Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×
Technology

Submission + - Hannukah and Other Celebrations of Efficient Lighting

An dochasac writes:

Each December as nights grow long, people of the Jewish faith celebrate an ancient miracle of efficiency. In our oil-soaked, electrified age it is difficult to understand what it meant for the Maccabees to enjoy eight days of light from one day’s supply of oil.

After an early Persian usage of kerosene lighting, people relied on vegetable and animal fats for indoor lighting. For several hundred years whale oil was the best indoor lighting fuel, but when the world neared "peak whale oil," whalers who'd previously prospered in local waters now toiled dangerous waters of the high arctic and southern ocean. Moby Dick's narrator warns:

“For God’s sake, be economical with your lamps and candles. Not a gallon you burn, but at least one drop of man’s blood was spilled for it.”

We've finally come to a time when each of those eye-watering blue LED "holiday lights" can distract Christians from the context of Christmas for six months on the equivalent of one day's supply of menorah oil. Here is the history of this... uh... progress in efficient lighting.

Earth

Submission + - Fun-powered SOcket ball provides 3 hours of light from a 30 minute soccer game

An dochasac writes: From the why-didn't-I-think-of-that department: Harvard students Hemali Thakker, Julia Silverman, Jessica O. Matthews and Jessica Lin received grants from the Clinton Global Initiative University to develop a prototype of a soccer ball that generates electricity to illuminate homes in the developing world. Jessica Matthews and Julia Silverman went on to found a company called Unchartedplay to manufacture this SOccket ball and try to organize sponsorship for the balls to be sent where they are needed the most.
Technology

Submission + - ESL - A CRT-based Replacement for CFL Lights Without the Mercury (greenprophet.com)

An dochasac writes: "Everyone knows incandescent lights are inefficient little space heaters which happen to convert 5% of their incoming energy to light. Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) are more efficient but they contain toxic brain-eating mercury and emit a greenish light. LEDs are also efficient and last longer but if their blueish 'white' light doesn't mess up your melatonin balance, their price is high enough to wreck your checking account balance and give you the blues.

A company called Vu1 has come up with something called Electron Stimulated Luminance (ESL) lights which claim to solve the mercury and price problem with a light based on Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) technology. These lights have the warm color balance of incandescents and are compatible with dimmer switches. Here are some ESL details along with an explanation of why it's still a bad idea to say these are "trash can safe.""

Technology

Submission + - ESL lights, (greenprophet.com)

An dochasac writes: "Everyone knows incandescent lights are inefficient little space heaters which happen to convert 5% of their incoming energy to light. Compact Fluorescents (CFLs) are more efficient but they contain toxic brain-eating mercury and emit a greenish light. LEDs are also efficient and last longer but if their blueish 'white' light doesn't mess up your melatonin balance, their high price is likely to give you the blues and wreck your bank account balance.

A company called Vu1 has come up with something called Electron Stimulated Luminance (ESL) lights which claim to solve the mercury and price problem in a light which has the warm color balance of incandescents and is compatible with dimmer switches. It's based on CRT technology. Here are some more ESL details along with an explanation of why it's still a bad idea to say these are "trash can safe.""

Books

Amazon Caves On Kindle 2 Text-To-Speech 370

On Wednesday we discussed news that the Authors Guild had objected to the text-to-speech function on Amazon's Kindle 2, claiming that it infringed on audio book copyright. Today, Amazon said that while the feature is legally sound, they would be willing to disable text-to-speech on a title-by-title basis at the rightsholder's request. "We have already begun to work on the technical changes required to give authors and publishers that choice. With this new level of control, publishers and authors will be able to decide for themselves whether it is in their commercial interests to leave text-to-speech enabled. We believe many will decide that it is."

Slashdot Top Deals

Pascal is not a high-level language. -- Steven Feiner

Working...