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Jeremy Rifkin unveils a return to the local in an interconnected future

By Andy Oram
July 18, 2014

Jeremy Rifkin is always predicting an avalanche of change: substitutes for human labor in The End of Work, pervasive genetic engineering in Algeny, and so on. Several interlocking themes run through his latest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society. Behind …

Jeremy Rifkin unveils a return to the local in an interconnected future

By Andy Oram
July 18, 2014

Jeremy Rifkin is always predicting an avalanche of change: substitutes for human labor in The End of Work, pervasive genetic engineering in Algeny, and so on. Several interlocking themes run through his latest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society. Behind …

Jeremy Rifkin unveils a return to the local in an interconnected future

By Andy Oram
July 18, 2014

Jeremy Rifkin is always predicting an avalanche of change: substitutes for human labor in The End of Work, pervasive genetic engineering in Algeny, and so on. Several interlocking themes run through his latest book, The Zero Marginal Cost Society. Behind …

Application programming for iBeacons

By Matthew Gast
April 4, 2014

Once you are set up with an iBeacon, no matter whether it is a dedicated device or a program running on a host device, you are ready to start writing applications. The iBeacon “protocol” is simple, as we saw in …

Bluetooth Low Energy in public spaces

By Matthew Gast
February 27, 2014

I’ve been thinking a lot about the new low-energy form of Bluetooth (BLE) recently, with an eye toward thinking about ways it can be used. The core advantages the protocol has over other similar standards is that it’s optimized for lower data …

Upward Mobility: Why iBeacons Matter

By James Turner
October 21, 2013

Fans of near field communications payment solutions were, yet again, disappointed when the new batch of iPhones failed to include NFC in their list of features. While it might indeed be nifty for iPhone users to be able to join …

Four short links: 24 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 24, 2013

Solar Energy: This is What a Disruptive Technology Looks Like (Brian McConnell) — In 1977, solar cells cost upwards of $70 per Watt of capacity. In 2013, that cost has dropped to $0.74 per Watt, a 100:1 improvement (source: The …

Industrial Internet links: smart cities return, pilotless commercial aircraft, and more

By Jon Bruner
January 7, 2013

Mining the urban data (The Economist) — The “smart city” hype cycle has moved beyond ambitious top-down projects and has started to produce useful results: real-time transit data in London, smart meters in Amsterdam. The next step, if Singapore has …

Four short links: 20 June 2012

By Nat Torkington
June 20, 2012

Researcher Chats To Hacker Who Created The Virus He's Researching -- Chicken: I didn’t know you can see my screen. Hacker: I would like to see your face, but what a pity you don’t have a camera. Economist on QR Codes -- Three-quarters of American online retailers surveyed by Forrester, a research firm, use them. In April nearly 20%...

The IT Energy Challenge

By Sarah Sorensen
September 12, 2011

How do you balance 10 percent of the world's energy consumption with technology's potential to push the boundaries and redefine the world as we presently experience it? How do you balance 3 percent of the world's emissions with a promise to connect and support opportunities on a scale that will improve our personal, business, and civic lives?

Four short links: 3 August 2011

By Nat Torkington
August 3, 2011

Just Say No To Freegal -- an interesting view from the inside, speaking out against a music licensing system called Freegal which is selling to libraries. Libraries typically buy one copy of something, and then lend it out to multiple users sequentially, in order to get a good return on investment. Participating in a product like Freegal means that...

The smart grid data deluge

By Ciara Byrne
June 22, 2011

The smart grid is an information revolution for utilities, and the first line of the information the grid uses will come from smart meters. EMeter's Aaron DeYonker discusses meter use and data applications in this interview.

The smart grid data deluge

The smart grid data deluge
By Ciara Byrne
June 22, 2011

The smart grid is an information revolution for utilities, and the first line of the information the grid uses will come from smart meters. EMeter's Aaron DeYonker discusses meter use and data applications in this interview.

Can we capture all the world's carbon emissions?

Can we capture all the world's carbon emissions?
By Ramez Naam
May 20, 2011

Capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere has major challenges, but it can be done at a price that would not destroy our economy. Doing so would give us more time to find ways to switch to inherently zero-carbon methods of powering our civilization.

Interest in renewable energy could benefit data services

By Michael Ferrari
April 28, 2011

The increase of large-scale infrastructure investments in the alternative energy sector will likely be accompanied by demand for data-driven services that can optimize efficiency of the related operational costs.

The Moore's Law of solar energy

The Moore's Law of solar energy
By Ramez Naam
April 19, 2011

If humanity could capture one tenth of one percent of the solar energy striking the Earth, we would have access to 6X as much energy as we consume in all forms today, with almost no greenhouse gas emissions.

The Watering Hole - Not My Problem...

By James Turner
October 1, 2010

The day that Ted Kennedy announced his opposition to the Cape Wind project because it spoiled the view of Cape Cod, I officially declared a pox on both (Democratic and Republican) their houses. There are no good guys, only competing special interests. Who, me, cynical?

The Watering Hole - RIsky Businesses

The Watering Hole - RIsky Businesses
By James Turner
September 28, 2010

I showed my son The China Syndrome last week. Remember the good old days when the worst energy thing we had to worry about was nuclear power?

Data is not binary

By Gavin Starks
June 30, 2010

Open data isn't just about re-broadcasting data, but combining it, re-using it and building upon it. It's about creating new uses, creating new markets and building credibility into the data as it flows.

Pushing the Boundaries of the Sustainable Network

By Sarah Sorensen
November 11, 2009

As more and more of our activities are translated to the digitial world, we need to ask the question "Is the sustainable network unsustainable?" How do you balance 3+% of the world's emissions coming from a single industry with the potential to lessen environmental impacts of virtually every other industry?

From Pond Scum to Powerhouse: Algae Biofuels Day in the Sun

From Pond Scum to Powerhouse: Algae Biofuels Day in the Sun
By Kurt Cagle
September 24, 2009

The use of algae as biofuel has also become one of the hottest areas of development in an increasingly aggressive alternative energy sector. Large, traditional oil companies are increasingly creating joint ventures with bio-savvy startups, while others, seeking an opportunity in pond scum, are going it alone.

Energy Revolution is Equal Parts ET and IT

By Sarah Sorensen
September 15, 2009

I had the privilege of hearing Thomas Friedman talk about his latest book, Hot, Flat and Crowded and how accelerated globalization is presenting us all with new challenges and opportunities that need to be met head on if we want to sustain our planet and way of life. Challenges and opportunities that will not only take innovations in energy technology, but also information and communications technology...

Four short links: 5 August 2009

By Nat Torkington
August 4, 2009

Reboot Britain Video Archive -- video from the talks at Reboot Britain are online. The event also produced a essay set (PDF), CC-licensed. (via Paul Reynolds) Revealing Errors -- Benjamin Mako Hill blog using computer errors as starting points for understanding how computers control the world around us. (via Dan Meyer) New Microbe Strain Makes More Electricity, Faster --...

Four short links: 29 July 2009

By Nat Torkington
July 29, 2009

Bioweathermap -- crowdsourcing the gathering of environmental samples for DNA sequencing to study the changing distribution of microbial life. Another George Church project. (via timoreilly at Twitter) We Are All African Now -- a great article about our genetic history and the computational genomics that makes it possible. (via Tim Bray) Standing Out In The Crowd -- OSCON keynote...

Four short links: 9 July 2009

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2009

Ten Rules That Govern Groups -- valuable lessons for all who would create or use social software, each backed up with pointers to the social science study about that lesson. Groups breed competition: While co-operation within group members is generally not so much of a problem, co-operation between groups can be hellish. People may be individually co-operative, but once...

Four short links: 19 June 2009

By Nat Torkington
June 19, 2009

Inside-Out Multiplication Table -- very cool way to view the patterns of factors. Math is beauty with subscripts. High-Speed Camera -- capture 100 frames at up to 1M frames/second. The sample videos, of a bullet liquefying on impact and a shotgun string boiling past, are stunning. The Makezine high-speed photography kit is the cheap amateur version. Open Source Energy...

Four short links: 17 June 2009

By Nat Torkington
June 17, 2009

NY Times Mines Its Data To Identify Words That Readers Find Abstruse -- the feature that lets you highlight a word on a NY Times web page and get more information about it is something that irritates me. I'm fascinated by the analysis of their data: boggling that sumptuary is less perplexing than solipsistic. Louche (#3 on the list)...

Four short links: 16 June 2009

By Nat Torkington
June 16, 2009

Dealing with Election Results Data -- taking the raw UK European election data into Google's Fusion Tables to try and make sense of it. More cloud-based tools for the data scientist within. (via Simon Willison) Time for an Open 311 API -- "311" is the US number to call for non-emergency municipal services. There have been a lot of...

Four short links: 6 May 2009

By Nat Torkington
May 5, 2009

Hamster Wheel Maps -- Jack Schulze has created an interesting way to see the world, in the form of "horizonless maps". The city unfolds in front of you like it was built on the inside of a hamster wheel and you're the hamster. Wired UK shipped an enormous foldout version. Why Pig Flu is Better Than Bird Flu: Open...

Four short links: 1 May 2009

By Nat Torkington
May 1, 2009

A Little Give and Take On Electricity (NY Times) -- Dennis L. Arfmann, a lawyer at the Boulder office of Hogan & Hartson who specializes in environmental law, said he had no idea how much electricity he and his wife, Dr. Julie Brown, had used before he filled his roof with solar panels producing 4.5 kilowatts of power. During...

Four short links: 27 Apr 2009

By Nat Torkington
April 27, 2009

Google Server and Data Center Details -- Greg Linden reports on a Efficient Data Center Summit. Google uses single volt power and on-board uninterruptible power supply to raise efficiency at the motherboard from the norm of 65-85% to 99.99%. There is a picture of the board on slide 17. (and this is a 2005 board). Greg has left Microsoft...

Four short links: 8 Apr 2009

By Nat Torkington
April 8, 2009

Bias, RFCs, virus batteries, and a glimpse at life beyond record labels (the last item features profanity, beware): Bias We Can Believe In (Mind Hacks) -- Vaughn asks the tricky question about the current enthusiasm for Behavioural Economics in government: where are the sceptical voices? As he points out, It's perhaps no accident that almost all the articles cite a...

XBRL: the Solution for Carbon Credit and Smart Grid Accounting

XBRL: the Solution for Carbon Credit and Smart Grid Accounting
By Kurt Cagle
February 26, 2009

During the State of the Union speech, President Obama made formal an assumption that had been emerging since his candidacy - his support for a carbon market as a vehicle for capping carbon emissions:

Four short links: 20 Feb 2009

By Nat Torkington
February 20, 2009

Accessibility, trails, Pacman, and power today. Have a fun weekend! Social Accessibility Project -- clever IBM approach to solving web accessibility problems: a sidebar for Firefox that lets people with assistive devices like screenreaders say "hey, I had this problem with this page", and a crowd will help fix it. (via Derek Featherstone's Webstock talk, notes here) Why I Want...

Google's PowerMeter. It's Cool, but don't Bogart My Meter Data

By Jim Stogdill
February 17, 2009

Google, love what you are doing with Smart Meter energy consumption visualization, but don't Bogart my meter data!

Four short links: 21 Jan 2009

By Nat Torkington
January 21, 2009

In today's edition: the spread of fake news, keeping track of your real power use, a Javascript library and a less-than-impressed take on mobile location apps. Echo Chamber - the British tabloid The Sun posted a story that turned out to be fabricated. This site tracked that story's spread and uncritical acceptance by other news outlets and web sites. Real...

Email letter from 2019

By Kurt Cagle
January 21, 2009

I miss a few things - we don't get oranges this far North as often as we used to, and coffee and cocoa have become considerably more dear. Shipping has gone way up on them and because a lot of the cacoa growing areas were overfarmed in the last decades, but overall I'm not hauling around an extra fifty kilos of fat due to lack of exercise and processed fast food - can't argue the beneft of that.

Printing Solar Panels

Printing Solar Panels
By Kurt Cagle
January 15, 2009

Solar power represents in many ways the purest form of energy available to our energy hungry culture. The sun's energy is endlessly renewable (well, for at least the next three billion years or so, at which point, we'll likely have too much of it), produces no greenhouse gases, and is available nearly anywhere.

Pedal Powered Petaflops

By Kurt Cagle
January 15, 2009

Chances are that when you think about supercomputing, you think about big machines (or lots of machines) all running full bore while performing complex calculations to determine weather patterns or wind-tunnel simulations. Secondarily is the assumption about power - you need lots of it, as well as ways of cooling those systems down (which requires even more power).

Food, Technology, and Energy

By chromatic
January 6, 2009

What are the true costs of getting fresh strawberries in Oregon in January? I don't know. Can we find out?

Analysis 2009: Energy Sector Faces Volatile Year

By Kurt Cagle
January 6, 2009

Here in Victoria, my corner gas station has a liter of regular unleaded gas for CAN$0.80, about US$3.00 a gallon. Six months ago, a similar liter cost nearly $1.50, more than $6 a gallon when factoring in the dramatic...

O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Invests in Amee

By Tim O'Reilly
December 13, 2008

I'm pleased to announce that on Wednesday, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, our VC affiliate, closed an investment in UK-based Amee, which bills itself as "the world's energy meter." Here's their description of what they do: AMEE’s aim is to map, measure and track all the energy data on Earth. This includes aggregating every emission factor and methodology related to CO2 and...

DIY Appliances on the Web?

By Jim Stogdill
November 18, 2008

The appliance is moving up the stack in the enterprise data center. How about open hardware appliances on the web?

Radar Theme: Clean Energy Tech

By Nat Torkington
August 8, 2008

[This is part of a series of posts that briefly describe the trends that we're currently tracking here at O'Reilly] All civilization depends on energy, and always has done so. Oil is rising rapidly in price and alternative energy and energy consumption management have become viable businesses. We're interested in the IT use of energy technology (green data centers) and...

Energy Savings, Strange Attractors, ...

By Jim Stogdill
August 1, 2008

... the Intrinsic Cost of State Change, Orbiting Alien Voyeurs, and 200 Square Kilometers of Solar Panels Somewhere in Texas The Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Berkeley National Labs recently published the results of their first Data Center Demonstration Project (pdf). (Disclosure: My colleague Teresa Tung of Accenture R+D labs was the report's principal author). The study follows up on...

Energy Savings, Strange Attractors, ...

By Jim Stogdill
July 31, 2008

Recent report validates estimates in EPA report to Congress on data center energy savings.

Bill Coleman to keynote Velocity

By Jesse Robbins
June 11, 2008

Bill Coleman has twice transformed our industry, and I'm excited to announce that he will keynote Velocity later this month. Bill is most famous for being the "B" in BEA and for leading the creation of Solaris while at Sun. He is now the CEO of his new startup, Cassatt, which "makes Data Centers more efficient". Bill is awesome and...

Africa's Energy Deficit: Energy Hacks Can Make A Difference

By Ben Lorica
June 4, 2008

About six weeks ago I came across this quote from a Wall Street Journal article and I have been pondering it ever since: Africa has the capacity to generate about 63 gigawatts of power for roughly 770 million people -- about what Spain produces for its population of 40 million. For most African countries, the World Bank estimates that universal...

Special Purpose Computing Focuses on Energy Efficiency

By Jim Stogdill
May 15, 2008

Researchers turn to specialized hardware design to reduce supercomputer power consumption by an order of magnitude.

Fermi's Paradox and the End of Cheap Oil

By Tim O'Reilly
May 5, 2008

I've been thinking of Fermi's Paradox since I saw the documentary film A Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash, with its dire predictions of the wars and disruptions that could occur on the downward slope of the Hubbert curve. While I remain an optimist about the power of human ingenuity to surmount enormous challenges, I have enough sense of history...


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