Software, More Than New Batteries, Unlocks Grid Storage

Some of the most tangible advances in grid-level energy storage have come from digital technologies, rather than material science. Xconomy

Drone Companies Seek Profits in Software and Cloud Not Hardware

The commercial drone market is still nascent but early companies are taking their cues from other hardware businesses, like PCs. Xconomy



Baidu’s Push into AI Explains Google’s Love of Robots

Tech companies’ dabbling in robotics may be driven as much by software as hardware. Xconomy

Taking the Electric Bike Copenhagen Wheel for a Spin


A high-tech electrically powered wheel takes you from zero to 20 mpg in a few turns of the pedals. Along the way, it acts as a sensor in a smart-city data-collection network.




Why It’s a Great Time to Be a Database Geek

Big data is creating a new set of problems startups hope they can solve–and dethrone incumbent database companies in the process. Xconomy

 GE Will Make Jet Engine Part with Additive Manufacturing MIT Technology Review 

Think 3-D printing is overhyped? GE, the world’s largest manufacturer, is on the verge of using 3-D printing, or additive manufacturing, to make parts for a fuel-efficient jet engine.

Nuclear Power Joins the Startup Scene (New Scientist)

A handful of scientist-entrepreneurs want to reinvent nuclear power with novel reactor designs.

A liquid fix for computing’s energy footprint? (IEEE Spectrum)


Cooling servers with liquids–either by dunking servers in a bath of fluids or circulating water directly into server racks–could greatly cut energy use, but it faces cultural barriers in commercial data centers.



Someday the EV Charger May be the Roadway Itself (MIT Technology Review)

A researcher envisions the ultimate cure for “range anxiety”: roadway-powered vehicles with modified on-board power receivers.

Long distance quantum encryption (IEEE Spectrum)

Growing worries over cybersecurity push researchers to pursue encryption that uses the quirky laws of physics to secure data.

Deep sea stations could recharge underwater robots (Boston Globe)

More and more ­torpedo-shaped ­robots are plying the oceans to sniff out mines, gather environmental data, and scan the ocean floor for famous wrecks. But these underwater vehicles struggle with the same problem that heavy smartphone users have: short battery life.

Making Big Data Technologies Work in the Enterprise  (Data Informed)

The fresh insights promised by big data analytics also present challenges including business case justifications, IT system design and organizational shifts required to take advantage of what the innovations have to offer. (registration required).

Toyota plugs away at next-gen electric-car battery (MIT Technology Review)

Magnesium-ion batteries promise to be cheaper and more energy-dense than lithium-ion ones.

In the lab, designing the ultimate biofuel bug (CNET)

Start-up Joule Unlimited is on the forefront of using genetic engineering to replace petrofuels, trying to learn from shortcomings of other biofuel technologies.


Robot companies come to bury C-3PO (CNET)
Robotics is heating up, but the shape and function of today’s robots are the polar opposite of humanoid robots that proliferate in popular culture.

Database technology was considered staid and boring a few years ago but dozens of young companies are innovating to enable new types of big-data applications.