Friday, November 27, 2009

Google to immortalize Iraqi museum

by Tom Johansmeyer (RSS feed)

Google is taking Iraq's national museum global. Company CEO, Eric Schmidt, said Tuesday that Google is going to document what's in the museum and will share photographs of the war-torn countries museum holdings with the world. The museum, which reopened this year, was torn apart after Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled in April 2003.
At a ceremony with Iraqi officials, Schmidt said, "The history of the beginning of - literally - civilization is made right here and is preserved here in this museum." He continued, "I can think of no better use of our time and our resources than to make the images and ideas from your civilization, from the very beginnings of time, available to billions of people worldwide." Already, Google has shot around 14,000 photos of the museum and its contents. They'll be up on the web for all to see early next year. As artifacts from the museum's vaults and from others across Iraq become available, they will be brought into the program. Some of these items date back to the Stone Age, as well as the Babylonian, Assyrian and Islamic periods.

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Prediction: In 2015, fuel cell vehicles "will be cheaper than a Rolls-Royce"

by Sebastian Blanco (RSS feed)

2009 Honda FCX Clarity - Click above for high-res image gallery

A lot of automakers are targeting 2015 as the year to introduce fuel cell vehicles to the market, GM, Toyota and Honda foremost among them. This is fine and all, but there are still some serious questions about the cost of hydrogen fuel cell systems to figure out between now and then. A quote buried deep in a new UPI Asia article on Japanese leadership in FCVs gives us one researcher's prediction: "By the time FCVs are commercially available in 2015 they will be cheaper than a Rolls-Royce [$550,000], but it will be difficult to price them down to the level of a Corolla [$22,000]."

That's the view of Kenichiro Ota, a professor at Yokohama National University, and it flies in the face of what automakers like GM are claiming. Everyone seems to be coming into agreement that the cars are technologically solid – the distance they can go on a kg of H2 is increasing, for example – but that cost issue isn't going away.

Original here