NY Gov Calls for More Energy Efficiency

New York Governor David Paterson set some lofty goals for energy efficiency and renewable power in his first state of the state address yesterday, aiming to cut electricity use by 15 percent and raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard to 30 percent by 2015 in the Empire State.

Calling it the “45 by ’15” plan, Paterson said the new targets will create 50,000 new jobs for New Yorkers, making him the latest in a growing list of politicians and groups touting the job creation potential of big cleantech projects. Earlier this week, the GridWise Alliance, a smart-grid industry group, said up to 280,000 new jobs could be created across the country from the deployment of a smart grid in the U.S. And in President-elect Barack Obama’s first weekly radio address of the new year, he pushed for a doubling of the country’s renewable energy production as part of a plan to add 3 million new jobs in the States.

In his speech, Paterson said energy has become too expensive, too unpredictable, and too damaging to the environment. “It is time to make New York more energy independent and more energy efficient, to develop our own sources of clean and renewable energy, and to build new statewide systems for energy generation, transmission, and distribution.”
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Can the FCC Offer Up Some Real Reform?

Last week, when the FCC published an order aimed at halting the collection of and reporting on the quality of telephone service on a nationwide basis, we were pretty disappointed, as it came off like the agency was just throwing in the towel on real regulation and reform. Since one of the reasons behind the FCC decision is that the data is available at state utility commissions, I surfed and called around to the commissions at the five most populous states to see how difficult it is to compile and compare quality of service data.

My conclusion? It’s no picnic. Beginning with my home state of Texas, it took a phone call to get a basic report faxed over (they can’t email it). The report offers the total complaints registered against telecommunications companies vs. those lodged against electrical companies and lists the top offenders in each category. More details require a Freedom of Information Act request and a wait of up to 10 business days. California required a phone call and some back and forth to get some information, which includes data on the number of repairs and the amount of time a customer waits for refunds. A week later, I’m still waiting to hear back from the commission in New York. Read More about Can the FCC Offer Up Some Real Reform?

Bloomberg: Ocean Wind Power for the Statue of Liberty?

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is calling for ideas for renewable power for the city, including offshore wind, wind turbines on skyscrapers, hydropower from the Hudson and East Rivers, geothermal and increased solar. Bloomberg made an announcement for a Request for Expressions of Interest at the National Clean Energy Summit on Tuesday.

Bloomberg was especially bullish on off-shoring wind, saying the technology could meet 10 percent of the city’s electricity within a decade. He opined:

I think it would be a thing of beauty if, when Lady Liberty looks out on the horizon, she not only welcomes new immigrants, but lights their way with a torch powered by an ocean wind farm.

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Weekend Vid Picks: Highlights of Internet Week

The unplanned concurrence of NewTeeVee Station‘s launch and the first-ever New York Internet Week made for a pretty hectic few days, but I was still able to partake in some of the week’s festivities. Consider this Vid Picks a travel document of what you missed.

The big fun on Saturday was at NewTeeVee correspondent Steve Bryant’s Wiimbledon, a fast-paced Wii Tennis challenge held at the uber-cool Barcade in Brooklyn, and a perfect way to dive into 4 straight days of geekery. Lots of cameras circulated at the event, but the best round-up was definitely by the gentlemen at Bush League.tv, who interviewed the finalists and did a great job of capturing the furious action:

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Karina’s Capsule: Lindsay Campbell Gets Arrested

Last Wednesday, the team behind CBS Interactive’s MobLogic went out on the streets of New York to cover the Sean Bell protests. During the protest, MobLogic host Lindsay Campbell (formerly of Wallstrip) was arrested…voluntarily. As the show’s executive producer, Adam Elend, puts it in a blog post regarding MobLogic‘s episode on Lindsay’s arrest, which went live on Sunday:

I’ve been filming at large scale protests for eight years now, and never have I been to one quite like this: The police set up a protest zone, and the protesters went to the protest zone…People who were going to be arrested signed up. Protesters with legal trouble weren’t allowed. Protesters without their IDs weren’t allowed…The mood was relaxed. You got the sense that nothing that either side didn’t know was going to happen.

In the episode, Campbell explains that she signed up to get arrested (literally) partially because she sided with the protesters, who want the state and the city to develop new tactics for investigating police brutality cases, and partially because she “wanted to be where the action was.” But this episode is most valuable for revealing the total lack of action at this event, of the mundanity and the mechanism of the contemporary political protest. The NYPD cops on display may have been, as Campbell puts it, “Keystone,” but based on MobLogic‘s footage, there’s no sign that the protesters had any intention of doing anything incendiary enough to require more than bare competence on the part of the police. It sort of puts a whole new spin on the idea of “civil” disobedience — indeed, Campbell calls it “Protesting 2.0,” with a wink in her voice.

The obvious question raised: What’s the difference between a video of protesters getting arrested produced from the outside, and one produced by a reporter so inside that she actually went to jail? Beyond the fact that there’s a close-up of a “government cheese sandwich” (and I’m curious as to how it was sourced, because it seems unlikely that Campbell would have been allowed to hold onto a camera long enough to be able to document jail lunch — a recreation, perhaps?), I think the real difference — and improvement — lies in the towards-the-end shot of Al Sharpton, rubbing his eyes, wearily answering Campbell’s questions for MobLogic‘s camera. I’ve never seen such a professionally “on” figure allow themselves to be captured so “off” before, seemingly without calculation.

Disclosure: Current MobLogic producer Scott Solary used to produce a weekly movie show called ReelerTv, on which I appeared semi-regularly as a guest.

Engadget high on top 100 products of the year; we figure to be 101st

Props to the talent of Peter, Ryan and the whole gang over at Engadget as the site was named the 13th best product of the year in PC World’s best 100 products of the year. I’m sure they got a call with the good news; I’m watching out my door for someone to deliver a telegram saying we just missed the top 100…hmm…do they deliver telegrams in the dark? Actually, they don’t deliver telegrams any longer, do they? 😉


All kidding aside, this is a great honor for the Engadget team and they beat out some killer products like HD-DVD, Google and many, many more! Nice job guys!