Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency

On October 3, 2008, the “Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008” was signed into law. This bill extended tax credits for energy efficient home improvements (windows, doors, roofs, insulation, HVAC, and non-solar water heaters). Tax credits for these residential products will now be available for improvements made during 2009. More information is available at Federal Tax Credits for Energy Efficiency, but if you happen to know a good contractor who can help with insulating an attic based on the federal guidelines required to qualify for the credit, please let me know.

Digital Television Transition

The Senate unanimously approved a four-month delay in the upcoming shutdown of analog TV broadcasts based on the arguement that too many Americans wouldn’t be ready to get digital broadcasts by February 17. What’s interesting to me is that The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the arm of the Commerce Department administering the program, is now sending out new coupons only as older, unredeemed ones expire and free up more money and had nearly 2.6 million coupon requests on a waiting list as of last week.

In my service area, Comcast and Verizon have definitely been trying to woo customers. However, with ever increasing rates, I’d be happier if NTIA decided to intervene in some way with helping to monitor the increasing rates television providers are charging.

Regardless, these are clearly times when services like boxee, Hulu and Netflix become more appealing. It’s time for me to make the switch to these services or slowly wean myself off television.

Thanh Son Tofu

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of tofu. However, earlier this weekend, I stopped by Thanh Son Tofu – one of the many stores in Eden Center, Falls Church’s Vietnamese center on Wilson Boulevard. The store has a number of puddings, mainly tapioca and soybean-based. We walked away with enough servings to last a couple of days. Highly recommend the jackfruit or tofu pudding.

If you decide to visit here’s their address:

Thanh Son Tofu
6793A Wilson Boulevard
Falls Church, Va.

Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate Now Available

Internet Explorer 8 Release Candidate is now available for download for Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows Server. According to the the Internet Explorer blog some changes and features to look forward to are:

  • Platform Complete. The technical community should expect the final IE8 release to behave as the Release Candidate does. The IE8 product is effectively complete and done. We’ll post separately about the thousands of additional test cases we’re contributing to the W3C. We’ve listened very carefully to feedback from the betas. With the Release Candidate, we’re listening carefully for critical issues.
  • Reliability, Performance, and Compatibility improvements. We’ve studied the telemetry feedback about the browser’s underlying quality and addressed many issues.
  • Security. We’ve worked closely with people in the security community to enable consumer-ready clickjacking protection. Sites can now protect themselves and their users from clickjacking attacks “out of the box,” without impacting compatibility or requiring browser add-ons. We also made some changes to InPrivate based on feedback from customers and partners.