DamonHD writes: How could Apple help #FlattenTheDuck and do a little more to combat climate change at zero user cost?
With Apple's tight control over, and integration of, its hardware and software, there are some simple tweaks that it could make to its battery charging controls to effectively add significant chunks of storage to various electricity grids around the world and make them greener and more efficient.
Related adjustments would also help off-grid users of Apple's rechargeable battery-powered devices, from phones to laptops.
DamonHD writes: The Raspberry Pi that has been running all my primary Internet servers from my home/office since mid-2014, entirely off-grid-powered, has been doing a fine job, and it's great to be using actively-supported hardware and Linux distro. (Before Pi, partly or fully off-grid were a SheevaPlug and a laptop...)
It really is possible to run production Web, mail, and other always-on servers from a few watts, from solar PV off-grid, in un-sunny UK.
DamonHD writes: Author of Sustainable Energy – without the hot air (http://www.withouthotair.com), ex Chief Scientific Advisor at the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change (describing himself as pro-arithmetic rather than pro any particular sort of renewable or other energy) and also known for his work in n machine learning and information theory, died today of cancer (https://www.justgiving.com/davidjcmackay).
DamonHD writes: "The BBC asks in an interview if "security" issues for example in the Middle East and India have now been resolved and Mike Lazaridis throws a hissy fit. It seems to me the question is fair, however uncomfortable."
DamonHD writes: "The Low-carbon Strategy from the Environmental Change Institute http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk/ at Oxford University identifies the policies needed to deliver an 80% cut in carbon emissions from UK homes by 2050. These cuts are achievable but will require a quantum leap in commitment from Government and a radical new approach.
The policies have been designed not only to dramatically reduce carbon emissions, but also to be delivered equitably. The poorest households will be prioritised for assistance and fuel poverty will be wiped out. The scientific consensus is that for the UK to play its part in helping the world avoid a rise of more than 2C, we must reduce our carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. The household sector represents 27% of our total emissions and achieving deep cuts here is an imperative.
DamonHD writes: "Is it possible for a small urban (London, UK) home to be powered entirely by locally-collected Renewable Energy, both for electricity and for heating?
An important issue is that there is only ~20% of the solar energy per day in winter compared to summer, so one way to make the whole project more likely to work is to store energy from the summertime to the winter.
This article looks at storing enough heat energy out of the ~26GJ used by one house per year for water and space heating to last the winter, 'charged' by solar thermal panels year-round.
And yes somewhere between 1 and 3 dead water-filled milk tankers buried in the the ground could hold the required energy!"
DamonHD writes: "Is hungover New-Year-Europe having an Internet outage to go along with the mandatory seasonal glitches in the banking networks ("I was standing in the pub and suddenly all my cards stopped working")?"