Ecopods

Okay, this is getting a little out of hand… 3 clean tech posts on the very first day the category debuts! This one is pretty damn cool, even though I’m not exactly sure why.

EcoPods are environmentally friendly coffins made from recycled paper. Whether you’re worried about the state of the planet, or just want to be sure that you’ll have an easy climb back out of the grave, should the zombiism take hold, this seems like a good idea.

CFL again – sigh.

It’s a two-fer tonight for the newly created "Clean Tech" category. This time we revisit the ban-light-bulbs movement that is still circulating in California and elseware.

It turns out that the free market (and Wal Mart’s ability to sell a lot of CFLs) really is capable of responding more effectively than government regulation.

The free market, all on its very own — people reacting purely to price pressures, the differences in costs of the bulbs and the electricity to power them — is leading the switchover. We don’t actually need any governmental action; we’re already producing over 50% of the compact flourescents that will be needed, perhaps an even higher portion.

BTW, I couldn’t help but notice that whenever the CFL debate comes up there is someone who chimes in with "well the incandescent light bulb is 140 years old and really hasn’t changed". Of course the core principle behind incandescent lighting hasn’t changed but the technology certainly has making the argument factually inaccurate on it’s face, but more to the point, how many of these pundits know that fluorescent light bulbs were first debuted in 1893, making it 114 year old technology…

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The Environmental Toll of the Prius

Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

Here’s an interesting take on environmental toll of the Toyota Prius, which will no doubt spur a rather vitriolic comment thread. BTW, in honor of Shai’s abandonment of enterprise software for clean tech, I’m starting a new category to track the topic.

 

Is Regulation of the Internet Explicitly a Federal Domain?

"Because material on a website may be viewed across the Internet, and thus in more than one state at a time, permitting the reach of any particular state’s definition of intellectual property to dictate the contours of this federal immunity would be contrary to Congress’s expressed goal of insulating the development of the Internet from the various state-law regimes. See 47 U.S.C. §§ 230(a) and (b); see also Batzel, 333 F.3d at 1027 (noting that "courts construing § 230 have recognized as critical in applying the statute the concern that lawsuits could threaten the ‘freedom of speech in the new and burgeoning Internet medium’")."

This does appear to be a pretty important decision regarding regulation of web sites, it would seem to suggest that web sites are by their nature viewable across the entire web and therefore subject to Federal regulation and immune from state regulation that conflicts with Federal law. In other words, if Federal law regulates a specific aspect of the web, then states are pre-empted from regulating them on their own. This case applies specifically to intellectual property but it would seem reasonable that this would be used in other cases involving regulation of the web

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Google Notebook Out of Beta

Google Notebook has made it out of beta. I actually use this service probably at least once a day and really like it. I do wish there was an offline sync’ing capability because I would like to have access to this data when I’m not online, and sync’ed to my Blackberry as well.

Sounds like an opportunity for buildout on SpanningSync. Charlie?

Google Notebook was previously a "Google Labs" project, but it has left that phase to become an official service without the familiar "beta" label. Though the interface isn’t extremely different, it has been nicely polished and finally looks like a finished product.

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Media Does Irony

From an AP wire report:

Blogs are Web sites that tend to be narrow in focus and directed at a niche audience. Most operate without editors and give instant reaction to the news.

Their freewheeling, open nature makes them popular but also ripe for unverified statements.

If any of the many NYTimes (Strib, LATimes, substitute any major daily) scandals are any indication, it appears that newspapers are operating without editors and fact checkers as well, they just don’t give you the instantaneous part. Before newspapers start lecturing us about the wild west that is the blogosphere they may want to clean up their own houses first.

In a recent poll [Jeff: 2005, not recent but not old] conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center, 65 percent of the respondents thought that most news organizations, if they discover they’ve made a mistake, try to ignore it or cover it up, and 79 percent opined that a media company would hesitate to carry negative stories about a corporation from which it received substantial advertising revenues.

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