Duke University engineers have developed a novel method for producing clean hydrogen, which could prove essential to weaning society off of fossil fuels and their environmental implications.
While hydrogen is ubiquitous in the environment, producing and collecting molecular hydrogen for transportation and industrial uses is expensive and complicated. Just as importantly, a byproduct of most current methods of producing hydrogen is carbon monoxide, which is toxic to humans and animals.
The Duke engineers, using a new catalytic approach, have shown in the laboratory that they can reduce carbon monoxide levels to nearly zero in the presence of hydrogen and the harmless byproducts of carbon dioxide and water. They also demonstrated that they could produce hydrogen by reforming fuel at much lower temperatures than conventional methods, which makes it a more practical option.
Catalysts are agents added to promote chemical reactions. In this case, the catalysts were nanoparticle combinations of gold and iron oxide (rust), but not in the traditional sense. Current methods depend on gold nanoparticles ability to drive the process as the sole catalyst, while the Duke researchers made both the iron oxide and the gold the focus of the catalytic process.
The study appears online in the May issue of the Journal of Catalysis, viewable at sciencedirect.com
Google already allows for conversational search through Android and iOS, as well as on desktops using Chrome. Soon you will be able to search with just voice, across all desktops and laptops running the Chrome browser, without even pushing the microphone button that already exists. Just utter “OK Google” and ask your question. Using the anticipatory knowledge graph Google will give you information based on your vocal search, utilizing “hotwords.”
“OK Google, show me things to do in Santa Cruz,” a person can say when using the new Conversational Search feature. They get back a list of attractions in the town as well nearby places Google thinks should be included.
The voice search will also understand real conversational language, so for example, if you just asked Google for information on “The White House” and then asked how long will it take to get “from here to there,” Google will understand that it will want to find directions to get you from where you are to The White House. Very pronoun friendly.
This hands-free search will be coming to Chrome and Chrome OS.
We now live in a world where public servants informing the public about government behavior or wrongdoing must practice the tradecraft of drug dealers and spies. Otherwise, these informants could get caught in the web of administrations that view George Orwell’s 1984 as an operations manual.
Google unveiled significant new innovation in the world of online photography this morning, continuing their rapid development pace on Google+. All in Google+ pushed out 41 new features today.
Much of the new work is focused on post production photography to make people’s photographs look better than they can straight out of the camera.
Some have suggested that part of Instagram’s success has been their ability to enhance users’ photos with very simple one touch filters. Instagram has focused on a faux film aesthetic which actually highlights the flaws in many photos to give them more of an artistic old school feel. By contrast Google’s easily, and automatically applied post production tools, work to make photos look more vivid, life like and realistic.
By using simple techniques like skin softening, clarity adjustment, smart vignetting, HDR and other enhancements, Google by default now offers an enhanced photo for every photo uploaded by users to Google+. Also with this new tech Google will give you the ability to view the before and after results and decide which you prefer to use. For photographers who do not want their photos altered in any way, these users can turn this default functionality off.
A drone the size of a fighter jet took off from the deck of an American aircraft carrier for the first time Tuesday in a test flight that could open the way for the U.S. to launch unmanned aircraft from just about any place in the world. (May 14)
t turns out that the 2013 World Press Photo of the Year — the largest and most prestigious press photography award — was, in actual fact, a fake.
Here are a few that I like.
A revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
With thanks to Emm Gryner, Joe Corcoran, Andrew Tidby and Evan Hadfield for all their hard work.
Find out more:
I’d like to see more in the form of a full study, but like any other device that emits an EM field it’s not a good idea to put it near your pacemaker. That’s why my cell phone never goes in my shirt pocket anymore.
he research was performed by 14-year-old high school freshman Gianna Chien of Stockton, California and her colleagues. They found that magnetic interference could change the settings and even deactivate the technology of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs).
Chien was helped by her father, a cardiologist. She asked 26 volunteers with ICDs to hold the iPad 2 at reading distance and then, on a separate occasion, to hold the tablets against their chests.
The study showed that magnets imbedded in the iPad 2, as well as its Smart Cover, could interfere and disrupt the workings of ICDs.
Specialized magnets are rooted in the heart devices to allow doctors to adjust their settings on a set schedule. The iPad 2 and its Smart Cover magnets can undermine an ICD’s ability to stabilize sudden rapid heart rates, such as fibrillation and tachycardia.
This danger can happen when a person falls asleep with the tablet sitting on their chest. Of the study participants, 30% had interference with their devices when the iPad2 was placed in that position.
NASA is ready to use an Air Force-developed rocket propellant that can allow spacecraft to fly faster, further and carry a heavier payload than current space propellants.
The agency will test out AF-M315, a new class of propellant, in 2015. AF-M315 is about twice as powerful as existing spacecraft propellants and doesn’t damage the environment, according to Tom Hawkins, of the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Aerospace Systems Directorate. The propellant has been under development for more than 10 years by scientists at the Air Force’s Office of Scientific Research and the AFRL.
Hawkins says the propellant might usher in a new era of space travel.