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New Treatment for Wastewater Discharge

New Treatment for Wastewater Discharge | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Wastewater discharge from cities and urban centers is also to blame. In addition to phosphorous, there are growing concerns about a wide range of chemicals and substances being poured into coastal waters from urban sources—trace organics and hormones in pharmaceuticals and in personal care products (PPCPs) prominent among them.
Conducting an eight-week study as part of a multi-year partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Veolia Water North America found that adding its Actiflo Carb technology to the traditional wastewater treatment process removed 75 percent of selected PPCPs and reduced phosphorous concentration to 0.05 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or less, a level well below the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) 1.0 mg/L threshold, according to a company press release.

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Google's Cat Algorithm is Now Boosting Voice Recognition

Google's Cat Algorithm is Now Boosting Voice Recognition | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Google’s simulated neural network algorithm already learned how to recognize cats. Now Google is using the dynamic network to improve the capabilities of its English speech recognition software.Google has new inspiration for their software — the human brain.

For months, the tech company has been developing “neural networking,” a technique that collects data and uses that data towards other processes, much like the neurons in the human brain do when learning something.

Now Google is ready for those networks to be used commercially.

The company has already successfully used neural networking data for computers to recognize cats in YouTube videos. The computer itself was able to decide which features of the videos — patterns, colors, etc. — to give importance to and then identify what it thought was a feline.

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In the Land of the Maya, A Battle for a Vital Forest by William Allen: Yale Environment 360

In the Land of the Maya, A Battle for a Vital Forest by William Allen: Yale Environment 360 | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
In Guatemala’s vast Maya Biosphere Reserve, conservation groups are battling to preserve a unique rainforest now under threat from Mexican drug cartels, Salvadoran drug gangs, and Chinese-backed groups illegally logging prime tropical hardwoods.
The 200-foot summit of Temple IV in the ancient Maya city of Tikal provides a spectacular view of Central America’s largest expanse of intact rainforest. In the late afternoon, spider monkeys dangle from nearby branches, stretching to pick small fruits. The guttural barks of howler monkeys echo through the canopy — a lush green broken only by the occasional flash of lemon yellow from a swooping toucan.

This lowland forest is the heart of the Maya Biosphere Reserve of northern Guatemala, a 2.1 million-hectare (5.2 million-acre) sanctuary that covers 19 percent of the country and contains roughly 60 percent of its protected area. The UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve sustains a wide array of biodiversity, most notably the last remaining population of a key subspecies of scarlet macaw.

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Bicymple, la bicicleta más sencilla del mundo (sin cadenas)

A short video featuring the bicymple. Designed and built by Josh Bechtel in Bellingham, WA, USA. Learn more at www.bicymple.com The first 0:37 shows the rear...
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‘SuMo’ smartphone app wrestles workers’ energy waste | Energy Live News

‘SuMo’ smartphone app wrestles workers’ energy waste | Energy Live News | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

The makers of a new smartphone app called ‘SuMo’ claim it will motivate employees to reduce waste by up to 15% – saving firms money along the way.
CloudApps believes this will help firms to cut their costs by using the game’s challenges, leader boards, badges, points and a reward system.
The app uses competition among teams, offices and individuals to slash wastage in areas such as business travel, energy, heating, cooling, lighting, water and waste.
The makers say companies trialling the beta version cut travel costs by 9% and their energy spend by 10%.
Peter Grant, CEO of CloudApps said the aim is to motivate “entire workforces to become more sustainable by becoming more profitable.”
He added: “Feedback from our customers has told us employee engagement is the biggest challenge they face.”

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Why we can't bank on recessions to keep global warming in check

Why we can't bank on recessions to keep global warming in check | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Greenhouse gas emissions rise when economies expand but don't fall as quickly when recession strikes, according to new research that emphasises the risks of relying on economic downturns to keep future emissions in check.


Via Stephane Bilodeau, Hans De Keulenaer
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Llegamos a los Presupuestos Generales del Estado - Energías Renovables.

Llegamos a los Presupuestos Generales del Estado - Energías Renovables. | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Llevar las primas a los PGE ha sido una vieja demanda de las eléctricas y un anatema para el sector renovable, por la incertidumbre que introduce supeditar los ingresos de las energías verdes a la negociación anual de las cuentas públicas, algo habitualmente complejo con nuestro modelo de distribución de fuerzas parlamentarias, en el que las mayorías absolutas son la excepción.


Empero, el hecho de que los PGE también sufraguen parte de los costes del sistema eléctrico puede tener sus ventajas. Más aún en la situación actual, con la tarifa eléctrica dando evidentes muestras de agotamiento a la hora de financiar el despegue de la energía limpia y con las primas bajo una moratoria indefinida que probablemente será definitiva.

 

A diferencia de otros países de nuestro entorno, en España la fiscalidad ambiental brilla por su ausencia, y la Unión Europea exige usarla para avanzar en la sostenibilidad energética. La aplicación del principio ‘el que contamina, paga’ puede abrir nuevas vías de crecimiento en ahorro y eficiencia, en movilidad eléctrica, en redes inteligentes, en sistemas de almacenamiento, etcétera.


Las subastas de Derechos de Emisión del mercado comunitario de CO2 que comenzarán el año que viene –hasta ahora se han regalado– son un ejemplo del camino a seguir: sólo del sector eléctrico se recaudarán más de 1.100 millones, de los que al menos el 50% debe destinarse a reducir las emisiones. De momento, el ministro Soria ha anunciado que dedicará 450 millones obtenidos por esa vía a reducir el déficit de tarifa acumulado.


Los PGE de 2013 son pavorosos para cumplir el objetivo de déficit público y no hay mucho que rascar. Pero el paso dado es estructural. Y además las siguientes rondas de la reforma energética llegarán sin la engañifa del déficit de tarifa, que ha sido tan nefasto para los consumidores como útil para algunos a la hora de posponer lo importante.


Via ECOIMPULSO
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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison planning green experiment on Hawaiian island - Telegraph

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison planning green experiment on Hawaiian island  - Telegraph | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Larry Ellison, America’s third richest man, has revealed plans for an ambitious green experiment on a 141-square mile paradise island in the Pacific, which he bought this summer for $500 million.

Via SustainOurEarth
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Puma launches biodegradable shoes to aid nature, lift sales | Reuters

Puma launches biodegradable shoes to aid nature, lift sales | Reuters | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
OSLO (Reuters) - German sportswear company Puma announced a range of biodegradable shoes and clothes on Monday, seeking to lead in protecting nature as it tries to catch up with rivals (Puma launches biodegradable shoes to aid nature, lift sales:...

The new collection, going on sale in 2013, includes biodegradable sneakers and shirts and recyclable plastic track jackets and backpacks. At the end of their useful life, the products can be returned to stores for processing. ...

It also showed that 100,000 pairs of biodegradable sneakers, for instance, would fill 12 trucks of waste during production and disposal against 31 trucks-worth for the same number of normal Puma suede shoes.

Zeitz conceded that "a lot of people call it a risk" to mention pollution when trying to sell a product. "I think it's a risk not to talk about it," he said. "It's our opportunity as businesses to be transparent."


Via Bert Guevara
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Un isolant phonique 100% naturel chez Nature&Développement

Un isolant phonique 100% naturel chez Nature&Développement | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Nature&Développement met en avant un isolant phonique, nommé Acoustix, et fabriqué par Pan-Terre. Il est composé de deux matières premières d’origine naturelle : le papier et les anas de lin. Issue à 100 % du recyclage et 100 % recyclable, cette mousse de papier, constituée de brins de lin, forme un panneau rigide.

(...)

 


Via Pascal Faucompré
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Designing the grid for renewables | SmartPlanet

Designing the grid for renewables | SmartPlanet | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Real-world European experience and recent research show that renewables can achieve high levels of penetration onto the power grid, while increasing r...
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Design Critics: Landscape Architects Can Take the Lead in Designing Cities

Design Critics: Landscape Architects Can Take the Lead in Designing Cities | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
For the Sunday morning general session at the ASLA 2012 Annual Meeting, Bradford McKee, editor of Landscape Architecture Magazine, organized a panel of some of the most prominent architecture and urban design critics from around the U.S.

Via Bert Guevara
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Australia Plants World's Largest Pallet Garden

Australia Plants World's Largest Pallet Garden | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Giant cube of edible plants is awesome!...

The Great Crate is an art installation commissioned for the City of Sydney’s Art & About public art festival. A couple hundred plastic shipping crates were used to create this four-sided vertical edible garden in the shape of a cube.

The Great Crate garden is 100% recyclable. After the art festival has run its course it will be dismantled and the crates will be put back to use with the plants distributed back into the community. In preparation for the installation, the team behind The Great Crate distributed broad bean seeds throughout the community and asked people to grow the plants for the giant cube.

Containers and bottles that would normally have ended up in the trash were upcycled as seed starters and planters by participants who were eager to be part of the creation of this art piece.

 


Via Bert Guevara
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Panama entre los paises con peor nota en calidad y sustentabilidad de sus oceanos

Panama entre los paises con peor nota en calidad y sustentabilidad de sus oceanos | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Panamá se encuentra entre los países de Latinoamérica con peor nota en calidad y sustentabilidad de sus zonas marítimas, según el Índice Mundial de Salud (#Panama entre los paises con peor nota en calidad y sustentabilidad de sus oceanos


Via Ursula Sola de Hinestrosa
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Twitter and Airbnb Founders Want to Build a Smarter City

Twitter and Airbnb Founders Want to Build a Smarter City | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Can mobile technology and big data help build a smarter city? Some of the world's brightest tech minds say "yes" in this new video.

The above video features Twitter and Square’s Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s Biz Stone, Airbnb’s Brian Chesky and Jawbone’s Hosain Roman all giving their tech and mobile-based solutions to city dwellers’ everyday problems. It’s the project of angel investor Ron Conway, who made it to highlight his new tech advocacy organization, sf.citi.

“What we wanted to do was get visibility for sf.city, which is basically the technology chamber of commerce of San Francisco,” Conway told Mashable. “We wanted to release this video that talks about the possibilities of where tech can actually bring solutions to improve the quality of life in San Francisco.”

Conway added that sf.citi already has 350 members, which he estimates to be “90% of the tech population in San Francisco.”

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Tecnologia militar ajuda cientistas a achar baleia ameaçada

Tecnologia militar ajuda cientistas a achar baleia ameaçada | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Cientistas da Austrália estão usando tecnologia militar de localização de submarinos para encontrar exemplares de baleia-azul (Balaenoptera musculus) pelo seu canto, mesmo que o animal esteja a centenas de quilômetros de distância.om sons de baixa frequência, os mamíferos podem se comunicar através de bacias oceânicas inteiras.

Até agora, o monitoramento das baleias era feito apenas visualmente, mas a partir deste ano cientistas da Divisão Antártica Australiana passaram a usar também boias sonoras direcionais -- equipamentos geralmente empregados por militares para localizar e espionar submarinos.

Ao longo de 20 dias neste ano, os cientistas registraram com a nova tecnologia a presença de 103 baleias azuis, um número recorde, numa área de mais de 10 mil quilômetros.

A baleia-azul, maior animal do oceano Antártico, foi quase extinta pela caça predatória na década de 1990, e o governo australiano diz que o monitoramento pode contribuir com a sua preservação.

A espécie é considerada ameaçada de extinção, de acordo com a União Internacional para a Conservação da Natureza e dos Recursos Naturais (IUCN, na tradução do inglês)

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Bruselas promueve soluciones “prácticas y rentables” contra el cambio climático

Esta semana comienza una interesante campaña que busca ideas prácticas y rentables para combatir el cambio climático.


Via Ursula Sola de Hinestrosa
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Resíduos de esgoto são utilizados na indústria de papel e plástico

Resíduos de esgoto são utilizados na indústria de papel e plástico | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

 

O esgoto já está sendo transformado em matérias-primas utilizadas por indústrias de papel e de plástico ao redor do mundo, graças a uma inovação.

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Passive House

Passive House | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Envisaged measures for reduction of energy consumption:
- Southern orientation of volume of the building and the windows, measures against overshadowing the house in winter and overheating in summer.
- Passive use of solar energy.


Via Jean-Yves Mesnil, association concert urbain
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[vidéo] La maison du futur voit le jour à Yerres (91)

Construire sa maison sans architecte, en bois, en énergie verte et en moins de 4 mois, c’est désormais possible grâce à l’entreprise Ecoxia. Plus sur http://wizdeo.com/s/telessonne.


Via Pascal Faucompré
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Flexible plastic display technology in different sizes - InnovaGeek

Flexible plastic display technology in different sizes - InnovaGeek | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Tech Offer: A UK company is the leader in the field of plastic electronics. Their innovative flexible plastic display technology enables ultra-light, ultra-thin, high-quality and extremely robust displays of different sizes in both colour and monochrome.


Via InnovaGeek
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Has the term "sustainability" been coopted to mean: "sustaining industrial civilisation" business-as-usual?

Has the term "sustainability" been coopted to mean: "sustaining industrial civilisation" business-as-usual? | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

October 9, 2012: – Opinion – ABC Environment (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

 

Sustainability does not mean defending the non-human world from human expansion. Instead, it has come to mean sustaining human civilisation at the comfort level which the world's rich people feel is their right.... http://www.abc.net.au/environment/articles/2012/10/02/3601337.htm


Via pdjmoo
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15 Inexpensive Green Household Products That Can Save You Money And Cut Down Your Energy Bill

15 Inexpensive Green Household Products That Can Save You Money And Cut Down Your Energy Bill | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it
Inhabitat lists 15 inexpensive and easy-to-find green household products that can save you money by helping you cut down your monthly electricity bill.
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Revolutionary kind of laser is taking shape – the first one to be made out of an artificial black hole

Revolutionary kind of laser is taking shape – the first one to be made out of an artificial black hole | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

A novel laser could confirm Stephen Hawking's theory that black holes emit light – and find practical applications. Once complete, the device could help confirm mounting evidence that real black holes, despite their name, emit light. A black-hole laser could also find practical uses in devices that probe a material's properties without damaging it.

 

At the heart of such a laser is a phenomenon that Stephen Hawking predicted in the 1970s, and that physicists have been hunting ever since. Although not even light can escape their gravity, Hawking calculated that black holes should nonetheless emit a faint glow, now called 'Hawking radiation'. This is a consequence of quantum theory, which says that a vacuum is not truly empty, but fizzes with fleeting pairs of particles and their antimatter counterparts. Normally, these pairs rapidly annihilate each other and appear again, but if a pair of photons pops out too close to a black hole, one falls in – and the other escapes.

 

The resulting glow around naturally occurring black holes, such as the one at the center of our galaxy even containing the mass of millions of suns, would be too dim to see. So to confirm Hawking's theory, physicists have taken up the challenge to building artificial analogues in the lab by mimicking the physics of the black hole's event horizon, the surface beyond which light cannot escape.

 

In 2010, Daniele Faccio of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, UK, and colleagues built one such system. As gravitational event horizons are tough to make, not to mention potentially dangerous, their "horizon" was a pulse of laser light moving through a piece of glass. The pulse temporarily increased the glass's refractive index as it travelled, creating a gradient in its wake that would slow a second pulse of light trailing it to a greater extent the closer the two got. Crucially, the second pulse would never be able to cross the first, turning the first into an event horizon from the point of view of the second.

 

The researchers detected excess photons emanating from their horizon, which they take to be evidence of Hawking radiation. Other physicists disagree about whether that observation counts, since the team was not working with a real black hole. Soon though, the Heriot-Watt team may be able to make their model black hole do something that real ones cannot: act as lasers. That might produce more conclusive evidence of Hawking's theory.

 

Laser light injected in between the horizons would bounce back and forth, as it can neither enter the white hole nor escape from the black hole. Crucially, if Hawking radiation exists, it would get amplified as it bounces, forming laser light that should be easier to detect than the excess radiation spotted in previous experiments. Unlike in an ordinary laser, however, the light would repeatedly change frequency, or colour, on its journey, Faccio's team predicts. That's because, unlike two mirrors facing each other, the event horizons of a white hole and a black hole have the opposite effect on light reaching them.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Solar Decathlon: La ciudad de la luz, Informe Semanal - RTVE.es A la Carta

Solar Decathlon: La ciudad de la luz, Informe Semanal - RTVE.es A la Carta | Digital Sustainability | Scoop.it

Las casas del futuro se autoalimentarán de energía solar. Ese es el objetivo de los ingenieros y arquitectos que cada año participan en el concurso de la "Villa Solar", cuya última edición se ha desarrollado en Madrid. Y aquí, por primera vez, las casas solares han estado conectadas a una red inteligente que les ha permitido compartir su propia energía y volcar a la red la que les ha sobrado. Una competición que premia los diseños de vivienda energéticamente eficiente. Pedro Soler y Cristina Moreno nos guían en una visita por las casas que son capaces de producir tres veces más energía de la que consumen.


Via ECOIMPULSO
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