Imagine that the products on the shelves of a supermarket could talk. Not in a “Hi, how are you?” kind of way, but just enough to tell a central computer where they are in the store, so that the computer could tell shoppers where to go to find them. That’s what a new system is supposed to do, using blinking overhead LEDs and low-power radio frequency tags on merchandise.
Category Archives: Technology
Scientists at Sheffield University have figured out a new way to separate particles of algae from the water that it grows in through the use of micro-bubbles. This isn’t a brand new idea – micro-bubbles have been used to purify water and separate out algae for a while now – what they’ve figured out is a method of doing it cheaply and with much lower energy requirements than previous techniques. This should reduce the costs for harvesting algae for producing food or biofuels – whether it’ll be enough of a reduction to make a difference is another question, but every little bit helps.
Hidden cameras and other spy gadgets are all very well and good, but the suckers can get expensive if you’re buying them in quantities that require a forklift to move, like the CIA and other intelligence organizations do. Hence why DARPA funded an inventor to whip up $50 mini-computers that can be hidden almost anywhere and eavesdrop on people – they’re so inexpensive that agencies can afford to loose some.
Technology Review has an excellent summary of 3D printing as a technology here. They also just posted a rant about the limitations of 3D printing, and how the people who are gushing about the technology need to stop trying to boost everybody’s expectations.
Update: And now an opposing viewpoint from a guest writer at Technology Review’s been posted here.