Cali’s Solar Consumers At Risk of Losing Protection

The popular California Solar Initiative (CSI) program has been so popular that it’s set to run out of money sooner than expected. What will happen if the state doesn’t authorize more money for the program? Consumers will lose some important protection from unscrupulous solar service providers.

Net Metering to Shine on in New York, California

Rooftop solar companies are breathing a sigh of relief – and are getting ready to install more projects in New York and California. That’s because legislatures in the two states have passed new rules that boost net metering, an arrangement that allows customers with small-scale solar and wind installations to get credit for the electricity they deliver back to the grid.

With net metering, as the arrangement is called, customers pay only for their net electricity usage. Their meters run forward when they are using more electricity than they are producing and run backward when they are producing more electricity than they are using. The absence of net metering could cut out much of the economic benefit of building solar systems, at least in places without other financial incentives, such as a feed-in tariff.
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Droid Does an Early Software Update

Although it was expected that Motorola Droid (s mot) would see an update around December 11, there’s a new mandatory software update available today. Information from the Verizon (s vz) support site for Droid breaks out the following fixes and enhancements in software version AP:ESD56/BP:C_01.3E.01P — which just rolls off the tongue, no? 😉

  • OS stability is improved.
  • Battery life is improved.
  • Camera auto focus functionality is improved, and time between shots is reduced.
  • Enhancements for three-way calling.
  • Audio for incoming calls is improved.
  • When receiving a call on call waiting, the speakerphone now remains on.
  • Bluetooth functionality is improved; background echo is eliminated.
  • Improved Bluetooth phone book transfer of contacts to in-vehicle Bluetooth solutions.
  • After closing a GPS application, the GPS icon will now automatically be removed from the notification panel.
  • Users can now receive SMS and MMS messages after an EMS message is received.
  • SMS and MMS may now be sent to seven-digit addresses.
  • Google contact merging has been updated to accommodate seven-digit numbers.
  • Visual Voice Mail notices now arrive instantaneously.
  • The corporate calendar widget user interface is updated.

Droid owners will need at least 40% or more battery power or at least 20% power availability if connected to a power source prior to performing the upgrade. Have at it when you see the update available and let us know if you see any other fixes that might have slipped in as well.

You Say You Want a Cloud Revolution

structure_speaker_seriesTake yourself back for a moment to 1990, to the era of dueling operating systems: OS/2 and Windows. At the time, many people still used MS-DOS, and Windows was new (and klunky). Microsoft (s msft) had cooperated with IBM (s ibm) to create OS/2 to overcome the limitations of DOS by adding multitasking, protected mode, and enhanced video APIs. OS/2, they both trumpeted, was a revolutionary computing platform.

Oops. Guess what? Turns out no one wanted revolutionary. We all wanted those improvements, to be sure, but we wanted them delivered in a way that didn’t require redesigning and rewriting our applications, or limiting the devices we could use. Voila! Windows 3.0 brought us evolutionary OS advances, and we all know who won.

What does this have to do with cloud computing? Well, the same principle applies to cloud offerings today.  Read More about You Say You Want a Cloud Revolution