@The Convergence ...
Follow
Find
36.2K views | +39 today
 
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
onto @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy
Scoop.it!

Vindskip ship concept uses the hull as a sail | GizMag.com

Vindskip ship concept uses the hull as a sail | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

With its Vindskip (or Windship), the Norwegian designers at Lade AS have come up with an intriguing concept for a partly wind-powered "hybrid" merchant ship.


No, Gizmag hasn't quite forgotten maritime history, and Lade AS is not proposing a return to the Age of Sail – not quite, anyway. Instead, the concept envisages using a specially-shaped hull to harness the power of the wind.


Though the idea isn't 100 percent wind-powered, Lade AS claims that its apparently patented design would achieve fuel savings of 60 percent while reducing emissions by 80 percent.


How? Well, the company says it has drawn inspiration from the Aerospace Industry to create a hull which it describes as a symmetrical airfoil. The company claims the airfoil helps harnesses a force akin to aerodynamic lift, pulling the ship along, and company manager Terje Lade tells Gizmag that the symmetrical airfoil ensures that "lift" is generated when the wind comes from both port and starboard sides. "You can compare a symmetrical airfoil with a 'normal' sail," he tells Gizmag.


The international patent seems to simply lay claim to the application of an airfoil to the hull of a ship.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
@The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy
Our Global Future in the 21st Century is based on "The Third Industrial Revolution" which finally connects our new ICT infrastructure with distributed energy sources that are both renewable and sustainable
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Familiar fish find northern seas too warm for comfort | Tim Radford | Climate News Network

Familiar fish find northern seas too warm for comfort | Tim Radford | Climate News Network | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Some of Northern Europe’s favourite suppers may be about to swim off the menu altogether. Global warming could change the future catch, according to new research.

British scientists report in the journal Nature Climate Change that popular species such as haddock, lemon sole and plaice could become less common as the climate changes and the North Sea warms.

The North Sea is relatively shallow – during the height of the Ice Age, much of the sea bed was dry land – which means that fish that would otherwise find deeper waters to keep cool have nowhere to go.

The North Atlantic is warming fast. The mean annual North Sea surface temperatures have increased by 1.3°C in the past 30 years. This is four times faster than the global average. But fish evolved to make a living in the temperatures that suit them best, and the evidence is that the North Sea is increasingly host to species that were once characteristic of the Mediterranean.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Agency Overseeing Obama Trade Deals Filled With Former Trade Lobbyists | Lee Fang | The Intercept

Agency Overseeing Obama Trade Deals Filled With Former Trade Lobbyists | Lee Fang | The Intercept | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The Office of the United States Trade Representative, the agency responsible for negotiating two massive upcoming trade deals, is being led by former lobbyists for corporations that stand to benefit from the deals, according to disclosure forms obtained by The Intercept.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a proposed free trade accord between the U.S. and 11 Pacific Rim countries; the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a similar agreement between the U.S. and the E.U.

The Obama administration is pushing hard to complete both deals, which it says will increase U.S. trade opportunities. Critics say the deals will provide corporate interests with sweeping powers to challenge banking and environmental regulations.

Here is information on three major figures in the Trade Representative’s office, gleaned from their disclosure forms:


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

US Lawmakers Unveil Secretly Negotiated Deal To Fast-Track Free Trade | Michael McAuliff | HuffPost.com

US Lawmakers Unveil Secretly Negotiated Deal To Fast-Track Free Trade | Michael McAuliff | HuffPost.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Congress’ tax committees announced an agreement Thursday to speed through a bill to give President Barack Obama the fast-track authority that he will need to push mammoth new trade deals through Congress.

While many believed a deal was in the works, news that it was actually done came as a surprise to members of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, which had been called to a hearing on the deal less than 12 hours earlier.

The “trade promotion authority” bill, or TPA, would allow the White House to cut new trade deals with Asian and European nations, and then pass them through Congress using expedited procedures. Under these rules, the deals cannot be amended or obstructed, and they get a simple up-or-down vote.

The fast-track authority would likely pave the way for both the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with the European Union, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership with a dozen Asian nations. Both deals are vastly larger than NAFTA, and would involve about two-thirds of the entire world’s economy. Currently, the United States has trade agreements covering just 10 percent of world trade.

The hastily called Senate hearing on the TPA featured three of the administration's top officials on trade: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and United States Trade Representative Michael Froman. The deal's backers are Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.).

Several Democrats at the morning session seemed furious that they had been summarily called in about a measure they had not been shown or given any time to read, signaling that Obama will face a major struggle with his own party to get his trade agenda passed.


Click headline to read more and watch video clip--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Polar bears weakened by pollution as well as warmth | Tim Radford | Climate News Network

Polar bears weakened by pollution as well as warmth | Tim Radford | Climate News Network | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Greenland’s polar bears have a thyroid problem. Their endocrine systems, too, are being disrupted. In both cases the culprit agency is environmental pollution by a range of long-lived industrial chemicals and pesticides.

Kristin Møller Gabrielsen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and colleagues report in the journal Environmental Research that they examined the liver, muscle and kidney tissues taken from seven polar bears killed by Inuit hunters in East Greenland in 2011 and analysed the effect of more than 50 contaminants in plasma samples from Ursus maritimus, to see what effect organohalogen compounds could have on the bears’ thyroid systems.

All mammals have thyroid systems, and these are physiologically essential for growth, development, reproduction, stress response, tissue repair, metabolism and thermoregulation (an animal’s ability to keep its body temperature within limits): disruption at any stage of life can be damaging, but thyroid regulation is vital in the earlier stages of life.

But the researchers found high concentrations of plastic pollution and pesticide contamination in the creatures’ tissues, many of which could affect the hormonal systems.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Cisco router feature open to exploit | Jim Duffy | NetworkWorld.com

Cisco router feature open to exploit | Jim Duffy | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

A default feature in Cisco routers can be exploited to surrender data, according to this post in The Register. The vulnerability was discovered by Brazilian security researchers and Cisco is aware of it.

The feature is embedded packet capture, a troubleshooting tool that allows administrators to capture packets to determine, for example, the cause of an anomaly. The researchers used the EPC feature to collect massive amounts of data that could be exploited, though they and Cisco admit access to EPC would require privileged user access.

But since EPC is a default feature, its potential for abuse still presents a risk, the researchers say. They say hackers could access user credentials, pre-shared keys and other sensitive information.

Cisco advises customers is to ensure that appropriate user access controls are in place to avoid abuse of the EPC feature, according to The Register.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

North Carolina’s Governor Says Offshore Drilling Should Be Closer To Beaches | Shiva Polefka | Think Progress

North Carolina’s Governor Says Offshore Drilling Should Be Closer To Beaches | Shiva Polefka | Think Progress | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

A new federal proposal to allow offshore oil drilling from Virginia to Georgia is receiving some pushback from North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory, who on Wednesday said drilling should be allowed even closer to his state’s renowned beaches and fishing grounds than is currently being considered.

Testifying before a House of Representatives panel on energy and mineral resources, McCrory first hailed the Obama administration’s offshore drilling plan for the Atlantic as an economic boon. But he then decried the proposal’s inclusion of a 50-mile “buffer zone” — an area where drilling is not allowed to occur — designed to reduce conflicts with other coastal industries like tourism and fishing, and mitigate impacts on coastal wildlife. The buffer zone would extend from Georgia’s southern border to Virginia’s northern limit.

In his testimony, McCrory criticized the buffer zone as putting too much of the offshore resources “under lock and key.” Similarly, in a recently publicized letter to Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, McCrory requested that the protective buffer be shrunk to just 30 miles, to allow drilling to occur 20 miles closer to North Carolina’s beaches than they would be under the Obama administration’s plan.

“North Carolina’s coastal and ocean activities would be undisturbed and the views from any of our 320 miles of ocean beaches and shoreline would remain unobstructed with buffer reduction to 30 miles,” he wrote.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Zimbabwe: Fast Broadband is a "Basic Human Right"; Victoria Falls Going Fiber-to-the-Home: 100Mbps Service | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap!

Zimbabwe: Fast Broadband is a "Basic Human Right"; Victoria Falls Going Fiber-to-the-Home: 100Mbps Service | Phil Dampier | Stop the Cap! | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

The two largest telecom companies in Zimbabwe believe broadband access isn’t just an essential utility — it’s a basic human right and they are responding with major upgrade projects that will deliver speedier broadband, sometimes even faster than what most customers in North America can access.

Anything less than fiber-to-the-home service won’t do, according to Tom Tudor, chief marketing officer at Liquid Telecom. The company is expanding its fiber project in Zimbabwe with popular tourist destination Victoria Falls getting a major upgrade. Liquid Telecom believes data caps are incompatible with the concept of bringing the Internet to more people to “participate in, and benefit from, the digital revolution.” Liquid Telecom’s fiber service – Fibroniks, doesn’t have usage limits or hidden gotcha fees.

“Every day we lay new fiber which enables us to deliver what we refer to as ‘The Real Internet’, a superfast service which transforms how people access and share information,” Tudor said.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Dutch firm heats homes for free using cloud server power | Adam Williams | GizMag.com

Dutch firm heats homes for free using cloud server power | Adam Williams | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

You've probably noticed how hot a computer can get if it's doing something taxing, like playing a game, for example. The same thing happens with server farms, but on a larger scale. Dutch startup Nerdalize aims to ditch the usual server farm setup and put internet-connected servers in people's homes, using the excess heat to warm the homes free-of-charge.

Nerdalize recently teamed-up with Eneco, one of Holland's largest utility companies, to put five internet-connected server units that look like normal radiators – called "eRadiators" – into people's homes. The idea is, Nerdalize covers the cost of running the eRadiators and, because it has no data center to pay for staffing and maintaining, it can offer computing power that's up to 55 percent cheaper than other server providers.

The heat generated by the server's computations while performing tasks like medical research or engineering data for example, offers a constant source of heat that's free of charge to the occupants. The eRadiators also run very quietly, according to the firm's press documentation.


Click headline to read more, access hot links, view pix gallery and watch video clip--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Oil-trapping mesh could be used to clean up oil spills | Ben Coxworth | GizMag.com

Oil-trapping mesh could be used to clean up oil spills | Ben Coxworth | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, scientists are still trying to develop better ways of removing oil from water. Now, researchers at The Ohio State University believe that they may be onto something. They've developed a stainless steel mesh that allows water to pass through, but that stops oil.

Created by a team led by Prof. Bharat Bhushan and Philip Brown, the mesh was inspired by the leaves of the lotus plant. Lotus leaves are covered in tiny bumps that are tipped with even tinier hairs, which cause water to bead up and roll off when it lands on the surface – oil, however, isn't affected in the same manner.

This structure was altered for the mesh, so that water wouldn't be affected, but oil would be repelled.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Philippines: PLDT HOME partners pay-TV leader Cignal for triple-play bundle; PLDT building eighth data centre | TeleGeography

PLDT HOME, the residential communication and multimedia services arm of Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), has teamed up with the country’s biggest pay-TV provider Cignal Digital TV to offer subscribers a landline connection, DSL internet access, and a cable subscription in one convenient plan.


PLDT HOME’s new triple-play offer comes as it looks to consolidate its dominant position in the country’s retail broadband market. The unit passed the one million DSL subscriber barrier in 2014 and claims its three-in-one offer will reinforce its burgeoning entertainment content portfolio, which already includes live channels on broadband and movie-on-demand offers.


Its triple-play packages can be purchased from PHP1,699 (USD38.20) per month for new users, although existing PLDT HOME DSL users can upgrade from just PHP400 a month, it says. Subscribers get access to up to 100 digital TV channels from Cignal, including NBA Premium and Cignal-exclusive channel Disney XD when they upgrade. PLDT was the first Filipino operator to offer digital TV over broadband in early 2014.

In a separate development, PLDT is investing up to PHP1 billion to build its eighth data centre in the country, according to vice president Eric Alberto, speaking on the sidelines of the Tech Island 2.0 conference. Alberto, who is also president of the group’s ePLDT unit, says that the telco has selected the Clark Special Economic and Freeport Zone as the site of the new data centre.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Latvia: Lattelecom launches rural VDSL rollout programme | TeleGeography.com

Lattelecom has launched a network upgrade programme aimed at boosting internet connection speeds for around 180,000 customers, particularly those outside of urban centres, by up to ten times by the end of the year.


The telco is deploying a VDSL vectoring solution in areas where it has been unable to roll out direct fibre (fibre-to-the-home/building [FTTH/B]) access, providing users with maximum theoretical downlink speeds of 60Mbps.

Lattelecom CEO Juris Gulbis commented on the project: ‘Although Latvia is the European leader when it comes to fibre-optic networks, and optical internet connections are available to more than a half of the country’s households, we want to provide equal technology opportunities to all our residents, regardless of where they live. Latvia’s future is related to the availability of technology to its people, and this is a platform of the information age, which will allow to improve the quality of life by offering more flexible working conditions and various forms of doing business, as well as access to various media, like interactive television and the features it provides.’

To-date the operator has upgraded 117 copper cable service nodes, boosting access speeds for some 14,000 Lattelecom subscribers.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Study: Self-driving cars will make a lot of people sick | Colin Neagle | NetworkWorld.com

Study: Self-driving cars will make a lot of people sick | Colin Neagle | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

A recent study conducted by the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute predicts that passengers in self-driving cars will be more likely to experience motion sickness than in traditional automobiles.

Specifically, the study estimates that anywhere between 6% and 10% of passengers would experience some level of motion sickness "often, usually, or always," while as many as 12% would feel moderate or severe motion sickness "at some time."

The researchers looked at the factors that contribute to motion sickness – "conflict between vestibular and visual inputs, inability to anticipate the direction of motion, and lack of control over the direction of motion" – and estimated how much more likely passengers would be to experience them while traveling in self-driving cars. They concluded that these factors "are elevated in self-driving vehicles."

Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Netflix says it 'should have avoided' unmetered deals with Australian ISPs | Claire Reilly | CNET.com

Netflix says it 'should have avoided' unmetered deals with Australian ISPs | Claire Reilly | CNET.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Netflix has had a change of heart about controversial deals it struck with Internet service providers as part of its launch last month in Australia and New Zealand.

As part of the March launch, the video-on-demand streaming service partnered with one of Australia's largest ISPs, iiNet, to offer its customers unlimited access to content streaming without counting toward their monthly data cap. One of iiNet's competitors, Optus, quickly followed suit, announcing that it too would offer its customers unmetered access to Netflix for all fixed broadband customers.

The deals themselves quickly came under fire for seeming to contravene previous comments from Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that "Net neutrality must be defended" and ISPs must not "restrict, influence, or otherwise meddle with the choices consumers make."

Shortly after the announcement, a Netflix spokeswoman defended the deals, saying that arrangements such as those struck with iiNet and Optus were "common in Australia" and that the company would not put "new members at a disadvantage to those of rival services."

Netflix has now conceded that, in light of its support of "strong Net neutrality across the globe," its deals with the Australian ISPs were a mistake. Netflix released an investor statement Wednesday admitting that it "should have avoided" signing exclusive deals, saying it continues to be a "vocal" advocate of Net neutrality -- the principle that all data on the Internet should be treated equally by ISPs and governments.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

What Scientists Learned Mapping a Sunken Aircraft Carrier | Alex Davies | WIRED.com

What Scientists Learned Mapping a Sunken Aircraft Carrier | Alex Davies | WIRED.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Scientists have surveyed a World War II-era aircraft carrier scuttled off the coast of San Francisco in 1951, advancing our understanding of how thoroughly we can explore the ocean floor while providing new knowledge about how ships fare after decades under water.

The 3-D sonar survey of the USS Independence was part of a two-year project by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to find and document hundreds of wrecks in the Gulf of the Farallones and learn more about the area’s rich maritime and biological history.

As ships go, the Independence is worthy of a biopic. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the US scrambled to rebuild its war machinery, an effort that included a new class of midsize aircraft carriers. The first of them was the Independence, launched in August 1942. It fought in the Pacific and survived a torpedo attack. Among its sailors and aviators was Butch O’Hare, the first naval recipient of the Medal of Honor during World War II.


After the war, the Independence was part of a huge flotilla the Navy dispatched to Bikini Atoll in 1946 to understand the effects of nuclear radiation on ships. After being blasted twice, it was off to Hunters Point Naval Shipyard in San Francisco, where the Navy studied radioactive decontamination.


In January of 1951, the brass decided the Independence was no longer useful, too expensive to scrap, and might sink at any time. It was towed to the Farallon Islands, 30 miles off the California coast, loaded with two torpedo warheads the Navy was testing (talk about using the whole buffalo), and scuttled.


Today it rests at a depth of 2,600 feet. A survey of the area in 2009 revealed something that might have been the Independence, but no one was quite sure. “It looked like a caterpillar,” says James Delgado, director of maritime heritage at NOAA.


Click headline to read more, access hot links and view pix and map--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Obama's climate change policy appears to survive early court challenge | David Savage | LATimes.com

Obama's climate change policy appears to survive early court challenge | David Savage | LATimes.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

President Obama’s ambitious plan to battle climate change by forcing power plants to reduce their greenhouse gases appeared to survive its first court challenge Thursday, but only because the formal rules are still pending at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which calls for a 30% reduction in carbon pollution by 2030, could be the signature environmental achievement of his presidency. But his plan is moving forward without the approval of Congress, including the new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), a fierce defender of the coal industry.

With no prospects for new regulatory legislation, Obama’s EPA administrators last year turned to the Clean Air Act of 1990 to set state-by-state targets for reducing carbon pollution. States could reach their targets by, for example, replacing coal-fired power plants with ones that burned natural gas.

But leaders of the coal industry and lawyers from the coal-producing states cried foul. And Thursday, an unusual hearing before a U.S. Court of Appeals panel turned into a preview of things to come.

Lawyers for the coal producers and coal-dependent states took turns urging the judges to stop the proposed climate-change regulations, even though they are not expected to be formally issued until later this year. They described Obama’s plan as a “vast expansion” of federal authority that could force the shutdown of a large number of coal-fired plants.

They contended that the climate change plan amounts to illegal “double regulation” of power plants. They pointed to one provision in the thick 1990 law that could be read to say that once the EPA restricts power plants with one set of regulations, it cannot impose another set of regulations for different pollutants on the same power plants.

Industry attorneys were joined by Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe, a onetime mentor to Obama.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Vatican Announces Major Summit On Climate Change | Jack Jenkins | Think Progress

Vatican Announces Major Summit On Climate Change | Jack Jenkins | Think Progress | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Catholic officials announced on Tuesday plans for a landmark climate change-themed conference to be hosted at the Vatican later this month, the latest in Pope Francis’ faith-rooted campaign to raise awareness about global warming.

The summit, which is scheduled for April 28 and entitled “Protect the Earth, Dignify Humanity. The Moral Dimensions of Climate Change and Sustainable Development,” will draw together a combination of scientists, global faith leaders, and influential conservation advocates such as Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is slotted to offer the opening address, and organizers say the goal of the conference is to “build a consensus that the values of sustainable development cohere with values of the leading religious traditions, with a special focus on the most vulnerable.”

“[The conference hopes to] help build a global movement across all religions for sustainable development and climate change throughout 2015 and beyond,” read a statement posted on several Vatican-run websites.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Petcoke in Chicago: A Toxic Gift From the Koch Brothers | Georgia Kraff | Truth-Out.org

Petcoke in Chicago: A Toxic Gift From the Koch Brothers | Georgia Kraff | Truth-Out.org | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

David versus Goliath – that is how Tom Shepherd and Peggy Salazar of the Southeast [Side of Chicago] Environmental Task Force of Chicago describe their fight. Goliath, in this case, is KCBX Terminals, a division of Koch Industries.

Chicago’s Southeast Side, once an industrial hub of the steel industry, has now become a dumping ground for a filthy waste product of the petroleum industry petcoke: Piles of the stuff, some as high as an eight-story building are being dumped along the banks of the Calumet River. The BP oil refinery across the state line in Whiting, Indiana, produces the coke in the process of refining the tar sands being piped down from Alberta, Canada. BP has sub-contracted KCBX Terminals to handle the material from there.

Dust from the piles fills the air with every breeze. During particularly windy days, the area is as dark as night. Petcoke, the dregs of tar-sands refining is an oily, powdery substance that coats everything it touches – window sills, cars and laundry drying on clothes lines. It cannot be brushed off the skin; it must be washed off with soap and water.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Interior Secretary Defends Government’s New Rules For Fracking On Public Lands | Katie Valentine | Think Progress

Interior Secretary Defends Government’s New Rules For Fracking On Public Lands | Katie Valentine | Think Progress | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell hit back against criticism to her department’s recently announced rules on hydraulic fracturing on public lands Thursday, saying that the rules were a needed update to the former set of regulations.

Speaking to press after an event at the Center for American Progress, Jewell said that the rules’ treatment of wastewater disposal and chemical disclosure in fracking projects on public lands are important for public safety.

“It’s been four or five years in the making,” she said, adding that the department had made adjustments to the regulations based on the 1.7 million comments they got on the proposed rules. “It’s really important that the public be reassured that groundwater is protected, that frack fluids are disclosed in terms of whats in them, and their disposed of properly.”

The Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management announced its final rules for fracking on public lands in March, regulations that will require oil and gas companies to disclose the chemicals they use when fracking on protected lands and prohibit the companies from storing wastewater in open pits on these lands. Some environmental groups had wanted to rules to go further in protecting public lands from oil and gas development, however — a group of five large groups called the regulations “toothless.”

Jewell also said Thursday that though it’s her agency’s job to ensure that the regulations put in place protect the public, the oil and gas industry also has a role to play in educating the public about their practices.

“If the public is concerned, it is the job of industry to reassure the public,” she said. “Industry should be talking about their practices and how they can reassure the public so that there aren’t ongoing concerns. I believe there is a lot of misinformation — again it’s industry’s job to express that. We do understand it and we we’ve come out with regulations that we think strike the right balance.”


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Brian Forde joins the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency | MIT News

Brian Forde joins the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency | MIT News | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Brian Forde, former White House senior advisor for mobile and data innovation, has joined the MIT Media Lab as director of digital currency. In this newly created position, Forde will work with researchers across the Institute and leading experts at other universities around the world in a new initiative to address some of the most critical challenges to creating a safe, stable, and secure digital currency.

“We are fortunate to have Brian join the Media Lab to help organize an important research agenda to get cryptocurrencies right,” Media Lab Director Joi Ito says. “Brian’s experience mainstreaming emerging technologies from the rural mountains of Nicaragua to the White House will be invaluable as he tackles the challenges of digital currency — one of the most promising emerging technologies for the next 10 years.”

Forde has spent more than a decade at the nexus of technology and public policy. At the White House he was responsible for determining how the Obama administration would leverage open data and emerging technologies to address the president's national priorities. In this role, his work included launching initiatives in climate change, natural disasters, and open data, and leading the revitalization of Detroit. He was also key to formulating the White House Tech Inclusion and TechHire initiatives, bringing together leaders from the technology community, large corporations, and advocacy groups to support the hiring and training of more women and minorities in technology. In recognition of this work, Forde was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.


Click headline to read more--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Floating Seahorse boats to offer partially submerged living in Dubai's Heart of Europe | Chris Wood | GizMag.com

Floating Seahorse boats to offer partially submerged living in Dubai's Heart of Europe | Chris Wood | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Developer Kleindienst Group is planning to construct 42 floating properties as part of the Heart of Europe development in Dubai. Technically classified as a boat, the Floating Seahorse offers an entire floor of submerged living, providing clear views of marine life beneath the gentle waves of the Persian Gulf.

The Floating Seahorse boats will be moored offshore from the St. Petersburg and Main Europe Islands, a short boat ride from the coast of Dubai. The "marine style retreats" offer a floor space of 1,700 sq ft (158 sq m).

A total of 42 properties will be constructed, each comprising three floors, two of which are above water level and one of which is below. The central, sea level floor will consist of an open plan living area, fully-fitted kitchen and dining area, while the upper floor offers an outdoor shower, mini bar, kitchenette, informal bed and glass-bottomed jacuzzi. The master bedroom and bathroom are fully submerged on the lower floor, with large windows providing a clear view of the marine life in the surrounding coral reef.


Click headline to read more, access hot links and view pix gallery--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Sliding wall and hidden bed transform small New York apartment | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com

Sliding wall and hidden bed transform small New York apartment | Stu Robarts | GizMag.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

As cities are become ever more populated, living spaces are getting smaller and we need to find clever ways to make the most of the space we have. The 5:1 Apartment in New York is one such small space. It uses a sliding wall to transform itself from daytime to nighttime functionality.

We've seen the space-saving sliding wall concept used elsewhere a number of times recently, including in Madrid's All I Own House and in Kinematix's reconfigurable office space in Porto, Portugal. In the 5:1 Apartment, it allows living/working and sleeping spaces to fit comfortably into 390 sq ft (36 sq m).

Designed by micro-living architects MKCA, the apartment is situated in a 1920s co-op building in Manhattan, and has been comprehensively remodeled. The limited space is made to feel as big as possible with a minimalist layout, a white paint job and white units. Bright LED lights, which help with a sense of spaciousness, are also installed.

It is the annexed section of the apartment doubling as both the living/work area and bedroom that's the highlight, though. During the day, a couch sits at one side of the space facing a TV wall unit. Shelving, storage and a workspace run along the third wall, all of which can be revealed or hidden with sliding doors.


Click headline to read more, access hot links and view pix gallery--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Net neutrality is important, and more so because most Indians don’t even have access to the internet | Madhura Karnik | Quartz.com

Net neutrality is important, and more so because most Indians don’t even have access to the internet | Madhura Karnik | Quartz.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

While we’re talking about net neutrality, it’s useful to remember that only a tiny number of Indians have access to the internet.

Even though India is one of the fastest growing economies globally, it has a lot of catching up to do on the technology front. A mere 15% of Indians use the internet at all, according to a new report (pdf) by the Switzerland-based World Economic Forum (WEF). And only 33% of the population own mobile phones.

When it comes to individual technology usage, India ranks 121, behind countries like China, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The WEF took into account factors such as how people own mobile phones or computers, how often they use internet, and if they are active on social media, to measure the individual usage.

As of October 2014, India had 278 million internet users according to the Internet and Mobile Association of India. China, on the other hand, had more than 600 million internet users. According to the WEF, there are only three mobile broadband subscriptions for every 100 Indians.

“The report shows that the digital divide across nations is increasing and this is of great concern, given the relentless pace of technological development. Less developed nations risk being left further behind and concrete actions are needed urgently to address this,” said Soumitra Dutta, a dean at the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and co-editor of the report.

There is still a silver lining: The WEF said India tops all the 143 countries it assessed when it comes to affordability of internet and communication technologies in general.

But with the recent uncertainty about net neutrality, India’s internet may become more restricted and expensive.

Here is how Quartz defined net neutrality in a previous story:


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Italy: Telecom Italia teams with Sky for IPTV partnership | TeleGeography.com

Sky Italia is offering its entire content line-up over a broadband connection for the first time, via a strategic partnership with Telecom Italia (TI). The move considerably broadens Sky’s reach, enabling it to access the many Italian households who are unable to install a satellite dish.


The ‘TIM Sky’ joint offer will be available to any TI customers with an ADSL connection of at least 20Mbps, or a fibre-optic connection of at least 30Mbps.


For the first year of service the TIM Sky offer will be made available to existing broadband users for a supplementary EUR14 (USD15) per month, rising to EUR39 for a quadruple-play package.


Meanwhile, the telco’s agreement with Sky will last five years, it has been confirmed. Chief executive Marco Patuano told Reuters: ‘The deal will last for five years but it can be renewed because it has strategic value.’

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

M.I.T. Debates Whether to Drop Fossil-Fuel Investments | Benjamin Hulac | Scientific American

M.I.T. Debates Whether to Drop Fossil-Fuel Investments | Benjamin Hulac | Scientific American | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Last night, speakers at the nation's most prestigious engineering school held forth on an array of financial and educational strategies to crack the challenge of man-made climate change.

They included: complete fossil fuel divestment; shareholder engagement with energy firms to advocate environmental concerns; frequent proxy voting on the resolutions of coal, oil and gas companies; educational outreach to politicians and the public to convey the gravity of rising emissions; tax incentives; steadfast energy research; and global emissions pricing.

Yet at this forum, an on-campus debate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology over whether the university should divest the fossil fuel holdings within its $11 billion endowment, might not have happened if market forces properly priced the economic and environmental costs of climate change, a theme that Anthony Cortese, the event moderator, alluded to at the outset.

"Some have called it an existential crisis," said Cortese, a principal at the Intentional Endowments Network, which studies sustainable finance, referring to climate change. "This is happening for the failure of the market economy to equally account for many of the negative human and environmental impacts that are imposed upon society and the life support system."

Since late 2012, college students in the United States have led the push, starting on their campuses with their school endowments, to boycott the fossil fuel industry by urging investors to sell off any coal, oil or natural gas holdings.

Most efforts have targeted the largest 200 publicly traded fossil fuel firms, maintained by a company called Fossil Free Indexes.

The MIT divestment advocates are requesting that the university block any new fossil investments and sell fossil fuel shares within five years.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc
Scoop.it!

Experts boost threat level, call for patching critical Windows bug ASAP | Gregg Keizer | NetworkWorld.com

Experts boost threat level, call for patching critical Windows bug ASAP | Gregg Keizer | NetworkWorld.com | @The Convergence of ICT & Distributed Renewable Energy | Scoop.it

Security experts today called for Windows users to immediately patch one of the 26 vulnerabilities Microsoft disclosed two days ago.

SANS' Internet Storm Center (ISC) raised its threat level to Yellow as a signal of the seriousness of the bug, which is now being actively used in "Internet wide" scans to crash Windows systems. Among the more recent incidents that triggered a Yellow alert from the ISC was last year's Heartbleed vulnerability

"We are seeing active exploits hitting our honeypots," SANS said in a warning on its website.

Microsoft released a patch for the now-exploited vulnerability on Tuesday as part of its monthly security slate. The update, designated MS15-034, was rated "critical," Microsoft's most serious threat level.

Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2 are affected by the flaw, Microsoft said.

Since Tuesday, when Microsoft issued MS15-034 -- along with 10 other bulletins, three of which were also rated critical -- proof-of-concept (PoC) code has begun circulating on the Web, and as SANS said, is being used to crash vulnerable machines.

The patch-now urgency being pressed by security analysts and researchers stemmed not only from the known targets -- Windows systems, largely servers, running IIS (Internet Information Systems), Microsoft's Web server software -- but also because there is much unknown about the extent of the threat to the wider Windows ecosystem.


Click headline to read more and access hot links--

more...
No comment yet.