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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Global tech - Global Everything

Yesterday I saw more of the future --at a conference at the Texas medical center's Institute for Molecular Biology. It was sponsored by the Brits and Greater Houston Partnership.

It was a fascinating 'Green' day-long conference in which I saw the next generation of renewable energy that will really make a difference on a personal level --windmills for houses and buildings, window film that doubles as a solar power panel, and other new 21st century technology that we need as our power needs continue to increase and we strive for more efficient, independent energy production.

These "mini-windmills" will be part of the new technology that fuels our next generation of products and jobs that will be providing "on site" power in cities and remote locations both. These small windmills would go on the edge of a building's roof, where wind speeds are highest.

These mini-windmills eliminate the need for expensive transmission systems from remote locations - although we will also need an "interstate electric transmission superhighway" as well.

The big windmills that need the transmission lines would vibrate themselves to pieces if placed too close together or on a building. So the small ones fill an important void in the market.

I also saw the next generation of solar panels that roll out on a roof...Britain is going green big time. So is the rest of Europe. We need to include China and India.

I also saw the coming of window film that is also a solar panel! It generates electricity. (Japan is using glass facades as solar panels.)

When they combine solar panel film with our security window film it would provide glazing that is the best of all worlds - providing clarity of glass, protected from breach by film that also provides power to the building!

On the financial mess, I also got an international perspective from another member of the conference. A British man at the conference told me how their banks were apparently on the same strange Kool Aid that our drunks on Wall Street were -The UK's Northern Rock Bank (which went under) was offering 125% loans before the crash! Sure, buy the house, fill it with furniture, toss in a new car to boot!

So the financial insanity was also global.

Watching the "Today" show shot from three locations around the world (Belize, Australia and Africa) documenting the climate changes going on was a reminder that the entire world is in this together. It will take a united, global effort to fix it -- along with our financial system.

It will be technology like I saw yesterday that will drive our future growth and economic progress...I am lucky to be a part of it.

The other cool thing I recently discovered as a valuable information tool is....satellite radio!

A friend recommended I use it but I had not activated the one that came with my new van a few months ago. But as I drove around I realized how little local radio has to offer - just some screaming people on talk radio, which is the last thing I'm interested in. Waiting for the 5 pm radio news was not much of an option. Listening to music all day was not informative either. I needed something totally different.

I found it with satellite radio and its 170 channels. It is a whole new world. It offers so much more than the idiot talk stations on normal radio (I just don't find bathroom humor and stupid jokes funny). The great thing is that you can find almost anything to match your interest on XM Radio, from music to intelligent talk radio (like POTUS 130, BBC News, NPR International, CNN, Fox, C-Span, etc.). You can get current traffic conditions in every major city, from Houston to DC.

Check it out. Another big plus - on a road trip you never have to worry about losing a signal when you are on the road to Dallas, San Antonio, etc. like you do with conventional radio.

Big changes ahead...

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