Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

I have updated our solar electricity production numbers with the lowest yield for any September for our installation. 2017 will probably turn out to be a “bad” year for our panels.


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Normally I wouldn’t blog about cars – I prefer motorcycles or even bikes. But this one is special. Very special. I owned one when I was a kid, although mine was just a Dinky Toy, of course. But it was the most beautiful car I knew then, even beating the Batcar in coolness.

And now Jaguar has converted a 50-year original E-type into an electric car, that drives like the original, just a bit faster! Too bad I don’t have the money to buy one. But I would love to drive one for a day, somewhere in the countryside on a good summer day…

Ars Technica – Jaguar has restored this old E-type with an electric upgrade

Ars Technica – Jaguar has restored this old E-type with an electric upgrade

Thanks, Ars Technica, for telling me about this car!

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The numbers are a bit later, since we were on holiday in warmer (and sunnier!) places a thousand kilometers south of Belgium. But I have updated our solar electricity production numbers, and they show that the summer here was almost average in terms of sunshine: 97% for the whole summer is at least better than last year. I was somewhat surprised to see that, given that August achieved only 92% of what was expected.

Enough of those numbers: let’s just remember that we had very few days with a nice blue sky this summer (I haven’t counted them, but that’s how it feels). The strange thing is that those more or less cloudy days were much warmer than average.

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It’s not a real motorcycle, but it does not look like a bicycle either: it’s the prototype of an e-bike that is unlike any e-bike you have seen before. The curved lines and the attention to detail give it a special kind of beauty, and I wouldn’t mind trying one out. Have a look at the video on the company’s website to understand what I’m writing about ;-)

Check out the Avionics website by clicking on the image

In the words of the founders of Avionics: “This is our vision of the future combined with a memory of the past“:

More than 100 years ago, electric vehicles started the worldwide revolution and introduced civilization to a higher level of transportation. For some reason, people considered petroleum to be the better product to move their machines. They forgot about the potential of electricity to start their engines. Luckily times are changing. Nowadays electricity comes back to motorization in great style, enriched with high technology…

We’ll see how they fare on Indiegogo, starting somewhere in September.

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I discovered Scott Helme’s blog only recently, but I’m glad I did. Scott knows much more about HTTPS and certificates than I do, and he succeeds in explaining the subject in a very understandable way. The post that pointed me to his blog explains how certificate “Revocation is broken“. And that subject has some surprising aspects, by the way. Earlier posts on his blog will let you discover what SSL means, how you can install certificates, what to look out for, and more.

Let’s face it: I’m happy to blog here on the WordPress site, which takes care of all the SSL stuff for this blog (and probably does it better than I could do myself at this moment). But if I want to continue to help build and run other websites, I’ll have to get my hands dirty on this subject! We may all be waiting for the days when “buying” a domain name will include the corresponding SSL certificates, but as long as that isn’t the case, you and I will have to do it ourselves. That’s where people like Scott can be a big help.

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I have updated the numbers on our electricity production. There’s nothing exceptional to report. If anything, a number just below average isn’t surprising, considering the many half-cloudy days of July. It seems contrary to to expectations, but the heat of many of those July days did not come from the sun, but from hot air blown coming from the South.

We had at most two days without clouds; if there are numbers on that somewhere, then surely July 2017 will be very much below average on that count!

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The title of the article on this German motorcycle website is not exactly correct, but it may well point to something that will soon be a reality: “Südtirol sperrt ersten Dolomitenpass. Experiment am Sellajoch“. No, this alpine pass, the Sella Pass, isn’t permanently forbidden for all traffic. But local authorities are experimenting with an interdiction for all cars and motorcycles powered by combustion engines: this summer, only cyclists and electric vehicles – and horses – can travel over the pass on Wednesdays. I can appreciate the words of Reinhold Messner, one of the supporters of this measure, as quoted in the article:

Damit die Berge wie vor 200 Jahren genossen werden können: Der Berg ist ein Ort der Langsamkeit und des Schweigen, nicht der Geschwindigkeit.

Translated to English: “That way, the mountains can be enjoyed like 200 years ago: the mountains are the realm of slowness and silence, not a place for speed“.

Photo by Klaus Nahr (CC BY-SA 2.0) on Flickr

Some cities have already set the first steps into a future with more electric vehicles, and now the mountains could well be next in line. I understand the rationale behind that strategy, even if it means that I can no longer wait too many years to try a few mountain passes myself (or invest in an electric motorcycle, of course).

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