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• One of my favorite bright green ideas: objects as a service, sometimes called “product service systems,” a fascinating and potentially revolutionary idea desperately in search of a better name.

• Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s semi-secret memo on the company’s environmental efforts. Meh.

• The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center has an interesting report on “Large Blackouts in North America: Historical trends and policy implications.” No, really, it’s interesting!

• Steve Beshear, governor of Kentucky, is kicking off a Clean Energy Corps Pilot Program, a public-private partnership that will work to do energy efficiency retrofits in low-income households — eventually, if all goes well, to expand the program to 10,000 households across the state. Kick ass.

• An outfit called Show@ has a fascinating series of interactive maps — you can see maps based on crops, energy, environment, and minerals (and numerous subcategories therein). Here’s a map of the U.S. sized proportionately to the prevalence of coal-fired power — it tells you everything you need to know about the politics of carbon policy:

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