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Green Materials Matter to Gadget Buyers

Energy efficiency is just one of the attributes that eco-minded consumers evaluate when shopping for electronics. Gadget makers are discovering that the material composition of devices is starting to matter to buyers. Toxicity is an important factor, but lately attention is also being drawn to where materials are sourced. Take, for instance, "conflict minerals." They are fast becoming the electronics industry's blood diamonds, a resource that manufacturers with a modicum of corporate social responsibility won't want to touch with a 10-foot pole.…

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Could Social Media Help Home Energy Management?

Last week, the University of Mississippi revealed a plan to one-up the Tweet-a-Watt, a mash-up of the venerable Kill A Watt energy measurement gadget and Twitter. Partnering with smart meter startup SmartSynch, the school is working on providing energy consumption updates to students and faculty with data generated by 16 smart meters installed across several campus buildings. The point of this particular exercise is to educate and build awareness, but there are broader implications to connecting smart grid technology with social networks.…

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