Monday, 30 April 2012

Protect Children

Children have to be protected from electronics simply because they do not understand the dangerous associated with them. Often or not toddlers crawl round the house trying to explore and learn with their hands and feet. Cover up all plug sockets and make sure that no wires are loose or cables are dangling free. The consequences can be life changing. Parents need to safeguard little ones by taking care to child proof the home and to keep all electronics out of harm’s way. The best way to do this is to turn all items off when you are not using them- this will not only diminish the amount of risks it will also reduce your energy bills and therefore reduce your carbon footprint. So it is safer and ‘greener’ for the environment.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

‘global economic collapse’ by 2030

A new study from researchers at Jay W. Forrester's institute at MIT says that the world could suffer from "global economic collapse" and "precipitous population decline" if people continue to consume the world's resources at the current pace.

Smithsonian Magazine writes that Australian physicist Graham Turner says "the world is on track for disaster" and that current evidence coincides with a famous, and in some quarters, infamous, academic report from 1972 entitled, "The Limits to Growth."

Produced for a group called The Club of Rome, the study's researchers created a computing model to forecast different scenarios based on the current models of population growth and global resource consumption. The study also took into account different levels of agricultural productivity, birth control and environmental protection efforts. Twelve million copies of the report were produced and distributed in 37 different languages.

Most of the computer scenarios found population and economic growth continuing at a steady rate until about 2030. But without "drastic measures for environmental protection," the scenarios predict the likelihood of a population and economic crash.

However, the study said "unlimited economic growth" is still possible if world governments enact policies and invest in green technologies that help limit the expansion of our ecological footprint.

time to act is now!!!!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Small electrical sensors can quickly detect MRSA infection

A simple test to identify MRSA in wounds could identify the superbug quickly and help prevent infection from spreading.

Scientists have developed the test to show whether wounds or lesions are infected with bacteria and if MRSA is present.

The test, developed at the University of Edinburgh in collaboration with NHS Lothian, works by taking swabs from a wound or sores, which are then analysed using a strip with electrical sensors that can detect MRSA.

Researchers currently process the swab samples in the laboratory to increase the amount of bacteria present before testing them, but hope to avoid the need for this in the future by improving the strip's sensitivity.
This would enable scientists to develop a test that could be used outside the laboratory, for example in GP practices or people's homes.

The ability to detect the bacteria more quickly than with conventional tests would enable more effective drugs to be given to the patient straight away.

Currently, laboratory tests to confirm whether MRSA is present in a wound can take a full day using conventional techniques.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Honeycombs of magnets could lead to new type of computer processing

Many modern data storage devices, like hard disk drives, rely on the ability to manipulate the properties of tiny individual magnetic sections, but their overall design is limited by the way these magnetic 'domains' interact when they are close together.

Now, researchers from Imperial College London have demonstrated that a honeycomb pattern of nano-sized magnets, in a material known as spin ice, introduces competition between neighbouring magnets, and reduces the problems caused by these interactions by two-thirds. They have shown that large arrays of these nano-magnets can be used to store computable information. The arrays can then be read by measuring their electrical resistance.

The scientists have so far been able to 'read' and 'write' patterns in the magnetic fields, and a key challenge now is to develop a way to utilise these patterns to perform calculations, and to do so at room temperature. At the moment, they are working with the magnets at temperatures below minus 223oC.

Research author Dr Will Branford and his team have been investigating how to manipulate the magnetic state of nano-structured spin ices using a magnetic field and how to read their state by measuring their electrical resistance. They found that at low temperatures (below minus 223oC) the magnetic bits act in a collective manner and arrange themselves into patterns. This changes their resistance to an electrical current so that if one is passed through the material, this produces a characteristic measurement that the scientists can identify.
The scientists have so far been able to 'read' and 'write' patterns at room temperature. However, at the moment the collective behaviour is only seen at temperatures below minus 223oC. A key challenge now is to develop a way to utilise these patterns to perform calculations, and to do so at room temperature.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Where your phone battery life goes

It seems like today we use our mobile phones to do everything but make phone calls. Games and apps are where a lot of time is spent on cell phones these days, and these features can really drain battery life.
Purdue University Computer and Electrical Science researchers said it's not necessarily the game that's using all of the energy.

"We developed a tool that can tell you this information, where is energy going inside this application and before this there was no such tool available in any field," Abhinav Pathak, Purdue University Electrical & Computer Engineering Researcher said.

During one game of the popular app Angry Birds, which is about 45 seconds of play, 45% of energy used goes to tracking your location, 30% to downloading an advertisement based on your location, and only 25% into actual game play.
That means 75% of the energy used in game play  is spent on sending your information to advertisers.
The hardware version of the energy measuring tool is connected to a phone that has an app open.
Pathak said this new tool can be applied in countless ways to help app developers to create better products and save your battery.

"Application developers can see where this energy is going and can do some optimizations," Pathak said. "For example, they can use better data structures or better algorithms to make things fast and cheap energy wise."

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


Does Regulation 522.6.102 require additional protection by RCD for cables of SELV and PELV circuits concealed in walls and partitions at a depth of less than 50 mm?

No. Due to an oversight, an agreed clarification was omitted from the published version of Amendment 1 to BS 7671: 2008. Regulation 522.6.102 should have read:
‘Where Regulation 522.6.101 applies and the installation is not intended to be under the supervision of a skilled or instructed person, a cable installed in accordance with Regulation 522.6.101(v), and not also complying with Regulation 522.6.101 (i), (ii), (iii), (iv) or (vi), shall be provided with additional protection by means of an RCD having the characteristics specified in Regulation 415.1.1.’

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Plasma Flashlight Destroys Bacteria

This prototype flashlight would be utterly unhelpful in a blackout or in the woods. But the plasma-emitting machine, shaped like a giant crayon, has one useful feature that your Maglite doesn’t. It can kill germs.

Australian and Chinese researchers have built a device that uses a 12-volt battery to create a plasma that could kill one of the most persistent bacterial structures, biofilm. A biofilm is a bacterial group that encases its entire colony with a slimy material. Normally, we encounter biofilms as plaque when we brush our teeth, but they can also grow and thrive in wounds, holding up the healing process. Using a quick blast of plasma to break up biofilms would make it easier for doctors and dentists to deal with infection. The study is published in the Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics.

Plasma is essentially ionized gas, a free-flowing state of matter that is electrically charged, David Graves says. Graves, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at UC Berkeley who has been studying plasma for more than 30 years (but was not involved in this study), says plasma is everywhere: from stars to lightning to those buzzing florescent lights in the office. "The basic idea is very, very simple. If you pass electricity through a gas by applying a high voltage then you get plasma.

Who's got the most Starbucks

London: 237
New York: 231

get in there

then again, is that a good thing or a bad thing, we quite like Costa (other coffee houses / baristas are available)

make mine a full fat caramel latte

Monday, 23 April 2012

The Internet of Electricity

Energy farmers are truly empowered by emerging smart grid technology. The grid has been dubbed "the Internet of Electricity"– just as the Internet enabled a dramatic improvement in the efficiency of commerce and communication, the smart grid will enable the electric grid to efficiently produce and deliver the ideal amount of power exactly when and where it is needed. Using the smart grid, consumers can create an online energy profile that automatically manages energy according to their personal consumption preferences. Additionally, smart grid software provides utilities with a network operating system to integrate and optimise various new technologies, including smart meters, batteries, solar panels and plug-in electric vehicles.

Up to 40% of high street shops 'could close over next five years'

Four out of 10 shops will have to shut in the next five years as consumers turn their backs on traditional stores in favour of online shopping, according to a report which casts more doubt on the future of the beleaguered British high street.

With retail experts increasingly painting a picture of a future high street lined with coffee shops and internet kiosks, a report from Deloitte highlights how the boundaries between physical and virtual space are becoming blurred with thousands of shops likely to face closure in coming years.

To remain competitive, retailers may have to reduce their property portfolios by 30–40% in the next five years and adapt what remains to meet the changing demands of consumers, Deloitte said. The growing trend in the US for large warehouse-style retail outlets to have free in-store Wi-Fi to help customers shop online is expected to spread around the world. Tesco has already announced plans for such facilities in its UK stores.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

a lot can happen in 24 hours - 50 factlets

You would be amazed at just what a difference a day makes.......
  1. 40,000 trees are cut down just to make paper bags and another 27,000 to make toilet paper.
  2. We will each laugh 15 times.
  3. We will kiss on average 3 times, exchanging 30 million bacteria.
  4. The UK’s national debt will grow by £446,575,342.
  5. Your heart beats around 100,000 times.
  6. The average worker worldwide will earn £11.
  7. A mayfly lives its entire life.
  8. Your blood travels 168,000,000 miles and your kidneys will filter 3,000 pints of blood – enough to fill three quarters of a phone box.
  9. A single blood cell will make more than 4,300 full circuits of the body.
  10. Your cat will habe a 17 hour cat nap (are cats realted to sloth??)s.
  11. 200m people worldwide will have sexual intercourse.
  12. An astronaut on the International Space Station sneezes 100 times (the weightlessness of space means dust doesn’t settle but floats around getting up their noses.)
  13. You take approximately 20,000 breaths and inhale more than 2600 gallons of air.
  14. You will release around 17 oz of, erm.... flatulence.
  15. 150-200 species of plant, insect, bird and mammal become extinct, due to environmental damage.
  16. The average person takes around 8,000 steps.
  17. 250 hedgehogs are killed on British roads.
  18. A bat eats around 1,000 insects.
  19. One billion gallons of water will tumble over Niagara falls.
  20. 3,560 people will take their driving test but only 1,389 will pass.
  21. We will each lose 1.2 pints of sweat.
  22. There will be 7,200 earthquakes in the world and more than 18,000 thunderstorms.
  23. Earth will be hit by lightning more than 8.6 million times.
  24. 820,000 portions of fish and chips will be scoffed.
  25. 2.3 million people will eat a can of Heinz baked beans – enough to fill Wembley Stadium  more than 25 times.
  26. 2,040 homes are broken into in the UK.
  27. The average person will spend 12 minutes in the shower.
  28. Up to 50 trillion cells die and are replaced in the human body.
  29. We each spend 20 minutes on the toilet.
  30. More than 5,500 mobile phones are stolen in Britain.
  31. 30,000 ants will be gobbled up by a South American Giant Anteater.
  32. More than 17,250 websites get hacked.
  33. 5,760 cars are broken into.
  34. 100,000 taste buds in your mouth are replaced and three pints of saliva are produced.
  35. 240 women in the UK are arrested for violence.
  36. Oil giant Shell makes a profit of £38,400,000.
  37. Your hair grows by 0.01715 inches but you lose between 40 and 100 strands.
  38. We will each speak around 48,000 words.
  39. The UK produces enough waste to fill the Albert Hall 12 times over.
  40. Women spend 298 minutes gossiping with friends.
  41. 20m meteors will be visible in the sky.
  42. In the UK we throw away 20 million slices of bread, 600,000 whole uncooked eggs and 1.2 million untouched sausages.
  43. The Metropolitan Police spend £350,000 protecting royals, diplomats and VIPs.
  44. 24 unwanted dogs are put down in the UK.
  45. Your body gives off enough heat to bring 24 gallons of water to the boil.
  46. 24 crimes will be committed INSIDE British police stations.
  47. Comet Hale-Bopp puts out 21 million tons of gas and dust – 50 times more than most comets.
  48. 15bn cigarettes are sold around the world and 2,880 people die of lung cancer.
  49. A Hummingbird will consume half of their weight in food daily.
  50. A hurricane can release enough energy to supply all of our electrical needs for six months.

ELECTRIC CARS wont decrease in price for “some years”

will not decrease in price for “some years”, according to Audi’s senior executive in charge of alternative energy development, Frank Van Meel.

Mr Van Meel said that the cost of ownership of electric cars and their components would come down but it would not happen in the near future. He said the pace of change for all alternative energy motoring projects was slow because so many factors came into play, such as the ease of charging electric batteries, infrastructure, and social and political considerations.

Every country had different considerations and for that reason car companies had to be ready with several solutions to alternative energy sources, he said. “America is now moving towards diesel, while China is still a petrol-consuming economy. There are different issues in different parts of the world when it comes to issues like emission, noise, and oil imports,” he added.

He was speaking after Audi released details of several projects it is working on, including a new charging system for electric vehicles. Audi is working on fitting charging plates into the ground below parking spaces, so that an adapted electric car can simply drive into a space in a purpose-built car park and be charged automatically.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Industry guidance on the Wiring Regulations

Does the 17th Edition require all 13 A socket-outlets in domestic premises to be RCD-protected?

For new installations and rewires in domestic premises, all socket-outlets need to have additional protection by RCD, except perhaps for those intended to supply particular items of equipment such as freezers. Any socket-outlet not having RCD protection needs to be specifically labelled or otherwise suitably identified to indicate its intended use, such as ‘freezer only’. However, if the wiring to a dedicated socket-outlet is concealed in a wall or partition at a depth of less than 50 mm, or if the internal construction of the wall or partition includes metallic parts other than metallic fixings, the circuit will still need to be suitably protected (by RCD or other means).

Regulation number(s)

Friday, 20 April 2012

a switch without a back box

is more than against the regs, in the real world, it's a fire risk. its not big and it not clever

The future of the internal combustion engine

As car companies embark on wildly contrasting electric and hybrid vehicle strategies, could some of the most revolutionary advances come from the trusty combustion engine? Mazda say the future is still in fossil fuels

The Takeri concept looking towards production cars. According to Mazda Europe’s design chief, Peter Birtwhistle, “about 80 per cent” of the Takeri will be carried over onto the next 6 saloon, due next year.
The Takeri, however, is more than just a striking saloon concept. Beneath its skin, it highlights technology Mazda has developed under the SkyActiv umbrella in its quest to improve the fuel economy of its entire range by 30 per cent by 2015. That promise was made in 2007 as part of Mazda bosses’ aim of offering hybrid-like efficiency from internal combustion engines.

Why, though, persevere with petrol and diesel when other manufacturers are moving towards electrification?

“There are two main reasons,” explains Uwe Kracht, vehicle team manager at Mazda Motor Europe. “Firstly, we still believe combustion engines offer great potential. For example, up to 30 per cent of the energy from these engines is still getting lost. The second reason is that we are convinced that in 2020 more than 80 per cent of cars will still use combustion engines.”

Mazda calculates that its goals for improving fuel economy and CO2 emissions by 2015 would only otherwise be possible if either half of its new passenger cars were hybrids or almost a quarter of them were full electric vehicles. Given the current take-up of such vehicles, it’s an unlikely situation.

Mazda isn’t ruling out a fully electric car for the future, and it has already forged a licensing deal with Toyota to develop a hybrid that is expected next year. Kracht says: “For further development, we are following a ‘building block’ strategy, with SkyActiv at its base. We will develop the electrical applications in steps until perhaps some time in the future we will finally end up with an electric car.”

The first building block in the foundations of SkyActiv was Mazda’s stop-start system. Called i-Stop, it will be fitted to all future SkyActiv petrol and diesel engines, and already appears on some models, including the 3 and 5. The system can restart the engine in a single compression stroke, something that Mazda claims is an industry first.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Our friends down under are worried EV's will cause blackouts

Electrical black outs, not passing out at the wheel

ELECTRIC cars plugged into suburban homes would create a risk of causing blackouts by increasing peak demand, the State Government predicts.

The State Government and advocates of the vehicles want owners encouraged to charge the batteries at off-peak times to cause less stress on the system.

Minister for Energy Tom Koutsantonis said the issue needed to be managed like any burden on the electricity grid, such as the uptake of airconditioners.

"Electric cars are a fantastic way to reduce carbon emissions but we need to make sure we manage the way people recharge them," he said.

"We don't want the entire state to plug their cars in at times of peak demand, we want to manage this so that they are plugged in when demand is low."

The Federal Government is currently investigating how an influx of vehicles - predicted to be 20 per cent of all car sales by 2020 and 44 per cent by 2030 - will impact on the electricity grid.

In a written submission to an Australian Energy Market Commission enquiry, the state Department of Manufacturing has warned: "Increased load caused by the charging of electric vehicles could potentially exacerbate peak demand issues currently experienced in South Australia during summer months".

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

If you have an old fuse box...

that looks like this, in all honesty, its about time you changed it.. we love the special fuse wire they have used...

Graphene update... under water news!!!

Submerged in liquid, graphene gets faster

Researchers have found that submersion in liquid can overcome graphene’s Achilles’ heel—sensitivity to its electrical environment.

This single-atom-thick honeycomb of carbon atoms is lighter than aluminum, stronger than steel, and conducts heat and electricity better than copper. As a result, scientists around the world are trying to turn it into better computer displays, solar panels, touch screens, integrated circuits, and biomedical sensors, among other possible applications.

However, it has proven extremely difficult to reliably create graphene-based devices that live up to its electrical potential when operating at room temperature and pressure.

According to the experts, graphene may have the highest electron mobility of any known material. In practice, however, the measured levels of mobility, while significantly higher than in other materials like silicon, have been considerably below its potential.

“The problem is that, when you make graphene, you don’t get just graphene. You also get a lot of other stuff,” says Kirill Bolotin, assistant professor of physics, who conducted the study with research associate A.K.M. Newaz

“Graphene is extraordinarily susceptible to external influences so the electrical fields created by charged impurities on its surface scatter the electrons traveling through the graphene sheets, making graphene-based transistors operate slower and heat up more.”

A number of researchers had proposed that the charged impurities that are omnipresent on the surface of graphene were the main culprits, but it wasn’t completely certain. Also, several other theories had been advanced to explain the phenomenon.

In order to get a handle on the mobility problem, Bolotin’s team suspended sheets of graphene in a series of different liquids and measured the material’s electric transport properties. They found that graphene’s electron mobility is dramatically increased when graphene is submerged in electrically neutral liquids that can absorb large amounts of electrical energy (have large dielectric constants).

They achieved the record-level mobility of 60,000 using anisole, a colorless liquid with a pleasant, aromatic odor used chiefly in perfumery.

“These liquids suppress the electrical fields from the impurities, allowing the electrons to flow with fewer obstructions,” Bolotin says.

Now that the source of the degradation in electrical performance of graphene has been clearly identified, it should be possible to come up with reliable device designs, Bolotin says.

more later

'Weightless' wireless

Based on this, engineers in my company and others, many belonging to institutions such as the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), have got together to develop a standardised technology that will work well with the spectrum identified - "white space spectrum" - and be optimal for machines.

Tiny microcontrollers could spread the internet to a much wider range of devices This technology is called "Weightless" although if all goes to plan you may never hear about it.

We expect Weightless chips to fall rapidly to around £1 each, to be embedded everywhere and for nationwide and indeed global networks to be deployed from 2013 onwards.

Weightless chips will communicate behind the scenes with networks, databases and control centres making things work better - traffic will flow well, meters will be read automatically and washing machines will be able to send your smartphone a message telling you their outlet pipe is getting blocked.

So when your car journey to work becomes congestion-free you'll know that it is "wait-less" because of a standard called "Weightless". It might just change our world.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

interesting meter

for those of you who dont know, the neutrals are the middle two terminal on a UK electric meter, making this reverse polarity - PLANK!!!!

Killed by hair straighteners... it could be you (unless you are bald)

Warning after hair straighteners left turned on set fire to flat

D A Woolgar are reminding people to turn off hair straighteners when not in use following a flat fire.
Two women had a lucky escape from the blaze

The fire started due to hair straighteners being left switched on next to clothing, which subsequently caught fire.

The female occupants managed to get out of the flat after being alerted by a smoke alarm, and were treated for smoke inhalation.

Residents in the adjacent flats also had to be evacuated for their own safety.

We urge people to make sure they have turned off all electrical appliances when they have finished using them and before leaving the house.

Electrical items, such as hair straighteners, irons or heaters, should not be placed near to combustible items which are likely to overheat and catch fire.

We would also advise people not to use such appliances when they are under the influence of alcohol as it is very easy to forget that they are switched on, or they may even fall asleep. also drunk straightening can end up in 'bad hair'

also another timely reminder - check your smoke alarm

vanity can kill you... and bald ppl live longer

How Long Will Your Electric Car Battery Last?

We all know that battery packs are the biggest Achilles Heel of the electric car, which is why automakers like Nissan and General Motors are working hard to improve the energy density, cost and lifespan of electric vehicle batteries.

But once you've designed a new battery pack, how do you prove its lifespan without waiting year and years?

You’d think that some complex math, along with some basic scientific theory would answer the problem, but life is rarely as predictable as a science lab.

Instead, physicists, chemists, battery firms and automakers are working together to build sophisticated equipment that can give electric car battery packs a lifetime of testing in a few weeks.
In turn, the test equipment could aid the development of cheaper, more energy-dense battery packs for electric cars that would easily outlive the life of any electric car.

Working with the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and a list of private-sector partners that include 3M Canada and Manga E-Car Systems, Dahn and his team are embarking on a five-year project designed to take the guesswork out of predicting battery life.

Funded to the tune of nearly $4.1 million, the 25-strong team will examine how efficiently battery packs store and deliver electrical charges over time using tests that better replicate the real-world duty cycle of electric car and electrical grid-storage battery packs.

In order to do this, the researchers will build new equipment that they claim will give battery packs a lifetime of use in just a few weeks, producing accurate battery degradation data that can then be used to better predict electric car battery life.

Monday, 16 April 2012

interesting method to achieve PME

but not legit...

Weeeeeeeeee - Rare metals lost in binned products

Precious and rare metals worth millions are thrown away in the UK
each year in scrapped consumer goods such as old mobile phones

Metals ranging from gold to cobalt and rare earth elements such as neodymium are used in electronic equipment including phones, laptops, headphones, rechargeable batteries and TVs - but are lost when the consumer goods end up in landfill.

It is estimated that between now and 2020, the UK will throw away 12 million tonnes of electronic equipment, a quarter of which will be IT equipment and other goods which contain around 63 tonnes of palladium and 17 tonnes of iridium.

The amount of palladium lost would be worth £1 billion on today's market, while the iridium would be worth £380 million.

And almost a quarter of the consumer goods thrown away could be fixed and resold in their current form, worth a potential £200 million a year.

China produces 95% of "rare earth metals", and the EU, US and Japan this week took a complaint over the country's export restrictions to the World Trade Organisation.

Unstable countries such as Democratic Republic of Congo produce key materials including cobalt, which is used in phone, laptop and digital camera batteries.

at the end of the day, if it has a wheelie bin symbol on it, please be responsible, dont just bit it, take to the tidy tip on your next visit - billin wasted and poisons being put in the groud... isnt it common sense?

Carbon In, Carbon Out

This morning the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental advocacy group, will release a report that compares the carbon footprints of electrically powered cars with gasoline models. On this map, the numbers following the city names represent, as a miles-per-gallon equivalent, the amount of greenhouse gases generated in charging the battery of an electric Nissan Leaf in that city.
The darkest regions on the map are served by utilities burning a high percentage of coal to generate power; in those regions, charging an electric car sends as much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere as driving a car rated at 31 to 40 m.p.g., about the same as a current compact model. In the lightest areas of the map the electricity is generated by cleaner fuels, so the equivalent miles per gallon is higher than the best of today’s hybrids.
Cities marked with an asterisk are served by utilities that are situated in a different electrical grid region. Readers in those cities can use the ZIP code lookup tool on the Energy Department’s Alternative and Advance Vehicles Web page to determine the fuels used to generate local power

Sunday, 15 April 2012

increased speed of single-molecule measurements

As nanotechnology becomes ever more ubiquitous, researchers are using it to make medical diagnostics smaller, faster, and cheaper, in order to better diagnose diseases, learn more about inherited traits, and more. But as sensors get smaller, measuring them becomes more difficult—there is always a tradeoff between how long any measurement takes to make and how precise it is. And when a signal is very weak, the tradeoff is especially big.
A team of researchers at Columbia Engineering, led by Electrical Engineering Professor Ken Shepard, together with colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania, has figured out a way to measure nanopores—tiny holes in a thin membrane that can detect single biological molecules such as DNA and proteins—with less error than can be achieved with commercial instruments. They have miniaturized the measurement by designing a custom integrated circuit using commercial semiconductor technology, building the nanopore measurement around the new amplifier chip.

published online publication on Nature Methods' website at 2 p.m., March 18, 2012.   
Nanopores are exciting scientists because they may lead to extremely low-cost and fast DNA sequencing. But the signals from nanopores are very weak, so it is critically important to measure them as cleanly as possible.
"We put a tiny amplifier chip directly into the liquid chamber next to the nanopore, and the signals are so clean that we can see single molecules passing through the pore in only one microsecond," says Jacob Rosenstein, a Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering at Columbia Engineering and lead author of the paper. "Previously, scientists could only see molecules that stay in the pore for more than 10 microseconds."
Many single-molecule measurements are currently made using optical techniques, which use fluorescent molecules that emit photons at a particular wavelength. But, while fluorescence is very powerful, its major limitation is that each molecule usually produces only a few thousand photons per second.

What is the correct sequence for testing RCDs?

Preferably, RCDs should be tested in the sequence of: x1 IΔn, x5 IΔn (if required for additional protection), followed by x0.5 IΔn and then finally the test button trip.

However, some automated test instruments test in the sequence of: x0.5 IΔn followed by the x1 IΔn test, and then x5 IΔn test (if required for additional protection).

In any case, the test button should be operated last in the sequence.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

an interesting method

if you have something like this - single insulated wires, you really need to call in the profesionals

does an imbalance between matter and antimatter matter??

Over the past two weeks, scientific results first from Cern and then from an experiment using a nuclear reactor in China have hit the headlines, at least in the world of particle physics. At Cern, in Geneva, antimatter atoms have been studied for the first time by a few dozen scientists working on the Alpha experiment. In China, the Daya Bay reactor, in Guangdong province, near Hong Kong, has been used to confirm that neutrinos might soon be taking centre stage in our understanding of how the universe came to be. Both results touch on one of the biggest unsolved problems in fundamental physics: why is there any matter left in the universe?
It is just as well that there is some matter left behind, because by matter we mean particles such as electrons and protons, the things that build atoms, people, planets and stars. But the situation is a precarious one; for every particle of matter in the universe, there are around a billion particles of light. In other words, the universe is made almost entirely out of light.

The vastly outnumbered matter particles appear to be a tiny residue left over after a spectacular fireworks display that occurred within the first second after the big bang. That fleeting moment saw the production of exactly equal amounts of matter and antimatter, all mixed together in a hot plasma. As the universe expanded and cooled, the anti-electrons started to fuse with the electrons and the antiprotons fused with the protons, converting them into particles of light. In this way, the matter and anti-matter drained away, leaving behind a universe filled with light… except for that tiny residue.

So! does it matter???? something must have have prevented the matter and antimatter from perfect cancellation – and without it we would not be here to wonder about this remarkable universe.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Not a good idea

to terminate SWA (underground armoured cable) into a 13 amp plug. its not big and its not clever. so please dont do it...

electricity from snails

The snail, one of nature’s slowpokes, carries its house on its back — but it might also hold the power to fuel a revolution in nanotechnology.

A team of scientists at Clarkson University has developed technology to turn an ordinary snail into a living, moving battery.

The research was published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Chemical Society with Evgeny Katz, Milton Kerker chaired professor of colloid science at Clarkson, as the lead author.

The technology involves tiny implants, called biofuel cells, charged by chemical reactions in the snail’s blood. Though a snail generates only a tiny amount of electrical charge, the electricity is accumulated in a device called a condenser, which can then power another small device if needed.

The idea to use small creatures as portable power sources has been around for a while, Mr. Katz said.
“The idea to work on implantable biocatalytic electrodes for extracting electrical power in vivo is not new,” he said. “It was researched already for almost 20 years. However, many papers claimed ‘implantable’ electrodes ... while very few results were achieved.”

The Clarkson team is excited because its implants have remained functional over the course of several months, an important first.

“Snails can normally live about two to three years in natural conditions,” Mr. Katz said. “In our lab they lived with implanted electrodes six to 12 months, probably because we didn’t provide in the lab perfect conditions similar to natural.”

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Consumer Focus group to be axed - stupid !!!!

Citizens Advice will replace the taxpayer-funded Consumer Focus group under Government plans to shake up the consumer protection system.

Key Points
•Plans announced to simplify consumer protection
•Government wants Citizens Advice to have a larger role
•New National Trading Standards Board also to be set up

The plans, which were announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills today, will see the Citizens Advice service become "a champion for consumer information across a range of sectors".
The changes, which affect England, Scotland and Wales, will "help streamline the consumer landscape" and provide "a powerful consumer voice", the Government claims.

The key changes taking place are:
•Citizens Advice: The charity will take on responsibilities and resources from both the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and Consumer Focus. This includes taking over Consumer Focus' role of representing consumers' interests in unregulated sectors. This process has already started, and a new advice line succeeding Consumer Direct was launched by the Citizens Advice service on 2 April.
•National Trading Standards Board: A new National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) is to be created immediately, and this will be responsible for targeting rogue traders, internet scams, illegal money lending and other crimes that go beyond local authority boundaries.
•Regulated Industries Unit: A new Regulated Industries Unit will take over Consumer Focus's work in energy and postal services. This will be created by April 2013.
Consumer Focus: Consumer Focus will cease to exist after April 2014.
Consumer affairs lackie Norman Lamb says: "For too long people have been faced with an array of different bodies for advice and support, but it's not always clear who to turn to first.
"The Citizens Advice service will become the publicly-funded voice of consumers, championing their needs and empowering them to make the right choices for themselves.

"There will also be clearer responsibilities and better co-ordination between enforcers and consumer bodies. A new National Trading Standards Board is exactly what we need to combat priority areas such as loan sharks and internet scams.

"All of the reforms will ensure that we have the right system of help, advice and protection for consumers."
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy says: "This is good news for consumers. With consumer advice, advocacy and education all under one Citizens Advice service roof, consumers will get a service they know and trust."

we say, stupid, stupid, stupid and a Shockingly ill-conceived direction to go!!!

consumer watchdog Which? is scathing about the change. It claims consumers will be left vulnerable to rip-offs and scams under the changes.

Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith says: "This is a shockingly ill-conceived and under-resourced plan from the Government that looks set to vandalise a system of consumer protection that is admired worldwide at a time when people most need protection.

"Today the Government is giving with one hand and taking with the other. They seem intent on wasting millions of taxpayer pounds restructuring quangos and piling pressure on those who are already overstretched on the front line.

"Giving Office of Fair Trading responsibilities to local Trading Standards officers and the Citizens Advice is like asking GPs to carry out heart surgery."

when you look at it in the cold light of day, Consumer Focus was doing well and making changes that affect you and I... when was the last time you heard this about CA??? never, because most of them are volunteers in small town offices that champion individulal causes, they dont look at the em-masse issues of the big companies and corporates ripping us off...

rant over - stupid govt, millions wasted and getting rid of one a dept that was actually getting results... maybe with big buisness, getting their 'men' in to speak to ministers, thats why!!! its not empowering at all.

Re-use of equipment

We would like to see a greater emphasis placed on the re-use and refurbishment of lighting equipment.

literally tonnes and tonnes of lighting equipment is disposed of each year, most of that is perfectly functional..

so its time for a re think!!!! industry isn’t keen to re-use equipment. Electrical contractors are quite happy to rip out fittings and don’t want to take the care necessary for fittings to be re-used. And trying to source spare parts from manufacturers is near-impossible – they don’t want to repair their equipment.

its time for change boys, time for change (and girls too)

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Why are Londoners always apologizing?

More from the New York Times :)

Londoners’ air of permanent regret can seem bewildering and perverse. They apologize when they bump into you, when you bump into them, when they walk into doors, when they drop things, when they want to speak, when they are flustered, when they disagree, when they are brushing past you, when they cannot hear, when they can hear all too well and as a reflex when they cannot think of what else to say. But by no means does saying “sorry” mean the speaker is in fact sorry. Frequent apology is one of an arsenal of clever tricks Londoners employ to obscure their true feelings and remain opaque to outsiders and possibly even to themselves.
oh so well observed NYT...

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Electricity kills

Electricity kills at least one person every week in the home and almost 1,000 are seriously injured every day. Electricity causes around 20,000 fires a year - almost half of all accidental UK house fires. The ESC has found that of all the people receiving an electric shock, private tenants are disproportionately affected: with 16% of the UK population living in private rented properties, they account for 20% of UK adults receiving an electric shock.

By law, landlords must ensure electrical installations and wiring are maintained in a safe condition throughout the tenancy. And tenants should feel obliged to flag electrical problems as soon as they appear, as well as maintain any electrical items they bring into the house. The consequences for not understanding obligations can be serious. If a landlord is found to be negligent over electrical safety it can lead to prosecution, with a fine of up to £5,000 on each count or imprisonment. This may come as a shock to the 38% of landlords who don’t believe there are any penalties for failing to maintain safety.

Whilst no legislation exists for tenants relating to electrical safety, if they are complacent to the issues then it could result in a serious injury or death.

Have a regular periodic inspection and test carried out on the property

If you own a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), you have a legal obligation to have a periodic inspection carried out on your property every five years. If your property is not an HMO, you are not legally obliged to get your installation inspected and tested on a periodic basis. However, the ESC recommends that a periodic inspection and test is carried out by a registered electrician on your rental properties at intervals not exceeding five years, or on a change of tenancy. They will then issue an Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) which details any damage, deterioration, defects or conditions within the installation that give rise, or potentially give rise, to danger.

Monday, 9 April 2012

time-lapse footage from the International Space :)

This time-lapse footage taken from the International Space Station shows the light emanating from the earth’s population centres at night.

The footage, courtesy of NASA, shows the beauty of both artificial and natural light events from an orbit around the planet.

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Thorn Lighting has conducted a survey in which over half of respondents said they were concerned by the quality of cheap lighting imports and their impact on product returns and the total cost of ownership.
In parallel, the survey found that over 63 per cent of respondents now see the internet as a vital sales channel to purchase lighting products.

The ‘State of the Nation’ survey questioned 225 wholesalers, contractors and installers from across the UK.

The research also indicated that for contractors and installers, reliability is the most important factor when considering a product purchase, with 26 per cent of respondents offering this as their highest priority.
For wholesalers, 57 per cent consider price as the most important factor when ordering products.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Cool news from MIT

A group of researchers in the US have unveiled an LED which emits more light energy than it consumes in electrical energy.

Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) unveiled the LED, which has a conventional efficiency of greater than 200 per cent.

This means that unlike traditional halogen lamps and newer LEDs, instead of producing heat this LED will instead cool its surroundings.

Lead researcher, Parthiban Santhanam of MIT, said: “The most counterintuitive aspect of this result is that we don’t typically think of light as being a form of heat. Usually we ignore the entropy and think of light as work.”

The possibility of such a device was first predicted in 1957, but a practical version was seemingly impossible to create until now.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Carbon Trust Empower

Landlords are responsible for ...

Landlords are responsible for making sure the electrical installation is safe in a property

This responsibility applies at the start of a tenancy and the property must be maintained in a safe condition throughout its duration. You should carry out basic visual checks to ensure that the installation has no hazards, including broken accessories (such as sockets and light switches), signs of scorching around sockets due to overloading, damaged cables to portable equipment or trailing cables/flexes.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Olympics better street lights

Did you manage to get hold of any tickets, then? If you were one of the lucky ones to strike gold in the Olympic lottery, you’ll be making your way to the Olympic Park courtesy of some winning lighting upgrades in the surrounding boroughs.

Improvements to the public lighting in the five boroughs neighbouring the Park will perhaps prove to be a more lasting legacy than some of the sporting venues themselves. Take Waltham Forest, for example. It has received £8 million of much-needed funding to make the area’s streets safer, more vibrant and attractive.
The upgrade to the street lighting sees a move away from SON lamps to white light, along with a central management system. Chris Warner is the public lighting manager for Waltham Forest. “The project board felt that Urbis’ offering met the design criteria for the schemes most effectively. They also liked the style of the main luminaires put forward, the Evolo and Paseo.”

The A106 Ruckholt Road, which leads directly to the main Olympic site, utilises the Paseo luminaire, fitted with twin optic 140W CosmoPolis ceramic metal halide lamps from Philips. In other areas you will find Evolo luminaires, equipped with single 140W Cosmos. The photometric performance of the units ensures that clean white light is spread evenly along the roads, which helps make the movement of large numbers of people safer.

“All the luminaires are fitted with the Harvard LeafNut system which I can access through a web server from my laptop. I can adjust lighting levels to individual lamp columns if necessary,” explains Warner. “During the Games we will need to provide a very high level of light. However, after the games are over, we can then use the system to lower the lighting levels and make significant long-term energy savings. It’s the ideal solution for us.” The new street lighting is expected to achieve 20 per cent energy savings.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Seagulls interfere with Brighton's street lights

Brighton and Hove council chiefs have blamed seagull droppings for Brighton’s streetlighting staying on 24 hours a day recently.

Council chiefs said that the bird droppings block the light-sensitive photocell mechanism on top of the lamps, fooling the system into thinking it’s constantly dark.

In addition, the council stated that a breakdown in communications between their power supplier, UK Power Networks, when changing cables, could have contributed.
Patcham ward councilor, Geoffrey Theobald, said: “It is very aggravating for residents to see street lights blazing away during the day when they are constantly being told by the authorities they should be conserving energy.”

Sunday, 1 April 2012

BMW Olympics special Edition M3 Coupe

In acknowledgement of the upcoming Olympics to be held in London this summer and as one of the Olympics key sponsors, BMW have announced a special Olympic Edition of the BMW M3 Coupe which will apparently be available at BMW dealerships throughout the UK from today and for one month only.
The special edition motor is available in white only with the Olympic rings accross the bonnet & roof. instead of the BMW logo on the stearing wheel there will be a replica gold medal.

BMW wont be using the London 2012 logo as "It doesnt fit in with the ethos of our car", off the record he said it was a bit of a crap design that looked like it was designed by a blind person with learning difficulties.

they will be sold to UK customers only and they will be a limited edition of only 100

The car will sell for £54,690 (OTR) only availible in Petrol, the engine will be uprated from the standard 420 to a 438 bhp engine and the sports pack and 19" alloys come as standard. this new model has a electric boost switch meaning it will beat even the fastest 100 mtr runner off the blocks.

Each car will be personally delivered by a British Olympian and comes with a signed photo in the glove box.

BMW spokesman said "More than any other model in the range, the BMW 3 Series captures the essence of the BMW brand. Its unrivalled reputation is built on fluid and responsive handling together with impressive performance and we didn’t think it was appropriate to have a M5 special edition as that’s for fat executives"

he went on to confirm "This car is so quick its faster than Usain Bolt on steroids" though the 25 years old Jamaican runner denied the allegation.

car #1 of the limited edition will be donated to the winner of the Mens 100 mtrs. The winner of the Womens will get a BMW 116d M Sport, "because 'girls' cant drive very well!!!"

Anyone interested in the car was asked to contact BMW via email at

Official fuel economy figures for the BMW M3 Coupé with M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with DRIVELOGIC: Extra Urban: 31.4mpg (9.0 l/100km). Urban: 16.6mpg (17.0 l/100km). Combined: 23.7mpg (11.9 l/100km). CO2 emissions 285g/km.

is it after the deadine yet????????????

Warning to icloud users - data not safe after March 2013

Supermassive black hole will 'eat' icloud

Apples inovative data back up system is based in outer space. Simulations suggest that the icloud will be ripped to bits and partially swallowed by the black hole.

Researchers have spotted iCloud spiralling into the supermassive black hole at our Samsung galaxy's centre (Samsung, the new sponsor of the Galaxy).

Though it is known that black holes draw in everything nearby, it will be the first chance to see one consume a data backup in space.

As it is torn apart, the turbulent area around the black hole will become unusually bright, giving astronomers a chance to learn more about data back up storage in space and read your e-mails with a telescope.

An article in Nature suggests the spectacle should be visible on 1/4/2013 before midday UK time.

Researchers using the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope estimate that despite its size, icloud has a total mass of only about three times that of Earth due to the number of HD video's uploaded of students trying to ingnite farts.

They have plotted icloud's squashed, oval-shaped path and estimate it has doubled its speed in the last three years - to 2,350km per second. during this time your iphone / ipad may take longer to back up.

It should spiral in to within about 40 billion kilometres of the black hole in the start of 2013.

Reviews of existing pictures from the VLT show iCloud speeding up in recent years

Our local supermassive black hole, dubbed Sagittarius A*, lies about 27,000 light-years away, and has a mass about four million times that of our Sun.

As the name implies, beyond a certain threshold point - the event horizon - nothing can escape its pull, not even light itself.

But outside that regime is a swirling mass of material, not unlike water circling a drain. In astronomical terms, it is a relatively quiet zone about which little is known.

That looks set to change, though, as iCloud approaches.

It does not comprise enough matter to hold itself together under its own gravity, as a star might, so icloud will begin to elongate as it meets its doom.

"The idea of an astronaut close to a black hole being stretched out to resemble spaghetti is familiar from science fiction," said lead author of the study Stefan Gillessen, from Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany.

"But we can now see this happening for real to icloud. It is not going to survive the experience."

It is likely that about half of icloud will be swallowed up, with the remainder flung back out into space.

But this violent process will literally shed light on the closest example we have of an enigmatic celestial object.

The acceleration of icloud's constituent material will create a shower of X-rays that will help astronomers learn more about our local black hole.

And as astronomer Mark Morris of the University of California Los Angeles put it in an accompanying article in Nature, "many telescopes are likely to be watching".

Apple have issued the following advice

Dear iUser, as a reminder, iCloud may experinace some difficulty in the April 2013, please note, we guarantee safe storage of your 5 GB of free storage. You currently have an additioanl iCloud which we are issuing as a guesture of good will.

To ensure your iCloud services continue without interruption, you can relocate your storage from space by following the steps below: 
Step 1:  On your iOS device, go to Settings and tap iCloud. 
Step 2:  Tap Storage & Backup. 
Step 3:  Choose option - Relocate my Storage to iCloud terestrial and upgrade my storage plan

You can also buy more iCloud terestrial storage from a Mac or PC. For more information on managing your iCloud storage contact Pallid Faros Yo at iCloud Support  (Terms Of Service apply)

Apple Inc. 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, CA 95014 All Rights Reserved.

We say, back up your data somewhere safe as you cant be sure if it will be your data that gets swallowed by the black hole.

Photoshop to save govt £1 billion

A committee of MPs is to investigate how to ensure Parliament's Clock Tower - better known as Big Ben - can be prevented from tilting further, after surveyors found it was leaning.

The Palace of Westminster, constructed during in the 19th Century, is also suffering from cracking.
The House of Commons Commission meets on Monday to discuss the problems.
But Professor John Burland of Imperial College said the lean should not be a big worry for at least "10,000 years".

During their meeting the MPs are expected to discuss a proposal to sell the Palace of Westminster and move into new offices, although this is thought to be highly unlikely to happen.

They will also look into the option of moving out temporarily while renovation work is carried out.
'Long time ago'

The Clock Tower, housing the bell which is called Big Ben, was completed in 1859.
Since then a five-storey car park and the Jubilee underground line have been constructed.

Imperial College London Prof Burland, a construction expert who oversaw the building of the car park, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme the lean had "been there for years. When I first started work on the car park it was obvious that it was leaning.

"We made measurements on it. It was leaning at one in 250 to the vertical, which is just about visible. That's the break point between looking vertical and looking like a slight lean.

"We've known about it for years and it was probably developed at a very early stage because there's no cracking in the cladding and we think it probably leant while they were building it and before they put the cladding on.

"That was a long time ago and buildings do lean a little bit."

Dally Fora Pois talks to tourists about the future of Big Ben: published October 2011
It is not the first time there have been problems with Big Ben, which stands at 96m (315ft) tall.
In 1976 pendulum weights fell down a shaft and the clock mechanism exploded, putting it out of action for almost nine months.

Prof Burland said the cracks in the Palace of Westminster had been there for years.

He added: "There's no such thing as an old building that isn't cracked. In fact they're beneficial because the building moves thermally more than is caused by the Jubilee Line and the movements concentrated around the cracks and, if they didn't, there'd be cracking elsewhere.

"For the time being, Adobe have set up an automated correction (from ver PS CS5.0 on) that every time Big Ben is snapped, Photoshop (including Elements from V5) will auto correct the lean so that it cannot be spotted by the naked eye ", he added "This way we can defer building work until the economy can better stand it"

the saving is expected to be in excess of £1 billion ($1.5 billion)

any photographers not using PS should tilt the camera approximately 1 deg clockwise (when shooting from the south) to compensate for the lean.

Addendum - STOP PRESS, we have just found out that Big Ben is to be given digital readout in time for New Year celebrations 2020. the govenrment are putting out to tender for sponsorship of the change and the original four clock faces are to be auctioned and the proceeds to go to Greenwich schools.

Omega have registerd interest and have already submitted a bid.

New lip balm for the OBJ

Would you dip your toast into this? To help those who suffer with dry lips, but who are bored of strawberry flavoured solutions, Vaseline's researchers have managed to come up with a Marmite lip balm.
Its is available in Boots & Lloyds as from today.

Due to special ingredients (yeast extract), if you can get some before midday, you can take part in the global

‘one big jump’

At 11.59 BST, Pluto and Jupiter will perfectly align for the first time in 80,000 years; the effect of this is to temporarily reduce Earth's gravity. Gravity is calculated to be lowered to the level experienced on the moon and a healthy adult male should be able to jump up to ten metres either horizontally or vertically.

The Marmite effect is expected to add an additional 20%. With this additional boost, it is predicted that you could jump over a standard two storey domestic house, but you will probably need to take a run up.

Renowned astronomer Floral Poi said “The planet Pluto would pass behind Jupiter, temporarily causing a gravitational alignment that would counteract and lessen the Earth's own gravity.”

If you experienced the once-in-a-lifetime feeling of zero gravity, call us with evidence and we will give you a voucher for work to be carried out by

capture the moment on your phone and send it to us!!!