Wireless carriers are fighting for your cash, and that’s good news
Unlimited-data domino theory
The pricing battle started when Verizon made a surprise announcement on Feb. 12 saying the company would start selling unlimited data plans for $80 for a single line without the kind of video streaming and hotspot limits T-Mobile imposed on its $70 unlimited plan.
T-Mobile then quickly responded by saying it would lift both of those restrictions, adding a 10 GB tethering allowance and letting subscribers stream high-def video.
The next two dominoes fell when Sprint announced that it would also enable high-def video on its $60 unlimited plan and double its Wi-Fi tethering allotment to 10 GB. Then AT&T said it would instead of reserving it only for those who also pay for its DirecTV or U-verse TV services.
The carriers’ plans still have their individual downsides, of course. AT&T, for example, bans tethering on its “unlimited” plan, while Verizon’s offering requires that you give up any employee or educational discounts and enable autopay from a checking account or debit card to qualify for the lowest monthly price.
And all four carriers reserve the right to “deprioritize” your data — send it to the back of the digital line behind other users’ — if you use too much. AT&T and Verizon set that limit at 22 GB, while Sprint draws the line at 23 GB. T-Mobile starts to slow things down at 28 GB should the company’s network becomes congested in your vicinity.
But overall, things are looking far more customer-friendly. And that didn’t happen because AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon magically supercharged their networks or anything.
Anyone who’s ever chipped ice off a windshield or nervously watched a plane get de-iced, take note: Colorado State University researchers have invented an ice-repellent coating that out-performs today’s best de-icing products.
Researchers led by Arun Kota, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, have created an environmentally friendly, inexpensive, long-lasting coating that could keep everything from cars and ships to planes and power lines ice-free.
Their innovation, described in the Journal of Materials Chemistry, is a gel-based, soft coating made out of PDMS (polydimethylsiloxane), a silicone polymer gel with already widespread industrial use. Their experiments were supported by careful analysis of ice adhesion mechanics.
The performance measure of de-icing coatings is called ice adhesion strength — the shear stress necessary to remove ice from a surface — and is measured in kilopascals (kPa). Kota’s group demonstrated ice adhesion strength for their coating of about 5 kPa. By contrast, soft coatings available on the market have ice adhesion strength of about 40 kPa (lower is better). Other types of de-icing coatings made of rigid materials like Teflon typically perform at around 100 kPa.
And what about what’s sprayed on frozen planes before takeoff? Those are liquid de-icers, including ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, and they work pretty well. The spraying of salts or glycols is the most common passive de-icing technique used today; according to the EPA, more than 20 million gallons of de-icing chemicals are used per year by the aviation industry alone. But these liquid products leach into groundwater, raising environmental concerns. And they have to be applied over and over again.
Kota notes that de-icing coatings are not the same as anti-icing coatings. Anti-icers delay the formation of ice; de-icers facilitate easy removal of ice, once that ice has already formed and stuck to a surface.
The CSU breakthrough is an environmentally friendly, high-performance solution that could rid us of toxic liquid de-icers and keep ice from sticking to our windshields. It would be applied as a more permanent protective coating.
-Drew A. Lindh
Brewery Wastewater Transformed Into Energy Storage
Wait is your RA talking about Beer….
Yeah he is and this is some really cool renewable technology that you should think of as an environmental or civil engineer!!
But Drew I’m not a civil engineer. Yeah, but just maybe you like beer and you should care about the environment and what happens to it!
Engineers have developed an innovative bio-manufacturing process that uses a biological organism cultivated in brewery wastewater to create the carbon-based materials needed to make energy storage cells. This unique pairing of breweries and batteries could set up a win-win opportunity by reducing expensive wastewater treatment costs for beer makers while providing manufacturers with a more cost-effective means of creating renewable, naturally-derived fuel cell technologies.
Date:October 7, 2016
Source:University of Colorado at Boulder
-By: Drew A. Lindh- October 9, 2016
New Ford GT Prototype
“There are cool cars, and then there is this new Ford GT prototype, which swoops down on a mountain highway like a cross breed between a stealth fighter jet and a transformer. It’s a special treat to see this supercar testing on a public road. This car is obviously a prototype, from the stealth matte finish on the carbon fiber bodywork, to the makeshift tail lights, and to the duct tape.
The Ford GT will use a specially prepared 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with an output of over 600 horsepower. Every aspect of the car is focused on high performance. The main structure and body panels are made out of carbon fiber for light weight. The aerodynamics are tuned for high speed and high downforce. The car has adjustable-height suspension and an active rear wing that deploys at speed. It is the technological culmination of Ford Performance vehicles.
Ford received several thousand applications to purchase the car, and the company had to double their original limited production plan to satisfy as many customers as possible.
Ford’s website says the Ford GT will go on sale in “late 2016.” Some very lucky people will be getting a heck of a holiday present.
Check out the prototype hunting video as Nathan and Andre stumble on this super cool super car.”
-by September 20, 2016–
I personally wanted to share this will yall because I’m a ford fan and I love new cars. I think Ford completely out did there selves unlike apple this year. Making something completely brand new and different is a risky bet but that’s what the future and the people are always looking at! Maybe you should Engineer something different and get paid more money than you know what to do with.
-by Drew A. Lindh – September 23, 2016