Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ponderings To Note

Daily disruptions
End of leasing disrupts U.S. auto industry

WalMart warns of a Democratic win. How would this decision impact our economy?

The next era of computing. And this is the operating system that will power it.

"This approach to IT mirrors how utilities operate. Just a century ago, many communities and businesses still maintained their own electrical generation plants and water wells". Another reason why this is a must read.

A breakthrough in solar energy storage.

Two approaches to solar technology.

$12 million to rebuild the whole Internet.

Shimano switches to electronic shifting for road bikes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some Things To Ponder

Florida ends renewable energy program

Americans spend as much on bandwidth, as energy

Senate rejects Renewable Tax Credits Bill

the stalled tax bill puts 116,000 jobs and nearly $19 billion at risk in the renewable-energy industries.

Advertise on police surveillance cameras

Google shakes up advertising with AdSense For Games

Cable winning broadband war versus telcos.

Amazon to offer payment service and compete with PayPal

The 81 million customers who have already given their payment details, like credit card numbers and shipping addresses, will be able to use that information, without re-entering it, to buy products on any site that uses the new service.

The answer to the offshore drilling debate.

Microsoft offers In-Car Internet Search to automakers.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Reduced driving leads to cutbacks in road projects

a rapid shift away from gas-guzzling vehicles, it also means consumers are paying less in federal fuel taxes, which go largely to help finance highway and mass-transit systems.

China surpasses US in Net Users

FCC spurs more competitive build-out of vital "last mile" facilities... especially fiber and wireless platforms

Semiconductor companies rush to solar power

McDonalds cooking oil powers police cars

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weekly Highlights To Ponder

U.S could double oil reserves overnight

Cuba gets high-speed Internet by 2010

McCain versus Obama energy policies

Solar industry getting cloudy?

T.Boone Pickens energy plan

Ford's drastic turnaround plan

Nokia and Qualcomm make nice, opens door for next generation wireless space.

NY Times credit in question.............. (credibility too)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

TiVo And Amazon Create New Media Commerce Platform

Disruptive technology that initially hurt TV advertising, might actually be its savior.

Time shifted viewing and the TiVo (DVR) are disrupting TV viewing. More eyeballs leave TV, advertisers need a dynamic service for digital video recorders (DVRs).

From The N.Y. Times TiVo And Amazon team Up

TiVo, the Silicon Valley company that introduced millions to the joy of skipping television commercials, is trying to crack a decades-old media dream. It wants to turn the television remote control into a tool for buying the products being advertised and promoted on commercials and talk shows.

The company, based in Alviso, Calif., will introduce a “product purchase” feature on Tuesday in partnership with the Internet retailer Owners of TiVo video recorders will see, in TiVo’s various onscreen menus, links to buy products like CDs, DVDs and books that guests are promoting on talk shows like “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Daily Show.”

The move highlights TiVo’s attempt to shift from being a creator of set-top boxes, competing with copycat devices, to being an advertising innovator that is trying to develop advertising technologies for the television industry.

Just a few years ago, we were viewed with great paranoia as the disruptor,” said Thomas S. Rogers, chief executive of TiVo. “Our goal now is to work with the media industry to come up with ways to resist the downward pressure of less advertising viewing and create a way for advertising on TV to become more effective, more engaging and closer to the sale.”

But beware, Microsoft has a new "TV stopping patent".

The patent, which Microsoft originally applied for in 1993, enables the company to develop and market technology that allows television viewers to pause programmes to follow on-screen hyperlinks and participate in games, chat rooms and other interactive services.

What's bigger than all of these services?

The "Next Google" will be able to collect data, second-by-second, from all services/devices connected to the broadband pipe and deliver relevant advertising to ANY display.
The already exists.

From the CEO " the ability to report actual anonymous second-by-second program and advertising audience viewership data from tens of millions of set top boxes (STB)s represents a huge technological and informational leap from today's television measurement standard"

"We currently have access to 500,000 set-top-boxes (STBs) made available to us through different network operators from multiple TV markets from which we are collecting, aggregating and reporting anonymous, second-by-second data to our development partners."

The Next Google is here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

U.S. Patent Office Rejects All Ninety Five NeoMedia Patent Claims

The U.S Patent Office strikes a serious blow to patent troll NeoMedia Technologies.

From Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) U.S. Patent Office Rejects All Ninety-Five NeoMedia Patent Claims

EFF's Patent Busting Project, continues to march forward, this time with more good news about the petition that EFF, in conjunction with Paul Grewal and James Czaja of Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder, filed last April seeking reexamination of the NeoMedia bar-code lookup patent.

We're happy to report that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) recently
rejected all ninety-five claims [5.3 MB PDF] of the patent.

The PTO agreed to take another look at the patent last October after EFF filed a petition for ex parte reexamination that called to the PTO's attention a wealth of prior art that the PTO had not previously considered and that showed that the NeoMedia patent claims were not novel.

After consideration of the prior art EFF submitted, the PTO found that none of the ninety-five claims in the NeoMedia patent should have been allowed.

NeoMedia Technologies, Inc., claimed to own rights to all systems that provide information over computer networks using database-like lookup procedures that rely on scanned inputs, such as a barcode. NeoMedia has used these claims not only to threaten and sue innovators in the mobile information space, but also to intimidate projects focused on increasing awareness among consumers about the social and environmental impact of the products they buy. (red print emphasis is mine)

On October 15, 2007, the day before the Patent Office ordered the re-examination, the Chairman and member of NeoMedia's Board resignation became effective.

More stories about NeoMedia and the EFF

Friday, July 18, 2008

Oil Crisis Means Big Opportunity

The Chinese expression for "crisis" consists of two characters side by side. The first symbol means danger. The second symbol means opportunity.

I am back from spending some time in Germany, the largest solar thermal market in Europe, and second place only to Japan in the world for photovoltaic power generation.

As oil gets close to $150 a barrel, an enormous opportunity awaits the US (and World) economy.

In Germany, you find plenty of solar powered roofs (businesses and homes), an abundance of Smart Cars, economic incentives to use recycle bins, people using public transportation, buildings with energy saving devices.

The country has already made the changes to adapt to higher energy prices. We have that same opportunity.

In between meals of schnitzel and glasses of Kristall Weizen, I had the chance to read Brian Hicks and Chris Nelder's Profit From The Peak.

The book gives a great summary of all the different renewable energy options. They list the pros and cons of each and give detailed summaries of implementation (and years of duration) .

One of the key points the book explains is how exponential growth will affect all of us in a drastic way. "a declining world production of petroleum AND an increasing world population that aspires to have increasing per capita consumption of petroleum"....

Pick up a copy

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Can Energy Be Created And Traded?

A couple stories I found of interest in today's Investor's Business Daily.

I can't help but think Nicholas Carr could do a follow up to his Big Switch book with this transformation.

Housing Market Slows, But World Wants Cable

Electricity consumption will have to increase by at least 40% by 2030 just to keep pace with the energy needs of the constantly expanding U.S. population, according to the Edison Electric Institute.

To meet demand, utilities are expected to inject $14 billion a year over the next decade on distribution lines — or low- to medium-voltage cables — and $8 billion to $9 billion on the high-voltage transmission lines, the institute said.

"We believe infrastructure spending is still in the early stages of a multiyear upgrade and buildout cycle in both developed and emerging economies," Next Generation analyst Nat Kellogg said.

He added that it behooves utilities, which are in better financial condition today than they have been in the past, to upgrade and improve the integrity of the grid to deliver more energy efficiency and power to customers.

Latest ETN Tracks Carbon Emission Trade

The first exchange traded note that tracks the global carbon emission market.

Oil and coal are the primary fuels of industry worldwide, and burning them releases carbon pollutants. Under the Kyoto Protocol, companies that pollute beyond a certain amount must buy carbon credits to "pay" for their damage.

So far, the fund is the only one to tap into the estimated $50 billion carbon emission market.

Might be a reason why VCs are now focusing on these areas.

New Areas Of Interest For VCs In Cleantech

Neal Dikeman at CNet reports on what new areas of Cleantech the VCs are investing in.

As always, the venture community is looking for its next big thing. The cleantech world is no exception. Despite the dearth of exits, so much capital has flowed into the cleantech sector that investors need new places to put it.

Green building materials - I'm not sure it would be my thing, but investors across the board seem to think this area is ripe for a hit.

Carbon IT - With some sort of cap and trade a near certainty, the interest is picking up in one of the few areas in carbon that looks like a "venture bet". I should know, I have one of these companies myself.

Food related technologies - High food prices and rising fertilizer costs, what can I say?

N-generation solar technologies - Everyone not in the first wave is looking to get in to the 4th wave. Not sure venture investors will fare better in the 3rd or 4th wave than they did in the second, but they are going to try

Neal Dikeman is a founding partner at Jane Capital Partners LLC, a boutique merchant bank advising strategic investors and startups in cleantech. He is the founding CEO of Carbonflow, founding contributor of Cleantech Blog, a Contributing Editor to Alt Energy Stocks, Chairman of, and a blogger for CNET's Greentech blog