Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Soon, Your Car May Prevent You From Driving Drunk

Sunday, June 7th, 2015
Image courtesy of the NHTSA.

Image courtesy of the NHTSA.

New blood-alcohol-sensor technology could cause your car to shut down automatically if it senses you’re over the legal blood-alcohol limit of 0.08. In a presentation to Congress on Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) outlined technology known as the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS), that seeks to create “a world without drunk driving.”

DADSS uses touch and breathalyzer technology to determine if a driver has had too much to drink, and then prevents the driving of the vehicle if the person’s blood-alcohol level is over the legal limit. If the driver should be a teenager, the system would prevent the car from being driven if there is any trace at all of alcohol in the young person’s system. (more…)

Google Data Shows Self-Driving Car Not at Fault in Accidents

Saturday, June 6th, 2015
Google's Self-Driving car prototype - Image credited to Google.

Google’s Self-Driving car prototype – Image credited to Google.

The sheer thought of seeing a car going down the road without a driver is a little scary to say the least. However, Google’s self-driving car seems to be doing just fine without a driver – at least, according to accident data released recently by the search engine giant turned car maker.

In the Self-Driving Car Project Monthly Report for May, Google states that its self-driving vehicles have been involved in a total of 12 accidents since the program started in 2009. According to the report, all 12 accidents were minor “fender benders” and no one was ever hurt or injured. Out of the 12 collisions, only half occurred when the car was actually self driving in autonomous mode.

According to the Google data, the self-driving car was bumped or clipped by other vehicles in all of the accidents. Google’s self-driving cars never received more than “minor damage” and were deemed to never have been at fault in any of the accidents.


Google Boosts Chrome Performance and Battery Efficiency

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

In a rare admission that its Chrome browser may not be as lite and power efficient as previously claimed, Google touted a new update aimed at improving battery life on laptops on its Official Blog. Once touted for being the lightest and most efficient Web browser available, Chrome is now notorious for sucking down hard on laptop batteries when displaying animations and videos. However, Google’s latest updates to Chrome aim to correct that problem, and the results do look promising.

The update is currently only available for Chrome Beta, but you can get it now - Image credit Google.

The update is currently only available for Chrome Beta, but you can get it now – Image credit Google.

If you’re an avid online video fan, it won’t come as a surprise that the main target of the update is Adobe Flash and how it impacts performance and battery life. In the blog post, Google engineer, Tommy Li, states that the new update provides “better battery life for your laptop” and “significantly reduces power consumption”. However, in the same post, Li also states“Adobe Flash allows web pages to display rich content – sometimes that can put a squeeze on your laptop’s battery” Li continues further to say Google has been working with Adobe to enable the Chrome browser to “intelligently pause content (like Flash animations) that aren’t central to the webpage, while keeping central content (like a video) playing without interruption.


New Benefits for Solar Energy Use

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

Federal tax credits implemented to encourage solar energy development and use

After years of failed attempts, the U.S. Congress passed comprehensive energy legislation last summer. Spurred by record prices for oil, natural gas and coal, lawmakers developed a tax package of $14.5 billion, the bulk of the incentives targeting mature, traditional energy industries. Yet the solar industry was able to win the strongest federal provisions for solar in two decades: a 30 percent federal investment tax credit for residential and commercial installations. These new incentives have been implemented from the 1st of January 2006.

The existing 10 percent tax credit for commercial solar installations rises from 10 percent to 30 percent for two years, with no cap on the credit. The incentive applies to all property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2008. It switches back to the permanent 10 percent credit thereafter.

The policy includes a 30 percent tax credit for residential solar installations for two years, capped at $2,000. It applies to all property placed in service after Dec. 31, 2005, and before Jan. 1, 2008

For more information on solar energy and solar panels visit Siemens Solar