Europe Debating Stricter Car Emissions

Car makers are facing newer and stricter emissions regulations all over the world. In Europe, the debate over proposals to curb carbon dioxide emissions for new cars is getting fiercer. This week six Greenpeace activist dressed up as Flintstones characters were arrested in Brussels, Belgium, as they were protesting about the influence of the car industry on the proposals. The European Parliament started debating legislation concerning CO2 emissions from cars on Wednesday. A vote on the legislation is coming up in the fall.

The activists, who claim that the car industry’s thinking is in “the stone age,” stopped at the car manufacturers’ lobby group, ACEA, and gave them copies of a Greenpeace report about the impact of car industry on climate change. On their way to the European Parliament, they were stopped by the police, but later released without charge, Greenpeace reports.

Most recently the European Parliament has proposed to cut average carbon emissions from new cars to almost half their current level by 2020, reports the Financial Times. Under proposed legislation the average new car sold in the EU could only emit 95g of carbon per kilometer, down from the current 160g/km regulation.
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How to: get Google calendar events from multiple e-mail accounts

GooglecalendardayviewGoogle Calendar just became instantly better for me thanks to a useful tip at the Google Operating System blog. If you associate other e-mail addresses with your Google account, the Calendar will show invitations sent to those e-mail addresses as well. Why is this useful? Let’s use my situation as a simple example.I primarily use two e-mail addresses: [email protected] and [email protected] At home, each of us has a Gmail account and we use the Google Calendar to keep track of all the personal family events; it’s a nice way to keep the crazy schedule a little more manageable. So we use the Gmail accounts for event invitations. Sometimes, we just place items on each other’s calendar, but primarily, we e-mail events.
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Whose Web Shows Should Be on TV?

TV shows filled with web clips don’t work (R.I.P. Online Nation, Web Junk, et al), as Liz recently pointed out. So why not transport an entire web show? Many web series are powered by strong personalities — who from the small screen should make the leap to the big flat screen? (And don’t get all uppity and say traditional TV is dead, because the average U.S. household still watches more than eight hours of television a day — so put that in your cathode ray tube and smoke it.)

Some of these people and their shows may already have TV deals. (So many have been handed out, it’s hard to keep track.) Whether they do or not, these shows should be rushed into production and put on the air now.

Makezine’s Bre Pettis. Anyone who can teach you how to create a ring out of a quarter, assemble a Rubik’s cube out of dice or turn a theremin into a weekend project and keep it entertaining deserves way more air time than Ty Pennington.

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More on FCC Fiber Decision

Folks at SBC are pretty kicked about the whole fiber decision thing. Following the extension of monopolistic situation, SBC says it will dramatically accelerate its plans to build a new fiber-optics network, reaching 18 million homes in two to three years, rather than five years as previously announced. Under Project Lightspeed, SBC will deploy 38,800 miles of fiber at a cost of $4 billion to $6 billion, bringing super high-speed services to customers in one-fourth the time and cost of a fiber-to-the-premise-only deployment. “The shovel is in the ground, and we are ready to go,” said SBC Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre Jr. “Rational rules promote innovation and investment in new networks and services for consumers. And so with this positive policy movement, the delivery of next-generation broadband and video services is no longer at some distant point in the future. The future is now.” AT&T is mighty chaffed at all this and issued a statement: “The FCC majority seems unable to restrain its preference for monopoly over America’s consumers, business users, and investment. Last year, in its Triennial Review Order, the FCC restricted competition in the provision of broadband services to residential customers. Today, in an unnecessary and unwarranted ‘clarification’ of one of its technical rules, it appears to signal that it might also allow the Bell companies to restrict competition in business markets. The lack of clarity in this order and the inevitable grab by the Bells to expand their monopoly does not bode well for telecom users, industry investment, or the economy as a whole. It is also baffling given prior statements from the FCC in support of facilities-based competition in business markets.” Here are other reactions:

  • Om Malik on Broadband
  • Optically Networked: It’s mostly the idea of the FCC’s unpredictable swing vote, commissioner Kevin Martin.
  • XChange Mag
  • Washington Post: Some competitors, particularly those that focus on the small-business market, worry that the pending decision could cut them off from their customers. But an FCC official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the vote is not yet final, said the new policy would focus only on the residential market.