Google on Wednesday announced an approximately $200 million equity investment in a west Texas wind farm that generates enough energy to power more than 60,000 average US homes. The company’s Treasury team actually struck the deal in late December, but because of the holiday season it delayed the details till now.
The month prior to this investment, Google put $75 million into a 50MW wind farm. At the time, the company revealed it had contributed almost $1 billion to the renewable energy sector.
The news today means the company easily ended 2012 with over 10 figures invested in renewable energy. Furthermore, all of Google’s renewable energy projects together are capable of generating an estimated 2 gigawatts of power.
This latest investment is for Spinning Spur Wind Project, located in Oldham County, about 35 miles from Amarillo. The 161 megawatt facility was built by EDF Renewable Energy, a company that has overseen more than 50 other clean energy projects, according to Google.
A bigger wind farm naturally means a bigger investment. While the December investment was bigger than the November one, it cost Google was less per megawatt. Still, the company put in over $1 million per megawatt for both.
Google also took the opportunity today to share related news regarding its renewable energy investments:
As for the 2 gigawatt number, Google has put together an infographic to help put things into perspective for you:
Image credit: Petr Kovar
You know, sometimes a task manager isn’t enough. Sometimes you need something that keeps you work flowing beyond the to-do list. There are several apps that can do just that, and I call them “workflow apps” as they may not be the backbone of a trusted system, but they sure can support the workflow that helps you keep that trusted system intact.
Here are 10 workflow apps you should give a closer look, as they can really enhance your productivity.
A different approach to the task management niche in that it relies on the 4 Quadrants approach originally popularized by Dwight Eisenhower. I use EISENHOWER to break down certain projects to make them more manageable, and I wind up delegating or deleting a lot more because of that. (You can also order its paper-based equivalent.)
See the original post: 10 workflow apps to enhance your productivity
Apple has never approved of BitTorrent iOS apps and thus none have ever been available for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, at least not on the official Apple App Store. Yet TorrentFreak noticed on Friday (via a search for “BitTorrent”) that two such apps had managed to sneak in, seemingly undetected. The publication speculated: “Could it be that Apple has lifted its BitTorrent ban, or were these apps given the green light by mistake?” It turns out that sadly, no. Apple has banned the apps in question and reiterated its stance that BitTorrent is a no-no.
The app Transmission RPC allowed users to control the mufti-platform BitTorrent client Transmission and the app Conttrol did the same for uTorrent. In other words, neither were full BitTorrent clients; they were just remote apps for clients that ran on desktop computers.
Still, hope that times were changing at Cupertino have been dashed. Apple has previously told developers that their apps were not allowed because “this category of applications is often used for the purpose of infringing third-party rights.”
As such, when Apple caught wind of these two apps, it called the developers and banned their work. “Got a call there a little earlier from California,” Craig Donnelly, developer of the Conttrol app for uTorrent, told TorrentFreak. It seems Apple are not ok with apps that have anything to do with BitTorrent. The nice girl on the other end of phone said that Conttrol had been approved by mistake and Apple were sorry for the inconvenience but apps of this nature are not allowed in the store.”
So these apps given the green light by mistake, and Apple is back to showing the red light to anyone who dares to utter the word “BitTorrent.” This reminds me of the story from yesterday, which noted Google had started censoring The Pirate Bay domains in Google Instant and Autocomplete.
Image credit: stock.xchng
In the rush to find the next great tech company, VCs eschewing the crowded scene in Silicon Valley are looking further afield for their gems. For some that means other cities in the U.S. and going to Europe and South America; and for Nexus Venture Partners, the answer is India, where it has focused its investment efforts since 2006, and will continue to do so, with the closure of a new $270-million fund, its third to date (the previous two were for $100 million and $220 million).
Backers of the fund, according to Naren Gupta, co-founder of Nexus, come primarily from endowments, foundations and financial institutions in North America and Europe, with only a smattering from Asia itself. “They see the Indian market as the market of the future,” he explains, with backers including organizations that have “done quite well in China lately and see India as 10 years behind that in terms of development and investment opportunities.”
It is not alone in eyeing up the subcontinent: investors like Sequoia (which often partners with Nexus on investments) has also figured strongly in this market.
As with past investments, the funding will be widespread — following what Gupta calls the ‘Index’ model of investment, modelled after Index Venture Partners, the firm that has done well picking key European companies that have been shown to have global reach, or a very strong regional play.
Nexus’ investments will primarily focus on early stage investments will be picked from a diverse range of areas — e-commerce, technology, Internet, media, consumer and business sectors (basically all good, disruptive Indian startups are open for consideration).
Gupta considers Nexus one of the top VCs in India at the moment, and as with top VCs in the U.S., it focuses not just on doling out money, but also cultivating the businesses that get funded with advice on strategy, hiring and more. In some respects this is even more essential in India than in the U.S.
“We feel that the new generation of enterprises needs to have deep operational expertise, but in places like India you don’t have the same depth of management experience. That points to some of the challenges in India, in addition to the whole VC investment space being relatively new. This is where we are very unique as a team.” Among that experience, Gupta founded Integrated Systems Inc (ISI), an embedded software company that he took public and subsequently merged with Wind River Systems. Wind River eventually was acquired by Intel.
To date, Nexus River has invested in some 40 companies, with several exits at a gain — which is why, Gupta says, previous backers have been reinvesting in Nexus’ funds. Exits have included Cloud.com (acquired by Citrix), Gluster (acquired by Red Hat), DimDim (acquired by Salesforce), OLX (acquired by Naspers), and Netmagic (acquired by NTT).
Other investments have included Snapdeal.com (Ecommerce marketplace); MapMyindia (Digital Navigation); Komli (Online ad network); Prana (Animation services); Druva (computing End-point protection), Unmetric (Social media analytics for business applications) and Bigshoebazaar (Online wholesale cash & carry platform).
As a resident of NYC, I find little use for the SF Climates iOS app that all of my San Francisco-based friends (read: social media whores) are boasting over today.
But a lot of you do live there, so you might find it useful. Let’s say you live in the Marina and for some reason need to go to the Dogpatch or vice versa but you’re unsure what the weather is like. Or maybe the grit of the Mission is getting to be a bit much and you want to hang out with a bunch of babies in Noe Valley. Do you pack a sweatshirt or put on shorts?
From personal inexperience, I’ve never been able to layer properly in San Francisco and this would have come in handy last week. Powered by Weather Underground, the free app boasts current temp, wind (speed and direction) and forecast for each of the City by the Bay’s 17 different microclimates (read: neighborhoods).
If only they’d launch one for NYC. *sigh*
Since the app has been in the wild for three weeks, there’s bound to be a few of you who have been using it. If so, have you found it useful?
SF Climates [Apple App Store]
Follow this link: SF Climates iOS App Offers Neighborhood Specific Weather Reports