Nanosolar Promises “Fabulous” Residential Solar

In a recent post on the company blog, Nanosolar CEO Martin Roscheisen hinted at “near-term” plans for residential solar from the thin-film startup (hat tip to CNET):

To all those of you who are disappointed that our first product is not for residential homeowners, we can reassure you that we do have a fabulous residential solution on our near-term roadmap — one that will bring the utility scale economics of Nanosolar Utility Panel technology to homes everywhere and completely redefine how residential solar is done.

At what they say would be $1 a watt, we’d love to see Nanosolar pass those savings along to residential customers. However, in the residential solar game the upstream costs are just part of the story. Half the cost of solar on your home’s roof is for the low-tech process of sizing and installing the system.

Also, space, and therefore panel efficiency, is at a premium. Nanosolar says its CIGS cells can operate at 10 percent efficiency, while the current polysilicon panels can do around double that. So while we’re excited about any “fabulous” developments in solar, there are plenty of obstacles between thin-film solar and your neighbor’s roof.
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Todoz: Another Take on Management by Web

ScreenshotThere are a lot of sites that offer the ability to manage some part of your working life on the web – we’ve reviewed plenty of them in the past. Todoz is one that stands out from the pack as offering a different mix of features than most of its peers. Billing itself as an “online collaboration suite for the professional,” it’s less about Basecamp-style project management and more about offering one-stop shopping for a small business looking to maintain and manage a web presence.

After setting up a Todoz site (which appears as a subdomain of todoz.com), you can explore its functionality. You’ll find a mix of day-to-day business functionality and web management. On the business side, Todoz has a to-do list and calendar manager, a contacts database (not really a full-blown CRM), and file storage with SFTP access. You can also send and receive email from the Todoz interface, and this is integrated with the other modules (for example, you can forward a to-do via email).
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Small trumps thin in notebooks

One of the benefits of being someone who gets to use a lot of different mobile devices is the conversations these devices start with those interested everywhere I go.  Whether I am in a coffee shop or a business meeting pulling out one of my mobile devices invariably starts a conversation with those around me who are wishing they had a good device to use in their own work.  Most of the devices I’ve carried around and used a lot are convertible Tablet PCs that are good notebook computers in addition to the Tablet stuff and that is what catches most people’s attention.  Everyone is familiar with notebooks and how they look and work and that is what most people have in their mind when they think about mobile technology they can use in their own life.

MbaSince the introduction of the MacBook Air (MBA) a lot of conversation has taken place about how thin it is and how that is what people looking for notebooks want for themselves.  I have said in the past that I don’t think that thin is the primary attribute that people want in a notebook and the many conversations I have held with regular people drives that point home to me time and again.  I base this observation in large part due to the reaction that folks have to the different convertible notebooks that I carry and use.  It is interesting that no one ever says to me "how thin that device is" even though most of the notebooks I am seen using certainly qualify.  Not MBA thin of course but definitely thinner than most notebooks out there.  No, most people notice the overall size of the notebook and other features it may have.  The Tablet bits intrigue almost everyone who find that could be useful in their own work but no one ever states that thin is important to them.  Features, price and overall size carry the day in these conversations.

Cimg0398I do find that the smaller the notebook is the more attention it grabs from others, a point driven home since i have been carrying the Fujitsu P1620 every day.  The Fuji is not that thin compared to other notebooks I have used but the small size starts a lot of conversations and I find that many do feel that a small notebook could fit their work and that definitely interests them.  I hear a lot of people state that the small size would make it so much easier to carry and travel with and when they see that feature-wise it has few compromises the reaction is very positive.  I have seen that same reaction every time an Asus EEE PC enters the room.  Of course when I swivel a screen around for Tablet work it blows a lot of people away no matter what device I am carrying as most have never seen one in the real world.  Just about everyone comments that the Tablet features could aid them in their mobile work but no one feels the thinness of the notebook is a big deal.  So based on my interaction with real people I can state that small trumps thin in the notebook world, and Tablet trumps non-Tablet too.  I will be very interested to hear some real sales figures from Apple after a while to see how many of the MBA they are selling.  While everyone I talk to thinks they are sexy not many have indicated they intend to buy one or that the thinness would aid them very much in the real world.

Thanks for the conversation!

Jkotr7000postsI was hoping to catch this one exactly, but I’m at the Toyota dealer getting the Hybrid serviced while James got a few posts out this morning. Call it karma or call it amazing coincidence, but we’re ending the year here at jkOnTheRun with over 7,000 posts since the site was started! This is actually post number 7,002; guess I shouldn’t have stopped at WaWa for coffee on the way in to the dealership this morning. ;)James and I chatted about this milestone just last week, and although we think that’s a large number of posts for two writers, there’s an even more telling number that blows us away: the number of comments. We couldn’t believe there were over 23,000 reader comments here on the site! It’s a testament to our readers for taking that much of an interest in the conversation here. And that’s what our intent is: offer up topics, reviews and opinions but make sure we have a conversation with you. Hopefully, with over 7,000 posts, we’ve done our part. With over 23,000 comments, we know you have and we hope it continues! Stay tuned later today for another end of year update on the content this past year… and thanks!

Video Industry Keeps Us up at Night

You guys just can’t stop cutting deals for one day, can you? We should be sleeping but there’s too much news on them thar wires.
ON Networks, an online studio, has raised $12 million in second-round funding from Accel Partners, Austin Ventures, and AT&T (T), bringing its total funding to $16 million. (Austin American-Statesman)
And Vobile, a copyright protection startup that has apparently won fans at the MPAA, raised less than $10 million from AT&T and Steamboat Ventures. (Wall Street Journal, but registration required; see summary on paidContent)
DVD-trading site Peerflix said it was purchasing TheMovieBlog.com and launching a vertical ad network focused on movies. Our take — that this company has run through more strategies than we can remember — is pretty similar to TechCrunch’s.

Coming Down the Pipe: iTunes Rentals, Windows Media Center Internet TV

Thanks to the hard-working folks at Engadget we have advance notice on two digital video products waiting in the wings from Apple and Microsoft.
rental-movies-itunes-2.jpgiTunes Rentals: Apple has coded in movie rentals to the iTunes Store, according to a screenshot uploaded by a Mac developer that includes options for complaining about rented movies. The company has already set up systems to respond to customers having problems with non-delivery, accidental purchase, content quality, duplicate purchase, wrong version, and bad metadata and their rentals.
Windows Media Center Internet TV: Sounds like Microsoft will be adding on-demand, ad-supported Internet TV to its Windows Media Center through a software update September 27. According to Engadget’s source at Microsoft, “the videos will reportedly be ‘better than SD quality, but not HD,’ although HD programs could certainly emerge in the future.” It also sounds like there will be some editorial judgment involved — with categories like sports, entertainment, and news — so it’s unclear if you’ll be able to access anything you want, or just approved programs. This is something TVTonic already offers as a free install.

Surf on the Edge With a WebKit Nightly Build

If you like being so far out on the bleeding edge such that using a newly released beta isn’t high risk enough for you, the Web geniuses behind Apple’s Safari program offer nightly builds of the WebKit engine that acts as the underlying foundation for Safari, Dashboard, Mail and many other OS X applications. Now, with the recently announced Safari 3 beta for both Windows and Mac users, Safari fans on both operating systems can get a sneak peek at new features before they hit the street.

For example, yesterday evening, Dave Hyatt announced the addition of keyboard and mouse shortcuts for the Windows version of Safari, available only on the nightly builds of the browser, not yet part of the general release. In fact, the “Surfin’ Safari” site often offers good hints of what is to come next. If we had only been paying attention, we could have gotten early hints that Safari and WebKit were to be a big part of WWDC.

Upgrading your WebKit won’t necessarily mean an upgraded Safari version number. Safari simply references your underlying WebKit foundation, and utilizes what’s there. So if you upgrade your WebKit to a nightly build, don’t look for a new Safari app, but you just might see some new features.

Of course, be sure to exercise caution and install at your own risk…

Yo Four Play

Damon Darlin at his wicked best:

Verizon and SBC are getting ready to compete against the cable companies. The Wall Street Journal (Reminder: the WSJ is free all this week.) looks at that and attempts to answer a number of related questions, like whether telecom is too late for TV and can cable companies succeed in the phone business. This free-for-all is a reaction to the discovery that consumers would indded prefer to have all their services –Internet, phone, TV, wireless–in one package.

My B2 online Telecom Report (free to everyone) explains this phenomena. More to follow soon.

Cisco, inches ahead in the VoIP market

Cisco slowly and slowly is increasing its lead in the Enterprise Voice over IP (VoIP) market, with a 31.8 percent share of total dollars in the second calendar quarter 2004, according to Synergy. The report also stated that Cisco passed Alcatel to become the world’s fourth-largest enterprise voice vendor as measured by total revenue of traditional and IP voice sales. Cisco maintained its leadership in IP phone shipments, with 41.6 percent of all IP phones shipped by revenue, and passed Avaya in the number of total enterprise voice port shipments. Cisco sold more than 437,000 IP phones to customers in the second calendar quarter 2004. Elsewhere, John Chambers filed with SEC informing the agency that he would start selling 17.6 million shares in November 2004.