Productive Product: Let's start by clarifying a vital point: this story is about solar power adapters for conventional PCs, not about "solar-powered PCs" per se. You don't actually get a solar panel slapped to the side of your tower case; you get 86 pounds of schleppability. But you also get to help save the planet and circumvent your local
Energy News: According to U.S. News & World Report, "Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, the new chair of the National Governors Association, was in Washington this week to argue that state governments should be a driving force in reducing the nation's dependence on foreign oil and in fighting greenhouse
Energy News: There's a big dose of clean-energy straight talk over at Forbes.com from physicist and investor Mark Mills. He says there is plenty of room for smart investments into alternative energies, because there wasn't much of a bubble in the first place, nor was there a bubble 30 years ago when many of the same technologies were going to save us from
Productive Products: Human harvesting. Algae pools. Wave power. Artificial tornados. Super kites. Tesla coils. The list reads like a high-tech version of the plagues that freed Moses' people in Egypt, but will these alternative energy concepts succeed or have the proverbial sea crash down on them? "True, many of the kookier-sounding concepts are still in deep development within large corporations, universities, and
Energy News: "Los Angeles and Pittsburgh provide examples of what to do — and not to do — about China's severe air pollution in the face of surging energy use from rapid economic growth," according to this AP report of U.S. and Chinese scientists' joint research. They added: "The study released Thursday compared the world's two biggest energy consumers
Productive Product: What of flying windmills and ultra, ultra, ultra-capacitors? Two such start-ups came to my attention today: SkyWindPower and EEStor (which doesn't have a web site). Both of these plans are real but of questionable science.
Op-Ed: Our second-ever post here in The Efficiency Zone, which came back in March, was a list of other web sites related to energy efficiency and technology. That list is now at 41 suggested resources.
Productive Product: From the UK's Techworld magazine, "A small US startup has announced technology for running Wi-Fi routers in remote places using only the power of the sun. Among the first round of products from Solis Energy is the Solar Power Plant, touted as being capable of supplying 12, 24 and 48 Volts DC for use in standalone applications such as surveillance cameras and outdoor Wi-Fi."
Energy News: Does your company have a chief green officer? They do at Sun Microsystems, as explained in this San Jose Mercury News article. Dave Douglas' job involves everything from auditing the green practices of the corporate cafeteria to participating in data center design.
Op-Ed: To quote Paul Shaffer, "we've got lots and lots of letters" about The Efficiency Zone and my recent editorial in our print edition of ECN. Here are some highlights, surnames edited
Op-Ed: Two years ago, while editing a non-ECN technology newsletter, I stumbled onto this headline: "CRM School: A ray of hope for mentally retarded children." I wasn't sure whether to laugh or be offended because it sounded so strange. The hyperlink went to an Indian domain, which gave it credibility, but was this a joke, or a tale of some slimy corporation, or what?
Productive Product: It’s tough to say exactly what the word “Zonbu” implies. Is it: A., the name of a millionaire’s estate, B. an unpopular central-African republic, C. some kind of vegetarian dessert, or D., just a made-up word because all the good names for a high-tech company are taken?
Op-Ed: Apple Inc. co-founder and legendary hacker Steve Wozniak recently found a new passion in energy-efficient housing. Last month he told PC World magazine, "I have a long dream to build my own house in a very energy-efficient approach," and here at ECN we thought you'd like to know more. So we interviewed Woz by email. Here is a transcript
Productive Product: What happens when you combine carbon nanotubes and electrolytes, embedded in paper? You create a flexible battery which can be molded into any shape and even cut with scissors, according to faculty and students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Center for Biotechnology.
Op-Ed: Last week I wrote about energy harvesting; here is a new example. MIT researchers are studying ways to power anything from subway trains to rock concerts by capturing the power of simple movements -- in these two cases it's the movement of human feet -- and to borrow