasting heavy machinery remove layers dirt rock coal seams jobs project construction phase officials EDF Renewable Energy hire former coal miners work Eastern Kentucky filled with former coal mines redeveloped various purposes Tyler White president Kentucky Coal Association proposed solar farm subsidies federal tax credits coal rolling back policies winners and losers /