Noisecast Roundup: June 3rd 2011

Lots of good news in the Roundup today. Green Energy, Mobile OS news, Xbox News, MI6 trolling news, and a little bit more. It’s my anniversary, so I’m leaving for the night. Enjoy this video, I’ll see you around.


Higher output wind turbines on the way.

Thanks to some hefty research and having to go back to the drawing board, UpWind has discussed what needs to be done to scale up wind energy efficiency. Better materials, blade design and software improvements could push wind turbines to the previously “impossible” realm. Along with better wind farm layouts, it’s all about optimization.

Your XBox is now diamonds.

According to some rumors, Microsoft is going to enter into the streaming entertainment ring with Xbox Live Diamond, a TV streaming service that runs via the Xbox dashboard. How this will compete with Netflix, I ain’t sure.

Microsoft is limiting the number of WP7 apps it will approve a day.

Even though they love touting the size of their rapidly growing app store, Microsoft is trying to cut down on “bulk app publishing.” ┬áIt’s a smart move, because as long as they keep touting how fast their store is growing, people are going to keep scrutinizing those claims. In fact, Microsoft has removed apps from the store, asking the developers to “refine” their apps so they fit in a single app, instead of 3 or 4.

Just a few more days until the big IPv6 test.

Some 318 internet giants, government agencies and universities are prepping for the big IPv6 test on June 8. Google, Facebook and Microsoft – definite leaders in the data field – are among those participating. This large scale test will serve up data using IPv6 alongside the current standard (IPv4) because there’s no test that like the real world. If all goes well, you won’t even notice.

Xbox 360 sales are accelerating.

In its sixth year, Microsoft’s console not only continues to sell, but it is selling more consoles. If you take a look at the graph here [scroll down a bit] you’ll note that Wii sales are dropping later in the life cycle, which may be a reason for Nintendo wanting to push a new console. However, Xbox bucks that trend by selling more consoles than ever later in life. Then again, the dashboard redesigns and media integration may play a heavy part in sales, as well as pricing and game availability.

Renewable energy finds a way to be stored for later use.

This isn’t exactly new, but it’s great news. Most green energy is gathered during the day (solar, wind) and has to be used as it’s made. Well, Beacon Power is finishing up construction on a flywheel based energy storage project. The 20 MW plant (now running at 18MW) is set to be completed later this month, so power can be stored and distributed according to the demands of the grid. If one of these plants was built into each windfarm, hydroelectric dam and solar farm, it might help alleviate power shortages during peak hours.

Sprint and LightSquared may be nearing a deal on LTE.

Sprint, worried about becoming low man on the totem pole with the looming AT&T/T-Mobile merger, has already agreed to pay $1billion for sole use of Clear’s 4G network. Now, they’re looking to partner with LightSquared for a $20billion plan to share and build up their network. Between the larger user base and expanding network infrastructure, Sprint may not be completely out of the fight, but they will need one helluva network, some great phones (maybe Wp7?) to stay in this fight much longer.

MI6 Hacks al-Qaeda website, replaces bomb recipes with cupcake recipes.

A couple of years ago, British intelligence Agency MI6 hacked into an online Magazine run by al-Qaeda and did a little screwing around. Apparently, they kept it under wraps for a while, and of course the terrorists aren’t about to admit they’ve been compromised.

RIM loses 2nd place in mobile marketplace to iOS.

I noted earlier, RIM has long deserved a lower place in the hierarchy of mobile OS’. Even though Apple only gained 1.3%, RIM seems to be competent in shooting themselves in the foot, and lost 4.7% of the smartphone market. Unless something significant happens (and soon) RIM is going to be too far behind to catch up.

Thanks for the tips, Alberto and @Ebone!