FBI hunts suspect in rare analog espionage case targeting Houston energy firm


With so many recent reports of hacks, software theft, and cloud-based security breaches, this "physical world" espionage case seems all the more mysterious.

Read the rest

What is "design fiction?"

Press Pictures: Copyright 
Siemens press photos may only be used for editorial purposes. The copyrights belong to Siemens AG, Munich/Berlin, and remain undiminished if the pictures are incorporated into an archive, either electronically or manually. Pictures used for editorial purposes, modified, duplicated and/or electronically altered must bear the credit "Siemens press picture". Commercial use or sale of the pictures and data, even in electronically manipulated form, is prohibited.

I've been writing "design fiction" for years (see, for example, Knights of the Rainbow Table), and when people ask me to explain it, I say something like, "An engineer might make a prototype to give you a sense of how something works; an architect will do a fly-through to give you a sense of its spatial properties; fiction writers produce design fiction to give you a sense of how a technology might feel." Read the rest

What technologists can do about climate change

050 056c026d-1c66-4d42-9fae-a8e96df290c5-1020x1192

Bret Victor complained on Twitter that technologists were wasting their imaginations, energy and talent on things that wouldn't matter after climate change reduced the world to a drowned cinder; his followers pushed back and asked what they, as technologists, could do about climate change. Read the rest

Dakota Pipeline decision delayed to Sept. 9, thousands of indigenous activists continue protest


In Washington today, District Judge James E. Boarsberge said he will not issue a decision on a legal challenge by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Dakota Access, LLC, the private firm behind a nearly $4 billion oil project Native people say will destroy their land and cause unprecedented damage to human, plant, and animal life in the region.

Read the rest

Canadian government thinktank warns that renewables will gut market for Canada's dirty oil


For a decade, Canada's previous petro-tory government prosecuted scientists who publicly reported their results without first passing them through the party's commissars, almost as though reality had a well-known left-wing bias and couldn't be trusted. Read the rest

Tar sands production in Canada pretty much shut down by Fort McMurray wildfire

Flames rise in area south of Fort McMurray, Alberta May 3, 2016.  [Reuters]

Almost all of Canada's tar sands production has been shut down by a raging wildfire in Alberta's Fort McMurray region.

Read the rest

Australian MP sets river on fire


Jeremy Buckingham, a Green Party MP, took a dingy out on Queensland's Condamine River, about 220km west of Brisbane, and set the river on fire with a barbeque lighter. Read the rest

Smart radiator covers let New Yorkers keep their windows closed

animation (1)

Becky Stern writes, "I recently investigated my building's new smart radiator cover installation and found a company bringing steam heat into the 21st century and allowing residents to keep their windows closed when the heat is on!" Read the rest

Bitcoin transactions could consume as much energy as Denmark by the year 2020

hqdefault (1)

The numbers in this study are very back-of-the-envelope and assume a worst case: widespread adoption of Bitcoin and not much improvement in Bitcoin mining activity, along with long replacement cycles for older, less efficient mining rigs. Even the best case scenario has Bitcoin consuming a shocking amount of electricity.

Read the rest

Meet the Commercial Energy Working Group, a lobby group that won't say who it lobbies for


Though they are legally required to disclose the names of any members or donore who give them more than $5K, the Commercial Energy Working Group -- which lobbies against energy sector regulations -- refuses to name any of its backers. Read the rest

Citing climate change, Obama rejects Keystone XL Oil Pipeline construction plan

Obama, Biden, and Kerry, speaking about the Keystone XL oil pipeline November 6, 2015.  REUTERS

In a decision that environmental activists see as a hard-won victory, President Obama today announced he is rejecting the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. The news ends a seven-year review process that was a focal point in the debate over the Obama administration's climate policies.

Read the rest

Nuanced profile of the Oklahoma County where "no one believes in climate change"


Oklahoma native John Sutter visited Woodward County, Oklahoma. At first, he could find no one who'd admit to believing in anthropogenic climate change, not even the headmaster of the local academy, who paid out of his own money to erect a statue of a little girl on a stegosaurus' back with a plaque that read, “A dinosaur like this roamed the Earth 5,000 years ago.” Read the rest

Naomi Klein, David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen, Donald Sutherland and Ellen Page's vision for a better Canada

The Leap Manifesto calls for a Canada remade as "a country powered entirely by renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the opportunities of this transition are designed to eliminate racial and gender inequality." Read the rest

Vivienne Westwood drives a tank to David Cameron's house

The doyenne of punk design drove the tank to the UK prime minister's house in Chadlington, Oxfordshire to carry out a spoof "chemical attack" in protest over new fracking licenses in 27 residential areas (but not near David Cameron's home). Read the rest

Soylent's new liquid form is kind of spermy, and the guy behind it is sort of creepy

“The first space colonies will have no coal power plants,” says Rob Rhinehart. “I am ready.”

Four of USA's top solar states are on the east coast


California may be the first US state to generate more than 5% of its electricity from utility solar, but runner-up North Carolina leads the four east coast states that comprised last year's top solar states. The top ten: Read the rest

Why it takes so long to improve solar technology

"Scientists have a new, promising material for solar panels!" At NOVANext, Tim De Chant explains why an announcement like that doesn't mean you get a new solar panel next year ... or even next decade. Read the rest

More posts