I updated my ideas page. I added an entry about using compressed air to automatically remove snow (or similar) from solar cells, and an entry about maybe using heat from thermal solar cells to generate electricity at home. I also updated the entry for non-optimal weather optimized solar cells with a link to a company which seems to do something similar (using a lens) to reduce the cost of solar panels. To cool down the photovoltaic cells, the company is using a heat exchanger to make a combined photovoltaic/thermal panel. Unfortunately they are making an unfair comparison of the combined output of this panel (the thermal power output is much higher than the electric power output) with a normal photovoltaic cell. A normal household needs more electricity than heat so you do not want to use a lot of such panels, but depending on the feasibility of my idea about using heat to produce electricity, such a panel could be interesting.
I stumbled over Google’s new RE engine. Unfortunately it is not handling backreferences, so it is not a drop-in replacement for the regular expressions code in FreeBSD. It has a POSIX mode, but this only seems to be enough for the egrep syntax. For people which need backreferences, they refer to the Google Chrome’s RE engine irregexp which in turn references a paper from 2007 which is titled Regular Expression Matching Can Be Simple And Fast.
The techniques in the paper can not be applied to the irregexp engine, but maybe could help to speed up awk, egrep and similar programs.
I think it would be interesting to compare those recent developments to what we have in FreeBSD, and if they are faster, to see if it is possible to improve the FreeBSD implementation based upon them (either by writing new code, or by importing existing code, depending on the corresponding license and the language the code is written in).
Maybe a candidate for the GSoC?