Archive for July, 2011

Comment:Biodiversity On Earth Plummets, Despite Growth in Protected Habitats

July 30, 2011


“As the human population climbs to 7 billion can we humans take a personal stake and become the solution to protecting these habitats? We have see how social media and fired up comunities can alter the political landscape. Crowd-sour­cing the protection of our environmen­t is the new 911.”, Paul Hugel


Read full story on Huffington Post


Aloha From Maui Social Media Users Group "All is not Lost" Video

July 29, 2011
To watch this video close all non essential running applications because this movie  is cpu intensive
Using Google Chrome click image or link above to watch the Interactive video created for Maui Social Media Users Group


OK Go x Pilobolus – “All Is Not Lost” #notlost

Maui Social Media Users Group Twitterverse

July 29, 2011

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Maui Social Media Users Group Live Google+ Hangout

July 28, 2011

Google hangout


In progress now

Maui CitySourced

July 23, 2011

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CitySourced is a real time mobile civic engagement platform. CitySourced provides a free, simple, and intuitive platform empowering residents to identify civic issues (public safety, quality of life, & environmental issues, etc.) and report them to city hall for quick resolution; an opportunity for government to use technology to save time and money plus improve accountability to those they govern; and a positive, collaborative platform for real action. A picture tells a thousand words and CitySourced makes it snap. Download it today!

WebEx Videoconference: Incubators, Creative Space Use, Co-working

July 23, 2011

Hello ,

David Fisher invites you to attend this online meeting.

Topic: Incubators, Creative Space Use, Co-working

Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Time: 11:30 pm, Hawaii Time (Honolulu, GMT-10:00)

Meeting Number: 574 393 716

Meeting Password: aloha


To join the online meeting (Now from mobile devices!)


1. Go to 

2. If requested, enter your name and email address.

3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: aloha

4. Click “Join”.

To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link: 


To join the audio conference only


Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-408-792-6300

Access code:574 393 716


For assistance


1. Go to 

2. On the left navigation bar, click “Support”.

You can contact me at: 

To add this meeting to your calendar program (for example Microsoft Outlook), click this link: 

The playback of UCF (Universal Communications Format) rich media files requires appropriate players. To view this type of rich media files in the meeting, please check whether you have the players installed on your computer by going to

Sign up for a free trial of WebEx 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: This WebEx service includes a feature that allows audio and any documents and other materials exchanged or viewed during the session to be recorded. By joining this session, you automatically consent to such recordings. If you do not consent to the recording, discuss your concerns with the meeting host prior to the start of the recording or do not join the session. Please note that any such recordings may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation.

Research update: New way to store sun’s heat

July 13, 2011

Research update: New way to store sun’s heat

Modified carbon nanotubes can store solar energy indefinitely, then be recharged by exposure to the sun.
Storing the sun’s heat in chemical form — rather than converting it to electricity or storing the heat itself in a heavily insulated container — has significant advantages, since in principle the chemical material can be stored for long periods of time without losing any of its stored energy. The problem with that approach has been that until now the chemicals needed to perform this conversion and storage either degraded within a few cycles, or included the element ruthenium, which is rare and expensive.

Last year, MIT associate professor Jeffrey Grossman and four co-authors figured out exactly how fulvalene diruthenium — known to scientists as the best chemical for reversibly storing solar energy, since it did not degrade — was able to accomplish this feat. Grossman said at the time that better understanding this process could make it easier to search for other compounds, made of abundant and inexpensive materials, which could be used in the same way. 

Now, he and postdoc Alexie Kolpak have succeeded in doing just that. A paper describing their new findings has just been published online in the journal Nano Letters, and will appear in print in a forthcoming issue.

The new material found by Grossman and Kolpak is made using carbon nanotubes, tiny tubular structures of pure carbon, in combination with a compound called azobenzene. The resulting molecules, produced using nanoscale templates to shape and constrain their physical structure, gain “new properties that aren’t available” in the separate materials, says Grossman, the Carl Richard Soderberg Associate Professor of Power Engineering. 

Not only is this new chemical system less expensive than the earlier ruthenium-containing compound, but it also is vastly more efficient at storing energy in a given amount of space — about 10,000 times higher in volumetric energy density, Kolpak says — making its energy density comparable to lithium-ion batteries. By using nanofabrication methods, “you can control [the molecules’] interactions, increasing the amount of energy they can store and the length of time for which they can store it — and most importantly, you can control both independently,” she says.

Thermo-chemical storage of solar energy uses a molecule whose structure changes when exposed to sunlight, and can remain stable in that form indefinitely. Then, when nudged by a stimulus — a catalyst, a small temperature change, a flash of light — it can quickly snap back to its other form, releasing its stored energy in a burst of heat. Grossman describes it as creating a rechargeable heat battery with a long shelf life, like a conventional battery.

A paper solar cell
Image courtesy of Grossman/Kolpak

One of the great advantages of the new approach to harnessing solar energy, Grossman says, is that it simplifies the process by combining energy harvesting and storage into a single step. “You’ve got a material that both converts and stores energy,” he says. “It’s robust, it doesn’t degrade, and it’s cheap.” One limitation, however, is that while this process is useful for heating applications, to produce electricity would require another conversion step, using thermoelectric devices or producing steam to run a generator.

While the new work shows the energy-storage capability of a specific type of molecule — azobenzene-functionalized carbon nanotubes — Grossman says the way the material was designed involves “a general concept that can be applied to many new materials.” Many of these have already been synthesized by other researchers for different applications, and would simply need to have their properties fine-tuned for solar thermal storage.

The key to controlling solar thermal storage is an energy barrier separating the two stable states the molecule can adopt; the detailed understanding of that barrier was central to Grossman’s earlier research on fulvalene dirunthenium, accounting for its long-term stability. Too low a barrier, and the molecule would return too easily to its “uncharged” state, failing to store energy for long periods; if the barrier were too high, it would not be able to easily release its energy when needed. “The barrier has to be optimized,” Grossman says.

Already, the team is “very actively looking at a range of new materials,” he says. While they have already identified the one very promising material described in this paper, he says, “I see this as the tip of the iceberg. We’re pretty jazzed up about it.”

Yosuke Kanai, assistant professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says “the idea of reversibly storing solar energy in chemical bonds is gaining a lot of attention these days. The novelty of this work is how these authors have shown that the energy density can be significantly increased by using carbon nanotubes as nanoscale templates. This innovative idea also opens up an interesting avenue for tailoring already-known photoactive molecules for solar thermal fuels and storage in general.”

Maui Research & Technology Park Uplink Test

July 8, 2011

Jay April Speaks on Maui, Hawaii Broadband Internet Issues WebEx Videoconference

July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day!



We are on tomorrow for our lunch (Hawaii time) discussion with featured guest Jay April, CEO of Akaku Community Television.   We will be discussing community involvement in using and improving broadband services.   As you know Hawaii’s Internet connectivity is ranked towards the bottom for the U.S. and the U.S is only in the middle of the pack globally.    With our location in the middle of the Pacific, it is critical that we have top rate Internet.   However, we have incumbent infrastructure providers that have a virtual monopoly and so no incentive to improve.  Some communities are by-passing the large incumbents and creating community-owned systems.   These are having mixed results with N. Carolina manipulated by the incumbents to create a law prohibiting community-owned systems.   This issue is now being championed by Lawrence Lessig founder of the Creative Commons and


Meanwhile Akaku has received a Federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant.  Take a deeper dive on this tomorrow.


Those of you on Maui have the option of bring a brownbag or pot luck to the MEDB Don Malcolm Conference Room.  Otherwise, join us via Webex.  Those who come in person are welcome to bring laptops, but bring headphones or take advantage of the speakerphone set up that we will be using.  Remember the default is to mute microphones so as to avoid feedback.  


We also can handle up to six video streams at a time rotating based on who is speaking.  So exit Skype and other video apps and enable your video in the participants window in Webex.


To invite others to join, copy and paste everything below into your invitation. 


Meeting information 


Topic: Conversation with Jay April on “Communities and Improving Broadband” 

Date: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 

Time: 11:30 am, Hawaii Time (Honolulu, GMT-10:00) 

Meeting Number: 578 181 709 

Meeting Password: aloha 



To start or join the online meeting 


Go to 



Audio conference information 


Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-408-792-6300 


Access code:578 181 709 



For assistance 


1. Go to 

2. On the left navigation bar, click “Support”. 

To add this meeting to your calendar program (for example Microsoft Outlook), click this link: 


To check whether you have the appropriate players installed for UCF (Universal Communications Format) rich media files, go to