The Greentech Voter Guide to the CA Governor Race

California will have a new governor come November, and while the race is still open, it’s looking like it’ll be a contest between Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman. How important will a green platform be to securing the gubernatorial race?

Cali Gov. Meg Whitman?: Silicon Valley 1, Clean Energy 0

Former eBay chief Meg Whitman stepped down from her seats on three corporate boards yesterday, clearing the way for a possible run in the 2010 race for California governor, the Wall Street Journal reports. For any candidate, it would be tough to match governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decidedly bullish stance on clean energy. But whoever takes up the guvernatorship (Schwarzenegger’s second term ends in January 2011) will inherit one of the most influential pulpits for establishing state-level energy policy — for better or worse.

California has long led national trends toward tighter pollution controls, beginning in the 1970s, when it was allowed to establish its own tailpipe emissions standards under the Clean Air Act (other states can adopt the California or federal standard). More recently, California officials have created a comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions — the nation’s first.
Read More about Cali Gov. Meg Whitman?: Silicon Valley 1, Clean Energy 0

Fitnio: Fitness Tracking App for the Rest of Us

Overwhelmed by the detail, options, and information available in most run and bike-tracking apps? Then you might find the simplicity of Fitnio, a relative newcomer to the scene, refreshing. Fitnio uses GPS to track your walk, jog, run or bicycling trip and provide you with basic, useful fitness-related information about the workout.
Like other apps of this kind, the GPS-tracking function of the app requires the iPhone 3G in order to produce accurate results. Also like other apps in this category, GPS is not 100% accurate all of the time. When I originally started Fitnio for testing, it found satellites without much trouble, but immediately began calculating my run at speeds of around 30 to 40 km/h (I’m Canadian, so I chose the “Metric” setting, but Imperial is available as well). Since I am not the six-million dollar man, these speeds seemed unlikely. As my location became more accurately pinpointed, speeds dropped to a much more reasonable 10+ km/h.
What I liked about Fitnio, despite the skewed numbers that GPS hiccups resulted in, was how easy it was to use. From the launch screen, which offers you an odometer, calorie counter, and “Start Running” and “Start Riding” buttons, to the run view, which just shows your time in large, easy-to-read numbers, and your distance travelled, your speed, and calories in slightly smaller font. It lacks the depth of other apps, maybe, but it also doesn’t intimidate with a laundry list of functions. And it provides a couple of great features: an emergency contact button from the workout view screen, and a cool down timer for safer and healthier workouts.
You can also track your progress online through fitnio.com. The site right now offers only basic listing of your past workouts, but according to the developer, this is only the beginning. Future iterations of the Fitnio page will introduce additional features.
For a free app, Fitnio offers all the functions most people will need in an exercise tracker in a well-designed, easy to use and understand package. It’s available now in the App Store.