November 13th, 2007

Ann Vole

What the world needs now

(I made this list a while ago) What the world needs:
* keyboard replacement
* better battery tech
* insulative concrete (foamed clay?)
* solar-to-chemical tech
* plastic-like from celulose

Keyboards were originally designed to slow the typist down to prevent the keys from jamming on the original mechanical typewriters. There are other keyboard layouts that are better but people do not generally know them. The size of the keyboard and the fact that it requires two hands means portable devices cannot be quite so portable or use thumbs like I am doing now on my cel phone. I want to find a format that can use a limited number of keys but still provides the speed so text can be entered with one hand as fast as using two hands on a qwerty keyboard (Qwerty is the usual layout, those letters being the first ones you read - left to right top row). When I find a one-hand format like that, I will try learning that instead of the other comon keyboard rearangement type (forgot the name of it)

One of the most important aspects of energy efficient vehicles is how light they are and one of the features to get more people driving electric and hybrid vehicles is being competitively priced. This means we need new battery technologies that are both cheap and light. Another concern is toxic or dangerous chemicals or gasses involved. These new lithium batteries - like the one in my cel phone, do quite well (dense energy, low toxicity, competitively priced) and they have come up with a new way of making older battery technology with only a thin layer of the electrode and anode metals in the battery making those batteries. With this new design, batteries are many times lighter and smaller for the same level of charge.

A pourable load-bearing, cheap structual material with a good R-value and air-tightness could make very energy efficient buildings more common. I have many ideas that I will be testing in the next little while. Lots of applications like roads or foundations over heaving clay soils will have a layer of styrofoam in them but an alternative material could save a lot of fuel (natural gas mostly) and transportation energy if a similar insulating load bearing material

Hydrogen is usually made from natural gas or other fuel instead of electricity and making hydrogen from solar electricity is even more inefficient and expensive (and even dangerous too) so it would be better if it can be made directly from solar like how chlorophyll makes sugars from sunlight. (I have ideas to test)

Celulose can be made into celophane which is kind of plastic-like. Plastics and fibers like celulose are all long-chain hydrocarbons. If we can make a wide variety of plastic-like substances from celulose, then we could replace oil with straw and waste wood.