In the future, utilities will pay you to plug in your vehicle. Millions will plug in their electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) at night when electricity is cheap, then during the day when energy is expensive, sell those extra electrons at a profit. Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology is a bi-directional electric grid interface that allows a plug-in to take energy from the grid or put it back on the grid. V2G helps solve the major problem that demand for electricity is high during the day when everything from industrial plants to air conditioning is running … Read more
As impressive as the "ITC One" media system may be, some have observed that its design doesn't live up to its extensive functions. It's understandable that appearance wasn't a priority, though, given that it's one of the few compact all-in-one systems of its kind.
All that will change, however, if they catch on--and a company called DVico is trying to get ahead of the pack with a multimedia hub of its own. "TViX," as it's known, is an HD multimedia system that plays 1080p video, DVDs, and MPs while storing files … Read more
If plug-in hybrid cars become popular, the cars could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on foreign oil. But will they cause electricity prices to zoom?
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Labs are trying to figure out that right now, according to staff scientist Michael Kintner-Meyer in an interview. PNNL hopes to issue a report this summer that will help answer that question.
Last year, PNNL studied how well the grid, as it exists today, could accommodate an influx of plug-in hybrids. (Unlike a conventional Prius hybrid, plug-ins can be charged from a wall socket. General Motors, Toyota … Read more
Microsoft Office is so jam-packed with features that an entire industry has been created to help people find the ones they need. (An example is Addintools' $30 Classic Menu for Office 2007.) Why would anyone suggest that you add even more functions to Office apps? Because the best free Office add-ins can save you considerable time and trouble, without costing you a red cent. Here are five of my favorite Office helpers.
Poll attendees to find the best time for a meeting Everybody's busy, as anyone who has ever tried to schedule a meeting with more than two attendees … Read more
You've got to hand it to Microsoft. The company knows how to go against the grain. Just at the moment that the rest of the planet has discovered that there is huge value in opening up, Microsoft has been stalking the web, demanding payment from startups that want to allow users to import their MSN contact lists to other web services, as Fortune notes.
Here's the "deal":If the company wants to offer other IM services (from Yahoo, Google or AOL, say), Messenger must get top billing. And if the startup wants to offer any other IM service, it must pay Microsoft 25 cents a user per year for a site license.
However, if a company wants to force its users to abandon 73% of their friends (assuming it's roughly a three-way race between AIM (53 million active users), MSN (27 million active users), and Yahoo! (22 million active users), then they can use MSN for free! Wow! Dave Rosenberg calls this "bizarre and stupid." I think he's being overly generous.… Read more
Better Gmail 2 is a Firefox extension that collects a bunch of Gmail customization scripts from Greasemonkey under one control panel. The latest update, to Version 0.3, brings Better Gmail 2 mostly up to speed with features that were in the original Better Gmail, but had to be abandoned when Google rewrote Gmail's code last November.
The biggest of the latest additions include a revamped insertion of Google Reader into the Gmail user interface. This is not merely a rehash of what came before, but a better-looking, faster-loading UI that makes switching between Gmail and Reader seamless.
Here's the scoop: Buy.com has the Epson Stylus CX7450 printer/scanner/copier for $70. They also have a deal going where you can get a $70 mail-in rebate if you purchase a digital camera at the same time. Any digital camera. Like the $9.99 Argus Keychain Digital Camera. Add $6.79 for shipping and your out-the-door price is $86.78. Final price after rebate: $16.78. Woo!
The CX7450 employs four separate ink cartridges (one each for black, cyan, magenta, and yellow) and promises print speeds of up to 28 pages per minute. It includes a memory-card … Read more
To the chagrin of home-entertainment aficionados, there will always be people who want all their media functions in a single box. We're not talking about a high-end convergence phenom like the $10,000 "Q," by the way, but something more like a TV/DVD/VCR combo that can be found behind the counter at Walgreens. But with TVs getting thinner all the time, the design and manufacturing may get increasingly tricky.
Back in October a North Carolina start-up called Lumenlab caused a bit of a stir when photos of its "Q" were making the rounds, depicting an awfully fetching uber-machine that boasted a 42-inch 1080p HDTV and a fully integrated PC with a terabyte of storage. But little else was known about the mystery box.
Now the company has posted some actual specs--including the price: $10,000. So what does ten grand get you? All of the above, plus 4GB of memory, an overclocked Intel Quad Core Qx9650 processor, and an overclocked XLR8 GeForce 8800 Ultra graphics card with &… Read more