Apple Science & Physics Technology

Tech’ news in brief…

Windmills in the Sky:

“Australian engineer Bryan Roberts wants to build a power station in the sky — a cluster of flying windmills soaring 15,000 feet in the air — but is having trouble raising enough money to get the project off the ground.

After 25 years of research, Roberts has designed a helicopter-like rotorcraft to hoist a wind turbine high into the air, where winds are persistent and strong. The craft, which is powered by its own electricity and can stay aloft for months, feeds electricity to the ground through a cable.” Read more…

OS X 10.4 ‘Tiger’ close to launch:

The ‘Net is abuzz with rumours of the impending launch of the new operating system from Apple. More so when there seems to have been a sneak release at the FOSE expo this past couple of days.

Sparing you the salesman-like patter, it’s the Mac user interface sat atop Unix. It’s rock solid, it’ll run just about any Unix or Linux Command Line Interface application you throw at it. You can run PHP, C, C++, Perl, Ruby, Python, MySQL, PostGre SQL .. you name it. And it’s no slouch, either.

But, I can’t just go and update my computer, I’ve got to plan the process into my schedule.

For those not in the know, browse on over to the OS X website to see some of the feature presentations. What with Spotlight and Automator, I’m pretty sure my productivity is going to see an upturn of sorts.

And as for Dashboard .. what can I say?

Linux versus XP on the desktop: Reg readers speak:

“A survey of Register readers, carried out by analysts Quocirca, reveals you love Linux on the desktop, but you love Windows XP too.

Almost half the companies surveyed had deployed Linux on the desktop to some extent, with 43 per cent having at least some fully deployed Linux desktops. Another 24 per cent are experimenting with Linux, leaving 33 per cent using only Microsoft operating systems.” Read more…

By Wayne Smallman

Wayne is the man behind the Blah, Blah! Technology website, and the creator of the Under Cloud, a digital research assistant for journalists and academics.

6 replies on “Tech’ news in brief…”

The high altitude winds will put a lot of stress on the cables that will tie the craft to the ground. That might be a problem!

Also, 15,000 feet means he would need permission from FAA (or its equivalent)… also, if the cable snaps, it can be a real hazard.

I agree with sray – the cables snapping could be a hazard …. not to mention a lawsuit in the making.

Hi Jack and thanks for commenting!

I think the whole idea is going to struggle to get off the ground, in a very literal sense.

C’mon Sray, what’s the deal with this magnetic resonance .. or something like that?

You can buy computer mice that have neither cable nor battery and take their power directly from the mouse mat they scoot around on.

Couldn’t that be scaled up and as a means of transmitting energy?

I know that research has been put into transmitting power via highly-focused lasers and with only a gradual loss of energy…

When you move a magnet through an electric coil, electricity is generated in the coil. This simple thing is responsible for all things from transformers to motors and MRI machines. The current in the coil is known as ‘induced current’.

Now imagine that your mousepad has a magnet in it, and your mouse has a electric coil. As you move the mouse, the induced current strength depends on how fast and far you moved the mouse. If you have two perpendicular coils, you can thus measure both the x and y motions.

“Couldn’t that be scaled up and as a means of transmitting energy?”

No. The coil has to be very close to the magnets, and the current induced is due to the magnetic field of the magnet, who strength decreases proportional to the square of distance! As the coil is taken far from the magnet (in this case, the mousepad), the induced current decreases dramatically.

Lsaers, yes. But that is a totally different thing. Also, you have to use a laser that is not absorbed/deflected by the atmosphere.

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