Leaked audio has revealed "political jiu-jitsu" used by big utility companies in their portrayal of a proposed amendment to the Florida constitution. A campaign in favor of the amendment has been deliberately deceiving voters into believing Amendment 1 is pro-solar. In an enlightening October 2nd speech to conservative groups, Sal Nuzzo, VP of the James Madison Institute, boasted about misleading the public into thinking that Amendment 1 - appearing on Florida ballots as Rights of Electricity Consumers Regarding Solar Energy Choice - would protect solar energy in Florida. [more inside]
TreeSheets is an open-source "Free Form Data Organizer" for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It's an outliner! It's a spreadsheet! It's a mind-mapping tool!
"We recommend that W&WW perform actual meter readings and bill customers based on those actual meter readings..."
Linda Stewart has a mission. After discovering discrepancies in the water billing for two of her Baltimore properties, Linda Stewart, also known as "WaterBillWoman", began to look more closely at billing across the whole city. [more inside]
Here are some free tools for rescuing infected Windows systems: Windows Defender Offline Beta - Kaspersky Rescue Disk 10 - BitDefender Bootable CD - Avira Bootable CD - How To Geek provides instructions for scanning a system from an Ubuntu Live CD. For more info, click through.... [more inside]
ComEd/Exelon is offering to buy a profit guarantee from the state of Illinois for $500 million, at a time when lawmakers are struggling to produce a budget in the face of revenue shortfalls. [more inside]
Unicode? There’s an app for that. Need to enter a few characters in a script you only kind of understand? Got a string of characters you can’t figure out? The W3C’s Richard Ishida can help. Ishida’s vast set of browser-based character pickers and troubleshooters let you assemble phonetics, peruse and search Unicode characters, or just paste in a string of characters and get a nice list of every single character in the string. [more inside]
"Text Utilities" is a useful browser-based tool for geeks. It's a web page that does all sorts of operations on text, e.g. escape/ unescape, hashing, regexp testing.
Roads To Riches (or We've Got a Bridge in Brooklyn to Sell You--Seriously) -- Why investors are clamoring to take over America's highways, bridges, and airports—and why the public should be nervous.--...a slew of Wall Street firms—Goldman, Morgan Stanley, the Carlyle Group, Citigroup, and many others—is piling into infrastructure ... Assets sold now could change hands many times over the next 50 years, with each new buyer feeling increasing pressure to make the deal work financially. It's hardly a stretch to imagine service suffering in such a scenario; already, the record in the U.S. has been spotty. ...
The internet is a series of Pipes. Create your own feed mashups with a visual programming environment.
In 1987, Canadian photographer Robin Collyer began documenting houses that aren't houses at all – they're architecturally-disguised electrical substations, complete with windows, blinds, and bourgeois landscaping.
Parrot outrage! Though their existance is a bit of a curiousity, the fact that a population of parrots exists in the wild in southern New England isn't really news to anyone who visits this site frequently. But the way a local power company is choosing to deal with them is making news in southern Connecticut. The monk parakeet builds huge nests out of sticks and twigs, mostly in trees but sometimes on power poles. The large nests present a growing safety problem, often leading to transformer fires and explosions. It was recently reported in both major southern CT newspapers that United Illuminating has begun a secret program of dismantling nests found on power poles and sending the birds to the government for eradication. Previous programs in other states have ended the way this one appears headed: eventually, the utility gives way to public pressure and either leaves the nests intact or destroys the nests but not the birds themselves.
It's a bird, it's a plane, It's....Major Power! Celina Utilities has come up with a comic book superhero whose job it is to keep the power flowing. His arch enemy? Squirrels. Those little tree rats are jumping on his power lines and making life generally difficult for the rest of us. And he's not happy. There are some little comic strips on this page, and a link to the artist, Dan Davis, who has a decent resume himself. Via the Wall Street Journal