Daily TIPs: Where to Stick Carbon, Bandwidth Trading, 100 Miles per Gallon, & More

7/23/08

Concrete Solution Would Lock Up Carbon

Making all the concrete that goes into buildings and sidewalks accounts for more than 5 percent of annual carbon dioxide emissions, because of the intense heat that needs to be generated during the production of cement. But Technology Review tells us of one company that has a plan to capture all that carbon and lock it into the concrete, by streaming flue gases over the curing material. Experts say the technology is unproven, but has enormous potential to cut down on emissions.

Technology Leaders Talk of the Internet’s Future

The next generation of Internet technologies will have to be designed to deal with dwindling global resources while at the same time handling ever-growing supplies of information, several technology leaders say. Fortune reports on its Brainstorm Tech conference, where chief technology officers from Cisco, Xerox, and Nokia took part in a panel on what they see coming for the Web.

Voter Support Seen for California Energy Proposal

A new poll finds that a majority of California voters support a proposal on the state’s November ballot to require the state to move toward renewable energy, when they hear about it. Reuters reports on a Field poll that found 63 percent support for Proposition 7, although 82 percent of people interviewed said they were not aware of the measure. If passed, the proposition would require that half of California’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2025.

Bandwidth Exchange Notion Gets New Oxygen

The idea of an exchange for trading bandwidth between users with too much capacity and those with higher needs fell out of favor several years ago with the demise of Enron and Global Crossing, which were involved in illegal accounting. But according to GigaOm, Neil Tagare, the man behind the failed Project Oxygen that promised to build a giant global backbone of fiber-optic cable, now wants to revive the exchange idea. He’s started a new company, called BuySellBandwidth.com, and signed up a dozen carriers.

Auto X Prize Seeks 100-mpg Car

Among a growing list of X Prizes that seek to spur technological development by offering multi-million-dollar awards is the Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize, which would award $10 million to the team that develops a commercially viable car that gets 100 miles to the gallon. New Scientist interviews John Shore, the director of the Auto X Prize, about the challenges of achieving such a goal.

ISP Cancels User-Tracking Program

At least one Internet service provider is stepping back from plans to track users behavior as a means of targeting advertising. Embarq, a Kansas-based ISP, sent a letter to Congress saying it was suspending testing of a behavioral ad service, the New York Times reports. Privacy advocates had complained about the tracking, and Embarq said it would not take it up again until privacy concerns can be resolved.

You Put De Lime in De Ocean and It Eats Up All De Carbon

Shell is exploring an idea from the 1990s that would dump quicklime into the ocean, where it would absorb carbon dioxide and store it on the ocean floor. Wired says that Shell is providing seed funding to a British start-up, Cquestrate, to explore the idea. Proponents say the plan would also combat acidification of the ocean, which could destroy coral reefs. But it could take 300 billion cubic feet of limestone to capture one year’s worth of carbon emissions.

India Can Teach the U.S. about Competitiveness

Businesses are worried that the U.S. will lose its competitive edge to China and India if it doesn’t produce significantly more engineering and science graduates. But a writer at Business Week argues that companies have a role to play, too. He suggests that they can learn from the way Indian companies have dealt with their own shortage of high-tech workers: through more extensive employee training and development.

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