A Nuclear Power comeback

Some good news from USA Today, utilities are starting the process to build twentysix new Nuclear Power plants here in the United States.

A recent Gallup Poll shows a record 59% of Americans favor nuclear energy.

Dr. Pournelle nailed the truth of Nuclear Engergy:

I have to say it again: cheap energy will cause a boom. The only cheap energy I know of is nuclear. Three Hundred Billion bucks in nuclear power will do wonders for the economy. We build 100 1000 MegaWatt nuclear power plants — they will cost no more than 2 billion each and my guess is that the average cost will be closer to 1 billion each (that is the first one costs about 20 billion and the 100th costs about 800 million). The rest of the money goes to prizes and X projects to convert electricity into mobility.

Expanded Nuclear Power is the only practical way to supply the level of electrical power needed to support wide spread use of electric and plug in hybrid electric cars.

Also posted at the Urbin Report.

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New iPhone hardware rumors

Apple has changed the rules for the Rev 2, 3G iPhone sales. Customers can buy “unlimited quantities” without the AT&T contract that subsides the price.  This is the same tactic Apple used to clear out Rev 1 hardware before they announced the 3G iPhone.

The Apple Developers Conference, June 8-12, would be a good place announce a new rev of the iPhone hardware that will use the new firmware to the best advantage.  Apple could use a new iPhone to offset the Palm Pre and new Android phones.

Double hit of good news on the alternate fuel front.

First United Environment and Energy LLC has announced they have developed a method to produce biofuel from algae oil that is 40% cheaper than other methods currently used.

They claim that algae is at least twice as efficient as soy for producing biofuel. I want to know how it compares to switch grass.  A pilot program is in place with a production capacity of nearly 1 million gallons of algae biodiesel per year.  Their estimates are that they could produce  50 million gallons of algae biodiesel annually.

The other source of alternate fuel is coal, which the US has in abundance. Wired isn’t happy with this, but I am.  Internal Combustion engines are too efficient to go away anytime soon and there isn’t a “clean energy” source available in the quantities needed to make widespread use of electric vehicles practical.

New Skype on the iPhone rumors

From GigaOM we have the latest rumors about a Skype application for the iPhone. The buzz is that it will be announced next week.  I’ll believe it when I see it on the iTunes app store.

Cell carriers are going to start coming around to the reality that for smart phone users, they are a data carrier.  Voice is secondary and they want greater flexibility.

Update: Ok, I believe it.  I downloaded the Skype app from the iTunes app store today.  It only works over WiFi, but if you can get a WiFi connection, you can talk to your Skype buddies without AT&T having anything to do with it.

Fujitsu enters the e-reader market

Before you get too excited, it won’t be released until next month, it’s only available in Japan, and it has a $1,000 price tag.

The FLEPia will however have a color screen with touch capabilities.  Old School Palm OS stylus touch control though.

The display uses a variant of LCD tech that doesn’t use a backlight.  The backlight is the power hog that has kept it from being used in a ebook reader yet.

I wouldn’t call this a threat to the Amazon Kindle or the Sony EBook reader, but it shows the market is opening up.

New Android Phones

The makers of the G1 announce that they are working on three new Android based phones.

Details only on one.  About the same size as the G1, but no physical keyboard.

I’m interested to see how Google responds to the latest iPhone firmware announcement.

3.0 iPhone software

The big news, Cut & Paste!

The new software is supposed to announced tomorrow.  Rumors of a tethering app as well, but expect AT&T to want extra for it.