The first smart state? The quest to link up the Land of Lincoln

March 13, 2017 by  
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Illinois is centralizing investments in technologies such as the Internet of things, while allowing cities to prioritize according to local needs. Texas may be next.

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The first smart state? The quest to link up the Land of Lincoln

More "rogue" national park Twitter accounts are popping up

January 25, 2017 by  
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Just a few days into the Trump administration, scientists are already rebelling against efforts to stifle the truth. Shortly after Badlands National Park tweets about climate change were removed, several new “rogue” Twitter accounts started popping up. One of the account claims to be run by current National Park Service (NPS) rangers working on their own time. While it’s difficult to verify the account is really run by NPS rangers, it does demonstrate how difficult it will be for the president and his posse to silence Americans guided by science. National Park Twitter accounts were briefly suspended, according to Time , after the NPS tweeted out photos comparing President Donald Trump’s inauguration with President Barack Obama’s inauguration. Then the Badlands National Park Twitter account tweeted a few climate change facts, which were swiftly removed, sparking a Twitter truth war. Related: Rogue national park tweets climate change facts in defiance of Donald Trump @AltNatParkSer , which Twitter says joined their site in May 2015, began actively tweeting yesterday, shooting out more climate change facts and saying , “Mr Trump, you may have taken us down officially. But with scientific evidence & the Internet our message will get out.” A flurry of people quickly began to question if the account was real. Again, it’s hard to 100 percent verify the account is indeed run by current NPS rangers, although they claim that’s who they are. https://twitter.com/AltNatParkSer/status/824052819003146240 https://twitter.com/AltNatParkSer/status/824061490097438720 https://twitter.com/AltNatParkSer/status/824081620240056321 Other Twitter accounts that are more clearly parody accounts popped up too, like @BadIandsNPS (using an uppercase ‘I’ to look like an ‘L’), which started this month. With a rather Orwellian vibe, @BadIandsNPS tweeted , “We apologize for our insolence, @realdonaldtrump. We have been successfully reeducated.” Since then, along with tweeting those infamous inauguration pictures, the account has also tweeted sarcastic quips such as this one: https://twitter.com/BadIandsNPS/status/824035323025981441 @BadHombreNPS also started up in January to fire off climate change facts. Neither of those two accounts have claimed in tweets that they’re run by current NPS rangers. @BadHombreNPS does claim in their account description they’re the “unofficial feed of Badlands NP” to protect “rugged scenery, fossil beds, 244,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie & wildlife from two-bit cheetoh-hued despots.” It appears people are hungry for the information these “rogue” accounts are tweeting; at time of publication, @BadIandsNPS boasted 42.7K followers, @BadHombreNPS 27.1K followers, and @AltNatParkSer 180K followers. The latter has also used their platform to publicize a scientist march on Washington, D.C, pointing to a blog, Scientists’ March on Washington . The blog includes a January 21 post announcing they are planning a march, although they have not yet picked a date. You can follow their Facebook and Twitter accounts, or sign up to receive updates here . + Scientists’ March on Washington Via The Guardian and A.V. Club Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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More "rogue" national park Twitter accounts are popping up

Is IoT the secret ingredient for tackling food waste?

January 10, 2017 by  
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Whole Foods is among the early adopters for its Grind2Energy service, now powered by the Internet of Things.

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Is IoT the secret ingredient for tackling food waste?

LEGO Hand Bag turns you into a minifigsorta

October 19, 2016 by  
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The rectangular paper bag is like regular shopping bags in many respects. It’s just the right size for hauling your LEGO store loot, and sturdy enough to stand up on its own. Inside the bag are two handles, placed on opposite long sides of the bag. However, that’s where the similarities end, because the LEGO Hand Bag has one additional amusing feature. Related: LEGO releases set with stay-at-home dad and working mom minifigures When a person is holding the bag by its built-in handles, their (human) hands are covered up by bright yellow plastic hands resembling those of a LEGO minifigure . While the illusion works best when the customer is wearing a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, the promotional bag can make anyone look like they belong in LEGOland or, at the very least, like an extra from the LEGO movie. The kooky bag has been making its way around the internet for the past several days, but there’s still no word of an official response from the folks at LEGO HQ. Surely, they’ve seen it by now, so we can only hope they are deep in discussions over what kind of check to cut for the design duo who created what LEGO’s own advertising department didn’t think to attempt. Via Junho Lee and Hyun Chul Choi Images via Hyun Chul Choi and LEGO

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LEGO Hand Bag turns you into a minifigsorta

Episode 47: Blockchain, green banks and beyond

October 7, 2016 by  
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This week on the GreenBiz 350 podcast: What blockchain has to do with sustainability, the rise of green banks and what’s next for the Internet of Things.

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Episode 47: Blockchain, green banks and beyond

Episode 47: Blockchain, green banks and beyond

October 7, 2016 by  
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This week on the GreenBiz 350 podcast: What blockchain has to do with sustainability, the rise of green banks and what’s next for the Internet of Things.

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Episode 47: Blockchain, green banks and beyond

India’s richest man pledges free 4G to 1 billion people

September 6, 2016 by  
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In India , just one fifth of the adult population can access the Internet . The necessary infrastructure necessary just hasn’t been in place – especially in poorer or rural areas. But now the richest man in India is hoping to change that with a plan to offer free 4G Internet to one billion people. Mukesh Ambani started Reliance Jio , a mobile network service. The network is available for over 80 percent of India, and Ambani’s goal is to offer Jio – which translates as “live life” from Hindi – to 90 percent of Indians by March 2017. From text on the Jio website, it appears Ambani’s dreams are even larger: “Jio Digital Life will give the power of data to each Indian, to fulfill every dream and collectively take India to global digital leadership.” Related: New LED “Li-Fi” is 100 times faster than Wi-Fi To celebrate the new network, Ambani is offering the service for free through the end of 2016. After that date, cheap plans are still available; Indians could use Jio for 149 rupees, around $2.25, each month. At a company meeting, Ambani said, “Anything and everything that can go digital is going digital – at an exponential rate. Life is going digital.” To offer the revolutionary, fast service that reaches more of the Indian population, Ambani had to build infrastructure. He erected almost 100,000 telecommunications towers, and spent billions to do so. Reliance Jio will be able to use the radio frequencies of Reliance Communications , a company of which Ambani’s brother Anil Ambani is chairman. According to Mukesh Ambani, Jio can now reach 200,000 villages and 18,000 cities. Most Indians will probably hop on Jio via smartphones . According to Forbes , Ambani is worth $22 billion. He’s the chairman of Reliance Industries , a conglomerate that includes businesses in the oil and gas and petrochemicals industries. The richest man in India, Ambani is the 36th richest person in the world. Via CNN Money Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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India’s richest man pledges free 4G to 1 billion people

Giant pandas removed from the endangered species list in huge conservation win

September 5, 2016 by  
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Finally some good news in the animal kingdom – the giant panda has been removed from the endangered species act after significant population growth over the last decade. They are now listed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list. In 2009, officials declared the panda would go extinct within three generations without concerted measures to save them, according to Science Alert . Now, despite extraordinary odds, there are said to be roughly 2,060 pandas living in the wild – up 17 percent since China first instilled wide-ranging protective measures. “Evidence from a series of range-wide national surveys indicate that the previous population decline has been arrested, and the population has started to increase,” according to the updated IUCN report . “The improved status confirms that the Chinese government’s efforts to conserve this species are effective.” Related: Adorable photo of panda babies melts the internet Measures to restore the wild panda population in China include forest protection and reforestation – to ensure necessary habitat. There are now 67 reserves throughout China dedicated to preserving two thirds of the global panda population. As Science Alert notes , pandas need to eat up to 14 hours a day – or up to 27.5 pounds of bamboo – in order to survive. That combined with their poor breeding habits, particularly in captivity, makes protecting this species particularly challenging – and leaves them vulnerable to climate change. Although the population is currently increasing, climate change is predicted to eliminate more than 35 percent of the Panda’s bamboo habitat in the next 80 years, and thus the Panda population is projected to decline,” according to the report. “The threat of declining bamboo availability due to climate change could, in the near future, reverse the gains made during the last two decades.” While the future still looks bleak for pandas, it’s not the first time it has appeared this way. The challenges we still face to save this and other species, including our own, are still not insurmountable. Marco Lambertini, WWF Director General, said in a press statement, “The recovery of the panda shows that when science, political will, and engagement of local communities come together, we can save wildlife and also improve biodiversity.” Via Science Alert

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Giant pandas removed from the endangered species list in huge conservation win

Australian couple builds a tiny home in three months for $320

July 22, 2016 by  
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Liam Culbertson and Rachel Newby didn’t have much building experience but that didn’t stop them from constructing their own tiny home . Using recycled and salvaged materials, they erected a 67 square foot home in the Gunai district of Gippsland, Victoria in Australia, and it cost just 420 Australian dollars, or $320 American .

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Australian couple builds a tiny home in three months for $320

Why sending an email can increase your carbon footprint

July 12, 2016 by  
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Your carbon footprint is greater than just the fossil fuels burned in traveling and construction—it encompasses your digital activities too. As if spam emails weren’t bad enough, Fuel Fighter points out how an action as seemingly innocuous as a Google search could add to your carbon footprint. Data centers , which are the engines of the Internet, require massive amounts of energy to run and, according to Gartner, are said to account for almost a quarter of global carbon dioxide emissions. Fuel Fighter created an infographic to break down the carbon footprint of the digital age, from emails to streaming Netflix, as well as interesting stats on the energy it takes to power the Internet and what some companies are doing to offset their global footprint. + Fuel Fighter

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Why sending an email can increase your carbon footprint

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