On the Blogs: Tech Giants Keep Raising Bar on Renewables to Power the Cloud

first_imgOn the Blogs: Tech Giants Keep Raising Bar on Renewables to Power the Cloud FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享BY ALAN BOYLE for GeekWire: Microsoft is kicking up its targets for environmentally sustainable cloud computing by pledging that half of the electricity to power its data centers will come from renewable sources by 2018.The bar will be raised to 60 percent for the early 2020s. “And then we’ll just keep on getting better from there,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, told energy executives today at a gathering of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, or REBA.Smith’s announcement provided a timely kickoff for this week’s REBA Summit on the Microsoft campus in Redmond. More than 300 representatives of companies that produce, sell and buy electrical power are meeting to trade information, recap successes and failures, and make deals.The stakes are high, especially due to the rapid rise of cloud computing. Analysts say the data centers that provide the infrastructure for the cloud could consume almost 50 gigawatts of power this year. By 2030, communication technology could account for as much as 51 percent of global electricity usage and – be responsible for as much as 23 percent of the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions.Two of the Seattle area’s top tech firms, Microsoft and Amazon, are also two of the world’s top companies in cloud computing. Facebook and Google are close behind.“Our data centers, for each company, consume as much electrical power as a small state,” Smith said at the summit. “And there is going to come a time in the future, some decades ahead, when each of these companies will consume as much electrical power as a medium-sized nation.”REBA’s goal is to help companies get that power from renewable sources such as solar, wind and hydroelectric rather than from fossil fuels. The alliance is led byBusiness for Social Responsibility (a.k.a. BSR), the Rocky Mountain Institute, theWorld Resources Institute and the World Wildlife Fund. More than 60 companies, including Amazon and Microsoft, take part in REBA’s initiatives.Full article: http://www.geekwire.com/2016/microsoft-renewable-energy-cloud-reba-summit/last_img read more

LET THERE BE LIGHTS AT LYIT – AGAIN!

first_imgThey were down. They were up. They were down again and now they’re up again!The new lights at the LYIT in Letterkenny.The traffic lights at LYIT have created more debate than Roy Keane’s appointment as the Republic of Ireland assistant manager.And now they’re back on the agenda again. The traffic lights at the college on Port Road are currently being put back up today.The lights created controversy when they were erected at the start of the current college year.Many claimed the lights were not needed and that traffic flow actually increased in the area.Then suddenly the lights disappeared and many thought the council had decided to take them down altogether. But it transpired the company who put up the lights, Traffic Solutions Ltd, had not been paid for their work and the overall company had gone into examinership.The lights have remained down for a number of weeks but workers from the company are back today erecting the lights again!Let’s hope someone has seen the light after all of this! LET THERE BE LIGHTS AT LYIT – AGAIN! was last modified: November 20th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:LYITtraffic lightslast_img read more

That’s a ‘wrap’! Donegal doc and TV series to benefit from film fund

first_imgTwo film projects in Co. Donegal have been announced among the recipients sharing a €2m regional fund for the West of Ireland.The Western Region Audiovisual Producer’s Fund (WRAP) fund has today revealed that a new documentary and a TV series will be supported during shoots in Donegal.A documentary called ‘Screamers‘ will be filmed in Donegal and Sligo and is in pre-production with Dot Television and Marcie Films. Investment has also been awarded to ‘Weekend‘ a television series developed by Donegal production company Slipway Films and New Decade TV and written by Tara Hegarty (Donegal).The €2m WRAP fund is an initiative of the Western Development Commission (WDC) and Galway Film Centre, set up to encourage the film, television drama, animation and gaming sectors in the West of Ireland.Its aim is to support local talent and increase the economic impact of the industry in the region. Run in association with the local authorities of Clare, Donegal, Galway City, Galway County, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo as well as Údarás na Gaeltachta, WRAP will ensure investment in the sector until 2020.It is anticipated that the projects backed by WRAP funding so far will generate in excess of €4m spend in the region generating a significant return on investment of 8:1. The WRAP Fund is also the only funding project in the Republic of Ireland which is open to the games sector. The deadline for applications for funding in the games sector was March 8, 2019 and an announcement of the games funded will follow once they are selected.Sarah Dillon, Development Manager of the WRAP Fund, said: “We are delighted to be announcing the projects in receipt of investment and it is exciting to see the calibre of applications we are receiving. This is reflective of the general standard over the last few years in Irish film, television and animation with Irish talent making its mark on a global stage at the world’s leading film festivals.“WRAP is delighted to give a platform to local talent telling stories. WRAP is focused on continuing to drive the success and growth of the screen industries in the West through targeted strategic support with the backing of our stakeholders.”That’s a ‘wrap’! Donegal doc and TV series to benefit from film fund was last modified: May 2nd, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:documentaryEntertainmentfilmScreamersTV seriesWeekendwraplast_img read more

What would it cost you to attend Raiders’ final game in Oakland?

first_imgIf Ticketmaster is any indication, Raiders fans attending the team’s final game in Oakland are putting their money where their sentimental attraction is.As of noon Friday, fans, on average, were paying $312 to watch the 6-7 Raiders play the 4-9 Jacksonville Jaguars, 45 percent higher than any other home game this season a spokesperson said.On StubHub.com, upper deck seats range from $142.80 for upper end zone, to $161.13 for upper corner seats. Upper end zone and field sideline seats are …last_img

Proteins Conduct Electricity

first_img(Visited 582 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A remarkable finding at the single-molecule level shows a protein can conduct a large amount of electricity.A press release from the University of Cardiff describes how researchers isolated a single protein molecule and measured the passage of a current when placed between electrodes.  This could represent a fundamental property of proteins that might explain their function.  Two collaborators at the university said, “The highly conducting nature of this protein was a surprise and the result raises questions about the fundamental nature of electron transfer in proteins.”  Could it be that proteins operate as transistors?The team showed that the protein could carry large currents, equivalent to a human hair carrying one amp. The team also discovered that current flow could be regulated in much the same way as transistors, the tiny devices driving computers and smartphones, work but on a smaller scale: the proteins are only a quarter of the size of current silicon based transistors.The finding represents a leap forward in measurement at the nano scale.  “Prior to this work, measurement of millions, if not billions of proteins was only possible, so losing crucial details of how an individual molecule functions.” The team used scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to read the electronics of a single molecule of cytochrome b562, a protein just 5 nanometers (billions of a meter) long.While the focus of the press release was on human engineering of this conductance for nanotechnology, the discovery may elucidate how the cell’s protein machines work.  PhysOrg‘s headline was, “Electronics of nature’s nano machines.”  Its summary reads, “A team from the Cardiff University’s Schools of Biosciences and Physics and Astronomy have made a breakthrough in our understanding of proteins – the workhorse molecules of the cell and nature’s very own nano machines.”Details of the research have been published as a series of papers in the journals Nano Letters, ACS Nano, Small and Nanoscale, the press release indicated.While it’s premature to compare proteins to human electrical tools, it is known that electron or proton transfer is essential to some of them, such as photosynthesis, ATP synthase and other machines in the respiratory chain.  What about the motor proteins dynein, kinesin, and myosin?  What about the flagellar motor, mitochondrial machines and DNA transcription and translation machines?  How is ATP energy transduced into proteins’  mechanical actions?  This is a discovery to watch.  If your own cells can be someday described as electronic machines, wouldn’t that be cool?last_img read more

The Green Police: Product Retrospective

first_imgFor several years in the 2000s and early 2010s, I was half of the “Green Police,” a video series produced by Hanley Wood, along with green remodeler Michael Anschel of OA Design+Build+Architecture in Minneapolis, MN. The short “Green Police” videos included reviews of various green building materials, systems, and programs, and some recordings of a presentation we gave at ACI (Now known as the National Home Performance Conference) in Austin, Texas. We had a lot of fun, ran across some interesting products, learned a few things, and hopefully entertained some people in the process. Like all good things, the “Green Police” series eventually had to come to an end, and was ultimately discontinued (although we still come together for conferences and trainings).Michael and I sat down recently and re-watched our videos. While some are better than others, we feel like we shared some interesting technologies and our honest—sometimes maybe too honest—opinions on what we found. We have realized that experience and maturity (in my case, at least) has led us to reconsider some of the products we reviewed. Some of our predictions were on point, some were dead wrong, and many things we liked are either no longer on the market or have still not gained significant traction after almost a decade.Still fussing and fighting, we are happy to share our updates along with some of the original videos so you can see just how right and wrong we were.Some products are dead and goneWe really liked Calstar, a masonry product that was supposed to be less expensive and produce less carbon than typical brick and block production. Unfortunately, the company did not succeed and closed up shop in 2015. Verdict: We were right, but the market didn’t agree with us.Perennial Wood was a winner too–acetylated yellow pine provided incredible resistance from rot, warping, splitting, expansion, and contraction with no toxic chemicals. And it smells like pickles!  Available in tongue and groove decking, rails and pickets, and solid stock, I used it on two screened porches with great success. It provides the traditional look of a wood porch floor without any of the durability issues. After over 6 years, my porch has no evidence of any movement or deterioration, something that can’t be said for any other wood product. While the cladding held up, the stain released from the decking. Turns out since it has no real porosity, stain can’t grab the surface, but a latex paint (which forms a film on the surface) works fine. Unfortunately, it was not a financial success and was taken off the market. Verdict: We were right again, but the marketing was off.In the early 2010s, phase change materials were looking like the next big thing. They were expected to reduce energy bills by as much as 40%. The concept is simple–when the building warms up, the material absorbs the heat and turns from a solid to a liquid, then later, when the heat is needed, the material solidifies, rejecting the heat into the living space. Thermal Core Phase changing drywall was designed to replace heavy thermal mass materials such as concrete, or to go way back, Trombe Walls (those tubes of water people used in early passive solar designs). We were skeptical for a variety of reasons, and unfortunately, it does not seem to have survived. BASF was involved in the development of Thermal Core, however they divested from it in 2017 and it seems to have disappeared. Verdict: We were skeptical and so was the market—Point to the Green Police.Some products are (sort of) still aroundNanogel, sold commercially as Aerogel, is another interesting technology. A super insulating material with a value of R-20 per inch, it can be used inside translucent glazing materials such as Kalwall. With this level of insulation, it is possible to have a completely translucent high efficiency wall structure, although adoption has been limited, especially in residential construction. Verdict: The jury is still out. We like it but it hasn’t been fully embraced or rejected by the market.Heat Mirror (review starts at 1:40 in video above) was a promising low-e window film, installed inside insulated glazing to create essentially triple glazing without the extra weight of the third layer of glass, reaching R values of up to 20. Unfortunately, the film was not durable, and stories of early failures appeared to doom the product, although it does have some life. Alpen windows has it on their website but it does not appear that it is available in any standard products. Verdict: We liked it, but it wasn’t a viable technology. Green Police – Chumps!Final Score: Green Police: 1  Market: 3  Product fail: 1That wraps up our first recap of our short career as YouTube stars. Coming up in future posts: our evolving opinions on heat pump water heaters, mineral wool, foam insulation, and plumbing fixtures. And you might get to see me murder Michael in the Roxul (Now Rockwool) booth at the Builders Show.-Carl Seville is a green builder, educator, and consultant on sustainability to the residential construction industry. After a 25-year career in the remodeling industry, he and a partner founded a company, SK Collaborative. Photos courtesy of the author.last_img read more

Australian Open: Nadal thrashes Berdych to reach quarters, Tiafoe beats Dimitrov on birthday

first_imgRafa Nadal routed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6(4) in a centre court masterclass to charge into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.The 2009 champion was relentless at Rod Laver Arena, claiming the first two sets in an astonishing 51 minutes and firing 32 winners past the hapless Czech to reach the last eight at Melbourne Park for the 11th time.Spaniard Nadal, who avenged his defeat to the former world number four in the quarter-final of the 2015 tournament, sealed the win on his first match point when the Czech hammered into the net.Bidding for an 18th Grand Slam title, second seed Nadal will play unseeded American Frances Tiafoe for a place in the semi-finals.37 Grand Slam quarterfinals #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/KDeCUXuMMe#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2019TIAFOE’S QUARTER-FINAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONAmerican Frances Tiafoe celebrated his 21st birthday by stunning Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-7(1), 7-5 in the fourth round of the Australian Open on [email protected] is just the second American male player to reach the #AusOpen quarterfinals since @andyroddick in 2010.Match report : https://t.co/NdVtVBrNVS pic.twitter.com/yGBeJ9iRet#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2019Tiafoe, the last American man standing at Melbourne Park, fended off four early break points in a sluggish start before taking his own opportunities on Dimitrov’s serve to claim the opening set.Former Melbourne semi-finalist Dimitrov had three sets points to draw level but Tiafoe refused to wilt under the pressure and reeled off five straight points to move two sets ahead.Dimitrov, who has slipped just outside the top 20 in the world after early exits in his last three Grand Slams appearances, dug deep to fight his way back, claiming the third set in another tiebreak.advertisementBut Tiafoe was back on top in the fourth set, clinching a decisive break in the 11th game before serving out to seal a quarter-final.Also Read | Former champion Angelique Kerber stunned in fourth roundAlso Read | Maria Sharapova ousted as Barty wins thriller to reach quartersAlso Read | Petra Kvitova storms into quarters after outclassing Amanda Anisimovalast_img read more