Like many people who are getting sick of cars, my friend ditched his Saab for a sky-colored Vespa. It doesn't quite live up to its nickname of Blue Thunder, but it's a hassle-free, old-school ride that costs very few shekels at the pump.
Tuk-tuks are a common way to get around in many Asian cities, but they contribute to urban pollution and high fuel costs.
Tokyo-based startup Terra Motors wants to put more non-polluting vehicles on the streets with an electric tuk-tuk unveiled this week for the Philippines.
The blue and white "e-tricycle" is powered by a lithium-ion battery and can carry six people including the driver. It's just under 11 feet long and is steered with handlebars.
It can travel some 31 miles per 2-hour charge, according to the firm, which is hoping to become the world's top electric tuk-tuk maker. … Read more
As seen in the absurd promo vid below, owners who deposit poop in the special bins in 10 parks in Mexico City will be rewarded with free Wi-Fi, broadcast through routers shaped like doggy bones.
The more you add, the more minutes you and everyone else gets. The bins seem to have a simple scale to weigh the poop, so they would likely still work if people put rocks or trash in them instead. … Read more
LightSquared today appointed Marc Montagner, a veteran of major telecommunications deals, to the role of chief financial officer.
Montagner's appointment may signal LightSquared's willingness to strike a deal or partnership. One of Montagner's prior roles was the head of merger-and-acquisition activities for Sprint, helping to usher in the $70 billion merger with Nextel back in 2005. He was also co-head of Banc of America Securities' telecom, media and technology merger group.
Montagner had been executive vice president of sales, marketing, and strategy at SkyTerra, which was absorbed by LightSquared in 2010. LightSquared plans to take advantage of … Read more
To leap to the next generation of nuclear power technology, Bill Gates-backed start-up TerraPower is approaching countries rather than individual utilities or financiers.
Gates last week disclosed that he brought up TerraPower's fourth-generation nuclear power technology with government officials at the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology during a visit to China. "TerrPower is having very good discussions with [China National Nuclear Corporation] and various people in the Chinese government," Gates told the Associated Press.
Could TerraCycle and Guerillapps have hit upon the next FarmVille?
The Trash Tycoon Facebook game that launched yesterday challenges players to find and recycle trash that can be used to make eco-friendly products that translate into game money and points. Its sponsors include TreeHugger and the CarbonFund.org, as well as TerraCycle.
The game, developed by Guerillapps, was a finalist at VentureBeat's GamesBeat 2011 startup contest, and you can see why. The game provides a clever introduction to the lucrative possibilities of upcycling, the use of recyclable elements to make new products. (One nit: the horrible music. I had to mute it.)
Trash Tycoon has players collecting glass, organic, plastic, architectural elements, paper, and jewelry. By using other tools like worms for composting, players are shown the kinds of useful products that can be made from recyclable goods.
The game mimics TerraCycle's real-world business model.
The New Jersey-based company is known for its recycling "brigades" in which anyone can mail in recyclable items needed by TerraCycle in exchange for two cents per item being sent to their charity of choice. Shipping for the items is paid for by TerraCycle. Using any box, participants simply print out a label for it, and mail in their items.
Using this method, TerraCycle has made the Garbage Garbage can, a garbage can made from old chip bags and the rubber elastic left over from the production of baby diapers. Other products includes bicycle chain picture frames, Capri Sun drink bag totes, pencil cases from cookie wrappers, circuit board coasters, Clif Bar duffel bags, and Kashi place mats, to name a few from its hundreds of quirky-looking products.
The game has a real-world component as well.
People who contribute recyclable waste to TerraCycle's real-life brigades and facilities will earn game points.
Just like TerraCycle's real-world product placement advertising in which it utilizes wrapper logos to contribute to product design as with its Skittles Eco Kite and Target ReTote, the Facebook game will also feature sponsorship by showing trash wrappers with various brand logos, according to Guerillapps. … Read more
Warner Music Group is reportedly entertaining acquisition offers even as the third-largest record company continues to pursue its own acquisition of troubled rival label EMI.
The New York Times reported that after being approached by buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Warner Music hired Goldman Sachs to seek out buyers. Instead of selling to KKR, Warner's management wanted to see what kind of price it could get on the open market.
Warner Music is home to such artists as Green Day, Faith Hill, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. According to the Times' story, Warner's private-equity investors want Warner … Read more
The company that turned Cheetos bags into MP3 speakers is now transforming Chester Cheetah into 32-gallon garbage cans.
The cans are 80 percent post-consumer--most of the material is from chip bags collected by TerraCycle's Chip Bag Brigade program. About 20 percent is from scraps of rubber elastic trimming that are leftover in the production of disposable diapers.
The old Cheetos and other chip bags are first shredded, and then run through a densifying … Read more
The 3,000-megawatt Alta Wind Energy Center when completed would actually be a series of several massive wind farms located near Tehachapi, Calif., a city in Kern County about 116 miles north of Los Angeles.
Terra-Gen is a renewable-energy company that develops wind, solar, and geothermal projects for producing electricity. Its first phase of this Alta Wind Energy Center, called Alta Project I, already has financing. Its construction began in March and consists of … Read more
TerraPower, a company seeking to commercialize a novel nuclear-power technology which has the enthusiastic backing of Bill Gates, has raised $35 million in venture funding.
TerraPower was spun out of Intellectual Ventures, the intellectual-property licensing company headed by Nathan Myryvold, to commercialize traveling-wave nuclear reactors.
The basic idea behind traveling-wave reactors is to use a small amount of enriched uranium and spent uranium fuel from traditional nuclear-power plants to produce electricity. Rather than needing to refuel every several years, … Read more