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Net-zero energy building to become $1.3 trillion market | Sustainable Business Oregon

Net-zero energy building to become $1.3 trillion market | Sustainable Business Oregon | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

With green building becoming mainstream, the next big thing for the industry is in the realm of net-zero: buildings that produce all the energy they need.

 

Pike Research released a report this week indicating that net-zero construction will become a $1.3 trillion global business by 2035, driven largely by demand from Europe where zero-energy requirements are increasingly becoming required by building codes.

 

In November, the Northwest-based Living Future Institute launched a new certification for net-zero buildings in an effort to share best practices among designers and builders.

 

Eric Bloom, Pike Research's building industry research analyst, said he sees a strong role for such certifications as net-zero energy construction catches on in the U.S., similar to the role that the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification played in green building.

 

"The purpose of the certification program was to cut through the greenwashing that was going on with green building," Bloom said. "As (the net-zero certification program) gains more implementation, it will become important."

 

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Legislators, Corporations Gather For Secret Meeting Against Clean Energy And You’re Not Invited | ThinkProgress.org

Legislators, Corporations Gather For Secret Meeting Against Clean Energy And You’re Not Invited | ThinkProgress.org | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

After maintaining a low profile for decades, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) received widespread exposure in recent years for backing Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, a substantial part of the national discussion following the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. ALEC eventually distanced itself from the gun lobby’s position after the backlash following Martin’s death, but not before the significant public relations blow led to the departure of many donors. With that high-profile case mostly subsided, ALEC can now return its attention to the low-profile war it’s waging for several years to keep renewable energy from gaining territory and promoting fossil fuel production across the country.


Going into their annual meeting in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday, ALEC — the secretive organization that brings together conservative politicians and major corporate interests — is looking to recalibrate their approach to repealing or obstructing a range of clean energy initiatives after a year of state-level defeats. The 40-year-old group, which has been pushing a corporate-backed, free market-driven agenda for decades, is beholden to a number of utilities and fossil fuel companies that bankroll them and they are expected to show results. At the same time, with renewable energy gaining momentum across the country and homeowners increasingly eager to get in on the rapid growth and falling prices, ALEC risks alienating itself from the public yet again.


Dale Eisman, director of communications at Common Cause, a non-profit working towards government accountability, told ThinkProgress that his organization takes specific issue with how ALEC crafts their legislation at meetings like the upcoming one.

“The secrecy of it through closed meetings, they are masquerading as a charity while operating as a lobby,” said Eisman. “Whatever the issue — labor, schools, climate, or energy — they are drafting bills to advance corporate interests that don’t necessarily coincide with the public interest.”


This past year ALEC’s influence contributed to the ongoing battles between solar customers and utilities in Arizona and a Kansas Republican lawmaker’s ostracization from the state Chamber of Commerce after he refused to support an ALEC-backed measure designed to weaken Kansas’s successful renewable energy standard. ALEC, which does not publish a full list of all dues-paying members, includes some 2,000 state legislators, corporate executives, and lobbyists. Many of the state legislators have gone on to become members of Congress


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Large Methane Plumes Discovered on Laptev Continental Slope Boundary: Evidence of Possible Methane Hydrate Release | Robert Scribbler Blog

Large Methane Plumes Discovered on Laptev Continental Slope Boundary: Evidence of Possible Methane Hydrate Release | Robert Scribbler Blog | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

(The Swedish Icebreaker Oden — now home to the 80 scientists and tons of equipment of the SWERUS 2014 research expedition aimed at measuring sea floor methane release throughout the Arctic this summer. Among the scientists leading the expedition is Igor Semiletov whose 2011 expedition discovered 1 kilometer wide plumes of methane issuing from the floor of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. Image source: Commons.)


SWERUS-C3 researchers have on earlier expeditions documented extensive venting of methane from the subsea system to the atmosphere over the East Siberian Arctic Shelf. On this Oden expedition we have gathered a strong team to assess these methane releases in greater detail than ever before to substantially improve our collective understanding of the methane sources and the functioning of the system. This is information that is crucial if we are to be able to provide scientific estimations of how these methane releases may develop in the future (emphasis added). — Örjan Gustafsson


Over the past few years, the Arctic has been experiencing an invasion.


Emerging from the Gulf Stream, a pulse of warmer than normal water propagated north past Iceland and into the Barents Sea. There, it dove beneath the surface fresh water and retreating sea ice, plunging to a depth of around 200-500 meters where it concentrated, lending heat to the entire water column. Taking a right hand turn along the Siberian Continental Shelf, it crossed through the mid water zones of the Kara. Finally, it entered the Laptev and there it abutted against the downward facing slopes of the submarine continental region.


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Google seeks public opinion on 'right to be forgotten' | CNET.com

Google seeks public opinion on 'right to be forgotten' | CNET.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Does the public have a right to information about the nature, volume, and outcome of removal requests made to search engines? Should individuals be able to request removal of links to information published by a government? These are just a couple of the questions thrown out by Google in a new Web form asking people affected by the "right to be forgotten" ruling to share their opinions.


The European Union right to be forgotten ruling, which went into effect in May, requires Google and other search engines to take down search result links pertaining to individuals who believe that such links invade their privacy or harm them in some way. The ruling has been controversial as it walks the tightrope between privacy and free speech.


Google has criticized the ruling but has also attempted to comply with it. Earlier this month, Google said that as of July 18 it has received 91,000 requests involving more than 328,000 individual webpages since May. Google is only taking down links in its European search engines, meaning that if users search for the same content on its US-based website they can see the results that were removed in Europe.


Google's recently formed advisory council has scheduled several public discussions on the matter that will use information collected by the new Web form. But will such discussions lend new insight to the matter or confuse it even further?


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A new breed of broadband satellites could have you living on a desert island | Patrick Nelson | NetworkWorld.com

A new breed of broadband satellites could have you living on a desert island | Patrick Nelson | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

What if I were to tell you that you could quit the burgs and move to an Alaskan hinterland cabin, then watch streamed movies all day, coupled with a touch of elk hunting for your sustenance, a la Discovery Channel?


Or you could slink away to a remote, thatched hut on the beach, hack a solar panel, nab a few flounder, and work like you’re in the middle of the city.


Nice idea, right? But the problem is, and always has been, bandwidth: you are at a competitive disadvantage in remote areas, because of trickling Internet.


Even the log-mansion sprinkled boonies, however seductive, are just not wired like the megalopolis. There aren’t enough consumers there to pay for it.


Well, that all might be about to change. It’s because of a slew of satellite launches recently completed, and upcoming.


That splurge of new satellites could fill Internet gaps for adventurous dwellers.


The new satellites use Ka-band spectrum, which has significantly more capacity over older Ku-band. Better, and narrower spot beams, where data is economically squirted at the ground onto small footprints, plays too.


These new birds promise to bring more bandwidth, capacity and competition, followed by falling prices, one hopes.


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Android vulnerability allows malware to compromise most devices and apps | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com

Android vulnerability allows malware to compromise most devices and apps | Lucian Constantin | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The majority of Android devices currently in use contain a vulnerability that allows malware to completely hijack installed apps and their data or even the entire device.


The core problem is that Android fails to validate public key infrastructure certificate chains for app digital signatures, said Jeff Forristal, chief technology officer of Bluebox Security, a San Francisco company whose researchers discovered the issue.


According to Google’s documentation, Android applications must be signed in order to be installed on the OS, but the digital certificate used to sign them does not need to be issued by a digital certificate authority. “It is perfectly allowable, and typical, for Android applications to use self-signed certificates,” the documentation says.


However, Android contains hard-coded certificates from several developers so it can give apps created by those developers special access and privileges inside the OS, Forristal said.


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India: Incumbents to pressure DoT to auction extra 1800MHz spectrum | TeleGeography.com

India’s cellcos are pushing for the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to make more 1800MHz spectrum available at the next auction, the Economic Times writes.


Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications (RCOM) are pressuring the regulator to ensure that there are sufficient 1800MHz spectrum resources for operators that fail to win back their 900MHz licences as they expire over the next two to three years.


The cellcos expect the DoT to strip unused spectrum from a number of government agencies to make up the shortfall. 26MHz of 1800MHz will be up for renewal, whilst a further 78MHz left unsold from the previous tender will also be up for grabs. However, 184MHz of 900MHz spectrum will expire in 2015-2016, with Airtel needing to repurchase 13 concessions in non-metro circles, Vodafone and Idea nine apiece and RCOM seven.


The paper quotes an unnamed official from one of the companies as saying: ‘There’s clearly insufficient spectrum for operators whose licences are due for extension to continue their current level of service, which is why we will urge the DoT to auction the bulk of the 1800MHz spectrum inventory with multiple government agencies, including the armed forces.’


The same official noted that the 1800MHz band cannot sustain mobile broadband services in many areas – including Delhi, Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Punjab – as the spectrum is non-contiguous. With the exception of Kolkata, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, the 1800MHz is ‘fragments and can at best be used for 2G services.’


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Georgia Tech launches early warning system for cyberthreats | Antone Gonsalves | NetworkWorld.com

Georgia Tech launches early warning system for cyberthreats | Antone Gonsalves | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Georgia Institute of Technology's applied research arm has launched an early warning system to help organizations prepare for possible cyberattacks.


The Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) developed the open source system called BlackForest, which will complement the institute's malware and spear-phishing intelligence systems.


GTRI describes BlackForest as being on the "cutting edge" of anticipating when cybercriminals may be planning a distributed denial-of-service attack or the latest malware variations under development.


To gain insight on attackers, the system collects information from hacker forums and other sites where malware developers post new code to advertise its availability and ask questions or seek feedback from other code writers.


Other discussions BlackForest can tap into include planning of distributed denial-of-service attacks, advice given on network break-ins and the posting of stolen digital assets, such as payment card data and login credentials.


By collecting the information and relating it to past activities, the system can help organizations understand the nature of the threat and whether it's building toward a possible attack.


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About those alleged backdoors in Microsoft products... | Ms. Smith | NetworkWorld.com

About those alleged backdoors in Microsoft products... | Ms. Smith | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Four of Microsoft's offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, China, were raided as part of an official government investigation. Microsoft China spokeswoman Joan Li confirmed that Investigators of the State Administration for Industry and Commerce were investigating the company and that Microsoft would “actively cooperate”’ with the Chinese government. The South China Morning Post reported that the investigation may involve antitrust matters.


In May, China cited computer security concerns and banned Windows 8 from being installed on government PCs. After China claimed Microsoft had backdoors in the OS to allow for U.S. government spying, Microsoft issued the following five statements:


  1. Microsoft has never assisted any government in an attack of another government or clients.
  2. Microsoft has never provided any government the authority to directly visit our products or services.
  3. Microsoft has never provided any so-called "Backdoor" into its products or services.
  4. Microsoft has never provided the data or info of our clients to the U.S. Govt. or National Security Agency.
  5. Microsoft has never concealed any requests from any government for information about its clients.


Regarding the raid on Microsoft offices, a Microsoft spokeswoman told NDTV, "We aim to build products that deliver the features, security and reliability customers expect and we're happy to answer the government's questions."


Last week, attorneys for the NSA, CIA and DNI joined Microsoft’s Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing, in “Striking the Right Balance between Security and Liberty,” a panel discussion at the Aspen Institute moderated by the Washington Post’s Greg Miller.


When asked if the government compelled Microsoft to add a backdoor to Skype, Charney replied that the government had “never done that” and that Microsoft “would fight it tooth and nail in the courts.”


The government can use FISA to compel companies “to provide technical assistance,” but if the government said “put in a backdoor,” then Microsoft “would fight it all the way to the Supreme Court.” Charney added, “If the government did that, and I really don’t think they would, it would be at the complete expense of American competitiveness. Because if we put in a backdoor for the U.S. government, we couldn’t sell anywhere in the world, not even in America.”


Yet in September 2013, The New York Times reported the NSA worked with Microsoft “officials to get pre-encryption access to Microsoft’s most popular services, including Outlook e-mail, Skype Internet phone calls and chats, and SkyDrive, the company’s cloud storage service. Microsoft asserted that it had merely complied with ‘lawful demands’ of the government, and in some cases, the collaboration was clearly coerced.”


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Fracking push gets go-ahead across UK as ministers tighten safeguards | TheGuardian.com

Fracking push gets go-ahead across UK as ministers tighten safeguards | TheGuardian.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Ministers will give the go-ahead on Monday for a big expansion of fracking across Britain that will allow drilling in national parks and other protected areas in "exceptional circumstances".


The government will invite firms to bid for onshore oil and gas licences for the first time in six years, with about half of the country advertised for exploration. Ministers are also clarifying the rules on when drilling can take place in national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONBs) and world heritage sites, following calls by environmental campaigners for an outright ban on drilling in them.


In a tightening of the guidance, the government will ask energy firms to submit an environmental statement that is "particularly comprehensive and detailed" if they want to frack on or near protected countryside, forcing them to demonstrate their understanding of local sensitivities. It will make clear that the applications "should be refused in these areas other than in exceptional circumstances and in the public interest".


In addition, Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, is likely to make a final decision on more appeals related to protected areas over the next 12 months, instead of leaving it to the planning watchdog.


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Google sets up Community Site For Translate Service | TheNextWeb.com

Google sets up Community Site For Translate Service | TheNextWeb.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Google today launched a new community site to help improve Google Translate, its free online language translation service.


Aimed at language connoisseurs and professional translators, it can be used to rate and compare existing translations, as well as create new ones and match words to their correct counterparts. Over time, Google said it will give contributors more ways to pitch in and offer better “visibility” regarding how the submissions are being used to improve its translation tools.


“We will also localize Community pages to support your preferred display language,” Google added in a blog post.


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Cambodia: Telecoms operators concerned over new draft law that separates conduit from content | TeleGeography.com

Cambodia’s telecoms operators have allegedly voiced opposition to a draft law from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Cambodia (MPTC) which states that no company can operate infrastructure assets and also provide retail services.


According to a report by the Phnom Penh Post, if the draft legislation is approved, telecoms operators that choose to retain their retail operations will be forced to sell off their network assets and rely on government-controlled infrastructure providers.


The draft law also reportedly states that all telecom licences will be reassessed on new criteria, and some companies could be forced to hand back their existing permits.


In addition, the Post cites a section of the draft law as saying that ‘to ensure the effective security, national stability and public order, the minister of the MPTC has the right to order operators to transfer their systems, which control their telecom operations, to the Ministry.’


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France: Arcep launches public consultation on use of open spectrum | TeleGeography.com

French telecoms watchdog, the Autorite de Regulation des Communications Electroniques et des Postes (Arcep), has opened a public consultation on the use of ‘free frequencies’ (not requiring prior authorisation) by short-range devices (SRDs), including Wi-Fi and radio frequency identification (RFID) systems.


The regulator has noted that the move was prompted by a report by Joelle Toledano, titled ‘Dynamic Spectrum Management to Bolster Innovation and Growth’, which was submitted to the French government on 1 July 2014.


As such, Arcep has outlined new spectrum available for use by SRDs in the 2.6GHz-2.7GHz and 5.7GHz-5.8GHz frequency bands; the regulator seeks to assess the future requirements of these frequencies, with a particular focus on Wi-Fi, and machine-to-machine (M2M)/Internet of Things (IoT) developments.


All interested parties are invited to submit their comments by 15 October 2014.

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Exposing Monsanto: Herbicide Linked to Birth Defects - the Vitamin A Connection | Truth-Out.org

Exposing Monsanto: Herbicide Linked to Birth Defects - the Vitamin A Connection | Truth-Out.org | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, with glyphosate as the primary ingredient, has recently been linked to a fatal kidney disease epidemic ravaging parts of Central America, India and Sri Lanka. A leading theory hypothesizes that complexes of glyphosate and heavy metals poison the kidney tubules. El Salvador and Sri Lanka have adopted the precautionary principle and taken action to ban the herbicide. In the United States, glyphosate is coming up for review by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in late 2014. Monsanto claims a low risk to human health, but the research is showing something very different. Will these health concerns be enough for the EPA to put restrictions on the herbicide - or to ban it altogether?


Thus far, Monsanto has been successful in portraying Roundup as a safe and effective herbicide. The Monsanto website claims:


"Glyphosate binds tightly to most types of soil so it is not available for uptake by roots of nearby plants. It works by disrupting a plant enzyme involved in the production of amino acids that are essential to plant growth. The enzyme, EPSP synthase, is not present in humans or animals, contributing to the low risk to human health from the use of glyphosate according to label directions."


Contrary to the company's claims of safety, a virtual avalanche of scientific studies on animals, including some funded by Monsanto itself, show alarming incidences of fetal deaths and birth defects. The record also shows that Monsanto has known since the 1980s that glyphosate in high doses causes malformations in experimental animals. Since 1993, the company has been aware that even middle and low doses can cause these malformations. These malformations include absent kidneys and lungs, enlarged hearts, extra ribs, and missing and abnormally formed bones of the limbs, ribs, sternum, spine and skull.


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Sky Deutschland's Second Biggest Shareholder Rejects BSkyB's Offer | Variety.com

Sky Deutschland's Second Biggest Shareholder Rejects BSkyB's Offer | Variety.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Hedge fund manager Crispin Odey, who is the former son-in-law of Rupert Murdoch, has turned down an offer from U.K. pay TV operator BSkyB to buy his shares in Germany’s Sky Deutschland, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.


Odey’s hedge fund Odey Asset Management is Sky Deutschland’s second biggest shareholder, after Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox, with a stake of around 8%.


Last week, BSkyB, which is controlled by 21st Century Fox, announced a deal to buy Fox’s 57% stake in Sky Deutschland, and its 100% shareholding in Sky Italia.


BSkyB intends to pay £2.9 billion ($4.92 billion) for Fox’s stake in Sky Deutschland, and offer the same share price for the remaining publicly traded shares, valuing them at €6.75 ($9.09) a share.


However, Odey Asset Management told the stock market Tuesday that it “does not intend to tender its shares in this proposed offer.” Odey believes the proposal, effectively a nil premium takeover offer, understates the company’s true value.


Odey told the Telegraph that while Sky Deutschland was already an expensive stock, it was “undervalued on a three-year basis” as there was significant growth in the German TV market.


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Spain Likely To Pass 'Google Tax'; Makes Paying For News Snippets An 'Inalienable Right' And A New Bureaucracy To Collect It | Techdirt.com

Spain Likely To Pass 'Google Tax'; Makes Paying For News Snippets An 'Inalienable Right' And A New Bureaucracy To Collect It | Techdirt.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

We've covered a few attempts in Europe to create what appears to basically be a tax on Google News for newspapers. These newspapers, who have been struggling to adapt in the modern internet world would like to blame Google News for their own failures, despite the fact that Google sends them traffic. When a court case in Belgium was won by the newspapers, Google simply removed those newspapers from the local Google News... and those very same newspapers freaked out and demanded to be let back in. This, of course, demonstrates the vast hypocrisy by the newspapers here. They know they need to be in Google News because of all the traffic it drives, but they also demand to be paid for it. Google has made it quite easy for newspapers to opt-out of Google News if they really feel like their work is somehow harmed by having Google link to it -- but none of the newspapers use it, because they know how valuable the traffic is. In fact, many of the same newspapers who are complaining are, at the same time, using Google's own tools to improve how they appear in results.

Efforts like the ones in Belgium have happened in France and in Germany, where a new law was passed last year. That law had some loopholes, so now German newspapers are demanding a huge chunk of money from Google.

But the situation over in Spain just got even more ridiculous. Julio Alonso has the details, in which it appears that the lower house of the Spanish legislature has approved a very, very dangerous bill that creates a brand new inalienable right for news publishers to be paid for, via compulsory licenses, any "electronic news aggregation system," which is broadly defined as anyone who shares more than just anchor text with a link. A short summary? You'll have to pay up:


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More mobile gadgets than people? Seven countries now qualify | Stephen Lawson | NetworkWorld.com

More mobile gadgets than people? Seven countries now qualify | Stephen Lawson | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Wireless broadband subscriptions now outnumber people in seven countries as consumers continue to snap up smartphones and tablets, according to a new report.


Finland, Australia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, South Korea and the U.S. had wireless broadband penetration of more than 100 percent as of December 2013, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Tuesday. That means there was more than one wireless broadband subscription per person, usually because consumers have more than one mobile device that can go online. The U.S. just barely crossed the bar, while Finland led the group with more than 123 percent penetration.


Across all 37 OECD countries, wireless broadband penetration rose to 72.4 percent as total subscriptions grew 14.6 percent. The group spans North America, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Europe, as well as Japan, South Korea, Turkey, Israel, Mexico and Chile. It’s sometimes treated as a barometer of the developed world.


Wired broadband subscriptions also grew in 2013, reaching an average of 27 percent penetration. That means there was just over one wired subscription per four people: Wired broadband services, such as cable and DSL (digital subscriber line), typically are shared. Switzerland led in that category with 44.9 percent penetration, followed by the Netherlands and Denmark. The U.S. had just under 30 wired subscriptions per 100 people, while Turkey came in last with just over 11.


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Everything You Wanted to Know about Chemical Reactor Engineering and CFD | HiTechCFD.com

Everything You Wanted to Know about Chemical Reactor Engineering and CFD | HiTechCFD.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a highly elite group of analysis technique that is used by engineering domain to solve numerical equations related to flow physics quite effectively. It encompasses equations for mass, momentum and energy in flow geometry. In this article, we will look at how CFD can help to understand the different flow physics occurring in chemical reactor engineering.


CFD helps in designing and shrinking the design cycle thereby helping the design process in chemical reactor engineering. CFD has become an inevitable feature for chemical reactor engineering as it helps in appreciating the role of temperature contours and residence time distribution in influencing the product worth. In this application limitation pertaining to computing power and tentative validation of models are both significant.


There are three major equations on which CFD is based:


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Australian environmental watchdog approves Cameco uranium mine | Mining.com

Australian environmental watchdog approves Cameco uranium mine | Mining.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Western Australia's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Monday it has completed its assessment of Cameco-Mitsubishi’s proposed Kintyre uranium mine and recommended state approval for the project, under certain conditions.


According to the regulator, Kintyre —located in the east Pilbara, near Karlamilyi National Park— can go ahead as far as Cameco monitors close by fauna including bilbies, mulgaras and rock wallabies, and assess any potential "radiological impacts to plants and animals.”


The project has an expected mine life of about 13.5 years and includes the construction of mineral processing facilities, offices, accommodation and the discharge of waste.


It also includes the upgrade and construction of 90km of access road for the transportation of uranium oxide concentrate to the WA-South Australian border on route to the Port of Adelaide.


In announcing today’s decision EPA’s chairman Paul Vogel said the Radiological Council and the Department of Mines and Petroleum were responsible for ensuring radiation risks were managed during the mining, handling, packaging, storage and transportation of uranium oxide concentrate.


The report to the Environment Minister is now open for a public appeal period, closing on August 11.


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Taiwanese operators have signed up a total of 300,000 4G users since launch | TeleGeography.com

Some 300,000 subscribers in Taiwan have signed up for a 4G tariff since such services were first introduced in late-May 2014, the China Post reports.


With Chunghwa Telecom (CHT), Far EasTone (FET) and Taiwan Mobile now having all inaugurated LTE networks, it is understood that each operator has pulled in around 100,000 4G customers apiece.


For its part, the wireless sector’s leading cellco by total subscribers, CHT, was said to have confirmed last week that its 4G customer base had surpassed 100,000. Looking ahead the operator is aiming to have increased that figure to 600,000 by the end of this year, and is aiming for a 40% market share.


FET meanwhile has also seen its LTE subscriber base surpass 100,000, with uptake said to have picked up this month as its network footprint became more widely available; the cellco aims to have upped its customer numbers to 500,000 by end-2014.


Rounding out those operators to have launched thus far, Taiwan Mobile, which also aims to amass around half a million 4G subscribers by the end of the year, has attracted around 100,000 to its LTE-based offerings since launching in early-June 2014.

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Privacy groups call for action to stop Facebook's off site user tracking plans | Loek Essers | NetworkWorld.com

Privacy groups call for action to stop Facebook's off site user tracking plans | Loek Essers | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

U.S. and EU privacy and consumer groups called on privacy regulators to stop Facebook’s plans to gather the Internet browsing patterns of its users while they visit other sites.


The groups, gathered in the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) to stop Facebook collecting the web browsing activities of Internet users in order to target advertising. They made the request in a letter sent to the authorities on Tuesday. Facebook’s European headquarters is in Ireland, giving the Irish data protection commissioner responsibility for defending its European users’ personal data and privacy rights under EU law.


The privacy groups expressed “deep alarm” about Facebook’s June announcement that it would start tracking information from some of the websites and apps its users are visiting in order to serve more relevant ads.


At the time, Facebook said: “When we ask people about our ads, one of the top things they tell us is that they want to see ads that are more relevant to their interests,” the company said at the time, adding that in the U.S. it would “soon” start tracking users’ off-site surfing behavior. Anyone who doesn’t want to be tracked can opt out via the Digital Advertising Alliance website.


But on Tuesday the groups said: “Facebook already installs cookies and pixel tags on users’ computers to track browsing activity on Facebook.com and Facebook apps. If Facebook is permitted to expand its data collection practices, those cookies and pixel tags will also track users’ browsing activity on any website that includes a few lines of Facebook code.”


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Australia approves $15.5bn coal mine | BBC News

Australia approves $15.5bn coal mine | BBC News | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The Carmichael project in Queensland would include one of the world's biggest coal mines and a new railway.


It would be overseen by the Indian mining company Adani, which has already won approval to build a new coal port terminal at Abbott Point in Queensland.


But critics have voiced concern over local water use and possible indirect impact on the Great Barrier Reef.


The decision to approve the Carmichael project, which will dig up and transport about 60m tonnes of coal a year for export, mostly to India, was announced on Monday.


Adani is yet to make a final commitment to the project, which would be biggest coal mine ever proposed for Australia.


Situated in the Galilee Basin in the central Queensland region, the Carmichael project would include open cut and underground mines.


Coal would be taken from the new mines by rail to Abbott Point coal port north of Bowen.


There are concerns that the mine, which will require some 12 billion litres of water every year, would drain groundwater supplies in the Galilee Basin.


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Real-life Atlantis? The world's megacities that are sinking 10 times faster than water levels are rising | Independent.co.uk

Real-life Atlantis? The world's megacities that are sinking 10 times faster than water levels are rising | Independent.co.uk | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Scientists have issued a new warning to the world’s coastal megacities that the threat from subsiding land is a more immediate problem than rising sea levels caused by global warming.


A new paper from the Deltares Research Institute in the Netherlands published earlier this month identified regions of the globe where the ground level is falling 10 times faster than water levels are rising - with human activity often to blame.


In Jakarta, Indonesia’s largest city, the population has grown from around half a million in the 1930s to just under 10 million today, with heavily populated areas dropping by as much as six and a half feet as groundwater is pumped up from the Earth to drink.


The same practice led to Tokyo’s ground level falling by two metres before new restrictions were introduced, and in Venice, this sort of extraction has only compounded the effects of natural subsidence caused by long-term geological processes.


"Land subsidence and sea level rise are both happening, and they are both contributing to the same problem - larger and longer floods, and bigger inundation depth of floods," Dr Gilles Erkens, who led the research from Deltares, told the BBC


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Germany Says It Won't Agree To CETA With Current Corporate Sovereignty Chapter | Techdirt.com

Germany Says It Won't Agree To CETA With Current Corporate Sovereignty Chapter | Techdirt.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

This is potentially huge: according to the leading German newspaper S&uumlddeutsche Zeitung, Germany will not accept CETA, the Canadian-EU trade agreement, if it contains a corporate sovereignty chapter in its present form (original in German, pointed out to us by @TeraEuro):


German EU diplomats confirmed in Brussels on Friday that the [German] federal government could not sign the agreement with Canada "as it is now negotiated." Although Germany was, in principle, ready to initial the agreement in September, the chapter on the legal protection of investors is however 'problematic' and currently not acceptable.


This confirms rumors that CETA is finally completed, and that the plan is for the EU member states to "initial" it -- accept it in principle -- in September. However, if Germany really does refuse to sign up with investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) included in its current form, the pressure will be on the European Commission to take it out -- because of the nature of CETA, all 28 EU member states must approve it before it is fully ratified. However, here's what the Commission told S&uumlddeutsche Zeitung regarding that idea:


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Algeria: Algerie Telecom to deploy 20,000km of fibre by end-2015 | TeleGeography.com

Mehmel Azouaou, CEO of Algerian fixed line incumbent Algerie Telecom (AT), has announced that the company is planning to deploy an additional 20,000km worth of fibre-optic cables by the end of 2015, Agence Ecofin reports.


The executive also revealed that the company has already deployed around 57,000km of fibre; further, Algerie Telecom has received funding from the government in order to proceed with its goals of improving its quality of service (QoS) and reducing costs.


As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the operator recently revealed that it faced major challenges in deploying fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) cabling, due to ‘a lack of qualified civil engineering companies’.


As a result, AT’s previous aim to connect towns with more than 1,000 inhabitants with fibre broadband was not met; a total of 20,000km of fibre cabling was earmarked for deployment in 2013/2014, but only 20% of it had been rolled out by mid-May.

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Spain: Jazztel issues update on FTTH network deployment | TeleGeography.com

Alternative Spanish broadband provider Jazz Telecom (Jazztel) has announced that it expects to have passed a total of 2.2 million households with its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network by the end of this month.


With the company noting that its rollout programme remains in line with its previously stated aim of reaching three million premises by the end of 2014, it has now said that it is working on an additional deployment plan which would see coverage boosted to a total of seven million premises.


Further information regarding such plans, it noted, is expected to be provided ‘before the end of the year’.

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