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  • DO Channel
    designed the country s first mobile weather service Image credits Future Gov Singapore s weather information system With a 120 mobile phone penetration rate NEA has developed a new mobile application that allows residents to get real time weather information and forecast using their web enabled phones The new service Weather SG provides current updates on rain fall temperature air pollution all overlaid on a customisable map of Singapore According to Tham Chien Wan Head R D NEA s Meteorological Services as with all services delivered through the phone it is crucial for the server to bear most of the processing responsibility so that data can be received with speed and viewed with ease The system divides the map into approximately 1000 tiles and generates an updated image of each tile every five minutes In order to deliver such rich graphics quickly the system divides the map into approximately 1000 tiles and generates an updated image of each tile every five minutes explained Tham A key challenge for weather information systems is their ability to handle peak traffic Tan Koh Yang Get CIO of NEA recounted a system failure a few years ago during a serious haze period because too many people logged in to check the pollution level NEA is currently working with the Singapore Government Data Centre to make sure they can handle peak load At the moment the system can comfortably manage up to 100 concurrent users said Tan Koh The lessons learnt from Weather SG would be interesting for governments looking to launch similar mobile services Both Philippines and Malaysian Meteorological Departments provide weather information on their web sites which can be accessed via web enabled phones but the pages are not specially designed with easy mobile access in mind According to Joel Jesusa Weather Division

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/singapore-to-get-weather-updates-on-mobile/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    or outsourced shared service solutions to increase the currently very low utilisation levels of PCs and servers and Growing volumes of data mean that decisions or lack of decisions about storage have considerable energy implications more rigorous information on life cycle management is needed to eliminate storage of data that are no longer required or to increase the proportion that utilises low energy storage rather than always on spinning disks There is enormous scope to create much more sustainable data centres through purchasing servers with lower power requirements increasing utilisation rates through consolidation and virtualisation and by changing physical aspects such as layouts cooling and power supply so that their energy overhead above that used by servers is only 20 30 compared to the current 40 100 In the medium term greater use of renewable or low carbon energy supply is feasible This could be facilitated by a move to shared service data centres if these enable more optimal choices of location for renewable energy and or economies of scale in cooling The study estimates that personal computing accounts for around 50 of ICT related electricity consumption in universities and colleges Much of this is wasted because many devices are energy inefficient are often left switched on when not in use eg at night or in holiday periods or in more active states than they need to be for much of the time are considerably under utilised even when they are in use and are often more powerful than is required for the activities they are undertaking A strategic approach to personal computing is required to reduce this wastage and to meet student and staff needs in the most cost effective and sustainable way possible This requires a cross functional team bringing together at least IT staff users and energy or environmental managers and chaired by a relatively senior manager Key elements of their work will be auditing of the computing footprint within the institution defining user needs and matching appropriately seriously examining low impact alternatives such as thin client and building awareness and support amongst users Actions are also needed to Purchase appropriate hardware and software and especially models which are at a minimum Energy Star 4 0 compliant and preferably exceed its requirements considerably Reduce energy consumption for example by increased powering down of devices and Increase longevity through extending refresh cycles and avoiding software induced replacement Electronic printing and copying accounts for at least 10 16 of ICT related electricity consumption and survey respondents were printing an average 224 sheets a week or 10 000 annually This sums to well over 1m of printing and copying costs in larger universities Volumes costs and environmental impacts are generally rising and out of control in some institutions No more than half of those responding to the SusteIT survey were undertaking any of three key measures for sustainable printing replacing single with multifunctional devices setting duplex double sided printing as a default and use of 100 recycled paper Other measures

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/feature/sustainable-ict-in-further-and-higher-education-susteit-final-report/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    created by friction of rolling tyres New materials like nanogel silica and resin will help improve grip abrasion and rolling resistance Washington A new generation of green automobile tyres that can boost fuel efficiency without sacrificing safety and durability and in the process cutting carbon dioxide CO2 emissions is rolling its way through the research pipeline Image credits Google New tyres will help to reduce pollution The new tyres could help add an extra mile or two per gallon to a car s fuel economy Chemical and Engineering News C and EN ACS weekly news magazine s senior editor Alexander Tullo explained that rolling resistance the friction that tyres encounter when rolling are a major factor in a vehicle s fuel economy It can determine up to 20 of fuel economy Overcoming it accounts for 4 of global carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels For years tyre makers and their raw material suppliers have been eyeing lower rolling resistance as a way to boost fuel economy and promote a cleaner environment But they have been thwarted by a principle in the tyre world called the magic triangle of tyre technology It holds that an improvement to rolling resistance has

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/green-tyres-for-smarter-fuel-economy/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    centres for recycling old computers cell phones and televisions Can t decide what to do with your old computer or Walkman Help finally seems to be at hand Image credits Getty Images e waste Rather than dump your electronic waste e waste in the garbage bin or sell it off to the scrap dealer you will soon be able to dispose of it in an environment friendly manner Delhi is the second largest producer of e waste in India after Maharashtra This waste is recycled in a crude manner at places such as Seelampur in north east Delhi We look at e waste as an important resource that can be made useful instead of shunning it as a social and environmental burden The New Delhi Municipal Council NDMC is now planning to tie up with a private firm to collect all kinds of e waste and recycle it at a plant in Roorkee Uttarakhand The environment and forests ministry and the Central Pollution Control Board have given their approval to the firm Attero Recycling Private Limited to recycle e waste The NDMC will soon start identifying places for setting up collection centres where people will be able to leave electronic

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/indian-capital-to-tackle-e-waste/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    China is pushing public offices to cut down on the usage of paper and contribute towards environmental protection The idea of going paperless is part of the campaign to improve administrative governance through efficient use of energy The Office of Chengdu Environmental Protection Agency in Sichuan Province in China is pushing for public sector agencies to embrace paperless office culture The idea is to improve operational efficiencies and reduce the government s impact on the environment The new system is part of a campaign known as sunshine government Wang Yabin Office Director of the Environmental Protection Agency said that a more modern approach to information management was needed to simplify systems and processes and make cost and energy savings In the past notices for meetings memos and other non classified government information had to be printed off copied and delivered by hand to different departments The old system was inconvenient inefficient and expensive according to Wang The new system is expected to save 120 000 pieces of paper every month which amounts to monthly savings of RMB 14 920 US 2184 We have developed information management software which has improved operational efficiencies so that all the complicated time consuming messiness

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/china-embraces-paperless-culture/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    exposed people to new diseases Kenya is in the league of countries that are headed for an environmental implosion as the take up of electronic gadgets rises among its population without proper mechanisms to dispose of obsolete ones Image credits e waste e Waste found at Dandora dump site in Nairobi Kenya Environmentalists warn that unregulated disposal of electronic waste commonly known as e waste with toxic elements that can persist for hundreds of years is particularly alarming given the expected rise in volumes in the next decade Toxic waste Electronic waste made up of disused computers televisions VCRs stereos copiers fax machines and mobile phones has become one of the fastest growing segments of Kenya s total refuse according to the National Environment Management Authority NEMA Failure to manage this waste is exposing Kenya to long term and costly environmental damage Concern is growing that failure to manage this waste is exposing Kenya to long term and costly environmental damage whose impact will be felt in the emergence of new diseases change in weather patterns and food insecurity and will take many decades to reverse Often left to rot in informal dumping sites electronic gadgets are made up of some of the most lethal toxins such as cadmium mercury and lead that are known to contaminate water sources reduce fertility of land and damage human tissues and organs Heath risk In Nairobi the impact of this carefree disposal of e waste is already beginning to be felt in Dandora estate where contact with dumpsite material has seen a steep rise in the number of children diagnosed with lead poisoning Dandora is the host of Nairobi s biggest dumpsite that takes most of the 4 000 tonnes of garbage that the city residents generate daily In the absence of proper

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/kenya-faces-ewaste-threat/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    between the access to medicines debate under the TRIPS Agreement and technology transfer under the UNFCCC Whereas TRIPS contains just one relatively weak commitment to technology transfer that only refers to least developing countries the UNFCCC addresses it extensively giving clear guidelines especially on financing for developed and developing countries And there are other factors that compulsory licences may not resolve For example for many climate technologies such as micro hydroelectric wind and solar the major cost may not be the intellectual property IP but the actual hardware and maintenance More than access to the actual technologies developing countries need access to the skills know how and capital that can help them use reproduce and adapt clean technologies Compulsory licences except those granted for competition reasons may not transfer this tacit knowledge which is often protected by trade secrets UNFCCC obligations Under the UNFCCC industrialised countries are committed to providing and financing technology transfer regardless of patents They are obliged to make available funds and mechanisms to ensure access distribution and uptake of environmentally sound climate related technologies in developing countries For example the Montreal Protocol an international treaty to protect the ozone layer pays for licensing fees at reasonable costs Countries remain free to exercise compulsory licences when companies refuse to license their products The Montreal Protocol and the UNFCCC also account for IP market failures where patented goods or knowledge become unaffordable for most relevant consumers Under them developed countries guarantee to transfer technologies including paying for licences if the technology in question exists and is unavailable in the national market at an affordable cost Unlike compulsory licensing this commitment represents a cooperative approach Only if this fails will developing countries left to their own devices have to resort to unilateral measures Those engaged in the current UNFCCC

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/comments/cooperation-not-compulsion-on-clean-technology-transfer/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    will be jeopardized Marine protected areas MPAs are locations which receive protection because of their environmental scenic or socio economic value Although some countries have marine protected areas these vary considerably in size and designation from country to country depending on national needs and priorities and on differences in legislative institutional and financial support MPAs cover different marine and coastal environments from shallow coastal waters to the deepest sea from polar oceans to tropical seas and often span national boundaries When combined with other conservation measures such as spatial planning and ecosystem based management these areas can be very effective Achim Steiner UN Under Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme UNEP said Currently somewhere around 12 per cent of the land is held in protected areas but less than one per cent of the marine environment has been given such status so this needs to change and to change fast too It is our hope that the WDPA Marine will help nations redress this imbalance and that in the next decade we will have achieved significant progress in protecting the seas through MPAs The WDPA Marine serves as the data source for the marine protected area layer of Google Ocean through UNEP WCMC s partnership with IUCN and the marine theme of IUCN s World Commission on Protected Areas WCPA Obtaining and promoting accurate information on marine protected areas is a top priority I am therefore delighted on World Oceans Day that we are launching WDPA Marine as another critical tool alongside Protect Planet Ocean and Google Ocean to show the world how much of our seas are protected said Dan Laffoley Chair of IUCN s WCPA Marine These new innovative approaches show everyone the urgent need for governments and all of us to radically scale

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/unep-launches-online-tool-for-marine-area-protection/?searchterm=None (2016-02-17)
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