ENTRIES TAGGED "environment"

The Moore's Law of solar energy

The Moore's Law of solar energy

Solar cost per watt is dropping on an exponential curve, and will drop below coal by 2020.

If humanity could capture one tenth of one percent of the solar energy striking the Earth, we would have access to 6X as much energy as we consume in all forms today, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions.

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Industrial ecology and big data

How can massive environmental datastreams create new markets?

Because companies are tracking their inputs and byproducts carefully, there has been an exponential increase in the amout of efficiency/environmental data available for primary stakeholders and investors.

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Four short links: 24 December 2010

Four short links: 24 December 2010

Carbon Offsets, Good IDN, People Don't Suck, and Passive Lifeblogging

  1. Holiday Carbon Offsets — buy carbon offsets against Santa’s trip, a stockingful of coal, or this year’s Reindeer Games. (via Val Aurora on Twitter)
  2. Sad Story of the Snowman — the best use of Internationalized Domain Names yet.
  3. Katie, Starwars Geek (CNN) — best use of the Internet this year.
  4. Everything The Internet Knows About Me Because I Asked It To (WSJ) — passive lifeblogging. (via Keith on Twitter)
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Sensor networks and the future of forecasting

Sensor networks and the future of forecasting

Data and low-cost sensor networks can spot extreme weather before it hits.

Identifying extreme weather patterns can minimize impact when that weather arrives. But to improve long-range forecasts, we'll need to create environmental sensor networks out of phones, satellites and other technology.

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Four short links: 1 July 2010

Four short links: 1 July 2010

Component Costs, Streaming Server, RC Parts, and MySQL SSD Goodness

  1. Conflict Minerals and Blood Tech (Joey Devilla) — electronic components have a human and environmental cost. I remember Saul Griffith asking me, “do you want to kill gorillas or dolphins?” for one component. Now we can add child militias and horrific rape to the list. (via Simon Willison)
  2. Meteor — an open source HTTP server that serves streaming data feeds (for apps that need Comet-style persistent connections). (via gianouts on Delicious)
  3. Hobby King RC Store — online source for remote control goodness, as recommended by Dan Shapiro at Foo.
  4. RethinkDB — MySQL storage engine optimised for SSD drives. See also TechCrunch article.
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Four short links: 4 September 2009 Four short links: 4 September 2009

Four short links: 4 September 2009

Flood Maps, Govt Permalinks, Ops, and Security

  1. Flood Maps — what the world will look like when the oceans rise. Interactive, so you can dial up your preferred level of environmental horror. (via Hans Nowak)
  2. Citabilitymaking government accessible, reliable, and transparent with advanced permalinks, as Government websites are ever changing and cannot be cited. Content changes without notice or accountability.
  3. Bootstrapping EC2 Images as Puppet ClientsThis is a post on how to get to the point of using Puppet in an EC2 environment, by automatically configuring EC2 instances as Puppet clients once they’re launched. I’ve been learning that if you’re using a cloud hosting service, you need an automated admin tool. (via Grig Gheorghiu). See also the APT repository for Chef.
  4. USB Snoop Stick — Trojan in a convenient form factor, malware on a stick, back doors in your pocket … and best of all, it’s sold to consumers.
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Four short links: 27 Mar 2009

Four short links: 27 Mar 2009

Design, Perl, Heresy, and Ephemera:

  1. Product Panic: 2009 — Bruce Sterling essay on design for recession-panicked consumers. As is usual with Bruce, I can’t tell whether he’s wryly tongue-in-cheek or literally advocating what he says. Great panic products are like Roosevelt’s fireside chats. They’re cheery bluff. The standard virtues of fine industrial design—safety, convenience, serviceability, utility, solid construction … well, when you’re heading for the lifeboats, you can overlook those pesky little details. For designers, the ideal panic product in 2009 is a 99-cent iPhone application. Something like an iPhone ocarina or lava lamp.
  2. Chuck vs CamelProgramming Perl makes an appearance on mainstream TV. (thanks Allison!)
  3. The Civil Heretic (NY Times) — a fascinating portrait of Freeman Dyson.
  4. FileFront Closes — “48 terabytes of data, historical and user-generated, gone.” Does our every upload deserve eternity? Who would want, take, or be able to support the continued existence of 48T of unprofitable blahblah? If 48T of user-generated content falls in the cloud, does it make a sound? (via waxy)
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Four short links: 26 Mar 2009

Four short links: 26 Mar 2009

Books, Money, Collective Despair, and a Dashboard of Doom:

  1. Will The Real iPod For Reading Please Stand Up — Sebastian Mary argues eloquently that we’re too focused on long-term writing because of the requirements and constraints imposed upon us by a mass-market paper book, whereas text online is basically an experiment in different lengths and sizes to find new balances for the new medium. a glance at the self-help or business shelves of your local bookshop will show you plenty more. And yet to make economic sense they have to be padded out for publication in ‘proper’ book size. But to conclude from this (as many unwittingly do) that long-form books are necessarily the best, rather than just the most familiar, way of communicating ideas is mistaken; and to assume that this practice will transplant to e-readers, imagined as a kind of iPod for these long-form essays, is just wrong.
  2. What I’ve Learned in Angel Investing — fascinating concrete lessons learned by an ex-Yahoo! angel. Be Wary of Entrepreneurs Who are Building for Businesses They Have No Experience In: I don’t like it when people are theorizing about how a certain market is or isn’t. They will most likely find problems that they have no experience tackling. It’s better to find a company who has a veteran of the industry they are tackling so that they have at least have some first hand knowledge of what goes on in that industry.
  3. Eco DataminingBy trawling scientific list-serves, Chinese fish market websites, and local news sources, ecologists think they can use human beings as sensors by mining their communications. Reminiscent of InSTEDD’s Golden Shadow project.
  4. Check In On the State of the Economy — a very appealing idea: a dashboard for the economy that is continuously refreshed as new data comes in. The difference between a one-off infographic and a live-updating dashboard is the difference between seeing the train and watching it race towards you. (via >Flowing Data)
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ETech: Priorities for a Greener World: If You Could Design Anything, What Should You Do?

The second ETech session today I’d like to share with you was presented by a personal friend of mine, Jeremy Faludi. Jer started his session entitled “Priorities for a Greener World: If You Could Design Anything, What Should You Do?” by pointing out that if we want to change the world, we ought to know what the most important issues are, right?

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Four short links: 11.5 Feb 2009

Four short links: 11.5 Feb 2009

This second Feb 11 post was brought to you by the intersection of timezones and technology. If there’s a third Feb 11 post, I’m changing my name to Bill Murray.

  1. Hacking the Earth — an environmental futurist looks at “geoengineering”, deliberately interfering with the Earth’s systems to terraform the planet. Radical solution to global warming, unwise hubris and immoral act of the highest folly, or all of the above? (via Matt Jones)
  2. Reinvention Draws Near for Newsweek — fascinating look at how Newsweek are refocusing their magazine. “If we don’t have something original to say, we won’t. The drill of chasing the week’s news to add a couple of hard-fought new details is not sustainable.” gives me hope. Newsweek are hoping to target fewer but richer advertisers, essentially a business strategy of tapping existing customers for more. This feels like they’re ceding the contested parts of their business (commodity news stories) and doubling down on the bits that nobody else is fighting for yet (their columnists, pictures, whitespace). What else could they do? Possibly nothing (see Innovator’s Dilemma), but the alternative is figuring out something new that people want and giving them that. Easy to say, hard for anyone to do.
  3. Tinkerkit – a physical computing kit for designers. Arduino-compatible components for rapid prototyping. Sweet!
  4. Stanford University YouTube Channel — short interesting talks by Stanford researchers. Brains on chips, stem cells to fight deafness, and brain imagery are some of the first up there. The talks aren’t condescending or vague, they’re aimed at “a bright and curious audience”, as the Mind Hacks blog post about them put it.
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