Motorbikes are cool again … Nanotechnology brings us the smart battery … THE Milton Friedman biography has arrived

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Motorbikes are cool again

Motorcycle and scooter sales and have taken off. More than 1.3 million Australians have a motorcycle licence and the country has an estimated 750,000 machines, reports The Australian Financial Review. Sales have soared 62% from 2003 to 2006, to hit 199,210, and the industry is now worth $5 billion.

High fuel prices are driving the trend as city dwellers choose bikes for cheap city travel, and others for long distance cruising and off-road motor sport.


Nano technology brings us a smart battery

Batteries eventually die — used or unused — and sometimes it’s rather a violent death, with the battery exploding and leaving a mess in your consumer electronics gear or the kitchen drawer where you had it stored. At the end of its life, a battery becomes an environmental hazard, leaching nasty chemicals. reports that tech company mPhase’s new patent-pending Smart Nanobattery can be dormant and harmless while not used, provide energy when activated, and then even render itself harmless when it has no more power to give.

It reports that the company says the nano batteries — still in prototype phase — use “various chemicals as electrolytes residing on top of nano structures in a dormant state, and when triggered cause an electro-chemical reaction to produce a measurable voltage and current under a load.”

Apparently this chemical reaction then knows enough to reserve some cells that can “create the neutralising chemical reaction at the end of life”.


Milton Friedman biography

When he died in November 2006, Australian newspapers said that with one visit to Australia in the mid-1970s, economist Milton Friedman forever changed the way the nation manages its economy.

The New York Review of Books’ Paul Krugman analyses the man and his theories in this review of a new biography.


Fly green

Environmentally conscious transatlantic business travellers can now choose to fly with Silverjet, the world’s first carbon-neutral airline, Springwise reports.

While other airlines allow passengers to offset the carbon emissions generated by their flight, Silverjet is the first to charge passengers a mandatory carbon offset contribution.

Silverjet passengers can opt for their contribution to be paid to any one of a number of green energy projects around the world.

And just because you’re flying green, doesn’t mean you’re flying mean. In fact, Silverjet only offers business-class tickets.


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