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Converber makes it easy to convert from obscure units like furlongs/fortnight

Converber makes it easy to convert from obscure units like furlongs/fortnight

We all need to occasionally convert from one unit to another. If you’re like me and need to translate between English and Metric units on a daily basis, you’ve probably memorized most of the common conversion factors, however there are far too many units out there to memorize them all.

Through the years I’ve used a variety of tools to keep up with this: Thomas Glover’s Pocket Ref, Gieck’s Engineering Formulas, Google, and via Unitsicon on my iPhone, but I’ve never had a unit converter program installed on my PC.

Until today.

Today I discovered Converber. It’s a lightweight piece of Freeware that works the way I want it to: Lots of units, no mass of tabbed dialogs to work through, and a search box that lets me find what I’m looking for quickly. Very cool.

[Converber] via Lifehacker.com

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If you travel internationally, you should read this piece Christopher Elliott, a syndicated travel columnist, posted  on his blog this morning. It is about an April 1 notice by the US Department of Transportation, where they have issued a warning to air carriers about their published limits of liability for items in international checked bags and code-share flights.

In it, the Department of Transportation warns airlines it is illegal for them to exclude their liability for loss of valuable items on international flights as they now do. According to the Montreal Convention, which the USA ratified in 2003, air carriers are liable for losses up to 1000 SDRs of loss or delay of items in any customers’ baggage they accept, so long as the baggage itself or that the damage was not reasonable to prevent.

(An SDR is an international currency unit set by the International Monetary Fund, whose price is determined daily and published on their website. As of Friday, 1000 SDRs was equivalent to about $ 1,500.)

The notice also takes airlines to task for attempting to shirk responsibility for their obligations on code-share flights. The notice states that the airline whose name appears on the ticket is responsible for guaranteeing their level of service for the whole itinerary regardless of the carrier actually supplying the service.

Say you were flying from Milwaukee to Frankfurt Germany on Lufthansa, and you wanted to check two bags. Your itinerary had you flying on LH 5851 to O’Hare, then LH 9151 to Frankfurt. Even though both of those flights are operated by United, you would be treated as a Lufthansa passenger for the whole flight: Meaning United could not charge you their bag fee of $ 40.00 for two checked bags, because Lufthansa allows passengers traveling to and from the US two checked bags for free.

Airlines have 90 days to correct these discrepancies, or the Department of Transportation will begin criminal prosecution of the airlines.

[Government Says Airlines are Responsible for Valuables Checked on International Flights on Elliott.org]

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In a press release dated April 15, Secretary Chu of the Department of Energy (DOE) announced $41.9 million in funding for fuel-cell projects from President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment act.

According to the release, there are two sets of funds being released:

  • $41.9 million from President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to fund 13 projects to deploy fuel cells – helping to build a consumer base for U.S. fuel cell manufacturers.
  • Approximately $72.4 million in cost-share funding from industry participants—for a total of nearly $114.3 million. This cost share demonstrates private sector commitment to developing and deploying these clean, energy efficient technologies.

Of these projects, several Solid-Oxide manufacturers are scheduled to benefit, including Acumentrics, Delphi Automotive, Jadoo Power, and Plug Power.

[energy.gov] via Fuel Cell Today

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It’s hard to believe that three years have passed since the last one, but 2009 is the year of another Ceramitec.

This year’s expo takes place from Tuesday October 20 through Friday October 23 at the New Munich Trade Fair Centre in Munich Germany.

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Are you thinking about attending Ceramitec 2009? Then why don’t you join our LinkedIn group. We’ll keep you up-to-date on the fair. As the fair gets closer, we’ll be planning some networking events in Munich.

Ceramitec is an international trade fair focusing on equipment for the technical ceramics and powder metallurgy industries.In 2006 it drew more than 600 exhibiting companies and 22,000 attendees. Of the attendees, 60% of them were actively involved in the manufacture of ceramics or other advanced materials.

Attendees to Ceramitec aren’t just there to kick the tires. They are there to buy. Unlike the typical North American trade show where people come to network and gain intelligence, Ceramitec is a fair where deals get done on the show floor. That means the decision makers for your customers, competitors and suppliers are there, waiting to meet you.

These factors give Ceramitec the critical mass to make it a valuable trade fair: Suppliers bring their equipment for all to see and display them in fully appointed exhibits. Are you deep in a discussion with a supplier? An assistant will bring you something to drink. Many exhibitors equip their stands with kitchens, so having lunch isn’t a problem.

All of this takes place in one of the world’s best cities, Munich Germany. Munich has a mild climate in October with highs in the upper 50’s and lows in the 40’s. Ceramitec takes place this year a few weeks after Oktoberfest ends on October 4, but right in the middle of Munich’s other fall festival the Auer Dult.

Resources:

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