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China’s new leadership is ratcheting up pressure on Western tech and media companies | Quartz

China’s new leadership is ratcheting up pressure on Western tech and media companies | Quartz | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

It may get increasingly difficult for Western media and technology firms to operate in China. That is because of a two-pronged campaign against Western media and the tech companies that make the devices on which the Chinese consume their news and entertainment.

 

On March 15, Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV aired a searingly critical documentary about Apple’s customer service.

 

At around 8:20 p.m., just after the broadcast, Chinese celebrities started bashing Apple on Twitter-like microblogging site Weibo. This began looking orchestrated when Taiwanese American actor Peter Ho seemed to accidentally leave the instruction “post around 8.20″ on his Weibo comment.

 

China’s just-installed president Xi Jinping and his cabinet seem to be becoming hostile to US tech companies as a way of championing their domestic rivals. Separately, the nation’s new leaders also want Western media to quit reporting on China’s inequality and official corruption. Having not been chosen by the public, they are paranoid about coverage that may affect their credibility.

 

CCTV’s Apple documentary claimed the company charged Chinese users for replacing faulty iPhone back covers, when it does this in other countries for free. Instead of denying this, Apple responded with a bland statement on its Weibo page (Chinese, registration required) saying “we attach high importance to all consumers’ feedback and comments.”

 

Many Chinese netizens criticized CCTV instead of Apple. “Talk about avoiding the big issues,” this comment by one Weibo user that was representative of many said. “Focusing on Apple when we are breathing polluted air…drinking poisoned milk [a reference to this ongoing scandal].”

 

The latest Chinese offensives against Western media and tech companies have included:

 

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CA: Drilling deeper as US taps run dry | Alastair Leithead | BBC News

CA: Drilling deeper as US taps run dry | Alastair Leithead | BBC News | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Taps are running dry in California's Central Valley as the worst drought in more than a century forces farmers to drill ever deeper underground for water.


In the rush to grab groundwater for agriculture, shallow household wells are drying up and those who can't afford to dig deeper are facing a future without running water.


Working out of a warehouse, Elva Beltran is handing out bottled drinking water and helping families in the town of Porterville, where hundreds of people have lost their water supply.


"Ten or 12 new families are coming in every day - some have been without for three or four months," say Beltran. She's the director of the Porterville Area Coordinating Council, which is a local government agency run by volunteers.


Hundreds of groundwater aquifers prop up California's Central Valley - one of the most productive agricultural areas on the planet - but nobody knows how much water they contain, or how much is being taken out.


For many years rainfall, reservoirs and irrigation canals have allowed this sunny expanse in California to produce half of America's fruit, nuts and vegetables.


But after three extremely dry years, the farmers are turning to groundwater to keep their crops and their precious trees alive.


There's a water-rush as drilling companies are burrowing ever deeper - and there's no restriction on how many wells can be sunk underground.


"Think about the groundwater supply in the Central Valley as a giant milkshake glass, and each well as the equivalent of a straw in the glass," said Robert Glennon a professor at the University of Arizona College of Law.


"What California law permits is a limitless number of straws in the glass, and eventually all the water is sucked out. You are seeing that as the water table is dropping precipitously."


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US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge | Juan Cole | Informed Comment

US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge | Juan Cole | Informed Comment | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

In a new Pew/ USA Today poll, the American public shows itself alarmed by the rise of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in northern Iraq and Syria as a threat to US security, finding it more threatening even than Russia’s Vladimir Putin, who has risen on the villain scale quite a lot. Iran is seen as less menacing, as is North Korea. The Israel-Palestinian struggle is seen as a threat to the US by a little over half. More Americans still think the US is doing too much as the world’s policeman, but those who think it is doing too little have greatly increased in number, especially among Republicans.


None of these threats is very serious for the actual lives lived by most Americans.


But almost no Republicans think Global Warming is a threat, and only slightly more than a majority of Democrats do. In short, the US public is again being misled by its media and politicians as to the true shape of the world, and is likely to suffer pretty badly for this ignorance.


But Global Warming (what experts call Climate Change) is a dire threat to the health and well-being of millions of Americans. In the coming decades it will do trillions of dollars of damage to the American economy. Imagine what the city of Miami is worth; but much of it is doomed . We have locked in a four foot sea level rise over the next 80 years or so. But that is an average. In some places it will be higher (the ocean is not smooth). There will be episodes of rapid rise and storm surges leading to substantial coastal flooding for some towns and cities.


You are much more likely to die falling in the bathtub or being struck by lighting than to be killed by terrorists or by Vladimir Putin, much less by Hassan Rouhani of Iran. But Americans’ health and well-being is directly and powerfully threatened by global warming.


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Water Technologies | Michigan Economic Development Corporation | YouTube.com

There's something in the water in Michigan; our samples are showing strong signs of...economic development.

To learn more about this industry, visit http://www.michiganbusiness.org/grow/...

For more on the organizations featured in this video:
http://www.parjana.com/
http://www.algalscientific.com/
http://urcmich.org/

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Giving The Displaced Dignity With These Eco Refugee Shelters | Chere Di Boscio | UrbanTimes.co

Giving The Displaced Dignity With These Eco Refugee Shelters | Chere Di Boscio | UrbanTimes.co | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

With over 40 million people around the world living as refugees and with Israel now having created 40,000 more after their recent attacks on Gaza, there’s more urgency than ever before to create comfortable, dignified temporary housing for displaced persons.

Wars in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and beyond have meant that millions of human beings need to live in makeshift shelters and tents in foreign lands. These camps often lack sanitation, security and space; life here is often dirty and grim. Luckily, one Jordanian-Canadian architect, Abeer Seikaly, seems to have a solution: eco refugee shelters.


Currently a resident of Amman, Jordan, where refugees are a common presence, Seikaly is fully aware of their plight. Moreover, she has drawn on her country’s nomadic heritage for inspiration. “The movement of people across the earth led to the discovery of new territories as well as the creation of new communities among strangers forming towns, cities, and nations,” she said in a statement. And the forced movement of people is no exception.


The refugee towns that she proposes comprise structures created from a cleverly folded woven fabric that can expand to create private enclosures (rare in refugee tents), and perhaps most interestingly of all, these ingenious designs allow their dwellers to have their own personal supplies of water and electricity.


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Historic California groundwater regulations head to Gov. Jerry Brown | The Sacramento Bee

Historic California groundwater regulations head to Gov. Jerry Brown | The Sacramento Bee | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

California could soon become the last state in the West to regulate water pulled from beneath the earth, with the Legislature on Friday advancing an unprecedented groundwater-management strategy.


The Legislature passed the three-bill package after lengthy debate about whether state government should oversee pumping from the water table. Lawmakers argued over the long-term fate of California’s water supply as a severe drought puts water scarcity at the forefront of public consciousness.


“Every single member on this floor recognizes that we’ve been overdrafting our groundwater not just in the last year, not just since the drought started, but for decades,” said Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento. “Proponents know it, and opponents concede it. The question is not what will happen if we act, the question is what are the consequences if we fail to act?”


But critics from both parties said the legislation would upend more than a century of water law and create another layer of bureaucracy. They said the measures threatened to make a bad drought situation worse by restricting farmers and other property owners’ ability to pump water to help make up for sharp reductions in surface water.


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ead more here: http://www.sacbee.com/2014/08/29/6665672/historic-california-groundwater.html#storylink=cpy
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Which 37 House Democrats Voted with the GOP to Poison Your Water? | DailyKos.com

Which 37 House Democrats Voted with the GOP to Poison Your Water? | DailyKos.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Today, the House brought up several bills in suspension in order to finish off with some issues before the August recess.


I would like to highlight one of those bills: H. R. 935.


H. R. 935 would eliminate Clean Water Act protections for waterways that are being sprayed with pesticides. Let me let the NRDC explain:


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Germany: Vectoring goes live in 20 Telekom exchanges | TeleGeography.com

Telekom Deutschland has launched commercial VDSL2 Vectoring services in 20 local exchanges, Telecom Handel reports, offering speeds of up to 100Mbps/40Mbps (down/upload) to more than 200,000 potential subscribers in Hilden, Erkelenz, Wegberg, Wegberg-Rottgen, Gronau-Westfalen, Gronau-Epe, Hennigsdorf, Velten, Zittau, Prenzlau, Gifhorn, Lohne, Hofheim-Wallau, Zweibrucken, Neuhof-Hauswurz, Beilstein, Albstadt-Ebingen, Offenburg, Starnberg and Kalbach.


These local areas are the first on the incumbent’s ‘Vectoring list’ to receive approval from the Federal Network Agency, which on 30 July was given an initial list of 38,000 street cabinets earmarked for Vectoring switch-on in the next twelve months.


Telekom embarked on a first-phase rollout programme involving 57 local networks to be equipped with Vectoring technology in 2013, with around one million households to be covered, before releasing an expansion programme covering a total of 82 local networks and some 1.4 million households for 2014.


As part of its VDSL/Vectoring expansion, Telekom claims to have built 3,000km of optical fibre in the past few months. The goal is to double the total number of VDSL households passed from twelve million to 24 million by the end of 2016.

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UK: EE's 4G network now covers 75% of the population | TeleGeography.com

EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator in terms of subscribers, has announced yet another expansion of its Long Term Evolution (LTE) infrastructure, with 13 ‘large towns’ added to its network footprint.


Noting that around 300,000 people will gain access to its 4G services as a result of the expanded coverage, the cellco confirmed that 75% of Britons are now able to access the LTE network, which is available in 263 major towns and cities and over 2,500 villages and small towns.


Olaf Swantee, EE’s chief executive, said of the development: ‘4G is now a well-known and well understood technology, with businesses and communities increasingly demanding 4G coverage because they see the significant economic benefit. Our fast, nationwide rollout continues, with hundreds of new sites being switched on every month to bring 4G to more places, often giving people a fast broadband experience for the very first time.’

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SEA-US: Global Consortium to Build Cable System Connecting Indonesia to the US | Jakarta Post

SEA-US: Global Consortium to Build Cable System Connecting Indonesia to the US | Jakarta Post | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

A consortium of seven global telecommunications companies agreed today to cooperate in the construction and operation of a new submarine cable system that directly connects Southeast Asia and the United States with NEC Corporation as the system supplier.


The Southeast Asia – United States “SEA-US” consortium consists of PT. Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin), Globe Telecom, RAM Telecom International (RTI), Hawaiian Telcom, Teleguam Holdings (GTA), GTI Corporation (a member of the Globe Telecom group of companies) and TelkomUSA.


“The SEA-US project is connected seamlessly with Telkom’s Domestic Backbone, and the cable will provide unmatched latency from Indonesia to the United States,” said Syarif Syarial Ahmad, President Director of Telin. “The project will also support Indonesia’s strong economic growth and its government’s Master Plan for Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI). We began pursuing SEA-US in 2013 and are very proud to be a part of this historic project that marks the first gateway from the east part of Indonesia to the world.”


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Fracking report clears way for California oil, gas leasing to resume | Julie Cart | LATimes.com

Fracking report clears way for California oil, gas leasing to resume | Julie Cart | LATimes.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The federal government will resume oil and gas leasing in California following a report released Thursday that found little scientific evidence that fracking and similar extraction techniques are dangerous.


The Bureau of Land Management said the report — and additional environmental reviews — will allow it to begin leasing on public land next year. The announcement is welcome news for energy companies that have been shut out of the oil-rich San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast.


But critics, including environmental organizations whose lawsuits led to a judge's order to halt leasing last year, said the analysis was rushed by the BLM and relied on spotty information.


The study was conducted by the California Council on Science and Technology, a nonpartisan scientific research organization established by the state Legislature to advise state officials. Its authors noted that they had little time and scant information on which to base conclusions, citing widespread "data gaps" and inadequate scientific resources for a more thorough study.


For example, the report found no evidence of water contamination from fracking in California, but the scientist directing the research, Jane Long, said researchers also had no data on the quality of water near fracking sites.


"We can only tell you what the data we could get says," said Long, a former director at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. "We can't tell you what we don't know."


BLM California State Director Jim Kenna said in a conference call with the news media that the report was not a complete analysis of the effects of fracking. He said more environmental studies will be done as oil and gas development resumes.


Reviews will be conducted on a more localized basis and broader assessments will continue as the industry complies with California's new, stricter reporting requirements that begin next year, he said.


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holly-berkowitz@mchsi.com's curator insight, August 29, 10:11 PM

Unbelievable during a drought.....  

 

Is our leaders thinking.....or only counting coins, ignoring what is happening around them?   

 

Stunning.

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Australia: Google spreads its wings, moving into drone deliveries | CNET

Australia: Google spreads its wings, moving into drone deliveries | CNET | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Google is working on a delivery system called Project Wing that will use what it's calling "self-flying" drones to bring goods to people.


The search giant has been working on the service for two years, and it is the latest project announced by Google X, the division of the company that works on Google's most ambitious projects. Other X initiatives include self-driving cars and the connected headset Google Glass.


Google has been testing the vehicles in Queensland, Australia, and has already made deliveries to locals -- including shipments of candy bars, dog treats, cattle vaccines, water and radios. Similar to the company's self-driving car project, the drones will be able to fly a pre-programmed route at the push of a button. The company said that it will be a few more years before the system is ready for commercial use.


Google is not the only tech giant experimenting with drones. Facebook has been working with drones through an effort called Connectivity Lab, announced in March. In December, Amazon announced it is developing a drone system that will bring products to customers. But while Amazon's efforts seem to be more focused on consumers, Google's early development of the system has been around disaster relief. For example, one early mission for the project in 2012 was delivering defibrillators to heart attack victims.


"Even just a few of these, being able to shuttle nearly continuously could service a very large number of people in an emergency situation," Astro Teller, head of Google X, told the BBC.


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WA: World’s Largest Dam Removal Unleashes U.S. River After Century of Electric Production | NationalGeographic.com

WA: World’s Largest Dam Removal Unleashes U.S. River After Century of Electric Production | NationalGeographic.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Today, on a remote stretch of the Elwha River in northwestern Washington state, a demolition crew hired by the National Park Service plans to detonate a battery of explosives within the remaining section of the Glines Canyon Dam. If all goes well, the blasts will destroy the last 30 feet of the 210-foot-high dam and will signal the culmination of the largest dam-removal project in the world.


In Asia, Africa, and South America, large hydroelectric dams are still being built, as they once were in the United States, to power economic development, with the added argument now that the electricity they provide is free of greenhouse gas emissions. But while the U.S. still benefits from the large dams it built in the 20th century, there's a growing recognition that in some cases, at least, dambuilding went too far—and the Elwha River is a symbol of that.


The removal of the Glines Canyon Dam and the Elwha Dam, a smaller downstream dam, began in late 2011. Three years later, salmon are migrating past the former dam sites, trees and shrubs are sprouting in the drained reservoir beds, and sediment once trapped behind the dams is rebuilding beaches at the Elwha's outlet to the sea. For many, the recovery is the realization of what once seemed a far-fetched fantasy.


"Thirty years ago, when I was in law school in the Pacific Northwest, removing the dams from the Elwha River was seen as a crazy, wild-eyed idea," says Bob Irvin, president and CEO of the conservation group American Rivers. "Now dam removal is an accepted way to restore a river. It's become a mainstream idea."


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South Africa: Vox Telecom partnering FTTH provider Vumatel | TeleGeography.com

South African altnet Vox Telecom has formed a commercial partnership with fibre broadband provider Vumatel, which recently began the deployment of an open access fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in upmarket Johannesburg suburb Parkhurst.


On its website, Vox Telecom is offering three fibre service packages (4Mbps/50Mbps/100Mbps) available to Parkhurst residents/businesses signing up for the in-deployment FTTH connections from Vumatel, featuring a promotional offer giving free Vox ADSL internet service until the customer’s fibre line is installed. Vox advertises other benefits of the FTTH network including HD telephone calls via fibre.


Separately, Vumatel has confirmed that its FTTH infrastructure rollout in Parkhurst has begun in earnest, having dug its first trenches in the suburb, while the firm has also launched a new website of its own, which advertises FTTH speeds of up to 1Gbps.


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Future of utilities: New England may opt for "outcomes-based" regulations | Smart Grid News

Future of utilities: New England may opt for "outcomes-based" regulations | Smart Grid News | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The Northeast's electric power system is at an inflection point. Distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar, smart buildings and electric vehicles are creating new opportunities but also new demands on the grid. At the same time, ratepayers and policymakers are calling for a more resilient system.

 

These rising expectations coincide with flat or declining demand for electricity. And with the costly need to replace aging infrastructure. This combination of needs and stresses "presents an almost untenable challenge for the regions traditionally regulated distribution utilities. Regulators and utilities must evolve to adapt to this changing world."

 

The region must move to a modernized grid that harnesses new technologies. And to the new business model that supports the active operation of a dynamic distribution grid. Policymakers must issue forward-looking regulations that unlock markets, spur innovation and allow competition on the customer and retail site.

 

Four key priorities can put the Northeast on the path to a 21st-century electricity system.


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Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty | Coral Davenpoert | NYTimes.com

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty | Coral Davenpoert | NYTimes.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.


In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.


To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path.


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We Need to Reuse Water | Big Picture Agriculture

We Need to Reuse Water | Big Picture Agriculture | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

This infographic on using waste water and reusing water is from the World Bank.

 

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Colorado Drillers Show Sensitive Side to Woo Fracking Foes | Zain Shauk & Bradley Olson | Bloomberg.com

Colorado Drillers Show Sensitive Side to Woo Fracking Foes | Zain Shauk & Bradley Olson | Bloomberg.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

A fight over fracking is looming in Texas. Another stand-off is shaping up in Colorado. Yet drillers’ reactions couldn’t be more different.


In Texas, drillers are doing their noisy in-your-face fracking as usual. Meanwhile, on a small farm about an hour from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, the oil industry is giving fracking a makeover, cutting back on rumbling trucks and tamping down on pollution.


Oil companies in Colorado are responding to a rising tide of resentment as local communities and environmental activists vie to impose measures to ban fracking or restrict drilling. A series of ballot initiatives and other grass roots opposition around the country is seen as threatening the booming shale industry, even in oil-friendly Texas, where the U.S. energy renaissance began.


If those initiatives “continue to proliferate then companies lose access to those resources,” said David B. Spence, professor of law, politics and regulation at the University of Texas School of Law, who researches fracking and drilling rules.


Cities and counties nationwide have so far passed 430 measures to control or ban fracking, the controversial technique of cracking subterranean rocks to release oil and natural gas, according to a running list kept by Food & Water Watch, a Washington-based environmental advocacy group.


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A Map of Every Device in the World That's Connected to the Internet | Gizmoda.com

A Map of Every Device in the World That's Connected to the Internet | Gizmoda.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Where is the internet? This map might explain it better than any statistics could ever hope to: The red hot spots show where the most devices that can access the internet are located.


This map was made on August 2 by John Matherly, the founder of Shodan, a search engine for internet-connected devices. Matherly, who calls himself an internet cartographer, collected the data to put it together by sending ping requests to every IP address on the internet, and storing the positive responses. A ping is a network utility that sends an echo-request message (known as a packet) to an IP address—the internet's version of "hey, are you there?"


That part was relatively easy compared to the visualization process, says Matherly. "It took less than five hours to gather the data, and another 12 hours or so to generate the map image." For that, he used the matplotlib plotting library in the programing language Python.


With its rainbow of connectedness, the map is similar to one produced last year by folks at Caida—however, that one was illegal. Although Shodan is well-known for its potentially shady practices that prey upon insecure networks, ping requests—the same thing your internet provider uses to test speed and data loss—are completely benign, Matherly says. "We've just advanced enough in technology where we can do it on internet-scale."


Basically, Shodan is now able to send and receive the requests fast enough that the world can be queried in just a few hours. Armed with the new process, Matherly plans to track the changes in the globe's internet connectivity over time. With the proliferation of the Internet of Things, we're bound to see some of those black holes slowly colorize over the next few years. [Shodan]


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India: Digital literacy is important to bridge communication gap between the Govt & common man | VCCircle.com

India: Digital literacy is important to bridge communication gap between the Govt & common man | VCCircle.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

From launching a social networking site, to asking each minister to be available on micro-blogging site Twitter, PM Narendra Modi has been very active in order to ensure that the communication gap between the government and common man is bridged with the help of social media. His cabinet has also cleared an Rs 1 lakh crore ‘Digital India’ project to ensure that even the villages of the country are benefited by the digital initiatives of the government.


In an exclusive chat with VCC TV, national spokesperson of Bhartiya Janta Party and Member of Parliament from the New Delhi constituency, Meenakshi Lekhi talks about all the government’s initiatives on social media platforms, as well as their ground level status. She also discusses the importance of digital literacy and how she plans to run a campaign to teach the use of WhatsApp and Facebook to the tech-challenged women and elderly in her constituency.


Lekhi also touched upon the issues of FDI in e-commerce, rise in entrepreneurship in the country and how she in her individual capacity would like to incubate startups. On a lighter note, the MP also shared her experiences with e-commerce portals and how these companies should be more aggressive in their awareness programs for customers.


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China: Unicom, Telecom to expand 4G trials | TeleGeography.com

China Unicom and China Telecom have been given approvals to extend trials of their hybrid 4G networks from 16 cities to 40, Reuters reports. The duo both began testing networks utilising a mixture of Time Division (TD) and Frequency Division (FD) Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies in June this year.


Unicom and Telecom have struggled to compete with market leader China Mobile since TD-LTE licences were handed out in December 2013. Whilst China Mobile has fully embraced the home-grown platform, Unicom and Telecom have been reticent, developing strategies to use the technology in conjunction with the FD-LTE standard – licences for which are yet to be distributed.


Amongst the new cities to be added to the trial are Beijing, Tianjin, Dongguan, Xiamen and Changchun.

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ICT innovations, PPP model key to a digital India to create India Inc | Times of India

ICT innovations, PPP model key to a digital India to create India Inc | Times of India | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Extending full support to the government's 'Digital India' programme that envisions creation of Internet and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructure, senior ICT industry leaders pledged to innovate and offer the most advanced integrated technological solutions required by the government to achieve this, at a conference on ICT innovations for next generation, organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in the national capital recently.

ICT infrastructure underlined at the Digital India conference include high speed internet at all 2.5 lakh gram panchayat level, on demand availability of government services like health and education and digital literacy of citizens.

Pramod Bhasin, founder and vice chairman, Genpact India said, "To complement government's programme of digital inclusion, we must innovate and offer the most advanced solutions to the government which integrate data analytics, GIS, biometrics etc to enhance governance, food, health, physical and cybersecurity, energy, strengthen education, healthcare, transportation and other public delivery systems to the last mile and improve the standards of living of the people, especially in rural areas."


"It is only through PPP model that the vision can be accomplished", he added.

He said the programme can be successful in attaining last mile connectivity to more than 635,000 villages, 250,000 panchayats, 6,000 blocks and 672 districts, 1.2 million government schools, more than 50,000 public and rural libraries, more than 100,000 departments and public agencies, if and only if the ICT industry executes and manages the desired projects and provides out of the box solutions reducing the high cost of broadband in India, which is presently four times of that of China.

The government has identified broadband and mobile networks as key growth pillars under Digital India, but it will serve the purpose by bringing about process improvements, removing capacity constraints, adopting efficient operational models and by leveraging the emerging technologies like Social Media, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC).


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Where Does All the Trash from Dollywood Go? To One of the World's Best Composting Facilities | Yes! Magazine

Where Does All the Trash from Dollywood Go? To One of the World's Best Composting Facilities | Yes! Magazine | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

When you think about progressive composting and recycling programs, big cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles might come to mind—yet one of the most efficient composting facilities in the world is in Appalachian Tennessee.


Sevier County, Tennessee, is home to the twin tourist destinations of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and attracts more than 11 million visitors per year. Gatlinburg is a quaint mountain town packed with quirky stores, restaurants, moonshine shops, and an aquarium. Pigeon Forge is home to the Dollywood amusement park. These towns are poised at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which covers roughly a third of the county.


Perhaps it’s this proximity to the natural world that helped inspire Sevier County’s unique approach to waste disposal. When it opened in 1991, the Sevier Solid Waste Composting Facility was one of the first in the world to use rotating drums, or “digesters,” for breaking down compost. Because of this plant, the majority of the county’s waste is composted or recycled. Today, it’s still a rare breed.


“There’s about 12 or so [composting facilities] in the world like this,” explains Tom Leonard, general manager of Sevier Solid Waste. “Every one of them has gotten some design feature from here, because we’re one of the oldest.”


As we walk around the facility, Leonard points to a grassy rise in the distance. “That back there is our old Class 1 landfill, but we don’t use it anymore.”


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California hasn't had a drought this bad since at least 1895 | Vox.com

California hasn't had a drought this bad since at least 1895 | Vox.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

It's no secret that California is in the grips of an absolutely brutal drought. But how does it compare historically?


According to this week's figures from the US Drought Monitor, some 82 percent of the state is now suffering either "extreme" or "exceptional" drought — the first time that's happened since the monitor was set up in 1999.


But we can go back even further, as Andrew Freedman of Mashable points out.


Yesterday, the National Weather Service Hanford posted a chart suggesting that — according to a different metric — California's drought is now the worst since at least 1895:


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holly-berkowitz@mchsi.com's curator insight, August 29, 10:09 PM

The next story reads "Fracking report clears way for California oil, gas leasing to resume"  (LA Times, Scoop it)....even though fracken is causing water crisis.

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Why US net neutrality debate matters globally | Danielle Kehl Blog | The Hill

Why US net neutrality debate matters globally | Danielle Kehl Blog | The Hill | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

At the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) meeting in Istanbul next week, a multi-stakeholder group of representatives from around the world will gather to discuss the most pressing Internet policy issues of the day. Net neutrality will be high on the agenda, with one of the plenary sessions devoted to developing a common understanding of the issue. From a continent away, the conversation will invariably turn to what's happening here in the U.S. at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and how it impacts the global policy conversation.


It's been a busy year for net neutrality around the world. This spring, the European Parliament passed rules that outlaw network discrimination and prevent anti-competitive commercial agreements. A few weeks later, the final version of Brazil's Marco Civil was codified with a section on network neutrality, despite a fierce campaign by telecom lobbyists to gut the provisions in the months prior to the bill's passage. In capitals all over the world, debates continue about the net neutrality implications of practices like zero-rating and finding the appropriate balance between competitive interests and consumer protections.


Against this backdrop, policymakers and advocates in the United States are currently embroiled in a heated battle over the future of the FCC's Open Internet rules. In January 2014, the District of Columbia Circuit Court vacated the no-blocking and nondiscrimination rules that the FCC had enacted in 2010. Now the commission is in the middle of a rulemaking proceeding to consider new net neutrality rules, pitting large broadband carriers and those who argue that new rules are unnecessary against major Internet companies and public interest advocates who have urged the FCC to put strong obligations in place. Over a million commentshave already been filed in the net neutrality docket this year.


Meanwhile, several of the major U.S. Internet service providers have suggested that if the FCC chooses the "wrong" path on net neutrality, it could undermine American international policy objectives. AT&T, Comcast and Verizon all claim in their initial comments to the FCC that reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service subject to common carriage regulations would encourage foreign governments to enact similarly "restrictive" regulations over the Internet. What's more, they argue, reclassification would undercut the Internet Freedom agenda, making it more difficult for the State Department to push back against Internet-censoring countries like China and Russia and preserve the current multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance.


Verizon, for example, suggests that reclassification "would set a dangerous precedent at a time when the United States has needed to fight vigilantly against international bodies and even repressive regimes that seek greater control over the Internet." Comcast argues that the "United States' policy preference for competition over heavy-handed regulation has not been confined to domestic communications," adding that "imposing common-carrier regulation on broadband services could undermine the United States' resistance to greater oversight of the Internet by the UN's International Telecommunication Union." AT&T and Verizon made similar predictions during the first Open Internet proceeding in 2010.


The carriers are right that the path the FCC ultimately chooses matters beyond the domestic context — but for very different reasons. The global interest in the U.S. net neutrality debate is not borne out of fear that strong rules will enable a "U.N. takeover" of the Internet or bolster Chinese and Russian arguments for censorship and control. (They may try to use it in their rhetoric, but it won't convince anyone who does not already agree with them.) It's because the precedent we set here may influence whether and how governments in other countries choose to protect net neutrality on their own soil.


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Introducing Google’s exciting yet ambitious new Project called Loon | Technology-in-Biz.com

Introducing Google’s exciting yet ambitious new Project called Loon | Technology-in-Biz.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Loon is Internet access via a network of balloons traveling on the edge of Space.


Introducing the latest project from Google [x] called Project Loon.


Its where they intend to bring internet access to people in remote areas using network of balloons traveling on the edge of space.


To learn more, visit: http://google.com/loon.


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