Apple pushes for thinner & slimmer Simcard

Apple has already pushed for a thinner Sim Card for their iPhone4 and their iPad devices, with their micro-sim cards. But as it’s usual for Apple, Micro is still not good enough. Apple now want’s to make an even slimmer SIM card to make even slimmer devices.

They are pushing for a new standard for SIM cards in the cellphone industry, they submitted an official proposal to the ETSI and if they get approved, we will start to see thinner devices coming to our pockets.

But how thin is to thin? I love thin cellphones, they are great, but they can only get so thin before they start to lack durability and function-ability. I’m not saying that I want to have a chunky brick of a cell phone from 80’s but I definitely want to feel the cellphone in my hands. I don’t want my cellphone to feel like I’m holding a credit card. Many companies came out with thin and small cellphones in the early 2000’s  but they felt like you were talking on a match box and many of them did not get the “Fan Base” the companies were hoping for. A very good thin phone was the Waffer by Alltel, I owned 3 of them before I gave up on the phone, it was so thin that it broke too easily when you carried it in your pocket.

Thinner is not always better when it comes to Cellphones, there has to be a good balance between thin and durability. It’s a great thing that Apple wants to push for the smaller SIM cards, I’m sure it will allow cellphone manufacturers the ability to add additional features to a cellphone, but as far as making phones thinner than the iPhone4, I think it’s pointless as it would make it to frail. The iPhone 4 is at a perfect thin-ness and sturdiness level.

Fujitsu Flexbook Concept

The Flexbook was designed for the ‘Fujitsu design award: a life without future computing‘ a competition organized by designboom in collaboration with Fujitsu. In This competition designers get to build their most insane-imaginable creations – as long as they are computer. The most recent design was put in by Hao-Chun Huang a designer from Taiwan, he displayed his creativity by submitting the “flexbook” a computer that folds up from a netbook to a tablet.

The Flexbook will come with a “waterproof keypad and  a 21:9 screen, it will feature a flexible structure with a center joint, the laptop can be folded into a range of configurations, while a 180-degree swivel touch screen offers different configurations of viewing” on top of that the Flexbook is covered in a rubber outer skin, to keep everything water proof and if this ever becomes a reality, this computer would not be a bad buy. We already have the technology to do this, so making the Flexbook is not that farfetched of a design.

Via Dvice Source:  DesignBoom

Microsoft in the process of buying Nokia’s Cellphone Division

This is still a rumor, and really the only source of information was this tweet from Eldar Murtazin so it actually has some sort of weight behind it. After all, Murtazin has had a pretty good history at spreading “real”-rumors around, like when Nokia said they were going to start using MS Operating system phones as their only phone. So according to Murtazin, Microsoft and Nokia will begin to make negotiations on whether or not Microsoft will buy Nokia’s Cell Phone Division. Meaning that Microsoft will be able to manufacture their own cell phones that we all seem to … love.

While we still don’t have any actual information other than the fact that the deal could close as early as the end of 2011.

Now let’s pretend that Microsoft does buy Nokia’s cell phone division, what next? Well for starters Microsoft will no longer have to call around begging cell phone manufacturers to put Microsoft Operating Systems on their phones. Microsoft will then have to find a way to sell you the phone, they may incorporate their new Skype service that they acquired earlier in the month for 8.5 Billion. Or incorporate more types of services, like most of Microsoft products, it’s not about quality it’s about quantity (of services) the operating system for the phones might be crappy, but if they add Skype, and a number of other services into the mix, it might be a good deal. Do you remember the Nokia Booklet 3G? Now with Microsoft in the game, imagine a fine tuned version of that, it would effectively cut deep into Apples product.

A Gallon of Gas – Who gets what?

Yesterday we wrote an article about how much money your vehicle consumes per hour of operation. We then began to do our research and tried to figure out where our money was going to. As in, who gets the money when we pay at a fill-up station? How many cents go to each person involved in the gas production etc. Taxes (Gov), Gas Station Owners, Oil Traders, Refining, Distribution & Marketing, and lastly Crude Oil Companies. The Following information is obtained from research through the EIA and current prices of $3.56

So let’s dissect a Gallon of Gas, and find out exactly who is getting what, and how much richer do we make them every day?

Taxes (GOV) %12

: Right from the start before the gas reaches the consumers, the government takes away %12 of the gas profit. That’s about .42 cents out of every Gallon of gas. This money is used to keep roads in good condition, paying for smoother sections of the interstate, and making sure that we have a safe ground to drive on. Billions of Dollars are spent trying to keep the roads in excellent conditions, and it is still not enough.

Gas Station Owners:

As surprising as this may seem, a gas station owner makes the least amount of money from selling Gas at their Station, “MOST” gas stations are independently owned by private owners, and on average they take in 7-10 cents for every gallon they sell.Thats according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

From those cents, they have to pay the overhead for their business. At the end they make an average of 2-3 cents per gallon (if they are lucky) The gas station owner can raise and lower prices as they wish, but thanks to friendly competition they try to lower it as much as possible while still breaking even.

Oil traders:

These are the “evil” conspirators who are always blamed by the people for raising and lowering gas prices. In reality they have nothing to do with the inflation or de-flation of gas prices. They take a gamble every day.

An oil trader makes a stock investment “hoping” that they will make money. They look at the charts, and then they make an assessment and invest. They only make money if they got their “guess” right. For example let’s say that a barrel of gas is $100 right now. An investor comes in and says “I think the oil prices will go up tomorrow, I will buy 100 shares of gas” the following day if the barrel of oil went up to $105, voila! They make money. $500 dollars out of a “lucky guess” but just as simple as they make money, they can also lose money, many times investors have guessed wrong, and they invest thousands of dollars that gas prices will go up, and during the middle of the night a scientist finds a huge “Oil Reserve” that lowers gas prices by $10 per barrel etc. So in reality, the Oil Traders have nothing to do with inflation and gas prices.

Distribution and Marketing %7

: Getting the gas from refineries to the gas stations uses gas, the trucks used by these companies give out as little as 6-8 mpg, even pipelines have an overhead. On top of that, they then have to spend millions of dollars trying to convince you why their gas is better than their competitors gas etc. And then out of nowhere here comes a facebook group that try to get everyone to stop buying gas on a specific day… tisk tisk tisk it’s not about buying gas, they still make their money. At the end, the total distribution and marketing that the big companies charge is about 24 cents per gallon

Refining %13

: About .46 cents a gallon goes to refining companies like Valero, Sunoco, Frontier, ExxonMobil, Chevron.

The process of taking “crude oil” to fuel is an extensive one, and really it takes a whole bunch of man power to get it that level. Even now days, the Refining companies are having a difficult time turning this into a profit since the price that they pay for crude oil has risen faster than the price they sell the gas for. So were actually getting a break here, while crude oil is extremely volatile we are actually saving gas jumps from $3 Sunday night to $6 Monday morning. Gas companies buy the oil and they distribute the oil, but the next day, crude oil goes up in prices. But they can’t sell the oil since their “gas stations” still have remaining oil. When gas stations need gas again, the oil prices stabilize and the jump is only a .10 cent jump instead of a $1 dollar jump.

Crude oil %68:

This is the most expensive part of a gallon of gas, at a whopping $2.42 for every gallon goes to the producers of Oil, BP, Chevron, Marathon. The money also goes to other nations and countries that control and sell oil based on demand, companies located in Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Mexico.

Then you have to take into consideration the Oil Spills, Oil Well fires in Iraq, etc. All of those catastrophes have an impact on oil prices, and unless you play your cards right like an Oil Trader you are more than likely going to lose money.

Currently a Barrel of Crude oil is at about $105 a barrel, now after you pay expenses and you pay overhead etc, you begin to see why we pay so much. So in reality is not just one person’s fault it’s a combination of people and companies trying to make a living. The biggest players of the oil field are the Crude Oil Companies.

Not the Government, or the Gas Station owners, or even the Oil Traders. Now you see why stealing a gallon of gas is such a big problem for gas station owners… for every gallon of gas stolen, they have to sell 300 gallons to break even… take a full tank of gas without paying, and now you are looking at 6000 gallons of gas just to cover your theft no wonder you lose your license for doing this.

Overall, Gas prices will continue to rise, and we will continue to buy, and unless crude Oil Companies lower their prices, were not going to see a change. If we really want to save money on gas, we need more oil exploration, more research into Fuel Efficient vehicles, more research on alternate fuel methods, and better technology for the retrieval of oil. All of which cost money, and if you think that the “big” oil companies don’t care about finding a better way to retrieve the fuel or alternate gas source, you are mistaken, Exxon has thrown millions of dollars into the research like Blue Fuel from Spain to find a better fuel for the future.

Photoshop for the iPad in the works

The iPad seems to be making everyone’s life better. I know the iPad gets a lot of bad rep for not having flash, or many of the utilities than a computer normally has but seriously, if you wanted a computer just go get one already. the iPad is here as a fun media toy/tool, and Media it CAN do and usually always does. Now Photoshop is taking advantage of that with their iPad app. It currently is still in the developing stages but so far it’s looking pretty good from the video below. I can’t wait for this app to be released it looks like it can come in handy, the only thing is the finger touch sensitivity on the iPad, I wonder if you can use a stylus for the ‘fine’ touches?

Read more at Photography Bay

Army aproves $66 million into a “Punisher” gun.

The US Army has finally awarded $66 million dollars to ATK, a Defense and weapons manufacturing company based out of Minneapolis Minnesota. With this contract ATK will develop the XM-25 nicknamed ‘The Punisher’ a semi-automatic weapon that has a Laser Rangefinder and can launch rounds that explode at a set distance, meaning it can defeat barriers protecting enemy fighters. Saving lives, and time of the American Soldier, currently the soldier has two options, go around the barrier and take out the enemy face to face, or call in air support to fire down at the enemy, both are dangerous, and take time. The XM-25 would be an instant solution to this problem.
The way it does this is by using the Laser Range Finder programing a 25mm airbursting round and launching it up to 500 meters (546 yards) away. The round will then explode at the programmed distance. This weapon came out about 1 year ago but was under a “testing” phase by the Army, check the video below to learn more about it and see the weapon in action.
ATK may also develop door-breaching and armor-piercing rounds for the XM-25. The site said the Army wants to acquire 36 more XM-25s. The first batch may be deployed in a year, the site said, although mass production won’t happen until 2013 at the earliest. The site previously said the Army would buy more than 12,500 XM-25s beginning in 2012.
Read more: CNET & CNN

Pay per Mile, or Per Gallon?

Well, the CBO acronym for – The Congressional Budget Office taxes vehicles via the gas pumps by taxing gas companies for selling gas. Well, this works great and all, but, since the new addition of the Electrical Cars and more efficient HyBrid vehicles, the CBO has been taking a pretty big hit at their Revenue brought in by Gas Taxes. So they are trying to propose the Tax Per Mile charge.

This means that the longer you drive, and depending on what times of the day you drive, the higher your taxes will be. So if you drive during rush hour for example, your taxes will be higher than if you drive at night. According to the CBO the more you drive, the more wear and tear you give the highways, the more liability you are for other motorist, and the higher chance you may be getting into an accident (which in turns takes time away from cops/hospitals) so for all of this they want to track down your vehicle’s movement and every time you pull near a Gas Station your vehicle will upload the information to their server and bill based on your mileage.

Dont get all worked up yet, the actual change may take years to implement since they have to start adding the tracking meters into the new vehicles that come out of the assembly. Upgrading all of the vehicles right now would cost to much, so far the only states that are really trying to jump on board are Oregon, and Washington, but they are only wanting to tax “Plug In Vehicles” and not regular gas guzzling trucks/cars. So I guess for the time being, were okay.

Just food for the thought in case you get hit with the tax in the future, don’t say you weren’t notified about it!

Read more at The Hill and CNET

Developing Bugs for Bio Fuel

These scientist over at Joule Unlimited have been trying to develop a super bug to revolutionize the Bio-Diesel industry.

The answer they’ve come up with is a diesel secreted by a genetically engineered microbe in flat glass bioreactors. The only inputs for its “biofactory” organism are sunlight, pumped-in carbon dioxide, and some nutrients.

These people have much more to go before they can actually figure out an efficient method of producing this bio diesel. But so far they have a good start. It has been 4 years in the making and it’s still going strong although they face opposition from the public after the bad reputation bio diesel has gave companies like Joule Unlimited for a failed attempt at making ethanol from corn or wheat, which all it did was raise corn prices off the roof, much of the public attention has turned to electric vehicles to take a step towards a greener planet.

The main problem here is the fact looking for an all new source of energy,  for example Electric vehicles, is going to cost millions if not Billions of dollars trying to convert the Gas Power vehicles into Electric Power, we need to find a way to keep those vehicles running on Bio Diesel that is easy, inexpensive, yet multifunctional. A challenge that companies like Joule Unlimited is ready to take on.

Read more: at CNET