BP Solar Decathlon

Energy efficiency has become a major concern for both first- and third-world countries, especially in light of the ever rising crude oil prices. As such, alternate means of harnessing energy are being constantly sought in an attempt to drastically reduce energy costs. To this end, natural gas, solar, hydrogen, wind, and water energies have been employed to reduce costs and improve efficiency in many countries around the world. BP is an oil and gas company that is constantly looking for ways to harness such energies, with an increasing focus on solar energy. As a part of their drive to foster the use of solar energy, the BP Solar Decathlon has returned wherein 20 university teams from around the world are given the tasks of designing, building and operating livable, every-efficient, and completely solar-powered houses. BP sponsors this special event as part of their commitment to discovering cost effective, clean energy solutions for everyday living. This decathlon will thus ultimately aid in the building of an increased awareness of the uses of solar power on a wider scale than it is being used now.

BP, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, presents the BP Solar Decathlon every other year, which this year runs from October 11–19, culminating in a week-long competition on the National Mall in Washington, DC . It is interesting to note that BP is one of the main corporate sponsors, and the only energy company sponsor, of the 2007 Solar Decathlon, having been a part of this event from its inception in 2002. In addition to their involvement with solar power research, BP has given a 10-year $500 million grant to the Energy Biosciences Institute to find bioscience solutions aimed at reducing the impact of energy consumption on the environment. In addition, the Nerefco wind farm, which they jointly own, generates enough zero-carbon energy to power 13,000 average homes, and they produce more than 200 MW of solar technology each year. These facts show that BP is doing its part to make the world a much better place to live, inventing eco-friendly alternatives that will benefit everyone for many years to come.

In furtherance of their support for the BP Solar Decathlon, BP has created a blog at www.bpsolardecathlon.com where all of the teams as well as an on-site reporter will write posts throughout the competition to keep readers updated on the events. This year is geared up to be better than the previous years. The university teams are ready to get the decathlon on the road, having made lots of preparation leading up to the competition. It will be very interesting to see the designs that they come up with. One thing for sure is that they will draw a lot of attention and that BP will be proud of their continued involvement in the event.
The preceding was a paid post.

WiFi – Wireless Technology

I begin with a definition of Wi-Fi according to Wikipedia: “Wi-Fi is a wireless technology brand owned by the Wi-Fi Alliance intended to improve the interoperability of wireless local area network products based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. Common applications for Wi-Fi include Internet and VoIP phone access, gaming, and network connectivity for consumer electronics such as televisions, DVD players, and digital cameras.” The different types of devices that are now using the Wi-FI technology increases daily. The ease with which devices can “talk’ to each other has dramatically improved communication between devices. Computers and laptops can talk to cell phones and so on.

Wi-fi technology is the future. It will mean the difference between effective transmission of information and the poor delivery of said info. If you look on it from a logical point of view, it would be impractical to run cables from the North Pole to the South Pole to facilitate communication. That is why wireless technology is important and will continue to play a valuable role in communication. It saves money and time and is more feasible. We can definitely look for even greater things to come as Wi-Fi gets more sophisticated.

Streaming Media

As technology advances, the transmission of data has moved from the traditional radio and television format to now include the internet. Satellites are being used to transmit media all over the world and as such news takes seconds to reach any place on any continent at any time. This live transmission of live multimedia has revolutionized how we receive information. Streaming media is multimedia that is continuously received by and displayed to the end-user while it is being delivered by the provider. As a newscast is being delivered, persons can see it live. The same applies for games (like football and tennis matches) or any other type of media that is usually transmitted.

Many companies stream media over the internet while charging a subscription for the service. The media can also be streamed in delayed format, i.e. the person who wishes to obtain the media can see it in recorded format, streamed from the server of the provider. Having this type of access to information makes life easier for everyone and saves time and money in the long run. Streaming media is becoming the mode of choice of many media houses as it is quick and in most cases does not pose any problems in terms of data loss (except where the connection may have problems) and connectivity. Streaming media can be accessed by televisions, radios, computers, PDA’s, laptops, and so on. And as we move into the 22nd century, it will become even better.

BlueTooth And You

BlueTooth is becoming an increasingly popular technology. As a wireless means of communication, it has revolutionized how people are able to share information and data and also make calls. The truth be told, it has impacted positively on technology over the past several months and will indeed make greater strides in the future. Persons with devices that have BlueTooth can easily share files by simply placing the devices beside each other. One drawback I have seen with this new technology is that sometimes the files you are sending to one person in particular may inadvertently be shared with other persons who have devices that use BlueTooth who are in close proximity to them. So there seems to be a slight glitch in secure data transfer. A means of encryption may have to be formulated to ensure that only the intended party receives the files or better yet is able to read them.

BlueTooth can be found on cellular phones, PDA’s, Palm Tops, Laptops, and even some Desktop computers. As such, you do not need to be on the internet to share information. Wireless technology has made life much easier for everyone and keeps getting better and more sophisticated. BlueTooth headsets, for example, have eliminated the need for a corded earpiece. Just ensure that you keep the headset fully charged or else you won’t be able to use it. In addition to being more convenient, it is also more comfortable and in some cases provides a clearer transmission. Are you decked out with BlueTooth devices as yet? You may get left behind if you wait too long. Remember, technology changes every minute.

Universal Remotes

How many remote controls do you have in your house? Many people have one for each piece of electronic equipment. This causes confusion at times especially if they look alike in any way. The simple solution is to get a universal remote. Universal remotes are able to operate numerous equipment like televisions, VCR’s, cable boxes, home theater systems, etc. To put it another way, a universal remote is a remote control that can be programmed to operate various brands of one or more types of consumer electronics devices. There are many different shapes and sizes of universal remotes, but they all work in the same way. Some are limited to operating only on equipment that are of the same brand, however the majority can work with just about any brand.

Some brands of universal remotes are:

– LG
– Panasonic
– Motorola
– Philips
– Hughes
– Jensen
– Zenith
– Magnavox
– Comcast

Whichever you choose to use is your own choice. I personally would look at the price and then the features (the more features usually mean more money). Universal remotes make life a lot easier and save on time trying to find the correct remote for your TV or VCR.

The Computerized House

Automation is becoming a way of life for a lot of things that are done in society today. Traffic lights are automated, so are doors that open when you approach them, street lights that come on when it gets dark, windows that open at daybreak, computerized steam rooms, and even coffee that percolates itself. These innovations in science make life much easier for all of us. As people get busier, it will be easier for working class people to have a more fulfilling life. Think of, for example, the days when police officers had to direct traffic at every intersection. Nowadays, stop lights have lessened the work load, in that respect, for the officers. And speaking of the coffee percolator, you can make coffee while getting dressed for work, instant coffee to be more specific.

Homes have also become more sophisticated over time. Some have windows that are computer controlled, ceilings that open up to let sunlight in, refrigerators that are able to place orders for grocery items as they diminish, and of course the automatic garage door. Televisions can be set to to turn on at specific times, VCR’s (and even DVD recorders) can be set to record a movie at a certain time, the temperature in any room can be automatically adjusted to the owner’s comfort level, you name it. Automation is now a major way of life. Even though it has not always been there, I am sure we don’t know how we could ever live without it. Is your house automated, even in a small way? You are enjoying a part of the big life. The way things are going, everybody will soon have the same luxuries extended to them.

Broadband and VoIP Technology

Technology has certainly made great leaps and bounds over the past decade. In the past, you had to rely on a regular telephone to make a call to someone, the cost of which can be high at times. Now we are able to make calls over the internet using a Broadband Phone that employs VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, making calls much cheaper. There are many companies that offer Internet Telephony, each having their own advantage over the other.

The Broadband Phone Services website provides services from the world’s best providers of Internet Telephony, including companies like Packet8, VoIP.net, Vonage, and iConnectHere. There is a wide range of information available on the site including a comparison of the prices that each provider charges along with the additional services that are offered, like DSL, Remote Internet Access, and more. This helps you to make an informed choice as to which provider would be the best to fit in with your budget.

There is also a report on “Getting the Most From Broadband Phone Services” which you can read to enlighten yourself even more on the whole issue of VoIP and Broadband Services overall. So, seeing that you are able to get such rich information from this website, visit them today and benefit from their services. You are guaranteed to save money based on the choices that you will find.

Pondering – The Year That Was (Almost)

This year has flown by so fast that I cannot believe there are just a few weeks left. Well, I guess it is as they say: “Time waits for no man.” A lot has been achieved in the fields of technology and the sciences. This year has seen computers get smaller, digital cameras being more powerful, processors running at tetra-grade speeds, security systems becoming smarter, and much more.

Due to technology being a constantly advancing part of everyday life, we often take it for granted and just continue to live life ‘as is’. One thing I have observed happening over and over again is pesons discarding gadgets and other electronics and non-electronic items that are in perfectly good condition to get the latest device. I don’t know about you but money is not always easy to come by. As such, as long as something I have is working fine, I see no need to discard it.

Of course it is nice to have the latest of everything, but in a practical sense it does not pay off. Have you seen how many people have gone into serious debt in order to “keep up with the Jones'”? Persons have maxed their credit cards and then go and take out another one and max it. It is like a viscious cycle. And there is no end in sight. No wonder debt aid organizations are thriving now. “Bad credit? No problem. We will help you recover.” That is what they promise, and I am sure the majority truly help people.

Anyway, just remember to spend wisely. Buy only what you need, not what you want (unless of course it won’t hurt your pocket). And always look out for a good bargain. The year is not yet finished, so be careful.