We're only a few weeks into 2008 and you can tell that it's going to be a great year for music. New releases by British Sea Power, Sia (we have her full album stream!) and The Oaks are worthy of the Best of 2008 (let's just hope we remember them at the end of the year). But we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves -- we're still enjoying the Best of 2007. Indie To Go is an iPod-friendly sampler that features topnotch indie newcomers and chart-toppers. Stream the playlist below (while you work), then visit the … Read more
Here's something blasphemous: My favorite booth at Macworld was not Apple's, but Belkin's. It knocked my socks off.
Think back a few years: Belkin was a ho-hum manufacturer of unsexy cables and nondescript PC accessories. Then came the iPod, and the company recognized a good thing when it saw one. Belkin jumped on the iPod shooting star and produced a nice line of interesting, well-conceived accessories. But essentially, the company outsourced its aesthetic to the iPod, piggybacking visually as well as functionally on that core device.
Now, Belkin is turning into a design and innovation powerhouse in … Read more
Schott Solar said Monday it will invest $100 million in a factory in New Mexico to make equipment destined for solar power plants.
The southwestern United States desert is becoming a magnet for solar investment. Utilities need to comply with renewable energy mandates, and large-scale solar installations are considered reliable and relatively cost-effective.
The Schott plant will initially produce receivers for its concentrated solar thermal power plants and 64 megawatts of photovoltaic modules. The facility is expected to begin production in 2009.
Longer-term, the company expects to make a total investment of $500 million in the facility, which will be … Read more
There's a great little feature in Microsoft Word 2003 and earlier versions of the word-processing program that lets you export to PowerPoint an outline of any Word file formatted with headings. I admit that it's a specialized operation that probably doesn't get used all that often, but it's a handy way to work between the two Office apps.
I was all set to tell you how to use the feature in Word 2007 when I realized it has been removed. So all that noise Microsoft made when the new Office System was released more than a … Read more
SunPower and General Electric Energy Financial Services are partnering to build solar power installations generating 8 megawatts in California by the end of the year.
The five projects include what could become the nation's largest solar panel installation on one roof, capable of 2.3 megawatts, at Toyota Motor Sales' Parts Center. Construction is set to start next month.
GE Energy Financial Services is acquiring a majority equity interest in the projects for an undisclosed amount. It will own the systems built and run by SunPower, a maker of high-efficiency solar panels.
The San Jose, Calif.-based company, which … Read more
The Google Docs team, has posted on their blog about the availability of a few new features for Google Presentations to start off the new year. The most significant of the new features is the ability to embed slide shows in web pages. It's not a surprise that Google decided to go this route, given the huge success of embeddable video with YouTube and other embeddable content around the web.
As you can see in my slide show that I have included at the end of this post, it works in a similar way and looks very much like YouTube's embeddable player. Overall, sharing and embedding your slide shows is a fairly painless process. As I said in my original article about Google Presentations, their strong point is collaboration and sharing. This latest feature has continued that trend.
While this is all great, my big problem with Google Presentations is still the lack of a professional look to the slide shows. The feature set just is not quite there yet. I am sure that Google is hard at work, implementing features like transitions, animations, etc., so I can't penalize them too much for that yet, being such a young product. However, if they want to capture any significant portion of the market share, Google Presentations needs the more advanced features.
Other features included in this release are importing slides from other presentations, drag and drop image insertion, and an improved UI. Check out my embedded slide show after the jump.… Read more
It's like the difference in taste between a tomato you grew in your backyard or one of those plastic things at the supermarket, or frozen pizza vs. a slice fresh out of the oven in Little Italy. We're talking big differences here. And those are the sort of sensual pleasures high-end audio delivers compared to iPods and ear buds. Sure, the little buggers sound good enough, but if you really love music, don't you want to hear your tunes sound as good as they can?
I'm sitting here listening to the late British singer/songwriter Nick … Read more
When we first spied the "Mini Solar Racer" last summer, it seemed like a neat little toy that would make a nice novelty gift for our greener acquaintances. Little did we know that it could be a miniature prototype for an actual car.
That, at least, appeared to be the case with the equally unattractive Taiwanese solar-powered car that Gizmodo rightly likens to a golf cart. Even if it does make good on its claims of reaching 44 mph during three-hour jaunts between charges, something tells us that this design won't have droves of customers jamming showrooms. … Read more
I enjoy reading the personal blogs of Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert) and John Dvorak (PC Magazine columnist and host of Cranky Geeks), but I don't expect to learn anything there. The entertainment is value enough.
Today, however, I was surprised to see these two gentlemen linking to the same story on Next Energy News covering Toshiba's announcement of a "200 kilowatt" nuclear reactor only "20 feet by 6 feet" in size. Such a reactor could be installed in a garage-sized building and shared among the houses on just one residential block, the … Read more
You can store energy in chemical batteries. Pentadyne Power stores it in moving objects.
The Chatsworth, Calif.-based company has created and sells uninterruptable power supply (UPS) for data centers and large power consumers that stores energy kinetically. A 25-pound mass spins in a vacuum chamber at a high speed. When a utility needs a jolt of electricity, kinetic power is converted to electrical power. When it's not needed, the mass just spins to conserve its energy.
The company uses a relatively small mass to avoid potential mishaps (imagine what would happen if a large mass came unstuck from … Read more