Study: Hybrid cars hit more pedestrians

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study, hybrids are twice as dangerous to pedestrians because they are sneaky-quiet. This has provoked debate in the auto industry, with manufacturers trying to pick a noise to warn pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence.

DOE, USDA hand out $24M to biomass projects

Biomass is often overlooked in favor of sexier renewable energy sources like solar and wind — it’s dirty, capital intensive and not emissions free — but it is one of the only drop-in technologies in the alternative fuel space (meaning that it will work with legacy technology, traditional gas tanks and the like). Finally, it has captured the attention of the Department of Energy, which partnered with the Department of Agriculture to give out $24.4 million in stimulus grants to biofuel development projects.

Spore: The Movie. Sounds like a bad idea

Some adaptations of video games to movies just leave you shaking your head. The Angelina Jolie/Tomb Raider movies made a lot of sense. But Spore?

314 of the Forbes 400 richest Americans poorer than last year

Warren Buffett’s wealth took a dive this past year, losing $10 billion in value on his shares in Berkshire Hathaway. At least he’s not alone. More than three-quarters of Forbes’s annual list of the 400 richest Americans lost wealth in the past year.

Who rules real-time search? A look at 11 contenders

Real-time search engines have proliferated over the last month, with a series of launches from start-ups like Topsy, and Scoopler. The companies are hoping to edge in on a space that Google co-founder Larry Page has admitted is a weakness for the search giant. And they’re using microblogging and social bookmarking sites as tools to figure out what content is relevant up to the second.

Game industry maverick Bernie Stolar: unplugged and worried about crappy games

Bernie Stolar, former games evangelist at Google and a veteran of many game companies, is one of those unfiltered loose cannons. He had a fireside chat on Friday with Forbes writer Mary Jane Irwin at the SD Forum games conference at Microsoft’s office in Mountain View, Calif. Stolar has been around the block. He joked about being the old guy of the game industry. But he has played a key role at Atari, Sony, Sega, and most recently, Adscape Media, which Google bought for $21 million as the foundation for its entry into the in-game advertising business. Here’s a transcript of his talk with Irwin.

OwnEnergy shoots for $100M to fund wind power

OwnEnergy just brought in an undisclosed amount in first-round funding, but the 1-year-old wind and alternative energy company is already looking ahead to the full $100 million it needs to raise to develop its first project, a 51-megawatt wind farm in north Texas — and to have it up and running by the end of 2009.

Vivox scores deals for voice-communication in online games for 38 Studios and Sony

Once considered an afterthought in games, voice communication is becoming a bigger part of the online gaming experience. Now players can use sound strategically in large games known as massively multiplayer online games (MMOs). You can engage in a high-quality group voice chat with a large team of players to coordinate play. You can disguise your voice so that you sound like a game character instead of a 12-year-old kid. And with 3-D directional sound, you can tell which direction someone is shooting from or notice that someone is whispering over your shoulder.

Web companies organize massive effort to patch fundamental Internet flaw

The entire underpinnings of the Internet are vulnerable to a major bug in how Internet addresses are managed, security researchers announced today. The problem is so big that dozens of companies and government organizations have secretly synchronized an effort to fix it.