Daily TIPs: Wireless Autos, Capturing Carbon, Solar Energy Freeze, & More

7/2/08

Wireless Goes Mobile as Vehicles Tie into the Internet

A recent announcement by Chrysler that it will begin installing wireless connections in all Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge models signals that the Web is truly going worldwide, argues the Christian Science Monitor. Meahwhile, several airlines hope to make money by providing wireless access on flights, and at least one Boston-to-New York bus service lets riders log on.

Comparing McCain to Obama on Climate Change

In a change from previous elections, both the Republican and Democratic presidential candidates agree that global warming is a real problem. This time, the Environmental News Network points out, the debate is over what to do about it. The site offers a comparison between John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s stances on issues including cap and trade, nuclear power, and renewable energy.

Can Capturing Carbon Emissions Work?

One proposal to fight global warming is to capture the carbon as it is emitted at energy plants and pump it back underground, to depleted oil fields or other safe places, where it can’t affect the atmosphere. But the Discovery Channel asks if such techniques can be deployed on a wide enough scale to actually make a difference.

Company Aims to Sum Up the Web

A startup company is trying to cut through the vast fields of information on the Internet by producing easy-to-use summaries. Pluribo has developed an add-on for the Firefox browser that summarizes user reviews on Amazon.com. It looks for similar words in different reviews and picks out bits it thinks are important, Webware reports. The company hopes to expand its technology to other areas soon.

Freeze on Solar Plants Gets Industry Hot

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has placed a moratorium on permits for new solar energy plants while it studies their potential impact on the land in six western states. That decision angers some in the solar energy industry, who worry that such a delay could stunt the industry’s growth, the New York Times reports. The study is expected to take about two years.

Hotel Industry Getting Greener

Seeking to market themselves as more “eco-chic,” hotels are moving beyond the offer to let guests reuse towels and looking for ways to become more environmentally friendly, the Los Angeles Times reports. While only 11 hotels so far have been built to Green Building standards, many hotels are installing carpets made of recycled materials, using low-flow showers and toilets, and using non-toxic cleansers.

Biodiesel Waste Can Become Useful Chemicals

The waste produced when making biodiesel doesn’t have to be an environmental problem, reports Science Daily. Chemical engineers at Rice University have come up with ways to turn the waste into ethanol, another biofuel, or into succinate, which can be used to make plastics, drugs, and food additives. The discovery could change the economics of biodiesel production.

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