• Apple, Microsoft, and Nintendo – Losers in Greenpeace’s Guide to greener electronics

    Posted in Awareness and Hype on June 30, 2008

    Sony and Sony Ericsson (SE) may have topped Greenpeace’s latest Guide to Greener Electronics, but almost all manufacturers saw their scores plunge thanks to new, more stringent marking criteria. Greenpeace decided that it was now necessary to make the grading system tougher and to create additional grading criteria. For example, it added more toxic compounds to its list of materials manufacturers must commit themselves to eliminate and provide a timeline for that process. Chemicals added to the roster of nasties include beryllium in all its forms and compounds of antimony. That’s were Apple failed, in the previous report it scored 6.7 but, has since seen its score drop to 4.1. Greenpeace admitted that the firm’s timeline for PVC and BFR phase-out is positive, but slapped the iPhone maker on the wrist for failing to provide a timeline over which it’ll withdraw use of other Earth-damaging chemicals, such as beryllium. It also lost points over its use of recycled plastic content; it’s somewhat sketchy information about plans for the reduction of its carbon footprint, and failure to provide any information about the amount of renewable energy it uses, if any.

  • Airlines look for options to keep costs down

    Posted in Uncategorized on June 28, 2008

    The next horror film could be based on a trip to the gas station, imagine that! We all know of how much it pains our hearts to burn precious fuel as we go about dealing with the most gas guzzling task in the entire world, TRAFFIC! Well that’s what we have to deal with now compare your car woes to a fleet of jets in an airlines nest and you’ll know what the pains of an airline are. Considering that 25% of an airlines cost of operations goes into just filling it up with gas, it isn’t surprising to know of airlines going bankrupt in the near future. Southwest Airlines however doesn’t have that problem the low-cost, no frills, peanuts (or pretzels) only airline has been fuel conscious for years. The Texas-based carrier buys its fuel years in advance. The company orders its Boeing 737’s with drag-reducing, energy-saving upswept wing tips and now it’s reportedly hosing down the insides of its jet engines for smoother air flow and better fuel economy. But it still doesn’t really help the other airlines much, jet engines, are one of the fuel hungriest machines ever devised by man. With so much invested in jets it’s hard to imagine the airlines as well as the aircraft manufacturers switching to something else in the name of customer comfort. The Airlines are left with two options to save them from going extinct.

    Lithium Vs Hydrogen – The new war of the alternatives

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 28, 2008

    If you still haven’t realized how serious the fuel problem is, it could only mean two things either you live on an island disconnected from the rest of humanity or your filthy rich. The price of fuel doesn’t seem destined to fall anytime soon even though Saudi Arabia promises to ease up on trade norms. The automobile manufacturers didn’t see the present fuel crisis as a long term situation, and automobile manufacturers somehow thought that announcing better fuel efficient hybrid vehicles to be launched years from now will ease our present woes. Toyota is slipping out info of its next generation Prius almost everyday, and Honda soon coming out with its Clarity FCX Fuel Cell car. What are we to do by knowing of future cars being more fuel efficient while we drain our money into $4 a gallon gas everyday till the next hybrid is out that promises 40Mpg. With the plethora of new alternative fuel projects being announced everyday, it makes it very hard for us to decide on which technology will stand the test of time in the new war of the alternatives. It is the same reason car companies are hesitant to roll off alternative fuel cars into the market; they simply cannot afford watching more loss graphs already donated to them by the recent gas price inflation. The technology to build alternative fuel cars simply hasn’t been available until recent years.

    Shanghai plans a zero carbon emitting city by 2050

    Posted in Other Stuff on June 27, 2008

    There is a recent craze in reducing the amount of carbon emissions, and many are going so far as proclaiming of building an entire city that does not depend on any fossil fuels to cause any environmental damage whatsoever. China as always does not want to be left far behind, after the debacle of being listed as the largest contributor of Co2 into the environment it wants to clean up its act. Its announced building a fully self sufficient, zero carbon emitting Eco-city by the end of 2050. The city sits near the eastern tip of Chongming, the world’s largest alluvial island in the mouth of the Yangtze River. Developers hope the community will become home for up to 400,000 people across 30 square kilometers – about half the size of Manhattan. Currently, the city has ten wind turbines along the boundary, which will run on energy from sources including wind, solar power and biogas from municipal waste. Generating electricity from wind is estimated to be at least twice as expensive as using coal. Electricity from solar power could be ten times as expensive. Yet it seems saving the environment is at the forefront of Chinas agenda and it’s nice to know it will value green power over cheaper and harmful alternatives. The city is expected to house about 400,000 residents by the time it is completed in 2050. Improved access could make Dongtan the new home of wealthy commuters

    WD Caviar GP goes green with a power sipper

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on June 27, 2008

    Although not many people think about how much power their computers consume and its direct effect on the environment simply because some components just appear to not use any energy when in reality they are power gulpers. The new WD Caviar GP is a 500GB 3.5-inch SATA HDD, so what’s so new about it you say? Well, its one from the Green Power initiatives by WD. By consuming just 3.3 watts in idle mode beating other drives by almost five watts it reduces carbon emissions by 13.8 kilograms a year.

    Beehive inspired apartment buildings

    Posted in Architecture on June 27, 2008

    When looking for a new house many young couples look for nothing less than paradise with all the best amenities. They are promised exactly that in utopist sales brochures, what finally is sold is just another cubic mundane house. That’s what the designers of this apartment complex took to heart and designed these modular honeycomb clusters of a beehive complex. It was constructed for low-income residence for young families and couples in the industrial district of Izola on the Slovenian coast. The complex has facades of solar shading and natural ventilation to regulate its interiors all year-round. Each of the balcony modules is topped with a colorful textile shade that provides for efficient solar shading and ventilation.

    Th!nk Ox – Think this is your next car?

    Posted in Transport on June 26, 2008

    This fancy car is not even close to being a hybrid vehicle; rather it is fully electric car that runs on Lithium-ion batteries and can run for 125-155 miles on a single charge. It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 8.5 seconds its batteries can be charged to 80% capacity in less than an hour. Solar panels on its roof power equipment such as the radio, navigation system, instrument panel, and air conditioning — even while parked with the car switched off. Now that is definitely a neat concept, we may probably be able to program our car to cool itself 5mins before 5pm so we have a cool car waiting at the parking lot without counting the pennies wasted in fuel costs.

    Ecotopia presents eco friendly portable mini fridge

    Posted in Gadgets and Tech on June 26, 2008

    Ecotopia has developed this sleek looking portable Eco mini fridge for you to cool during hot summers. This Eco mini fridge can be defined as a perfect blend elegance and aesthetics. The company has taken good care to see this green portable fridge does not use any refrigerant, eliminating the need of recycling. The Eco mini fridge is idyllic for picnics, travelling, and office use. You can also convert this mini fridge into a heater keeping hot food warm at the flick of a switch as it is featured with an advanced thermoelectric system.

    Delaware Coast to get Offshore Wind Power Farm

    Posted in Alternative Energy on June 25, 2008

    Bluewater Wind, an offshore wind power company has won the contract to build America’s first offshore wind turbine park off the coast of Delaware. Using electricity generated by the wind, “Delmarva Power will be able to light about 50,000 homes a year, every year” for the duration of the 25-year contract, with first power expected by 2012. The project may help stabilize consumer energy costs, since the contract locks in the price Delmarva will pay per kilowatt-hour. Each turbine sits on a pole about 250 feet above the waterline. The units will be constructed in such a way that it will withstand hurricane-force winds. Each blade on the three-blade rotor is to be 150 feet long.

    Electric Mercedes to be out in 2010

    Posted in Transport on June 24, 2008

    Although they have been planning on a non-gasoline vehicle for some time now, but according to the news trickling in, Merc could be out with their electric Smart car in 2010. in a recent interview, Daimler’s chief executive was quoted as saying that an “electric Smart [was planned] for 2010,” and he also said that an electric Mercedes model would be arriving “the same year.” For the pricing details he said that the cost would depend greatly “on whether it sells the batteries or leases them.” There was even a mention of a fuel cell car in 2010.