Archive for the ‘Organic Computing’ Category

“Touch screen is not really new technology”

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Woodway Ecomill

Why not use the power of the people who use the device to generate electricity to keep the electronics running? That is the idea behind Ecomill.

The EcoMill is an all “green” manually powered treadmill that uses zero electricity. The EcoMill is completely self-contained and utilizes a battery to power the display and elevation systems. The user actually generates electricity while they are exercising which re-charges the battery.



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A rebranded BING search engine is now advocated as a eco solution that helps rain forests (or: the WWF) with ad revenue.

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An EU Commission event second edition of the High Level event on ICT for Energy Efficiency will take place

February 23rd/24th 2010 in

Charlemagne Building
170 Rue de la Loi (Wetstraat)
BE-1049 Brussels, Belgium

gathering policy makers and experts on the ICT for Energy Efficiency field. Registration is required but free.

Following up on the ICT4EE 2009 High Level Event which aimed to accord visibility to the potential of ICTs in enabling energy efficiency, this  event aims to become a vehicle to drive progress in the transition to an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy following the terms of the “Recommendation C(2009) 7604” adopted by the European Commission on October 9th 2009 [1], see also “Mobilising Information and Communication Technologies to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy”, European Commission Communication – COM(2009) 111 – Brussels, 12.3.2009

Through the Recommendation, the Commission calls on the ICT sector to agree on common methodologies for measuring energy consumption and carbon emissions by 2010.

And actually the conference provides a small contribution to the reduction of emissions:  Webstreaming will be provided, so you do not have to be there just to watch the speeches of the programme.


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European Citizens do not only get their say in the upcoming EU Parliament elections, they are also invited to contribute to the consultations of the Commission presents with the IDABC Interactive Policy Making tool.

On March 12, 2009, the Commission adopted a Communication on mobilising Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy. The Communication announces the planned adoption of a Commission Recommendation setting out specific actions to make the best use of ICTs in improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

We have the opportunity to contribute our perspective. Deadline for submissions to the consultation is June 14 2009.

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Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on mobilising Information and Communication Technologies to facilitate the transition to an energy-efficient, low-carbon economy

COM(2009) 111 final, 13-03-2009

This Communication presents a set of ambitious measures that focus on what can be achieved in the short term both by the ICT sector and by fully exploiting the enabling capacity of ICTs in all sectors of society and the economy. It provides the background to a Recommendation to be adopted by the Commission in the second half of 2009. The recommendation will set out tasks, targets and timelines, for industry stakeholders and Member States to accelerate progress towards these ends.

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The CIO newsletter from the Federal Government of Germany (was: KBSt-Newsletter) informs about new activities to stimulate the German economy:

Bereits am 29. Januar 2009 hatte der IT-Rat des Bundes ein vom Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Informationstechnik vorgelegtes Rahmenkonzept über IT-Maßnahmen zum „Pakt für Beschäftigung und Stabilität in Deutschland“ beschlossen. „”Ziel der Maßnahmen ist es, die Bereiche Green-IT, IT-Sicherheit und Open-Source auszubauen sowie innovative zukunftsfähige Technologien und Ideen für die Verwaltung nutzbar zu machen.”“ sagt Staatssekretär Dr. Beus.

The German government invokes the stability and growth package instrument with a framework concept for ICT. The objective of the extraordinary spending is to expand Green-It, Open Source and IT-security solutions for egovernment purposes. Of a total 500 Mio. Euro an amount of 300 Mio. Euro is made immidiately available. 200 Mio. Euro are on hold by the budget committee of the German Bundestages until concrete measures are proposed.

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Negroponte talks about the OLPC again. His hardware vision for educational purposes inspired the netbooks. I remember that at the UN World Summit for the Information Society in Geneva Negroponte’s vision was the only substantial concept in an ocean of world transformation strategies and humanity discussions of dictators. Oh, and I found the presentation of BBC’s Nik Gowing very inspiring who stressed how the availability of cheap digital recording equipment changes power relations and transforms TV journalism. The BBC was closer to imagine that a few years later there would be Saddam execution cell phone videos posted on the net than other stations.

Now Negroponte  announced a next generation of OLPCs that would be based on an open hardware principle. Negroponte regrets that not all of their concepts were copied. The OLPC seems to be mostly a showcase and now that the netbook generation takes off, Negroponte has to cut staff. The OLPC packages bleeding edge technologies like freifunk software for a pragmatic objective in a way that “sells” to the media and foundations. Wireless-mesh is one of the OLPC technologies that are not mainstreamed yet.

Last year Benjamin Henrion and I thought about a project called “One Pen per Child” (OPPC)”. It is a parody of Negroponte’s original One Laptop Per Child vision which clashes with the reality on the ground. Nothing came out of it but a facebook cause for the OPPC later the year. You can join it. It was great fun for us and we hope it inspires people as did Negroponte’s showcase.

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LXDE has a added new component, lxshortcut. It’s a small utility used to edit application shortcuts. I really missed it. In other words, it is for those little buttons you click on and that start the application for you. The tool demonstrates the LXDE philosophy to make the desktop not only lightweight and fast but modular. This is so important because we want life to be simple. We want a desktop environment to be stable. We want code to be manageable.

Think back to the Unix konsole world where you always have one tool for one purpose and that tool is stable and known to work. The stability of modern complex desktop environments, in particular those available for Linux but also Vista, is a problem for users, and it affects further scalability of these systems as well. When you add complexity but have no means to make it stable you get software where users are able to discover a bunch of bugs and defects within 3 minutes of use.

lxshortcut is a simple tool that meets real user needs. A few days ago I manually fiddled with my configuration files.

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Sustainability expert Chris Watkins points at the upcoming CarCampTaipei where members of the LXDE team will present their light Desktop environment software.

Chris also has some suggestions for Linux distributions (via Twitter):

#Linux desktops need a keyboard shortcut for the applications/system menu. Shouldn’t the Windows key be mapped by default?

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