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    Tuesday
    Oct062009

    Obama Orders Federal to Green its Data Centers in Executive Order

    InformationWeek Government reports on Obama’s executive order.

    Obama Orders Federal IT To Get Greener

    An Executive Order mandates that federal agencies implement green data center strategies, double-sided printing, and PC power management, as part of a broader sustainability push.

    By J. Nicholas Hoover
    InformationWeek
    October 6, 2009 02:55 PM

    An executive order signed by President Obama requires that federal agencies take further steps to ensure that their IT purchases are energy efficient or otherwise environmentally friendly.

    The mandates are part of Executive Order 13514, which sets sustainability goals for the U.S. government. Within 90 days, agencies are required to set a target for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020 and to recycle or otherwise divert 50% of their waste by 2015.

    "In order to create a clean energy economy that will increase our nation's prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, and safeguard the health of our environment, the federal government must lead by example," Obama wrote in the order.

    The order means that sustainability will increasingly be factored into government acquisition of IT products and services. It's "going to make all of us look at what we do with IT with a new eye," said Jeff Eagan, electronics stewardship coordinator for the Department of Energy, during a panel discussion at 1105 Media's Virtualization, Cloud Computing & Green IT Summit in Washington.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Oct062009

    Apple Quits US Chamber of Commerce over GHG issue

    Mercury News reports on Apple quitting the US Chamber of Commerce.

    Apple quits U.S. Chamber of Commerce over global warming views

    By Dana Hull

    Adding momentum to the revolt against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Apple on Monday resigned from the business group because of its opposition to federal efforts to limit greenhouse gases.

    Apple is the fourth company and the largest, as well as the first tech company, to part ways with the chamber as the debate over global warming legislation heats up in Congress. It is also the most significant defector because Apple is a leading American brand and consumers strongly identify with its products.

    And the NRDC jumps in as well.

    "Apple's departure is a clear signal that more and more of the chamber's members want it to download a new tune when it comes to climate change," said Peter Altman of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

    Apple further explains its position.

    "Apple is committed to protecting the environment and the communities in which we operate around the world," Catherine Novelli, Apple's vice president of worldwide government affairs, said in a letter to Thomas Donahue, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce president and CEO. "We strongly object to the Chamber's recent comments opposing the EPA's effort to limit greenhouse gases."

    The move comes amid efforts by Apple to burnish its green image. The Cupertino-based company revealed its carbon footprint — or total greenhouse-gas emissions — for the first time last month, announcing on its Web site that 53 percent of the 10.2 million tons of annual carbon emissions it takes responsibility for comes from consumer use of its products.

    The company has taken a broad view of greenhouse gas emissions, using a "life-cycle analysis" to calculate greenhouse gas emissions for each product, from production to transportation, consumer use and recycling.

    "We believe it has resulted in the broadest possible measure of the carbon footprint for each of our new products," Apple said in response to a lengthy questionnaire by the Carbon Disclosure Project, which publishes emissions data for the world's largest corporations. "No other electronics company reports this information at the product level, but we think they should."

    and news.com reports on Apple being a top green brand according to another study.

    Report praises Apple's environmental efforts

    by Jim Dalrymple

    Apple won praise for its latest efforts to rid its products of harmful chemicals in a new report released Tuesday from environmental organizations ChemSec and Clean Production Action.

    While Greenpeace seems to have completely missed Apple's environmental advances in its latest report, ChemSec and Clean Production Action's report, "Greening Consumer Electronics: Moving Away from Bromine and Chlorine," highlights Apple's efforts as one of seven companies who have come up with solutions negating the use of harmful chemicals. Apple was the only computer maker to make the list.

    With Apple winning points as a green leader they are joining Wal-mart who has also strategically chosen to make green a competitive advantage.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Oct062009

    Google bypasses Utility for Smart Meters

    gigaom posts on google’s latest power meter efforts.

    Why Google’s PowerMeter Gadget Partnership Is a Big Power Play

    By Katie Fehrenbacher | Tuesday, October 6, 2009 | 11:53 AM PT | 1 comment

    With Google’s endless projects — from book search to a browser killer to Blogger — you’re probably wondering why I’m so excited about a new partnership deal for the company’s PowerMeter energy management tool. Well, here’s why: For the first time, consumers can now access PowerMeter via a gadget called the TED-5000, made by startup Energy Inc., and users don’t need to go through their utility or have a smart meter (a digital two-way electricity meter) installed to access it. In other words, Google has finally bypassed the utility with PowerMeter, which is an important step for both bringing consumer energy management products to the mainstream, and pushing utilities to more quickly embrace information technology networks and broadband.

    Smart meters are great, but the problem is that just a little over 6 percent of households in the U.S. currently have them. While that percentage will grow dramatically in the coming years, it will take time, and PowerMeter’s former smart grid strategy would have meant the tool was only available to a small portion of the population for quite some time. The other drawback to the smart meter architecture is that utilities are installing smart meters attached to networks that aren’t exactly the most robust. Utilities commonly build networks that can significantly delay the time it takes the energy information to reach the customer — smart meters will often grab energy info every 15 minutes to an hour, but then the utility network will bring that data to the data center and display it back to the customer in a 24-hour period.

    I wonder if this will bleed into corporate and commercial environments?

    One point mentioned.

    Utilities haven’t traditionally been very good at IT — they haven’t had to be — but that’s all changing, and next-generation utilities will need to be as proficient in running data networks as they are at managing power networks. Some forward-thinking utilities like San Diego Gas & Electric know that and are building multimillion-dollar wireless networks to manage their smart grid deployments. PowerMeter and the TED-5000 are just a small piece of that equation, but they’re an important first step in giving consumers easy access, and ownership over, their energy information.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Oct062009

    Amazon and Google Rule The Cloud, says Study

    As if we needed a study to tell us Amazon and Google rule cloud services.  Well, I guess someone didn’t know as they paid for research.  news.com has the post.

    Study: Amazon and Google rule the cloud

    by Dave Rosenberg

    If recent research is any indication, Amazon.com and Google are winning the cloud game.

    Evans Data on Tuesday released a report (registration required) on how developers perceive cloud service providers related to cloud services offerings, including their completeness and the companies' ability to execute on the vision.

    Janel Garvin, the founder of Evans Data and the author of the report, provides excellent insight into the current state of the market and how quickly things could change, if certain large vendors (notably AT&T and Microsoft) got their acts together more quickly.

    Given their robust services, it isn't surprising that Amazon and Google top the list. And although IBM, VMware, and Microsoft trail, each offers important components of cloud infrastructure.

    Cloud leaders

    Cloud leaders

    (Credit: Screenshot by Dave Rosenberg/CNET

    An interesting perspective in the article.

    Google got the top nod from developers for scalability, reliability, uptime, and best value, and Garvin states that Google "shows more strength in both perceived capabilities and perceived ability to execute, and the adoption patterns for Google are stronger, going into the future." However, Google's offering via AppEngine is nowhere near as robust as Amazon's Web Services capabilities.

    The big vendor that continues to be late to the cloud game is Microsoft, which, despite an army of developers interested in Azure and other cloud services, has yet to offer a production-ready product. Says Garvin:

    The two companies that truly straddle the cloud worlds, AT&T and Microsoft, both have excellent potential: through existing physical infrastructure in the case of AT&T or as in the case of Microsoft, by virtue of a prodigious developer network and well-known software capabilities. But, both are late to the party. And, in a market that's evolving as quickly as this one, that's a significant handicap.

    Click to read more ...

    Tuesday
    Oct062009

    Stock Analyst Upgrades AAPL speculating online services

    WSJ.com has post on a UBS analyst upgrading Apple inc (AAPL).

    UPDATE: Apple Upgraded On Hopes For New Service Platform

       By Dan Gallagher
    

    Apple Inc. (AAPL) was upgraded to a buy rating by UBS on Friday morning on higher expectations for the company's popular iPhone, as well as speculation for a services platform the company may be developing.

    In a note to clients, analyst Maynard Um said he believes Apple may be working on building a service "to provide seamless access and mobility of digital content across all its products." Such a service, he argues, may act as a "halo" that drives future product sales.

    "We envision a service that seamlessly allows access to media-focused content of iTunes and user-generated content of MobileMe (pictures/videos/email/calendar) as well as social networking integration from any existing Apple product," he wrote in a note to clients.

    Um raised his rating on Apple to buy and boosted his price target on the stock to $265 from $170. Apple shares were trading up 2.2% at $184.87 in recent late-morning activity.

    "We are less concerned with regard to margin pressure as demand does not appear to be shifting to the $99 iPhone 3G and a lower end 3GS does not appear to be forthcoming, as we had originally feared," he wrote.


    The Data Center part is here.

    He also cited data pointing to an increase in capital spending on infrastructure and corporate facilities. He believes this is part of a plan to build out data center system, "which we hypothesize will be the foundation for a service that provides seamless access and mobility of digital content across all its products, at any time, and from any place."

    Click to read more ...