Catch up on this week’s tech and science news with the latest TowleTech from our correspondent Daniel Williford.
The Bush administration released the Climate Change Technology Program Strategic Plan
this week, in an effort to develop a strategy for combating CO2
emissions over the long term. The plan emphasizes the need for a
multi-lateral approach to research and development of alternative
fuels. "The big picture from the Bush administration is always the
is a long-term problem that will be solved by another administration,"
a Greenpeace policy spokesperson said. "It’s time to start talking
about what are the things we
can do tomorrow."
Fed up with the damaging effects of car emissions on the environment, California plans to sue auto manufacturers.
Ford, Honda, Nissan, GM, and Toyota are among those put on
notice by CA’s attorney general for their contribution to 30% of the
state’s carbon dioxide emissions.
Coming soon: the Motorola MOTOKRZR.
Improving on the ever-popular RAZR, the KRZR hopes to be the next
trendy mobile phone. "Making a bold statement with a slim profile with soft
touch housing and high gloss surfaces, the MOTOKRZR
K1m will have all your friends enviously asking ‘Where’d you get that
phone?’ This luxurious handset is the ultimate package for mobile
style." Why do I totally want one?
The latest major upgrade of iTunes, version 7, came loaded with bugs.
Across the internets, users reported trouble with playback, corrupted
iPods, and a slew of other minor functionality troubles. Apple began
addressing the concerns with help on its support page,
but users are awaiting an official iTunes 7 update that will fix the
bugs. Until that happens, you should probably refrain from upgrading
the recently re-vamped AOL Video, MSN plans to expand its video portal
to include a section for user-uploaded content called Soapbox. Video.msn.com already features content from 45 networks. With Soapbox, it hopes to emulate the success of YouTube‘s amateur video community.
Meanwhile, YouTube has teamed up with Cingular and ABC to find the "most talented unsigned band." Like an online American Idol, YouTube Underground
invites bands to upload videos of their work and users to vote for the
top four, who will then appear on "Good Morning America."
Slap-bracelets were the hot thing when I was in middle school, but they may have inspired more than awkward preteen fashion: they were the impetus to a British scientist’s design for a new type of metal that could be the future of super compact, dynamic, disposable technology. "We are producing the supporting material for flexible electronics."
All you pale frecklefaces, listen up: Nature reports that an experimental cream has successfully activated the skin tanning process in mice, which may lead to true "sunless tanning." It could mean the end of severe burns to the blindingly white-skinned, and, hopefully, the end of the orange dye-job for Paris Hilton.
Wired writer Eliot Van Buskirk believes that a revolution in finding new music begun over ten years ago is finally taking full form. Sirius Radio’s Stiletto 100 allows listeners to tag a live song for later download; Microsoft’s Zune lets users "borrow" songs from another user’s collection wirelessly and purchase them permanently at a later date; and Sonos’ home music system will pipe in Rhapsody (an Internet radio service that plays a tailored set list based on bands/songs that users approve) and also allow users to tag a song in the moment for later purchase. The "connected" music listening experience, Van Buskirk argues, is the replacement to traditional radio and Internet hunting.
Yale will soon offer a way for anyone to sit it on classes. In a pilot program, the elite Ivy League university will put syllabi, lecture transcripts, and video recordings online for seven of its classes. It could be an opportunity that most would never have: "Students at Yale–one of the nation’s most exclusive schools and the
alma mater of President Bush–can be expected to spend nearly $46,000
for this year’s tuition, room and board." And that’s if you get in.
Warner Music has teamed up with YouTube to offer music videos on the site, as well as to allow YouTube users, who mostly upload low-fi amateur video clips, use of its music catalog (which includes labels such as Atlantic, Asylum, Elektra and Rhino) as soundtracks. "Technology is changing
entertainment, and Warner Music is embracing that innovation," said
Warner Music Chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr.