Links, 12/28/11

TECH

All right, I keep seeing stories about holographic displays and holographic video players.  My problem is that they’re still in the “flying car” stage – technically feasible (you can GET a flying car today; good luck using it) but not something that will clearly work for consumer use.  Yet.  We’ll see whether they can work the bugs out over the next few years.

Just a reminder, for all those Americans out there:  We’re only 350 million people, out of 7 billion.  As the rest of the world gets rich enough to buy toys like ours, our role as market shapers will go down.  Why do I bring this up?  Because apparently we’re going to see a lot more 3D TVs outside the US.  So electronic manufacturer’s R&D will continue to work on it, even though most Americans think it’s not worth it – they’ll do it for the 300 million rich Chinese, not for us.

 

MILITARY

The US Customs and Border Protection office on the Mexico border just received its fourth predator drone.

Well duh.  Turkey says it won’t support a strike into Iran.  Did you really think they would?  They’re still growing into their role as a regional heavyweight.  They sure as hell don’t want to upset things the way a strike at Iran would.

Speaking of the Iranians, their VP just brought up their nuclear option:  closing the Strait of Hormuz.  Oh, fun.  Still, a nuclear option is only useful if it remains an option, not if you use it, so I doubt this is anything more than hyperbole.

 

SPACE

China just switched on its own GPS system, Beidou.  It’s limited to China at the moment, but they intend to expand it over the next few years.  Europe and Russia are currently in the process of launching the 20+ (each) satellites necessary for their own systems, so the US won’t have a complete monopoly on GPS for very long.

 

ENERGY/MINING/RESOURCES

Imagine something: Itty-bitty solar cells (about the size of a period) topped with lenses to concentrate all the incoming sunlight onto them.  This apparently produces a 41% efficiency rate (!), and at reasonable prices, too.  Maybe we’ll start seeing these popping up on the market in the next year or two?

Here’s a follow-up on yesterday’s story on China’s REE quotas.

 

ENVIRONMENT/AGRICULTURE

Congress just finished up their yearly tax bill, WITHOUT renewing the subsidy for corn ethanol.  Finally.

 

MISC

Bwahaha, this continues to crack me up.  Now that the .xxx domain name is out, some people are scrambling to take the .xxx domain corresponding to their site off the market.  However, apparently only 24% of the most popular sites have had their .xxx domains taken.  The rest are still available, and the possibilities for mischief are mind-boggling.

The Antisec wing of Anonymous continues the holiday hacking spree, this time going after Specialforces.com’s customer data.

And now the New York Times has apparently been hacked as well?

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Filed under Energy/Mining/Resources, Environment/Agriculture, Link lists, Military, Misc, Space, Technology

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