Electric car charging gets a $120M push in California

A decade-old claim with a predecessor to NRG Energy, Dynegy, over power contracts during the state’s energy crisis, will turn into a $120 million settlement fund to invest in building out an electric car charging network in California.

Weekly App Store Roundup: Oct. 18, 2008

Amidst the hubbub of this week’s Apple announcements, the App Store continued to bubble away with a host of new apps joining the fray. As ever, The Apple Blog is here to separate the signal from the noise and sound off on a selection of the freshest apps to hit the store.

This time we’re casting a big thoughtful eye over Jobs, TeeDroid 3G and PuzzleManiak.
Jobs 1.0 ($4.99) – There’s been a panoply of freelancer time-tracking tools arriving at the App Store of late, many of which seem a tad on the rushed side. Jobs 1.0, though, looks to have a well-considered feature-set and a clear, concise interface.
The problem is that there are already several sites (with integrated iPhone web apps) that do the job much better and are rich in exactly the kind of features freelancers need. To name but two, Tempo and Harvest are incredibly accomplished time-trackers and in the case of the latter, handles expenses, invoices and even an OS X widget. Despite the solid feature-set, including CSV export of time-sheets, Jobs 1.0 may not be a prudent investment for the savvy freelancer looking to track time more efficiently.
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Xcel Energy: Did We Say Profit? Not When We Count Carbon

Xcel Energy will disclose in SEC filings the risks of future climate change regulation and legislation, climate-change related litigation and physical impacts of climate change. The company estimates that carbon emission would have cost $603 million last year, more than its 2007 profits.

I Want My Three Minutes Back Goes Behind the Vlogging Scene

Most documentarians tackling a somewhat obscure subculture have little guarantee that their subjects will be comfortable on camera. But by choosing to capture the lives of prominent YouTube vloggers, Chuck Potter of 3rd Career Films was spared that difficulty.

I Want My Three Minutes Back is a fantastic title for Potter’s documentary about video creators, which stars Nick “Nickynic” James, Cory “Mr. Safety” Williams and Kevin “Nalts” Nalty, and also features, among others, Phillip “sxePhil” DeFranco, Michael Buckley (What The Buck), Christine Gambito (Happy Slip), Tay Zonday, Paul Robenett (“Renetto”), and Judson Laipply (The Evolution Of Dance).

Click to see the trailer for I Want My Three Minutes Back

Click to see the trailer for I Want My Three Minutes Back

The film is currently in post-production, and according to Nalty will be released this fall. The trailer, posted last Friday, doesn’t reveal much about its point of view, beyond taking the chance to explore the intimate details of these lives. And it’s hard to imagine what Potter will be able to reveal about these guys that they haven’t already divulged to their subscribers.

However, it’s quite the lineup (lacking only Chris Crocker to achieve ultimate completeness) — the question is how many people who aren’t on YouTube actually care about the people on YouTube? Will mainstream audiences tune in? Or is this another niche documentary that never escapes its niche?

Singapore’s Unwired Dream

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced the country’s “[email protected] initiative” this week, which is a plan to cover the island nation in wireless broadband by September 2007. The government will use 5,000 access points to provide almost complete coverage across the tiny country and will provide almost 10,000 computers to low-income students at a subsidized price.
The Prime Minister says the wireless project and computer program are aimed at preventing a digital divide from developing in Singaporean society. Though, it could probably help add to the country’s IT-based economy as well — South Korea managed to use government-sponsored wireless broadband to boost its economy in the IT sector over the past few years.
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Craig Pringle makes a case for digital copies of books

Tablet PC MVP Craig Pringle has written an excellent article that makes a case for digital versions of books. In An open letter to anyone who writes or publishes a book Craig explains why he prefers ebooks over paper versions and implores authors and publishers to consider offering digital versions of their work. I am a firm advocate of digital books and agree totally with Craig’s points. Excellent article and worth a read.