Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World, Author: Timothy Garton Ash.
On Liberty, Author: John Stuart Mill.
Freedom for the Thought that We Hate, Author: Anthony Lewis.
No Enemies, No Hatred, Author: Liu Xiaobo.
By Timothy Garton Ash – There is no reason to understate, let alone to deny, a specifically Western tradition of courage in the advancement of free speech, one that can be traced from ancient Athens, through England, France and a host of other European countries, to the US, Canada and all the liberal democracies of today’s wider West. But it would be quite wrong to suggest that this habit of the heart is confined to the West. In fact, there have been rather few examples of such sturdy defiance in England in recent times, while we find them in other countries and cultures.
Consider, for instance, the Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo. Liu was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in 2009 for ‘subverting state power,’ Both his written response to the charges against him and his final speech in court are, like many of his earlier writings, lucid and courageous affirmations of the central importance of free speech. He definitely does not draw only on Western traditions.
Liu wrote: ‘I hope that I will be the last victim in China’s long record of treating words as crimes. Free expression is the base of human rights, the root of human nature and the mother of truth. To kill free speech is to insult human rights, to stifle human nature and to suppress truth.’ more> https://goo.gl/1rX0Zz
Like A Diamond In The Rough, This Abrasive Material Finds Its Place In The Sun
By Mark Egan – In 1891, Edward Acheson was working at Thomas Edison’s famed Menlo Park laboratory, trying to make artificial diamonds by heating clay and powdered coke in an iron bowl with a carbon arc light. The result wasn’t pretty.
Instead of diamonds, he created silicon carbide—a hard and rough compound used for decades mostly as an abrasive in industrial sandpaper, grinding wheels and cutting tools, and later a grip tape for skateboard decks.
But Acheson’s accidental discovery is getting a second life as a miracle material for power management chips that could revolutionize everything from planes and locomotives to medical equipment. One of silicon carbide’s latest applications is inside solar inverters, the devices that switch direct current (DC) from solar panels into alternating current (AC) that flows from the wall outlet.
GE has been testing the first utility-scale prototype SiC inverter in the GE Power Conversion lab in Berlin for the past two years.
The technology included in the LV5+ Solar eHouse Solution solves another quandary facing solar plants—how to turn power plant transformers on and off safely. Shutting them down at night can cause voltage spikes, and reconnecting them to the grid produces a large inflow of current, putting mechanical stress on equipment and shortening its life.
As a result, many operators leave equipment on overnight, consuming a couple of kilowatts while the inverter is not producing power during the nighttime hours—a cost of $800,000 over a 100MW plant’s life.
Using intelligent controls, the LV5+ equalizes the voltage at the transformer and at the grid, allowing transformers to be connected or disconnected smoothly and cleanly.
The end result is more cost savings for customers, Schelenz says. more> https://goo.gl/OB1eYf
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Tagged Business improvement, Electronics, GE, Industrial economy, Silicon carbide, Technology