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‘Apple’s data is dirtiest,’ says Greenpeace

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In a report on cloud computing issued this week, the environmental group Greenpeace rated ten top Internet companies, including Apple, Google, Twitter and Amazon, on several factors such as each company’s willingness to be transparent by providing information on its energy sources and the energy efficiency of its data centers.

In the report entitled “How Dirty is your Data”, Apple, while receiving good marks for transparency, rated at the bottom for energy efficiency, primarily because its huge, new data center in North Carolina, called iDataCenter, relies largely on coal. Although Apple claimed its California operations used cleaner energy than that produced by most grids, iDataCenter has an estimated energy demand three times Apple’s current use, significantly increasing Apple’s environmental footprint. As Apple increases the online products it delivers from its iTunes platform, it will enlarge its cloud computing operations further.

“Apple’s decision to locate its iDataCenter in North Carolina, which has an electrical grid among the dirtiest in the country (61 percent coal, 31 percent nuclear), indicates a lack of a corporate commitment to clean energy supply for its cloud operations,” Greenpeace said in its report.

About 2 percent of worldwide energy use is consumed by data center computer servers, and this amount is increasing by 12 percent a year, Greenpeace reports, an energy demand that is more than that of Russia.

Greenpeace said many IT companies do not reveal the environmental impact of their energy consumption, and concentrate more on energy efficiency that on using clean energy. Most of their energy is supplied by coal and nuclear energy. Companies are locating their data centers in areas that afford cheap, abundant coal-powered electricity.

Yahoo was praised by Greenpeace for placing its data centers near sources of clean energy and its minor use of coal-based power.

IT brands at the vanguard of this 21st century technological shift are perpetuating our addiction to dirty energy technologies of the last two centuries.

Greenpeace noted that Google says that it is conscious of the need to use renewable sources of electricity to power cloud computing, but it does not acknowledge the size of its carbon footprint. The company claims it has seven data centers worldwide, but it is estimated to have 20 to 30.

The carbon footprint of cloud computing is a recent emphasis of Greenpeace in its attempt to disprove the belief that the biggest polluters are manufacturers.

[T]he data centers of Amazon, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Apple, and Akamai . . . are probably not much different from the business where you work every day when it comes to dependency on coal for electricity generation. And ditto for the home that you return to every night.

In a response to the report, Timothy Prickett Morgan criticized Greenpeace for focusing on data centers which are responsible for using about 3 per cent of the US power generation and globally account for 1.5 to 2 percent. He noted that “the data centers of Amazon, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Apple, and Akamai . . . are probably not much different from the business where you work every day when it comes to dependency on coal for electricity generation. And ditto for the home that you return to every night.”

Morgan quotes data from a 2008 report by the International Energy Agency and cited by the World Coal Association, now known as the The World Coal Institute, that showed coal plants produce over 40 percent of the global electricity. The Institute determined that United States receives half of its power from coal plants. Some other countries, such as South Africa, Poland and China, use more coal. “The world is still dependent on non-renewable energy sources – coal and nuclear with a smattering of oil and gas – to generate electricity,” he says, suggesting the IT companies should not be singled out.

Morgan is also critical of Greenpeace’s methodology in gathering the data, as it included only a sample of the data centers of these companies, and some that were not yet completely operational. He noted that because the companies were not always cooperative in disclosing information, Greenpeace estimated a portion of the data. He said that the reader has to “drill down into the report” to see the the complete picture.

Another criticism of Greenpeace is its definition of coal and nuclear power as “dirty energy”. Because it does not discharge greenhouse gases, nuclear power is rated more favorably than coal by some environmental organizations. Greenpeace is adamantly against nuclear power’s radiation risks.

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Iraqi restaurant hit by suicide bomber

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A suicide bombing in Iraq has killed at least 55 people and injured at least 120 more, according to local police.The suicide bomber struck at a restaurant located about 2 miles north of the ethnically mixed city of Kirkuk on Thursday morning. The Abdullah restaurant, where the explosion took place, is popular among Kurdish officials. The attack comes on the Muslim religious holiday Eid al-Adha, known in English as the “Festival of Sacrifice”.

At the time the restaurant was struck, it was full of families marking the final day of Eid. Five women and three children were among the dead.

Kirkuk is the scene of ongoing ethnic tensions, although the reasons for this attack in particular are currently unknown.

Salam Abdullah, 45, was one of the people in the restaurant at the time of the attack. “I held my wife and led her outside the place. As we were leaving, I saw dead bodies soaked with blood and huge destruction,” he stated, commenting on his experiences. “We waited outside the restaurant for some minutes. Then an ambulance took us to the hospital.”

Awad al-Jubouri, who was injured in the incident, condemned the bombers. “I do not know how a group like al-Qaida claiming to be Islamic plans to attack and kill people on sacred days like Eid. We were only meeting to discuss our problems with the Kurds and trying to impose peace among Muslims in Kirkuk.” Jubouri is a tribal leader, who was attending a lunch that was intended to precede a meeting discussing was to lessen tensions between local communities.

Last July, an affiliated restaurant of the same name was the site of a suicide bombing which claimed the lives of six and wounded twenty five.

Three babies dead within one week at Madrid Hospital

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Three babies dead within one week at Madrid Hospital
Author: RdBXvzh4

21 Feb

Sunday, March 4, 2007

A Spanish hospital reported today that three premature babies have died within one week from the same infection. The babies, who were being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit of Madrid‘s 12 de Octubre Hospital, all died after being infected with Klebsiella pneumoniae bacterium. Authorities also suspect that a fourth baby has become infected with the bacterium. The Spanish patients’ association ADEPA has asked the public prosecutor of the Madrid Region, Manuel Moix, to open an investigation into the matter.

This morning, hospital authorities stated that the first death occurred on 26 February. A baby born eight weeks prematurely and weighing just under one kilo died due to septic shock arising from the infection, which was unconnected with the symptoms of his premature birth, according to hospital reports.

Shortly afterwards, two babies in the same unit died on 2 March. They appear to have died from the same infection; however the hospital stated that they are still waiting for confirmation of the cause of death. A fourth baby has been found to have the bacteria on his skin, but as yet there is no confirmation of whether he has been infected. The hospital states that although the baby is in a serious condition, this is to be expected when a baby is born so premature, and that his condition is also due to other factors, unrelated to the bacterium, which have arisen since his birth.

The hospital authorities have asserted that all of the babies in its care are under close supervision, and are being periodically monitored by the Preventive Medicine Centre, in order that the most up-to-date information may be had on the state of any and all patients in the hospital.

To prevent further infections, the hospital has taken several measures. The first is of course rigorous medical hygiene. High-risk patients are referred to other hospitals. The hospital has been divided into two separate zones, one for those already infected and the other for those who have not yet been affected. As a consequence, 25 children who were staying in the hospital while the 3 premature babies died, remain separate from the others, to make sure newly admitted children are not exposed. The nursing staff has also been restricted to one or other of these two areas. Visits from specialists of other hospital services, and from families, has been restricted. Furthermore, an epidemiological study is being undertaken to determine the origin of the situation.

The newspaper El País reports that the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae is to be found in hospitals as a matter of course and is often contracted by those who have been in hospital for prolonged periods (termed a nosocomial infection). The mortality rate from the bacterium is extremely high in those cases where it’s contracted by people with serious illnesses, as is often to be expected in the case of a premature birth, which can result in newborn babies weighing less than 500 grammes.

According to the Spanish daily, this type of bacterium is prevalent in hospitals throughout the world, but the incidence of infection in Madrid hospitals is lower than the Spanish average. The head of the Neonatal Unit at 12 de Octubre Hospital, Carmen Payás, explained that the bacterium is very adaptable “and keeps on learning”. The father of the dead baby, an Ecuadorian named Angel Marcelo, was quoted as saying that the progress of the baby had at first been “tremendous”, and that he had even been taken off the respirator, but that a few days later he began to cough up blood, dying soon afterwards.

The chair of ADEPA, Carmen Flores, has appealed to the Madrid public prosecutor to open an investigation into the situation and to find those responsible. ADEPA have suggested that the investigation centre on the number of casualties among infants in the hospital, and on the question of whether conditions in the neonatal unit were a direct contributor to the incidence of the infection.

José Quero, head of the Neonatology Department of the La Paz hospital in Madrid said that, “sadly enough”, this situation was “not something exceptional,” but rather something neonatologists have to watch out for.

Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment

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Sony refreshes VAIO brand for business and entertainment
Author: RdBXvzh4

20 Feb

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the middle of July, Sony Corporation refreshed their senior laptop brand VAIO from “Video Audio Integrated Operation” to “Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer”. According to Sony Taiwan Limited, this refreshment is an attempt to relocate the laptop consuming market for business and entertainment factors.

In the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Europe, Sony promoted their new product series for different populations including BZ for business, FW for home entertainment, Z for ultra-slim, and SR for complex applications.

Different with past series, Sony added “Clear Bright” screening technology for high-definition display, and “full-carbon production” features. BD-burning and Intel Centrino 2 processing technologies will be featured in all the new models. For security issue, Sony also embedded fingerprint system to prevent personal data to be stolen. Continued from TZ series, innovative designs including “Green Power Button”, “Situational Switch” are also added in newly-launched series.

“Due to consuming market differences, Sony only promoted BZ series in Europe and America but not included Asia. Although the TICA Show in Taipei will be different, functionality will be the greatest issue when a consumers choose a notebook [computer] before buying.” addressed by executives from Sony Taiwan Limited, during the “VAIO Experience 2008” press conference in Taiwan.

18 dead after multiple twisters strike US Midwest

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18 dead after multiple twisters strike US Midwest
Author: RdBXvzh4

20 Feb

Monday, April 3, 2006

High winds and multiple tornadoes caused destruction across the American Midwest yesterday, killing 18 people when they hit five states in the early evening, although that figure is expected to rise.

In Dyer County, Tennessee alone, 12 people were killed, and in Gibson County, Tennessee, a further three were lost, bringing the death toll up to 15 in that state alone. The remaining three lives were lost in Missouri as a result of high winds, although the freak weather also hit the states of Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio and Illinois.

When asked about the storms which caused chaos in Tennessee, Dyer County Sherriff Jeffrey Holt said, “This hit about 7:40 last night, so the warnings were out. They were being tracked all the way across Arkansas and Missouri as it was coming in. We had plenty of warnings, I think, just the amount of destruction in the area is what caused our fatality count to get so high. Destruction is almost absolute total destruction along some of the path of this. There’s just nothing left of houses but foundation.”

Numerous power failures were reported across the affected areas, with some county authorities reporting that the blackouts may go on for several days.

A dispatcher in Pemiscot County, Missouri informed the press that, as of Monday morning, some people were still trapped in their houses as a result of the storms.

In Illinois, tornadoes touched down across at least seven counties according to local emergency officials, but no-one was severely injured or killed. The Emergency Management spokesperson for Illinois Patti Thompson reported that a large storm front which spanned the breadth of America from Illinois southwards was the cause of last night’s dramatic weather.

In the state of Ohio, a Wilmington-based meteorologist informed members of the Associated Press that “In every county in southwest Ohio there has been some type of damage.”

Repair costs for damage across the affected area are expected to be six-figure sums, and extensive work to replace destroyed segments of the infrastructure such as gas and power supplies is already underway, said officials in all seven of the states hit this morning. The current death toll is expected to rise today, with at least one more unconfirmed death reported in Missouri already.

Former ‘Top Model’ contestant Whitney Cunningham defends plus size models, celebrates the “regular woman”

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Former ‘Top Model’ contestant Whitney Cunningham defends plus size models, celebrates the “regular woman”
Author: RdBXvzh4

18 Feb

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Once you get a chance to talk to West Palm Beach, Florida native Whitney Cunningham, who placed seventh on the eighth cycle of the popular reality TV series America’s Next Top Model, you begin to understand what host Tyra Banks meant when she described her as the “full package.”

First of all, she is confident and headstrong, which is a must on these kinds of shows, almost as much as it is to take a beautiful modelesque picture. Second, she turns that confidence into drive. She has been receiving steady work as a model since leaving the show, and still believes that her goal of being the first woman to wear a size ten dress on the cover of Vogue is in reach. Third, and probably most important to television viewers, she obliterates the age-old model stereotype that to be pretty and photograph well, one must also be vapid and without a thought. A graduate of Dartmouth College, Cunningham also dreams of becoming a writer, and is working toward dual goals: a model who can express herself like no other model before her.

Cunningham recently sat down with Wikinews reporter Mike Halterman in an impassioned interview, taking hours to field questions from the reporter as well as from fans of America’s Next Top Model. Always in high spirits, Cunningham shows that she is a distinct personality who has carved her own niche in the Top Model history books. At the same time, she exhibits a joie de vivre that is oddly reminiscent of earlier Top Model fan favorite Toccara Jones, who showed America just how to be “big, black, beautiful and loving it.” However, Cunningham is quick to remind everyone that she isn’t big at all; she is simply a regular woman.

This is the first in a series of interviews with America’s Next Top Model contestants. Interviews will be published sporadically.

Contents

  • 1 Whitney’s beginnings, and looking back
  • 2 Impact Top Model has on society
  • 3 Whitney’s views on production and editing
  • 4 Whitney takes more fan questions
  • 5 Where Whitney is today
  • 6 Source

Cricket: Australia vs India 3rd test – Day 2

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Cricket: Australia vs India 3rd test – Day 2
Author: RdBXvzh4

18 Feb

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday was the second day of play in the third test between Australia and India at the WACA, Perth, Australia.

India resumed their first innings at 6/297. Australia took the remaining four wickets before the lunch break. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (19) and Irfan Pathan (28) both fell lbw in successive overs. India reached 330 all out with the loss of Anil Kumble for one run and R. P. Singh for a duck.

Australia struggled early on as Irfan Pathan dismissed both Australian openers for less than ten runs each and Michael Hussey was caught behind without scoring. At lunch, Australia were 3/22. The next session, Australia played well, despite losing Ricky Ponting (20) and Michael Clarke (23), coming to the tea break with a score of 5/148. However, in the last session of the day India took five wickets, sending Australia all out with a score of 212 after fifty overs. Andrew Symonds was Australia’s top scorer with 66 runs, while Adam Gilchrist made 55. R. P. Singh took four wickets for India.

In reply, India are 1/52 at stumps having lost Wasim Jaffer for 11 runs just before the close of play.

Scotland suffers severe flooding following downpour

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Scotland suffers severe flooding following downpour
Author: RdBXvzh4

18 Feb

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Parts of Scotland, including, Aberdeenshire, Arbroath, Tayside, and Grampian have experienced severe flooding following heavy rains.

Abroath is being described as virtually cut off, with major routes including the main railwayline to Aberdeen disrupted.

A spokesperson for Aberdeenshire council was quoted as saying that “our crews have been working throughout the night providing support to the emergency services, keeping roads clear as best they can and helping with the evacuation of residents.

“The torrential rainfall across a large part of Aberdeenshire has meant that our crews have been stretched very thinly but they have been committed to helping wherever possible.

“Our resources were stretched to the limit. We’d already given out most of our sandbags. Anyone experiencing flood-related difficulties can phone 01224 665400 and we will offer advice, support and assistance.”

Superintendent Innes Walker of Grampian Police said that “people should not take journeys unless absolutely necessary and they should listen to the radio for updates on road conditions.

“The advice we are getting from the Met Office is that conditions improved overnight but clearly there will be a knock on effect for commuters.

“Grampian Police are working with the local authority, Scottish Ambulance Service, Grampian Fire and Rescue and the Coastguard to alleviate the problems and minimise the effects of this flooding on affected people.”

Flood helpline for Aberdeenshire – 01224 665400Scottish Environment Agency Floodline – 0845 988 1188

Nokia files lawsuit against Apple

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Nokia files lawsuit against Apple
Author: RdBXvzh4

18 Feb

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mobile phone and computer manufacturer Nokia is filing a lawsuit against Apple over patent infringements. The infringements include speech coding, wireless data, security and encryption technology Nokia claims is used in Apple iPhones.

According to a Nokia press release, 40 other companies are paying royalties to them in return for the use of their patented technology. Therefore, Nokia wants Apple to also pay for its usage.

“The basic principle in the mobile industry is that those companies who contribute in technology development to establish standards create intellectual property, which others then need to compensate for,” Ilkka Rahnasto, Nokia’s Vice President of Legal & Intellectual Property, said in the press release. “Apple is also expected to follow this principle. By refusing to agree appropriate terms for Nokia’s intellectual property, Apple is attempting to get a free ride on the back of Nokia’s innovation.”

One industry analyst told PC World that that he believes Nokia is seeking 1–2% royalties per device. Based on the number of iPhones sold since its 2007 release date, that figure would amount to approximately 400 million USD.

Ben Wood, research director at CCS Insight, said, “It is almost inconceivable that someone can produce a mobile phone without using Nokia patented technologies,” showing how widespread Nokia’s mobile technology is.

In Apple’s SEC 10-K, Apple responded to Nokia claims. “The complaint alleges that these patents are essential to one or more of the GSM, UMTS and 802.11 wireless communications standards, and that the Company [Apple] has the right to license these patents from plaintiff [Nokia] on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms and conditions. Plaintiff seeks unspecified FRAND compensation and other relief. The Company’s response to the complaint is not yet due. The Company intends to defend the case vigorously,” said Apple.

The Nokia v. Apple lawsuit is set to take place in a Delaware District Court.