TECHNO GRAPH VOLUME 126 :: FALL 2010 READTECHNO.COM
emerging technologies around the world
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c:\ > TABLE_OF_CONTENTS 04 06 07 08 10 11 13 14 15 16 17 18
Midterm survival Guide Mr. Roboto BT Brinjal Made In Brazil Hello, My Name Is Adam he Great Firewall Of China googleâ€™s fiber optic future the boogie trains pechakucha fever sweeps cu power up paper techno-calendar technograph q & A
Technograph has gone on a worldwide adventure to seek out the best and most interesting tech news for you to enjoy! From robots to eggplants, this issue is full of the new and weird from anywhere and everywhere. We hope you enjoy exploring with us as we journey to faraway lands (without leaving the comfort of our computer desks, of course) to test the reaches of manâ€™s curiosity and imagination.
w Cover photocredit: original: flickr user Being There modified by RJ Marsan
Surviva fo Midt
al Guide or terms
ave you ever been frightened by a robotic person in a theme park? Have the animatronics at the museum ever seemed just a bit too real? Most of us have had an “uncanny valley” sort of experience at some point in our lives, but how realistic does a robot need to be in order to avoid this sense of disgust? Hiroshi Ishiguro of Japan has created a robot that looks and moves in a more realistic way than any of its predecessors, and he modeled it after himself! Ishiguro’s robot, “Geminoid,” not only looks exactly like him, it also reacts to touch in much of the same way as a person would respond. In a video demonstration of the robot, an assistant shows that if he pokes the robot’s cheek, it flinches and pulls away like a real human being. Along with response to touch, the “Geminoid” also mimics eye movement down to the subtle twitching of the eyelid that happens when real humans shift their gaze even slightly. These attributes are made possible by more than 50 sensors in the face alone that “feel” the touch and other motors that allow
for the tiny movements necessary. On top of this, Ishiguro is able to control the robot with his own movement. The robot, using special sensors and cameras, can mimic Ishiguro’s movements perfectly and almost instantly. The video shows all of these aspects in a research environment, but it will be interesting to see where this technology shows up in the “real world.” One way that Ishiguro uses his robot is to speak to people remotely while still retaining the feeling of being in the room with them. He claims that people are unsettled at first (the definition of “uncanny valley”), but because of the sensitive movements, people quickly become used to speaking with the robot and settle into a comfortable conversation. While robots might not be replacing humans any time soon and certainly do not have consciousness like those in our imaginations, Ishiguro’s “Geminoid” is a giant step forward in the world of humanoid robotics. By Megan Reilly
Ishiguro’s cyborg sits at a meeting, in place of him. Photocredits: flickr user centralasian
Eggplants as big as your head! Photocredits: flickr user woodleywonderworks
new strain of brinjal engineered to contain Bt toxin has caused an uproar in India. Brinjal is a variety of eggplant grown as a staple crop in India. The new strain has been engineered to produce Bt toxin to repel pests, which can claim a large percentage of the yearly harvest. Pest-resistant brinjal could increase the yields of poor farmers across India. The effort to approve Bt brinjal makes it the second genetically engineered organism (GMO) to try for regulatory approval in India, as Bt cotton is already grown over so much of the country that India is the sixthlargest producer of genetically modified crops. There are many reasons so few genetically engineered crop varieties are exported to other countries. There are intellectual property laws in place which copyright these varieties; farmers in developing nations often cannot afford to pay for licenses to grow the variety as required by US copyright law, and they cannot simply pirate the strain without facing sanctions from first world countries. So-called ‘terminator strains’ mean a farmer must buy new seed each year, and the cost is often too high for those in the developing nations that need the crops most. In addition, the ongoing controversy over genetically modified organisms in the food chain means it is politically a very thorny issue.
Bt Brinjal Besides the impracticality of actually exporting GMO food crops, most of the money for R&D into GM food goes into corn and soybeans even though they are the staple crops for the US and not many other countries around the world. Strict regulations in the EU limit GM crops, so by far the largest market for these varieties of seeds and crops is with the agribusinesses of the US. Research into more damp or tropical climates or crops that aren’t mass-produced the way corn and soybeans are is more difficult to fund. So not only is it difficult to export the wealth of knowledge produced by first world nations, it is often simply not very useful. High-performance pest-resistant corn tailored to midwestern soil helps your average farmer elsewhere in the world not at all. Bt toxin is derived from a soil bacterium named Bacillus thuringiensis and is naturally found in soils around the world. Bt toxin extracted from the bacterium itself has been used as a pesticide since the 1920s. Genetic splicing of the Bt gene has been used successfully to control pests in several other staple crops, including corn and potatoes. All GMOs undergo strict safety testing for toxicity and side effects. GMO crops, while controversial, have the potential to feed many of the hungry in the developing world. “Golden rice,” rice genetically engineered to produce vitamin A and beta-carotene, pre-
vents millions of cases of vitamin A deficiency related blindness around the world every year. The commercial farming of Bt brinjal, despite its approval by the Indian Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, has been blocked indefinitely by the Indian Minister of the environment. It may be up to a year before Bt brinjal tests even begin. By Jeremy Kemball Sources: Lemaux, Peggy (February 19, 2008). “Genetically Engineered Plants and Foods: A Scientist’s Analysis of the Issues (Part I)”. Annual Review of Plant Biology 59: 771–812. doi:10.1146/annurev. arplant.58.032806.103840 (inactive 2009-11-14). PMID 18284373. Retrieved 9 May 2009. http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ news/economy/agriculture/Indiasays-no-to-Bt-Brinjal-for-now/articleshow/5552505.cms http://business.rediff.com/report/2010/may/13/ban-on-bt-brinjalnot-to-end-soon.htm http://www.irri.org/publications/irrn/ pdfs/vol25no2/IRRN25-2Minireview.pdf
Made In Brazil
hether it’s a simple mechanical pencil or a fancy computer, it will most likely say ”Made In Japan. “ Even the United States has begun putting their label of production on items. What many don’t realize is that new technology is rising all around the globe, and its effects are rippling across the oceans. While it may not be an en electronic item we use every day, Brazil’s new rise in farming technology is something that must be paid close attention to.
nutrients by over planting is currently not too strong of an issue in Brazil, by managing the residue correctly, it reduces weeds and the need for other harmful herbicides. Additionally, Brazil has been working on a critical part of farming: seeding. While the advantages of a plough may be many, there has also been work on machines that just as effectively cut into the biomass covering, which allows the injection of seeds and fertilizers and covers them back up in one swift move.
The idea of a farming economy can be a thought easily brushed off. Through the past decade, Brazil’s investment in new farming technology has significantly contributed to its economy. Its farming industry has been estimated to be worth $250 billion dollars while it produces roughly 35% of the country’s exports. (Hanson, 2010).
While everyone is hurrying to get a piece of the money pie, the main player in Brazil’s agricultural sector has been Embrapa, a national company started in 1973 that has helped generate and recommend more than 9,000 technologies for Brazilian agriculture. Consisting of 38 research centers and over 8,000 employers, it places a high emphasis on education as a solution; 74% of its over 2,000 researchers hold a doctoral degree in a related field.
Brazilians’ concentration in creating new farming technology relies on the working solutions of the past. Conservative Agriculture (CA), the preferred method used by farmers in this South American nation, implements three main basic forms of operation. At the top of the list is crop residue management, which “aims at making the soil surface suitable for new crops by protecting it with biomass.” While exhausting the soil of all its
w Photocredits: top: flickr user scogle bottom: flickr user Marília Almeida
As the positive effects have been seen with the rise of production in new farming technology within Brazil, many countries are on the lookout to benefit from the enterprise. The most obvious countries to benefit are South African countries, which not only share similar latitudes with the Amazoni-
an giant, but also a similar resemblance in soil content. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, or the FAO, countries such as Kenya have been implementing the basic farming techniques of Brazil (such as crop residue and weed management) and have seen immediate improvements . As Brazil remains the world’s main producer of coffee, oranges, and sugar cane, it may be very possible that we will begin to see an additional increase of other food productions to the list due to its rise in farming technology. By Eduardo Narvez Sources: * Hanson, S. (2010, August 3). Global Post. Retrieved August 3, 2010, from Opinion: Brazil can boost African agriculture: http://www.globalpost. com/dispatch/africa/100802/brazil-aid-lula-agriculture * http://www.embrapa.br/english/ embrapa/about-us * http://www.fao.org/ag/magazine/ 0703sp1.htm * http://www.bbc.co.uk/ news/10125582 * ilid
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Hello. My Name is Adam
merging technologies provide a unique and important playing field where even the smallest startups can compete with the big name companies. The most important qualities are creativity, persistence, and just a little bit of luck. For Notion Ink, a small startup out of Hyderabad India, their entrance into the emerging tablet field is as unique as their product itself.
why they can’t be, and Notion Ink agrees. Their company blog, where the majority of posts are from their CEO, has garnered thousands and thousands of comments. More unusual, is that their CEO is active in the discussions: Many of the details for the tablet have changed, for the better, because of community discussions. Their choice to include Android on their tablet certainly lends itself to community as well.
Creativity is a quality that Notion Ink certainly has. In December 2009, their CEO Rohan Shravan revealed the Adam Tablet. The Adam Tablet features a Pixel Qi display, an innovative Dual-Mode screen which can be turned off almost entirely, using the light around it for luminescence (while still being clear and readable). In addition, the Adam contains a swivel camera, to act as both front-facing, back-facing and everything-in-between. For those who need the numbers, it contains a Tegra 2, dual core 1ghz ARM, 10.1” multitouch screen, full USB ports, 3G/Wifi/GPS and a seriously cool back side trackpad. For those who don’t need the numbers, here’s the jist: it packs a punch.
Persistence happens to be a quality Notion Ink has been forced to have quite a bit of this year. Cool prototypes that get presented at an Expo have a long way to go before they hit the shelves in nice boxes at your local electronics store, and plenty can go wrong. This is especially true for small startups, and most certainly for Notion Ink. Riding on the momentum of their strong demo at the beginning of the year, Notion Ink signed a deal with investors to get into production. As the story goes, after moving to Bangalore, completing the design and getting all set to begin production, their investors started suggesting they make bigger and bigger changes, at one point even suggesting converting the tablet into a netbook. As the debates heated up between the two, the investors cut Notion Ink’s planned app competition, and started laying off
Community is one term not normally associated with hardware startup companies, but we don’t see
Notion Ink’s staff. Deals with their manufacturer went sour, and things looked bleak for the startup. In June of this year, Notion Ink officially signed a deal with a new investor, got a new manufacturer lined up, and officially got back on track. Their tablet is set to come out late this November, so it remains to be seen if Notion Ink has the last quality they need for success: luck. However, it could not have come at a more crucial time, with several other big releases from major competitors due out around then. Whether Notion Ink emerges at the top or finds its place elsewhere remains to be seen, but it’s an innovative effort from an ambitious startup. That’s what Technograph is all about. By RJ Marsan
Notion Ink performing a Pooja, a ceremony to seek the blessing of the Lords, for their move to Bangalore. photocredit notionink.wordpress.com
The Great Firewall of China
or people, like us, who live in the U.S., it is easy to take the freedom of communication and access to information for granted. But can you imagine living somewhere where Facebook, Twitter or Youtube are not as readily available as they are to us? In China, the complex censorship rules have elevated from traditional print and broadcast media to the more recent internet, which had previously provided a platform for the Chinese people to speak up, communicate with each other, and access information like they never had before. The Chinese government no longer held an information monopoly over their people. To counter this situation, the Great Firewall of China (an interesting derivation from the Great Wall of China – the infamous historical fortification built to protect China from foreign invasion) exists and is now the most sophisticated cyberspace monitoring in the world.
What used to be the responsibility of the Central Propaganda Department, internet censorship has now become a central issue that requires the cooperation of more than 14 government ministries. China is also the first country to employ more than 30,000 internet police to monitor online activities. So, what is causing the online community’s increasing attention? It is the astounding increase in the number of Chinese internet users, a group that has already reached 384 million (almost a quarter of the world’s total users). To ensure the effectiveness of the GFW (Great Firewall), keyword filtering and self-censorship are commonly used. Filtering keywords is easy to understand; the Chinese government has a long list of “sensitive words” such as “Dalai Lama” or “Tiananmen Square Massacre”. Links to these words are blocked. Self-censorship is a term that does not exist in the U.S., but in China,
websites practice self-censorship by voluntarily blocking “keywords” that fall into categories of masked words, sensitive words and taboo words. Self-censorship works through the punishment (criticized, fined or closed down) of websites that do not follow the rules. Using proxy servers is a way to overcome internet surveillance. Sites such as wujie.net provide tools and services of excellent quality; for example, “huofenghuang” (fire phoenix) is one convenient tool to access foreign websites. The Chinese government is clearly not indifferent– the GFW has only just upgraded itself and is blocking more and more proxies and circumvention tools. But the number of Chinese netizens who join in to “scale the wall” never decreases. Based on a recent survey of over 5000 netizens published on China Digital Times (an independent Chinese media), two-thirds “scale the wall” on a daily basis, and about 50% are students. More than 70% of these people scale the wall just to use Twitter or read foreign news. And this ironic tug of war between the government and netizens will just continue to heat up. By Minna Pui Ching Yung Sources: * China Digital Times *
Journey to the Heart of Internet Censorship: Investigative Report October 2007. (Published by: Reporters without Borders for Press Freedom, China Human Rights Defenders)
For over a year, Wikipedia was blocked in China. photocredit flickr user psd
says “Imagine sitting in a rural health clinic, streaming three-dimensional medical imaging over the web and discussing a unique condition with a specialist in New York. Or downloading a high-definition, fulllength feature film in less than five minutes. Or collaborating with classmates around the world while watching live 3-D video of a university lecture. Universal, ultra highspeed Internet access will make all this and more possible.” Our goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that we have in mind: * Next generation apps: We want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it’s creating new bandwidth-intensive “killer apps” and services, or other uses we can’t yet imagine. * New deployment techniques: We’ll test new ways to build fiber networks, and to help inform and support deployments elsewhere, we’ll share key lessons learned with the world. * Openness and choice: We’ll operate an “open access” network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with our past advocacy, we’ll manage our network in an open, non-discriminatory and transparent way. Source: http://googleblog.blogspot.com
photocredits: top: zettaphile.com top left: google.com bottom: ci.kirkland.wa.us
Google’s Fiber Optic Future
n Feb. 2010, Google did it again – it challenged scientific reality by introducing newer, faster, more efficient, and more innovative technology into a society that is advancing quicker into the future than ever. Now that speed is increasing by a factor of about one hundred. Google’s new fiber optic broadband network boasts a speed of 1 gigabyte per second, which is about a hundred times faster than the average American network. The fibers directly accessed between 50,000 and 500,000 users in a trial period. This is the first time that Google’s fiber optic network has reached homes; previously, it was used worldwide for faster streaming of YouTube videos and Google searches. Since 2005, Google’s “dark fiber” networks (unused nationwide cables systems) have raised suspicion; it is now assumed that these cables are being used for
the new fiber optic broadband networks. However, Google is not looking to get into the Internet Service Provider (ISP) business. James Kelly, a Google executive, said that Americans “are hungry for better and faster Internet access.” While Google was deciding on a place for a final building site, different cities across the country had been trying to promote their cities by creating videos, Facebook groups, and temporary town nicknames (such as “Google Island” and “Google, Kansas” – formerly Topeka). “This enthusiasm is much bigger than Google and our experimental network,” said Kelly. College towns especially are fighting for access to the network, both for current students and recent graduates who would be more likely to stay in the area with a faster broadband network. Google’s new Fiber for Communities webpage
photocredits: top: fiberfresno.com right: flickr user KOMUnews
(www.fiberforcommunities.com) is aimed at bringing faster internet access to communities who can use the technology for their benefit. The Official Google Blog states that its intent is “to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone.” In addition to creating their own network advances, Google has encouraged the FCC to adapt their National Broadband Plan to allow for faster and more creative technologies. By Caroline Cvetkovic
n the mid 1900s, as the world’s work force became increasingly mobilized, new ways to alleviate congestion and facilitate long commutes were needed. Traffic, delays and frustration increased, but dated technologies could not keep up with the demand for modernization. A fresh approach had to arise in order to push transportation technology into the future. And so, thanks to the ingenious researcher named James Powel of the Brookheaven National Laboratory, magnetic levitation (MagLev) transport was conceived in the 1960s. Although magnetic levitation had already been studied, never before had anyone adapted this concept into a practical form of transportation. Amazed by this revolutionary idea, scientists around the world began its study leading to enormous advancements. As the years passed, Germany and the UK were the first to open maglev train lines to passenger transport in the 1970s and 80s. However, these trains were limited to very short distances, usually between airport terminals. Once in Asia, Japan and China took the technology to new heights and continued its rapid development to this day.
The Boogie Trains All maglev trains depend on powerful electromagnets to “levitate” above the track as a result of magnetic repulsion and attraction. Maglev technologies are divided into two main branches: electromagnetic suspension (EMS) and electrodynamic suspension (EDS). Trains using EMS “hug” the steel guide-rail with a series of “C” shaped arms whose electromagnets interact with the track from below, causing the train to levitate and stabilize above the track. The trains move forward through propulsion coils (linear motors) that pull them along with documented speeds reaching over 300 mph. Maglev trains using EDS are differentsince both the track and the train cars generate magnetic fields. The track and the cars create opposing magnetic fields through super-cooled superconducting magnets for levitation and propulsion. The trains move forward by creating precisely timed alternating attractive and repulsive forces between the track and cars, thus effectively pulling the train. Even though EDS maglev trains can propel themselves unlike EMS systems, they do suffer
from one drawback: at low speeds the magnetic fields are not strong enough for levitation so the trains must roll on tires until they reach a lift off velocity (howstuffworks. com). China and Japan have the most successful commercial applications of maglev technology. In China, a maglev passenger train connects Shanghai downtown to Shanghai International Airport, a distance of 19 miles traveled at an average speed of 267 mph (howstuffworks.com). The success of this line has led to a planned expansion of an additional 99 miles to Hangzhou. In Japan, the MLX01 JR Maglev developed by the Central Japan Railway Company has reached a maximum speed of 361 mph (Guinness Book of World Records). With such enormous promise, maglev technology has the potential for future developments. Once implementation cost decreases and efficiency increases, the future of transport will be forever changed. By Radu Lazar
PechaKucha Fever Sweeps CU
echaKucha is contagious this fall, but it won’t get you out of class with a note from McKinley. Christina Tapp has brought a fantastic style of miniconferences to campus from all the way across the ocean, and students all over are joining her on the adventure. PechaKucha is an excellent way to share new, interesting, and innovative ideas, and ChampaignUrbana can finally join in the fun. “PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together to share their ideas, works and passions in the PechaKucha20x20 format,” according to the head of the new CU chapter, Christina Tapp. The rules of the event are very simple: each speaker gets twenty PowerPoint slides for their presentation, and they get only 20 seconds to present each slide (whether they are ready to move to the next slide or not). This
format creates a fast-paced, super condensed feel to the information presented, and the need to change gears so quickly if the speaker is not done with the current slide just adds to the fun. The whole process was created in Tokyo in February 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham Architecture to make presenting topics more efficient and interesting for viewers, and it has grown into a way for people to enjoy forums from experts in many different fields all in one short sitting. The whole idea behind PechaKucha now is more about “passion, not portfolio,” according to Christina. Because the events are so centered on the passion the speaker has for the topic he or she is presenting on, the event is more exciting and inspirational for the audience. Plus, this gives speakers from any level of expertise a chance to really show the
audience how interesting their topic is without needing to have done a lot of work in that area. This way, new fields that do not have much work available to show yet are given just as much of a chance to shine as those that have been in the public mind for quite some time. Christina decided to create the C-U chapter after a trip to Europe in 2008. She was so inspired by the group of presenters at her first night (one of which had even been the designers for a type of bike rack she had seen that same day) and the entire presentation format that she decided to investigate PechaKucha in the US. After several months of research and correspondence with PechaKucha headquarters, she finally got the go ahead to host four nights a year right here on campus (for current dates and times, see their website at http://pecha-kucha. org/night/champaign-urbana). PechaKucha is perfect for the college environment; each presentation is a little under 8 minutes, so a presentation of 6 totally different topics could easily take around an hour (with time to switch speakers). Considering the difficult and often overfull schedule of a college student, this kind of option for educational entertainment is very appealing. On top of the time aspect, PechaKucha’s informal atmosphere can make the speakers more approachable to students who might want to ask more about their work or research opportunities in that field. By Megan Reilly
photocredits: top left: flickr user tompagenet top right: flickr user kanegen bottom: flickr user aslives
Power Up Paper
magine trying to complete last minute class work that requires a calculator. All of a sudden, your calculator runs out of power, and you have no back up batteries. By the time you run to a nearby store, your assignment will be past due; this assignment would have raised your grade. You can’t ask your roommate for help because they’re out at Clybourne’s. What do you do? Instead of doing calculations by hand on paper, why not make batteries out of paper? Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created an efficient battery (later further tested by Stanford University researchers), which is made of paper and runs on ink soaked in carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires. The paper is made up of many tiny, interconnected fibers which can easily connect carbon nanotubes. The size of the battery is also an important factor in the design. The small diameter helps the ink’s carbon nanotubes and silver nanowires stick strongly to the paper, and this makes the battery very durable. In fact, the paper battery, which can also work as a supercapacitor, can last through 40,000 charge-discharge cycles, an amount that is in fact more than lithium batteries. The strong energy comes from the design of the battery: it is designed as an integrated device which doesn’t involve multiple processes of transferring energy in order to get the battery to work. A single battery
has many separate components that involve lots of energy transfer, thus making it use more power than necessary. The materials in the ink make ideal conductors because they can move electricity more efficiently than ordinary solutions. Professor Linhardt, creator of the paper battery at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, explains that increasing power is also possible. “If we stack 500 sheets together in a ream, that’s 500 times the voltage. If we rip the paper in half, we cut the power by 50%. So we can control the power and voltage issue.” The battery works in a way that is consistent with the design. Normally, a chemical reaction between an electrolyte and metal produces electrons, which makes the energy flow from the negative to the positive end. However, the paper battery undergoes a chemical reaction between the electrolyte and the carbon nanotubes to produce electrons. The electrons meet at the negative end of the battery and then flow
along a connected wire to the positive end. The electron flow from the negative end to the positive end is required for the chemical reaction to continue. The paper battery has a bright future. It is now being considered as a source of power for smartphones; it’s small size and strong power makes the paper battery an efficient choice. Another related project that Linhardt is working on involves pacemakers. The paper battery would use electrolytes in human blood to power the pacemakers. The materials are not toxic because they are biodegradable. Furthermore, a main goal of Linhardt is to create paper batteries large enough to power a vehicle, such as a car. Researchers at Stanford University are starting to make batteries out of textiles, as well. However, carbon nanotubes are very expensive, which may affect the outcomes of these projects. By Lisa Tam
Engineering Expo :: September 20-22. 2010 Itâ€™s never too late to start finding that dream job! Engineering Expo is the largest job fair to be found in C-U, and you can come meet employers and apply for various permanent and internship positions. Plus, all proceeds from the event go straight back to student activities in Engineering, so you can meet and greet while supporting other important activities and groups. This year, the Expo includes the following companies: Monday 09/20/2010 Accenture Acquity Group Aero Engine Controls AGI Alcatel-Lucent Alcoa Inc. Allstate Insurance Company AMD American Structurepoint, Inc. Analog Devices Anheuser-Busch InBev Applied Systems, Inc. Archer Daniels Midland Company ARCO National Construction Avandale Inc. Bazaarvoice Bechtel Corporation Bloomerg BNSF Railway
BP Corporation Business Logic Corporation bytemobile Capital IQ Caterpillar Inc CDM Celanese Central Intelligence Agency Chicago Trading Company Clorox Company Coilcraft ConocoPhillips Cook Medical Cummins Deloitte Diamond Management & Technology Consultants Dow Corning Corporation DRW Trading Group Electro-Motive Diesel, Inc.
Enova Financial Ericsson Exelon FastSet Research Systems Inc Fast Enterprises, LLC Ford GE General Mills Green Hills Software Honeywell I-Cubed Ingersoll Machine Tools Ingersoll Rand Inventables Kiewit Infrastructure Co. Knight Equity Markets, L.P. Lam Research Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Marine Officer Selection Office
Meebo Microsoft Corporation MIT Lincoln Laboratory Molex Monsanto Company Morgan Stanley National Instruments Nico Trading Norfolk Naval Shipyard Northop Grumman Corporation NVIDIA NVISIA LLC Oak Ridge National Lab Optiver US LLC Procter & Gamble ProductSpace Solutions Riverbed Technology Roger Corporations Rolls-Royce Sargent & Lundy
Schlumberger Shell Oil Shure Incorporate Simplex Investments SpaceX Spot Trading LLC Technology Services Group The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory The MathWorks Trading Technologies TripAdvisor Two Sigma Investments US Navy West Monroe Partners Wolfram Research & Wolfram|Alpha Wolverine Trading YJT Solutions Zebra Technologies
Maxim Integrated Products Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago Michelin Microsoft Corporation National Instruments Navistar Newell Rubbermaid Northop Grumman Corporation Panduit Pentair Procter & Gamble Rehig Pacific Company Rehig Penn Logistics Rockwell Collins Rolls-Royce
Sword Ciboodle The National Institute of Standards and Technology The Walsh Group Thermo Fisher Scientific Thomson Reuters TripAdvisor US Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District ViaSat, Inc. Whirlpool Corporation Wm Wrigley Jr. Company ZS Associates
Tuesday 09/21/2010 3M Company Acquity Group Aero Engine Controls Akcoa Inc. Allstate Insurance Company Ambitech Engineering Corporation AMD Ansaldo STS Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation Bloomerg BNSF Railway Business Logic Corporation bytemobile Capital IQ
Caterpillar Inc Cazoodle Celanese Clorox Company ConocoPhillips Contact Singapore Corps of Engineers - Rock Island District CRAY INC Diageo DMC, Inc. Esri Farnsworth Group, Inc. GE General Dynamics Bath Iron Works
General Dynamics Electric Boat General Mills Gilbane Building Company Groupon HPD, LLC/Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies I-Cubed Intel Corporation Inventables Jacobs Jet Propulsion Laboratory Jump Trading Kohler Co. Kraft Foods Lexmark Los Alamos National Laboratory
Wednesday 09/22/2010 3M Company Baxter Healthcare Capital IQ Celanese CME Group
Contact Singapore General Dynamics C4 Systems Greenline Financial Technologies Hulu John Deere
Kimberly-Clark Kinze Manufacturing, Inc. KLA-Tencor Kohler Co. Lyondell Basell Industries
Pearson Raytheon Company Stanley Consultants Technip USA, Inc. Thomson Reuters
Techno Q A graph While Technograph was traveling around the world, we wanted to make a quick stop to investigate emerging green technologies. We decided to interview Eric Feng, Technical Advisor to Al Gore, about his work with GreenTech. I know this is a broad question, but how are you involved with GreenTech? Well, there’s two parts to that answer. First is the standard answer that my role as a partner at Kleiner Perkins is to help identify great entreprenuers and companies to invest in to build game changing GreenTech solutions. Kleiner has a broad investment focus in GreenTech.; we work on deals ranging from solar, to biofuels, to batteries, to geothermal, to electric vehicle companies. We not only help identify these great entrepreneurs and companies, we also help build their businesses by being strategic advisors, helping find business partnerships, assisting with negotiations, recruiting executives for them, and a bunch of other supporting functions. We want to have a strong partnership with the companies we invest in. And the second part?
You’ve mentioned before that you are most interested in solar power. What is Kleiner Perkins doing with solar cells? There are a bunch of solar projects going on; new thin film materials, new micro inverter technologies, different software monitoring, even new ways to clean solar panels. The solar industry is very broad and Kleiner is working on a variety of applications here. What do you think the future is for solar technology? The most promising technology is thin-film solar. (First Solar produces at 11% efficiency and is constantly improving.*) It is an exciting technology for all countries; and renewable investments can create jobs and help invigorate economies. (Though countries in Asia and Europe seem most eager.*) What do you think college students can do to become more environmentally friendly? What about the average person?
The second part of my answer is that I also support Al Gore. Al is a partner at Kleiner and we want to make sure all our partners are successful; so I do my best to help Al Gore be successful. That involves working with him on a bunch of his green initiatives, but primarily from a technical perspective. For example, he might be asked to support a new climate bill and there are technology components of the bill that I will help investigate.
There are lots of great programs that college students can take advantage of to get involved with climate issues.* There are also lots of programs that non-students can get involved in to help fight the climate crisis. (Al Gore founded The Climate Project to help educate people on the harmful effects of climate change. These presentations are free for the hosting organization and occur all over the world.*)
So, what’s youre favorite thing you’ve been working on?
By Jessica Metro
From a tech perspective, I’ve been most excited by material science; new materials for solar cells, carbon fiber, ceramics, etc. It’s cool stuff. From a personal perspective, I’ve just really enjoyed the learning opportunities. The GreenTech industry is so broad. There are so many science and business disciplines involved; so every day is a new and different challenge, which is fun.
* Further Reading:
http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/what-really-matters-in-thinfilm-solar-startups/ http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE67A3JK20100811 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/92f19d60-8251-11df-9467-00144feabdc0. html http://www.theclimateproject.org/aboutus.php
Technograph Presents: a Video Game Themed BBQ! Have you ever wondered just how wonderful that reward of cake would have been? Or how delicious a zombie proof salad would be? What does Pac-Man taste every day? Find out all of this and have an awesome time at Technographâ€™s video game themed BBQ on October 3rd! Enjoy plenty of gaming themed food while geeking out with nerds just like you. Weâ€™ll have Portal cake, Plants Vs. Zombies salad, The Sandvich, Pac-Man fruit salad and more! Please bring something to share with the group (with the video game theme of course!) or please make a small donation to help with the cost. Visit www.readtechno.com for details
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