Instrumenting and connecting objects like refrigerators, freezers or even coffee bars are allowing building managers to operate profitably.
Following is a guest post from David Bartlett:
Companies can measure and control energy consumption in ways previously impossible, through the combination of low-cost sensors/controls, robust wireless mesh networks and ubiquitous access to the internet. That’s the gist of
Expectations that utilities will keep their customers’ air conditioners running even during prolonged heat waves will not change, so power companies are seeking better ways to meet this demand, in part via smart grids.
The ability to offer demand response systems is in a more nascent stage for homes than it is for businesses because it requires homeowners to install smart meters, a key component of the smart grid infrastructure. Once these meters, which communicate directly with the utility company via a network, are installed, consumers will be able to get detailed information about the variable cost of electricity at different times of the day. The goal is to enable consumers to better manage their electricity usage and thereby save money. The utilities benefit by experiencing fewer sharp spikes in demand when, for instance, commuters get home from work and simultaneously turn on air conditioners, clothes dryers and dishwashers. Eventually, consumers may likewise be able to make contractual arrangements, as some businesses already do, to hand that management over to utility companies during heat waves and other extreme weather conditions.
“Earth Day is a good opportunity to remember the tremendous discrepancies in who has access to fresh fruits and vegetables — and thus, who has the luxury of eating a healthy, balanced diet — in this country. My fellow bloggers and I have written extensively about so-called “food deserts,” where the number of grocery stores are dramatically insufficient for the number of residents. Too often, people in these neighborhoods rely on corner stores, where a bag of Doritos is cheap and available and a container of strawberries may not fit either criteria. As a result, federal, state and local governments have pushed to make healthy food more accessible. It’s a major part of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity initiative, and her husband’s proposed budget for next year would dedicate $400 million to bringing fresh food to corner stores. But such efforts don’t do much good if the produce that makes it to poor neighborhoods is close to spoiling or has the potential to make people sick. A new study from Drexel University researchers published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that when stores in poor neighborhoods do get fresh produce, it poses both of those risks to buyers. After buying salad, strawberries, cucumbers and watermelon repeatedly over 15 months in the Philadelphia area, the scientists found that mold, microorganisms and bacteria were all more likely to be present on produce purchased from stores in poor neighborhoods than in wealthier ones. In other words, if you are a poor Philadelphian buying fruits and vegetables in your own neighborhood, chances are your produce will spoil faster and may give you food poisoning. How appetizing.”—
By now you’ve heard plenty about smarter cities and even a “decade of smart,” but what about a smarter courthouse? Or a smarter federal building?
Despite the flurry of deals signed by cities and even non-profits with the likes of IBM and Cisco (which announced a new pilot project around Akron, Ohio this week), the biggest score in the smarter sweepstakes is a government agency you’ve likely never heard of, the General Services Administration, and its real estate arm, the Public Buildings Service. The PBS is the federal government’s landlord and superintendent, charging rent, making repairs, and otherwise doing the utmost to cover its $8.6 billion annual budget and return a profit to Congress. It’s also been charged with going green in a big way — meaning it will have to retrofit and smarten up its aging buildings.
Malaria has shaped our trade and settlement patterns, and our demographics. Today, it sickens 300 million every year, and kills nearly 1 million, despite the fact that we’ve known how to cure it (with parasite-killing drugs) and prevent it (by avoiding mosquito bites) for over a century. And even as the fight against malaria gains momentum, research reveals that malaria’s tentacles continue to dig ever deeper.
Part of malaria’s wicked genius is that since ancient times, it has fooled us into thinking it is a trivial problem, easily solved. Diseases such as yellow fever, or plague, or polio, have always filled us with dread. But not malaria. Almost all of our attempts to squelch it, from thousands of years ago to today, have treated the disease as a weak foe, allowing malaria to flourish, nearly unchecked, to this day.
Two Baltimore libraries now have another service to offer their patrons: grocery ordering and pickup. The City Health Department’s Virtual Supermarket Project (VSP) lets patrons living in “food deserts”—areas without shops offering healthy food at reasonable prices—order and pickup groceries at the library. Once a week, library visitors place their orders online with a local grocer and pay with cash, check, credit or food stamps. Patrons can pick up their orders the next day without paying a delivery fee.
Beyond Social: Read/Write in The Era of Internet of Things
In 2010, we’re still struggling to digest all of what social media throws at us. However, a shift has been happening since 2009 which alleviates the problem. We’ve begun to realize that it’s not how much content we consume that is important - it’s what we do with all of the social and other data available to us. The social is still important, but the resulting data is - slowly - becoming more important because it can be analyzed, filtered, mashed up, and personalized.
Structured Data & Internet of Things
Two relatively new trends are driving this change.
And then we have the Internet of Things - an evolving trend where real-world objects and ‘things’ are connected to the Internet via technologies such as sensors and RFID tags. Everything from cars to houses to roads and more. The upshot is that the Web is about to experience a data explosion, as billions of sensors and other data input and output devices upload exabytes of new data to the Web.
“Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway today launched a new system for real-time, online water use and bill tracking for homeowners and businesses.
via nyc.gov”—Water Monitoring in NYC - George Dearing dot com
Defeating the flu is challenging because the virus responsible for the disease undergoes frequent changes of its genetic code, making it difficult for scientists to manufacture effective vaccines for the seasonal flu in a timely manner. Now, a University of Miami (UM) computer scientist, Dimitris Papamichail, and a team of researchers from Stony Brook University have developed a rapid and effective approach to produce vaccines for new strains of influenza viruses. The researchers hope to develop the new technology and provide an efficient method to confront the threat of seasonal epidemics.