93% Of Apple Facilities Run On Renewable Energy

Apple is quite busy these days, with the recent announcement of their new iPhone SE and  their legal battles with the FBI regarding encryption. Amongst all of this though they seem to have time to keep investing and enhancing their facilities, with the recent revelation that 93% of their facilities run on renewable energy.

Of all of their facilities, 23 countries already have a complete transition to renewable energy, including those in China and the U.S. Some of these facilities use traditional means of renewable energy generation, with solar panels lining their Singapore rooftops while in China there is even a solar farm that has been built to be yak-friendly.

With ambitions to increase the materials used for packaging coming from recycled materials or sustainable sources, Apple doesn’t seem to be stopping on the eco-train either. With pressure coming more and more from governments and the public to use renewable sources and clean energy Apple looks like it wants to be ready for when people ask about it next.

Apple isn’t the only ones interested in green technology. Amazon has already expressed their interest in going green for their server farms and Microsoft going so far as putting some of its servers underwater, we could soon see a day where the companies creating your technology do it environmentally responsibly.

SilverStone Release New RVX01 in the Raven Series

SilverStone collected a lot of praise for their Raven series and now the family got a new member, and while it is the ATX-sized Raven with the smallest footprint yet it is not the runt of the litter. The new Raven RVX01 comes in two versions, one with a side panel window and one without. The one without the window is only available in red but you can get the windowed RVX01-W in three colour options: red, blue, and green.

Despite the small footprint, the Raven RVX01 has room for a lot of hardware such as an ATX-sized motherboard and PSU, graphics cards with up to 348mm length, and CPU coolers with a height of up to 162mm (159mm in the windowed version). The cooling options aren’t bad either with three 120mm Air Penetrator fans pre-installed at the bottom of the case, 1200 RPM at 19.7dBA, and the option to mount another 120mm at the front and one at the top.

The Raven RVX01 has seven expansion slots for full usage of your ATX-sized motherboard options and comes with two front-IO USB 3.0 ports as well as two audio jacks for a headset or the last surround sound connections.

The overall measurements come down to 215mm width by 485mm height by 500mm depth and a total volume of 52.1 litres. If you already been convinced that this should be your new chassis then you don’t need to wait that long for it to become available. The Raven RVX01 should be available on December the 2nd for a suggested end-user price of $84.60 USD for the RVX01BR without window and $89.40 USD for the windowed RVX01BR-W with colour options.

The Raven signature features such as a motherboard that has been rotated 90 degrees for a top instead of rear IO panel and hidden cables as well as the stylish looking front, easy access, and positive pressure design.

Special Features:

  • Signature RAVEN styling touches
  • 90-degree motherboard mounting from legendary RAVEN RV01
  • Three 120mm Air Penetrator fans included for sublime vertical air cooling
  • Positive pressure design for excellent cooling/quietness and dust-prevention
  • Quick access filter for convenient maintenance
  • Support up to three sets of liquid cooling radiators

Vibox Element X Green Gaming PC Review

Introduction


There’s a common misnomer that PC gaming costs an extortionate amount of money which can deter console players from making the switch. During the last decade, developers haven’t pushed the boundaries of high-end graphical hardware due to a fixation on the console market. Additionally, the current crop of consoles are incredibly weak and struggle to maintain 30 frames-per-second at 1080P. As a result, budget PCs can easily cope with the latest games and graphics cards have a surprisingly long lifespan. On another note, CD Key resellers provide huge discounts on pre-orders which results in average savings between £20-30 compared to the £45-55 console versions. This makes PC gaming affordable and some argue it can be cheaper in the long-term.

One major hurdle newcomers face is the confusing selection of components and lack of building experience. Thankfully, companies like Vibox source the parts to create a balanced system and utilize their engineering team’s skills. Recently, they decided to dispatch the Vibox Element X Green for review purposes which features an AMD FX-6300 processor, 8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, MSI R9 380 graphics card and 120GB boot SSD. Other notable mentions include an Aerocool Integrator 600W power supply, 1TB data drive, MSI 990FXA-GD65 motherboard, and Thermatake Water 3.0 closed-loop-cooler. This is a fantastic specification considering the affordable price bracket, and I expect it to perform exceedingly well in 1920×1080 gaming benchmarks.

Specifications

  • Name: Vibox Element X Green Gaming PC
  • Case: Vibox Predator Green Gaming Case
  • Motherboard: MSI 990FXA-GD65 Motherboard
  • Processor: AMD FX-6300 6-Core CPU Overclocked to 4.4GHz
  • Processor Cooler: Thermaltake Water 3.0
  • System Memory: 8GB Patriot DDR3 1600MHz
  • Main Boot Drive: 120GB Patriot Blast SSD
  • Additional Storage Drive(s): 1TB Toshiba DT01ACA100 1TB SATA 6GB/s 7200RPM HDD
  • Graphics card: MSI Radeon R9 380 GAMING 2GB GDDR5
  • Power Supply: Aerocool Integrator 600W 80+ Bronze
  • Peripherals: None
  • Monitor: None
  • Optical Drive: 24x DVD-RW
  • Wireless: None
  • OS: Windows 10 64-bit
  • Warranty:  2 Year Parts Cover, Lifetime Labour & Tech Support
  • Price: £649.22

Packing and Accessories

The system arrived in a durable box with precautionary labels to reduce the chance of damage occurring during transit. I was pleased to see two hand tabs which makes the packaging easier to carry for both the courier and customer.

Once opened, the chassis box is protected on the top and bottom by cardboard covers. These help to reinforce the packaging and prevent the case from moving around in an abrupt manner.

Here we can see the chassis’ box which showcases the unusual design and Vibox branding. The cardboard is quite thick and does a stellar job of keeping the case free from cosmetic defects.

In terms of accessories, the PC is bundled with a DVI-VGA adapter, driver disks, documentation, USB PCI bracket, and UK power plug. The Vibox instructions are fantastic and contain clear diagrams in colour to assist with the initial setup process. The guide also includes information about contacting the customer hotline in case any technical problems arise.

CPU-Z

GPU-Z

Mad Catz Announces Weird Looking R.A.T.1 Mouse

Mad Catz has been on a role lately and released quite a few new products, but they’re far from done. The newest entry is a budget oriented and a very weird-looking mouse called the R.A.T.1. The R.A.T.1 features an innovative modular design as well as 3D printing and personalization options that enable users to truly make it their own.

The new Mad Catz R.A.T.1 is available for preorders now and it will ship in December. The price isn’t bad at all and this new funky looking mouse can be yours for just $29.99. The mouse features three core components: A tripod chassis, a sensor module, and an adjustable palm rest that users can customize to match their personal style and usage requirements. Due to the simple design, the mouse is ultra-lightweight but still made from the same materials used in Mad Catz’ tournament-grade mice.

The R.A.T. 1 comes with an adjustable 3500DPI optical Pixart PMW3320 gaming-grade sensor module. The module itself can be used without anything else as a very compact laptop mouse, making it even more useful. The R.A.T.1 is also the world’s first gaming mouse that empower users to use a 3D Printer to create their own customized Palm Rest. Owners of the R.A.T.1, can download 3D CAD files of the Palm Rest, create, print and share their own unique designs right from their home 3D Printer! The DPI is adjustable all the way down to 250 DPI and the R.A.T.1 features six programmable buttons.

“With a gaming DNA derived from the award-winning R.A.T. PRO Series, the R.A.T.1 re-envisions what a gaming mice could be with its innovative modular design and unique customization options,” said Darren Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Mad Catz. “The R.A.T.1 sets a new standard in design and personalization, appealing to both passionate gamers and casual users alike – allowing us to broaden the appeal of our R.A.T., range and drive our PC business into 2016 and beyond.”

The Mad Catz RAT1 mouse is available as a black and green model or white and red for those who want to mix it up a little bit.

 

Toyota Reveal New Concept For Hydrogen Powered Car

We live in a wonderful age, we’ve begun to create technology that merges both the digital and the real world together in augmented reality and even where people can drive a metal car powered by sunlight. The human imagination has created and continues to create an amazing array of technologies, and Toyota have shown off some ideas they might play with in the future.

At the Tokyo Motor show, they revealed images of two design concepts, which are both futuristic and yet one is also classic in a way. First off, have a look at the present, with the S-FR. Looking similar to modern-day cars now, this model could soon be at your door steps.

Next, however, is the parent of design, with clear inspirations from the days of old we were presented with the Kikai.

Looking like a modern take on a classic hot rod the revealed engine leaves little to the car fanatics imagination. Finally, the last design is one from the future and is quite simply titled the FCV Plus.

Not only does the FCV feature a very futuristic look but it is designed to run some rather interesting technology.

For example, it would powered purely by hydrogen and that power would be diverted to four individual electric motors that are housed in each of the wheels. This means that aside from the fuel tank and cells located either at the front or back of the car, all the rest is freed up for the passengers.

Could you see yourself getting into a FCV within the next ten years? What about the S-FR and Kikai, would you like to own any of these vehicles?

Thank you Engadget for the information and images.

Electric Bus Hopes To Power Your Normal Routes Envioromentally

We’ve all heard about electric cars. They’ve gone from the thing of dreams to powering sports cars and family friendly SUV’s. It’s hard to deny that electric vehicles are clearly something for the future, with companies and countries looking at new and innovative ways to use the environmentally friendly vehicles. The British government is even looking at building roads which will help charge your car while you drive down the motorway, how can that not show that electric cars are here to stay? But what about other modes of transportation?

Think about how many times you see that buses pass you, is it once a day or do you see it every hour like clockwork? Proterra, a new start-up, looks to help cities run a cleaner service by replacing those old petrol based buses with a new electric bus.

With the bus allowing automated docking with a charger, and with the charger looking to take at most five minutes, it could see that bus running the same schedule with almost none of the pollution. Currently, they have recorded a single charge lasting as much as 258 miles, a little longer than just popping down to the shops.

With towns and cities replacing their old petrol buses for new hybrid vehicles with a mixture of electric and petrol, we could maybe see cities push out petrol all together in their public transport.

Could you see your daily bus route running green and silent? Would you be willing to wait a few minutes at the start of your journey knowing it’s going to be cheaper and nicer on the environment?

Thank you Fast Co Exist for the information and images.

 

Gigabyte is Bringing Back Green Motherboards

The Gigabyte G1.Sniper Z87 motherboard offered astonishing value-for-money and adopted an NVIDIA-friendly green colour scheme. Sadly, the company decided to change its successor to a red and black theme which is ridiculously overdone and on the majority of “gaming” motherboards these days. This didn’t sit well with a number of hardware enthusiasts who wanted a green and black motherboard to suit their NVIDIA or Razer style build, or simply because they just like green. Thankfully, Gigabyte listened to their customers’ concerns and decided to bring back the Sniper’s legendary colour scheme.

This revised range includes the G1.Sniper Z170 motherboard which supports Intel’s latest Skylake architecture and features USB 3.1 connectivity, 3-way Crossfire/2-way SLI, dual-channel DDR4 memory allowing for speeds in excess of 3000MHz, an M.2 port and SATA Express. Furthermore, the motherboard utilizes Realtek’s ALC1150 codec and premium Japanese audio capacitors. There is also a dual-BIOS, gold-plated CPU socket, dedicated audio guard path, and Intel® GbE LAN. Once combined, this provides a feature-rich motherboard and perfect for any custom-PC.

Gigabyte now offers a whole host of colour schemes depending on the motherboard’s target audience:

  • Red and white = Top-end gaming range
  • Red and black = Gaming range
  • Gold and black = Ultra Durable range
  • Green and black = Gaming Range
  • Orange and black = Overclocking Range

I’m extremely pleased to see the resurgence of Gigabyte’s green and black theme and it shows how consumers can have an active role in the development of hardware. Of course, credit must go to Gigabyte for attending to their customers’ needs.

Kickstarting the Solar Trend Just Became Easier

Are you a green energy lover that wishes big energy companies would start to move away from the old-fashioned way of producing electricity to a newer and more reliable source? If so, a new Kickstater campaign might be right up your street.

SunPort is a smart device that simply plugs in between your device and wall socket. This almost allows you to harness pure solar energy through your current supplier thanks to Solar Credits which are generated through every megawatt-hour of energy. Providers can purchase these credits that then proves to the local governing body that the power being provided came from solar sources.

SunPort aims to target the supply and demand segment by forcing big companies to purchase more solar credits and then the supplying companies to produce more solar energy. The long term goal would be for the large energy suppliers to ultimately adopt solar as the main energy source over Gas, Coal and Nuclear.

The process is free, however, you will need to buy the device itself and maintain upkeep annually to a small fee and it’s currently only available in America unless you buy an adapter plug for use in your own country.

How ‘green’ is your daily routine? Let us know in the comments.

See How the BMW EnLighten App May Help You in Traffic

Traffic lights could become a nightmare in heavy traffic, to the point where you never know if you can send a quick text or take a sip of your morning coffee before the light ahead changes. You always need to keep your eyes peeled and check if the light turns green before the guy behind you honks you to death, or you may never know if that green light will change before you try passing the intersection.

BMW has been working on solving this and came up with the EnLighten app, having it work with participating cities by communicating with the traffic light control system. This means that the app makes use of your phone’s GPS and knows which light you are approaching, then gives you a counter to see how long it will take for the light to change.

However, don’t think that the counter is 100% accurate, so don’t try forcing your luck on that last second. The data is received and processed based on red, amber and green cycles, as well as traffic flow cycles at different times of the day.

While there may be a slight time deviation, the app is still useful in giving drivers a chance to time their arrival at intersections when the light is green, or give them a chance to do something else while waiting at a red light.

The app is currently available on iOS and Android for use in any BMW car and a map of participating cities can be found here.

Thank you Gizmag for providing us with this information

Want To Live In A Modern Windmill?

Remember that old TV series “Around The Twist” with the family that lived in the lighthouse? How long did people spend talking with their friends and family about living in a lighthouse or windmill? Well, people in the Netherlands might be closer to the dream than everyone else thanks to a dutch architect.

Doepel Strijkers designed the building, set to stand at a giant 173 metres tall and is designed to use not only  wind and water, but also electric fields in an attempt to generate not only sufficient energy to power itself but also enough to power nearby buildings, with an estimated output of 1 megawatt. Just for reference 1 megawatt would be enough to power on average 1000 U.S. homes.

Designed for low maintenance and quiet running, the building will not only generate electricity but will contain a restaurant, a seven-story hotel, a whopping 72 apartments and some space for offices as well.

With everything from solar panels on the outside of the building, a pipe to deliver industrial heat from the local port to help heat the building and a system of negatively charged water molecules within the air in a fashion similar to thunder clouds, which when it strikes (in small amounts) the charge can be converted to useable energy.

The design allows for the creation of miniature thunder clouds and uses them to harness the natural energy stored within the air and generated by molecules hitting the highly charged beams that will run across the wind tunnel.

Ultra-cool looking building – Check. Green Energy – Check. Dream house – Check! Oh and did I mention that it would pay for itself in just 10 years?

Thank you PopSci for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Doepelstrijkers.

Solar Power At Home Now More Popular Than Commercial Solar Power

In the modern world, Solar Power is popular, with everything from solar-powered planes flying from Japan to Hawaii to advances allowing the absorption of infrared light to increase their efficiency. Either way you look at it solar power is becoming more and more popular and is constantly becoming a bigger part of the world.

In the US, the leading source of energy information has come from (no surprises here) the Energy Information Agency. This hasn’t been a very up to date system to measure energy though as it was geared towards traditional power grids, such as those fed into the system from large companies. As a result of the changing situation with commercial and home-generated energy though they analyzed the residential energy being fed into the US power grid.

Turns out that in 2014 Solar power generated by residential users accumulated at around 3.3 Gigawatts while large-scale facilities only accounted for around 2.9GW. The information gathered showed that Californians accounted for almost half of the residential energy, followed by Arizona and Hawaii.

Alongside this information, another piece of data was revealed, one that renewable energy enthusiasts will no doubt enjoy. The use of coal as a power supplier has dropped by over 10% in the last year.

More green energy, fewer greenhouse gasses and cheaper electricity for everyone? What’s not to like about this news?

Thank you ArsTechnica for the information.

New Solar Panel Can Adsorb Infrared Light!

Solar panels are a great invention, the ability to convert light to a useable power source has long been investigated and advanced. In recent years its came leap and bounds in regards to not only how effective it was but also how the public have perceived it and accepted it, some countries even putting it into law. Now it could be getting even better.

With almost 50% of the energy given off by the sun as near infrared light, there is a huge gap in power that modern solar panels could accept. Most modern solar panels can still only accept visible light as an energy source, meaning that solar panels can only convert 20% of the light they receive into electricity.

A team from UC Riverside, however, may have come up with a way to help solve that low figure. The concept of converting two infrared photons into a visible photon, a process that had to be overcome to generate another 25% energy.

The team from UC Riverside has overcome this by passing the two infrared photons through an “organised compound” which in turn then produces a visible photon. While this initial step currently only has a benefit of less than 10% the team are hopeful that by using the process and refining it they will be able to create a more effective system and continue to help improve on solar panels and solar energy as a whole.

Thank you UCR Today for the information.

Image courtesy of Solar Power Panel System.

BitFenix Prodigy M Colour Series Micro-ATX Chassis Review

Introduction


It’s been two years since I first reviewed the BitFenix Prodigy M, but today, I’ll be revisiting this now classic Prodigy chassis design to take a look at the latest Colour series from BitFenix. Colour choices are always a welcome addition to any range and from a consumer perspective, having more choice is no bad thing. Colour coordinating your build becomes a lot easier when you can pick something that suits your needs and preferences. Today I’ve got the Prodigy M Red, as well as a few other bonus goodies from BitFenix to help with the build, such as the BitFenix Fury PSU, a 120mm Spectra Pro red LED fan, a BitFenix Alchemy white LED strip, as well as a red side panel window.

Prodigy M Colours available

  • Midnight Black
  • Arctic White
  • Fire Red
  • Atomic Orange
  • Vivid Green
  • Cobalt Blue

As you can see, this is the original Prodigy shape and design, the only real difference is the colour, which is obviously red.

The SofTouch treated front panel and the handle/stands on the top and bottom blend nicely with the soft finish of the red paintwork.

The black trim fits rather well, especially since most gaming hardware is in red and black these days; this should be one of the more popular colour choices.

The back of the chassis is still finished in black, which suggests the core of the chassis is the same across the whole colour range, with just the exterior panels being swapped; makes sense really.

The top ventilation cover.

Behind which you’ll find the dual 120mm fan mounts.

The bottom of the chassis comes with a heat guard, although this can be removed if you wish to install fans in the base of the chassis.

If you don’t want extra fans here, you can opt for mounting hard drives directly to the base of the chassis.

LEGO Spending Millions to Make its Bricks Environmentally Friendly

Since its emergence as building toy powerhouse in the 1970s, LEGO has been producing its famous bricks from petroleum-based plastics. Now, the Danish company is investing millions of dollars to research and develop new, environmentally friendly and sustainable methods of producing LEGO elements and packing materials. LEGO aims to ditch oil-based plastics entirely by the year 2030.

“You could say that it’s a logical place for us to find a way of reducing our environmental footprint. If you look at our CO2 footprint as a company, the majority of our impact comes from offscreen activities—basically what happens before we receive any raw materials in our factory,” said Roar Trangbaek, press officer for the LEGO Group.

LEGO has seen a sharp rise in sales over the last twenty years, piqued by its deal with Lucasfilm to produce LEGO Star Wars tie-in sets, the first of many lucrative film deals that includes Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Batman. As such, the company’s carbon footprint has risen sharply, three-quarters of which comes from the extraction and refinement of plastics from oil. Though LEGO has been keen to offset its footprint with other environmental projects, it has decided that its efforts were not making the desired impact.

$150 million is being spent on the new LEGO Sustainable Materials Center, which is due to be completed by 2016. It will employ around 100 materials specialists tasked with developing a new, green method of producing LEGO bricks without compromising the integrity or quality of its products.

LEGO says of the new Sustainability Center in the accompanying press release:

  • The LEGO Group dedicates 1 billion DKK and sets up LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre to find and implement new sustainable alternatives to current raw materials.
  • More than 100 employees are expected to be recruited predominantly in the LEGO Group headquarters in Billund Denmark, to work on the task in the coming years.
  • The structure and organisation of the LEGO Sustainable Materials Centre will be developed during 2015 and 2016.
  • The LEGO Group will continuously report on the progress and learnings gained towards the 2030 ambition.

“What we announce today is a long-term investment and a dedication to ensuring the continued research and development of new materials that will enable us to continue to deliver great, high quality creative play experiences in the future, while caring for the environment and future generations. It is a daunting and exciting challenge,” Jørgen Vig Knudstorp of the LEGO Group added.

Thank you InfoBlizzard for providing us with this information.

Blade-less Turbines Could Be The Future!

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We’ve all seen them. The giant fans that spin (on occasion) and are said to help power the world without needing to worry about the pollution that may be generated. The problem is a lot of people don’t like the look of them (bar the fact that unless you have the right conditions the fans won’t spin), but what if someone came up with a new design?

A company in Spain is looking to do just that, Vortex Bladeless are looking to remove the unsightly blades and change how the wind can help power your homes. The giant metal pillars are instead designed to shake, a movement created by the air flowing around the pillars rather than forcing and pushing a giant blade instead. Typically buildings are designed to avoid the kind of wind and vortices that these pillars are instead designed to capture and use. While normally utilizing these by creating a building to oscillate at a specific frequency that the wind may occur at. Instead, Vortex states that by using magnets they are able to adjust the turbines in real time, getting the most out of the wind without having to wait for the opportune moment.

By converting the movement into electricity, Vortex claims to be able to reduce the cost of turbines by almost 40%. The reason for this price reduction is simple, very little maintenance is required if there are no gears or moving mechanics instead. While also cutting initial build costs by almost half due to the lack of expensive blades the blade-less design also has a small problem. The design only captures on average around 30% less energy than a regular turbine, something you could argue is offset by the smaller pieces of land they occupy and silent almost continuous running.

I’m all for environmental energy. Be it solar, wind or tidal renewable energy and electric vehicles are going to help cut pollution and make the world a better place to life very soon in the future, anything that helps bring that future closer can only be good right?

Thank you The Verge for providing us with this information.

YouTube and Netflix Marked as a Threat to a Greener Internet

While Netflix and YouTube users sit comfortably in their chairs and watch their favourite TV series and subscribed channels, service providers are constantly struggling to come up with better and greener solutions to power their data centres and keep up with constant demands. However, the lack of real results has been the main concern of Greenpeace recently.

The NGO stated that the growing demand from services such as Netflix, Hulu and YouTube presents a challenge for the companies to rely solely on renewable energy. However, Greenpeace points out that video streaming as a whole proves to be a challenge to get the Internet to go green.

Their report shows that video streaming services total up to more than 60% of the Internet’s traffic, which is likely to reach 76% by the end of 2018. Despite the latter, companies are still searching for ways to power up their services with greener energy from geothermal, solar and hydro solutions.

Greenpeace came up with a ranking for companies that make efforts in supplying their services with clean energy. Apple is said to come up as number one thanks to it investments into solar energy, followed by Google and Facebook for their ambition to rely more on green energy and not traditional sources.

Though an official ranking has not been made for Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, the NGO said that online videos are one of the most power-hungry type of service on the Internet. No doubt this answers the question on who has the biggest energy consumption footprint on the web. However, Google expressed its goal on having its YouTube service reach the 100% mark in renewable energy. Unfortunately, the service only reached a percentage of 35 up until now.

The biggest problem, in my opinion, comes from the actual power providers. Electrical companies rely mostly on traditional power-generating techniques and are slow on switching to renewable energy due to the cost of making that step. Until we see some dedication on going green from the latter, services and other power-demanding businesses are likely to show slow progress in this area as well.

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Techbu

Off Grid Solar Charging Implemented in San Francisco

With electric vehicles (EVs) starting to gain traction in the automotive world, ways of charging them when ‘out and about’ has been a small concern for some motorists. This has now been tackled head on by the company Envision Solar, with the introduction of three separate solar powered charging stations; I like the sound of car docks myself.

So what does this mean? Basically, there are three completely off the grid charging stations dotted throughout San Francisco. These are transportable stations only taking up the space of a normal sized parking spot and are completely free for users to utilise. They are Level 2 charging stations, capable of generating 3.3 kilowatts of energy; that’s not much, but it’s better than plugging in at home or at any other on-grid charging station. The charging station is also equipped with a lithium-ion battery pack that stores 22.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity; saving it for a rainy day.

These charging stations are on a fixed term basis, staying at their locations within San Francisco for a few months at a time. All of which, they will be gathering information such as charge frequency and duration. After 12 months, the company will analyse the data and choose which spot will be best to store all three of these stations to then be made a permanent feature.

All green energy for all green cars, sounds like the right way forward and would make excellent use of open car parks that are directly in sun, keeping the car cool on a hot day and also giving you some charge.

Image courtesy of EnvisionSolar

Apple Aims to Protect the Environment by Buying 36,000 Acres of Forest

We all know that Apple is concerned with the environment from its device recycling program and its components used in their products. But a recent collaboration between the company and The Conservation Fund takes it to a whole new worldwide level.

Apple is also using renewable energy to power their US headquarters and plants, as well as striving to use renewable paper for their packaging and paper. However, a study shows that large chunks of forests, namely 23 million acres, in the US have been lost to private companies in the last 15 years who do not give back as much as they take.

An estimate of 45 million more are said to be lost in the following years if nobody does anything about it. This is why Apple has stepped in and formed a partnership with The Conservation Fund, attempting to stop this lack of respect for nature that feeds egos and fills up pockets.

The partnership seems to be extremely beneficial for both parties, having Apple increasing its green footprint by managing its paper and packing more thoroughly, while The Conservation Fund can then target and conserve more forest lands in the US.

This move not only helps ensure that a lot of endangered species will still have homes in the future, but will also help keep an estimate of 2.8 million jobs in logging towns.

Apple and The Conservation Fund currently help protect over 36,000 acres of forest in the US and hope that they will keep the number rising in the future. How concerned are you with the environment?

Thank you Medium for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of MacWallpapers

The Bolt, Chevrolet’s Claim to Green Fame

Electric vehicles (EVs) are slowly becoming the norm in today’s society. It all started off with the hybrid Toyota Prius back in the late 2000’s, but now it seems every manufacturer and their brother makes EVs or at least a hybrid. The newest kid on the block is Chevrolet with the “Bolt”. This particular model is to directly compete against Tesla and their future commercially affordable “Model 3”.

Chevrolet first presented this at January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit. It was brought as a concept, but Alan Batey, president of GM North America, states that the interest from the public has convinced them to bring the car into production with estimated launch of 2017.

Details are still a little thin on the ground, but released figures show the car will sell for around $30,000 and have a plentiful range of around 200 miles on a single charge; much better than the BMW i3 which would also be in the running for the EV town car title.

Chevrolet is not only looking at producing possibly one of the greenest cars to date, but production will also take place at on of the most economical production plants; based at GM’s Orion Assembly near Detroit, powered by gas from nearby landfills and boosted by a 350 kW solar array.

Full details on the Bolt can be found here.

Thanks to Chevrolet for providing this information

MSI Announced Limited Edition GeForce GTX 970 and GTX 960

A couple of weeks ago we could report that MSI was getting a Limited Edition green GTX 970 ready to celebrate the milestone of 100 million Nvidia cards sold. Now they’ve expanded upon it and are also releasing a GeForce GTX960 in the same colour scheme.

Both cards feature the great Twin Frozr V cooler with Zero Frozr technology, Torx Fan design and also come with a backplate to improve structural stability and complement the appearances. A special gift is also included ‘as a token of our appreciation’, but what that gift is remains unknown.

MSI also released the specifications of both cards as seen above. The new cards are starting to become available and Overclockers UK has the GTX960 listed for £179.99 and the GTX970 for £319.99.

Thanks to MSI for providing us with this information

Tesla Release a Sporty Model 3

Tesla has recently announced they are planning a BMW Series 3 rival named the model 3.

We had heard rumors that their next release would be called the model E, but  Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk had some issues in the naming process:

“We had the model S for sedan and X for crossover SUV, then a friend asked what we were going to call the third car, so I said we had the model S and X, we might as well have the E.

We were going to call it model E for a while and then Ford sued us saying it wanted to use the Model E – I thought this is crazy, Ford’s trying to kill sex! So we’ll have to think of another name.

The new model is going to be called Model III, we’ll have three bars to represent it and it’ll be S III X!” Auto Express

This new design is will be unveiled in 2016 and set to be market-ready by 2017. We’ve also learned that it’s most likely set to be an all-new design – rather than based on Teslas other models, the Model S and Model X. As for the cars technology, that’s a task for ex-Aston Martin employee Chris Porritt.

As for specific information, the model 3 is rumoured to be 20% smaller than the Model S and is said to retail for $35,000 USD, thanks to cheaper battery technology made possible by Teslas Gigafactory. Musk also mentioned that the model 3 will have a realistic range of 200 miles, which is less than its Model S brother at 306 miles.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much more to say about the Model 3 at this stage, we’re going to have to wait until the time is closer Musk told CNET:

“We don’t have any more details to share at this point. Our focus continues to be on Model S and preparing for the introduction of Model X.”

For some images of the beast in question, check them out here.

Image courtesy of Solar Feeds

Recycle For Rewards With Snazzy Special New Vending Machine From Envirobank


The City of Sydney is dabbling with a new vending machine from Envirobank, with the unit described as a “reverse vending machine,” providing rewards when visitors recycle plastic and glass bottles, or cans.

Visitors can receive two-for-one food truck vouchers, donate 10 cents per container to a non-profit group, or enter a drawing to win two tickets to a New Year’s Eve Festival.  Each machine can hold around 2,000 recyclables before needing to be emptied.

The vending machines are currently being tested in Sydney, Australia, and three of the machines filled up with 6,000 recyclables before being publicly introduced.  There were 10,000 bottles and cans collected at two separate vending machines in just three days, according to city officials, promoting their effectiveness.

Here is what Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said regarding the new vending machines:

“Container deposit schemes significantly increase recycling, reduce waste and protect wildlife and the environment from plastic pollution.  We’re taking what action we can to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, but will continue to lobby state and federal governments for reform on this issue.”

These types of recycle machines have found success in select EU nations, as governments try to boost green initiatives – and help clean up the community.

Thank you to Science Alert for providing us with this information

image courtesy of the City of Sydney

Cost of Electric Vehicles in UK Rising, Due to Subsidies Ending

The end of UK government subsidies will likely make it more expensive to drive an electric car than driving a traditional petrol-powered vehicle.

The installation and maintenance of electric chargers, which was overseen by the Department for Transport, ended in April – and now prices have gone up as local cities are working with private companies to increase support.

Current electric vehicle prices in the UK are about £8,000 more than petrol fuel or diesel, but the UK government has a £5,000 subsidy for residents – and helps install home-chargers for new vehicle owners.

There were almost 2,000 electric vehicles sold in the UK through the first five months of 2013, more than double than the time frame year-over-year.  The industry is still growing, but if select government subsidies are not restored, then adoption will take a hit.

For success of electric vehicle adoption, offering monetary compensation, tax breaks, and other perks, which has helped drive growth in the United States, Norway, and other select markets.  Without these added incentives, consumers are less likely to spend money on a vehicle with limited range – and price tags that aren’t simply appealing enough quite yet.

Thank you to BBC for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Green Auto Blog

Philips Announces PowerSensor Monitors That Promises 80 Percent Energy Costs Cut

Electronics company Philips announced two new PowerSensor monitors that use human sensor technology that automatically reduces monitor brightness if a user steps away from the PC.  Philips says energy consumption could be cut by up to 80 percent, and help extend the life of a display.

The 24-inch model (241B4LPYCB) and 27-inch model (271S4LPYEB) have respective $249.99 (£146) and $349.99 (£205) MSRP price tags, with both monitors available for purchase now.

Here is what Chris Brown, TPV Global Product Marketing Manager, said in a statement:

“Sustainability and cost savings are two top priorities for businesses and IT pros, and the Philips PowerSensor displays help ease both those concerns.  The displays’ intuitive human sensors do the work for you so you don’t have to consciously close down your computer when you step away for meetings.  Plus, you’re not only cutting energy costs, you’re also extending the life of the monitor.”

In addition to power efficiency, the 24-inch model is made up of at least 65 percent consumer-recycled plastics, and has been TCO Edge certified.  Both screens utilize a 5ms response time and 1000:1 contract ratio, while displaying 16.7M colors.  The 27-inch screen is slightly brighter but both have an optimum resolution of 1920×1080 @ 60Hz, with DisplayPort, DVI-D, and VGA connectivity.

Technology companies are investing in research and development to create more energy-efficient products for consumers.  Display makers want to create products that not only use less power, but have the ability to go into sleep mode – or something similar – when not in use, but be responsive when a user sits back down.

Thank you to Philips for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Philips

Will.i.am Partners With Coca-Cola to Create the 3D Systems Ekocycle Cube 3D Printer


Coca-Cola is teaming up with pop star Will.i.am to create the Ekocycle Cube 3D printer, scheduled for release later this year.  The printer from 3D Systems prints with filaments based on recycled plastics and is the first product after 3D Systems named Will.i.am chief creative officer earlier in the year.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwsOy3SP8ek[/youtube]

Here is what Bea Perez, Coca-Cola Company VP and Chief Sustainablity Officer, said in a statement:

“The Ekocycle brand initiative is a platform that aligns with our vision of zero waste and our focus on sustainability.  Together with will.i.am, we will promote recycling win a unique way with other well-known brands to create lifestyle products that consumers worldwide desire.  Today’s generation of young consumers represents an active force and the Ekocycle brand aims to be a driver in rallying their support and efforts around a global sustainability movement.”

The printer will be available with a £703 price tag, a moderate price tag for current-generation 3D printer choices.

There is a great potential, in addition to adding a unique twist to 3D printing, promoting recycling and green activities for both companies involved.  Companies like Coca-Cola have been pressured into launching green initiatives, as many cans, plastic and glass bottles end up in recycling facilities – while many of them also end up in landfills.

Thank you Coca-Cola for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of 3D Systems

New Plane To Circumnavigate The Globe Using Only Solar Power

The innovative minds that created the first solar-powered aircraft that could fly for over 24 hours have unveiled its bigger and better successor, the Solar Impulse 2. Their new plane may not have the passenger capacity of the 747, but it does have the same wingspan, despite only weighing 2300 kg / 5000 lb.

The new plane is designed with one seriously impressive task in mind, circumnavigating the globe in a single flight, a task they plan to undertake next year. The plane will be allowed to land, giving the pilots time to exchange roles and restock the cabin, especially given that carrying a full stock for the whole trip would add a lot of extra weight that they could do without. The real issues will come when crossing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, which could take five days at the Solar Impulse 2’s maximum speed of around 85 mph as they won’t be able to land in the water.

To save power at night the craft only outputs 15 horsepower over a 24 hour period, this is complimented by 87% efficient motors and a huge array of high performance solar cells along the wingspan of the craft. While the pilots can enjoy, for lack of a better word, their new seating arrangement in the cabin, which features custom chairs that can be converted into a toilet and a bed.

I’m a fan of petrol burning engines and other such things, but the advancement of clean energies is a worthy pursuit and I can’t wait to see what else the team can come up with in the future.

Thank you Arstechnica for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Arstechnica.