Monday, December 01, 2008
Pondering Primate November 08
I am introducing a new service to the Pondering Primate. Each month I will offer a recap of headlines, mandates, events and breakthroughs that are worthy of pondering.
In order to act on these headlines, should this be offered on a weekly basis?
Email me with your thoughts, likes, and dislikes.
"All the news that’s fit to ponder"
Barack Obama wins Presidential election
A win for CleanTech link
What Obama presidency means for the Cleantech industry link
He is calling for a $150 billion investment in clean technologies over 10 years, aggressive targets for greenhouse emission reductions, and programs to promote energy efficiency, low-carbon biofuels, and renewable energies
Obama’s Energy Plan link
Will Obama’s clean coal plans bankrupt the coal industry?
Is this the right idea but at the wrong time? link
However, an E.P.A decision may give Obama what he wants link
Recession will allow lower carbon caps. link
The U.S. and European Union can afford to set tougher limits on emissions because slower economic activity will cut greenhouse gas output and lower emission permit prices.
Businesses are already expediting deals before new Obama tax rates go in effect:
Miami Dolphins owner rushes sale of team link
Signing bonuses before the first of the year for employment contracts link
Former U.S.Energy secretaries call cap and trade an “industrial manager’s nightmare”
T. Boone Pickens delays his wind farm plan. The biggest advocate of clean energy loses billions with drop in oil prices. link
He cited the fall in natural gas prices, a competing source of electricity generation, as a deterrent.
Biggest U.S. wind energy adopter cuts capital expenditures. link
Will drop in oil prices lead to another “deja vous” for CleanTech industry (remember the renewable energy buzz in the 70’s?).
The era that defined Wall Street is over link
How is New York City starting to cope with the downturn.
New York City proposes additional tax ideas.
Plastic bag surcharge link
Transit Agency sees higher fees link
Oil prices lose 60%…why did the price of oil drop so fast?
hedge funds have gone into commodities as investors, rather than arbitragers.
Like real estate, commodities permit a high degree of leverage — typically 10 to 1 — compared to stocks margined at 2 to 1. Because of this ability to “leverage-up,” and the fact that the supply-demand equation has been unusually attractive over the last two to three years, these “new speculators” have been encouraged to bid up prices to extraordinary and unsustainable levels
This trend service called it perfectly. link
Oil prices save consumers $270 Billion link
The International Energy Agency (IEA) warns oil will hit $200 by 2030 link
Mexico will soon be a net importer of oil and be forced to stop oil exports to U.S.(11% of our imports) link
Could this have any impact on NAFTA?
Brazil a new oil giant. Offshore drilling pays off big for both employment and oil. link
Could Brazil’s success and Mexico’s aggressive deepwater exploration force US to reconsider offshore drilling?
IEA says world energy use is “patently unsustainable” link
A revolution in the energy business is required to maintain economic growth
Congress proposes $50 billion auto bailout. Tough love could lead to tough times. link
Could conditions for bailout be the catalyst for “green cars”?
Fixed labor and healthcare costs prevent auto industry from adapting and competing. What happens to companies that don’t recognize or have the ability to change.
U.S. unemployment rate hits 25 year high link
Winners (armed services, temporary job services, collection agencies, job training, blood banks)
Losers (charities, high end retailers, restaurants)
Voters approve high-speed rail for California. link
Al Gore wants carbon-free electricity in 10 years link
Clean coal initiatives will force smart grid adoption
Will clean coal lead to more blackouts? link
Carbon policies will have to take into account the problems that will come with switching over from a coal infrastructure. The power grid will also have to be upgraded to allow electricity to be consumed more efficiently.
How much will upgraded grid cost, $2Trillion link
The plan could also help solve the country's economic crisis by creating "millions of new jobs that cannot be outsourced."
Renewable energy adoption goes mainstream when there is an efficient delivery method (smart grid).
Goldman Sachs invests in carbon-offset companies.. Carbon offsets are projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. link
These two deals show Goldman Sachs’ interest in the global carbon market.
An immediate solution to our energy crisis?
What has as much capacity as US wind, solar, geothermal and biomass combined? (and it exists today) link
This technology is equal to 29,000 megawatts of capacity during periods of peak summer demand--as much as all U.S. wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass power combined.
One of the largest energy user (Dept of Defense) adopts demand response. link
The “next generation” Internet
Energy is really just another form of data that travels across a network.
Google joins Demand Response and Smart Grid Coalition link
How will Google use the power of information for the energy industry?
Are smart meters the next generation PCs?
The grid is similar to the Internet. Instead of zeros and ones, megawatts is the new “content”. How will Google utilize (and monetize) the data created by the grid?
Smart grid startups merge link
Smart grid is required in order to meet booming electric car demand. link
Smart Grid will require $2 Trillion link
Demand Response Smart Grid Coalition seeks tax breaks for “Negawatts”. 21 policy recommendations for Obama.
Newly discovered energy is a huge source of untapped energy. Frozen natural gas could heat 100 million homes for 10 years. link
Could the smart meter be the “next PC”? link
Smart meter rollout and the effects link
Every home and building will have one and it too will be connected to the Net. It will provide energy efficiency and numerous revenue opportunities.
The Future Of Newspapers?
One of the oldest newspapers (Christian Science Monitor) ceases daily print publication and focuses on the Net. link
Will the New York Times adapt quick enough to changing viewing and advertising trends, or will it go under by May? link
Will newspaper extinction drive up online ad prices? Did Craig’s List (online classifieds) eliminate newspaper’s major revenue source….or was the drop in real estate (listings/ads) the final nail?
Yellow Pages Face Extinction link
They could have dominated location based advertising. Will the death of the Yellow Pages be a boom for Google’s local ad biz?
Here’s what the Yellow Pages could have done to be competitive. link
Even this link
Imagine if the Yellow Pages had offered a service for local merchants (Joe the plumber or Sal’s Pizzeria) to create a website quick and cheap (in addition to being placed in the book). Many of these small businesses didn’t have the time or knowledge to create a Web presence. This would have made the Yellow Pages the local search engine of choice.
US Postal Service considers layoffs..first time ever in history (another unionized industry facing obsolescence?) link
Internet services (online banking etc) are eliminating mail revenue.
More proof the government is not a business saavy.
Is the auto industry next? A sign that unionized businesses are antiquated?
Can you see me now?
Cisco sees Telepresence adoption in 12 months link
High-quality video conferencing systems are helping companies save on travel expenses and a consumer version would help people experience something closer to real-life meetings.
Citrix buys high definition conference call equipment player Vapps link
Will the set top box be the “server” for the home?
Cisco introduces new router that can help phone companies and cable operators deal with onslaught of video traffic link
A “M.P.G”. rating for computer hardware?
The Green Grid is hoping to have a new package of standardized metrics in place from next year that will allow firms to compare the energy efficiency of different servers, storage systems and networking equipment, in much the same way motorists compare the fuel efficiency of different cars. link
Virtualization energy efficiency software for servers?
Data center energy bills could be cut by 30% link
Virtualization software comes to mobile devices link next virtualization bonanza
One of the largest US electronic retailers, Circuit City files for bankruptcy. link
Could it be because flat panel TV sales have peaked link
Was there not enough room for two electronic retailers (Best Buy Circuit City)to survive? Could the same thing happen to home improvement market? (Home Depot Lowes)
First the PC and then the high priced high-def TV, what is the next high price electronic item that will save retailers? Hint, it’s already in your living room.
What’s China’s Economy Doing?
China reported its first decline in monthly electricity output in four years, one of the strongest signs so far that the country's economic slowdown may be worse than thought
What happens if to world economy if China’s economic slowdown is this drastic?
Chinese solar companies slowing production. link
What companies benefit from falling solar prices ? link
China takes steps toward a national emission trading platform. link
Google shares flu outbreak search results link
Privacy issues? Will people use alternative search engines for privacy matters? Will advertisers use specific search engines knowing this and choose ads based on specific search topics.
Is bandwidth the new oil?
The combined cost of broadband, home phones, cable or satellite TV and mobile phones can easily outstrip our energy bills, and our connected lifestyle is making these services essential. Is history repeating itself? Will our internet addiction become as costly and as dangerous as our addiction to oil? link
“Wi-Fi on Steroids” Gets FCC approval
FCC approves Google backed white space spectrum. Digital TV transformation represents opportunity for true broadband for America. link
Cheap broadband access represents a $100 billion dollar plus a year market. This spectrum will allow billions of devices and objects to be connected to the Net. With speeds up to 80Mbps, it represents a threat to fiber-to-the-premises solutions like Verizon’s FiOS networks.
One of the beneficiaries? GE announces Smart Appliance program link
It could also provide a network for the smart meter.
Dell incorporates white space radios into laptops link
A threat to the Wi-Fi, WiMax and mobile provider players?
No e-waste dumping in landfills or developing countries link
FedEx cuts aircraft emissions, increases fuel efficiency. link
One of the largest users of fuel takes steps to improve costs by eliminating “gas guzzler” planes, will other carriers too?
What airplanes are most efficient? Least?
Energy efficiency will shape US economic recovery.
“the cheapest and most available source of new energy is the energy we waste”. U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman
Information Technology (IT) members are urging lawmakers to keep big picture in mind when they create economic and energy legislation link
How does America waste over 50% of its energy? (you'll never guess) link
China merges electricity infrastructure with information technology. link
Project aims to reduce China’s energy consumption per unit.
China’s stimulus plan that focuses on increased investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy (smart grid) should be a wake-up call for the US.
IBM proposes a technology-fueled economic recovery plan. link
Sixty-seven percent of electrical energy, for example, is lost because of inefficient power generation and grid management.
Energy efficiency offers the highest return for our economy.
Grid management and power efficiency companies should be monitored.
IBM is also reviving an old idea, broadband over powerlines. link
Google also invested in this space link
Advertising Comes Into Digital Age
YouTube, otherwise know as the world’s second largest search engine introduces targeted advertising to video searches link
New online video site to match YouTube’s revenue. link
This proves media companies can generate revenues online without having to go through Google. (Apple’s iTunes controls the music industry). The end of Google's video monopoly?
Will they start to include consumer produced videos? A threat to Google/YouTube?
Search videos using text link
A search engine is able to search videos using closed captioning technology and image recognition technology.
Dynamic ad insertion for both linear and non-linear TV viewing (HUGE implications for advertising industry)
Targeted ads to be inserted before, after and during on demand content playback
Advertisers can now reach prime time and “my time” TV viewers link
Advertisers can now place targeted ads based on WHEN show is watched, not when it is broadcast. A reason for advertisers to love the TiVo now? TV morphing into PC.
Blockbuster enters the set top box market with an on-demand device. (dumb) link
This is just prolonging the inevitable death of this company and industry (retail video stores). Blockbuster failed to capitalize on movies/games being downloaded over the Net. They didn’t recognize that the physical items in their stores were being replaced with digital content online.
The TV remote comes alive with sensing technology.
The first type of ecommerce through the TV? (order pizza using TV remote control)
When Apple incorporated sensing technology (accelerometer) in the iPhone, they didn’t just disrupt the mobile phone industry, they disrupted the entire remote device space.
This sensing technology is transforming remote controls into PC mouses. What’s inside an accelerometer?…small micro electro-mechanical systems (MEMS)
The new remote control.
Wii controller and a browser will reinvent the TV and viewing. link
Will the Wii be the new TV remote? Will hand gestures replace button pushing?
Will set top box manufactures incorporate this motion sensing technology (accelerometer)? What other devices will include this technology? The TV is morphing into a PC.
Biggest spam company shuts down link
Who does this affect? Viagra ( sexual and prescription drugs), email database companies. Will eliminating spam drive up the price of keywords at Google AdSense?
The eBay of working capital?
Recession and tight credit markets create a new way for businesses to tap cash. By selling outstanding receivables, much needed financing is available without resorting to vulture financing. link
How will this financing method What kind of impact will this financing method have on balance sheets? Will this put pressure on banks to lend, or will they too get into this business?
Philips develops “intelligent pill”… contains a microprocessor, battery, wireless radio, pump and a drug reservoir to release medication in a specific area in the body link
Intel gets into the home health care business link new laptop (computing device) will remotely sync patients with health care providers
File sharing Internet darling BitTorrent falls on hard times. link
Have .99 songs offered on iTunes AND the iPod eliminated this once Internet file-share darling? Or does geographical distance no longer matter for file delivery?
The rebirth of the barcode…a Physical World Hyperlink
Airline industry adopts mobile barcodes for boarding passes. link
Sprint enables mobile phones to scan barcodes for Internet connectivity. link
The 2d barcode represents a way for camera phones to link physical objects with the Internet. Can the barcode save the print industry?
Is Apple building a search engine? link
The end of phone landlines is near. link
Internet of things fights traffic jams. Cars with mobile sensors that pick up real-time information on the location and speed of the vehicles as well as the condition of the roads. The data are fed back to a central computer that calculates the traffic patterns and can predict the optimal route link
Search engine for sound wave recognition link
Streaming online videos to a high definition TV is next major boom.
So far there’s Apple TV but a new player has emerged link
New bulletproof tire is airless link
What other products could this material be used for?
October e-commerce slowest growth ever, 1%..lowest monthly growth rate since comScore began tracking data in 2001 link
Another form of physical content gets digitized and goes online. Is the end of book retailers fast approaching? link
Digital music finally surpasses compact disc sales. More than half of music sales in the United States are now from digital products, like downloads on iTunes and ring tones for cellphones.
While the losers are easy to see, such as retailers, packaging could it also include the management industry? If an artist can produce an album and get it online, what happens to the agency business?