Being Green When We’re at Home and on the Web

Eco-Friendly

We’ve become accustomed to the most common ways to reduce energy in our homes and at work, including using more public transportation, turning off the lights in unused rooms, replacing light bulbs with energy efficient LED bulbs and CF bulbs.

In the last couple of years I’ve been paying more attention to my energy consumption and finding ways of reducing my carbon footprint. One big consumer of energy are data centers, and as our applications and devices push more of the processing to the cloud, I expect that usage to increase year over year dramatically.

A few years ago it was found that data centers were expected to consume 19% more energy in 2012 than 2011. This is likely a trend that will continue, and addressing this is one good way for some data centers to differentiate themselves.

There are other non-intuitive things you can do to reduce your energy footprint in the cloud. This includes hosting your web services with a company that actively reduces energy usage through heat reduction in their data centers and using more efficient server power supplies like here, in 1&1.

Other things you can do that may be intuitive for us geeks, but not for all our friends and family is to adjust the power management settings on their PCs and laptops to aggressively reduce energy. In Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 there are advanced settings to turn off the screen or reduce screen lighting a little, to turn off the hard drive if not actively loading/saving files. Here’s a video for Windows 7 that walks you through changing these settings.

What additional, non-intuitive things can we do to reduce our energy usage?

Computers

The Sun Lab

How would you like to create your own laboratory at home to monitor the sun and report your findings for science?

It’s time to conduct your own investigations of the Sun. Find out place in the solar cycle. Predict future solar storms. Develop your own research project. You can do all this through the Sun Lab, a citizen science program you can do at home.

If you’re ready to start exploring the Sun, you need two things:

- Get educated here at this PBS site on Sun Research and why we care.
- Build your own Desktop Spectrometry Kit for $40US (pic below). The Public Lab Desktop Spectrometry Kit includes all the parts for a compact, simple, yet powerful experimental tool — a visible/near-infrared spectrometer, also known as a spectroscope or spectrophotometer.

Enjoy.

via: SciStarter

Desktop Spectromoetry Kit from The Public Lab

Science

Researchers create honey bee sperm bank to combat colony crisis

Bee

In the last few years, 1 in 3 bee colonies have died off. This is a problem for the world’s agriculture because it depends on bees to pollinate their crops.  There’s been a lot of finger pointing as to the cause, but here’s some action that is trying to stave off the problem through science by creating sort of a sperm bank..

Science

Chess Related Deaths

If you were wondering – The list of chess related deaths.

Games

Wireless Bluetooth Bamboo Keyboard

Wireless BT Bamboo KB

Here’s a very cool idea – A beautiful, natural, and environmentally friendly wireless Bluetooth bamboo keyboard for all of your electronic devices. This idea is a project being promoted through the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, it’s the brainchild of brothers Chase and Chris and it’s worthy of checking out.

Visit their site to read about the prototyping and all the R&D that’s been invested in this project, these folks could use our help with funding support.

Gadgets / Devices