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Parked electric cars earn $1 530 feeding power grids in Europe and help balance the grid

Posted on: Mon, 2017-08-14 - 21:37 By: danie

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Parked electric cars earn $1 530 feeding power grids in Europe and help balance the grid

A year-long trial in Denmark is showing that utilities can use parked electric vehicles (EVs) as spare batteries, and those EVs can earn quite a bit of money for their owners from the utilities.

In an interview with Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Nissan Europe’s director of energy services, Francisco Carranza, said that a fleet of 10 Nissan e-NV200 vans has earned €1,300 ($1,530) over the year.

Electricity grids around the world are facing an era of rapid change as more electric vehicles hit the road and as grid supply changes. For grid managers, sometimes small amounts of power are necessary to regulate current frequency and keep the grid working. At the same time, if a lot of electric vehicles draw power from the grid concurrently (for example, when they’re parked at home at night, or when they’re parked at work during the day), that threatens to change how grid operators plan to meet demand, as well.

Researchers and grid managers have theorized that vehicle-to-grid connections could help solve some of these problems. By installing two-way connections where an EV could charge its battery and send power back to the grid when it’s needed, an electric car battery increases its value and makes electricity infrastructure more stable.

My note: There are more and more reasons why older grids need to get with the times to cater for new consumer demand as well as renewable energy generation.

See https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/08/parked-electric-cars-are-earning-money-balancing-the-grid-in-denmark/

Parked electric cars are earning money balancing the grid in Denmark
Vehicle-to-grid system could offer frequency response, incentivize electric ownership.

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Handheld spectral analyzer turns smartphone into medical diagnostic tool

Posted on: Mon, 2017-08-14 - 20:32 By: danie

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Handheld spectral analyzer turns smartphone into medical diagnostic tool

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments. Costing only $550, the spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity (TRI)-Analyzer from Bioengineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Brian Cunningham’s lab attaches to a smartphone and analyzes patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars.

“Our TRI Analyzer is like the Swiss Army knife of biosensing,” said Cunningham, the Donald Biggar Willett Professor of Engineering and director of the Micro + Nanotechnology Lab at Illinois. “It’s capable of performing the three most common types of tests in medical diagnostics, so in practice, thousands of already-developed tests could be adapted to it.”

In addition to its applications in health diagnostics, Cunningham said the TRI Analyzer can also be applied to point-of use applications that include animal health, environmental monitoring, drug testing, manufacturing quality control, and food safety. The patented technology is available for license.

A paper describing the results in detail, entitled “Multimode smartphone biosensing: the transmission, reflection, and intensity spectral TRI Analyzer,” will be published in an upcoming issue of Lab on a Chip, but is currently available online. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation.

See http://bioengineering.illinois.edu/news/article/23435

Handheld spectral analyzer turns smartphone into diagnostic tool

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A Quicker Way To Break In A Boar Brush

Posted on: Mon, 2017-08-14 - 17:18 By: danie

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A Quicker Way To Break In A Boar Brush

Do you have a new boar hair shave brush? Boar hair shaving brushes actually work pretty well...after they're broken in. But some of them take forever to break in! Here's a short cut.

I still prefer a boar hair brush over the silver tip badger brushes I've tried as I like the stiffer backbone, especially with harder shaving soaps. But a new boar hair brush does not hold its water well and is a bit prickly until it is broken in.

Watch the video which explains it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5PfectrnxU&feature=push-u&attr_tag=fD1HC4jSTNf1Sim8-6

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The Corruption of Academic Medicine

Posted on: Sun, 2017-08-13 - 23:24 By: danie

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The Corruption of Academic Medicine

Many doctors are genuinely puzzled why much of the general public does not trust what they say. For example, there’s the GOOP story. Gwyneth Paltrow sells lots of scientifically iffy wellness products on her website, and there’s many doctors and ‘health professionals’ frothing at the mouth trying to ‘debunk’ her theories. But, in the end, GOOP is selling millions of dollars of product. The public has voted with its money, and it chooses Gwyneth over the doctors. Why?

Many doctors blame ignorance and the media for these phenomena, but this is simply a patronizing attitude. The truth is this. Many people simply do not believe doctors any more.

But why? The answer is $$$$. Simply, the public does not trust doctors because they know that many doctors, especially those in academic medicine and the universities are on the take. A terrific study from Dr. Vinay Prasad (see http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(17)30319-1/abstract) illustrates the problem precisely. He reviewed 37 ‘expert’ physicians who spoke on behalf of drug companies. Not surprisingly, they were all getting significant amounts of money from Big Pharma – a median of $39,316. These were not simply run-of-the-mill doctors either.

There is a clear correlation between the number of articles they had written (or been cited) and the amount of money received. This means that these ‘experts’ are those professors and doctors at all the best universities all over the world. These are the doctors that lecture other doctors and medical students. In general, the more prominent a physician, the more money he/she is taking from industry.

And the same goes for IT research where you have to ask if it is research being funded by a specific company, who then gets to define the scope of the research. It's just that we don't tend to hold IT research houses to the same high levels of ethics as doctors.

See https://www.dietdoctor.com/corruption-academic-medicine

The Corruption of Academic Medicine - Diet Doctor
Many doctors are genuinely puzzled why much of the general public does not trust what they say. For example, there’s the GOOP story. Gwyneth Paltrow sells lots of scientifically iffy wellness products on her website, and there’s many doctors and ‘health professionals’ frothing at the mouth trying to ‘debunk’ her theories. But, in the end,...

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Google's Pixel camera software has been made to work on other recent Android phones

Posted on: Sun, 2017-08-13 - 21:14 By: danie

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Google's Pixel camera software has been made to work on other recent Android phones

We’re big fans of the Google Pixel’s camera, which uses some complex software to take its fantastic images. A Ukrainian app developer has found a way to port that software to any device that uses a Snapdragon 820/821 or 835 processor, so users can take their own HDR+ pictures without the Google Pixel.

The developer, who goes by the name B-S-G, posted up a modified version of Google Camera, which brings the HDR+ image processing to any device with a Snapdragon 820/81 or 835 processor. XDA writer Adam Conway reports that he tested the revised app on a variety of devices — an LG G6, a OnePlus 3, a OnePlus 3T, a OnePlus 5, and a Samsung Galaxy S8 — and found some real improvements with the resulting images.

XDA also looked at the code to make sure that there wasn’t anything malicious in it, and proclaimed it safe to install.

See https://www.theverge.com/2017/8/12/16138640/google-camera-hdr-plus-ported-hexagon-680-processor-android. The app is at https://www.androidfilehost.com/?fid=889764386195922284.

Google's Pixel camera software has been made to work on other recent Android phones
We’re big fans of the Google Pixel’s camera, which uses some complex software to take its fantastic images. A Ukrainian app developer has found a way to port that software to any device that uses a...

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Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey - Saying goodbye to a friend, the Irish way - over 1 million views

Posted on: Sun, 2017-08-13 - 20:12 By: danie

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Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey - Saying goodbye to a friend, the Irish way - over 1 million views

If I ever die one day I think my friends can do this for me. Sit down with a damn good bottle of whiskey (or two) in the rain in a churchyard and be happy...

This is the next whiskey I'm planning to buy, as we intend to travel past their distillery in Ireland in about two or three years time (about 10km South of the Kilbeggan Whiskey museum). Here's a video review of Tullamore Dew whiskey itself at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bFDuPURVxvg.

See the video ad at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h81oiF7VIOw

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Dig Into Nearly 30 Years of Free Classic Science Fiction

Posted on: Sun, 2017-08-13 - 00:23 By: danie

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Dig Into Nearly 30 Years of Free Classic Science Fiction

If you’re a fan of classic science fiction from the likes of Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein, you’re in luck. Archive.org now has a massive collection of the magazine Galaxy Science Fiction for you to peruse for free.

The collection has over 350 issues spanning from 1950 to 1976, and even includes an early version of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, The Fireman, as well as Isaac Asimov’s The Caves of Steel, and Afred Bester’s The Stars My Destination.

See http://lifehacker.com/dig-into-nearly-30-years-of-free-classic-science-fictio-1797738492

Dig Into Nearly 30 Years of Free Classic Science Fiction
If you’re a fan of classic science fiction from the likes of Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Robert A. Heinlein, you’re in luck. Archive.org now has a massive collection of the magazine Galaxy Science Fiction for you to peruse for free.

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Replaced the battery in my Google Nexus 6P phone

Posted on: Sat, 2017-08-12 - 23:21 By: danie

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Replaced the battery in my Google Nexus 6P phone

I had hit the dreaded battery issue with my Nexus 6P earlier this year where it would just shut down on 30% battery. It still got me through the whole day but there was no reserve if I had to do a lot of calls etc. Many others had experienced this issue and I decided to replace the battery rather than enter the fray between Google and Huawei as to who accepts liability for it. There is no quick replacement battery that you can pop in, so you have to order a battery and then prise your phone open to do the job.

So after watching the video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spz9S5aIiJg&index=1&list=PLdSTEdM8Pkf0KIqekT-bsiIv2hgK38_7O&t=300s I set to work with my heat gun and set of iFixit tools. The job took me just about an hour to finish. It all seems to be working fine but I need to let it do a few charge cycles before I know for sure.

Lessons learnt:
1. Need a very thin metal blade to lift the two back covers - all the iFixit tools are a bit thicker so I wasted about 10 mins until I found a Stanley knife.
2. Take note of which way the SIM card goes in - I reassembled with it upside down and was so sure it was correct, I spent a while thinking I had damaged something (it's a nano SIM that I cut myself so orientation is also not so easy to figure out).

Otherwise everything went as expected. Funny thing is I usually find when I reassemble engines or gadgets I have a screw or two left over.... this was the opposite because when I took off one cover I only saw 3 screws in place of 4 (one hole was empty) but lo and behold when I re-assembled it there was the 4th screw all ready for use! Other screws were also quite loose so this job at leats sorted that out too.

Photos at https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNHLt5W_mklh4_AJwZDVLZulz1z4SO-EBopw-ljNmsM79c7HmVICQxk3GMC3dRmNw?key=cnZtdUpnWGk2cDAxSzFNSFJiY0JvTVBvaFdYQ0xn

Nexus 6P Battery Replacement
4 new photos · Album by Danie van der Merwe

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Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) arrived today

Posted on: Sat, 2017-08-12 - 13:54 By: danie

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) arrived today

Took only a few minutes to install. Shows pressure and temperature for each tyre. I had to opt for a solar powered model in the end as all four USB ports are already in use in my car.

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Hundreds of Canadian Doctors Demand an End to the Low-Fat Nutrition Dogma

Posted on: Fri, 2017-08-11 - 09:22 By: danie

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Hundreds of Canadian Doctors Demand an End to the Low-Fat Nutrition Dogma

It’s time for an end to the low-fat nutrition dogma. It’s time to change the official dietary guidelines that have failed to prevent – and may even have exacerbated – epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

More and more people realize what needs to be done, and now hundreds of Canadian physicians demand a change via an open letter, signed by 717 physicians and other health professionals.

This is an update to an earlier demand, featuring several times more people signing it. There’s also a new rebuttal of arguments (https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8jdVsC8-uKEZXJIamZ4TUIwOTQ/view?usp=sharing) against changing the guidelines.

More details and links at https://www.dietdoctor.com/hundreds-canadian-doctors-demand-end-low-fat-nutrition-dogma

Hundreds of Canadian Doctors Demand an End to the Low-Fat Nutrition Dogma - Diet Doctor
It’s time for an end to the low-fat nutrition dogma. It’s time to change the official dietary guidelines that have failed to prevent – and may even have exacerbated – epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes. More and more people realize what needs to be done, and now hundreds of Canadian physicians demand a...

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