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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Cleantech News: How Oceans are Being Used to Cool Massive Data Centres

How Oceans are Being Used to Cool Massive Data Centres

As the number of people around the world who are connecting to the internet continues to mushroom, the physical infrastructure necessary to support all that data is being upgraded and improved. The International Telecommunication Union estimates that by the end of this year, 47 percent of the global population will be online. Earlier this year, Google estimated it handles, on average, about 40,000 search queries every second.

Tech giants like Microsoft and Google are forever updating their data centres—the giant server farms that handle every download and search query thrust into the ether. As the demand for these centres grows, the innovation that goes into building them gets increasingly more sophisticated.

Operating this gargantuan network of servers means that these data centres are notoriously power-hungry and pump out an enormous amount of waste heat. At the same time, these facilities often need to be as close as possible to major population centres to reduce the costs associated with transmitting all this data to where it's needed.

Microsoft attempted to reconcile the overheated output with population proximity by launching an experiment in 2015 called Project Natick. Since 50 percent of the global population lives near a coastal area, they would use the cooling power that can be obtained from seawater. Natick involved submerging a self-contained data centre underwater as a test case to see if submersible cloud computing is a viable technology.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2wre8au


Source: https://motherboard.vice.com


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Cleantech News: How innovative startups can flourish in a changing cleantech landscape

How innovative startups can flourish in a changing cleantech landscape

Being a clean-tech startup amidst today’s uncertain political priorities and tightening R&D budgets is like being on a rollercoaster where the loops keep getting bigger and bigger and have no end in sight.

But surprisingly, this hasn’t stopped many clean energy startups bursting with outside-of-the-box ideas and innovations waiting to be taken to market. However, with a 50% decline in non-software cleantech investmentin the last few years, these promising and innovative technologies might never cross the infamous “valley of death”.

There are lots of great ideas, but less and less funding to see these ideas to market. So, promoting innovation in clean energy means that we need more efficient ways to deploy increasingly limited investment capital.

One answer is to ‘de-risk’ these technologies. De-risking new innovations through third party testing and validation shows that the technology has merit if developed, yielding valuable information on potential investments at low cost. Technology validation and prototyping reduces investor uncertainty and has been shown to double the likelihood of investments and traversing the valley of death to a successful exit.


Full story at http://tcrn.ch/2xU4Lk2


Source: TechCrunch


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Climate Change News: Global warming doubles growth rates of Antarctic seabed's marine fauna – study

Global warming doubles growth rates of Antarctic seabeds marine fauna – study

Marine life on the Antarctic seabed is likely to be far more affected by global warming than previously thought, say scientists who have conducted the most sophisticated study to date of heating impacts in the species-rich environment.

Growth rates of some fauna doubled – including colonising moss animals and undersea worms – following a 1C increase in temperature, making them more dominant, pushing out other species and reducing overall levels of biodiversity, according to the study published on Thursday in Current Biology.

The researchers who conducted the nine-month experiment in the Bellingshuan Sea say this could have alarming implications for marine life across the globe as temperatures rise over the coming decades as a result of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Gail Ashton of the British Antarctic Survey and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center said she was not expecting such a significant difference. “The loss of biodiversity is very concerning. This is an indication of what may happen elsewhere with greater warning.”


Full story at http://bit.ly/2xU4M7A


Source: The Guardian


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Climate Change 101 with Bill Nye


Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year

“Burning fossil fuels comes at a giant price tag which the U.S. economy cannot afford and not sustain," said Sir Robert Watson, coauthor and director at the U.K's Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research.

Full story at http://bit.ly/2fWscCT

Source: National Geographic

 

 

 

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Cleantech News: The mosque that powers a village

The mosque that powers a village

The village of Tadmamet is just an hour’s drive south from the bustling city of Marrakech in Morocco. But it’s a world apart.

Nestled in the High Atlas mountains, its 400 inhabitants here are 40km (25 miles) away from the nearest village and live a simple, rural lifestyle.

Crops like barley, potatoes and apples are the main source of income. Most people don’t have cars. There are no smartphones to be seen and no internet connections. Even access to electricity can be a struggle, especially during the harsh winter.

But there may be a new way to meet their energy needs. And it’s from an unlikely source: the village’s place of worship, the mosque.


Full story at http://bbc.in/2fWAXwA


Source: BBC News


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Crypto News: U.S. Company to Establish 35 plus MW Mining Farm in Sweden

U.S. Company to Establish 35 plus MW Mining Farm in Sweden

Miami-based The Future Of Mining (TFOM), a company specializing in mining and high-performance computing services, has announced that it is setting up a data center in the Swedish tech hub of Boden-Älvsbyn. The company has negotiated a deal with the municipality of Älvsbyn granting TFOM a 1,500m2 data center facility and a large adjacent office facility. Boden-Älvsbyn already hosts several global companies involved in high-performance computing and the blockchain industries, such as Canaan Creative.

Local mayor, Helena Öhlund, has welcomed the investment from TFOM, praising Swedish regulators for seeking to capitalize upon the growing cryptocurrency and blockchain industries. “Sweden is right on track to secure growth in this new emerging industry. Today we’re quite happy and proud to take this next step together with The Future of Mining.”

The data center site will be located on a brownfield site that previously housed the National Telecoms Administration. The site is connected to two of the three fiber grids running through the area and is adjacent to an 80 MW substation run by Vattenfall.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2fWB0Zi


Source: Bitcoin News


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Wildlife Conservation News: Senate Bill Aims to Strip Protections From 1,098 Endangered Species Including Utah Prairie Dog, Florida Panther

Senate Bill Aims to Strip Protections From 1,098 Endangered Species Including Utah Prairie Dog, Florida Panther

Republican U.S. Senators Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee of Utah introduced legislation this week that would strip federal Endangered Species Act protections for animals and plants found in only one state. Known as intrastate species, such imperiled animals and plants make up the majority of the 1,655 species protected under the act.

The legislation is backed by extreme anti-wildlife organizations that oppose the protection of the Utah prairie dog, an animal only found in Utah. In addition to ending protections for the prairie dog, the legislation would terminate protections for all 1,098 intrastate species, including 497 species in Hawaii, 234 species in California, 86 species in Florida and 20 species in Utah.

"Utah's senators hate their prairie dogs so much they're willing to destroy most of America's endangered wildlife to wipe out this little animal," said Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. "From the Florida panther to virtually all imperiled species in Hawaii, every one of these intrastate species would be condemned to extinction. Americans do not support this ludicrous proposal."

S. 1863, the deceptively named "Native Species Protection Act," seeks to overturn a 10th Circuit Court of Appeals decision from earlier this year that affirmed the federal government's authority to protect the Utah prairie dog.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2fWB37q


Source: EcoWatch


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Wildlife Conservation News: Traveling To Nevis To Help Save Sea Turtles

Traveling To Nevis To Help Save Sea Turtles

Don’t be shy about ordering more than one Spicy Island Turtle at Four Seasons Resort Nevis.

The luscious cocktail from the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel’s master mixologist Kendie Williams hits all of the right notes — it’s herbaceous because of the rosemary-infused Naked Turtle white rum, fruity from the mango puree and lemon juice, and fiery from the Nevis-made Llewellyn’s mango pepper sauce and jerk spice rim.

The Nevis hotel (which reopens September 29, mostly unscathed by recent hurricanes) is the only place in the Caribbean to serve Naked Turtle, a smooth, slightly sweet rum with hints of molasses, coconut and vanilla (only 14 U.S. states carry it). But an even better reason to keep the Spicy Island Turtles coming is that you can help save a sea turtle’s life.

For every bottle of Naked Turtle white rum that’s produced, the company donates 50 cents to the Sea Turtle Conservancy; $1 saves two endangered baby sea turtle hatchlings. That’s a significant number, since only one in 1,000 hatchlings survive into adulthood, according to the STC, the largest and oldest organization dedicated to the research and conservation of sea turtles. Since launching in 2012, Naked Turtle has partnered with the Gainesville, Florida-based nonprofit to save more than 234,000 sea turtles.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2fWB636


Source: Forbes


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Wildlife Conservation News: Laos is 'world's fastest growing' ivory market

Laos is worlds fastest growing ivory market

The fastest growing ivory market in the world is now Laos, according to an investigation by Kenya-based group Save the Elephants.

China is banning all ivory trade by the end of 2017, but business is booming in neighbouring countries.

Investigators visited a Chinese casino resort on the Mekong River.

They described a hub of gambling and prostitution, where ivory sales are booming among Chinese visitors who make up more than 80% of sales.

The researchers found dozens of shops selling thousands of items - carved tusks, ivory bangles, pendants and bracelets - openly for sale.


Full story at http://bbc.in/2fWB8YM


Source: BBC News


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Climate Change News: Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year

Hidden Costs of Climate Change Running Hundreds of Billions a Year

Extreme weather, made worse by climate change, along with the health impacts of burning fossil fuels, has cost the U.S. economy at least $240 billion a year over the past ten years, a new report has found.

And yet this does not include this past month's three major hurricanes or 76 wildfires in nine Western states. Those economic losses alone are estimated to top $300 billion, the report notes. Putting it in perspective, $300 billion is enough money to provide free tuition for the 13.5 million U.S. students enrolled in public colleges and universities for four years.

In the coming decade, economic losses from extreme weather combined with the health costs of air pollution spiral upward to at least $360 billion annually, potentially crippling U.S. economic growth, according to this new report, The Economic Case for Climate Action in the United States, published online Thursday by the Universal Ecological Fund.

“Burning fossil fuels comes at a giant price tag which the U.S. economy cannot afford and not sustain," said Sir Robert Watson, coauthor and director at the U.K's Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2fWscCT


Source: National Geographic


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Climate Change News: Tropical forests used to protect us from climate change. Now, scientists say, they’re making it worse

Tropical forests used to protect us from climate change. Now, scientists say, they’re making it worse

A surprising scientific study released Thursday presents troubling news about the enormous forests of the planet’s tropical midsection — suggesting that they are releasing hundreds of millions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere, rather than storing it in the trunks of trees and other vegetation.

The results, published in the journal Science, contradict prior work in suggesting that these forests — including the Amazon rain forest but also huge tropical forests in Indonesia, Congo and elsewhere — have become another net addition to the climate change problem. However, the accounting also implies that if the current losses could be reversed, the forests could also rapidly transform into a powerful climate change solution.

“The losses due to deforestation and degradation are actually emitting more CO2 to the atmosphere, compared with how much the existing forest is able to absorb,” said Alessandro Baccini, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Woods Hole Research Center. He conducted the study with fellow scientists from Woods Hole and Boston University.

The result, which spans the years from 2003 to 2014, differs from prior findings, which had suggested the forests of the tropics are a “sink” for carbon atoms. The forests were believed to be pulling carbon out of the air and embedding it in living plants — or, perhaps, only losing a little bit of carbon and thus amounting to a minor source.


Full story at http://wapo.st/2fWBcI0


Source: Washington Post


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Climate Change News: Africa's Great Green Wall


Why is Africa building a Great Green Wall?

Eleven countries are planting a wall of trees from east to west across Africa, just under the southern edge of the Sahara desert.

The goal is to bring the dry lands back to life.

Full story at http://bbc.in/2fYYQnf

Source: BBC

 

 

 

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Cryptocurrency News for 30 Sep 2017

 

What China Ban? Cryptocurrency Market Cap Rebounding

What China Ban? Cryptocurrency Market Cap Rebounding

 

They're ba-aa-ack. Whether it's the Chinese, or the Koreans, or the Russians or us Americans is anybody's guess at this moment, but what it looks like for a few cryptocurrency players out there is that the Chinese have found a new way to get back into the game. China banned initial coin offerings and bitcoin exchanges in the first week of September. The ban caused a precipitous drop in cryptocurrency flows worldwide. As of Sept. 24 at least, the market is making a comeback.

"We could say that it looks like the 'Chinese effect' that provided downward pressure in the cryptocurrency market is over, but we cannot prove it quite yet," says Dima Zaitsev, business analytics chief for ICOBox in Milan. Zaitsev and Dmitri Kornilov, director of economics at the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, devised the chart for ICOBox, a cryptocurrency fund raising platform and service provider. "If this continues, then I would say with almost certainty that the downward pressure is over."

Nearly a billion dollars have reportedly returned to Chinese investors that put money to work in some 40-plus ICOs that took place on the mainland this year. An ICO is a crypto-currency funding mechanism for start-ups. Some say that the money was not really returned, but was redirected to Hong Kong and Singapore, where stronger investor protections exist.

China's central bank banned ICOs on Sept. 4 and later banned all bitcoin exchanges from operating in the country.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2wpYkoB


Source: Forbes


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Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson says the company is mining cryptocurrencies

Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson says the company is mining cryptocurrencies

 

Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest investment firms with $2.3 trillion in managed assets, is taking a long look at cryptocurrencies.

The firm has been experimenting internally with bitcoin, but is now bringing some of those features out to its broad customer base.

According to reports in Quartz and The Financial Times, Fidelity’s chief executive, Abigail Johnson, spoke at length about the company’s commitment to cryptocurrency at Consensus, a bitcoin-themed conference in New York.

Johnson said that the company had made several venture investments in bitcoin-related businesses and that the company was looking at applications of blockchain technologies alongside several leading universities.


Full story at http://tcrn.ch/2wph1IY


Source: TechCrunch


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$50,000+ Bitcoin Could Happen if This Isn’t a Bubble But an S-Curve

$50,000+ Bitcoin Could Happen if This Isn’t a Bubble But an S-Curve

 

Countless experts and pundits, including Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, have proclaimed that Bitcoin is in a massive bubble right now, and it certainly could be. Yet these “experts” fail to consider one possibility that some in the Bitcoin community are beginning to suspect: mass adoption may be imminent.

First, let’s get something out of the way. Yes, with every bubble there are people who insist that it really isn’t a bubble. It’s “the new normal” or “a new paradigm.” Perhaps the most infamous such example is that of Yale economist Irving Fisher. At the height of the 1929 stock market bubble, just before the crash, a jubilant Fisher proclaimed:

“Stock prices have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.”

He couldn’t have been more wrong.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2wph3R6


Source: CoinTelegraph


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Russia May Ban Bitcoin Payments Entirely: Deputy Finance Minister

Russia May Ban Bitcoin Payments Entirely: Deputy Finance Minister

 

Russia seems to be constantly shifting its stance on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Just a month ago, Buterin was smiling and signing agreements with the Russian state banks for Ethereum partnerships. 

Now suddenly, it appears that Russia may ban Bitcoin payments entirely, as was previously suggested.

The Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev told reporters that the cryptocurrency would likely be banned, especially given its volatile history, risk to consumers and potential for hacking loss. In an interview he said:

"No regulator doubts that payments will be banned. In my opinion, in a country where millions have suffered from pyramid schemes, it is impossible to allow the situation when citizens sell apartments in order to make investments in cryptocurrencies to repeat.”


Full story at http://bit.ly/2wpJ7Ui


Source: CoinTelegraph


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Macquarie Analyst Rejects Jamie Dimon's Bitcoin 'Fraud' Critique

Macquarie Analyst Rejects Jamie Dimons Bitcoin Fraud Critique

 

A senior analyst for Macquarie Group is pushing back against the idea that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not legitimate financial innovations.

Issued in response to recent critiques by Wall Street figures like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Viktor Shvets, head of global and Asia-Pacific equity strategy for Macquarie, wrote this week that in spite of any "extreme speculation," bitcoin relies on a "durable technology that is likely to continue to evolve and strengthen."

In a note to clients, obtained by Business Insider, Shvetz then directly took on the allegation that bitcoin is a "fraud" – advanced by Dimon earlier this month.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2wq9cmb


Source: CoinDesk


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Korea’s Biggest Messaging App to Launch Exchange with 100+ Cryptocurrencies

Korea’s Biggest Messaging App to Launch Exchange with 100+ Cryptocurrencies

 

An affiliate of Kakao, South Korea’s largest messaging platform, is set to launch a comprehensive new cryptocurrency exchange Upbit – with support for some 110 cryptocurrencies.

South Korean FinTech startup Dunamu, the operator of the country’s most popular stock trading app Kakao Stock, has revealed details of a new cryptocurrency exchange called ‘Upbit’. Dunamu, an affiliate of Kakao Corporation which sees its messaging app KakaoTalk used by 93% of South Korea’s population, reportedly said on Monday that Upbit will be the largest virtual currency exchange in South Korea.

Upbit will be put to trial on a beta launch in October following a partnership with U.S-based digital currency exchange Bittrex. The partnership enables the soon-to-be-launched exchange to allow users to trade cryptocurrencies not found on existing Korean exchanges. Bithumb, Korea’s largest exchange by trading volume, currently offers support for seven cryptocurrencies according to data on its website.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2wkif8s


Source: CryptoCoinsNews


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Climate Change: Tropical forests used to protect us from climate change. Now, scientists say, they’re making it worse

Tropical forests used to protect us from climate change. Now, scientists say, they’re making it worse

A surprising scientific study released Thursday presents troubling news about the enormous forests of the planet’s tropical midsection — suggesting that they are releasing hundreds of millions of tons of carbon to the atmosphere, rather than storing it in the trunks of trees and other vegetation.

The results, published in the journal Science, contradict prior work in suggesting that these forests — including the Amazon rain forest but also huge tropical forests in Indonesia, Congo and elsewhere — have become another net addition to the climate change problem. However, the accounting also implies that if the current losses could be reversed, the forests could also rapidly transform into a powerful climate change solution.

“The losses due to deforestation and degradation are actually emitting more CO2 to the atmosphere, compared with how much the existing forest is able to absorb,” said Alessandro Baccini, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the Woods Hole Research Center. He conducted the study with fellow scientists from Woods Hole and Boston University.


Full story at http://wapo.st/2fWBcI0


Source: Washington Post


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Crypto News: What China Ban? Cryptocurrency Market Cap Rebounding

What China Ban? Cryptocurrency Market Cap Rebounding

They're ba-aa-ack. Whether it's the Chinese, or the Koreans, or the Russians or us Americans is anybody's guess at this moment, but what it looks like for a few cryptocurrency players out there is that the Chinese have found a new way to get back into the game. China banned initial coin offerings and bitcoin exchanges in the first week of September. The ban caused a precipitous drop in cryptocurrency flows worldwide. As of Sept. 24 at least, the market is making a comeback.

"We could say that it looks like the 'Chinese effect' that provided downward pressure in the cryptocurrency market is over, but we cannot prove it quite yet," says Dima Zaitsev, business analytics chief for ICOBox in Milan. Zaitsev and Dmitri Kornilov, director of economics at the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, devised the chart for ICOBox, a cryptocurrency fund raising platform and service provider. "If this continues, then I would say with almost certainty that the downward pressure is over."

Nearly a billion dollars have reportedly returned to Chinese investors that put money to work in some 40-plus ICOs that took place on the mainland this year. An ICO is a crypto-currency funding mechanism for start-ups. Some say that the money was not really returned, but was redirected to Hong Kong and Singapore, where stronger investor protections exist.

China's central bank banned ICOs on Sept. 4 and later banned all bitcoin exchanges from operating in the country.


Full story at http://bit.ly/2wpYkoB


Source: Forbes


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