Why every Android user needs this green app

Android cell phones are notoriously bad at battery drain. But recently I discovered the single app that has smartly and simply solved many of these battery life problems for me: the PowerMax Android app made by Volt-Up.

Google Green Czar: No Moore’s Law for Data Center Efficiency

In an afternoon chat today at Green:Net, Google Green Energy Czar Bill Weihl explained that the future of data center efficiency will not come from improved data center designs themselves, but from more-efficient hardware and cleaner sources of energy.

Google Strikes Geothermal Gold in West Virginia

Has Google struck geothermal gold in West Virginia? A Google-funded report shows the state’s underground heat could provide 18,890 megawatts of power, more than its current coal-fired generation capacity.

Today in Cleantech

What’s Google up to? Yesterday Katie at Earth2Tech brought up the question when it was discovered that the tech giant created a “Google Energy” subsidiary, giving the company the ability to buy and sell electricity if the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission grants it permission to do so. You know what that means… Time to indulge in some fun speculation! So far, folks seem to think that it’s an attempt to lower the cost of utility-scale, renewable energy for its data centers while one commenter on Katie’s post brought up the tantalizing possibility of a demand-response service. What do you think? A tweet for your thoughts… @pedrohernandez

Daily Apple – Update Updates, FFXIII: Awkward Controls, Copywrong, Check Means Yes, & The Vatican

Glitchy 10.5.6 Update Gets Improved – A week after its initial release, Apple has updated their, ahem, update, making it significantly less glitchy. People were experiencing problems with Bluetooth and Mail.app, among others. I jumped the gun, and I haven’t had problems yet, but I don’t generally use Bluetooth, so who knows if I’m fine or just blissfully ignorant.

Square-Enix Brings Game to iPhone/iPod Touch, Forget It Has Touch Controls – Maybe you noticed the new Square-Enix game, Final Fantasy: Crystal Defenders, now available in the App Store. Maybe you, like me, looked at the screenshots and thought “What the heck is that?”. That, apparently, is your on screen joystick, which you use to control the cursor, which controls the characters.

Psystar Lawyers: Maybe OS X Doesn’t Even Exist! – Not quite there yet, but they are claiming Apple didn’t properly copyright the operating system, making it fair game for anyone to use it on any machine. It’s only a matter of time before they claim none of us ever really existed at all.

MobileMe Online Apps Updated – Some much needed updates arrived for the online portion of MobileMe today. One of the most significant updates? the “Keep me logged in for 2 weeks” checkbox now actually does something.

Vatican Backs iPhone App – Yes, iBreviary has received the official Vatican seal of approval. It’s a $0.99 app designed by a Reverend and a web designer that allows users to load a number of different prayers and prayer books. No word yet on Pull My Finger’s still pending application for Papal support.

Cheap, Green Energy to Power Data Center Growth Says Report

Computing companies that can access cheap green power in bulk will be the only ones able to afford to run data centers in the coming years, posits a new report entitled Microsoft and Google: Cloud Computing Dominance Through Renewable Energy, published today in Virtual Strategy Magazine. The report predicts a positive future for the burgeoning relationship between the biggest names in IT and renewable energy, but paints a grim picture for small-time data center operators that can’t afford to either make large power purchase agreements or produce their own energy.
The problem, argues author Steve Denegri, a IT consultant and financial analyst, is that data centers face two unstoppable forces – the need to increase computing power, which requires upping the energy per square foot, and the increasing price of electricity. Together, these two forces are sending data center operation costs through the roof. With carbon regulations likely coming into effect with the next administration, the only power sources with predictable and declining costs will be clean, renewable generation, and those who control those sources will have a competitive advantage when it comes to running power-hungry data centers.
These trends have led to a new business model, combining data center services and energy into “utility computing” where only huge data center operators, like Google ad Microsoft, can operate data centers at scales large enough to be profitable. This sort of vertically integrated data center operator was something I hypothesized last year when Google first announced its clean energy endeavor.
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Verizon Helps Turn Consumers Into Geeks

As the average consumer embraces ever more complex technology, Verizon is offering a series of classes beginning in New York City to show consumers what their PDAs and smartphones can do for them. I’m sure many of our readers aren’t in need of such a class — which will teach users all about texting, syncing music and emails — but it’s a great idea.

I hated my BlackBerry Pearl when I first got it; it took what felt like forever to figure out how it was supposed to work. If done well, teaching people like me to use their phones should increase data revenue and overall ARPU for Verizon. If done well, it will also make committed smartphone users out of most participants. And luring people into the store and to teach them the “Verizon way,” means consumers are likely to pick up a few high-margin accessories to bolster their education.

People in the technology field know that poor usability and device complexity hurts customer satisfaction, but keep cramming more features into them. As consumers, rather than enterprises, buy more devices and drive technology adoption, usability needs to improve, or else vendors such as Best Buy with their Geek Squad or Verizon with its classes will take up the slack. At that point, consumers are more likely to heed the advice of their favorite Geek rather than the glossy ads of an OEM when looking for their next purchase.