5 Most Popular Posts on WebWorkerDaily This Week

Just in case you missed any of them, here are the five most popular posts on WebWorkerDaily this week:

In this post, Dawn shares some great tips on how to get more out of your RSS feeds, while spending less time reading them.

Darrell takes a look at MindView 3, the newest version of MatchWare’s nifty mind mapping tool.

Samuel reviews the updated Pencil, a Firefox drawing extension.

A perennial WWD favorite, Anne lists 10 ways that you can make money from the web.

Part of the Web Work 101 series, Darrell discusses three things that are critical to the success of any new web worker: planning, budgeting and goal-setting.

Airport Extreme Update Pulled, But Damage Already Done

Updates turning out to be harmful rather than helpful are nothing new, and it’s beginning to look like you can add Apple’s latest Airport Extreme software “fix” to the list of the potentially damaging.
Complaints from commenters and bloggers around the net are beginning to pile up, yet Apple remains silent on the status of the update (numbered 2008-003) which was uploaded to their servers Monday and then pulled shortly after without explanation.
While the update was intended to resolve issues when roaming in large Wi-Fi networks, reports are claiming that not only does that issue persist, in some cases the patch is causing network problems. Some users are even claiming that following the update, Airport ceases to work at all. Total Airport failures are being reported on multiple platforms, including the Aluminum MacBook and late model white MacBook. Others are claiming reduced capability, including connection problems and the inability of their machines to recognize the 802.11n capability of their cards (a/b/g only).
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Clean Energy Tax Credits: $18B Won’t Break the Bank

So now that the Senate has finally approved the extension of the renewable energy tax credits, exactly how much money have we been fretting over for the last year? Of the $148.6 billion that the the entire bill is estimated to cost, approximately $18 billion is being put into renewable energy. Meanwhile, the Treasury is seeking $700 billion to bail out our failing financial institutions.

The investment tax credit will cost taxpayers a mere $1.942 billion over 10 years, and the production tax credit costs $5.8 billion over the same time. Carbon capture and sequestration will get $1.424 billion more and a carbon capture credit incentive system will get $1.119 billion, according to the Senate Finance Committee.

The oil and gas industry is partly footing the bill for the credits. The legislation rolls back tax breaks on domestic production and tightens taxes on income made overseas. While not happy about losing their tax breaks, the oil industry should be pleased that Democrats have thrown in the towel on trying to renew the ban on offshore drilling.
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House Approves Offshore Drilling, Extends Clean Energy Tax Credits

Following months of debate and squabbling, the House of Representatives just passed a bill that could open America’s coasts to offshore drilling, as well as extend the tax credits for clean energy and offer other incentives for clean power and green transportation. Passing 236 to 189 in a late night vote the ‘Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act,’ or HR 6899, allows for drilling 100 miles offshore, or 50 miles if states would allow it. The bill also calls for repealing tax breaks for big oil, and using those funds to create new credits for plug-in hybrid vehicles, energy efficiency programs and clean coal.

Republicans are already crying foul because the measure was only unveiled very recently, giving the opposition barely a day to review the proposed legislation and no opportunity for input. Additionally, the White House and House Reps say that the bill also stifles offshore drilling by limiting it to 50 miles off the coast, should states allow, which critics say is unlikely since the bill doesn’t let the states collect oil lease royalty revenue.
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Offshore Drilling Could Sink or Save Clean Power

Following a Convention-filled recess, Congress returns to session today. The federal legislature has three weeks before it adjourns again for its members to hit the campaign trail ahead of the November elections, and energy is going to be a hotly debated topic throughout September. The issue of opening up offshore drilling left Republicans Twittering up a storm at the end of the last session and has yet to be resolved. While many think compromise is unlikely, offshore drilling could be the necessary bit of quid pro quo the Democrats need to get the renewable energy tax credits extended beyond the end of year.

Even President Bush is urging Congress to extend the investment and production tax credits, critical to the solar and wind energy industries, but yesterday in his weekly radio address added that they should “cover all forms of low-emission power generation — including nuclear power.” Bush also reiterated his call for Congress to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling and warned lawmakers: “If members of Congress do not support the American people at the gas pump, then they should not expect the American people to support them at the ballot box.”

A bipartisan group of Senators is working on an energy compromise, exchanging limited offshore drilling for renewal of the tax credits and a $20 billion investment in alternative fuel vehicles. But should that fail, the GOP is prepared to play a game of chicken if they don’t get a vote on offshore drilling; Republicans are threatening to block a bill that would keep the federal government running between Oct. 1 and Nov. 4. The question now becomes, will the Democrats be able to use offshore drilling to get those renewable energy tax credits, or will they be forced to accept offshore drilling simply to keep the lights on in government buildings?

How Offshore Drilling Can Aid Cleantech

Ah, compromise, that cornerstone of Democracy. A new, bipartisan effort, advanced by the so-called “Gang of Ten” (five Republican and five Democratic senators), aims to break the deadlock that has recently sunk every attempt to find new energy solutions in the Senate by marrying the critical renewal of renewable energy tax incentives with the dubious opening of the outer continental shelf to oil exploration. In other words, could drilling for offshore crude actually help cleantech?

At least politically, it looks like it. The Gang of Ten’s proposal includes the Democrats’ plan of financing the investment and production tax credits by taxing oil companies — but it would also open up huge chunks of ocean on the East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico to drilling. The plan is already gaining traction, most notably with presidential hopeful Barack Obama who on Friday modified his position saying he would consider offshore drilling as part of a broader energy plan. The McCain camp was quick to revel in its opponent’s softening and endorsement of an “all of the above” energy solution. This is different from a tax on oil’s windfall profits that Obama has been pushing heavily.

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Nokia Dials N-Series For Profits

I got a chance to hang out with Nokia’s chief strategist and chief technology officer Tero Ojanperä before the start of our fire side chat at the Always On Conference in Palo Alto. He pointed out that Nokia was having tremendous success with its N-Series phones, especially the N95 which was one of the top selling phones in UK for a few weeks, selling for around $750-a-pop.
[qi:053] Apparently, that wasn’t the only phone from the N-Series that is selling well, and along with strong demand of E-Series (more corporate focused high-end mobile devices), Nokia managed to post a surprisingly strong financials for the second quarter ending July 31, 2007.
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Comcast’s Brian Roberts, Broadband’s Tomorrow Man

Brian Roberts, chief executive officer of Comcast Corp., in a move reminiscent of Microsoft’s Bill Gates’ futuristic announcements at CES, today showed off a new modem that uses channel bonding technology that can pump data into your homes at speeds of 150 megabits per second.

The presentation made at the Cable Show in Las Vegas was more posturing for Wall Street and thumbing the nose of telephone companies with fiber less broadband plans. The modem, based on the DOCSIS 3.0 technology, sends data out on four channels.

“Cable continues to lead the competition. We’ve only just begun, from 6 megabits today to 150 or whatever megabits tomorrow.”

Not sure what his definition of tomorrow is, but for me tomorrow means tomorrow. When pressed all Roberts could come-up with “less than a couple of years.”

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Dick Tracy mobile phone watch for $500

M300Ever since I was a kid (no, not THAT long ago) the image of Dick Tracy in the comic books using his cool wrist watch communicator has been lurking in the back of my mind.  There’s just something about talking to someone on a watch that gets the old geek juices flowing.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this today, the M300 watch that houses a GSM/GPRS (Tri-band) phone with speaker phone, Bluetooth and MP3 player.  It supports dial-up networking too so communication is assured and is quoted to get 200 minutes talk time and 80 hours standby.  According to the specs the display is OLED to be kinder on battery life and it should start shipping next month.

(via Mobile Magazine)

The Hype Machine, Best Mashup of Mashup Camp 3

Here in Boston at Mashup Camp 3, we’ve seen an incredible range of applications mashed up from sites and services on the web. During three total hours of SpeedGeeking, Mashup Camp attendees spent five minutes a piece viewing demos and asking questions of mashup developers. Then each attendee votes for his or her favorite mashup with a wooden nickel.
We saw mashups going way beyond basic integration with Google Maps to include MySpace integration, hardware hacks, and voice-enabled applications. Early buzz focused on OpenKapow, The Hype Machine, and Gigul8tor by Eventful. And of course everybody loved GBlinker: a Google pin wired up to a serial port so it flashes when email comes in.
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