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Archive for December, 2012

Better Bet in 2013: Apple or Yahoo?

December 31st, 2012 No comments

Shares of both Apple and Yahoo appear to offer continued growth, but the "Fast Money" pros say that one stock was better than the other.

Unlock your Hyundai with a tap of your smartphone by 2015

December 31st, 2012 No comments

An NFC-enabled smartphone is the key to the Hyundai Connectivity Concept, both unlocking its doors and powering its infotainment system via MirrorLink. [Read more]

Red and brown Samsung Galaxy Note 2 discovered in Korea

December 31st, 2012 No comments

In addition to Marble White and Titanium Gray, the “phablet” has been spotted in Korea sporting two new colors. [Read more]

How Google turned employees into philanthropists in 2012

December 31st, 2012 No comments

A new effort that used technology to boost giving resulted in big donations to hunger-related charities this holiday season. [Read more]

Amazon apologizes for Netflix’s Christmas Eve streaming outage

December 31st, 2012 No comments

Amazon Web Services explains that the disruption occurred when data was accidentally deleted from the traffic apportion system. [Read more]

Swine Flu Claims Nine West Bank Lives

December 31st, 2012 No comments

Nine people in the West Bank have died from swine flu, the office of Palestinian Authority Prime Minster Salam Fayyad announced on Saturday, and the situation is being monitored carefully. Now considered a seasonal flu for which vaccinations are …

Library Web sites see boost in mobile traffic

December 31st, 2012 No comments

Tech companies aren’t the only ones that should invest in mobile. Study finds mobile users accessed library Web sites twice as much this year compared with 2009. [Read more]

The Incredible Story Of How The Burj Khalifa’s Poop is Trucked Out of Town

December 31st, 2012 No comments

Burj Khalifa Poop, Burj Khalifa, wastewater, wastewater treatment, inefficiency, epic failBurj Khalifa photo from Shutterstock

You’d think that the world’s tallest building – a structure that requires amazingly complex engineering and technology to reach its heights – would have an equally impressive sewage system. Unfortunately, that’s not the case because it isn’t hooked up to a municipal wastewater treatment system – so when you poop in the Burj Khalifa, that waste is actually trucked out of the city. Trucked out of the city! We’re frankly flabbergasted by the inefficiency of such a system. One of the world’s most advanced buildings relies on an arcane method to transport wastewater to a treatment facility outside of town. So remember, if you happen to visit and use the Burj Khalifa’s restroom, some unfortunate person has to collect your poop and drive it out of Dubai.

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Burj Khalifa Poop, Burj Khalifa, wastewater, wastewater treatment, inefficiency, epic fail

In November, Terry Gross of NPR interviewed Kate Ascher, author of The Heights: Anatomy of a Skyscraper, where she explained what happens to sewage from the Burj Khalifa and other tall buildings in Dubai. There are a host of tall buildings in Dubai and many of them aren’t connected to a municipal sewage system. It seems that construction outpaced installation of such an important component of any multistory building – seemingly with the approval of the city planning department. There is some semblance of a system, but it doesn’t have the capacity to handle the output from an 828 meter tower.

In the interview, Ascher explained that “some [buildings] can access a municipal system but many of them actually use trucks to take the sewage out of individual buildings and then they wait on a queue to put it into a waste water treatment plant. So it’s a fairly primitive system.” Trucks often wait in line for up to 24 hours before they can offload their payload. As Gizmodo calculated, a full building with 35,000 people would produce 7 tons of poop per day, plus all the additional wastewater for showers, brushing your teeth and so on, totaling up to 15 tons per day of wastewater.

The inefficiency of such a system is mind-boggling and raises the issue of how architecture is more than just designing a great building. Architects must also consider the impact of their building on the rest of the city and how it will interact with it. It’s all fine and good to build the world’s tallest building, but if you have to remove the waste via inefficient and costly trucks, then you’ve failed.

Via Archinect and Gizmodo

Images ©Burj Khalifa

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Utilities Rush to Complete Turbines as Wind Energy Tax Incentive Expires at Midnight

December 31st, 2012 No comments

green design, eco design, sustainable design, wind energy, new wind turbine construction, federal tax credit wind power, renewable energyWind turbine photo from Shutterstock

United States energy companies are clamoring to install last minute wind turbines before the federal tax credit incentive expires at the stroke of midnight tonight. The government incentive subsidy awards roughly 2.2 cents for every kilowatt hour produced over the next ten years, and it has spurred the construction of new wind power plants across the states.

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green design, eco design, sustainable design, wind energy, new wind turbine construction, federal tax credit wind power, renewable energy,Image ©Wikimedia Commons

Thanks to the federal tax credit incentive, wind power has grown exponentially in 2012- from just 1.5 gigawatts of power across the country to an impressive 13.5 gigawatts by the end of this year. With 12 gigawatts of wind power sources installed this year, the renewable energy source skyrocketed past natural gas.

With the incentive, each large turbine is awarded around $1 million in government subsidy money over ten years. But the incentive is set to expires at midnight tonight, to the chagrin of renewable energy supporters. Without the subsidy, green energy enthusiasts fear that the rate of wind power construction will plummet next year, causing a rise in the use of traditional fossil fuels.

Although it is still unclear whether the incentive will be extended into 2012, The American Wind Energy Association is hopeful for a short extension to finish projects that are in the works. With that extension, the rise of wind power could be sustained in 2013, ensuring the rise of renewable energy for another year.

Via BBC

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Six Scrumptious Eco Cocktails For New Year’s Eve

December 31st, 2012 No comments