Friday, October 31, 2014

Solar Electricity Will Soon Become Cheap Enough to Take Over US Energy

The Ivanpah Solar Thermal Facility.. just a short drive from Las Vegas!
After years of struggling as the "too-expensive-to-be-practical" renewable energy source, solar power is finally becoming cheap enough to actually matter in the United States. A new report from Deutsche Bank predicts that solar-generated electricity will soon become a true alternative to natural gas, oil, coal, and other conventional fossil fuel sources in many places throughout the US.

And it will happen incredibly soon... 2016 according to the DB analysts!

Even if the government reduces tax credits (subsidies used to motivate people to install solar panels), solar energy will still be price competitive in more than half the country. This is due to vast improvements in solar technology, more affordable and easy-to-get financing, and the "mainstreaming" of the once exotic energy source.

We say: We live in Las Vegas, one of the world's sunniest cities. The sooner we can get "free" electricity to run the air conditioner and charge our Tesla, the better!!

Learn some mo': While You Were Getting Worked Up Over Oil Prices, This Just Happened to Solar

Photo source: flickr

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Smartwatches: Google Is Officially in the Game... Big Time!

After years of speculation and waiting, Google is finally very, very much in the smartwatch business. They beat Apple to the punch by announcing their new Android Wear operating system for wearable devices last week.

Already, there are 2 watches running the software available for purchase: the LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live. Another offering, the Moto 360 from Motorola, is rumored to the real category killer. Tech bloggers are literally going nuts over the thing.

A centerpiece of Android Wear is Google Now technology, which kind of helps you 'think' better. It remembers appointments, gives you directions before you realize you need them, loads important things like boarding passes as your walking into an airport, guides you through workouts, and other cool stuff.

Best of all, you talk to the Google smartwatches instead of trying to type on tiny little keyboards!

We're pretty excited and you should be too. Now watch this video...

And now prepare to be amazed:

Cool stuff.

Learn some mo': Android Wear Review: The Watch That Wants to Save You From Your Phone

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Your Next Smartphone Could Have an Unbreakable Screen (FINALLY)

Coming to a store near you: cell phone screens that don't break, no matter how many times you drop them or run them over with your car (or bus). We've been promised unbreakable smartphone screens for years but, finally, a team of geniuses from the University of Akron appear to have actually created them.

Unlike the normal, fragile screen coating ITO ( indium tin oxide) used in nearly all phones, the new conductive polymer created by the Akron researchers is super-tough and flexible. It's basically a mesh of metal electrodes (nanowires) implanted in a special plastic and, according to some experts, it could revolutionize the electronics industry.

The new polymer film is also cheaper to produce and doesn't rely on hard-to-find minerals like ITO films do. It could be used on everything from LCD displays to high-definition TV screens to airplane windows because of its durability and ability to bend without cracking.

According to lead researcher Dr. Yu Zhu:

"We expect this film to emerge on the market as a true ITO competitor... The annoying problem of cracked smartphone screens may be solved once and for all with this flexible touchscreen”. 

Learn some mo': Shatterproof screens that save smartphones

By the way, we're helping the guys over at Very Bursty get going. So go check out their blog asap! :)

Friday, May 30, 2014

New Google Video Takes a Shot at Slow Internet Service Providers

ISPs in the US are acting pretty "bad" lately, slowing down Americans' internet connections for no good reason. Now some of the big boys of the web world are taking shots at Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable Internet, Verizon, and all the other big ISPs.

First Netflix listed the best and worst ISPs a few months ago, now Google has thrown their hat into the ring.

The new Google Video Quality report will let you see which ISPs can handle high-definition YouTube videos and which ones can't. Check out the video below for more:

Learn some mo':

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fracking Lawsuits: The Next Big Thing?

Have a fracking operation next door? Getting headaches, nosebleeds, and/or cancer? Is your tap water lighting on fire? You might be getting paid... a lot... in the near future. So find a good attorney.

This week a jury decided that a Wise County, Texas couple -- Bob and Lisa Parr -- deserve to be awarded nearly $3 million from Aruba Petroleum for pumping toxic chemicals into their property and its air/water supply. The court battle is over 3 years old and is the first time a US jury has decided against an oil and gas company.

But it definitely might not be the last.

While most fracking contamination cases are settled out of court (i.e. the billion-dollar energy companies simply pay victims off to keep them from making a fuss), some experts think the trend is going to change. Some victims want a public battle to teach bad actors a lesson. Many just want a lot more than the few hundred thousand dollars often offered in a settlement.

No matter what, it looks like fracking lawsuits are going to become much more common as the energy-gathering operations spread throughout North America!

Learn some mo': Texas family wins $3 million in fracking contamination lawsuit