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Posts Tagged ‘energy’

Is This The Birth Of Limitless Power?

June 1st, 2009

laser1_wideweb__470x3490Dr. Evil would be proud.

The Mike Myers character always dreamed of sharks equipped with laser beams. The Lawrence Livermore Lab’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) may make laser-tipped great whites look like exotic gold fish.

NIF is strapping 192 lasers together with 60 miles of mirrors and fiber optics, crystals and light amplifiers to zap a tiny bit of hydrogen. But, theoretically, the intense blast of light energy with create fusion, turning the hydrogen into helium and release a lot of energy.

How much energy? Say this with your pinky finger next to your mouth, Dr. Evil style, to get the full effect–5 trillion watts of energy! That’s 1,000 times more energy that the U.S. makes in a year.

And, if it’s successful, it should be enough to totally destroy the energy cartels that currently hold a stranglehold over the world’s development.

I’m not surprised. Here’s why.

Read more…

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Top Investing Mistake #14: Not Managing your Effort

May 22nd, 2009

For some people, money is everything. They are great at tracking their spending, know their net worth, and always get the best prices when they shop. These people are great at managing their money, and don’t waste a dime.

Then, there are other people who are great at managing their time. They are always finding ways to get more things done faster. They never waste time sitting in traffic, and make sure their meetings are quick and productive. These people understand how valuable their time is.

What could be more valuable than our time?

Read more…

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Ways to Create Value with Our Time

March 17th, 2009

In a previous post, 7 reasons Why Saving Money Makes You Poor: Reason #6, I talked about how it’s easy to waste a lot of time for a very small financial return. For example, some people will drive an extra 30 minutes to save a few dollars gas. Or, sometimes people take a job that requires hours communing and they don’t think about the time, energy and frustration that will be required just to get to work.

Those are some poor uses of our time. So that got me thinking.

What are some great uses of our time?

Probably for many of the people reading this, writing in your blog is one of the best things they can do with their time. Blogs are awesome because they let us create value for a large audience and even generate revenue at the same time. It seems that most of the people who post comments on this blog have a blog of their own. Chances are you’re probably well aware of all the benefits!

Read more…

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More Good News in a Bad Economy

March 16th, 2009

It seems that the economy is the number one topic of discussion these days. Most people are blaming it for all of their financial problems. The news is full of stories about the negative effects of the terrible economy such as foreclosures and layoffs.

Maybe we are just die hard are optimists, but I noticed that my previous post entitled Falling Prices are the Bright Side of a Bad Economy was quite popular. So here are more reasons why the bad economy is actually good for us.

One reason that I touched upon in the previous post is the falling price of oil and gasoline. Not only does it make life easy for us at the pump, but it has a cascading effect throughout the economy. Most of the things that we consume are physical, and therefore require energy to be delivered to us. When oil prices are high, it costs more money to ship everything. And these cost increases can be seen in every physical product that we consume. It includes drinks, food, books, computers, and even cars. The good news is that as the cost of crude oil falls, the price of most of the other items in the economy falls as well.

Read more…

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Solar Ventures Might Usher In An Energy Revolution

March 3rd, 2009

Solar Ventures

Prosperity requires three things: ideas, technology and energy.

Two big solar ventures were announced recently and they address all three. (I follow most of these tech stories through Kurzweil AI newsletter.)

Here are two developments that have life-changing, if not Singularity-beckoning, possibilities, if they’re successful:

Space Energy Inc. said it can make a viable Spaced-based Energy System available in a decade. A system like this draws in unblocked solar energy from space and then beams it to receiving stations on earth. It’s been the dream of numerous sci-fi and space adventurers.

Peter Sage, of Space Energy Inc. said this:

“Although it’s a very grandiose vision, it makes total sense,” Sage told Universe Today. “This is an inevitable technology; it’s going to happen. If we can put solar panels in space where the sun shines 24 hours a day, if we have a safe way of transmitting the energy to Earth and broadcasting it anywhere, that is a serious game changer.”

A second revolution is a new solar collector and concentrator that is cheaper than similar models. The new design is the latest brainchild from Morgan Solar.

The key, according to the article in Technology Review is that “Unlike existing designs, there’s no need for mirrors, complex optics, or chemicals to trap and manipulate the light.”

“It’s pure geometric optics,” says Nicolas Morgan, director of business development at Toronto-based Morgan Solar.

I may be a little skeptical now, but it’s just a matter of time before one of these breakthroughs, or a totally new innovation succeeds in creating wide-spread, inexpensive energy.

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7 Reasons Why Saving Money Makes You Poor: Reason #1

February 15th, 2009

The conventional wisdom passed down through the ages says that we should save money to become rich. Most financial advisors suggest that we must spend less money than we make, and investing the difference will make us enough money to retire. The average working person spends their whole life in an office or factory, tries to save a little bit of money each month for 40 years, and then hopes to retire. That’s the common sense and simple way to get rich. However, it’s totally wrong.

I have a friend who’s in his 40′s now, and has been working since he graduated from a well respected college. He works hard, six days a week from 10 in the morning till 10 at night. He takes the subway every day, and is well-liked by his colleagues. He saves several hundred dollars a month. There’s only one problem: if he continues going down the same road, he’ll have to work until the day he dies. His savings of $20,000 or $30,000 will not be enough to support him. It’s a sad story, and very common.

How would you feel if you wasted your whole life working for someone else, only to discover at the end that you didn’t have enough money to retire? Wouldn’t that be a wasted life? How would it feel to know that you’ve spent your whole life working and saving, and have nothing significant to show for it?

In my friend’s case, he is poor in more ways than one. He has almost no money, and in addition he has almost no free time. He doesn’t have a wife or children, but if he did he wouldn’t have much time for them. As it stands now, he doesn’t have enough time to spend with his girlfriend or his friends.

Reason #1: Being Rich or Poor has Little to do with Money.

Being rich is not just about having a lot of money. Being rich is about having the resources to do what is important to you each day. Being rich is about having the time and energy to spend with your family. Being rich is about having friends, relationships and things of value in our lives, and not just money. Don’t you think that a life empty of love, relationships and happiness is poor, no matter how much money is in it?

I recently read a story about a top executive at Sony Corporation, who was making $900,000 per year. He works all the time, has terrible relationships in his life, and wastes most of his income on stuff that did not make him happy. He lost the remainder of his sizable income in bad investments. Do you think he’s rich?

Being rich or poor is not about the amount of money we have. You are rich when you have the time, energy, and enough money to do what you really enjoy. You are rich when you spend time with family and friends that you love. People who are poor are severely lacking in one or more of these areas.

The problem with saving money is that it does not give us the resources to do what we enjoy. Saving a few dollars will increase the money in our wallet by a few dollars. However, it will not free us from working in a job that we hate. A few dollars is not enough to help someone less fortunate in a significant way. A few dollars is not enough to help a good cause for society.

Go to 7 Reasons Why Saving Money Makes You Poor: Reason #2

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What’s The Spin On Quantum Dots

February 4th, 2009

Quantum Dots

Quantum dots are essentially semiconductors that have an enormous control over electrons. This ability to control electrons just took a new dramatic leap forward when the National Institute of Nanotechnology at the University of Alberta announced that they created the smallest quantum dot.

Previously, quantum dots could only be used in low temperature settings; this new technology does not.

This is how the invention is described at Science Daily:

Often referred to as artificial atoms, quantum dots have previously ranged in size from 2-10 nanometers in diameter.  While typically composed of several thousand atoms, all the atoms pool their electrons to “sing with one voice”, that is, the electrons are shared and coordinated as if there is only one atomic nucleus at the centre.  That property enables numerous revolutionary schemes for electronic devices

What does this mean in a practical, dollars and cents, terms. It means that quantum dot revolution could be at a tipping point. If so it means the following innovations could get a boost:

  • Quantum information processing (quantum computing)
  • Better solar cells
  • More energy-efficient electronics
  • Medical markers
  • Improved light emitting devices

Most of these innovations address the underlying fundamentals that will pave the way to the Singularity: energy and information processing. Whether quantum dot technology promotes this type of functions, remains to be seen. But, each quantum spin of the wheel draws us closer to our destination.

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Distributing The Energy Revolution

December 26th, 2008

What if you had a party and didn’t send out invitations.

Well, you would either get really bored… or, maybe, really drunk, depending on what type of party you were having.

The same thing might happen with the new energy technology party that is just getting underway. New energy technology–whether its wind, solar, wave, nuclear, etc.–is useless if it can’t be distributed, as the Technology Review points out.

The key will be creating an improved grid that can handle the distribution of this power. But, according to others, improving the grid is just using an old answer to a new question. The grid is about energy distribution… what if we didn’t need to distribute anything?

In other words, if solar energy becomes super efficient and super cheap in the future and if batteries become more efficient in storing excess energy, wouldn’t it be logical to assume that people could create and consume the energy they collected themselves? People could still use the grid to sell back the energy they don’t use as an emergency source of energy and to run industrial operations.

I’d like to hear what my friend at Power and Control blog has to say on this…

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Infinite Power to Create Infinite Abundance

August 13th, 2008

Infinite power to create infinite abundance?

Well, it’s a little too early for overstatements like that, but the seeds are definitely being sown for a dramatic change in power-generation.

According to news from the Idaho National Laboratory, flexibile nanoantennas are being created to gather solar energy even when the sun isn’t out. How can you get power from the sun, when it’s a half a world away, or covered up by clouds?Old Solar Cell

Simple. This device gathers energy in the infrared bandwidth. Most solar cells get energy from a very narrow band of visible light. Even when the sun is not shining, the earth is still radiating infrared energy.

The nanoatenna can also be mass produced, which means the costs will be much lower than current solar technology.

These cells can collect enough power in a few meters that will power a typical home for a day. Interestingly, infrared is only a thin band of energy. One day, it will be possible to tap into the entire wavelength of solar energy, creating an unlimited power supply.

Is it all good news? Mr. Schrumpeter would say, it never is. This kind of technology has the possibility of decentralizing our electrical utilities. The grid may be changed forever.

The only hurdle for scientists to master is to develop a way to convert the power these nanoantennas collect into real energy.

And it won’t be long.

For more information on how the economy of scarcity will be overcome by the economy of abundance, check out Online Investing AI.

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