UPDATED: Boxee Box in Stores This November

The Boxee Box is in production, and will reach stores as early as late October, according to new information from Boxee (see update after the jump). The company’s Chief Product Officer Zach Klein showed off the very first mass-produced unit in a video today.

5 Ideas for Greener Transit Gunning for MIT Prize

Early stage startups competing for the MIT Clean Energy Prize have a lot more than the $200,000 grand prize winnings on the line. Winning the annual contest also means a team, with students making up at least half of its members, will get a spotlight in front of big players who can help take a neat experiment to the next level — at last year’s award ceremony, winner Husk Insulation out of the University of Michigan had the attention of Google’s director of energy initiatives, Dan Reicher, the state energy and environmental affairs chiefs for Massachusetts, the CEO of utility NSTAR, and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
Today the MIT Clean Energy Prize has named the 24 semifinalists (hat tip Mass High Tech) who have a shot at winning the grand prize and basking in that spotlight in May. These teams — selected by a panel of judges from academia, industry and government — represent what the contest organizers see as “some of the most promising clean energy technologies and business ideas coming out of universities this year.”  What are the ideas for cleaning up the transportation sector? They range from renewable fuels to bike sharing tech. Here’s a look at the five teams that made the cut in the MIT Clean Energy Prize transportation category.
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How an Iris Can Inspire Efficient Gas Engine Tech

Startup IRIS Engines has a new take on an old technology: develop a more efficient internal combustion engine that mimics the iris of an eye. By switching up the internal structure in such a way — allowing its diameter to expand and contract — the company says it can build a powerful two-stroke gasoline engine at costs comparable to today’s typical four-stroke engines, with up to twice the efficiency.

Chief executive Levi Tillemann-Dick, who currently makes up half of the Washington D.C.-based startup’s full-time staff (one of his 10 siblings, president and chief technology officer Corban Tillemann-Dick, is the other half) told me he sees the nascent markets for hybrids, plug-in hybrids and extended-range electric vehicles as a key opportunity for the company.
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Is the Latest Apple OS Update Causing Problems?

apple-macbook-pro-with-multi-touchLast last night, I ended up updating my MacBook (s aapl) to Mac OS X 10.5.7, the latest version of the software. It’s caused two problems: The first is that it’s killed the audio output on the computer; in the preferences pane, the only option I have is “digital output.” The second problem has been an overall degradation in performance — think Shaq O’Neal moving around a basketball court with an injured knee.

I ended up tweeting about my audio predicament, and was immediately offered ways on how to fix the problems. Sadly, none of them helped with the audio but they did help restore the system performance. However, since then a lot of people have described a whole myriad of problems associated with this OS upgrade — some have mentioned display problems, others are complaining of slow speeds and many are like me: their computers are without sound. Apple’s support discussion forums are chock full of complaints (though on the flip side, the OS X 10.5.7 does boost the battery life of netbooks.)

If you are a Mac owner, I would say don’t upgrade to the latest OS version…at least not ’til the problems are solved. I am off to the Genius Bar to see if they can fix the sound.