Maybe the UK will be the ones to develop applications for Graphene

Graphene – a thin layer of pure carbon is the world’s thinnest material – discovered by two researchers at the University of Manchester, wining them a Nobel prize for Physics for their work.

uclanIt’s discovery created huge world-wide interest in potential applications. Maybe the UK will be the ones to harness the the research into useful applications, rather than, as has been the all to often case, other countries. That we have a newly created National Graphene Institute, based at the Univ of Manchester, is exactly the correct approach – investment in fundamental and application research.

The American Scientist magazine in an article, Graphene Takes Flight, report on how a University of Central Lancaster team created “A small, remote-controlled airplane with the world’s first graphene-coated wings demonstrated promising improved flight performance, intriguing the aerospace industry.”

Relief, needed help to successfully upgrade to Windows 10 Anniversary edition

Days ago I wrote about the difficulty I was having installing the Windows 10 Anniversary edition upgrade.

Nothing for it but to call in the professionals. A job for Alan Bateman of Si29 Computer Services in Camberley. Result, a successful install, and a happy family. Alan’s contact details: Si29 Computer Services, Phone: 01252 686513, Email:

Here’s a snapshot of Alan’s blog on his website about Windows 10.


Aaaaaarrrggghhh, the pain to install Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Windows 10 anniversary updateMy dear wife said she’d a minor problem on her PC. Always happy to help. First task, carry out normal maintenance tasks. Thought it would be smart to install outstanding Windows updates, including the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

The word update is a total misnomer. It seems it’s a major Windows upgrade, therefore taking absolute ages to install, and apparently riddled with issues.

Why, oh, why, did I suspend my critical factors and install the darn thing. Have invested over four hours to get to 96% complete. When the pesky installation process ends, I’ve then got to check on things, and then ensure with my wife is happy. If we’re unhappy then it’ll be an urgent rollback – as it appears that a rollback is date limited. Ugh. Double Ugh.

UPDATE: Install has been stuck on 99% complete overnight. Am a most unhappy chappie.

Serendipity involved in discovery of brilliant new blue pigment

Me, I’m a blue person. I just prefer blue to other colours. I do, though, have a hankering for purple of Roman Emperors. Just a hankering mark you, nothing in my wardrobe of this colour. I do have weeks when it’s no blue – as happened on our recently holiday.

New blue pigmentEnough about me. What about this new blue pigment. Discovered accidentally by researchers at Oregon State University [OSU] in the USA. Here’s what the University say about the discovery,

OSU chemist Mas Subramanian and his team were experimenting with new materials that could be used in electronics applications and they mixed manganese oxide – which is black in color – with other chemicals and heated them in a furnace to nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. One of their samples turned out to be a vivid blue. Oregon State graduate student Andrew Smith initially made these samples to study their electrical properties.

It turns out this new blue pigment is,

… formed by a unique crystal structure that allows the manganese ions to absorb red and green wavelengths of light, while only reflecting blue. The vibrant blue is so durable, and its compounds are so stable – even in oil and water – that the color does not fade.

These characteristics make the new pigment versatile for a variety of commercial products. Used in paints, for example, they can help keep buildings cool by reflecting infrared light. Better yet, Subramanian said, none of the pigment’s ingredients are toxic.

The new blue pigment is called ‘YInMn blue’. Methinks they need a better name than that. Can’t see me going into a shop and saying I’m looking for a shirt in YInMn blue. The Daily Mail article on the discovery goes into some of the science involved.

A useful piece of technology

Yesterday I had difficulty in emailing a large file. Ok for me to send, but not Ok for the people to whom I sent the email attachment. Apologies if you know all about what follows.

Speaking to one of the intended recipients, she suggested using WeTransfer. I sort of knew about this simple free application, but haven’t needed to use it. I did now.

All you need to do is enter the email address of the person to whom you want to have access to the file, your own email address, the file you want them to have access to, and a short message. The application notifies you that the recipient has downloaded the file. Simple.


Insight on global Internet trends in Mary Meeker’s 2016 technology report

Mary Meeker is a highly regarded technology analyst.  She produces an annual review of global Internet and technology trends derived from analysing huge volumes of data.

Below is the 2016 edition of Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends report covers today’s Internet growth.  It’s a slide pack of over 200 pages. The Washington Post covers the report with “The 15 most important slides in Mary Meeker’s Internet trends report“.

Fun mapping your name to a location

The last mention here of the fun to be had with the Name Profiler was back in January 2008. The academics who created that website, which profiles how your family have moved around the UK, based purely on your surname, have produced an updated version. This is from their press release,

The new website, Namedpredicts where lovers met (or could potentially meet) using surnames – you could even use it to see if it can correctly guess where you met your Valentine!

The website, invites users to enter two surnames. It then generates a ‘heat map’ of the geographic concentrations of the two names overlaid on top of one another, thus identifying areas where the couple most probably met.

Go on, have a go. It’s a bit of fun.