Jeff Horwich is the interim host of Marketplace Morning Report and a sometime-Marketplace reporter. He is the former host of "In The Loop" from Minnesota Public Radio and a former business and economics correspondent for MPR. He is a graduate of Duke University and has a Master's in applied economics from the University of Minnesota.

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Features by Jeff Horwich

Electric motorcycle; Chinese hover-car. Which one is real?

OK, that's not a very tough question.

The Brammo Empulse, an electric chopper that charges like a Nissan Leaf and has a 121-mile range, had its debut in Hollywood.

And in China, the VW "People's Car" also made its debut. It is even more awesome -- if slightly less real.

More on green server farms: eBay's turn

Yesterday we gave props to Microsoft for making its business units (including cloud computing) go carbon neutral. Turns out eBay is also an example to look to, managing to somehow maintain an extremely energy-efficient server farm even in the heat of Phoenix.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/green/5-green-data-center-tips-from-ebays-project-mercury/21188

Is venture capital 'broken?'

A new report echoes what's been whispered around the industry for years: the model of funding startups through venture capital firms is not working any more.
Posted In: venture capital, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, funding, start-ups, Mark Zuckerberg, hoodie

Overvotes blamed on overheating

A NY State election board has found that overheating is the culprit in the case of electronic voting machines that failed to count up to 30 percent of votes in the Bronx:

"There’s some kind of defect in these machines that when they overheat they can create what they’re calling phantom votes,” said Larry Norden, a deputy director with the Brennan Center. “That could mean that if the person hasn’t voted in a contest, they could have a vote attributed to them that they never intended to cast. In the case of these voters in the South Bronx what it meant was that they actually meant to vote for somebody and the machine was adding votes in those contests because it had overheated.”

Among the recommendations (aside from getting better machines): Let them warm up for a while before anyone tries to vote on them.

Are search results protected by freedom of speech? Google (surprise!) says "yes."

A report by a prominent First Amendment scholar says just as newspapers get to decide what appears in their pages, the results search engines choose to show to users are protected speech. This is not the answer sought by... basically anyone who doesn't like their search results. But it would seem to lift the veil for all of us who might have been under the impression that search engines were somehow innately objective and fair. Of course, this is just one (presumably bought-and-paid-for) law professor's opinion. And it might not hold up in countries that don't have robust speech protections like ours.

Bring on the “Summer of the Tablet”

Real competition in the tablet computer marketplace? No way! Amazon, Microsoft/B&N, Google, Apple and others have all got new products on the way. It'll be an advertising and retail war.

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9227030/What_the_summer_portends_in_new_tablets_

Microsoft goes carbon-neutral. Will others follow?

It's actually more than just going carbon neutral across the company; Microsoft is making each of its individual divisions responsible for offsetting its own emissions. That's kind of a big deal, especially because a division that uses enormous server farms -- cloud computing, anyone? -- uses tremendous amounts of energy. Critics like Greenpeace aren't crazy about the method, which allows divisions to purchase carbon offsets -- they'd prefer the company turn to renewable energy sources. Can't win 'em all.

Microsoft's being accused of rigging its operating system to advantage IE. Again.

Yup, it's just like the early 2000s all over again. Except this time it's much more clunky to explain, since the complaints by Firefox (Mozilla) and Chrome (Google) refer to a specific mobile ("Windows on ARM") version of Windows 8, and it has to do with the fact that on IE will be allowed to run in one particular "mode" of the operating system (Windows 8 has two modes...it's... complicated...)

Deets: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/mozilla-and-google-accuse-microsoft-of-unfair-browser-competition/4995?tag=content;feature-roto

Twitter wefuses to twurn over tweeter's tweets

Twitter filed a motion to quash a New York court’s subpoena of theaccount information and tweets of one of its users. Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris is being investigated for an alleged role in blocking the Brooklyn Bridge, and evidently the prosecutor sees his Tweets as potentially part of the case. (Deleted Tweets? Private messages? Otherwise what's the point of subpoenaing something already public?)

After Harris himself was told he didn’t have legal standing to block the subpoena of Twitter’s information, Twitter stepped with its own motion and effectively said: No really. Dude’s tweets belong to him. We’re not handing them over. Look at our Terms of Service.   

http://allthingsd.com/20120508/tweet-free-or-die-in-defense-of-occupy-protester-twitter-fights-the-man/

Augmented reality: It's going to be *awesome.* (Just not yet.)

With the Augmented Reality Event (conference -- but they are too cool to call it a conference) underway this week in California, people are imagining a world in which digitally-driven signposts pop of everywhere in our field of vision with information to illustrate and enhance the actual world we're seeing with our eyeballs. It's what those goofy Google glasses are all about. Nifty. 

On our way to the fabulous future, though, some folks like this dude at CNET are lamenting how most AR applications still mostly require you to hold your phone or iPad up in front of you like a moron, making AR considerably less seamless and integrated into daily life than its idealized version. How cool is having a sore wrist, or wandering accidentally out into traffic? 

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57430531-93/the-problem-with-augmented-reality-tablets-and-targets/?tag=mncol;cnetRiver

 

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