Saturday, August 6, 2011

How to Beat the High Costs of Dialing Abroad — Practical Traveler -

Michelle Higgins
"First, ask your carrier if your phone can be unlocked. Customers of AT&T and T-Mobile will have the best luck with this because their signals are compatible with more foreign carriers. Most cellphones that operate on Verizon and Sprint aren’t compatible with networks outside the United States, making unlocking beside the point. If you use one of those carriers, decide whether it’s better to pay the carrier’s roaming rates and simply limit calls or buy a basic, unlocked phone for calls and texts (which can usually be found for $40 or so) in the country you’re visiting."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Progress Energy customers could soon pay much more for Levy County nuclear plant - St. Petersburg Times

Ivan Penn
"In December 2006, Progress Energy announced plans to build the nuclear plant in Levy County on a 3,000-acre site about 8 miles north of the utility's Crystal River nuclear and coal energy complex. The utility has been charging ratepayers for the new nuclear plant since 2009.

Early estimates indicated the new nuclear plant would cost $4 to $6 billion with the first of two reactors scheduled to go online in 2016 and the second in 2018. The estimates now range from $17 billion to $22 billion and the projected start date is 2021 for the first reactor and 2023 for the second."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Nuclear permits on the way - Business -

Krsty Eppley Rupon
"The Cayce-based utility received a letter Wednesday from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission saying its application is complete and a final safety report should be issued next month, spokesman Eric Boomhower said. Once that report is issued, the commission has four months to schedule a final public hearing and issue licenses for the $9.8 billion project."

Tainted Water Well Challenges Claim of Fracking’s Safety -

Ian Urbina
" The report is not recent — it was published in 1987, and the contamination was discovered in 1984. Drilling technology and safeguards in well design have improved significantly since then. Nevertheless, the report does contradict what has emerged as a kind of mantra in the industry and in the government."

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

NewsFactor Business | FCC Imposes Standstill Rule on Cable Providers

By Mark Long
"The Federal Communications Commission has introduced a new rule to prevent cable-TV providers from suddenly removing video content produced by independent program vendors as a way to gain leverage in contract disputes. The goal is to ultimately benefit consumers by promoting competition and diversity in the video-programming and video-distribution market, the FCC said."

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Duke making request for rate hike in SC this week - State & Regional - Wire -

"Duke wants to raise rates to offset the nearly $5 billion it has spent on its electricity generating and transmission system in the Carolinas since 2009."

Man trying to steal copper shocked by 7,000 volts - Crime & Courts -

"LADSON, S.C. — Authorities say a man trying to steel copper from a utility substation in Ladson was shocked by 7,000 volts and knocked out power to 3,500 homes."

Rising cost of Florida’s new nuclear power getting scrutiny - Florida -

Mary Ellek Klas
"The Legislature gave the PSC the authority to decide how much to charge customers for new nuclear power as part of its 2008 energy bill. It was a trade-off to the utility companies in exchange for strict new rules intended to encourage the development of renewable energy, energy conservation, and wean the state off its dependence on fossil fuels.

Although legislators have never followed through on the renewable energy standards, and the PSC last week all but ignored the energy conservation improvements, the nuclear power provision remains."

Monday, August 1, 2011

Some Scientists Fear Computer Chips Will Soon Hit a Wall -

John Markoff
"Now, however, researchers fear that this extraordinary acceleration is about to meet its limits. The problem is not that they cannot squeeze more transistors onto the chips — they surely can — but instead, like a city that cannot provide electricity for its entire streetlight system, that all those transistors could require too much power to run economically. They could overheat, too."

Data Centers Using Less Power Than Forecast, Report Says -

John Markoff
"In the new study, prepared at the request of The New York Times, Mr. Koomey found that electricity used by data centers worldwide grew significantly, but it was an increase of only about 56 percent from 2005 to 2010. In the United States, power consumption increased by 36 percent, according to Mr. Koomey’s report, titled “Growth in Data Center Power Use 2005 to 2010.”"

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Washington Religious Groups Unite to Find Reduced-Rate Energy Deals -

Mireya Navarro

"The windfall arose after 11 churches and a nonprofit youth group got together to solicit reduced-rate bids for electricity — most of it from renewable energy sources — from local suppliers. In the first year of its contract, which ends in May, the group expects combined savings of nearly $100,000."

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