Business & Technology

Hit me baby, one more time ... with BP

BP's secret ticket request line

For more than a decade, BP has operated a hush-hush phone line that California lawmakers can call to request box seats to NBA games and concerts at the Sacramento stadium named after its West Coast subsidiary.

Lease-y riders

Want raw milk? Lease a farm — and hire a lawyer

As recent raids on private food-buying clubs indicate, the U.S. is moving closer to judicial consideration of whether consumers can freely opt out of the factory-food system and eat what they want directly from small farms.

Good vibrations

Harvesting personal energy to create Ohio’s clean energy future

When it comes to renewable energy, we hear plenty about the latest developments in solar and wind. But what about the latest developments in kinetic energy?

Kickback lash

Sodexo to pay New York $20 million for school-meal rebate fraud

Sodexo, one of the world's largest food service companies, has agreed to settle complaints that it fraudulently pocketed rebates from food manufacturers that it was supposed to turn over to some 21 public school districts and the State University of New York

faking an oil-gasm

BP photoshops clean-up command center picture

From Iranian missile tests to George W. Bush campaign ads, using Photoshop to make yourself look better is anything but innovative. Even more so because if you cut corners (literally and figuratively), you’ll probably get caught and wish you could photoshop yourself out of an awkward PR situation. BP is already in a bad enough PR situation, so someone must have thought, Photoshop? Why the heck not? Because this is a heckuva bad job at it: Houston, we have a problem with your Photoshop skills.© BP p.l.c. / Red circles by John Aravosis, Americablog John Aravosis at Americablog pointed out …

Breaking: normal people bike too

Bike branding moves from urban chic to mainstream

Fast Company‘s design blog reports on some inspiring advertising: Americans are riding bikes more than ever, yet cycling is still held up as some sort of cultish hobby relegated to aggro dudes with messenger bags who live and die by their fixed gears. So maybe it’s time for a new image, yeah? Colle+McVoy, a Minneapolis ad agency, has partnered with the coalition Bikes Belong to design People for Bikes, an ingenious bike branding campaign that presents a refreshingly sunny view of life on two wheels … The heart of the campaign is this cheery graphic, one of the best logos …

Sun for the roses

Solar startups take a shine to Portland

Portland, the new hub of solar power in the U.S.?Photo courtesy of Keith SkeltonBack in the 1980s and ’90s, the region surrounding Portland was dubbed the Silicon Forest for the cluster of computer chip companies that had flocked to Oregon to set up shop. Now those old-growth tech companies are giving way to a new generation of solar startups that are sprouting up around Portland’s green metropolis, sometimes in old semiconductor factories that have been revamped to produce photovoltaic modules. Germany’s SolarWorld built the United States’ largest solar module plant in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro in 2008, and on …

little by little

A conversation with pro-drilling environmentalist Amanda Little [AUDIO]

Amanda LittleAlison Stewart of PBS’s Need to Know speaks with Amanda Little, a Grist contributor and self-proclaimed “pro-drilling environmentalist.” Little describes her personal experience on an offshore oil rig, her argument for continuing offshore drilling, and her optimistic belief that American ingenuity can solve our energy problems. Little is the author of Power Trip: From Oil Wells to Solar Cells — Our Ride to the Renewable Future.

A newtility

Google Energy’s big green power purchase

A wind farm in Iowa.Photo courtesy Edith OSB via FlickrGoogle is officially in the green energy business. The search giant announced on Tuesday that its Google Energy subsidiary signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy. Google will begin buying 114 megawatts of electricity from an Iowa wind farm on July 30. Google, of course, cannot directly use the clean green energy generated by the wind farm; that power goes into the local grid. So Google Energy will sell the power on the regional spot market, where utilities and electricity retailers go to buy power when demand spikes and …

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