Posted in Environment, Science, Technology

Science Guy Bill Nye Explains How Wind and Solar Can Power the Entire World

The technology is there; unexploited renewable resources exist around the world – enough to end all reliance on fossil fuels. So why aren’t governments listening?

 

American actor and CEO of The Planetary Society, Bill Nye, popularly known as the Science Guy, has claimed there’s enough wind and solar to power the world. In an interview with CNN, Nye has also called out CNN for having essentially a climate change denier meteorologist.

“The big unexploited renewable resource on the East Coast of the United States, and Canada and Mexico, is wind. So, I encourage you, I am not a member of this, but I encourage everybody to check out The Solutions Project, a bunch of civil engineers who have done an analysis that you could power the United States, you could power most of the world, renewably if you just decided to do it, right now.”


 

“There’s enough wind and solar resources, a little bit of tidal and some geothermal, to run the whole place… Then you would not need to have a military on the other side of the world protecting oilfields. People would not be as motivated to set oilfields on fire if we had renewable electricity.”

 

 

Last year, Nye, who started as a mechanical engineer at Boeing but who is now on a mission to combat scientific ignorance and fight against climate change, brought the point home when he insisted climate change could be fixed because we’ve already got everything we need. He told The National Geographic:

“There’s enough energy in most places — wind, solar, tidal and geothermal — to run the whole world. What we need is to DO IT. We need to get started. What we want to do is provide electricity, worldwide communication via the Internet, and clean water to everyone in the world. This is absolutely doable from an engineering standpoint. But to get it done in a timely fashion we have to enact a fee on carbon dioxide production and the release of methane. If we had this policy change, we could change the world.”

The Solutions Project Nye referred to in the CNN interview is a California-based nonprofit founded by prominent figures in science, business and entertainment such as Stanford University professor Mark Z. Jacobson, banker Marco Krapels, documentary filmmaker and activist Josh Fox, and Hollywood actor and activist Mark Ruffalo.

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The organization is not just focused on helping the United States transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2050; it also suggests future energy mix to achieve the zero-emission target for 139 different countries around the world. The Solutions Project also describes in percentages the type of renewable energy that can be used, depending on their location and the weather patterns typically present in that area.

When there are solutions and plans to safely replace the old, destructive energy of oil, coal and gas with natural renewable energy, there are no prizes for guessing why the governments and the oil and gas companies want to turn a deaf ear to such feasible options.

 

 

Science Guy Bill Nye Explains How Wind and Solar Can Power the Entire World by Vandita licensed under CC.

Posted in Environment, Technology, Uncategorized

Grow Your Own Food Throughout the Year with the Cost and Energy Efficient Micro-Climate System

As the population keeps on increasing, so too will humans have to keep searching for food, water and other basic necessities of life. The Greenhouse of the Future may have the solution to our problem.

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

Some observers have predicted that the world will soon face a population crisis. According to the United Nations, the world’s population reached 7 billion on October 31, 2011. This means the world now has a population of more than 7 billion people. It has been projected that by the middle of this century, the population will reach 10 billion. Some experts even put the figure higher.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

As the population keeps increasing, humans will have to keep searching for food, water and other basic necessities to continue living. The world is already running out of fresh water, and currently, food is also becoming increasingly scarce. Increasing unreliable weather patterns, due to climate change, is causing crops to fail. Needless to say, Western countries are certainly not immune to this effect. The recent Californian drought in the United States caused many crops to fail.

By 2050, if the weather patterns continue to worsen, our situation will not be pleasant. The world will face a disaster: food will become very scarce and many will probably die of starvation. Already, it happens in some parts of the world.

However, some people are determined to find alternative ways to produce food without relying on the unstable natural climate.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

A team of innovators from Quebec, Canada, have developed an eco-friendly and exceptionally cost-effective solution to our food problems. The facility is a sort of micro-climate that allows people to grow their food all-year round.

 

 

The facility was initiated by Francis Gendron. Gendron realized that our current food system is no longer sustainable, and that we need creative solutions to quickly turn the situation around before things get out of hand. Gendron, together with two friends, Christian Désilets and Curt Close, designed and built a radically different food growing system. The team set out to build a greenhouse that would grow organic food in any climate. They named their invention The Greenhouse of the Future. Their main focus was to create a micro-climate for producing an abundance of food with minimal energy usage and low construction cost.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

Greenhouse of the Future combines the principles of Earthships, aquaponics and passive solar greenhouses to grow food. The facility utilizes easy to find recycled materials. It also provides a space for people to connect with nature and relax in warmth during the frigid winter months.

According to Wake-up World.com, The Greenhouse of the Future is designed so that it is partially dug into the ground to take advantage of the earth’s insulating properties. Recycled tires are filled with soil and used for the walls to further help regulate the indoor temperature. When prepared in this manner, the tires absorb heat during the day and then release it at night. In addition, earth tubes are used throughout, heating the interior during the winter and cooling it during warmer weather. Solar panels can be installed on top, making the facility a completely off-grid structure.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

Positioning of the greenhouse is crucial. In the northern hemisphere, the clear polycarbonate front-side faces southward to make the most of the sunlight. Situating the greenhouse in this way also puts into service the insulated roof. During the winter months, the roof reflects light towards the plants, whereas in summertime, it helps to protect the crops from extreme temperatures. The facility also utilizes a passive rainwater collection system. Gutters in the roof funnel rain into collection barrels within the greenhouse. Not only does this provide water for the plants, but also increases thermal mass, furthering the regulation of temperature. Aesthetic features include attractive glass bricks pieced together from recycled bottles, cedar siding and a DIY polycarbonate door.

The real beauty of the facility lies within its ingenious design.  It is both eco-friendly and inexpensive to build. With little attention to details, you can build the facility and start growing your own food using the techniques involved.

 

The Greenhouse of the Future

 

“The greenhouse of the future project is a breakthrough for the S.A.F.E (Sustainable Autonomy/Abundance for Everyone) movement because it synthesizes many of the best resilient and passive sustainable technology. It allows anyone to understand and apply them in their own lives, but also encourages people to keep innovating so that together, we can create a climate FOR change”, co-developer, Curt Close said about the facility.

 

 

 

Grow Your Own Food Throughout the Year with the Cost and Energy Efficient Micro-Climate System by Amando Flavio licensed under CC.

Posted in Environment, Technology

Drones cleaning trash in the ocean!

The Waste Shark is about the size of a passenger car and can vacuum up 1,100 pounds of floating trash. Because it can work 24/7, it’s incredibly efficient.

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Picture credit: Richard Hardiman

 

Thanks to the intelligent use of technology, the world’s oceans are already getting a little bit cleaner. This is great news, considering that at present, the world’s oceans are ridden with pollution which kills approximately 1 million seabirds, 300,000 dolphins and porpoises, and 100,000 sea mammals every year.

The Waste Shark is a small aquatic drone that is capable of vacuuming up 1,100 pounds of floating trash. Designed by Richard Hardiman of RanMarine, it’s basically like a Roomba for the ocean. Popular Science reports that the drone has officially embarked upon its first mission: To pick up trash in the waters around Rotterdam before it makes it way out to sea.

The inventor gifted four Waste Shark prototypes to the Port of Rotterdam Authority in the Netherlands. For the next year, the drones will patrol the waters and collect waste to help improve the state of the environment. As Conserve-Energy-Future shares, more innovations with similar application need to be utilized – and soon, because of the amount of trash which is circulating in the waters and affecting wildlife. In the Pacific Ocean, for example, there is an island of trash twice the size of Texas which contains items incapable of breaking down for thousands of years.

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Picture credit: Richard Hardiman

 

Hopefully, the growth of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will decrease as Waste Sharks are put to work in bodies of water around the world. Each drone is approximately the size of a passenger car and picks up trash in a 14-inch “mouth” that extends below the water’s surface. Being autonomous, they’re able to patrol 24 hours a day, seven days a week without oversight.

It is Hardiman’s hope that the Waste Sharks eventually help make ocean trash a thing of the past (what a concept!). He explained in a statement:

“It may sound like a strange thing to say for an entrepreneur, but my mission will only truly be accomplished when I’m ‘out of business.’”

That’s a future we can all get excited about. Watch the Waste Shark in motion below!

 

Now that’s one proper use of drones for improving the crisis situation regarding environment! What do you think of this approach? Could there be more such solutions?

 

Drones Are Officially Cleaning Up Ocean Trash [Watch] by  licensed under CC.

Posted in Android, Technology

Android N Developer Preview – Cool new features

Android N Developer Preview, a Beta version of Google’s upcoming Operating System Android N, was launched on Wednesday! It was previously expected to be launched in May 2016 at Google I/O, the annual conference focused on software development held by Google in San Francisco, California.

However, Google chose to surprise the anxious consumers as well as developers!

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Android N Developer Preview for the Nexus 6, Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X, Pixel C Nexus 9 has been made available as an over-the-air update by Google! Which means no need to connect your smartphone to PC to download the update, you can download it directly to your Device!

Excited to try out the new update? Get it here, from the official site of Google!

As you move on to test its new features, make sure you don’t miss out on any of these specialities Android N has to offer! Yes, Google left no stone unturned to woo the customers and keep them glued to Androids after the much criticised failures encountered in Android Marshmallow (and subsequent updates). Given the fair share of impressive hidden features Android Marshamallow offered, it was bitterly sweet for some people who had to wait months to fix their problems (some still haven’t).

So, here we go with all the lovely features Android N has to present you :

1. Data Saver :

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This one is extremely helpful for those who are on pay-on-the-go or prepaid connection.

Google has always ensured that your data consumption isn’t the reason for your high mobile bills. Be it Google Chrome (which compresses the data upto 70%), Google Weblight (which enhances your browsing experience by compressing web pages which you want to visit/load), optional “Load Image” feature in browser or the OS itself, you can leave alone your worries of too much data consumption.

You can turn this feature on from settings and you shall have this confirmation :

Background Data is only available via Wifi. This may affect some apps or services when Wifi is not available.

Worried how your Instant Messaging or Mail services will run now? Your Smartphone allows you to choose exceptional “Selected Apps” which will be allowed data access despite having this feature on.

2. Improved Battery Life :

Yes! Finally the answer to all those prayers! This one is a relief for the large number of users who encountered the Battery Drain issue in Android Marshmallow.

A battery-saving feature, called Doze that places an Android device into a deep power-savings mode when it is stationary for a while, has been modified in Android N to allow Doze to work whenever the screen is OFF!

So, the overall power consumption in StandBy mode is reduced significantly.

3. Multi-Window

This feature allows users to perform multiple tasks simultaneously, a much needed feature in Tablets. It allows splitting of screen vertically as well as horizontally.

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So, now you can check weather while browsing through your news feed or book movie tickets while chatting with a friend.

4. Picture-In-Picture

Again, a very beneficial feature for those having large screen smartphones or tablets!
Google describes it as :

“Picture-in-picture (PIP) mode lets apps run a video activity in the pinned window while another activity continues in the background. The PIP window lets users multitask while using your app, which helps users be more productive.”

Now you can view that presentation on your screen while simultaneously Video Calling with that potential Business partner or take interviews of an applicant while viewing his Resumè! Cool, isn’t it?

5. “Direct Reply” and Improved Notification Panel

A “Direct Reply” allows users to reply to incoming notifications of messages directly from the notification panel without the need to launch that particular app.

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This means you can reply directly to that SMS, Tweet or WhatsApp! Very beneficial when you’re short on time and don’t wanna miss replying because of your hurry or busy schedule!

The notification panel is powerful too, and as a Great Man once said, ” With Great Powers come Great Responsibilities! “, the notification panel stands true to them.

All the alerts from a particular app are bundled together in notification panel, enabling users to see them as collapsed and expand individually according to their wish.

All of that sounds awesome, made me more anxious for the launch of Android N!

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Speculations are that N stands for “Nutella” (I hope it doesn’t because I love Nutella and I might just eat someone’s tablet when they say it’s Nutella :P), do you have an alternate name in mind? Do share as I’m curious to hear them!

Till then, always for you, your very own help to the technology, YourTechSage!

Posted in Android, Technology

Android Marshmallow : End of the Line Resolve

Android Marshmallow has turned out a little troublemaker for some users, some facing very serious issues. Even though some problems are common and easy to resolve, if none works for you, here are some last bit of measures to help you out.

Just to beware you, proceed with these only if you have no alternative and have tried every possible tweak for your particular problem.

Here we go :

1. Clear cache partition :

You can try clearing your device’s cache partition and jump start the installation to fix your problem. This varies from device to device, sometimes. To do this on Nexus 6P :

• Press and hold Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for around 10 seconds.

• You should see a large arrow at the top of the screen.

• Tap Volume Down repeatedly until you see Recovery in the arrow.  Then tap the Power button.

• You should see an android on his back with its chest open showing red triangle and exclamation mark.

• While holding the Power button, tap Volume Up once then release the Power button.

• You should now see a list of items at top of screen.

• Tap Volume Down until the item to erase or wipe the cache partition is highlighted.  Then tap Power button to initiate the process.

• A status messages will appear at the bottom of the screen.

2. Factory Reset :

Make sure you back up all your files and data before proceeding with this. To do this, you need to consult your device’s manual/guide/website. Google has put up very helpful guides for all the Nexus devices on how to factory reset them here.

3. Downgrade Device :

If going back to licky Lollipop is what you desire, you can download the OS for your device and easily perform a set of actions. But this is totally off the books as your manufacturer may not recommend this. Still, let me know in comments and I’ll mail you an extensive guide along with all download links on how to downgrade your device. 😉

4. Checkout forums for individual problems :

If you’re experiencing a particular problem, a specific, not so common one, I recommend checking out the forums for your device.

Nexus users can see Google’s Nexus Help Forum.

XDA Developers and Android Central may be having users similar to you facing same problem as yours (a solution maybe listed too). See if you can if anything to calm down your anger.

5. Contact Google :

Talk to them about it, your device, complain, request a solution, send your device to them. They might give you a replacement device! They just might!

After all of this I am sure you must be pretty disappointed and angry, so much that even this winter can’t calm you down. Still, when you’re done hurling your abuses, I would love to help you out, YourTechSage!

Posted in Android, Technology

Android Marshmallow : Battery Issue and Resolution

Android Marshmallow has turned out way too sweet for some devices to digest, hence it’s consuming too much of digestive juice (apparently battery) from devices.

A large number of users have complained about battery draining issues after the upgrade, so here are some helpful tweaks to tackle the issue. Let me remind you, implement these tactics only after giving your device a proper time as mentioned here. So, let’s begin :

1. Find out the culprit apps :

Truth be told, this is where you should begin. Instead of yelling straightaway at Google, you might wanna reconsider your own apps which may be hogging down your device’s resources, resulting in a quickly draining battery. So go ahead and abuse Google go ahead and perform these steps :

● Go to Battery section in Settings, analyse the consumption of power by various applications. Android Marshmallow has extended features for this too, as now it allows you to monitor features such as Flashlight and Camera!

One of the possible culprits could be SnapChat (ladies, beware!) as it utilises camera. Solution? Simply restrict it’s access by application, again an awesome feature from Marshmallow.

Try re-installing the app as it has worked for many users.

No help still? Alert the developers or find alternative app for the time being.

2. Restarting the device :

An app may be consuming resources for a long time, consider restarting the device if you haven’t done it for a few days.

3. Disable unnecessary services :

Ensure good using habits, keep Wifi, GPS, Google Maps, Mobile Data switched off unless you are using them. Keeping them on all the time obviously will result in fast drainage of battery.

Additionally, ensure that it’s not the poor reception of network which is the root cause. Phone tend to consume much more battery if it is struggling to get network reception.

4. Managing Screen settings :

Even though most devices allow sensors to automatically adjust screen brightness, sometimes it works, sometimes don’t.

So adjust brightness manually to better suit your need and you also save on the extra power as system won’t need to keep an extra process+sensors on for this.

Go to Settings -> Display and Turn off ‘Adaptive Brightness’

Note, this doesn’t mean keeping your brightness low as it highly affects your vision damaging your eyes. I suggest you keep the brightness high enough for your eyes’ comfort.

5. Switch Launchers (if you’re using one) :

Although this is a rare case, you might wanna utilise alternative launchers than your current one and see if it affects the battery issue.

If all this doesn’t seem to work, you may wanna try these end of the line steps, but a gentle reminder, move to them only and only when you have no alternative.

Always keep an eye for updates, ensure your device is updated to latest version and enjoy your Android Marshmallow!

Got any better tips? Unable to implement any of the tweaks above? I’m eager to help you out, always, your very own, YourTechSage!

Posted in Android, Technology

Android Marshmallow : Common issues, bugs and Resolution

Android Marshmallow brings out a score of new features (some of which are hidden), but also comes with its fair share of bugs and issues. Although I am not experiencing much of them, after going through comments/reviews on PlayStore and various other forums, I couldn’t help but notice the large number of problems,  some of which are very serious, faced by various users on various devices.

A Rose is accompanied by thorns. Let’s see some of the problems (with possible solutions) which users are experiencing. Before starting, again I would like to clarify that each of these problems are on individual basis, differ from person-to-person, device-to-device, hence, cannot be universally accepted issues. Some users aren’t facing any of the problems, some (Say Nexus 6P) devices are encountering the trouble whereas the exact same device of another person possess no problems. Hence, only the most commonly occurring ones are listed here.

1. Battery Life

Problem : Users experience that their phone’s battery is draining faster than expected.

Common Devices : Nexus 5, Nexus 6P

Soultion :

First of all, let’s be aware of a fact; Battery drainage problems are extremely common following a major Android Upgrade. Give the software some time to settle down, it can take upto few days to get sorted out on its own. Wait two days, if you don’t see improvements, you need to follow some measures which are mentioned here.

Secondly, you may find the solution on Google or some forums to “factory reset your phone” in order to solve the problem. My advice, DO NOT, unless there is no other alternative.

Thirdly, ensure your device is updated to the latest version. The January Security updates are already out.

2. Charging

Problem : Users experience their devices charge slowly/not charging/do not boot up.

Solution:

Do not haste, ensure that you are using the original charger meant for your device. Try swapping it with other charger (borrowed one) having same ratings to see if problem still persists.

Try using the USB to charge the device (for those users experiencing no charge) using your laptop.

Nothing works? Try out this video.

3. Data

Problem : Some users claimed that their celluar network/data is hampered after the update. (NOTE : Most users claim that their celluar data issues were FIXED following Android 6.0 update)

Devices : Nexus 5 (some rare ones)

Solution : Ensure that your network provider is issue free and the services are working for other users.

Next, a large number of users replied that their issue was fixed following simple actions such as

• Restart the Device.

• Switching to Airplane Mode and back to normal.

 

4. Wifi

Problem : Wifi doesn’t work/connect

Devices : Nexus 5

Solution : After ensuring you router is working properly, head over to your device.
Go to Settings, then Connections and choose ‘Forget Connection’ and reconnect.
Not working? Try out different frequencies if you’re comfortable with it. Tap on ‘three dots’ to bring the Advanced Menu and go to Wifi Frequency Bands and test them. Although, remember, if you forget or mess up, simply let it set to defaults.

If none of this works, try updating your applications. Still not helpful? Boot in safe mode as represented here and single out the problems for each app.

5. Bluetooth

Problem : Bluetooth not starting/not connecting to other devices/not working

Solution : The problem is a case to case one as can be seen here.

Try out these basic actions :

• Switch off and on the bluetooth.

• Forget the connection, by going into Bluetooth Settings, and reconnecting

If this doesn’t work, try booting in safe mode to sort out problems as safe mode disables third party apps enabling you to find the real cuplrit. Click to know how!

6. Performance :

Problem : A large number of users are experiencing a lag, less performing device after the update

Devices : Nexus 5X, Nexus 6

Solution : Variety of steps you can follow to get rid of this issue are  as follows:

Clear your device’s cache partition as mentioned here.

• Utilise Android Marshmallow’s new RAM Manager Tool present inside the apps menu to monitor the activity of your device. It allows you to see which applications are slowing down your device.

• Try deleting files you no longer need, cut short on widgets, free your device from extra animations and similar actions if you really want performance from your device.

7. Apps

Problem : Some applications are not working

Solution : Again, a scenario varying with case as seen here.

Any application will obviously encounter bugs when running on a completely new upgraded system.

Ensure all your applications are updated to latest version, let the developer community for that particular application know of your issue. Unfortunately, this issue can only be resolved from your app developer so wait till they provide updates, which shouldn’t take more than a few days (or weeks at max).

Other Issues :

• Random Reboots
• Blank Screen on Call Picking/Ending
• Black Screen during application usage or working
• Clock Lagging (Nexus slowing down time now!)

Finally if nothing works, you can try out the endgame steps as mentioned here, but approach them only as a last hope.

Phew, that was very awkward as praising words wouldn’t stop falling since I upgraded my device. Not to lose hope as the updates will sort out all problems as time passes by. Till then, let’s manage and keep a keen eye on updates.

Having some other issues? Found any better solutions to those mentioned above? I’m eager to hear from you, always, YourTechSage!