Bubble Life Could Have Had Armor

first_imgA headline posted by Science Daily is self-explanatory: “Clay-Armored Bubbles May Have Formed First Protocells: Minerals Could Have Played a Key Role in the Origins of Life.”  The operative words are may have and could have, which, being mere suggestions, are unfalsifiable.  If it didn’t happen here, it may have or could have happened on the planet Zorx in Sector 1906523-A.    The claybubble theory of life is a new twist on Jack Szostak’s old fatbubble theory (see (09/03/2004).  That story also had plenty of mays and coulds.  This version by Howard Stone and Anand Bala Subramaniam (Harvard) imagines air bubbles armored with montmorillonite, a clay mineral.  The advantage of claybubbles is one-way osmosis, allowing small “building block” molecules to get in, but keeping the complex molecules evolving inside protected, assuming they could self-organize into life somehow (10/08/2010).    “If there is a benefit to being protected in a clay vesicle, this is a natural way to favor and select for molecules that can self-organize,” Stone said.  He did not explore whether selection can operate without accurate replication (see online book).  He also did not speculate on how the building blocks became one-handed (see online book and 01/10/2011), or what might happen if a deadly toxin happened to grab the one-way key to the interior.    Grad student Subramaniam hedged his bets with a few more could words: “Whether clay vesicles could have played a significant role in the origins of life is of course unknown, but the fact that they are so robust, along with the well-known catalytic properties of clay, suggests that they may have had some part to play.”  It does not appear either of them speculated on whether sand grains, soap bubbles, or lava might also qualify for the suggestion that they may have had some part to play.Remember, these guys get paid for this.  Let’s sing verse 2 of the chorus introduced back in 09/03/2004 (read that whole commentary again, too):Surrounding them with armor of clayGets building blocks in trouble;They’re stuck inside forever to stay,Flop goes the bubble.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Applications From The Internet of Things – An Analysis of Pachube

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting richard macmanus Pachube’s sister company, Haque Design + Research, will also build use cases for Pachube. They’ve been doing this already, for example using some Siemens building management products to demonstrate the power of Pachube.Haque told ReadWriteWeb that Pachube will also be used for large-scale urban infrastructure projects. He referred to this as “massively networked cities,” where there is a lot of data collection and sensor stream management. He declined to name specific examples, but said that Pachube is currently “focused quite heavily onEast Asia.”Haque noted that Pachube is especially concerned with how to make sure sensor datais accessible to consumers. He said that “people aren’t passive consumers of thedata, but actively engaged in producing it.” The idea being that people will take an active role in understanding their cities. This is an ongoing theory that Usman Haque extols in the talks and interviews he does for Pachube.Conclusion: Early Days, But Commercial and Consumer Apps Are ComingOverall, Pachube is “still quite experimental” according to founder Usman Haque. However he said that it will be increasingly used for things like climate data, home automation systems, and more. The company will try to drive usage from both cities, commercial entities (like Siemens) and consumer applications.In Part 3 of this series tomorrow, we look at Pachube’s business model, how it competes with large companies like IBM, and why it’s an open platform.The full 3-Part series on Pachube:Pachube Adds Real-Time Notifications – More Power to The Internet of ThingsApplications From The Internet of Things – An Analysis of PachubeBusiness Models of The Internet of Things – An Analysis of Pachube’s Open Source Platform Last week we reported that Pachube, an open source platform enabling developers to connect sensor data to the Web, had released a real-time notifications feature. We at ReadWriteWeb think that Pachube is an excellent example of one of our Top 5 Trends of 2009: Internet of Things. So we’re going to explore Pachube in-depth in a 3-part series. This is Part 2, where we’ll look at what applications we can expect to see in the coming years from Pachube. I spoke at length to Pachube founder Usman Haque to find out what developers – and Haque’s company itself – will build on the platform.Brief Overview of PachubeFor end users, Pachube enables automation of your environment. For example controlling the lighting in your house, via sensors and the Internet. With its new notifications feature, called “triggers,” Pachube can cause a specific action in external applications or devices. Such as turning on your living room lights when a sensor (say on your garage door) activates.Pachube can be difficult to understand at first glance. At heart it is about connecting environments. However it’s more than just connecting sensors to the Internet. Pachube wants its users to interact with sensor data and use it to actively engage with their environment. Experimental ApplicationsA lot of current Pachube projects are using Arduino, an open-source electronics prototyping platform that we briefly profiled in February. In July we wrote about an example of Pachube and Arduino being used in concert, Web-connected light sensors.Here’s a newer augmented reality demo, showing live Pachube data displayed in real-time ‘on top’ of Arduino sensor boxes. Tags:#Analysis#Internet of Things#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img We’ll explore some more commercial and consumer applications below – most of them in development or on the agenda for the future. Usman Haque admits that currently Pachube is still at an early, experimental stage. Its website is very much focused on developers and prototypers right now.So what does Pachube offer developers? Usman Haque told us that Pachube’s goal “has always been to do the simplest thing we possibly can, sopeople can get going [connecting their environments].” In a practical sense, Haque explained to us that Pachube is almost like offsite storage for low power processes. Pachube also wants to reach out to existing popular Web platforms. For example it plans to submit to Apple’s iPhone/iPod Touch App Store a “generalized data logger.” This will enable developers to tap into sensor data gathered by the device, using Pachube as the backend to hold and manage the data. Haque added that Pachube’s new notification system will make it possible to build more applications;up till now Pachube has been used mostly by developers as a repository (a place to upload data to).What Commercial Applications Can We Expect in Future?Although Pachube is currently targeting developers, it has an eye on enabling and creating commercial applications for sensor data. A big driver currently is energy monitoring. Haque told us that this will be an area with the mostinnovation in the near future. For example, he said that people could have graphs tracking their long term energy use and comparing it to other people. He noted that this is an “obvious one to build, but nobody has built it yet.” You can see from the Pachube website tag cloud below that energy data is a significant part of Pachube already: A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

India are the favourites, says Imran Khan

first_imgFormer Pakistan cricket captain Imran Khan considers India the favourites for the 2011 World Cup due to be held in the subcontinent from February 19 to April 2, 2011.Khan, who was in the capital on Thursday with other former World Cup greats Kapil Dev, Sir Vivian Richards and Arjuna Ranatunga, said, “India are the favourites and Sri Lanka come a close second.”But he followed the statement with a word of caution for the team. “Every now and then the best team in the competition comes under pressure. And then it’s all about coping with it, especially during the knock-out stage.”Khan, who had led Pakistan to victory in the 1992 edition, cited India’s example. “India won in 1983 as they were better able to cope with the pressure than the West Indies (the other finalists).”Ranatunga, however, said Sri Lanka are the clear favourites. Explaining his point, he said, “We are one of the favourites. No doubt, India have too many cricketers to pick from, but they can panic in front of their home crowd.”The home factor is largely missing for the Sri Lankans as the three venues where Sri Lanka will be playing their homes matches during the knock-out stage are new.””In that case, I would request the crowds to stay at home,” said Kapil Dev, taking a jibe at Ranatunga.For Dev, the presence of Sachin Tendulkar in the squad was enough to scare the best of the sides away. “He is the most important cricketer in the team and he leads from the front.”advertisement”People have been saying that it is his last World Cup, but I don’t think so. I want him to carry on.”Tendulkar apart, he remained largely noncommittal. When asked to identify a trump card in the side, he said, “There are so many of them. It depends on how they perform.”  When pointed out that Harbhajan Singh was not performing as per expectations, he said, “He can come back to his peak anytime.”But, he felt that a tour just before the World Cup wasn’t the ideal situation for the team. “They (India) should not play so much cricket as there is always the possibility of sustaining an injury ahead of the tournament.”Khan, however, disagreed. “A good tour ahead of the World Cup builds the team’s confidence. As far as injuries are concerned, that can happen anytime.”Recounting his experience during the 1992 World Cup, he said, “I was training very hard ahead of the World Cup and I was very fit even though I was 39 then. But as luck would have it, I got injured during the nets just a day before the tournament was to begin.”For Richards too, India are the favourites. “There main players are not playing in this series against New Zealand and yet they are winning. This speaks volumes about their bench-strength.”And for Richards, Virender Sehwag stood out from the rest. “He is the most devastating cricketer today,” he said.On a personal front, Richards said, “West Indies players do have the talent and I am hoping and praying for them.”Khan hoped his team fares well despite the fact they are going through a bad patch. “If Shahid Afridi hits a purple patch, he can pull it off. But I am not too sure if he can pull it off, but if there is anyone who can, it has to be Afridi.”He was also clear on the fact that the team would be missing their two strike bowlers Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif, who figure in the spot-fixing scandal. “I don’t know what is the status on them, but I am hoping they come clean.”last_img read more