Wednesday

How Long Will Your SSD Drive Last?

Solid State Drives (SSDs) are the new hotness - well, not even really that new anymore. Traditionally, desktop and laptop computers use a hard disk drive to store the operating system and other data. These electro-mechanical disk devices are subject to wear and tear, and will eventually fail. WILL, not MAY.

Saturday

FedEx Flaunts Flash For Five Bucks

In what appears to be an awesomely short-sighted move, FedEx is effectively slipping users $5 to install Adobe Flash Player on their PCs. Adobe Flash Player has a pretty horrible security record, and many sites are moving away from it to other technologies, such as HTML 5.


Flash Player allows your web browser to display sound and animations on a web page, and in this case it is used for FedEx's Office printing service. 

You might think a huge (and rather high tech) company like FedEx would alter their web content to use HTML 5 - or indeed anything but Flash Player, but instead they offer a $5 rebate for your cooperation if you go ahead and install it.

Weird, and not in a good way.


Thursday

Solar Cells With 26% Efficiency (That's GOOD)

Solar cells are not very efficient; in other words they only convert a small fraction of the sun's radiate energy into electrical energy, This is mostly due to the fact that the current technology can only around convert around 30% of the received energy, even at it's theoretical limit.

Even so, a Japanese manufacturer has now produced a cell that can convert a little over 26% of the energy it receives, when is pretty great if you think about it. High quality commercially available cells currently tend to max out in the low 20% range of efficiency.

Progress is being made, and hopefully this will "trickle down" and help everyone, although one would hope for some kind of big breakthrough at some point, maybe some method we have not thought of up to now. The Sun pumps out endless energy, and it would be wonderful if we could utilize it a bit better.