Archive for January 21st, 2010

Facebook Unveils Plans of Sustainable Data Center

Today, Jonathan Heiliger, Vice President of Technical Operations at Facebook revealed designs of Facebook’s new data center. This Data Center will be one of the first buildings that are exclusively being designed for Facebook. The Data Center will be based in Prineville, Ore and is being designed keeping the environment in mind. This new building will be eco friendly and energy efficient. It will operate on Energy-Efficient Technologies.

A Data Center is a central hub where thousands of computer servers are stored. These computer servers are ‘networked together and linked to the outside world through fiber optic cables.’ The Facebook Data Center is important because all our Facebook experience is stored in this center – When a user creates a Facebook profile, changes or deletes a photo, writes a comment, or adds a friend the servers in the Data Center receive this information, compute it and act on it to make sure that you get results instantaneously.

Jonathan outlines the Energy-Efficient Technologies that the Facebook Data Center will operate on:

  • ” Evaporative cooling system: This system evaporates water to cool the incoming air, as opposed to traditional chiller systems that require more energy intensive equipment. This process is highly energy efficient and minimizes water consumption by using outside air.
  • Airside economizer: The facility will be cooled by simply bringing in colder air from the outside. This feature will operate for between 60 percent and 70 percent of the year. The remainder of the year requires the use of the evaporative cooling system to meet temperature and humidity requirements.
  • Re-use of server heat: A portion of the excess heat created by the computer servers will be captured and used to heat office space in the facility during the colder months.
  • Proprietary Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) technology: All data centers must have an uninterruptible power supply to continuously provide power to servers. The Prineville data center will use a new, patent-pending UPS system that reduces electricity usage by as much as 12 percent.”

It’s admirable that corporations like Facebook are designing technologies, buildings and information keeping the environment in mind. 2010 is definitely the year of Green and Sustainable practices.

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

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Recycled Guns, Knives, Bullets = London Olympic Stadium 2012

The world has been extremely enthusiastic about Olympics 2012. When London won the bid to be the host for the next Olympics there was a huge outcry about the way they designed the 2012 Olympics logo. The design was criticized worldwide and people expressed their displeasure. Last year was centered around talks of what the 2012 Olympic stadium would look like. Many proposed theories and even MITs grad students submitted their hypothesis of what it should look like. The design is finally underway and you will be shocked to know that the building is being created out of recycled weapons.

The great news is that the 2012 London Olympics Stadium is highly sustainable and gives the message of peace, love and unity. Last year the London Metropolitan Department (Police Department) collected 52 tonnes of  scrap metal from weapons like knives, guns etc. This scrap metal is being sold to vendors to create the solid structure for the 2012 Olympics.

Inhabitat reports that, “In the last year, the Metropolitan Police have collected more than 52 tonnes of scrap metal from old keys, knives and guns. This valuable scrap metal is being sold for use in buildings around the city, namely the Olympic Stadium in Stratford. Populous (formerly HOK Sport) designed the eco-stadium to utilize a minimum number of materials and resources in order to have a lower environmental impact, and the recycled scrap metal is just one of those eco-elements.The London Metropolitan Police have done an admirable job in the last year to lighten their environmental footprint and have performed environmental studies to see where improvements can be made. Interestingly, they have collected 3.3 million spent bullets, weighing about 28 tonnes and recycled them into photo frames and jewelry. Additionally, they have recycled old uniforms, including body armour, to be used in car production, as well as cooking oil and horse manure.”

We think this is an admirable effort and it would be great to see a structure that gives such value to sustainability!

images from inhabitat.com

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

CrisisCamp Boston: Discover How You can Help Haiti

Monika  Adamczyk, Co-founder of Google Technology User Groups and founder of Maco Tech Inc. is our key contact at CrisisCamp Boston. She is also one of the people organizing the Boston CrisisCamp. This morning Monika sent us an emailing  outlining the activities and projects at the Camp. This seems to be the perfect opportunity for all the technology experts to come forward and help in a noble cause. Projects generated out of these camps would directly benefit those affected by the Haiti Earthquake and would also pave way for future technologies to be used to provide disaster relief.

CrisisCamp has put together a wiki site where they list the projects they will be working on. CrisisCamp Boston will match project needs and attendees skills on Saturday morning. Projects include digital mapping and iPhone apps, a ‘capacity for survivors to tell their story of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake’, Haiti Hospital Finder – ‘an application that can help produce real time data regarding capacities of local hospitals’, Haiti Workforce Retention – a tool to keep skilled Haitians in Haiti’ etc. For a detailed list on the  projects visit their wiki site.  CrisisCamp Boston will be taking place at ITA offices: 141 Portland Street, Cambridge Massachusetts. The event will start at 9am and run till 4pm. Directions to the ITA offices can be found here. Information about the Boston CrisisCamp is also available on the wiki site.

You can register for the Event at Eventbrite. The event is free to attend and open for the public. You can also join the CrisisCamp Boston Google Group to get updates on projects, meeting venue and to get an idea of the current discussions. CrisisCamp also has Twitter and Facebook pages that provide latest news on the workings of the different camps. By volunteering your time this weekend you will be helping out on different projects that are guaranteed to aid in relief efforts in Haiti. The people affected by the earthquake need us and this maybe the perfect opportunity to make a difference.

If you want more information on CrisisCamps efforts you can visit the CrisisCommons website.

top right hand corner image from ifrc’s flickr page

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog

Tech Pros at CrisisCamp Boston Aid in Haiti Earthquake Relief

This weekend, on January 23rd 2010, various Tech pros are coming together at CrisisCamp Boston to create programs that can help victims of the Haiti earthquake. Last week similar camps were organized in Washington, Los Angeles, California and other cities.

Many developers, programmers and other volunteers came together in last weeks meetings to create innovative programs that can aid Haiti victims. If you are in the Boston area this weekend you can also volunteer your time and skills by attending the CrisisCamp meet and help out with a number of different projects. All you have do is sign up at Eventbrite (the event is free and open for anyone to attend).

Earlier this week CNN reported about the CrisisCamp and outlined their efforts in Washington, Los Angeles and California. CNN reporters interviewed CrisisCamp Co-founder Noel Dickover. CNN reports about the results of the meetings and states that, “Results included a digital map to help relief groups in Haiti coordinate their efforts and applications for the iPhone and other smartphones, including a Creole-to-English dictionary. “There was virtually no moving around,” said Noel Dickover, a CrisisCamp co-founder and one of more than 200 people who attended the session in Washington. “Everyone was sitting there working and really getting stuff done for the entire time.” Dickover said an open-source, interactive map that the group worked on already is being used by relief organizations working in Haiti to help coordinate their efforts. A Craigslist-style Web site that would allow groups in Haiti to exchange supplies and other assistance is almost ready, he said. Apps for the iPhone and Android smartphone system also are on their way. One application would allow real-time communication in Haiti, where the telecommunications network was ravaged by the earthquake. That app, and the Creole translation app, must win approval from Apple and Google before they will be available to smartphone users.”

image from CNN.com

Written for and published on the Amvona Blog