Category Archives: Tech News

Technological Feats of the 21st Century

21st century technology
What have been some of the most significant technological feats of the 21st century so far? In terms of breaking down different areas of technology, some of the more impressive achievements in the field of science and engineering have included new medical devices, more portable tech, better transportation, robotics, and improved communications. These achievements can be viewed as a part of general trends for enhanced connections and expectations of technological change, from advanced routers and high speed networks available from Comms-Express, to the use of the Internet for multiple areas of everyday life.
Medical
Some of the more notable medical achievements in the 21st century to date have included artificial livers and hearts, with heart innovations particularly building on the practice of heart transplants. At the same time, scientists at the University of Washington have produced bionic contact lenses with the potential to superimpose data over the wearer’s eyes. Bionic hands with enhanced grips in all fingers have similarly provided indications of the future of medical technology, while devices like the EyeWriter have offered paraplegic patients a new opportunity to write.
Portability
The technology we use every day is becoming smaller and more portable. Some of the most significant technological feats of the past thirteen years have consequently included Apple’s iPod, iPhone and iPad designs, which have provided a way to adapt high speed computing to small entertainment and work devices. Moreover, miniature devices like Flip Mino video cameras and tiny GPS tags have made it easier for users to engage with the world through technology without having to worry about cumbersome devices.
 
Transportation
Important feats from the world of transportation have included the rapid development of electric cars, with models becoming more agile and capable of handling longer distances on a single charge. Other inventions that, while notable, haven’t quite achieved their predicted success include the Segway and its balancing technology. Maglev trains have also demonstrated the impact of magnetically levitating trains, while hybrid vehicles have gradually improved the appeal of green cars.
Robotics
The past decade has seen improvements in terms of robotics, from experiments at the start of the 2000’s with robotic pets, through to medical devices like the CyberKnife, and the Mars Exploration Rover. Honda have also produced their own ASIMO robots, suggesting a future where it’ll be more likely that artificial intelligence will be as much about friendship as carrying out essential tasks that humans are unable to.
Communications
With faster and faster broadband connections and mobile Internet, the 2000’s was arguably a decade when our expectations of the net became more sophisticated. Key inventions, to this end, have included social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as better fiber optic cabling and other networking technologies capable of delivering high speed Internet lines. Developments in 3G and 4G mobile web also mean that it’s relatively straightforward to connect to the Internet, wherever you are.
Author Bio
Rosette blogs about the latest technology news from around the world. She recommends exploring the advanced networking technologies available through Comms-Express. She also blogs on developments in robotics.

Cheap Solar Power is Getting Closer

cheap solar power

With the increasing demand for solar energy, cheap solar power is getting closer as the years go by. Giant international corporation GE is even making predictions that solar energy will become cheaper than fossil fuel, the primary source for traditional electricity, in about five years from now. In fact, the cost of purchasing and installing solar power units has actually decreased by up to 21 percent for this year. The prices have been constantly decreasing from 15% to 20% since 2008.

Various private companies and individuals are developing new technologies which will make cheap solar power as an alternative to the increasing cost of electrical utility bills. There are actually variations of solar cells already being offered in the market today. These do not yet match the efficiency of more expensive solar cells but they’re getting there. Some of these cells are made from the following materials and are characterized by thin films: silicon, CIGS or copper indium gallium selenide, cadmium telluride, and a combination of abundant minerals copper, sulfur, zinc, tin, and selenium. The latter group makes the product more affordable due to the abundance of the minerals used. Cells made of kesterite are also being studied by major solar cells manufacturing companies.

Cheap solar power kits for rent

Another option which can contribute to cheap solar power sources are rent to own solar power services. These units can be purchased like any other appliance or property you buy with a deposit and monthly installment fees. Some of the companies that are already offering this option are SolarCity and its competition Sungevity. These companies are leasing solar arrays for California households. SolarCity was able to gather over 100 leasers when it started offering this option back in July of this year (2011).

The option to rent cheap solar power solutions has made solar energy more affordable even for average homes. Earlier than 2008, solar cells are sold at over $30,000. Today, they are available at around $10,000 in price. With companies leasing the units, it’s even possible for regular households to be able to purchase a unit for their homes.

Companies offering cheap solar power units for lease are normally charging a monthly payment of about $117. The whole term may last up to 20 years with the monthly rates increasing by 3% to 4% per annum. There is an option for a zero down payment leasing but in case the leaser pays for a down, the monthly payment’s rates are of course lower. Although the recuperation period will last for years, homes renting solar cells will see an immediate return with lowered monthly bills. Also, once they earn the full rights to the cells in about 20 years or so, their children and grand kids to be will benefit the most from completely reaping the harvest of investing for solar cells today.

Aside from the efforts of cheap solar power production companies, the government is also taking part in making solar energy more readily available for homes. Tax reduction of up to 30% is offered for families which will install solar cells. Aside from this, local loan grants amounting up to $3,000 is also available to offset the cost of purchasing solar panels and making cheap solar power closer to reality.

Microsoft Buys Nokia: Cause and Effect

microsoft buys nokia

All eyes are on Microsoft and Nokia these past few days in the tech world. Microsoft buys Nokia including its mobile phone technology and all its related services for $7.2 billion. You can read about Microsoft’s press release on this update through this page.

On Nokia

Nokia was formerly the front runner when it comes to mobile phones about a decade ago. But like its competitors years ago, Nokia is now trailing behind manufacturers like Samsung. Although they also adapt to changes in cellular phone technology and also manufactured devices with touch screen, Wi-Fi Internet capability, NFC technology, and so on, they did not embrace what various most mobile companies have openly accepted: the Android OS. Nokia had kept its old operating systems which include Symbian and have been working with Microsoft using the Windows Mobile OS.

Android is no doubt one of the most preferred amongst operating systems these days. The Google Play store makes Android even more enticing through hundreds of thousands of applications which are readily downloadable for free or with an associated fee.

On Microsoft

In relation to Google’s Android OS, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile also trails behind it at number 3 with Apple’s iOS on number one. Microsoft has been working with Nokia for its Windows Mobile powered phones, including the Lumia series which had generated enormous sales. The same success from Lumia would have many assume that this buy off kick starts Windows’ attempt to be at par with what iOS and Android have accomplished in the market today. But will it be enough to beat the app addicting Android and the popularly used iOS?

Notes

I’m no market expert but competition is definitely healthier when brands challenge each other through innovative features. I personally love Nokia’s Pureview cameras particularly the 41 MP handsets. There’s nothing else similar to this innovation except for a possibly upcoming new Pureview Lumia phone models.

But even this rare camera feature was not enough to win in the race for number one or even number 2. And the Windows domination on computer OS does not necessarily apply to mobile devices as well. But the effort of exerting effort for ingenuity instead of jumping on the same bandwagon in a monopoly-like move (i.e. joining the Android world) is at least commendable.

Nokia’s ties with Microsoft through its Windows Mobile operated phones even helped this old mobile brand continue to thrive amongst fast rising giants like Samsung. But I wonder if it would have been better if they have joined the Android league instead. We will never know now since Nokia will exclusively manufacture phones for Microsoft alone, no longer due to a business partnership, but because Nokia is now officially part of the Microsoft family.