Chesapeake launches clean energy tech fund

Corporations are some of the few types of investors still pursuing new opportunities in greentech investing. Here’s the latest: natural gas company Chesapeake Energy announced on Monday that it plans to invest up to $1 billion into technologies that can use natural gas instead of oil.

T. Boone, Prop 10 and the Questionable Effect of Natural Gas Cars

The LA Times story that knocked the green halo off T. Boone Pickens’ head, with its spotlight on Pickens’ funding of California’s Prop 10, generated a lot of heated comments from readers. This morning the Wall Street Journal takes a crack at the story and points out some more interesting details.

The Prop, which would gives thousands of dollars in rebates to natural gas vehicle buyers, as well as spending on R&D, will supposedly cost California $9.8 billion over 30 years and would come from taxpayer money. The WSJ says, if the prop passes, it could lead to a million natural gas vehicles for California; if the Prop is defeated then natural gas vehicle backers will have to compete — against cleaner alternatives like electric vehicles — for the $840 million in funds under law AB 118. In a vacuum natural gas cars sound OK, but it’s hard to justify spending on dirtier-burning natural gas vehicles when those funds are directly competing with “zero emission” alternatives, like electric cars powered by a solar grid.
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Another 256 MB Tablet: HiPAD II

Hipad_ii Call me crazy, but I have a hard time getting jazzed about Tablet PCs with 256 MB of RAM. Having said that, the new kid on the block appears to be the HiPAD II, which looks more like an Etch-a-Sketch than any recent new product; at least the red model does. This is another AMD Geode LX800-based Tablet PC running on, you guessed it, 256 MB of RAM which is actually on-board. You can upgrade the memory to a GB, so all is not lost, but it concerns me that consumers might skimp on memory to add other features and then become totally disillusioned by a Tablet PC for all the wrong reasons. [Hint: don’t skimp on the RAM]

The 10.4-inch touchscreen is only SVGA capable natively, but the HiPAD does have a few perks that not all smallish tablets have: PCMCIA slot, Compact Flash, two USB 2.0 ports and an integrated fold-out stand. No word on price, but this looks geared for the Far East market so we may not see one in the flesh.


Intel Macs Going Into Production?

Quanta and Asustek will be the main manufacturers of Apple’s Intel based laptops, according to a news report in EMSnow. Apparently, the big ramp on production is likely to come sometime in the first quarter of 2006.

Quanta and Asustek are the main ODM notebook partners of Apple. Quanta is responsible to high level model, Power Book and Asustek is in charge of entry level model, i-Book. This working module for Intel ODM will maintain for next year. Asustek will work on the consumer type of products and Quanta will be in charge of high-level model M1.

How real this story is, its hard to say. You can read it and decide for yourself.