This App Can Fight Forest Fires

FireWhat app delivers the latest fire updates, rather than firefighters working off data that’s 12 to 24 hours old

For firefighters, timely information truly is of the essence. FireWhat Inc., a start-up company founded by two firefighters and an MIT graduate, has developed a free, game-changing mobile platform for the Fire Service. Its Web site and mobile app give firefighters the latest information on fires, rather than having to depend on “updates” that can be 12 to 24 hours old. This helps save lives and, in some surprising ways, the environment.

To learn more about this timesaving, innovative resource that’s helping both firefighters and homeowners help get ahead of pending fire disasters, go to http://bit.ly/MAn1kd. And to find out about its more local impact in northern California, see http://bit.ly/MSLoxA.

Future highways could charge electric vehicles

Tesla’s sporty all-electric car has Americans dreaming of EVs, photo by Mike Finnegan

Electric vehicles have captured the American imagination. There’s a secret hunger and fascination about the prospect of owning one, particularly as the prospect for more sporty models keep growing. But the issue of keeping them charged over longer distances has been a thorny one.  The best of them can only travel up to 100 miles before needing to recharge (with the exception of Tesla’s Roadster)

Researchers at Stanford University recently made a discovery related to wireless technology that could provide the solution.

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LED bulbs brighten up with SWITCH

SWITCH Lighting's new LED builb draws a line in the sand with other LED's

Recently, SWITCH Lighting gave me a personal demonstration of their new LED bulbs, and it convinced me that incandescent light bulbs’ days are numbered with this new technology coming out next month.

Right now we have to choose between compact florescent bulbs (CFLs), which contain a measure of toxic mercury, and expensive, not-quite-bright-enough light-emitting diodes (LEDs). SWITCH Lighting’s new LED bulbs, however, draw a line in the sand from any other bulb I’ve tried.

To find out how strikingly bright and affordable these new LED bulbs are, see the full article at http://bit.ly/wQr1Jy.

“Urban Future” – where urban mobility isn’t a straight line

Urban Future sees cars and pedestrians safely sharing the same road

While the lines between science and science fiction are constantly being blurred, those between sidewalks and urban streets haven’t been.  At this year’s Design Miami/ international design show, one display showed this too is an idea that’s about to change.

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The Benefits and Challenges of Smart Meters

Editor’s Note: This is the second of three stories about the Smart Grid, its components, and the issues related to its implementation.

The Smart Grid is a catch-all name for a number of technological fixes to the current electricity grid that would merge new technologies with changing energy needs and drive U.S. electricity generation, transmission, and distribution into the 21st century, according to Don Van Dollen, IntelliGrid programs manager for the Electric Power Research Institute.

A key component of the success of the Smart Grid is the SmartMeter.

For more on the issues surrounding SmartMeters, see http://bit.ly/rAzPGl.

Farm Sanctuary and the National Conference to End (the cruelty of) Factory Farming

Factory farms confine animals in cages so small they can't even turn around

For those who don’t know – and many consumers don’t – much of the meat products that Americans eat come from factory farms. These “factories” are places where an often staggering number of animals such as chickens and turkeys are forced to endure extremely cramped confined spaces their entire lives, often stacked on top of each other – tighter than shelving in a garage – with no room to move around or nest in, much less any dirt to peck at. And cows and pigs endure even worse, many never seeing grass in their lifetime.

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New dolphin species identified off Australia

Australian researcher identifies this new species of dolphin

Dolphins are for many a creature filled with mystery and a bit of whimsy. Whether you remember the now iconic Flipper or have actually had the thrill of swimming with dolphins, these highly intelligent marine mammals evoke a heart-felt response that’s part wonder and part joy.

An Australian researcher has successfully identified a new species of dolphin that makes its home off the coast of Australia.

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