Solar Energy

The Economist writes:

Most of the power generated by mankind originates from the sun. It was sunlight that nurtured the early life that became today’s oil, gas and coal. It is the solar heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans that fuels wave power, wind farms and hydroelectric schemes. But using the sun’s energy directly to generate power is rare. Solar cells account for less than 1% of the world’s electricity production.

Kwanghee Lee of Pusan National University, in South Korea, and Alan Heeger of the University of California, Santa Barbara, work on solar cells made of electrically conductive plastics. (Indeed, Dr Heeger won a Nobel prize for discovering that some plastics can be made to conduct electricity.) They found that by adding titanium oxide to such a cell and then baking it in an oven, they could increase the efficiency with which it converted solar energy into electricity.

Web 2.0 Winners

Dan Farber writes about Michael Arrington’s picks:

Winners (got acquired): Writely, del.icio.us, Userplane, Flickr, Weblogs, Inc., Myspace, Bloglines, Truveo, Grouper, Skype, Newroo

Very good bets: Digg, Facebook YouTube, Photobucket, Zoho, Stumble Upon, Popsugar, PlentyofFish, Netvibes.

Ones to watch: Jobster, Riya, Zillow, Flock, Sharpcast, Rocketboom, 1-800-FREE411, oDesk, Second Life, WordPress

Indians as Model Immigrants

Business Week has a commentary by Vivek Wadhwa:

They have funny accents, occasionally dress in strange outfits, and some wear turbans and grow beards, yet Indians have been able to overcome stereotypes to become the U.S.’s most successful immigrant group. Not only are they leaving their mark in the field of technology, but also in real estate, journalism, literature, and entertainment. They run some of the most successful small businesses and lead a few of the largest corporations. Valuable lessons can be learned from their various successes.

TECH TALK: The Now-New-Near Web: EventWeb (Part 5)

Ramesh Jains fifth post puts forth the proposition for the EventWeb.

A fundamental insight brought into the creation of WWW by Sir Tim Barners-Lee was that documents could be linked to each other by creating links explicitly among them. Before that each document on Internet was an independent document. By creating tools and environment so documents could be linked and could be created and accessed easily, he created the Web. The tradition of linking documents explicitly has existed for long time through footnotes, references at the end of articles or books, and by explicitly mentioning other documents in the text. The tradition of creating a link between an article and another one started with concept of hyperlinks. And this was taken to a very different utility level in the Web. These links are created to refer to another document explicitly that is considered relevant in that context. We will call them referential links.

Ultimately the Web is the Web due to links among documents.

EventWeb will be created by creating such explicit links among different events. I believe that the links among events are much stronger in many senses, as discussed in the following, than they are in documents. Links among events are also much more natural than they are in documents. There are implicit relationships among documents of different kinds and techniques for discovering and presenting such links are emerging slowly. The same will happen in case of events. In fact, insights is the result of discovering such links among the myriad events that surround us in all aspects of our life.

The early 1990s saw the DocumentWeb in its infancy. Through successive innovations, it has evolved into this gigantic, instantly searchable library we are familiar with. Similarly, these are the early days of the Now Web. As Ramesh puts it: Many calendar and map oriented techniques that are emerging are reminiscent of Gopher days of document-web when each document was independent and was perceived by us as a document. By creating a web of these documents through referential links, the Web has now entered the Google age where we consider them related and use characteristics of the links among them in organizing, accessing, and evaluating information. Going forward, the links among events will be referential, spatial, temporal, causal, and contextual. Today we are in the Gopher age of EventWeb. Many challenges lie ahead to take us into the Google age of EventWeb.

Tomorrow: The New Web

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