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Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

Inhabitat's Week in Green

Everything about Tesla is groundbreaking, including its direct-sales model. Laws in New Jersey, Ohio, Texas and Michigan have sought to prevent the electric carmaker from bypassing third-party dealerships and selling cars directly to customers. Last week, Tesla scored a big win in Maryland, when the state's governor signed a bill allowing the company to operate its own dealerships in the state. In other green transportation news, a 28-year-old woman is preparing to row all the way from Japan to San Francisco in a rowboat, with no support vessel. Airplane manufacturers have yet to unlock the potential of 3D-printing airplane parts, but the engineers at GE Aviation recently conducted a test, offering a possible glimpse of the future. The team created a mini jet engine that can roar up to 33,000 RPM, and it comes right out of a 3D printer.

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ZTE Open C running Firefox OS

Outside of one or two exceptions, most Firefox OS devices have been aimed squarely at the budget crowd -- at folks who would otherwise have to entirely forego smartphoness or tablets. However, Mozilla is ready to switch things up. The organization has unveiled a new strategy, Ignite, that should lead to Firefox OS gadgets you want to buy "because of the experience" rather than the price tag, according to CEO Chris Beard. Just what that entails isn't clear, but there's little doubt that this means a shift toward higher-end (though not necessarily flagship-class) hardware.

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Ever tried looking at the sun with your bare eyes? Too bright, right? Now imagine looking at something with the brightness of 300 trillion suns. That's how intense "the most luminous galaxy found to date" is, so much so that NASA has created a new classification for it and the 19 other similar galaxies it has discovered: extremely luminous infrared galaxies, or ELIRGs. Scientists have recently spotted the ELIRGs in infrared images of the sky taken by the agency's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope in 2010. This particular one is located 12.5 billion light years away, which means it started forming soon after the universe was born 13.8 billion years ago. As for why it's so incredibly brilliant, NASA JPL scientist Chao-Wei Tsai says it "may be from the main growth spurt of the galaxy's black hole."

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Human DNA sequencing

Gene sequencing, once a rare feat, is pretty common these days... but how do you know that your DNA data is up to snuff? As of now, there's an easy way to find out. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released reference genetic material that serves as a "measuring stick" for human gene sequencing. Researchers have tested this sample genome so thoroughly that it'll tell labs whether or not they're making typical mistakes, and ensure that their results are trustworthy. The hope is that you'll see bulletproof sequencing devices that take the anxiety out of pinpointing genetic conditions or understanding your ancestry.

[Image credit: Gerald Barber, Virginia Tech University (with permission of the National Science Foundation)]

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Pardon me while I say something that might not be entirely popular: Software updates are pretty awesome. Maybe not so much for game consoles, but, I digress because the Curiosity rover recently received a patch that improved the autofocus of its "ChemCam" telescope. Over the air. On Mars. Before the update, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory would take nine pictures of a subject (each at a different focus) to get one usable close-up image of any of the Red Planet's rocks and soils, and send them back home. Same goes for any sample analyses the laser was doing. The problem is that for those analyses to be anywhere remotely useful, the telescope projecting said laser needs to be in focus and the workaround in place wasn't very efficient.

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Firefox and iOS intertwined

It's been a long time coming, but Firefox for iOS is nearly here... in a manner of speaking. Mozilla has revealed that it's about to conduct a "limited" beta test of the web browser, and has already posted source code for early testers. The organization would like to have an open beta that gives everyone an early peek (à la Android), but that's not really possible with Apple's current testing mechanism. Still, a public release is likely close behind -- if you're not a fan of your iPhone's existing web surfing options, you'll have another major alternative before long.

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A satellite view of arctic ice

For most of the past two decades, a handful of climate change scientists have had the CIA's MEDEA (Measurement of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis) program as an ace in the hole: they could draw on classified info from spy satellites and subs to study global warming in extreme detail. However, they'll now have to make do with alternatives. The agency has shut down MEDEA, saying that its projects to study the security implications of climate change "have been completed." While the CIA says it'll still "engage external experts" on the subject, it won't be providing consistent access to its extremely accurate and rare data.

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Drone or Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) used for photography / filming flying by canal de Caronte, Martigues, France

The Justice Department promises to keep a closer eye on how its agencies are using drones from now on -- after all, they can be useful in nabbing suspects, but they can also be used as a tool to abuse power. In its new five-page policy guidance, the department has listed when its agencies can and can't use drones, with a focus on people's right to privacy. For instance, they can't be deployed to monitor activities protected by the First Amendment, such as peaceful protests. Authorities will also have to secure warrants to use the machines in places where the subject of investigation has "reasonable expectation of privacy." Obviously, the drones can only be used for authorized investigations and never for engaging in discriminatory acts.

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Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion

Car companies aren't usually good at wireless tech, and wireless companies aren't great with cars -- if you want to make wireless-savvy vehicles, you'll probably need some teamwork. Accordingly, Daimler and Qualcomm have forged a partnership that should improve connected cars. The first phase of this collaboration will focus on bringing cellular data and wireless electric car charging to your ride. They're not saying when they expect to bring their combined efforts to market, or what comes next. With that said, it won't be shocking if you're one day driving an electric Mercedes that's always online and never needs to plug in.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Skully CEO Marcus Weller stood in front of an crowd of customers that shelled out $1,500 to be one of the first recipients of the company's helmet with a heads up display and rear-facing camera to answer their questions. A few weeks ago Weller sent those backers a video message explaining that their helmets would be delayed until the fall. Now he was about to talk to those people face to face to address their concerns and show off the helmet's companion app for the first time. It's a talk he's prepared to give in multiple cities around the world.

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