Monthly Archives: June 2011

Poisonous Tree Holds Bio-Fuel Promise

Jatropha curcas seed

Image via Wikipedia

Jatropha curcas, a poisonous, semi-evergreen shrub that can grow as high as 20 feet, produces seeds laden with oil that backers say is an ideal biofuel.  It has already fared well in testing with airlines and trucking companies.

Jatropha can provide “environmentally responsible fuel without compromising the food supply, so we can help the Earth while helping the public,” said James Garton, president of the firm’s U.S. branch. “That means we can finally reverse the skyrocketing prices at the pump and dependence on traditional sources of oil.”

Apple iPad and iPhone Operating System the Most Secure

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Back in 2007, Apple’s new entry to the smartphone market was one of the least secure operating systems on the market.  Although it had been based on their desktop/laptop operating system, they managed to lose much of their security focus.  Fast forward 4 years and things are much different.

Apple’s newest iPad/iPhone Operating System (iOS 5) is now heralded as the most secure operating system on the market.  Apple’s tight control over applications which can run on the device (through its App Store) provide an ability to review every bit of potentially malicious code which may run on the device.  That coupled with the fact that you can’t run anything which hasn’t been Apple-Blessed (& “Apple taxed”) ensures a smooth experience for anyone choosing to use their iOS operating system.

China Becomes the World’s Largest Energy Consumer in 2010

An attempt at showing world energy usage types...

Image via Wikipedia

China became the world’s largest energy consumer in 2010 overtaking the USA during a year which saw the rebound in the global economy drive consumption higher and at a rate not seen since the aftermath of the 1973 oil price shocks.

Demand for all forms of energy grew strongly in 2010 and increases in fossil fuel consumption suggest that global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from energy use rose at their fastest rate since 1969.
The growth in energy consumption was broad-based, with both mature OECD economies and non-OECD countries growing at above-average rates.

The figures come from today’s publication of the 60th annual BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the longest-running, consistent set of objective, global energy data used by business, academics, and governments to inform policy and decision making.

“There were both structural and cyclical factors at work,” said Bob Dudley, BP Chief Executive. “The cyclical factor is reflected in the fact that industrial production rebounded very sharply as the world recovered from the global downturn. Structurally, the increase reflects the continuing rapid economic growth in the developing world.

“I was in China a couple of weeks ago and I came away with a very clear sense of how rigorously China is thinking about these issues. Growth is by no means the only game in town. They want to maintain social cohesion and they want to make their growth more sustainable. In sum, they are worried about energy security and climate change – just as we are.”

To address these concerns, “we can look to the markets, policy tools, technology advances and not least to the growth of renewable energies to allay these worries,” said Dudley.

“This year, we have seen that the global energy markets are resilient. In the face of significant disruptions to the world’s energy system in Japan and Libya, demand continues to be satisfied. Markets work and markets work best when they are open and transparent.”

Will Facebook Win the Google War?

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

The winner-takes-almost-all battle between giants is entering phase two as Google begins to compete directly against Facebook and as Facebook is rumored to be starting a new email service.  Both companies have completely different methods, but share the same ultimate goal of taking over the online world.

Google wants to be the ultimate container and search engine for all knowledge in the world.  They’ve been indexing the online world since their inception and have added massive scanning of books, photographing of homes and businesses and second-to-none mapping technologies.

Facebook is taking another approach.  They’re building a closed universe of users who trust each other.  Ultimately, they’re looking to have friends recommend friends — something that happens regularly in real life.  If you’re looking for anything from a new TV to a new Doctor you’re likely to ask a friend or two their opinions.  And that’s where Facebook wants to be.

If both companies are able to play their cards out to the end it’s likely that the Facebook strategy will win.  Of course, much of that depends upon finances and Google is the clear winner here with billions in real revenue and profits.

Facebook is still far behind Google’s income, but has solved the eternal Internet problem – How Do You Get People to Identify Themselves?  Over 200 million people have voluntarily given Facebook detailed information about themselves, their friends, the things they like and even their family details.  Wins don’t get much bigger than this.