Twiistup 3: Save 20% on Registration
Twiistup is the premier event that showcases tech talent in Southern California. Twiistup’s goal is to allow start-ups to showcase their ideas and create a friendly atmosphere where guests can network with fellow innovators, investors, job seekers, and established industry leaders. Twiistup 3, which will be held on January 16th in Venice, CA, will be focusing on “New Year’s Resolutions” startups related to the following 9 “Resolutions”:
1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
3. Quit Smoking
4. Enjoy Life More
5. Get Out of Debt
6. Learn Something New
7. Help Others
8. Get Organized
If you are a startup who would like to showcase your idea related to one of the above “Resolutions” then fill out your proposal form immediately, because the deadline is Thursday, November 16th.
If you wish to attend, Mashable is offering a 20% ($5) discount; just use the code “mashable” when registering.
SoPas firm energizing with solar-power panels
By Cortney Fielding Staff Writer
Article Launched: 11/11/2007 10:36:23 PM PST
SOUTH PASADENA — One of the city’s most prominent business leaders has gone solar — in a big way.
Entrepreneur and commercial developer Jeffrey Burke will complete the installation this week of what Southern California Edison has called the largest commercial solar-power system in the Pasadena area.
Packed tightly atop of the roof Burke’s company at 99 Pasadena Ave. are 200 solar panels capable of generating enough electricity each year to power 10 average houses, according to the project’s specifications.
The array, which costs about $300, 000 before government rebates and tax credits, is expected to provide about a quarter of the electricity needed for the 16,000-square-foot building, which is home to the digital-imaging company JupiterMedia.
Burke said the decision to undertake the project was based largely on a desire to clean up the Earth for his children.
“As much as I can, I really want to do the right thing in trying to leave a world my kids can live in,” he said. “It sounds like a real platitude, but I really believe that.”
But his decision wasn’t entirely altruistic. Burke estimates he will make his money back through energy savings within eight to 10 years.
“And with gas prices shooting up, it could be sooner,” he said. “If you’ve got the cash to invest into your property over time, it not only breaks even, but after break-even time, you’re making money.”
Burke also expects the solar installation will boost the overall value of his building.
Burke and his wife, Lorraine Triolo, made headlines in 2005 when they sold their imaging company, PictureArts, to JupiterMedia for $63.2 million in cash.
Jupiter’s 60 employees moved into the Pasadena Avenue building, but the couple retained ownership of the building in the deal.
Once up and running, the solar panels are expected to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the air each year by nearly 67,000 pounds.
South Pasadena Mayor Michael Cacciotti said the project is a boon to the city.
“The effort to curb climate change must be undertaken by all segments of our society – from the government to the private sector,” he said. “Jeffrey Burke and Lorraine Triolo’s use of solar power – a clean, abundant and renewable resource – is a great example of entrepreneurial leadership and establishes an environmental benchmark for other businesses to follow.”
The new solar system represents a first step in the redevelopment at 99 Pasadena Ave., located in a business park area known as the “Ostrich Farm” district.
Burke and Triolo have begun construction on a new three- story, 20,000-square-foot building on property acquired from the city of South Pasadena, to be attached to the existing structure. The addition will have a solar array of its own.
While still in preliminary stages, Burke said he and Triolo are looking into the possibility of harvesting wind power for the building, using new micro-turbine technology.
“Whatever we can do,” Burke said, “we’ll do.”
(626) 578-6300, Ext. 4494
The LA Times has an interesting story on Spain’s upgrading of its national irrigation system.
The plan is to computerize and automate as well as upgrade from a flood type system to drip system. The savings will be substantial.
Read more here:
Water management 2.0
Farmers in Spain are going high-tech by pushing for a nationally controlled digital grid to manage irrigation and preserve precious agua.
By Ciaran Giles, The Associated Press November 12, 2007
ALBERIQUE, SPAIN — For decades, Alberto Martorell and his family have been irrigating their rolling groves of orange and persimmon trees in this sweltering corner of eastern Spain by the traditional method — swamping them under a flood of water from the local canal.But if a national farmers’ group has its way, those days will soon be over.Martorell is one of a growing number of Spanish farmers who have signed up to go digital — agreeing to switch to drip irrigation and connect their fields to a national grid monitored from Madrid.The idea is to save money and, equally important in an era of global warming, precious water. Officials say the system could end up saving 20% of the water Spain uses for irrigation today — a whopping 1.3 trillion gallons per year.It is a watershed change for a country that is one of Europe’s breadbaskets, but has been basically relying on a system introduced by Moorish invaders centuries ago.”We’re jumping from the 13th century to the 21st century,” said Juan Valero, secretary general of Spain’s irrigation farmers’ federation, called Fenacore.Although computer-assisted irrigation is not new, Spanish officials believe that no other country is organizing it at a national level. So far 200,000 farmers have signed up for the project, Valero said. By 2010, the government hopes that number rises to 500,000, representing the vast majority of the farmers who utilize irrigation in Spain.Valero said that years of chronic drought, coupled with vastly increased water use, had worn down resistance to the changes. The government is chipping in, paying all the costs of the system right up to where it reaches each farmers’ land.Martorell, a stocky, sun-beaten 50-year-old, acknowledged that his main motivation for making the switch was money, not becoming part of any green revolution.”The methods we have been using are obsolete,” he said, standing amid a field of persimmon trees. “New technology allows you to save time, improve harvests and most importantly, save water, which is the principal problem we have nowadays.”His land’s irrigation system is in the process of being modernized, and Martorell hopes to have it completed within three years.Under the project, Fenacore is encouraging farmers not just to move away from wasteful flood irrigation systems but also to lay highly efficient telecommunications cables alongside main water conduits.The telecommunications cables will be connected to computer centers regionally and nationally from where the irrigation grid can be monitored, with screens showing which land is getting water, how much it is getting, when and at what pressure.”Instead of manually lifting sluice gates to flood fields, farmers will be able to do it from laptops or even mobile phones,” Valero said. “The aim is to manage water better. We have to rationalize its consumption, and to do this, information is fundamental.”The endeavor represents a revolution in a country that is 50% arid and outpaces the rest of Europe by devoting as much as 70% of its water resources to irrigation.But much of its system of channeling water from rivers for miles and miles is based on an intricate grid of open canals first developed by the Arabs after they invaded Spain in the 8th century.Such was the influence of the Moors that nearly every Spanish word dealing with irrigation and water stems from Arabic, such as acequia for irrigation ditch or alcantarilla for a drain.Although many of the Arab-styled watering ditches have been replaced with closed concrete piping, especially over the last century, many of the original open channels can still be seen crisscrossing the lush fields of southern and eastern Spain.But these systems lose millions of gallons through evaporation, poor maintenance and runoff, something a country just emerging from a drought caused by the lowest annual rainfall on record cannot afford.”In almost half of Spain, the irrigation technique used is flooding, which uses up to three or four times more than the water that is necessary,” Environment Minister Cristina Narbona said recently.Spain’s profligate water usage has long concerned experts and conservationists. The country is estimated to lose more than 60% of its water before it reaches the tap, and only 1.5% is recycled.In addition, Spain’s never-ending construction boom — with sprawling urban projects, mushrooming tourist complexes and golf courses — has greatly increased demand.”Spain is finally bringing itself up to date in terms of irrigation,” said Complutense University professor Manuel Ramon Llamas, one of Spain’s leading water experts