Sunday, January 05, 2014

Lesley Stahl does "The Cleantech Crash" on "60 Minutes" on January 5, 2014

First up on "60 Minutes" on January 5, 2014 was Stahl interviewing Vinod Khosla on KiOR. Stahl noted his clean, green gasoline costs more than petroleum.

Unanticipated glitches have been a problem in cleanteach. Venture capital model: for every 10 venture capital funded companies, nine go under. Stevin Kunin was interviewed, and mentioned the "new" people thought the old people in energy were troglodytes. Robert Rapier was interviewed and asked Stahl if she would let Khosla operate on her heart. Rapier noted Khosla's companies are not doing well. Silicon Valley expertise does not translate to energy. Rapier noted taxpayers paid Khosla to learn energy.

Khosla said we have to take risks. Khosla brought up research for cancer. Stahl brought up Solyndra, Fiskar and LG Industries. Steven Koonin was head scientist at DoE [ Koonin received his Bachelor of Science from Caltech and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He once worked for BP]. He told Stahl it was good value. But Abound, Beacon, A123, Fiskar were brought up by Stahl. Stahl asked Koonin if he made mistakes. Stahl noted not many jobs were created. Stahl brought up Tesla as a success story. Stahl brought up cheap natural gas. Wanxiang Group Co (sounds like "wang shun") bought A123 battery company. Chinese company scooping up failed clean tech companies. There are 27 US based plants owned by Wanxiang Group Co. "I am not the President of China; we are here to make money." American taxpayers have spent billions; did they get money's worth? If viewed as stepstone to future, yes. Khosla wants to open KiOR sites at defunct paper mills. Khosla: I am not afraid to fail. The alternative is doing nothing.
[ The point by Khosla is related to text by Theodore Roosevelt ( It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds ) and to text by U.S. Grant: During the Civil War, in response to an inquiry about whether he was sure he was right about a swift decision authorizing a large quartermaster expenditure, Ulysses S. Grant replied: "No, I am not, but in war anything is better than indecision. We must decide. If I am wrong we shall soon find it out and can do the other thing. But not to decide wastes both time and money and may ruin everything." from LBE, "Imagine: No More Indecision In Intellectual Property Cases," IPT (August 2005) ]

Second, MegaUpload allowed access to copyrighted materials. Kim Dotcom (once Kim Schmitz of Kiel, Germany ), currently near Auckland, New Zealand. Hollywood's super villain. Sean Henry, once of the FBI, investigated MegaUpload. Mega Conspiracy. Criminal copyright infringement. Kim says I did not upload these files. Kim says the other charges (eg, racketeering) were added because New Zealand will not extradite for copyright infringement. Eric Gardiner of the Hollywood Reporter. 50 million users on MegaUpload on a daily basis. Motion Picture Association of America. January 20, 2012: stormed Kim's place in Auckland. MP5 weapons were used. Picture: Mega Liberation. Police were using sledgehammers. Kim: overreach of epic proportions. Kim went to jail for a month. Kim used to be a hacker. dp. In the 1990's hacked phone lines. License plate on car: GOD. Kim was worth 2.5 billion dollars. Kim: I'm the perfect target. A judge in New Zealand ruled against the warrants; also, illegal eavesdropping. Message from Motion Picture Association: no industry can compete with theft.

Third, Scott Pelley on volcanos. "Island Mountain Glacier" in Iceland. Iceland has 30 volcanos, giving rise to 1/3 of the lava on earth. Rocks come out at 2000degF. Gas bubbles in magma may be 100 feet in diameter. There are about 15 tectonic plates. 100,000 air flights were cancelled because of the Iceland eruption. 1815 eruption in Indonesia. The year without a summer in 1816. Vesuvius is potentially most dangerous to people. Mike Sheridan, American volcanologist. Last big eruption 1631. August 25, 79 AD in Pompeii. 16,000 people killed. Suspect, in the future, a warning of a few days to evacuate. Eruption of 1794. Topic of supervolcanos. Yellowstone National Park. Last eruption 400,000 years ago.

Lesley Stahl did a followup on the Pussy Riot story ["Crackdown in Russia"}

IPBiz has discussed KiOR previously. For example, KiOR CFO John Karnes resigned on December 1, 2013

Also, on A123, A123 goes to China


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