Posts in News (page 41)

Making The Cloud Green: Tech Firms Push For Renewable Energy Sources

At Green House Data in Cheyenne, Wyo., energy efficiency is an obsession.When someone enters one of the company’s secured data vaults, they’re asked to pause in the entryway and stomp their shoes on a clear rubber mat with a sticky, glue-like finish.”Dust is a huge concern of ours,” says Art Salazar, the director of operations.That’s because dust makes electronics run hotter, which then means using more electricity to cool them down. For data centers, the goal is to use as little electricity as possible, because it’s typically companies’ biggest expense.In 2013, data centers consumed 2 percent of all U.S. power — triple what they consumed in 2000. Wendy Fox, Green House Data’s communications director, says the sector has a responsibility to source that electricity sustainably.The power Green House Data draws from the grid mostly comes from coal. The company offsets that by purchasing green energy credits that support renewable energy development elsewhere.But larger companies are no

Continue reading »

A Cast With Down Syndrome Brings Fresh Reality To Reality TV

Born This Way is a reality show — not too different from The Real World, the groundbreaking show that helped define the genre and aired for more than 30 seasons on MTV. Both feature a cast of diverse young adults navigating the world around them. Both came from reality TV pioneer Jonathan Murray (who co-created The Real World with Mary-Ellis Bunim). The big difference: All the stars of Born This Way have Down syndrome.”It was challenging to cast this show,” Murray told me recently from Bunim/Murray Productions in Van Nuys, Calif., as he readied for the launch of the second season on July 26. “Sometimes our cast members — it takes them a little struggle to get their thoughts out.”Murray had no personal connection to the Down syndrome community when he first came up with the concept of the show. He says he’s always been committed to bringing underrepresented communities to the screen, stretching back to when The Real World featured a gay, HIV-positive character in the 1990s.”I always

Continue reading »

Episode 576: When Women Stopped Coding

Note: This episode originally aired in October, 2014.Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Most of the big names in technology are men.But a lot of computing pioneers, the ones who programmed the first digital computers, were women. And for decades,…

Continue reading »

Invisibilia: The Unbearable Lightness Of Footwear

Editor’s note: This is an excerpt from the latest episode of the Invisibilia podcast and program, which is broadcast on participating public radio stations.Walking among the California redwoods, drifting blank-brained on a break from college, I got to thinking about shoes. I can’t say why, exactly. Perhaps it was because they were touching my feet.My own shoes were performing admirably, I must admit. I was trudging on mud and bugs and roots and who knows what without feeling much of anything.And that, I realized in a flash, was a problem. Not that I had been stepping on gross stuff and snuffing out the lives of little things that, frankly, may not have deserved it. The problem was that I really couldn’t tell.Life and death and dog poop — it all basically felt the same underfoot.I began thinking about the festering evil behind pollution, behind climate change, callousness and all the others ways we forget to consider each other and the world around us. Maybe shoes are to blame.I realize

Continue reading »