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Earlier this week, Google finally announced the formation of a new venture arm called Google Ventures. It is where all smaller-scale venture investments from Google will now originate. The day of the announcement, I chatted on the phone with Bill Maris and Rich Miner, the two Google executives who are managing the fund to get a sense of what they are interested in and how the fund will work. It turns out they are open to investing in pretty much anything from the Internet and cloud computing to healthcare and mobile. “We don’t want to artificially limit ourselves,” says Miner. What about space elevators? “Show me one that works,” retorts Maris, “and I will invest in it.” The two of them will run the entire fund pretty much by themselves, bringing in other Googlers as needed for expertise and to help evaluate startups. Both Maris and Miner have done venture investi... (more)

BPL Global Named Green Technology Tech 50 Award Winner

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- BPL Global(R), Ltd. (BPLG), a smart grid technology company dedicated to leading the transformation of energy efficiency and reliability, gains recognition by the Pittsburgh Technology Council as the winner of the Green Technology category. BPLG, earlier named one of the top 50 companies in southwestern Pennsylvania's technology sector, earned the additional distinction as one of seven categories winners. The Pittsburgh Technology Council's annual Tech 50 Awards recognize southwestern Pennsylvania's highest-achieving, most revolutionary members ... (more)

Abdulhayoglu Calls for Strengthening Cyber Grid Security

"Do we really want to build this smart grid…for it only to be used against us?" Melih Abdulhayoglu's concern for the security of the United States's electricity grid was prescient. "We've got to be sure those smart meters are protected." He spoke a day before Siobhan Gorman at the Wall Street Journal broke the news that cyberspies, most likely from China and Russia had penetrated the cybergrid that controls the US electrical supply, and had left behind potentially disruptive software. "The CIA has already admitted that cities have been taken down by criminal activities, by atta... (more)

Enterprise Architecture: Hope Or Hype?

Hype cycles are common in many markets. For technology markets, Gartner® has established a five-phase hype cycle used since 1995 to track a new technology from its trigger phase to the point where it has become widely demonstrated and accepted. For many technologies, these hype cycles typically span anywhere from three to ten years. When a technology breakthrough gains momentum with the press and possibly launches a product, that particular technology gets triggered. This describes the first phase of the cycle. In the second phase, expectations for that technology are inflated b... (more)

Mobile Comms Can Save €43bn in Energy Bills Per Year - Vodafone

A new report released by Vodafone and Accenture says that the use of mobile communications can reduce the annual energy bill for Europe by a €43 billion, equivalent to an annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 113 Mt CO2e (metric ton carbon dioxide equivalents) by 2020. The figure equals about 2.4% of the CO2 emissions for the whole of the EU, or eliminating close to one-fifth of the UK’s emissions. Obviously, there’s a catch. Vodafone says that the only way to achieve those goals is for the industry and governments to collaborate. The report, titled Carbon Con... (more)

IBM and Cisco in Amsterdam Smart Grid Pilot

At least two big IT names, IBM and Cisco, will be headlining a trial by Dutch utility, Nuon, to put in a smart grid for 500 homes in Amsterdam. As part of the trial, 500 households in Amsterdam will get smart meters and home energy management solutions to optimise their energy usage. The pilot is being implemented by a consortium of organisations, including housing corporations Far West and Ymere, Amsterdamse Innovatie Motor, Home Automation Europe, ROC Amsterdam, the University of Amsterdam and Grid Operator Liander. The pilot, a part of the Amsterdam Smart City initiative, is ... (more)