Friday, February 27, 2009

Microsoft Silverlight vs Flash – Flash is Now Ahead

A year ago I blogged on Microsoft’s Silverlight and the promise it held for generating animation and vector graphics and how far ahead of Flash it was.

Today, Flash has caught up. On Silverlights web site they describe how Microsoft lost the advantage to Flash which has caught up.

Silverlight was chosen by the Presidential committee for streaming the Inaugural address, but according to this source it was politically motivated rather than technically motivated.

Adobe no longer considers Microsoft’s Silverlight to be competition. The market push for online video and digitization of hard copy play to Adobe’s core strengths while Microsoft appears to be taking a casual approach to the endeavor. What started as a strong effort, now appears to be waning on Microsoft’s part.

Best regards,
Hall T.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What Will the Stimulus Bill Do for the Engineering and Sciences?

The Stimulus Bill passed the sign off process with several earmarks for science and engineering. According to the Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS) the stimulus bill will provide $18B in funding for federal R&D, $16B for conducting the research, and $2B for R&D facilities and equipment, and another $6B to $7B for biomedical research in the National Institutes of Health.

The focus will be on biomedical research, energy R&D, and climate change. Key institutes receiving the funding include NIST, NASA, NIH, NSF, DOE, NOAA, among others.

While many initiatives were funded there were cuts to achieve compromise including
--$70M for research into technologies with high-growth potential
--$57M for renovation of science facilities
--$1.54B for high energy physics

Clearly the Stimulus Bill will be a great boost to science and engineering. Many companies are rearranging their business plans to pursue the funds. Remember the sales mantra: “Go where the money is.”

Best regards,
Hall T.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Medical Device Startup Grant Program—Rare Funding in Today’s Financial Environment

National Instruments recently started a grant program to provide $25,000 to aspiring entrepreneurs in the life science space developing medical devices. In this challenging financial environment it is rare to find funding for anything beyond bootstrapping.

The program covers class 1, 2, and 3 devices for any application related to diagnosing a medical condition. Just about anything is included.

Last years’ grant recipients included companies such as Techmed which makes a noninvasive imaging system to measure glucose during open heart surgery.

Kairos Instruments specializes in tools for live cell imaging with an emphasis on microscope stage top devices for environmental control and programmed manipulation of individual wells in multiwell plates.

Senior Scientific develops methods using magnetic sensors for early disease detection and cell localization

Best regards,
Hall T.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Emerging Technology Flexible Printed Electronics Gaining Recognition

Printed electronics the term for a relatively new technology that defines the printing of electronics on common media such as paper, plastic, and textile using standard printing processes.

The common theme of flexible printed electronics is that it enables the production of electronic devices that can be readily integrated into all aspects of life in a seamless manner, at low cost, on large scales, using inherently green processes and materials.

The Flexible Display Center at Arizona State University seeks to “advance full-color, video rate, flexible display technology and catalyze development of a vibrant flexible display and flexible electronics industry to produce integrated electronic systems with advanced functionality.”

The US Display Consortium recently expanded its mission to include emerging flexible, printed electronics. Applications include Smart credit cards with embedded displays, e-packaging with printed RFID chips, and mobile devices with roll able, e-paper screens.

Plextronics recently won a military contract to provide flexible printed electronics for flexible solar panels for tent tops, solar-powered foldable blankets and helmet-mounted panels, printed lighting, flexible displays and printed circuitry.

Best regards,
Hall T.