New Patent Filing Rules

If you work for an engineering company you have no doubt been informed of the changes in the patent filing system. The USPTO will shift from evaluating patents on a “first to invent” timeline, to a more complicated so-called “first to file” timeleine. Fast Company of all places, has a good summary of the changes and what they mean. Caveat inventor.

Commercial Applications of H2 from Zr

We all saw what happened in Japan last year.  One thing I wondered after the disaster, and I’m still wondering is why commercial-grade zirconium is not used to produce hydrogen from geothermal steam sources?  Iceland for example has a surplus of geothermal energy but the only way to export it is to smelt aluminum source.  Iceland already has a developing hydrogen infrastructure source but it uses electrolysis. What if you put geothermal steam through a matrix of zirconium, captured the hydrogen produced, liquefied it, and shipped it elsewhere? I think it would be more energy efficient than electrolysis. Seriously, why is this not done?


When you care enough not to care…ghetto_image_processing What’s going on here: a camera is used to monitor the readout of a field strength meter inside an EMC chamber, which acts as a Faraday Cage. The meter is monitored in a control room. The object under test obscured the meter, so the image of the meter was bounced off of a mirror, making the digits reversed. The old analog CCTV had no image flipping capability, that is, until ghettotronics saved the day!