Tag Archives: upcoming

Efficient Nanopillar Solar Cells….and Cheap Too…..!!

Nanopillar Solar CellResearchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have made a new kind of solar cell by growing an array of upright nanoscale pillars on aluminum foil. They make bendable solar cells by encapsulating the entire cell inside a transparent, rubbery polymer. The design, the researchers suggest, could lead to solar cells that cost less than conventional silicon photovoltaics.

The nanopillars allow the researchers to use cheaper, lower-quality materials than those used in conventional silicon and thin-film technologies.

So the cost would decrease 10 folds when it will be made on a big scale.

The solar cells are made of uniform 500-nanometer-high pillars of cadmium sulfide embedded in a thin film of cadmium telluride. Both materials are semiconductors used in thin-film solar cells.

In an online Nature Materials paper, it was shown that the cells have an efficiency of about 6 percent in transforming sunlight into electricity as compared to other nano pillars grown with expensive materials which have an efficiency of 2%.

In conventional cells, silicon absorbs light and creates free electrons, which need to get to the electrical circuit before they get trapped at defects or impurities in the material. This requires extremely pure, expensive crystalline silicon to achieve the most efficient photovoltaic devices.

The nanopillar design splits up silicon’s duties: the material surrounding the pillars absorbs light and creates electrons, and the pillars transport them to the electrical circuit. This increases efficiency in two ways. The closely packed pillars trap light between them, helping the surrounding material absorb more. The electrons also have a very short distance to travel through the pillars, so there are fewer chances of their getting trapped at defects. That means you can use low-quality, less expensive materials.

The researchers also intend to try other semiconductor materials for the pillars and surrounding material. The fabrication process is compatible with a wide range of semiconductors, and other combinations could increase the efficiency.

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Firefox 3.5 Launched..What Next…!? Firefox Aims to Unplug Scripting Attacks

The latest version of Firefox(3.5) is here with so many features……namely User Experience, Performance, Security, Customization…..!!

Still there is so much Firefox is looking ahead to……..Here is the most significant one which is up the sleeve…..

The matter of concern is how websites can block code from unknown sources. Here, firefox wants to Unplug Scripting Attacks.

IllustrationSites that rely on user-created content can unwittingly be employed to attack their own users via JavaScript and other common forms of Web code. This security issue, known as cross-site scripting (XSS), can, for example, allow an attacker to access a victim’s account and steal personal data.

Now the makers of the Firefox Web browser plan to adopt a strategy to help block the attacks. The technology, called Content Security Policy (CSP), will let a website’s owner specify what Internet domains are allowed to host the scripts that run on its pages.

XSS attacks have caused numerous headaches, particularly for social networks and Web 2.0 companies, allowing attackers to hijack eBay auctions, for example, and create a worm that caused MySpace users to automatically befriend a user named “Samy.” The core problem is that many sites allow untrusted users to add their own content to pages while Web browsers treat all content returned by a website as coming from the same entity. If the website is trusted, the content created by an unknown user is trusted as well. The issue has been counted as one of the 25 most serious coding problems by the SANS Institute, a training organization for system administrators and programmers.

In many cases, Web companies can hunt down and restrict dangerous user-created content. But because many sites are so big, finding and fixing all vulnerabilities is a time-consuming and difficult task. Moreover, many sites, notably social-networking ones, want to allow their users some leeway to create interesting content.

Mozilla’s CSP will break with Web browsers’ tradition of treating all scripts the same way. Instead, it will require that participating websites put their scripts in separate files and explicitly state which domains are allowed to run the scripts.

An engineer at the Mozilla Foundation, Gervase Markham, championed the idea within the Firefox team and further developed the technology, and noted Web security researcher Jeremiah Grossman publicly called for adoption of the technique. Four years later, Mozilla has committed to implementing the technology.

The new Firefox security feature could help block another form of attack, known as clickjacking, which allows an attacker to trick a user into clicking an unsafe button–for example, initiating a bank transfer when she believes that she is sending an e-mail. However, clickjacking is a problem so pervasive that an opt-in model really doesn’t work, says Hansen.


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Pocket Cellphone Charger

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Product: Fuel-cell recharger

Cost: Initially between $100 and $200; cartridges will cost between $1 and $3.

Company: Lilliputian Systems

Solid-oxide fuel cells can generate electricity using a range of readily available fuels. But because they run very hot–often above 1,000 ºC–they typically require insulation that makes them bulky. A new version employs an insulation technique that keeps the finished device as small as a pack of playing cards. The gadget, which could help keep electronic devices humming on long flights or hikes, runs on cheap butane cartridges; one cartridge packs enough power to recharge a smart phone 20 times. Swap out the cartridge, and it’s ready for 20 more charges. The device is scheduled to go on sale next year.

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Quantum-Dot Lighting – A New age of LED lamps

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Product: Array lamp with Quantum Light optic

Company: Nexxus Lighting, QD Vision

Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are highly efficient, but they can’t directly produce white light. Though a blue LED can be coated with a phosphor that alters some wavelengths to yield a whitish mix, the resulting light has a bluish cast, and some energy is wasted as heat in the process. A new LED lamp avoids this problem by using an optic coated with quantum dots–bits of semiconductor material a few nanometers in diameter. When excited by a light source, the dots radiate light in wavelengths that vary according to their sizes. The optic–coated with dots in specific sizes and ratios–appears orange when the light is off (left) but radiates white light when the underlying blue LED is on (right). The result: LED lamps that are 50 percent more efficient and produce better-quality white light.

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Because the Nexxus Lighting Array lamps with Quantum Light™ are compatible with a standard, screw-in Edison base, they can easily replace incandescent and halogen lamps in existing downlight fixtures. Just in the US, the DoE estimates, the number of down lights and track heads with Edison base lamp installations equal over 139 million in commercial applications and over 262 million in residential lighting applications. Both companies expect that commercial availability of their high efficiency lamps with high color quality will overcome a major barrier to LEDs and will accelerate the penetration of LEDs in the $4 billion U.S. lamp market. The potential impact on the environment could be significant, a full conversion to LEDs of existing downlights and trackheads in the US (approximately 10% of US fixtures) represents an annual savings of more than 35 billion KW hours (nearly $4 billion), which is the equivalent of nearly 6 power plants or more than 60 million barrels of oil per year.

Sources: Nexxus Lighting, QD Vision

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Lithium-sulfur batteries Thrice power storage than that of lithium-ion


A research team from the University of Waterloo has synthesized a prototype of a lithium-sulphur rechargeable battery that, thanks to its peculiar nanoscale structure, can store three times the power of a conventional lithium-ion battery in the same volume while being significantly lighter and potentially cheaper to manufacture.

When it comes to reducing our carbon footprint, a clean, long-lasting rechargeable battery could have enormous benefits in a wide range of applications, from efficient energy storage to clean transportation.

Pros and Cons of lithium-sulfur cells


•Delivers much higher energy densities while reducing the cost of the materials used:

•The composite material synthesized by Nazar’s team can supply as much as 84 percent of the theoretical capacity of sulphur – three times the energy density of lithium transition cathodes. This should account for significantly more efficient batteries which will be lighter as well.

•The basic raw materials for the positive electrode (sulfur and carbon) are very inexpensive.


•In terms of safety, because lithium-sulfur batteries typically employ a negative electrode comprised of metallic lithium, there could be safety concerns if the electrode is not adequately protected by a passivating layer. However, the research team seems optimistic that this won’t be impossible to overcome.

•The costs associated with processing, electrolyte, fabrication, etc could be high, still that is highly dependent on the optimization of the materials and the battery configuration.

•Capacity fading can be more of an issue, along with lower volumetric energy and those need to be tackled more fully.


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Forget Youtube…Here comes Wikipedia with Videos….!!

The Wikimedia Foundation plans to launch an editable, video encyclopedia to complement its text-based online encyclopedia. Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has grown at an astounding rate, with about 65 million visits per month and thousands of volunteer contributors writing, adding to and editing thousands of articles every day. In a multimedia age, adding video hopes to take Wikipedia to a new level.

The aim is to revolutionize the existing site by allowing open-source video to be accessible to the general public. The company hopes to be ready for the launch in the next few months.

So how will it work? When Wikipedia contributors begin to edit an article, they will discover a new Add Media button, which will allow them to access an interface, select a video clip from three repositories, containing copyright-free material, and drag it into the article. No video-editing software is required. The video clip will then be embedded in the article and will appear to the viewer as a “clickable” video clip.

In the future, users may also be able to be import video content directly from the web, and the content may be able to be edited within or added to the Wikipedia website.

At first, the videos will be sourced from three repositories: the Internet Archive; Wikimedia Commons, which is maintained by the Wikimedia Foundation; and Metavid. The Metavid repository contains videos of Congressional hearings and speeches. Some of the videos include closed-captioning text. In the future, this text will serve as a tagging system and will assist Wikipedia users to search for particular words or phrases and then import a certain section of a speech into an article.

The project is being partly funded by the Mozilla Foundation, creators of the open-source Firefox browser, which insists that all video imported onto its pages be open-source. The Wikimedia Foundation hopes that video content providers will allow their material to be available in the public domain, motivated by the exposure Wikipedia offers.

The project will also involve the development of web tools to enable users to easily edit and transfer video content, without having to deal with file conversions.


A snapshot of the upcoming Video-Wikipedia

A snapshot of the upcoming Video-Wikipedia

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Touch Sight

Touch Sight is a digital camera for visually impaired people. Easy to use, it includes a unique feature which records sound for three seconds after pressing the shutter button. The user can then use the sound as reference when reviewing and managing the photos. Touch Sight does not have an LCD but instead has a lightweight, flexible Braille display sheet which displays a 3D image by embossing the surface, allowing the user to touch the image. The sound file and picture document combine to become a touchable photo that is saved in the device and can be uploaded to share with others–and downloaded to other Touch Sight cameras.

Design: Samsung Design (China)

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Dyson Human Energy Harvesting Bracelet

Dyson Energy Bracelet is a gadget that uses Seebeck effect to harness energy and power your mobile phones for a few precious minutes more, when you desperately need it. Lemme explain a bit: The thermoelectric effect is the direct conversion of temperature differences to electric voltage and vice versa. This typically includes three separately identified effects, the Seebeck effect, the Peltier effect, and the Thomson effect. This is coz three different guys discovered it around the same time, however Peltier–Seebeck and Thomson effects are reversible and Joule heating is not.

The designers explain:

Thanks to the Seebeck effect, the temperature difference between the surface which touch the skin and the other which is in the ambient air allows to produce electricity that is stocked in a battery. When the user needs to recharge a mobile device, he plugs it into the Dyson Energy through a micro-USB port (universal connector imposed to constructors in 2012) and can have some additional minutes in use.

Firstly, we have tested the Peltier element in its most common use: i.e. the creation of heat and coldness on the same component (Seebeck effect), and we have noticed that there was electricity production. We have met an engineer who allowed us to evolve on our project while explaining us that there was not possible to plug the elements serially. Therefore, we chose to work with only one element. As a result of many calculations, we have validated this technology payoff regarding our concept. For instance, some hours are sufficient to power its cellphone for a dozen minutes of communication.

Designers: Mathieu Servais, Camille Lefer, Clément Faydi & Mickaël Denié

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