Fans Of Plug-in Cars Build Their Power Base

Sometime in the future, your car may make your round-trip commute with electricity generated from rooftop solar cells. When you want to venture east of the Cascades for a weekend winery tour, an internal-combustion engine — powered by biofuels — would kick into action. This vision has helped propel plug-in hybrid cars from a footnote in automotive technology into a serious alternative that car manufacturers are working to bring to market within the next five to 10 years. Meanwhile, a grass-roots network of plug-in converts — professors, students, garage mechanics and others — is already fashioning the first generation of these vehicles in hopes of prodding the industry into faster action. They say these cars can get more than 100 miles per gallon for some travel. Read More ›

Visions Of A Northwest Hybrid Car Future Abound

Imagine at first hundreds of Northwesterners -- but later thousands, and ultimately tens of thousands or even millions -- plugging in their electric hybrid cars every night. Then they all commute the next day without dipping into their fuel tanks. Imagine that the other cars on the road, still using fuel systems more like today's, get around on the byproducts of cow poop or wheat stubble. Imagine further that this new fleet of cars carries devices to signal the traffic-light system, reducing congestion by half at rush hour. And imagine these same devices prevent cars from running into one another no matter what their idiot drivers do. The same devices could offer drivers a choice between the fastest route, the cheapest route (because many roads will have tolls) and the "greenest" route. These were some of the visions that emerged Monday at a broad-ranging conference of Seattle-area businesspeople, utility executives, public officials, environmentalists and others titled "Jump Start to a Secure, Clean Energy Future" at Microsoft Corp.'s Redmond campus. Read More ›

Info-War Invades Iraq

On a single horrific night in March 1945, more than 300 B-29 Superfortress bombers saturated Tokyo with napalm and incendiary explosives. The resulting firestorm devoured a quarter of the city, leaving at least one hundred thousand civilians dead and countless others hideously wounded. Read More ›

Microsoft Sees Vast Market: Every Car

Microsoft sees vast market: every car By The Associated Press REDMOND — First Microsoft set out to put a computer in every home. Now the software giant hopes to put one in every vehicle, too. “We’d like to have one of our operating systems in every car on Earth,” said Dick Brass, vice-president of Microsoft’s automotive-business unit. Cars with the Microsoft Read More ›

Cyber-Safe Meets Fail-Safe

This February the Bush Administration released The National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, a long-awaited document spelling out the nation’s cyber-security strategy, a crucial element falling into the homeland security portfolio. Heightening cyber-fears is the military’s concern about battlefield e-mails sent home, which travel through the public networks at the end of their cyber-journey; the military has its own Secret Internet Protocol Network for war messages Read More ›

The Tech Comeback Is Real

With deflation under control, the case for a U.S. economic comeback gets stronger every day. But the conventional wisdom is that two of our most important and hardest hit sectors, technology and telecom, have so much capacity and so little confidence that it will be many years before they return to health. Telecom investment is down 75% since 2000, there Read More ›

End ‘World Wide Wait’ and Reboot the Economy

The latest numbers show U.S. economic growth at 1.7 percent in 2001, about the same as during former President Clinton’s first three years in office and half the rate during the tech boom of the late 1990s. That sure beats recession, but today’s pace is well under the growth rate needed to fully fund Social Security, Medicare and other obligations Read More ›

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Tumbling Into the Telechasm

When Bill Clinton assumed office nine years ago, I predicted he would enjoy one of the greatest economic booms in the history of the world. Impelled by the spread of the Internet, the onset of fiber optics, and a tenfold increase in venture capital — unleashed by the lower tax rates and deregulation of the Reagan administration — the Clinton Read More ›

21st-Century War Economics

“The Republicans don’t have a clue how bad the economy is,” a Democratic congressional aide told us one late October night, savoring the vision of a gavel in Dick Gephardt’s hand. Then, slowly, he broke into a wide smile, like a happy hijacker dreaming of seventy succulent virgin interns awaiting him in paradise. Chiefly in the business of appraising enterprise Read More ›