Monday, January 31, 2011

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Down the Foxhole - ActiveDen

Link to Envato Notes

Meet the Staff: Ivor Padilla

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 11:34 PM PST

Every week we'll introduce you to an Envato staff member or team. This week we meet Ivor Padilla, ThemeForest reviewer and community moderator.

What is it like working for Envato, and what are some of the jobs you’ve had with us?

Working for Envato is amazing. I work from my home – it's the most pleasant job I've ever had. I mean it. Although I’ve been a member since 2008, it wasn't until November 2010 that I was hired to serve as a ThemeForest Reviewer. By the way I think I'm the newest member of the Envato team.

I'm also ThemeForest's Community Moderator, I've serving voluntarily since April 2010.

What sites and projects are you working on at the moment?

I do freelance and I have some loyal clients I work with. I'm also an active author in ThemeForest and I'm working in 3 WordPress themes to be released really soon.

Sneaks peaks:

As some of you may know I'm also a Venezuelan Lawyer and I've been working on that as well, although I'm focused on Envato.

Describe your workspace.

Simple. iMac 21.5" – 3.06GHz Intel Core i3, Acer Aspire 5517 15" Notebook, iPad, smartphone, lamp and my noisy speakers.

The story of this iMac is actually funny. ThemeForest's author Jonathan Atkinson and his wife Barbara helped me to get it. The iMac went from Torrance, CA to Mechanisburg, OH, then to Miami, FL and finally shipped to Venezuela, it was a long trip. :D

What does your average day look like?

Morning: ThemeForest's reviews and I pick up a few freelance tasks. Afternoon: I fire up MAMP, Photoshop, Firefox and Chrome to code and code til I get tired :) Nights: I go to my girl's place and then back to my Mac.

I think that's the sad part about working from home, you have no control. Any advice? :)

What do you do when you’re not working?

Movies! I love movies. When I'm not working I'm probably watching Pulp Fiction or another great film. But I'm a workaholic I'm always with my iPad, netbook or smartphone answering emails and tweeting.

At weekends I spend time with my family drinking beers and doing BBQ's.

You can find me in Twitter @ivorpad and Dribbble.

Featured Site: Snipplr

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 06:06 PM PST

Snipplr is designed to keep all of your code snippets in one place. Since the site started in 2006, over 30,000 snippets have been added – almost half of which were added in the last year. Snipplr became an Envato site half way through 2010.

From the site’s About page:

Snipplr was designed to solve a simple problem. We had too many random bits of code and HTML scattered all over our computers. We’d hunt and dig around for five minutes looking for the couple lines of code we wrote four projects ago just so we wouldn’t have to retype them. We’re lazy. We needed a way to keep all of our stuff organized. Snipplr is our solution. Now, all of our code snippets are stored in one place. Best of all, the other guys at work have access to each others’ code library.

With Snipplr you can keep all of your frequently used code snippets in one place that’s accessible from any computer. You can share your code with other visitors and use what they post, too.

Did we mention that Snipplr works with TextMate? Yeah, we rock.

If you’d like to know more about Snipplr or get an inside look at the development process behind it, check out the blog.

If you’re a coder, you probably already know all about Snipplr. If not, sign up today!

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

“Workhorse” Bacteria Solves Biofuel Waste Problem

Posted: 31 Jan 2011 04:00 AM PST

researcher finds bacteria that eats crude glycerol from biofuel productionBiofuels have a clear advantage over petroleum products when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but skyrocketing biofuel production has created a problem of its own: a worldwide glut of crude glycerol, also known as glycerin or glycerine. The thick, gooey liquid is difficult and expensive to dispose of, which places a huge burden on biofuel manufacturers. Say, if only somebody could figure out some way to use all that stuff…

Glycerol, Pure and Crude

In its pure form, glycerol is used in hundreds of food products, pharmaceuticals and soaps. Unfortunately, the glycerol that’s left over from biofuel production isn’t pure enough for these uses. It’s a crude form that can be purified, but the cost of the process is prohibitive.

Bacteria and Glycerol

One solution is under development by a graduate student at the University of Alabama, who has identified a glycerol-loving bacteria called Clostidium pasteurianum. This little bug occurs naturally in soil and is known for its nitrogen-fixing abilities, and the researcher found that it has other talents, too. When it digests glycerol, it generates at least five valuable byproducts: butanol (which can sub directly for gasoline) , propanediol, ethanol, acetic acid and butyric acid. The next step is to develop more efficient strains of the bacteria.

More Solutions for Crude Glycerol

Researchers at Rice University are also working with glycerol-eating bacteria, focusing on tweaking the process to make it more energy efficient. Approaching the problem from another angle, researchers elsewhere are developing other uses for crude glycerol including growing microalgae and producing methane, or using it as a cattle feed or even a non-toxic antifreeze. Looks like it won’t be long before crude glycerol turns the corner from a major liability to a valuable asset for the biofuel industry.

Image (altered): Glycerin bubbles by circax on

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Latest From : CleanTechnica

Latest From : CleanTechnica

U.S. Marines Stake their Lives on Solar Power

Posted: 30 Jan 2011 05:56 AM PST

3/5 Marines test solar power in AfghanistanA lot of people are passionate about solar power, but not too many of us are in the position of risking our lives to prove that solar power can work in combat conditions. That’s exactly what is going on at an experimental forward operating base in Afghanistan, where the members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines have been using portable solar panels and other green tech to carry out their mission.

The U.S. Military and Green Tech

It’s no secret that the U.S. military has been dying – literally – to ditch high risk fossil fuels in favor of safer, cheaper, and more reliable forms of energy. Military bases across the U.S. have been installing solar power, geothermal and other renewables hand over fist, testing biofuels, and ramping up energy efficiency projects. The big question has been whether or not sustainable energy can get the job done in a danger zone. The 3/5 Marines have one word for you: yes.

A Sustainable Forward Operating Bases

Last year, the 3/5 started quietly testing sustainable energy tech at a forward operating base in Afghanistan, with the goal of cutting down on fuel resupply convoys. It includes the aforementioned portable solar panels that pack into a suitcase, small flexible solar panels that can be used to recharge batteries in the field (which cuts down on the growing logistical nightmare of battery resupply for patrols), solar trailers, and solar shades. Energy efficient lighting in the form of LEDs is also part of the package.

The Few, the Proud, the Green

The project is overseen by the Marines’ “Green Baron,” Col. Bob Charette, who heads the Expeditionary Energy Office. When the experiment began, he expressed cautious optimism. That prediction proved true and the project has been deemed a success. Charette credits preparation and training (the equipment was first tested at U.S. facilities), and something just as important: new generations of Marines are coming into the corps with a built-in comfort zone regarding new sustainable tech. “I believe our young Marines are more accepting of renewable energy technology,” Charette related in an Office of Naval Research press release, “Because of all the discussion in the media and society regarding ‘green’ energy.”

Support Our Troops

That brings us right back around to the political situation in the U.S. regarding domestic renewable energy policy. The Obama administration has been pushing hard to ensure that the U.S. provides its military with a vigorous research, technology, and domestic manufacturing platform that supports the goal of reducing costs – and reducing casualties – by transitioning out of fossil fuels and into renewables. Meanwhile, some members of Congress are pushing back against renewables just as vigorously in the opposite direction. So the real question is this: while the 3/5 is out there in the line of fire, do your representatives in Congress continue to promote more oil drilling, or do they support our troops? There’s an easy way to find out: send an email to your U.S. Senators and your U.S. Representative.

Image: 3/5 Marines in Afghanistan by DVIDSHUB on