Archive for October, 2008
A research team at Boston University is developing a whole new way to use LEDs for more than just energy-efficient lighting. They’re creating Smart Lighting, which would enable wireless communication through visibile light.
Ditching radio frequency, the prototype from BU uses light instead to connect. Each light would essentially be a Wi-Fi hotspot with 1 to 10 megabits per second networking speeds. Data transmission would be done over existing electrical wiring.
“Imagine if your computer, iPhone, TV, radio and thermostat could all communicate with you when you walked in a room just by flipping the wall light switch and without the usual cluster of wires,” said BU Engineering Professor Thomas Little.
While high oil prices and an economic recession are hitting carmakers hard, bicycle makers are selling more than ever. “Giant Manufacturing, the world’s largest bicycle-maker, sold a record 460,000 units last month and is heading for its best year ever.”
Demand is so high in certain places that there are even shortages. For example, it happened it New York City earlier this year, and in Taiwan, people pay deposits before the bikes are even off the assembly line.
Some of the hidden pork in the Bailout Bill have been written about for their silliness, like the Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children, others are not very green, like the Sec. 317. Seven-year cost recovery period for motorsports racing track facility , which costs a cool hundred mil to give a fast tax break to the motor sports industry. However there is one particular one that TreeHuggers should love: Sec. 211. Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters
it allows for a “qualified bicycle commuting reimbursement” for “reasonable expenses incurred by the employee during such calendar year for the purchase of a bicycle and bicycle improvements, repair, and storage, if such bicycle is regularly used for travel between the employee’s residence and place of employment”- your bike expenses, up to 20 bucks a month, can be covered by your boss as a benefit tax free. Full copy below fold.