Self-cleaning Surfaces Take the Lotus Position

first_imgPhotovoltaic cells and microelectromechanical systems have a problem: they collect dirt.  What to do?  Look to the lotus, says a EurekAlert article about research at Georgia Institute of Technology.  Dr. C. P. Wong and team took inspiration from the self-cleaning surfaces of lotus leaves.  “Despite growing in muddy conditions, the leaves and flowers remain clean because their surfaces are composed of micron- and nano-scale structures that –along with a waxy coating –prevent dirt and water from adhering,” the article says.  “Despite their unusual surface properties, the rough surfaces allow photosynthesis to continue in the leaves.”    Rain just beads up when it hits these amazing leaves, and any dirt gets carried off with the water as it rolls off.  How does it do this?  “The plant’s ability to repel water and dirt results from an unusual combination of a superhydrophobic (water-repelling) surface and a combination of micron-scale hills and valleys and nanometer-scale waxy bumps that create rough surfaces that don’t give water or dirt a chance to adhere.”    It took awhile to find a material that could mimic these properties and also survive UV radiation in sunlight.  They found a working prototype in “a combination of silicone, fluorocarbons, and inorganics such as titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide.”  While lacking the self-regenerating properties of the lotus leaf, this surface mimics the structural properties that prevent water droplets from adhering.  This could be a real boon for those large insulators on power poles that are difficult to clean, but can short out with dust accumulation.  Another application could save your life some day.  Lotus-imitative materials could be used by doctors to avoid clots from forming on prosthetic devices, such as stents.  Even when rushing to the hospital in the rain, you may not need windshield wipers if you have lotus-like glass installed (see 01/18/2005 and 10/27/2004 entries).    Dr. Wong commented, “The lotus plant is yet another example of how researchers can learn surprising lessons from what Nature has provided.”Articles like this typically fail to mention anything about evolution.  This was no exception.  One could argue that research like this is owned and operated, from conception to application, by intelligent design, inc.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Today I woke up..

first_img…in a country that said, “be who you want to be.” Zanele Situ, Nelson Mandela, ‘Baby Jake’ Matlala, Natalie du Toit, Joel Stransky, Johnny Clegg and Sipho Mchunu are among the New South African heroes who woke up to a country Alive with Possibility. Click arrow to play video.last_img

LinkedIn Plots Your Professional Network with InMaps

first_imgRelated Posts mike melanson When you create your map, you’ll see different sections of dots (each one a person) in different colors. The colors represent different groups, according to associations. The larger the dot, the more connected that person is with others in your network. In my network, for example, ReadWriteWeb editor Abraham Hyatt appears to be the glue between many of my ReadWriteWeb colleagues. In another section of the graph, a former journalism professor is the common denominator. As Ali Imam, senior data scientist at LinkedIn, explains in the blog post, this sort of visualized data can be useful for making connections and filling in holes in your professional social graph:You can use those insights to measure your own impact or influence, or create opportunities for someone else. So, you might see two distinct groups that you could introduce to become one. Or, you might leverage one person to connect them to someone else. See an area that doesn’t look like it is representative of your professional world? Fix it by adding the necessary connections.To access your own map, visit – though you need to have 50 connections and 75% of your profile complete to access the feature. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting LinkedIn, the career-minded social network, unveiled a new feature today that helps users to visualize and interact with their professional network. Called “InMaps“, the feature provides an interactive visual representation of your professional network, helping you to see who you are connected to and how they are connected with each other.Are you highly involved in a few specific sectors? Or do you move about professional circles like a nomad? InMaps lays it all out for you to see. Tags:#Visualization#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How experienced buyers can mitigate economic bubbles

first_img More information: Retrading, production, and asset market performance. PNAS 2015 ; published ahead of print November 9, 2015, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1517038112AbstractPrior studies have shown that traders quickly converge to the price–quantity equilibrium in markets for goods that are immediately consumed, but they produce speculative price bubbles in resalable asset markets. We present a stock-flow model of durable assets in which the existing stock of assets is subject to depreciation and producers may produce additional units of the asset. In our laboratory experiments inexperienced consumers who can resell their units disregard the consumption value of the assets and compete vigorously with producers, depressing prices and production. Consumers who have first participated in experiments without resale learn to heed their consumption values and, when they are given the option to resell, trade at equilibrium prices. Reproducibility is therefore the most natural and most effective treatment for suppression of bubbles in asset market experiments. © 2015 Commodity market volatility more perception than reality Other examples include the so-called dot-com bubble of 1995-2000, the stock market bubble of 1922-1929, and there was even a bubble in the uranium market in 2007. Often, speculative bubbles occur in the markets for durable goods, defined as an asset that does not quickly wear out. By contrast, studies have demonstrated that price-quantity equilibrium prevails in markets for goods that are immediately consumed, like milk shakes and haircuts; this is because the buyer and the seller never trade places, and the consumption value of the good is very high.A group of economics researchers at Chapman University in California, curious about production and trade in a stock-flow market for durable assets, treated the issue as a pure abstraction in a study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. They developed a model of a reproducible durable asset with several conceptual elements: First, the asset provides use value to its owner (dividends) through use.The asset depreciates over time. And suppliers can profitably sell newly manufactured units if the price is below the market price.They tested this model in two conditions: In the baseline treatment (BL), they suppressed the asset units’ option risk by requiring units to be held until they depreciated. The second condition was the resale treatment (RS), in which consumers were allowed to freely sell their units to each other, thereby competing with the manufacturer. The researchers found that the RS condition hindered prices from converging to equilibrium and degraded market efficiency. Additional sessions under the RS condition used participants who had prior experience in the BL. These sessions with experienced participants were referred to as RSX.The researchers found that there was much less resale in RSX than RS, and that resale in the RSX increased market efficiency more frequently. Consumers in the RS condition failed to optimally specialize as buyers, competing with the manufacturers by reselling their units. Resale was much more efficient when the consumers were experienced. The reason? Experienced buyers understood the consumption value of the asset. “Our statistical analysis gives us strong confidence that consumers were more focused on the consumption value of their units in the RSX than in the RS and consequently captured more gains from exchange,” the authors write. “This affected price and production convergence, as well as efficiency…”Other results: Prices converged to the short-run equilibrium in the BL and RSX, but diverged from it in RS. Production converged to the steady state in BL and RSX, but diverged in the RS. And the efficiency was the lowest in the RS, according to a measure of global efficiency for each period. The researchers conclude, “Resale alone—although destabilizing—does not generate price bubbles. Over the past quarter century, numerous real estate bubbles have occurred around the world, with serious economic consequences. Our design with reproducible assets suggests that these markets should be stable unless other factors such as credit, cash infusions, and limitations on production disrupt market equilibrium.” Citation: How experienced buyers can mitigate economic bubbles (2015, November 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further (—Over the last decade, many people got a tough primer on the effects of economic bubbles, as the bursting of the 2007-2008 housing bubble sent shockwaves through most of the major world economies. But property isn’t the only asset class that experiences economic bubbles; any asset valued at a price or a range that deviates sharply from its intrinsic value is said to be experiencing a bubble.last_img read more

Alexa on Windows 10 HandsOn Useful with 1 Big Catch

first_img by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoGrepolis – Free Online GameGamers Around the World Have Been Waiting for this GameGrepolis – Free Online GameUndoTODAYPolice Identify Girl Licking Ice Cream Tub In Viral VideoTODAYUndoCNN International for ANAThe Secret Of What It Takes To Be Naomi OsakaCNN International for ANAUndoMy Food and FamilyHealthy, Homemade Drunken Thai Noodles In Just 20 MinutesMy Food and FamilyUndoVerizon WirelessThis new phone will blow your mind.Verizon WirelessUndoAdvertisement Welp, Cortana’s out of luck. Amazon has released an app that allows you to use Alexa on any Windows 10 PC.Previously, you could use Amazon’s voice assistant on Windows 10 PCs through Microsoft’s built-in voice assistant, Cortana. This app is full-on Alexa, however — no Cortana necessary.MacBook Air vs MacBook Pro: Which 13-inch MacBook Is Right For You?Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air and Pro look pretty similar, but our testing proved they differ in crucial ways.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Which Cheap Tablet Is Best? Amazon Fire 7 vs Walmart Onn02:45关闭选项Automated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-USAutomated Captions – en-US facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接已复制直播00:0003:4603:46 Alexa on a Razer Blade 15 was easy to set up, and intuitive to use. Alexa on Windows 10 can read you the news, tell you a joke, play music and perform most of the other things that Alexa can do on an Echo device. (It can’t yet make calls or control Spotify or Pandora).But there’s one difference that fundamentally changes the experience. When you’re using an Echo device, you just need to say “Alexa” to trigger the voice assistant. However, this functionality is available only on “supported” PCs.MORE: The One Alexa Feature You Need to Turn OffI haven’t been able to find a list of supported devices, but the Razer Blade 15 and the Surface Book 2 (which I also tried) do not support it. (And some reviews indicate that even supported devices aren’t yet responding to the wake word). I could control Alexa only by clicking a button in the app.Call me a traditionalist, but this feels unnatural to me. The most compelling aspect of Alexa has always been that I could issue instructions hands-free, without leaving my couch or bed, or pausing my cooking.To use Alexa on a PC, however, I have to be sitting at my computer with the app open already. At that point, why click a button to ask Alexa to play music, when I can click another button to play the music myself? For many tasks, it seems like a needless middleman.It might also be difficult for Alexa veterans to get used to. I repeatedly found myself barking “Alexa, stop,” before remembering that my voice command wouldn’t work until I pressed a button.There’s one potential benefit I can think of to this setup: visuals on the screen. Unfortunately, Alexa didn’t make much use of these on my computer.When I asked for the weather, the app displayed an array of black-and-white icons (minus a blue outline along the rain clouds) to accompany the forecast. The Echo Show and Echo Spot both display much prettier visuals.MORE: How To Use Cortana on Amazon Alexa DevicesAnd PC Alexa, while playing music, displayed only a small soundbar on the bottom of the app window for pausing or changing the song, and a small picture of the album cover. The Echo Show and Echo Spot, by contrast, usually display album artwork alongside the song they play, and sometimes even the song’s lyrics.I also couldn’t get Alexa to pull up YouTube videos, the way it can on the new Echo Show. But again, I can do all these things on my computer already. So why would I need Alexa for it?I’d love to start using the PC version of Alexa when it takes full advantage of the computer screen, when it can control specific Windows 10 features, and when more computers support hands-free use. Until then, it doesn’t add much to my life.Credit: Laptop MagBest Amazon Alexa Skills – Top 50 Cool and Useful Things15 Alexa Speakers, Ranked from Best to WorstShould Alexa Be Your Child’s Friend?last_img read more