ReadWriteStart Events & Deadlines for Startups, 19 June 2010

first_imgTransfer Summit UKTransfer Summit will be held June 24-25 at Keble College in Oxford, England. The event, which includes a BarCamp, is focused on on Open Source technology/collaboration/innovation as it intersects industry, research, and academia. Our attendees are an amalgam of business executives and technologists, interested in streamlining the innovation and resource discovery process, cultivating partnerships, and accelerating the process of commercializing products. There are a lot of great activities happening in the startup world, and we would like to help you make sure you’re on top of these opportunities. The ReadWriteStart Calendar tracks both startup-oriented events as well as application deadlines (for competitions, grants, and incubators, for example).If you’d like to add something to the calendar, leave a comment here or email us.Here are some of the upcoming deadlines and events that caught our eye this past week: Creative Commons Catalyst Grants As we reported this week, Creative Commons is accepting applications for their Catalyst Grants through the end of the month. These grants are meant to seed activities that support the Creative Commons mission. Applications due June 30. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Women 2.0 Labs Women 2.0 is sponsoring Women 2.0 Labs, a new 5-week program (July 6 – August 5, 2010) for engineers, developers, biz dev folks, and marketing mavens to develop high-growth technology ventures in San Francisco, CA. Applications due June 20. Tags:#events#start Edmonton Startup Weekend Edmonton, Alberta’s Startup Weekend will take place June 25-27. As with the other Startup Weekend events, it promises to bring together “developers, designers, marketers, inventors, and anyone else interested in ideas and startups to see what they can build in 54 hours. “ audrey watters A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Photo credits: Keble College photo by Flickr user Dimitry Blast_img read more

Henry Gifford Continues His Case Against LEED

first_imgSometimes it seems as if debates about how best to increase the energy efficiency of buildings – and about the relative importance of energy efficiency in green building – are bound to outlive the buildings themselves. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, of course, for people who want to see green building flourish while building science and building materials improve.One of the developments sparking long and fevered discussion on these subjects is the lawsuit filed against the U.S. Green Building Council by Henry Gifford, an occasional GBA contributor and the owner of Gifford Fuel Saving consultancy. Gifford’s suit, originally filed in October as a class-action, was amended in February to focus on claims of false advertising, deceptive practices, and illegal monopolization, while its original common law, racketeering, and class-action components were dropped. Three plaintiffs also were added to the complaint. Alleging that USGBC misrepresented the performance of LEED certified buildings and altered study results to support its performance claims, Gifford’s suit seeks an injunction against USGBC and monetary damages for lost sales and profits.USGBC answersUSGBC responded in April with a motion to dismiss the amended suit, claiming that the plaintiffs lack standing (i.e. they weren’t among the people actually deceived by USGBC’s building-performance claims) and can’t prove that they were harmed by the organization’s allegedly illegal conduct. USGBC’s argument generally holds up, argues Shari Shapiro, a LEED Accredited Professional and an attorney specializing in green building law, renewable energy, and sustainable buildings. But in one of a series of posts about the suit on her Green Building Law blog, Shapiro also notes that USGBC’s motion to dismiss also claims that the group’s marketing targets building industry and real estate professionals. That claim, she says, is contradicted by the LEED for Homes online scoring tool, announced in the spring, which does indeed market LEED for Homes certification directly to consumers.“Making factually unsupported arguments may weaken the punch of the USGBC’s clearer grounds for dismissal,” she writes, “and provide a toehold for the Plaintiffs to plant seeds of doubt about the rest of the USGBC’s arguments.”Flawed comparisions?That’s some of the legal background to the drama. A broader perspective on the discussions it has precipitated – and a reminder of the durable nature of the debate about energy efficiency, LEED certification, and green building practices – is offered in an article published June 13 by Miller-McCune.com, a news site that specializes in nonpartisan coverage of social concerns.The story points out that the assertions in the suit hinge in large part on Gifford’s analysis of a 2008 study comparing predicted energy use in certified buildings with actual energy use, and with a national average for existing buildings. Conducted by USGBC and the New Buildings Institute, the study drew on data from the Department of Energy’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey of 2007. NBI concluded from the data that LEED buildings are, on average, 25% to 30% more efficient than the national average. By contrast, Gifford’s analysis of the information concluded that LEED buildings are, on average, 29% less efficient.Gifford complained that the study erred by examining performance data only from 121 LEED-certified buildings with willing operators, the Miller-McCune story notes. Also of concern to Gifford is that the study compares data from LEED-certified buildings to data from a range of existing buildings rather than those built after USGBC got rolling in 2000.A path to LEED refinement?Gifford’s criticism has prompted plenty of discussion on building sites, including GBA and BuildingGreen.com, whose editorial director, Tristan Roberts, pointed out to Miller-McCune that many older buildings, particularly those built before 1960, are more efficient than newer ones.In at least one case, Gifford’s complaints prompted yet another analysis of the NBI study. John Scofield, a physicist at Oberlin College, also concluded that LEED-certified commercial buildings are not necessarily more energy efficient than conventional buildings, although his conclusion is based on the fact that LEED tracks site energy (via utility bills), rather than source energy (the on- and offsite energy costs), as a principal measure of building efficiency. Another flaw in LEED, Scofield says, is that had been awarding points for energy efficiency based on projected energy use rather than relying entirely on measurements of the building’s performance once construction was complete.USGBC, since 2009, has in fact moved to implement verification of performance, even though the performance data is not, at this point, being released to the public. In any case, the upshot of the challenges and analyses is that they’ll likely lead to productive changes in the long run, and green building will continue to become a bigger part of the national conversation.last_img read more

Delhi to shut down on CWG opening day

first_imgA view of the figurines installed at the illuminated Commonwealth Games Village in New Delhi on Friday evening.You should stock all your daily supplies on Saturday as markets and shopping malls across the city have been ordered shut on Sunday, when Delhi hosts the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony.A Delhi government order on Friday – prompted by security concerns and worries over heavy traffic if the markets stayed open – said all shops and commercial establishments, including neighbourhood grocery stores, liquor shops, hair cutting salons, meat shops and malls, will remain closed.Shops at Connaught Place to be closed for opening ceremony.Police sources said security will be tight for the opening ceremony that required heavy deployment of forces across the city.This could mean few police personnel to guard public places.”The Delhi government has notified that all shops and commercial establishments in Delhi will remain closed on the day of the opening and closing ceremony (October 14) of the Commonwealth Games,” an official statement from chief minister Sheila Dikshit’s office read. The government exercised special powers under the Delhi Shops and Establishment Act of 1954 to order the shutdown. Violators could be issued a fine of Rs 250, the statement read.All big and small markets like those at Sarojini Nagar, Greater Kailash, Lajpat Nagar, Laxmi Nagar, Karol Bagh, Kamla Nagar, Rajouri Garden, and INA will be shut, as will be the DDA and MCD markets. However, chemists and grocery stores are expected to stay “partially open”. A senior official of the labour department said a notification for closure such as the one issued on Friday usually superseded all exemptions extended to chemists during special closures.advertisement”But we will not go after them since they offer an essential service,” the official said.The announcement caught several market associations off guard. Their representatives said they had not got official word on the closure till late on Friday. The announcement is likely to pose double-trouble for the shopkeepers and shoppers alike. The closure of shops and commercial establishments will extend to two consecutive days as October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, is a national holiday.Jagmohan Sethi, president of the Greater Kailash-I, M-Block market, said several markets, like the one he represents, will also be shut on October 2.But it will not be all dismal news on the day that the longawaited sporting extravaganza kicks off. Restaurants, movie halls, hotels, clubs and public amusement parks will stay open.Market associations said the government’s failure to issue specifics about the order was creating confusion. Manish Gupta of Greater Kailash-I, N-Block market association said the local police verbally told them to keep the market shut.”We don’t know whether it’s allowed but we will keep chemist and grocery stores in our market open for a few hours in the morning and evening,” he said.The Delhi Police had last month moved the proposal for shutting down the markets on October 3.Special commissioner of police (administration) Neeraj Kumar had written to chief secretary Rakesh Mehta on September 8.The police had argued that crowded market places that require heavy security cover had to be closed since police personnel will be diverted for the opening and closing ceremonies, said a senior government official who quoted from Kumar’s letter.While the opening and closing ceremonies for the Commonwealth Games will be held be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in south Delhi, the police proposed a blanket closure across the city.Traders said the closures were upsetting because they come at a time when they register the highest sales. Gupta said monthly revenue could dip by at least 10 per cent because of the closure since the opening ceremony is on a Sunday.”The loss will be more since both the ceremonies are in the first fortnight of the month when people typically shop more since they have money to spend,” Gupta said.Bansi Lal Grover, president of the Sarojini Nagar market association, said traders would have to bear ” considerable loss”. “The government should have asked us to open the shops for late hours as there are a lot of guests in the city.” Vijay Budhiraja, president of the Kamla Nagar market association, said, “Some markets, like the ones at Kamala Nagar and Karol Bagh, will be affected because they have the heaviest rush of customers on Sunday.”last_img read more