Wednesday, September 13, 2006

WSJ Tech Innovation Awards

The Wall Street Journal, on the rare 'Today's Free Features' page, announced their 2006 Technology Innovation Awards yesterday. They gave the Gold star to Sun Microsystems for a hot new debugger, which we're sure programmers -- excuse me, they like to be called "engineers" or "developers," however that translates into Hindustani -- are, rrreally, verry excited about.

But since writing a piece early this year suggesting an award for the best “Green” Invention, I was more interested to find one here: WSJ gave their Silver award to a company that's developed a thin-film solar material that can be applied to glass or other building materials, HelioVolt of Austin, Texas. The full story is here (assuming they haven’t since removed it from their free content):

Innovation Awards: The Winners Are...

They also named, as their winner in the Environment category, ET Water Systems, of Corte Madera, Calif., for a landscape-irrigation system that reduces water use "by gauging the precise watering needs of a home or business based on the location's plants, soil types and rainfall," using Web-based controls. Cooool.

Unfortunately, in my wistful view, they gave their Materials award to a company that’s using nanotechnology to make a electrically conductive coating for solar cells, etc. That's ironic. Creating active ingredients that can't be seen except with fantastically specialized and hence expensive equipment, and small enough to invisibly penetrate our bodies and wreak who-knows-what kind of havoc? Sorry, that just doesn't sound like a very wise idea.

Could they instead focus on manufacturing some additional common sense and social responsibility for technologists? Then I'd be impressed.

How about an Award for The Best New “Green” Technology?

Ever notice that “havoc” is almost always said to have been “wreaked”? Have you ever seen those words used independently?)

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