Saturday, 31 January 2015

Iran joins the Electric Car crowd with a prototype

Renault resumed shipments of car parts to its Iranian joint-venture, Renault Pars, as Western sanctions against the Persian Gulf country eased somewhat. The low-volume trade enables the continued production of the Tondar model, an Iranian version of Renault's low-cost Logan car, according to Reuters.

But Logan car parts, sourced from Renault's Romanian plant, may not have been the only model sent to Iran if you closely compare the newly revealed electric car at Tehran's Qazvin Islamic Azad University, pictured above. In nearly all respects, it closely resembles Renault's Twizy urban electric runabout.

Iran's Mehr News Agency reports the car took one year to complete, conveniently coinciding with the easing of economic sanctions. It is 2 meters long and 120 cm wide, measurements that are virtually identical to the Twizy. The MNA stories adds that some 450 parts in the car were fabricated by university researchers, suggesting that what Renault may have supplied were mainly engineering drawings for the vehicle. The most pronounced visible differences between the Iranian vehicle and the French Twizy appear to be largely cosmetic.

The most noticeable difference between the French UEV (urban electric vehicle) and the Iranian clone is their driving ranges. The 6.1kWh battery pack in the Twizy has a rated range of 100 km (62 mi.), while the Azad University vehicle claims double that. Recharge time is said to be 3 hours.

Given Tehran's serious air pollution problems and traffic congestion, a Twizy-like electric vehicle would make sense...

Friday, 30 January 2015

Friday Fact

•Chewing gum while peeling onions will keep you from crying.

a handy thing to know when working at MyFresh..

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Do you remember your kids toy car

If you were lucky it was a battery one that was only powered on one wheel and spend most of its time wheel spinning in the grass

not this one... check it out

Elise had a Pink Merc, but it was never as good as this...

A South Korean firm has designed a different kind of electric car ride on toy for kids with parents who have deep pockets. The electric ride-on is called the Broon F870.

It has dual electric motors and can scoot along at 10mph, which is twice as fast as those cheap Power Wheels cars. The car features dual motors and all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive likely means all those donuts Power Wheels are famous for will be hard to pull off.

It does have some surprising features for a toy with a leather bucket seat, four point harness, working head light and taillights, a speaker system, folding side mirrors, and a coil spring suspension. It even has a 7-inch Android tablet with HDMI output in the centre of the dash and a Bluetooth remote for parents to control the car from afar.

That tablet can also act as an MP3 player for the sound system.

Clever eh!!!

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

World's most powerful electrical testing system

Our testers test at 1000v which is a fair whack, but 24kv that's a whole different ball park.

A new 24,000-volt direct current power test system, the most powerful of its kind, has been unveiled at Florida State University's Center for Advanced Power Systems.

The system, which has the ability to test electrical equipment in real-world conditions, will help in building next-generation power equipment.

The power hardware in the loop (PHIL) test facility at CAPS is a scientific experiment where a simulated electrical environment virtually exchanges power with real hardware, giving scientists a more in-depth look at how equipment would fare in real-world conditions such as a lightning strike or a power surge.

It has a 24,000-volt direct current with a capacity of 5 megawatts built by putting together four individual 6 kilovolt, 1.25 megawatt, converters that can be arranged in any combination, in series or parallel connection, to form an extremely flexible test bed for medium voltage direct current (MVDC) system investigations.

"This is the first time anyone has strung together four individual converters of this magnitude and operated them in a safe and controlled manner," said Michael "Mischa" Steurer, senior research faculty and leader of the Power Systems Research Group at CAPS.

found at

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Fancy a Tattoo that Can Check Diabetics' Sugar Levels

A temporary electronic "tattoo" may one day offer diabetics a bloodless way to check blood sugar levels, researchers say.

Diabetes affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and is among the leading causes of death and disability. People with diabetes must test their glucose levels several times a day, using devices with a tiny needle to draw blood from a fingertip.

Constant finger-pricking may drive patients to avoid checking their blood sugar levels, so researchers have been searching for less invasive ways to monitor glucose.

therefore a non-invasive wearable health sensors will be welcomed by many.

UCSD have developed a flexible device that sticks to skin like a rub-on tattoo and sends a mild electrical current over the skin to detect a person's blood sugar levels, without needles.

The scientists tested their device on three women and four men who did not have diabetes. Two or three of the study participants reported feeling a mild tingling in the first 10 seconds of the test, but none reported feeling discomfort.

To see how well the tattoo picked up the spike in blood sugar levels expected after a meal, the researchers measured the participants' blood sugar before and after they consumed a carbohydrate-rich sandwich and soda in the lab.

The new device consists of electrodes made of silver and silver chloride ink, and a blood glucose sensor made of a glucose-sensitive enzyme and another type of ink. The researchers printed both the electrodes and the sensor onto temporary tattoo paper.

To check the blood sugar, the electrodes apply a very mild electrical current to the skin for 10 minutes. This draws the sodium ions in a person's body fluid to migrate toward the electrodes, and these ions bring along the glucose that is also present in the person's fluids. The sensor in the tattoo then measures the strength of the electrical charge produced by the glucose to determine a person's blood sugar levels.

Its still in development as it currently (pardon the pun) does not have a way of indicating blood sugar levels so watch this space.

Monday, 26 January 2015

I see someone perfect to be an electrcial apprentice

Found and article on the daily mail where a 16 year old claims he can withstand shocking 11,000 volts without feeling a thing

Deepak Jangra discovered his 'talent' when fixing mother's heater

Human electricity insulator Deepak Jangra can apparently resist the same amount of voltage required to power 500 houses and even sit with his hands inside a tub of water along with naked live wires.
The 16-year-old claims: ‘I have a gift from God. I feel very privileged. I have the power to do things no-one else can and I don’t intend on wasting it.

‘I used to be scared of electricity but now I am confident. I have tested myself over and over again and I will never get hurt. I can touch a live wire with my tongue and I know nothing will happen to me.’

read more here

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Stay safe as well as warm in your home this winter.

Although there is nothing like a cosy open fire or the added warmth of an electric blanket, these and other winter must-haves can bring an increased risk of fire into the home.

Check that all your winter essentials are fire-safe and remember a smoke alarm is the single most important piece of safety equipment in any home. Remember to test your smoke alarm on a regular basis as working smoke alarms save lives.

Take time to check on older family and neighbours, winter can be a tough time for some.

 Make sure that they are both warm and safe and have working smoke alarms installed. Ensure their smoke alarms are fitted in a place that will be audible from their bedrooms.

Simple things save lives


Friday, 23 January 2015

Friday Fact

•At least 9 million other people in the world have the same birthday as you.

but that's an average.

Ainsleigh & Geordan, how many of you are out there???

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Why the Regs changed

I am sure that Jim Shears and Alan Bannon didn't want to be famous, because they are famous for being in a preventable tragedy. As they were two brave firefighters whose deaths lead to wiring safety change

Fallen cables in corridor Cables held by plastic trunking or ties can fall across escape routes during a fire Continue reading the main story Related StoriesCrews adopt cable danger solution Watch Firefighter deaths 'misadventure' Burning flat was 'a death trap'

Colleagues of two firefighters who died tackling a tower block blaze have welcomed a change in wiring regulations designed to prevent a similar tragedy.

Jim Shears and Alan Bannon were overcome by excessive heat in Shirley Towers, Southampton, on 6 April 2010.

An inquest found they had become entangled in fallen cables.

A change is being made to the British Standard regulation requiring electrical cables to be mounted in metal trunking instead of plastic.

The change was recommended by coroner Keith Wiseman following an inquest into the firefighters' deaths in 2013.

Hampshire and a number of other fire and rescue services, supported by charity Electrical Safety First, had been lobbying for the change.

The change relates to regulation BS 7671, which covers electrical installations in the UK, and will apply to cables in escape routes fixed to walls and ceilings, when it comes into force in July.

Fallen cables were also highlighted as a factor in the deaths of firefighters Michael Millar and Jeff Wornham at Harrow Court in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, in February 2005.

Andy Reynolds, of the Chief Fire Officers Association, said the regulatory change was "a significant life-saving improvement".

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Its Boring

You know when I get home from the office I scope for interesting news stories. I am quite frustrated that there is nothing new going on.

All the stories on electric cars are so boring. they are literally non news used to fill up space.

I also found a load of stories on electrical fires but nothing to fire up the imagination. I want chin stroking stuff. I want a "Mmm that's interesting" moment. but right now I am not getting it.

I will continue looking for stories and new ideas.

how thing have changed, it was only Saturday I was saying how exciting this were...

oh well, nose to the grindstone...

Have a great day...

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Electrical safety at home needs looking at..

Trade association NAPIT has called for government and industry to ensure appropriate action is taken to improve electrical safety in the home, following the publication of a Electrical Safety Roundtable (ESR) report.

The report, which analysed enforcement of Part P of the Building Regulations in England, found that on average 72% of local authorities each year had not taken action against Part P non-compliance between 2011 and 2013.

It also suggested that only 2% attempted to prosecute a case under this part of the Building Regulations and that there had only been one successful prosecution during the three-year period surveyed.

Part P is not being enforced as effectively as it could be.

There is little legal or financial deterrence to prevent Part P noncompliance. This may be allowing the dangerous work of rogue traders to go unchecked and could be putting properties and householders at serious risk.

The investigation included a major Freedom of Information request. It surveyed the enforcement practices of all local authorities in England and returned an 87% response rate, making it one of the largest studies of its kind.

Local authorities have formal enforcement powers under the Building Regulations

The report also shows that the Competent Person Scheme operators have a key role to play in influencing positive change.

Its worthwhile considering that building control departments are stuck between a rock and a hard place, with funding cuts combined with no teeth - a lack of effective deterrence powers

The Competent Person Scheme operators lack any legal enforcement powers or the ability to carry out safety checks on work carried out by unregistered contractors.

Industry bodies need to be given appropriate powers and support to enforce Part P effectively.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Net-enabled TV

Samsung has declared that by 2017 every television it sells will be internet-connectable, prompting one of its executives to suggest we'll soon stop referring to "smart" TVs as such because net-enabled services will be the norm.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The charger that boosts battery in seconds

Theirs some really clever new tech coming out. How about charging a Samsung smartphone from being nearly out-of-juice to full capacity in less time than it takes to boil a kettle.

There's a couple of trade-offs involved, but being able to recharge devices about 100 times faster than at present has the potential to revolutionise the way we use mobile phones, tablets, laptops and wearable tech.

It's not something that can be retrofitted to your phone, since most phones would be fried by the 40 amps of electricity the current version of the charger supplies.

It also involves using a completely new type of battery, which contains specially synthesised organic molecules.

Nevertheless the possibilities are great.

the special battery allows charging very fast, moving ions from an anode to a cathode at a speed that was not possible before we had these materials

Storedot's chief executive Doron Myersdorf Storedot aims to recharge a typical smartphone battery in less than a minute by 2017

Phone-makers from the US, South Korea, China and Japan have already begun talks to either license or buy exclusive rights to the tech

The firm's prototypes currently deliver, meaning the normal-sized handset used in the demo only held 900mAh of juice, and would have to be recharged several times a day were it deployed now albeit only taking two minutes to do so each time.

If they can charge a phone battery in less than a minute - how fast for a car???

That would be a real game-changer. especially if you are like me and when you get up in the morning and you realise you forgot to set the washing machine. Charge your car while you have breakfast.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

These are exciting times

Its time to reflect a world of unprecedented possibilities.

Our role is to provide inspiration, education and context to engineers tasked with creating new installations.

To put it in context, its fun to explore lighting design and inspire with great new creative ideas and techniques. LED and Lighting controls have amazing possibilities. (sorry to use the same word twice)

Lighting has never been so exciting.


Found on

Friday, 16 January 2015

Friday Fact

•All of the clocks in the movie "Pulp Fiction" are stuck on 4:20.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

UK wind power reaches record high

The National Grid has revealed that UK wind power generation rose by 15% in 2014, while separate figures from WWF Scotland round-up a record-breaking year for renewables north of the border. Related articles

National Grid statistics show a rise from 24.5TWh to 28.1TWh electricity generated from renewables in the UK in 2014 – enough to power approximately a quarter of UK homes all year round.

Wind farms feeding into the grid and single turbines connected to local networks together provided 9.3% of the UK’s total electricity supply in 2014, up from 7.8% in 2013.

December saw record renewable energy generation with 14% of all UK electricity being produced by wind, beating the previous record of 13% set in December 2013. In the last three months of 2014, 12% of electricity was produced from wind, breaking the previous record of 11% set in Q1 of 2014.
Commenting on the figures, RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive Maf Smith said: "It’s great to start 2015 with some good news about the massive quantities of clean electricity we’re now generating from wind, with new records being set month after month, quarter after quarter, and year on year, as we increase our capacity to harness one of Britain’s best natural resources.

"We’re now into a General Election year so we know that the political temperature is set to carry on rising over the next few months. The cost of energy has become an important political issue, so now would be a good time for voters, prospective parliamentary candidates and MPs to take account of the fact that onshore wind is the cheapest form of renewable energy we have at our fingertips.
"So if we’re serious about cutting bills, and securing an indigenous supply of clean power, all parties need to support it in the months ahead."

Scotland saw wind generate enough power to supply the electrical needs of 98% of Scottish households during 2014, with more than 100% being catered for during six of the 12 months.
Even in its least-productive month (June), wind power output in Scotland was 281,735MWh, enough to power 37% of Scottish homes.

The report also found that during June and July there was enough sunshine in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness to generate an average 100% of the electricity needs of an average home.
Commenting on the data, WWF Scotland's director Lang Banks said: "With 2015 being a critical year for addressing climate change internationally, it's vital that Scotland continues to press ahead with plans to harness even greater amounts of clean energy.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

New regulation tackles fire cable deaths

Life-saving legislation that will help prevent fatalities from cable entanglement has been published and will take effect from 1 July 2015, thanks to successful lobbying from Electrical Safety First, in collaboration with Fire and Rescue Services.

In recent years, there have been tragic outcomes when falling cables have trapped both those trying to escape fires and those fighting them, including one blaze in a single flat in a Southampton high-rise where two fire fighters lost their lives.

Confronted by an intense blaze, they became trapped when the electrical wiring in the ceiling-mounted trunking fell because the supports had melted in the heat.

As a result of this and other incidents, an amendment to BS 7671 – which covers electrical installations in the UK – will compel all new wiring systems to use metal, rather than plastic, to support cables in escape routes in order to prevent their premature collapse in the event of a fire. BS 7671 Amendment 3 was published in January and will take effect from 1 July 2015.

Martyn Allen, Head of the Electro-Technical Division at Electrical Safety First, explained: “Past experience has shown that, where installed at high level in corridors, stairways and other escape routes (and in high rise blocks particularly), cables supported only by plastic cable clips or by plastic trunking, or conduit without additional metal supports, can pose a significant risk during a fire – to both residents and those attempting to rescue them.

“We are delighted that our partnership approach to this issue, working with the Chief Fire Officers Association ( CFOA ) and other key stakeholders, has led to this important addition to BS 7671 and a step-change improvement in safety.”

John Bonney, Chief Officer at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, where the two fire fighters in the incident outlined above were stationed, said: “Following the death of our two colleagues, the coroner found that fallen cables – which hampered their attempts to escape – were a key factor in the tragedy.
“The coroner recommended a change to the legislation around cable support and we have lobbied hard over the last two years, through CFOA , to bring this about. This small but vital regulatory change will help protect both the public and fire fighters and prevent them facing similar dangers in the future.”

Original source
Chief Fire Officers Association
Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Did You Know?

Parts of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, upstate New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and nearly all of Maine and Minnesota were colder than Mars on Thursday.

Wireless charging

BMW AG is trying to make charging cables optional as it plans plug-in hybrid versions of top models from the 3 series to the X5.

BMW will showed wireless charging technology in the i8 hybrid sports car at International CES in Vegas.

Induction Charging - Using a magnetic field to transmit electricity between a base pad on the garage floor or street and a coil on the underside of the vehicle, drivers would be able to avoid get the charging cables and getting your hands dirty. I can see why people would like this, especially in the winter as the wind rattles the big roll over shutter door here.

BMW and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler AG agreed last July to work together on wireless charging.

Under pressure to meet tough emissions regulations, both carmakers have promised to broaden their range of electric vehicles. Mercedes-Benz already offers the electric B class and a plug-in hybrid version of its top-of-the-line S class model.

Today’s prototype takes two hours to replenish the battery of the i8, which can drive in electric-only mode for 23 miles, about the same time as using a normal cable. BMW also sells the i3 battery-powered city car as part of the “i” sub-brand it created to showcase its clean-car technology.

BMW had already worked on contactless charging in a previous partnership with Siemens AG, testing prototypes in Berlin in 2011. Fulton Innovation, a unit of Alticor Inc., also showed the technology that year on Tesla Motors Inc.’s Roadster electric model.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Could sun and wind eventually make electricity ‘too cheap to meter’

The UK electricity system may actually approach this mythical situation of energy that is “too cheap to meter”.

In the future, the industry’s costs will be determined by the number and size of power plants and turbines that will be needed, rather than the fuel burned in them. This won’t mean an end to electricity bills – but it will mean some major changes in how they are calculated.

When the UK’s electricity industry was privatised in the 90s its plants had the capacity to generate more than was needed.

This was despite the fact many of these plants had already been in service for decades. The national transmission network was also well established. This meant the cost of electricity was largely determined by fuel prices – mainly coal and gas.

The hardware used by the industry today has changed little since privatisation – in fact much of it has been in service since the 1960s.

On a typical day in November 2014, 37% of the UK’s electricity was produced by 40-year old coal-fired power stations, 31% came from gas power stations, many built during Margaret Thatcher’s “dash for gas”, and 14% from nuclear power stations, all but one of which are scheduled to close in the next ten years. The rest came from renewables and imports from the continent.

Over the coming 15 years this will change. To meet national and European targets for CO2 and industrial pollution, existing coal plants will be phased out and gas will be reserved for periods of peak demand. Most electricity will be provided by nuclear and renewables, supplemented during the winter by coal and gas.

This means a big shift from fuel to infrastructure costs – constructing the power stations, turbines, solar panels and associated infrastructure will cost many billions of pounds. Nuclear power’s refuelling and operating costs are relatively low. For wind and solar, the operating costs are effectively zero.

To get anywhere near its emissions targets the UK will have to see a drastic reduction in the amount of gas used for home heating. While scrapping gas boilers in favour of electric heat pumps may reduce emissions, it will also mean the load on the electricity grid will be much greater in winter than in summer.

The problem here is that renewable energy doesn’t operate on the same cycle as us humans – solar panels are much less productive on a gloomy day in December, when electricity demand is high, than on a sunny day in June, when it is low.

The financial incentives for electricity generators are changing. The US fracking boom has reduced natural gas prices in America (but not in Europe as the networks are not connected) and many US electricity generators have therefore switched from coal to gas, leaving a surplus of coal. This has in turn reduced world coal prices at a time when the situation in Ukraine has left gas supplies uncertain. Therefore, if they have the choice, UK generators are burning coal rather than gas.

At periods of low electricity demand, the availability of almost free wind energy is depressing the demand for fossil-fuel generation so it is not difficult to see why the UK’s gas plants are increasingly under-used.

In the UK, generators (the firms who own the power plants) sell their electricity to retailers (the firm named at the top of your bill) through an auction every half hour. The market works on energy prices (£/kWh). This was logical when the investment in power stations had been paid-off years earlier and fuel inputs such as coal or gas were the biggest cost.

However, in the approaching situation where marginal energy costs could be almost zero and capacity charges – based on peak usage – are very high, it is difficult to see how an electricity market auction is possible. Bid prices would no longer be related to operating costs and there must be a risk that it would be closer to a game of poker, where the bid is based on an assessment of the competition, rather than on cost.

A free market for electricity would be likely to produce extremely high prices in winter, particularly at periods of peak demand, but very low prices at times when the demand can be met entirely by renewable energy. If these energy costs are passed on to the customer, we could see the cost of using an electric kettle to make a cup of tea at 18:30 in January being many pounds, but electricity costing almost nothing during long periods in the summer.

found at

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Recycle obselete electrical items

Old electrical items replaced by new Christmas gifts can be taken to a recycling centre.

With electrical items one of the most popular Christmas gifts, old, unwanted mobile telephones and televisions and other gadgets can be recycled.

Information stored on the devices should be removed, before taking them for recycling.

All electrical items – anything with a power cable or battery-powered – can be dropped off

link for central beds -

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Data grabbed by smart gadgets may be of concern

As the world changes there are always new things to consider.

Just what will futuristic smart gadgets know about you and what will happen if the information is processed incorrectly?

A future full of smart gadgets that watch what we do could pose a great threat to privacy.

The collated data could create a false impression if given to employers, universities or companies.

Tech firms should make sure gadgets gathered the minimum data needed to fulfil their function.

The internet of things (IoT), which will populate homes, cars and bodies with devices that use sophisticated sensors to monitor people, could easily build up a personal picture of a person's lifestyle.

You may well say that already happens with the monitoring of internet and phone use, but this will take it to the next step.

we also have to consider that this data collection is likely to get more detailed as time progresses.

Is stuff you own invading you individual privacy. is it just we need tpo take ownership of our own privacy in the T&C's in these new gadgets?

Data should only be gathered for a specific purpose, firm that did not respect privacy would lose the trust of potential customers.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Friday Fact

•A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second!.

When I say I will be there in a Jiffy, I will more than likely late.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Washing machines now on the Internet of things.

I don't think we will be getting this as I don't think it will fit under the worktop at home but it look very clever. The smart home has reached your washing machine — and electronics companies are racing to make the wifi connected, multi-featured machine.

LG, Samsung and Whirlpool have all announced smart washing machines at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas.

Each has special smart features. LG’s headline one is that it has a bottom draw that can allow it to take two loads at once, Samsung’s is that it has a built in sink and Whirpool’s that it can connect with your thermostat.

The LG Twin Wash features a smaller drawer at the bottom, which can take two separate loads. That means that other washes, such as delicates, can happen at the same time as normal ones.

 LG Electronic's David VanderWall introduces the LG front loading washing machine with the new Twin Load System at CES  

The washing machine uses HomeChat, LG’s smart home platform, to allow its owners to monitor its progress on their smart phone.

The washing machine can do a full wash in 36 minutes... alleagedly

Whirlpool’s new washing machine was revealed alongside Nest’s announcement that its thermostats and smoke detectors can hook up to yet more home appliances.

The whirlpool can be controlled by your thermostat, asking it to launch when it thinks that you’ve left the house, for example.

That is part of a range of smart features built into the Whirlpool, which can also be monitored remotely using its wifi connection.

The washing machine can also time itself to turn on at the most cost-efficient times of day, using electricity during cheaper off peak hours.

Samsung’s innovation is called Active Wash, and tied together a top-loading washing machine with a built in sink where you can wash delicates and pre-treat stains. It includes a water jet and specialised surfaces to help out.

watch this space for updates...

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Worlds that could hold life and water in the 'Goldilocks zone'

This may be off topic for an electrician, but we found it really exciting.

Eight more planets have been discovered that could possess watery oceans and life, including two of the most Earth-like yet found.

The new worlds double the number of small exo-planets believed to be circling their stars in the “habitable zone” - the narrow region in which temperatures are mild enough to allow liquid surface water.

“Most of these planets have a good chance of being rocky, like Earth,” said lead scientist Dr Guillermo Torres, from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics in Cambridge, US.

The two most Earth-like planets, known as Kepler-438b and Kepler-442b, both orbit red dwarf stars that are smaller and cooler than the Sun.

With a diameter just 12 per cent bigger than Earth, Kepler-438b has a 70 per cent chance of being rocky, the scientists have calculated. Kepler-442b is about one-third larger than Earth, and the likelihood of it being rocky is around 60 per cent.

An artist's impression of Kepler-186f which may have conditions suitable to life An artist's impression of Kepler-186f which may have conditions suitable to life  To be in the habitable zone, also known as the “Goldilocks zone”, a planet must be not too hot or too cold and receive roughly as much sunlight as Earth.

Too much heat from its star, and any water would boil away as steam. Too little, and the water would freeze solid.

“For our calculations we chose to adopt the broadest possible limits that can plausibly lead to suitable conditions for life,” Dr Torres added.

Kepler-438b receives about 40 per cent more light than the Earth giving it a 70 per cent probability of having a habitable zone orbit. In comparison, baking hot Venus has twice as much.

The other star gets about two-thirds as much light as Earth and is 97 per cent likely to be in the habitable zone.

An artist's impression of Kepler-16b, a world where two suns set over the horizon instead of just one, the planet is the most  An artist's impression of Kepler-16b, a world where two suns set over the horizon instead of just one, the planet is the most "Tatooine-like" planet yet found in our galaxy  Co-author Dr David Kipping, also from the Centre for Astrophysics, said: “We don't know for sure whether any of the planets in our sample are truly habitable. All we can say is that they're promising candidates.”

Neither of the planets are our close neighbours. Kepler-438b is located 470 light-years from Earth while the more distant Kepler-442b is 1,100 light-years away.
The team, whose findings were presented at the American Astronomical Society's annual meeting in Washington DC, studied planetary candidates first identified by the US space agency Nasa's Kepler space telescope.

found on the independent web site

“small” astronomers mean planets with less than twice the Earth's diameter.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Smart Home - Blossom

I know it is raining right now in the UK but there are some clever thing coming out this year for when the sun comes out.

You know we were going on about the  "internet of things" and "smart home"- after trying the Nest learning thermostat. well here's one for gardeners


Blossom's internet-connected hub uses weather forecasts to determine when to spray water, and can also be triggered by the owner's smartphone

The idea is to empower everyday objects by letting them create and/or make use of online data.

Blossom will have a garden sprinkler system that can decide when to switch on based on weather forecasts, while SmartQSine is showing off pads for the pantry that allow you to keep track of how much of your favourite foods are left.

exiting times.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Goodbye 2014...

After a year of perpetual perturbations I think I will be glad to wave goodbye to 2014.

Weather issues, political upsets, conflict, disease, economic turbulence, its been quite a year..

If we start the year with a load of bad weather we might just be waiting till Easter for the good times..

Lets finally say goodbye to this recession.

No more alarm bells in financial markets please. to be honest we have a great deal of confidence in 2015. we believe its going to be a good year.

The ebola outbreak was a nasty shock, and in a globalized world, the spread of epidemic is always an alarming.

Can we hope for no surprises, or a positive 2015. Maybe that would be peace on earth, for a change. I doubt it, but we do live in hope. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to each and every one of you...

On a personal note, for those of you feeling poorly, I hope with all my heart you get better.

May 2015 treat you well...