Solar Decathlon Starts Today

Solar Decathlon

What is the Solar Decathlon?

Twenty teams have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy to compete in the 2007 Solar Decathlon. (The request for proposals for the 2009 Solar Decathlon will be released during the 2007 event.) The teams, from colleges and universities around the globe, participate in an unparalleled solar competition to design, build, and operate the most attractive and energy-efficient solar-powered home.

In fall 2007, the teams transport their solar houses to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where they form a solar village. The teams compete in 10 contests to determine an overall winner. Using only energy from the sun, the teams generate enough electricity to run a modern household. With an eye on energy efficiency, the students carefully choose the systems, products, and appliances used in their houses.

[Solar Decathlon]

2007 the world takes over the computer

Bruce Sterling Chips With Everything
graphic by martin lorenz @

Bruce Sterling has written yet another interesting little piece. It’s super short and really fascinating. Here’s an excerpt:

Steve’s ultracapable iPhone, whose screen can be squinched with your fingertips as if it were Play-Doh, bids fair to become Apple’s “remote control for reality.” With the Web in your purse or pocket, applied to physical reality via Google mapping services, you own the ultimate Reality Distortion Field! For Gates, the computer is transforming itself into Microsoft on wheels, a Zune that walks: with brand-new software supporting Microsoft for Robots, a PC can ramble all over your house photographing, scanning, listening, grabbing, and gripping—maybe even fetching a beer! Where does Microsoft’s Wireless Robot want to go today?

[Chips With Everything by Bruce Sterling]

Get your Solar on

Solar Panels
photo by clownfish

One of the problems with running a photo voltaic solar array on your house is the prohibitive initial cost to get the system running. It seems there may now be a solution to this problem! A new company called CitizenrÄ“ is going to be ‘renting’ solar systems soon! The most awesome folks at World Changing have all the details. This is like signing up for a new cell phone plan and getting the phone free…