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Month: March 2011

"It’s a great idea, but…"

"It’s a great idea, but…"

Anyone keeping an eye on Congress can tell you that they are focused on one thing: the federal budget. Cutting spending is back in vogue, and a possible government shutdown looms if agreement on how much to cut isn't reached soon. The frustrating thing about discretionary spending cuts is that while they allow members of Congress to issue press releases about doing their part to…

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IEC Pilot for Reduced CDV Voting Period a Good Call

IEC Pilot for Reduced CDV Voting Period a Good Call

It will be interesting to see how well the IEC's trial period for a reduced voting time for Committee Draft Voting documents (CDV's) works out over the next year. If the trial procedure is adopted, the ability of an IEC Technical Committee to shorten a CDV voting period from the standard 5 months down to say, 3 or 4, would be a…

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How can I tell which Exit Sign is best?

How can I tell which Exit Sign is best?

When Energy Star closed the exit sign category, specifiers and inspectors no longer had a mark of distinction with which to identify top-tier products.  There were even instances of people seeking out new old stock Energy Star labeled signs and preferring them over newer (better) signs, just because of the brand recognition of Energy Star. In response to concerns over…

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Bipartisanship to Upgrade our Infrastructure?

Bipartisanship to Upgrade our Infrastructure?

This week, Senators Kerry, Warner, Hutchison, and Graham came together to announce their proposal to rebuild America’s infrastructure.  The Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development (BUILD) Act, S. 652, would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority – a type of infrastructure bank that would provide loans and loan guarantees.  Transportation, Water, and Energy infrastructure projects greater than $100 million…

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The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

The Newest Dirty Word: NIMBY

George Carlin was made famous for his 7 Dirty Words.  But when it comes to meeting our electricity demands of the 21st century, we can add another word whose utterance should cause shock and outrage to the general public: NIMBY. NIMBY (“Not in My Backyard”) is the genesis for much of the opposition to various endeavors that would serve the…

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Bridging Solar Power And Wind Power

Bridging Solar Power And Wind Power

I was listening to the Wall Street Journal this Morning and came across an interesting story.  Two Italian designers came up with way to make wind turbines less of a potential eyesore.  They have designed a proposed highway bridge that incorporates wind turbines between the support pillars. Additionally, the road would be paved with solar cells and covered with a…

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Keep an eye nano-enabled printed electronics technologies

Keep an eye nano-enabled printed electronics technologies

IEC TC 113, which develops standards for "nano-electrotechnologies" is exploring standards setting for nano-enabled printed electronics, a $300 billion emerging market. The technology already exists for printing circuitry onto inexpensive substrates using conductive nanomaterial inks like carbon nanotubes and graphene, as well as recently introduced flexible display technologies using quantum dots. With a little bit of thinking outside the box, one…

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9 Days and Counting…

9 Days and Counting…

In just nine days, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) officially launches its Publicly Available Consumer Product Safety Information Database on SaferProducts.gov. The database, which was mandated by Congress as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvements Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-314), has been the subject of much debate since its inception, and even more so as the…

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