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In the News

News from June, 2008

Sometrics Achieves Milestone – 1,000 Developers Now Using Its Social Analytics Tools

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Sometrics (, the first company to create analytics and ad serving solutions expressly for the social web, today announced that 1,000 developers are now using its analytics tools.

Sometrics reached this milestone “because developers trust us to give them detailed social intelligence that helps them make money with their applications or social networking communities,” said co-founder and CEO Ian Swanson. “Sometrics is a reliable and trusted partner that really cares about helping developers be more successful.”

Sometrics delivers social intelligence – a deep understanding of who’s doing what within social networking websites and applications, and a way for developers to use that information to boost traffic and make more money. Some developers participating in Sometrics’ beta test have reported 200 percent growth in traffic. Developers can use the company’s analytics tools across multiple social networks, including Facebook, MySpace, Hi5 and Bebo. Its standard API also works on any community-based website. (Full Article)

groSolar Hits Home Run With Fenway Park Installation

Monday, June 30th, 2008

The Boston Red Sox formally unveiled a solar heating system, which consists of 28 Heliodyne solar hot water collectors and four 400-gallon storage tanks tied to the historic ballpark’s water system.

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The left field wall might not be the most impressive “green” feature at Fenway Park — at least not from an environmental point of view.
On Monday, the Boston Red Sox formally unveiled a solar heating system, which consists of 28 Heliodyne solar hot water collectors and four 400-gallon storage tanks tied to the historic ballpark’s water system.

While Heliodyne Inc. of Richmond, Calif., manufactured the panels, the system was installed by groSolar — a Vermont-based company.

Between May 7-12, groSolar installed the panels through the media level on the fifth floor. The panels face south and will only be covered by shadow for a few hours during the winter solstice. The hot-water heaters are located in a mechanical room on the roof in close proximity to the panels.

The system is expected to be fully operational this week. (Full Article)

County fair’s theme: Red, white, blue and green

Monday, June 30th, 2008

AT 30 FEET TALL, the gleaming silver “Windspire” looks like it belongs in a science-fiction movie.

Yet the antenna-like device, which will take center stage at the Marin County Fair from Wednesday through Sunday, was designed to let the average family turn its house or farm into a power station.

“It looks like a tall stick and rotates vertically rather than horizontally, so it doesn’t have big propellers,” said Julie Murphy, a spokeswoman for Mariah Power of Reno, Nev. “It generates about 2,000 kilowatt-hours per year, and it has a design that’s believed to be more bird-friendly and less noisy (than traditional windmills) so that it fits into residential neighborhoods.”

That’s the essence of the county fair this year, said fair chief Jim Farley: combining the forward-looking technologies of a World’s Fair with the family-friendly traditions of a country fair, such as fireworks, art and agriculture competitions, racing piglets, a 10-story Ferris wheel and 27 other carnival rides. The fair’s solar-powered stage will host headliners America, Elvin Bishop, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Los Lobos, Steel Pulse and War, as well as local favorites Crunchy Frog, Lara Johnston and the Tommy Castro Band.

“This county fair serves as a national model,” said Farley, head of the county Department of Cultural Services. “We’re inspired by the World’s Fair to show a sense of the future. At the same time, we have ties to an older tradition, to celebrate America. We’re going red, white, blue and green.” (Full Article)

groSolar Signs $175 million Deal for Solar Panels

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

North American solar energy leader groSolar announced today the signing of a $175 million, long-term sales contract for solar electric panels with leading manufacturer Evergreen Solar, Inc.

The contract will assure fast-growing groSolar a steady supply of solar panels for the exploding commercial and residential solar market.

The contract with Evergreen (Nasdaq: ESLR) continues a relationship that saw the two companies sign a previous contract for $88 million in 2006.

Evergreen Solar is a manufacturer of solar power panels with its proprietary, low-cost String Ribbon(tm) wafer technology. The solar panels will be manufactured at the company’s Devens, MA. facility, which will begin panel production in July. The contract will continue through 2012.

Jeff Wolfe, CEO of groSolar, said: “groSolar is excited about extending our partnership with Evergreen. Our first long term contract provided a strong impetus for groSolar’s tremendous growth. At the same time, Evergreen Solar has grown into the company that we knew it would, creating the highest quality product. Their increased US-based manufacturing, lowest carbon footprint product, and leading innovation will assist groSolar in continuing to lead the solar industry.”

“groSolar’s confidence in Evergreen’s abilities and the quality of our product is a testament to the work we have done with them over the past two years,” said Dr. Terry Bailey, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Sales. “The two companies have grown and emerged as true leaders in the solar industry. We are proud to have groSolar as a partner and look forward to continuing to grow our business together.”

About groSolar
groSolar is a leading North American solar power company focused on designing, distributing and installing high quality solar electric and solar hot water systems. groSolar provides residential installation in the northeast and mid-Atlantic states, and commercial installation in California as well as the eastern US, serving other areas through an extensive dealer network. With a system of warehouses across the continent, groSolar has the broadest distribution capabilities of any solar provider. groSolar integrates components from leading solar manufacturers including Evergreen Solar into efficient solar energy systems for its customers that generate clean, reliable energy for decades. groSolar was also recently recognized as the second fastest growing company in Vermont and one of the best places to work in Vermont. For information, contact Kevin Ellis 800.498.5390 or Kelli Pippin at 800.374.4494 x3085 or visit

About Evergreen Solar, Inc.
Evergreen Solar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets solar power products using proprietary, low-cost manufacturing technologies. The Company’s patented wafer technology, known as String Ribbon, uses significantly less polysilicon than conventional processes. Evergreen’s products provide reliable and environmentally clean electric power for residential and commercial applications globally. For more information about the Company, please visit
Evergreen Solar(r) is a registered trademark and String Ribbon(tm) is a trademark of Evergreen Solar, Inc.

How Your Phone Can Make You Smarter

Monday, June 16th, 2008

Good news: Your cellphone may soon be able to help you skirt a big traffic snarl. At least, that’s what Nokia believes, based on research that it did earlier this year to uncover more ways to use wireless technology.

The project was part of a trend called “crowd sourcing,” which aims to harness the brainpower and energy of crowds to develop useful services.

People are using their cellphones to review restaurants, share their favorite hometown hangouts, discover new jogging routes, even dodge speeding tickets. “The Internet is about the long tail,” notes Rajeev Chand, a managing director and wireless analyst at Rutberg & Co. “Mobile is about pushing that even further out to the ultimate edge: an individual, at all times, with his device.”

Such crowd-sourced applications point up the power of mobile networks to relay data in real time. “Nearly everyone has a mobile that they carry with them all the time,” says Hugh Bradlow, chief technical officer of Australian operator Telstra. “Phones are perfectly suited for this type of automated reporting, and potentially a much more pervasive device than the online Web.”

Smart applications also represent the industry’s shift to mobile software and services as well as phones. Innovative applications will “arguably [be] the most interesting question for mobile over the next few years,” says Chand. (Full Article)

Popular Science- Best of What’s New ’08: Mariah Power Windspire

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Down-to-earth wind power

Mariah Power Windspire

Zoning laws often forbid tall wind turbines. The Windspire captures breezes at 30 feet and below with a design in which blades run up a pole’s length and spin around it. Contoured airfoils make the Windspire the first vertical-axis turbine that can start in slow winds without help from a motor or inefficient scoops or wings. $5,000;

(Full Article)

Congress Hears from Small Companies to Jolt Green Tech

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Congress must develop further incentives for “green” technology small companies because these more energy-efficient industries are growing, which will bolster the U.S. economy, leaders of a House small business committee said Thursday.

“With jobs vanishing, payrolls falling and the cost of living skyrocketing, green technology promises to lift us back up. Once considered an exclusively environmental issue, the search for renewable energy has taken on a new role,” said Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez D-NY, chairwoman of the Small Business Committee.

In May, the House passed the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act to extend and expand tax incentives for companies using renewable energy. The House committee is reviewing the role of green technologies in spurring U.S. economic growth – particularly the importance of small businesses in bringing alternative energy to real-life situations.

“Around 90 percent of the renewable and more efficient industries are small companies, and only the wind power industry is expected to create 400,000 jobs in the short term,” Velazquez said at a committee hearing Thursday.

Gregory Wetstone of the American Wind Energy Association said the U.S. is the world’s biggest market for wind energy development. (Read More)

Small-scale wind picks up speed

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Mariah Power, manufacturer of the Windspire vertical-axis wind turbine, shipped its first turbine in May. Rising energy costs and attractive incentives for renewable energy generations is driving demand for renewable energy systems such as the Windspire.

The turbine sells for about $5,000, which includes a high efficiency generator, integrated inverter, hinged monopole and wireless performance monitor.

“We set out to make a low-cost system the average person can buy,” says Mariah Power co-founder and CEO Mike Hess.

Mariah Power, backed by angel investors, Big Sky Partners and Greenhouse Capital, plans to open a $10 million venture capital funding round this summer, according to Hess. He would not reveal the name of the “Tier 1 venture capital firm” that he says will lead the round. Hess says the money will be used to build a manufacturing firm on U.S. soil.

The Windspire, which was developed by inventors Chris Gabrys and Tim Rodgers with help from Sierra Pacific Power and Nevada Power Companies, is 30 feet tall and 2 feet in radius. It produces about 2,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year in 12-mile-per-hour average winds.

Comparatively, a 1-kW peak solar system generates about 1,600 kWh per year in a sunny climate and about 750 kWh per year in a cloudy climate, according to Solarbuzz research firm. Mariah Power shipped its first 20 turbines to dealers in May, and has received a total of 2,000 orders, according Hess. “We can’t manufacture them fast enough.” (Full Article)

Sometrics Launches Social Ad-Serving Platform

Wednesday, June 4th, 2008

Social networks analytics firm Sometrics has launched what it calls the first ad-serving platform designed especially for social media.

Combined with its analytics software, the free platform will enable application developers to target ads based on user demographics, geography, interests and social actions within networks such as sending links and uploading photos.

Leading online ad-serving systems such as DoubleClick’s DART and aQuantive’s Atlas “don’t come out of the box with this level of social targeting,” said Ian Swanson, CEO of Sometrics. “In the social media space, it’s about how you move beyond the click to be able to tell who was the person engaging with an ad.”

Advertising on social networks has proven to be a major challenge for marketers because of the sheer glut of inventory across millions of member Web pages and the difficulty of pairing standard online ad units with user-generated content and communications.

The dearth of analytics and measurement around social media has also been an obstacle to monetization efforts.

With Sometrics ad-serving software, developers will be able to test campaigns based on various demographic and other factors to hone in on the right audience, according to Swanson. Warner Bros., for instance, might use the platform to promote its upcoming Batman sequel by devising a social ad campaign targeting fans of “Iron Man” and other comic book-based films.

By virtue of its social hyper-targeting, Sometrics expects to be able to deliver CPMs of $1 to $2 for application-based ads, which typically command rates of 10 cents to 80 cents today. The company’s system could also be used to serve premium and remnant display advertising on social networks. (Full Article)

Mariah Power Launches Windspire, Consumer-Friendly Small Wind Power Appliance

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Priced at Half the Cost of its Competitors, Windspire Gives Consumers Affordable, Attractive Option for Controlling Energy Costs

Environmentally conscious consumers now have a new, affordable choice for renewable energy options for their home or business. Mariah Power ( of Reno, Nevada announced today at Windpower 2008, the nation’s largest gathering of the wind industry, that its small wind power appliance Windspire(R) is now available for purchase. Priced at $4,995 for a fully-integrated unit with a five year warranty, Windspire provides power and efficiencies comparable to propeller turbines at a very competitive cost. A vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), Windspire offers a sleek design that sets it apart from more traditional horizontal (propeller) turbines. Its sleek structure and customizable paint colors enable Windspire to blend into many different settings, an aesthetic that sets it apart from its competitors in the small wind turbine market.

With an eye toward building consumer confidence and trust in its new product, Mariah Power has taken the rare step of subjecting Windspire to independent, real world testing at Windward Engineering in Spanish Forks, Utah.

“In the current economic climate, an increasing number of consumers and businesses are demanding affordable renewable energy options to control rising energy costs,” said Mike Hess, CEO of Mariah Power. “The challenge has always been creating a renewable energy option with proven effectiveness that doesn’t throw aesthetics out the window. Windspire’s tall, sleek unit is attractive and unassuming and the design’s effectiveness is being confirmed by an independent test facility. As in any emerging industry, there have been product misfires. We are securing third-party validation, a very unusual step, because we want to prove that Windspire is the real deal — efficient, powerful and reliable.” (Full Article)

Sometrics Launches First Ad Platform Engineered Expressly for the Social Web

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

Baked-In Social Targeting Capabilities Help Developers Increase Revenue by Micro-Targeting Ads Within Social Networks and Niche Community Sites

Sometrics ( today launched the first ad serving technology specifically engineered for the social web. Offered for free, the platform incorporates social targeting capabilities that help developers monetize the social web – increasing revenue by hyper-targeting their ads within the major social networking communities and niche sites.

The company made the announcement at Dealmaker Media’s Under the Radar Conference, “Monetizing Social Media and Entertainment,” held here today. Sometrics CEO and social media insider Ian Swanson is presenting in the Targeting Tools session at 1:30 p.m.

The Sometrics ad platform includes ad hosting, serving and precision-targeting using the most relevant and effective audience analysis available. The platform is coupled with Sometrics’ groundbreaking social analytics solution, which was created expressly to track and analyze traffic, demographics, interests and actions within the social web.

Sometrics goes beyond typical analytics to track social actions after the ads are served, helping developers know exactly who’s engaging and optimize their ad networks accordingly. It can target by demographics, geography and social interests (music, sports, etc.), within the major social networking communities and to the far reaches of ultra-targeted niche sites, as well.

“We’re giving developers the tools to help them know more about their audiences and better target their ads to increase revenue,” said Swanson. “We’ve combined our analytics with ad serving technology, two solutions designed specifically for the social web. What developers get is social intelligence – a deep understanding of who’s doing what within social networking websites and applications. The result is precision-targeted, more effective advertising within the massive playground that is the social web – a world that’s been frustratingly hard to quantify and monetize until now.”

Sometrics is the first recipient of capital from the Mail Room Fund, an investment consortium that combines big Hollywood (the William Morris Talent Agency) with Silicon Valley (Accel and Venrock). The funding round also included AT&T and Greycroft Partners. (Read More)