The Cloud Cozies Up to Healthcare

The economic stimulus incentive for healthcare providers who adopt electronic health records (EHR) is helping fuel innovation in cloud solutions in this area. Vendors are rushing to bring EHR solutions to market. But what benefits can a cloud-based EHR bring as distinct from other delivery methods?

CMEA’s Maurice Gunderson Talks Tactics

As the stimulus and the recession both leave marks on the cleantech industry, cleantech investors, along with entrepreneurs, are adjusting to a new landscape. And CMEA Capital is one venture capital firm that seems to be navigating it successfully, so far. The company backed A123Systems, the lithium-ion battery manufacturer whose much-celebrated initial public offering surpassed expectations in the midst of an IPO drought in September, as well as Solyndra, the thin-film solar startup that received the first renewable-energy manufacturing loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy.
We recently sat down with Maurice Gunderson, senior partner at CMEA, who previously co-founded venture-capital firm Nth Power, to discuss his thoughts on the future of the greentech industry, and the how CMEA – and its portfolio companies – are prepared to thrive in the new economy. Here are some excerpts from our conversation:
Read More about CMEA’s Maurice Gunderson Talks Tactics

Hulu Captions Search Captures the Pop Culture Zeitgeist

Did you know that Twitter is now getting twice as much TV air time as Apple’s (s AAPL) iPhone? It’s true, according to Hulu’s new Captions Search, a feature the site launched today as part of its Hulu Labs playground. Captions Search makes it possible to scour thousands of TV episodes from hundreds of shows for specific keywords or phrases. The search results include a clip of the direct context in which a word appeared on the show, as well as a heat map that shows the viewer interest throughout a video.

Captions Search is not only a great way to find a specific episode of a show if you only remember a line or two, it also offers some interesting insights into the ins and outs of TV pop culture.

Read More about Hulu Captions Search Captures the Pop Culture Zeitgeist

Why I Jumped on the Blu-ray Bandwagon

I did it. I broke down and bought a Blu-ray player. In the middle of the worst recession of my lifetime, I spent nearly $300 on a gadget that I didn’t really need. And you know what? I love it. But not everyone is ready to make the jump to Blu-ray. So what’s holding them back? And what pushed me over the edge?
lg_bd3704
The biggest factor for me was image quality. Since I made the move to an HDTV more than a year ago, I find myself increasingly unable to watch anything else. I tried to watch Tuesday’s Celtics-Bulls game on a 13-inch SD TV. By the time it ended, my eyes were watering and my head was pounding — and it would have been a lot worse had the Celtics not pulled off that overtime win.

I’ve been spoiled by my HDTV and I freely admit it. So when I would sit down to watch my regular old DVDs on my big-screen TVs, it always seemed that something was missing. And I have to respectfully disagree with the people who say they can’t see a difference between regular DVDs and Blu-ray discs. Without a doubt, I notice a difference.

Read More about Why I Jumped on the Blu-ray Bandwagon

Jailbreak: The Lock Screen is a Barren Land (Part One)

tab-jailbreak-icon3

Apple (s aapl) blessed the iPhone 3G with a gorgeous, large screen. There is plenty of screen real estate, so why waste it with just a wallpaper, album cover artwork, or the date and time?

Having been a Windows Mobile user for six years, the Today Screen in Windows Mobile was the one feature I sorely missed in the iPhone OS. With the Today Screen, I could, at a quick glance, see upcoming appointments and know I have new mail, new messages, or missed calls.
It is possible to replicate that experience on a jailbroken iPhone. Today, in the first of two articles, I’ll talk about two third-party apps that’ll turn the barren land that is the Lock screen into a golden field of usefulness. Read More about Jailbreak: The Lock Screen is a Barren Land (Part One)

Marvel Moves Beyond Motion Comics With More Web Video

Look out, true believers, Marvel Entertainment (s MVL) is making a big push into the world of online video with more original programming, licensed content and even some gems from the wayback machine. With more than 5,000 characters, including established brands like Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Hulk, the push into web video is helping position it for life beyond comic books.

Much has been made about Marvel’s foray into motion comics, with both Astonishing X-Men and Spider-Woman launching in the second quarter of this year. But almost under the radar, Marvel has been churning out other video, like its podcast-y Weekly Watcher and One on One series for awhile, and last month it launched Marvel Super Heroes What the –?!, a Robot Chicken-esque spoof show. “What The–?! is something for our hardcore fans,” said Rubenstein, “We have the ability to create a lot of short, fun content at an economical price.”

Read More about Marvel Moves Beyond Motion Comics With More Web Video

When Not to Jump on the Stimulus Bandwagon

The economic stimulus package opens up a world of opportunities to clean technology startups. With billions of dollars in grants, direct loans, loan guarantees and a host of incentives for smart grid and efficiency technology, renewable energy, and electric-car battery research, development and manufacturing, it might seem like there’s something for everyone. But despite its massive scope and staggering $787 billion size, the stimulus may be a source of financing best left untapped by some startups.

Most companies would be well advised to take federal aid if they qualify, according to Michael Omotoso, a J.D. Power and Associates analyst specializing in alternative-fuel vehicles and powertrains. “But there are some companies better off going their own way,” he said in an email, offering examples such as companies that have solid contracts in hand or hefty state-level tax breaks. “No strings attached, no need to answer to Big Brother (i.e. the government).”
Read More about When Not to Jump on the Stimulus Bandwagon

The Updated Fate of Broadband in the Stimulus Bill

Legislation changes faster than the weather in Texas, so the tweaks to the broadband sections in President Barack Obama’s stimulus bill are nothing unusual. But as the debates get down to the wire (a stimulus package should be finalized be the end of this week), it’s time to revisit the legislation’s effect on broadband providers.

The latest efforts appear to be taking the dollar amount for broadband grants in the Senate bill from $9 billion to $7 billion and increasing the tax credits for broadband deployments, as well as limiting their use to rural areas. Wireless also got a boost in the tax credits with faster wireless broadband speeds of 6 Mbps down becoming eligible for a 40 percent credit, while speeds of only 3 Mbps down could receive a 30 percent break. Read More about The Updated Fate of Broadband in the Stimulus Bill

U.S. Wind Power Capacity Could Top 187 GW by 2020

Adding hundreds of small transmission line projects and grid upgrades to the 57 GW of large-scale transmission initiatives now being developed in the western U.S. (many of them in Texas) could have a significant impact on wind power development in less than six years, according to a new report from Emerging Energy Research. Add a national renewable portfolio standard and increased investment in transmission infrastructure, and the firm says wind power capacity could reach 187 GW by 2020.

wind-power

As we reported earlier, T. Boone Pickens and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, much like President Obama and the American Wind Energy Association, want to see more money go into transmission initiatives. And a renewable portfolio standard, enacted in various forms in different states, is now on the table in Washington.
Read More about U.S. Wind Power Capacity Could Top 187 GW by 2020

Gore Urges Lawmakers to Pass Stimulus, Start Cap-and-Trade

gore-senateFormer Vice President Al Gore urged members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this morning to greenlight President Barack Obama’s entire $825 billion economic stimulus package, which includes $54 billion for clean energy. Presenting prepared testimony on climate change solutions leading up to the UN talks taking place in Copenhagen this December, Gore said, “The solutions to the climate crisis are the very same solutions that will address our economic and national security crises as well.”

Not everyone agrees — notably (and not surprisingly) the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has advocated against the notion of a green New Deal. But according to Gore, the current U.S. economy remains “shackled to the OPEC roller coaster of rising and falling oil prices,” and borrows money from China to buy oil from some of the world’s most unstable regions. He strongly supports several solutions in Obama’s proposal.

The plan’s unprecedented and critical investments in four key areas – energy efficiency, renewables, a unified national energy grid and the move to clean cars – represent an important down payment and are long overdue. These crucial investments will create millions of new jobs and hasten our economic recovery – while strengthening our national security and beginning to solve the climate crisis.

Read More about Gore Urges Lawmakers to Pass Stimulus, Start Cap-and-Trade