Stories of drought-stricken California have become sadly common, with many citizens forced to slash their water use so severely they’ve let their gardens die. Luckily, innovative architecture is proving that a water-conscious lifestyle doesn’t necessitate giving up your green thumb. Students at the California Polytechnic State University designed and built INhouse, a net-zero prototype home that’s powered by solar and integrates a smart water-recycling system that doesn’t use a drop of potable water to irrigate plants. Continue reading
In Silicon Valley and beyond, there are still many advocates of the idea that teams have to work in the same physical place to reach their fullest potential. Remember the uproar when Yahoo banned working from home? Well, I work with a distributed workforce of more than 70 high-tech professionals spread across more than 20 countries, and I can say unequivocally that this is by far the most productive, fun, and tight-knit group I have ever worked with — and I have worked for some great companies.
I sometimes do not agree with what Greenpeace are trying to do, like the one below:
We petition the NZ Government to establish a feed-in tariff which power companies must pay for surplus power fed into the national grid by people with photo-voltaic panels or other generation using grid-tied inverters. The tarriff should be approximately 80% of the national average retail price of electricity.
A Swedish family has eaten only organic food for two weeks as part of a study conducted by The Swedish Environmental Research Institute. The study – commissioned by Swedish supermarket chain Coop – saw the family dramatically change its diet, with impressive results. A video about the study introduced the family of five, with mother Anette explaining why they typically didn’t eat organic food. “It costs more than conventional food and we’re a big family,” she said in the video.
Even if you are not living in South Carolina, you may have that issue with those little critters that come out in the evenings and hunt your blood. While our family seem to not having too many issues with mosquitoes, they can still be pretty annoying when you are trying to enjoy an evening BBQ. I noticed some of them are already out and about at this time of the year.
We have always been very concerned about insect repellent and most lights and swirly smoky thingies do not seem to have much effect, particularly when windy. The contents of most insect repellents are scary – surely they will repel or kill insects but it would seem that it may kill yourself or your kids too… Continue reading
Some interesting thoughts about electronics and power consumption. But there is another side of electronics that is so often completely ignored or at least ignored in big parts: EMF.
There’s rightfully much ado about the climate — from extreme weather events, severe droughts and water crises to fossil fuels and the race to renewables. However, there’s far too little talk about electronics and their role in environmental ecosystems.
Some good starting point. It would be prudent to point to some other aspect of electronics, that is EMF, both by WIFI and dirty electricity, ie spikes, surges and harmonics within the electrical network.
While WIFI is already openly debated and dangers are researched, the dirty electricity phenomenon seem to be widely ignored. Continue reading
Maybe not that super practical, but a great gag idea for the teenagers…
So you think it’s okay to continue with your 15-minute shower because you’ve got your super-efficient, on-demand water heater and extra-conservative shower head? Perhaps you’ve even gone as far as…
Wireless charging isn’t a new concept at all, but to charge your devices you are still required to place your phone on the top of charging pad. Quite annoying sometimes when slightly misaligned of a device caused your phone not to charge.Now, imagine you never have to plug in your smartphones again, or technology that charges multiple devices at one time. This is what Energous Corporation is all set to offer you.
Looks like Australia is having similar problems as New Zealand is facing.
The widening cracks in Australia’s housing system can no longer be concealed. The extraordinary recent debate has laid bare both the depth of public concern and the vacuum of coherent policy to promote housing affordability. The community is clamouring for leadership and change.
Is New Zealand prepared for the big wave of Chinese cash heading our way to invest in properties ranging from luxury homes lapped by the Waitemata Harbour to Auckland-wide retail, industrial and commercial…
I find the coincidence astonishing that our government does not seem to be interested in regulating property prices while council rates are bound to property valuations and many politicians are in real estate.
I wonder why any politician would be interested in solving this housing crisis. Real estate revenues would go down, so would rates, all while Auckland at least is already having rates issues and budget problems.
The Productivity commission did a report in 2012 and outlined many issues, actually a very interesting report to read. Another updated draft report was just released two weeks ago and contains pretty much the same findings. Yet again I note that the issues have not changed in 3 years, are well documented and yet not addressed.
This leaves me with some assumptions:
a) Politicians have not read the report
b) Politicians have read the report but not understood it
c) They have read and understood it but are not interested in it
d) They have not read it and are not interested in it
Chinese investors are only interested in NZ property because of the good return. If there was no money making in property, the issue would go away.
However, I still like to make a difference between Investor and Speculator. The first one supposedly builds something up and creates value and amenity. The latter ones are just after the money without adding any real benefit to the community. So at least my idealistic thinking.