Friday, September 22, 2006

Goodies from the Tech-files

I grew up in a series of houses warmed by fire. The house I was born in had no power, running water, or gas, so splitting and burning wood was pretty crucial. The place I spent most of my youth we had electricity, but still did most heating by burning wood.

Now they have things like the tech item shown in the picture above: a rotating fireplace which can track your presence and direct warmth to where you are. The chimney meets the fireplace in a rotating collar. The burn chamber itself is semi-sealed so that no annoying smoke or fireplace smell gets into the house. Good grief. From vital source of lifegiving heat to ostentatious non-utility decorative item in one generation. (From: maxblank)

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Britain is looking at an interesting idea in waste-management: billing by the pound. The British plan would set up weight meters in trash cans to measure the amount of refuse each house throws away and bill the owner by the pound. The goal would be to encourage reuse and recycling. The cost would be fairly high since each bin would have to have weight measurement equipment.

In the US such approaches are usually done with on-truck weighing equipment, as most cities have gone to robotic pick up. Several cities are moving this direction and RFID tags to identify trash cans may be the last piece in the puzzle.

Now you just have to worry about your neighbors throwing things in your can.

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And now for something completely different. Japan's Gene Corp is selling the GEN H-4 helicopter built for one. Supposedly they are just $30,000 although as a pilot myself I can't imagine flying around at a couple thousand feet without at least a canopy around me. I also note a distinct lack of space to keep flight logs and path information so that you can keep in proper touch with air traffic control!

If anyone has been on a flight with one of these, drop me a line!




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