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    these new softwares users can optimise their machines energy management settings and make them more efficient With a heightened awareness of the environment and an increased urgency to address climate change people are looking to all areas of their lives to reduce their carbon footprint Image credits iTechnoMax Hewlett Packard has launched its Power to Change scheme desktop widget Computers and the internet have come under fire from green groups for their contributions to carbon emissions Environmental groups have even criticised Google for the carbon cost of every internet search made via the search engine But to put this in context estimates from the London based Climate Group found in its Smart 2020 report that computers account for about 2 of total global emissions By 2020 with more people owning computers mobile phones and other gadgets that percentage will rise to about 6 according to the same report The good news is that in the past decade computers have not only become smaller faster and cheaper but also much more energy efficient The cost of electricity and the demand for longer battery life for laptops and portable devices have been driving companies to increase the energy efficiency of electronics You can do a lot these days to build not only a very fast but also very efficient computer You can choose energy efficient chips energy efficient hard drives and power supplies with the 80 Plus efficiency rating Google and Hewlett Packard are now getting involved by providing widgets to help you monitor the energy consumption of your computer and change your habits to cut your computing carbon footprint Google employees have created a software gadget that will enable and optimise your computer s energy management settings You ll need to have Google Desktop installed to use it Hewlett Packard has

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/widgets-for-green-computing/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    it As climate change alters our planet radically Prof Ben Dor explains this dipstick could instantly tell geographers what parts of the US are best or worst for farming For authorities in California it is already providing proof that organic farms are chemical free and it could be used as a whistle blower to catch environmental industrial polluters Testing can be much simpler with the dipstick which can be used by non professionals The efficacy of the OSD was recently reported in the Soil Science Society of America Journal Precision agriculture Today there is no simple and inexpensive way to test for soil health in the field Soil maps of individual states are only compiled every 10 or 20 years and each one costs millions One testing process even requires the use of a bulldozer which dredges up large tracts of land to be sampled and analysed in a laboratory Testing can be much simpler with Prof Ben Dor s dipstick which can be used by non professionals The thin catheter like device is inserted into a small hole in the soil to give real time immediately accurate and reliable information on pollution and the all round health of the soil Analysing chemical and physical properties the dipstick outputs its data to a handheld device or computer To optimise production and save costs farmers need to know if their crops are getting the right blend of minerals This tool could permit them to pursue precision agriculture says Prof Ben Dor The OSD which is expected to cost about 10 000 per unit per application allows technicians to determine if the soil needs water or is contaminated It also provides information about the condition of root zones where crops are growing And the quality of information the researchers explain is identical

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/optical-soil-dipstick-to-forecast-earths-health/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    who are unfamiliar with PCs and the internet has been unveiled Image credits SimplicITY The computer start s up with a simple screen called Square One The simplified desktop called SimplicITy has just six buttons directing users to basic tasks such as e mail and chat The computer comes pre loaded with 17 video tutorials from television presenter Valerie Singleton More than 6 million people over the age of 65 have never used the internet according to government figures Social benefit Each made to order computer takes two weeks from request to delivery and can be ordered by post The computer has been developed in partnership with Wessex Computers and a website aimed at older people called discount age set up by Ms Singleton She said she was shocked by the number of older people who do not have computers a survey by the Office for National Statistics in August 2009 revealed that 6 4 million people over 65 have never used the internet She said I think people just don t understand them I ve been using a computer for quite some time and I don t understand everything Every time I learn a new thing to do on my computer I have to write it down so that I can remember it The SimplicITy computer has no log in screen when started up and contains no drop down menus It opens straight to a front page called square one containing separate clickable buttons for e mail browsing the web files for storing word documents and photos etc online chat and a user profile The e mail system is a modified version of an Italian design called Eldy All SimplicITy users with an eldy org address will be able to chat to each other via the chat button The

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/simplified-desktops-for-the-aged/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    foldable e book that was first shown off in 2008 but has since been scrapped by the organisation The XO 3 will eventually replace the original XO laptop that first went into production in 2007 The innovative machines which have been designed for use in remote and harsh environments were designed for use by school children and featured a sunlight readable display and open source software Bigger appeal OLPC originally aimed to sell the low cost laptops in lots of one million to governments in developing countries for 100 each However the non profit organisation had difficulty getting governments to commit to bulk orders The machines which are able to run both Linux and Microsoft Windows are now offered in single units and cost around 200 BBC It has a touchscreen a camera induction charger and a carrying ring on one of its corners So far the XO has been distributed to more than 1 4 million children in 35 countries The high price has not however put off all governments Uruguay has bought a computer for every one of their school children Walter de Brouwer CEO of OLPC Europe said that these saturation projects were the future of the organisation both in the developed and the developing world I m talking to three four countries in the EU at the moment he said Once one says yes the others can t say no The organisation believes the new design will cost significantly less Brouwer said that because of the pace of technological change and the ever decreasing prices of electronics he could imagine the design selling for 50 60 or 70 euros He said governments could pay this back over a number of years allowing pupils to have a laptop for less than one euro per month This is

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/lowcost-laptops-for-children/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    location they can see their posts and photos Futurologist Ian Pearson predicts an explosion of such services next year I m surprised we haven t got there yet But it makes a lot of sense if a friend is a street away then you can meet up for coffee he said And it won t end there as the physical and virtual worlds increasingly blur he says Instead of seeing people as they are you might well be able to see their Facebook profiles appearing as bubbles above them said Pearson This is likely to raise some very important privacy issues but Pearson thinks users will be in control of what others see It will be up to individuals to set the privacy levels he said Next year will see a range of experimental services rolled out as mobile firms grapple with how to make money from AR thinks Martin Garner of analyst firm CCS Insight It is an exciting area for mobile It is a way for them to define a new area of the internet because phones can do it in a way that the desktop can t he said Consumer power The most obvious way to turn AR into a money spinner would be via advertising thinks Garner In the US Brightkite has partnered with US electronics retailer BestBuy to run augmented reality advertisements during December The service available on both the iPhone and Android based handsets highlights BestBuy stores to anyone nearby Local information service Yelp has a tool called Monocle which allows users to hold up their phones and locate nearby coffee shops while search firm Thundre offers an AR product finder showing users where to find a particular item in any given location This ability to find out what a store is selling without having to actually set foot inside the store is brilliant especially if you want to avoid going in and out of every single shop in town to find the item you re looking for said Paula Abrahamson chief executive of Thundre As applications like these become mainstream consumers will be bombarded by stores telling them about their products and services predict experts But Pearson thinks it could also give power to consumers If you are in M S looking at a rack of dresses you would be able to see the equivalent rack of dresses in other shops he said Or in a store where the assistants are useless it could provide a video demonstrating how a particular product works or allowing you to call up all the specs he said Future browser Google is unsurprisingly keen to jump on the AR bandwagon and in December launched Google Goggles an application for Android mobile phones that allow people to search for more information about a famous landmark or work of art by taking a photo of that object Real goggles could be the next step for AR thinks Pearson They won t be cumbersome things like virtual reality headsets It

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/spotlight/year-of-augmented-reality/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    human intervention Image credits BBC Fully autonomous rapid transit systems already exist at Heathrow Airport But it suggests that much debate is needed to address the ethical and legal issues raised by putting responsibility in the hands of machines We re all used to automatic systems lifts washing machines We re talking about levels above that said Lambert Dopping Heppenstal of the Academy s engineering ethics working group It s about systems that have some level of self determination Coming era Issues surrounding autonomous systems and robots with such self determination have been discussed for a number years particularly with regard to the autonomous machines of warfare However the era of autonomous road vehicles and surgeons is slowly becoming reality making the issues more urgent the report says The removal of direct control from a car s driver is already happening with anti lock braking systems and even automatic parking systems becoming commonplace But the next step is moving toward completely driverless road vehicles which already exist in a number of contexts including London s Heathrow Airport The Darpa Grand Challenge a contest sponsored by the US defence department s research arm has driverless cars negotiating traffic and obstacles and obeying traffic rules over courses nearly 100km long Those machines would have passed the California driving test more than I would have said Professor Will Stewart a fellow of the Academy Autonomous vehicles will be safer One of the compelling arguments for them is that the machine cannot have an argument with its wife it can run 24 hours a day without getting tired But it is making decisions on its own Image credits BBC The time may come that robotic surgeons operate without human help Professor Stewart and report co author Chris Elliott remain convinced that autonomous systems will

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/news/autonomous-tech-requires-debate/?searchterm= (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    Climate Change Action Appropriate Technology Choice OneWorld South Asia Info ICT for Greater Development Impact The World Bank Group s new Information and Communication Technology ICT Strategy aims at helping developing countries use ICT to transform delivery of basic services drive innovations and productivity gains and improve competitiveness The strategy reflects rapid changes in the ICT sector over the last decade including a dramatic increase in use of mobile phones

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/feature/WBG-ICT-Strategy-2012.pdf/view (2016-02-17)
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  • DO Channel
    Smart and Inclusive Development ICT for transforming North Africa 16 July 2012 The paper aims to provide a new way of looking at ICT as a central driver of economic transformation and global competition It aims to raise awareness of the ICT revolution and its implications for development and offers a menu of possibilities and applications It explores how ICT offers new approaches and platforms to the region s development challenges and how ICT can be deployed to address the core challenges In doing so it aims to bridge the current divide between policy makers development economists and ICT specialists The paper starts by outlining the broad development challenges facing North African countries which can be most effectively addressed by a development path Then it briefly outlines the ICT landscape for North Africa and the Middle East MENA The paper then proposes and defines a paradigm for development enabled by the ICT revolution open smart and inclusive OSI development It briefly sets the broad context by drawing on the profound implications of ICT on growth and governance within a globalized economy Next three major sections of paper explore how ICT could be harnessed to pursue open government and smart decision

    Original URL path: http://www.digitalopportunity.org/feature/open-smart-and-inclusive-development-ict-for-transforming-north-africa (2016-02-17)
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