Apple, Microsoft Targeted for Use of 'Dirty' Power
Environmental organization Greenpeace has issued a widespread warning about the technology used to host the Internet. According to Greenpeace, much of the online space is dependent on 'dirty' power.
The group says that some of the largest web firms are intentionally moving their servers and other power-hungry facilities to geographical areas that can provide cheaper, although more environmentally harmful sources of electricity.
The criticisms were recently published in a report titled: "How Clean Is Your Cloud?" The title is a reference to the current emphasis on cloud computing, which employs servers on the Internet to replace local storage space for millions of individual computer users.
Specifically, the Greenpeace report says that tech firms operating major data centers use huge amounts of electricity, and the sources of that power matter significantly to the cleanliness of the environment.
Power Sources Can Be Clean Or Dirty
Greenpeace looked at whether technology firms use what it dubs 'clean' or 'dirty' energy.
The classification depends on whether the power comes from renewable sources and small-carbon footprint power plants or from generating stations that rely on environmentally-damaging fuels, including coal and nuclear power.
But the report contains some good news: it praises Facebook, Google, and Yahoo for making strides toward greater use of renewable energy. The report specifically compliments Facebook for its decision to open a data center in the Swedish town of Lulea.
That is significant because the cool location (it's just 62 miles from the Arctic circle) reduces the energy needed to keep equipment from overheating.
It's also a helpful location because the facility is powered with hydroelectric power produced from a nearby river in double the quantities of the Hoover Dam. (Source: pcmag.com)
Apple, Microsoft Top Hit List
The Greenpeace report did criticize both Apple and Microsoft for allowing their facilities to rely too much on coal-generated energy. In addition, Amazon and Twitter came under fire for not making public their power sources, as Facebook, Google, and Yahoo have done.
Apple has disputed the claims in the report. The company argues that one of its new data centers highlighted in the report will run entirely on renewable energy, while the other will get 60 per cent of its power from such clean sources.
Meanwhile, the power company that supplies one of the new Apple data centers said the report failed to recognize its efforts to make its coal-fueled power generators less environmentally harmful. (Source: nytimes.com)
Free guide: Windows 7 -- Free Quick Reference Card. Ask any pro computer user and they'll tell you: having to constantly reach for the mouse not only causes strain on your neck and back - it also slows you down. Imagine being able to control your computer the way it was meant to be - using your keyboard! With this guide, you'll learn to dramatically increase productivity using the best ways to navigate, organize, and manage your Windows PC and its contents. Most importantly: the majority of these shortcuts, tips, and tricks are valid for any PC, netbook, and laptop running Windows XP, Vista, and 7. Use it to brush up on the basics and to find alternate methods to your favorite commands. This printable quick reference guide is yours to use, distribute, and share! Click here to download this guide now! Note: this guide is free, but registration is required; after that, you can select more ebooks and videos for download without registering again. If you have questions / problems with the registration form, please read this.