Roundup: Virgin’s Branson wants green war room, Media employment plunges, WikiLeaks shuts down

It’s a holiday today, and so slower posting. Here’s the latest.

1. Virgin’s Branson wants “environmental war room”
2. U.S. media employment plunges
3. Why Google’s culture works, and Yahoo’s doesn’t
4. Creating fuel from carbon dioxide
5. Solar cells a better way to make hydrogen
6. Google has new head of Google corp dev
7. Whistleblower site WikiLeaks shuts down

branson2.jpgVirgin’s Richard Branson offers to set up an “environmental war room” to combat climate change — Branson, already motivated to find alternative fuels for his airline business, is advocating an independent office affiliated with the United Nations that would promote climate change mediation. Details here.

U.S. media employment plunges — Employment in the U.S media sector in December fell to a 15-year low (886,900), led by the shriveling newspaper industry, according to Adage. But employment in advertising and marketing services broke a record in November (769,000). Marketing consulting led the growth, according to the report.

Why Google’s management culture works, and Yahoo’s doesn’t — Google’s culture has worked today because the company is still directed by the vision of the leading Troika, a vision which through regular meetings is then manifest coherently through the ranks. At Yahoo, decision-making has been disbursed to hundreds of vice presidents. At least that’s the view of Chris Sacca, a former Googler, and it’s a perspective that makes sense. However, with Google now hiring thousands more workers, how long with the coherence last?

Creating fuel from carbon dioxide — Lots of chatter about this, but can it be done? Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory say they have developed a way to produce such a carbon-neutral fuel. But there’s a catch: The process would require nuclear power.

Solar cell made in university labs could provide a better way to make hydrogen — Penn State researchers have made a proof-of-concept device that uses solar hydrogen cells to split water and produce recoverable hydrogen.

lawee.jpgGoogle has new head of Google Corporate DevDavid Lawee is the new head of the division that invests in start-ups, buys them or otherwise cuts deal with strategic companies to push forward Google’s business interests, Techcrunch reports. This comes after predecessor Salman Ullah left the company to form Merus Capital, which we covered here.

Whistleblower site WikiLeaks shuts down — The site was supposed to let people anonymously post government and corporate documents, which can be a good thing if people want to squeal about corruption or some other ethically or legally abusive government maneuver. However, a California court ruling has shut it down. The case was brought by a Swiss bank after “several hundred” documents were posted about its offshore activities.