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January 18th, 2011
01:32 PM ET

BIG I: Energy Challenge

The United States is one of the largest consumers of energy in the world.  General Electric is putting a call out to innovators to come up big ideas in home energy.  It's called the Ecomagination Challenge.  GE is looking for innovative ways to capture, manage and use energy in the home.  Winners will get cash from a $200 million pot including five $100,000 cash awards to the most innovative ideas.

Click here to check out GE's Ecomagination Challenge.

Click here to read up on XPrize's Energy and Environment Prize.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors • The Big I
January 18th, 2011
12:09 PM ET

It's Your Responsibility!

Ok…I’d like to think when it comes to social media use-I’m pretty much your average user. I’m not logged in 80 times a day but I ‘m more than a weekly consumer. I am in the business of communication so I will acquiesce that I have a vested interest in being connected. With that comes tremendous responsibility not only to you the consumer but also to myself. Forget the fact that I am in this business though because the same should go for anyone who decides to create an online presence.

This is where I scratch my head. There is no question that Facebook is  like the old E.F. Hutton ads. Facebook doesn’t just have to talk to get you to listen though, it merely has to flinch. So I, like millions of others, paused when the news surfaced yesterday that there was yet another privacy concern about Facebook. I read through it and yet again didn’t understand what all the fuss was about. On the surface, yes it can be confusing but if you educate yourself you will find in the small print that the power always resides in you. You have to add your phone number to your profile. You have to add your address online. You put your birthday out there. YOU opt for that information to go to the application. No one else but you.  It’s no different then the time you set up your phone number and made the decision to agree to be in the phone book. Yes, the phone book only goes so far but the point is this-you say yes or you say no. Your information now goes from California to Germany in a nanosecond once you click consent. Let me write that again-once you click consent.  The power is in you. Times are certainly different. Cultures need to change.

So here’s a thought: if you are going to put yourself out there into the unknown super-information highway where at any given moment you can be vulnerable, arm yourself. Arm yourself with information like you would in your search for a doctor or a dentist or a college or a tutor for your child or a babysitter. If your privacy is worth all this fuss (and I agree it is!) then treat it as such. That’s your responsibility.

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Filed under: Ali Velshi