Obama: We Will End Dependence on Middle East Oil in 10 Years

No wonder cleantech investors are standing behind Obama in droves. In his monumental speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention, Barack Obama pledged that the U.S. will end its dependence on oil from the Middle East within the next 10 years.

In an effort to achieve that goal, Obama said, he would turn to natural gas resources, invest in clean coal technology, find safe ways to tap nuclear power, help the auto industry deliver more efficient cars, and help consumers buy these greener cars. He repeated his strategy to invest $150 billion over the next decade in renewable energy solutions — wind, solar and next-generation biofuels — which he says will create 5 million green jobs that “can’t be outsourced.” He also defined his position on offshore drilling calling it a “stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution.”

For all the critics who doubted Obama could get tough, he also hit Republican presumptive presidential nominee John McCain’s record on energy and oil:

Washington’s been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years, and by the way John McCain’s been there for 26 of them. And in that time, he’s said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil that we had as the day that Sen. McCain took office.

For a closer look at Obama’s energy and cleantech policies check out the town-hall style discussion next week in San Francisco, which features a variety of politicians and investors that back Obama’s cleantech plan, as well as Obama’s Energy and Environmental Policy Staff Adviser Heather Zichal.

‘Cleantech for Obama’ Group Starts Rallying

This week’s Democratic National Convention could go down in history as the one with the most mentions of green and clean technology. In attendance were members of the newly formed group Cleantech for Obama, which was created to help rally the cleantech community behind Barack Obama, and spearhead fundraising.

Several national co-chairs of the organization, including Sunil Paul, Jason Scott, Josh Becker, Aimee Christensen, Jeff Anderson and Andrew Beebe, helped host a reception near the convention center in Denver on Tuesday afternoon. Carol Browner, former EPA administrator and Albright Group principal, who is an Honorary Co-Chair of the Cleantech for Obama organization, was signed up as a “special guest” at the event.

But the DNC appears to be just a low-profile warm-up for Clean Tech for Obama. Next Wednesday, Sept. 3, the group plans to hold a launch event in downtown San Francisco, called the “CT4O” (Cleantech 4 Obama) Thoughtraiser, dubbed a “townhall-style dialogue.” The lineup plans to include introductory remarks from Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, and speeches from Google’s Dan Reicher; green collar job advocate Van Jones; UC Berkeley energy researcher Dan Kammen; Steve Westly, former California State Comptroller and Managing Partner of the Westly Group; and Heather Zichal, Energy and Environmental Policy Staff Adviser for the Obama Campaign.
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Plain English, DNC Protester Smackdown: NTV Station Today

Sometimes I have a hard time trusting videos that claim police brutality, but this piece, produced by the Rocky Mountain News, is undeniable evidence that some of the Denver police corralling protesters at the Democratic National Convention are going too far.

And Steve Bryant reviews one of the Internet’s most valuable resources — the Plain English series, which uses paper cutouts and simple stop motion to explain extremely complicated subjects (and zombies). Check it out at NewTeeVee Station!

TiVo Offers Entertainment Weekly Recommendations

TiVo has hooked up with Entertainment Weekly to let users automatically record shows recommended by the print magazine. The move is part of an ongoing push as TiVo tries to distinguish itself from DVRs offered by cable and satellite companies. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TiVo entered into a similar recommendation program with The Chicago Tribune that included some revenue share for the newspaper.

TiVo has just 1.7 million subscribers out of the estimated 26 millions DVRs in the country, and has been making a full-court press to stay relevant, offering web videos, partnering with Unbox and CinemaNow and rolling out its YouTube functionality.

But even with all these bells and whistles, TiVo faces an uphill battle against not only cheap DVR service from the cable and satellite companies (with no hardware to buy), but also the scores of set-top box makers and increased functionality built directly into the televisions themselves.

Wind-Powered Politics: Vestas at the DNC

The world’s largest wind-turbine maker, Vestas, is using the so-called ‘greenest convention ever’ to make noise about its expansion plans in Colorado and across the United States. At the Democratic National Convention, in front of a 131-foot wind turbine blade from a local Vestas factory, company execs joined with the state’s Governor Bill Ritter and Representative Mark Udall to discuss the company’s growth, including three new wind-gear-manufacturing plants in Colorado, which will offer thousands of local green jobs.

The Danish company has been announcing its ramp up throughout the Rocky Mountain region over the past few weeks and months. The company opened its first plant blade manufacturing plant in Windsor, Colo., this past March, and also announced plans for an assembly factory in Brighton, Colo., (to go along with its blade factory in Brighton) and a turbine tower plant that is being called the largest in the world in Pueblo, Colo. Vestas is investing €200 million ($293.04 million) into its new plants in the state, according to Clean Technology Insight.
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Karina’s Capsule: Harriet Christian

Hooray, it’s the Weekend of Women! As of this writing on Sunday afternoon, it looks like the Sex and the City movie is going to make at least $55 million in its opening weekend, thus establishing a new record for the best debut of a R-rated comedy in history. Bloggers and studio execs alike have already started declaring that girl power has fundamentally changed Hollywood in a single weekend. Yay!

It’s a good thing feminists who are willing to put on blinders have *some* kind of symbolic victory for all of womankind to hold on to, because the results of an arguably more important contest this weekend went very badly for both the woman involved and, by extension, the image of women in power as a whole. Whilst millions of my fellow American women were waiting on line for their dose of the latest adventures of Carrie and company, I was glued to the TV, watching gavel-to-gavel coverage of the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting, held to determine whether or not all delegates from both Florida and Michigan will be allowed to vote at the Democratic Convention.

Hillary Clinton wasn’t present at the meeting, but she nonetheless haunted the proceedings (she’s the one who would have gained most from a full seating of these delegates, which the committee ultimately denied), and her supporters were out in full force, shouting, cheering, booing, and getting themselves ejected from the hall. Far more fascinating than the all-day debate are the YouTube clips of angry Clinton supporters exiting the RBC meeting — and reactions to those clips.

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GoFish Goes Public

Who says video-sharing sites can’t go public? GoFish (which has reshaped itself as destination instead of a search engine these days) said today it had taken sold $12 million worth of stock as part of a reverse takeover by the publicly traded Unibio. Look for it at OTC:GOFH.

Microsoft gets its Soapbox Tomorrow

Update: The service has launched, and the team behind SoapBox is blogging here. Checkout this video – Butterfly busts a move -pretty good quality. Rob’s MySpace page has embedded SoapBox.
Microsoft’s much awaited YouTube competitor is all set to get out of the gates, perhaps as early as tomorrow. A Microsoft employee has blogged about the pending release of the video sharing service, code named “Warhol,” that will be renamed as SoapBox. The word of the new service had leaked earlier this month, and caused a lot of chatter.

Kurt Shintaku says that the new service will come with 100 megabytes of storage and will will use Windows Media technology to playback video, instead of more popular Adobe Flash technology. I guess Mac users could play back the videos if they have Flip4Mac. (Rob who works on the SoapBox team says that “Soapbox autodetects your browser + platform and streams WM for IE/Windows users, but Flash for Firefox/Windows and Firefox+Safari on Mac.”)

In case you’re wondering, Warhol has only been accessible by Microsoft employees from Microsoft’s internal network ….. Suffice it to say, they’re going to announce it tomorrow so everyone will get the chance to take a look at it. It’s really bandwidth efficient, you can “copy” the content locally to your own machine if you have the right tools (instead of using some proprietary wrapper around it like you do with Google), it’s optimized to your network speed, and doesn’t require any plug ins or anything.

AudioBay- podcasting on the Pocket PC

AcroDesign Technologies Launches New AudioBay, Introducing Podcasting to the Pocket PC

AudioBay offers a complete podcasting solution for Pocket PCs—from recording to hosting

Colchester, VT, USA (March 16, 2006) — AcroDesign Technologies today released the AudioBay Podcasting application for Windows Mobile Pocket PCs.  AudioBay provides everything needed to publish a podcast from a Pocket PC.  Within a few minutes, users can record a podcast episode using the Pocket PC’s built-in recorder and upload it to the Web over a wireless Internet connection for immediate access by the public.

Podcasting is the preparation and distribution of audio files for download to desktops and digital multimedia players, such as the iPod. AudioBay makes this process simple and mobile: users can record podcasts from anywhere and the software saves the audio in a file and then uploads it to the AcroDesign Technologies’ hosting service. As soon as the podcast is uploaded it will be available to the public as an RSS feed to download and play on desktop PCs or mobile MP3 players.

“We are excited to release the first software to allow mobile users to create and publish podcasts,” said Scott Thibault, president and founder of AcroDesign Technologies.  “Podcasting offers a great new way to connect with an audience and has already become a major tool for communication. AudioBay enables anyone to become a broadcaster with their own portable recording studio.”

“AudioBay is an integrated solution that let my students use their Pocket PCs to speak to the world,” said Mark Frydenberg, professor of Bentley College’s intensive Introduction to Information Technology course, where students use Pocket PCs to  learn about technology.  “Our students served as beta-testers of AudioBay, providing them an opportunity to experiment with podcasting and for AcroDesign to gain valuable feedback about their product.”

AudioBay retails for $24.95 and is available immediately from www.voiceatom.com.