Google partners with SunPower to help finance solar installs

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Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is going very green this month. Yesterday Google announced a deal to purchase up to 407MW of wind power for its Iowa data center. And today, Google has announced that it has committed $100 million to create a new fund for financing the purchase of residential solar installations through a partnership with SunPower Corporation.

This is Google’s 16th renewable energy investment and is the 3rd in residential rooftop solar projects. Google previously committed $280 million to create another fund with SolarCity. Google also committed $75 million through a partnership with Clean Power Finance.

This fund will include $150 million from SunPower, which will be used for purchasing solar panels that homeowners can use as part of a lease program. The lease will cost lower than normal electricity bills.

SunPower currently has a program that brought solar panels to around 20,000 U.S. households. SunPower expects that its partnership with Google will bring solar panels to thousands of more homes. SunPower builds the panels itself and installs them for homeowners.

“We’re pleased to team with SunPower to make solar power accessible to more homeowners, and offer families a more effective way to reduce their carbon footprint,” stated Kojo Ako-Asare, head of corporate finance at Google in a statement today.  “Google is committed to promoting the efficient use of resources and expanding the use of renewable energy. Our partnership with SunPower makes good business sense and supports our goals for a clean energy future.”

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Facebook Received 28,147 Government Requests in Second Half of 2013

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has announced the number of data requests it received from law enforcement agencies from around the world for the second half of the year. That number is 28,147. These requests impacted around 38,256 accounts. 

Facebook released its first report in August 2013 so we cannot compare year-to-year differences. The second half of 2013 (July to December) can be compared against the first half (January to June) to get a total for the full year.

The numbers for the second half of last year are slightly higher than the first half, which are 25,607 requests that affects 37,954 users accounts. In all of 2013, Facebook saw 53,754 government requests that impacted 66,101 accounts potentially. This is close to what Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo! saw last year.

Facebook announced that it is expanding its first report to include information about government requests for account information with government requests to restrict or remove content from its service on the grounds that it violates local law, according to TheNextWeb.

“Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share, and to make the world more open and connected. Sometimes, the laws of a country interfere with that mission, by limiting what can be shared there,” said the company in a statement.

Facebook said that it reviews each request to make sure it is legally sufficient. Facebook pushes back against requests that are too broad or vague.


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Google Glass is going to be sold to the public on April 15th

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Google is going to be offering a one-day sale of Google Glass to the public. This is great news if you are an early adopter or wanted to be part of the Explorer program, but did not receive an acceptance.

These spots are limited though and Google Glass could sell out quickly. Google Glass is going live for the public on April 15th. Google said that it will be selling the same Google Glass unit that other Explorers have bought.

It will still cost $1,500. Google is including its designer frames. The sale starts at 9AM EDT on that date at this link.


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