Freescale has developed a specialized chip that could lead to distributed energy sources like miniature solar cells powering indoor thermostats, consumer electronics, and garage door openers.
The chip manufacturer this week at a power electronics conference in Washington, D.C., plans to demonstrate a prototype of a device that can squeeze usable electricity from low-voltage energy sources.
Those energy sources could be a solar cell embedded on an electronic appliance. But the chip could also harvest energy from other low-power sources, like ambient electromagnetic radiation, waste heat, or mechanical motion, said Kevin Parmenter in Freescale's applications engineering
The chip … Read more
The words "free" and "Microsoft" don't often appear in the same sentence, so imagine my surprise at discovering this deal: a free custom domain name, free Web hosting, free e-mail accounts, and more.
As you might expect from the name, Microsoft Office Live Small Business has a decidedly business focus--but that doesn't mean you can't use it for a personal site.
The freebie account includes not only the domain (any available .com, .net, .org, or .info address), but also site-building tools, reporting tools, project and document managers, 100 e-mail addresses, and collaboration-minded online … Read more
Small wind turbines attached to individual homes work fine unless you have lousy wind.
That's the upshot of a multi-site study called the Warwick Microwind Trial project, a year-long survey on the performance of roof-mounted turbines done in the U.K. done by Encraft, a low-carbon technology consulting firm.
The researchers picked 26 sites in the U.K where microturbines tied to the power grid were attached to people's homes to offset their electricity use. Many of the consumers clearly purchased the turbines to lower their fossil fuel energy use as some already had solar panels and ground-source heat pumps. … Read more
There has been much ado about Rackspace's recent "cloud hosting" survey (PDF), in which it finds that small businesses are essentially unaware of services that fit that description.
Specifically, the survey found that more than two-thirds of small businesses (not defined in the survey, unfortunately) have never heard of "cloud hosting."
Several prominent bloggers, the CNET Blog Network's Dave Rosenberg and CloudAve's Krishnan Subramanian among them, have pointed out that the question asked may have courted the response received. To quote Rosenberg:
Not too surprisingly, the majority of SMBs were not aware nor terribly interested in "cloud hosting." I suspect that some of this had to do with the use of the term "cloud hosting" rather than an interest in moving toward hosted applications and infrastructure. I would argue that questions about using "the cloud" versus "cloud hosting" would have come up with a different set of answers.
Good point, but I think that there is more to this story.… Read more
There is one nook (cranny?) in my kitchen that I've always thought about putting a small kitchen island. The additional work space would surely be welcomed. Problem is, the other things that live there would have to be moved, and I'm not entirely sure if I would actually like a kitchen island in that spot. So, I hesitate and the spot stays as is. I don't want to make the commitment to a new piece of furniture that can only fit into one particular space; if it turns out I don't like it, then I'm … Read more
In the minicamcorder market, last year RCA pretty much played second or third fiddle to Flip Video and Kodak, with Creative recently making a late charge. Well, RCA hopes to change all that with its new Small Wonder EZ209HD, which carries the bargain price of $120 and is due out sometime this spring.
This model is smaller and sleeker than previous Small Wonders, integrates a microSD card slot rather than an SD card slot (it accepts microSD cards up to 16GB), and retains a not-too-puny 2-inch LCD. Like the Creative Vado HD, the EZ209HD also incorporates an HDMI output so … Read more
One True Media, the parent company of an online video ad creator called SpotMixer, has announced a fresh $9 million in Series B venture funding. The round was led by DAG Ventures, with contributions from NTT Finance and existing investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Amid widespread financial difficulties (to say the least) in the media business, SpotMixer and its new investors are pitching it as a cost-cutting option for small companies.
"While the market opportunity for video advertising remains well-defined, smaller businesses are more concerned than ever about how to most cost-effectively spend their limited advertising dollars," … Read more
Some new sculptures at Quinnipiac University will soon provide students with more than just eye candy.
The university has hired Mariah Power to install 42 of its silent Windspire wind turbines for the gardens of its York Hill campus in Hamden, Conn., which are currently under construction.
Mariah Power produces small wind turbines in the $4,000-$5,000 range for use in residential and commercial properties.
All together the 42 wind turbines for Quinnipiac should provide about 84,000 kilowatt-hours of power per year to the campus, according to a university statement.
"The Windspire provided both a distinctive … Read more
Yeah, I get it, big displays garner oohs and aahs; but why are big speakers always portrayed as hideous things only an audiophile could love?
Thing is, tiny speakers cheat you out of more than half the experience. On a return-on-investment basis, home audio is more accurate than video. A 50-inch display may be sharp and clear, but it can't approach the majestic scale of a movie theater screen. A decent home theater sound system will blow away most movie theater systems.
How large is a large speaker? For the purpose of this blog, 20-inch high bookshelf speakers with … Read more