On the Heels of Project Loon, a New Green Energy Project
from Google X
) is working with a California-based wind-power company that it
recently acquired, Makani Power, to develop what Google X
executive Astro Teller believes may "have an important part to
play in the future of the world energy production." Google X, of
course, is the so-called "Moonshot factory" that develops far-out
and innovative ideas, its latest being Project Loon, which aims
to fill global Internet gaps with balloons that hover 12.6 miles
in the air and beam high-speed Internet down to rural areas
The aim of the new wind project is to harness the power of wind
turbines without the massive, 300-ton structures that the
technology has until now required. Makani and Google envision
blades like mini airplanes that are launched when wind reaches a
specific speed strong enough to sustain the flight of the
devices, which will be tethered to the ground. Such technology
would make the production of massive supports unnecessary while
freeing up the space currently used by wind power farms.
And so Google X delivers into the world a new airborne
innovation: What could be next? As Teller described his
department, "I have this incredible collection of Peter Pans with
PhDs all kind of running amok, who are very productive in a sort
of loosely organized way. But if you hold on too tight and turn
it into something organized the magic will leave the building.
But if there is no oversight, then the magic will also leave the
If Teller and his team can strike that balance, we will continue
to see amazing developments from Google.
Marissa Mayer Reveals Number of Government Data Requests
Joining fellow tech companies
) has revealed government data request numbers, saying that law
enforcement agencies made between 12,000 and 13,000 data requests
to company between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013. In a post
from its Tumblr page, Yahoo stated, "The most common of these
requests concerned fraud, homicides, kidnappings, and other
Apple Inc.'s Number of Government Data Requests
Lags Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corporation
Last week, with Edward Snowden's disclosure of the NSA's Prism
Program, most prominent tech companies requested that the federal
government allow them to make public the data requests they
receive, including those under the jurisdiction of the Foreign
Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Department of Justice
and FBI gave their permission to these companies on Friday, but
with a significant stipulation: that tech companies must include
the top-secret FISA requests along with more mundane criminal
investigations. As such, the federal government is allowing only
a small amount of transparency on the subject.
story published on
today includes charts that document how many data requests
Google, Microsoft, and Twitter grant: those numbers are 89%, 79%,
and 72%, respectively.
Zuckerberg and Samsung Meet to Discuss Facebook's Mobile
This morning in Seoul, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with Shin
Jong Kyun, the president of
Samsung Electronics Ltd.
(OTCMKTS:SSNLF), to discuss Facebook's mobile presence and a
potential partnership with the Korean tech company. Facebook has
seen a great deal of growth in mobile ad revenue, and is
continuing to devote time and resources to attracting even more
users to its mobile services.
Earlier in April, Facebook unveiled its Home, an all-encompassing
software for smartphones that further integrates the social
network into the smartphone experience. The first companies to
embrace the new software were Samsung and
(TPE:2498), whose HTC One smartphone comes pre-loaded wtih
Zuckerberg also met for a brief 30 minutes with Park Geun-hye,
the President of South Korea, to discuss the best ways to promote
technology startups. Reportedly, Zuckerberg told the president
that he plans on investing further in South Korea, Asia's
AT&T Partners with Goal Zero and Brooklyn-Based Pensa
Design to Bring Solar-Powered Battery-Charging Stations to
New York City has public Wi-Fi available all over for smartphone
users to access, but that means nothing if your battery dies. To
address this shortcoming,
(T), the solar kit manufacturer Goal Zero, and the Brooklyn-based
design studio Pensa Design, have united to develop Street Charge,
a solar-powered charging unit, the first of which is debuting
today at Fort Green park in Brooklyn. The units will spread
across the city throughout the summer.
Each Street Charge station will include six USB ports, with a
micro USB cable included for users of Android, Windows, or
(BBRY) phones. And, if you have your own charger with you, there
are three female USB ports on each station. The stations will
operate 24 hours a day.
A New, Twist-Off Wine Cork!
With a partnership between cork manufacturer Amorim and
bottle-making company O-I, and a full four years of research, a
twist-off wine cork is born. The new cork, called Helix, is made
from agglomerated cork that is more granular and less expansive
than typical cork. The less expansive quality would be a problem
for sealing wine, but Helix has a threaded design that creates
its own tight seal. Plus, it will be re-sealable.
The question is, weren't non-cork twist caps developed because of
the scarcity/price of cork? How will the Helix, by uniting cork
and the twist-off, address the needs of the wine market?
The Helix cork will be aimed at wines in the $8 - $15 price range
and is debuting at
Follow me on Twitter: