Two startups aim to make higher education more affordable — or free

Higher education costs have skyrocketed by over 430 percent since the 1980s. Now two startups aim to make college courses more affordable. Coursera offers free online courses from universities like Stanford and Princeton. And a new tool from Akademos helps professors find less expensive — or free — textbooks for their courses.

A home energy battle in court: Opower vs Efficiency 2.0

The world of home energy reports for utility customers just got heated. Opower has filed a complaint against Efficiency 2.0, claiming the company infringed on Opower’s copyrighted home energy reports. Efficiency 2.0 denies the claims.

Condi Rice to join board of biofuel startup KiOr

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice plans to join the board of biofuel startup KiOr in July. Not coincidentally, the news comes the week that KiOr is reportedly planning to official price its IPO, which could raise up to $241 million on the Nasdaq.

Tesla CEO: I’d Bet On Capacitors Over Batteries

At the Cleantech Forum in San Francisco on Wednesday, Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk says he bets that it could be capacitors — rather than batteries — that will deliver an important breakthrough for electric transportation, an interesting comment from a CEO whose products are based on lithium-ion batteries

Stanford Spinout C3Nano Raises Funds for Solar, Screens

Transparent electrodes might sound like a bit of high tech machinery, but they’re the basic components of electronic screens from cell phones to solar panels. This week Stanford spinout C3Nano says it’s raised funding to commercialize its lower cost, more flexible conductive coatings.

Google’s Climate Change Head to Lead New Stanford Energy School

Google’s former Director of Climate Policy, Dan Reicher, has left the search engine giant to head up Stanford’s new Center for Energy Policy and Finance that will focus on how policy and financing can deliver the future of clean energy infrastructure.

From Big Data to Big Bicycles: 5 Must-See GigaOM TV Videos

GigaOM TV rock-tobered this month, delivering a bevy of videos that will engage, entertain and quite possibly inspire. From business insights and optimal work habits, to cutting-edge inventions, see what you may have missed.

Stanford, the Tech Company Landlord

Stanford has long been an investor in many tech companies through the venture capital holdings in its endowment and technology licensing. But the university also extracts a toll out of the tech industry through its real estate holdings.

Stanford Graduate Students Saving Babies By Spreading Video

You take the idealism of college students, you combine it with the message-spreading power of social media, and in this case you end up with a nice little story about saving babies in the Third World. Three students at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business created a three-minute video for a class entitled “The Power of Social Technology,” to raise awareness about an organization called Embrace.

Embrace, which itself was founded by a group of Stanford graduate students, has developed a portable incubator for low-birth-weight babies that requires no electricity and costs about $25 each. The video made by Karla Gallardo, Aastha Gupta and Lavanya Ashok, which focuses on encouraging donations to Embrace, frames a $25 contribution to the organization as an opportunity to save a life, showcasing the life of just one Indian child as an example.

A hope. A life. An Embrace. http://www.embraceglobal.org/donate from Karla Gallardo on Vimeo.

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