Intelligence Briefs

An eclectic collection of discoveries & developments:

Bloom Energy is developing a solid-oxide fuel cell that it believes could generate more than enough electricity to power a house. — The New York Times (8 September 2007)

There’s talk of breaking up the country of Belgium into two or three mini-states. — The Economist (6 September 2007)

A Michigan auto dealer is selling a miniature Chinese electric “neighborhood vehicle.” The FlyBo starts at $10,000 and goes up to 70 miles before needing a recharge. Plug it into any ordinary household electrical outlet for two hours, and it’s ready again to cruise along at 25 mph. — The Saginaw (Michigan) News (7 September 2007)

Russia and China are expected to develop aerospace capabilities to compete with the current Airbus/Boeing duopoly for commercial jets — perhaps in the next decade. The CEO of Russia’s United Aircraft says Russian companies aim to build planes worth $250 billion from 2007 to 2025. — GE Commercial Finance industry newsletter

Slowear, a collection of men’s luxury clothing that promises to be fashionable for years, is challenging the notion of fast fashion. — Iconoculture Inc.

Development and environmental change are now altering the physical aspect of the world so fast that maps must be redrawn frequently, according to an atlas publisher. For example, a new atlas shows the dramatic shrinkage of two of the world’s biggest inland water bodies, the Aral Sea in central Asia and Lake Chad in Africa. — The Independent (3 September 2007)

The next-generation shopping cart is emerging from MarkitCart in Australia. It’s colorful, plastic, safer for children, and (most importantly) has easier-to-control wheels. It can also be plastered with advertising. —

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