For those who want to understand what is possible and how it can be achieved (there are existance proofs), John Pucher of Rutgers has done extensive research on the subject. He's a very friendly guy - I have a pointer to a still relevant survey/summary here.
It turns out the current "spectrum shortage" your mobile provider complains about, but uses to extract large sums of money as well as imposing data caps, is an artifact of policy - policy that can be changed. Radio technologies used in nearly all radios (including those in your cellphone) are based on a technology from the 1920s. In a nutshell the receivers aren't terribly good at extracting the meaningful signal and ignoring unmeaningful noise around them. It is possible to do dramatically better as well as make use of the fact that at any given second the amount of information in any given frequency range is extremely dynamic and (today) is mostly unmanaged.
The crunch we currently have in mobile is painful to the operators to be sure, but it also gives them an artificial scarcity to manage and that allows them to make massive amounts of money and effective prevent the benefits of competition from occurring. They may complain, but at some level it brings them a lot of money.
It is also clear the US will be left in the dust if we don't participate in this class of technology - it has the potential to increase effective available bandwidth by enormous amounts. But it will disrupt current business models and there will be resistance from the incumbents who will see this as a challenge.
The research then and now centers on two squirrel behaviors in reaction to rattlesnakes: a tail flagging movement and the warming of the tail. Owings, with Professor Richard Coss and colleagues, observed that when adult squirrels detect a snake, they approach it head-first in an elongated posture, making flagging movements with their tails. Owings and Coss noticed that when confronting a rattlesnake, the squirrels also heated their tails.
Because rattlesnakes can "see" in the infrared, the researchers thought the squirrels might be sending a signal to the snakes. But, with live squirrels, there is no way to separate tail flagging from tail heating.
Enter the robots. Joshi's engineering lab built a squirrel with a heatable tail and a tail flagging mechanism, each controlled separately.
Using the robosquirrel, Aaron Rundus, then a graduate student in Owings' lab and now an assistant professor at West Chester University in Pennsylvania, showed that the snakes responded to the heat signal from the squirrel.
"It was the first example of infrared communication in the animal world," Joshi said. That work was published in 2008: an article published in IEEE Robotics & Automation Magazine in December, 2011, summarized much of the work to date.
Over the past few years I've written quite a few posts on weight management and what I've learned by losing quite a bit over the course of about a year and then maintaining my target weight for about seven months so far. What I learned was, with some discipline, I could use diet and exercise to lose at a slow and steady rate. A lot of people are able to do this and the fact that people want to do it and it is sort of do-able fuels a $40B diet industry. The problem is keeping it off. For a variety of reasons most people need several hundred fewer Calories than if they were maintaining weight at their pre-weightloss level. Most of us don't see our appetites change to reflect what can be a large change - nearly 500 Calories a day in my case. I've learned that I have to keep my exercise routine as well as monitor everything I need. I have a summary of what worked for me here.
If you are planning to do this you need a good kitchen scale.
We had an old digital scale that was reasonably well-built, but weighed in five gram increments. You need something in the one gram range. I did some searching and found a lot of recommendations for the Eat Smart Precision Pro. It weighs in one gram increments, is accurate (I checked it at the low, middle and high end of its range with known reference weights), has a very easy to use tare function, cleans easily, is easy to read, easily switches units, and is reasonably priced. What more could you want?
I mentioned it in the note linked above (along with a recommended piece of tracking software), but these are also very useful for general kitchen use even if you aren't watching your weight. Dry measurements are mostly useless if you are baking. A cup of flour can easily be off by 10% day to day if you use dry measurements. I've converted most of the recipes I use, and all of the ones I create, to weight measurements. This turns out to be common practice in Europe and most recipes there are weight-based these days. Many American cookbooks are moving to weight based measurements.
Our unit developed a display problem when it was about 14 months old this week. I immediately ordered a replacement - we can't live without one. Today I got in touch with the Eat Smart office in New Jersey. The scale has a two year warranty and they simply asked for my address and are shipping one today. Sukie and I can get in the way waiting for a weigh. I'm incredibly impressed by such great customer service along with the scale itself.
If you need one you won't be disappointed with the Eat Smart Precision Pro.
I wonder how many people have learned eco-driving techniques and what percentage worries about trip planning? Eco-driving can easily bring a 15 to 25% improvement and trip planning can be extremely important too. Of course there are ways to save even more money (like getting rid of one of the family cars and using alternte modes of transportation).Trading to a new car early in search of better economy may be pocketbook foolish.