Southwest Windpower, which makes residential wind turbines, said on Monday it has raised $10 million from existing investors and General Electric to expand its operations.
With the money, the Flagstaff, Ariz.-based company said it intends to grow its European operations and invest in product development.
Southwest Windpower makes the Skystream tower-mounted wind turbine, designed for individual homes or buildings. It was originally developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratories.
Microsoft announced a new server for small businesses, though one should not confuse it with a new version of the company's Small Business Server product.
The latter is a bundle of Windows Server and Exchange, among other things, for businesses with 50 or fewer people while the new product, Windows Server 2008 Foundation, is only the operating system and is aimed at single-processor servers with fewer than 15 users.
The new Windows version is Microsoft's answer to the server equivalent of Netbooks, ultra-low cost servers aimed at the smallest of businesses. The product will only be sold preinstalled … Read more
MySpace started off as a hub for indie bands to connect with their fans. Now, with a new partnership with the IAC/InterActiveCorp-owned Citysearch, it's hoping to do the same for the likes of bars, clubs, and restaurants.
Called "MySpace Local," the new section on the News Corp.-owned MySpace will be rooted in existing listings from Citysearch (restricted to major U.S. cities) that are souped up with social features like the ones that you might see on a band or celebrity's MySpace page (photos, videos, comments, and the like). It's launching with just &… Read more
You can always count on an exhibition to inspire companies to create and display some pretty cool stuff, and the International Housewares Show in Chicago is no exception. Among Haier's showings this year is the new Piano Black line of small appliances.
The blue LED illumination looks good, but it's the features, like cool-to-the-touch handles, that will really win you over. This is a full line of appliances, including a cordless electric water kettle in standard and dome shapes, digital toasters in a variety of configurations, a food processor and blender combination, a citrus juicer, and more.
I'… Read more
SynthaSite, a San Francisco-based company that lets users build Web sites with minimal technical expertise required, has changed its name: it has ditched the corporate-sounding moniker for the more Web 2.0-ish Yola.
"The name SynthaSite has brought us to where we are today, but it won't take us where we want to go," CEO Vinny Lingham said in a release. "We're reaching a global market and need a name that is easy to say, resonates in any language, and captures the creativity and excitement that our users bring to their Web sites."
Yola, … Read more
Casual home users might not need something like this, but the business world will definitely want the new NAS server from D-Link.
Last week, the company announced its all-new Stack DSN-1100 iSCSI SAN Array NAS server, which offers up to 7.5TB of storage and 425MBps of bandwidth. It achieves this high throughput speed thanks to IEEE 802.3ad Link Aggregate Groups technology that combines the speeds of the device's four Gigabit Ethernet ports.
The NAS server include five bays, each of which can take a 3.5-inch SATA (or SATA-II) hard drive of up to 1.5TB. The … Read more
BOSTON--Despite the growing enthusiasm for home wind turbines, an analysis of microwind turbines in Massachusetts found that they fell short of performance expectations.
The Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust commissioned a study last year to review electricity output from 21 small wind turbines in the state and the results were surprising: the data showed that the estimated production was about three times higher than the turbines' actual production.
The analysis is not the final word on small wind generators, but is significant because few states have done similar reviews, say the study's authors.
The Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust was "… Read more
Why play someone else's virtual world when you can build your own?
That's the major premise behind Metaplace, a new browser-based virtual-world platform from, among others, former Sony Online Entertainment chief creative officer Raph Koster.
Built to run inside the browser on any Internet-connected machine, Metaplace employs a simple, 2D, Flash-based graphics system that fronts for a fairly sophisticated set of content creation tools and what may one day be a complex open-ended economy built around user-created content.
In fact, because of the 2D and Flash nature of Metaplace, it's easy to miss that the platform offers users some of the easiest virtual-world building tools that have ever been made available. And while Metaplace has been in closed beta since October, it is expected to emerge into a public and open beta period sometime later this year. See below for an invite to the closed beta.
Rising to the top Metaplace has a little something for everyone. For the casual users, it has any number of user-created worlds to play, and there's a basic central Metaplace world that is an easy gathering place. Each can be rated, and the highest-rated rise to the top, allowing users to skip messing around with the system's chaff and instead concentrate on the wheat. But for those who are interested in creating their own virtual world, Metaplace offers a cornucopia of tools and choices that make it quick and easy to get a brand new world up and running.
Of course, as with any user-generated content system, the good creations are far outweighed by the bad. As Koster himself put it, "There are more than 25,000 Metaplace worlds, most of them are empty and most of them are crap."
But if it sounds like Koster is bashing his own system, he's not. Rather, he's touting how easy it is for anyone to start a virtual world that itself can be accessed by anyone on the Internet in mere seconds. Indeed, it's not an exaggeration to say that just about anyone could have a rudimentary Metaplace world up and running in less than five minutes. … Read more