Michael Peterson

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These Massive Mirrored Dishes Could Make Solar Cheaper For All

IBM Research is developing solar equipment that does a much better job at harnessing the sun’s rays than today’s designs.<p>So much sunlight hits the Earth each day that the world’s entire electricity needs could be met by harvesting only 2% of the solar energy in the Sahara Desert. Of course, using …

Tesla Announces $5B Battery Factory Plan

“The Gigafactory is designed to reduce cell costs much faster than the status quo and, by 2020, produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013,” the company said in a blog post Wednesday afternoon, predicting that battery production costs would be 30 percent lower …

Tesla

IBM's speedy graphene chip could lead to super-efficient mobile devices

Chips with graphene inside are theoretically quicker than plain silicon designs, but they've been slow in practice; the manufacturing process often damages the graphene, stripping away its speed advantage. That won't be a big problem with IBM's prototype radio receiver, though. The company inserted …

What If There's No Internet?

I email. I search. I shop. I Facebook. I stream. I Skype. Every year I seem to do these things a little bit more. Stroke by stroke, as I slip deeper into the Internet's embrace, I find myself wondering:<p>"What would happen if the Internet went away?"<p>Can it? It was famously built to be indestructible, …

What goes on when lightning strikes?

A new theory from Russian researchers suggests that lightning may be a by-product of cosmic rays. Surprisingly, despite studying lightning for …