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Thursday , 24 April 2014

Monthly Archives: June 2013

Even supercomputers are going green, competing for energy-efficiency honours

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Upon learning that a pair of NVIDIA-powered supercomputers had taken the top two spots on the Green500 list, published today, making them the two most energy-efficient supercomputers in the world, we wondered what that meant. The two supercomputers, it turns out, are powered by NVIDIA Tesla K20 GPU accelerators, and the first-place winner, called Eurora, delivers 3,210 MFlops per watt. It beat the Intel competitors by a mile, being twice as energy-efficient as the Intel Xeon Phi system, known as Beacon. But again, what does that mean? Should we all have one of these energy-efficient supercomputers on our desks? Well, not really. Supercomputers are actually collections of thousands of “nodes” ... Read More »

Trump name a lure but also a turn-off for investors

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Donald Trump’s name is going up on another Canadian development, this one in Vancouver. It was announced last week with the usual hoopla by Trump and his children. The comments Trump made sounded exactly like those he delivered a few years ago in Toronto when the Trump International Hotel was announced here. “It’s a great market and it’s a great city . . . I like the site and I like the city. I believe it’s going to be a fantastic success. . . I love (name of city) and the people who live here. . . I think it’ll be one of the great buildings not only in Canada, ... Read More »

Renewable energy will surpass natural gas, nuclear in 5 years: report

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The generation of power from hydro, wind, solar and other renewable sources will exceed that from natural gas and double the output from nuclear by 2016. The International Energy Agency reported yesterday at a conference in New York that renewables are now the fastest growing power generation sector and will grow another 40 per cent in the next five years. By 2018, renewable electricity generation will account for almost a quarter of all global power. OECD member countries are still driving the growth, the IEA report says, but non-OECD countries are becoming increasingly involved. In fact, one of the factors that is driving the growth in renewables is increased investment in ... Read More »

Tips for decorating your balcony for the summer

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Maybe you don’t use your balcony—apparently most people don’t. And that’s a shame, especially now that summer is here. The balcony can be such a wonderful extension of the living space. With just a little imagination, you can turn that bland concrete and glass strip into something really special. The basic requirements for any balcony are quite simple: something to sit on, some kind of table for food and drinks, some form of lighting (optional), and plants. Anything else you might add—a water feature, for instance, a sculpture, decorative pillows, a carpet or floor covering of some kind, an awning or umbrella for shade—is icing on the cake. A table, ... Read More »

City trees clean the air and save lives: study

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Everyone “knows” in a general sort of way that trees and other plants are good for the environment, especially dense urban environments like Toronto. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and give back oxygen, which we breathe. It’s absolutely fundamental: we couldn’t live without them. But trees do more than just pump out oxygen, and now, for the first time, a study has shown in detail how city trees actually save lives by helping to control pollution. The US Forest Service studied the impact urban trees have on very fine particulate air pollution—the tiny, invisible particles of dust, mold spores, burnt fossil fuel residues and other things that float around us and ... Read More »

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