Friday, July 31, 2009

Why Should I Choose Reusable over Recyclable?

Addressing the skeptics about reusable vs. disposable water bottles

Collin Dunn

By Collin Dunn
Corvallis, OR, USA | Tue Jul 28 12:30:00 GMT 2009

reuse recycle plastic water bottles photo

Getty Images / Tsuneo Yamashita

Ever heard this one? "I don't need to carry my own reusable water bottle. I'll just recycle this disposable one later." It might sound like a reasonable compromise, but let's not delude ourselves here. Sure, recycling can have a green impact, but it's important to be able to triage one supposedly green action above another. For the skeptical among you, getting lulled into the recycling catch-all can seem like an easy way to be green -- or, in the case of skeptics among us, feel like you're being green. Add to that that it can be easy to confuse greener and green, and it can become quite problematic.

Recycling vs. reuse turns out to be a matter of perception, most of the time. When you think of recycling, you might think of a shiny, efficient factory where old plastic bottles are processed and turned into new bottles at the snap of a finger; old stuff goes in, new stuff comes out, but that's not the whole story; plastic's chemistry, and a couple of other factors, give the reusable water bottle (and other objects with similar lifecycle designs) a big edge. In short, there's a reason that it's Reduce, then Reuse, then Recycle.

How Plastic Recycling Works

Let's take a look at how plastic recycling works. First, we have to consider where the plastic bottle comes from to begin with. It should surprise no one that plastic is a petroleum product, a non-renewable resource; once the oil gets used to make that plastic, that's pretty much all it will ever be -- there's no going back. When it comes time to recycle it, and you drop it in the blue bin and forget about it, but that's just the beginning. Recycling involves essentially re-melting and re-casting the plastic. Though, according to the U.S. EPA, manufacturing new plastic from recycled plastic requires two-thirds of the energy used in virgin plastic manufacturing, recycled plastic isn't often used for the same products over and over again.

But, as any chef who has ever tried to re-heat a Hollondaise sauce will tell you, the quality isn't quite as good the second time around; the same goes for plastic. Plastic is made from a series of polymer chains -- you might remember the term from high school chemistry -- and those polymer chains (learn more about them from Wikipedia) often break during the heating and melting process of recycling. What does this mean to you? Plastic is often downcycled as it is recycled, leading to a lower and lower-grade product; eventually, all it's good for is as another space hog in the landfill. And that ain't green, no matter how you look at it.

How Reusing Plastic Bottles (and Other Stuff) Works

Contrast that with reusable water bottle model: You get one (if you prefer plastic, BPA-free, please) and haul it around with you. Enjoy bottle after bottle of fresh, clean, delicious tap water, while cosidering this number: Tap water has less than one percent of the environmental impact of bottled water. Recycling, and bottled water, and most everything else on the planet, does not exist in a vaccuum; that is to say, it is totally unreasonable to just compare the vessels and leave the contents (and everything else associated with them) out of the equation. There really are a million reasons to ditch bottled water; you can take my word for it or read all our coverage of the topic.

Back to the reusable scenario. Some of you might be saying, "Hey, come on, I reuse all my water bottles, and that's good, right?" It's not bad, but it comes down to a matter of design. Truly reusable water bottles -- Sigg, Nalgene, whatever you like -- are designed for reuse and will stand up to normal day-to-day wear and tear. Disposable water bottles are designed for just that -- disposability -- and, while that can be convenient, there's a big price to pay for the convenience. And I'll pit my two year-old Sigg against your 'reusable' disposable bottle any day.

Bottled water can be a little tricky to avoid entirely, but there's no reason to use it every day, and no reason to think that you can simply recycle your way out of disposability. All of our stuff has to go somewhere, so it's best to keep as much of it with you for as many cycles as possible.

More about plastic recycling and bottled water
Does Recycling Waste Precious Water?
Recycling is Bullshit; Make Nov. 15 Zero Waste Day, not America Recycles Day
Get to Know Your Recyclable Plastics by Number
How to Never Drink Bottled Water Again
Which is Healthier: Tap Water or Bottled Water?


There is a lot to read here but it sends home the thoughts that are needed to change the way we do things... Always: Reuse, Reduce, & Recycle, in that order...


Thursday, July 30, 2009

"Crude oil prices 1861 - 2008" Visualization Update...

Crude oil prices 1861-2008 data-set from:
Statistical Review of World Energy 2009
The Visualization!:

Visualization for: Crude Oil Prices 1861 to 2008 Visualization

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Crude oil prices 1861 - 2008

"Crude oil prices 1861-2008" data-set from:
"Statistical Review of World Energy 2009"
Entire report available:


Sunday, July 26, 2009

VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibrations Aquatic Clean Energy)

VIVACE (Vortex Induced Vibrations Aquatic Clean Energy)

A novel approach to extract energy from flowing water currents. It is unlike any other ocean energy or low-head hydropower concept. VIVACE is based on the extensively studied phenomenon of Vortex Induced Vibrations (VIV), which was first observed 500 years ago by Leonardo DaVinci in the form of “Aeolian Tones.” For decades, engineers have been trying to prevent VIV from damaging offshore equipment and structures. By maximizing and exploiting VIV rather than spoiling and preventing it, VIVACE takes this ‘problem’ and transforms it into a valuable resource for mankind.


This has a lot of potential. I look forward to this developement...


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

GE Targets Net Zero Energy Homes by 2015...

LOUISVILLE, KY – GE announced today that by 2015 it is developing a turn-key product portfolio that will empower consumers to build — both new home builders and existing homeowners — to efficiently consume, manage and generate electricity to enable an overall net zero annual energy. In addition to GE's current portfolio of energy-efficient lighting and appliances products and demand response technology that GE is currently developing, GE plans to develop residential power generation products like solar PV and residential wind products, well positioning GE to make the net zero energy home a reality.

"We have a long, trusted relationship with consumers, strong presence with home builders, demand response appliance technology and, the extremely critical, smart grid technology leadership of GE Energy that makes the GE net zero energy home an exciting prospect for our future growth." explained GE Consumer & Industrial President and CEO James Campbell.

GE Targets Net Zero Energy

The GE net zero energy home offerings will be comprised of three major groups within the product portfolio, energy efficient products, energy management products and energy generation/storage products.

Energy Efficiency Products: GE's portfolio of energy- efficient appliance and lighting products will help enable the net zero energy home by reducing energy consumption in the home.

In 2008, the number of GE ENERGY STAR® qualified appliance models totaled over 550 models. In fact, 54% of the GE appliance products are ENERGY STAR qualified. The number of ENERGY STAR qualified lighting models totaled over 271. The majority, 99.3%, of the 2008 GE Compact Fluorescent lamp sales were ENERGY STAR qualified models.
The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have awarded GE Consumer & Industrial the ENERGY STAR® Sustained Excellence award for the fourth straight year. Also, this marks the sixth year that GE has been acknowledged as an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year.
Energy Management/Demand Response Appliances: GE demand response products will enable consumers to manage their costs and energy consumption while helping reduce utility demand peaks, thereby reducing the need for more power generation — depending on utility participation.

GE plans to be the first manufacturer to offer a full suite of demand response appliances that will work with utility smart meters to help shed load from the grid, while helping consumers save money during peak demand usage and pricing times. GE appliances and products will work with smart meters to delay or reduce energy use without major interruption to consumers' lifestyles by giving the consumer control over their energy use.
Residential housing consumes 37% of the electricity produced in the US. Appliances, Lighting and HVAC represent 82% of electricity consumed in the home. A recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission report has identified that residential demand response programs represent the largest potential reduction in U.S. peak demand. The potential of residential demand reduction programs represents approximately a 7% reduction in total US peak demand, or 65 GW over the period 2009 -2019. This avoided demand is equivalent to the generation capacity of 108 coal plants, ( 600 MW typical coal plant)
As the second single largest energy users in the home, incorporating highly efficient water heaters into the net zero energy homes is critical. GE will offer the its innovative GE Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater with demand response technology in late 2009. The new GE Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater is designed to use about 2300 kWh per year, which is less than half of the energy of a 50-gallon tank water heater that uses approximately 4800 kWh per year. The energy savings of approximately 2500 kWh per year represents a savings of about $250 per year based on 10.65 cents per kWh. In addition to the highly efficient Hybrid, GE plans to develop additional innovative water heating options for the Net Zero Energy Home.

Example: There are about 60 Million U.S. homes with electric tank hot water heaters, if 10% installed a GE Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heater, this would save 15 Billion kWh annually of energy. In addition, the demand response capabilities of the GE Hybrid during peak demand time could reduce the energy consumption associated with the 6 Million units by as much as 22.8 Gigawatts or the equivalent of reducing the generating capacity of 40 coal plants during peak demand time.

In 2010 GE will introduce the Home Energy Manager — the central nervous system for the net zero energy home that will work in conjunction with all the other enabling technologies in the home to help homeowners to optimize how they consume energy. In addition to the Home Energy Manger, GE will introduce a line of smart thermostats, also available in 2010. Together, the Home Energy Manager and smart thermostats will inform consumers when and how they are using energy and empower them to make decisions when they should use energy from the grid, use stored energy, and self generated energy or other sources since up to 31%of the homes energy use comes from HVAC, the smart thermostats can help consumers significantly save on their energy bills.

Example: Based on data from the Olympic Peninsula, Gridwise Test Bed demonstration project, consumer awareness created by Time of use pricing (TOU) & Real Time pricing (RTP) has shown significant consumer savings. Consumers under a TOU/RTP billing plan supported by enabling technologies, such as pricing communication, a home energy display, smart thermostats, and smart demand response appliances saved as much as 27%-30% of their monthly bill.

Brattle report— The power of Experimentation — New Evidence on residential demand response, May 11, 2008, Ahmad Faruqui, Sanem Sergici
Distributed Generation/Storage

Collaborating with GE Energy, products like solar PV, advanced energy storage, next generation thin film solar, small wind - and, in the coming years, incorporate other generation products being developed at Global Research Center will play an integral part in the Net Zero Energy Home.


It's nice to see some of my dreams come true. Ever since the 70's oil embargo...


. - Audi, partners ready e-car system concept - Audi, partners ready e-car system concept

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Here is a link to the answer: CO2-to-Fuel Technology

Here is a link to the answer:

CO2-to-Fuel Technology


A Breakthrough Technology to Transform CO2 into Fuel

The recent $700 billion bailout package has extended tax credits to wind and solar energy companies. However since mostly all renewable energy projects depend upon project financing, it is suspected that only large utilities will actually benefit from the tax credits. However, companies such as Carbon Sciences, Inc. (CABN) are proving otherwise.

Transforming CO2 to Fuel

Carbon Sciences, the developer of a breakthrough technology to transform harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) into high value, earth-friendly products such as precipitated calcium carbonate (PCC) is now developing a breakthrough technology to transform CO2 into the basic fuel building blocks required to produce gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and other portable fuels.

We are very excited about this breakthrough,” stated Derek McLeish, the company’s CEO. “By innovating at the intersection of chemical engineering and bio-engineering disciplines, we are developing a highly scalable bio-catalytic process to meet the fuel needs of the world. With over 28 billion tons of CO2 emitted each year, there is an abundant supply of raw material available to produce renewable and sustainable fuels for global consumption.”

The Process of CO2-to-Fuel Technology

The fuels we use today, such as gasoline and jet fuel, are made up of chains of hydrogen and carbon atoms aptly called hydrocarbons. Hydrocarbons are naturally occurring in fuel sources such as petroleum and natural gas. To create fuel, hydrogen and carbon atoms must be bonded together to create hydrocarbon molecules. These molecules can then be used as basic building blocks to produce various gaseous and liquid fuels. Due to its high reactivity, carbon atoms do not usually exist in a pure form, but as parts of other molecules. CO2 is one of the most prevalent and basic sources of carbon atoms.

The company’s CO2-to-Fuel approach lies in a proprietary multi-step bio-catalytic process using inexpensive, renewable bio-molecules to catalyze certain chemical reactions required to transform CO2 into basic hydrocarbon building blocks.

Other alternative fuel technologies, such as fuel cells and hydrogen, require substantial infrastructure changes in order to meet the energy and climate challenge. However Carbon Sciences tackles the problem at its root by using CO2 as the basic raw material for clean energy.


HERE is the answer! I'm behind this one...



Total U.S. CO2 Emissions from energy use by sector

U.S. Carbon Dioxide Emissions From Energy Use By Sector ( Updated March 2009)

===eof=== uses data-sets.
A great place to create and store your spreadsheets.
Or, use data-sets that others have created.
Embed them in your own blog.
Anything you can put on a list...


Friday, July 17, 2009 - Analyst: Solar approaching grid parity in U.S. - Analyst: Solar approaching grid parity in U.S.

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Oregon’s Stahlbush Island Farms Launches First-of-Its-Kind Biogas Plant

Oregon’s Stahlbush Island Farms Launches First-of-Its-Kind Biogas Plant

Oregon Family Farm Producing Electricity from Fruits and Vegetable By-Product

CORVALLIS, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stahlbush Island Farms, a national leader in sustainable agriculture and food production, has begun full operations of the first-of-its-kind Biogas Plant in North America. The power plant will provide enough electricity for approximately 1,100 homes, nearly twice what the farm and food processing plant uses in a year. The 10 million dollar project took fourteen months to complete and is operated by Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc.

The cutting edge Biogas plant supports Stahlbush Island Farms’ goal of minimizing its carbon footprint and gaining energy independence through the creation of a renewable, on-farm energy source. A recent innovation in the United States, and most commonly associated with dairy operations, anaerobic digesters have been creating green energy in Europe for decades. This is the first plant in North America, built with state-of-the-art engineering and design techniques for the purpose of creating biogas from fruit and vegetable by-product.

The technology for creating biogas from organic matter is well-proven. Simply put, organic material, (in this case, fruit and vegetable matter) when placed in anaerobic conditions in large mixed tanks, produces biogas. The methane-rich biogas is used to fuel a combined heat and power (CHP) system (a process also known as "co-generation").

This method of energy conversion has very little energy loss and is thus highly efficient. Thermal energy and electrical energy are produced at the same time — an ideal situation for food production, which requires both.

The Energy Trust of Oregon, and the Oregon State and Federal governments provided incentives for the project. Without this financial assistance, the project would not have been possible.

About Stahlbush Island Farms

Located in the heart of Oregon's lush Willamette Valley, Stahlbush Island Farms is an environmentally-friendly farm and food processor committed to sustainable agriculture. The farm currently grows vegetables and fruits on nearly 5,000 acres of land and has practiced sustainable farming and food processing for nearly 25 years.

The company's dedication to cleaner, greener practices is evidenced through its protection of river areas, efficient water use, low tillage methods, and many other efforts to create a better food system. One hundred percent of the Farms are "certified sustainable" by the Food Alliance. There are 1,500 acres USDA Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth, a non-profit research and education organization certifying organic farmers, processors, retailers and handlers throughout Oregon.

For more information visit


Stahlbush Island Farms
Tracy Miedema, 541-757-1497
Cell: 541-760-0358



We need a lot more of these. I hope this is the first of many to come. Self-sustainability is the name of the game...


(AP) The world's first piloted aircraft capable of taking to the air using only power from fuel cells took off in Germany Tuesday, producing zero carbon dioxide emissions, its makers said.

Antares DLR-H2

"We have improved the performance capabilities and efficiency of the fuel cell to such an extent that a piloted aircraft is now able to take off using it," said Johann-Dietrich Woerner from the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

"This enables us to demonstrate the true potential of this technology, also and perhaps specifically for applications in the aerospace sector," he said.

Developed by the DLR, Lange Aviation, BASF Fuel Cells and Denmark's Serenergy, the Antares DLR-H2 motor glider has a range of 750 kilometres (465 miles) and can fly for five hours.

The system uses hydrogen as its fuel, and this is converted into electrical energy in a direct, electrochemical reaction with oxygen in the ambient air, without any combustion occurring.

The only by-product is water, and if the hydrogen fuel is produced using renewable energy sources, then the motor glider is genuinely CO2-free, the DLR said.

"Although the fuel cell may still be a long way from becoming the primary energy source for the propulsion of commercial aircraft, it does already constitute an interesting and important alternative to existing energy systems as a form of reliable on-board power supply," the DLR said.


Anything to stop producing excess CO2...



Thursday, July 16, 2009

Retrofit kit said to transform cars into hybrids

Retrofit kit said to transform cars into hybrids

Courtesy of Automotive DesignLine

PORTLAND, Ore. — A former IBM electrical engineer has designed a retrofit kit that he claims can transform existing automobiles into hybrids by placing an electric motor inside each wheel, thereby doubling gas mileage.

Charles Perry, a former IBM product development researcher, recently received first prize for his invention at a green energy competition at the Tennessee Technology Development Corp. The patent pending Plug-in Hybrid Retrofit Kit will be developed into a commercial product by Palmer Labs LLC (Reston, Va.).

The hybrid retrofit kit is installed in the space between the brake mechanism and the hub

"What makes our approach different is we don't need to modify anything in existing vehicles to turn them into a hybrid," said Perry. "We install the motor in the space between the brake mechanism and the hub without any other modifications."

According to Perry, 80 percent of U.S. drivers make daily trips of less than 30 miles at 40 miles per hour or slower, all of which could be powered by his 10-15 horsepower electric motors to save as much as 120 million gallons of fuel per day in the U.S. alone, he claimed. The motors would be powered by extra batteries installed in the automobile's trunk.

To develop the retrofit kit into a commercial product, Perry has partnered with the Tennessee Technological University (Cookeville), which will will build a working prototype within a year with about $100,000 in existing funding. The next step will be to retrofit the kit on 30 state-owned vehicles for testing. If all goes as planned, Perry estimates that within three years the final kits will be manufactured by Palmer Labs in a new Tennessee facility that would employ about 2000 workers.

Perry said the kit will cost between $3,000 to $5,000.


I think this is a great idea! This means you will be able to upgrade your existing vehicle instead of buying a new one, not having the expense of recycling the old one. That saves energy and resources. Spread the word on this one...


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Skyscrapers Going Green

NEW YORK – When owners of the Empire State Building decided to blanket its towering facade this year with thousands of insulating windows, they were only partly interested in saving energy. They also needed tenants.

After 78 years, Manhattan's signature office building had lost its sheen as one of the city's most desirable places to work. To get it back, the owners did what an increasing number of property owners have done — they went green, shelling out $120 million on a variety of environmental improvements, a move would have been considered a huge gamble a few years ago.

Buildings that define city skylines across the country, some national icons, are catching up to the sleek, new structures designed with efficiency in mind, as property owners and managers become convinced that a greener building now makes financial sense.

That's because in recent years environmental retrofits have begun to pay off for owners and tenants alike. Higher-profile companies are seeking out more efficient office space, and new technology at older buildings has started to translate into higher property values, leases and occupancy rates.

"In a good market, we're going to get the best rents for the best tenants," said Anthony E. Malkin, who leads a real estate group that owns the Empire State Building. "In a bad market like we have now, we're going to get tenants when other buildings won't."

Renovation specialists around the country have been plugging porous walls in numerous old buildings, adding high tech water systems and using recycled material in carpets and tile.

One of them is the Christman Building in Lansing, Mich., an 81-year-old Elizabethan Revival office that's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While repairing the limestone exterior and preserving unique details like the mica light fixtures, the building owners spent $8.5 million to add water-efficient plumbing and increased the amount of natural light. They also capped the building with a reflective "cool" roof.

Chicago's Sears Tower announced late last month that it will embark on a five-year, $350 million green renovation. The 110-story, staggered skyscraper, which turned 36 this year, will crown its rooftops with solar panels, wind turbines and up to 35,000 square feet of sunlight-absorbing gardens.

When complete, the improvements will cut the tower's annual electricity use by 80 percent and save 24 million gallons of water, property managers say.

Building owners trumpet their environmental commitment when extensive modifications are made, yet in many cases those changes are being pushed by tenants.

Many high-profile tenants won't even consider moving into a property without the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, said Allan Skodowski with Transwestern management group. They may not even know what the certification means, he said, but they demand it nonetheless.

"They say 'We want LEED,'" Skodowski said, "and that's it."

Nine of Transwestern's properties received certification this year. A combination of energy efficient light bulbs and other green equipment helped those buildings slash energy consumption. On average, they've seen a 2 percent drop in energy costs, even as electricity rates jumped between 10 percent and 40 percent, Skodowski said.

Leasing rates have not risen as a result of the changes, Skodowski said, yet at the same time occupancy rates have not fallen. That's a victory for an industry hit hard by the recession. Vacancy rates at office buildings nationwide have gone from 10.9 percent at the end of 2007 to 12.4 percent in the first quarter of this year.

"If one extra tenant comes and looks at the building, if the owner gets an extra penny or so a foot, then at the end of the day it's paying for itself," Skodowski said.

A recent analysis by real estate researcher CoStar Group, Inc. found that green-certified buildings had fewer vacancies than other buildings with similar age, size and location.

The CoStar study, which included about 3,000 green-certified offices, found that buildings with the council's certification enjoyed higher occupancy rates (90.3 percent) than their peers (84.7 percent) in the first three months of 2009.

Certified buildings have fetched higher lease rates for several years. The CoStar report said the buildings rented at an average of $38.86 per square foot in the first quarter of 2009 compared with $29.80 per square foot for their peers.

"This isn't just a 'We are doing the right thing' movement," said Marc Heisterkamp, U.S. Green Building Council's director of commercial real estate. "In the end, the numbers pencil out."

At the Empire State Building, Malkin proposed a top-to-bottom renovation that included a $13.2 million investment in new green technologies. The goal was to sufficiently reduce greenhouse gases without spending more than he could justify to his investors.

What the owners settled on was a series of upgrades that include retrofitting all 6,500 windows. Under every window, radiators will be padded with extra insulation. The building's lighting, cold water and ventilation systems also will be upgraded.

The renovation should take 18 months. Afterward, the owners expect an annual energy savings of $4.4 million, enough to pay off the new technologies in about three years.

Already, the renovation has lured upscale, energy-conscious companies like Swedish construction firm Skanska, said Ray Quartararo with Jones Lang Lasalle, which is managing the renovation.

Skanska wanted its U.S. headquarters to have a LEED "platinum" certification — reserved for only the most efficient of buildings — and it found a willing partner in the Empire State Building. Skanska officials said the building's management helped them install bike racks and add other energy-saving details on the 32nd floor.

"We had looked at several downtown spaces, but the Empire State Building made the most sense," a company spokeswoman said.

Jacques Catafago, an attorney who works 16 floors above Skanska's new office, is also happy with the changes. Catafago has fought the building management before on other fees, but he said he wouldn't mind paying more rent if it goes toward renovations that cut his electric bill.

Besides, Catafago said, he's already checked out the rent for similar buildings in the city and realizes he has a pretty good deal at the Empire State Building.

"We'd be paying twice as much" uptown, he said.


I'm glad to finally see that going "Green" is a profitable investment. This will create jobs by retrofitting old buildings in addition of the new "Green" construction.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Top Media Execs Wonder How Twitter Will Make Money...

SUN VALLEY, Idaho (AP) - It turns out the media elite aren't so different from a lot of less affluent folks: They think Twitter is a great communications tool, but can't figure out how the online messaging service is going to make money.

The recurring doubts about Twitter's moneymaking potential cropped up again Wednesday as an exclusive media summit hosted by investment banker Allen & Co. got under way at the posh Sun Valley resort.

One of the first sessions focused on how to capitalize on digital media. Twitter quickly became a focal point of the discussion because it has emerged as one of the Internet's fastest-growing services this year.

But Twitter hasn't attempted to profit from its popularity yet, leaving everyone guessing about how the 3-year-old startup intends to pay its bills after it exhausts its $55 million venture capital.

The participants on the panel moderated by media writer Ken Auletta of The New Yorker magazine predicted Twitter Inc. will face major challenges when the San Francisco-based company finally tries to generate revenue. Reporters were barred from the session — like all other meetings at the media summit — but Auletta confirmed the tenor of the Twitter talk afterward.

Two of the panel participants, veteran media executive Barry Diller and cable television magnate John Malone, reiterated their skepticism about Twitter's moneymaking potential in separate interviews.

"I think it's a great service. I just don't think it's a natural advertising medium," said Diller, who heads online conglomerate InterActiveCorp.

Malone, chairman of Liberty Media Corp., also believes Twitter will be hard-pressed to sell advertising on its messaging service without alienating users. Twitter's best bet, Malone said, probably is to simply get people so addicted to the service that they might eventually pay fees.

It's an idea that YouTube, the Internet's leading video service, might want to try. Malone said billionaire investor Warren Buffett confided that he enjoys watching YouTube so much that he would be willing to pay a $5 monthly subscription for access. Although YouTube is more popular than ever, it still isn't making money nearly three years after Google Inc. bought it for $1.76 billion.

Buffett declined an interview request Wednesday.

Twitter's co-founders, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, still haven't revealed their business model, but have indicated that advertising is low on their priority list. They have suggested they might impose fees on companies interested in mining the data about consumer preferences and peeves that pour into Twitter.

In an interview before Thursday's program began, Williams said he has been discussing possible deals with some of the conference's other guests. He declined to say with whom.

"It's always nice to have attention," Williams said. "I don't know that there has been that much attention on Twitter. I haven't noticed it. I am just here to learn and meet folks, actually. We are just trying to figure it all out."

Many media executives running long-established companies are wrestling with their own daunting problems as the Internet lures consumers and advertisers from them. Few of the executives attending the media summit wanted to talk about that trouble.

Some of the most best-known people on the guest list arrived Wednesday after the summit had begun. The late arrivals included Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates, basketball star LeBron James and Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg — another Internet whiz still trying to prove that his service for online banter will mature into a profitable business.


I would be willing to have ads on my twitter, but not a subscription.
I'm always looking for freeware solutions...


Thursday, July 9, 2009

MIcrosoft Sends Out Alert on New Security Hole...

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Microsoft Corp. has taken the rare step of warning about a serious computer security vulnerability it hasn't fixed yet.

The vulnerability disclosed Monday affects Internet Explorer users whose computers run the Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 operating software.

It can allow hackers to remotely take control of victims' machines. The victims don't need to do anything to get infected except visit a Web site that's been hacked.

Security experts say criminals have been attacking the vulnerability for nearly a week. Thousands of sites have been hacked to serve up malicious software that exploits the vulnerability. People are drawn to these sites by clicking a link in spam e-mail.

The so-called "zero day" vulnerability disclosed by Microsoft affects a part of its software used to play video. The problem arises from the way the software interacts with Internet Explorer, which opens a hole for hackers to tunnel into.

Microsoft urged vulnerable users to disable the problematic part of its software, which can be done from Microsoft's Web site, while the company works on a "patch" — or software fix — for the problem.

Microsoft rarely departs from its practice of issuing security updates the second Tuesday of each month. When the Redmond, Wash.-based company does issue security reminders at other times, it's because the vulnerabilities are very serious.

A recent example was the emergency patch Microsoft issued in October for a vulnerability that criminals exploited to infect millions of PCs with the Conficker worm. While initially feared as an all-powerful doomsday device, that network of infected machines was eventually used for mundane moneymaking schemes like sending spam and pushing fake antivirus software.


On the Net:

Microsoft support page:



Monday, July 6, 2009

China is ratcheting up renewable resources to 15 percent by 2020...

SAN JOSE, Calif. — China is ratcheting up the target of how much of its energy it obtains from renewable resources such as solar and wind to 15 percent by 2020, according to a report in today's China Daily.

China government planners said they could hit the 10 percent target by 2010. The China Daily quoted one vice minister who suggested the country might be able to hit a 20 percent target by 2020.

The new goal comes as China is also raising its projections for the amount of total annual energy it will generate by 2020 to 1,500 GigaWatts, a 50 percent increase from a target level set in 2007. China had installed capacity to generate 793 GW by the end of 2008, as much as two-thirds of that from coal, China Daily reported.

China's planners say the country will soon have the capacity to generate 1,000 GW, the amount of energy produced in the U.S. each year.

More than twenty percent of China's energy comes from hydroelectric plants. Only a small fraction comes from other sources such as nuclear (two percent). China had less than 100 MegaWatts of solar energy generators attached to its grid at the end of 2008, China Daily said.


With China now using as much power as we do, both countries need to stop the coal burning. Modify the coal, break it down, make it so there is no CO2 released into the atmosphere...
(Dream on!) It can be done now but it needs to be scaled up fast.


Friday, July 3, 2009

US to Invest $4 Billion in Broadband...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government will soon release $4 billion of loans and grants aimed at expanding broadband access to underserved areas across the United States, officials said on Wednesday.

The funds are part of a $7.2 billion program to build an affordable high-speed Internet structure in rural areas. The project is being pushed by President Barack Obama, in part, to shore up the U.S. economy with job creation in the telecommunications sector.

"This funding is a down payment on the president's commitment to bring the educational and economic benefits of the Internet to all communities," Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement.

The broadband program was tucked into a $787 billion fiscal stimulus package Obama signed into law in February.

Applications for loans and grants will be accepted starting on July 14 and will continue through August 14. Details of the funding process can be found at .

State and local governments as well as non- and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply.

The Commerce and Agriculture departments and the Federal Communications Commission are developing a national broadband program to reach those American households and small businesses lacking what many officials consider a necessary service.

Under the rules announced on Wednesday, the USDA and Commerce will review applications, announce a group of finalists on September 15 and start naming winners on November 7, senior administration officials said.

Some industry and public interest groups applauded the release of the guidelines. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, which represents Comcast Corp, Time Warner Cable Inc and Cox, said it is reviewing the guidelines.

U.S. Telecom, a trade group that represents Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc, did not comment on the guidelines and said it was reviewing them.


The Open Internet Coalition, which comprises public interest groups that support so-called net neutrality, said it strongly supports the guidelines. They favor preventing Internet service providers like Verizon and AT&T from giving preference to certain content.

The guidelines said: "This requirement ensures neutral traffic routing."

"The first major decision regarding broadband policy by the new administration sets a clear course in favor of the open Internet," said Markham Erickson, OIC executive director.

Of the $4 billion to be released soon, $1.6 billion of grants will be administered by Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration and $2.4 billion of grants and loans by the USDA's Rural Utilities Service.

The grants and loans will be released in three tranches, they said.

Under the rules the minimum Internet speed an applicant can provide is 768 kilobits per second (kbps) downstream, considered slow by some standards, and at least 200 kbps upstream to end users.

However, due to likely competition, officials said they expect applicants to offer higher speeds.


With the minimum Internet speed of 768 kilobits per second (kbps) downstream, a typical WiFi network would be enough to distribute wireless internet, at T1 speeds and greater, to many locations...