#Headlines, #Science, #ScienceTech, #TechNews, #TheNewz

Mechanics of Dragonfly Larvae Inspire High-Tech Devices


Dragonfly larvae may hold the key to a range of engineering and medical applications, according to new research. Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) examined the jet propulsion system of Anisopteran […]

The post Mechanics of Dragonfly Larvae Inspire High-Tech Devices appeared first on Geek.com.

Source: https://www.geek.com/science/mechanics-of-dragonfly-larvae-inspire-high-tech-devices-1743634/?source

#Headlines, #Police, #random, #Surveillance, #TechNews, #TheNewz

Amazon has been quietly selling its facial recognition system to US police forces, marketing it for bodycam use

Amazon bills its Rekognition image classification system as a “deep learning-based image and video analysis” system; it markets the system to US police forces for use in analyzing security camera footage, including feeds from police officers’ bodycams.

(more…)

Source: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/22/candid-body-camera.html

#AltFuels, #Headlines, #OpEd, #Science, #Solar, #TechNews, #TheNewz

Breakthrough solar panel can harvest power from raindrops — day or night

In a truly remarkable feat of innovation, scientists have figured out how to create “hybrid” solar cells that generate power not just from sunlight but also from raindrops. This means we may soon see all-weather solar panels that work when it is cloudy and even at night, if it’s raining.

Solar has soared in recent years, as panel prices have dropped so fast that solar keeps crushing its own record for the cheapest power “ever, anywhere, by any technology” — even without a subsidy.

But scientists and engineers around the world keep innovating, looking for ways to  make solar panels more efficient and less expensive. Much of this innovation is now coming from China, the world leader in both manufacturing and deployment of solar energy.

For instance, China has developed “double-sided” solar panels that can generate power from light that hits their underside. That can enable a 10 percent boost in output, especially if you put the panels on a roof or other area that is painted white to help reflect the suns rays. Bloomberg New Energy Finance projects these panels could capture a remarkable 40 percent share of the market by 2025.

In another remarkable advance, researchers at China’s Soochow University have demonstrated a solar cell that can generate electricity from falling rain. A recent article in the American Chemical Society’s nanotechnology journal Nano describes the innovation in an article titled “Integrating a Silicon Solar Cell with a Triboelectric Nanogenerator via a Mutual Electrode for Harvesting Energy from Sunlight and Raindrops.” 

<div> 
                        <img width="250" height="398" src="https://thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/two-sided-solar-panel-forecast-bnef.jpg?w=250&amp;h=398&amp;crop=1" alt=""></div> 
                Two sided solar panel forecast<p>The device <span>makes use of a </span><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanogenerator#Triboelectric_nanogenerator">triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG)</a><span>, which converts mechanical energy — motion — into electricity. In this case, the solar cells harvest power from the movement of raindrops that fall on them.  </span></p> 

Since solar panels typically generate only one tenth of their potential output during rain, and virtually nothing at night-time, the advance could address one of the biggest problems facing solar power: its variability.

“Our device can always generate electricity in any daytime weather,” as Soochow’s Baoquan Sun told the UK Guardian. “In addition, this device even provides electricity at night if there is rain.”

Here is a video of the basic principle behind TENG from Georgia Tech Prof. Zhong Lin Wang, whose group first demonstrated this kind of nano generator in 2011:

The potential applications of TENG include generating power from walking and typing. The recent Chinese breakthrough was to figure out how to make it work in a simple and efficient manner for a solar cell.

It could be a while before the technology makes its way into a commercial product for widespread use, though. We are still 3 to 5 years from a prototype according to Sun. He told the Guardian, “the output power efficiency needs to be further improved before practical application.”

But if the technology takes off, we may actually have solar panels that work rain or shine.


Source: https://thinkprogress.org/breakthrough-solar-panel-can-harvest-power-from-raindrops-day-or-night-3a2ce74f9060/

#Congress, #Headlines, #Internet, #NetNeutrality, #ScienceTech, #TechNews, #TheNewz, #Trump

Senate votes to overturn Ajit Pai’s net neutrality repeal

getty-democrats-net-neutrality-1-800x534

Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 09, 2018: Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) speaks during a news conference on a petition to force a vote on net neutrality/ Also pictured are Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). (credit: Getty Images | Zach Gibson)

The US Senate today voted to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules, with all Democrats and three Republicans voting in favor of net neutrality.

The Senate approved a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution that would simply undo the FCC’s December 2017 vote to deregulate the broadband industry. If the CRA is approved by the House and signed by President Trump, Internet service providers would have to continue following rules that prohibit blocking, throttling, and paid prioritization.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has scheduled his repeal to take effect on June 11. If Congress doesn’t act, the net neutrality rules and the FCC’s classification of ISPs as common carriers would be eliminated on that date.

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Source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1309923