Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Down the Foxhole - FlashDen

Down the Foxhole - FlashDen

Link to Down the Foxhole

Flash Technology in the Driver's Seat

Posted: 30 Sep 2009 12:11 AM PDT

What’s so great about Flash is that it extends beyond the desktop. It’s being used on billboards and in stadiums for advertising, on our televisions through widgets and interactive TV show guides, in the palm of your hand on mobile devices, and now it’s available in your car.

QNX CAR Application Platform

The QNX Connected Automotive Reference (CAR) platform gives automakers and automotive suppliers the tools and technologies needed to rapidly build compelling, connected, and extensible in-vehicle systems. Part of this platform is heavily reliant on Flash for the creation and branding of interactive interfaces for car dashboard displays, entertainment consoles and rear-seat entertainment units. Services such as games, widgets, movies and Internet radio can all be dynamically integrated into this system.

Right Here. Right Now.

This technology is not something that is being discussed or might happen in the future, it’s actually happening now. Manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Jaguar, Mercedes, Porsche and Toyota all currently ship vehicles with QNX-based systems.

The kind of applications currently running on QNX are media players, phone utilities, contact information, picture viewers, and weather feeds. These applications are all harnessing the power of Adobe Flash to create a rich experience for car owners.

Interface Skins

One of the advantages Flash affords the QNX platform is the ability for car manfacturers to skin their own interfaces. The interface above for exmaple is a standard template for QNX that can be tweaked accordingly based on the branding requirements of each individual car manufacturer.

Digital Instrument Cluster

On top of the QNX operating system is the HMI framework. This framework is the foundation for the technology that provides all the underlying functionality to readily turn Flash code into full-fledged, integrated applications with a consistent look and feel. This includes ActionScript extensions for direct access to native C code, an application launcher, and window management.

The HMI suite uses Adobe Flash Lite combined with OpenGL ES to create a rich, human interface. This graphics framework accommodates rapid and efficient development from prototype to final product. In the image above where we see the typical dashboard dials such as the speedometer and odometer, the HMI needles are hardware accelerated using OpenGL ES while the rest of the display is made using Flash Lite. This allows needles to display smoothly while separating safety critical components such as the speedometer from the graphical roles and responsibilities of the HMI.


With virtually every car manufacturer now using QNX-based systems, it seems as though QNX is here to stay. So the next time you out driving, or in a car showroom, take a second look at the dashboard or entertainment consoles on display. It’s likely that Adobe Flash may be playing a small part in the car technology staring back at you.

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Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

The Strange Times Review

Posted: 30 Sep 2009 07:12 AM PDT

There’s a Bizarro World quality to this period in history. Anyone covering news in these Interesting Times cannot possibly chronicle all the news that really marks the journey as we careen into our unimaginably strange future. Add yours in comments, but here’s what I found:

California regulators decreed that, by law, your your car has to be cool. Also seaweed killed a horse on a French beach using just fumes and British engineers suggested that buildings be wrapped in slime to absorb CO2. A fossil fuel reduced our carbon emissions. British scientists taught agricultural runoff to clean up nuclear waste.

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Nation’s Largest Utility Leaves US Chamber of Commerce — Because of Climate Change?

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 02:55 PM PDT

John Rowe, Exelon CEO, said yesterday that climate change legislation is an urgent issue. At the same time, he announced that the nation’s largest utility would not be renewing its membership with the US Chamber of Commerce because of the Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to climate legislation.

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Super High Speed Rail for China — $4 Billion Purchase

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 01:15 PM PDT

China just awarded Bombardier Sifang a contract to build 80 “very high speed trains” for the country. These are super progressive trains that are energy efficient as well as lightning fast. China intends to invest a total of $300 billion in high speed trains by 2020.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Down the Foxhole - FlashDen

Down the Foxhole - FlashDen

Link to Down the Foxhole

Last Week on FlashTuts+

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 12:00 AM PDT

Flashtuts+, the “sister” Web site of FlashDen, is part of the envato Tuts+ network, and features some of the best Flash, ActionScript and Flex tutorials on the Web in an easy-to-follow and engaging format.

Each week on FlashDen we will provide a roundup of all the previous week’s tutorials from Flashtuts+ as a reminder to brush-up on your Flash skills or to learn something new.

Improve Your Memory With an Away3D Game

September 25th in ActionScript, Games by Yagiz Gurgul

In this tutorial we'll build a 3D memory game. Along the way we'll look at adding variables and mouseEvents to Away3D objects. Let's get started.

AS3 101: Loops

September 23rd in ActionScript, Novice by Dru Kepple

Welcome back to AS3 101, the fifth edition! At this point, you should be comfortable with the concepts of variables, functions, conditionals (branching), and Arrays. Not only should you be comfortable with the concepts, but you should also be fluent in how ActionScript 3 implements these concepts.

For this fifth episode, we'll be adding to that catalog of skills the various looping structures found in AS3. You'll find some dependencies on the information learned in AS3 101 Part 4, on Arrays, so if you've skipped that one or need a refresher, please review that tutorial before continuing with this one.

Working with the Flex DataGrid and Nested Data Structures

September 21st in Flex by Anand

It often happens that the data which needs to be viewed/presented in a Flex DataGrid comes from an XML file or JSON with more than one level of nesting. Unfortunately, by default, the Flex DataGrid allows you to display only single level nested object arrays.

This tutorial shows how you can extend the Flex DataGrid class to accomodate more complicated data structures. It will also show you how to make all the columns sortable, even when using nested data structures.

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

New Dow Corning Coating Speeds Up Solar Assembly-Line

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 08:40 AM PDT

Not every breakthrough in the solar industry comes from efficiency gains from esoteric new Silicon Valley start-ups (though these are being catapulted by the recent funding bonanza) and university labs.

Some come from understanding that half the cost of a solar installation is just the cost of getting boots up on your roof, like for any other roofing job. One block off the grid reduces that cost by aggregating homeowners into groups to go solar together.

Some breakthroughs come when utility-scale solar companies forge innovative partnerships with housing developers rather than keep on battling NIMBY transmission costs, as BrightSource just did to meet its contract with PG&E for RPS solar power.

Others are starting to happen as titans of industry like Dow Corning gear up to develop the little extras that smooth the assembly line process to speed up production-lines.

Because in manufacturing, assembly-line efficiency determines production costs:

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Solar Energy Breakthrough: Goal of MIT Team

Posted: 29 Sep 2009 02:32 AM PDT

MIT professor Daniel Nocera formed a company earlier this year to commercialize a new technology that can “split water” and store solar energy. The company’s key objective now: achieve a solar energy breakthrough.

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US Army Plans To Deploy Hybrid Spy Ship Over Afghanistan

Posted: 28 Sep 2009 10:18 PM PDT

By 2011 the US Army’s Space & Missile Defense Command has plans to deploy a spy ship, which will be unmanned over Afghanistan. While this is a controversial move in itself, some eco-enthusiasts are applauding the consideration to model the aircraft after an experimental hybrid airship which took flight on a number of occasions in 2006.

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Hi-Tech Steam Lays the Green Clean on Visalia Superfund Site

Posted: 28 Sep 2009 05:21 PM PDT

Dynamic Underground Stripping is a steam-based remediation technology that cleaned up a Superfund site in Visalia, California, 100 years ahead of schedule.With the help of a high tech underground steam cleaning technology developed at UCal-Berkeley and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a creosote-soaked Superfund site in Visalia, California has been cleaned up more than 100 years ahead of schedule, saving millions of dollars and pointing the way toward a more efficient and sustainable means of dealing with polluted sites.

The site, which was just officially removed from the Superfund list, is known as Southern California Edison’s Pole Yard.  For 80 years utility poles were treated there with the wood preservatives creosote and pentacholorphenol.  By the 1970’s the site was saturated with contaminants up to 100 feet deep, and it won the dubious honor of making the original Superfund list when the program first started.  Almost miraculously, the Livermore cleanup has restored groundwater at the Pole Yard to drinking water quality.

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Biofuel to be Made from Tuberculosis Bacteria

Posted: 28 Sep 2009 05:01 PM PDT

researcher examines biofuel-producing microbes

A team of researchers at MIT are engineering a strain of bacteria, which is similar to the type that causes tuberculosis, to produce biofuel.

The researchers say that the bacteria are useful because they are hungry for a number of sugars and toxic compounds and produce lipids that can be converted to biodiesel.

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What The Senate Should Know About Cap and Trade in Europe

Posted: 28 Sep 2009 04:55 PM PDT

What we call Cap and Trade, (and what China is now considering)  has already just been tried out in Europe, to meet Kyoto. They called theirs the EU Emissions Trading System. China will call theirs “Limit and Incentivize”. Regardless of whether we call it: capping or limiting emissions and trading or incentivizing to fund the switch to renewable energies - It worked.

In the first three-year phase; European carbon emissions dropped 300 million metric tons of carbon, according to a study by The German Marshall Fund; Ten Insights from Europe on the EU Emissions Trading System. US carbon emissions rose, during those three years from 2005 through 2007.

Here’s what we can learn from those who have gone ahead of us in forging Cap and Trade policy to reduce fossil energy use and increase renewable energies. The German Marshall Fund (remember The Marshall Plan?) has put together these ten tips from their experience.

The main takeaway? Don’t worry.

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ROTEC’s Reverse Osmosis System Desalinates Brackish Groundwater

Posted: 28 Sep 2009 10:42 AM PDT

IBM has introduced a new set of products and services designed to support smarter water use.Traditionally, if you are in a water-poor region that has access to desalination technology and seawater, you were in luck. Israeli cleantechnology company ROTEC has developed a reverse osmosis system designed to remove salts from brackish groundwater. In other words, nowhere near the sea.

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