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Wal-Mart’s Clean Green $200 Linux Machine!

FINALLY! There’s an Ubuntu machine that’s not only made for the masses…it’s actually going to get used by the masses. Wal-Mart has just announced that they’ll be selling the Everex’s TC2502 gPC for under $200 this holiday season.

Now, to most of us geeks these things are gonna seem pretty low-tech. Eighty gig harddrive, only half a gig of RAM, and a 1.5 ghz single core Via C7 CPU. Frankly, this computer couldn’t even run Windows Vista…which is why Ubuntu is so frikkin awesome.

Instead of constantly forcing upgrades, Ubuntu manages to look good, while not requiring power-sucking processors and massive amounts of RAM. In the end, this machine uses low-tech components to create a high-end experience. That is, if people can get used to Linux. It comes with a simple desktop interface, loaded up with Google applications, Open Office, Skype and other free tools.

Best of all, Everex is offering free customer support to the Wal-Mart demographic, who might have a bit of trouble picking up a new operating system.

SEMA 2007: Canola oil Caddy EXT

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GM opened the full-scale electric car dialog with the EV-1 (and its demise), Toyota opened the full-scale hybrid dialog with the Prius. Now that Green is Good as Gold, aftermarket folks are opening the mass market dialog when it comes to making the cars you want to buy right now a little less hard on the Earth. Next in the queue: EcoTrek with its biodiesel Cadillac Escalade EXT, simply referred to as BioCaddy.

Starting with a plain black EXT, EcoTrek swapped the 6.2-liter Vortec V8 for Chevy’s PPE supercharged Duramax 6.6-liter diesel. Fitting it required cutting a scoop into the hood. The Hydramatic transmission came out, and in went an Allison. The suspension was removed and replaced with an Air Ride ARC4800L Big Red Max LevelPro System. And as an extra, the BioCaddy gets an ethanol injection system for a claimed “30% additional HP or fuel economy.” About the only thing dirty on it is the 26″ DUB Dirty Dog II rims clothed in Pirelli Scorpion rubber. EcoTrek even blacked out all the chrome — something we consider a good thing. Having a “clean ride” is about to take on a new meaning.

Gallery: 2007 SEMA biodiesel Caddy EXT


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VW Jetta TDI Cup racing series coming to a track near you in 2008

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Volkswagen has a long history of grassroots racing series in the US and elsewhere. For the past three decades those series mostly used various GTI models. For 2008, Volkswagen is replacing the current GTI cup with the new Jetta TDI Cup. As the name implies, the new series will use the new Jetta CleanTDI diesel sedan. For racing purposes, the 2.0L diesel will be rated at 170 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque pumping through the standard six-speed DSG gearbox. The suspension and brakes will be beefed up for track use and all the usual racing safety equipment will be included. The series will be organized by SCCA Pro Racing and up to thirty cars per race are expected.

[Source: Volkswagen]

LAS VEGAS – Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today that it will bring TDI clean diesel technology to select North American race tracks starting in May 2008. The Jetta TDI Cup series will be sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Pro Racing Inc., and will appear at up to eight major racing venues in North America during 2008.
“The Jetta TDI Cup racing series will celebrate Volkswagen’s diesel technology and heritage in motorsports as good, clean fun,” said Stefan Jacoby, CEO, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Not only will the young drivers gain real-life track experience in a factory-prepared race vehicle, it will allow them to develop their own mindset of today’s clean diesel technology, and foster increased awareness of its advantages in this new era of environmental sensitivity.”
The Jetta TDI Cup shifts gears from the previously announced GTI program, allowing Volkswagen to showcase the power and performance of its new clean diesel technology, available in the upcoming 2009 Jetta TDI sedan and SportWagen. With up to 30 Jetta TDI’s competing in the hands of aspiring, young drivers, this unique motorsport offering will highlight a new, exciting platform of racing that does not currently exist – a full field of clean diesel powered vehicles.
“With the Jetta TDI Cup, Volkswagen has created an amazing platform to develop young drivers and expand their knowledge about clean and quiet diesel technology,” said Robert Wildberger, president and CEO, SCCA Pro Racing, Inc. “We look forward to the series in hopes that it will attract more attention to the drivers and advantages of diesel power.”
The Jetta TDI Cup racecars will be optimized for track performance and safety. To focus on the skill of the young drivers and to ensure performance parity, proper maintenance and safety standards, all vehicles will be owned and maintained by Volkswagen. The heart of the Jetta TDI Cup racing vehicle will be the all-new, high-tech 2.0-liter four-cylinder TDI clean diesel engine rated at 170 horsepower and nearly 300 ft.-lbs. of torque in racing trim. The Jetta TDI race vehicles will be outfitted with a six-speed automatic DSG(R) transmission, electro-mechanical power rack-and-pinion steering system, and advanced multi-link fully independent race-tuned suspension, driver airbag supplemental restraint system, and four-wheel ABS racing brakes.
Signifying Volkswagen’s environmental commitment, the Jetta TDI Cup series will be certified as CarbonFree by Additional program details will be available at by mid-November 2007.
Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc. is headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the world’s largest producers of passenger cars and Europe’s largest automaker. Volkswagen sells the Rabbit, New Beetle, New Beetle convertible, GTI, Jetta, GLI, Passat, Passat wagon, Eos, and Touareg through approximately 600 independent U.S. dealers. Visit Volkswagen of America online at


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Chunks of Smashed Moon Detected in Saturn’s Rings

WASHINGTON – Big chunks of a moon that was smashed long ago perhaps by a comet have been detected in Saturn's outermost ring, shedding light on the formation of the planet's grand ring system, scientists said on Wednesday. A camera on NASA's Cassini spacecraft spotted wakes ahead of and trailing behind these fragments, where other ring material has been affected by the gravitational forces exerted by the pieces, they said.

EcoGeek Halloween Mashup

As expected the blogosphere has put together it’s regular round of holiday specific enviro-things you can do to save the world. And while I’d rather we all just put more insulation in our spoooooky attics…here’s some of what the internet has to offer this pagan-candy day.

Inhabitat is having a green costume contest

While Grist has put together some green haloween greeting cards and an Ask Umbra Column on Green Haloweens.

The Power Alley put together a list of ways to slay power vampires

And the InventorSpot has a bunch of ideas for slackers…Quick Costumes you can make from Junk!

And of course TreeHugger brings the Blood Powered Car to our attention. How Many Miles Per Body does your car get….mwoohahahaha!

4M Tons of Waste = 25,000 Homes Powered

We generate a lot of trash as a society. The majority of the time it ends up in landfills or shipped overseas for a variety of purposes. What if that trash could somehow been harnessed for energy? That’s the idea behind Covanta, a company developing energy-from-waste solutions. The company announced it now has its first energy-from-waste unit working in the United States under the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards.

The chosen site is the Lee County Resource Recovery Facility, located in Fort Meyers, Florida. The Covanta energy-from-waste solution, says the company, lets the local municipality convert some additional 636 tons of waste daily into an additional 18 megawatts of electricity. This is an expansion of the location’s prior abilities, in which it had converted "more than 4 million tons of waste in two 600-ton per day combustion units and generated enough electricity to power 26,000 homes." It can now generate enough power for 36,000 homes.

Energy-from-waste facilities, according to Covanta, take trash and put it into combustion chambers, reducing its volume significantly. The heat from this process warms up water in tubes in the chambers, turning the liquid to steam and sending it through a turbine which generates electricity. Covanta estimates the Lee County facility alone "has prevented close to 4 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions" while producing enough electricity to "eliminate the need to burn 1 million tons of coal or 4 million barrels of oil."

Garbage Scout: A Freegan’s Wet (stinky) Dream

One man’s trash is another man’s online startup…or at least, garbagescout thinks so. Yet another Google Maps Mashup, GarbageScout links freegans, cheapskates, barging hunters and EcoGeeks in New York in an online database of trashy knoweldge.

People keep an eye on the state of NYC’s dumpsters, and post information and pictures linked to a map. The result is a growing database of information that can be used to keep good materials and products out of landfills and in use. There might be a little flaw in the entrepreneur’s plans in that most people hunting for garbage have less-than-reliable internet access, but that’s certainly not always the case.

Take me…for example.

Via GoodCleanTech

Kinda like Goldilocks: BioBox lets mid-level consumers make their own biodiesel

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If you’re interested in biodiesel but your company has too many trucks to brew your own biofuel in small Appleseed reactors and you’re not big enough to be a large-scale producer, Pacific Natural Energy would like a word.

Specifically, the word is BioBox, a system that PNE says is “the perfect ‘pie filling’ for mid-sized companies to make their own biodiesel. BioBox is a mobile biodiesel production contraption that is made up of four 20-foot cargo containers (one for the reactor, one that’s a hazmat storage container and two 6,000 gallon storage tanking systems). Hey, we didn’t mean mobile like the iPhone is mobile.

Anyway, PNE thinks there’s a need out there for this mid-size facility, and as I think about it, I’m inclined to agree. PNE’s founder and CEO, Eric McLeod, said that, “There are an increasing number of biodiesel companies now, but these companies generally cater to small-scale experimenters and users, or multi-million dollar plants. I believe that mid-market biodiesel production has been completely overlooked.”

[Source: Domestic Fuel]


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White House Accused Of Watering Down Climate Testimony To Congress

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House watered down climate change testimony to Congress – testimony by the head of the CDC — the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The changes were made before the testimony was delivered, according to a watchdog group Both the CD and White House deny it.

The anti-nuclear group Physicians for Social Responsibility said White House officials had forced CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding to remove specific references about the effects of climate change from Tuesday's testimony to a Senate committee.

Videos: Jay Leno’s E85 Corvette, Suzuki’s fuel cell bullet bike

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Below the fold are two videos that proves green can be cool. The first video is Jay Leno showing off his E85 Corvette at this year’s SEMA. “Green goes with mean was the message at” SEMA, according to the video’s description (and backed up by Jay saying the car has 600 horse power). The second video is all about Suzuki’s fuel cell concept bike the Crosscage. The electric engine and fuel cell battery’s light weight and compact design means a power output of 155 CCs.

The power and speed every gearhead wants is best accomplished with green, efficient products … and now EVs are starting to look like they should provide that power and speed. The idea that electric cars are just golf carts is officially dead.

[Source: YouTube]


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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD Step behind the curtain at Ford Motor. Experience the documentary first-hand.