Neatorama features a you-tube video, where researchers apply a high voltage electric field between two beakers of water. And the water rises from the cathode to the anode and forms a floating water bridge. Its pretty awesome.
The info was gleaned from phyorg:
When exposed to a high-voltage electric field, water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity.Upon investigating the phenomenon, the scientists found that water was being transported from one beaker to another, usually from the anode beaker to the cathode beaker. The cylindrical water bridge, with a diameter of 1-3 mm, could remain intact when the beakers were pulled apart at a distance of up to 25 mm.
That is exactly Scott H Young is talking about. I was very impressed by the blog post. It is indeed very practical and at the same time intruiging. Defenitely thought provoking. Consider the post starting:
Central to the Taoist philosophy is the concept of the Tao, or Way. This Way is a force that underlies the universe. Humans have free will, so they can follow the Way or depart from it. When they depart, however, they suffer because they are no longer aligned with nature.
The Way and Peak Productivity
As I mentioned in a previous article, you don’t have to view the Way as a mystical force. Another way to view it is like the peak operating state of a machine, when there is no internal friction between the gears. For a person, this is when all of your internal mental states are working without friction. Also, all the areas of your life are supporting you towards your goals instead of competing against each other.
This frictionless state of peak productivity and the Taoist concept of the Way are very similar. Taking this metaphor further, I think there are a number of ways you can apply it to your life:
Gmail had an april fool joke running on April 1, saying that Gmail had introduced an automatic mood controller and email typer for people. It would auto-reply, auto-correct etc. It was supposed to have been based on AI etc etc.
April fools joke, it may have been, but some of the new labs feature are indeed futuristic. Very futuristic. The latest feature – ‘Suggest user’, suggests any names, you may have missed in the cc list. Everytime something like this comes up, I always end up with a “Ahah. I have had a situation like that!”. And I bet everyone has. You plan to send an email to everyone in the family, and miss out your fathers name ? You plan to send an email to all your friends in Bangalore, but forget your neighbour !
This whole ‘labs’ thing of Google is really good. Folks inside people who capture their most frequent aha ! moments and put it in as experimental features – is by far the most creative product innovation methodology I have ever seen.
BusinessWeek is reporting that Apple’s Shuffle 3G – retail price $79.99 – is made up of parts costing just $21.77.
Those costs, which include the headphones and packaging, represent just 28% of the retail price, meaning the tiny device likely has a huge profit margin. To put things into context, the components of the first iPod touch cost 49% of the retail price, while those used in the 3G iPod nano were around 40%.
Perhaps surprisingly given the low costs, the key components come from a big-name firm. Samsung provides both the main chip (at $5.98) and the flash memory ($10). The power comes from a lithium battery costing $1.20 which research firm iSuppli says is the smallest it’s ever seen.
Of course, there are other costs involved in producing a device such as research, staff wages and distribution. Apple says its overall gross margin on products is 34.7%. If that same margin applies to the Shuffle it will be taking in just over $20 per unit.
PS: And oh, by the way, the new shuffle has almost no buttons on its body. It has one button which turns it ON and also controls whether it should play in shuffle mode or in sequence mode. The volume/next-track etc button has moved to the headphone cord !