Tastes good, burns clean
Posted by Kristi Heim at 12:53 PM
Seems like alternative energy projects are all the rage these days in Washington state. Fuel production begins this week in Bellingham in a yearlong project to convert used restaurant oil to biodiesel to supply trucks in Washington and Canada.
The Bio49 project was created by the Northwest Energy Technology Collaborative with a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Puget Sound Energy is running one of its trucks on 100 percent biofuel, converted from oil supplied by the Washington Restaurant Association.
No Google-Napster deal, but don't tell Wall Street
Posted by Kim Peterson at 11:29 AM
Napster's stock has jumped today on rumors that the company would be acquired by Google. The hullaballoo comes from a New York Post story (reg. required) that Google is considering an "extensive alliance" with Napster that might include an outright acquisition.
Both companies are in full denial about an acquisition. "The company is not looking to be sold, the management is not looking to step out. It's simply not true," a Napster spokesman told Reuters on Jan. 23.
Google's statement is even more direct: "No, we have no plans at this time to develop a music store, or to compete with existing online and offline music retailers," the company said to Times Online.
But Napster's stock price is up nearly 20 percent in trading today anyway.
Neither company disputed the "extensive alliance" that the Post story alluded to. Such a deal would likely not go over well at Microsoft, which has been a longtime partner for Napster.
T-Mobile USA's answer: The Pebl
Posted by Tricia Duryee at 11:24 AM
Why is it that four-letter words are all the rage for cellphone names?
Following Cingular's announcement that it launched the sleek SLVR, sporting iTunes, Bellevue-based T-Mobile USA responded with the PEBL.
The PEBL is far from sharp. As T-Mobile puts it: "The Motorola PEBL is as curvaceous as its cousin the RAZR is sharp." In other words, it's more like a stone smoothed by the waves. But it's no rock. It has some of the latest doo-dads, like camera with 4x digital zoom, video capture and playback, Bluetooth and quad band international connectivity.
Get it for $299.
Razr on crack
Posted by Tricia Duryee at 11:04 AM
The SLVR -- pronounced Sliver -- is the new Cingular phone by Motorola.
The phone, launched today, is both the Rokr because it comes loaded with iTunes and like the Razr because it is less than half an inch thick and weighs only 96 grams.
But unlike the Razr, it is a candybar style phone, meaning it does not flip open. And, like the Rokr, it is limited to storing 100 songs, or seven hours of music -- one of the biggest knocks critics had on the Rokr.
However, if playing music purchased from iTunes on a mobile phone is what you want, the Rokr and the Slvr is all that you've got.
The Motorola SLVR is available exclusively in the U.S. at some Cingular retail locations or online for $199.99 with a two-year contract.
A way around the Chinese censorship wall?
Posted by Kristi Heim at 3:03 PM
While Google agreed to censor its search data in China, and gained an unlikely defender in Microsoft, another technology company took the opposite approach.
Anonymizer, which makes Internet privacy software, said today it's working on a anti-censorship solution tailored for Chinese citizens. "Someone needs to counter this momentum that is running in the wrong direction," said Lance Cottrell, president and chief scientist at the San Diego company. Anonymizer aims to release the software by the end of March.
More details on the solution from Anonymizer today: the service will be free in China and it's the same solution the company currently offers to Web users in Iran.