Business & Technology

Check out this solar-powered 3D printer

Yo dawg, I heard you like solar power, so I put some solar power in your 3D printer so you can solar power while you 3D print.

Critical List: ‘Irrational exuberance’ about shale gas; doubling fuel economy in the U.S

The New York Times obtained government documents that call natural gas companies' enthusiasm about shale gas and hydrofracking "irrational exuberance.” That exuberance has convinced some lawmakers, though. Nine of them are writing to President Obama to ask him to push for more gas drilling. In other technology-that’s-not-actually-going-to-save-us news, China's building a $1.5 billion clean coal plant, the first commercial clean coal plant of this size.

Green Cars

Used fuel-efficient compact cars increase 30 percent in value

There may still be something tangible in your life gaining value: your used, fuel-efficient car.

World's first hybrid-electric plane is aeronautical equivalent of flying pig

Siemens just unveiled the world's first hybrid-electric aircraft, the DA36 E-Star. It uses an unique power train to do the seemingly impossible: take off and land on nothing but batteries.

Critical List: Oil prices drop; Soros invests in energy efficiency

Oil prices went down -- for about a minute, before they started climbing again -- after the International Energy Agency announced the release of emergency supplies. The Department of Energy is backing the $2.6 billion Project Amp, which will install 733 megawatts of solar -- as much as was installed in all of 2010 -- in 28 states over four years. To make it even clearer that the the vast liberal conspiracy has it in for dirty energy: The right wing’s favorite bogeyman George Soros joined forces with Google to invest $25 million in an energy efficiency company called Transphorm. (Don't worry, conspiracy theorists, it's only $25 million! They can't be that serious about this.)

We should all have plastic money like Canada

Canada has unveiled new polymer bills, which will replace paper $100 bills and, by 2012, paper 50s and 20s. They're super slick and futurey-looking (even though they still feature pictures of the prime minister from 1911). More importantly, they're designed to prevent fraud and will be better for the environment than paper money.

How better window glass will extend electric cars' range

As you already know if you’ve tried to chug your car up a hill on a really hot day, cranking the AC reduces fuel efficiency. In an electric car with a limited range to begin with, that's a big deal, and can mean shaving dozens of miles off the distance a vehicle can travel on a single charge.

New solar cells can be printed right onto buildings

The world's largest dye-sensitized solar cell has just made an appearance. These cells have a couple of major advantages over traditional solar cells: one, they're incredibly cheap, and two, they can be printed right onto the materials used to make a building. Right now they’re being incorporated into girders manufactured by Tata steel.

Solar-powered laptop lets you play outside while you work

What's the best way to piss off a computer scientist? Buy her a laptop that only works when it gets enough sun. It's the perfect gag gift for the basement-dwelling, vitamin D-deprived coder in your life.

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