Daily Archives: January 30, 2013

Views from the Solar System (95)

Water Bubble in Space
NASA – NASA astronaut Kevin Ford, Expedition 34 commander, watches a water bubble float freely between him and the camera, showing his image refracted, in the Unity node of the International Space Station.

What Would Make an All-Electric Car Appeal to the Masses?

By Brad Tuttle – Much will have to happen before purely electric vehicles (EVs) will appeal to the masses. For now, auto observers foresee a much rosier future for gas-electric hybrids such as the Chevy Volt and the Honda Accord Plug-In — which can be driven a limited number of miles on electric power before a gas engine takes over — than for plug-ins like the Nissan Leaf, which operate solely on electricity.

The limited driving range of the Leaf and its niche battery-powered cohorts are some of the main factors stopping consumers from buying into the technology. Drivers are also turned off by the high initial price of EVs. more> http://tinyurl.com/a7j2kzv

Broadband an ‘excuse’ to build overhead cables in national parks

By Louise Gray – The Growth and Infrastructure Bill, due to pass through the House of Lords this week, is designed to kick-start the economy by making it easier to build roads, rail and warehouses in the countryside.

Clause 8 removes the need for developers to seek approval from the relevant National Park Authority before building.

Lord Deben, a former Secretary of State for the Environment, said it will allow developers to put up ugly overhead cables in places like the Lake District without appropriate scrutiny. more> http://tinyurl.com/adg8uq4

Equipped with Siemens technology

SIEMENS – Offshore wind power is already a well established component of the power supply mix in northern Europe. There are open areas off the coasts here with excellent wind conditions offering enormous potential. Wind turbines with a generating capacity of 4.3 gigawatts are already installed in this region. In order to further reduce the costs for offshore wind power, innovations and industrialization are vital. Siemens has designed the gearless wind turbine with a capacity of six megawatts especially for offshore deployment. more> http://tinyurl.com/b4zbckv

Wall Street silent as GOP eyes derivatives

English: US Rep Dave Camp

English: US Rep Dave Camp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Peter Schroeder and Bernie Becker – Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, released a draft plan last week that he says would modernize the treatment of derivatives and other complex financial instruments that often have similar economic effects but very different tax rules.

Now that Obama’s reelection has cemented Dodd-Frank as the law of the land, Republicans are moving to address the taxing of derivatives, an issue where Dodd-Frank left gaps.

“You might think that the losers would be the financial centers,” said Steve Rosenthal, a tax lawyer and visiting fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. “Derivatives are by and large traded in Chicago and New York, and historically there have been some strong Ways and Means members from those financial centers.” more> http://tinyurl.com/bkrje4c