Archives for December, 2013

The incandescent light bulb has been around since the late 1800s, but the venerable technology’s dominance seems just about over.  On January 1, 2014, in keeping with a law passed by Congress in 2007, the old familiar tungsten-filament 40- and 60-watt incandescent light bulbs can no longer be manufactured in the U.S., because they don’t…

Maybe the electric utilities are right, for a change. Maybe net-metering—the ability to run your kilowatt-hour meter backwards, with solar panels on your roof or a windmill in your backyard–is not the best policy for America, or for Americans. (See related, “As Solar Power Grows, Dispute Flares Over U.S. Utility Bills.”) But the utilities’ populist…

‘Tis the season for festive lights, family gatherings—and residential building fires. Usually wintertime home fires start because of factors like heating, cooking, and dry trees strung with lights close to fireplaces and candles, along with the simple fact that more of our activities take place indoors. But last month, the owner of a Tesla Model…

Waiting for a package? The holiday shipping countdown has begun: Online retailers are issuing regular reminders of how many days are left to order for delivery by Christmas, while shippers such as UPS and FedEx are scrambling to distribute record volumes of parcels from all of that e-commerce. Dubbing this “Peak Week,” UPS said it…

Back in 2008, when drivers pulling into gas stations in their full-size SUVs stared in shock at prices of $4 and up for a gallon of regular, it seemed as if we were heading into an austere future in which fuel would be increasingly scarce and brutally costly. But the energy apocalypse for consumers that…