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News articles on technology
Mongabay.com news articles on technology in blog format. Updated regularly.
(01/03/2008) Intel said it no longer will support the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project and resigned from the board over the group's demand that the chipmaker stop selling its Classmate laptop in developing countries.
Traffic cones used to protect seabirds
(12/11/2007) Bright orange traffic cones that warn drivers of danger on the road are now being used to steer seabirds away from deadly entanglement in fishing nets, the Wildlife conservation Society (WCS) reports. Argentinean marine biologist and inventor Diego Gonzalez Zevallos has conducted research funded by WCS and Fundacion Patagonia National on the issue for over five years.
Amazon conservation Team wins "Innovation in conservation Award" for path-breaking work with Amazon tribes
(12/11/2007) The Amazon conservation Team (ACT) was today awarded mongabay.com's inaugural "Innovation in conservation Award" for its path-breaking efforts to enable indigenous Amazonians to maintain ties to their history and cultural traditions while protecting their rainforest home from illegal loggers and miners.
New satellite system will penetrate clouds to track deforestation
(12/05/2007) Satellite monitoring will play a critical role in any agreement that compensates tropical countries for preserving their forests, such as "Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation" (REDD) mechanisms currently under discussion at UN climate talks in Bali. Released Tuesday, a new study, "New Eyes in the Sky: Cloud-Free Tropical Forest Monitoring for REDD with the Japanese Advanced Land Observation Satellite (ALOS)", details significant advancements in the field of remote sensing of forests.
Vehicle-to-grid car generates electricity and cash for owners
(12/04/2007) University of Delaware researchers have created a system that enables vehicles to not only run on electricity alone, but also to generate revenue by storing and providing electricity for utilities. The technology--known as V2G, for vehicle-to-grid--lets electricity flow from the car's battery to power lines and back.
Google aims to make renewable energy sources cheaper than coal
(11/28/2007) Tuesday Google announced an initiative to develop electricity from renewable energy sources that will be cheaper than electricity produced from coal.
Video game-makers score low on sustainability
(11/27/2007) While environmentalists, scientists, development exports, and policymakers across the political spectrum are ethusiastic about the idea of offsetting carbon emissions by preventing deforestation (a concept known as "avoided deforestation" or Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)), the concept still faces many challenges, especially in implementation.
Transgenic plant may thrive under global warming-induced drought
(11/26/2007) Researchers have created a drought-resistant tobacco plant through genetic engineering, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The work could eventually lead to the development of crops that are better able to survive higher temperatures and reduced rainfall associated with global warming.
Governors announce energy efficiency push for computing
(11/07/2007) The National Governors Association (NGA) today announced an innovative clean energy partnership between the NGA Chair's Initiative Securing a Clean Energy Future (SCEF) and the Climate Savers Computing Initiative (CSCI), founded by Google and Intel, to spur deployment of more energy efficient computers and servers in state offices and agencies.
IBM finds recycling can cut solar cell manufacturing costs
(10/30/2007) IBM today announced a silicon wafer recycling system that could help ease the refined silicon shortage that has driven up production costs of solar energy panels.
Google Earth adds endangered species info
(10/24/2007) Google Earth users can now learn about 100 of the world's most endangered species through a new KML developed by the Zoological Society of London's EDGE of Existence program.
$100 laptop hit with production delays
(10/24/2007) The "$100 laptop" -- a computer designed for children in poor countries -- has been hit by production delays and will likely miss an important target date for a charity program, according to reports from InformationWeek and other outlets.
Intel may power next generation of "$100 laptop"
(09/07/2007) Intel is in talks to speed up the processor of the "$100 laptop" for children in developing countries, reports PC World.
Apple introduces iPhone features on new iPod
(09/05/2007) Apple introduced a new iPod with iPhone features, including a touch screen and Wi-Fi for wireless Internet capability.
Canon introduces 5 new cameras
(08/21/2007) Canon unveiled several new digital cameras Monday, including a 21.1-megapixel, full-frame model.
Sony launches consumer electronics recycling program
(08/17/2007) Sony has launched a recycling program for consumer electronics.
Apple comes up a bit short on eco-credentials of new iMac
(08/10/2007) While Apple has touted the environmental attributes of its newest iMac, critics say the new computer failed to live up to the company's goals for the use of mercury, reports the San Jose Mercury. In May, Apple said it would eventually replace mercury-containing fluorescent backlights in its LCD monitors with LEDs backlights, but the new computers don't use the new technology. The company said it still face technological hurdles in rolling out the new LCDs.
Laptop for poor children set for mass production
(07/23/2007) The "$100 laptop" is set to go into mass production after it received orders for 3 million machines, the requisite number to make the project viable.
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will cut pollution, emissions, oil use
(07/20/2007) Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) could reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality significantly by 2050, reports a new study by The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Gecko + mussels = biomimetic underwater adhesive
(07/19/2007) Scientists have developed a new adhesive material based on the properties of mussels and gecko lizard. The researchers say the biomimetic design could produce more durable and longer-lasting bandages, patches, and surgical materials.
Intel joins forces with $100 laptop project for poor children
(07/13/2007) Intel has teamed with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program, agreeing to contribute funding and join the board of the nonprofit group that seeks to bring low-cost laptops to children in poor countries, reports the Associated Press. The announcement comes after Intel chairman Craig Barrett criticized the project in an effort to boost support for its own child-focused Classmate PC.
Inflatable concentrators may cut cost of solar below conventional power plants
(07/08/2007) Cool Earth Solar, a Livermore, California-based company developing an innovative way for capturing solar energy, has merged with Radiant Energy, a developer and owner of renewable and clean energy power plants including solar, geothermal, and hydroelectric. Rob Lamkin, CEO of Radiant Energy, says the merger will help ramp up the technology, which uses inflatable solar concentrators to minimize use of refined silicon, a costly ingredient in solar cells. Lamkin says the technology could dramatically reduce the cost solar energy, bringing it below the cost natural gas-fired power plants.
Biosphere II lives on
(06/27/2007) The ill-fated Biosphere II project, an experiment that attempted to re-create Earth's ecosystems inside a greenhouse in the early 1990s, will live on as a scientific laboratory after the University of Arizona (UA) said it would develop the facility into a research center.
Google to be carbon neutral by year end
(06/20/2007) Google Inc. aims to be carbon neutral by the end of 2007, according to a statement posted on the Official Google Blog. The search giant plans to fight global warming by investing in and using renewable energy sources; reducing energy consumption by maximizing efficiency, and purchasing carbon offsets for the greenhouse gas emissions that it cannot reduce directly.
Google will put $10M towards plug-in hybrid cars
(06/19/2007) Google.org, Google Inc.'s philanthropic arm, today unveiled an initiative to convert hybrid cars to plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), a move that will cut carbon dioxide emissions, reduce oil use, and help stabilize the electrical grid.
Gecko biomimicry produces adhesive better than the real thing
(06/19/2007) Mimicking the agile gecko, with its uncanny ability to run up walls and across ceilings, has long been a goal of materials scientists. Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the University of Akron have taken one sticky step in the right direction, creating synthetic "gecko tap" with four times the sticking power of the real thing.
Sudan arrests 4 journalists trying to cover dam killings
(06/19/2007) GReporters Without Borders has condemned the continuing detention of four journalists employed by Khartoum-based daily newspapers who were arrested in Dongola, in the state of Shamiliyah (North), on 13 June 2007 while on their way to cover a protest against the building of a dam in the Kijbar region.
Google, Intel seek greener computers
(06/13/2007) Google, Intel, and other tech giants announced an energy efficiency drive develop "greener" computers that use 50 percent less power by 2010. The plan, dubbed the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, seeks to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming..
Google, Microsoft launch energy efficiency initiative
(06/12/2007) Google, Microsoft, and other tech giants announced an energy efficiency drive to reduce computer power consumption by 50 percent by 2010. The scheme, dubbed the Climate Savers Computing Initiative, seeks to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change global warming.
Carbon capture and storage could help combat global warming
(06/12/2007) While solar power and hybrid cars have become popular symbols of green technology, Stanford researchers are exploring another path for cutting emissions of carbon dioxide, the leading greenhouse gas that causes global warming.
World's largest movement has no leader but 100M employees
(06/11/2007) The world's largest movement has no name, no leader, and no ideology, but may directly involve more than 100 million people, said a green business pioneer.
Google helps protect Amazon rainforest
(06/10/2007) Google is working with a indigenous tribe deep in the Amazon rainforest to protect their lands from illegal encroachment, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. For the first time, Google has confirmed details of the project. Working in conjuction with the Amazon conservation Team, Google Earth's technology is being used to monitor illegal mining and logging that threaten the lands of the Surui tribe in Brazil. Google is working with satellite providers to significantly improve image resolution in some of the most remote parts of the Amazon basin.
Geoengineering could stop global warming but carries big risks
(06/04/2007) Using radical techniques to ,engineer, Earth's climate by blocking sunlight could cool Earth but presents great risks that could well worsen global warming should they fail or be discontinued, reports a new study published in the June 4 early online edition of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Intel pushes its environmental initiatives
(05/23/2007) Intel Corp. said is removing lead from its next generation of computer chips. Instead the company will use an alloy made up of tin, silver, and copper.
Sugar could power hydrogen fuel cars says VTU researcher
(05/22/2007) Sugary carbohydrates could be used to produce low-cost hydrogen to power fuel cells report researchers writing in the May 23 issue of PLoS ONE, the online, open-access journal from the Public Library of Science ( www.plosone.org)
conservationists team with justice dept to fingerprint carnivores
(05/22/2007) A new study in the May issue of the Journal of Wildlife Management reports that scientists from the New York State Museum, Wildlife conservation Society and other groups have teamed up with the New York State Department of Criminal Justice to developed a new technique that uses fingerprints to track the fisher -- an elusive member of the weasel family, and the only carnivore species known to have unique fingerprints.
IBM launches "green" chip
(05/22/2007) IBM is touting the "green" credentials of its newest and most powerful microprocessor, the "Power6."
Remote sensing tools used to predict bird species richness
(05/14/2007) Scientists at the Woods Hole Research Center, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland have taken a novel approach to studying biological diversity by making use of laser remote sensing (lidar). WHRC scientists examined the relationships between bird species richness and habitat metrics derived from lidar data acquired by aircraft. They then explored the efficacy of predicting bird richness and abundance based on these metrics.
iPod can distrupt cardiac pacemakers
(05/11/2007) An iPod can tigger monitoring malfunctions in cardiac pacemakers due to electromagnetic interference, reports a study presented by a 17-year-old school student to a group of heart specialists at a meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society in Denver, Colorado.
Technology presented at Google can track billboard viewers
(05/08/2007) A new technology provides an affordable way for advertisers to track the effectiveness of their advertising by measuring how many people are looking at their billboards and screens.
Cost of stabilizing climate 0.1% per year
(05/04/2007) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its long awaiting installment on climate change mitigation, arguing that the costs of offsetting global warming will be much lower than some claim. The IPCC estimates that emissions can be reduced rapidly using existing technology at a cost of 3 percent of GDP, or 0.12 percent per year over the next 25 years, though new technologies could further reduce this cost. While the projections are encouraging, they may be conservative. Some analysts, including the well-respected Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, have calculated that emissions targets that would stabilize the climate could be achieved at no net cost and possibly even a profit. Even McKinsey & Company, a leading management consulting firm, agrees, putting the net cost of reducing emissions by 46 percent at zero.
Apple defends green credentials, promises to do better
(05/04/2007) In a open letter posted Wednesday, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs countered claims by green groups that the iPod and computer maker lagged in recycling and removing toxic chemicals from its products. He said the company is already an industry leader when it comes to the environment and that Apple will continue to reduce its impact on the planet.
Military technology uses satellite signals to catch poachers
(05/02/2007) Wild animals sought by poachers for their skins, meat and bones have a new means of protection developed by a visiting scholar at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). Steve Gulick, an electrical engineer who calls himself a biologist wannabe, has designed a metal detector specifically to pick up the presence of poachers' weapons and send an electronic signal, via satellite, to law enforcement authorities.
Poor governments will need to pay $175 for $100 laptop
(04/27/2007) The governments of Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, Thailand, Nigeria and Libya will be asked to pay about $175 for each OLPC laptop, a computer targeted for children in developing countries. The device was originally estimated to cost $100.
Cell phones, text-messaging revolutionalize conservation approaches
(04/15/2007) Cell phones have been adopted at a pace unmatched by any technology in the history of mankind. While conventional use of these devices continues to be the expand, mobile phones are also increasingly being viewed as tools for conservation and development. Ken Banks, currently a Visiting Fellow on the Reuters Digital Vision Program at Stanford University, understands this well. Banks established kiwanja.net as hub for the latest information on how technology, in particular mobile phones, can be applied to tackle issues of economic empowerment, conservation, education, human rights and poverty alleviation.
Measures to drive adoption of super efficient cars in the U.S.
(04/11/2007) To reduce its growing dependence on foreign oil the United States could implement relatively low-cost measures to put millions of super efficient vehicles on American highways, said energy efficiency expert Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute in a speech at Stanford University. The measures could significantly cut oil usage, help fight climate change, and make U.S. roads safer.
Brazil to give Amazonian tribes Internet access to fight deforestation
(03/30/2007) Brazil will offer free satellite Internet connections to indigenous tribes in the Amazon according to a report from Reuters. It says that the plan will help reduce illegal logging by enabling natives to monitor and report on illicit activities.
Biofuel Cell Produces Electricity from Hydrogen in Plain Air
(03/27/2007) A pioneering biofuel cell that produces electricity from ordinary air spiked with small amounts of hydrogen offers significant potential as an inexpensive and renewable alternative to the costly platinum-based fuel cells that have dominated discussion about the hydrogen economy of the future, British scientists reported here today.
Cell phone batteries could be powered by OJ
(03/26/2007) Researchers at Saint Louis University in Missouri have developed a fuel cell battery that can run on virtually any sugar source -- from orange juice to tree sap -- and may last three to four times longer than conventional lithium ion batteries.
Balloon technology could cut cost of solar energy 90% by 2010
(02/21/2007) With high energy prices and mounting concerns over human-induced climate change, there is intense interest in renewable energy, especially solar, which produces no pollution and is readily available in the form of sunlight. In recent years, however, the solar energy market has been hampered by supply shortages of refined silicon, the critical resource needed for solar cell fabrication. Further, because solar installations traditionally require a large surface area to capture as much sunlight as possible, solar arrays often take up real estate, occupying land used agricultural production and other purposes. Without government subsidies, solar is not presently viable in many areas.
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