Solar Power: From Simple to Sophisticated

My neighbor just put up one of those old fashioned clothes lines.  It seemed a bit of an eye sore when I first saw it there, the metal pole holding up a spiderweb-like array in the middle of her lawn.  "The dryer uses a lot of electricity," she explained.  Her simple use of the sun made a lot of sense.  I briefly considered getting one myself – but I knew I’d have trouble actually using it.   Her sheets waving like flags were a salute to the ‘good old days’ when technology was simpler… and perhaps in some ways smarter.  I just read an interesting article on Dailytech.com about the potential use of the sun’s energy (besides solar powered web hosting, of course!).  A group of MIT students have created a solar array that can melt steel! Check it out:

MIT Students Develop Revolutionary Solar Dish That is Hot Enough to Melt Steel

 The solar industry is booming.  With waves of investment and grants, the solar power industry is for the first time becoming a serious business.  New power plants will soon be pumping power out to consumers, while other firms market to sell panels directly to the consumer, providing them with a more direct means of experiencing solar energy.

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There are many forms of solar power technology.  Today the most dominant is photo-voltaics, which comprise the traditional solar panels that come to mind when one thinks of solar power.  However, there are other promising ways of capturing the sun’s energy that are merely less developed. Continue reading “Solar Power: From Simple to Sophisticated”

Tools for Telecommuting

Telecommunting is on the rise for various reasons.  Gas prices, environmental issues, and the affordability of virtual office tools to name a few. I’m constantly on Skype or iChat (two video conferencing tools).  Last week I spent four days in California… virtually.  I literally had Skype on 8 – 10 hours each day, working closely with my employees in Los Angeles.  It took them an hour or so to get comfortable having my ‘Max Headroom’ like presence on the computer screen in the room, but after the initial transition period, it worked surprisingly well.   We could talk in real time, with no annoying delays, and work virtually side by side.  Continue reading “Tools for Telecommuting”