Google has long been an advocate of saving energy where possible, and now they’re bringing that same policy to their users with the recent introduction of the Google PowerMeter, a gadget that allows you to track your home’s power consumption.
The gadget will track your juice use by pulling information from your power company, just so long as it’s one of their partners. Their partners include: San Diego Gas & Electric (California), TXU Energy (Texas), JEA (Florida), Reliance Energy (India), Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (Wisconsin), White River Valley Electric Cooperative (Missouri), Toronto Hydro–Electric System Limited (Canada), and Glasgow EPB (Kentucky).
Currently the feature will only be handed out a small group of customers with each utility company, but this is purely for testing. They plan on making it more available once this process is taken care of.
If you’re interested in finding out more, be sure to check out the PowerMeter home page here.
Earlier this week Hitachi Ltd. and Hitachi Vehicle Energy Ltd. announced a new battery that they claim has the world’s highest power density.
The new lithium-ion battery has 4,500W/kg power density, a number that clocks in at about 1.7 times the output of their current batteries. The increase in power allows for smaller size, and is thanks to a new manganese cathode and a unique battery structure. The structure employs thinner electrodes, a new power collection method, and more effective configurations.
Hitachi plans to make this technology available for notebooks and cell phones once the automotive industries have had a chance with it, but there’s no official word as to when we could see this technology implemented on a grand scale.
"The design goal is to provide an overall update of the system within the same ID and external appearance," OLPC’s VP of hardware development, John Watlington, announced on Friday. The revised version, which is due in November, will feature 1GB DDR2 SDRAM (currently 256MB) and up to 8GB flash storage (currently 1GB). OLPC will abandon the x-86 processor platform and adopt an ARM-based processor in its stead as part of its Generation 2.0 refresh.
If you find yourself in Morgenröthe-Rautenkranz, Germany late at night be sure that you’ve got your cell phone with you. In an attempt to save energy, the citizens of the town have set up their streetlights to turn off unless you use your cell phone to turn them on!
The program has been a moderate success so far. So far the town of only 900 has managed to save $5,300. Not too shabby! Other towns, such as Döblitz, resident Heinrich Frühauf tripped and fell in the darkness, and not long after the town was turning on their lights with cell phones as well.
Though, main issues with the program still remain. Many worry that this is just a gateway for corner cutting. Perhaps it might cause people to not use as much light as safety would require, causing for manhole accidents or night crime.
The free tool, called PowerMeter, will allow users to view and thoroughly analyze their household energy consumption data. The platform, currently in closed beta, requires that the user possess a smart meter. It will let users compare the energy-appetite of different devices within their house, besides making it possible for users to compare each other’s energy consumption trends.
Google hopes that access to household energy data will help users conserve energy – something many studies and Lord Kelvin have previously suggested.
Intel claims that the X25E can increase the performance of servers, workstations, and storage systems by 100 times over hard drives, if measured in terms of Input/Output per Second (IOPS).
The 32GB SSD, which Intel claims can reduce energy costs by five times, boasts of 35,000 read IOPS and 3,300 write IOPS. The official press release pegged the maximum read speed at 250 MB/s and maximum write speeds at 170 MB/s respectively.
The 32GB version is out now and carries a price tag of $695. The production of the 64GB version will begin in first quarter of 2009.
Marking the first significant update to the SPARC line since 2007, Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu are updating their jointly developed line of servers with the SPARC64 VII. Sun and Fujitsu look to position the new processor to compete against IBM's Power processor and Intel's Itanium chip. To help them do that, SPARC64 VII will boast four cores clocked at 2.4GHz or 2.5GHz, with each core sporting two instructional threads for a total of eight per chip, and 6MB of L2 cache. SPARC64 VII will also see a die shrink from 90nm to 65nm.
With an estimated $4 billion to go around in the high-end Unix business, Sun has struggled against IBM and HP, and has had to cut employees in an attempt to offset some of the losses. Even so, Sun and Fujitsu will revamp several of their systems to support the quad-core SPARC VII, including two midrange, rack-mount systems -- the M4000 and the M5000 -- both of which support up to four and eight dual- or quad-core processors respectively. Starting price of the M4000 with a quad-core SPARC VII will check in at just under $35,000.