Category Archives: Alternative Energy

“Clean” coal? Bull Hockey!

Huffington Post: “Clean Coal” Merely a Marketing Ploy to Stop Climate Solutions
.4 million cubic yards of coal ash that spilled into the Kingston, Tenn., area in December wasn’t “clean.” The 12 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide that coal-fired power plants put into the atmosphere each year isn’t “clean” either.

NPR:Conflicted Emotions Follow Tennessee Coal Ash Spill
by Matt Shafer Powell

New York Times: The coal ash spill in pictures (see for yourself how “clean” this shit is…)

ABC News: Tenn. Coal-Ash Spill Fallout: Boxer’s Hopes for a New Administration
Sen. Barbara Boxer Tells ABC News She’s Annoyed at Lack of Oversight
By KEVIN CHUPKA

The Nation: A Global Green Deal
by MARK HERTSGAARD

Follow the Catlin Arctic Survey Team as they head to the north pole to measure the sea ice and determine just how long our planet will have ice at the pole.

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CES: Final post on Vegas

We’re back home and back to crappy internet. I hope Obama addresses the problem of high speed internet access for rural areas. I have both satellite and an AT&T and still I have problems with down times. It’s cold here don’t know if that has anything to do with it.

Anyway…here’s a brief synopsis of CES and what I saw…I wrote this in the plane on the way home:

Monday 6:30p
This is my last post from CES so I wanted to give a run down of what I saw in changing technology. Hang on to your wallets because there’s a lot of cool new toys coming soon if not out already. Here’s a brief look at some of what I found.

TV
The biggest new stuff had to do with HD and HD 3D. Flat panels are getting skinnier (one was 1/3″ thick) and some are more decorative-colorful frames. The color and resolution is just better and better although by far for me was Panasonic’s new 60″ coming out in June and Sony’s OLED whenever that is out in something bigger and less pricey. They wouldn’t say when or how much it would be. Sony had the OLED on display which is supposed to eliminate the backlight and create far more vivid contrasts. the o stands for organic and it emits it’s own light. no more back light needed.

For home systems it’s blu-ray and internet ready so you can download your favorite netflix movie and watch it right away.

The film world had hoped to deliver more 3d movies to theaters so higher ticket prices could be asked but there’s not enough 3d screens around the country and home theater systems are coming out. We watched some at CES and it is pretty spectacular. Look for sony and panasonic to introduce some systems for your livingroom this year. There’s 30 3D films in production right now. It takes a lot to deliver HD (Huge files) and with 3D they have to deliver 2 complete movie files (one for each eye) Pretty amazing stuff.

Mobile Devices
Smart phones are getting better. Cameras with better resolution (so far up to 8megs) Text and send photos is now possible without having to send them via email. Storage is getting much bigger (I saw one with 16gig in it) So you can shoot video and send it to youtube all you want.

Clothing & Accessories
It seemed like everything I looked at had a dock or a port for the ipod. I even tried on sunglasses that that worked wirelessly (bluetooth) to cell phones and mp3 players. little ear buds on the ends of the eyeglass part that fits over your ears. Earbud attachments were in for the kids. Personalize you earphones will peace signs, lady bugs etc. They snap on & off earphone piece. I even saw a pillow that was bluetooth capable with built in speakers and a mic.

Coats, backpacks, shoulder slings for laptops, iphones and ipods. Places to pack them, charge then play them. I even saw one that would make Lara Croft smile. It was so bad ass and self respecting butch would be proud to wear it.

Sony had a bracelet that you wear and it controls devices wirelessly.

Film/ Movies
30 3D movies are currently in production.

Gaming
Wii is big with lots of new accessories including a rifle with sites and instruments for your virtual rock band. I saw a violin, a sax and a new electric that’s bigger and more realistic.
3D is big here as well and we tried out one system that was really far out. You turn your head with the glasses on and everywhere you look you can see. It’s a virtual world complete with blue sky and everything. The graphics are great and crystal clear.

Computers
These at least in the home seem to be making the move to the television. Some TV’s are coming out with full internet included and a nifty gadget I saw was a USB transmitter you plug in your laptop and the receiver plugs into the TV. Now you can watch the football game and check the stats online all on the TV. (Your computer is now on the TV and you just resize the window however you like. I can see us all just pointing our smart phones at the screen in the future…no more laptop…

Automotive Devices
The big leap here is to bring everything tech in our homes with us on the road. Dashboards with ipod docks, satellite radio, usb charging stations etc.
TV & internet is the next thing for you lesbian moms with the teenagers in the back seat. Mobile TV is expanding to accommodate. If you’re in a city and lucky enough to have wi-max then bingo you’ll be all set to go with your new smart car.

Cameras
The most megs I saw was a sony still camera. It made one of the best of show and has 24megs. I don’t think you can buy it yet. Cannon had some cool HD cameras that shoot to flash memory cards that you pull out and stick in your computer or TV to watch. Bye bye tape…They were small but the video is excellent and they also have stabilizing technology to eliminate the shakycam.
My favorite camera was the scuba mask with the built in video camera. It’s going to sell for like $100 and has optional LED lights. They have one for snorkeling, one for diving and a commercial one for deep diving.

Green Technology
Lots of solar and windpower chargers at the show. Power strips that cut off phantom power when you leave a room with one switch. Recycled products made from other plastic products. One device you connect to the main box in the house to prevent over surges (and charges) for the electric company. Better batteries with longer life.

Future world
Robot technology may be advancing but what I saw seemed pretty basic. I did read that a car that converts to an airplane will be available within a year for approx. $100,000
There is already a car that is also a submersible. Still waiting for my jetpack.

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CES: Day 2 Audio from Blackberry Booth

Smart phones are much more than cell phones. Listen to music, better and better camera resolution, bigger storage for video, text and send photos. More of course but you get the idea…
Apple has the iphone and also blackberry has a new one out now. LG does too. Emily and I played with the new blackberries. Here’s a call I made to you talking about some of it’s features.

Mobile post sent by avalonfarms using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

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CES: Day 1

Thursday 5p.
There where tons of new innovative product launches such as Palm’s new Pre and webOS, LG’s wireless wristwatch phone with video chat and text messaging capabilities, NETGEAR’s Internet TV player and Panasonic’s world’s thinnest plasma TV. We spent today mostly looking at TV’s and Home Theater systems.

One interesting thing we came across was the Flat Wire. It’s almost as wide as duct tape and a bit thinner. It’s a conductive metal and you put it right on top of your drywall, mud and paint over it and it is your speaker wire, tv wire etc. No more fishing wires out of the walls…no more throw rugs to cover wires.
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Streaming video and being able to download Netflix movies directly to your TV or bluetooth dvd player was another big showcase item. We watched some HD movies on 1080dpi sets and the resolution was wonderful. It’s got to be uncompressed to be that clear.

One such device is XstreamHD It not only delivers 1080dpi HD movies but it stores them too. It can stream multiple programs to different sets and has 3 tuners in it to catch survivor, the news and the L-Word all at the same time. (That is if they all are on at the same time…

Ok now this is the car for those completely addicted to their computers. It’s got wi-max capabilities so that means if your city offers free wimax internet (there’s a few that do) then you have internet in this car. You also can watch TV, plug in all your devices into the dash and generally do everything you do know in front of your desktop now. Late me make myself clear here…I DO NOT WANT TO DRIVE ON THE SAME ROAD YOU ARE ON IN THIS CAR!!!
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3D TV at home is another biggie this year and we enjoyed sitting down and watching it a lot…my feet were killing me. TDVision Systems was one company we looked at and they are more on the software end of things. They are designing for dual core intel processors so I’m guessing they will be Mac compatible. You can learn more at their website.

another 3D company was TDVision Systems inc. This seemed more geared for the consumer. They offer two systems (cheaper/less resolution and more expensive/better picture) There’s a website to buy 3D movies that I didn’t know about too. It’s called the dejaview marketplace. These guys claim to have eliminated motion sickness and queasiness some have experienced with other 3D. Pure game no puke. Cool slogan 🙂

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Avalon Farmblog goes to CES… Lesbian Geeks Unite!

Dear friends & listeners,
Your friendly lesbian geek is attending the consumer electronics show (CES) in Las Vegas this weekend.
artces

I will be blogging throughout and invite you to check out avalon farmblog for pictures, neat gizmos and gadgets and previews of what’s on the horizon in the latest technology. Post on the blog or email me if you want me to check out a particular product. If I can find the booth I’ll take your question right to the source. (There is 1.7 million square feet of exhibit hall space so i’ll do my best.)

Question: Do you remember your first computer? I do… it was made by texas instruments and it had no hard drive. no graphics either…just text. it used c basic. there was a cassette recorder that plugged into it and stored info on tape. My favorite game: pong
When pictures & graphics first appeared on the internet they appeared on my screen only as question marks.
Later…my first web browser was mosaic

peace & love,
Val

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Las Vegas was really REALLY hot

The thermostat hovered around 109 degrees most of the week we there. The casinos were freezing with AC on full blast. I think it would be an ideal spot to put about 5,000 solar panels or more.
We had fun losing… well…most of the time…and took a side trip to see the Grand Canyon. We took Jen in the spring for her 21st birthday and saw shows then. Bette Midler’s is a must see. God she’s great and sooooo funny.

Emily & I at the south rim of the Grand Canyon

Emily & I at the south rim of the Grand Canyon

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2007 SmartWay Excellence award

Brenda thanks for sending this in…

Subject: Fwd: [r4news] Tennessee business Recognized for Improving Fuel Economy, Reducing Greenhouse Gases
Date: October 26, 2007 7:40:45 AM CDT

great progress with more fuel efficient trucks

Elaine Boyd 10/25/2007 7:54 AM >>>

Subject: Tennessee business Recognized for Improving Fuel Economy,
Reducing Greenhouse Gases

For Immediate Release: October 24, 2007
(Atlanta, GA – Oct. 24, 2007) – Kimberly-Clark, based in Knoxville,
Tenn., was among 34 businesses honored by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) at a ceremony this week during the annual
conference of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals in
Philadelphia. The 2007 SmartWay Excellence award winners were
recognized
for environmental leadership in reducing fuel consumption and lowering
greenhouse-gas emissions from big trucks.

Kimberly-Clark is part of EPA’s SmartWay® Transport Partnership, an
innovative collaboration between EPA and the freight industry to
increase energy efficiency while significantly reducing greenhouse
gases
and air pollution.

Kimberly-Clark has actively recruited SmartWay carriers and has more
than doubled their use of SmartWay carriers since joining the program.
It has also instituted an idle reduction program at its distribution
centers, as well as promoting idle reduction throughout its
operations.
Kimberly-Clark has also implemented an aggressive educational plan for
its employees about the SmartWay program. Kimberly-Clark is actively
engaged in improving its carriers’ operations, and supports outreach
and
educational efforts that focus on SmartWay and it energy and
environmental goals.

EPA launched SmartWay in 2004 to address the environmental and
economic
challenges surrounding growth in the freight industry. Through the
program, EPA is now working with more than 600 businesses to improve
both their bottom line and the environment by offering technical
assistance, tools for evaluating opportunities to lower fuel use and
emissions, and help in locating financing for the purchase of
fuel-saving equipment and technology.

Because of three-year commitments to upgrade their trucks with
auxiliary
power units, energy efficient tires, enhanced trailer aerodynamics,
and
other improvements, SmartWay partners are saving 600 million gallons
of
diesel fuel — a cost benefit of almost $2 billion — and eliminating
nearly seven million metric tons of carbon-dioxide emissions that
contribute to global warming.

For more information on the SmartWay Transport Partnership and the
achievements of its awardees: epa.gov/smartway/awards07.htm
——————————————

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