Archive for the ‘environment’ Category

States will vote on these energy and environment issues in midterm elections

November 4th, 2018
Voter voting

Enlarge / A voter casts his ballot in a polling station in Missoula, Montana. (credit: Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In the United States, mid-term elections are set to take place on Tuesday November 6. Although much of the limelight is on Congressional races and gubernatorial races, US citizens also have the chance to vote on some important initiatives, measures, and amendments that are specific to their state. These state rules can often have a more direct impact on the lives of Americans than their representatives in Congress do, but because proposals tend to be long and nuanced, they also can attract a lot less attention.

Energy and environment topics are among the most contentious of 2018's ballots, especially in western states where fossil fuel interests are facing a public that's increasingly concerned with climate change. Here's a look at seven proposed rules on US state ballots that could influence state economies and environments in serious ways.

Alaska, Ballot Measure 1

Salmon Habitat Protections and Permits Initiative

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Posted in Energy, environment, mining, oil, Policy, renewable, science | Comments (0)

Satya Nadella: The cloud is going to move underwater

November 1st, 2018
Lowering <em>Leona Philpot</em>, Microsoft's first underwater serverpod, into the water.

Lowering Leona Philpot, Microsoft's first underwater serverpod, into the water. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says that underwater server farms are part of the company's plans for future data centers.

Microsoft has been experimenting with underwater servers for some time. Project Natick put a server pod underwater off the coast of California in 2016. Naturally enough, the pod uses water cooling, dumping waste heat into the ocean around it. It's designed as a sealed unit, deployed for five years before being brought back up to the surface and replaced. Since then, Microsoft has deployed a larger pod off the coast of Scotland.

Speaking at the company's Future Decoded conference in London, Nadella said that undersea deployments are "the way [Microsoft] will think about data center regions and expansion." He cites proximity to humans as a particular advantage: about 50 percent of the world's population lives within 120 miles of a coast. Putting servers in the ocean means that they can be near population centers, which in turn ensures lower latencies. Low latencies are particularly important for real-time services, including Microsoft's forthcoming Xcloud game streaming service.

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Posted in datacenters, environment, microsoft, Project Natick, Tech | Comments (0)