The New York Times is taking data centers and those who build them to task today in two different pieces, one of which paints Microsoft as an energy-hungry bully to a small Washington state community. The Times reports that Microsoft wasted millions of watts of energy in December of last year by unnecessarily running huge heating units and threatened to waste millions more if a $210,000 penalty for overestimating its energy use was not rescinded by the local utility.
Hurricane Isaac has now made two landfalls in southern Louisiana, and the Gulf Coast region is no doubt in for a long Wednesday. The slow-moving storm carries an increased risk for flooding in the affected regions, as rainfall totals will be higher. And then there's that storm surge, and those Category One, 80 mile-per-hour winds. Kind of makes you wonder how something so violent and destructive on the underside can look so tranquil from above. This is a major test of the world's largest water pump system, which was installed in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina.
Billionaire Peter Thiel would like to introduce you to the other, other white meat. The investor’s philanthropic Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs is offering up a six-figure grant (between $250,00 and $350,000, though representatives wouldn’t say exactly) to a Missouri-based startup called Modern Meadow that is flipping 3-D bio-printing technology originally aimed at the regenerative medicine market into a means to produce 3-D printed meat.
Dusky sharks do not live in the Pacific waters near the Republic of Kiribati. Neither do spottail sharks, nor the aptly named bignose sharks. But they used to live there at one point in the past -- right by the Gilbert Islands, according to anthropological evidence. Ancient shark-tooth weapons can serve as a record of past biodiversity, according to new ecological research.
A lot has been written about the perceived benefits and non-benefits of higher-than-the-human-eye-can-perceive resolutions, things like displays that go beyond HD and retina or cameras and scanners that capture imagery in pixel counts that go so far beyond the threshold of what we can see as to be meaningless, at least visually speaking.
By Katharine GammonPosted 08.06.2012 at 10:50 am 10 Comments
With an average elevation of just five feet above sea level, the Maldives—a nation comprising 1,192 islands in the Indian Ocean—is the lowest country in the world. Sea level, meanwhile, has risen by about seven inches since 1900, and scientists predict that it will rise as much as two more feet by 2100, pushing much of the population (about 390,000 and growing) out of their homes. In the past, engineers have used sand and rubble to create islands elsewhere, but these structures can disturb the sea and seafloor ecosystems.
An analysis of past climate data published yesterday in the journal Nature Geoscience paints a less-than-rosy picture for the U.S., Mexico, and Canada in the 21st century. The 2000-2004 dry spell was the worst drought in the region in 800 years, the researchers claim, and before the century is over we’ll look back on those days as the wetter end of a much larger hydroclimate shift. Dry conditions will become the “new normal.” They invoked the word “megadrought.”
In an effort to stay one step ahead of the summer monsoon season, Indian scientists are embarking on an ambitious and unprecedented project to build computer models that will allow them to predict the movements of erratic monsoons weeks in advance. If successful, the Indian government thinks it can drastically alter economic outcomes for hundreds of millions of people whose lives depend directly on India’s agriculture sector.
We know CFL bulbs are world-changingly efficient, producing the same level of light as their incandescent parents while using a quarter of the energy. But they're still a relatively new device, and few long-term studies have been carried out on them. One of the most recent, a new report from a team at Stony Brook, suggests CFLs might cause damage to skin by releasing UV rays.