Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bloom Box: A Green Power Plant for Your Home

Bloom Box
A Green Power Plant in a bread-loaf size Box, for your home!
The world is undergoing through a severe energy crisis, forcing the scientists to innovate for alternate sources of energy. The focus is on renewable sources of energy which are considered as green technologies.
All eyes are on Bloom Box fuel cell, going to be official launched in Silicon Valley on 24 Feb. 2010. Check out the following features of Bloom Box:-

  • A power plant in a small box for your home/office.
  • One unit can be as small as the size of a bread-loaf.
  • A bread-loaf sized unit can power one American home.
  • Unit does not vibrate, emits no sound, no smell.
  • Unit can be scaled up for more power.
  • Bio-fuel, Bio gas can be pumped up to produce clean energy.
  • Can also be connected to conventional electric grids.
Who is using Bloom Box?

Google, Wal-Mart, eBay, FedEx and few other corporate customers are quietly (secretly) using it from last one year or so. The first customer Google is using it from last 18 months to power one of its Data Centers. eBay has installed Bloom Boxes on the front lawn of its San Jose location and it receives almost 15% of its energy needs from Bloom, saving about $100,000 since installing its five boxes 9 months ago. These corporate customers are using refrigerator-sized Bloom Boxes. The corporate-sized cells cost $700,000 to $800,000. Quite expensive!

The Brain Behind Bloom Box

The man behind this magical Bloom Box is Dr K. R. Sridhar, founder of Bloom Energy, a Non Resident Indian in United States. Sridhar initially developed the idea behind the Bloom Box while working with NASA, as a means of producing oxygen for astronauts landing on Mars.
Dr Sridhar holds a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Madras, India. He earned an MS in Nuclear Engineering and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

When can you expect a Bloom Box at your Home

Sridhar estimates that a Bloom Box for your home will be out with in a time frame of 5 to 10 years. "In five to ten years, we would like to be in every home,” told Sridhar in an interview with a News channel.

Estimated Price of a Bloom Box

Bloom Box for home users will be priced under $ 3,000. Considering the current price it looks quite challenging.

If Sridhar succeeds it will be a boon for developing countries like India; as it will fulfill the energy needs of remote villages in a clean & green way.

Other Technology Articles you may find Interesting
Wireless Electricity: A Game Changing Innovation

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Google vs. Bing: An Interesting Comparison

Bing Is Not Google. BING is not GoogleThis may be un/official full-form of BING. But contextually it is true. This is more pronounced after the improved Google's algorithm of identifying and highlighting synonyms. Google is introducing a bit of artificial intelligence to make itself as intelligent as at least a 7 year old child. Now it can understand that pictures & photos mean the same. It can also relate the popular abbreviations & highlight its full-form.

Of late it has started understanding the context of a search query. It’s a small but remarkable step towards making the web intelligent. A significant step leading to the innovative contextual search from today's keyword search. I must confess I am impressed by the quality of Google’s new synonym search. I did a comparative study of Bing & Google with the following search queries. Undoubtedly the Google search quality has set a new benchmark for Bing and others. Perhaps that’s the reason very few web users think of Google vs. Bing as there’s no such comparison, Google is far ahead of BING.

Google vs. Bing Based on same Search Queries:

1. s/w update bb

Any human being with an average intelligence can understand that the query s/w update bb means software updates Blackberry. Following was the search result of BING. Here out of 10 results displayed at first page only one was a bit relevant.

Google vs Bing Search

 Observe the following screen-shot to see how Google Synonym & contextual search is working together for the above query. 10 out of 10 results are relevant.

Google Bing Compare

It has identified (highlighted) software for s/w.
It has identified Blackberry for BB
This is how Google synonyms is working. How the contextual search is working? BB can mean Blackberry but sometimes few fitness freaks use it for Bodybuilding as well. Google has intelligently analyzed the word BB with s/w to understand that by BB the user means Blackberry and not Bodybuilding.

Now type the following keywords:

2. BB fitness tip

Check it & you’ll find that the same word BB has been understood by Google as Bodybuilding and has been highlighted. Artificial intelligence at work!

 Few other search queries you may find interesting:

  • Song words (Lyrics is highlighted as a synonym of words)
  • Bank a/c (Account is highlighted)
  • Cool a/c (Air conditioning is highlighted)
  • Cloud s/w (Software is highlighted)
  • PM India (Prime Minister is highlighted)

You may think it only identifies popular and traditional acronyms. You may be wrong as I was surprised to find the following informal word:-

LOL-Bing vs Google search

LOL: Laughing Out Loud is highlighted.

Currently you may not find synonyms at work for every query. Moreover you may find some poor (quality) synonym as well. It depends on many factors.
Google's official blog put it as "Our systems analyze petabytes of web documents and historical search data to build an intricate understanding of what words can mean in different contexts."

Trivia: Updated on July 25 2014

                Try to search the following in Google:

      • do a barrel roll
      • tilt
      • zerg rush
      • recursion
      • Google in 1998
      • Google backwards

Definitely BING and other search engines has miles to go before they can catch up with Google’s intelligent search algorithm. Share your experience of the latest synonym search.

Let us call it, The beginning of intelligent search. Perhaps not the end of Google vs. Bing. The innovation continues…