Blogroll Review: Campaigns, Hype, and Linux

by Frank Ling

Getting Presidential

With global warming and rising prices of energy on the minds of Americans, the presidential candidates have undoubtedly begun to think about energy policy for their platforms.

Jim Fraser at The Energy Blog writes that:

“The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has published a comparison of the energy policy positions of the 2008 presidential candidates, which range from environmentally responsible to business-as-usual.”

Pacific Ethanol Stumbles

Ethanol may be hot but there have been and continue to be many reasons why it is overblown.

When Pacific Ethanol became public, there was widespread interest because Bill Gates had invested in it. Lately, stock prices for the company have hit a new low.

Robert Rapier says in TR Squared Energy Blog:

“Ethanol prices have fallen as supplies expanded faster than demand. At the same time, prices for ethanol’s main feedstock, corn, rose dramatically, further hurting profit margins.”

He also adds why ethanol in California is fundamentally flawed:

“There is a reason that California is not a hotbed of ethanol activity, despite the fact that Californians consume ethanol. It’s too far from the corn, so it is more cost effective to ship in finished ethanol.”

What were they drinking? 🙂

Green Penguin

The debate among mainstream computer users is usually Mac or PC, but the time for Linux to gain consumer acceptance may be on the horizon.

Walmart is now offering $200 computer systems based on Unix.

Hank Green at Eco Geek writes that:

“The Everex machine, which runs on a power-sipping Via 1.5 Ghz processor, is the first Ubuntu machine to be sold by any major retailer. It’s strange that Wal-Mart was the pioneer here, but their constant search for lower prices meshes well with the freeness of Linux.”

Apparently the lower end version of the system is ultra efficient because it does not hog all the resources.

Has anyone seen a green penguin? 🙂

Frank Ling is a postdoctoral fellow at the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) at UC Berkeley. He is also a producer of the Berkeley Groks Science Show.

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