Category: Computing/Consumer electronics

Google’s new cloud computing tool helps you pick the greenest data centers

Read the full story at ZDNet.

In another bid to make cloud computing eco-friendlier, Google has created a new tool to push customers who are picking their next cloud region towards choosing infrastructure that is more sustainable.

When users browse through their options to manage cloud resources, Google will flag regions that have the lowest carbon impact highlighted with a leaf symbol and a “Lowest CO2” label.

A big win for right-to-repair

Read the full story at Grist.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order directing the Federal Trade Commission to tackle at repair monopolies.

The internet eats up less energy than you might think

Read the full story in the New York Times.

New research by two leading scientists says some dire warnings of environmental damage from technology are overstated.

Bechtel announces partnership for constructing more efficient data centers

Read the full story in Construction Dive.

Bechtel has announced a collaboration with Nautilus Data Technologies to construct data centers that use 70% less power for cooling and don’t consume drinking water, according to a press release shared with Construction Dive.

Nautilus’ Total Resource Usage Effectiveness technology, a closed-water loop coolant system, will keep server racks cool, using less power than traditional air conditioning systems and leading to a 30% net reduction in energy-related carbon dioxide and air pollution, the release said.

The initiative, the partners claim, will help lessen the environmental footprint of data centers and close the “digital divide” by making it easier to build data centers in cities, rural communities and developing areas.

What is the carbon footprint of your Netflix habit?

Read the full story at Treehugger.

There were winners and losers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the losers, for example, were movie theaters, which were forced to go dark for more than a year. One of the biggest winners, meanwhile, were streaming services like Hulu and Netflix, which saw a massive influx of business as people everywhere sheltered in place with little to do but binge their favorite TV shows. In fact, subscriptions to streaming services reached the billions for the first time ever during the pandemic, according to the Motion Picture Association, which reported in March 2021 that there were 1.1 billion streaming subscriptions globally, up 26% from March 2020.

Because streaming media relies on the internet, however—and the internet relies on massive data centers with huge environmental footprints—one can’t help but wonder: Is humanity’s appetite for online video harmful to the Earth?

A new study suggests that it isn’t.

What’s the buzz? Magnetic properties for more energy-efficient computer chips

Read the full story at Centered.

Magnetostriction is a property of magnetic materials that causes fluorescent lights and electrical transformers to buzz. This property causes the materials to change shape or dimensions as the magnetic field changes. 

Magnetostriction also plays a big part in a new material that could lead to more energy-efficient computing. The research team that developed the material is led by the University of Michigan, and researchers from the University of Wisconsin and Purdue University also are participating.

The new material is twice as magnetostrictive and much cheaper than similar materials. It could contribute to magnetostrictive chips, which would cut the energy consumption of a wide range of electronics from cell phones to huge data centers.

Crypto and blockchain must accept they have a problem, then lead in sustainability

Read the full story at TechCrunch.

As the price of bitcoin hits record highs and cryptocurrencies become increasingly mainstream, the industry’s expanding carbon footprint becomes harder to ignore.

Recycling critical metals in e-waste: Make it the law, experts warn EU, citing raw material security

Read the full story from the CEWASTE Project.

End-of-life circuit boards, certain magnets in disc drives and electric vehicles, EV and other special battery types, and fluorescent lamps are among several electrical and electronic products containing critical raw materials (CRMs), the recycling of which should be made law, says a new UN-backed report funded by the EU.

Find your next adventure with the new National Park Service app

Read the full story from the National Park Service.

Just in time for National Park Week, the new National Park Service (NPS) mobile app (go.nps.gov/app) is now available for visitors to national parks across the country. Created by park rangers with visitors in mind, the NPS App gives the public up-to-date information about all 423 national parks in one easy-to-use app.

Visitors can download the NPS App in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store to plan a trip, find interactive maps, download maps and tours ahead of time and find things to do and places to visit during National Park Week and beyond.

Right to repair is on the way

Read the full story at Green Biz.

Beyond enshrining consumer rights, the right to repair could combat planned obsolescence and a throwaway culture that has turned e-waste into the fastest growing waste stream around the globe.

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