Are West Virginia’s Floods The Result Of Climate Change? And A Congressman Gone AWOL

For a state that has been racked with recession and unemployment, the flash floods that have ravaged West Virginia don’t help much. But the key question to ask — no matter how unpleasant — is whether the coal sector there shares some of the blame. At issue is the concept of climate change and whether the warmer atmosphere is holding more water and therefore intensifying the storms. To that end, West Virginia’s prime industry has been coal, a fuel that when burned is responsible for a third of all human-induced carbon emissions. Even more, the surface mining that has occurred is lopping off whole mountaintops and removing the vegetation, leaving the landscape vulnerable to erosion. The water running off the mountain is thus more rapid, adding to the problem of flash flooding, says Kathleen Miller, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., in a phone interview. “The climate is highly variable and you can’t attribute specific events to climate change,” adds Dr. Miller. “But when you look long term, many environmental changes are all pointing in the same direction and supporting the conclusion that global climate change is underway: melting sea ice, melting glaciers and rising sea levels. “It is the weight of the evidence that must be considered.” 

Cloud Computing

Why Is Best Buy Testing A New In-Home Consultation Service?

Best Buy‘s sales are increasingly threatened by Amazon, which is poised to overtake it in the consumer electronics segment. In response, Best Buy is testing a new in-home consultation service in three regions in the U.S. — Atlanta, San Antonio and Austin. Under this new free service, the company’s advisor will visit the consumer’s home to explain the benefits of potential upgrades to the various electronic devices they own. The advisor will then provide a customized purchase plan that will include both product availability relative to local Best Buy stores and a price breakdown for the various devices. This personalized service could help in increasing the company’s sales as the convenience of an in-house consultation with detailed information on several products can enhance a consumer’s experience. We believe that, as Best Buy tries to combat competition, especially from Amazon, these innovative techniques can enable the company to retain its consumer base.

Cloud Computing

Top 5 storage vendors shows massive shift to the cloud

There’s a changing of the guard afoot in the storage industry, and it’s getting cloudy.

Each quarter 451 Research Group surveys it members in its Voice of the Enterprise series. Late last year, the company’s research revealed a dramatic reshaping of the storage market both in terms of which vendors enterprises consider strategic storage partners and where their future storage will be housed.

+ MORE AT NETWORK WORLD: Gartner says cloud will be the “default” application deployment option by 2020 | Deutsche Bank says one-third of finance apps will be in the cloud within 3 years +

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Cloud computing slows energy demand, U.S. says

Ten years ago, power usage at data centers was growing at an unsustainable rate, soaring 24% from 2005 to 2010. But a shift to virtualization, cloud computing and improved data center management is reducing energy demand.

According to a new study, data center energy use is expected to increase just 4% from 2014 to 2020, despite growing demand for computing resources.

Total data center electricity usage in the U.S., which includes powering servers, storage, networking and the infrastructure to support it, was at 70 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) in 2014, representing 1.8% of total U.S. electricity consumption.

Based on current trends, data centers are expected to consume approximately 73 billion kWh in 2020, becoming nearly flat over the next four years. “Growth in data center energy consumption has slowed drastically since the previous decade,” according to a study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “However, demand for computations and the amount of productivity performed by data centers continues to rise at substantial rates.”

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CIO Cloud Computing


Scare the shit out of your friends or co-workers with Fakeupdate

Here’s a service that’s very fitting to put some life into your dull Monday morning. lets you put up a Windows or OSX Update Screen on your friends and co-workers computer screens. It was launched a couple of months ago, and it is a miracle nobody at the TNW offices found it and made good use of it. To make things even worse you can press enter to get an update error appropriate to the operating system you’re using. Let the games begin…


Brexit: What it means for Tech (but don’t panic)

Britain votes to leave the EU, but what does this mean for the technology industry? Let’s take a look at the situation in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

But let’s keep this a politics-free zone, eh? In IT Blogwatch, British bloggers panic (or not).

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: don’t panic

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Computerworld Cloud Computing

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Smartphone addicts get street warning signs in South Korea

Smartphones can be dangerous. Not because they may potentially cause cancer (that’s a valid concern), but because people are so glued to them and often not looking at what they’re walking into on the street.

With the help of the National Police Agency, Seoul, South Korea’s Metropolitan Government is taking preventive measures to warn the city’s citizens to be more aware of their surroundings when using their smartphones.

The Seoul government unveiled two traffic signs as a part of a pilot program, which you can see below. One sign, “Warning: Using Smartphone while Walking,” is for warning pedestrians about the dangers of getting hit by a car while using a smartphone while crossing the street. Read more…

More about Safety, Warning Signs, Signs, Asia, and Smartphones

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Sorry, but there’s no universal cloud security solution

I often hear about cloud-based security solutions that solve all security problems. It’s a simple fact that such an animal does not exist.

Why? Because the problem domains are just too different. Therefore, security requirements are different as well. If you try to push the same security solution across all workloads, you’ll find it doesn’t work across them all — and that’s if you’re lucky. If you’re not lucky, you won’t know until it’s too late where the solution doesn’t work.

Your applications are built with very different programming engines, databases, and middleware, and all those attributes help determine the type of security solution you should use. That brings in (necessary) complexity, which makes using “standard” security tools and processes an impossibility most of the time.

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Cloud Computing

How I Use Android: Franco.Kernel and Focus creator Francisco Franco

These days, most Android devices work pretty well out of the box — but that doesn’t mean you can’t get under the hood and do some serious tinkering if your inner geek demands it.

From the get-go, Android’s been a virtual playground for power users, with a fully accessible file system and the ability to take complete control over a device. Just like other Linux-based operating systems, Android allows you to gain root access and do some insanely advanced customizations (assuming, of course, you know what you’re doing and don’t mind taking the associated risks; remember, that which is prodded can easily be punctured).

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