Nice cross-post of this on the Business insider. Very refreshing to see a familiar name, and our Colorado community represented on one of the most insightful of the tech news blogs, especially one that trends parochially toward NYC.
I hear you on this front. I have been working toward my MS in Telecommunications (strongly affiliated with Silicon Flatirons) part-time at CU for the last few years and have had a difficult time explaining why a telecommunications degree is important to my work in IT/Software/Communications/Internet. Telecommunications is indeed all of the above but it feels like a dated term, a point on which some of the professors have concurred and agreed that it might limit interest in the program. So your question is really how do we sum up our contemporary information era communications milieu concisely and poetically. One that comes to mind is Software, Information Networks and Systems although the resulting acronym is already copyrighted by a higher authority, I believe. The appropriate phrase to describe our time period in the technology business though might be the Networked Online Information Systems Era
Here's what you need to know about the financial happenings. Over the last 10 years banks started replacing things (houses,cars, stocks,bonds, currency) that they used to hand out as collateral when they borrowed from other banks with black boxes containing pieces of all of those things. As long as all of the banks in the entire world were comfortable with the value of those black boxes everything was working fine - even though no one knew what they were actually worth. Over the last few years, the black boxes became so wildly popular that banks had no more real things to hand out as collateral. The perceived value of the black boxes was sky high. Now due to shady lending practices and a rash of foreclosures in the US housing market, there is no more confidence in the value of the black boxes and since this is all the banks have left to collateralize their debts to each other, they are no longer willing to lend.
The government is offering to buy up all the black boxes with taxpayer money so that banks can lend on things again. Over time, the black boxes may prove to be not as bad an investment as people think they are now, or they could wind up being a tragic waste of money for the taxpayer.
A lot of good thought here. The argument about the carbon footprint and total environmental impact of the hybrid has been hit hard in lots of publications on both sides of the issue with good points on both sides.
I think Chris Y hits the nail on the head though. More hybrids = lower emissions and less money spent by people at the pump which is better for the environment and the economy. More demand for hybrids = more market entrants lowering the cost and advancing the technology's capabilities. I think that these are desirable outcomes and trust that they will be a net positive for the environment and society as a whole.
I'm suspicious that this project is just vaporware and that it will really become the base of operations to extract the deposits of oil shale from northwestern Colorado, Utah and Wyoming rumored to contain more oil than Saudi Arabia. Nevertheless, I think the economic diversity of our region will greatly benefit from the company's presence and if it truly is a center for renewables then a big "welcome" from me.