David Kirkpatrick

May 1, 2008

Cheaper solar, “erasable” printer paper and medical imaging simplification

Nice group from KurzweilAI.net today. News that solar is coming down in price, “erasable” printer paper, and a simplification for sending medical imaging data.

A Price Drop for Solar Panels
Technology Review, May 1, 2008

A shortage of the silicon used in solar panels is almost over, industry analysts predict. This could lead to a sharp drop in prices over the next couple of years, making solar electricity comparable to power from the grid.

Added silicon production capacity is now starting to begin operations. While only 15,000 tons of silicon were available for use in solar cells in 2005, by 2010, this number could grow to 123,000 tons. And that will allow existing and planned production of solar panels to ramp up, increasing supply and reducing prices.

Prices for solar panels could drop by as much as 50 percent from 2006 to 2010. In areas that get a lot of sun, that will translate to solar electricity costs of about 10 cents per kilowatt hour, matching the average price of electricity in the United States.

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Xerox touts erasable paper, smart documents
Computerworld, April 29, 2008

Xerox has developed paper that can be reused after printed text automatically deletes itself from the paper’s surface within 24 hours.

A single piece of paper can be reused up to 100 times for black and white printing. The paper contains specially coded molecules that create a print after being exposed to ultraviolet light emitted from a thin bar in a printer. The molecule readjusts itself within 24 hours to its original form to delete the print, or heat can readjust the molecule instantly.

Xerox scientists also demonstrated technologies to make documents more intelligent by providing a deeper meaning to text and images. This is done by cross-referencing similar data and images mined off the Internet and incorporating other sources like e-mail messages and corporate networks.

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Cellphones used for medical imaging?
ZDNET, April 30, 2008

University of California at Berkeley researchers have developed a technique for transmitting medical images via cellphones.

The cell phone, hooked up to the data acquisition device(breast tomoography sensor, xray or MRI machine, etc.), would transmit the raw data to a central server, where the information would be used to create an image. The server would then relay a highly compressed image back to the cell phone, where the doctor could view it on the cell phone screen.

The system makes medical imaging much cheaper and more accessible to the poor because the apparatus at the patient site is greatly simplified, and there is no need for personnel highly trained in imaging processing.


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