Now that I’ve just about completely replaced all incandescent lights in my apartment with compact fluorescents (CFL), GE has announced a new, improved, more energy efficient incandescent. Eventually, they say, it’ll be better than CFL. What’s up with that, and why didn’t they do it sooner? The press release doesn’t say, and I won’t speculate (at least not out loud), except to wonder if it has anything to do with California possibly outlawing the incandescent bulb in favour of CFLs. If incandescent were just as efficient, and possibly cheaper, than CFLs, that legislation would look a bit silly. That said, the legislation itself could be regarded as efficient if just the threat of it achieves its goals.
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Speaking of light, interesting news with regard to big fricken’ lasers. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is on the verge of developing a laser so big and powerful it reminds me of the phaser of Star Trek fame — the ship mounted ones. They figure they need about 100 kW standard output to use it as a weapon, so the hand phaser will have to wait until the batteries necessary to store that kind of power are considerably smaller. Currently they require a big trailer or 747 to house them, and it would be helpful if the target were to stay still for the several seconds necessary to do damage. This is not a weapon we want to take on the Klingons with just yet. But at 67 kW, they are getting there.
Really the most important part of the equation isn’t the flashy laser bits, but rather the batteries. I want batteries so powerful that not only will my car go for thousands of miles on them, but they will also power the hood-mounted phaser bank. Cut me off, will you? Lock on phasers, Mr. Sulu!
In DRM related news, it looked for a second as though EMI was going to lighten up on DRM restrictions for online music retailers. However, it turns out that they want loads of cash in exchange, and are getting no takers.
Allofmp3.com remains in business and the best deal in online music for now.