Google Wave Due Soon; Early Apps Are Arriving Now

When Google (s goog) recently announced its Google Wave initiative, there were a lot of posts going around the web characterizing it as earth-changing news, although some questioned the effort. Wave combines email, instant messaging, wiki features and more, conjuring up images of a next-generation communications tool. Now, the Google Wave team has posted an update on the project’s status, including information on how developers can start using it early, and when users at large can.


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Certified Refurbished Macs One Way to Help Weather the Economic Storm

icon-mac

Apple (s aapl) is taking a lot of stick (even more than usual) about hanging tough with premium pricing despite the global financial meltdown, and it almost never offers discounts or sales. So how can budget-constrained Macheads economize on system upgrades? One solution is to buy a less-expensive model than the one you would have perhaps preferred. Another is get an Apple Certified Refurbished machine instead of going new.

If you’re not familiar with Apple Certified Refurbished (ACR) products, here are the broad strokes: ACR units are pre-owned (or in some instances, such as store demos, never-sold) Apple products that undergo Apple’s stringent refurbishment process prior to being offered for sale. Most of these units have been returned under Apple’s Return and Refund Policies, but according to Apple, only some of them are returned due to technical issues. In any event, all ACR units undergo Apple’s quality refurbishment process.

  • Full functionality testing (including burn-in testing).
  • Refurbishing with replacement parts and components for any defective modules identified in testing.
  • Thoroughly cleaned and inspected.
  • Complete repackaging by Apple, including appropriate manuals, cables, etc. (albeit in a brown cardboard carton rather than one with full color lithographs on the box)
  • Operating software that originally shipped with the unit and any custom software offered with that system.
  • A new refurbished part number and serial number.
  • A final QA inspection.
  • Quality testing follows the same basic technical guidelines as Apple’s Finished Goods testing procedures.

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Western Governors to Obama: Invest Billions in Clean Energy

“When I am president,” President-elect Barack Obama said in a videogram sent to a participants of a climate change summit organized by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last week, “any governor who is willing to promote clean energy will have an ally in the White House.” And it was just one of several pledges he made. Governors from Western states have now issued a four-page letter to Obama calling for long-term commitment to clean energy in the U.S. While it is not a direct reply to Obama’s video (drafts have been in the works since June, according to Western Governors’ Association spokesperson Karen Deike), the letter amounts to a collective “Yes We’re Willing” from the states’ leadership.
Sent last week, this message came as global leaders made final preparations for another set of climate change talks, known as COP-14, that kicked off today in Poland. As the first international conference on the issue since the election, COP-14 represents a re-entry for the U.S. into global climate change talks largely neglected since the country walked away from the Kyoto Protocol.
Signed by leaders of the Western Governors’ Association, which represents governors from 19 states (including Alaska, of “Drill Baby Drill” fame), plus Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands, the letter includes calls for tens of billions of dollars in annual investment in clean energy and vehicle technologies, assistance for industries transitioning to renewable fuels and more efficient technologies, and rewards for utilities that reduce customers’ energy usage. Read More about Western Governors to Obama: Invest Billions in Clean Energy

The World Preps for Obama’s Climate Change Policy

President-elect Barack Obama just held his first post-election press conference and focused on the economy, but it is his forthcoming climate change policies that are spurring the world’s governments and businesses to start reaching out to the next administration. Politicians and business executives are maneuvering to protect the aged fossil fuel industry while also looking to grab a piece of Obama’s proposed $150 billion clean energy plan. Let the lobbying for a new climate-conscious energy economy begin in earnest!
Less than 24 hours after the U.S. election results came in, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper moved to begin talks on a climate pact with Obama. Critics have already pointed out that Harper’s hasty move was an effort to secure concessions for the lucrative but dirty tar sands business that has been booming in that country’s province of Alberta. Harper’s administration is confident that Obama will be lenient on Canada’s oil sands as they help provide energy security. At least, that’s what they’re saying. Whether that is in fact the case remains to be seen.
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