Google’s powerful patent search engine allows immediate access to the documents that have driven innovation for more than a century.Pictured is Wilbur and Orville Wright’s airplane, but other famous inventors are well-represented: Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison intrigue.
Archive for December, 2006
Understanding the evolution of cooperation–whether between genes or cells or within animal and human societies–remains one of the fundamental challenges of biology (see the Perspective by Boyd). Nowak (p. 1560) reviews the five main mechanisms of cooperation: kin selection, direct reciprocity, indirect reciprocity, network reciprocity, and group selection. Bowles (p. 1569) contends that the ecological challenges facing humans during the late Pleistocene resulted in intense competition for resources, frequent group extinctions, and intergroup violence. Genetic, climatic, archaeological, ethnographic, and experimental data were used to look at human cooperation in an economics-based, cost-benefit model. Members of a group bearing genes for altruistic behavior pay a tax by limiting their reproductive opportunities in order to benefit from sharing food and information, thereby increasing the average fitness of the group, as well as their interrelatedness. Bands of altruistic humans would then act in concert to gain resources from other groups at a time when humans faced daily challenges to survival.
This paper published in Biology Letters is linked to a video that shows a WSN attached to the belly of a dragonlfy. It weights 300mg (battery included) and apparently dragonflies do not have a problem carrying it around.
This is made by a guy called Jim Cochran who runs Sparrow Systems with his dad — they both sound like very nice people and from the look of it they can build stuff that works (rather than the usual WSN vaporware).
Comments on Sensor Web Design Studies for Realtime Dynamic Congestion Pricing (here)
Situation: Traffic congestion is a fundamental problem. To avoid it on some streets, one may charge drivers accessing those streets. For simplicity, one usually charges a fixed rate (e.g., London congestion charge).Â However, dynamic pricing is preferable – one charges depending on information about local road events, public event calendars, road segments, and congestion patterns.
Problem: The pricing model needs to gather such information.
Proposal: This paper proposes to do so by collecting readings from sensors and from aircrafts/UAVs with video cameras.
Future: To extend this proposal, one may be inspired by existing work on ad-hoc vehicular nets (e.g.,Â by Ilias‘ recent work). What aboutÂ ‘Realtime Dynamic Congestion Charge with Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks’?
Though micro HDDs have been a reality for a while, seeing this tiny drive(GeekZone), and the fact it is 100GB, really impressed me. Maybe we don’t have to worry too much about large amounts of state information in algorithms anymore.
(I’m not sure if I should be impressed by a “15 meter second” seek time though.)