Navy Sets Sights on Energy Efficiency & Biofuels

A new agreement between the U.S. Navy and the Department of Agriculture may offer a boost to developers of fuels derived from plants, and other greentech firms vying for military contracts. The two departments have agreed to work together — and with private partners — to “encourage the development of advanced biofuels and other renewable energy systems,” as part of an effort to bring more alternative fuels into the Navy and Marine Corps’ energy supply, and generally support the Obama administration’s clean energy goals.

The Navy, which has delivered funding and partnerships to startups including Ocean Power Tech (for testing and an advanced version of the firm’s PowerBuoy) and Widetronix (for silicon-carbide based wafer tech used in electronic devices), pledged recently in a separate announcement to consider the energy efficiency and “energy footprint,” among other factors, when awarding contracts, and the department reiterated that plan Thursday.
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The Government’s Broadband Bucks Trickle Out

The federal government’s plan to dispense $7.2 billion in broadband stimulus funds are finally beginning with the announcement of $182 million in government funds for 18 projects to be detailed later today. This means the government is 3 percent of the way through the grant-making process.

iPhone Owners Suffer Stockholm Syndrome, AT&T is Actually Awesome (Just Don’t Mention Friday’s Outages)

It’s hard to know where to begin. The weekend has seen a series of events unfold that manage to combine — beautifully, perfectly — into a single glorious mutually-annihilating maelstrom of silliness.

On Friday the Wall Street Journal published an inflammatory piece by Randall Stross which began “I love my iPhone…” but barely a half dozen sentences (and some obligatory ‘AT&T (s att) versus Verizon’ (s vz) white noise later) added “…the iPhone itself may not be so great after all.”

I’ll spare you the tumultuous (and largely inane) nonsense that follows, and just give you the bottom line; Stross thinks the iPhone is a flawed device; that Apple has mass-produced shoddy hardware; and that the iPhone’s poorly engineered internals lie at the heart of AT&T’s network problems. Read More about iPhone Owners Suffer Stockholm Syndrome, AT&T is Actually Awesome (Just Don’t Mention Friday’s Outages)

Daily Sprout

Lincvolt Bows Out of X Prize Competition: Neil Young’s biodiesel/gasoline/hydroxy gas-powered Lincvolt has withdrawn from the race to focus on developing technology without the distraction of devising a business model (an X Prize requirement). — Lincvolt via AutoblogGreen

Small Wind, Coming Soon to the Hardware Store: Startup WindTronics has struck a deal to distribute its small wind turbines through Ace Hardware starting this fall. — CNET’s Green Tech

Feds Unlock Cash for Biofuel Feedstocks: Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and USDA Chief Tom Vilsack announced today awards of up to $6.3 million for seven projects researching genomics-enabled improvements in plant feedstocks for biofuel production. — DOE

Q&A With GE Global Research Chief: General Electric (s GE) is pushing the smart grid and thin-film solar, but don’t expect new kinds of nuclear reactors, says Mark Little, head of the company’s $6 billion-a-year R&D effort. — MIT’s Technology Review

On the Range: A new electric concept car developed by Lotus Engineering, with a top speed of 65 MPH and a baseline range of 31 miles that can be increased with additional batteries, represents a shift in thinking from “range anxiety” to “range awareness” — Wired’s Autopia

Moblin for Netbooks v2.0 Beta Refreshed

Image Credit: Moblin

Image Credit: Moblin

Looks like the Moblin development team is keeping busy. Version 2.0 of the Linux-based mobile operating system for netbooks arrived last month and is already refreshed. I’m downloading it now and will likely run it off a Live CD on my MSI Wind. My little laptop is already in a dual-boot mode with Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.04. Adding another OS to the hard drive mix, a beta at that, would likely cause the device to start smoking. 😉

The latest build has been internally tested on the Acer Aspire One, Asus eeePC 9xx, Dell Mini 9, and the MSI Wind devices. Moblin says that there are fixes and some new features, but I don’t see a list of what those features are. The known issues list is available, however.