the blog of TECNOPOLIS.EU

an italian forum about Science & Technology (english version coming soon)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

PODCASTING Science & Technology

Dear All,

as some of you already know, PODCAST is one new frontier of
information, alternative to the usual TV and Radio. PODCAST is now
booming thanks to the broad-band Internet.

Whast is PODCAST? A simple explanation:
You choose the content to listen (audio files) or to watch (video
files) and download them from the internet. This content cames from
several different "channels", properly said "pod-casters". They can be
famous newspapers or just indipendent information sources or just
people who made a video or an audio file and want to share it. (to
avoid confusion, "podcasting" implies the act of downloading files,
while "streaming" doesn't --> e.g. Youtube)

You can easily understand how useful the concept of "Podcast" can be
for communicating Science and Technology.

Here three famous scientific "pod-casters", plenty of nice videos and
audio files free to be downloaded. Enjoy!




see you!


Saturday, May 05, 2007


Technorati Profile

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Australia: 150 MW solar power station

Australia plans world's biggest space-age solar power station from

Australia has announced plans to build the world's biggest space-age solar power station as part of a 500 million dollar (375 million US) radical rethink on climate change.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Breakthrough Nanotech: 100Tbyte in 3.5 inch

Breakthrough Nanotechnology Will Bring 100 Terabyte 3.5-inch Digital Data Storage Disks from Have you ever dream of 100 terabyte of data per 3.5-inch disk? New patented innovation nanotechnology from Michael E. Thomas, president of Colossal Storage Corporation, makes it real.

Michael invented and patented the world's first and only concept for non-contact UV photon induced electric field poling of ferroelectric non-linear photonic bandgap crystals, which offers the possibility of controlling and manipulating light within a UV/Deep Blue frequency of 1 nm to 400 nm.

It took him 14 years to find a practical conceptualization that would work to advance the storage industry; 3D Volume Holographic Optical Storage Nanotechnology, for which Michael holds the patents. He was invited to present this fascinating discovery to the National Science Foundation in February 2004.


Friday, September 29, 2006

Asimov docet

Japanese METI - Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is developing guidelines in order to improve safety in robots. Japan is leader in industrial robotics (> 300000 "industrial robots") and also leader in robotics-R&D .
It seems that Asimov´s visions are becaming reality.
Not yet.First these are just guidelines on paper and not laws implemented on circuits..

But let´s take a look at the legendary

Isaac Asimov's three Laws of Robotics (First introduced in his short story "Runaround"-1942!!!)

  1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law
Could this nice robogirl kill you?

Despite "appearance" the most advanced japanese robots are still far away to became "positronic" as imagined from Asimov and implementing in them such laws , I think, remains a challenge.

But maybe they are on the right way..Here some guidelines from Tokyo:

- Emergency shut-off button
- Human-friendly soft body
- Security sensors

Some questions arise:

-Could bad peaple crack a robot pursuing bad scopes?
and once safety will be ok,
-What about social and economical impact of robots?
-Will they steal jobs or improving wealth?
-Will they be accepted or hated?

Best Regards, "R.Daneel" from Baskerville

[ Source: Gadgizer, Kirai, Japan Times and Wikipedia]
[Pictures: Kirai, Delos ]

Intersting links:
(the most advanced Human-Care Robot existing)
Wabian-2 (the most advanced Walking Robot)
3 Laws Unsafe (critic review of the 3 Laws)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

100% clean flying

Altran look strong at challenges.

They want to keep an airplane flying with clean energy sources only.

Good Luck!

more here

Friday, September 01, 2006

Blue tooth Mp3 Player


I was waiting for it since a lot of time..

Why took it so long to develop a music player without cables?

Thursday, August 31, 2006

coal: USA critical source ?

"Coal keeps US economy burning?" that is an interesting article from BBC.

Summary: coal is playing a major role in substaining US economy. It is cheap
(cheaper than Gas and Oil) , based on consolidated technolgy and is used to generate 52% of America's electricity.

Energy operators complain that "supplies are not meeting demand, leaving them low on reserves and Americans potentially exposed to power shortages."

getting the coal to its destination is a massive logistical challenge.

And coal is (at least to date) not clean..

Source [
Rob Cameron - BBC News]

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

coal directly into electricity?

Prof. George M. Whitesides from University of Harvard (
developed a prototype coal fuel cell using a solution of sub-bituminous coal (SBC) partially oxidized by Fe-III.
At 100 deg C, the maximum current density in the cell was 5 A/L and the power density was 0.6 W/L. The cell operated without loss of performance for 1000 hours.

It seems to be a great step forward in reducing the work-temperature for already existent MCFC (Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell) from 600C to 100C. (the main problem connected with high T is corrosion -

More technical details here ( a preprint article) :

I didn't manage to understand whether CO2 is also produced from the electrochemical process.
Someone can help?

See you!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Oil Peak Handbook

Oil peak is going to be reached soon? a good question! If you firmly believe it, you should have a look at this..

From "" (where you can finda lot of detailed info about "oil peak")

What you can do to look after yourself

It does not harm to begin preparing now by limiting the impact the oil decline can have on your life. The key things recommended are

(1) Clear your debts.

(2) Make sure you are multi-skilled to have a chance of employment when the economy starts to buckle.

(3) Have emergency rations on hand in case of a sudden oil shock disrupting oil supplies (remember the fuel protests of 2000?) and also in case of things like Bird Flu – you do not know what could happen.

(4) Begin living as ‘green’ a life as you can as that is basically the low-carbon society we’ll be moving towards. Change your electricity supplier to ecotricity, juice or another green electricity provider. Remember the 3 'Rs' - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. In that order.

(5) If necessary begin to change your expectations – we cannot expect a lifestyle as affluent in 2025 as in 2005.

(6) If you are in your 20s or maybe your 30s it might be worth considering cancelling your pension plan.

(7) Begin forming strong social bonds with friends and family. Oil has allowed us to become a very atomised society – reliance on friends and family will be increasingly important in the years ahead.

(8) If you can, hook your house up with electricity micro-generation, insulate your house and learn gardening!

(9) If you have not had children you will need to weigh up the gamble on whether it will be a benefit or a burden to you.

(10) ENJOY YOURSELF! The party is almost over but it isn’t yet. We live in one of the most exciting times in human history, I suggest you enjoy it!

Peak Oil & You:

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

hand-wrist PC

From Italy a nice invention: Zypad (290 g) the first "hand wrist PC ".

Company producer: Eurotech, based in Udine, North Italy.

Compatible with Windows CE or Linux.
Internal memory (Flash): 64 MB.
Great connectivity: Bluetooth, Wlan, Gsm , peer to peer.

Applications: thought to support logistic (from check-in in airports to police) and business.

more here

[Source: Eurotech, la Repubblica]

Monday, June 12, 2006

the Conference Bike

Dear All,

what about this funny invention? 7 persons as "energy source" for a bike..

it is not a joke and the "Conference Bike" is spreading across Europe

His Inventor, Eric Staller, is a creative designer from Holland.

Well done!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Google catalyst to democracy?

Google´s co-founder Sergey Brin (left side in the photo - the other is Mr. Larry Page,) said this week that the Internet company's self-censorship approach in China should be revised. [IHT]

Google is a model of tecnocracy and progress (at least for me:). I very much appreciate these clever Google-people getting quoted and celebrated form the International Herald Tribune, Political and Financial Institutions besides other "respectable" persons..
I think, THEY really deserve what they achieved.They were and are CREATORS, they really add something to mankind. They definitvely gained a place in history of progress.

Nevertheless, why is Google getting so much criticism? (or Cina-Google:) is "self-censored", that means that if you write combination of words like "
Tiananmen massacre," for example, it shows 826,000 results on, compared with 441 hits on

The problem of politically correct behavior in Cina being a multinational company is quite complex and before getting upset against Google you have to consider other factors:

1) is available in Cina parallel to
Brin said that only 1 percent of Chinese surfers use the censored site. But the .com site is frequently slow and intermittently inaccessible inside China. Interesting would be a comment from Cina..
3) Google is a big notorious company ok, but still remains a company and not an institution.
Google has the holy rights to decide what is the better strategy for him with regard to the law..Why we should make Google guilty if such laws vary from country to country?

Now Brin&Co. press toward democracy..That´s the point! That is to be appreciated!!!
They could not do it at the begin..for me it's easy to is like entering the home someone you don´t know..first of all respect him and his law..

I think China's hard pathway to real democracy is taking some time (as well as from politocracy to tecnocracy all around the world...:) but it is historically unavoidable..and Google could act as a catalyst..

great Google-Guys!!

PS: comment from Cina or Cinese peaple are welcome..

See you..B.

[Source : International Herald Tribune]
[Picture: Google]

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Power of Sun

The major obstacle for spreading solar energy is the low conversion efficiency into electrical power (at the present 10-15%). This together with high energetics cost to build solar systems makes Solar Energy an option with low EROEI and high costs pro KWh.

But the sector is booming for R&D and the convinience of solar power will probably increase in the next 5 years. The target is an increase in efficiency up to 30/40% and EROEI about 10:1

I report here some interesting and promising projects around the world:

- Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) Plants -
"CSP plants use different kinds of mirror configurations to convert the sun's energy into high-temperature heat. The heat energy is then used to generate electricity in a steam generator" -USA Department of Energy
three types of CSP technologies are currently being developed:

CSP 1- Trough Systems - the most successful and cost-effective CSP system design at present.
Take a look at the SEGS system a 330 MW thermal CSP plant based in California:

CSP 2 -dish/engine systems,

CSP3 - power towers/heliostat - array of flat, moveable mirrors to focus the sun's rays upon a collector tower. Energy trasnferred via Liquid Sodium (metal with a high heat capacity, allowing that energy to be stored and drawn off throughout the evening).
A 100 MW Solar Power Tower in South Africa:

- CSP units for direct conversion into electricity (without steam generation)
They concetrate solar energy reflecting it on a small PV cell. The most advanced version used 2 PV cells (one with silicium , one with InGaP) adsorbing diacroic separated radiatiation from the mirror improving efficiency (each PV cell is optimazed for a given spectrum of the source radiation). This project is carried on from Univ. of Ferrara / Physics Dep. and SGS-Future
[ - this source is in Italian]

[Pictures: 1.cristinevadai (USA), 2 ips-solar (USA),3 monsterdesign (korea), 4 sgs-future(Italy)]

Monday, June 05, 2006

EROEI - measure for "real" energy gain

Before review some other issues about energy, I want to highlight the very important concept of:

EROEI: “energy return on energy invested” = Er/Ei

The measurement of EROEI is a valuable tool for really understand the "value"of a potential energy source and make comparison among different energy sources.
This method is more affordable than pure price-comparison because the price for a given energy source can quickly change in one day while the Er, Ei and EROEI change as slow as history do (years or decades).

Let´s try to understand how EROEI works with a classical example: petroleum.

How much energy is there in a liter of gasoline? about 30 MJ (mega joule).
But what about the amount of energy spent in order to get this liter of gasoline?
something about 3 MJ, so that EROEI for petroleum today is 10:1.

But this answer has changed in history: at the begin of 1900 only 0,3 MJ and EROEI for petroleum was 100:1, ten times more!!

This big difference is easily to understand: finding new sources of oil and extracting it is became "energetically" more and more expensive. This is because the size of the oil fields is shrinking, the depth at which oil is being found is growing deeper, and the quality of the oil that is being pumped is decreasing.

Let´s take a look at the EROEI estimates nowadays for the most common energy source (this can vary depending on the technology used):

[source: Energy Bulletin]:

Biodiesel- 3:1
Coal- 1:1 to 10:1
Ethanol- 1.2:1
Natural Gas- 1:1 to 10:1
Hydropower- 10:1
Hydrogen- 0.5:1
Nuclear- 4:1
Oil- 1:1 to 100:1
Oil Sands- 2:1
Solar PV - 1:1 to 10:1
Wind - 3:1 to 20:1

FYI: in order to make an investment it is normally requested EROEI > 1 from a company

see you soon!

[source: a lot of information are taken from this very good article of Dana Visalli from the Energy Bulletin: D.Visalli - D.Visalli - Getting a decent return on your energy investment - En. Bullettin 12 Apr 2006 ]