Where the money is in cleantech: oil and gas

Cleantech investment is not dead, it just requires new approaches and a recognition that the traditional oil and gas industry may very well be the best patron for cleantech development and deployment. At least for now.

A solar greenhouse arises among the sand dunes

GlassPoint Solar just raised $26 million in venture capital and built a pilot project to prove that its solar steam equipment could help oil companies pry loose of heavy crude and make it easier to extract.

Brammo scores Hong Kong government deal

Electric motorcycle maker Brammo says it has scored a deal to supply the Hong Kong government and police force with its electric motorcycles. Brammo says the Hong Kong government will replace its existing gas-powered motorcycles with Brammo’s Enertia (and see my test drive of the Enertia).

Epyon: 10-Minute Electric Car Charging

Dutch startup Epyon says it can charge the battery of an electric vehicle in 10 minutes — a mere fraction of the 8-10 hours it can take to charge an electric car in a standard outlet. The two-year-old company’s charging technology, which was developed at the Delft University of Technology, isn’t available yet, but Epyon just raised funding from Canadian VCs Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and European sister firm, SET Venture Partners, to help it move closer to production.

Chrysalix’s managing director, Richard MacKellar, tells us that Epyon’s charging technology will likely first land in large commercial installations, such as an airport with a large fleet of electric vehicles that need to be constantly kept charged. Then in the future MacKellar thinks the startup can try to conquer the consumer, mainstream world. We can imagine a select group of consumers that would be willing to pay extra for a super-fast charging station at home. Particularly if utilities partner with the firm to offer incentives to help split the bill.
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6 Productivity Tips for MS Word

Among web workers and at large, Microsoft Word remains by far the most widely used word processor, and an application that many of us live in much of the day. In fact, there are countless people who are forced by IT departments and other mandates to use it. If you spend significant time in Word each day, here are six ways to start becoming more productive in it.

Doing Table Calculations Directly in Word. I’m always surprised by how most Word users go out to a spreadsheet such as Excel every time they want to create a table and embed it in a Word document. You can calculate directly within Word tables. In Word 2007, you just click Formula on the Table Tools Layout ribbon. In Word 2003, use the Table menu to make your table, and then select Formula from the Table menu to create formulas that work just as they do in Excel, such as =SUM(LEFT).

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MacBook Pro loses Bluetooth- a fix

BluetoothI can’t just bash Vista and ignore Mac problems when they arise and today for the first time one did on my MacBook Pro running Leopard.  I booted into Vista Ultimate using Boot Camp and played Call of Duty 4 for a while.  I am totally impressed with how well Vista runs on the MBP under both VMWare Fusion and natively with Boot Camp.

After I finished playing COD4 I restarted the MacBook Pro and booted into Leopard and was I surprised to find that not only was Bluetooth not working but the system didn’t realize there was a Bluetooth module installed.  I had a brief moment of panic thinking the hardware module must have been fried but I went online and in just a minute found a fix.  I shut down the MacBook and when it was time to start it up I held the Power Button down until I heard a loud beep from the system.  This signaled that a hard restart was coming up and sure enough the Bluetooth was running again when the system booted up.  Apparently from what I could tell the holding of the power button forces the power management system to reset which is the likely culprit.  Since I use the Bluetooth Apple keyboard and Mighty Mouse getting it working again was pretty important and I am thrilled that the fix was so simple.  So there you go, Macs can exhibit problems all of a sudden just like Vista, it just seems that the fix is much simpler.

Bluetooth Stereo Headsets are coming

Sweet Jesus….. Bluetooth stereo headsets are hitting the market soon, according to In-Stat/MDR. So far most of bluetooth headsets have been mono and are for mobile phones. The emerging headsets that are just about to begin making splashes in retail are stereo headphones for listening to music, as well as for receiving/making phone calls. “However, this growth potential is tempered by the challenge of providing such a product for a low price,” says Joyce Putscher, Director of In-Stat/MDR’s Converging Markets and Technologies Group. Not me… I will gladly pay to get rid of those wires. Can you tell me where I can get one?