Chang-On International – Riding China’s Green Construction Wavenformation

From: The Serious Speculator

Twenty five years ago, I can remember discussing the markets with a very astute and successful investor. He possessed a wisdom that only comes from years of experience. I was telling him about a speculative company that I thought was the hottest thing ever and how everyone was getting involved and were going to be rich.

He listened patiently while I went through my pitch then calmly asked me, “During the gold rush, thousands flocked to the gold fields to strike it rich but, aside from a very few miners who got lucky, do you know who made a fortune yet avoided the limelight?” I thought about it and came up blank so he smiled and told me, “It was the guy that was selling picks and shovels.”

Using that analogy, Chang-On International (OTCBB: CAON) is the proverbial pick and shovel company in the midst of the construction gold rush in China. Construction is booming in China big time. US government statistics reveal that “Construction spending in China increased 165% in the last four years, according to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, and is still expanding at 25% annually.” Source: BuyUSA. At the same time, the Chinese government is putting an emphasis on the greening of the construction industry, both in the quality of construction and construction methods.

A key component in construction projects are the tools used to manufacture components from pipes to concrete walls and water tanks. Most of these components share one thing in common. They all need a mold or “formwork” to be made. In China traditionally these molds have been made out of bamboo or some other wood or steel. The problem with these materials are that steel is too expensive and needed elsewhere and wood molds don’t last very long. Enter Chang-On International.

Chang-On International has developed its own proprietary technology which allows them to build these molds out of a special resin composed primarily out of recycled plastic and fly ash, a byproduct of burning coal. The result of this amazing development is a mold that is less expensive than its counterparts, lasts longer than wood, is lighter than steel and seals better making for a higher quality finished product. What’s more, being made entirely out of recycled materials, Chang-On’s products satisfy the Chinese Government’s mandate for green construction.

Led by an experienced management team headed by Guomin Li, 47, a pioneer in the field of manufacturing building materials from waste products, Mr Li has been the Chairman of Harbin Hongbo Environment Protection Material Ltd since 2004, now the operating subsidiary of Chang-On International. Over the last 4 years, Mr. Li and his staff of researchers have developed and perfected the proprietary technology that is the basis of their newly implemented marketing strategy.

Imagine, not just a usable product, but a superior one, one that capitalizes on the convergence of need, government mandate and demand, made from ground up soda bottles, an inexpensive and plentiful resource and fly ash, an abundant product that, until now, has offered little utility other than as a filler in concrete. Just as often its nothing more than a disposal problem for coal fired plants.

Focusing initially on Northeastern China, Chang-On already has orders and revenues flowing in and they have already begun to draw plans for expansion of their production facilities and for international expansion through organic growth or licensing.

Consider that China currently uses 43% of all the concrete consumed in the world. It’s a primary material for building construction and, that concrete needs a mold to harden in. The right product, the right time and in the right place. Add to that, the diligence and fierce commitment to accomplishment Chinese achievers are globally respected for along with an amazing frugality (less than $100,000 in salaries since 2004) and you have a winning combination that is worth more than a passing glance.

Note: We have been hired to feature Chang-On International on our websites. Please read our disclaimer for more information

Korean Fashion: A Splash of Korean Wave

If you have you been bitten by the Korean bug known as “Hallyu”, and you want to take part of the Korean wave that is currently sweeping the globe, then you can do so by introducing Korean fashion in your wardrobe.

Korean fashion is very now and trendy. And to help you achieve this style, here are some tips to get you looking like a Korean pop star.

Latest Korean Fashion Trends

1. The preppy look

The clean and polished look of the preppy style is taken into another level by introducing layering. You can layer a classic button-up shirt with a bejeweled collar or a super awesome bow tie.

2. Sheer and clear

If you want to stay fashionable in the summer, you can dress up in clothes made from sheer materials to keep you cool and stylish at the same time. Lacy nightgowns are perfect examples of this.

3. Great jackets and cardigans

If you’re not into the preppy, layered look, you can opt for the spunky, rock and roll style. You can achieve this by wearing a studded jacket, or a cardigan with embellishments. By wearing these pieces of clothing, you can definitely make a fashion statement that people will notice.

4. Princess dresses

Korean fashion is not immune to the propensity of most Asians to the allure of anything cute. Dresses with frilly and ruffled details come in abundance. And they usually come in soft and bright colors like hot pink.

5. Flower power

Dresses are made more cuter by having flower details or flower prints. These clothes are perfect for frolicking under the sun.

6. 80’s funk

If you’re still stuck in the 80’s, Korean fashion style will definitely suit you. 80’s fashion aesthetics is stylish resurrected and given a modern, Korean twist. You can have your pick from bold, exciting colors of printed tees, to the lax harem pants and cool and colorful sunglasses.

Famous Pieces of Korean Fashion

If you don’t want a uniform Korean look and you just want a specific piece of clothing from Korea, here are some examples of dresses and shirts that will add an extra oomph to your wardrobe.

 

  1. Figure cardigan
  2. Chiffon striped NB
  3. Indian T-shirt
  4. Sexy baggy pants
  5. Rose top jump suit
  6. Chiffon dress
  7. S. Breath dress
  8. Sexy holed T-shirts
  9. Long & short comb dress
  10. Sexy long & short cutting dress
  11. Cute sleeveless hoodie

 

Korean Hair Styles

To have a complete Korean look, you need to have the matching hair style to achieve it.

Hair styles for girls

 

  • Romantic wave
  • Water wave

 

Hair styles for boys

 

  • Wolf shaggy cut
  • Short onion haircut
  • Medium haircut with bangs

 

Science Fact – Robotics Could Help Spinal Injury Victims Move Again

Groundbreaking new technology, originally developed by the US military to help wounded soldiers who have lost limbs regain movement in prosthetic limbs, could have the capability to help spinal injury victims as well. The research, funded by the US Department of Defense and developed by the Neurophotonics Research Center, will develop a two-way fibre optic link between nerve endings and prosthetic limbs, but could also be used to ‘patch’ spinal cord injuries.

Giving amputees the chance to ‘feel’ again

For amputees, the fibre optic link allows signals to be sent between the brain and the artificial limb, allowing the user to move and even ‘feel’. But the research team leading the development also predicts that the same technology will eventually allow doctors to ‘patch’ spinal cord injuries and restore movement to parts of the body that have been paralysed. Although this application of the technology is still some way off, the researchers believe that the first positive steps in developing robotic patch technology have been made.

The project is being funded by DARPA with a grant of £5.6million and while the technology is initially being designed to help military personnel returning from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, it could have major implications for civilian use as well. The goal is to develop a link that is compatible with living tissue which will connect powerful nanotechnology to the human nervous system through thousands of sensors running in a single fibre. Unlike electronic nerve interfaces, the fibre optic version has a much lower chance of being rejected by the human body. It is hoped that the technology will go on to treat spinal injuries by patching the broken link in the spinal cord and allowing neuro-impulses to be transmitted from the brain to muscles and tissue below the initial break.

Science fact, not science fiction

Although this sounds like science fiction, scientists now have the technology to develop it into a viable method of treating such injuries, and the medical expertise to understand exactly how the human nervous system works. With the development of nanotechnology, implants that can stimulate nerve impulses are only a few years away and could mean a revolution in the way neurological disorders and spinal injuries are treated.

Research teams across the world have currently been working on developing individual pieces of the solution, but the grant from DARPA has enabled the Neurophotonics Research Center to call in teams from some of the most prestigious research institutes (both military and civilian) to start putting the puzzle together. They hope that now everyone is working towards the same goal, they will be able to develop an integrated system that works at the cellular level within the next few years. By bringing together an advanced optical nerve stimulation process and technology that senses the neural impulses of the brain and then relays those impulses to the body, the team could create the ultimate two-way fibre optic interface and take neurotechnology to a new level. Marc Christensen, director of the Center, describes the research as having the potential to revolutionise the field of brain interfaces and believes that it could have “immeasurable benefits to humanity”. For spinal injury victims, it could mean that there is now a glimmer of hope that they will be able to regain full movement of previously useless limbs and that a chance for full recovery is now a viable, if still distant, hope.

10 Steps to Launching a Green Business

In the summer of 1989 I was taking a subway home with some friends that I co-founded an environmental non-profit with here in Brooklyn. I remember complaining about how tired I was of having to search and buy eco products in mail order catalogs (this was pre-internet days).

Basic eco-products like toilet paper made from recycled and non-chlorine bleached paper.

Back then there were no stores in NYC that sold it. In order to get it, you had to buy a case via mail order. A case of 96 rolls.

I remember complaining, “What am I going to do with 96 rolls of toilet paper in my small apartment!”

And that is when it hit me. What about having a retail store that screened all its products for their environmental impact? The task of researching and learning about the environmental (and social) issues that go into making products can overwhelm most customers.

I asked them, “So what if we created a store that did that for the customer? And you did not need to buy 96 rolls of something to get it.”

At the age of 25, that was the beginning of Earth General, which opened two years later in 1991.

Within six years Earth General grew to being one of the largest environmental retail stores in the country with over 3,000 products all screened for their environmental impact. Things like organic cotton clothing, natural body care, green cleaning products, recycled office supplies and stationery, all natural gardening products and so on.

Yet while our stores were popular in New York City, the concept was a bit ahead of its time and my investors and I closed them in 1998. Today, 10 years later, they would probably do quite well.

In fact today, most things (authentically) “going green” are looking very promising. For example, one of the mainstream issues on everyone’s mind is energy. And of the many things being developed in the energy sector, one segment to really watch in the very short term is nanotechnology.

If you are not familiar with nanotechnology, you need to be, as it looks likely to be dramatically changing our lives within the next couple of years.

According the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology (CRN) Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale. It is all about building things and using materials at a very small level. From this things like new, lighter, yet sturdier materials can be built.

For example, imagine cars made from materials as light as plastic, yet sturdier than steel. Lighter materials in our automobiles mean more energy efficiency, which in turn means more miles per gallon.

For more about this as well as a sense of the many, many applications currently being researched in nanotechnology, read “GreenBiz” recent article, Sweating the Small Stuff: A Market Opportunity.

Still need convincing that going green is a wise choice? On May 12th, The Wall Street Journal published an excellent story, Does Being Ethical Pay?

While the authors found consumers would be willing to pay a premium for ethical products, they also found consumers would also punish an unethical company… to a much greater degree (by only buying that company’s products at a steep discount.)

Perhaps it’s time for you to consider ramping up your green factor?

10 Steps to Determining Your Green Product / Service:

1. Pick your passion- what about the environment are you most passionate about? What do you notice really “burns your bacon”? For help, refer to January 30th’s Power Boost: Top 10 Business Issues into Environmental Opportunities.

2. Define your target-who is your market? What customer base are you most comfortable serving?

3. Get in their head-what is the need of that customer base? What are their pains? Remember to relate this to what you are most passionate about in the environment (remember my frustration that created Earth General?)

4. Relief is on the way!-what is your solution to your target market’s pain and to their needs? Especially if they do not even know they have it! Be clear as possible on this one. Make it really stand out.

5. Support is the key-who is on your team? What expertise do you need and who will have it? What are these people’s motivations for working with you (hint: your vision on where you would like to take your business.)

6. Name the players-who is your competition? How are you better and/or different? How can you authentically show your strengths over them? No competition, then your product/service niche is too small!

7. Be a hurdle jumper-what are the barriers to entry for competition to join you down the road? Is it difficult to gain entry? If not, how can you make it difficult or how will you retain customer loyalty (hint: focus on the green/social impact of what you do!)

8. Keep clearing those hurdles-how to keep in front of the barriers to entry. As the market continues to develop, what new, cool, authentic green (and social) components can you add to the mix? Stay ahead of the pack. Stay on top of your market research.

9. It’s all in the girth-and how scalable your product/service is. Compare it with how big you want to go with this idea. Look to balance the two. It’s OK if you want to stay small, just get clear before you take off.

10. Review your passion-how do you feel about your product/service? If you feel something is off, you must address it before moving forward. If not, it will bite you in the butt later. Don’t step over this. Find solutions to what is keeping you from really playing full out.

Once you’ve worked through these 10 steps, you should be ready to rock. I’d love to hear what cool, unreasonable green business you’re ready to launch.

Action Steps for the Week:

Whether you’re working for the man or the man is working for you, it might behoove you to examine your green business game plan.

If you have one, review it again and see what of the 10 steps (from above) might need some refining. And if you’re new to the subject, really take inventory on how and what to implement into your business.

The more thought you put into this, the more likely you’ll be whistling Dixie later on.

Nansulate Reviews

At one time the largest airport in the world was in Bangkok, Thailand. After being built the developers wanted to use the most groundbreaking ecological technology in their design so they decided on nanotechnology based heat barrier paint to provide a clear lining that protected their aluminum air-bridge walls from weathering and moisture.

The coverings protected in a thin, transparent coat with a much longer lifetime than old-style fibrous insulation, while also matching beautifully with the design aesthetics.

Since the initial 2005 installation, that same insulation coating is still keeping the Suvarnabhumi International Airport green and energy efficient.

Applying this insulation is also very cost efficient and does not require costly machinery or manpower. The coatings are coated on like paint, with a sprayer, brush or roller, onto walls, ceilings, roofs, or attics.

Nanotechnology-based heat resistant paints have been used around the world since first being introduced in 2004, and are surprisingly just now growing popular in the UK, which is a bit lagging behind other countries in usage of this cutting edge tech, although recognizing its value years ago. In 2007, Nansulate, a patented portfolio of heat barrier paints, were brought up in a report titled, “Environmentally Beneficial Nanotechnologies: Barriers and Opportunities” by the Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs). Under scientific analysis, five nanotech applications were put through a detailed study, and nanotech was found to have the capability to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 2% in the near term and up to 20% by 2050.

Nanotechnology and Energy Savings

Nanotechnology is merely the manipulation of ingredients at a smaller scale than previously able to. By manipulating material at the nano scale, materials can be built from the atomic level upwards with much less waste. Materials can take on dissimilar characteristics when you handle them at this level, such as silver having anti-microbial properties or the ability to insulate in a much thinner layer.

Nansulate heat barrier paint technology incorporates a harmless micro-sized nanotech based matter with nano sized makeup that has a very low heat conductivity. Furthermore the matter is hydro-phobic, which offers mold and mildew resistance without the use of toxin or poisons. This matter is delivered in a uniquely formulated clear, love VOC, water-based coating that has outstanding adhesion and light resistance.

Reduction of heat as tested to ISO 8990:1990 “Standard Test Method for Steady-State Thermal Performance of Building Assemblies” over 8 centimeter plastered, brick walls, was 34.8% at a standard 3-coat, which is approximately 6-7 mils dry film depth, and average energy savings reported by home and building owners is between 20%-40%.

Nansulate gained the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive certification for building construction standards in the European Union from the UNI EN ISO 8890:1999 tests, in regards to building lining specifications. Nanotech Coatings UK Ltd has also been given a contract with the British Board of Agreement, (“BBA”) for tests for the stated utilization of the product on inside walls and ceilings, and outside walls in residential houses for application over inside plaster and outside paneling.

The most difficult of buildings to provide insulation for are old ones. Lots of these contain solid block wall constructions that make it hard to insulate with traditional insulations. Furthermore, outdated fibrous insulations are very vulnerable to humidity, dirt, and other impurities which damage their effectiveness over time. By utilizing a fluid insulating technology that is applied just like a paint, life of the insulation is increased dramatically as well as constancy of performance. Nansulate coverings typically last from 5 to 10 years in outdoor applications, and over ten years in protected inside environments. The coat line is meant to last in all forms of severe environments from offshore oil platforms to freezing climates in Alaska.
Applying the paint is also very cost efficient and doesn’t need costly material. The coats are put on like paint, with a regular sprayer, brush or roller, onto walls, ceilings, roofs, or attics. The job is much like painting a wall; just it is done with a transparent insulation.

Mexico’s Government Health and Social Security administration (IMSS) – applied the Nanocoating in 2009 on the roof of their data center in Monterrey. This site holds the data servers which houses their digital patient information, and these servers were dying due to too much heat in the summer. Following the application of the coating and comparing year over year temp measurements, they confirmed reduction of the inside temperature by 27% and their issue with sever shut-down was resolved.

Homeowners benefit greatly from the ease of use and energy savings, with one Canvey Island residents Nansulate review being, “Prior to painting, our heating costs were quite high compared to what they are now. In fact, since applying the Nansulate I have been able to lower the thermostat from 5.5/6 to 3, basically halving the temperature.”

The future of insulation and energy efficiency is with nanotechnology. Just as computers and cellphones have become smaller and more efficient, so has our insulation technology. Heat resistant paints are the way of the future as the world gravitates toward more Eco friendly and efficient technologies that are inexpensive.

What Kind Of Groups Operate In The North East To Encourage Business Opportunities In The UK

This enthusiastic and close knit team is working in new ways to deliver real benefit for UK wealth creation in new and emerging technologies. This network will be delivered in parallel, with both Nanotechnology led activities and strong collaborations with other leading organizations, to provide this valuable service for the benefit of the UK.

Aiding the transfer of knowledge between industry and academia, organizations offer companies dealing in small-scale technology connectivity to information on funding initiatives, existing projects, centers of excellence, new processes, patents, as well as keeping up-to-date with industry regulation. The Nanotechnology is an important part of the innovation process in the sector and has the potential to have a real impact on the fortunes of the UK economy transferring technology, facilitating innovation, ensuring the provision of suitable demonstrator facilities and the encouragement of supply chain collaborations. These organizations can provide thought leadership within the various constituent sectors o as well as contributing to the creation of regional and national UK policy.

The Center of Excellence for Nanotechnology, Micro and Photonic Systems (Cenamps) is funding research and development programs that will lead to further commercial opportunities and spin-outs in North East England.

Cenamps is an international Center of Excellence for Nanotechnology, Micro and Photonic Systems. Seeds collaborative R&D programs as platforms for near market commercialization opportunities through university spin-outs and by strengthening the knowledge base to support larger industry-linked projects in the region.

The resources that are all ready located in the North East of England are already huge. INEX is the largest and best equipped public sector micro and nano device fabrication facility in the UK. It was founded in 2002 as the business arm of the Institute of Nanoscale Science and Technology at Newcastle University, but has been an independent organization since 2004. The facility has generated millions of pounds worth of new technology since its formation, so far spinning out 11 companies in the process making investment in the UK a big player to look at.

Moving to Metro Houston Can Be Fun

Moving to Metro Houston can be quite an adventure, especially if you have never visited or lived here in the past. There are so many things to see and do that if you have a job waiting for you, maybe you should schedule your first day for a week or two after your move if you can afford to do so. This way, you can spend some time getting to know the city. You can visit all of the local attractions, learn how to find your way around town and get more comfortable with the area before you actually settle down and get to work.

Fun Family Activities

Once you have arrived at your new home and you have a few days to explore the area, you are probably going to be looking for plenty of family-friendly activities, especially if you have young children. Luckily, you have definitely come to the right place to find activities that the entire family will enjoy. One of your first stops should be Space Center Houston, where you will learn everything you ever wanted to know about the history of the United States space program. You can take a tram tour around the Johnson Space Center and sit in models of various space craft, including a space shuttle, and see suits that were worn by NASA astronauts. There is even a space-themed play area for children.

Another fun activity for the whole family is the Children’s Museum of Houston. After moving to Metro Houston, you really should check this place out. Don’t let the name fool you, because there are exhibits here that are going to be interesting to all ages, and adults and children alike will be amazed at the things they see and learn, including nanotechnology, art and various inventions and how they work. There is an awesome play area, and even a café with plenty of menu options.

While you are exploring the area, don’t forget to take a trip to the Houston Zoo, where you will find many wonderful exhibits with wild cats, primates, reptiles, birds and a whole lot more. Here you will find a children’s water park, a beautiful animal-themed carousel (located right at the entrance), and an aquarium with 23 different exhibits, including jellyfish from the South Pacific.

Moving can be a really stressful thing, and it is nice to be able to take some time after the move to just relax and get to know your new surroundings. With so many fun things for everyone in the family to do, you won’t have much time to sit still because your family is going to want to check out these and many other attractions after moving to Metro Houston.

Israel – Home Of Innovation

This essay does not suggest appearing arrogant for any critic to object to it; however, the remarkable fact is that this tiny country where the major population centers are squeezed between the green line and the sea, slightly smaller than New Jersey or Lake Michigan, has in just 61 years, in spite of unrelenting defensive wars and terrorism, succeeded to be a major player in the world in high tech, biotech, genetics, medicine, agriculture, solar energy, and more, and has produced startling technological and scientific achievements. This writer wonders why a country that is contributing so much to the world relative to its size be the object of so much demonization and scrutiny. In truth, what Israel lacks in natural resources it makes up for in innovation and brainpower, and even depends on God’s good auspices to send its yearly rain.

In proportion to its population, except the U.S., Israel has the largest number of high tech start-up companies in the world, some 3,500, and the largest number of NASDAQ listed companies. Venture capitals around the world are cognizant of this fact and invest billions of dollars in these companies. Giant companies such as Google, Microsoft, Kodak, Cisco, HP, Motorola, Intel and many more have large scale research and development centers in Israel. I do not know how many of you are aware that AOL instant messenger originates from Israel? That your computer’s major parts of Windows’s operating system were developed in Israel? That Motorola’s commercial cell phone was developed in Israel? And the list goes on and on.

In the medical field, just recently, utilizing the science behind nanotechnology, the Weizmann Institute of Technology has developed a molecular biocomputer to assist in cancer research. Moreover, this university also uncovered new findings that may have implications in delaying and slowing down cognitive deterioration of old age and they have also developed a method that allows bone marrow cells to be transplanted into leukemia patients from non-compatible donors – greatly increasing the possibility of effective treatment. You should also know that Israel also produced state-of-the-art surgical lasers, fully computerized no-radiation diagnostic instrumentation for breast cancer, an intelligent medical sensor that can be used to track and direct instruments to an exact three-dimensional location in the heart or other organs via a real-time virtual image, the fully flexible waveguide fiber for endoscopic surgery, unique computerized monitoring systems for critical care patients, pain relieving trans-cutaneous devices and a revolutionary autoclave design to combat AIDS and other infectious diseases, and of course let’s not forget the camera in a pill. And the list goes on and on.

In military technology, Israel produced the Uzi gun and the advanced anti-ballistic defense system like the Arrow (with the US) and is one among a small group of nations in the world that launched a satellite into orbit. In agriculture, Israel is known as a worldwide leader on agriculture innovations and reuses almost 70 percent of its waste water each year for agriculture. This knowledge is also used to assist hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries. Recently, Israel developed a device that enables plants to send a text message when they need water.

The above Israel’s contributions are just a drop in the ocean and are too many to list. All of this while fighting terrorism on the one hand and placating the suicidal impositions from the Western world on the other. Could one imagine what additional stellar contributions might be made if Israel lived in peace?

Computer Technology Helps Catch the Bad Guys

Life’s becoming a little more difficult for lawbreakers, thanks to some new digital technologies. For example, British researchers have developed a fingerprint compression technology that transmits prints from a crime scene to a fingerprint bureau in a fraction of the typical four to 20 minutes. The same researchers are working on a technology to identify shoe impressions taken from crime scenes-a procedure currently done manually.

Police in Richmond, Virginia, are introducing data mining, predictive analysis and business intelligence tools to respond more rapidly to a crime, and possibly to prevent future crime from occurring. LAPD police are using video surveillance and criminal recognition software to get a bird’s-eye view of activities in a crime-riddled area.

CompStat

Various technologies are gaining prominence, such as the somewhat controversial but highly regarded CompStat. CompStat assists law enforcement organizations in collecting and organizing crime information quickly. This, in turn, allows officials to identify emerging patterns in criminal activity, and allows police agencies to deploy resources more effectively.

According to BlogHouston.net , proponents describe this technology as an “advanced statistical analysis of crime aimed at preventing future crime.”

This award-winning program is said to have reduced crime rates through increased police accountability. Various law enforcement agencies across the United States, including the NYPD and the LYPD, use this program to analyze data and plan crime-prevention tactics. The program apparently played a key role in the well-documented reduction in crime enjoyed by New York City under the hand of former mayor Rudy Giuliani.

In With the Old

Sometimes harnessing the power of crime-fighting technologies involves using older technologies in new and inventive ways. For example, in late 2006, New York City announced plans to equip 911 call centers to receive digital images and digital videos sent from cell phones and computers. When citizens report a crime in progress, they can simultaneously send pictures or video of the crime scene, the perpetrator or the victim.

The digital imagery provides emergency response workers and law enforcement teams with a better understanding of the situation, and is likely to offer information not provided by panicked callers. The response teams can therefore better access the preferred approach to handling the incident. Empowering citizens to use everyday technology in this way was a world first, according to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In a similar vein, the New York City is combating domestic violence in part through the MapInfo Professional mapping software application. This tool allows law enforcement personnel to better visualize relationships between data and geography.

The city is also using MapInfo’s Mapmaker tool for mapping and analyzing data and adding geographic coordinates to database records. A city spokesperson reported that he had imported miscellaneous, city-based data-such as roadmaps, English proficiency ratings and homicide rates-into MapInfo, and then overlaid that over a map of the city to display patterns and trends.

The information generated by these tools assists the city in deciding how resources should be allocated. It also reveals information about an area’s cultural makeup and languages most often spoken in that community. Knowing where domestic violence victims live and the language they speak allows law enforcement officers to better communicate with victims.

Real-Life Success

These and other forensic technologies translate into real-life success stories that impact upon our lives in ways we could not have imagined 20 years ago. For example, in San Jose in October, a man driving a stolen Toyota kidnapped a 12-year-old girl. The girl escaped and reported the incident to the police. The kidnapper abandoned the Toyota. Some hours later, a patrol car using license-plate recognition technology passed the Toyota. “Stolen car” remarked the technology’s computer-generated voice. The police officer discovered evidence in the Toyota that led to the arrest of the kidnapper.

Europe and Britain have used license-plate recognition technology for more than 20 years, but it is relatively new on the scene in the United States. The police have been able to enter license plates into a computer manually, but this technology lets them scan the plate of every car they pass. An officer can now check as many as 12,000 plates per shift, instead of the 50 that could be done manually. Although the technology raises concerns with privacy watchdogs, it is difficult to argue that any privacy violation occurred in this example.

In another interesting and recent development, Thai researchers used nanotechnology to develop a set of eyeglasses that easily detect invisible traces of bodily fluids left at a crime scene. The scientists applied nano crystallized indium osynitride to glass or plastic lenses. These special lenses can filter light waves of various lengths, and allow the user to see invisible traces of saliva, sperm, blood and lymph immediately.

The current technology-a forensic light source-also allows investigators to see traces that cannot be seen with the naked eye. However, this is an awkward and time-consuming procedure, since forensic teams must check separately for each type of fluid. Once the new technology is patented and commercialized, it will dramatically speed up this process.

Closer to home, researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have found a mathematical solution that can separate one sound from another in a recording of a noisy environment. In what is referred to as the “cocktail party” problem, sound editing technologies have been unable to separate one voice from many voices in busy environments, such as the cocktail party example, or in a crowded mall. Researchers in the past have separated voices, but could not reproduce the voice’s characteristics.

Current technologies are not completely reliable because they confuse voices with other voices with similar pitches. With the new mathematical solution and assistance from computer programmers, the researchers hope to develop a software application that will allow law enforcement agencies or the Department of Homeland Security to isolate voices or sounds with reliability.

Sadly, though, there’s a flip side to all this good news. In an interview with Computerworld magazine, Frank Abagnale, the notorious (former) criminal depicted in the movie Catch Me if you Can , remarked that it would be 4,000 times easier for him to commit his crimes today than it was 40 years ago-and that today he probably wouldn’t go to prison for it.

“Technology breeds crime-it always has, it always will,” he is reported to have said.

Three Emerging Technologies that Will Change the World

I was speaking with a friend the other night about his great grandfather. His great grandfather was born in 1875. He lived until 1965. Can you imagine the technology that this man saw come online? Let me name a few: the typewriter, the electric dental drill, the telephone, the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb, the hearing aid, the electric fan, the dishwasher, the escalator, the airplane, the Model T automobile, the air conditioner, the defibrillator, the atomic bomb, the electric guitar, the nuclear submarine, nylon, the polio vaccine, and the laser. He died right when the first minicomputer was coming to fruition. All of that in the span of his lifetime. Which leads me to the topic of this article. Technology has completely changed the way we live. And technological advances have accelerated at unbelievable speeds. Technology is converging in ways no one could have foreseen. I want to highlight some of the most interesting technologies out there. These are technologies that will change the world, for good and bad.

Nano Technology

Probably the most interesting and frightening of the emerging technologies is nano technology. Nano technology is a cross disciplinary field that deals with building and synthesizing materials at scales of 100nm or less. Nano technology usually works in one of two ways. It either pulls smaller parts together to build or it breaks bigger parts down. The parts are then used to form smaller, new materials. But why is nano technology so important?

Nano technology is important because it will have massive effects across every area of life. As I write this, researchers are working on a nano particle to target cancer cells in lungs. In 2004, Rice University tested gold nano particle cancer treatment. In this treatment, these 150 nanometer gold particles were injected into the blood stream of cancerous mice. Gold particles at this size pass into tumors, but not healthy tissue. The researchers then passed infrared through the mice. The tumorous cells absorbed the infrared, heated up, and were destroyed. They are also working on quantum dots that allow doctors to easily identify multiple diseases quickly and accurately. But the uses don’t stop there. Nanotechnology will drive down the scale of electronics. This will lead incredibly small devices. The applications are limitless. And you can bet that the military will be clamoring for nano technology. The military is looking to have numerous nanotechnologies online by the year 2015. Such advances include performance enhancing nanotechnology that aids bodily functions. These will include response times, oxygen use, and heightened senses. But nanotechnology can also be used for reconnaissance and combat. Nanobots could scout areas without being seen. They could also enter into enemies for espionage. They could kill targets from within the host’s body. The possibilities are frightening.

Alternative Energy & Fuels

When gas prices skyrocketed this past year, many people suddenly took an interest in alternative energy and fuels. And because demand rose, companies suddenly found themselves forced to take interest. Most of the common arguments for alternative energy and fuels center around issues of pollution, cost, dependence, and jobs.

What most people don’t realize is that alternative energy and fuels always have environmental effects. This can be in the form of heat generation, air pollutants, waste by-products, land usage, extraction, etc. Instead, we have to talk about pros and cons around each type of energy and fuel. There is no silver bullet. Costs, dependence, and jobs also vary depending on the energy type.

There are a host of alternative energies being tested. Wind powered energy plants are already in place in many parts of the world. Solar energy production has taken huge steps forward with the help of nano technology. One such company is Nanosolar. Nanosolar is producing solar cells that are 100 times thinner than conventional cells. Not only are the cells cheaper to produce, but they also convert the solar energy much more efficiently. Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) uses the temperature differences in the ocean layers to produce energy. And OTEC can utilize this colder water (36 degree F cooler) in other things like on shore agriculture and refrigeration. And the list goes on.

Massive interest was generated in alternative fuels this past year when gas prices hit record levels. New developments in battery technology could help. One such development is Millennium Cell’s hydrogen battery technology. This technology differs greatly from traditional rechargeable batteries in that it’s instantly rechargeable. It also has a much great efficiency for energy conversion, so it is much smaller and lighter. There is also greater reuse efficiency since you don’t need to replace the entire battery. You only need to replace the energy module. Developments are continuing in biodiesel, electric, hydrogen, methanol, etc. I think there could be some serious future synergy between nano technology and alternative energy.

“Bionetics”

This is my name for the incorporation of technology into the body. The dermal display is a great indication of things to come. Though I have yet to find a working demo version of this concept, I have no doubt that it will become a reality. The display would be driven by millions of nanobots. These nanobots would display light when touched. This would print a display onto your hand, or wherever the nanobot display would be housed. And this is where it gets really interesting. The display nanobots would be connected to millions of other fixed and mobile nanobots throughout the patient’s body. This would give instant readings on hundreds of vital statistics. Again, nanotechnology plays a strong role here.

The bionics revolution is already underway. There have been four major cases of robotic limbs recently, the latest being a woman. The robotic limbs take advantage of the functional nerve endings in the limb stump. These nerve endings are used to actuate the robotic limb and to provide feedback to the brain. More money is being poured into robotic limbs every year.

“Functional bionetics” are implants that enhance our lives. And you may be surprised to know that people are actively doing this as I write. People are inserting tiny electronics in their bodies that will unlock their front doors and their cars. The same technology is being used to unlock computers. But it doesn’t stop there. There is talk of implanting devices that will carry health information. You could be carted into a hospital totally unconscious and they would be able to access all of your past medical history. Most of this is done through RFID technology.

“Bionetic networks” will be networks of connected bionetic devices. This would allow people to share sensation, feelings, and communication. If this sounds completely fictional, I invite you to consider the work of Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, England. He has implanted an extra-sensory device that interfaces with one put in his wife. They were implanted in their arms. The first experiments are aimed at exchanging sensory inputs, like pain. The hope is to extend that to other, more complicated neurological processes like thoughts and emotion. Obviously, that would drastically change relationships and indeed the world. Forget about your teens text messaging, maybe they will be brain linking in the future. Now that’s really scary!

What will we be able to say came online in our lifetimes? I’m sure we could already list a lot of important technologies. But keep your eyes out for these emerging technologies. They are set to change the rules of our world. These technologies will upset economies, change military tactics, empower people, and be used to control others. Keep an eye on them.